DoD News Briefing - Rear Adm. Craig R. Quigley, DASD PA
Tuesday, July 31, 2001 - 1:30 p.m.
Quigley: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Two announcements for you this afternoon.
For starters, tomorrow DoD will host a demonstration of assistive technology and related services for DoD and other federal employees at our Computer and Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) Technology Center in Room 2A259, from 9:00 to 2:00 tomorrow afternoon. Through the provision of assistive technology, expertise and training, CAP services make DoD activities in federal offices more accessible to individuals with visual, hearing, dexterity and cognitive disabilities. And we have a press advisory for you on that.
And second, we're also announcing today upgrades to Today in DoD. For those of you who are regular users of DefenseLINK, this is our main online public daybook and events calendar. New features include an e-mail version in addition to the Web version, a frequently updated "What's New" section, a "pick-a-day" page for checking other dates, and an "Other Events" page with links to other calendars, schedules and daybooks. And again, that is at DefenseLINK. For those of you who use it regularly, I hope you'll notice an improvement. And for those of you who do not use it regularly, please check it out. [ Press advisory ]
With that, I'll take your questions. Bob.
Q: Craig, has the ABM Treaty Compliance Review Group finished its initial assessment, or its assessment on whether planned testing and other activities over the coming year would come into conflict with the treaty?
Quigley: The ABM Treaty Compliance Review Group completed an initial quick look and provided that assessment to Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz late yesterday. This is, I guess I would call it, the start of a process that would -- he will digest the information that has been provided to him and kind of take it from there. A lot of options could take place from that initial assessment. If it's a timing issue, you could perhaps adjust the timing of a test. If it's a level-of-effort issue, you could adjust the level of effort. Ultimately, if it comes to a point where you are -- this is an event that must take place at a particular time, then it calls for a much more -- broader discussion within the government as to what is the appropriate way ahead. But they have brought that initial look to Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz late yesterday.
Q: Well, from what you say, it sounds like there are indeed some activities planned that would in fact -- as currently planned, would conflict with the treaty -- is that right? -- and there needs to be some adjustments.
Quigley: Well, that's the charter of the group, is to take a look at the proposed testing schedule down the road, find out where there could be issues of compliance with the treaty, and sing out as early as possible that if you see a potential conflict, try to identify it as best you can. As we've said here many times before, there is plenty of room for interpretive ability on the language of the treaty over the years. If you get a variety of people who are students of the subject and have studied the specific language of the treaty in detail for, perhaps, years, they still come down with differences of opinion sometimes as to whether or not a projected action or activity is in compliance with the treaty. When that happens, as is frequently the case, you've just got to sit down within government and talk about it and figure out the way ahead.
Q: What I'm trying to get at is there are certain set identifiable activities over the next year, and did this group, in fact, find that there are some cases in which it's going to be in conflict or not?
Quigley: They did. They found some instances where the -- there is at least a question in the review group's mind as to whether or not the proposed activity would remain in compliance with the treaty. The next step on that is to take a hard look, discuss within government, discuss within other treaty experts as to whether or not we can arrive at a consensus on the interpretation and go from there.
Q: Can you say what time frame we're talking about?
Quigley: No, sir. I will not be specific because these are very tentative findings.
Q: Secretary Wolfowitz was quite specific when he briefed -- when he told the Senate Armed Services Committee and he said that the first test is February, and that's one that involves using a theater ballistic missile, using ABM radar to monitor a theater ballistic missile intercept test. Is that one of those that are mentioned, and is that when we're looking at the first conflict?
Quigley: Well, I'll let his word speak for himself. But I'll also not be specific as to the findings yesterday from the Compliance Review Group.
Q: Did the Compliance Review Group confirm that what he told the Senate Armed Services Committee was correct?
Quigley: I will not be illustrative as to what was included in the report to the deputy secretary.
Q: Because why not?
Quigley: Because it is a tentative finding, it is very much a work in progress. When and if the government, writ large, finds that it will be in violation of the ABM Treaty, then and only then is that the time to discuss that publicly.
Q: Will Mr. Wolfowitz or someone from the group brief Congress?
Quigley: Not yet, because, again, there's many possible ways ahead from this initial finding. And when you have made a determination as the government -- again, this is more than the Defense Department that's involved in this process -- you'll determine that way ahead and brief the Congress at the appropriate time.
Q: Who told Wolfowitz that February and then the other two tests that he talked about were going to be violations, if not this review group?
Quigley: I don't know. I don't know.
Q: In these instances where it did find that there is a potential conflict with the ABM Treaty, will the Pentagon or the administration try to make any accommodation for that, or will they simply go ahead with the test plan as it is?
Quigley: Would you ask that again?
Q: Well, I mean, will the administration make any attempt to alter or change the testing program in response to questions about compliance, about the treaty, that are raised by the review group?
Quigley: Well, that is one option that could be considered, once you come to a consensus that a proposed activity would be in violation. Yeah, that's one option.
Q: Does the messages that were given to Russia about a month ago, would that -- the treaty requires the United States to formally notify that it plans to remove the -- plans to break the treaty. Would the messages given last month be part of that formal notification, or is that more of a heads-up?
Quigley: The treaty requires that either nation formally notify the other of its intent to withdraw from the treaty six months in advance. But I am not sure what message last month you are referring to.
Q: Well, there was, in conjunction with Dr. Wolfowitz's testimony, the administration acknowledged that it had notified Moscow that there was a possibility that tests next year could --
Quigley: I don't know. If those notifications would have been made, it would have been done through diplomatic channels. I'm not sure.
Q: Craig, I think you said that the findings of this review group are tentative, or something to that effect. Does that mean that other agencies, such as the State Department, for example, has its own version of that compliance review --
Quigley: No, I think --
Q: Then why isn't it final? Why isn't this final?
Quigley: Well, because you don't arrive at a consensus, typically, as to whether or not a specific action that is anticipated activity is indeed in violation or in compliance.
What they raise are potential areas of questions that deserve more focus and study before you can say for sure whether or not that activity would be in violation or in compliance with the terms of the treaty.
Q: Whose responsibility is that?
Quigley: Well, again, this is something -- the process has started yesterday, with the delivery of their tentative findings to the deputy secretary. He's going to have to think about that and determine the way ahead. There is no set piece formula for that process.
Q: And what he says is the final word, or is this --
Quigley: No, it would be a more inclusive process than that. That's really step one.
Q: Outside the Department of Defense?
Quigley: Yeah. Mm-hmm.
Q: This goes into some sort of an interagency --
Quigley: Oh, yeah. I mean, as I said before, I mean, this is very much a government decision. You'd have DoD, you'd have the State Department, you'd have the White House. I mean, this is a very inclusive process. Ultimately, the nation is the participant in the treaty, not just a piece of the government.
Q: Does Russia have any say in this, since they're the other party to the treaty?
Quigley: Well, our -- as we've stated many times, our goal is to try to design a new framework, rather than a treaty that was entered into at a different time in history, with a country that no longer exists. The preferred option is to go about this a different way. But the president has stated that he intends to move beyond the ABM Treaty, hopefully in concert with Russia -- a new relationship with that country.
Q: So they don't weigh in as to whether or not they think our planned tests are ABM-compliant or not?
Quigley: Not that I'm aware of.
Q: And we don't weigh in with them?
Quigley: Not that I'm aware of.
Q: We don't express any --
Quigley: No. I'm not at all sure that Russia has a treaty compliance group within their government. I don't know.
Q: You said the review board -- it's early results from the review board. What's the timetable of this? When it's going to make its way through government? Do you have any sense? Weeks? Months? Two months?
Quigley: No, I don't. No, I don't.
Q: Because the treaty says you have to give six months notice before pulling out.
Quigley: Right. And we have said that we would not find ourselves in violation of the treaty. So you have courses of action to consider -- changing the test schedule, changing the activities, moving them to the right, finding that the question that you raised as to whether or not such and such an activity was in violation, ultimately finding the answer is no, we do not feel that the action is violation, and then pressing ahead. So there's a variety of options.
Q: It could be more than the test schedule; it could be construction, for example, right?
Quigley: Oh, sure. Yeah, any of several different types of activity. Yeah.
Q: But you're not telling us whether it's construction or testing?
Q: Well, along the lines of that question, I gather that there's no commitment to make those decisions before you're going to ask Congress to appropriate the money that will pay for those decisions.
Is that right? In other words, you're --
Quigley: Say that again? I'm sorry.
Q: Well, you're coming up to a September 30th end of the fiscal year, and you're asking Congress for money into the next year. There's no commitment to make these decisions before you ask Congress to provide the money to support whatever decisions you make.
Quigley: We'll try to be as informative to the Congress as we can in the two months, I guess, that remain before the implementation of the new fiscal year and the new budget and whatnot. But I don't to over-promise, either. I mean, you need to come to a consensus within the government that you are on solid ground and then consult with the Congress.
Q: In terms of the activities that you've planned for the remainder of this fiscal year, such as clearing land or something in Alaska, has this group concluded that there are no compliance problems for this year with your planned activities?
Quigley: They have looked at the anticipated activities in the months ahead, made their recommendations and suggestions, at least, to Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. Without getting into a specific time frame -- or, as I said, this is very much a work in progress -- we have not -- we do not have any near-term actions contemplated that would be covered by their recommendations.
Q: Covered by? I mean -- (off mike) --
Quigley: Included in the recommendations that were provided to the deputy secretary yesterday.
Q: What -- I don't follow. You mean that none of the activities were considered by them, or that none of the activities are going to be a problem?
Quigley: All of the activities for a period of several months down the road were considered by the compliance review group. Without being specific as to their tentative findings that were provided to the deputy yesterday, there is nothing that is currently contemplated before the Congress this fiscal year that would be on that list.
Q: On the list of potential problems?
Quigley: Mm-hmm. (Affirmative.)
Q: Okay. Well, it's a yes to Chris's question, then, right? Chris asked that question --
Quigley: I remember the original question. I don't know what the answer is. (Scattered laughter.)
Does that answer your question? I mean --
Q: (Off mike.)
Q: Has Secretary Rumsfeld or General Kadish responded to Representative Spratt and the other two lawmakers who wrote to them about Fort Greely last week, two weeks ago?
Quigley: I don't know. [Update: Yes, the Department has responded.]
Q: New subject --
Q: Can I ask one more?
Q: And I've just got one, too.
Q: When you say it's a government-wide decision, do you mean a decision on whether a particular activity might be in conflict with the treaty, or whether to adjust the testing schedule in response to that, or both?
Quigley: Both. Both. I mean, you ask yourself the question, "If I need to move an anticipated activity to the right and slip the schedule, what will be the impact on the program?"
And if it's a relatively minor impact on the testing program, that could lead you to one decision. If it's a significant impact, that could lead you to another decision. And so all of those various combinations and permutations have to be thought through very carefully.
Q: General Kadish the night of the shot said that he would come in and, once they got the information gathered, would brief about the test. Is that coming closer, or -- ?
Quigley: Let me ask the question. Let me ask the question.
Q: Iraq. How would you characterize Iraq's efforts to target or threaten or fire at U.S. or British planes inside and outside the no-fly zones over the last week or so? Has there been an increase in activity? Have they been getting more proficient at threatening planes? Is there any way you could characterize it?
Quigley: I'd like to expand the time horizon, if I could, to your question.
Quigley: They have shown over the course of all of calendar year 2001 a considerably more aggressive stance in trying to bring down a coalition aircraft. The motivation for reward that Saddam has made very public on any of several occasions; he is trying his darnedest to bring down a coalition aircraft. The volume of fire is up in -- throughout both Northern and Southern Watch as compared to, say, a year ago at this time. It is very clear that he is very focused and determined to try to bring down a coalition aircraft.
Q: Have there been any recent incidents in the last week or so that you can bring us up to date on, is there anything --
Quigley: I'm not going to get into a blow-by-blow of incident after incident, day after day and giving a box score. We have aggregate figures, and we'll be glad to share those with you.
Q: Have there been any other incidents similar to the one that you did tell us about, a report of an Iraqi surface-to-air missile that may have been fired into Kuwaiti airspace? Have there been any other firings of surface-to-air missiles that have gone into the airspace of any of Iraq's neighbors?
Quigley: Again, I'm not going to get into a day-by-day description of that. If those nations feel that their airspace has been violated, perhaps you could ask them that question.
Q: There was a report that an AWACS pilot sighted a missile fired into Saudi airspace. Is that accurate?
Quigley: Again, I'm -- same answer. I'm aware of that report, but I'm just not going to comment on the particulars of the source of reporting and intelligence reporting, in many cases, that we have that indicates the level of Iraqi activity.
Q: Well, Craig, there have been a couple of these incidents where surface-to-air missiles seem to have gone into the airspace of Kuwait or Saudi Arabia or whatever. And given the relatively short range of these weapons, it suggests either the air defense things are being moved down into very southern Iraq, or they're man-portable systems infiltrating, and so on. Is there any indication that rather than pulling their air defense assets back towards the center of the country, that they are extending them farther out?
Quigley: Well, again, I'm not going to get into the particulars of what we know and what we don't know. But I will not provide the slightest assistance to Saddam as to what we know and what we don't know about the movement of his antiaircraft capabilities. I will just say, as I indicated to Jamie, that just in general over the past several months that it's been a much more aggressive effort on his part to bring down a coalition aircraft.
Q: And can you just say in general over the past several months whether there's been more a focus on trying to bring down a surveillance aircraft as opposed to the combat aircraft that routinely patrol the no-fly zones?
Quigley: No, I don't think that would be correct. I'd say the focus is coalition aircraft of a variety of types, Jamie.
Q: Is the coalition operation either in the southern or northern zone being adjusted in some ways in response to this more aggressive effort?
Quigley: You always take a look and try to do it the most effective way that you think you can and should. But I -- there has been no recent dramatic shift in the way that we do business there, no.
Q: Is there any indication that the Iraqis are vacating what they would consider would be prime targets for a coalition attack?
Quigley: Again, that gets me directly into intelligence reports, and I can't help you in that, I'm sorry.
Q: Yeah. There haven't been any retaliatory strikes since, I think sometime, July 17th, even though there have been these reported incidents. Is the United States holding back because of the situation in Israel? Is that complicating your, you know, your diplomatic support for continuing air strikes?
Quigley: We have not changed our position of reserving the right to strike targets that pose threats to our aircrew at a time and a location and in a manner of our choosing. And that remains the policy today.
Q: I think you said you did have aggregate numbers you'd be happy to share?
Q: Could you?
Quigley: I don't have them with me, I'm sorry. But we do.
Q: And can I just go back over the one point, your choice of language today is pretty assertive when you talk about the Iraqis being "considerably more aggressive" in recent time frames. I'm wondering if what you're trying to signal is that Americans in fact should be prepared quite soon to see another round of air strikes, substantive air strikes, in Iraq?
Quigley: No, I think the numbers -- and I reviewed them before I came out and I don't have them with me, I'm sorry -- but the numbers, I was struck by the numbers in this calendar year, as compared to -- comparing to July of 2000 are considerably larger, both in Northern Watch and Southern Watch.
Q: Why is that?
Quigley: You'd have to question Saddam to find his motivation. But I mean, I believe it's all tied to his determination to bring down a coalition aircraft.
Q: Are they qualitatively getting better? Are they not just possibly going to get lucky, but are they getting better?
Quigley: They bring a variety of techniques to their integrated air defense system. Sometimes they're closer, sometimes they're further away. I'd be hard-pressed to make an across-the-board assessment of that. But again, this is all about a determination to bring down a coalition aircraft.
Q: Then I guess I just have to come back to my question, then. Are you signaling that Americans should be prepared to see another round of substantive air strikes in Iraq fairly soon?
Quigley: I am trying to be very clear as to what our policy is today and has been for some period of time, that we reserve the right to strike targets at a time and a place and a manner of our choosing.
Q: You had talked about policy. Has this administration developed or adopted a new policy toward Iraq, that you know of, or is it still operating on the past administration's view mechanically and policy-wise toward Iraq?
Quigley: I know that there have been several discussions over the months on Iraq policy, both at the principals' and the deputies' level at the White House, National Security Council. I believe that it's still a work in progress. I have not seen a new Iraq policy that has been put forth publicly. I believe it's still a work in progress. We were an active participant in those discussions, but I think it's still ongoing.
Q: But the national security advisor's comments over the weekend that the U.S. made a more resolute military response to events in Iraq, was she indicating that something is afoot, or perhaps indicating that the U.S. military has been less than resolute in dealing with Iraq recently?
Quigley: It's not how I interpreted her remarks. I would refer you to her for further explanation, perhaps.
Q: New subject?
Q: One more?
Quigley: (To second journalist.) Go ahead.
(To first journalist.) Be right back to you.
Q: The response to provocation from the coalition -- has that also had a considerable change over the past year, or has it stayed about the same?
Quigley: You -- I believe the number of strikes have gone up. I don't have those numbers in front of me, either, but I believe they have gone up, yes.
(To staff.) Do I?
Staff: We do.
Quigley: Hang on. (Subdued laughter.)
Q: At least you can answer the other one, if you like.
Quigley: I do. Let me start with Southern Watch. In calendar year 2001, 370 provocations, and in all of calendar year 2000, 221.
Northern Watch, 62 provocations, year to date, and all of 2001 -- or all of 2000, 145.
Q: How do you define "provocation"? Is it just being painted? Is it a launch? What exactly makes a provocation?
Quigley: I believe it is both an actual launch of ordnance of some sort, whether it's AAA gunfire, surface-to-air missiles, or also, I believe, the locking up, as it's referred to, by a fire control system.
Q: Does it -- does that --
Quigley: Now let me go back to the other part of your questions, and that is strike days. That's when coalition aircraft have stuck.
In Southern Watch, in the year 2000, a total of 32. In year to date, 19.
In Northern Watch, all of 2000, 48. In year to date, 2001, seven. So those are the numbers.
Q: Does that indicate your resoluteness on the part of the military? It sounds like --
Quigley: Well, I think the resoluteness that I was talking to was Saddam's resolution to down a coalition aircraft. I think, if -- it stuck me at least that those numbers were up dramatically.
Q: Two thousand, one-seven. Is that what you said?
Quigley: Two thousand and -- well, which number are you referring to?
Q: Year to date, Northern Watch.
Quigley: Year to date strikes or provocations?
Q: For strikes --
Quigley: Year to date strikes, Northern Watch, seven.
Q: That's --
Q: Isn't the military responding, on the whole, less to --
Quigley: It should not -- those are strike days, okay? That - for instance, the attacks on 16 February, when General Newbold briefed from here -- that's one strike day.
And that was a considerable level of effort, and the levels of effort vary, Pam, from target to target.
Q: On the remark yesterday that the U.S. will have closer military relations with Australia and on the military mechanism to talking military matters in Asia Pacific, how likely is it to have such a -- it's not an organization, but a talking group, maybe?
Quigley: Well, I think it's very likely. I mean, as the defense ministers or secretaries of defense from the various nations indicated yesterday, I think their -- I would just let their words speak for themselves. I mean, they're pretty clear about that.
Q: So which -- (off mike)? Is it possible to include Taiwan?
Quigley: That would be precluded under the laws that this government operates in.
Now I don't know what the relationships are between Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. I do not know what those relationships are.
Q: Are you saying maybe -- (off mike) -- like for Taiwan's military in this --
Quigley: Well, again, our relationship with Taiwan is very, very specifically described in the Taiwan Relations Act of 1982. And the relationship that was discussed yesterday amongst the governments of Australia, United States, Japan, South Korea -- that would not be capable of doing that under the terms of the Taiwan Relations Act with Taiwan.
Q: Different subject: Macedonia.
Q: Can you explain to us why the FAST team has now been deployed to the embassy and 100 U.S. soldiers from Able Sentry have been sent back up to Kosovo?
Quigley: On the first part of your question, I'm not going to describe the location of security forces in FYROM, other than to say that we are constantly working with the ambassador and the country team there to position them where he thinks they are best used.
We have indeed drawn down a little over a hundred, I believe, of the folks that have been stationed at Camp Able Sentry, have moved into Kosovo. This is a temporary measure. It's done for force protection reasons. You're very much aware, as everyone else, of the recent violence there. The local, on-the-ground commanders have taken an assessment of the personnel that are there and felt that they could reduce their posture by removing to Kosovo some of the individuals that provided non-emergency, non-critical support services to the personnel stationed there.
These would be morale, welfare and recreation, some transportation assets and things of that sort to, for now, move to Kosovo and to kind of go along with the posture that the ambassador has put in place with the drawdown of family members and some of their non-essential personnel at the embassy staff, as well.
Q: Is the situation for American troops there then more unsettled than it was a few days ago?
Quigley: No, I don't think you're going to take the measure on a day-to-day basis. You try to take a look at the personnel that you have assigned, the missions you have to do and which ones are more important than others. If you can remove a small number of the people that you have there in your support functions and still carry out your principal mission of logistic support to the folks in Kosovo and, in this case now, security support to the ambassador and the folks in the country team, then you do that, because that's just the prudent thing to do.
Q: When was that done, and how many American troops then remain in --
Quigley: You have a combination of soldiers, contractors and civilian employees. I think 109 have moved so far, with a total of about 200, I believe, by the end of the week, and all in the same category of non-critical support, Bob, from the people that were there. And they have moved --
Q: Is that all uniforms?
Quigley: Not all uniforms, no. Soldiers, civilian employees and some contractors as well.
Q: And how many does that -- how many troops remain in Macedonia now?
Quigley: Well, let me kind of work the missions, rather than specific numbers. You've got the security augmenting forces that were sent recently; you've got the existing on-the-ground force protection forces that were already in place; you've got the key logisticians that provide the support and the through-put for the logistics support for KFOR; and you've got also the UAV support, the tactical reconnaissance folks that fly out of the airport there at Skopje. I don't have the exact numbers, but it's still a sizable force.
You try to take a look at those forces that you can move without having an adverse impact on your principal reason for being there, and those are the ones that we're moving to Kosovo.
Q: The last time we talked, you said there were about 500 folks in Macedonia, including the addition of extra security personnel. So should we assume there are about 300 that will --
Quigley: Yeah. I think that's approximately correct, yeah.
Q: When you gave us the 500, did that include --
Quigley: Now, that's not including the additional security forces that were brought in, so that's not an exact figure, but we're in the ballpark.
Q: Did that include the civilians and the contractors, or was that just military folks, when you gave us the --
Quigley: I think that was the total. Let me double-check that, but I think that was the total. [Correction: About 500 uniformed service members were in FYROM.]
Q: And are they going to Bondsteel?
Pam -- or, Lina. Sorry. (Laughter.)
Q: New subject. Okay. On Vieques, the governor of Puerto Rico said that in the referendum that took place on Sunday the people of Vieques have spoken, and that in light of this expression, democratic expression the U.S. Navy should stop all military operations in Vieques and withdraw immediately. Is it a policy of the United States to have these issues of national defense discussed or decided by local communities?
Quigley: Well, I think that there's been no shortage of voices on how we perceive the local referendum there that occurred last Sunday. It was a non-binding referendum. We have said that our intention is to depart Vieques in May of 2003, but that we need the time between then and now to continue to train there until we find alternative training site or sites to carry out good quality training for sailors and Marines in the Atlantic Fleet. That remains true today.
Q: The White House yesterday basically said or reiterated the position that there are no alternative sites, so it will remain until 2003. However, the governor of Puerto Rico says that she has information that the administration is leaning towards an early departure. Is there any change in U.S. policy?
Quigley: No, I have no indication of that at all.
One element I know we've been discussing here on several days, the legislation to rescind the November 6th referendum did go the Hill yesterday.
Q: So it'll be debated at least in the House in the Defense authorization bill tomorrow?
Quigley: Well, both the House and Senate in our oversight committees. That's who received the legislation from us. And then our motivation, because we think it's bad policy to have a local referendum affect national security policy of the nation, would be to hopefully have the November 6th referendum rescinded and press on with our intention to leave Vieques in May of 2003.
Q: The original Defense authorization bill last year also included the funding for different aid or projects in the island as well as clean-up funds for the part that is going to be transferred to the Department of the Interior. Will that still be included in the legislation, or is that also being rescinded?
Quigley: I don't think was addressed by the proposed legislation. Let -- check -- you should check with the Navy on that. But I do not think that was a part of the legislation that went to the Hill yesterday. I think that was focused solely on the referendum on November 6th.
Q: Congressman Weldon said last week that when the referendum legislation comes over, as you told us now it has, that he'll attempt to amend it so that the voters are -- if they vote against allowing the Navy to stay, that they'll in effect be voting for all the military to leave all of Puerto Rico. Assuming that the referendum goes forward -- and I understand the DoD's position that it should not. But assuming the referendum goes forward, would the DoD support that addition to the referendum?
Quigley: We'll just have to see how those cards are played in the weeks ahead. I'm a very poor predictor of the future.
Q: You -- on Vieques, are -- just to clarify, are there any upcoming exercises scheduled on Vieques this coming weekend or weeks, or --
Quigley: I believe that the training for the next battle group starts in the near term. I believe it's just in the next few days.
Q: And there are no changed plans to alter that based on this non-binding referendum.
Q: Could you bring us to date on the Code Red worm and the Pentagon?
Quigley: Well, let me -- was there a question on Vieques before we --
We are very much aware of the pending revival, I guess you should call it, of the Code Red worm. Our Joint Task Force for Computer Network Operations is monitoring all of our networks very closely. We have been very largely successful in installing the patches that we feel should be very effective in guarding our networks from attack by the worm in the first place. So we're very confident that we've certainly got most of them covered. You never say never, and never say that you're perfect, and we'll be watching very closely and have the ability to take additional precautionary measures should we see that one or more of the military networks has been affected by the worm. So we're very much watching that, you bet, in the hours and days ahead.
Q: But what is the status of the various web sites that you took down as a preventive measure a few days ago --
Quigley: They were returned, I believe later on the day that we were here discussing that. As of the time -- 1:30 or whatever it was -- last Thursday, last Thursday or Tuesday, they were still off line. But later that afternoon they were restored. I know of no exceptions to that around the world. I'm sure they came up over a period of a few hours, but certainly by the next day they were all restored.
Q: Can we get your on-the-record explanation or response to some critics about the last missile test, who said the test was unrealistic because a beacon on the target --
Quigley: Oh, sure. That one again.
Q: -- directed the interceptor in the direction of -- can you just explain, put that in context for us?
Quigley: Sure, I'll try.
If you recall, this was an issue that was brought up a year ago. Absolutely no change. There was an improvement in some of the reliability in some of the systems -- for instance, the decoy balloon and things of that sort.
But for the most part, as you heard General Kadish say, this was a replication of last July's test, which did not go well. So I remember this as being an issue last July.
The point is that you're using prototypes or surrogates for many, many parts of the system. You use an artificial range trajectory -- I mean, this is all about testing what you can do and what you can't do; capabilities, limitations. So you're testing the onboard sensors from the kill vehicle. And in order to get it focused on the right general section of space there is a beacon onboard the mock warhead, the target warhead that sends a signal down to the ground-based radar prototype, which then helps to steer the interceptor, the kill vehicle, into the rough approximate section of space where it should start looking with its own onboard sensors. And that was done. Because we're still largely testing the capability of those onboard sensors.
Now, if I don't help it find the general vicinity of space that it should start looking in, I run the risk of having many, many test elements of that shot be a no test. And I will have not gathered nearly the amounts of data that I'm trying to. Is this an artificiality of the testing? Absolutely. This is not a part of any final system that ever be proposed to put in place. But that's not the point. And we've never said anything different to that effect.
Q: At what point do you anticipate conducting tests at which no beacon on the target warhead would be used?
Quigley: I don't know. I don't have a time line, but that's certainly the goal.
Q: And just to clarify, how big a general area of space are we talking about here?
Quigley: Hoo, boy. Let me take that. I don't know. I don't know. Have a sense of square miles or points of the compass, or something like that, I don't know. [Update: about 500 miles.]
Q: On the EP-3, has there been any determination made of how much of that bill from China is going to be paid?
Quigley: Just checked on that late yesterday. No. Still a work in progress.
Q: When do you think there will be a determination on that?
Quigley: I will not guess a time frame.
Q: Craig? Back to the beacon question again? Wouldn't that -- wouldn't you have to have an X-band radar functioning in order to not give the beacon?
In other words, the project that --
Quigley: I believe that that is the piece that would need to be put -- the real piece, if you will, that would be put in place that would provide the data that you're simulating, if you will, by providing that rough order of magnitude steer for the interceptor.
Q: There's no plan, there's no -- that's not part of the plan at the moment just to build the X-band radar, is there? There's no money for beginning construction on that?
Quigley: If you build a mid-course intercept system as we envision today being one of the elements of the layered defense system that is our thinking at the moment, you would have an X-band radar be an element of that. Now, where I put it to optimize the geometry of intercept, we're not there yet on that point.
Q: So that's why there's no money to build it at the moment?
Quigley: I don't know where the funding stream is in the budget; in the development, either.
Q: Going back to Australia, they talked with the Japanese foreign minister, Ms. Tanaka. Do you have any response on her proposal?
Quigley: I do not.
Q: Okay. Is it possible to send maybe more troops to Australia, bases in Australia or -- (inaudible)?
Quigley: Well, I don't think we've worked out any details on that since the talks ended yesterday.
Q: How long would it take to build an X-band radar? Is this technology that we have?
Quigley: I don't know.
Q: Guidance on time frame? I know that this is not a Pentagon announcement, but do you have any idea of when there might be an announcement from the White House on the next chairman, nominee for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs?
Quigley: No, I -- you know, I guess the short answer would be whenever the president is ready to. The change of office between General Shelton and his successor is scheduled for the first of October. There is no particular magic in getting it done before the Congress goes into its August recess. Somebody told me yesterday that General Shali was nominated during the August recess, during his time when he was nominated. So I guess the short answer to your question is no, I'm sorry; I don't have a feel for that.
Q: Has Secretary Rumsfeld given his recommendation to the president on a chairman?
Quigley: I do not know.
Q: We just like to end on a question that you don't know. (Laughter.)
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