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Special DoD News Briefing - Conventional Forces Study

Presenter: Mr. David C. Gompert
June 23, 2001 1:15 PM EDT

Friday, June 22, 2001 - 1:15 p.m. EDT

Staff: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Thanks for being with us on what has turned out to be a pretty busy day.

Mr. David C. Gompert is here today for this briefing to discuss the findings of the Conventional Forces Study, which was prepared at the request of Secretary Rumsfeld. Mr. Gompert is currently the president of RAND Europe. He previously was the vice president of RAND and director of its National Defense Research Institute. Earlier, he served on the National Security Council staff as special assistant to the president and senior director for European and Eurasian Affairs.

I want to mention -- I know you've heard this little tidbit before -- but this study, as was the case for a number of other studies, was commissioned by Secretary Rumsfeld. It was intended to stimulate his thinking, to suggest some ideas, to explore alternatives, to provide some proposals for things that we are facing or might face in the Department of Defense. This is an input; this is not a final decision; I think you've heard that before.

Without further ado, Mr. Gompert.

Gompert: Thank you, Tim.

Pleased to be here -- everyone can hear me okay? All right.

[ Slides used in this briefing are on the Web at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Jun2001/g010622-D-6570C.html ]

That's the outline for the briefing, which happens also to be the outline for the study itself, which has the logic of how we went through the study. We started by looking at emerging risks, but also looking at the potential the United States has to deal with these risks, and in fact, we believe that there is a considerable untapped potential that the nation has to address the risks that we foresee.

Then, in terms of the analysis itself, we began by looking at the purposes for which we have and will continue to have conventional forces. And then, in light of those purposes, what are the operational challenges that those forces are going to face; in light of those operational challenges, what are the capabilities that they need and what are the concepts of operations for employing those capabilities. That then provides a frame of reference for looking at investment. And we looked at, and I'll share with you my view of, the current DoD investment program, research and development, as well as procurement, as to how well that investment portfolio reflects the need to address these emerging risks.

Similarly, we looked at presence, global presence of U.S. forces and the possibility of updating that presence better to reflect the current era and the risks we see in the future. Fifth, we looked at operations and organization, particularly from the point of view of the conduct of joint operations, which we considered to be central for meeting emerging risks. And finally, I'll share with you the recommendations I shared with Secretary Rumsfeld.

Okay, why are we concerned about these future risks, and what are they? This chart depicts a rising risk curve above a stable acceptable-risk line, which is the horizontal. The concern is that this collection of risks can actually begin to grow more steeply out ten years or so. And as a consequence of these risks, the ability of the United States to deploy its forces, project power, to intervene in foreign situations, to fulfill its responsibilities, protect its interests, defend its allies, that that ability could be impaired, become more dangerous, become more difficult.

And there are three principle causes of this possible growth in our risks. First, proliferation: the spread of dangerous technologies, in particular ballistic missile technologies which then can manifest themselves as surface-to-surface missiles of any range, but also surface-to-air missiles. And second, weapons of mass destruction: chemical, biological agents, as well as nuclear material.

And the risk, of course, is that as a result of acquiring these capabilities, an adversary's going to be able to increase the difficulty of U.S. forces in gaining access to a particular region and increase the risks to those U.S. forces in gaining that access.

The second threat that could contribute to this overall rise in risk is that we could face in the future an adversary that's larger, perhaps substantially larger, that the adversaries that we've faced over the last ten years. A larger adversary can not only have the anti-access capabilities, but can also have larger forces, better forces, more diverse forces, and can conduct military operations in more than one location, as opposed to a single-point operation that we've had in the last decade.

And the third contributor to the rising risk is the growing range of possible challenges that we could face that are below the level of full-scale warfare. We're not certain where we might face such challenges, we're not certain from whom or when, but we do know that particularly with U.S. superiority, a number of actors will try to develop capabilities and may challenge us below the level that would justify a forceful American response.

So we see those three things contributing to the possibility of a significant growth in risk, starting in the next five to ten years.

Q: What do you mean by larger adversaries; do you mean like, China --

Gompert: Could I get through the whole thing, and then --

Q: Why can't you answer that?

Gompert: I could; that'll be the first question I answer when I'm done with the briefing. Okay? Otherwise, we won't get through the briefing, I guarantee it. And I have to catch a plane. I have to catch a plane.

Okay. There are a number of areas in which the United States has failed fully to exploit the potential that it has to deal with these risks. And I think the strategy for U.S. defense as it relates to conventional forces ought to be to exploit these untapped potentials. First of all, information technology: I believe the Defense Department has been slow to exploit information technology, compared to other sectors. Slow to exploit it in improving its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, but also slow to exploit it in networking forces. So that's the first untapped potential.

The second is jointness. We can take jointness to the next level; that is, the ability to conduct integrated operations and not simply coordinated operations among the several services. Third, new domains, in particular cyberspace and space: we're going to be making much more use of these domains in military operations. Adversaries will target us, but we can also address cyberspace and space as opportunities for us to use our superior technology to our advantage.

And lastly, there are key allies, maybe not many, but there are some key allies with a capacity and a professed willingness to do more, and we ought to take them up on that offer.

Okay, now in the analysis itself, we started with a statement of military purposes. And I've identified four: two primary, two secondary. This is really the point of reference for thinking about what kind of capabilities you need in the future. The primary military purpose is, of course, to deter and defeat aggression. But there is another primary purpose, and that is to frustrate low-grade aggression and harassment and pressure of the sort that would not justify forceful use of American military capabilities.

And we think there will be a growing need to be able to handle those levels of threats.

Now in addition there I identified two secondary purposes, one being to remove weapons of mass destruction if we perceive that there is a grave and imminent danger of an adversary using weapons of mass destruction. My recommendation is that we have the capability, hard as it may be, to remove such a danger if we consider it to be imminent and grave.

And lastly, I believe the United States is going to continue to be involved in humanitarian exercises -- or, humanitarian operations and peacekeeping operations. There will certainly be circumstances in which we choose to be involved or must be involved and we will be involved, but our involvement should be focused on those tasks in such an operation for which our forces are best suited; either uniquely suited or at least particularly well-suited.

Now, with those as the principal purposes, these I identified to the secretary as the seven big operational challenges that our forces in the future are going to face. Starting at the top, which is the peacetime challenge of operating anywhere with agile forces and able to control, manage escalation if we find ourselves faced with a crisis.

Second, our forces need to be able to demonstrate that they can move quickly anywhere they're needed to react forcefully in the face of aggression.

Third, we will face a very, very significant challenge in acquiring the necessary information to understand where and when and under what conditions operations may be required. This requirement is growing because as the Cold War recedes and the new era unfolds, it's going to be harder and harder to be able to predict where, when, against whom, under what conditions we may have to use military force. So the ability to acquire and share knowledge becomes more critical.

Bringing forces and fires to bear quickly is important, with an emphasis on the "quickly." We may not be able to determine when operations must begin, but we want to gain control of the tempo of operations rapidly thereafter. Time is absolutely crucial in a military operation, particularly against an adversary with those anti- access capabilities. We may not have the ability, or may not have the foreknowledge to have forces exactly where they should be in anticipation of an operation. We may face the kind of dangers in the theater that will keep us from putting forces right into the battlefield until we have prepared it. So for a variety of reasons, we need the ability to bring fires to bear, even if we don't have forces right where we need them when we need them. Okay?

We also need to be able to get the forces where we need them. In other words, it's not sufficient to be able to conduct long-range strikes. We know that we're going to have to bring tactical forces to the theater, and the surging of the tactical forces has to be done in parallel with the ability to strike from long range.

We need to gain control of the conflict; "control" used to mean sea control, littoral control, air control. It also means control of critical points of land. It also means control of space, insofar as it can have an effect on the outcome of an operation; and it means control of cyberspace, which we know is going to have an effect on an operation. We also want to be able to control the pace or tempo of the operation, of the conflict. We want to be able to control the geographic scope, the escalation. And this represents a major challenge for our forces. We have to assume that our forces and coalition forces are going to be attacked probably with missiles, perhaps with weapons of mass destruction fired by missiles or artillery or in some other way. So our forces have to be protected from counterattack.

And finally, if we're facing overt aggression and we've made the determination that we're prepared to enter this kind of a conflict with this kind of a forceful response, once we get the upper hand, our forces ought to be able to destroy the enemy's ability to fight and threaten again; that is to say to eliminate those particular capabilities that will enable that aggressor to resume its aggression or its coercion or its threat in the region or to our interests after our forces depart. Otherwise, we're left there sitting on the problem in perpetuity, or else having to intervene again a year later.

Okay, so those are the main operational challenges, and from those we can identify a set of essential capabilities. All right?

This is one of the more important charts in the briefing because this, then, becomes the point of reference for investment and operations. Okay, I don't know how well you can read that -- well, you've got the hard copies, I guess.

But the critical capabilities are to sense, to influence, to strike, protect, surge, control, penetrate, destroy and stabilize. I'll spend just a minute on each of these.

By "sense" what we really mean is be able to detect conditions that could lead to a conflict or conditions within a conflict on a very broad basis. So you need broad information, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. You need to penetrate, you need deep intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. And you also need persistent intelligence; that is the ability to stare at a particular place where you're concerned about the outbreak of a conflict or particular capabilities.

You want the ability to influence in peacetime, which requires forces that are highly mobile and also survivable.

The ability to strike. Even if you have not taken the time or don't have the time or don't have the conditions to build up large-scale, tactical, short-range strike forces, you still want the ability to strike very early, and that means striking with long-range forces and forces with long-range munitions. It also means using short-range forces, but those short-range forces in the future increasingly are going to have to be highly survivable because of the fact that they're going to face a missile threat and possibly a WMD threat.

To protect our forces we're going to need deployable missile defense. We're also going to need to be able to conduct defensive information operations to protect against attacks on our command and control systems.

To surge forces, the forces themselves have to be rapidly deployable, and that means lighter forces. They're going to be lethal, but they're going to have to be lighter, and they're going to have to be more ready. And that means a transformation of especially U.S. ground forces, which the Army is already planning.

But we also need the ability to get it there, which means airlift. We need more airlift, because there's no substitute for airlift in getting forces rapidly to a theater.

But airlift is not enough, because there simply could not be enough capacity to move large-scale ground forces, so we have to find ways to move forces quickly on sea and also to invest in mobile pre-positioned equipment, because pre-positioning the equipment means you can move a lot faster. But we don't know exactly where it needs to be pre-positioned, so it should be mobile.

Control includes quick response attack capability. The most critical targets we'll face in the future will be missile launchers, surface-to-air missile launchers or surface-to-surface missile launchers, or weapons of mass destruction that are being readied for use, or command and control nodes, or sensors that are being used to conduct these critical operations using missiles and weapons of mass destruction. We've got to get those targets, and that is a very hard job. It was a hard job during the Gulf War. It would be a hard job today. It will be a hard job 10 years from now. You can't do that job with long-range forces -- long-range strike capabilities, because of the time involved. You need a quick response and persistent strike, which means tactical missiles, as well as aircraft.

Moving along, to penetrate, you need ground forces. My study concluded that the idea of being able to be confident of completing a high-end campaign without the use of ground forces -- that that is imprudent, to count on that. Therefore, you need to bring ground forces into the theater, into the contested area, perhaps into the enemy's territory, but not the large, heavy armored division columns that we're accustomed to; rather, ground forces that are inserted, smaller units, into any point from any direction -- dispersed ground forces, not concentrated ground forces, that are focused on specific targets and specific tasks, specific points of land. So it's a fundamentally different way of using ground forces that the Army is currently contemplating and experimenting with.

As I said, we need the ability to be able to destroy those capabilities that an adversary can use to threaten -- again, command and control, elite forces, weapons of mass destruction, missile launchers, critical logistics points.

And then, finally, our forces and, we would certainly hope, forces from allies and other coalition partners would be there to stabilize the situation afterwards.

All right. This can be summed up in a concept of operations.

This is a single, illustrative concept of operations. You can't have a single concept of operations for all of your forces and all of your contingencies, but this is one that addresses high-end intervention at a substantial distance against a significant adversary with substantial anti-access capabilities of the sort I described before.

Down in the lower left-hand corner, what you can see is a time phasing of an operation. Starting on the left-hand side, obviously, you'd like to have our forces be formidable enough that you can dissuade an adversary from even engaging in military competition or even contemplating a confrontation. If that doesn't work, we have to be able to deter. If we cannot deter and significant aggression occurs, then we have to be prepared to use U.S. military force or U.S.-led coalition force, very intensely over as short a period of time as we can because we believe that time can be turned to our advantage. So that shaded area represents the conflict itself.

And here I've suggested three concepts. The words are less important than the concepts. The first is to degrade. And by that I mean we will use forces from -- the strike forces from any distance to go after, in particular, the anti-access capabilities and to really reduce the ability of an adversary to continue its aggression, to conduct offensive operations against us, and indeed, to protect itself. Okay?

Then we move into what I call the dominate or control phase, where the goal is to gain control of the dimensions and the timing of the conflict, the tempo of operations, and then also continue to reduce the ability of the adversary to conduct defensive or offensive operations, especially using those critical missile weapons and weapons of mass destruction.

And then the "disarm" is to complete the process so that by the end, we had left an adversary in a reduced position to be able to threaten to do again that which caused us to intervene in the first place.

Okay. And what you see on that chart, moving from the upper left-hand corner down to the lower right-hand corner, are a series of tasks that would be conducted, according to this particular operation, that would use those essential capabilities that I identified earlier.

Okay, that is sort of a concept of operations identifying essential capabilities for a high-end conflict against a foe with weapons of mass destruction and missiles. Now, I said we needed to test those capabilities against other purposes of our forces, and we tested them against two in particular, that I mentioned earlier. One is the possibility that we might have to remove a threat of imminent use of weapons of mass destruction. Should a decision be made to do so, what are the capabilities that are important? Well, it's broad, persistent, deep intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; it's large-scale, long-range precision strike, obviously. It's also survivable, and if possible, undetectable platforms to be able to conduct such an operation, and special operations forces. It turns out that these are essential capabilities not only for this purpose but also for the purpose I just described of the large-scale power projection contingency.

So that suggests there's really a high overlap between what we need for that sort of an operation and for this kind of a more narrow operation.

And second, contingencies other than war; as I said, it's my firm belief that the United States will be involved in peacekeeping and in humanitarian and in similar contingencies, but we ought to play a special role. There are a lot of countries that can play the role of patrolling large parts of the territory and pacifying regions, but there are only a very few countries that can play critical roles in a peacekeeping operation, such as rapid deployment to the area, forced entry if need be, intelligence, surveillance of the entire situation, command and control, escalation, the ability to escalate, the ability to prevent escalation, and also, if a peacekeeping operation turns violent, to be able to go after critical targets.

Consequently, if you accept this definition of the kind of role the United States would play in peacekeeping operations as an appropriate role for us, then the kinds of forces we would need for the large-scale power projection mission against anti-access would also suffice for the most part for this particular purpose.

Okay. You've seen that chart before. I'm putting it up again because we're now going to talk about investment. All right? And it seems to me the correct optic from which to view investment is essential capabilities for the future. I've already identified what we consider to be -- what my team considered to be the essential capabilities, so those essential capabilities now become the criteria with which to evaluate the DoD investment portfolio.

I want to stress before I turn to the next chart that I looked at the DoD investment portfolio from one perspective only, and that is, how well do these programs -- research and development or procurement -- contribute to addressing those future risks? How well do they measure up against those essential capabilities and concepts of operations that we need for the emerging risks? I didn't look at whether they're critical for immediate threats. I didn't look at whether they're critical for maintaining industrial capacity or technology advantages. I didn't look whether the programs were being well managed or not. I simply looked at how well they contribute against the future rising risks.

And what I came up with -- you can't read that, but I hope you have it in your lap. This has no more standing than my view as to how the investments in U.S. defense capabilities ought to be shifted in view of the rising threats, in view of those essential capabilities that I mentioned. And what I discovered was that there needs to a be a significant shift in the investment portfolio, and also that investment needs to be increased.

Now, let me explain what this chart means. On the left-hand side are those critical capabilities. All right? And the second band, called highly compatible procurement and R&D, I identified the existing programs that I think have an essential role to play in future concepts and future capabilities.

I identified some holes, that is, research and development, and in some cases procurement, that we ought to undertake because we need those capabilities but it's not provided for or not provided adequately in the current defense program, and then I identified some others that are there but I just wanted to restate the importance of those programs. All right? So the ones in that band are very high priority. The plus $45 billion means that relative to the current future-year defense program, it would require an additional $45 billion over that period to augment our investments.

Q: Is that over five years?

Gompert: Yeah. Six. Six years. Okay?

Let me flag a couple of the big items. In the upper left-hand corner, under sensing for procurement, UAVs, but also a number of programs that are going to improve our ability to network forces Networking forces has been under -- the communications and other information technology required to network forces has been badly underfunded.

Moving down, the DDG-51 has some cruise missile defense capabilities that I think are very important, will become increasingly important. And then I mentioned long-range strike. So B-2 upgrade, B-52 upgrade, because B-52 could be used as a long-range standoff platform with long-range cruise missiles.

A set of munitions. I didn't evaluate the specific performance of this munition versus that munition, but I identified those programs that emphasize precision munitions of the sort that can be used long range or short range.

C-17 fleet expansion. C-17 is one way, one very good way of getting large numbers of forces pretty much anywhere you want because of the size of the aircraft, the versatility of the aircraft. But that fleet would have to be substantially grown if in fact we're going to move significant numbers of ground forces. So those forces are going to need to be lighter, they're going to need to have equipment prepositioned on ships, and with additional C-17s, among other possible aircraft, we could get a much larger fraction of the U.S. Army where we need to rapidly.

Joint Strike Fighter plays a very critical role in the future concept of operations in the ability to conduct quick response and persistent attack, especially on critical targets, critical targets like missile launchers that you can't depend upon long-range strike to get.

V-22, important for -- I mean, it's a program that's had trouble, obviously, but that doesn't make it unimportant. In fact, it's extremely important as a way to move land forces, in particular, amphibious forces, around.

I've emphasized a number of research and development programs. Some were there but needed to be augmented, and some weren't even there. But that includes a variety of space-based sensors. It includes UCAV, UAV and UUV; in other words, unmanned sensors and unmanned vehicles to perform a variety of tasks.

I also emphasized information operations and information warfare where I think we are way too lightly invested. Improvement of the ability to strike from the sea with a conversion of SSBNs, of some SSBNs to SSGNs, as well as advanced cruise missiles. We need to develop concepts for fast sealift, because I don't think we're going to be able to count on airlift for capacity reasons.

I also think we should invest in Street Fighter, the Street Fighter concept that you may have heard of. I think we really need to explore ways of taking advantage of the network to network naval forces for all kinds of missions, whether it's sea control, littoral control or a strike, where we can have smaller and more numerous naval platforms, naval strike platforms that can be operated in an integrated fashion but less vulnerable and less expensive by virtue of the fact that they are smaller and they are dispersed.

And finally, I want to emphasize the future combat system, which is still in the very early stage of concept development. This is what the Army has identified as an important system or cluster of systems for conducting fast-maneuver warfare with much lighter, rapidly deployable forces than we can do today with our heavy-maneuver forces.

Okay. Moderately compatible. These are capabilities that can make a contribution; they certainly fit well with the concept of operations. I just didn't identify them as having quite the same level of priority as what I call the highly compatible and the less compatible and, no doubt, the ones that will be more controversial with you folks and elsewhere. I simply believe that these, at least these programs do not fit as well, do not make as much of a contribution to future concepts of operations or to neutralizing future threats as all the things to the left, and I might as well tell you why now, rather than wait for your questions.

The Crusader may well be needed to meet an immediate threat for which that kind of very heavy self-propelled artillery is required. It may. I didn't evaluate that, but what I did look at was whether it has a role to play in the kind of ground force operation that emphasizes swift deployment, rapid maneuver and coming in to seize critical targets from all directions, and the answer I concluded was no, it doesn't really make that much of a contribution.

DD-21 is a very innovative and capable platform. Certainly it would be. I just don't feel that DD-21 as a naval strike platform fully takes advantage of networking. So with the DD-21, it's an awful lot of strike capability -- short-, medium- and long-range strike capability from the littoral in a platform that could become -- could become, over time, more vulnerable. My view is if you can do that same job of striking from the littoral with much more numerous, smaller, networked naval platforms, then you should. That would certainly fit.

Okay. Let me continue. I want to make sure --

Q: (Off mike.)

Gompert: No, I actually --

Q: No, no, no. You labeled something here and I'm not sure what you were labeling.

Gompert: Okay, go ahead.

Q: The one -- this band, that's the critical capabilities, or just this band?

Gompert: No. These identified as highly compatible, they're essential to have.

Q: Which one was the essential role in future combat capabilities? That's the second strip.

Gompert: They're the future combat systems. That's the research and development piece of the highly compatible programs, okay? I didn't break these down into procurement and R&D; I just didn't do it, okay. Now, I should -- I'm sorry, I should clarify these numbers. These are better than back-of-the-envelope, but these weren't developed with the most, you know -- (inaudible) -- models available to the department. They were developed by me and my team; we're reasonably confident of the numbers. That the augmentation in this region here would add $45 billion. If these programs were cut, that would save $10 billion. And again, there may be reasons not to cut those programs that have to do with short-term requirements or whatever, but that would save $10 billion. And the total value in the current defense program of these programs is $35 billion. Okay. So what that means is -- I mean, my recommendation is to look at plussing 45, subtracting 10, so that the total increase and shift in the investment over the Future Year Defense Program would be $35 billion, okay, to be able to build those essential capabilities, carry out that concept of operations, and meet the future risks.

Okay, and the highest investment priorities, according to my study: enabling future ground forces, that's the future combat system especially, which is going to take considerable development because it's such a revolutionary round system; long-range strike, which I discussed, as well as quick response strike, long-range and tactical-range precision strike; a variety of things that are going to exploit information technology very directly, like space-based intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance; joint command control is absolutely essential. Currently, most of the command and control systems that our forces have were never built for joint integrated operations. So there is a serious problem in an integrated joint operations of forces from different services communicating effectively with one another in voice and in data. So that is -- if we're serious about taking jointness to the next level, there has to be a significant investment to replace non-interoperable joint command and control systems with interoperable ones. Okay, information operations I've mentioned. Space systems I mentioned. And then airlift, the big program that I identified as being very attractive is the C-17 expansion.

All right, I'm going to turn to presence now and share with you a concept, which is not -- I repeat -- not to abandon the idea of forward presence. There have been some articles about that of my study or somebody else's study saying forward presence is not safe and we don't need it because we have long-range weapons. That is certainly not the thrust of this study.

The thrust of this study is, forward presence is extremely important because of peacetime engagement and also because we want to shape crises and be ready for conflicts.

But we have to think about forward presence in very different ways. During the Cold War and, I think, even today, we think of forward presence as fixed, permanent stationing of American forces on American bases, right where we need them. Well, during the Cold War, we needed them in a divided Europe, and we needed them a divided Korea. We still need them in a divided Korea, of course.

But that notion of fixed, large, permanent presence on U.S. bases isn't going to be adequate as we think about the future, for a number of reasons. First of all, we don't know where we're going to need forces. Second, insofar as we feel we may need forces to operate in East Asia, Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia, the Middle East, as areas of high potential for conflict, those are not regions of the world where we can count on building up large, permanent, fixed U.S. bases and stationed forces. Okay, we may have some, but not like we had in Europe.

And lastly, the anti-access problem. There will be parts of the world where we, even [if] we could get the rights and the political agreement to build up a large, forward, fixed American presence, we wouldn't necessarily want it to be so large and so fixed, because of the growing anti-access problem.

This doesn't mean we abandon forward presence. It means we think about forward presence in a very different way, in a more fluid way, in a more -- in a much more agile way.

And so what I'm suggesting and what I have suggested in my report is that forward basing is still useful, but where we need the most, it's least secure, politically and militarily. But nevertheless, we have to demonstrate our ability to use force, and we have to be able to surge our forces and maintain a continuous presence in parts of the world where we can't have large base structures. So the concept I have suggested is really more one of salience than fixed presence. And that includes updating our forward presence to make sure that the forces we have forward are really the rights ones; these are the ones that we want to have forward. And I'll come back to that.

Second, we're going to need staging bases. We already have staging bases; we just haven't used them as staging bases. But if I look at the bases in Japan and in Europe, I see them as having most value not for the protection of Japan and the protection of Europe, but for staging to the other areas where we're more likely to have to use force.

Third, we want high-quality access where we don't have it and where we don't have the opportunity to build bases. So in Southeast Asia and Southwest Asia, what we want -- we ought to try to negotiate where we don't already have it rights to gain access in peacetime, in crisis, in conflict. We'd also like to see improvement in infrastructure, to be able to use facilities that aren't U.S. bases but nevertheless are available to us.

And we need to exercise. We need to exercise forces. We need to exercise forces on a large scale, and they need to be joint exercises, in order to demonstrate our interest in particular regions and also to be prepared to conduct operations where we don't have a large, forward, fixed structure.

And lastly, we need to engage key allies with us in this concept. The implications of this, for example, would be in Europe, we shouldn't pull our forces out of Europe. I think we'd be fools to pull our forces out of Europe since Europe is the place where we're most likely to find allies who are willing to deploy with us to contingencies in Europe or elsewhere, and that's more likely to happen if we have forces preparing with them.

But also, Europe is an excellent place from which to stage for our operations around the periphery of Europe or Southwest Asia. But the forces we have in Europe ought to be forces that are deployable, and today's forces in Europe really aren't; they are heavier, slower, less-deployable forces of the sort that were there at the end of the Cold War.

So I've suggested -- I am suggesting not that we pull forces out, but that we go to the Europeans and say, "We want to keep capabilities here, but we want these to be the kinds of capabilities we're telling you you should be building; namely, deployable forces." So I'd rather see two or three deployable brigades in Europe of the very sort of forces that we're telling the allies to build rather than forces that are not deployable.

In the meantime, in Southwest Asia and in East Asia, particularly Southeast Asia, we are going to have to find ways to improve access in the absence of the ability to have large fixed-American bases.

I'm now going to turn to organizing joint forces, okay. I know I'm going very rapidly, but I want to answer your questions when I'm done. I think we should think of all of our forces as being joint. We should start with the proposition that all forces must be joint because all forces -- we have to assume that all forces must be able to operate jointly. If we think of all forces as being joint, ultimately being joint in an operation, the services, of course, have the Title 10 responsibility to provide those forces, the forces themselves think of as joint, and joint in two respects.

First of all, there are certain capabilities that are becoming increasingly important to a joint operation, and I call them fundamentally joint capabilities. They are, for example, command control. What could be more joint than command and control? Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the battle management systems that are associated with missile defense; information operations; core joint capabilities that are crucial for rapidly pulling a force together, rapidly deploying that force, and then managing that force. I believe those are fundamental capabilities to any joint operation that should belong to the joint commander on a standing basis.

Second, the rest of our forces should be considered operational joint forces. In peacetime, under normal standing conditions, they would belong to and be maintained by the various services.

But they should be considered joint capabilities from the point of view of where the ultimate responsibility lies for employing those forces and, therefore, who has responsibility for the readiness of those forces.

I believe that in addition to holding the services responsible for the readiness of their individual units, we should start holding the joint -- the commanders, the CINCs, the theater CINCs or war-fighting CINCs, the operating CINCs, responsible for the readiness of joint forces as a whole, because the readiness of the force as a whole is only as ready as your ability to pull it together and operate it.

That means that the CINCs would have an additional responsibility in the future, two additional responsibilities: the standing capabilities, as well as the readiness of joint forces as a whole. Now, what do we mean by joint forces? How are they constituted? Here, I think this is going to be an important question for the Quadrennial Defense Review. I didn't attempt to solve it, but I did identify some criteria as to how you organize forces for a joint force; that is, what are the packages or the units of capability?

Instead of starting with how the services have traditionally organized, my study team looked at how would you want forces so that they could readily be put together, all right? They need to be ready, they need to be rapidly deployable and employable. They need to be tailorable, because who knows what kind of a contingency the joint force is going to have to face. They have to be easily, readily integrated and networked. They have to be dispersed and yet integrated. So all of these considerations argue for smaller units of capability, of combat capability -- small enough to be tailorable, to be networked, to be integrated but, of course, not so small that they don't have integrity in a dangerous operation. So that doesn't say specifically what the units should be, but it does argue for smaller units.

Now, I've talked about a joint force. This is what I mean by a joint force. On the left-hand side is a joint force in peacetime, a joint regional force. In the center are those core capabilities over which the CINC, the operating theater CINC, ought to have peacetime responsibility, as I've mentioned. And around that hub in the wheel are the service components that are oriented toward and are kept ready to join together under the CINC for a joint operation.

And I illustrate what that means on the right-hand side in two ways. In the bottom is an exercise where the joint commander calls an exercise that happens to involve those particular types of forces being assembled from the services, combined with the standing joint capabilities. Okay? In the upper right-hand corner I illustrate what this might look like if you actually had a military contingency; in this particular case, a requirement to defend an ally against missile attack. You obviously wouldn't form up the entire joint force, unless there was a need to do so beyond the missile attack danger.

But if it was specifically because an ally was about to be attacked by missiles, that joint commander would form, along with his core capabilities, those specific capabilities from the services that are especially important; in this particular case, missile defense, long-range strike and special ops. So the joint force can vary in its architecture from peacetime to exercise to conflict.

As I said, this adds responsibilities to the CINCs. Currently they have a responsibility for peacetime activities, contingency planning and crisis response. I would add to that, to repeat myself, two important responsibilities; that is, over the standing elements of the fundamentally joint capabilities that I mentioned, and also for the readiness of the joint force as a whole.

Now, let me try to make this a little bit more practical and talk about how you might actually employ that particular concept of joint forces. On this chart, I offer the notion that you'd have regional forces -- okay? -- regional forces for the Eastern Region and for the Western Region, as well as a contingency force -- okay? -- that's available to either of those two regions.

These are pools of forces. They consist of those core elements that I mentioned, that are under the CINCs, as well as earmarked forces in pools that are then available to those regional CINCs to conduct a wide range of joint operations. So it could be any of those four, those particular four CINCs, could call upon those regional forces. And those regional forces should have substantial amounts of capability on their own to be able to handle nearly all the circumstances, from low grade up to a large intervention requirement, in that region -- okay? -- without having to call upon the contingency forces.

The contingency forces would emphasize especially those capabilities that are needed for the most demanding cases. They would not be the only forces to have long-range strike, but they would emphasize long-range strike. They would emphasize information operations capabilities. They would emphasize space -- the forces required to protect our assets in space and to control space.

Now, what this is meant to suggest is that any CINC can call upon those regional forces. Those regional forces should be very robust. These are not simply the forward-deployed forces. These regional forces would have long-range strike capabilities. They would have deployable missile defense capabilities, and so on. But they would also have the possibility, in the case of a very, very large conflict, to call upon the contingency forces. All right?

Now, from that we can move to a concept that I believe is an improvement on the two-major-theater-war standard. No one's adopted this. This is simply my input. Okay? I hope it's debated in the course of the Quadrennial Defense Review.

But the concept goes something like this: you recall at the very beginning -- incidentally, I'm going longer than I intended to, and I know you have questions, so I'm going to stay long enough to answer at least some of the questions. I apologize. I mentioned at the outset that our forces face three types of emerging risks: one, that is a wide range of challenges, unfamiliar challenges, low-grade aggression and the like. Second is the requirement to be able to project power despite anti-access capabilities; that is, to be able to respond to a threat or to aggression despite anti-access capabilities. And the third risk I mentioned was the risk of facing a larger adversary.

Now, if these are the concerns, shouldn't our standards for measuring the adequacy of our forces reflect those concerns? Our concerns go well beyond simply that we may have two simultaneous major theater wars. We may have something larger than major theater war; we're more likely to have something a lot smaller. We may well have threats that fall well below the level where we would actually commit large joint forces in a forceful response. So we have to have something that's much more flexible than simply a responsiveness to specific ideas. And this is meant to do that -- everything from the very low end to the very high end.

And the way the standards would apply is as follows: each of those regional forces that I mentioned should have the capabilities on its own to handle a wide range of low-end challenges -- pressure, coercion, harassment or whatever. Okay? So that's a test of versatility. Without calling upon any other forces, each regional force should be able to do that.

Secondly, each regional force should be sufficiently robust to be able to respond decisively and effectively to a direct threat or attack, even if there is considerable anti-access capabilities in place, but not necessarily to be able to conclude that conflict decisively; that is, not necessarily to finish the fight by eliminating the adversary's ability to threaten again, but at least to effect the degradation and gain control of the operation and the adversary; each regional force should have that capability in and of itself.

But third, we're worried about scale, because we may well face conflicts, in the Middle East, for example, it's not inconceivable that we would have simultaneous conflicts in the Persian Gulf and in the Middle East itself.

We would want to be -- that would be a very, very demanding contingency. In East Asia we could have a contingency on the Korean peninsula and a simultaneous contingency somewhere else in East Asia. Very, very demanding.

In that particular case, the largest plausible contingency we face, we want to make sure that our forces are capable of achieving victory, if each of the regional forces is able to call upon the full contingency force. Put differently, the contingency force, combined with either one of the two regional forces, should be sufficient to handle the largest threat that we think is plausible. That then would leave the other regional force to deal with -- with almost any other circumstance that arises. Okay?

Now -- I'm almost done -- this is part of summing up. We're thinking about future risks. We're concerned about the rise in future risks; the question is how we address them. I've already said that we're going to need, in my view, to shift and increase investment. All right? Now, if you look up in the upper left-hand corner, that's the risk curve that we want to bring down. Up in the upper right-hand corner, we would bring that down by making a relatively immediate increase in investments along the lines that I suggested on that particular chart. So in other words, we would trade increased cost in the short term to avoid risk in the long term.

Alternatively, if you look at the next line, case two, there we would as a nation, the executive branch, the Congress, would say, "Well, wait a minute. There are a lot of other things we need to do. We need to pay our people more. We need to improve the quality of their life" and so on, and therefore we're not going to have the additional resources to enable us to increase investment in the short term. Okay? Unless we find a way to pay for that, and one way to pay for that is simply to cut the programs that don't make a long-term contribution -- that only make a short-term contribution -- or cut forces substantially in order to pay for that investment. Okay? Now, if done carelessly, the problem with that particular scenario is you bring down that cost back to some sort of a baseline, but in doing it you've increased near-term risk. Increased near-term risk is the way to pay for reducing long-term risk. That doesn't sound like such a great idea, either.

So the idea that I hope will be explored fully in the Quadrennial Defense Review is to apply new standards for our forces, to measure the adequacy of our forces, of the sort that I know are being explored, and look afresh at the international security environment, and then make a judgment as to which are the elements of the current force structure that contribute the least to the sorts of operations that we think that our forces might have to face. Okay?

So with a different standard and a new look at the existing threats -- I'm not suggesting, and I haven't concluded that we can cut force structure, but we can at least identify those elements of force structure that make the least contribution in the near and long term. And then we have a much better basis for making some reductions in structure, if we choose to, as a way of paying for that investment. So these are sort of the scenarios for managing risk and cost.

I told you I'd tell you what I recommended to the secretary. I will do that in the next few minutes. These recommendations fall into the four categories that I identified earlier as to where we have untapped potential, where we can do better.

Information technology, one of the highest priorities, has to be to swap out non-interoperable joint command-and-control systems for interoperable ones, so they can be truly joint.

And I think the department needs to make a decision that that needs to happen and needs to happen in a matter of a few years, because if you just leave it to the bureaucracy and you leave it to the marketplace, it could go on and on and on.

Second, investment not just in information technology but in information management. As other institutions have struggled with finding how to get the right information to the right people at the right time in the right form, it's a lot harder in military operations. So I think there needs to be investment in organization and process techniques so we can improve the management of the operation and not just the abundance of the operation.

The others I've mentioned already, which is I think it ought to be a national priority to support the Army's transformation plan and, if possible, to do it even more quickly than the Army currently believes it can if we could give it more resources. And then I think it's important to begin now making some investments in concepts other than the ones that we've relied so heavily upon over the past 50 years, like manned penetrating aircraft and large-deck carriers. I'm not suggesting that we abandon manned penetrating aircraft. I'm not suggesting that we abandon -- in fact, I'm not suggesting that we reduce the number of aircraft carriers. But I do think this is the time to begin investment in alternative concepts that may at least supplement capabilities that we currently rely on.

Okay. Integrated operations. Officers have to think jointly. We really have to breed this in to the officer corps through their training, through their education, through their career development. We have to immerse them in joint philosophy, in thinking about how to solve joint operational problems as a starting point for the way we think about our future forces.

As I mentioned, we also need to create capabilities under the CINCs for those forces that are inherently joint. And lastly, we need to do joint exercises under the CINCs so we actually can discover our weaknesses. There's no better way to find out what your weaknesses are than through very demanding exercises, and they need to be joint.

New domains. A lot's been said about this. I agree with most of what's been said. And that is that we have vulnerabilities, but we also have enormous advantages in cyberspace operations and in space. And we need to be exploring both the technical options for exploiting cyberspace to our advantage and space to our advantage, but also the considerable policy issues that exist about using cyberspace and using space in military operations. I don't deny the policy options, but they need to be confronted even as we develop the technical options.

Allies. As I suggested earlier, I think there's an opportunity to approach the Europeans to say, "You're worried about us staying in Europe. We're going to stay here. We're going to update our presence here, it's going to be much more relevant to the kinds of contingencies we face in Europe and, incidentally, in Southeast Asia. But we also need you not only to take on more responsibility for peacekeeping in Europe; we need you, at least some of you, to be prepared to address the more dangerous kinds of operations we might have to face, for example, in Southwest Asia.

Last slide is my final message. I believe, having done this study, that risks are increasing, in the 10-to-15-year time frame especially, because of proliferation of missiles and weapons of mass destruction. I believe that meeting these risks is entirely feasible, entirely within the capacity of the United States and its defense establishment, but it's going to mean that we have to exploit these four areas where we've not yet -- which we have not yet exploited sufficiently.

Unlocking that potential of information technology, jointness, new domains, allies, is going to require change. It's going to require doctrinal change. It's also going to require -- by doctrinal change, I mean the way we operate, the way we organize.

It's also going to require investment shift, as I mentioned.

Now, taking a page from the non-military world, the approach, as organizations and sectors have moved through their own transformations, they have found ways to restructure and to reduce structure by willingness to change. They've also found that they have to make investments.

And what has worked, outside of the defense field, is by changing the way you operate and the way you organize, you're able to find some savings in your structure, which you can then use to make the necessary investments in order to improve your performance for the longer term. And it's my opinion that such an opportunity exists for the United States.

I apologize for going on that long, but let me take 11 minutes' worth of questions, starting with your question.

Q: Thank you. Well, actually, two quick questions. One, when you say --

Gompert: Ah, two!

Q: -- just brief -- as they update U.S. forces in Europe --

Gompert: Yeah.

Q: -- would you recommend that there be more on the air side than the ground forces, that kind of a mix?

Gompert: No, I don't mean that as much as I mean making sure that the forces we have in Europe are deployable forces that can easily be integrated into a joint operation. So, therefore, we would continue to have air forces in Europe, but they would be more deployable units. And ground forces especially -- we have heavy armor in Europe. We have in Europe the kinds of forces we're telling the Europeans they should give up. I'm not suggesting we don't need heavy armor somewhere. I don't think we need it in Europe. I'd rather see us with combat brigades in Europe.

Q: Okay.

Gompert: So it's not a shift but rather an updating.


Q: The other quick question was -- you have this chart here of the highest investment priorities.

Gompert: Yeah.

Q: Where does missile defense fit in there? I don't see that. But does it fit one of those --

Gompert: Well, it does. Now bear in mind that I looked at conventional forces. And for conventional forces, I consider deployable missile defense to be very important.

Q: But where is that on this --

Gompert: Well, it's not here, but it is important.

But --

Q: (Off mike.)

Gompert: I'm sorry?

Q: It's under the R&D column --

Gompert: Yeah. It -- but he's talking about that one little thing where I summarized --

Q: (Off mike.)

Gompert: Yeah, I didn't put anything on there, but I believe -- and I think the evidence suggests that the administration believes -- that future missile defense should be multi-tiered, should unify homeland defense with protection of our forces. And I believe if we pursue that kind of a robust missile defense, it should provide us with adequate defense for forward forces.

But I do believe that just looking at what I was responsible for, deployable sea-based or -- and/or land-based ballistic missile defense is extremely important.


Q: One question. Since many people will be using this $45 billion figure --

Gompert: Yeah.

Q: -- have you got a comparative figure? What is the current six-year FYDP call for in terms of procurement and R&D -- in other words, something to compare this to? What's the current -- what is the figure for that six-year --

Gompert: Well, that's 45 billion above the current --

Q: What is the current figure? It's above what --

Gompert: The current procurement --

Q: Does it double it? Does it triple -- I mean --

Gompert: Ah.

Staff: We'll have to get that.

Gompert: Yeah, we could get that.

Q: We need a reference point to --

Gompert: Yeah. This is for procurement and R&D over six years. My guess is -- don't go with my guess, but they'll get you the right -- but it's probably 15 to 20 percent.

Q: Increase?

Gompert: Increase.

Q: About a 15 to 20 percent increase?

Gompert: Please don't use that until they give you the right number or we'll both look silly. [Update: Procurement and R&D in the most recent FYDP is about $600 billion total.]

Q: Can you just answer --

Gompert: I do want to add one thing. There are a couple of items in that $45 billion that are big items, okay, such as C-17 fleet expansion. That's probably a third of it.


Q: Could you just answer the question that Bob had before, which was when you talked about larger threats, and he asked whether that was China, is that China?

Q: India?

Gompert: Well, I wouldn't say it is China, but I would say that we certainly have to plan our forces against the possibility that our hopes and policies aimed at keeping China from becoming an adversary might fail, in which case China could become an adversary. I made no prescription whatsoever about our China policy. I join everyone else in hoping that we can manage it so that it's not an adversary, but from the point of view of our conventional forces, it's certainly a potential one.

Q: Is there any others?

Gompert: That's the one I'll mention right now.

You already asked a question.

Q: Yes, well --

Q: I wanted to get back to the updating of troops in Europe. There are currently two divisions there now, I understand. You're talking two or three brigades. So you're essentially calling for a pretty sharp reduction of U.S. ground troops in Europe, right?

Gompert: Well, I'm calling for an updating, and in a way, an upgrading.

Q: Well "updating" is a euphemism for --

Gompert: No, I don't think there's any compelling reason to reduce our forces in Europe. There's no compelling reason to reduce our forces in Europe. What I'm saying is, if you ask me what are the forces that we would want in Europe today, it would be, you know, several deployable combat brigades in terms of ground forces, okay? It happens to be a somewhat smaller number than the current two divisions that we have there, but that's not because I think it's desirable necessarily that we have fewer forces in Europe.

Q: But that, in essence is what would be happening if they went with your recommendation, two or three brigades in Europe. It's significantly smaller than what they have there now, right?

Gompert: It's smaller. Smaller.

Q: By -- what's the --

Gompert: Well first of all, you've got a lot of forces in Europe. You've got naval forces in the Mediterranean, you've got air forces, you've got round forces. And do I think we need all the forces we currently have in Europe? No, I don't think we need to because I think the security situation in Europe has improved substantially over the last 10 years, since the end of the Cold War. So, yeah, I think -- I mean, I'm a student of European affairs and of alliance matters, and I think we could make due with fewer forces in Europe.

But to me, measuring the number of forces there is less important than having a common understanding with the Europeans over what kind of forces we need there and why. So you're right in a technical sense to say it would be a smaller number, but it would be a much more relevant and, therefore, much more capable --

Q: Exactly right. But your recommendations would essentially mean --

Gompert: It would have that effect.

Q: -- a sharp reduction in the number of forces in Europe.

Gompert: No, I didn't say anything about "sharp."

Q: Well, you say "update," but if you look at the numbers, what's there now, and what you're recommending --

Gompert: But "sharp" suggests that it would happen overnight; I don't think it would happen overnight. It is something you could evolve toward. I wouldn't say, you know, send the ships to remove two divisions and send three brigades. It's not the way it would happen. Over a number of years, I think, it could be -- if a decision were taken now, that we want more relevant forces in Europe, that could be done.

Q: Over the FYDP?

Gompert: Yeah. Okay.

Q: On your slide that measured the sort of relevance of the different investment programs, you didn't have the interim brigades that the army's building at the moment mentioned anywhere. Where do they fit into --

Gompert: I think those are very important units as the beginning of the transformation of the structure and the concept of operations of the U.S. Army within a joint context, so I would fully endorse them.

Q: As I understand, your concept of having the CINC responsible for the readiness and training of forces assigned to him, that takes away the only Title 10 responsibility the service chiefs still have; how does he get control -- he doesn't have control of a budget.

Gompert: Yeah, I'm glad you asked, because I want to make sure I'm clear on this. I didn't suggest that the services should not have the responsibility to fulfill their Title 10 duties, but I don't believe it's sufficient to base readiness on the readiness of all the piece parts. That's all I'm suggesting. I think there needs to be some responsibility placed somewhere for the readiness of a joint force, and not simply at the level of the chairman, but rather at the level of the commander that might have to assemble and fight a joint force. So that really is an overlay, rather than substituting for the responsibility for readiness and exercising that goes with the services. He'd have to rely very heavily on services to make sure that various units were kept ready, which is that case today.

But I'm concerned that today, nobody is really responsible for joint readiness. And joint readiness has to do not just with, is this unit ready and is that unit ready, but are we ready to bring this thing together in the time that we think is available? And I think that there's no better place to place that responsibility than the CINC.

Q: On your core capabilities that reside always with the CINC, okay: Admiral Bill (inaudible) is coming at this from a rather different direction, ending up thinking that conceivably it was sensible having some of these as separate services, because for instance communications command and control, he thought were (a) going to be so pervasive and (b), so specialized, because people were actually doing that for their entire lives and not being part of the army or the air force or whatever. You seem to be walking in that direction but getting off the train slightly earlier.

Gompert: Well, no, I don't think I'm walking in that direction at all. I think our -- we shouldn't be breaking things down into separate services just because separate services are ideal for purposes of procuring and equipping of forces. I think it's much more important to emphasize the integration of our forces and that means that the capabilities themselves have to be developed with a view of how they integrate with other capabilities. The officer corps has to be very joint in its career development and its training, as I suggested.

And therefore, instead of saying these things are so joint that we ought to break them out and say that they are going to belong to a new service which is the joint service. In a way, you're saying that all of the other services are off the hook. If you have one service that takes care of the truly joint elements, then the other services basically can continue to do business as usual.

I'd rather see all of the services become more joint and all of our officers more joint in their orientation.


Q: So you're going -- talking about your joint command and control, at that point what are you looking at -- (inaudible) -- Joint Forces Command sets up a joint command and control thing and then, as a contingency comes up, that group leaves and goes to CentCom or goes to PaCom or something?

Gompert: That's a possibility. I was thinking of it in somewhat different terms, but I really didn't get that far. My thought is that the command and control element that you know you're going to need for virtually any kind of an operation ought to be permanent with the operating commander. Okay? Now, then the question is, but how do you develop that capability, because it's technical capability, there's a training aspect of it, and so on. And I don't believe that we can look to our operating commanders as the folks who are best equipped to plan future forces, to procure future forces, to design future capabilities because they have a very near-term focus. And I'm not suggesting we change that; their focus ought to be on the readiness of their force. So therefore, the Joint Forces Command does have a very important role to play as the provider.

But where I'd differ from your interpretation was you wouldn't wait until the operation before the Joint Forces Command provided that command and control cell. It would develop it, okay, but it would provide it as it was developed to the operating commanders who would have the responsibility on a standing basis.

I've got time for one more, and then I've got to go catch an airplane.


Q: Since you seem to be focusing on future capabilities, why are the C-5A and C-5B upgrades at the opposite ends of the spectrum?

Gompert: I think that we need to upgrade the C-5 to some extent because it does offer very substantial capacity, and under certain circumstances you really need that capacity. It's not very flexible; it can't go anywhere. It doesn't have the advantages that the C-17 has of being able to go virtually anywhere. Therefore, we shouldn't rely on it irrespective of its great capacity. Therefore, I do think it ought to be upgraded, but if we're going to upgrade it, let's upgrade the block that's a more advanced C-5, and that happens to be the C-5B, and then let's not upgrade the block which is the older C-5, the C-5A. So it's simply a matter of concentrating -- it's a matter of concentrating the resources in upgrading that block of the C-5 that we can best exploit.

Okay, thank you all.


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