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DoD News Briefing - Rear Adm. Craig R. Quigley - DASD PA

Presenters: Rear Adm. Craig R. Quigley, DASD PA
August 09, 2001 1:30 PM EDT

Thursday, August 9, 2001 - 1:30 p.m. EDT

ADM. QUIGLEY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Building on the -- three announcements this afternoon. Building on the senior adviser meetings that ended yesterday, Secretary Rumsfeld will travel to Moscow to meet with his counterpart, Defense Minister Ivanov, on August 13th and 14th. The secretary is leaving here Saturday evening and will return late in the day our time on August 14th. And there'll be a backgrounder briefing here tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 to discuss the details of his upcoming trip.

And second, immediately following this briefing here, at 2:00 Major General Willie Nance, the program executive officer for the ground-based missile defense segment of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, will provide an update on the successful intercept test, which took place on July 14th. These are not a part of this portion of the brief; they are a part of General Nance's, however.

We will -- if we are done here before 2:00, I know there are several correspondents that have said they're coming for that portion but not this portion, so we will take a break between the end of this, and try to start promptly at 2:00.

And finally, today we have 15 individuals with us from the Defense Leadership and Management Program. This is a civilian leader training, education and development program with DOD. It provides a framework for developing civilians for key leadership positions within the department. Welcome to you all.

With that, I'll take your questions.


Q: Craig, given the fact that the secretary said that Iraq has improved its air defenses, and no raids have been made against those air defenses to denigrate them, has the United States in any way changed the pattern or the timing of its flights? And are you still flying U-2 flights over Iraq?

ADM. QUIGLEY: Well, the first part of the question is not something I can respond to directly. We are never in the habit of signaling our future intentions. But I will say that, as you know very well, our policy remains steadfast of being we will respond at a time and a place and a manner of our choosing, if we think that is the appropriate action to take as the threats continue to coalition aircraft patrolling both North and South no-fly zones.

Q: Well, you said that U-2 planes have been shot at earlier this year, in addition to the recent one. Are the U-2 flights continuing?

ADM. QUIGLEY: We fly U-2 strategic reconnaissance flights in a variety of places around the world.

Q: In Iraq?

ADM. QUIGLEY: A variety of places around the world.

Q: Well, I mean, you said earlier -- it's not as if you've refused to say that you're flying U-2s over Iraq; you said so earlier. All I'm asking is are the flights continuing?

ADM. QUIGLEY: The circumstances were different. The circumstances there were one of the planes was shot at by Iraqi coalition air forces. I acknowledged that at the time. But we are not very forthcoming in describing U-2 operations anywhere, any particular geographic area around the world, and I think I'll stick with that.

Q: Can I do a follow on that of a sort? I understand that the CINCs involved in the areas of jurisdiction over the southern no-fly zone have posed a posture statement to the secretary with recommendations, one of which is to either discontinue flying over the no-fly zones because it's too hazardous, or modifying it some way. Can you tell us anything about that?

ADM. QUIGLEY: You have the commander in chief of the European Command, General Ralston, in charge of the northern no-fly zone; General Franks of the southern no-fly zone. Each have been asked for their views in -- oh, this was maybe a couple of months ago, I would think, Ivan, as to how we might improve the process; should we change. They made their recommendations known to the secretary. Their recommendations factored into the secretary's thinking. That then became an input into the discussions that the secretary has had with other members of the national security team discussing overall administration Iraq policy.

The secretary has said that for now, the current policy would remain in place that we have followed for some time in the past, both in Northern and Southern Watch. That does not say that once the nation has a new Iraq policy that you might not see a difference in the military portion of that. But for now, we will maintain the status quo in both the north and the south.

Q: Just to follow up, to bring it more or less up to date, the secretary did say a few days ago, admitted something that is, I guess, rather self-evident about the Iraqi air defenses have improved and they have the ability to reach higher than they did before, more sophisticated missiles. Given that, does that change at all his view of the recommendations of a couple of months ago? Is he moving toward modifying the policy?

ADM. QUIGLEY: I think from a strategic sense, the answer is no. From a tactical sense, certainly. It's something that air crews both in the north and the south are very aware of, and they, more than any of us, are aware of the increasing level of activity trying to shoot down a coalition aircraft by Saddam.

So, tactically it's something that they watch close every day, but strategically I think I'd stick with the first part of the answer, that the status quo that we have been doing for a while will remain in force at least for now.

QCraig, is the explosive political situation in the Middle East in any way being factored into whether or not the United States moves again -- the United States and Britain move again to denigrate Iraqi air defenses?

ADM. QUIGLEY: I don't think that you can divorce any incident in the world from any other. I think that's taking a pretty short-sighted view of things. But the weight, the value, if you will, of any particular set of circumstances changes over time. In some instances, it's more important; the same set of circumstances under different circumstances elsewhere in the world would have a different weight in the equation, if you will. It's a very fluid situation, Charlie, one that you try to keep your finger on the pulse of as best you can over time and weigh all those factors before taking any action that you think is appropriate. There are pluses and minuses.

QDoes that mean yes, that the political situation -- (laughter) --

ADM. QUIGLEY: I don't know if I can you that simple an answer.

Q-- is being considered?

ADM. QUIGLEY: You never divorce your judgments as to what action to take from political situations. That is an element of the planning and an element of the thinking from the get-go.


Q: Can we talk about Minuteman?


Q: We understand that the problems that have come up with the Minuteman could delay the decommissioning of the MX. I wonder if you could speak to the implications of these problems on the plan to scrap the MS missiles.

ADM. QUIGLEY: The Peacekeeper missile, we do -- I think any pronouncement on an impact on its decommissioning is way premature.

The goal here of the program -- and you're probably referring to the story that was in the papers this morning -- the goal of this program is to replace the 30-year old electronics on board the Minuteman missile with a more modern version. Why? To improve the in-flight reliability, to improve the maintainability. And the goal on this particular one on accuracy is to have accuracy not less than the older guidance system that is currently in place on the Minuteman force.

The testing of the new guidance system is a work in progress. And as with all test programs, you have some of your testing come out better than other tests.

The goal will not change. The goal of -- accuracy and maintainability and reliability are very hard goals for this replacement electronics package on the Minuteman 3.

So we have testing yet to do. When that is complete, we'll take a look what changes must we make, if any, or is this just a part of the ebb and flow, give and take of any normal testing program, where you're going to have some performances that exceed and some that are below what your threshold is.

The important point, I think, is that the criteria for acceptability will not change, and I don't think that we can predict at this point what impact, if any, it might have on the retirement of the Peacekeeper force, until that testing program is complete, and then take a look at, from that point, what would be the replacement schedule for the Minuteman force, for that new package of electronics.

Q: Can I follow up?


Q: We understand that this -- that in fact the Minuteman has failed to hit the mark in test after test after test. That doesn't sound like an ebb and flow; it sounds like in fact it's not meeting the goal that the Pentagon has set for it, of being at least as accurate as the previous system.

ADM. QUIGLEY: I'm a little hamstrung here by being clear with my answer to your question, because of classification issues. I can't get into a specific numbers description of how the new package has done in its testing. It's -- I would just leave it as to say that testing remains ongoing. And ultimately, at the end of the day, our standards for the new system will not change.

Q: Would you say there have been problems -- some major problems with the testing --

ADM. QUIGLEY: I'd say it remains a work in progress, Charlie. I don't know how to give you a yardstick as to whether it's major or minor or somewhere in between. We'll keep testing. I mean, the test program is not complete, and until it is complete, I think I'll give it a fair chance to complete the test program, then sit back and take a look at the data that we've gathered and say, "What did we learn? Where are we? And what's the way ahead?"


Q: I've got a question. They got 48 of these things that have been certified and are on station right now -- these guidance systems at Malmstrom and Minot, North Dakota. If they're on station and ready to go to war, and the Operational Test and Evaluation Office a couple of years ago said the program was operationally effective and suitable, what's the issue here? Should Americans be worried that these missiles can't hit within some elliptical target area?

ADM. QUIGLEY: I don't think that Americans should be concerned that any element of their strategic deterrent force is anything less than ready.

Q: And these test issues -- Defense Week wrote about this a year ago, and Coyle has brought it up time after time.

Is there something new here in terms of the gravity of -- the testing results have been worse to date than they were a year ago?

ADM. QUIGLEY: The test program has continued. We are certainly -- we certainly have done more tests than we had by a year ago now. But other than to say that it is still ongoing, when the test program is complete, then let's take a look and see how we did and determine the way ahead.


Q: Craig, I haven't been following this too closely, but isn't the plan to replace the Minuteman warheads with the ones from the Peacekeeper, when that's decommissioned? But that is something entirely different from the guidance package?

ADM. QUIGLEY: That is an entirely different issue, yes. We are talking about the replacement of a 30-year-old electronics package for a variety of reasons, principally maintainability and in-flight reliability. But you can't just discard accuracy, and the standard we have set is that the accuracy will be no worse than the currently installed 30-year-old electronics package that's in the missiles.

Q: Guidance is an entirely new component?

ADM. QUIGLEY: The electronics package is an entirely new component, yes.

Q: Completely different from the warhead on the MX?

ADM. QUIGLEY: Correct. Correct. Or different from airframe, or different from propellant, or any of the other various elements of a missile system.


Q: Admiral Quigley, can I take you back to the Middle East for just a second? Understanding that, of course, most of the U.S.- Israeli relationship is not within the purview of this building, nonetheless, the parts that are within the purview of this building, the mil-to-mil, port visits, exercises, exports, all of that, given the latest round of massive unrest in Israel, is there any element of the relationship that this building is relooking at, reconsidering, has any increased concerns or thoughts about? Does it any of it touch upon --

ADM. QUIGLEY: Well, I think you hit on a couple of them that we are currently considering, and have been, and that is things like the force protection issues that go along with a port visit. That is something that we are constantly monitoring around the world. You do a projection of what threat there might be to your sailors and Marines as they do a port visit in a port city. If you find it to be excessive, you simply don't go there. And then, if the conditions change, you reevaluate and perhaps change your decision.

So, yes.

Q: Well, can I ask you to address what you're saying directly in terms of the U.S.-Israeli military relationship? Are you saying that you're -- I'm not clear. Are you saying that you're reconsidering? Are there port visits you're going to put off? Are there exercises you're going to put off till things quiet down? Is any of this particularly touching on the U.S.-Israeli military relationship?

ADM. QUIGLEY: We have a particular -- particularly sensitive agreement as far as public announcements go of exercise activity with the Israelis and port visits with the Israelis. That is certainly not less sensitive given the circumstances that are going on with the violence in Israel at the moment. We are not ever in the habit of pre-announcing port visits or exercises or anything of that sort. If we come to a decision that an exercise with the Israelis will take place, then we will follow our normal announcement procedure, or a port visit announcement or something like that. But we won't change any sort of pre-announcement, no.

Q: So in announcing anything, however, is there any element of the U.S.-Israeli military relationship that is under reconsideration, review, scrutiny by the secretary or anything, broadly speaking, given the violence?

ADM. QUIGLEY: No, not that I'm aware of.


Q: The cracks in the tail wing of the F-22 that were written about in today's Early Bird, could you tell us just briefly whether a tail redesign is actually being considered, and whether, if this problem was known about for, I think, a year and a half, as it was written about, whether the cracks were considered in the cost overruns in both the OSD figures and the Air Force figures, this $2 billion versus $9 billion, whether basically those cracks were figured into the costs that were given.

ADM. QUIGLEY: Let me take the second part of the question first. There's no -- you're talking about a series of small cracks, a total of seven inches long, on one of the aircraft in the test program. It's the starboard tail on a single airframe. It is called -- the technical term is called disbonding. This is a composite construction technique for a sophisticated aircraft like the F-22, where layers of composite are bonded together to form a structural whole.

You, as part of the procedure for operating aircraft and certainly for aircraft under development, you're constantly inspecting those airframes for signs of stress or weakness or something like that. In this particular case, you did that via X-ray inspection techniques and discovered the cracks.

There doesn't appear to be a strength issue. It is a producibilitiy issue at this point. However, that airframe that has experienced a series of small cracks on the starboard tail has a somewhat reduced flight envelope. And the other aircraft, the other five aircraft in the test program have been -- they have had no restrictions placed on their flight test envelopes. So the one has, but still, good data is being gathered.

Now, as best we can determine so far, there doesn't seem to be an added cost to the program that cannot be accommodated within existing test program money.

We're not sure what the cause of the cracking is; why haven't we seen it on the other frames. I know the Air Force is very carefully reviewing that data to try to see what was that aircraft put through in its test program that perhaps the other five weren't; was there anything different in the actual producability or the production techniques in that airframe that the others did not? We're just not sure.

We're being cautious and reducing the size of the flight envelope, but -- and there are no restrictions on any others, as I said. And we're still trying to figure out where the cracks are coming from and trying to figure out is this a weakness in the materials, is it a weakness in the production techniques that are being used? Still working on that, and don't have any answers.

Q: Well, you spoke about the testing costs, but presumably if a fix had to go in, that would also run into production costs.

ADM. QUIGLEY: Well, depending on what the fix might be. I mean, that's an unknown at this point. If it's a relatively minor change in the technique that is used to fabricate this component of the aircraft, the additional cost might be zero. If you need to use some sort of a different composite material, it might be cheaper, it might be more expensive. It's just -- we just don't know yet and, therefore, the predictions that we can make as to the impact on future program costs just aren't there at this point.

Q: But is a tail redesign being considered whatsoever?

ADM. QUIGLEY: Not that I know of. I would probably need to check with the Air Force on that, but not that I have heard; not until we figure out what caused this in the first place. If in fact it appears to be a design flaw in the design of that starboard tail, why have we not seen that in other airframes in the test program? And there's more questions than answers right now.


Q: New subject. A question on China. Has --

ADM. QUIGLEY: Anything more on the F-22?

Q: I have a question.

ADM. QUIGLEY: Charlie.

Let me come back to that, Jim.

Q: The airplane in question, the 4003, is not just any airplane. It's the pacing factor in the test program to test all the flight science and structural integrity. If there is a cracking issue at this point in the program, a week before the DAB puts it in production, possibly, doesn't that raise the issue a little bit to a higher level of concern?

ADM. QUIGLEY: Well, it's certainly a factor that will go into the DAB, but it's not -- everybody is going in with their eyes wide open into the DAB, fully understanding that we haven't figured out exactly the reason for these cracks in that starboard tail. Will that go into the thinking process and the analytical process? Absolutely.

What will be the impact overall? I can't predict yet.

Q: There's a question of candor on this, too. The Air Force called a bunch of reporters, including myself, like, at 7:15 last night to volunteer the information, when they apparently knew about it for a long time. Is OSD concerned a little bit about the lack of forthcomingness on this program?

ADM. QUIGLEY: Not that I know of, Tony, no. You have a variety of testing issues all the time. Some are perceived to be a much bigger deal than they probably deserve to be, and some are a bigger deal than others had considered them to be. I don't know quite where to put this one.

I had not heard this until this morning, so I took a quick crash course from the Air Force this morning on some of the issues involved to try to understand it myself.

QJust one last thing.


Q: Do the cracks affect the stealthiness, I would presume? I mean, I'm not a nuclear physicist, but if there's cracks in the frame, wouldn't that affect the stealthiness of the aircraft?

ADM. QUIGLEY: It's my understanding that the cracks are internal.

Q: Internal to --

ADM. QUIGLEY: Internal. So I don't think it would affect the -- a radar signature or something of that sort. That doesn't diminish their importance, but it's an issue of strength, it's an issue of productibility, it's an issue of materials or possibly some combination of those elements. And we'll keep working on it till we get it right.

Q: Craig, do these --

Q: Just one final question. Sorry. Just one final question on the Minuteman.

Is the Pentagon saying, then, that this is just a technical glitch or this is just a problem that's cropped up in a few tests, or is the Pentagon saying yes, we know there's a problem here and we have to do something about it?

ADM. QUIGLEY: There have been five tests so far, and we have not been completely pleased with the findings of those five tests. But statistically, we don't feel that we have enough tests yet to make a prediction as to the long-range performance of the replacement electronics kit. So we have additional testing to do.

We know what the endpoint is, Esther, in the sense of no less accuracy than the system it replaces. And we know where we are as a work in progress with the test program. We will keep working this until we get to an acceptable level and our testers and the Operational Test and Evaluation folks say, "All of the criteria are met," or "These criteria are not met and this is the reason why, and this is what we recommend we do about it," as is standard practice in all of our testing process.

I don't think anybody's hair is on fire at this point, at this point in the testing, because everyone agrees that we have an insufficient database of tests at this point to make any real long- term predictions. But neither is it done to everyone's satisfaction, by any means.

So does this concern us? Yes. This is an important system. This is a key element of our strategic deterrent force. And we will keep working this, and if there are shortcomings, we will eliminate them.

QTwo quickies. Vieques; the exercises proceeding uninterrupted? And Ehime Maru; has the salvage effort actually begun?

AMB. QUIGLEY: Training exercises completed last night on Vieques.

And I don't know, Ivan, on the Ehime Maru. I know that the -- yes, the process has started; it's been underway for several days now. Where are they in that process? I do not know. I'm sorry, I didn't check that.


Q: Craig, has the Pentagon decided to reimburse China for the costs incurred during the EP-3 incident? And if so, how much? And if so, what are the services that are being paid?

ADM. QUIGLEY: We have arrived at what we think is a fair figure for services rendered and assistance in taking care of the aircrew and some of the materials and contracts, and what not, to remove the EP-3 itself. That process is still ongoing. There literally is a notification en route to Beijing, to our embassy in Beijing. We hope to have that delivered to the Chinese via diplomatic channels, again, through our embassy in Beijing, in the next few days. And I'm not going to get out in front of our embassy team in Beijing as to the amount, but that is almost done. Just another few more days.

Q: I mean, can you at least say whether this was a figure that was arrived at with the -- independently of the Chinese, or did they agree with it? You know, did you --

ADM. QUIGLEY: No, this was a figure arrived completely independently by us.

Q: Is it close to the million dollars they billed us for?

ADM. QUIGLEY: I won't guess as to how much.

Q: Admiral Quigley, can I follow-up on that for a second? You said, you know, that part of this is for the cost of the crew and the plane being held in China, if I understood you correctly.

ADM. QUIGLEY: Correct.

Q: I mean, just to close that loop, on what basis has the Defense Department or the U.S. government decided that the cost of holding the crew and the plane in China is a legitimate cost that the Chinese should be reimbursed for?

ADM. QUIGLEY: There was a particular dollar figure attached to each element of what the Chinese had felt -- given to us that they felt was appropriate. We did not agree with each of those categories nor their dollar figures, so we took an independent look at that. And where we felt that there was a fair value provided by the Chinese, we tried to provide a fair dollar value to that service, and that is what the total represents.

Q: So you are reimbursing them -- I just want to make sure I really understand this. You are reimbursing them for the cost of -- some of the costs they've charged you for holding the crew for 11 days?

ADM. QUIGLEY: We are giving them a figure, a total figure that we feel is an appropriate amount of money for some of the support that they provided to us during that period of time. It is hard to make a line-to-line correlation because they don't correlate. In some instances, just didn't think that the figure was appropriate at all. I'm not going to be able to give you an overall breakdown, other than a description that it does represent what we feel is a fair value to reimburse the Chinese during that period of time.

Q: How much have the Chinese asked for?

ADM. QUIGLEY: Again, I will not compromise that. It's gone through diplomatic channels. We've described it as approximately a million dollars, and that's close.

Q: Does that include their food, room and board?

Q: Craig, does DOD plan to bill the Chinese for damage done to the EP-3 and the costs of removing the plane off Hainan Island if -- you know, if you see fit to pay them for services rendered as well, do you intend to bill them for damage that's done to U.S. equipment?

ADM. QUIGLEY: Not that I'm aware of this point, no.

Q: Why not?

ADM. QUIGLEY: A variety of reasons, I think.


Q: Well, I can see for paying for possibly cutting down the aircraft and helping ship it, and so forth. But do you mean to tell me that we're paying them for, let's say, feeding and guarding of our people there for the 11 days?

ADM. QUIGLEY: I'm saying that we are responding to a correspondence through diplomatic channels that came from the Chinese government, with a listing of charges that they felt were appropriate for services that they provided to aircrew, for security, for a variety of things. We took a look at that list, we tried to determine which ones seemed fair to us, and that comes to a certain dollar figure, and that money is on its way to our embassy in Beijing.

Q: When can we get a copy of this list?

ADM. QUIGLEY: You never will, to the best of my knowledge. It will remain in diplomatic channels. I will acknowledge the total dollar value, but not before the Chinese have been told what that is.

Q: Wasn't there any outrage within the department or within the services over this? I mean, I know when they execute people they charge the families for the bullets to get the body back. But this is --

ADM. QUIGLEY: I don't remember witnessing any outrage as we were thinking about this, no.


Q: I was just wondering if the amount that you've decided to pay the Chinese, whether that's negotiable or if that's non-negotiable at this point?

ADM. QUIGLEY: No, that's non-negotiable. That's the end of it.

Q: Can you give us a specific? For instance, we know at one point food was in a sense catered or brought in from town or from somewhere else, rather than GI food on the base. Are we going to pay for that, for instance, getting food out of the mess hall? Is that one of the areas?

ADM. QUIGLEY: I won't be able to break it down for you, Ivan, I'm sorry.

Q: Craig, maybe you just misspoke. You said the money was on its way to Beijing?

ADM. QUIGLEY: No, that's correct.

Q: The money is --

ADM. QUIGLEY: Yes. Yeah, there is a -- I don't know if it's a check or in what vehicle it's -- but there is a dollar figure instrument --

Q: Dollar figure --

ADM. QUIGLEY: -- on its way to Beijing, to our embassy in Beijing, and they will deliver it to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Q: I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but I just want to try to ask this one more time. Although you cannot tell us line by line what the Chinese wanted to get paid for and what you in return have paid them for, have you -- does this department feel it is appropriate to give the -- when you went through this, is it appropriate to give the Chinese government any money for holding the crew and the plane?

ADM. QUIGLEY: Yeah. For those elements that are contained within the dollar figure, that are being provided to the Chinese government -- we think those are fair.

Q: Why?

ADM. QUIGLEY: Because we think they're fair. There is -- when our air crew was -- when they landed at Lingshui Airfield after an accident, a collision, but that everyone acknowledges was an accident -- that Chinese pilot never took off that day intending to ram the EP- 3 -- it was a judgment error of airmanship. There are legitimate costs that the Chinese bore for a period of time to have our aircrew on their airfield in Hainan Island. Those elements that we thought were fair and appropriate we have provided compensation, a dollar figure, to the Chinese for those services.

Q: At some point, did the 11 days not become appropriate?

ADM. QUIGLEY: I don't understand your question.

Q: (Inaudible) -- so the initial costs are appropriate because it was an accident, for some initial period of time. But at some point did you pay for the whole 11 days, or did you decide --

ADM. QUIGLEY: That element went into our thinking, yes.

Q: And then -- so is it -- am I understanding you -- at some point, you paid for a few of the days, and then they're being held against their will and it's no longer appropriate to pay for it?

ADM. QUIGLEY: All of that was factored into our thinking, yes.

Lena? One more question. General Nance is here. We're going to shift topics. Lena?

Q: Okay, back to Vieques. What is the department's position or level of concern about the last incidents of violence during this last round of exercise at Vieques, and also the position about the cooperation, or lack of, received from the security forces in Puerto Rico?

ADM. QUIGLEY: The answer to the second part of your question is, I don't know what the level of assistance was. You'll have to check with the Navy on that. But on the first part, I mean, gosh, our position on violence hasn't changed in a very long time. We make a big difference between violently breaking the law and peaceful protest. Huge difference. I've said that many times from here.

And those individuals that have been arrested -- I believe there were 65 total during this training period -- those individuals that have been arrested will be charged and tried in civil courts. And it's up to the judgment of the proper judicial authorities in Puerto Rico to come to their own independent judgment as to what, if anything, those individuals who broke the law -- how they should be held accountable for their actions.

Q: Did you see a diminishing or augmentation in number of incidences of violence or arrests in the last three rounds of exercises that you've had?

ADM. QUIGLEY: Again, I don't know. You'd have to check with the Navy. They're the ones that were doing that down there.

Q: Did it disrupt the exercises at all?

ADM. QUIGLEY: There were minor interruptions during the training. Ultimately the Navy, I know, was able to accomplish -- Navy and Marine Corps -- was able to accomplish all of the training that it needed to do, but the training schedule was interrupted, yes.

Q: Craig, at some point will you be able to give us a readout on one of the more important subjects of the day, the U.S.-Russian missile defense, offensive arms reduction talks that have been going on here in the last couple days?

ADM. QUIGLEY: The statement that we put out late yesterday is all we're going to get into for now, other than to say we're looking ahead to Secretary Rumsfeld's meeting with Defense Minister Ivanov and then follow-on between Presidents Putin and Bush. So, other than to consider these a good, beneficial exchange of information on both offensive and defensive systems, it's just the start. There will be a lot of meetings in the weeks and months ahead.

Q: No final agreements on any issue?


Q: Thank you.


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