Tuesday, July 24, 2001
(Interview with reporters and editors of the Washington Times)
Rumsfeld: The president ran for the office of president; he gave a series of speeches allowing as how he thought it would be a good idea if the United States reviewed defense strategy and force postures and the way we're dealing with the men and women in the armed services, and relationships in the post Cold War world. He gave several talks. One of them was at the Citadel. He came into office and has given several talks of a kind, and still believes what he said, and asked me when he invited me to become his nominee for secretary of Defense to, if confirmed, undertake a series of reviews and a serious look at our country's circumstance in the world, and we've been doing that.
It's been interesting. We've had a series of six or eight studies that were completed and became part, really, of the Quadrennial Defense Review. We've been moving through that process because of the time compression that exists, there's been a need to do a rather unusual thing, and that is to gather the chiefs and on occasion the CINCs and the under secretaries into a room and have us pretty much do it ourselves rather than thinking you can delegate it down and then hope to reconnect it at the top after they've come back up. There just wasn't enough time for that.
So we agreed that about the only way to do it would be to have us just sit in that room right next door there and spend an hour or two or two and a half a day for three or four days a week for the last six or eight weeks.
We've done that. We ended up the unanimous view with respect to what the terms of reference ought to be. Sent that down to six or eight of the study groups or IPTs, I guess they call them. Most of them came back and gave mid-term reports and then were sent back to finish some more work. One of them came up with a mid-term report that seemed to stray from what we had thought we said in the terms of reference, so we started meeting again and went through every word in the terms of reference to find out where the ambiguities were and how someone could go that far astray. We ended up rephrasing it to some extent and taking out any ambiguities that might have existed and it's now back being worked.
So once again there was complete unanimity among the chiefs and the chairman and the vice chairman and the under secretaries and the service secretaries, so we feel that that's kind of stitched back together and underway.
Q: What was the particular area?
Rumsfeld: I don't want to beat up on anybody. You know what it was. You know more than I do about this building. What are you asking me questions for like that? (Laughter)
Q: The rest of us don't.
Rumsfeld: It was just one of the groups and they're perfectly fine people and they came back with some theories that were way off to one side and way off to the other side simultaneously, and we looked at it and they clearly were not within the realm of possibility. What we did was take out the ambiguities and they're back working.
The interesting thing, I told someone in a staff meeting the other day that you could take the, it's true almost of a budget. It's true of a lot of things. You could take the product and forget it and have benefited enormously because the process serves as a vehicle for discussion. And to sit there for an hour and a half or two and a half hours a day for six weeks, anywhere from three to four days a week with that group of people, everyone at the end of that time has a very good idea what each of the other people think about almost all of the important subjects that we are wrestling with.
We know what they mean when they use words that have particular meaning to them, and as a vehicle for getting people acquainted and having a chance to understand where they're coming from and why they think about things a certain way, it's just been enormously helpful.
Q: What's your deadline for getting a recommendation to the president?
Rumsfeld: Oh, gosh. There are certain statutory requirements and we'll meet them all, I suppose, one way or another. I don't set artificial deadlines. But the Quadrennial Defense Review I think has to be reported to the Congress by October 1st; and I think the nuclear posture statement is sometime towards the end of the year or January. I intend to do that one earlier, finish it earlier. I'm well along.
The defense planning guidance has to go out in anticipation of the budget build and the fiscal guidance has to go out soon. And then the budget build presumably is in, well, they're already starting on pieces of it but it will end late in the year and then the president announces the budget I guess in January or so.
So it all has to kind of -- All those threads have to come through the needle head pretty darn quick.
Q: We had a story a couple of days ago, we have people telling us, telling Rowan that the QDR is becoming largely driven by budget rather than strategy which is a reversal of where you and the president were originally coming from on this.
Rumsfeld: That was the argument made against the last one, and I wasn't around for that, but my recollection is that that clearly, in fact that's the admission about the last one, that it was. It became that, I'm told, by people who were involved in it. I shouldn't say that's the allegation, that's apparently a fact.
I don't think it's quite possible to say that about this one except for the fact that if you have the law requiring that this be completed by September 30th and the fiscal guidance go out sometime in July or August and the defense planning guidance and the fiscal guidance, and then you're working on your budget in September/October/November, it's hard for someone not to be able to say what you just someone told Rowan, although it doesn't make it so. We've had a number of months where there has not been any kind of a budget drill and there's been a great deal of thought going on. I suppose if someone wants to say it they can say it, but I doubt if the people involved would say that.
Q: Do you think it's becoming more budget driven?
Rumsfeld: I think life is budget driven. Do I think the work that we've done over the past three or four months is budget driven? Absolutely not. I think --
Q: Can I shift to the strategy part of that?
Q: One of the things that's been widely reported that there's going to be a shift in focus towards Asia, which means China. And the issue of China obviously has become very important in the sense that people say don't make China into an enemy, but yet it already appears as if they regard us as their main enemy. They have it in their writings, and they're also building up their forces in a fairly alarming fashion to be able to confront the United States down the road.
You have kind of a reputation of being a realist on China. Could you give us your take on what you think is going on with the PRC today?
Rumsfeld: First, go back to Andy Marshall's paper. You're right. It did discuss Asia. But rather than suggesting an emphasis on Asia and thereby employing that life's a zero sum game and there should be a deemphasis on the Persian Gulf or on Europe or some other part of the world, I think it did not, having been over it quite carefully.
I think what it did do is it pointed out that Asia is different from Europe in terms of distances, in terms of the kinds of countries that are there and the nature of their political systems and their economic systems. And that as a result the Department of Defense needs to be cognizant of that and recognize the difference in capabilities that conceivably would be appropriate in the first instance for the purpose of deterring, and in the second instance for the purpose of prevailing.
So I think that's a better fix on what the defense strategy paper has said. And indeed, as we look at strategy and as you know we're still wresting with that question of how we went to size our forces and have preliminarily been discussing the idea that it is appropriate to have a threat-based strategy for nearer term problems, but possibly more appropriate to have a capability-based strategy for the mid to longer term problems. As I've pointed out repeatedly, history is replete with examples of where people have failed to predict what was going to happen the next year and where the problem was going to come from and what form that threat or problem might take.
So we're kind of looking at near term threat-based where you can see it -- Iraq or North Korea or something like that, as opposed to the mid to longer term where it's really a matter more of capabilities that are going to deter.
What do I think about China? My view of China is that it's future is not written, and it is being written. I don't have any code words that I would want to characterize as a doctrine or anything, but I am kind of old fashioned. I kind of begin with reality. Reality is it exists. It is reaching out from an economic standpoint to the rest of the world to try to engage economies and have those economies engage them.
They are, as you point out, increasing their defense budget every year by some, probably double-digit figure, although it's very difficult to nail down precisely what their budgets are since they have more than one.
Every one in this room is probably a better judge than I am as to whether it's possible, whether and to what extent it's possible to have an economic system that reaches out to the rest of the world and therefore has to live with the rest of the world in terms of relatively free market oriented policies and cope with the inevitable reality of computers and people coming to your country and the press and the things, the interaction that occurs from having a successful economy which they clearly have indicated they'd like to try to do.
Then ask yourself how compatible that is with a dictatorial, rigid political system that lacks the freedom, political freedoms that we enjoy and other successful -- many, if not most successful economies enjoy, although there are all gradations there.
I happen to be in the camp that suggests that that's an awfully tough thing to do, that repression does work, but that -- and you can repress for a very long time. But if you try to do it while you're simultaneously achieving a high growth economy through extensive interaction with other nations in the world, you're putting at risk your ability to repress.
So I'm not wise enough to know how it's going to come out and I don't know the kind of choices they're going to make, whether they're going to get to the fork in the road and decide that they're not willing to put the regime at risk and therefore they'll trim, because if they trim too much they're inevitably going to be penalized. Money is a coward. People vote with their feet.
If you create an environment that's inhospitable to investment, the inevitable result is that investment will dry up as it should. And I don't know what choices they'll make. And I don't know how much we could do to affect it, to be perfectly honest. I think that we as a country are not unimportant, but it takes an awful lot of countries behaving in a way that can conceivably moderate or affect the behavior of another country of that nature, that size, that location, that history, that view of themselves.
Q: And specifically the missile buildup. The short range missiles opposite Taiwan -- I was in Taiwan two weeks ago, the president called for joint Japan/U.S./Taiwan missile defense, and they're also building up their long range missiles. How do you view, since you did the missile commission years ago, how do you view the Chinese missile buildup, both short and long?
Rumsfeld: I guess I view it as not surprising and totally unrelated to our missile defense discussions. I keep hearing that what we do on missile defense could have an affect on the rate or pace or nature of what they might do with respect to their ballistic missiles. It seems to me that that is misguided, that they're going to do what they're going to do and it matters little what we do, I think, with respect to missile defense.
How do I view it? I guess it doesn't surprise me. Here's a country that apparently has the wherewithal to do that. They've decided that it's important for their view of themselves to be the factor in the region and they are making significant investments in, not just in immediate capabilities, but they're making significant investments in future capabilities. They're looking at things that are not being looked at by a lot of other countries in the world. Information technologies and intelligence activities and various other types of things, which it's apparently a -- they're not the only country doing that. You've got India and Pakistan are busy; Iran's busy; a number of other countries on the earth are busy. Apparently ballistic missiles are quite the thing these days.
Q: But they're not communist dictatorships, either.
Rumsfeld: No. That's true. Although Iran has a system that does not give one confidence.
Q: Could we return for a moment to the budget side of the...
Q: You've been sort of criticized a teensie weensie bit for overseeing a defense budget which is insufficient to fulfill the promises made by the president during the presidential campaign to restore America's military. It was a very big campaign theme. And yet the defense budget looks a little puny to be honest about it.
What's your response to those criticisms?
Rumsfeld: Well, the president cares about national defense and national security and he has to take into account a host of things as president. I have to worry about the Defense Department and that's what I worry about. He has to worry about lots of different things and deal with a Congress that has opinions of its own. And what he's proposed is a number that is I guess the largest single increase since 1986. It's percentage wise the largest percentage wise of any department. And like every other department head in the history of the world, one always wishes it were more.
The problem the president and I are facing, really, is the fact that for a period of some eight years, actually ten years, the peace dividend was being extracted and they overshot by a substantial margin. Instead of stopping at some rational point the prior administration kept pulling it down and taking what they characterized as a procurement holiday.
The result is we have a situation with respect to the armed forces of the United States that is facing the inevitable result of year after year of serious underfunding. Then you have to couple that with the fact that both the forces and the equipment not only were underfunded during the past eight years, but they were in fact considerably overused. The result being that the aircraft are aging and that means that, it's like if you have a car that's 30 years old, 20 years old, you're going to end up paying a lot for maintenance, and that's what we're doing. We're just getting eaten up with spare parts and maintenance and down time.
The shipbuilding budget was starved and is going to go off a cliff in 10 of 15 years. We're on a steady state right now headed for 230 ships -- we currently have I think 310. And I don't know what the right number is but I can tell you it's not 230 and if we don't start immediately building ships we're going to end up with an enormous trough out there in a period of 10-15 years.
Now you can't lower the average age of aircraft by 10 years in one year. It took us a decade to get there, and it is a tough thing to do when you have a fleet like that.
The numbers, I don't remember what they are, but it's something like, currently we're buying something like 88 airplanes a year and you need 188 or 200 to stay at steady state of where you are.
The infrastructure in the military -- I'm told best practice is 57 or 67 years in the private sector for a recapitalization rate. We're up around 190 in some respects, years recapitalization.
Well how do you get that down? You just have to do it year after year after year. It's going to take us to recover from that.
Q: Speaking of aircraft. None of your early panels called for canceling any of your four major aircraft programs. Do you think that idea is going to survive the QDR process? Do you think those four programs will be in tact or basically intact when...
Rumsfeld: The panels weren't asked to address that question -- during the fall -- in the spring, I mean.
The panels now are addressing those questions and I'm just starting to get briefed on the major weapon systems and I've been starting with tacair and I'm going to be working my way through over the coming week and a half on those.
Rumsfeld: They'll be part of the '03 budget build.
Q: Are they safe from cancellation?
Rumsfeld: Oh, I'm not going to pre-judge them. I haven't been briefed. You wouldn't want me to do that.
Q: Yes, I would. (Laughter)
Rumsfeld: No, you wouldn't want me to do that.
Q: How about the size of the force?
Rumsfeld: That would be wrong. (Laughter)
Rumsfeld: We could take the easy road, but that would be wrong.
Q: The size of the force?
Rumsfeld: Same question. That's one of the panels that's meeting right now.
Q: How do you respond to your critics that say, though, that you're not asking for enough to do what you want to do, to meet current needs and to do the technological changes that you want to do? You asked for $35 billion at a minimum, OMB said $15, the compromise was at $18. And yet people outside of the Pentagon say you need $50.
How do you respond to them? Are you shortchanging what you need to do? Or are you saying well, we're just going to have to take a longer time to do it and this is all the money we can get.
Rumsfeld: Well first of all, just because you read that in the paper doesn't make it so. And second, I don't talk about what I talk to the president about. It seems to me that's not good form. So --
How do I deal with the fact that a number is less than some experts suggest is appropriate or that would enable us to get these deficiencies that have accumulated over a decade corrected at a more rapid pace? I guess you accept the world like you find it and you go about the business trying to work the problem as successfully and effectively as you can.
One of the things it does do is it puts a premium on operating the defense establishment better, which is I think at the minimum respectful of the taxpayers' dollars but also helpful if you want to try to turn waste into weapons.
So the fact that we know we aren't doing everything as fast as we'd like to do clearly forces us to go to the Congress and to go to the contractors and to go to the building and admit that this place is operating in a manner that certainly cannot be characterized as efficient, and where there are billions of dollars that ought to be saved and can be saved if we're given the incentive, which we clearly have, to be able to take those wasteful dollars and stick them into important things that are needed for the men and women of the armed services and for the capabilities and the transformation that's required.
Nothing's ever perfect in life.
Q: -- with what OMB has approved as your fiscal budget.
Rumsfeld: I'd like to stick with the words that I use which are much more appropriate. I said I've never known a Cabinet officer who didn't think his department ought to get more money. But the way you phrased it would be wrong. (Laughter)
Q: How significant is the agreement made this weekend with Putin and Bush on the ABM Treaty? Does that really clear the way now for a missile defense system?
Rumsfeld: Will it do what?
Q: Clear the way for a missile defense system.
Rumsfeld: Well, I guess time will tell. They had a good meeting I'm told. I spoke with my counterpart yesterday morning. I guess the president met on Sunday and we talked yesterday, Monday morning our time, and are in the process of worrying through some dates when we can kind of clear our schedules to get together. These things are complicated. Everyone has multiple audiences they have to deal with, and I'm sure they do there and we do here. What the president knows is what we've all been saying -- the president and Secretary Powell and I and others have said that the ABM treaty is designed to prevent ballistic missile defense and the president ran on the platform that he wanted to have ballistic missile defense, and he asked me to see what we could do about that, and I've set up a research and development program to look at a variety of ways, many of which, indeed most of which ultimately would bump up against the ballistic missile treaty. Therefore as the president has said and I've said, we need to get beyond that treaty because it's preventing us from doing things we feel we need to do.
The meeting with President Putin obviously set us on a path where we're going to begin those meetings and see how far we can get in fashioning something that's mutually agreeable.
Q: How is that going to affect the nuclear posture review?
Rumsfeld: That's another thing that's chugging along in parallel here. I guess that's due at the end of the year.
I don't know that it will affect it. I'm actually ahead of the game there. I've had a bucket of meetings on that subject and I don't know, Cambone's not here, but he gave me a piece of paper about an hour ago and I haven't had time to read it, but it looked to me like I've probably got to have three or four more meetings before I've got my head wrapped around the thing sufficiently that I'm going to be able to be comfortable that I can advise the president as to what I think with respect to numbers of nuclear weapons and targeting and alert statuses and all of the things that are involved there, numbers of warheads on missiles and what you worry about and what you don't need to worry about. So I feel pretty good about that, that we're well down the road. And obviously it's clear that their numbers are going to go down significantly quite apart of anything we say to them. They're just heading south. And we've already indicated that we can pull some down. We talked about the peacekeeper and there are some other things that are probably appropriate from a budget standpoint quite apart from the broader question.
Q: You did a good job of explaining the dynamic within China, but what do you believe is the best U.S. military posture for dealing with China? Military now.
I've never believed that weakness was your first choice. I've always felt that weakness was provocative, that it kind of invites people to do things that they otherwise wouldn't think about doing. And so to those who would argue that the United States should be something other than strong and capable of contributing to peace and stability in the world, I would argue that history says to the contrary.
Second, I am really enamored of military-to-military relationships generally. I'll never forget meeting with Saddam at Masters' funeral and having him, he had Russians crawling all over his country and he looked me right in the eye, I was with John McCloy and Robert Murphy. He looked us in the eye and he said, "You know, we don't have a single problem with your country except Israel." And he said, "I'll never forget the time I spent at one of your war colleges, or one of your schools in the south years ago as a young lieutenant colonel," and I think of our relationship with the Turkish general staff, and I think of our relationship with so many other militaries, and the value of having them see how our country works and see the concept of civilian control, and see the capabilities we have. From a deterrent standpoint, that's not a bad thing, either, for people to get a sense of what we have.
So I favor military-to-military contact in general. I do think it ought to be reciprocal. I don't think we ought to be so eager for military-to-military contacts that we end up providing things to another country that they don't provide to us, or where the value is not roughly comparable.
Take Indonesia today. I don't doubt for a minute that there are countries around the world that have had human rights problems. But I would think that things would conceivably be better if we have military-to-military contact with Indonesia today and for the period past, and that we haven't, because we're prohibited to do it. Simply because it's a stabilizing -- it can be. Not always. But it can be a useful stabilizing relationship.
What else about the military with respect to China?
Q: You seem to have softened your stance on the military to military with China --
Rumsfeld: I was talking about generally in the world. I know what I wanted to say. I think that, for example, the multinational things that we do where China is with us as we're with Thais and people from other countries, Australians, and so forth. I think that's a useful thing, for them to be involved in those sessions and meetings and activities and have a chance to look at the United States and how we interact with other countries. It demystifies it. It's a country that doesn't have something that I characterize it as a free press, and I think the more people see how we behave and what we do, and that we covet no other country's territory, that we have considerable capabilities is a useful thing.
Now I don't know that I've softened. I mean heck, when you've got a bunch of your air crewman being detained in a country, it's not business as usual, that's for darn sure. So I drop things.
Q: How does that incident affect your outlook on China?
Rumsfeld: It certainly sharpens your understanding of some of the dynamics that go on inside that country. And the relationships between the military and the civilian side, the, probably how the jockeying for position in leadership positions and power inside the civilian leadership is affected by external events that come out of nowhere.
Here's a Chinese pilot who had no more idea in the world he was going to kill himself. Hot dogging up in front often airplane, and killed himself. Only an idiot would stick their horizontal stabilizer in someone else's propeller. I mean you know he didn't do that intentionally. And there he is, gone. Dead. Because he was doing that.
All of a sudden it became an enormous event inside China in terms of their leadership, how it's handled, who says what, what happens? And it is so unlike our country, but on the other hand, it's very much like a lot of other countries in the world that have leadership structures and leadership succession processes that are totally foreign to any free country. And they're hidden and that played a big part in that, without question.
Q: -- a million dollar bill?
Rumsfeld: I'm one of those old fashioned guys who likes to negotiate in private. (Laughter)
I think what the United States ought to do is it ought to pay whatever it ought to pay and that's probably what we'll pay.
Q: Is that plane going to fly again?
Rumsfeld: I think so. I've heard nothing to lead me to believe that they aren't going to be able to fix it back up. They're in short supply. We need those airplanes.
Q: In 1994 this country moved its line on women in combat from basically no combat to airplanes and surface ships.
Rumsfeld: Which year?
Q: 1994. It's basically stayed there, the line. Do you see any reason to move it closer to combat or away from combat?
Rumsfeld: I have not heard a word on the issue since I've been here. It's not something that's happening around here that I know about.
Q: Personally, your view on that.
Rumsfeld: Do you want to go off the record?
Q: No. (Laughter)
Rumsfeld: I have not had a moment to look at the subject. I am not knowledgeable enough to opine on any aspect of it.
Q: You must have a personal opinion on it. It's a quite strongly held --
Q: You were a naval aviator. You followed the cultural changes in the military in the '90s and the debates over how far can women go towards land combat.
Rumsfeld: I have followed newspaper reports of those debates. It's not a subject I've ever been involved in with the department, and I apologize. I regret to say that it's something that I'm just not knowledgeable about. I could not tell you -- I hate to say this in public. It sounds like I'm not interested, but it is not something that I have been able to invest sufficient time in to comment thoughtfully to you.
Q: The gay ban, do you see any reason to review it, change it --
Rumsfeld: That is not on our radar screen.
Q: Is it safe to say that these are not front burner issues for this Administration? I mean since you're saying you haven't had time to review it or think about it --
Rumsfeld: I've had an awful lot of other peas on my knife during this period. I don't know that I can speak for the administration. I can say for myself, it happens that neither of those subjects are something that has come roaring up in the first period of months.
Q: And they're not issues that are front burner issues for you personally as secretary of Defense?
Rumsfeld: I've got so many things that are pushed at me that I'm working on that I just don't have any -- They aren't even on our schedule that I know of.
Q: These were big issues for the previous president, for your predecessors in the two Clinton administrations. The social issues of the military, whether that be gays or women or families in the military. Those were issues that certainly in our discussions with those gentlemen came up over and over. So it's maybe a little surprising that this seems to be so absent --
Rumsfeld: Maybe it's a sign of the times.
Q: A sign of the times?
Rumsfeld: I don't know.
Q: The general times or the sign of the Washington Times? (Laughter)
Rumsfeld: No. They just haven't come up.
Q: You deal with DACOWITS. Do you think that DACOWITS still has a role here?
Rumsfeld: As a matter of fact, as fate would have it, I've not had an opportunity to deal with DACOWITS since I've been here. And I guess I don't know the answer. I would not want to announce that I think they don't because I have not engaged the subject or talked with them or reviewed it in any way.
Q: You've dealt with the morale issue, though, of our fighting --
Rumsfeld: We sure have.
Q: And part of the morale issue that's a problem, letters from our readers anyway, is this issue of women in combat and women having the test rules change, whether they don't have to run as far, or that nobody has to run as far because the women can't do it --
Q: Or run at all.
Q: Exactly. Cutting back on all kinds of rigorous demands that --
Rumsfeld: In which service is that?
Q: I think --
Q: The Army. There was recently a book out about Army boot camp since it went co-ed, and all the standards had been lowered de facto. You couldn't find it written anywhere, but (inaudible) to watch, things were changed to make sure that the women could keep up, especially on the obstacle course, when it came to running, when it came to throwing a grenade. All the standards according to this reportage were lowered to make sure that more women got through. And there have been polls of your basic training, women and men, who say by large margins, 75 percent, that discipline has decreased in boot camp, especially Army boot camp, since it went co-ed.
And Condoleezza Rice during the campaign, she told reporters that one thing that Bush was going to look at, and she mentioned it as a high priority, was whether the military should go back to separating the sexes at least in the first three or four weeks of boot camp and let them become part of the military before they're put in the same barracks, in the same platoon.
Rumsfeld: I remember that issue being discussed and my recollection is I was told that the services were left to decide that themselves, and they decided it in somewhat different ways. Is that -- I think that's right.
Q: The Marines want to stay segregated, and the other services wanted to stay the way they are. Despite the Kassenbaum Commission which Ms. Rice served on which said 11 to nothing they ought to be separated.
Rumsfeld: During that period.
Q: Yes. Especially the barracks.
Rumsfeld: Uh huh.
Q: Any anticipation for moving troops into the Balkans from Macedonia? Is there pressure from the allies to do that?
Rumsfeld: There has been encouragement, is a word I would select.
Q: Macedonia I guess we're talking about.
What we've said is that NATO, I think I'm going to phrase it correctly. NATO has said what they will do is in the event it's a permissive environment and an agreement between the Albanians and the Macedonian forces, that they are willing to turn in their arms, that NATO would send some folks in to receive the arms for a short period of time.
The call went out among NATO nations for people volunteering troops to do that. Three or four or five countries volunteered troops. We did not. What we said was that in the event it was appropriate we would make some of our troops in Kosovo available at borders to receive weapons in the even they were looking for multiple locations to do that.
And second, that we would make Camp Bondsteel's hospital available.
Third, that we would provide some medevac in the event it was appropriate.
And fourth, we would assist with some intelligence.
And fifth, we would assist with logistics help. All using forces that are currently there.
We have a non-trivial number. I'm trying to think what it is -- 400. It depends on rotations, but 400 to 500 in Kosovo who are really the back office, correction, in Macedonia who are the back office for Kosovo now, and it would be those kinds of capabilities that would be used, not additional forces.
Q: One of your things was to look for ways to kind of reduce those things.
Rumsfeld: Right. I have --
Q: -- finding out ways of doing that?
Rumsfeld: Unfortunately we have not had anyone in our policy shop until last week, and it was new, or a week and a half ago I guess. But I have been looking around the world for any number of opportunities to try to help reduce the so-called optempo, found a number of places, and not surprisingly, in almost every case it takes a little time to do it. You don't want to do those things precipitously I'm advised. That it's best to do them diplomatically. So we're going to try to do that.
But there's no question but that we were pretty well extended and that's clearly one of the reasons why we're not supplying any additional forces. We're going to use some capabilities we currently have to be helpful, but if it ever happens, and of course it would take an agreement for it to happen.
Q: -- the campaign the president --
Q: -- too many places. That seems to sort of, an effort to change that. I think it would stop cold.
Q: Is that office still working?
Rumsfeld: It is.
Q: -- pulling out of places we are now in?
Rumsfeld: The process is working. General Shelton is working on an engagement study. The policy shop now under Doug Feith has a study underway, I believe, with IDA on engagement. And the kinds of things we're doing -- where are we doing things around the world by country, and what are the things we're doing, and how do we feel about those things? Are we doing things in countries we don't need to be doing? Are we doing activities that we'd best not do?
We're going to be completing that study within the next month or two I think.
Second, we have already reduced down a number of troops in Bosnia.
Third, we have declined to become involved in a number of new activities that have occurred during this period.
And fourth, I have a massive search out trying to find where all the Defense Department detailees are located around the world. With the thought that we might try to modestly reduce our tail and increase our teeth.
So we have not been inattentive to it. It is something that -- It's a heck of a lot easier to get into something than it is to get out of it. But we're working.
Q: -- seven percent increase in the defense budget for the next few years?