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DoD News Briefing - Rear Admiral Craig R. Quigley, DASD PA

Presenters: Rear Admiral Craig R. Quigley, DASD PA
May 15, 2001 1:45 PM EDT

Tuesday, May 15, 2001 -- 1:45 p.m. EDT

Quigley: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. A couple of announcements this afternoon.

Thursday at 10:00 in the morning here in the briefing room Army officials will conduct an on-the-record briefing about the Army's Interim Armored Vehicle, the progress being made in fielding that system, and the activities of the Interim Brigade Combat Teams from Fort Lewis, Washington. This was the unit that the Army had identified as the first tranche, if you will, in its transformation efforts. And this is basically a report card on how they're doing. Immediately following the briefing you're invited to observe a static display of the Mobile Gun System and the Infantry Carrier Vehicle, both variants of the Interim Armored Vehicle, which will be outside the Pentagon. And both of those vehicles will also be at the Andrews Air Force Base Joint Service Open House this weekend as well.

Q: What time is it?

Quigley: Ten o'clock Thursday here for the briefing, and then the open house runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday out at Andrews.

Q: Those are just mock-up-type displays, they're not actual --

Staff: They're the first. They're the first.

Quigley: I think they're the first, yeah. They could be prototypes, Chris, but these are not mock-ups, no.

Q: They can move, but yet they won't move for the display -- (laughter).

Quigley: (Laughs.) I'd like to welcome an individual and a group here to join us today. Edita Bucinsa is the Reuters reporter in Kosovo and is here visiting Washington. Welcome to you. And also, welcome to 15 students and an adjunct professor from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. The students are in Washington for a class on journalism, government and politics. And while here they will meet with Washington area journalists, media organizations and members of Congress as well as observing some of our activities here in the Pentagon. So welcome to all of you. Good to have you with us today.

With that I'll take your questions. Charlie.

Q: Craig, Secretary Powell said yesterday that he expected that within days the United States and China would settle the issue of the return of the plane on Hainan Island. Have you got anything on that, on --

Quigley: I certainly hope that he has got that one correct. We would hope for the quickest possible resolution of that, Charlie. I know that Secretary Powell and the entire State Department team have been hard at work at that. So we're hopeful that that can be true.

Q: Is the Pentagon involved at all in those negotiations, or is that strictly --

Quigley: No. I mean, we're kept informed of their progress as they go along. But the people doing the talking are the State Department team.

Q: Would you inform us on the progress that --

Quigley: We'll probably end up having an announcement when it's done, but not as we go along.

Q: Is there any consideration of dismantling the plane in order to bring it back?

Quigley: You can design, as I've mentioned here before, Jamie, a variety of ways to do that. Our preference remains the simplest, fastest, least expensive way to do that and that is to get it back in flying condition again. There are options but that's not the preferred option.

Q: Well, the team that inspected it is back now and I assume everybody's gone through the results. I mean, do they talk about how much repairs it would take to get that thing flyable and is it an extensive repair job?

Quigley: I don't have the details with me but it is definitely repairable to be flown. Yeah, it's a fairly detailed list of things that needs to be repaired, but it's still less involved than disassembly, certainly.

Q: A public report today suggests that the Chinese had gained some key insights into U.S. intelligence-gathering capabilities from documents they retrieved on the plane, in particular the ability of U.S. personnel to distinguish individual voices in communications that were monitored by the plane. Can you tell us whether that's correct or provide us any insight on what capabilities the Chinese might have learned about?

Quigley: No, I can't, Jamie, I'm sorry. I don't have anything for you on that.

Q: Can you tell us what they need to do to make that plane flyable?

Quigley: It would be a variety of repairs to the control surfaces, engines, propellers, the parts that were a replacement of the fiberglass nose cone, Pat. Basically, as I've said before, the goal is not to completely make every system on the plane perfect, but it is to repair the plane to a point where it can be safely flown, and that would be the level of detail. I don't have every detail but those are some of the elements that come to mind.

Pam.

Q: Repairing it is the preferred option?

Quigley: Repairing it to the point where it can be flown out, yes.

Q: Is the preferred option? And is -- to your knowledge, is that still prohibited by China?

Quigley: Well, that is what the State Department representatives are discussing with the Chinese authorities.

Q: And to -- you think dissembling it is harder than repairing it at this point? Could you explain why that is?

Quigley: Well, it's a much more involved process. I mean --

Q: Couldn't you take the wings off, fold them and put it on a boat?

Quigley: Well, put simplistically, yes, that is what you do. But that's a fairly involved process to do that.

Q: How much more expensive is chopping it up and bringing it back on barge, would you guess?

Quigley: Oh, gosh, I don't know as if we've gone through that costing, John. It is a much more involved process to do that, certainly, and it would be more expensive, undoubtedly. But I can't give you an order of magnitude as to the cost.

Q: But you want this plane back any way you can get it; is that correct?

Quigley: We would -- it is American property. It arrived there via an accidental collision. We would expect and hope that the Chinese would agree to the return of the aircraft. Our goal is to get it back with as little time, minimum level of effort that we can, and at the lowest cost that we can. And we know that the plane can be repaired to be flown, and to us, that just makes sense as the preferred option, as the way to go.

However, after having said that, that's still an issue that needs to be discussed with the Chinese, and that's what the State Department folks are doing.

Charlie?

Q: Craig, are reconnaissance flights continuing on a regular basis now?

Quigley: Around the world, yes.

Q: Are they continuing over China on a regular basis? Did they resume --

Quigley: I'm not going to get into the details of where and how often. I'm sorry, I just won't do that. But I will say that we intend to continue flying them in international airspace around the world, as we have for many, many years.

Q: Have you flown more than the one flight? Have you flown any flights since the resumption, the flight out of Guam?

Quigley: I'm sorry, Charlie, I'm just not going to be helpful on a yardstick. I'm sorry.

Chris?

Q: I know the team was mainly assessing the flight worthiness of the aircraft, but what is their judgment on the gear inside, the condition of that? And is that recoverable and is it still useful gear that could be used again, or has it been destroyed by its being incapacitated?

Quigley: I have not heard any description of the condition inside the plane. I think the focus was on the ability to -- what would be done to safely fly the plane away.

Q: Was any of the gear removed, any of the equipment removed?

Quigley: I don't know. I don't know.

Hunter?

Q: If the decision, sir, is made to fly the airplane home, would you send a Navy depot repair team to do the work necessary to put it back into shape, or would it be more Lockheed Martin guys that would go out there?

Quigley: Well, again, you could go -- that also is an issue that needs to be discussed with the Chinese. But you would certainly have options there. You would have perfectly trained and capable and qualified individuals, both in uniform and contractors, that could accomplish the repair and the actual flying of the airplane.

So that's another issue that would need to be discussed and agreed upon with the Chinese.

Jamie?

Q: A Rand report commissioned by the Air Force was released today, making suggestions about U.S. military force posturing and emphasis toward Asia. It suggested that the U.S. ought to be focusing more of its resources on Asia and also suggested that Guam be considered for a buildup of U.S. military strength, as a prepositioning area. To what extent does this report, that was commissioned by one of the services, reflect the thinking of the Pentagon now, as you're going through this review process?

Quigley: Well, I think you find a variety of studies to look at a variety of topics, in both Rand and the Institute for Defense Analysis, Center for Naval Analysis, a lot of the federally funded research and development corporations. They all go into the mix. Their overarching goal is to examine a question, examine an issue, come up with good, solid academic, analytic findings that all go into the mix in the development of policy and acquisition decisions and things of that sort.

This product, like many others before it, will be considered as part of that mix. I don't think it represents the singular views of any individual or organization within DoD, but I don't think that was the goal. I think the goal was to stimulate thinking and examine the issues here in the eyes of the research team that put together that report.

Q: Does the secretary of Defense believe that, just generally speaking, that the Asia Pacific region should get increased emphasis in the future?

Quigley: I think we'll probably hear more of that later, once he's looked into where the strategy focus ought to be. But I don't think we're quite ready to do that.

Q: Just one more follow-up. Is the U.S. considering any increasing its military forces or military equipment positioned on Guam?

Quigley: Other than a near-continuous, I guess -- which is incumbent upon all of us to be responsible to do that, to take a look at our force structure around the world on a continuous basis and make informed, intelligent recommendations of change where necessary -- other than that, though, I am not aware of any focused effort to take a look at the force structure on Guam specifically.

Q: In any of the preliminary IDA studies that the secretary has had, or study that the secretary has seen on Asia, is the thought pretty much parallel to the Rand report that Asia should take an increased interest?

Quigley: I won't draw an inference as to any sort of preliminary discussions or recommendations made to the secretary.

Q: Was this report part of the -- or being included in the secretary's review?

Quigley: No, it preceded that by quite a while. I don't know when it was originated, but I believe it was some time in 2000, many, many months ago.

Q: Craig?

Quigley: Tom?

Q: What's your thinking, what's the latest on when that review might be made public, that type of review, that type of conclusion?

Quigley: Good question. I wish I could give you a good answer. One thing that the secretary is not enthusiastic about is rushing to a poor conclusion. He's very much aware that the calendar is not his friend here and time is passing. But on the other hand, you've got to be satisfied that you've looked at it as well as you could have in the limited time available to you. And he is trying to go both ways and be as quick as he can, but also the end result must be a piece of sound analysis that stands up to scrutiny and comes to intelligent recommendations and conclusions. So those are the two often competing goals that he's trying very hard to bring to a conclusion.

Q: The president is supposed to make a major speech at the Naval Academy on the 25th, which has been represented as his position on the future military strategy of the United States. You would assume that DoD's reviews would go into that.

Quigley: I'm sure the president will speak to a topic of his choosing, Otto. I'm not sure how to characterize that speech on the 25th.

Q: Did the author of that Rand report, Zalmay Khalilzad, was he one of the participants in Rumsfeld's review?

Quigley: He was a member of the transition team at the changeover between the previous and the current administration. But I do not believe -- let me check on that, but I do not believe that he was an active participant in the studies that were done. [Khalilzad formerly headed up the DoD transition team, as part of the Bush transition team. He was later a paid consultant for DoD. He is now working at the White House.]

Q: Transition?

Quigley: Yes.

Q: The Reserve Officers Association has written to Secretary Rumsfeld today urging him not to propose any cuts in Reserve forces. And it also says that, in fact, he's considering rather large cuts, of up to a third in the size of the Reserve component.

What do you have to say about the letter, and what can you say about their assertion that this is under consideration?

Quigley: I think I'll let him read it before there are any comments made from here.

Q: What about their assertion that in fact he's considering large cuts? Is that true?

Quigley: I don't know where they get the assertion.

Q: Is it right or wrong?

Quigley: He has made no public announcement of those decisions.

Q: A budget question. The Congressional Quarterly today reported that the administration was planning a 6.5 supplemental to be delivered to Congress by next week, end of next week. Can you give a sense of timing and what's in the works?

Quigley: I think the president would be the one that would make the announcement on the decision on a supplemental and its size.

Q: Well, is one in the works here, though, for presentation to OMB next week?

Quigley: Same answer, I'm sorry. The president will announce that.

Q: Well, not who will announce, I'm just asking you whether it's in process here. You give it to the president to announce.

Quigley: The president will announce the amount, the timing. It is completely his call. I won't get out in front of him on that.

Hunter?

Q: There was some talk from elements in the services that today was the day when they had been asked to provide sort of a final snapshot of their requirements, their budget needs, their wish lists for '02 in order for OSD to start really being able to contribute to whatever the president is going to do on the '02 budget. Do you have any sense of where OSD is on that? Are they, as of today or this week, in receipt of some sort of final package of information from the service people?

Quigley: Let me take that. I had not heard that. It's possible that such inputs could be due to the comptroller today. Let me take that. I don't know. I've not heard. [The secretary's review and its budgetary implications are still being considered. We are not aware of the establishment of a "final submission date."]

Pat?

Q: The American briefing team's in Europe, on missile defense. A pretty hostile, critical reaction in Paris and Berlin, in Moscow. I saw it range from "this stuff won't work" or doesn't make sense. Has Wolfowitz briefed Rumsfeld on this reaction, and how will this affect the decision on the missile defense policy?

Quigley: There have been some calls, some discussions between secretary and deputy secretary. A lot of that we kind of read, and there were phone calls done, as it was a work in progress, as the team moved its way through Europe last week as well. And I believe there will be congressional hearings in the House and Senate, tentatively scheduled for later this week, and for the same thing, feedback from the trip and visits to the capitals.

I guess I would say that the reaction amongst the allies that were briefed was mixed. It was appreciative. They were almost uniformly appreciative of the consultations in the first place, being asked; not being presented a done deal, "Here it is, take it or leave it." It was kind of, "Here's our thinking and we'd like to hear your thoughts as well."

So there was appreciation of that. But as I'm sure you're all aware, there was also an expression of skepticism from some of the capitals as well for a variety of reasons, concerns on -- of cost, technical feasibility, treaty issues, and a variety of things.

So it was a good opportunity to exchange views on that. We'll factor their comments and reactions into our thinking and see where we go from there.

Q: Was there any support for what the Bush administration is considering?

Quigley: I don't have a blow-by-blow from country to country. But there was some positive reaction and a sense of, yeah, this is doable.

The principal purpose, I think, of Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz in Europe and Deputy Secretary Armitage going to Asia was to try to convince the allies and our friends around the world that there's a need to take a look at deterrence in a new way. And this is not the Cold War. This is not the time of the early 1970s when the ABM Treaty was negotiated, through the '80s when you had a very robust Soviet Union and you basically had the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact and NATO and the West. And on Secretary Rumsfeld, I said basically 30 minutes' notice -- capability to destroy each other many times. That's not the world that faces us today. Despite the existence over all these years of America's very capable deterrent force, it has not been capable of deterring all conflict in the world during the time that it's been in existence. So if you say that the world of the '70s and the '80s is gone, then you need to think about what deterrence means in the first part of the 21st century in a different way. And that was really at the heart of the discussions with our friends and allies around the world.

Q: Can you give us an example of a country other than India where you've been picking up this positive support for this?

Quigley: I believe well received in Australia, Poland -- and again, I'm less sure of some of the reactions from Secretary Armitage as he went to Asia, John. But a lot of good questions, a lot of very clear exchanges of views. And that was the whole purpose of the trip.

Q: A lot of criticism.

Quigley: A lot of skepticism, I would say, with some very legitimate questions that we're going to do our best to answer and try to resolve.

Q: Housekeeping. If the president were to decide to send up an '01 supplement, could we anticipate that there will be some sort of briefing here rather than from the White House?

Quigley: I'm not sure where that would be from. Ultimately, of course, we would have a description of if it's X amount of dollars this is how it would be applied, and -- absolutely yes.

Pam?

Q: Could you explain what you mean by "skepticism"? What are they skeptical of? The technology? The idea of scrapping the ABM Treaty?

Quigley: I think you've seen a variety of questions from different countries. We think we have good responses to all the questions and concerns that have been raised. But they're saying "Okay, we appreciate you being here to discuss with us your vision of the need for missile defense. But on the other hand, we're not sure about" -- and then those concerns vary. And that is the heart of the discussions that we have held with them.

Q: And on that --

Quigley: And we'll continue to.

Q: The use of the word "consultation" has been interesting, I think, because it seems to imply that any action that the United States takes will differ at the end based on a consultation, that they would actually have some input. How much wiggle room, or how much negotiating room is there in Bush's position on this? It seems like -- it seems really set, is that there will be a missile defense system and we will be breaching the ABM Treaty at this time. So what is up for negotiation?

Quigley: I can't give you a perfectly clear answer to your question. The goal of the consultation teams going both east and west was to glean the comments and inputs from our friends and allies. You now bring them back here, and you factor those into your thinking. And I can't predict for you where the direction might change. We just need to incorporate some of their views and try to resolve some of those issues and see where that takes us.

Tony?

Q: Craig, is that on the end of the consultation in -- at this stage of the game in terms of the administration coming up with a specific plan, or will there be additional rounds of this?

Quigley: Well, the key point, I think, is "at this stage," Bob, you just said. For now, yes, I think so. Now the next step would be to, as I indicated to Pam, to take the inputs from the allies, factor them into our thinking, how does that change anything, in what way. But ultimately this is going to be an iterative process over months, and probably years as we continue to develop the systems that we're talking about.

Q: When do we get a look at some of these systems? All of us are familiar with the -- what you have out there in development. When will we get a look at the re-work or architecture that may about in '04 or '05?

Quigley: Well, I think it's -- the short answer to your question is when the president is satisfied that he has a complete understanding of the options available to him and has made his decisions, at least in the near term, on which systems to be tested and additional development to be done.

He's not made those --

Q: Do you have a sense of --

Quigley: Again, we did not go to the allies with a set piece. We went with some of our thinking, and I mentioned the thinking on deterrence, the new meaning of deterrence is one of those things; taking a look at threat and capabilities in different parts of the world; proliferation of ballistic missile technology and capability; who is in possession of this capability to launch a ballistic missile around the world and, if not today, then when, and to just take a recognition that it is not a monolithic sort of a threat any more. It's a very diverse capability, spread in small numbers, in many places around the world -- that sort of a process.

But the short answer to your question, honestly, is when the president has fully formed his thinking on this and has made his decision on the way ahead.

Q: Can I get the Pentagon's reaction to another missile defense-related issue? The FBI recently closed its investigation into fraud allegations brought by MIT professor Theodore Postol last year that TRW and the Pentagon rigged testing. They came down and said it's a matter of scientific disagreement, no federal laws were violated. To what extent does the FBI's decision kind of raise -- blow away a cloud that's been hanging over this program over the last year, irrespective of the technology, cost and political issues?

Quigley: I think that our position has been consistent with the findings of the FBI. We have thought for a long time that this was not about the substance of the allegations, and that there was -- you know, from the get-go we said that the allegations about the selection and testing of a particular kinetic kill vehicle was not the one that we eventually chose and chose to develop, and it's the one that we've been testing today.

So it's been an unusual allegation and a lengthy process, and I think we in the Defense Department are glad to have it behind us.

Q: Craig, there was a report that BMDO, the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, is going to be reorganized and essentially the way it's reportedly going to be set up is that it's to be divided up into boost-phase, mid-course and terminal range systems, with a two-star general over each one of those categories. Is there any truth to that?

Quigley: I don't know if that's an accurate description. I know it's not something, at the very least, that I can confirm for you today. If it's a proposal, it's still being discussed and certainly nothing finalized on that.

Q: Are there discussions, at least, to reorganize the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization?

Quigley: I don't know. I don't know.

Q: Is there a consideration of giving it a less stupid sounding name? (Laughter.)

Quigley: (Chuckles.) That's always in the eye of the beholder, I think. (Laughter.)

Q: Is there any review under way here of the enforcement policy in the Northern and Southern no-fly zones, and if so, what's prompting that review?

Quigley: You're always taking a look at what might be a more effective way to carry out that mission. As you know, the administration is taking a look at Iraq policy writ large. The military aspects of that, whether it's flying in the Northern no-fly zone, Southern no-fly zone, maritime intercept operations in the Arabian Gulf, any military aspect is but one aspect of a larger policy. Options are being discussed. No final decisions have been made. I don't think you're going to see any military piece of that taken out in isolation and announced in isolation. I think it will be factored into the thinking by the president and the entire national security team as to what should be this administration's policy on Iraq.

Q: And is the increased activity by the Iraqi air defenses and the apparent determination of Saddam Hussein to shoot down a U.S. or coalition aircraft one of the factors that's being calculated, that's being considered?

Quigley: No, I don't -- there has been a lot made of that recently, and that's not new. I mean, Saddam has announced his goal of downing a coalition aircraft for a very long time. I remember more than year ago, I mean, there was announcements within Iraq that he was offering a reward for an Iraqi anti-air system crew that brought down a coalition airplane, and he would offer a reward to that crew if they were successful in doing that. So that's not new. His enthusiasm and repeated goal of bringing down a coalition aircraft, that may have been freshened recently, but to me, that's an old enthusiasm that he has shared. I don't see it diminishing one bit, but I don't think it's new, either.

Sandra?

Q: The governor of Okinawa is here. He's scheduled to meet with Mr. Wolfowitz tomorrow. And I was wondering what is on the agenda for that discussion and what is the Pentagon's position on some of the things that the governor is bringing to the table?

Quigley: He is, he's meeting with him tomorrow afternoon here in the Pentagon. And, you know, we have treaty commitments to Japan and our agreements and our discussions with the Japanese government are at that level, are at the national government level.

But on the other hand, the governor of Okinawa is the senior politician/political leader of the island of Okinawa that has a very large percentage of American forces that are stationed forward in Japan.

So we very much want to hear what's on the governor's mind. And there have been some pretty high-profile instances recently of disagreements between the American military forces and the Japanese government and citizens there. But still, on a day-in, day-out basis, the relationship is pretty good. And we want to thank the governor for his support over time and certainly hear what's on his mind and try to bring it to a resolution, if we can. Don't know if that's the right level. It might be at the federal level. Maybe it's something we can't really affect, but we certainly to hear the man out.

Q: Some of the things that he wants is a reduction in the number of Marines that are over there and term limits on the stay at the air station. What is the Pentagon's position on that?

Quigley: Well, we'll just see what he has to say and enter into those discussions and take it from there. Again, I'm not sure that the governor is the right level, because we have a commitment under the treaty, from 1960 now, to provide for a large part of Japan's military defense. And how they are -- how the American forces that are forward-deployed there are dispersed throughout Japan -- you're something of the victim of the existing infrastructure; you must use what's there, and just moving on and building a new base somewhere is simply not an option. So you're -- you really need to continue talking with the political officials there and make your case for commitments that must be kept, in accordance with the treaty, and continued efforts to try to improve the relationship with the people of Okinawa.

Yeah?

Q: Yes. New subject?

Quigley: Mm-hmm.

Q: Okay. On Vieques, during an interview with Univision for Cinco de Mayo, the president seemed to hint at a willingness to negotiate a new deal. He said that he inherited the problem, that the government of Puerto Rico -- (inaudible) -- support the agreement, that the Navy will have to leave in a reasonable amount of time. Does this reflect a change in policy?

Quigley: I don't think so. I mean, won't try to parse the president's words. But I mean, we have announced that we are continuing to look at alternative sites for training, and we would do our very best to try to find alternative sites after the May 2003 time frame. But in the near term, there are no alternatives that we are aware of that would provide the type of training that provides so much value to our uniformed service members, principally sailors and Marines, that they find on Vieques.

Q: As a follow-up, has the president indicated that the Navy should leave Vieques without the referendum in which the people of Vieques will decide the future of the Navy's presence?

Quigley: Not that I'm aware of. I don't think that -- I'm not aware of any follow-on discussions subsequent to his interview.

Q: Has the White House indicated that there should be talks with the government of Puerto Rico to end the training immediately or limit it further than what already exists?

Quigley: Same answer: not that I'm aware of.

Jamie?

Q: Just back to the no-fly zones for a moment. Has either General Joseph Ralston, the European commander, or General Franks, the CentCom commander, either been asked for or made recommendations about changing the way that the no-fly zones are enforced?

Quigley: I think they both have discussed options with the secretary. I don't know as if either have made a recommendation as to a single way ahead; I don't believe so.

Q: They did recommend a cut-back in the Northern and Southern Watch.

Quigley: Not that I'm aware of, Pat. They discussed options with him, and I don't think there were recommendations made as to a preferred course of action amongst them.

Q: And has there been an upswing in activity in terms of the number of either missiles or shells that have been fired at U.S. or allied planes patrolling the no-fly zones in recent weeks or months?

Quigley: Yeah. If you take a -- and this is somewhat arbitrary, Jamie. But if you take a look at starting the first of -- calendar year 2001, go back to January time frame, you've seen a considerable increase in activity in the northern no-fly zone. I don't think I can characterize it as an increase in any particular type of antiaircraft capability, but it's been both gunfire, missiles, and it's an increase in volume in the north.

Q: And another, the United States doesn't patrol the no-fly zones every single day. Has there been any decrease over a period of time in the number of patrol flights that the U.S. has flown?

Quigley: No, I think it's been pretty consistent. You're right. Bad weather notwithstanding, there are down days for training, for maintenance, for whatnot. But I don't think that the pattern has changed over the past several months.

Q: And any close calls in which U.S. planes have come close to being shot down?

Quigley: Not that I have heard described, no.

Chris?

Q: That increased activity you talked about in the north, is that strictly air defense activity, or are they flying in the north?

Quigley: No. Air defense. Ground-based anti-air systems.

Tom?

Q: As far as the north is concerned and the policy options being considered, is one of the options to find some other way of protecting the Kurdish population there other than enforcing the no- fly zone?

Is that -- is that precisely an option that is being looked at?

Quigley: I won't describe the options being considered. I'm sorry.

Lina?

Q: Back to Vieques. On March 9th there was a report that the secretary was due to send to the White House in terms of how the Navy was going to conduct live-fire training throughout May 1st, 2003. Has that report ever left the department to the White House?

Quigley: I don't think so. I think it is still in the process here.

Q: And does the department continue to have at least the goal to conduct the training throughout 2003 as provided by the agreement?

Quigley: Well, I -- you know, we will comply with the law, and the law currently states that there will be a referendum this November and depending on the outcome of the referendum, then that will describe the course of action in the future past that point. The law also called for the transfer of land, and that was accomplished on the 30th of April, I believe. The law stipulated that it must be done by the 1st of May. I believe that the first $14 million of the $40 million has either been released or it's in the process of being released to do the first group of projects there to help the people of Vieques.

So our intentions at this point are to comply with the law, and the law stipulates the land transfer, the process that you follow to conduct training there, the transfer of the money, and to proceed to plan for the referendum in November, and then, depending on the outcome of the referendum, take your course of action from that.

Q: That would include training, prior to the referendum, that's scheduled for the next battle group rotation?

Quigley: Mm-hm. (Affirmation.)

Q: Craig, I want to segue on McIntyre's last question about Iraq. We knew that in January anti-aircraft activity had ratcheted up. That led to the February 16th raids. A lot of the publicity since then has said since the raids in February, Saddam Hussein has upped the ante and has increased activity against U.S. fliers and British fliers. In that time frame, has there been an increase in activity, from mid-February --

Quigley: Well, I need to go back and correct you on the first part of your question. The February 16th raid was done because of an increased capability that we were observing in the Southern no- fly zone, not Northern.

Q: I understand that.

Quigley: Then maybe I misunderstood your question, I --

Q: The point -- we knew that there was increased activity against U.S. fliers and they were hot-wiring their systems and that, but since mid-February through March, have anti-aircraft activities accelerated even beyond January?

Quigley: No, I -- no. I don't see it on a constant upward curve, Tony, no. But it is at a higher level than it was six or nine months ago, if you want to go back there as a starting point. Since roughly the first of the year, we have seen a higher level of activity, but it is not a constantly increasing level of activity.

Thank you.

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