Defense Issues: Volume 10, Number 105-- Defense Acquisition's Commitment to Counterproliferation
Thank you. ... It is a great pleasure to be with you and share some of my perspectives of the way ahead on counterproliferation.
Let me echo [Deputy Defense Secretary] Dr. [John P.] White s assessment that stemming the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their missile delivery systems -- counterproliferation -- is universally recognized as a significant national priority by all elements of the U.S. national security community.
President Clinton, for example, emphasized in the National Security Strategy released in February of this year, that A key part of our strategy is to seek to stem the proliferation of such weapons and to develop an effective capability to deal with these threats.
In May, the National Military Strategy was issued by our nation s senior military leader, [Army] Gen. [John M.] Shalikashvili [chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff], who described the threat of weapons of mass destruction as one of the four principal dangers which our military, in combination with other elements of national power must address. Counterproliferation is [an] integral part of the Joint Staff s Joint Warfighting Capabilities Assessment process.
One of America s top lawmakers and a highly respected authority on defense matters, Sen. Sam Nunn, voiced his own opinion on this issue less than two weeks ago on Face the Nation. Sen. Nunn s message was that we have to recognize that the No. 1 challenge the United States has now, and probably for the years ahead, is to prevent the proliferation of these weapons of mass destruction, whether chemical, biological or nuclear, and scientific knowledge of how to make them.
Recognizing the importance of intelligence to countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the director of central intelligence, John Deutch, has established the Nonproliferation Center to manage the intelligence collection and analysis aspects of dealing with counterproliferation.
The defense acquisition community is fully committed to supporting a broad range of counterproliferation initiatives, with particular emphasis on accelerating deployment of effective counterproliferation capabilities into the field and accelerating the development of technologies with counterproliferation-related potential.
The mechanism through which promising technology is being translated into usable equipment for America s operational forces is the Counterproliferation Program Review Committee. This committee was established under congressional direction in the 1995 National Defense Authorization Act.
The Counterproliferation Program Review Committee is composed of the secretary of defense, who is the committee chairman, the secretary of energy, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of central intelligence.
The secretary of defense has asked me to serve as the working chair of the interagency group that supports the Counterproliferation Program Review Committee. In this capacity, it s my responsibility [to] implement the mission of the committee, which is to review activities related to countering proliferation within the represented agencies and based on that review, to recommend program modifications to address shortfalls in existing and programed capabilities.
Within the Department of Defense, the Counterproliferation Support Program has been an effective instrument of change. Congress provided $60 million for FY [fiscal year] 1995 to jump start DoD acquisition activities in support of counterproliferation. This program is addressing eight of the 14 shortfalls in operational capabilities identified earlier in the program review committee s report to Congress, as well as emerging requirements identified by DoD s Joint Requirements Oversight Council.
Since the funds were made available in February 1995, this program has been successful in leveraging existing programs and has accelerated both the delivery and field testing of counterproliferation-related equipment and technologies.
For example, in April of this year, we were able to deliver specific emitter identification receivers to the Persian Gulf six months ahead of schedule and restored a vital capability to the NAVCENT [Naval Forces Central] commander in theater.
Under this program, we have able to deploy a set of detection and countermeasures equipment at Sigonella, Sicily, for training by explosive ordnance demolition units.
In addition, the Defense Nuclear Agency, leveraging support from the Counterproliferation Support Program, was able to deliver to critical European Command sites an automated hardened bunker targeting and associated collateral effects prediction capability. This targeting tool provides improved capability to defeat underground and hardened targets and was used in exercises conducted this summer.
Finally, we have conducted six successful test flights of the Advanced Research Projects Agency/Naval Research Lab s Chemical Surface Acoustic Wave Detector on a Pioneer UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle]. During these tests, chemical agent simulants were detected, identified and quantified for the first time from a UAV platform.
While the past eight months have yielded many successes, we look forward to the next 12 to 18 months. We envision gearing up to meet the challenges associated with the next set of major milestones. One of the milestones on the horizon is the demonstration of a UAV-based remote biological agent detector.
We are also looking forward to completing an Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration -- an ACTD -- being sponsored by EUCOM [U.S. European Command]. This ACTD will evaluate a concept for attacking hard and underground weapons of mass destruction targets with minimal collateral effects. When the ACTD is complete, a residual operational capability will be left in place.
In addition, we intend to begin deployment of standoff light detection and ranging systems to provide remote detection capability against chemical and biological weapon employment -- accelerated by five years -- and the deployment of explosive ordnance demolition equipment to seven more sites, both CONUS [continental United States] and OCONUS [outside the continental United States).
Cognizant of the past success of the Counterproliferation Support Program, we can, by the end of the decade, expect to have achieved significant advancements in operational capabilities.
Our program of ACTDs is designed to foster close cooperation among the technology, acquisition, intelligence and operational communities. This is important to ensure our counterproliferation efforts remain focused on operationally viable objectives and that these objectives remain relevant.
The fiscal 1996 budget is $108 million. I expect this number will grow as the department considers the FY 1997 budget. Yet, serious challenges remain on the budget front. Counterproliferation capabilities, as important as we consider their development and fielding to be, will nevertheless have to compete for scarce resources in a tight budget environment.
While we must not shortchange our efforts to rapidly improve operational counterproliferation capabilities, we cannot afford to assign resources to deal with threats that are not likely to become real or to duplicate programs and capabilities, or elements of programs and capabilities, that exist elsewhere.
In summary, it s my sense is that we have a functioning interagency mechanism in place for addressing the nation s counterproliferation issues. This process will continue to mature over the next year.
The DoD Counterproliferation Support Program has placed several significant operational capabilities in the hands of the warfighter. Much more remains to be done.
It is important to maintain a strong linkage between the developer and the user. ACTDs are an important part of the solution for making this happen. We also need to continue to develop and refine counterproliferation doctrine to guide our architecture and planning efforts.
We have a foundation in place. We need to continue the momentum and proceed with acquiring the capability to first deter, then counter the utilization of weapons of mass destruction.
Thank you all.
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