Full transcript of the 2013 Atlantic Council Missile Defense Conference.
The United States and Global Missile Defense
Frederick Kempe, President and CEO,
Ellen Tauscher, Vice Chair, Brent Scowcroft Center on
International Security, Atlantic Council
Missile Defense: Toward a Global Missile Defense
James Miller, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy,
U.S. Department of Defense
Barry Pavel, Director, Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security,
Panel Discussion on U.S. Missile Defense Initiative in the Arabian Gulf
H.E. Yousef Al Otaiba, Ambassador,
Embassy of the United Arab Emirates;
Kevin Cosgriff, Senior Vice President of International Business and Government, Textron Systems Corporation;
Matthew Spence, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for
Middle East Policy, U.S. Department of Defense
Michael Singh, Managing Director,
Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Luncheon Keynote Conversation
Stephen J. Hadley, Former U.S. National Security Adviser;
Ellen Tauscher, Vice Chair,
Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, Atlantic Council
Frederick Kempe, President and CEO,
Panel Discussion on US Missile Defense Initiative in the Asia Pacific
Patrick Cronin, Senior Adviser and Senior Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program, Center for a New American Security;
Walter “Skip” Sharp, Former Commander, United Nations Command, U.S.-ROK Forces Combined Command, U.S. Forces Korea;
Seok-soo Lee, Professor, Korea National Defense University
Barry Pavel, Director, Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security
Panel Discussion on Missile Defense: Industry Perspective
John C. Rood, Vice President, U.S. Business Development,
Edgar Buckley, Senior Consultant,
EV Buckley Consulting Ltd.;
Steve Grundman, M.A. and George Lund Fellow,
Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, Atlantic Council
Ian Brzezinski, Senior Fellow,
Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, Atlantic Council
Location: Park Hyatt Hotel, 1201 24th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Time: 9:00 a.m. EDT
Date: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Federal News Service
FREDERICK KEMPE: If you could all – if you could all take your seats, I think we’ll get started. Good morning – good morning to you all. I’m Fred Kempe, president and CEO of the Atlantic Council. I’m really sorry that you all didn’t get your invitations to the Sistine Chapel this morning and so you’ve decided to join our conclave here, which some would liken missile defense to divine intervention, but I won’t go there.
It’s a pleasure to invite you to the Park Hyatt today for our annual conference on missile defense. I think when we started this in 2007, we didn’t intend it to be an annual conference, but it just sort of turned out that way because it seemed like a good period of time to leave, because really so much happens in this field in a 12-month period of time that it’s actually necessary to get back together again. And I’m delighted that we’ve continued this tradition, but I’m also delighted to see so many in the audience who have been to several if not all of these – of these meetings. We’re also expanding our look this year, featuring panels on Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the defense industry itself.
As always, I’m – I want to give a particular thanks to our partners from Raytheon, particularly our Atlantic Council board member Tom Culligan, John Rood and Paul Yarbino (sp). And thanks so much to you for making today possible.
I’m also delighted that the Obama administration will be represented at today’s conference by Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Jim Miller. Jim, thanks very much for being here again today. You’ve been very generous with your time over the years engaging with the council on our missile defense issues. And it’s a pleasure to have you speaking with us publicly on the topic this year.
My own work on missile defense goes back to the days I was at The Wall Street Journal covering the Reagan-Gorbachev summits. SDI, “Star Wars,” was what we talked about then. But missile defense issues couldn’t be any more current than they are now with a new wave of threatening rhetoric from North Korea following the nuclear test last month. And deciding between missile defense when looking at North Korea or Dennis Rodman – (laughter) – I think I would rather be at this conference. Basketball diplomacy has its limits.
Those of you who have attended the conference in the past know, just as you know on opening day for the Nationals Steve Strasburg is likely to be on the mound, you can’t have a missile defense conference at the Atlantic Council without Ellen Tauscher. You – she told me I could use that comparison – who’s here to speak and always says something interesting.
In 2007, she spoke on third-site missile defense as a member of Congress from California’s 10th District and chair of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee. In 2009, she represented the Obama administration as undersecretary of state for international security and arms control by briefing our audience on the European Phased Adaptive Approach to missile defense. In 2011, she again keynoted our conference by speaking on the missile defense agenda in the lead-up to the NATO Chicago summit.
And I’m delighted that Ellen will kick off our conference this morning as well not as a representative of Congress or a member of the administration but in a far more important calling: as vice chair of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security Policy at the – at the Atlantic Council and chairwoman of this missile defense conference. I can guarantee you shall have something interesting to say, and I think particularly lunchtime will be quite interesting as we get to engage in a Q-and-A with Ellen Tauscher and Steve Hadley on the global challenges in missile defense.
And I’m delighted to have Ellen involved not only in this conference but many other council activities, including some exciting upcoming work that we’ll be doing on an idea that she’s really driven in many respects, mutually assured stability, with Igor Ivanov and the Russian International Affairs Council. Few can match Ellen’s stature and expertise on these issues but not just the strategic issues of missile defense but also the politics of the day that drive the decision-making process and the budget politics of the day that drive these sorts of processes.
Just last week, Ellen was selected by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to serve on the congressionally mandated bipartisan National Nuclear Security Administration governance panel. This demonstrates the high regard with which she is held on critical issues regarding our nuclear feature.
So Ellen, I’m grateful for all your efforts on behalf of the Atlantic Council over the years and everything you have done for your country as well. Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Ellen Tauscher. (Applause.)
ELLEN TAUSCHER: Thank you so much, Fred, and good morning, ladies and gentlemen. It’s really a pleasure to be back again participating in the Atlantic Council’s missile defense conference as vice chair of the council’s Brent Scowcroft Center. This is different, even refreshing, to be a private citizen, not someone from Congress or from the administration. So everything I say is really just my own thoughts.
During my time in government, Fred used to visit me annually, usually in late summer, with a request for me to speak at the council’s annual missile defense conference. For those of you that know Fred, you understand that he can be very persuasive and hard to refuse. I always just said yes when he walked in the room, with great pleasure – (laughter) – cut to the chase, and I always believed that this conference made a valuable contribution to the debate on missile defense by bringing European voices and Asian voices to Washington so we could have a policy conversation, not just a political conversation.
More than a year ago, as I was finishing up my tenure as undersecretary, Fred again made me one of those regular visits to my office on the seventh floor of the State Department. This time he came with his hat in his hand. He asked me if I could consider coming into private life and going to the Atlantic Council as vice chair of the Scowcroft Center. And of course, because of my love of Brent Scowcroft and because of the great work that Barry Pavel is doing, I knew I would love it at the Brent Scowcroft Center for International Security, and I have, and I do.
I always want to talk about how much I appreciate my friends. And Fred, Jim Jones, who chairs the Brent Scowcroft Center, and our new secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel, who’s our former chairman of the Atlantic Council, and Barry have worked very hard to establish the center in honor of Brent Scowcroft. The creation of the Scowcroft Center and its expanded capacity to cover new regional and functional issues offers the Atlantic Council a chance to also expand the focus of its missile defense conference. Europe, NATO and U.S. cooperation with key allies and partners remain the core theme of this conference. But our focus today is to look beyond NATO missile defense and the European Phased Adaptive Approach to also assess missile defense in other corners of the globe, like Asia and the Middle East, as well as how the defense industry views missile defense.
A conference with an issue set with this broad agenda needs someone to tie everything together by providing a global perspective of the landscape of missile defense. It needs somebody like Jim Miller, my friend, our current undersecretary of defense for policy. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jim Miller for many years in the Obama administration. Jim is truly one of this country’s most talented and thoughtful public servants. Through his times as principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy to his current role as the undersecretary, Jim has been the essential driver of the Obama administration’s policy on missile defense and a key reason for the success of the policy. We’re very, very fortunate to have him as the keynote for this year’s missile defense conference.
Jim, I see some white smoke. I think it’s you. (Laughter.) Let me introduce my friend, the undersecretary of defense for policy, Jim Miller. (Applause.)
JAMES MILLER: Thank you, Ellen.
MS. TAUSCHER: (Off mic.)
MR. MILLER: Ellen, thank you so much for that very kind introduction. I was checking to see if my hair was on fire. It sometimes occurs given the issues that we’re dealing with on a day-to-day basis as you talked about white smoke.
Ellen, you were just a great partner as undersecretary of state, an incredible representative and leader in the House Armed Services Committee. We have all very much missed working with you in government. It’s wonderful to see you doing so much and so well on the outside, and thank you for your continued contributions.
Thanks also to Fred and to Barry, Ian and the – and the entire Atlantic Council team for hosting this event. It is always an honor to join this great organization, which has contributed so much to our national understanding of security and diplomatic issues over the years. Most recently, as Ellen noted, the council has contributed a secretary of defense. Chuck Hagel, of course, was chairman from 2009 until quite recently at the Atlantic Council, now my new boss. The council’s loss is a tremendous gain for the Department of Defense and, indeed, for the nation. We’ll do our very best to take care of Chuck Hagel, and we better take care of him, because the current lineup of security and fiscal challenges that we have could be enough to cause any secretary of defense to start eyeing the exits.
With all the challenges that we’re facing, and there are many, few or – are more important or more timely than the one we’re here today to discuss on missile defense. Ballistic missile defense is without question one of the most important national security issues that we face today, and its importance has been evident in the actions this administration has taken from the beginning. One of the first efforts of the Obama administration in 2009 was to kick off the first-ever Ballistic Missile Defense Review. That review and subsequent presidential guidance set the priorities for missile defense. Those priorities are unchanged today.
Our number one priority of missile defense is to ensure that we are able to defend the U.S. homeland against the threat of limited ballistic missile attack. Number two and very close behind it and intimately related is a focus on regional missile defense, and that’s to defend U.S. forces and allies and partners and to help enable our allies and partners to defend themselves. This commitment to the defense of our allies and partners, including in NATO and East Asia and in the Middle East, each of which I know you all will talk about today, is an unshakeable constant of U.S. policy.
I want to start today by talking about the threat. And as we look at the threat today, North Korea and Iran, of course, stand out. That’s not only because of the nature of the regimes but also because of their continuing efforts to develop additional capabilities, including long-range missiles and including their continued efforts to have a nuclear weapons capability.
I’ll talk first about North Korea. The sanctions that the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved on March 7th in the aftermath of North Korea’s most recent nuclear test are just the latest sign of how seriously the international community takes the threat from North Korea. North Korea’s neighbors and the global community are unified in their condemnation of the regime’s behavior. It was noteworthy and a healthy sign and perhaps a portend, I think, that China joined the United States in drafting these new U.N. sanctions. And as National Security Adviser Tom Donilon noted in his speech yesterday to the Asia Society, we welcome China’s support and its continued insistence that North Korea completely, verifiably and irreversibly abandon its WMD and ballistic missile programs.
For some time, North Korea has pursued missiles that threaten its neighbors and our allies and our forces in South Korea and Japan. And more recently, it has begun working on a long-range missile technology. This past December, as we all know, North Korea conducted a Taepo Dong II launch and managed to put a satellite in orbit. And as you all know, a space launch vehicle incorporates many of the same technologies required for development of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Our concern about Pyongyang’s potential ICBM capability is compounded by the regime’s focus on developing nuclear weapons. North Korea’s third nuclear test last month is obviously a serious concern for all nations. North Korea’s shrill public pronouncements underscore the need for the U.S. to continue to take prudent steps to defeat any future North Korean ICBM.
Then there is Iran. That nation’s continued efforts to develop nuclear capabilities and long-range ballistic missiles are not as advanced as those of North Korea. Nevertheless, we are of course very closely monitoring – we are very closely monitoring the status of Iran with a steadfast commitment to the prevention of Iran’s attainment of nuclear weapons.
As you all know well, Iran is proceeding with uranium enrichment in violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions. And as with North Korea, the gravest threat here is the possible confluence of future nuclear capability with ballistic missile technology. Iran already has the largest ballistic missile inventory in the Middle East and is fielding those missiles in increased numbers. It – Iran has modified the Shahab 3 medium-range ballistic missile to extend its claimed range to some 2,000 kilometers.
Unlike North Korea, Iran has not stated an intent to develop ICBMs. However, like North Korea, Iran has used a space launch vehicle, for Iran the Safir-2, to place a satellite in orbit, demonstrating some of the key technologies required for ICBM development.
I’d like to now turn to some of the things that we’re doing in – as we focus on these evolving threats from both North Korea and Iran, talk about each of the – each of the regions but start with homeland defense. As you all know, the U.S. homeland is currently protected against possible limited ICBM attacks from states like North Korea and Iran by the ground-based midcourse defense system, our GMD system. This GMD system consists of some 30 ground-based interceptors, or GBIs, in Alaska and California. It includes early warning radars. It includes sophisticated command-and-control architecture.
Of course, we need to ensure that these capabilities continue to be able to meet potential threats in the future, and so we continue to improve the capacity and functionality of our GBIs, of our sensors and of our command-and-control system. Those improvements continue today, and they will in the future. We’ve also postured a near-term hedge by finishing Missile Field 2 at Fort Greely, Alaska, and being prepared to finish Missile Field 1 at Fort Greely. We have the ability to swiftly deploy up to 14 additional ground-based interceptors if needed.
And as directed by Congress, we are initiating environmental impact studies for three alternative sites for deploying additional GBIs in the United States if needed. These studies will allow us to shorten the timeline to build a new missile field on the East Coast or to add interceptors in Alaska should either approach become necessary due to further future increases in the threat from Iran and North Korea. Let me be clear. We have not made a decision to go forward with a new East Coast missile field. We are initiating studies at the direction of Congress in the event that the threat progresses to the point where that makes sense in the future.
Three important points relating to our homeland ballistic missile defense capabilities. First, in deploying – in developing and deploying BMD capabilities to defeat potential North Korean and Iranian ICBMs, we are not assuming and we are not accepting that these countries should ultimately deploy nuclear-tipped ICBMs. We’ve made clear that our policy is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. And while we see a diplomatic solution, the president has also made clear vis-à-vis Iran that all options are on the table in order to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Nor do we accept a nuclear-capable North Korea. Our policy is to roll back the North Korean nuclear program. The U.N. sanctions put in place last week are part of this approach.
Second, we are capable of defending against any ballistic missile threat to our homeland that may emerge from North Korea or Iran, and it is our stated policy to retain this advantageous position. As we think about our homeland missile defense posture, we do not have a “just-in-time” policy. Our policy is to stay ahead of the threat and to continue to ensure that we are ahead of any potential future North Korean or Iranian ICBM capability. What that means is that if Iran or North Korea attempt to develop and deploy ICBMs, they will find an effective homeland BMD system waiting for them. Our homeland ballistic missile defense capabilities are intended in part to make it clear to both Iran and North Korea that if they develop ICBMs, they will not be able to threaten the United States. Our missile defenses will defeat them. In this way, our missile defense approach supports our diplomatic efforts and sanctions by reducing North Korea’s and Iran’s incentives to develop ICBMs and to pursue nuclear weapons. We will not allow them to hold us at risk.
Third, we do not have a “rope-a-dope” policy. Missile defense is an integral part of our policy for dealing with the threat of North Korea and of Iran, but it is far from the only part. As National Security Adviser Tom Donilon said yesterday, we will draw upon the full range of our capabilities to protect against and to respond to the threat posed to us and our allies by North Korea. The same is true of Iran. Missile defense is a very important arrow in our quiver, but it is not the only one.
Let me now turn from homeland defense and related issues to the question of regional missile defenses. Again, let’s start with North Korea and with our regional efforts in the Asia-Pacific to address this threat. The cornerstone of our security and diplomacy in the region has historically been our very strong bilateral alliances, including with South Korea, Japan and Australia. All three of these nations play an important role in our regional efforts to achieve effective missile defense.
South Korea obviously has an immediate proximate stake in preventing missile strikes from the North. We’ve worked very closely with Seoul to ensure that we maintain the capability to do just that. As most of the people here know, the United States forward-deploys Patriot Advanced Capability 3, or PAC-3, batteries in South Korea to defend U.S. and South Korea forces. In addition, South Korea is taking steps to enhance its own air and missile defense systems, which include sea- and land-based sensors and currently include Patriot PAC-2 batteries. And we have been consulting closely with our strong South Korean ally about how they can upgrade their missile defense capabilities. We are mutually committed to sustain and strengthen protection against the North Korean missile threat.
Another vital U.S. ally with an obvious interest in defending against North Korean missile attacks is Japan. Japan has acquired its own layered missile defense system, which includes Aegis BMD ships with SM-3, Standard Missile 3, interceptors. It has PAC-3 fire units, early warning radars and sophisticated command and control systems. In addition, Japan is a critical international partner for BMD development. One of our most significant cooperative efforts with Japan is the co-development of an advanced version of the SM-3 interceptor, the SM-3 Block IIA. In addition, we’ve deployed a TPY-2 radar, which provides early warning and tracking, to Japan, and we’ve announced our intention to deploy a second TPY-2 to Japan as well.
My mention of Australia as part of this troika with Japan and South Korea may have struck some as odd given that nation’s distance from North Korea. But you really can’t talk about missile defense efforts in the Pacific without talking about the Australians. We signed a memorandum of agreement with the Australians in – on missile defense cooperation in 2004 and have formed a close partnership on missile defense research and development, most notably with regard to sensors.
In addition, Australia is involved of one – in on one of our two trilateral discussions on missile defense in the Pacific. One trilat is with the U.S., Australia and Japan; second trilat with the U.S., South Korea and Japan. These trilateral – this trilateral discussions and relationships are part of our efforts to expand international missile defense cooperation, strengthen regional security architectures and build partner capacity.
We’ve already seen the value of these multilateral approaches. For example, Japan, South Korea and the United States successfully tracked two near-simultaneous launches of ballistic missile targets as part of the multilateral Pacific Dragon exercise last summer, and in December we cooperated very closely in tracking the North Korea Taepo II missile – Taepo Dong II missile launch. Going forward, we will continue to emphasize the importance of developing a regional ballistic missile defense system that includes the sharing of sensor data among allies.
Now I’d like to talk a little bit about the regional approaches that we’re taking to the Iranian missile threat. As we saw again last week when Defense Minister Ehud Barak visited Secretary Hagel in the Pentagon, the United States maintains an exceptionally strong defense relationship with Israel, and that very much includes missile defense.
Our missile defense cooperation with Israel has resulted in one of the most comprehensive missile defense architectures in the world. Each of the Israeli programs, Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow 3, fills a critical requirement in multilayered architecture that’s been designed to protect the Israeli people from missile threats. And missile defense figured prominently in the Austere Challenge exercise we conducted with Israel in the fall of 2012. This is the largest U.S.-Israeli exercise – military exercise in history.
The United States is also working closely with a number of Gulf Cooperation Council states on missile defense, including supporting the purchase of missile defense systems through the Foreign Military Sales program. For example, our strong partner the United Arab Emirate (sic) is procuring theater – I’m sorry, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense batteries, or THAADs. You get so used to the acronym, you’re not used to saying the entire word. This procurement of THAADs is on top of the UAE’s earlier purchase of Patriot systems. And these capabilities will significantly enhance the UAE’s defense against ballistic missile attack.
Such individual and bilateral efforts are vital to BMD in the region. However, as I hope and expect Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East Matt Spence will talk about later today in the forum on BMD in the Middle East, the nature of the threat also demands that we look at more broadly coordinated regional missile defense strategies. That logic is what was behind the U.S. Central Command’s proposal back in 2008 for regional ballistic missile defense cooperation as a component of its Gulf security architecture.
And toward this end, CENTCOM has worked with our GCC partners in broader BMD exercises. This past year Air Force Central Command initiated a series of regular exchanges between U.S. and GCC air officers at the Combined Air Operations Center. And finally, at the inaugural U.S.-GCC Strategic Cooperation Forum in Riyadh, GCC foreign ministers and then-Secretary of State Clinton highlighted the threat that ballistic missiles pose against critical military and civilian infrastructure. One result of these high-level talks was the formation of a BMD working group to ensure that BMD remains front and center in future U.S.-GCC policy discussions.
While the most proximate targets of a potential Iranian missile attack are in the Middle East, we have recognized for some time, of course, that our NATO allies in Europe and our forces there are also at risk. And as you all know well, that recognition drove the adoption of the European Phased Adaptive Approach, or EPAA, in 2009. We continue to work in very close collaboration with our European allies to develop a highly advanced network of sensors and interceptors on land and at sea to protect NATO territory.
As you all know, and as Ellen Tauscher very much led when she was in government, this administration has made the missile defense protection of Europe a central feature of trans-Atlantic security policy. Back in 2010 in the Lisbon summit – NATO’s Lisbon summit, President Obama and his fellow NATO heads of state and government approved a new strategic concept which took the historic step of committing to the defense of European NATO populations and territory against the growing threat of ballistic missiles. At last year’s NATO summit in Chicago, the assembled leaders announced that the alliance had achieved an interim BMD capability, in other words, an operationally meaningful standing ballistic missile defense capacity.
During this relatively brief time, we and our NATO allies have worked together to make very impressive progress on the development of collaborative, highly networked missile defense systems. Vital command and control capabilities for missile defense are now operational, including at the U.S. Air Operations Center at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. The NATO command and control backbone, the active layered theater ballistic missile defense – BMD has reached an interim IOC – interim – (chuckles) – interim operating capability and will evolve towards full capability between 28 and 2020 – 2018 and 2020. We are now on track for the next stages of deployment, including Aegis Ashore in Romania in 2015 and Aegis Ashore in Poland in 2018. And as you all know, we’re moving forward with the deployment of four BMD-capable Aegis ships to Rota, Spain.
We continue to carry out exercises designed to hone our alliance missile defense capabilities. Our main missile defense exercise involving NATO is Nimble Titan, a biennial global event. Nimble Titan 12 exercises included 14 participant nations, including the U.S., many NATO countries, but also Australia and South Korea. As we begin planning for Nimble Titan 14, which begins later this year and will carry into 2014, so far we have 21 nations signed up to participate.
I’d like to conclude my remarks with a very basic point: The ballistic missile threat to the United States, to our allies and partners and to our forces overseas is not static. To the contrary, it is evolving rapidly, and so we must also adapt. I’ve touched upon a number of policies that we and our allies have pursued to address and counter this threat. We’ve had some very significant successes over the last several years. But this administration has emphasized from the beginning that we cannot afford to stand still. To the contrary, we need to continually re-evaluate the threat, and we need to adapt as necessary.
As the 2010 – as the 2010 ballistic missile defense report said, now some three years ago, the threat posed by ballistic missile delivery systems is likely to increase while growing more complex in the next decade. What we’ve seen in the last three years bears that out. And we have made clear, starting in 2009, that we will retain the flexibility to adjust and enhance our defenses as the threat and as technology evolve.
Now, the threat is growing more complex, and the United States and our allies and partners need to retain the flexibility to address it proactively, and we need to continue to sustain our policy of staying ahead of the threat. Our most vital security commitments, the defense of the United States and the protection of our allies and partners and our forces around the world, demand nothing less.
I want to thank, again, the Atlantic Council for having me here today, and I look forward to any questions. (Applause.)
MR. PAVEL: Jim, thank you very much for covering, really, the globe on missile defense. And this really – as you – as you know, this is the first time the Atlantic Council Missile Defense Conference sort of covers the globe, includes trans-Atlantic issues but also global missile defense issues. And your remarks that kicked this off really justified that decision. So thank you for your excellent remarks. And it’s also good to see you again –
MR. MILLER: Great to see you, Barry.
MR. PAVEL: – having seen you so many times over the years.
Let me ask you a couple of questions, if that’s all right. And we have about a half-hour left. And then I’ll open it to audience questions as well. I’ll sort of cover some near-term issues and then a longer-term big thing question.
I think in the near term you sort of very much highlighted, and rightfully so, Iran and North Korea. And let’s just sort of, you know, step back and look at the development of these threats. We have North Korea just yesterday breaking the armistice. It’s a nuclear weapons power, even though the policy of several administrations has been to roll it back, and so in some ways, much more dangerous than other regional threats, especially with this new leader, Kim Jong Un, despite Dennis Rodman’s enormously successful diplomatic efforts – (laughter) – as well as those of Eric Schmidt of Google and others.
How do we – how worried are you about this? Are we putting forces on alert, including missile defense assets? Are we moving things to the region? I mean, there’s a – quite a degree of unpredictability here, and I’m just wanting to get your sense of how worried you are. I know you’re worried, but sort of what are we doing about it, and what are the things that he might do, especially regarding ballistic missiles, that would cause us to – you know, to exercise the very assets we’re discussing today?
MR. MILLER: Barry, thank you for that. And it is great to see you, as always.
I want to start by again saying that we do not accept nuclear – we do not accept North Korea as a nuclear weapon state, do not accept it. Our policy is rollback, and we continue to press on that policy.
With respect to our posture, what we’ve done is ensure that our missile defense posture, both homeland defense and regionally, is fully prepared. And as you also know, we’re just at the beginning of a – of a significant exercise, Foal Eagle, which we’re conducting with our – with our South Korean allies. And so it in part is a product of that and in part is the reality of the day-to-day posture on the peninsula. Our forces there, our forces more broadly in the Pacific are well-prepared for any contingency.
I won’t – I won’t claim that I’m able to predict what – you know, what the next move or next provocation or other move by Kim Jong Un might be. And so we need to be prepared, and we need to work with our South Korean allies, our Japanese allies, others in the region, including, importantly, China. As I – as I mentioned, China played a critical role in the development of the U.N. Security Council resolution and those strong sanctions against North Korea. We need to work with them and put continued and strong pressure on North Korea to break the cycle of provocation and to adhere to its obligations under the numerous U.N. Security Council resolutions.
MR. PAVEL: I see. Thanks very much, Jim.
Now let’s turn to Iran, which I’m very worried about, and we spend quite a bit of time at the Atlantic Council looking at issues associated with the challenges and opportunities posed by Iran. Certainly it’s administration policy to continue to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability, and we are all for that, and I think it’s been very nimbly handled – the tightest, most oppressive sanctions in history, pretty much, that are certainly biting on the economy. It’s unclear, as General Mattis suggested last week in his testimony – it’s unclear whether that – whether the effectiveness of the sanctions is going to result in the outcome that we’re all seeking, which is, you know, preventing the regime from continuing their investments.
And as I’ve written many times, it strikes me they’re using North Korean tactics, unfortunately, and they’re using them very successfully, and that is play for time, you know, negotiate when it’s appropriate, pull back, make more progress, come close to a deal. It’s sort of the classic sort of tango we’ve seen North Korea doing, again, unfortunately, successfully in their case.
And so, you know, a reasonable estimate is Iran will have a nuclear weapons capability within three, four years, possibly in this president’s – in this president’s current term, which would pose unprecedented challenges, I think. I don’t think the American public’s prepared for it. I don’t think – when Saudi Arabia acquires nuclear weapons shortly thereafter, you have three nuclear powers within five-to-12-minute flight times that are not exactly friendly ideologically, and it’s a very unstable equilibrium, if I could even use that word.
So I have to say CENTCOM has been making enormous strides, very impressive efforts sort of incrementally building this regional missile defense architecture in the Middle East and in the Gulf. But a key question is, you know, what else should we be doing? Even as we’re pushing very hard diplomatically, what else should we be doing to prepare for that unfortunate day, if it comes – and I think it would be imprudent not to prepare for not just an Iran with ballistic missiles and conventional capability but, pretty soon, within this planning period, Iran with ballistic missiles, nuclear weapons, you know, other nuclear weapons powers – very, very unstable. And should we be linking up, in particular, the burgeoning architecture in the Gulf and the Middle East with the NATO architecture, assuming, of course, that we can convince NATO that this is a threat that should be taken extraordinarily seriously by the alliance?
MR. MILLER: Barry, let me just differ with your assessment. The policy of this administration is to prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear weapon. And I believe that that policy has been successful to date and will be successful in the future.
Let me say a little bit more about that. I know you’re familiar with it, but for others, the approach that we’re taking has the very catchy title of multivector pressure strategy. (Scattered laughter.) And – but implicit in that is the idea of multiple lines of operation – the diplomacy that you mention, including through P-5 plus one, where I think few people would have – would have expected that Russia and China would still be in the P-5 plus one, still supporting the diplomacy as they have over the past years. So there’s the diplomatic track.
There’s, as you mentioned, also the sanctions track, with the most hard-hitting sanctions in history, which are just going to get tighter over time as we – as we build from the multilateral sanctions – U.N. sanctions to additional impact of U.N. sanctions.
We have, as you referred to indirectly, our military posture in the Gulf, which is a reminder to Iran of our – of our capabilities and the strength of our partnerships across the board. And we have – we have made it clear – and we have the ability to back it up – that – as the president said, that all options are on the table.
So Iran will obviously have a choice. As they come into this period where they may be focused internally on elections, coming up to the June 14th election, we’ll see where we go next on P-5 plus one from the political directors, technical directors, then probably back to Almaty for political directors again.
But we assess that there is time and space for the combination of diplomacy, sanctions and, ultimately, the possibility of military action if necessary to work. What we want to do is give time for those other approaches to work absent the employment of military force.
But the commitment is there. It’s real. It’s manifest in the posture of our forces. And I can tell you it’s something that, as you know well, the senior leadership not just of the department but of the – of the government pay attention to.
So the policy is prevention. There – it will stay prevention. And I think that we have time and space for that policy to work without resort to the use of force, understanding that all options are on the table.
Again, I’d want to say, with respect to missile defense, the fact that we are going forward both with and sustained effective homeland missile defenses and that we have regional missile defenses is by no means and in no way an acknowledgement, a prediction or an acceptance of ICBM or nuclear capabilities on the part of either North Korea or Iran. It’s part of a comprehensive strategy that is intended to reduce their incentives; to add to deterrence, deterrence by denial, as you know well; and to reinforce our diplomatic efforts and sanctions, ultimately putting sufficient pressure on both regimes that they – that they take the choices that the global community has asked them to take.
MR. PAVEL: Let me just briefly follow up on and then I’ll go to the – go to the audience. I have many other questions.
But I mean, in light of the – we – it’s a very effective policy, but it’s not a hundred percent guaranteed. So in light of the possibility that our efforts will fail, wouldn’t it be prudent to strengthen our missile defense architectures as well as the other efforts, you know, to link up the NATO system, which is so mature, with the growing architecture that we have in the Gulf? Are there – are there – is there anything under way that would sort of begin to prepare? Because once the capability becomes more manifest, it might be – we might be behind the eight ball if we’re rushing.
MR. MILLER: Barry, as you know, we have, in addition to the plans to deploy ground-based systems in Romania and Poland for the EPAA, we have some – we have some ground-based systems postured now in the – in the Gulf as well, including PAC-3 Patriot capabilities.
We also have the ability to – I know I’m explaining this to a guy who knows it better than, you know, anyone in the – perhaps in the country, given your – given what you’ve done in your career, but we – the – also have the ability to enhance that missile defense posture substantially both the through the deployment of additional PAC-3 and through deployment of THAAD, which – I still want to say Theater High Altitude Air Defense system, notwithstanding – Terminal High Altitude Air Defense system – and finally and, in a sense, and with no pun intended, in a way that makes the situation most fluid, with the ability to deploy SM-3 interceptors, BMD-capable Aegis ships.
So to think – to think of the – I think if you think of each region as sort of as unto itself or as having to have – having to have some sort of formal connection, I think that I wouldn’t – I wouldn’t take that approach. When you add in the ability to rapidly deploy systems, including by air, by land and by – by air and by sea, then you’ve got a set of U.S. capabilities that can – that can support defense in the region where it’s most needed, at an appropriate time.
MR. PAVEL: Thanks very much.
I have to ask one long-term question, I promise – it’s a big think one – just I want to know if you guys were thinking about this. So clearly, in Phase 4of EPAA, you know, very capable missile defense assets, also very cost-effective, as we all know, so when you think about deterrence sort of in the 2020, 2025 time frame, especially in light of all the cyberactivity that’s going on – and I thought Mr. Donilon’s excellent speech yesterday on cyberissues at the Asia Society – I would certainly commend that to those of you who are interested in this – but when I think about strategic capabilities in 2020, 2025, I think about nuclear weapons, certainly. I think about missile defenses, because they’re increasingly capable. I also think about cyber, for a number of reasons, one of which is there’s a potential cyberthreat to command and control of missile defenses and nuclear weapons; probably other technologies which are advancing so rapidly. We’re studying some of these at the Atlantic Council. Lasers are maturing, for example.
Are – is anyone in the Pentagon thinking about sort of the 10-year time frame of how deterrence is a very different – a very different calculus, a bit more complicated, because we now have much more – we have more strategic capabilities, and I was wondering if some of that thinking’s going on, or you’d like us to do some of that. (Laughter.)
MR. MILLER: Yes and yes. The – we’ve had some work under way since 2009 on – that come under various rubrics: multidomain deterrence, cross-domain deterrence.
I think at the end of the day, we need to understand two things. One is that just as you suggest, the world in 2025 is going to look different from the world today. Part of that’s Moore’s Law and Metcalfe’s Law and the expansion of the – of information technology globally and the – both the opportunities and the risks that are presented by that in the cyber – in the cyberdomain. And part of it is the advancement of other technologies as well. So that – understanding that that – that that world will be different is critically important.
And part two, though, is also to understand that the fundamental tasks of deterrence, of deterrence of – which requires thinking in context, yes, it matters what you’re – what – how other countries perceive us and our credibility and our – and our – one is to sustain commitments, and all that matters.
But ultimately deterrence is situational. It’s about – it’s about a set of actors. It’s about a set of possible contingencies. And I think we also need to keep that fundamental piece in mind and, as part of that, understand that perhaps the most single important part of deterrence comes back to its first cousin of assurance of our allies and that by sustaining strong bilateral/multilateral alliances and partnerships, we are reinforcing the security of our allies and partners, we are reinforcing our own security, and we are ultimately strengthening deterrence of potential future adversaries.
MR. PAVEL: Thanks, Jim.
OK. Questions? Yes, in the middle, right here.
Q: Rachel Oswald, Global Security Newswire. You talk a lot about the –
Q: – Iranian/North Korea aspect, but we didn’t touch on Russia, and Russia’s objections to EPAA in Europe. The Block IIB in the last phase has been criticized in a couple of reports. There have been questions about whether it can feasibly be deployed to protect the homeland, United States. Is there any thinking, especially in light of the – of sequestration, about holding off on development of Block IIB if that could appease Russia and get some headway on other strategic interests?
MR. MILLER: Let me answer that question in two parts. First, with respect to posturing our homeland defense, including our ground-based midcourse defense system and including SM-3 IIB or any else that’s deployed overseas, including our early warning radars and other capabilities, our policy and, in my view, the appropriate approach for us is to make a determination of what we need to defend the United States of America. If we believe that the right thing is to – is to have a certain number of ground-based interceptors, that’s what we need to do. If we believe we need to enhance that with a certain type of sensor or other interceptors, that’s what we should do. That’s part one. First obligation is to defend the United States of America, and our first priority in our missile defense efforts.
Part two – and as I think virtually everyone in the room knows and as – and as Ellen Tauscher has studied in great depth and, along with myself, presented to our Russian friends, nothing that we have on the – planned, nothing that we have potentially on the books poses any threat to the Russian strategic deterrent. I think that we’ve – I think that we’ve made some headway making this case over the last – over the last several years, but I’m committed to continuing to make that case. In fact, as you know, we’ve – we have proposed to the Russians, both bilaterally and through NATO, that we move forward on missile defense cooperation. And again, I – at one point I would have – at one point a couple of years ago I would have – I would have said that we were headed towards the establishment of one or two centers associated with NATO. It’s strongly in Russian interests; it makes good sense for both of us and for NATO to have that type of cooperation.
So I would – again, I would separate those two questions. Just – people should understand that the United States should and will do what’s necessary to defend itself. We should explain that to our partners and allies, and to Russia and to China and to all who are interested. And on the other side, there is room for missile defense cooperation, and we should – we should pursue that as well.
Underlying both of those is what I noted before. We have made clear that we’re committed to strategic stability vis-à-vis both Russia and China, and we don’t – we don’t foresee any steps that would undermine that.
MR. PAVEL: John Rood in the middle, if we can get a microphone.
Q: I’ll speak loudly, then. (Chuckles.) Good morning, Jim. I just wanted to ask – one of the things that the administration has pursued is – one of the things administration has pursued is building partner nation capacity. One of our partners in Europe, Poland, has embarked on a large modernization campaign for their own defenses. Of course you’ve talked about the PAA site that would be placed there.
I wonder if you might elaborate on what the administration’s posture is, how important is that, that capability, what are you doing with Poland, what would you like to see the outcome – those sorts of questions.
MR. MILLER: Sure, John. Thank you.
Just to baseline, first, the European phased adaptive approach, I won’t go through all of its elements, but the one you alluded to is that our planned deployment for so-called Aegis Ashore SM-3 IIA interceptors in Poland in the 2018 time frame. That is on track, and we are – we are committed to that and we are committed to the EPAA.
The concept is that the EPAA will be the U.S. contribution to NATO missile defense and provide, as you know, an upper tier. And we certainly are encouraging and working with our allies to encourage them to move forward with lower-tier systems that would include capabilities like PAC-3 and like – and like that.
It is an extraordinarily difficult time fiscally in terms of defense budgets, not just for countries in Europe but globally and for us. And so we understand it’s a challenging time, but we are looking to continue to make progress with our NATO allies as well as with partners in the Middle East and as well as with our allies in Asia to continue to develop those capabilities and continue to deploy them. The ability to bring them together and to share sensor data is incredibly valuable and is a force multiplier. And so we’re looking to do – to undertake steps that enhance that element of it and make any given scale of defenses more effective. We’re looking to undertake those steps in each of those regions as well.
MR. PAVEL: Harlan Ullman in the front.
Q: Thank you. Jim, good to see you again, and thanks very much for your comments.
I really wanted to follow up on Barry’s very, very interesting question about deterrence, which is obviously the other side of defense. I won’t provoke you about Iran, in which the only option not on the table is containment, but I’d like to know the view of the administration towards North Korea. And to the degree that deterrence plays a role here, at best, the leader is quirky; at worst, he’s frightening. But we had the same views of the irrationality of the leadership of the Soviet Union and certainly China during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.
So my question is, what do we see as the role of deterrence vis-à-vis North Korea, or are we really just using defense as the major tool to deal with it?
MR. MILLER: Harlan, there is no question that both deterrence and defense are relevant, and if I can add to it, that our defensive capabilities are a key part of our deterrence posture as well.
So as I said and as I – in my talk and indeed I quoted Tom Donilon, our policy is to be prepared to defend and to be prepared to respond to actions taken by North Korea or Iran. And what that – what that – what that means is that ballistic missile defense is a critical element of our posture, but our – the full spectrum of our military capabilities are also relevant to our posture. And I believe that the North Koreans understand that, and they – and they – and the Iranians understand that, and certainly they should.
Q: Thank you.
MR. PAVEL: Yes, in the far left corner.
Q: Thank you. Tom Colina, Arms Control Association. Jim, thank you very much for being here.
My question is on Phase 4 of EPAA, the SM-3 IIB. As you know, there have been a number of reports that have come out in the last year questioning the wisdom of that approach to homeland defense: National Academy of Sciences report from last year, just last month a GAO report looking at the Pentagon – MDA’s own data on this.
And the time frame has slipped. The timeline on the program has slipped, in part because of congressional funding not coming through.
Given all that, can you give me your view on the status of that program and whether you think the technology will bear out or whether at some point it might be worth another look to say, is this the right approach on a technology basis – not because the Russians don’t like it, but on a technology basis – is this the right approach, or should we be looking at something else to deal with the mission for the system? Thank you.
MR. MILLER: It’s a good question, and I’ve read the National Academy of Sciences report, headed up by a former undersecretary of policy, Walt Slocombe, who’s here, and I’ve – and I’ve also read the GAO report.
(Cellphone rings.) I did not phone a friend on this one. (Laughter.) Let me just make that clear.
So I’ve seen – I’ve seen the reports, and our team has looked at them. And I’ll be totally blunt: We are continuing to look very hard at that question, because the reality is, with the – with the underfunding of our requests from Congress over the – for FY ’12, and with the continuing resolution this year, our ability to deploy an SM-3 IIB has slipped at least two years to the right relative to what we had previously planned, and meanwhile we’ve seen the threat, in a sense, come back forward.
So we’re looking very hard at that question now, looking at a full range of options. I’ll tell you we’d go back to the fundamental principles as we do this, and that is, number one, committed to effective defense of the U.S. homeland against limited ballistic missile attack and, number two, committed to effective regional missile defense as well. If you – if you read on the in – in the Ballistic Missile Defense Review, you’ll see a number of other key guiding principles, one of – one of which is that we are committed to cost-effective defenses. So as we look at this – as we look at this question of what the appropriate mix is, we are having a hard look at what the most cost-effective way to proceed is across the board for our missile defense program, something we’ve been examining very closely as we come – as we come into what is now – obviously is somewhat the late submission of an FY ’14 budget, something that we’re looking at very closely right now.
Let me say this, however, about it. In addition to the core principles of commitment to homeland defense, commitment to regional missile defense, we are fully committed to the EPAA. We are – we have completed Phase 1on time, indeed a little bit early. We are moving forward and continue to plan to move forward with Phase 2, with the deployment of Aegis Ashore in Romania in 2015, and Phase 3, with the deployment of Aegis Ashore in Poland in 2018. Those are on track, on schedule and high-priority items for this administration.
And as we – what we are looking at, because of the reduction in congressional funding and because of issues, technical issues, raised as well, is what the right mix is and what the right timeline is for thinking about additional capabilities.
So that’s – I’ll tell you – it’s a good question. I can’t answer it today, but it’s one we’re looking very hard at, literally, today.
MR. PAVEL: Well, Jim, we have 50 more questions, but we think it’s time to let you get back to the duties of the nation –
MR. MILLER: OK.
MR. PAVEL: – which you do so superbly. Thank you so much for your time. Thank you so much for putting up with our questions all over the world, ranging from Russia to lasers. But we really appreciate your remarks and thank you very much again. (Applause.)
MR. MILLER: Very much, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks to you and the council.
MR. PAVEL: We’re going to move right into the next panel, on Europe, so if you can keep your seats, we’ll switch out and then we’ll begin that panel as well.
IAN BRZEZINSKI: All right. Good morning. For the sake of saving time, I’m going to jump right in, even as the arrangements are being finalized here.
My name’s Ian Brzezinski. I’m a resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, and it’s a real pleasure to be here this morning to talk with you all about missile defense.
Let me start off by thanking Raytheon for sponsoring this and to – and to Fred and Ellen for providing this forum.
Our panel is European missile defense or trans-Atlantic missile defense. And of the regions we’re going to be looking at today, one could make the case it’s probably the most evolved of the regional missile defense architectures that are emerging around the world. It features, as Jim Miller pointed out, NATO’s active layered theater ballistic missile defense command and control apparatus that had initial operating capacity reached last year. A centerpiece, of course, is that the United States’ European phase adaptive approach, which had its first phase go into operation in 2011, the next phase being 2015 and then 2018 and 2020. And then, of course, there are a series of NATO allies that have their own missile – national missile defense programs.
The Germans have a missile defense program, the Dutch. They and the United States have deployed their patriots to Turkey. The French are developing their own missile defense systems. There’s MEADs. And then, of course, I might add, since we have our Polish guests here, Poland’s entering the club with its announced plans over the – that it announced within the last six months to spend 5 (billion dollars) to $10 billion on its own air and missile defense capability.
Air and missile defense – missile defense has a strong foundation in Europe and the trans-Atlantic community. First and foremost, it benefits from the institutions and culture and practice of intense military collaboration largely provided from NATO and its time-tested and battle-tested international military command structure. Missile defense is expensive. These are not off-the-shelf, so to speak, quick systems you just buy. They’re expensive. They’re expensive to operate – they’re complex to operate. And Europe and the United States – North America has national defense structures that have, despite the economically challenging times, relatively robust economic infrastructure and capabilities. They’re mature military establishments.
But missile defense – trans-Atlantic missile defense isn’t without its challenges. As I said, it is costly, and some of the – in the era of defense austerity, that’s going to crimp plans. It’s a complex regional – missile defense is a complex undertaking. There are still, I think, significant command and control decisions and doctrinal decisions that have to be made over how these systems will be applied.
And then, of course, there is threat perceptions. And while I – you can say that in Europe there is a – and with North America, there is a fairly commonly adopted set of priorities based on a common set of threat perceptions, there are still nuances of debate within the alliance. Different countries provide different prioritizations to the threats posed by potential Russian capabilities, potential Iranian capabilities and the emergence of other capabilities – ballistic missile defense capabilities (around the world ?).
To address the drivers and the future of trans-Atlantic missile defense, we have a great panel. We have Frank Rose, who is the deputy assistant of state for space and defense policy. In this capacity, he advises the secretary of state and other senior officials in the U.S. government on issues related to arms control and defense policy, including missile defense, space policy, conventional arms control and such.
He brings to the table, also, many years on the Hill, where he served on the House Armed Services Committee as a professional staff member, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He even spent, wisely – a good investment of time working at Senator Kerry’s office a number of years back – I think that’s paying off today. And I got to meet him when I was working in the Pentagon and he was in – (inaudible) – policy. And we actually traveled to Europe in 2002 to roll out the then-administration’s approach to trans-Atlantic missile defense.
Dr. Marcin Zaborowski is the director of the Polish Institute of International Affairs in Warsaw. Some would argue that’s the premier national security think tank in Central Europe. He advises the foreign minister and the prime minister and other senior officials on matters of national security, foreign policy and defense. I would add that he has significantly transformed PISM, his institution, which used to have a kind of – you could say a Central European foreign policy perspective into an institution that now has thinking and operations that span the globe and spanning the full spectrum of national security, not just defense policy, but cyber policy and such. He’s built that organization. He serves as the director of the trans-Atlantic program at the European Union Institute for Security Studies in Paris, and his roots actually are in the Ministry of Economy in Poland. So he’s seeing it from also a very pragmatic perspective.
And of course, we have Walt Slocombe with us, a senior counsel at Caplin & Drysdale. Most importantly, he is a board member of the Atlantic Council. He brings to the table his experience as the undersecretary of defense for policy during the Clinton administration. He continues his active role influencing U.S. government circles as a member of the Defense Policy Board. He served on the Silberman-Robb Commission that addressed WMD, and he most recently was a member of the National Research Council’s task force on missile defense, whose report, “Making Sense of Missile” – “Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense” was released last fall.
I’ve asked our three speakers here to provide some brief opening remarks. And we’ll start off with Frank, then Marcin and Walt, and then we’ll have, hopefully, a robust discussion. Thank you.
FRANK ROSE: Great. Thank you so much, Ian. It’s a real pleasure to be here today. I was just, you know, thinking – sitting next to Ian and Walt. I worked missile defense for Walt when he was undersecretary – shows you how long I’ve been working missile defense issues – and with Ian in the Bush administration. And it’s just amazing to me how far we have come on missile defense in the past 14 or 15 years with regards to NATO allies. Back when I was working this issue with Walt, we were talking about missile defense as destabilizing and decoupling to the U.S. trans-Atlantic alliance. And then things have begun to change. Now, as we talk today, missile defense is a key strategic capability that the alliance is developing to deal with the threats we face in the 21st century.
You know, as Jim Miller noted in his remarks, in 2009, the United States conducted a comprehensive review of our ballistic missile defense plans and programs, which later culminated in the Ballistic Missile Defense Review or BMDR. That report sets out some very important policy priorities that continue to guide our missile defense policy and operations today. First, as Jim noted in his speech, the United States will continue to defend the homeland against limited ballistic missile attack and keep ahead of the threat.
And second, the United States will defend against regional missile threats to U.S. forces while protecting allies and enabling them to defend themselves. The United States has no more important security relationship than we do with our NATO allies, and that relationship continues to grow. We work closely with our NATO allies on many of the most important international security issues we face, from Afghanistan to Libya.
In order to ensure our European NATO allies were protected, the United States decided in September 2009 to deploy missile defense assets to Europe to defend against the threat of ballistic missile attacks from the Middle East. This led to the development of the European phased adaptive approach, or EPAA, as the United States’ contribution to NATO ballistic missile defense.
The deployments of the EPAA are tailored in phases to address the growing threat of ballistic missiles. If the threat increases, so too would defensive capabilities, allowing NATO to stay well ahead against the ballistic missile threat.
The system is also adaptive so we can – so it can be modified to address changes in the threat and technology. Since President Obama’s announcement of the EPAA in 2009, we have come a long way towards implementing this strategy. The United States has deployed radar in Turkey, and implemented the continuous rotation of Aegis BMD-capable ships in the Mediterranean to provide for protection of Southern Europe.
We have also completed and ratified basing agreements to establish missile defense sites in Romania in the 2015 time frame and in Poland in the 2018 time frame as part of phases two and three of the EPAA. And I had the honor to be the lead negotiator for all of those agreements.
NATO also made considerable strides in developing a missile defense capability. At the Lisbon summit in November of 2010, allies shifted their focus from a missile defense capability that was solely focused on protecting deployed forces in a regional context to a policy of providing missile defense protection for all NATO European populations, territory and forces.
At the same meeting, NATO welcomed the U.S. phased adaptive approach as a national contribution to the NATO system.
Then, at the Chicago summit in May 2012, NATO announced that it had achieved an interim missile defense capability which provides NATO with a basic command and control for its missile defense architecture.
As part of this interim capability, the United States placed the radar in Turkey under NATO command and control. This is a significant first step in – to realizing NATO’s commitment to achieving full operational capability of its missile defense system.
NATO allies have also made important contributions to this effort. Our NATO allies will contribute more than a billion dollars in NATO common funding to the ALTBDM, or Active Layered Theater Ballistic Missile Defense command and control system. Turkey, Romania, Poland, Spain and Germany have all agreed to host elements of the NATO missile defense system on their territory. The Netherlands has indicated that it will spend close to 250 million euros to modify the radars on its frigates to detect and track ballistic missiles at long ranges and contribute its Patriot missiles to NATO missile defense. Germany is also exploring – is also exploring developing an airborne infrared sensor. France has proposed a concept for shared – for a shared early warning satellite. These commitments are critical contributions to NATO’s developing missile defense system.
The need for this capability to defend our deployed forces and our European allies remains just as important today as when we started this work in 2009. Since the announcement of the EPAA, the regional ballistic missile threat to Europe has continued to grow. The number of states that possess ballistic missile capabilities is growing, and those with those capabilities are increasing their inventories.
Many states are moving to more advanced solid propellant ballistic missiles or advanced liquid propellant systems. The range and accuracy of ballistic missiles is also increasing, putting even more targets at risk. More and more, we are seeing ballistic missiles used in conflicts today. Both the Gadhafi regime and the Assad regime resorted to the use of ballistic missiles against the opposition in their countries.
In the response to the concerning situation in Syria, U.S., German and Dutch Patriot systems are currently deployed in Turkey under NATO command and control to protect against potential threats from Syrian ballistic missiles.
In addition, Iran already has the largest ballistic missile force of any Middle Eastern country and possesses a wide range of short- and medium-range ballistic missiles that continue to grow in quantity and sophistication. In Asia, North Korea continues to build longer-range missile systems, successfully putting a satellite into orbit using the Taepo Dong II system, and most alarmingly, announced that it had conducted a third nuclear weapons test.
As these threats continue to grow, the United States remains committed to developing new technologies that will allow the United States to stay ahead of the threat and ensure the continued defense of our homeland, our deployed forces and our friends and allies around the world.
Finally, let me briefly conclude with some points on the issue of missile defense in Russia. The United States continues to seek cooperation with Russia on missile defense both bilaterally and through NATO. As we have explained to Russia on numerous occasions, the EPAA is designed to address the threat from the Middle East and has no capability to undermine Russia’s strategic deterrent.
At the Chicago summit, NATO allies made it very clear – a very clear statement of our intent with regards to Russia. The NATO summit declaration stated, and I quote, “The NATO missile defense system in Europe will not undermine strategic stability. NATO missile defense is not directed against Russia and will not undermine Russia’s strategic deterrence capabilities,” end quote.
We have provided Russia with a number of ideas and approaches for transparency, and we remain committed to discussing other approaches to building confidence between our two countries. However, we have also made clear, publicly and privately, the United States cannot accept limitations on its missile defense capabilities. We will continue to work with Russia to find a way forward to develop meaningful missile defense transparency and cooperation that could be mutually beneficial to both countries. Let me stop there, and I’d be happy to take questions later. Thank you.
MARCIN ZABOROWSKI: Well, thank you, Ian for your kind words. And it is naturally a great pleasure to be here – a great pleasure to talk at a conference on missile defense organized by the Atlantic Council, which is one of our closest partners in the region. And we have – as you can imagine, the whole issue of missile defense is really hotly debated in Poland. I mean, you – we already heard some of that here during the first panel. It is an even hotter debate in Poland, as you can imagine.
And we recently, we hosted both Ian and Barry – (inaudible) – at my institute, which were committed to missile defense. And we also held an event organized and sponsored by the – by Raytheon, and so I’m delighted to have Doug (sp) here with us today. And we are also delighted to work with the Atlantic Council on our annual trans-Atlantic event called Wroclaw Global Forum, which is our signature event in Poland and the most important annual event we do and in which we are involved.
Turning to the very issue of missile defense, I mean, I have to say that we do perceive the threat from missile defense technologies – (inaudible) – something really alarming in the region. It’s – as James Miller said, it’s not static. It’s seen as developing; it’s seen as real. And in particular, we see a threat related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The technologies are cheaper; the technologies are more available; the ways and means of developing – of delivering are also more accessible.
I happened to be in Tel Aviv on the day when the first missiles were reaching the town in many, many years, if I’m not mistaken. And that felt absolutely surreal, being in this serene, sunny town on a very nice morning and hearing on the news that possible missile threat is – was current.
So this is not abstract; it is just around the corner, really. We are also witnessing ballistic missiles used by the Syrian regime – the advances of the Iranian missile program, and there is a growing sophistication of the Hezbollah arsenal. And other sources of threats in Europe can also appear any time soon. So this is all current, and, you know, this is basically happening as we speak.
Now, developments of missile defense systems appear to be, really, one of the solutions of tackling these challenges. And that provides defense not only to our populations, but also to our deployed forces and to our installations in the – in the region and beyond. And it also serves as a tool of deterrence, and it can persuade potential adversaries from actually developing the very technologies which do cost some money.
They already mentioned here deployment of Patriot batteries in Turkey. It is really a good confirmation that the ballistic missile threat is treated with urgency (by ?) all NATO allies, regardless of a location, and there is also a matter of credibility and solidarity of the alliance, values which are naturally of great importance for Poland also.
It should be underlined here that the missile defense is seen in Poland as one of the elements of a larger deterrence and defense posture of NATO. We still need to – the nuclear component of NATO deterrence, as – even as we are looking to the ways of reducing (the salience ?) of the numbers of nuclear weapons worldwide. And crucially, we still need to state-of-the-art conventional capabilities.
Our armed forces in NATO must be capable of acting jointly and effectively, making full use of a technological advantage. And naturally, they must be funded adequately. And finally, it’s very important issue in our region is to maintain political cohesion of NATO. And we must be able to agree on a joint assessment of threats and challenges.
Now, let me turn to the European MD architecture very briefly. As you know, Poland agreed to cooperate with the United States on the deployment of a missile defense site in Redzikowo – a place I never heard of before, but it is now all over Polish news. And that was under the plans which was drawn by the former president, George W. Bush administration. The original agreement was signed in 2008, and Poland was subjected then to very sharp criticism in Europe in particular for allegedly endangering European stability. We heard that from Russia, but we also heard that from many partners in NATO.
Now, this plan was cancelled when it was changed, and we changed the concept of introduction of European Phased Adaptive Approach in 2009, didn’t change the attitude of the Russian administration. But it is important for us that NATO countries are now unified on the issue of missile defense.
At the Lisbon summit in November of 2010, all NATO members decided to build a territorial missile defense system. This system will comprise of commonly funded command elements that can link sensors and interceptors contributed voluntarily by individual NATO members. At the Chicago summit in May 2012, NATO announced achievements of interim missile defense capability that constitute the first step toward the effective system.
Of course, the EPAA remains the key contribution to NATO’s system, but all of our allies are onboard too. European allies cover a substantial portion of the cost of developing command and control elements, estimated at about – over a billion euro. Some European allies have already, and will assign very soon, for the lower-tier missile defense system and sensors. And as we just heard from Frank, EPAA development is advancing and Poland remains fully committed to cooperate with the United States on the issue.
We understand the 2018 timeframe remains value. The SM-3 installation in Rejikovo (ph) will be established and become fully operational by this date. That’s our understanding at this point. These plans have been confirmed by the administration and we are also counting on the Congress to maintain a sufficient level of financing, despite all the budgetary challenges that we are – that we know about.
Now, some claim that the phase from one to three of the EPAA benefit first of all the Europeans, but it’s very important to stress here that they provide protection to the U.S. forces deployed in the region and also to your bases and important installations, such as the early warning radars which can detect ballistic missiles attacking against the U.S. homeland.
Now, placing SM-3 interceptors in Poland, Romanian and at Aegis ships will provide protection to all European members – to all European members of NATO. And from the Polish point of view, there is a clear advantage in having the political element of solidarity in that installation. Now, Poland follows the – your debate on the political feasibility of SM-3 intercept, or so-called phase 4, very closely.
Now, from our point of view, it is naturally for you to decide whether that will be placed in Rejikovo (ph) or whether that will be placed in east coast or west coast, right – could be placed in west coast here. This is really for the United States is to decide. What is important from our point of view that – is that the decision concerning the final shape of phase 4 shouldn’t weaken defense of Europe against increasing ballistic missile threat. So the location is less important than that fact.
Regarding Russia, we should perhaps be realistic about the possibilities of turning missile defense into a subject of cooperation and about treating MD as a game changer. That’s not very likely to happen, however we should think constructively about possible confidence-building measures, whether it’s the political declaration, whether it’s the information sharing, whether it’s monitoring and so on.
I’ve been just told that I need to restrict my remarks and finish very soon, so a just final word about our own plans for the lower tier missile defense development. Now, the development of national MD capabilities is a significant proof that Poland other nations which are planning that, are pursing seriously the obligations from the – that stem from the membership in NATO. It will be a basis for our national contribution to NATO and DFR (sp) and I believe it is consistent with the U.S. politicians’ and taxpayers’ expectations for more active and more capable allies in Europe who can contribute to NATO and the system.
You have perhaps heard some details on the Polish debate. Just finally, I would like to say that we are debating currently the law on the financing of this project. This share will be earmarked by the – for the MD purposes by – (inaudible). And that was already – basis of which were already adopted by the parliament. The total sum available is estimated for about 30 billion Polish zloty, which is roughly around 10 billion U.S. dollars. And we can talk more the details of that in the – in the questions because I’ve been just told by Ian that I have to stop right now. OK, thank you very much. (Applause.)
WALT SLOCOMBE: Well, it’s a great pleasure to be here and thank you all for coming. I also want to thank Raytheon, not least because what I’m going to say is not entirely supportive of every aspect of the program and it does demonstrate that they are interested in promoting a serious and open debate on this subject, as is the Atlantic Council. I also – Frank Rose talks about how long he’s been working on ballistic missile defense. I started in this business when it was Safeguard and Sentinel. (Laughter.)
Much of what is relevant to this and to the European question has been said. The threat is serious and growing. I was interested particularly in Jim Miller’s remark that just in time is not the approach that one should take to this problem. While it is true that the threat takes a while to develop, it is unfortunately very true that the defenses take a long time to develop. And it is important to not to be late to need if we are going to do this, as I believe we should.
Also, I think we shouldn’t focus entirely on Iran or, more generally, on North Korea. If you look at the region, I think it would be optimistic, to put it mildly, to say that if we could somehow deal with the Iranian problem, and the North Korean problem in the Asia-Pacific, that would be the end of any concern ever about a threat from ballistic missiles. So that the problem isn’t – should not be regarded simply as, well, let’s look at the latest Iranian test, and it’ll tell us the answers.
As both Jim and Ian have said, I worked on the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council study of ballistic missile defense. And the main thing I want to focus on is to explain some of our conclusions because they do – it is, first of all, a very strong endorsement of the first three phases of EPAA for its stated mission – that is the defense of our European allies and U.S. forces in the region. It’s also relevant that it – the same technologies, broadly speaking, that are applicable in the European context are also applicable in the Asia-Pacific context, and with some variations in the case of the defense of Israel and others friends and allies, in the Middle East.
The first three phases of EPAA are – they are a package. Each phase involves an upgrade of a – of various aspects of the systems – improved missiles, better and more extensive sensors and the integration of optical and radar data for discrimination track and engagement added basis – all adding up to more coverage of Europe against the threats as they may evolve. I won’t go into the details, much of which I suspect you know. And if you don’t know them, you can read the damn report which is only 380 pages long in the unclassified version. And for those of you with clearances, about 7,000 pages long in the classified version.
And to give you an example of how oversimplified it is, one of our proposals is a new KV for homeland defense. And we say it should be designed around a 30-centimeter diameter, two-color, LWIR sensor with additional visible band to detect targets as far away as 3,000 kilometers. And this sensor should have a blow down cool 256A, 256 three-color focal plane array and so on – I could go on. The point is that it is a serious and technically, I think, very sophisticated analysis and, in my view, probably the best unclassified discussion of these issues, at least in recent years.
And I should hesitate to say that while I wrote that sentence, as a lawyer, we had – we had real technical people who validate all these conclusions. And the sort of bumper sticker conclusion, and we can go into this in more detail if necessary, is that the first three phases will provide as good a defense of Western – of all of Europe, as is possible with foreseeable technology, if the milestones and the accomplishments are achieved. Now, those milestones and accomplishments have not yet been achieved yet and they are not simple, as I am sure Raytheon would agree.
But the combination of sensors which ultimately, in phase 3, support faster interceptors, will have much better integrated command and control, which would permit engage on remote, should provide an excellent defense and also should address the, as well as can be done, and that is the discrimination problem essentially because of the improved capabilities of the sensors and the ability to integrate the system so that in particular the engagement radar can deal with the engagement and not with other things.
There are real uncertainties. Whether the 4 kilometer per second target will be achieved, to some degree that’s related to the question of whether you can do that within the existing vertical launcher system, which if you can’t makes all kinds of other problems. Real testing – there’s been progress, but there have – there are – as there always are – there should be in a good testing program, problems discovered because you want them to be discovered in the testing program, not when the system has to work. I’m struck by how expensive the testing is. Supposedly this test, which was last October, cost almost $200 million. That’s a lot of money for an experiment.
The sensor integration is important. And anyone who tries to tell you that we don’t have to worry about discrimination is smoking something. Early intercept, which is a sort of half-hearted version of boost phase, only the idea is you do it after – you do – you do it in a place you can get close enough to do, and you hopefully do it before the threat objects have deployed, is simply infeasible. The United States has done almost immediate deployment of RVs ages ago. It’s not – it’s not that hard.
So the first conclusion is EPAA is very good for European defense – for regional defense. The fourth phase is a much hotter interceptor. And that’s going to be hard to do. And even if it was done, putting it in Europe is not the optimal place to put it. I refer you to the discussion in the – in the report for the reason and the reason why the alternative system that the committee proposes would be a better system. So I was very heartened by Jim Miller’s statement that the administration has a – and the Pentagon has an open mind on phase 4, which is a good idea. Always a good idea to have an open mind.
It’s also important to make the point that – the point about defense of NATO Europe, of Europe in general, is important to – is subject to a very important qualification, which is countries that are close to the threat are, by definition, not defended by a system which is primarily for a long- and medium-range threat. For that you’d need a shorter-range defense system, like THAAD. I was amused by – how many people in this – even in this room knew what THAAD stood for before he told us? I was very impressed.
You need that. And there are other countries besides Turkey for whom it is potentially an issue. The European contribution to the command and control system is important, but we should – also shouldn’t kid ourselves about what the statement about interim capability means. It is the very important first step, but it is only a first step.
The politics of this is complicated. Within the alliance, different countries have very different views of the threat. They have very different views of the Russian element. And I think to some degree, they have very different views of whether missile defense is a good idea or not. The Russians – it’s not – it’s totally, to me – still totally unclear what the Russians, quote, “really think.” The possibilities range from extreme paranoia – although I supposed the Russians would also say that given their history, even paranoids have real enemies sometimes – to simply a convenient device to buy time till they think there is a political useful time to reach some kind of a compromise.
I worry a little bit that the Russians’ primary motive is what it has been historically on issues like this, which is this is a good stick to try to create a – wrong image – this is a good instrument by which to try to create a wedge between the United States and its European allies or within and among the allies. It should be a natural area for cooperation. After all, the lord in his infinite wisdom put Iran a lot closer to Russian than to the United States.
Russia and the United States are, at least at the moment, the only serious players in BMD technology. If what the Russians are really worried about is its potential for a threat to their strategic deterrent, there are a thousand ways, most of which I think have been proposed already and turned down, to convince them that that is true and allow them to verify that. If they want to neuter the system, that’s fundamentally unacceptable.
There’s also a domestic U.S. aspect to this. Everything about missile defense is controversial. It is certainly an article of faith within the Republican Party – or within too much of the Republican Party – that the only thing worse than limits on American missile defense is higher taxes on very, very rich people. (Laughter.) And there is potentially an issue about the financial feasibility of the United States bearing the bulk of the cost of a defense of Europe.
And I think the point that was just made, that the defense of Europe is essential, not only for the defense of American forces and not only for the defense of key elements of the system – wherever the interceptors are based – but – and not only because it is essential to the United States that our allies feel they have a defense, but because for technical reasons, the type of defense that phase 3 would offer is also an essential element in preventing certain tactics which could be used to defeat a purely U.S.-based system.
So I’ve run overtime too, but thank you very much. (Applause.)
MR. BRZEZINSKI: Thank you Frank, thank you Marcin, thank you Walt. You kicked off, I think, the basis for a pretty good discussion. You talked about EPAA. And we’ve had, I think, two views here, one of real – and this leads in from our morning discussion with Jim Miller – real determination to, quote, unquote, “see it through,” but then also some views expressed, some – there are some uncertainties and maybe even an advocacy of a need to rethink elements of EPAA.
I was struck by how little we talked about Russia. A year ago or two years ago –
MR. SLOCOMBE (?): Because I ran out of time. (Laughs.)
MR. BRZEZINSKI: — in the last conference, it was a major subject. Maybe frustration has poured in. And then we got a little bit of a taste of some strategic thinking going on in Poland and how it’s affecting its evolving force structure, particularly the introduction of its own air and missile defense system.
Let me start off with – by asking Frank this question – I mean, you got, I think, a dose a little bit here from Marcin; I certainly got a dose of it when I was in Poland and Central Europe recently – that how committed is the United States to seeing EPAA through phase 3 and phase 4? Is there differences in certainty between the two phases? Is the administration committed one, less to the other? How do you respond to those who say, wow, we are worried that – we’re not sure phase 3 will actually happen?
MR. ROSE: Well, that’s an excellent question, Ian. Let me – let me start by saying the president is fully committed to the European Phased Adaptive Approach. This was one of his signature national security initiatives that he rolled out in 2009.
You know, I think Jim did a really nice job at discussing the challenges associated with phase 4, which is really focused on the SM-3 Block 2B. So let me focus my remarks on phase 3.
I think we are in a really good place on phase 3. The agreement with Poland is signed and ratified and in force. The development of the block – SM-3 Block 2A interceptor, which we are co-developing with Japan, is going along very nicely. And thirdly, we are making a great deal of progress with the development of the Aegis Ashore System, which is being built in Moorestown, New Jersey. And I think they’re getting very, very close to moving that out to Pacific Missile Test Range. So I think, you know, all the technical elements are in place for phase 3. It seems that all the funding has been provided by Congress for phase 3. So we’re in a good place.
But I really want to also pick up a point that Walt raised and Marcin raised, and that is the length between the EPAA, including the earlier phases. It’s not just phase 4 that contributes to the defense of the United States. People seem to forget about that. Phase 1 with the radar in Turkey, that data from that radar, were Iran to develop a long-range missile, would provide data to U.S. homeland defense capabilities.
Secondly, the phase 3 capability in Poland, the SP-3 Block 2A, would contribute to the defense of the Fylingdales’ radar, which is critical to the defense of the United States, given our current sensor capability. So I think the bottom line is the president is fully committed to the European Phased Adaptive Approach, but more importantly, the European Phased Adaptive Approach is critical to the homeland defense of the United States.
MR. SLOCOMBE: Could I – could I just add that the National Academy Report regards the achievement of phase 3, which includes – it’s not the only element – but includes the basing in Poland as an essential premise of the conclusion that EPAA works for defense of Europe. And we agree also with the point about the defense of Europe being critical to the overall homeland defense architecture working. Our questions, our doubts are about the optimality of phase 4, not about the importance of phase 3.
MR. BRZEZINZKI: But Walt, in your view, from what I’m hearing, is – you seem to be saying is phase 3 – as long as that is locked in, it really doesn’t matter if we really fully execute phase 4?
MR. SLOCOMBE: It doesn’t matter for European defense. We also think they’re – don’t get me started on the problems with the GBI system, which we’re not – we’re not talking about the problems of homeland defense. The big recommendation of the report is a – is a very considerable do-over of the homeland defense, but one of the points is that it would be – if you – when you do it, it would be better to deploy it in the East Coast of the United States, with the EPAA and the sensors in place, than to put it into a European base.
MR. BRZEZINZKI: Marcin, let me ask you two questions. One, how does this discussion resonate on your side of the Atlantic, particularly perhaps, in Warsaw? And then also, I wanted to give you a chance to kind of talk a little bit about what are some of the goals and timelines for Poland’s air and missile defense program?
MR. ZABOROWSKI: It resonates in a kind of ambivalent way, and the reason for that being that, you know, the plans for the former deal were canceled, and people put their energies in that deal being made, yeah, in 2008. That’s what I mean. So then when we have discussions which are putting question marks even into just phase 4, on the location of phase 4, you get lots of misinterpretation. And with misinterpretation, you also get – which is few of my suspicions, you know – in a context, you also have the microphone incident – don’t know if I need to explain that, do I?
MR. SLOCOMBE: (Inaudible.)
MR. BRZEZINZKI: I think it’s clear here. (Chuckles.)
MR. ZABOROWSKI: OK. (Chuckles.) So there is a suspicion in Poland that phase 3 may not happen, even if the report of the audit office concerned just reported phase 4, put some question marks to bed. Some people – and you know, in fairly prominent position, their interpretation was that it was about phase 3. And then you have, you know, media picking up on that and saying, you know, this deal will be again canceled. So it was really good to have Rose Gottemoeller in Poland at the time when these discussions were taking place and Brad Roberts, you know, coming in and saying, you know, this is phase 3. It’s certain it will happen, don’t worry, it is on schedule and the money is there. So that was a really good piece of public diplomacy, and having that, you know, more often, would be desirable.
Now, on the issue of our own, you know, missile defense, if you like – this is really about air and missile defense – the point here is that our own air defenses are basically redundant at this point. We have to modernize them. As we modernize them, it makes sense to have – (inaudible) – and to have, you know, both missile and air and missile defense system in place. It’s very important that it needs to be compatible with a part – it needs to be with a part of a NATO system, and that’s the way it is going.
MR. BRZEZINZKI: I mean – just to follow up on that with Walt and Frank here, I mean, Poland’s undertaking this new initiative, a new capability. How do you see that feeding into NATO requirements? Is it a needed requirement? Is it a gap that has to be filled, or is this going to be more fighter jets and to an alliance that already has an oversupply?
And then what is the potential for it – for the bilateral relationship? I mean, Boguslaw Winid, the deputy foreign minister, was here in the spring and was talking about this program as perhaps potentially as significant as Poland’s acquisition of F-16s, which of course, now is an important pillar in our bilateral relationship?
MR. SLOCOMBE: Well, the first thing I’m going to say about this is whatever Poland decides to do, it should not do it because it doesn’t think it can trust the United States. I think there is probably no bilateral relationship in Europe which is more important than the solid U.S-Polish relationship. And it would be unfortunate if this was said to be something – which you have not said, but other people have – that it is – it arises because we can’t trust the United States.
That said, Poland obviously faces – Russians make all these casual threats, which if we ever made them, would drive everybody crazy, about putting nuclear weapons in places they promised not to put – every time that South – some South Korean conservative says the United States should bring nuclear weapons back to the Korean peninsula, we say, it would be a very bad idea and the alliance works just fine without them.
So I think it’s very easy to understand why Poland regards a close-in defense. It’s critical, which phase 3, let’s be honest, phase 3 won’t do that. That’s not part of the system. Defends important parts of Poland, but it doesn’t defend them against Russian missiles in Kaliningrad.
On the other hand, it is a very large amount of money, and I think it is – like every other country, Poland has to decide what are the critical components – what are the – what are its priorities in terms of defense, taking into account not only that it wants to have a confidence in its own defense, but that it is a part of an alliance? I mean, my sense is that if Poland were to make that decision, as it looks like they will, it could be a very important place for U.S-Polish cooperation. This would mean, of course, you buy an American system, which would be a good idea.
MR. ROSE: And I would just add is, you know, one, this is a decision for Poland to take, but I think it’s very, very important to note that the alliance, NATO, has shortfalls when it comes to tactical missile defense capabilities. You know, one officer once described the missile defense shortfall for tactical systems as chocolate-covered crack cocaine: You just can’t get enough of them.
I think, you know, if I were to give any advice to our Polish friends, it’s buy a system that’s fully integratable with the NATO AltAir Active Layered Theater Missile Defense architecture, because I think that will be key, because it’s not just using these capabilities inure, like we have a situation in Turkey, but it’s also having the capability – and this is something that you worked on, Ian, about the NATO response force early in the Bush administration – having key strategic capabilities that can deal with the real threats that we face. One of the key deliverables coming out of the Lisbon Summit was kind of this whole – excuse me, Chicago Summit – was this whole smart defense initiative and tactical missile defense capabilities, like Patriot Act 3, was a key element of those deliverables.
MR. BRZEZINZKI: Thank you.
Let me open it up and ask our people who have questions or comments to be really brief, because we’re very tight on our time.
Q: Do I have a – should I just yell?
MR. SLOCOMBE: Just yell.
Q: Just yell?
MR. SLOCOMBE: Use your command voice.
Q: The question – the question I wanted to ask – (off mic) – is – (off mic) – about that. But my real question concerns the one topic that nobody has raised so far, and that’s money. Is missile defense really affordable and what are we going to give up? If you take a look at the Pentagon budget right now, it is so twisted by amounts of money that it cannot afford in terms of personnel, in terms of cost overruns. So where do you put missile defense in all of this and what are you prepared to give up to keep it?
MR. SLOCOMBE: Well, maybe I can answer because I don’t have – I don’t have a party line.
The American defense budget can prudently be reduced. The way we’re – the way we’re being forced to do it by the sequester is genuinely the worst possible way. One of the sensible things that the Republicans in the House have suggested is more flexibility in how that’s done on the defense side, and it’s equally true that the way we’re being forced to reduce domestic spending is equally stupid in areas which – and in areas which are genuinely equally as important. So you have to separate the issue of how is it – how do the cuts allocated under sequester from the overall reduction which is required in the defense budget?
And missile defense, although expensive in absolute terms – and it has to be compared to how much you got for procurement in general – is in fact not all that expensive compared to the overall defense budget, and there’s no reason on Earth why the United States can’t continue to prioritize missile defense over some other things.
MR. ROSE: Yeah, I would just add – I would say that over the past 20 years, there’s generally been bipartisan support for a general level of missile defense funding and it’s run about $8 billion a year. But I would also say is that missile defenses are an enabler of other forces. You never can get enough. But in a contingency situation, you are going to need your missile defense capabilities in order to secure your ports, secure your airfield in order to have your follow-on forces. So I think it will continue, especially the theater defense capabilities, to be a key priority for our combatant commanders.
MR. BRZEZINZKI: Edgar?
Q: I can see the five minute sign up there, so it’s just going to be a brief comment. I wanted to congratulate Poland on its decision to invest this money in low-level interceptors, which is a wonderful opportunity for European industry to supply its interceptors to reach your needs. I’m sorry, Raytheon, I had to say that. (Laughter.)
But there is a serious point here that as we deploy missile defense in Europe, it’s going to be a NATO capability commanded and controlled by NATO, and I congratulate the United States on getting that absolutely right in the EPAA. If it wasn’t like that, the political complications would be, I think, quite serious. But in the same – by the same token on the industrial side, it’s very important that we allow and encourage European industry to play its part in the development of this capability.
MR. BRZEZINZKI: Great, Marcin, do you want to comment?
MR. ZABOROWSKI: Really just very briefly. I mean, naturally, the issue here is about having the best possible capability to address the issue and the threat that we’re dealing with, and you – it is not entirely clear whether there is the technology in Europe to do that. We know about the MBDA French offer on that, but it’s never been tested really.
Q: (Off mic.)
MR. ZABAROWSKI: Really? OK – and we – there is a great expectation that whatever purchase will be made in Poland, the Polish defense industry would be involved, hence, you would have a European component in that, whichever way it goes.
MR. BRZEZINZKI: Sure.
Q: Yeah, I just was surprised at the panel of discussion of Europe didn’t mention MEADS and the fact that we’re doing – (inaudible) – cooperation and then the U.S. backs out of it. And it’s clearly – with a hundred nations having ballistic missiles, it seems relevant to discuss tactical situations. And that was the concept behind a joint MEADS program. And yet it doesn’t even get mentioned today?
MR. BRZEZINZKI: Frank?
MR. : (Inaudible.)
MR. ROSE: You go.
MR. SLOCOMBE: MEADS has been on life support for a long time. My – and it is – it is addressed at least briefly, although largely in the past tense, in the National Academy report, as an excellent radar which has an applicability for some of the future systems. And my understanding is that – to keep it going, it’s been integrated with the PAC-3 program, although there are undoubtedly people in the audience who know more about that in detail than I do.
I mean, my personal view is that MEADS was always a very good idea, and the United States Army didn’t like it very much and therefore, it never went anywhere. That’s an aspect of the long story about the problems we have in genuine cooperative developments with other countries for mostly very bad reasons.
MR. BRZEZEINKI: I’m going to try and close this now with a – with a question that kind of ties the European, the Trans-Atlantic Missile Defense Architecture, more broadly to kind of the global challenges of dealing with the proliferation of ballistic missiles. I’d like to ask the panelists in a sort of a kind of closing brief remark: How do you see NATO trans-Atlantic missile defense cooperation relating to the efforts that are going on in the Gulf and that are beginning to emerge in the Asia Pacific? Is this a time for NATO’s global partnerships to start reaching out on a missile defense plan? Are there things that we ought to be doing now to take experiences and lessons learned in trans-Atlantic missile defense to these other regions?
MR. ROSE: You know, Ian, I would say a couple of things. One, I think NATO still has a lot of internal work to do on missile defense. You know, we declared interim capability in the last year, but internal, NATO has a lot of work to do.
That said, as Jim Miller mentioned in his speech, there is the Nimble Titan war game. That is really the premier NATO missile defense exercise, but more importantly, that exercise consists of a number of other participants around the world.
And I – when I was at the Pentagon back in the previous decade, it was – Nimble Titan was initially a very, very small – I think it was a U.S.-U.K. event. And it’s really morphed into a global exercise.
But I would also argue that that exercise has been critical from an intellectual point of view in helping NATO develop its rules of engagement concept of operation. And there has been a cross-pollinazation (sic; cross-pollination) effect in our integration in involvement of the other nations from around the world, from the Gulf, from the Asia Pacific region. So I think the bottom line – from technical cooperation, I think NATO still has a lot of work that they need to do internal. But I think the intellectual work has already begun. And I think it’s manifested in the Nimble Titan war game.
MR. BRZEZINZKI: Walt?
MR. SLOCOMBE: More generally, I think the problem of – one of the other things we haven’t talked about is why missile defense fits into a broader strategic approach. And I think the main problem about nuclear weapons in the foreseeable future now and in the foreseeable future is not that we need them to deter nuclear attacks, but we need to deal with a way in which people – rogue states try to use their nuclear weapons to deter us from – us and our allies and friends from doing things. And missile defense is absolutely critical to that and that’s a common proposition in all three regions. The three regions are different; they’re different politically, they’re different strategically; they have different threats; they’re very different geographically. But I think the basic – it would be a very good idea to try to, to the degree we can, promote a common strategic understanding of the role of missile defense in all three regions.
MR. : Yeah, and, well, I would just add that’s one of the key elements of – (inaudible). It really has a –
MR. : Where do we get these names? (Laughter.)
MR. : I don’t know. (Laughter.)
MR. BRZEZINSKI: Marcin, you have the final word.
MR. ZABOROWSKI: Well, thank you. I mean, I would say that, yes, NATO has a lot of, you know, homework to do on missile defense but I see the argument being won. When we had these discussions in 2008 over the long-range, you know, Bush system, there was a great skepticism in Europe about whether, you know, missile defense was desirable at all. And that argument is not there anymore, you know. It’s generally, you know, accepted now in Europe that missile defense is needed, that it’s a good thing. And you have nations like, you know, Turkey and Spain which were former skeptics, you know, now investing in it. So, of course, you know, much remains to be done but politically the argument is won, I believe. And the need to work, you know, more globally for NATO especially vis-à-vis, you know, missile defense architecture in the Asia-Pacific, I think it will only come as natural. It will – we must become a part of NATO’s overall posture.
MR. BRZEZINSKI: OK. Marcin, Walt, Frank, thank you very much. I appreciate your time and hearing your insights today. (Applause.)
MR. BRZEZINSKI: (Off mic) – a 15-minute coffee break and then we’re going to convene hard in 15 minutes, which will be at half-past.
MICHAEL SINGH: (In progress) – and I want to thank Fred and the Atlantic Council and Ian for inviting me to host – or to moderate, I should say, this panel which is a very distinguished panel.
I’m not going to give an opening presentation except to say that, you know, despite all this talk which I hear of a pivot to Asia, reading the newspapers – you know, my good friend and my colleague, Ambassador Jim Jeffrey, has a class, I think, at George Washington and he has his students read the newspapers every morning and count how many stories are about the Middle East versus the rest of the world. And it usually ends up being about 10 on the Middle East and two or three on the rest of the world. So, with all apologies to Barry and his panel which is coming up next, this talk of a pivot to Asia is oversold, I think. And I’m not just saying that because I run a Middle East think tank. (Laughter.)
The truth is, there are key U.S. interests in the Middle East and I think this came out very strongly in the last presidential campaign. Whether it’s our interest in energy security and the stability of the Gulf, which is an interest we share with partners around the world, not just in the region, or whether it’s our worries about a threat posed by proliferation of nuclear weapons coming from Iran, especially, it’s an area of the world which remains absolutely vital to U.S. national security and to the security of our allies. And that’s reflected in, for example, our foreign military sales in the region. From 2007 to 2010, the Gulf alone – not the whole Middle East; just the Gulf – was 27 percent of U.S. global foreign military sales. And obviously missile defense was a very large portion of that. I would say it was even higher in 2012 though I don’t have the statistic off the top of my head; maybe Matt does.
So, obviously, this is a – this is a region where – which is very important for U.S. security, very important for this topic. And so we’re going to delve into that a little bit. Just to give you a little bit more background about myself, I’ll admit upfront I’m not a technical expert on missile defense or on military issues more broadly. I’m sort of a policy guy. And in particular, I’ve focused on Iran, which I think my close friends would tell you is a part of a broader tendency to be part of the problem rather than the solution.
My background is as senior director for the Middle East at the National Security Council and, before that, working as a special assistant to two secretaries of state, which is sort of a fancy way of saying that I carried Colin Powell’s dry-cleaning around to many places in the world. And that’s me, but my copanelists here are far more distinguished than I, and let me introduce them from the left, inward here.
Vice Admiral Kevin Cosgriff, retired. Admiral Cosgriff is senior vice president for international business and government at Textron Systems, and a member of the Textron Systems executive leadership team. He was commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. He was also at the same time commanding the U.S. 5th Fleet and the Combined Maritime Forces. And he has a long history of U.S. government service before that including stints as deputy commander of U.S. fleet forces in Norfolk and at the White House as director of the Situation Room and as a director on the NSC staff, which is now the NSS staff.
Sitting next to him is Matt Spence, Dr. Matt Spence, who is deputy assistant secretary of defense for Middle East policy, in which capacity he’s the principal adviser to Secretary Hagel and Undersecretary Miller, who we heard from earlier today, on international security strategy and policy in the Middle East. Dr. Spence, Matt, served before as special assistant to the president and senior director for international economics at the National Security Council and also before that has a sort of long academic and think tank career on his resume.
And sitting immediately to my left is my good friend and the ambassador from the United Arab Emirates, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba. He’s been the ambassador from the UAE since July 2008. Before that, he served for seven years as director of international affairs for Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, who’s the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, and also the deputy supreme commander of the UAE armed forces. And in that capacity, Yousef has been working on this issue, I know, for a long time; when we began with the Gulf security dialogue and well into the present era.
So with that, I’m going to turn it over to Matt Spence to begin.
MATTHEW SPENCE: Great. Thanks very much, Mike, and thank you to the Atlantic Council for the invitation to be on the panel. It’s good seeing my friend Barry Pavel here. We spent a lot of time working together at the NSC and in particular on missile defense and on the Ballistic Missile Defense review which, by the end of it, we were both convinced that BMDR definitely was a four-letter word. It took a quite amount of time but it was great working together.
What I wanted to do is just offer a little bit of context about the strength of our relationship with the GCC and the Gulf states, which I think is important to understand how ballistic missile defense falls into why it’s so – such a strong U.S. priority. I know Jim Miller spoke this morning about the Iranian threat, which is a key context that we think about with all this. But I think it’s the depth of the collaboration with our partners in the Gulf make both our bilateral BMD cooperation and what we attempt to do multilaterally is so important.
You know, it was no accident that my first trip in this job was to UAE. It’s no accident that Secretary Panetta went to GCC countries three times last year, and it’s also no accident that on Secretary Kerry’s first visit as secretary of state he went to several GCC countries. I think it underscores – (inaudible) – to the depth of our foreign military sales, the depth of our broad exercises with the U.S. CENTCOM, of which last fall we hosted the largest-ever naval exercises, and on interoperability, which underscores the depth of our cooperation. And as Yousef sits, you know, sits next to me, I’m reminded of the fact that UAE, for example, participated in five coalition operations with the United States in the last 20 years. I think if I have it right, there were over 2,000 combat air missions flown over Libya and a significant number flown out of Kandahar in Afghanistan as well. So, I think that’s the context that we’re looking at today.
Very briefly, I just wanted to talk about three things to kick it off. Talk a little bit about the history of ballistic missile defense in the region, which helps state the frame of where we are today; talk a little bit about our current efforts with multilateral cooperation; and then talk a little more about some of the key issues worth thinking about going forward.
As we think about the last 30 years, if you look at the genesis of the GCC until now, we’ve really seen tremendous levels of cooperation both bilaterally as well as multilaterally. You know, ballistic missiles have been a key part of a threat for the region for quite some time. I think we all remember from the Iran-Iraq War amply demonstrated the threat that belligerence can have from ballistic missiles and the need to take important and concrete steps to address it. It was really for that reason that as we went into the 1991 Gulf War it led the United States to deploy our first Patriot batteries to Saudi Arabia as part of the coalition against Iraq. And I think at the time, it was nearly 50 Scud missiles were landed in Saudi Arabia, making a concrete relief for all of us just what needed to be done. Now, this had two parts. I think to our enemies in the region it extended our resolve to defend against the threat and then to our GCC partners, it demonstrated our commitment to work in close collaboration with them to pursue and prevent the ballistic missile threat. And I think the period after the Gulf War we saw some significant bilateral developments there to increase the capabilities of our partners.
You know, through our foreign military sales, the GCC states, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to Patriot batteries and with progressive technology enhancements. They’ve steadily pursued increases to their technology, moving to our most advanced configurations in PAC-3.
You know, just to give examples which I think are well-known to some folks, but in 2011, for example, Saudi Arabia signed a contract to upgrade its 20 PAC-2 configurations to the more advanced PAC-3. Last year, Kuwait also announced an intent to purchase four PAC-3 units, including up to 60 missiles and 20 launching stations. And then finally, as Yousef knows well of significant, that the very first THADD customer was UAE. And the – (inaudible) – includes two THADD batteries that was valued at over $3.5 billion. So the facts really are clear. These are some of the most advanced and sophisticated platforms that have been built in response to the threat in the region and they’ve shown how to work together to build something up.
So, that leads me to my second point. Where are we now? And I think as we look at where we’ve come, into building up the bilateral capacity, what we want to do is we see the benefits for expanded multilateral cooperation. And when it comes from a difficult area like missile defense with the technological and other considerations, we’re clear-eyed that it’s an evolutionary process but nevertheless one that’s very important. And it’s important for this reason, which is well-known to many of you here: that as important as our individual BMD efforts are – in particular the geographic distribution of the Gulf and the threat from Iranian ballistic missiles means that sharing the burden of our land and maritime targets and assets for better collaboration, for better sharing of resources and better division of niche capabilities makes wholehearted sense. That’s why we’re working through this closely together now.
And I think the logic of cooperation is not just technical; it’s political as well. And I think on that on two fronts that we’ve been moving forward. You know, in pursuit of some of this common security architecture, CENTCOM has worked closely with our GCC partners on this range of bilateral and multilateral BMD exercises to really improve the efficiency and the competency of our regional missile defense forces. Now, much of this collaboration occurs at the integrated air and missile defense center, which I remember visiting at al-Dahtra (ph), which is an important part of what we’re – of what we’re doing. You know, this past year, General – (inaudible) – the head of – (inaudible) – has initiated a series of regular liaison exchanges and meetings between U.S. and GCC countries culminating in liaison officers meeting at the CAOC in Qatar, which is something when you have such a range of partners meeting together, you know, from the outside it’s something that sounds at a more working level detail, but I think that’s really significant in driving us forward and building those key partnerships.
And then in addition to this, at the political level, as Secretary Clinton said last March at the inaugural meeting of the Gulf Strategic Forum, she underscored the importance of working together to address the common threat of ballistic missile defense. And as a result of this, I think as Jim Miller might have mentioned this morning, the SCF directed the formation of the BMD working group to help direct and guide some of this BMD cooperation to bring it at the forefront of discussion. So those are the steps we’ve taken, so the question is where are we going and where does this lead us now?
And as I end, I just would probably highlight on, I think, three or four points as we look at what we’re trying to drive for in the future. I think, first, the United States continues to have a deep and enduring strategic interest in the Gulf. Its commitment to the region’s stability and security, particularly through ballistic missile defense; it’s our assets ashore and afloat, and even our 10 deployed Patriot batteries in the Gulf, particularly in this time of budget constraints and competition for resources everywhere underscores our commitment to that.
I think second, very much so, is while bilateral cooperation really has been our primary form of engagement, and I think our bilateral relationships with these countries are as strong as ever and nothing would detract from that. We’re also engaging in broad multilateral cooperation to try to supplement this and reinforce these mutually help (sic; helpful) objections.
But then the thing I’d want to conclude by is a point that is often missed, and it’s that more is not enough. It is not just about more technology. It is not just about buying more hardware. It’s about working together with qualitative changes that we’re working together, including expanding capacity building, training and putting it in the context of our overall relationship. It’s not just the hardware. It’s also the software both in training as well as the political elements, which we work in close partnership to do together. Thank you.
MR. SINGH: Great, thanks very much, Matt. And let me turn to Ambassador Al Otaiba.
AMBASSADOR AL OTAIBA: Thank you. Thank you, Mike, and first let me start by thanking the Atlantic Council and particularly Barry and Ian for inviting me to speak today. As you introduced me, you said “ambassador,” and “worked for director of international affairs.” I’m sure everybody’s thinking, why the hell is he here speaking on missile defense? And before I became director of international affairs, my boss was the head of the armed forces. And so I learned, whether I liked it or not, a lot of military issues and that’s why we’re here today.
We’ve been looking at enhancing and developing our missile defense program for about a decade now. And I think I can safely say that today the UAE’s missile defense program, which we’ll talk about in a minute, is probably one of the most robust in the region, if not the world. In cooperation with our friends here in the United States, we were the first launch customer for the THADD missile defense program and we’ve also purchased the Patriot program, the PAC-3. So, what we’re shooting for is a layered missile defense system to protect a small country of 8 million people but with the second-largest economy in the region.
If any of you have been to the UAE, you’ve – you can see that we’ve built a very open, liberal, tolerant, pluralistic society. So, we have absolutely no issues with investing $6 (million) or $7 billion in a missile defense program that will protect the country from the obvious threats that we face in the region.
The UAE missile defense program is designed to work in conjunction not just with us but with our allies and with our friends in the region. So, I am a strong advocate of the engagement with the GCC. I think the U.S. must engage the GCC as a collective organization more, more strongly, and encourage them to do more. If we are ever going to have the opportunity to create a bulwark against Iran, it is going to be through a GCC forum. I think that is something we need to stress more and more. Having said that, the GCC is going to have some challenges. What we are asking the GCC to do – behave as almost like a NATO function in terms of missile defense or military cooperation – has never been done before. So, GCC is still trying to figure out how to do that. I think we need to encourage them, I think we need to push them and I think we need to show them what the advantage is of multilateral cooperation versus bilateral.
The reason there is still a little bit of reluctance on the part of the GCC is everyone is afraid that the multilateral cooperation is going to come at the expense of the bilateral cooperation. So as we were chatting earlier, I think it’s important for countries particularly like us who have already done a significant amount in building a missile defense system for our country, that multilateral cooperation is not going to come at the expense of your – our cooperation with the U.S. It’s not going to come at the expense of how far we’ve come. When you move at the pace of six countries, you’re naturally going to move slower than at the pace of one country. So, I think we have to find a formula that addresses this. What the general fear is, is that if we wait for everyone to come on board to buy the equipment, to do the training, to purchase the software, you will put countries like the UAE at risk because they’ve already done an incredible amount on this program. So, I think we need to figure out a mechanism where there’s a bilateral system of cooperation, and once everyone’s on board, there is a multilateral system of cooperation.
Politically speaking, I think there’s a lot of opportunities to engage the GCC on, whether it’s the Iranian nuclear threat, whether it’s the Iranian behavior in the region, whether it’s the activities of the Arab Spring over the last two years, today the GCC is as cohesive and as united as it’s ever been. And I think politically, not just militarily, we need to engage the GCC in that level. We’ve seen them perform very capably on the Yemen issue, we’re seeing them take a strong position on the Iran issue, and we’re seeing with various levels of success addressing the Syria issue. But, basically, what I’m advising is that the GCC can be a strong partner for the United States both politically and militarily. It is not without its challenges but I think it’s something we must continue to do.
MR. SINGH: Great. Thank you, Mr. Ambassador. And now I’ll turn to Admiral Cosgriff.
VICE ADMIRAL KEVIN COSGRIFF (RET.): Well, thank you. I understand completely both the countries – I think the two countries’ positions on this, and I don’t disagree with the general thrust of the policy nor the difficulty of the politics of the region. But I would say before we get too far into this, we shouldn’t gloss over the technical challenges that await us, and even beyond the technical ones, what I would consider to be cultural and procedural ones. We know that the UAE, for instance, has gotten best of breed in the systems they’ve bought from the United States. What we don’t know, and what the ambassador just asked us to consider, is how do we move the entire GCC forward in as coherent a manner as his own country is moving. That’s a tall order.
I think it’s important to understand also that at the end of the day, we are still trying to deter the likely threat, meaning Iran, from either – even more difficult positions beyond the very difficult ones they’ve already taken, and that to have real deterrence requires the capability to be built out thoroughly and completely and some of the other things we’ve talked about this morning. I’ll leave all the highly technical discussion to Mr. Slocombe, who apparently is better versed in the esoterica of missile interceptors, based on his comments this morning. But it is important that we base our thinking on the technical realities of missile defense.
I think in terms of putting it in context, also the GCC is 32 years old. That’s half the age of NATO. And they’ve come an awful long way, and they’ve come an awful long way since I’ve left the region. I’m not suggesting causality, but a long way since I left four or five years ago, and especially the UAE, second to none in bolstering the both individual countries security and that of the region.
I should say before I go any further, since I am now a private citizen, these views are mine, not the United States Navy’s, nor are they Textron’s. We have no business in the ballistic missile defense field, although we do do business in the region.
One of the things that we need to bear in mind all the time when we’re thinking about this, and it’s reflected to some extent by the poster to my right, that this really is rocket science. This is hard stuff. It’s hard at every possible level, just like it’s hard in every stage of that interceptor, it’s hard aboard an Aegis ship, it’s hard in the control room of a “Tippy-two” radar, it’s hard in the command centers at whatever level of command you need to abstract this to get success. And it’s a big problem in that it stretches from Oman to essentially the coastal Kuwait and Iraq. And that’s, roughly speaking, a defended front of some thousand nautical miles, if you were to look at it and sketch it out.
What does that mean from the threat point of view? It means that a coastal-launched short-range ballistic missile from Iran can range Riyadh and be there in a handful of minutes. You can’t get at it during its entire flight. It’s moving in excess of multiple, multiple miles per second. It is a hard target. You’re hitting a bullet with a bullet at those speeds, and you’re waiting till the end of its flight to make that engagement. The weapons are accurate enough – these are not Iraqi Scuds – the weapons are accurate enough that chances are they will land within their weapons-effect area even if they are outside their notional calculated error probable. So I don’t want to belabor it, but this very real reality underpins everything we’re talking about today.
Now, the larger problem, in my mind — pushing the “I believe” button for a minute that you can solve all the technical ones, and I think they’re solvable – the larger problem is the integration of different systems into a coherent missile defense architecture that also involve different countries. And they involve countries, as the ambassador said, that really don’t have a culture of deep military collaboration; in fact in some instances, just the opposite. So you have to – we have to understand that this is going to take time. And the indispensable reality of the current approach is that the United States of America is the integrating agent of all these countries.
Now, I’m partial. I think these countries should buy American, for no other reason that it’s a lot easier to integrated stuff that’s already been integrated over here. But at the end of the day, at least if it’s a NATO standard, we can architect it into a coherent system. It does have to be layered, although for the most part, these are terminal phase intercepts. There’s virtually no realistic exoatmospheric problem in the region as it exists today. Virtually none. That’s done.
One comment or opine when talking about missile defense in the region is that in addition to all the technical issues being solved, we have to anticipate unambiguous rules of engagement among six countries, seven counting the United States, and maybe other allies, and you have to have predelegated decision-making in order to be effective. So in my mind, the information sharing, sensor data sharing, procedural understanding and agreement must be built into the architecture from the bottom up. It is every bit as important as the physical communication links that would underpin that.
This amounts to second-party decision-making for a sovereign state to be effective. It could mean that. So the question is, in a not-too-hypothetical scenario, if the best interceptor would be fired from a Qatar or a Kuwait battery against a defended asset in another country, who makes that decision and how do they make that decision, and are they empowered to make that decision in practical ways? These are sticky sovereignty issues that have to be worked through, and I know the two gentlemen to my right certainly know that and are working on it.
This morning Mr. Slocombe also talked about exercise expense. Well, once you buy all this stuff – and it isn’t cheap – you do have to exercise it, and you have to exercise it in as realistic a fashion as possible, and you should exercise it with the people that actually need to use the systems in combat, and not the pros from Dover. And so that means you have to create all the infrastructure, either there or ship things over here to do it, to support that testing. And that will run to hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars, as was pointed out.
Lastly, as I briefly mentioned, is the deterrent value of this investment worthwhile? If I were to put myself in Tehran, in the situation I hypothetically did a couple of times, would I be deterred by the missile defense architecture that I see in the Gulf today? I think the short answer to that is no. It’s backed up by credible military capability, offensive capability by the United States, principally, and other allies, but nonetheless defense itself in the current structure, with some possible exceptions for some defended areas, wouldn’t deter me. I don’t think that should keep us from building out a more robust national level architectures in the region than a multilateral one, really falling in on a U.S.-based system of systems, but that will take time. I was struck by the timeline of the EPAA, the most sophisticated militaries in the world, and it’s going to take us another half-decade to build out the European phased adaptive approach, much of which rests on technical challenge, and certainly the Phase 4 is well-grounded in technical challenge.
So – paradoxically, by the way, if Iran gets a nuclear weapon, as one of the questions this morning tried to draw out from the undersecretary, what does that do to this deterrent equation? I think it makes missile defense more important. It also makes it more important for our regional allies to keep them from going across the threshold, would be my assessment of that.
So I’ll stop there and look forward to any questions that you may have during the discussion. Thank you.
MR. SINGH: Great. Thank you, Admiral. Thank you to all our panelists.
I’m going to ask each of the panelists a question before I open it up more broadly to the audience for questions. And I’m going to ask them all at once, and you should feel free to respond to something I ask someone else, but I have sort of specific questions in mind for each of you.
So first to Matt, to Dr. Spence, you know, you mentioned the sort of goal of multilateralism when you mentioned where we are going forward, and I’m curious how you see the end state of this cooperation with the GCC. Is it something like a joint missile shield with the U.S. and the GCC? Is it self-sufficiency for the GCC? And then how can you – how do you tie in other countries in the region where we have similar investments but aren’t really part of this conversation in a direct way? So Iraq, for example, is not really part of this conversation but is one of the original pillars of the Gulf Security Dialogue; Turkey; Israel, where we just had – where we had this Austere Challenge exercise, which the Gulf countries are not a part of, for example. So I’m curious as to sort of how the U.S. sees all this tying together and where we see the end state.
For Ambassador Al Otaiba, I would ask you the same question. How do you see the end state here in terms of what you’re driving towards? And then how are you concerned about the role of the United States in that? Obviously, here in Washington there are a lot of debates about the defense budget, about the sustainability of our presence in the region. We’ve had the withdrawal from Iraq, recent withdrawal of an aircraft carrier from the Gulf. So how do you think about the U.S. role in your own missile defense?
And then for Admiral Cosgriff, I want to question you a little bit on this question of the threat, because that’s, of course, what’s looming in the background here. This isn’t just being done for the sake of doing it; it’s being done because there’s a threat. And you mentioned that Iran would not be deterred by what we have now. And I’m curious if you could just expand on that a little bit. In particular, I’m curious about whether you feel that Iran’s – the size of Iran’s missile and also rocket arsenal would simply overwhelm the missile defenses in this region. And I’m also curious as to what’s the role for the offensive side of missile defense. Somebody – I think, Matt, you mentioned the Gulf War. One of the things we didn’t probably do in the Gulf War to the extent we needed to was to destroy the missiles before they were launched. That’s something that I think Israel did with greater success in the 2006 Hezbollah war. To what extent are we where we should be on the offensive side of being able to, in the event of a conflict, destroy missiles before they’re launched?
So I don’t know – Matt, do you want to start?
MR. SPENCE: Sure. So I think on the vision of what we’re looking for, working towards is this, as we talked about, is continuing to ensure – I think as Yousef spoke well as – that we have the best capabilities provided to countries as they’re ready to do it, and taking the steps to be able to make them do that, and that we are not slowing things down as we wait for greater pieces to come together. As we’re looking to still do, is to recognize is that this is an area with a huge amount of threats and a limited amount of BMD assets right now, to as much as we can work towards leveraging the pieces that we can to work larger synergies, larger burden sharing, a larger best allocation of resources right now.
And the context that we’re trying to do this is the broader context of supporting closer Gulf cooperation on the range of threats, and BMD is just one. There’s maritime security. There are the threats we’re working for joint exercises and all together. The question of how does our GCC efforts interact with Israel, Iraq or Turkey is we view them in the same way holistically, in a sense; that they’re not in a competition for resources right now, that they evolve together, and that as we look at some of the same threats – take Iran, for example – an exercise in closer cooperation (in assets ?) in Iraq or in Turkey or in Israel all send the same message (at events ?) and the same efforts that we’re seeing in the GCC. So we see them as evolving and mutually reinforcing.
MR. AL OTAIBA: I agree with Matt. And I think I would look at it this way. Our ideal outcome in missile defense – regional missile defense is that the UAE has its program; our neighbors have their programs; we’re going to have two TPY-2 radars, which are the THAAD Radars; another country is discussing another purchase of it. So as countries develop their defense systems and mechanisms, we have two options of how to proceed. Either we can fold in a regional architecture as each one joins into the group, or we wait till everyone has their systems and then we flip a switch and everyone’s integrated into one common architecture. I think that’s a question that is open for discussion, but at the end of the day I think the final outcome needs to be a regional missile defense architecture with interceptors and sensors linked to each other.
In a perfect world, I would take it one step further. There’s always at least one carrier battle group in the Gulf these days, occasionally two. There’s a lot of Aegis destroyers out there with very capable radars that at some point we would love to be able to link in to give us a bigger view and an earlier heads-up if something gets launched. So in an ideal world we’re talking about six national linked missile defense systems, potentially linked with U.S. assets on the ground. That will give us a tremendous amount of deterrent capability.
But as Admiral Cosgriff was saying, I think this is a very important military message to send, but it’s an even more important political message to send. As you noted earlier, Mike, there’s those in the region who question U.S. commitment to the region. They see the U.S. withdraw from Iraq, they see the U.S. about to withdraw from Afghanistan, they see a pivot to Asia, they see no involvement in Syria, and they ask themselves, is the U.S. really going to be there if we need them?
This is compounded by the energy argument, where the U.S. is going to be the largest energy producer in the world; and people say if they don’t need energy from the Gulf, are they going to be there for us when we need them?
So having this type of architecture, having this type of coordination, not just bilaterally but multilaterally, tells people that, yes, the U.S. will be there.
MR. SINGH: Can I ask you just a quick follow-up, Yousef, before, Admiral, you give your answer. Is there a role for other suppliers in the GCC? Is there a role for Russia? Is there a role for China in the theater missile defense in the GCC region?
MR. AL OTAIBA: I think there has to be an opportunity for everyone. I don’t think anyone can say we’re only going to deal with this. But the fact is, today U.S. military technology is superior to any other technology out there. And if we are talking ultimately about an end game where regional architecture is the goal, it’s going to be very difficult to integrate a THAAD with a Chinese radar. It’s just they don’t talk the same way. And so if everyone’s on board with that goal, I think we’re not going to have a problem with people looking at other suppliers. I think people look at other suppliers to hedge their bets, and it’s a fair, you know, mechanism to use. But I think today if you look at what the U.S. is able to provide versus what other countries are able to provide in terms of technical superiority, there’s no competition.
ADM. COSGRIFF: Mike, I think you touched on the nub of the problem from a military point of view, and it is saturation. And there’s no perfect defense. If you want to launch everything at one thing, something’s going to get through. That’s just, you know, facts of life. And I think we need to credit the likely adversary with the ability to coordinate at least launch times or first approximations to create some amount of local saturation.
Let me step back a little bit, though. Some of the things that the ambassador touched on – you know, early warning, that’s a U.S. capability right now against that target country. Until either UAE or Aegis picks up the missile in boost phase, there’s a time there that information is available. I’ll leave it at that.
There’s the ability to network, as was said, and not only the ability, the need to because of the number of missiles. I think it’s illustrative that military people always say it’s better to shoot the archer than it is to shoot the arrow. We just don’t have any basis of success with which to make that statement in ballistic missiles. We didn’t do especially well in Gulf I. And I credit the Israelis with Iron Dome against the rocket attacks, but they came up against the other part of the problem, which is magazine depth. And I would say that right now that we have a magazine depth issue in the current number of ballistic missile defense interceptors as well as a coverage issue. The coverage is being built out. The sensors are there. Essentially if we had a completely coherent system of systems right now, you would have all the radar systems linked today and you would cover that thousand-mile front. Flat statement. But we have a ways to go to get there.
And then you have the procedural challenges of making decisions in that compressed period of time from apogee until impact. And that’s sporting. It’s sporting against a jet moving at Mach, and it’s a lot more sporting when you get into 3 and 4 and 5 Mach.
MR. SINGH: And is there a military cost – I’m curious, just to follow up – to the approach that Matt and Yousef described? You know, the kind of bilateral multilateralism, where you have some countries ahead of others. Would it be better from a military point of view to have a kind of – sort of an integrated but maybe less advanced system to take on the threat that we’re talking about, or is this approach fine from a military point of view?
ADM. COSGRIFF: I think it is what it is. You know, you can’t build a perfect world that – I think the front runner should keep running, and they should integrate with us faster. And we should encourage that because that is credible military power, which does add to your deterrent factor. And it certainly helps the country that’s shouldering the bill for their own people.
MR. SINGH: Great. Well, with that, why don’t we take questions from the audience? And if you just stick up your hand. And when you’re asking a question, please stand up and say where you’re from. So the first question back there.
Q: Thank you. Bilar Sab (ph), director of Enegma (ph) North America. If I could just follow up in the military component of this puzzle and how to overwhelm basically missile defense system – we’re all familiar of several ways, whether it’s missile salvos or decoys. Well, what concerns me most is MIRV technology. Could any of you gentlemen comment on Iranian capabilities in MIRV? The good news is they haven’t really – they’re not near that technology yet, but perhaps project over the next few years whether they could develop that. Thank you.
ADM. COSGRIFF: (Chuckles.) I think probably the short answer is they probably could, but I’m not sure they will or they even need to necessarily – against the Gulf, which are basically short-range ballistic missiles, some lesser-range, medium-range missiles at the most. They’re not going to be firing the sorts of higher altitude, longer-range things that would typically lend themselves to MIRVs, for which the EPAA I think anticipates that sort of thing, just like the national system here in this country anticipates that.
You ask about offensive actions. And I think we just have to assume that prior to hostilities perhaps and certainly at hostilities, there will be offensive action, and it will be of the nature that does go after the Archer, but not necessarily assuming you get all of these Archers, but you’ll get a lot more of the other ones. And – or, as we used to say, their day two is going to be a lot worse than our day one. So there is a deterrent value to what the assistant secretary was talking about of this multilayered, multiple domain approach to things. It’s just that I think in missile defense, we can go faster, we the United States, we, the countries in the GCC.
MR. SINGH: There’s a question here to the left.
Q: Andrew Pierre, Global Insight.
In the discussion about Iran possibly developing a nuclear weapon, there’s a related discussion about the likelihood of proliferation therefore proceeding in the Middle East and the Gulf in general. I think the – if I heard correctly, the ambassador saying earlier that if Iran had nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia wouldn’t be far behind. But I’d be interested in the assessment of the panel regarding how we ought to be – how much we ought to be concerned about proliferation in the Middle East in general beyond the Gulf, perhaps including Egypt and other countries, should Iran develop an actual weapon.
AMB. AL-OTAIBA: I haven’t said previously if Iran gets a nuclear weapon, then any specific country will probably get theirs. But I will say this now: If Iran does get a nuclear weapon, it is – it is very conceivable that many countries in the region will want to get a nuclear weapon for shared deterrence of their own. And just take a look at what’s happening in the Koreas today, to give you an example, and that’s just a bilateral issue. I think if a country lives in the neighborhood that we live in, and Iran, a country of 80 million people, acquires a nuclear weapon, many people will feel far more comfortable getting their own nuclear weapons. That is not an unreasonable notion.
But the other piece of proliferation that we – you know, we think about academically is once Iran gets their nuclear weapon, how do we know who is going to give the technology to them? How do we know it’s not going to go to Hezbollah? How do we know it’s not going to go into Lebanon or into Gaza? And I think there’s two levels of proliferation we need to be concerned about, which is the Iranian proliferation but also the proliferation of nuclear technology in an already very, very tense and unstable region.
MR. SINGH: Let me – let met flip this question around a little bit and maybe pose a question to you, Matt, which is – you know, Admiral Cosgriff talked before about the Iranian perspective on this. Well, I imagine that Iran looks at sort of the billions of dollars of arms sales in the region and considers that a threat from its perspective. We’re engaged in nuclear talks right now with the Iranians. Could you ever envision the U.S. – will this, any of this change if we make an agreement with the Iranians? Is any of this – could you envision it being on the table, either on phase one, two, three or four of P-5 plus one talks with Iran?
MR. SPENCE: What being on the table? The U.S. – the U.S. ballistic missile defense?
MR. SINGH: The missile defense with the GCC states, the military relationship with the GCC states.
MR. SPENCE: You know, I think – I think just to take a step back, Mike, and put it in context is, the United States has built partnerships with our Gulf allies before the Iran threat. The Iran threat, leading to the creation of the GCC itself, has of course intensified the cooperation, that we worked together.
But I think as we look towards what we’re trying to do – just also underscore what Yousef said – is, you know, the president’s policy has been clear is our policy is prevention for Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon. And the reason why, as an addition to the threat of proliferation, is the threat of a nuclear weapon would allow – enable Iran – (inaudible) – the other elements of threat, be it their ballistic missile program, be it their destabilizing activities around the world, you know, shown most recently by the plot and the Bulgarian bus bombing that the Bulgarian government revealed. It’s not limited to a single threat.
So I think the issue of if there – (inaudible) – in the P-5 plus one negotiations is elements that we’re taking to secure the Gulf state – the security of the Gulf states on the table, that’s premature and I think not the right way of framing it in the sense that we believe that there’s still time for diplomacy to succeed and pushing to do that. I think our strong diplomatic isolation of Iran, our strong posture increases the incentives for Iran to come to the table. But our relationship is the security for the Gulf. And I think we’re working together to make sure that we can take the steps to defend against and deter the Iranian threat. But it’s not something that we’ll trade away, the security of our closest partners, but working together – (inaudible) – is being mutually reinforced as we go along.
MR. SINGH: In the middle.
Q: Jonathan Broder from Congressional Quarterly.
MR. SINGH: I think there’s a mic right behind you. Yep.
Q: Thank you.
There have been different assessments of the success rate of the Iron Dome system. Some are as high as 85 percent success. Others are as low as 5 percent. Can anyone on the panel give us an assessment of how successful that system is?
MR. SINGH: Any Iron Dome experts on the panel?
MR. SPENCE: I mean, I wouldn’t say – without getting into the debates over the numbers of that, speaking anecdotally about this, I think Iron Dome has been extraordinarily successful and I think really is a testament to what – you know, I think to the Obama administration’s commitment not just to Israel’s security but also the regional security because it’s created more decision space for the Israeli government to defend against the rocket threat.
I can only speak from personal experience going to some of these. I think – when I was in Israel in March of last year, one of the first things I did is go to an Iron Dome battery. Noticed a young commander who’s there, who is much younger than anyone would expect. And this was after there was another barrage of rocket fire from Gaza. I arrived about three days after that happened. And that particular Iron Dome battery, just asking them with no one around and no sort of sense I was getting data – his particular battery hit 20 out of 20 at what they had fired right now. And I know when Secretary Panetta went to an Iron Dome battery in July of last year with Minister Barak, they talked about the – you know, the extraordinary rate of success, which was over 80 percent.
I think in some sense parsing the numbers that (sometime ?) in between is missing the actual issue, that this is something that is a new technology, that we’ve developed in collaboration with the Israelis, that has created decision space and saved concrete lives. And as we work in this difficult budget environment to continue to work to support that, it’s been something that’s guaranteed both Israeli security and American security and I think relates to the – to the panel that we’re talking about.
In Israel, at least, it’s part of a layered amount of U.S. security that we’re providing: It’s Iron Dome for short-term rockets, as your question implied; it’s the David’s Sling program, and it’s the Arrow program. And I think, Mike, this gets to a question that you had asked earlier is, how do these different efforts fit in? They are mutually reinforcing about creating decision space for governments to guard against persistent threat (if they’re only ?) proliferating and working together I think in collaboration, as Iron Dome is a – is a great example of, to try to advance that technology and address what is a very, very problem: We always have fewer defenses than you have offensive capabilities, but I think Iron Dome has showed what can happen when we work together in that technology.
ADM. COSGRIFF: I would only caveat that it’s the – it’s the new base case, and the other side will improve the accuracy of their rockets.
MR. SINGH: Great. More questions. Over here. You with your hand up.
Q: Jeffrey Lynne (sp) from Senator Angus King’s office. I was wondering if – that given things like naval BMD – or the Aegis BMD would be more multiroled than, say, THAAD, that perhaps it would be a greater deterrent value for, say, the GCC to buy Aegis warships, for example, as opposed to investing primarily in land-based surface-to-air missile batteries.
AMB. AL-OTAIBA: If you’ll sell them to us, sure.
MR. : (Chuckles.)
AMB. AL-OTAIBA: No, we’re interested in having a robust capability, whether it’s land-based, whether it’s naval-based, it’s – we are looking at all options. Right now we are looking at starting off with a land-based system and hopefully developing that into either linking with the U.S. or potentially buying U.S. technology for ourselves. But I have a hard time believing that the U.S. will release the sale of Aegis destroyers or Aegis technology right now to the Gulf.
ADM. COSGRIFF: I think even if – even if they would, it’s an added layer of complexity, and it could distract the governments from what they can obtain in the near term, which would be land-based ballistic missile defense, with respect to all the shipbuilders who – (chuckles) – who will take me off their Christmas card list now, but – (laughter) –
MR. SINGH: I want to – I want to ask a follow-up question to something which Admiral Cosgriff mentioned towards the end of his last answer, which is, you know, the other side responds, in a sense; they’re adapting as well. So obviously, we’ve talked here about a program which for the last 10 years has been growing tremendously. I don’t know, Yousef or Admiral Cosgriff or Matt – frankly, any of you – can any of you comment on the Iranian response? Have we seen – have we seen Iran adapting to this deterrent which we’ve put in place, or how might we expect them to adapt in the future? Will we expect, for example, to create additional incentive here for proxy attacks or for asymmetric terrorist attacks? And how do you – how do we sort of factor that into what we’re doing?
ADM. COSGRIFF: Well, I don’t think they would want to try to match strength with their perceived strength, which is a number of ballistic missiles against a really strong defense system. So to some extent, the GCC and the U.S. as a – as an integral team will achieve some level of deterrent capability. I can’t quantify that, but I think you understand what I’m getting at. So that will – that will suggest to me, based on their past record of behavior, that they will go for other ways of creating nuisance, and if they really wanted to inflict harm, they may turn to something like Hezbollah or Quds Force, truly unconventional attacks, or what we call unconventional; they becomes so conventional they aren’t unconventional anymore.
AMB. AL-OTAIBA: I think the two threats we always look at from Iran is the conventional military threat – fast attack boats, amphibious landings, missile launches – the unconventional threat, as Admiral Cosgriff mentioned, is the Hezbollah, the IRGC, the soft targets, the terrorism. At any given day, I think the ratio between the two threats varies, depending on what the climate is. But in our – in our assessments and in our intelligence, we have to assume that both of those are going to come at us, and we have to be able to protect the country from both types of threats on any given day. How exactly it’ll play out, I don’t think anyone knows, but we look at most scenarios very carefully and try to protect against both.
MR. SINGH: More questions?
Q: Ian Brzezinski, Atlantic Council. I’m interested – of course, I worked on the NATO panel, and when you talk about NATO missile defense, the capabilities they’re developing, there is an expeditionary dimension to it. When you think about the systems that are being introduced into – and exist in the GCC, things like Patriot, which are mobile systems, what thinking is going on in the region about applying and developing those capacities, not just for territorial defense for more of a global role the GCC could play? For example, some contributions some GCCs made to, for example, on Libya.
AMB. AL-OTAIBA: It’s a – it’s a great question, and I think that’s something that we will think about in the future. But today, given our situation, given our threat level and given the situation with Iran, I think we need all the assets that we can for ourselves.
Our expeditionary commitments have been more transportation, fighter aircraft, special forces. You know, we have approximately 1,500 people in Afghanistan today. We have six Chinook helicopters. We have six F-16 fighter jets. And we have some other, you know, assets throughout the country. In Libya, we gave 12 aircraft and a special forces contingent.
So depending on the type of operation, depending on the requirement, we’re happy to contribute what assets we have to spare. But at this point, I don’t think, whether it’s sensors or interceptors in the missile defense field, we have anything to spare given the threat. Maybe one day we’ll be able to move something like a THAAD battery and move it into Libya and move it into Syria, but we’re not there yet today.
MR. SPENCE: I think it’s a – that’s an interesting point. I mean, I – it’s an interesting forward-looking question, which is good to think about. And just to build on what Yousef is, it is – if you take a step back and just look at what the GCC was formed to do and the United States’ role in it, it’s interesting that you are seeing things – even the Libya operation, which we mentioned, and a Libya operation – to have an operation that began – that started off with an Arab League resolution, you know, something that was not – that – we had a coalition which had meaningful – and I mean very meaningful support from partners like the UAE – that were looking not just to defend the United States assets in the region, not just our partners there, not just the airmen and -women and American service members at al-Dhafra or places like that, but actually not just – (inaudible) – to look beyond I think is – part of the (project ?) that as much as we talk about how far the GCC still has to go as far as political (accomplishing ?), the steps that we’ve taken and been – I mean, it’s interesting; even at a – again, at a smaller level, I’m thinking on March 4th of this year, you know, the combined air operation center, these liaison officers who met together at the CAOC came together and produced an air tasking order, you know, that was used as a joint exercise that we had together, so something small, but when you talk about the types as collaborations as possible, to stick with it and to move forward to talk about the levels that we can move forward I think is something that we’re very focused on as we look forward about what can be possible as this cooperation continues to mature.
ADM. COSGRIFF: I agree with that, because of the human capital that has to go into mastering these skills shouldn’t – we really haven’t talked about it, but, you know, this is graduate-level work at every level. And I’m taken by what Undersecretary Miller said this morning, and I think this – just turn it around; the measure of merit for – (inaudible) – the UAE – for the UAE is defending their homeland. You know, everything else is secondary to that. So they enter into strategic, from their point of view, regional agreements, military agreements, and we become a regional partner in that.
So to my shipbuilding friends, what do we bring? Well, we bring truly mobile platforms with firepowers and sensors. We – as a country, we bring early warning, we bring command and control, build on that. And I think we’ll – and what can we expect the regional countries is do additional sensors, launchers and missiles, and those are very good, doable steps – I don’t know Raytheon or whoever would be happy to hear me say this, but those are things that these countries should do and should do more of them, and they should follow UAE’s lead in that respect.
MR. SINGH: Sir.
Q: I’m Carlin Olven (ph). And the question that I want to ask, really ask you to step into a metaphysical minefield: Supposing at the end of the day, the United States has no other option except to attack Iran, what are some of the unintended consequences that you think might arise?
MR. SINGH: Who wants to tackle this one? (Laughter.)
ADM. COSGRIFF: Unintended consequences. I don’t know if they’re all that unintended. I think you’re going to get attacked someplace else, maybe uncomfortably close to home, if not home, for the United States. Certainly it would be taken as more than likely casus belli against Israel by Hezbollah or other surrogates. It could result in a truly escalatory step, launching something towards Europe. So it’s – whatever you think – my opinion, whatever – my experience – whatever you think the current regime of Iran is capable of, just multiply it by something because they’re really capable of some strange behavior.
MR. SINGH: Yousef, when your country or the other GCC countries are thinking about this, are you guys operating under the assumption that if either the U.S. or Israel does undertake an attack against Iran, that your countries will be targets for retaliation against Iran? And do you think that the sort of amount of cooperation, all these sites, you know, for example, that you – that we’ve created around missile defense, has that actually increased the chance that Iran will target those places?
AMB. AL-OTAIBA: If you live a hundred miles away from Iran, your population is one-tenth of theirs, you’re implementing the sanctions that are hurting them, you come up with no other possibility than to say, yes, we are going to be at their – within their target sites. Whether we’re involved, whether we’re not involved, we’re going to be in one of those categories of targeting.
I think – to continue what Admiral Cosgriff was saying, I think there is three categories of targets should the U.S. strike Iran. And I think you’re going to look at Western interests, I think you’re going to look at Israeli interests, and I think you’re going to look at Gulf interests. And depending on how easy or difficult or reachable those targets are, they will make those decisions. I – we assume that we are going to be targeted.
MR. SINGH: And what do you think about the argument, for example, that if, for example, Israel attacks Iran, that Iran won’t want to retaliate against the U.S. or U.S. allies in order to avoid sort of escalating the conflict even further?
AMB. AL-OTAIBA: I’m going for this one to (summon ?) my colleagues; I’m not sure I know the answer to that.
MR. SINGH: Sure.
MR. SPENCE: I mean, I think the thing I would say, as we’ve made clear, is the – is, you know, the United States commitment is – has been clear, and I think repeated repeatedly by the president and others, that I think we’re aware and very cleared-eyed in closely tracking many of the multidimensional threat that Iran presents. We’ve made the consequences clear of the choice that the Iranian government has made. And I know this is something that – there are many people here who used to work at the Defense Department, so this – (inaudible) – mantra is we plan for all contingencies, and we’re preparing to look at the different things that can result should this happen.
MR. SINGH: All right. Well, I think that’s just about the time that we have for this panel. And I think that one thing that emerges from this is just the extent to which missile defense in the Gulf has become a pillar for U.S. security policy in this region. So thanks very much to the panelists for their perspectives, and thanks to all of you. I think – Ian, you have something to say before we conclude?
MR. BRZEZINSKI: (Inaudible) – thank the panel. Just administrative note – (inaudible). We’re going to take a break for half an hour. At 1:00, we’re going to have a hard start for our keynote conversation with Ellen Tauscher and Steve Hadley and Fred Kempe. So I encourage you, after we break, grab your food, bring it back in here so we can start at 1:00. Thank you. (Applause.)
MR. KEMPE: All right, if you – you can all finish chewing whatever you’re chewing and – good afternoon. It’s my pleasure to moderate this exceptional luncheon conversation on the United States and global missile defense.
We had a great morning with Jim Miller, the European Phased Adaptive Approach, Gulf and Middle East. I think we really see the value in this conference of having taken it global, because there really are interconnections that, if we – if we don’t discuss them, we’re just missing it.
So the goal of this session is to have a broader outlook of U.S. global missile defense ambitions, but really to take a strategic view, assess where we are in the technology very quickly, assess where we are fiscally very quickly, but then very quickly get into the questions of global missile defense architectures, how this can be a driver for collaboration, how it should look in Asia, how it should look in the Middle East and North Africa, Europe, et cetera.
And I can’t imagine two people I’d rather be sitting with up here than Ellen Tauscher and Steve Hadley, both executive committee members of the Atlantic Council board. We’ve heard from Ellen briefly this morning. I just want to reiterate how happy we are to have had you as the chair of this endeavor, conference.
ELLEN TAUSCHER: My pleasure.
MR. KEMPE: And I’ll just quickly, for the record, repeat a couple of her previous positions. In 2007 you spoke on third-site missile defense as a member of Congress from California’s 10th District and chair of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee. At that point you were not in total agreement with Steve Hadley’s administration, Steve – (laughter) – the George W. Bush administration.
MS. TAUSCHER: We were in complete agreement about missile defense. (Laughter.)
MR. KEMPE: Well, I’ll tee you up on that in just a second.
MS. TAUSCHER: We’re for that.
MR. KEMPE: (Chuckles.) And in 2009, representing the Obama administration, undersecretary of state for international security and arms control – Ellen has really something I think is quite unique, which is a strategic mind in two respects, both in terms of understanding the domestic politics – (chuckles) – of trying to get something done but also understanding the strategic context of missile defense. So we really look forward to that.
And as you all know, Steve Hadley – national security adviser, but what many in the audience may not know quite as well is as assistant secretary of defense for global strategic affairs, you oversaw policies on nuclear weapons, ballistic missile defense, arms control. You also served as U.S. Defense Department’s representative in talks that resulted in START I and START II treaties.
So I can’t imagine a better mixture of capabilities here with us right now. And also, I think you underscore the bipartisan nature of the Atlantic Council, a Republican, a Democrat, working to find the best solutions to America’s national security interests and the security interest of our allies and friends around the world.
So let – maybe just to start, you can briefly recap for the audience – Ellen, maybe you can begin – your previous relationship over missile defense. As I say, you didn’t always agree on all the details of it, but you seem to have been of a common mind on the necessity.
MS. TAUSCHER: Well, in the Bush administration – let’s see, I came to the Congress in ’97. President Bush came in in 2000. And you know, Steve and his predecessor, Condi Rice – you know, after 9/11, you know, many of us were coming over to the White House quite regularly, and I was – I had known of Steve. I had not known him personally. But you know, we were certainly in a time I wish we could return to, where there were no partisan issues. We were all Americans and deeply concerned about our country. And you know, it was a relief for me not only to have a Californian in Dr. Rice in such a prominent position, but to get to know Steve. And we – I think we worked really well together on many different issues, including Homeland Security, creating that department. But for me on the Armed Services Committee, you know, it was a – it was a very important opportunity.
And you know, we have bipartisan support in the Congress on missile defense, the details to be followed. But specifically, in 2006 and ‘7, when I became chairman of Strategic Forces when the Democrats took the House back, we worked very closely together, not only on the funding issues, but we believed that we wanted to NATO-ize, the opportunity to have a European defense, and we also wanted to get away from the ground-based interceptors, which we thought hadn’t been tested enough and were really about protecting the United States, not really protecting Europe. So we wanted a real system that was going to be protecting Europe.
And so we had invested, as the Congress, very heavily – actually took it – torqued away from what the Bush administration’s recommendations were into SM-3, which presciently – you can thank Frank Rose for this; he was my chief of staff at the time – helped us get to a place where we could really push off on SM-3 for both Aegis Ashore and obviously the Aegis ships.
But you know, I have tremendous respect and affection for Steve because I think he is a true scholar when it comes to national security issues, understands politics but is the kind of guy that delivers. And I’ve always appreciated working with him.
STEPHEN HADLEY: Well, I’ve been doing missile defense for a long time and have – for the first 30 years, you know, Democrats and Republicans fought over it, and it was – if you go back to the broad versus narrow and all these debates of the ’60s and ’70s, it was a very brutal time. It has been refreshing that, I think largely in response to world events, Democrats and Republicans now have come together in favor of missile defense, and one of the reasons is people like Ellen Tauscher, who were prepared to look at it seriously and look at the world seriously and say, you know, this is something the country needs to have and will – we can talk a little bit about whether we think that consensus will be sustainable.
But it’s also a – something I tend to say when in groups like this that we’ve just been through a presidential campaigns (sic), and in presidential campaigns, to the extent foreign policy figures, it’s all about disagreements and differences between the parties. And then a new administration comes in, and every administration comes in by defining itself initially as not being the guys that they replaced. But when all that smoke clears and the dust settles, there’s a lot more continuity in foreign policy and national security policy than people might imagine.
So Ellen and I are invited to a conference in Halifax in 2009 – a number of you were there – Halifax security conference, and they put us on a panel in Iran, and they think, this is going to be great; the new undersecretary of the Obama administration is really going to take on the national security adviser of the Bush administration on how different the Iran policy was. And of course, to the great disappointment of the sponsors, there was not much of a difference between either of us on that subject. And I think it’s important, in this period of political stress, to remember and recognize the continuity between administrations on important national security issues. It’s one of the great strengths of the (country ?).
MR. KEMPE: But the missile defense plan did change from one administration to another.
MR. HADLEY: It did. And I have said – I think in some sense, we in the Bush administration got it wrong. I think we led bilaterally, and we should have done it through NATO, and we led with the strategic element, the defense against strategic ballistic missiles, which was about the United States, and didn’t have enough in it about defending Europe, which was against the medium- and intermediate-range. And I think that’s one of the reasons we had a hard time. So I think in a way, in this imperfect way our system works – and a guy like Bob Gates, who in a sense is part of both administration, witnesses a change – that, you know, while I still have some reservations about, I think, on balance was the right change. And as long as we continue to invest in our own national missile defense here at home, it’s probably the right approach, and it has gotten good support in Europe, and the reason is because I think it was a better approach from the European standpoint. So, you know, as –
MR. KEMPE: Well, how disappointing. I really was – hoped we could push you to more – greater disagreement. (Laughter.) But we’ll do this as we go on further.
MR. HADLEY: It’s pretty good for me. (Laughter.)
MS. TAUSCHER: We’re always a disappointment.
MR. KEMPE: (Chuckles.) Let me – let me then set the scene a little bit with, first of all, how the system now works, the way you’ve seen it change over time. I mean, we talked a lot about – this morning about Golden Dome and what were the percentages and how much it shot down, all of that business. But I think what stuck in the minds of some of us was Jim Miller’s comment that the threat is moving forward while some of what one wants to do against the threat is not – is being delayed. So I think the question is how does it work, and how does it work particularly in mind that the threat isn’t going to be static? And then secondarily, how does the fiscal situation right now fit into that?
Maybe Ellen, you can start, and then Steve step in, yeah.
MS. TAUSCHER: Well, I think the most interesting thing about missile defense is that it’s like that quiz show. Find a friend – you know, call a friend when you need a – when you have a problem. Missile defense is about science. It’s about physics and geometry. And the interesting thing is if – you know, if Ian was going to shoot me, the best person to defend me is actually Steve or Fred, not myself. So no matter how much money –
MR. KEMPE: I’d go for the archer. (Laughter.)
MS. TAUSCHER: Yeah, exactly. Go for the archer. No matter how much money you have, you still need a networked sensor system to warn you downrange, where we hope your adversary – your archers are, that something’s coming.
And so there’s nothing about missile defense that you really can do alone. And we think that this is one of those transformational opportunities for people to work together not only in networked systems, but also to find friends and to build regional networks for both defenders and for sensors, so that you actually have real cooperation and you’re starting to take down some of the old-fashioned stovepipes. So we think that there’s a lot about missile defense that is – that is new, transformational, based on real math and, you know, geometry and physics, but also, you know, for places like the GCC and other – and other places where you’ve got a very small physical environment, it’s even more important for people to be relying on others to be able to provide you with good information and to be able to help you if you should get attacked.
So we’ve got, so far, bipartisanship. You know, we’ve got the sense that this is about science-based and find a friend and work together cooperatively, create these regional networks. And you know, I think the other part of it is that no matter how much money is dealt with in sequester, whether it’s across the board or whether it’s something discrete, we’re going to have investments in missile defense, and we’re going to keep our promises. So I think that to a certain extent, we kind of know what going forward looks like. We know what the plans are between now and 2020.
But to Fred’s point, there is a very unconventional sense of what the other side is going to be doing. You know, the other side’s going to get a vote. What do those archers look like? What do they actually have? What capabilities do they have? And what other unconventional things are happening at the same time? And so I think that there’s a lot of understanding that we don’t know enough about what the engagement will look like and how chaotic it will be but that that’s another opportunity for cooperation and for people to work together to get better information. I would say that missile defense is one of the ultimate information system challenges going forward.
MR. KEMPE: But Ellen, this is expensive stuff, missile defense. And I’m wondering whether one of the new ideas, at least new for me, this morning is that even if you’re right that this is so important that the money is going to stay in the budget, it could be slowed, it could be less, while the acceleration of the threat won’t – isn’t influenced by our budget.
MS. TAUSCHER: Right, well, that’s the key. You have to figure out – I would say that this is a life lesson. You have to figure out who else gets a vote. In this case, just as the Congress interfered with the Bush administration’s plans for the 10 ground-based interceptors and for the Czech radar, you know, the Congress could decide, as the Senate did last year, not to fund IIB, push that out at least two years. And so what does that mean?
So there’s a lot of people with votes here. And the question is, you know, what is your narrative, what is your campaign, and how do you either get them to vote with you or find a way that their vote doesn’t harm your plan? And so that’s why, you know, it’s very important to have fora like this so that people can get together, but it’s also, I think, a real question as to how do you get people to decide to play. And that’s why these regional networks are going to be very, very important.
You know, there was some discussion when Ambassador Al Otaiba was up here, you know, what goes first. You know, do we make our investments as the UAE and then everybody kind of links in? And I think you have do these things in parallel. And of course, buying (American isn’t ?) always a good idea.
MR. KEMPE: Steve?
MR. HADLEY: I think we ought to be past this issue of does it work. The answer is yes.
MS. TAUSCHER: Right.
MR. HADLEY: A young woman who is a friend of our daughter Kate’s married an Israeli man, lives in Israel and, in the height of the missile attacks out of Gaza, sent me an email saying, I just want to thank you and all Americans who funded Iron Dome because it’s keeping Israelis alive today; thank you; thank you, America. Well, that’s good enough for me.
Does it work? It – yes. Recent test against five simultaneous targets took out four of the five, and one of them was the medium-range ballistic missile. It does work. It works for the threat for which it is intended, which is fairly primitive ballistic missiles that North Korea and Iran can develop. Does it mean it works at the best missile that the Russians or the Chinese could throw against us? No. But it’s not designed for that purpose.
Does it mean we’re going to have to defend – suspend the rules of offense and defense and that we’re not going to have to improve the system as the threats improve and countermeasures and decoys and all those – no. We’re going to have to engage in that offense-defense play the way we’ve had to do with every other weapon system we’ve ever deployed. So does it work? In terms of what it’s intended to do – you know, we ought to put that one aside.
I agree that I think it will be funded. I mean, the literature I read when people – at least before sequestration – and I don’t think it’ll change – there were four areas everybody said all the defense contractors were after because they were clearly going to be funded: special forces, electronic warfare, cyber and missile defense, because those are capabilities the country can simply not afford not to have. And if you don’t believe it, you know, look at what North Korea’s doing. And we don’t really have a good counter for what North Korea’s doing. And missile defense is going to be a critical component of that in terms of their nuclear and the missile program.
I would that it weren’t. I wish that we had options to make that problem go away altogether. I’m worried that we won’t and we’re going to have to live with it. And living with it is going to require missile defense, big time.
So I think those issues largely are behind it. And the interesting issues are what can we make – how can we make the most of this wonderful tool, which does require, you know, the village to defend any of the individual houses? What can we do with that strategically in advancing our relations in places like Asia and the Middle East and Europe?
MR. KEMPE: Yeah, I mentioned this morning that perhaps missile defense would work better than Dennis Rodman concerning North Korea. But joking aside, North Korea, in many respects, in the last couple weeks has done missile defense proponents a great favor.
Steve, you’ve been in the Oval Office many times with the president of the United States giving crucial national security advice. You know, how would you address this president on the issue of missile defense, North Korea? Essentially, let’s go first to Asia, then let’s go to other parts of the world. Take a look at the scenario in Asia and how this current situation should play out regarding missile defense.
MR. HADLEY: Well, it – I mean, it won’t be news to this audience, but twice the United States – once under the Bush administration, once under the Obama administration – put its national missile defense system on alert, with orders from the president of the United States that authorize our military forces to use that system to shoot down the North Korea Taepo Dong II in each case if it were heading towards U.S. territory. And I can tell you as we talked about the prospects of a North Korea missile launch, having that capacity made a huge difference for the president of the United States. There’s something you can do about that challenge.
A lot of people in this room have spent a lot of time trying to get Japan and South Korea and other countries, friends and allies in Asia, to cooperate together on defense. And it’s been a hard go. I think – if my memory serves, there is an agreement on just data sharing between South Korea and Japan that we pushed very hard, that six months ago was put on the shelf yet again – data sharing. The truth is that missile defense ought to be something that Japan, the United States, South Korea and other countries ought to be able and willing to participate in together, because that participation will not only share costs and expenses, but it will also improve the performance of the systems that any of them can deploy individually for the reasons that Ellen suggested.
So I would say this is an enormous opportunity for – to go to the South Koreans and Japanese and say, this is not about China. This is about North Korea, a threat that both of you face. So let’s, you know, put aside whatever disputes you have between the two of you and let’s get the two countries working with the United States and cooperating on ballistic missile defense as a building block for the kind of broader defense cooperation that I think would be a very good thing in that region. And that’s really the potential for missile defense geopolitically, to help transform and establish a new set of relations. Is it hard? Yeah, it’s hard. Is it worth doing? Absolutely. It’d take a lot of time. Let’s get after it. Let’s get going.
MR. KEMPE: Do you agree, Ellen? Do you agree with that point?
MS. TAUSCHER: As usual, I do agree with everything Steve said. You know – you know, we, as I said earlier, find a friend. But frankly, the mantra should be: It takes a region. And, you know, we have got to – we’ve got to do two things pretty simultaneously – which, we’re Americans. We can manage that. We have to convince these regional actors that – in a very quickly-changing paradigm, their old fights from 75 years ago no longer matter because the technology has leapt passed that and that they better find a friend and network themselves and find their region and define it and begin to understand where they need their sensors and how they’re actually going to cooperate.
The second one is, we have to deal with Russia and China in a way that these stabilizing deterrent systems don’t become destabilizing with either of those two big actors. You know of our history of trying to convince the Russians that although capable for the current threat, missile defenses could only, at best, chase the tail of their SLBMs or ICBMs, but they’re of course worried in the out years. And you can’t ever tell someone that you want to be friendly with that they can’t worry about what they’re worrying about.
The Chinese – difficult to engage, difficult to focus. Obviously, if we get to be successful because of North Korea’s recent shenanigans, moving past the previous fights to the current future fight with Japan, with whom we have a huge – a billion-dollar investment, and the Republic of Korea – if we can get that cooperation to begin to look, you know that the Chinese would be – consider that to be destabilizing, how they would react. We assume it would be something we would have to deal with. So I think that we have to do these things simultaneously. Part of it is through transparency, part of it is through sharing data and, obviously, working systems to include parts of these bigger countries.
So I think the challenges are well-known. It’s unfortunate that in many cases, these future threats are actually unable to be managed in the right way because of past grievances.
MR. KEMPE: Well, let me come back to the Chinese now, and one follow-up on the Russians. President Obama, in his famously overheard comments to President Medvedev, suggested that something could happen after his re-election. Could you explore that for us? What might that have been, and is there something that the U.S. could offer right now to break something loose on missile defense with the Russians, or is that now gone in the Putin administration?
MR. HADLEY: You know, I want to put a caution down before Ellen answers on that. The – I’ll tell you, one of the things that could break Republicans and Democrats on the issue of missile defense is what Republicans fear, that in order to get an agreement from the Russians for further deep reductions in our strategic forces, we would relink strategic offense and strategic defense, a linkage that we tried to break in the Bush administration. We would relink it and accept some kind of limitations on our missile defense. That will break a partisan divide right open, because some of the legislation associated with the New START treaty says explicitly that the administration will not undertake those kinds of constraints on missile defense. So I think how we handle this issue with the Russians is important.
And, Ellen, why don’t you talk a bit about that. And then, Fred, let’s come back, if we could, to the China question –
MR. KEMPE: Yeah, I will. Yeah.
MR. HADLEY: – we might get some good reactions from people here on it.
MS. TAUSCHER: Well, Ellen Tauscher from the New START treaty and Ellen Tauscher from the mutually assured stability conversations and missile defense conversations with Russia is still the same person, and there was no linkage between anything in New START or anything in future arms control with missile defense with Russia because we don’t frankly need to bend back that far.
As we said, we’re dealing with science, geometry and physics. And, you know, whether the Russians want to believe it or want to actually acknowledge it publicly, there’s – even a high school math student or physics student can understand that our capable but limited system is not one that does anything to threaten the strategic forces of the Russian government. So, you know, we say it all the time. We talk about it. But the point really is, the Russians believe that these things are inextricably linked. And because your negotiating partner believes they’re linked, they’re linked. And, you know, the Congress can say, well, you’re not going to link these things. There’s nothing this president is ever going to do to diminish the national security and the capabilities of us to protect ourselves, our own assets, our forward-deployed troops and keep our agreements.
But there are optics issues. And Steve’s very right. And some of my former colleagues on the Hill who don’t take their medication on time always want to project a sense of paranoia about what we might do, even if – even if we couldn’t do it if we wanted to. So I think the question is, you know, how do you manage these very delicate things at a time where you’ve also got tremendous pressures on the budget?
And a lot of legislation – the only legislating going on, apparently, among my former colleagues is to say, you haven’t thought of doing this, but don’t you dare do that and let’s all pass it. And so it – you know, this is not enabling legislation. This is disabling legislation. So there’s a lot about this that is unfortunate. But in the end, you know, we still have to get to the core issue of how do you create – how do we take a technology advantage, how do we maintain it, how do we have more predictability in the channels for investments and we have a sense that these things are going to happen? How do we deal with making sure that we have burden sharing among our allies and friends? And even though by American pleas, we still have indigenous capabilities among many of our allies, that we want them to continue to invest in and have interoperability with ALTBMD or whatever system, you know, goes into the Gulf states or whatever goes into Asia. That’s part of Japan.
So I think that there’s a bunch of this that is hard to predict, but for the Russian piece, we’ve asserted constantly this is not any kind of threat to the Russians. I think that we have to get ourselves to a place – you know, the president will be meeting with Mr. Putin a couple of times this year. What the president said – we’ve all had an open mic at some time in our life. What the president said was so innocent and so easily translated to mean almost anything, I think it only meant what it meant to people because that’s what they wanted it to mean.
And, you know, the idea that you’ve got a new president, you’ve gone through a tough campaign in Russia. We’re going through a political campaign that – where things kind of grind to a halt. The idea that you look beyond your – getting beyond your second term and say I can’t wait to get back together to you and maybe we can get something done – I don’t find it to be nefarious or sinister. I think it’s – I think it’s a good thing. I think that we do want to have a missile defense agreement so that we can go forward on other kinds of agreements, including arms control. But we’re not going to be trading them in any way or diminishing our own capabilities in order to get them.
MR. KEMPE: And President Obama did never mention the number 47 percent in that overhead comment – (laughter) – the
MR. HADLEY: That’s as good a defense of President Obama’s comments as you can possibly ever get. (Laughter.) Very well – very well done.
MS. TAUSCHER: Thank you.
MR. KEMPE: The – by the way, bipartisanship at the Atlantic Council has never meant that people – in fact, it means the debate – we’d like to have the debate in our house, but it certainly doesn’t mean one doesn’t make comments of disagreement on – often and frequently the better. The – because that’s the way you reach consensus to achieve policy outcomes.
Steve, one question, and then I’m going to go to the audience, and that’s on China, since you raised it. Why not have a deeper conversation with China on missile defense? It certainly would get the Kremlin’s interest.
MR. HADLEY: It’s one of the – one of the benefits, of course. It would be – one – to put the question to the Chinese, it would really be a difficult one for them to answer, and it would certainly get the Indian – the Russians’ interest. But there – I’ve been sort of thinking about it, and I think the situations are really not really symmetrical.
MS. TAUSCHER: Right.
MR. HADLEY: One of the reasons we went to talk to the Russians about missile defense was because the Europeans wanted us to do it, and our belief was that the Europeans would be more willing to enter into the project that – if it could be done with Russia rather than against Russia or at least made a good-faith effort to give Russia an opportunity to participate, and that’s what Ellen has done.
MS. TAUSCHER: And that’s still true. Right.
MR. HADLEY: And that’s still true. Our allies in Asia, I suspect – and we can have some people comment on this – don’t see it the same way. It’s partly because they’re – they feel threatened by an emerging China in a way that the Europeans do really not feel protected by the post-Soviet Russia that is there today.
MR. KEMPE: To feel threatened – they don’t feel threatened by the post-Soviet – yeah.
MR. HADLEY: They do not – the – our allies in Asia feel threatened by an emerging China, whereas our allies in Europe really do not feel threatened by the post-Soviet Russia today. That’s a good thing for Russians and Europeans.
Second of all, you can say to the Russians, this is about Iran, defending against Iran, and Iran is potentially a threat to you. The Russians have trouble admitting that, because they don’t want to alienate Iran. They may not really believe it, so the Russians say, well, it could be about Iran, but it could be about Pakistan, it could be about a number of countries in that region of instability, and that’s good enough.
You go to the Chinese and you say, well, this is about a missile attack from potentially North Korea, and Chinese have two problems. One, they don’t worry about a missile attack from North Korea, they really don’t. And secondly, it’s a lot harder for them to say – to do anything that suggests North Korea is an adversary. That’s one of the problems we’re having of getting the Chinese to cooperate with us against North Korea, because while they don’t want a nuclear North Korea, they want even less a North Korea that collapses on their border. So anything that sort of draws a line between North Korea and China of this sort I think is not likely to work. And it will not be, I think, reassuring to the South Koreans and the Japanese that we want to involve the Chinese – (chuckles) – in some kind of cooperative missile defense. It’s just not how they see it.
And there are all other – all other – there are other countries will then ask the question. So what will the Indians think about that, if the United States says we ought to have missile defense cooperation with China? What does that mean about – it’ll probably accelerate missile defense cooperation between the United States and India. That would be a good thing. But I just don’t see that it is needed, and I don’t think strategically it would be wise in terms of our relations in the region.
And thirdly, I think it’s something the Chinese cannot possibly pick up for all kinds of reasons. And even the Russians, who we’ve been working with on missile defense cooperation – you know, since 1990 – (chuckles) – we’ve been trying to get the Russians to agree on missile defense cooperation – over 20 years, and we still can’t get them to yes. The idea that we could work out something that would make sense with the Chinese that they can accept – I just think it’s not in the cards and probably not in our interests.
MS. TAUSCHER: Right – (off mic).
MR. KEMPE: Questions. Please.
MR. HADLEY: Do you agree with that?
MS. TAUSCHER: Pardon me?
MR. HADLEY: Do you agree with that?
MS. TAUSCHER: I do absolutely agree.
Q: First, thanks for a really terrific discussion. The other side of defense, of course, is deterrence. And given the fact that we have adversaries such as North Korea and Iran and religious fanatics, is the concept of deterrence as we’ve known it during the Cold War dead, and what, if anything, can replace it?
MR. HADLEY: Well, it’s interesting. Is the concept of deterrence as we’ve known it in the Cold War dead? Maybe; maybe it’s a little different. Is the concept of deterrence dead? Not at all.
And, you know, one of the things that’s always been – and, I thought, one of the most interesting arguments for missile defense was that it was also – it was viewed by a lot of people as missile defense was the antithesis of deterrence. And, of course, its advocates in the ’90s came up with an argument, it’s a different kind of deterrence. It’s deter by denial of objective. So you deter not by saying, if you attack me, I’m going to blow you to smithereens; you say, go ahead and attack me if you want, but I’m going to tell you – and I have the capacity to deny your ability to achieve your objectives, so why do you want to throw all your money in that program in the first place? And that’s one of the deterrence contributions of defense. So I think – of missile defense.
So I think deterrence is – you know, it’s a – it’s a way of affecting people’s calculation and affecting people’s behavior. Is it alive and well in the 21st century? You bet. Do we have to think about how we can deter more effectively in the context which I find – we find ourselves? Absolutely. Does that mean we’re going to have concepts and vehicles for deterrence that are going to look a little different than it did in the 20th century? Probably.
MS. TAUSCHER: Yeah, I think Steve’s right. I think that –
MR. KEMPE: But deterring the – Ellen, deterring the rogue individual is not the same as deterring a state actor.
MS. TAUSCHER: No, but there’s – you know, keep it –
MR. KEMPE: Or nonstate terrorist (group ?).
MS. TAUSCHER: That’s right. I mean, I don’t know what you do to deter Hezbollah, but I do know that if you do – if it is about a regional cooperative agreement, you would assume that there’s more to the agreement than just send me the sensor data or, you know, if something comes toward me, you get the first shot. There’s probably a lot more about that agreement that includes mutual aid and mutual offense should one of that group get attacked.
And so that builds up deterrence to a different piece, because our still – our Achilles’ heel is still raid size. You know, over a certain number, you – we’re going – you know, this very good system will be overwhelmed. But if you have a regional network, all of a sudden now raid size has a different dimension, because I’m not me versus you; I’m six – so you multiply by six or seven or 10 or, in the case of NATO, 27, 28, the people that are going to come to my defense. So it’s a different kind of deterrence. Steve’s right. It’s a 21st-century type of – and it’s – it’s like in the computer world, denial of service. This is denial of your attack. And, you know, it’s a different kind of concept. We have to continue to push it a bit, but I think it’s successful.
MR. HADLEY: And I think on some issues we got to stay with some 21st – 20th-century concept. I’ll tell you on cyber, we’ve tried to deter by saying – by making our systems hard against attack, and it’s inadequate. And I think what’s happening to our systems, whether from the Chinese government or others, will not stop until in the cyber arena, we can effect offensively a cost on their cyber systems that changes their cost-benefit trace, because for the moment, there’s no penalty that is being paid.
MS. TAUSCHER: That’s right.
MR. HADLEY: It’s all gain, no pain, and all you get is Tom Donilon doing his best by saying publicly, this is a bad thing, it’s coming from China, and we raise it with Chinese at every level of government. Good, but that’s not going to stop it. It’s not going to stop until we can deter it by offensively imposing a cyber cost on cyber intrusion, I think.
MR. KEMPE: (Off mic.) I see a question in the back and then up here. Sorry.
Q: Bill Jones, Executive Intelligence Review. Regarding – I’d like to go back to the Russian opposition, the Russian – the problems we’re having with Russia to cooperate on this system.
About a year ago, a gentleman whom you both know, are acquainted with, Mr. Dmitry Rogozin, went to NATO and suggested that the two sides, that is, NATO and Russia, work together on a system that he called the Strategic Defense of Earth to protect the Earth against asteroids and meteorites. His proposal was met really with silence. Nobody really took it seriously. They figured it’s just another one of these statements by Rogozin. But of course with the events in Chelyabinsk now, this has become a question for everybody. And, of course, it has been reiterated by Mr. Rogozin and taken up by Prime Minister Medvedev as well to create a system of global protection against meteorites and asteroids. And, of course, you’re dealing with the same type of technologies that you would be dealing with in the original Reagan proposal of the SDI, the space-based assets and things like that to detect, to find and to thwart the potential.
Isn’t this at least an opening that if it were accepted by the United States, the idea of cooperating with Russia and other countries on this type of a system would probably create the kind of climate where a lot of this paranoia or whatever it is, the fears, would be subsided?
MR. KEMPE: Ellen, you were negotiating with the Russians on related – (chuckles) – topics. Did this ever come up?
MS. TAUSCHER: No, it didn’t. But, you know, Dmitry Rogozin is a – got promoted to deputy prime minister for that. So, you know, I think – I believe any chance that you have to open a space at the negotiating table where you can talk about things that you can cooperate on is a good thing.
But I think that at the same time, nothing about what the prime minister or the deputy prime minister, Medvedev and Rogozin, are talking about changes what the Russian military believes is their paradigm for their way of doing business that causes them to viciously dislike missile defense and, you know, that – they just look at the facts. They don’t look at it as geometry and physics. They’ve decided to make it that this is going to deeply undercut their strategic forces. That’s their story. They’re sticking to it. And I don’t care if we cooperated on asteroid-finding and gold mining on asteroids or whatever we were going to do; I don’t think that’s going to change their position in the short term.
But I’m – you know, I like to cooperate as best I can, so I think opening a channel and talking about that is not a bad thing, but I don’t – I’m not going to be fooled to think it’s going to change their mind in the short term.
MR. HADLEY: I think that’s right.
MR. KEMPE: OK. Let me take another question. (Off mic.)
Q: Thank you. Jeffrey Lin (sp) from Senator Angus King’s office. As you know, the Chinese tested another midcourse missile defense back January of this year. The first one was about two years ago, I believe. So what implications would Chinese development of missile defense technology have both for their strategic intentions as well as proliferating it around the world?
MR. KEMPE: (Off mic.)
MS. TAUSCHER: Well, you know, I think – I think that we would just like to have better transparency of the Chinese, of what they’re doing, both on their strategic nuclear forces and other forms of deterrent, including missile defense.
You know, it was a frustrating part of my job that I got to see the Chinese fairly often in a P-5 environment but really never really got to understand what exactly their plans were and what they were going to do. And that’s disappointing because we need to know more about what they’re doing. You know, if we got ourselves into a place where we were discussing with the Russians, you know, some more strategic deployed and nondeployed arms control, if we’re ever going to get to a multilateral version of it, we need to have the Chinese be prepared to play in that game, and it doesn’t seem to me that they’re really interested at all.
MR. HADLEY: I think our position generally ought to be missile defenses are good things.
MS. TAUSCHER: Yeah.
MR. HADLEY: They allow countries to defend themselves. So is it bad that China is investing in missile defense? I would say no. Does it sometimes cause people to misunderstand strategic intentions? Yes. So if you’re going to invest in missile defense, you ought to do it in a transparent way so that your neighbors can see it and not be alarmed by it.
I don’t know why – I’m not sure what the Chinese rationale is for missile defense. I can understand, for example, why Taiwan would like missile defense given the thousand to 20 – 1,200 Chinese – (chuckles) – ballistic missiles that are aimed at Taiwan. I don’t quite know what the rationale for the Chinese program is. But I think our view ought to be getting in the business of defending oneself is a good thing, but in order to reassure people, particularly if you’re countries like China and the United States, you ought to do it in a transparent way.
MR. KEMPE: OK, I see a question. I saw one in the back here. Please. Yeah. I’m going to people as I’m seeing them, so – I think we have time for a couple more questions.
Q: Thank you. Tom Collina, Arms Control Association. Thank you both very much for being here. You both have a wealth of experience dealing with the United States government, Congress, also with Russia and on missile defense.
MR. HADLEY: I think he just told me I’m old. (Laughter.)
Q: No, that was not my intent.
MS. TAUSCHER: No, I know Tom – I know Tom thinks I’m old. (Laughter.)
Q: No, not at all. But my question is –
MR. HADLEY: I am. That’s all right.
Q: – given that large experience –
MR. KEMPE: That’s debatable.
Q: – and the current situation that the president finds himself in, where he’s trying to negotiate another round of reductions with Russia but missile defense and particularly phase 4 of the EPAA is causing problems, how would you – again, given this large experience, how would you approach that problem, given what we know now? And specifically I’m asking about how might you deal with the SM-3 IIB given funding issues, what Jim Miller said this morning, technology setbacks and the rest? What is the way forward on this that you think might work? Thank you.
MR. KEMPE: Which one of you wants to tackle that? Steve?
MR. HADLEY: Well, I would certainly keep pressing with the SM-3 IIB. You know, it’s an uncertain world out there, and I think we may need it. I think there are a lot of things that Ellen tried to do to reassure the Russians. You know, at some point, in order to be – to reassure the Russians, the Russians have to be willing to be reassured on the merits, and that’s the question Ellen put on the table. And given her experience, she’s not sure they are.
There – you know, this is a tricky business. And people said, well, one of the things you do to reassure the Russians is you have a statement that, you know, the U.S. system is not directed at Russia in any way, shape or form and does not threaten the Russian strategic deterrent or Russian national security. And I think about that, and I sort of say, well, you know, not a legally binding statement like that; yeah, that’s probably OK.
And then I think about – you know, this shows the dilemma we’re in. You know, Russia is continuing to modernize its own strategic nuclear deterrent. It is building new missiles and doing other things. So should we get a statement from the Russians that their offensive modernization program is not directed at and does not threaten the United States of America in any way? And if they gave it to us, would we believe it? I mean, you know, there is this problem of the Russians, you know, making this insistence on missile defenses while they maintain an offensive nuclear weapons modernization program that is directed at the United States.
So, you know – so, you know, I think these are difficult issues. In the end of the day, would I accept – you know, do I think the United States could accept some kind of fig-leaf statement like that? Probably, if it was the price of making sure that we could pursue what we need to do to defend ourselves and our friends and allies against ballistic missile defense. But I think there is in most sectors, for Republicans and Democrats, there’s a consensus that we should not constrain missile defense efforts.
MS. TAUSCHER: Yes. Yes.
MR. HADLEY: And I think that’s right, given the uncertainty of the world in which we’re living.
And I think the other thing which will be not popular here and not popular with your organization – I think we have – the enthusiasm for ever-lower levels of strategic nuclear forces was generated in a world, you know, that was sort of last – of sort of 10 years ago. And I really wonder whether we’ve done a step-back look of the world in which we are in and, you know, cyber vulnerabilities and commanding and troll vulnerabilities and what that means about our own strategic forces.
I just – I just have this feeling that the world has started to change around us about the kinds of threats and that we’ve sort of – the mindset by which – and I was part of this, you know? I was part of START I and START II. You know, I’m a two-time offender. Bu I just think the world has changed. And I wonder whether we’ve got, you know, people stepping back and saying this treadmill of sort of further reductions on strategic nuclear forces for all the reasons we’ve pursued it in the past – whether that’s still right or whether the world is a different place, in terms of what other countries are doing, in terms of vulnerabilities and all the rest. I just – I just think we need to get off the treadmill and do a strategic relook.
MS. TAUSCHER: You know, I – after we got the New START treaty negotiated – it was – it was actually three years ago right around this time that I was in Geneva, and – with not enough clothes. And then we went to – the president took us to Prague and we signed it in early April and then we had the tough job of trying to figure out how to get it ratified in an election year with the inevitable lame-duck Congress. And of course, we did.
We actually strategically decided – this administration – to move the talks from the head-to-head, bang-bang of arms control to what we called mutually assured stability. We had this very long period of mutually assured destruction, the end of the Cold War. And my question to the Russians is, how do you define our relationship? How do you define your ambitions? How do you define where we – where we see ourselves and what are – what are the opportunities for us to cooperate?
And we came up with a baker’s dozen of issues, and many of them are obvious – you know, including arms control, missile defense, nonproliferation, you know, cyber, lots of things that are out there – to begin to say, let’s not just have the same conversation all over again about, you know, how many do you think you should have, and what about strategic and what about nonstrategic? What about deployed, nondeployed? Let’s talk about the relationship and let’s define it and let’s create a destination for ourselves.
So we leave the world of mutually assured destruction and we go to a world called mutually assured stability. Are we best friends, BFFs? No. But are we cooperating on a ton of things – hopefully some of this baker’s dozen? Yeah. And do we have a way to not have somebody fritzing out, you know, across the street and creating a problem for us – whether it’s Syria or Libya – do we have a way to have more predictability in the relationship so that we know that we can get past the last indiscretion of who knows who.
And so these talks are, I think, a fundamental opportunity for us to not be so transactional, because arms control is an element of a bigger conversation. And so how do you get to it without constantly banging on it and get to it in other ways, and build a sense of understanding, predictability, cooperation, stability, in a way that you can get past the inevitable food fight that happens either by one side or the other or a third party, you know, creating a problem?
And that is a mature relationship. It’s a mature relationship where you don’t have to agree all the time, where you can cooperate, where you can be having a fight on the fourth floor and giving each other a check on the third floor and working on things like Iran and other problems someplace else in the building. So that’s where I think we have the best opportunity. The Atlantic Council – you want to talk about what we’re going to do about? We’re going to do some track two talks because right now we’re – for lots of reasons, some of them mostly Russian – you know, the environment is not as it was when Medvedev was president, frankly.
So you know, I think that there’s a lot about this that’s just trying to keep things going. But we’ve got very good people in the government. And these are talks that both Republicans and Democrats have with Russians that are out of government. So, you know, I think this is an opportunity for us to go forward.
MR. KEMPE: Yeah. We certainly think that. Let me take one last – we’re down to our last three, four minutes. We have one last question here. I know there were several other hands up. I apologize, I can’t get to everyone.
Q: Thanks. Leo Michel, National Defense University. You mentioned burden sharing. And as was discussed earlier, at the Chicago summit last May there were at least several Europeans who pressed for somewhat restrictive language on the missile defense section on what would be covered by common funding. And when you compare what NATO has agreed to, or at least has an estimate for common funding, it’s a relatively small amount compared to what the United States will be spending, not only for the development but also for the deployment and the sustainment of Aegis and eventually the ground-based systems.
I’ve heard some European say, well, once we accept that missile defense is necessary and part of our requirements, the United States next year, or at least the U.S. Congress will press for us to pay much more of the bill. Do you expect that, particularly given the current and the foreseeable fiscal environment, that we’re going to have more pressures from Congress in the not-too-distant future to look at missile defense and say, is this an equitable sharing the burden since, as you rightfully point out, you shifted the system to do more to emphasize defense of Europe, not just defense of the United States.
MR. KEMPE: So, Ellen, maybe you can take that as your last question. I would like to pose the last question to Steve, in a way to let the audience come into a conversation that we had outside on the GCC and Israel. And my final question to Steve after you answer the NATO question is: Under the heading of the enemy of the enemy is my friend, can you imagine a GCC-Israeli cooperation of some sort on missile defense?
MS. TAUSCHER: Do we want our European allies, especially our NATO allies, to spend more not to go from crashing down from less than 2 percent to 1 percent to less than 1 percent in national security and defense? Yes. Do I expect that it will be about missile defense? No. We have – we have said that our national contribution is going to be this system and it’s going to be bolted into the old BMD system. And you know, we already have – certainly up until ’18, we pretty much have in the fight that the money is tracking to do everything we said we were going to do – not a bad thing.
You know, the four Aegis are going to Rota. You’re going to have Romania. You’ve already got Turkey. And you’re going to have Poland. So I think the question really isn’t about missile defense. I don’t think my European friends should be concerned that we’re going to be banging on them for more money for burden sharing about missile defense. About everything else? You bet.
MR. HADLEY: Nobody’s sort of gotten more operational development experience with missile defense than the Israelis, admittedly in the short-to-medium range and, I guess, the Arrow program will get close to the intermediate range. So does it make sense, if you were concerned about missile defense threats in the Middle East for the GCC, the United States and Israel all to cooperate together? Absolutely. I think it would make great sense. Is it going to happen – (chuckles) – in my lifetime? Probably not.
If we had gotten an Israeli – if the United States, through its efforts of many administrations, had gotten an Israeli-Palestinian agreement which was embedded in an Israeli-Arab world reconciliation, which is really what we’ve been trying as a nation for 20-30 years to do, on many administrations. You know, then you could begin to talk about those kinds of things. But I think in the current politics of the day, when the thing everybody’s worried about is Iran, for the GCC to do anything that’s explicitly associated with Israel is a card that they will never want to give to the Iranians and that the Iranians would use in the Arab street against them.
So you know, whether there’s something below the table and below the radar screen, I don’t know. But in terms of a – something in a formal way? Probably not going to happen.
MR. KEMPE: Thank you, Steve. So, just to close, before you go to your short coffee break before the next – the next panel, which is on U.S. Missile Defense Initiative in the Asia Pacific, I just wanted to thank both Ellen and Steve – not just for this really fascinating conversation, with much – what brilliant minds, but also for your service to – your public service and service to the Atlantic Council. Thank you.
MS. TAUSCHER: Our pleasure. Thank you. (Applause.) That was great.
BARRY PAVEL: I’ll briefly introduce the distinguished panelists. We’ll hear from them. I’ll ask a few questions and then we’ll – we would really like a conversation with you. And I had the distinct pleasure of following Steve Hadley, Ellen Tauscher and Fred Kempe, but we’ll try to maintain the performance level.
Let me just introduce my panelists very briefly. You have the bios. To my immediate left is Patrick Cronin, who is the senior adviser and senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. He has a nearly 30-year career in a number of positions across government and research centers in academia.
To his left is a great colleague of mine who I spent countless hours in Pentagon meetings over the years, General Skip Sharp, who was commander of United Nations Command of the U.S.-Korea Forces Combined Command and of U.S. Forces Korea – so a real – someone deeply experienced on military issues associated with challenges on the Korean peninsula. And General Sharp also had senior positions, as you might expect, in the U.S. Army. He was also, when I knew him and worked with him most, the director of the Joint Staff and the J5, the head of strategy and plans for the chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon.
And then to the far side of the panel is Dr. Seok-soo Lee, who is a professor at Korean Defense University. He flew in for this discussion, so I greatly appreciate that. He is also the director general of research at – sorry, the director general of the Research Institute for National Security Studies. He also has worked in the national intelligence service in Korea, so do not get him angry. And he is – has also has been a member of the advisory group to the Blue House across a range of Korean – Republic of Korean administrations. So a panel deeply versed on some of the missile challenges that we’ll be discussing, especially regarding North Korea.
Well, we heard a very good discussion in the previous conversation on some of the key Asian issues. I might raise some of those again because they’re – some of those issues are new and some of those are deep, but clearly the missile challenges in Asia center first and foremost on the challenges posed by North Korea, especially in light of what’s happening right now, a lot of uncertainty as Jim Miller and I discussed this morning, a great deal of potential paths – some of them good, a lot of them not so good. So we’ll discuss those.
And I think also the questions that were raised on Chinese missiles and missile defenses in Taiwan and how does the regional – the set of U.S. bilateral relationships, how can that potentially grow into more of a regional system? What roles do the various actors have in that system? And what are we missing, which we always tend to think that the future will be linear like the past, and it won’t. So how do we hedge in this discussion against potential future surprises that may come to us, even in this limited field of missile – of missile defenses?
I might start the panel with – discussion with remarks from General Sharp and then we’ll move from there. So, General Sharp.
GENERAL WALTER “SKIP” SHARP (RET.): Great. First off, thanks, Barry, to you and Ian and really the entire Atlantic Council for inviting me today. It’s indeed an honor for me to do this and great to be able to get back together with friends.
I thought in my five to seven minutes, I’d really cover three things briefly. And being a military officer, I always start with talking about the threat first. I want to talk a little bit about North Korea, what I’ve seen them do in the past and potentially could do in the future. Talk about in general terms what I think an effective missile defense system is, capability that is needed from a military perspective, especially in relation to northeast Asia and Korea. And then lastly and probably most importantly, talk about the things that I think that we ought to work hard to improve in order to be able to improve the missile defense capability within Korea and within Asia.
So first off, to North Korea, and just very quickly – I’m sure most people in this room know all of this, but it’s good to kind of reset yourself in history a little bit. Unclassified estimates, North Korea, over 800 missiles – 800. All of that can range to South Korea. Most of that can range to Japan. Some of that can range to the United States and Australia and other countries. Some we believe are capable of chemical and biological warheads. And we all know that North Korea’s working very hard to also make them capable – some of them capable to have a nuclear warhead.
Over the last several years, 2009, Pyongyang launched a nuclear test. On the 4th of July, seven scuds were fired off the east coast of that year. 2010, North Korea sank the South Korean ship, Cheonan, and attacked with artillery the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong. 2012 and 2013, two Pyongyang tests, one of which was successful, another nuclear test and, mostly recently, abrogated the armistice.
The rhetoric is now highest it has been in a long, long time – maybe forever, since the Korean War. The economy has failed. The concentration labor camps are expanding. By the estimates, 200,000 North Koreans in those right now. So North Korea has, I think, clearly demonstrated over the last several years they have not only the ability but the willingness to strike outside of North Korea into South Korea and to threaten the world.
What responses have we done? What responses have been done around the world to all of those events that I just laid out? Of course, we continue to strengthen our military alliance, continue to strengthen our capabilities over there. There’s been seven U.S. Security Council resolutions since 1993. There’s been three presidential statements out of the United Nations, out of the Security Council since 2006.
All of which that I believe are necessary, but far from sufficient to stop and change North Korea. If you look past all – through all of that past history, I believe, that Kim Jong Un views when he looks at a cost benefit analysis, he’s on the plus side. There’s not been much pain that has been put back North Korea.
So a missile defense system – what is needed in order to have an effective, broad missile defense system? It’s obviously multilayer, it’s redundant, it’s a composition of radars, command and control systems and defense systems. But it’s also critical to have day-to-day intelligence focus, really looking into North Korea and to our adversaries to see what they are doing.
It is hugely important to have information sharing, not only with the Republic of Korea and the United States but, as has been talked about all day today, regionally. And I’ll talk a little bit more about that later. It’s very important to not just have these capabilities but to exercise them in a multinational fashion because if missiles start coming the time to react is very, very short, especially if you look at a Korean peninsula scenario.
And then lastly, I believe a key part of any missile defense system capability is also an offensive capability, especially when you look at the scenario that we’re dealing with in North Korea with the over 800 missiles. No matter how good a system that we have, we’re not going to be able to stop some mass attack coming in unless we are able to very quickly and very effectively strike deep into North Korea to be able to take out missile systems before they are able to launch. The saturation problem is just too great. So when I think of missile defense from a military perspective, I think about it from all of those perspectives, to include the perspective of being able to very quickly go in and destroy stuff in our adversary.
So a couple things that I think are necessary for us to be able to focus on and increase our capability in the Pacific, specifically against the North Korean threat. First off, again, is on intelligence sharing and cooperation between the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan. There is no NATO in Asia. We know that. So multilateral cooperation, intelligence sharing, information sharing among the countries that I said and others is critical.
I really think the Republic of Korea needs to understand it is to their detriment that there’s not an intelligence-sharing relationship between South Korea and Japan. South Korea screwed this up a couple months ago when it was not properly rolled out. And I think it’s a key component to the defense of South Korea.
Secondly, increased intelligence sharing among all of those states, but then also the United Nations Command and the sending states that are there, and to be able to exchange that intelligence so that if we really ever did go to conflict, whether it’s limited ballistic missiles coming in or a much broader thing or instability in North Korea, they have a good intelligence agreement, and sharing of that intelligence information with all the countries that would come to support South Korea is very important.
Third is continued development of defensive capabilities both in Japan and Korea. We’re working hard on radars going to the right places, defensive missiles going to the right places. I do think the Republic of Korea needs to buy PAC-3. I think they need to continue to develop their Aegis capability and to be able to get missiles aboard those ships. We need to be – more defensive type of systems, whether it’s PAC-3 or THAAD, to the Republic of Korea.
From a policy perspective, I think in order to enable some of that to happen, we really have to address the technology-sharing challenges. The Republic of Korea – all the countries, I think, that we’ve been talking about today want to have increased capability, but they don’t want to buy it just from the United States. And we’ve got to figure out a better way to partner with allies to produce the technology and the capabilities we need in these countries.
Fourthly is to be able to develop, again, attack systems that can quickly go after North Korean launchers. I think the recent change of the new missile guidelines to be able to give the Republic of Korea the ability to be able to have missiles that can go out to range the entire width or the entire length of North Korea was the smart way to go. I think we need to figure out how to put all of these systems together to change the calculus of Kim Jong Un in his cost-benefit analysis when he looks at trying to figure out what is his next provocation.
And then the final thing that I would recommend – and this is ongoing – is continued provocation planning, continuing planning between the United States and Republic of Korea – I think we should bring Japan into that discussion also – to work through, if things happen, if the next provocation – agreed upon, here’s what we’re going to do, in some sense, so that two things can happen. Number one, they could be done very quickly. And secondly, we would have a much better chance, I think, to control escalation if we not only thought through these but exercised them in our war games over there, because escalation control is the number one concern that we have when we start talking offensive systems, that when we have – how are we going to respond to North Korea and to Kim Jong Un.
So the bottom line, North Korea is able, and I think they have proved they are willing to threaten and attack the Republic of Korea. At least verbally, they have attacked the United States and other allies. Effective ballistic missile defense includes both defensive and offensive capabilities. The Republic of Korea and Japan and the United States need to work together even better than they have in the past. And then finally, we really do need to start working more along a trilateral exercise and provocation planning ability to be able to face the North Korean threat and to change Kim Jong Un’s calculations.
MR. PAVEL: Thank you very much, General Sharp.
Dr. Lee, would you like to offer your remarks next?
SEOK-SOO LEE: OK. Thank you for a kind introduction, Chairman.
Let me briefly introduce my remarks today, broadly speaking. First of all, I would like to touch upon threat from North Korea, already mentioned by Commander Sharp. But I will briefly mention about that. And secondly, I would like to introduce current survey of public opinion on crucial security issues in South Korea right now for your understanding of current situation in South Korea. And thirdly, I will focus on deterrence strategy of South Korea. And finally, I would like to discuss about several factors which have impact on shaping South Korea’s missile defense policy.
This morning, as the undersecretary aptly pointed out, that missile defense is not static but evolving. After recent missile and nuclear test, military tension on the Korean Peninsula is rapidly growing, to the extent that armed (clashes ?) seems to be imminent. The last rocket launching, which utilized the IBM (sic) technology, contributed to advancing ballistic missile technology of North Korea. It demonstrated a three-stage missile capability with range of more than 6,200 miles, putting object into orbit for the first time.
South Korea also faces missile threat from North Korea’s short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles, including Scud, Nodong and Musudan ballistic missiles. General Sharp estimated that North Korea has over 800 missiles. According to my data, it’s over 1,000 missiles North Korea have right now – has right now.
The third nuclear test in February also proved successful in general. These North Korea’s defiant behaviors increased military tension on the Korean Peninsula. Recent escalation of military tension was trigger by missile and nuclear test of North Korea. Following sanctions by United Nations, North Korea announced that it revoked the armistice treaty and the nonaggression agreement between the two Koreas. Both sides – I mean, North Korea and South Korea and the United States – are now practicing military exercises. Military tension is mounting on the Korean Peninsula right now.
In order to describe public sentiments reflecting recent security on the Korean Peninsula, I would like to introduce a survey of public opinions which conducted and released by the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in last February, but very, very updated, you know, survey I can find.
According to the survey, 66.5 percent of respondents support domestic development of nuclear weapons by South Korea, while 51.9 percent oppose a pre-emptive strike on North Korea’s nuclear test site. It seems to me that this result of survey shows that South Korea’s – worries a lot about North Korean nuclear weapons and the outbreak of the Korean War again. It is known that deterrence, as you know well – know better than me – deterrence consists of three pillars: nuclear deterrence, precision strike capability and missile defense.
Nuclear deterrence capability can be provided by nuclear umbrella or our own nuclear weapons. South Korea without nuclear weapons entirely relies on the nuclear umbrella guaranteed by the United States.
In terms of precision strike capability, South Korea recently indigenously developed and deployed KGGB, Korean GPS guided bomb, in 2012, last year, with 100 kilometer shooting range and within 13 meter range of error.
South Korea is also strengthening offensive missile capabilities by deploying cruise missiles like Hyonmoo III, with – from 500 to 1,000 kilometer range in destroyer and submarine, and building so-called “kill chain,” which consists of identify target strike activities and developing 500-kilometer ballistic missile, according to revised missile guidelines.
South Korea is (under ?) construction of KAMD, as you know, so-called Korea Air and Missile Defense, which is an independent and low-layered missile defense system. This system has AMD cell, a missile defense command and control structure. South Korea has ground interceptors (or ?) 48 PAC-2 and sea-based interceptors, Standard Missile 2 in Aegis destroyer, the (Sejong the Great ?) – (inaudible).
At the end of last year, South Korea deployed Korean – (inaudible) – from Israel, which is ground-based – (inaudible) – with 500 kilometer of protection range.
All in all, given the extended deterrence provided by the United States, South Korea has been building precision strike capabilities and developing South Korean-style missile defense system. South Korean – (inaudible) – decision-makers share a (belief ?) that the ROK and the United States cooperate with each other on the – (inaudible) – alliance system if South Korea has its own missile defense system.
There seems to be several factors which play a role forging South Korea’s missile defense – (inaudible). First of all, threat assessment and issuing strategic requirements is one of the most significant factors in deciding South Korean’s missile defense policy.
First of all, the two Koreas are geographically too close, as you know, sharing the territorial border with each other. Due to this, South Korea suffers from a short early warning time. South Korea also faces threat from various ranges of North Korea missiles. These conditions provide the rationale for South Korean missile defense.
And along with the geographical conditions, money seriously matters. In South Korea, demand for (weaponry ?) is dramatically increasing. Governments should allocate more portion of budget to (warfare ?) safety.
Amid recent escalating military tension, the newly elected president, Park Geun-hye, promised that her government would assign more money to military spending. It’s good news for military (force ?). And she also put the priority – (inaudible).
So far, it is not certain that the new government upholds missile defense with the burden of (warfare ?) budget.
Public sentiment also affects missile defense policy in South Korea. As – (inaudible) – I introduced – (inaudible) – shows South Koreans became much more concerned about national security affairs than ever before, mainly due to North Korea’s missile and nuclear test recently carried out and the Kim Jong Un’s erratic and aggressive remarks and behavior. Especially for me, to me – (inaudible) – nuclear test seems to have psychological impact on South Koreans (a lot ?).
Some South Korean experts on military affairs are arguing that discussing military balance on the Korean Peninsula is no longer meaningful because North Korea’s nuclear program. And so far, I discussed about the threat and others and introduced public opinion of South Koreans and deterrence policy of South Korea and factors which shape South Korean missile defense policies.
As a conclusion, to me, among other factors, geographical and political consideration is the most influential in planning and implementing missile defense policy of South Korea. And thank the Atlantic Council again for having me here today. Thank you very much.
MR. PAVEL: Thanks very much, Dr. Lee. Dr. Cronin?
PATRICK CRONIN: Barry, thank you, and thank you for the previous presentations. I agree with Dr. Lee and General Sharp. Let me make five points from a U.S. perspective about missile defense. And since so many details are important, unfortunately, that’ll have to wait for the questions.
The first observation is simply to take a view over the last 20-25 years and say if you’re looking at the increased U.S. focus on theater missile defense in Northeast Asia and on the Korean Peninsula, you would say it’s been incremental, it’s been a building block approach, and it’s been a very long-term and aspirational program as opposed to a completed, tightly integrated, highly resourced program. It sort of mirrors the long, slow march, at least retrospectively, we can say, of North Korea’s quest for nuclear-tipped missile capability.
And all of this incremental building-block approach for theater missile defense for the United States has not happened in isolation; it’s really been part of a long-term, slow shift toward the Pacific, toward Asia-Pacific, toward the recognition that in the 21st century, so much of the wealth and technology capability and power, as you’ve written about at the Atlantic Council, is shifting toward the Pacific and Asia, so it’s been embedded in that.
So the U.S. has obviously prepared its forces on the Korean Peninsula better, with PAC-3 deployments, Patriot battery interceptors for (terminal ?) defense. It’s looked at seaborne platforms, our own seaborne Aegis capabilities on both cruisers and destroyers. It’s looked at building into the U.S.-Japan alliance from the 1990s; when we reviewed – the last time we reviewed the defense guidelines, we put missile defense into the defense guidelines. This is now being reviewed again. It’s also been picked up in terms of the strategic alliance 2015 with the U.S. and South Korea, and steps have been taken. And now there’s been more encouragement for trilateral security cooperation, cooperation that began in the ’90s as sitting down in terms of having an unclassified war game to actually moving toward something much closer toward contingency planning and beyond. So that’s the first point is that there’s this long-term incremental building-block approach historically toward missile defense for the U.S. in Northeast Asia.
The second point is simply to note that the threat is getting worse; that is, the risk is getting worse. The longer we go forward – this is Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s point that risk is in the future, not the past. And it really is getting worse. It’s not just because North Korea is getting closer to a credible nuclear-tipped missile capability, and we can go into all the details about that, and the limitations and problems, but it’s also that it’s – there’s a conveyor belt, unfortunately, or at least we have to assume there’s a conveyor belt between North Korea, between Pyongyang and Tehran, the way that Tehran – the way that Syria and North Korea have cooperated in the past; there’s been too much back and forth, scientific governmental exchange, financial support, technology know-how not to see a growing, thickening pattern, a dotted line between proliferation. So what happens in Northeast Asia doesn’t stay in Northeast Asia. So this is a global problem for the United States and for others around the world, which is why we can’t simply say, well, let this containment policy work. It’s not working is the problem. It’s failing. And that’s before you get into human rights and other costs that General Sharp has talked about.
Having said that, let me – let me just say a couple of words about the latest threats out of Kim Jong Un. I don’t believe Kim Jong Un and the Kim family regime want war. In fact, I think just the opposite. They want to avoid war, because they lose a war. They want to win the provocation threat, though, because threatening war by renouncing the armistice, by saying you’re on a war standing, hopefully weakens the outside array pressuring you to give in. And North Korea right now wants – it’s feeling increased pressure. When you have the national security adviser of the United States go to New York and say, we’re about to sanction your only trading exchange bank – foreign exchange bank, North Korea, there will be reprisals. There will be provocations. This was – let’s – guarantee it, will happen. And it’s not going to lead to war, unless there’s miscalculation – which is possible, unfortunately; this is dangerous and reckless, but it’s not intended to do so.
So I want to put this youthful swagger and insecurity combination that is all rolled up into Kim Jong Un into perspective. It’s very serious, and missile defense plays an important part of a comprehensive policy to help the United States and its allies and the international community pressure North Korea away from greater proliferation, both on and off the peninsula, and hopefully with any serious concerted strategy, which there’s no political will for at the moment, but if there were, it would be part of that strategy in the future.
Third point is that the way forward is not simply for the United States – because the United States cannot do this alone; the United States has to do this first and foremost with South Korea, its key ally, and Japan in the region with its tremendous capabilities on defense. This could be networked together exactly as General Sharp was sort of outlining.
Let me say a few things beyond that, though, about Prime Minister Abe because since returning to the Kantei, the prime minister’s office, in December of last year, he has come in with a platform of reinterpreting the constitution at least to include allowing defense against missiles. He has moved forward still than his predecessor, Prime Minister Noda, on easing the three principle export ban, which makes it easier for Japanese defense industry to cooperate on some of these systems. He has worked with the United States on the deployment of a second x-band radar crucial for detecting missiles. He’s announced that for the first time in more than a decade, Japanese Self-Defense Forces will get a larger budget rather than a smaller budget, and he’s going to move toward that sacred 1 percent political limitation of GDP that has held back previous prime ministers if he gets his way, and he’s also continuing to move forward with ideas about integration with the region. He’s very interested in doing that. So that’s from the Japanese side.
South Korea side – President Lee worked very closely with the United States, and U.S. Forces Korea was largely responsible for making a very tight alliance. And within the realm of the politically possible – because domestic politics cannot be wished away – for the first four years in particular – the last year it started to drop off after domestic politics rose too high – Korea moved forward not just on thinking about missile defenses, but Patriot-2s – you know, PAC-2s were not enough, SM-2s not enough, but the four Aegis ships, the Sejong the Great class – absolutely a great contribution potentially, as well as U.S. forces with PAC-3s.
What we saw this past month after the successful nuclear test – third nuclear test on 12/12 (sic) and the – and the long-range successful three-stage rocket in December of last year, we saw ROK and U.S. come forward in the alliance and talk about an integrated theater missile defense program as a plan. So I think there will be, at least from the national interest perspective of Korea and Japan and the United States – all things being equal in terms of domestic politics, there will be steady progress toward thinking how to integrate this – these systems together in a more effective theater missile defense system.
Ironically, there’s also a need not just to deter and defend against North Korean provocations, there’s a very real U.S. need for reassuring our allies. The possibility of the nuclearization of Northeast Asia is a threat to U.S. interests. We just heard it from Dr. Lee. Two out of 3 South Koreans – (laughter) – think a nuclear weapon indigenous program makes sense for South Korea. And I don’t begrudge the South Korean – my South Korean friends that at all because if I were South Korean and I were looking at my adversary to the north allowed to increase its capabilities, potentially have a Pakistan-like breakout capability of dozens of nuclear weapons, and my other neighbors interested in nuclear weapons, and I’m the only one stuck without them and I’m relying on a United States that’s in sequestration, I’d start to say, you know, I’d better make sure, as President Park’s father did, that I have a secret nuclear program. (Laughter.)
So that’s not in the U.S. interests. I’m just saying I understand where it’s coming from. It’s driven by national interest. And that’s important to take into account. And Japan as well is looking at the same kind of abandonment trap or fear, what is classic alliance politics.
Two other points. Political goals in this region for the United States are not just about military, right? We have broad economic, political goals here for this whole century. China is driving the rhythm of the economy and of the politics of this region. We have to take China into account.
We already have done so when it comes to issues like what we sell and what we do with Taiwan. Taiwan is overwhelmed with a missile threat of more than 1,150 missiles, and several hundred PAC-3s are not going to be sufficient to deter that. We can help Taiwan up to a point, but there are limits on how far we can help and how far Taiwan wants to go or what they want to buy. So the reality is we already make deals with China to some degree to maintain autonomy and independence for Taiwan so they’re hopefully less coerced by the mainland to give in, but at the same time, concessions to the fact that China is the big great power on the mainland here.
And we’re going to have to do some of that vis-à-vis Northeast Asia. This has been called sometimes the Goldilocks dilemma of getting it just right, where it’s really impossible. And so you can spend too much time trying to get it just right to please the Chinese and the Russians, if you will, as opposed to an effective theater missile defense system. I’m not arguing that we make concessions – (off mic) – effective theater missile defense system as much as take into account the concerns of China so that when you’re stepping on their core interests, you know it – (chuckles) – and you do it at your timing.
And hopefully, you don’t step on their core interests. You try to convince them, not by engaging them on missile defenses but by engaging them on the North Korean threat and why it’s bad – against Chinese interest – that’s really the common interests. So we’re trying to find the convergent interest here with China and say, look, this proliferation problem, not just in Northeast Asia but also in the Middle East, is China’s problem. And that’s where there’s common interest.
And finally, next steps – four things to do – maintain our own readiness and capability – and it may only be perceptions, but unfortunately, the budget is driving the perception of our own strategy and commitment and the reassurance. That’s very dangerous time. This is when miscalculation could happen. We’ve got to make sure we redouble our efforts to show that it’s not happening
And while budget shouldn’t drive strategy, we have to be realistic. We’re in a fiscally austere time, and we’re not going to be able to buy every program, so we’re going to have to find cost-effective missile defense systems, still, even while I agree with General Sharp we’re looking for a multilayered defense system. But – so in the boost phase, it means we can’t buy every exotic system on boost phase. We’re going to find some cost-effective answers to that while we continue to shore up things like the standard missiles in terms of advancing them to the latest capabilities and making sure we’re resourcing the rebalancing or at least not cutting these deterrence and defense assets.
Secondly, we should be mostly helping our allies make smart acquisition decisions. Both Japan and Korea, indeed, every country in this region is spending more on defense. We’re the only country cutting. And so it’s very important to help them make the smartest decisions. Again, General Sharp is right on the mark, though, when he says they don’t just want to buy off-the-shelf U.S. Korea, Japan have advanced economies, advanced capabilities. They want indigenous capabilities. We’ve got to figure out what the right mix is and how we get real joint production. We’re doing that with the Japanese. We’ve been working on this, you know, Standard Missile Block IIA – Standard Missile 3 Block IIA program for some time, meant to be deployed in 2018.
It’s tough business. Anybody who’s gone back and looked at FSX and all these joint developments, they’re absolutely problematic in terms of overcoming all the hurdles. Look at Michele Flournoy’s op-ed in The Wall Street Journal today about how difficult it is for us to sell an airplane. Well, it’s even compounded when you’re trying to do an alliance where you’re trying to have these defense industries mesh with all the politics and the interests. But we have to find intelligent solutions to this.
Thirdly, we have to improve integration. That starts with a classified intelligence-sharing arrangement between Japan and Korea that should be announced after the next provocation – should have been announced after this provocation – the nuclear test, but, you know, I always want to find the right timing for that and move on with contingency planning – advance common C4ISR for interoperability, and that could extend to some discussion of space and cyber cooperation as well – increase joint training and exercise. And this is among Japan, Korea and the United States both bilaterally and trilaterally.
And the final thing is the dialogue with China. Don’t neglect China. We have to have a good overall relationship with China. Don’t put missile defense on the agenda per se, but it will come up in the discussions as you try to convince them that our interests and their interests vis-à-vis Kim Jong Un’s nuclear program is more aligned now than ever before. Thank you very much.
MR. PAVEL: Thanks very much, Dr. Cronin and to the other panelists here. And let me ask one question and then, because we’re down to 15 minutes or so, I’ll go right to the audience for your questions after that.
But my question is, all of you painted a pretty grim picture, which I’m not surprised by. But when you put it all together, this region is really in turmoil in many ways, this region being Northeast Asia. And missiles – the threat posed by missiles plays a pretty significant role in some of this instability and uncertainty.
So while the U.S., Japan, Korea – you know, we can add Taiwan and certainly Australia – we haven’t mentioned the Philippines; I don’t know if they’re worth mentioning in this context, but things are being done. But it strikes me that it’s worth asking the question of all of you – is enough being done and fast enough on missile defenses when we have all of the conditions that you described?
And particularly jarring to me is this question of, you know, the South Korean poll on acquiring nuclear weapons, and the chance of doing so under a more assertive Abe administration in Japan. I mean, we haven’t had a situation like this in the region for quite a long time, and especially with a new leader in North Korea, untested, young, et cetera. So are we doing – is – are the parties doing enough to deal with this for all of the reasons that you described, especially in the areas of missile defense? Shouldn’t more be done? Shouldn’t there be acceleration? Would we wish we had done something more tomorrow if, you know, a seven-missile salvo like was launched in July of 2010, I believe you said –
MR. : 2009.
MR. PAVEL: 2009. If that happened this July, and – but with much more damaging consequences, what would we be regretting that we didn’t do, in any and all order?
GEN. SHARP (?): I think I touched on some of them, and we are doing that. You know, you can always argue, can you do it faster, but I think that the – with the – both the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan are trying to work more towards a cooperative arrangement. I don’t think it’s coming fast enough. I think it is driven too much by politics, with – always pointing back to the past and some current disputes. In some cases, it’s become too public so that the political side is driving what we need to do – be able to do militarily.
But I think the key is to be able to continue to really realistically sit down with the Republic of Korea and Japan and talk about – I agree with you. When the next provocations happen, what’s going to be the response? Not just the immediate response to protect yourself – not just the immediate response of being able to strike back at what’s shooting you, but what is the response that is needed to change Kim Jong Un’s calculus so that he thinks twice, a third time, a fourth time before he strikes again in the future?
And that planning is ongoing, but I think that when you take a look at what North Korea – they’ve surprised us many times over the last several years, as, you know, oh, they’re not going to get this for so many more years. They would never attack an island. They’d never attack civilians. We’ll – we’ve seen that happen, and I think we just need to be realistic that this guy is 29 years old, but he is very dangerous. He’s been rewarded for everything that he has done so far, and I think that sense, that calculation needs to go into our deployments, our exercises, our equipping construct for that part of the world.
MR. CRONIN (?): Well, we need to be resolute toward North Korea. And I’m afraid that there’s a dearth of political will not just in the American body politic, but when you string together the array of countries outside of North Korea that we’d have to rely upon on on, say, a sanctions-based defensive approach, that means that this leaky containment is going to continue to fail worse and worse going forward. That’s my prediction as an analyst; it’s not what I want as a policy, you know, advocate.
We should be doing more, and we should be putting it together as part of a comprehensive, tight policy. We should be seriously thinking about disruptive network strategies and campaigns that would change the calculus. We’re not willing to do that. Kim Jong Un’s sitting back very pretty thinking we’re not serious. And he’s right; we’re not serious. But it makes missile defenses all the more important, because if we’re taking greater and greater risk because we lack the political will and we’re risk averse, then we better be stepping up with our allies on more missile defenses. And it’s not just those three countries. Other countries can do – you mentioned Australia – huge role to play in space, for instance, right now for us in intelligence, and others can help.
So we do need to do more, but I’ve got to be realistic, in this budget environment and in this political environment that unless North Korea really steps over the line, I wonder whether we’re going to muster the political will to do enough.
MR. PAVEL (?): It’s interesting, though. You know how that goes. If we – you know, we – it might have been better to have acted more in the near term to avoid the consequences.
MR. LEE: Let me – chairman –
MR. : Yes, Dr. Lee.
MR. LEE: Let me add one more to reply to General Sharp As you see – as – first, you have to understand, to have regional missile defense architecture, South Korea, Japan and the United States all get together and cooperate with each other. The problem is, as pointed out by General Sharp, from the relationship between ROK and Japan, as you know, it is a very complicated relationship reflecting history, emotion, (irrational ?) remarks. It’s very (irrational ?).
And my concern is that if we want military-to-military cooperation – collaborations between South Korea and Japan, we have to improve overall relationship between the two countries. As you see, military-to-military cooperation is the utmost form of cooperation between countries.
So as you see, the relationship between South Korea and Japan has been – fluctuated over time depending on what happened at any moment. All of a sudden, we maintained very good relationship between the two country, and then, all of a sudden, due to remarks from Japanese high-profile politicians, the relationship was deteriorating. Repeated – repeat and repeat again. So we cannot deny that politics guides mil-to-mil cooperation between Japan and South Korea. So my point is, South Korea and Japan should build real confidence and trust and friendship to help military cooperation, for instance, with regard to regional military – regional missile defense architecture.
MR. PAVEL: Thanks very much.
Questions from the audience – yes – (off mic).
Q: What do you think about the potential for Taiwan, including Taiwan in this envisioned multinational defense architecture, recognizing that that would surely infuriate China? Is it even worth pursuing if that’s going to jeopardize Chinese cooperation in enforcing sanctions on North Korea and improving North Korea’s behavior?
And if that is something, what would – I mean, what would Taiwan bring to the table from, I guess, a physics-geopolitical viewpoint? Like, what kind of anti-missile systems could be located there that could improve sensors – sensor detection?
MR. : Good questions there –
MR. CRONIN: Sure, again, Taiwan is looking at the mainland threat. And we are, with Japan and South Korea, principally focused in this guise, looking at the North Korea threat. So Taiwan severely complicates. It would add a lot of baggage that would immediately be a red line for China and would offer relatively little vis-à-vis North Korea, I suspect – although again, maybe General Sharp knows otherwise.
In terms of interoperability with Taiwan, however, and therefore a latent capability to come to Taiwan’s defense collectively, now, that makes sense. But that’s what you build into the technology to the extent you can, but you don’t make it part of a network that looks like it’s aimed at China, because again, I think we have to draw a line between what we’re – what we’re focused on, the real threat, North Korea, and not – we’re not focused on the mainland. China is a big strategic challenge for the United States, but we’re not going to win it with a theater missile defense system.
GEN. SHARP: I agree. It doesn’t bring that much. It doesn’t bring anything.
MR. PAVEL: Other questions?
MR. LEE: I agree too.
Q: Mike Mosettig with PBS Online NewsHour.
I’m struck by the proposals you make all take time. And given that the next provocation could come within weeks, is there enough time – also because the prevailing political wisdom, right or wrong, in Seoul is that President Lee suffered irreparable political damage by being perceived as responding too slowly and languidly to what happened in 2010 and ’11, and that President Park is going to make sure that that doesn’t happen, so that the risks of a real clash are that much higher.
MR. CRONIN: Yes, I mean, I didn’t come here prepared to talk about what we do the next week, although I’m happy to talk about what we do the next hour with South Korea, with the United States forces. I was talking about over the next decade. But if this leaky containment continues, it’s a valid question, very important, timely question. And we ought to be doing a lot of things – we’ve already done some of them, putting together the “two plus two” process between U.S. and South Korea military officials with their diplomats on the – on the side and talking about an integrated theater missile defense while we move forces to make them ready. We’re going exercises right now to show that we’re ready. So General Thurman’s on the ground showing that we are ready to deter war. We’re ready for any mettle you want to throw at South Korea.
So deterrence – reassure and deter at the same time, but at the same time, North Korea will be looking for the seams. They’ll be looking for provocations that won’t trigger some kind of heavy reprisal. The Northern Limit Line remains an obvious choice and we’ve seen lots of photographs. And the South Koreans this time are not asleep, you know? That patrol ship that was out patrolling in 2010, the Cheonan, didn’t have an active radar that was working. That was almost criminal. I guarantee you, the radars are working right now. (Chuckles.)
So we have to be very much ready for a provocation. But the whole idea of this provocation from a North Korean perspective is they don’t want war; they want to show that they have more resolution than we do. And we and our allies and partners better back down from implementing real pressure; otherwise they might trigger war, even though they don’t want that. So – and they won’t – they won’t actually trigger the war, by the way. That – at least, if they do, it’ll be inadvertent, it won’t be part of an intelligent plan.
So we have heavy defenses in the region. So it’s not like we’re doing nothing. It’s just that we don’t have the full capabilities to shoot down a nuclear ICBM. Let’s say they put a warhead, finally, a miniaturized warhead on a missile, a Nodong missile, which we know they can do, or another Unha-3 Stage rocket with re-entry technology, therefore, an ICBM: If they do that and we wanted to shoot it down, we couldn’t shoot it down probably on their test platform because it’s too close to the Chinese border even if we wanted to. And we’re talking about that – using Standard Missile 3 technology essentially. And trying shoot it down from the sea if it flies over Japan or Korea, we could – we could in theory do that if we wanted to – if we wanted to take that step and risk that.
But at this point, North Korea’s not likely to do that. They would be seen doing that. They’ll do cyberattacks, they’ll do assassinations, they’ll do Northern Limit Line, demilitarized zone – they’ll do anything that allows them some deniability that makes it hard to respond right away, I think.
GEN. SHARP: Yeah, and I think the problem that we’ve had is – you know, of – I’ll confess, that’s probably part of this discussion – part of this is we have, I think, historically looked too much today and not looked enough in the future. I mean, we plan every day in Korea back here and talk about what are we going to do about the next provocation, how are we going to respond, how are we going to make sure escalation doesn’t happen? But we aren’t looking to the (deep earths ?) to how we’re going to change North Korea, so that, you know, in the future, that these things don’t happen, because North Korea’s a country that believes in democracy and freedom and human rights. We have not faced up to what it’s really going to take in order to be able to make that happen. I think we’re much too close-focused on that.
MR. PAVEL: Dr. Lee, any other thoughts on this question?
MR. LEE: First of all, our government changed from President Lee Myung-bak to President Park Geun-hye. And I’m not sure about it’s – in South Korea, politics determine everything, as you know. One of my friends from London told me that, Seok-soo, South Korea politics is too powerful – (chuckles) – controls everything. So political leadership is important. So I’m not in a position to exactly explain what’s going to be happening under Park – (inaudible) – administration, but I – in my presentation, my presentation put focus on shifting environment and shifting public opinion and shifting our country’s strategic requirement. So that’s why I cited undersecretary’s morning remarks, that missile defense is evolving.
So the situation security environment is changing, and everything is changing, so – and even political leadership changed in South Korea. So as far as I see, I observe, new government is going to carry out, but – (inaudible) – issues relating to around U.S. military relations. That’s my focus.
MR. CRONIN: Can I just – you know, I mean, to add to Dr. Lee and what I should have said was that making sure we’re on the same strategy for a counterprovocation strategy with the new government of South Korea is probably the number-one most important thing. And that’s why the national security adviser, Tom Donilon, led the inaugural U.S. delegation to make sure he could sit down with Madam Park’s team.
And it’s very instructive that Kim Jong Un’s regime has tried to pre-empt the new South Korean government every step of the way. So they launched the 3 Stage missile a couple of weeks before the election, they do the nuclear test just before the installment of President Park and they renounced the armistice just before the first cabinet meeting. So they’re trying to have an asymmetrical advantage each step of the way. So we have to be – just make sure we’re absolutely airtight on this alliance. And I think the career military people are. We got to make sure the political leadership is – we don’t lose any – no gaps. (Chuckles.)
MR. PAVEL: Well, unfortunately, we’re out of time. No easy answers, but we really appreciate your insights on these difficult challenges. And we look forward to discussing more of this so thank you very much.
MR. : Thank you. (Applause.)
STEVE GRUNDMAN: I conferred with my panelists here and we felt confident that we could carry on without him, although –
EDGAR BUCKLEY: Also, everything that needs to be said about EADS –
MR. GRUNDMAN: Exactly and that – and that Edgar would carry what water needed to be carried so far as EADS is concerned.
I did not introduce myself perhaps. I’m Steve Grundman. I’m the M.A. and George Lund fellow for emerging defense challenges here at the Atlantic Council within the Scowcroft Center.
I’ll introduce my two panelists. They will each have some remarks to be made. I might have a question for them and then we’ll turn to the audience, but you all can rest assured, we will surely end by 4:15.
John Rood is the vice president for business development at Raytheon, or a vice president for business development at Raytheon, a position that he has held since 2009, before which, for the last two years of the Bush administration, Bush 43 administration, he was the acting undersecretary of state for arms control and international security. He actually has a long career in government that that was the culmination of, which includes among other assignments two tours on the National Security Council with responsibilities for proliferation and counter-proliferation strategy. I think, if I’m correct, he started his long government career on the staff – the professional staff of the U.S. Senate.
Edgar Buckley, Edgar is now the principal of – I think his namesake, EV Buckley Consulting. I got to know Edgar over the period between 2003 and a year or two ago, when he was the senior vice president for European business development at Thales. He was then based in Paris. I think you’re now based in London, if I’m not mistaken. But before which, as I said, both these gentlemen have experience on both sides of the table, proverbial – before which Edgar served in the Ministry of Defense of the United Kingdom and ultimately was lent over to NATO, where he served as the assistant secretary general for defense planning and operations under Lord Robertson.
So as you can tell from their backgrounds, each of them, I think, can modulate between the two sides of the conversation that I hope that we can have here and create a fitting culmination to this terrific conference, rather than a grimy mercenary one.
I will turn first to John, if I may, to offer up some introductory remarks.
JOHN ROOD: Well, thank you, Steve, for that introduction, and it’s good to look around the room and see a number of folks that I’ve had the opportunity to serve with or work with in various capacities. So it’s terrific to be here. I also want to thank the Atlantic Council and Barry and Ian for pulling this together so nicely. It’s been a good day to hear so much of the discussion.
As was mentioned in the introduction, I’ve had the good fortune to be involved in missile defense policy from a number of different aspects. I began my career actually at CIA as a missile analyst following missile programs like those in North Korea and Iraq and other states. I went from there to serve for Senator Kyl as a Senate staffer in the 1990s, and then of course, as mentioned, the National Security Council, Defense Department, State Department in other roles, and then finally as an industry official at Raytheon. And one of the things that is apparent to me from that is just how far we have come during the discussion.
As I listened to the discussion earlier today, it was interesting to me to put into context where those various inflection points have occurred. As I mentioned, though, I had the good fortune to come to Washington 25 years ago and I thought I’d be here a short time. And I got involved as a CIA analyst on missile programs. And I thought that might last a short period of time. I’ve now moved to different positions to see that. And in looking at, for example, those heady days early, when the Taepo Dong II and other programs were new and I recall going to brief – being sent to brief the secretary of state and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and others about these new developments that we had uncovered, and to see how far that has come and fast forward later, during tours in the White House under Steve Hadley and others, when we had to look at provocations.
And Steve did a good job mentioning that both in the Bush administration and the Obama administration, missile defense system has been brought to alert to deal with deliberate provocations by the North Koreans and it – contrary to the kind of arguments I heard in the 1990s, when we were fighting in the Congress as a staffer to establish as the national policy that missile defenses were not destabilizing and that we should have one. We were able to activate that system and it prevented us from having to do things like consider preemption, consider moving forces to the region to provide retaliatory options that would prove destabilizing, to consider sending messages to the leadership of North Korea that might exacerbate the situation. Instead, missile defenses gave us additional options and proved stabilizing.
Now, I’m mindful of the fact that later on, of course, the ABM Treaty stood in the way of some of those things and I still have echoing in my head arguments made by some that our withdrawal that we managed during my tour with National Security Council would prove destabilizing and the worth of missile defenses would not be proven. It just shows you how far we’ve come in such a short period of time.
Now, undergirding that, in my current experience is the impact that industry plays in all of this, in firstly providing the capabilities that our governments utilize with their defense departments or their equivalents, but also in promoting the kind of cooperation which undergirded a lot of discussion today between nations.
Next Saturday, March 23rd, marks the 30th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative speech, which a lot of people look back on as one of the seminal moments in missile defense. And it led to a lot of things you were talking about today.
I just wanted to read one excerpt from that speech because I think it’s noteworthy to look in hindsight at how prescient those comments were. President Reagan said, and I quote, “I know this is a formidable technical task, one that may not be accomplished before the end of this century. It will take years, probably decades of efforts on many fronts. There will be failures and setbacks, just as there will be successes and breakthroughs.” End quotation.
So I mean, in the popular literature at the time, of course, seen as the SDI initiative not producing results, but if you look at Reagan’s own words, of course, he foresaw that this would be many decades before you’d really have the kind of capabilities that we have today and benefit from.
There have, of course, been failures and setbacks, but we’ve learned a lot from those and the successes far outweigh the costs in my view. These lessons, they were learned or hard fought, and when I visit our centers of excellence in Raytheon, devoted to things such as the Standard Missile 3 franchise or Patriot, and you talk to the people working on those systems, you realize just how many hard lessons they have learned over the years that we now make look easy, but all of that knowledge came at a cost and with great effort.
As I mentioned, the capabilities provided by these systems really give our decision makers a lot more flexibility. In addition to the successes and proving stable in situations like the provocations the North Koreans created, it’s also interesting to see the effect it’s had on our alliances around the world. And you know, Steve Hadley mentioned a good point, which I used to hear a lot when I went to NATO, that will these systems work. Well, we’re now going on 58 successful hit-to-kill intercepts, and I think it really has been put to bed this notion that can these systems be made to work reliably.
We’ve even had a couple of successful engagements with directed energy with the Airborne Laser Program. And we’ve seen missile defense technology successfully protect key friends like Israel from real attacks and also be used in things such as Operation Enduring Freedom, operations to protect our forces and allies, and in some cases, allied systems, like those operated by the Kuwaitis, achieving kills on incoming missiles.
Since Reagan’s speech 30 years ago, there’ve also been a number of policy-related developments that really provided the space for industry to go and work in other areas. Prior to the lifting of the ABM Treaty, there were – first of all, the deployment of missile defenses were prohibited to protect your country or cooperation with allies in a meaningful way. But the lifting of these restrictions allowed industry to have more creativity in the kinds of systems we might deploy. So, for example, some of the capabilities we’ve unleashed are things like launching on remote data, that is to say perhaps a ship in the ocean, AEGIS vessel unable to see the incoming missile with its radar onboard the ship, but rather being able to rely on satellite sensor data, as we recently demonstrated in an engage on remote test that really expands the battle space, expands the capability of that system that would not have been permissible under the ABM Treaty.
We’re also able to think about other innovative approaches for how we’ll use X-band radars linked to both land and sea-based assets in a networked solution, really a chance for us with our technical capabilities to explore the art of the possible.
While protecting – developing a ballistic missile defense system to protect the United States, the United States government has also made it its policy to work with friends and allies to get this key defensive capability in their hands. Today, a remarkable number of nations have acquired or developed missile defenses, and still more, such as Poland and Turkey are planning to do so.
We believe that among American companies nobody has more international missile defense capabilities or programs than Raytheon. For example, knowing that Patriot is helping to defend our Patriot consortium members, that the THAAD system will soon be on watch in the United Arab Emirates, who we saw their ambassador earlier today, or knowing that our cooperative program with Japan will result in a new interceptor for the Japanese fleet, as well as for the American fleet, the SM-32A, we’re very proud of that. SM-32A program is something we hold up as a model of international cooperation. I’m very proud of that program because I was involved in creating it during my tenure in the Defense Department, when we were negotiating both the placement of a radar, which now exists in Shariki, a fine Raytheon product, I might add, the AN/TPY2, but also the start of a development program for a new interceptor for both the United States and Japanese fleet.
We’ve seen a number of benefits, both to our industrial base as well as to the war fighter, that will come from that program. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is our partner. We work under contract with both MDA and the Ministry of Defense in Japan. Our ongoing relationship with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has been very well managed and we’re on track for 2018 delivery of that system to the fleets.
From an industry perspective and from the position of a prime contractor, these programs provide immense benefit to our industrial base, as well as to the nations. First, they drive competition at the defense industrial supply base, which is a critical component of production of affordable products. We need these strong technical and industrial capabilities to keep pace with the threat. Steve Hadley mentioned this inexorable race between the offense and defense, and that certainly exists on missile defense. And so we need those strong technical industrial capabilities and they don’t come unless you exercise them.
Secondly, these missile defense programs establish strong industrial relationships among the United States and allied nations in a time of increasing global competition. These programs make affordable the development and deployment of real capability through burden sharing that might otherwise not be possible due to the economic constraints.
And finally, missile defenses against a shared threat drive improved relationships, both among allies on a bilateral basis, as well as in multinational groupings, whether that’d be NATO, the GCC, or we would love to see some of those cooperative activities in Asia, although our last panel spoke of some of the difficulties there.
I mentioned Patriot a moment ago and the Patriot system has been evolved and developed to have numerous capability and logistical improvements. Frankly, this is just not the same system that was deployed 10 years ago. For example, almost $400 million of improvements were made due to our last cooperative venture with the United Arab Emirates that substantially improved the system and made it more affordable. There are 12 countries that are members of the Patriot consortium, so you see a number of nations pursuing that. Those nations are the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Taiwan, Greece, Spain, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates. So across the theaters of operations for the United States military and across the globe, we see those capabilities employed to great effect.
Future customers would benefit from further improvements and upgrades. For example, in our NATO ally, Turkey, we have companies that have produced many of the components and parts of the system that we then sold to the United Arab Emirates. Should we be successful in pursuing Patriot cooperation with Turkey, we will substantially expand that industrial footprint with a number of other Turkish industrial opportunities in a substantial expansion there.
Another key policy development was NATO’s decision in 2008 in Chicago to adopt territorial missile defense as a core alliance mission and to welcome the U.S. Phased Adaptive Approach as a contribution to the defense of the alliance. NATO really recently demonstrated this commitment, of course, by deploying Patriots operated by forces from the Netherlands, Germany and the United States to protect Turkey during the current conflict in Syria. This decision in Chicago, along with the alliances interested in smart defense concepts such as pooling and sharing, provides opportunities for industry to help NATO and individual allies think of innovative approaches for making the alliance’s vision a reality.
For example, working with industry, the alliance could consider a pool of missile defense capabilities shared by the alliance. By spreading the financial burden of developing and procuring these capabilities, NATO could efficiently built upon the protection provided by the Phased Adaptive Approach.
I recall a conversation when Edgar and I first met in Rome, the Italian defense minister at the time, a man named Martino, had an economics background. And I recall him speaking to us that evening at the dinner, Edgar, about the benefits of shared resources, saying he commissioned an analysis by the Italians that showed that they’d spent 15 percent of what they would have otherwise spent on their defense by being a member of NATO, a very quantifiable justification that he used domestically to say why it was so in Italy’s interest to be a part of the alliance. And that certainly applies to missile defense capabilities, such as a pool of SM-3s or other capabilities.
Just this last week, Raytheon’s SM-3 demonstrated dual-band data-link that allowed a Dutch X-band radar to communicate with S-band capabilities to allow for different navies to operate the same system, very important capability.
Another innovative approach I’ve seen firsthand is the value of joint ventures. I’m fortunate to serve on the board of directors of a French-American joint venture called the Thales-Raytheon Systems Corporation. And there, we, of course, are the provider as a prime contractor for NATO for the Air Command and Control System or ACCS system.
All these developments are evidences over the last 30 years there’s been a growing recognition that missiles pose a threat of increasing complexity and that industry needs to partner with government to deal with that threat.
Recently, a senior American official told me that one of the things he appreciates most about industry is they have the expertise and the time – and I can underscore the second part, you do have a little more time than when you serve in government and you’re just running flat, it feels like. That we have the time to creatively think about ways to provide important capabilities – to provide things such as missile defense ideas and capabilities.
Raytheon’s been proud to be a part of these efforts and we are really very excited about the possibilities the future may hold. And I’d just sum up by saying it’s really in three areas. It’s one to build these strong technical industrial capabilities to counter the threat and the strong industrial base that we have in the United States and that we want to promote internationally with our partners is just the foundational, critical element for that to occur.
Secondly, to allow for burden sharing between friends and allies, to allow missile defense to be affordable in the present fiscal climate. We’re going to have to focus more on that. And thirdly, to build industrial cooperation that brings allies and groupings of nations, whether that’d be NATO, the GCC, or other groupings in Asia to allow those nations to come together or even to do that bilaterally, where for instance, in Poland, I think we’ve got a special period of time, where, as someone that’s been involved in trying to build that relationship, we’ve got an opening to do that again with Poland’s interest in the integrated air and missile defense system for their nation.
So let me stop there and just say thank you for giving me the chance to talk to you and certainly look forward to the question and answer period.
MR. GRUNDMAN: Thank you very much, John.
MR. BUCKLEY: Thank you very much and I enjoyed your remarks, John.
I’m going to look at this from a European perspective and I’m going to start off with some remarks about the strategic environment as now seen in Europe because I think in Europe, we’ve entered what I called a new age of pragmatism. What I mean by that is that European governments now recognize that they’re facing serious security challenges on their periphery and these have the potential to destabilize their own security, their own societies, in some cases, and they’re going to have to deal with these crises, these problems largely on their own, without the sort of automatic leadership from the United States that we used to take for granted.
Now, I think we always knew that this day was going to come, but it’s come – it sort of crept up on us somehow, it’s come sooner than we expected.
The other realization is that, whereas in the past we used to think that, oh, well, the European Union will deal with this and we’ll have some kind of European Union mechanism for EU-led operations, we now know that’s not going to happen.
I think at best the European Union will have a supporting role in following up in crisis management, but the main role of conducting real operations is going to fall to ad hoc coalitions of European countries who have the means and the political will and who feel the necessity to act. And then, they will have – perhaps NATO, when – I mean, sometimes NATO will be in the lead from the outset, but more often in the future it will not be, but NATO may come along later, as we saw in Libya, to provide any necessary organizing structure. And NATO rather than the European Union will do that because it’s NATO that most easily engages the essential support from the United States to provide mechanisms without which the Europeans can’t manage all the aspects of even the limited military operations that they have been managing in recent months and years.
Now, if you link that strategic assessment to the financial crisis and the reducing defense budgets in Europe, what this means for the European allies is that they’re increasingly focusing on the most needed defense capabilities and they’re trying to find smart ways of making them available. In this context, that immediately brings to mind NATO’s Smart Defense initiative, which as far as I understand does not include missile defense for reasons we can speculate about, but it rests on the linked approaches of bilateral and multinational cooperation, prioritizing, what you can do, what you can’t do, specializing where necessary, generally getting better value for money by working together.
But against that background, how does missile defense fit in so far as the Europeans are concerned? Well, I think it fits in rather well because so far as NATO is concerned, I think Europe is in the front line when it comes to regional missile defense threats from short and medium-range ballistic missiles. And if Europe is going to have the confidence to conduct the sort of operations around its periphery that it may have to conduct, it will need, as I think Jim Miller said, to be able to deploy its forces without the fear of retaliation against those forces locally or against their populations and the cities back home.
Now, the other aspect of all of this is that missile defense is, as Ellen Tauscher said, preeminently the sort of capability which requires what we used to call a joint and combined approach based very much on cooperation, on synergies, coordination, specialization, trust, mutual dependence. Now, all this together I think gives you some explanation of why European governments continue to support missile defense and why they continue to invest in it, but there are other reasons, as well, for sovereignty reasons, governments very much want to see this military capability deployed through NATO and not solely as a United States national system. That’s the big difference between the pre-Obama administration approach and what we see now, and that was very important to get that right. And both governments and European defense companies want to ensure that the European defense technology base keeps up with the advanced technologies which are being developed in this domain.
Now, for all these reasons, European industry, following their customers, tries to involve itself as much as possible in what is going on. Thales is a company I was working for until just over 18 months ago, and I still have a consulting arrangement with them. They’ve been engaged at several levels, first of all, the SMART-L radar has become – which is made by Thales in the Netherlands – it’s become more or less the NATO standard long-range radar. It’s deployed on ships of the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, United Kingdom, France, and Italy. That radar – it’s a very remarkable radar – had very long range and through changes to its algorithm and to the antennas of that radar, its ranges have been fantastically increased. It’s now in the 1,000 kilometer range, that radar. And under a contract which has been led by the Netherlands government, that will be productionized.
It’s already been demonstrated to have a capability to track incoming ballistic missiles. That was demonstrated in Hawaii, in 2006. In France and in Italy, Thales is providing with MBDA the SAMP/T interceptor, low-level interceptor that Thales is providing the fire control, the radar, the command and control, architecture of the missile, electronics, and the guidance systems. That interceptor was tested over at the Biscarosse missile range just six days ago and had an effective – a very successful kill of a representative theater missile. So we’re very pleased with that and we think that missile will complement Patriot, which is an excellent missile, in NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense.
Thales-Raytheon Systems, which John referred to – he’s on the board now. I used to be on the board of that company. It’s a great company. That’s responsible for updating the French national air defense architecture, a U.S.-French company doing that. And since 2006, both Thales and TRS have been involved in a team led by SAIC to build NATO’s missile defense architecture and deploy its command and control backbone across the alliance.
TRS played a key role in developing the interim BMD capability, which was referred to many times this morning. That capability is now operational. It’s at Ramstein and it is controlling NATO’s active defense operation with the Patriot missiles in Turkey.
As a further step, TRS, same company, is leading a trans-Atlantic team to develop the initial full operational capability of that system. That’s planned to be delivered in 2015 to meet the next phase of the EPAA.
Finally, both Thales and TRS are contributing to the French national early warning capacity, which they’ve offered to NATO as the French contribution. Thales is developing the very long-range radar demonstrator together with the French National Research Institute.
Thales Alenia Space provided the satellite platform for the SPIRALE early-warning in orbit experiment. And that was done in partnership with Astrium, which is part of EADS. I said I’d mention EADS, wouldn’t I? I’ve done that now.
MR. GRUNDMAN: Noticed it.
MR. BUCKLEY: So – and both Thales and TRS are contributing to the advanced studies for a new satellite and a command and control system linked to that for the French future early-warning system.
Now, all these European systems and others from European companies mainly contributing at the lower level and the early warning part of the assistance. They are genuine contributions to NATOs overall capability and they need to be given recognition as such. It’s very important that because we want to make sure that this is a NATO capability.
We would like to see them fully integrated with U.S. systems and deployed to needed areas when necessary.
From the point of view of European companies, just like for any other defense capability, we see exports as a vital path towards achieving an adequate return on investment for our efforts, so that we can continue to invest in the future. We see opportunities to cooperate both in providing NATO capabilities and in addressing export markets where that’s appropriate. For example, I agree with what John said about the possibility of combining and integrating weapons systems and networking U.S. and European sensors and also creating this sort of pool of interceptors, which you referred to. And we can do that both in NATO and elsewhere.
Effective missile defense systems are not just going to be from one country. They’re going to involve networking capabilities from different companies and different countries. We need to get on with that.
World cooperation in missile defense, eventually to include Russia, which would be a government decision, that would be welcomed in Europe. I think we know that, as well as the United States, provided the terms were acceptable. And at industrial level, I think companies would have no difficulty working with their Russian counterparts once the political framework was agreed.
Thales has had very successful cooperation with Russian companies in the space domain, in the aerospace domain, and in some limited defense field. And since the most obvious area for missile cooperation with Russia would be in information sharing, sensors, data fusion, and command and control, Thales and probably TRS would hope to play a role if NATO and Russia were ever going to cooperate.
I think from the European industrial perspective, the key messages I would like to finish with, are that first of all, NATO’s missile defense, at all layers and levels should continue to be built on transatlantic industrial teaming. This is needed, not only for economic and defense industrial base reasons, but also for military efficiency, for sovereignty, and for burden sharing. European companies have critical skills and capabilities to offer and we intend to continue to be engaged in this market, both in support of national and NATO customers and through export. We’ll be competing. That’s good for us both.
We think NATO should procure common procurement of command and control elements while welcoming all national contributions and they should provide support for systems integration.
And finally, transatlantic industry is ready to support cooperation at a more global level, in my view, possibly including with Russia, if and when the moment is right. Thank you very much.
MR. GRUNDMAN: Terrific. Thank you both. (Applause.)
All right. We have about 20 minutes for discussion, and I think I may kick the discussion off by asking the following question maybe as bluntly as this. Either in your experience, or if you want to speak on behalf of your company or your clients, as the case may be, Edgar, is this an attractive market? That the point here is to put into context – right, this whole conference has been dedicated to missile defense, so for the last eight hours, there’s been nothing more important than missile defense. But I would admit a skepticism as to whether this is in the greater scheme of how limited resources are going to be allocated across all these ministries of defense, if this is a high enough priority for companies like yours and those you may represent to view this as an attractive market, something they’re going to invest in. Is this an attractive market, missile defense, John?
MR. ROOD: I’d certainly say so. I mean, I think for us, at Raytheon, one of the things that makes it an attractive market, besides the fact that the size of it and the multiple nations, is that we think it’s something that plays to our strengths where you’re trying to move the boundaries of technology ahead to provide additional capabilities and discrimination capabilities. I say discrimination in the sense of additional things that set the U.S. military or those of our friends and allies apart from their adversaries. I think that’s certainly the case. And as I – if I step back in my former role, I think regrettably one of the things that’s very good for business is what’s going on in places like North Korea and Iran, where you see the threat progressing. That has not always been the case, I should say as aside.
There were some programs I worked on that thankfully, in early days of being an analyst, sound like quaint historical examples, like the Condor program, between, at the time, Iraq, Egypt, and Argentina. It went the way of the condor. That is gone. Those three nations are not in that business. There’re other success stories. But regrettably, in some of the areas where we and our allies see the greatest threats, whether it’s Iran or North Korea, you see a growth in the size and sophistication, and not just there, whether it’d be in China or elsewhere.
And so giving our customers – the Defense Department or allied nations militaries capabilities to deal with those things certainly is something that’s an area of good business. And trying to be innovative about that is something that plays more to our strengths in Raytheon and others to be sure they’re – we’re in a very dynamic marketplace, particularly with what’s going on in this country. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t still going to be a priority. Whatever level our political leaders settle out here, someday, the political debate over things like sequestration and the role of government will reach some new plateau that is more sustainable. And missile defense, we think, still be a priority at whatever resting point that may be.
MR. GRUNDMAN: Edgar, your remarks already suggested as much, but if you might amplify.
MR. BUCKLEY: Well, the defense business in Europe is different from the way it’s run in the United States. In Europe, you have to take contracts at fixed prices basically, and including development. You take a big risk when you do business in Europe. And John will know that the joint venture between Thales and Raytheon lost quite a lot of money on the ACCS program. We took the contract and we ended up developing something which is very difficult to get NATO to finish defining really. And we lost hundreds of millions of Euros on that project.
Missile defense gives us the opportunity to justify that investment because it’s been built so far as NATO command and control is concerned largely on the skills and in some cases the software that we developed for ACCS. More generally, I think missile defense meets the criteria that defense companies like to see when they invest in a market. It’s a long-term requirement which is likely to remain relatively stable over time. And that gives us every incentive to invest in research and development and to build up software teams. There’s nothing more difficult than developing large software programs. And they really are a challenge to any company that takes them on.
I remember speaking to a senior executive from Boeing about a very large software program they were involved in, which was even bigger than ACCS, and eventually it collapsed under its own weight. And we recognized the problems.
But now, I think missile defense is an attractive market. We’re not making huge amounts of money out of it, but it does have a long-term perspective, which is something we like.
MR. GRUNDMAN: Although, one would ultimately have to make reasonable amounts of money on it in order –
MR. BUCKLEY: Yeah.
MR. GRUNDMAN: – to stick with it.
MR. BUCKLEY: Yes. And it depends what end of it you’re in. Raytheon are in pretty much all ends of it. You know, they’re making the interceptor, they’re making the radars, they’re making the systems as well, including through TRS. Thales is more involved – it doesn’t make the platform. It makes the guidance for the – the electronics for the platform. It makes radar systems. So we’re pretty similar in many ways. But we’re doing business in Europe largely and Raytheon’s doing business in the United States.
I think the terms over here are a little bit better.
MR. GRUNDMAN: Let me exercise the privilege of one more question and then I will be pleased to take questions from those of you who remain, and it is this. So the Polish government, as I think it’s been recited today, has recently made a $5 billion commitment –
MR. BUCKLEY: Ten.
MR. GRUNDMAN: Ten?
MR. BUCKLEY: It’s what they said.
MR. GRUNDMAN: Ten billion dollar commitment to develop a lower tier ballistic missile defense system. And so I would ask each of you to put yourselves back in government, imagine yourself in the Polish Ministry of Defense. What’s an industrial strategy for most efficiently developing that system?
MR. BUCKLEY: Well, the first thing they’re going to do is insist, as Marcin told us, on some sort of local or rather Polish involvement in that program. That’s going to be a sine qua non. It’s quite clear. And their own industry wouldn’t accept anything less. And their own industry’s political support will be necessary for that program to go through. So that’s going to happen.
Now, I’m sure –
MR. GRUNDMAN: Whether that’s efficient or not, one might –
MR. BUCKLEY: Well, you know –
MR. GRUNDMAN: – say it remains to be seen, but it’s a reasonable expectation.
MR. BUCKLEY: It’s a reasonable expectation, and I think defense companies recognize that that is the way these things are likely to go. You then have to make that as efficient as possible. And certainly, companies like Raytheon and Thales are very well versed in how to do that and how to select local partners, how to qualify them, how to give them appropriate elements of the work, and to make that as efficient as possible. It can work very well. We’ve got a lot of experience in doing that.
The next thing I would do if I was in the Polish Ministry of Defense was make sure there was a good competition. And you know, competition is good for everybody –
MR. GRUNDMAN: Competition tends to be correlated with efficiency, all –
MR. BUCKLEY: It’s good for the customer, at least, and I’m sure when it comes to that, they’ll get the best prices. You need to be careful how you go with that, as you yourself said, Steve, at the end of the day, the contractor has to make profit. And if you drive the price too low, you can have trouble as well. But I think there’s no reason why they shouldn’t have a very good competition and get an excellent product from whichever company wins.
MR. GRUNDMAN: Anything?
MR. ROOD: Well, if I was in the Polish government, and I sometimes felt like I was – (laughter) – I visited so often the government, but all that being said, I mean, you start with the grounding and the fact that what is your threat perception and what capabilities does your military need. And in Poland’s case, they both want them for a national defense, as well as, frankly, to cooperate in NATO missions elsewhere, whether that’d be in a future conflict area, where the adversary has ballistic missiles. And they’ve played – the Polish military – a substantial role in both Iraq and Afghanistan. And so this is not a notional idea. This is something that they see as core of their identity as a growing power in Central Europe.
In their case, I think they need the cutting edge capability. They need the best that they can get in this particular area. Polish economy has given them the benefit of being able to afford the best. And in their shoes, I would want the best capability to be provided and to be something that could be integrated effectively with NATO. That in their defense concept, they don’t see themselves fighting without NATO, nor should they, candidly.
And so I would think in terms of how do I get more than just my individual national capability, but how do I integrate well with NATO, and then the other part is build this relationship with the United States. And that’s one of the great things these large defense programs give you, is there’re ups and downs in political administrations and policies in the United States, and to a certain extent, when you’re in a senior position in the government is very difficult – the U.S. government – for you to keep a focus on a single area or on a single issue for very long.
I mean, General Sharp, I imagine in your tenure on the Joint Staff, you were told 10 different ways in a given week with major crises. And it will generally always be that way in the United States. But these large defense programs create a foundation for cooperation that binds militaries and other things together.
When I would visit Japan, I was struck by the fact that the closest relationship the Japanese military and the U.S. military have was between their navies. Frankly, our Navy was closer to the Japanese navy than they were to the United States Army, and vice versa. They could operate seamlessly. That’s what you get from that kind of cooperation.
With regard to defense cooperation, if I were in the Polish government – it’s presumptuous for me to say this – I would –
MR. GRUNDMAN: But that was my premise.
MR. ROOD: I would not focus necessarily on something where I wanted to add a peanut butter thin layer to replicate all parts of the system, but I would choose some areas that maximize the strength of my industry that fit in an organic way with my partners capabilities to be a part of not only local production of the system to be used in Poland, but ideally, say in a system like Patriot, where there’re 12 countries and others to be deployed – just to pick a hypothetical –
MR. GRUNDMAN: Just to pick a –
MR. ROOD: – to be a part of its export to other countries, so that the health of my industrial base continues to grow with the export of that system and its maintenance and the United States Army and things of that nature. And I think all of these things are certainly possible.
To Edgar’s comments, competition’s actually in everyone’s interest and that that be a very open one, where that is formal and with a lot of transparency. Polish government is trying very hard to do that. And that was not always the case in Poland. And they’d be the first ones to say that. And so I think that – that’s very important that they continue that and it will correct, perhaps, some issues that we haven’t developed yet that’ll prevent the emergence of them if they stick to their formal policies.
MR. BUCKLEY: If I might just say –
MR. GRUNDMAN: Please.
MR. BUCKLEY: If I was in the Polish government and John came to see me, representing Raytheon now, and he said that buying the Patriot missile would help to strengthen the cooperation between Poland and the United States, I would say, what, you’ve been strengthening it more than it already is with our cooperation in the missile defense program through the Patriot battery that we’re going to get. And are you suggesting – John, I would say to you – that if we don’t buy the Patriot missile, somehow the U.S.-Polish cooperation would be lessened. To which you’d say, no, of course not.
MR. ROOD: I’d say it’d be an opportunity missed –
MR. BUCKLEY: And that’s the way I deal with that.
MR. ROOD: I’d say it’d be an opportunity missed. I mean, in all candor, it’s just an opportunity cost.
MR. BUCKLEY: Whereas if they both had the SAMP/T missile, not only would they have great cooperation with the United States – (laughter) – but they’d have great cooperation with France and Italy as well.
MR. GRUNDMAN: This is where I was heading.
MR. BUCKLEY: And would be contributing to NATO integration.
MR. GRUNDMAN: Questions. Byron Callan. Hold one second, introduce yourself please when you get the mike.
Q: Sure. Byron Callan, Capital Alpha Partners. John, I think you mentioned directed energy. And I just want to explore, is there a disruptive technology, in the next 10 years that’s really going to change this basic paradigm of fairly expensive solar propelled interceptors that really could change the economics of exchange in this missile defense equation?
MR. ROOD: Perhaps. There’re a number of technical innovations that have occurred in recent years that are trying to therefore be applied to missile defense. You mentioned directed energy and there’re a number of different forms of directed energy. That’s – that’s very promising if you could make it tactically effective, then you could change the cost per shot from say $10,000 for the defense, versus, you know, a couple million dollars for the offense. Easy to say, very hard to do. I will comment.
Lasers are the only technology in my lifespan that advances have not come faster than predicted. Every other technology I read about, it showed up on my doorstep. I mean, I used to think, when I went on a family vacation, wouldn’t it be great to watch television in the car? Well, my children do that when we go on a road trip. But lasers have not proven to be very easy to make into a solid state form and to operate in the atmosphere with a lot of water and other things.
There’re other thoughts, electric railgun, high power microwave, and I think in some way, which I cannot, frankly predict as somebody that’s an observer of technology, which one of those will bear fruit or if it’s something else. But that is one of the signs of the emerging missile defense debate is that we’ve frankly moved on from can it be done in a one-on-one or a few on a few capability to more sophisticated levels of discussion about exchange ratios, cost effectiveness, things of that nature, which are so common with air defense or capabilities in anti-tank weaponry or other forms of warfare.
So I think you’re right, we will see some of that and there is R&D spending being conducted, both by companies and governments that I think will show some promise, but it’s just hard to predict exactly when that will occur.
MR. BUCKLEY: We’re doing research on it, but it’s a long way off.
MR. GRUNDMAN: Right. Other questions here within the audience.
Q: Gentlemen –
MR. GRUNDMAN: Please, grab the microphone, thank you.
Q: You’ve really talked about what it’s going to take to be able to help technologies in other countries to be able to sell things to other countries. And I’m sure, when other countries look at this, they look at it from a capability perspective, a cost perspective of when it can be delivered. But what we’ve all been touching on here is also what technology transfer to be enabled – to enable the defense industries within those countries and how does a country balance all that together. So my question – and John, if you could look at it from both sides, is Raytheon an SM-3 seems to have been very successful at joint ventures, at working in cooperation with other countries and other international companies. Is there a lesson or two learned out of how you all did it that made that successful?
And maybe a follow-on to both of you is, are there any key policies or procedures that we, the U.S. government have that restrict our ability to be able to even enhance that more that you all would recommend that the U.S. government take a look at changing to be able to establish more joint ventures, more capability worldwide? Thank you.
MR. ROOD: I think there’s a number of lessons learned. The export control regulations and technology transfer regulations are an obvious limiter as to where you can go. And as somebody that used to oversee the administration of those, I’m not in the category that says it’s a fundamentally flawed system or it’s a bad system. They have good reasons for those.
Now, they don’t always get applied as you go down in ways that we’re all proud of. Having – when I served in my last role, occasionally, when companies would come to see and they’d begin their pitch about some issue they’re encountering with your regulation, you know, that cold shiver that goes down your spine when you realize, oh, God, you know, this might be kind of embarrassing what we’ve – how we’ve applied our own rules.
There are instances like that. I think some of the moves to make this a more simple system and also to bear in mind that for missile defenses, this is something United States government is trying to encourage, but you don’t see that really reflected in these technology transfer policies or any active effort. I will say, I mean, in some cases, it’s a little bit neglectful how we’ve approached that. And I mean, not by design, just application. It’s a large government as you know, we always struggle to get everyone organized, but I think, unfortunately, we’re moving to a different phase of our fiscal life.
I liked Edgar’s description of age of pragmatism. That there needs to be a little bit more of an application of that. And I will say, in Japan, one of the things that helped us is another country with a very similar export control system, very stable export controls – they don’t re-export as a national policy to others – so that – that helped. But even in the industrial cooperation there, I will say there’re things that you learn by doing this over and over with other countries that the way our Japanese colleagues approach some design activities in other areas, until we got more relief from some of the subsidiary restrictions, not export controls.
But at each level, there’s the government to government agreement, then there’s the Defense Department trade – technology export controls, then there is your managing agency imposing certain management controls. Layer all those things on in some ways had hindered an integrated management of the system, and that can cost a lot of time and a lot of money and it was only by getting some government attention to resolve some of the issues that have arisen, that we could do that.
Certainly in Thales-Raytheon case, the French and American governments have different export control systems, try developing an integrated software system of the complexity of ACCS, where there are firewalls, which are intended to prevent this complete sharing of knowledge among software engineers, very – very difficult to do. I will say in the macro sense, as a government official, these sort of programs are very hard to birth. In the industry that were here to execute, it’s still like they worth it in the end because of what they produce, but they are much more complicated than the average Army program or something of that nature.
MR. GRUNDMAN: Edgar, do you have anything to add by way of lessons from international partnerships?
MR. BUCKLEY: I would say that European companies are more used to operating abroad, if I can put it that way, than are American companies. Raytheon is a notable exception, in fact. Most American companies don’t do as much business in export as Raytheon does. Many are doing less than sort of 8-9 percent of their turnover in export.
European companies like Thales have got vast experience of operating joint ventures with companies in other markets. And it’s, in fact, their strategy, Thales’ strategy was to do that. And they did it in the United Kingdom, in Germany, in Italy, in Sweden, in Denmark, in Australia, in South Africa. You know, the string of these things – so they know exactly how to do it.
And then when it comes to export, pure export, where you don’t have a joint venture, they now have a system what they call key industrial partnerships, where you go into a country and you find yourself an industrial partner who can build some part of your product and you’ve tried to form a long-term relationship with that partner, which will stand you and increase that over a number of exports. And that seems to be working quite well.
So far as exports controls are concerned, the United States certainly does make life difficult for U.S. exporters and for companies trying to integrate U.S. products, U.S. parts in their products. I mean, the – but that is – there’s been a fantastic effort to improve that. And I would pay tribute to all those who’ve been involved in improving it. It’s not finished. They’re still – as John said, you find some examples of where it’s gone badly wrong, but it’s more difficult with the U.S. export control rules than with anybody else’s. But then, U.S. technology is perhaps a little bit more sensitive than anybody else’s as well. And so it needs – looked at in the broad.
MR. GRUNDMAN: Any other questions? This gentleman over here, please. Introduce yourself if you would.
Q: Thank you. Jean-François Pactet, visiting fellow in CSIS. I have a question. One issue which was discussed earlier was a question of saturation on the defense and of course, from your point of view, the answer is probably to buy more interceptors, except there is also a limit to that from the point of view of funding. I wonder if in your experience, the governments you are dealing with have given some thought to this question of what is a right number of interceptors to have and what – has this issue been discussed in your experience?
MR. ROOD: Well, I mean, my sense would be when you’re – depending on the circumstance, it’ll yield different answers as to what the greatest capability need for a country is. But I really think you have to look at missile defenses as a system. Increasingly, by the way, we have to look at them not as a system only for defense, but the integration with offensive capabilities, including non-kinetic. Those things – that’s the growth area in strategic thought it how to seamlessly blend those things. And – you know, as an example, I participate in lots of war games in the U.S. Defense Department. They were typically the defense fighting the offense. I mean, we would intercept different missiles. Start to introduce offense or other capabilities, it gets very, very complicated very quickly.
And so it would depend on the country involved in the system as to whether their greatest need is greater sensor, early. So for example, one of the things that I thought was a good point about the way the Iron Dome system operated in Israel is it did not seek to shoot down most of the missiles fired at Israel because of the ability to determine where they were going and to make intelligent decisions about which ones didn’t pose a threat and therefore to conserve interceptors.
So that’s one area, sensors. It may well be that your command and control network – and sometimes, when we do system modeling, what’s most needed is to improve the speed at which you can move that data and you can make decisions because otherwise having all the interceptors in the world, 10 times your current magazine would not provide the benefit that you want.
And so really, I think, you have to look at a system wide approach and how you approach that. Now, that’s the other area where it lends itself if we’re able to identify ways to do that and evolve our thinking to have more partnerships among nations to do that because then you can play to the given strengths of a particular country and the niche capability that some of their industry sectors might have to actually increase the overall system capability beyond perhaps what just standard issue equipment would be.
MR. BUCKLEY: I agree with that. I think the efficiency of the system is a major factor. The better sensors you have, the better they’re network, and the less necessary should be to fire repeatedly at the same threat – incoming threat.
But I think the general point you made is a very good one. And I think the way we think about that has been changing. If you look back at the pre-EPAA proposal for Europe, it was 10 GBIs, as I recall, 10. And the EPAA will provide many more than 10.
So the way we think about these things has been evolving, even though press were not noticing it, and I think we should keep an eye on that.
MR. GRUNDMAN: I think I’m actually going to tie the conversation off right there. I think it has created, if I may assert so, a fitting culmination to today’s conference. Let me thank my two guests, Edgar and John. Thank you very much. (Applause.) And then I’m going to turn the proceedings back over to Ian Brzezinski to put a final capstone on today.
IAN BRZEZINSKI: I have – is this on – I’ve got five minutes, but I’m going to spare you and do this in a minute and a half.
I was to thank you all for joining us today for this discussion on missile defense. There’re obviously many, many takeaways that we can get from our panelists dealing with Europe, with Asia, with Middle East, with industry, and of course, our keynote speakers. But let take two from our lunch.
First, I think the key theme was missile defense and technology is a driver of collaboration. It’s not the only driver of collaboration that’s backed by a threat, but it creates enormous opportunities to deepen relationships, deepen mutual security. That came from Ellen.
And then I was struck by Steve’s point to call this a useful tool. Now, we all look forward and think about how we can use the tool of missile defense to enhance our – not only our security, but also to leverage the kind of strategic relationships we want with (perpetual ?) rivals that would enhance all of our security. And those are the kind of questions we are going to be thinking beyond, beyond this conference.
So in closing, let me first start off by thanking Raytheon, John and Paul, for their support in making this happen, very great relationship. I want to thank our speakers and our moderators, some who came from Korea, from Europe, and elsewhere. It’s a long way to go and we’re grateful for your time and your insights.
We thank, of course, also Fred, Ellen, and Barry, members of the Scowcroft Center, who hosted this event. And above all, I want to thank people who actually made this happen. Here I’m talking about Jeff Lightfoot, Simona Kordosova, Alex Ward, the Atlantic Council’s Office of External Relations, Taleen Ananian, Ashley Stuart, Rosanna Broadbent, and the others. So let’s give them a big hand – (inaudible). (Applause.)
Thank you very much.