Transcript : DoD News Briefing : Dr. Ashton Carter, ASD(International Security Policy)
Thursday, April 11, 1996 - 1:30 p.m.
[This is a special DOD News Briefing for the release of the DOD reportentitled "Proliferation: Threat and Response." Joining Dr. Carter are: LT.GEN. Patrick Hughes, Director, Defense Intelligence Agency; and Mr. Kenneth H.Bacon, ASD (Public Affairs)]
General Hughes: Good afternoon.
The part of this document that I'm going to discuss today is the intelligenceinformation on the threat. I would like to say at the outset that the documentdoes provide a good deal of information at the unclassified level not only tothe American people, but also to the people of the world. This threat isagainst all of them, in my view.
I'd like to start by noting North Korea: it has had weapons programs fornuclear, chemical, and, we believe, biological warfare capabilities. We'vemade great progress within the Framework Agreement on containing andcontrolling their nuclear capability. However, they still present a probablethreat to us in the long term. And one facet of that threat is theircapability to use missiles to deliver weapons of mass destruction of all kindsto some distant enemy.
In this case, this chart shows the missile rings that we currently evaluate.The most challenging of them, the Taepo Dong II missile, is beyond the 4,000kilometer range shown on this chart. It is, therefore, a more challenging kindof situation for us in the future. That's an estimate based upon the currentinformation.
I hope you would agree with me that this capability represented here on thischart by North Korea is cause for our concern.
Q: Can they get to Alaska yet?
A: I'd like to take your questions after my presentation, if you don't mind.
This, of course, is Iraq: as you know, for some period of time now, followingDESERT STORM, we've had a sanctions regime preventing materials we would notwant Iraq to have from entering Iraq, and an invasive monitoring regime toexamine the capabilities of Iraq and to make sure that they are contained andcontrolled. It is very important for us to continue to do that because Iraqhas shown itself to be a proliferating country -- a country which has plannedto develop and attempted to develop and probably did develop a significantcapability in weapons of mass destruction of all kinds.
We're particularly concerned now, and in the future, with the chemical andbiological warfare capabilities of Iraq, which are much more difficult for usto discover and easier for them to conceal over time. For that reason alone,we need to continue our presence in that country.
With regard to Iran: Iran is also building a capability which appears to gowell beyond what it would need for its mere defense. The capabilityrepresented here, once again, is the ability to deliver within a region thathas vital strategic interests to the United States and many other nations ofthe world, potentially, weapons of mass destruction on the end of the shortrange ballistic missile that we know Iran to have now, and we believe Iran isworking on for the future. This capability represents a clear potential threatto our vital interests in the future because of the oil supplies of the Gulfand because of our allies and friends in the region being threatened by thiscapability.
This is an artist's depiction of a satellite view of the Tarhunah undergroundchemical plant in Libya. From all source intelligence information, we believewe have clear evidence that this is, indeed, a chemical weapons productionfacility that Libya is in the process of constructing, equipping, and puttinginto action. We believe that this chemical plant represents a potential threatin the future. It is not now in full operation. It will be some time beyondone year's time from now. To be more precise on that point is difficultbecause of the nature of our difficulty with gaining information about thisfacility.
I do believe, and I personally can assure you, that the intelligence we haveon this facility is good and it does represent a threat to us in the chemicalwarfare regime.
I'd like to mention a positive story, which an intelligence officer like medoesn't get a chance to do very often; that is that we have succeeded inreducing the number of operational strategic nuclear warheads in the formerSoviet Union. And as the Secretary pointed out, we're hoping that Ukraine andBelarus will go to the zero mark by the end of this year.
These are 1995 figures representing a 33 percent reduction in operationalstrategic nuclear warheads, and in all cases, these figures are now lower thanshown on this chart.
The last issue that I'd like to discuss with you today is transnationalthreats: the most difficult kind of circumstance for us to fully understand andbe able to control, because we're not dealing, in most cases, with organizedgovernments or identifiable political entities, but instead, dealing withsubnational groups or rogue groups, which are not easily controlled.
The issue here is whether or not nuclear, chemical, and biological technologycan come into the hands of these groups or individual people and be used. Wenow know, from our experience in Iraq and elsewhere, that there is apossibility that the technical proliferation of this knowledge, and some of themateriel and equipment needed to produce weapons of this type, can, indeed, gooutside the bounds of national or international control systems. It is themost difficult for us to monitor, and it's also the most difficult for us todeter.
I'd like to introduce Under [Assistant] Secretary Ash Carter and have him givehis presentation, and then I'll return to the stage and answer any questionsyou'd care to ask at that time. Thank you very much.
Secretary Carter: Thanks very much.
General Hughes has described the problem as the first part of this reportdoes.
When we initially conceived of this document as a counterpart, if you'd like,to that part of a document of a previous decade, we intended to stop at thispoint with the description of the problem. We subsequently decided to add asecond part to the document to describe our efforts to shape a response to thisproblem. And it's some selected highlights, if you like, of that second partof the document that I'd like to share with you now.
I will begin by using the same rubric the Secretary did: we in this Departmenthave programs in all three of these areas -- prevent, deter, and defend. Ofcourse, as you get further over to the right, the responsibilities of theDepartment of Defense grow, until you're here and you're warfighting, and thatis the job that the public, in the end, expects us to do and expects us to dodespite the presence of these weapons, but we do have programs in all three.I'd like to just share with you some of the highlights of our efforts in all ofthese three areas.
First, under prevention, the Secretary described to you the Nunn/Lugarprogram. I think most of you are familiar with it. It is now the largestprogram of U.S. assistance to Russia, will be this year, larger than all theothers combined. That's a sign of our success in cooperating with the Russiansin reducing the threat there.
A couple of recent highlights from that program with which you may not befamiliar are first, a new program, funded out of Nunn/Lugar and accomplishedjointly by DoD and the FBI in the field of nuclear smuggling. A new Nunn/Lugarprogram with the states not only of the former Soviet Union, but also with theBaltic states and eastern Europe.
Another program that is germane to the possibility of loss of control ofnuclear components is our effort in weapons protection control and accounting.Our counterparts in the Ministry of Defense of Russia are the custodians of themany thousands of nuclear weapons that are the legacy of the former SovietUnion. And even as we work, as the Secretary indicated, in the area of fissilematerials protection control and accounting, it might not be known to you thatwe have a very substantial and rapidly growing cooperative program with theRussians in the field of weapons protection control and accounting.
We are active also in the chemical weapons field with Russia and have severallarge Nunn/Lugar programs in that field as well.
Those are some recent developments in that program. I'll just remind you thatthat program is over $1.5 billion now worth of programs underway. Many largeengineering programs throughout Eurasia. And I'll also add that we will becontinuing this program in the future because there are many, many otheropportunities to reduce threat in the former Soviet Union.
A second program in this area that might interest you is the support weprovide to UNSCOM in Iraq. It is our equipment and our expertise, for example,that is used for monitoring the chemical weapons and missile manufacturingfacilities in Iraq.
A third area where we in the Department of Defense play a strong role inpreventing proliferation in the first place is in the area of export controls.Over the last few years we have undertaken a very substantial reform of ourexport control system. That reform has given this Department a much strongerrole in licensing decisions than we've previously had, so we are able to useour expertise and our concern for security in those licensing decisions. We'vealso updated, technologically, our controls very substantially. For example,in the field of computers, so that we can focus export controls on those areaswhere they can be most effective.
Deterrence is a second area where this Department has very substantialprograms. The Secretary -- in his testimony in favor of the Chemical WeaponsConvention about two weeks ago -- explained that the U.S. response to the useof these kinds of weapons discussed in this report, against U.S. forces, wouldbe devastating and overwhelming. We have capabilities to be devastating andoverwhelming. We have first, as the Secretary explained, our conventionalforces, which are capable of devastating and overwhelming response and, as hesaid, are unmatched anywhere in the world. We also have a much smaller nuclearforce than we had during the Cold War period, but still a very potent andmodern nuclear force -- both of those ingredients of deterrence of weapons ofmass destruction use.
Third -- and the programs I'd like to really focus on today -- are theprograms to defend, in a sense to contend with, and defeat, opponents whoresort to these kinds of weapons if, despite our efforts to prevent and todeter, they are willing to use these weapons. That is, in effect, the heart ofour job.
The Secretary divided those programs into two: our counterproliferationprograms; and our ballistic missile defense programs. I don't intend to saytoo much about the ballistic missile defense program at this time. I'm happyto answer questions about it. You all know that we accomplished in the recentpast a review of those programs, both theater missile defense programs andnational missile defense programs; made some changes as a consequence of thatreview; and as I said, they've been described to you previously. I'm preparedto answer questions on them, I won't go into them now.
I would like to describe to you what we're doing in what we call"counter-proliferation," and what we call the "counter-proliferationinitiative." Let me just remind you of the origins of this emphasis in theDepartment of Defense. When we, a few years ago, conducted the Bottom-UpReview, we reoriented our defense strategy from one that was focused on majorwar between east and west, in Europe and globally, to the capacity to wage andprevail in major regional contingencies. Those major regional contingencies,which are the heart of the Bottom-Up Review were, as General Hughes conveyed toyou, in theaters and against potential opponents who not might, but in alllikelihood would, have special weapons of one category or another. And sothere's nothing hypothetical or future or potential aboutcounter-proliferation. It will be part of... it needs to be an integral partof our strategy to wage and win two major regional wars at about the same time.Yet, with the end of the Cold War, which we understood -- we understood majorwar in Europe to involve ballistic missiles, to involve weapons of massdestruction, there is a tendency to think of major regional contingencies asconventional, as purely conventional.
We learned from Saddam Hussein that that was not the case. He gave us theearly glimmers of the potential for special weapons to alter the character ofmajor regional contingencies, and therefore, we needed to be prepared to alterthe character of our response. Saddam Hussein had a nuclear weapons programthat was larger and different than we thought. He had a large chemical weaponsarsenal, which he didn't use -- an interesting fact by itself. He had abiological weapons program, which we would like to have better capabilities toattack and defeat than we now have. And of course, he had ballistic missileswhich, to the person observing the war on television, was the war -- SCUDSversus Patriots. So the profile of a ballistic missile is very high, and theballistic missile in that war had the potential to have changed the strategiccharacter of the war by bringing Israel or other parties into the war. So wegot a glimpse of the necessity to cope with weapons of mass destruction as partof our military job in DESERT STORM.
We hasten to add, very earnestly, that our emphasis on counter-proliferationis not at the expense of our efforts to prevent in the first place: preventionremains our first job and dealing with weapons of mass destruction on thebattlefield is our last choice.
We believe that our efforts to prepare militarily to contend with weapons ofmass destruction complement, and indeed, reinforce our efforts to preventproliferation in at least a couple of ways: first, as I'll describe to you,they allow us to strengthen, and then bring to bear on prevention the verysubstantial technical capabilities of this department; secondly, they makeclear to any potential opponent that he will not be advantaged against theUnited States. He will not be able to chase or scare away the United Statessimply through the acquisition of these special weapons, and therefore, thoseweapons are not worth getting in the first place. So in both those ways wethink this focus complements prevention.
As part of our preparations, we intend for this emphasis to pervade what we doin this Department. Not just the acquisition of new capabilities -- though Iwill talk about that in just a moment -- but, very importantly, in the way thedoctrine, the training, the exercising we do with our forces so that the forcesthemselves understand that this is part of the war that we are calling uponthem to be able to wage and win as part of their professional responsibility tostep up to this aspect of the challenge -- difficult as it may be. From mypersonal point of view, this is the bubble in this whole chart that means themost and matters the most.
In the intelligence area, our thrust here is to get from our intelligencesystem not only the kind of intelligence that we need to support proliferationprevention and our sanction system and our export control system and so forth,but also the kind of intelligence that you need to wage war. So this isintelligence support to the battlefield, to the weapons of mass destructioncontaining battlefield.
In the area of international programs, we have felt from the very beginningthat this was not an effort we ought to undertake alone. We expect to go towar with friends and allies and in many cases in coalitions. Therefore, it'simportant that our friends and allies also have adequate capabilities in thisarea. So, for example, this is detailed in the report you received, at thesame time we began this emphasis in our own Department of Defense, we began acomparable effort within the NATO Alliance. That is now one of the three areasof so-called adaptation of NATO. The creation -- from the old NATO that foughtthe Cold War -- of the NATO of the future. At the head of the state summitthat created, that launched the NATO adaptation, counter-proliferation wasidentified as one of the three areas that NATO needed to move in if it wasgoing to be the alliance of the future, even as it had been the alliance of thepast.
We've been at this now for some time. I'd like to give you some examples ofways that we're getting better in this capability. We're not, in all areas, asgood as we would like to be, probably never will be, but we are getting a lotbetter, and I wanted to share with you some of the ways in which we think weare.
The first example I have for you is the suit -- the suit that you put on, andsome of you probably have been subjected to this, if you fear chemical orbiological attack. The suits that our troops wore in DESERT STORM were veryheavy, they were very hot. We are, as a result of this effort, acceleratingthe procurement of a new suit for chemical and biological protection that ismuch lighter, much more comfortable, and will not be as much of a force forslowing down or hindering our forces in war.
You may be aware that GAO recently found that there were some Army units thatwere not in full compliance with their requirements for chemical and biologicalprotective gear, and we looked at that report and found that that discovery wasunacceptable and are acting to rectify that. I'd also note for you, in thisconnection, that this year, FY97, we recently took a decision to double ourinvestment in FY97 in protective clothing.
A second example I'd like to give you is detectors of chemical weapons:during DESERT STORM we had 1970s vintage detectors, they had a high false alarmrate, which means unnecessary anxiety and unnecessary suiting and unsuiting forour soldiers. Next year, we will, also as a result of this effort, throughaccelerated development, field a new chemical weapons detector that has a muchsmaller false alarm rate.
A third example I would give you is capabilities to attack and destroyhardened or buried targets: we have a number of efforts of this kind underway;they use a variety of techniques, and we are bringing them into the field aswell.
A fourth example I'd give you is our new version of Patriot, the PAC-3Patriot, which will be fielded in 1999. That is a material step up over thePAC-2 Patriot that we fielded in DESERT STORM. It has a hit-to-kill warhead,not a fragmentation warhead, which gives it far greater lethality than PAC-2.It has an increased range because it's a different interceptor and a differentradar. That is a very different and very much more capable missile defensethat we'll be providing against SCUD-like missiles to our troops than we hadjust a few years ago.
A final example I'll give you in this area is this. General Hughes mentionedterrorism. In the last year we have formed, in the Department of Defense,emergency response teams to deal with chemical and biological warfare terrorismof the kind that was visited on Tokyo by the [Almshinricio] Cult. These teamsare DoD teams. They would be made available to regional CINCs overseas, or tocivilian authorities here in the United States in the event of biologicalwarfare or chemical warfare terrorism. This is, as I said, a new effort, to usa very important effort. We intend to continue to strengthen it and haveprofited in that regard from the efforts of Senator Nunn to call, among others,to call attention to this problem of biological and chemical terrorism.
I want to make a side comment on biological warfare if I may, which is to notethat the biological warfare problem is an underestimated one in my personaljudgment, and one much to be concerned about in the future. Technology ischanging the types of organisms which could be put to nefarious purposes. Theycould be manufactured in very small quantities using dual use technology oreasily concealed, and there is a tendency to recoil from the horror of theseweapons, and therefore to perhaps not take steps that we can take to deal withthis problem. So we're giving biological warfare a special emphasis, bothbecause of its importance and because of the tendency to recoil from itsfearsome character.
I've tried to describe to you a selection of activities in this area. We'redoing a lot. I think, as this report illustrates, we're doing a lot, but italso illustrates we need to do a lot more. Earlier today, and the Secretarymentioned this, we announced the creation of a council, a counter-proliferationcouncil in the Department of Defense: a new entity to coordinate DoD-widecounter-proliferation- related activities that will be chaired by the DeputySecretary of Defense, John White, and will have among its members: the ViceChairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the senior officials from the services-- OSD and the Joint Staff. That's a new body intended to coordinate theseactivities.
Collectively, our programs to prevent, to deter and defend a total.... If youlook everywhere in the defense budget, and you associate our capabilities withthis particular problem, they total, in my own estimation, at least a tenth ofthe defense budget. That is, at least $25 billion or so. I've given you avery small selection from a very, very large program.
Let me close by returning to one of the charts the Secretary had. This is adaunting challenge, proliferation. It requires a lot of perseverance,patience, imagination. But this chart, which the Secretary showed, I thinkillustrates that progress is possible. To me, it is quite striking that sincethe beginning of this decade we've seen no fewer than six countries that mighthave been nuclear powers now turned away from that path: Ukraine, Kazakhstan,Belarus, in the former Soviet Union -- one of those nuclear-free now, the othertwo to become nuclear-free this year; North Korea turned, through the FrameworkAgreement, from a path to nuclear weapons to a path to freeze and eventualdismantlement; South Africa, much earlier in this decade, eliminated itsnuclear weapon arsenal; and Iraq, which clearly had nuclear weapons, and beforethe war was on the path of nuclear proliferation.
We've also had a very dramatic reduction in the threat from the former SovietUnion, in part through U.S. cooperation. General Hughes detailed that. We hadthe Non-Proliferation Treaty extended indefinitely. It will be with us, withall of its signatories, forever. So it is possible to make progress in thisarea. It is possible to prevent proliferation. But we will not be successfulat all times and in all places in preventing proliferation. When that occurs-- and when U.S. interests are involved and the commitments of this Departmentare involved -- we have to be in a position where we can prevail on thebattlefield, even against opponents possessed of these weapons, and that's thelegacy we owe to the future, and that's what we're trying to do here throughthese programs.
With that I'll stop, and both General Hughes and I are available to answeryour questions.
Q: Forgive me, but it's going to take a little bit to get into this.
If you talk about prevention being your main concern, as I understand it viathe Internet or at most public libraries, anybody can find out how to build abomb. The question is obtaining fissionable materials.
How much of the former Soviet Union's fissible materials are not accounted forat the moment, that could have gone to rogue states? And if you consider whatseems to be the big threat of the Gadafis, or the Saddam Husseins, or thegovernment in Iran, what is to prevent them from smuggling even a dirty nucleardevice in a container or slow shipment to New York or San Francisco, or abiological virulent in the reservoir system in New York, for instance? How doyou prevent that with the difficulty you have with human intelligence in thatpart of the world, when it's a [problem], I understand.
Just a prelude, you go back to the United States and the Soviet Union, you hadtwo nuclear giants squared off against each other. Now you have a very unsafeworld as everyone's been saying. How unsafe is it and what is the danger?
Secretary Carter: There are hundreds of tons of fissile material in theformer Soviet Union, throughout the former Soviet Union, in the form of fuel,dismantled bomb parts, fully assembled bombs, raw material. There are reactorsin Russia which are still producing weapons grade plutonium because theyprovide heat to the local area and can't be shut down for that reason, sothere's a very large source of supply.
In the last couple of years, we have detected and interdicted -- that is,international law enforcement has -- a number of cases in which relativelysmall amounts of weapons grade fissile material were smuggled. There has notbeen, fortunately, a case in which both the character of the material wasweapons grade and the amount of the material was large. And, in fact, theincidence, over the last year or so, of such incidents has been going down.
I hope that's in part...
Q: How much is unaccounted for? On a percentage basis if you can...
Secretary Carter: The Soviet authorities who originally produced thatmaterial are responsible for accounting for it. All the states of the formerSoviet Union account to the IAEA for the materials that they inherited, thosethat are not weapons grade.
In some cases it has been quite an effort for them, and the IAEA, actually toaccount for all the materials. We have assisted them in that effort throughthe Nunn/Lugar program with the provision of equipment and algorithms and soforth that allow them to assess what they actually have. But it is a problem,and it is one of the reasons why we're concerned that fissile material beaccounted for and controlled.
If you saw that acronym we use, "MPC&A," that is Material Protection Controland Accounting.
Q: How much of it is not accounted for at the moment? How much could bemissing and in the hands of some rogue state? A percentage, if you will.
Secretary Carter: We have no information to indicate that any of thatmaterial has been diverted to a rogue state. That's where I began. It iscertainly possible; that's why we're so concerned, and that's why we have theseprograms to control it.
Q: Can I ask a question of General Hughes, please, about the facility inLibya?
Can you give us some idea what you anticipate the capacity of this newfacility would be? Rabta, you say in your document, produced 100 metric tonsof blister and nerve gas. How much bigger is the new facility?
General Hughes: I would characterize it as roughly the same size. Notsignificantly larger, but certainly not significantly smaller. We don't knowthat kind of detail, at least not in the unclassified form that you'd like meto present it to you today.
The nature of the plant is clear, however. It is to produce weaponizedchemical materials.
Q: If I could just follow on the question about Tarhunah. We wrote about itin '92, and presumably the Intelligence Community wrote about it before then.I'm kind of wondering why the Defense Department is elevating, making publicstatements about it now, and elevating public concerns about it.
General Hughes: We've made statements about it before, as you know. This isnot new. We are merely highlighting it today because of the issue ofproliferation. It's a sterling example of the kind of proliferation we areconcerned about. It's not the only example. There are other examples in thedocument, and some examples throughout the world, that we have not publicizedin this document. So it's merely one good, clear example of something that wewould like to highlight to the public at this time.
Q: You've been trying since '92 to prevent the completion of Tarhunah throughexport controls, through de marches to allies or other states that may becontributing to its completion. Is that a losing battle? And do you thinkthat it will, in the end, be a successfully completed plant?
General Hughes: We know, in some cases, where we have been successful inpreventing equipment or technology from being brought into Libya. We also knowin some cases where that technology and equipment has indeed been introducedthere. I wouldn't characterize it as a losing battle, but one that we mustcontinue to fight over some period of time.
I hope. It is my fervent hope that we succeed in preventing that capabilityfrom reaching fruition in Libya. We are, I believe, on a course to do thatwith all of the means at our disposal.
Q: What countries are assisting the government of Libya, with workers on siteor equipment, at that facility?
General Hughes: At this time I would prefer not to disclose by individualcountry or by nationality of person the people that are assisting Libya or areinvolved in this effort. I would like to say that several countries areinvolved. People from various countries throughout the world who may not berepresenting national entities, I may add, but indeed are representingcommercial interests, or in some cases individual interests. So it would beunfair of me to ascribe responsibility to a national entity at this time.
We are working with countries that may be involved or their nationals may beinvolved to try to get them to not provide this kind of technology andequipment to Libya.
Q: On China: clearly China hasn't been prevented or deterred from transferringproliferation materials, nuclear technology to Pakistan. Considering that theAdministration hasn't sanctioned China, doesn't this raise questions about theAdministration's commitment to halting the spread of these types of weapons?
Secretary Carter: China is noted in this report as a supplier of concern tothe United States. That's, indeed, highlighted in this report. We find thatChina does push the edge of the envelope of what is acceptablenon-proliferation behavior. When they do, we push back. We're in the midstnow of investigating a particular case to which you referred, and decisionshave not yet been taken on the basis of that investigation which is not yetcomplete, but they will be in time.
The other point I would make about China is, while they push the edge of theenvelope, there is an envelope. And let me remind you that China only joinedthe NPT a few years ago. It is now a member of the NPT. China joined theMissile Technology... or agreed to abide by the rules of the Missile TechnologyControl Regime just a few years ago.
There was a time when China refused to be in any kind of envelope at all, andwhere it professed an ideological solidarity with potential proliferators. Andthat, over the last few years, has changed very substantially. So I wouldcharacterize China as pushing the edge of the envelope, in which case we needto push back, and we will. But there is an envelope; there didn't use to be.
Q: Another action that is also raising questions about the Administration'scommitment to this issue is the fact that during the Gulf War the largestnumber of casualties were taken from a missile attack, and yet you said todaythat we won't have a more advanced missile defense system -- even a verylimited one -- until 1999. How do you respond to that?
Secretary Carter: One of the important steps we took -- and announced fromthis podium a few weeks ago -- in association with our ballistic missiledefense program review is an increase in money for the PAC-3 program to makesure that its availability not slip in time. That was a program that washaving some technical difficulties; that were causing program slip, and inorder to keep it on track, this materially better capability for earlydeployment, we added money specifically to the PAC-3 program in just the lastfew weeks because we can't afford not to have that capability brought to ourtroops as soon as the technology is available.
Q: Can you explain how loosening export controls on high technologies, such assuper computers, actually contribute to countering proliferation when commonsense would tell you that it would make it easier for proliferators to developsophisticated algorithms to launch chemical warheads, etc?
Secretary Carter: Let me contest the premise of your question, which is thatin some way computer export controls were loosened. Computer export controlswere very substantially revised in the last few years to refocus them from whathad been their previous focus, which was a Cold War focus, to a focus oncountries of proliferation concern. That, in our judgment, makes our exportcontrols more effective, not less.
A second change that was made is we focused our export control's effort, ourresources, on those machines that we regard as of the greatest concern. And astechnology gets better, and computers in widespread commerce get more and morepowerful, they reach a point at which we're unable, effectively, to controlthem because they're available at every Radio Shack. We can't afford to takeour export controls resources and apply them to areas where they can't beeffective. We have to apply them to areas where we are really impedingproliferators from getting machines that they have. It's those changes thatfocus and make more effective, not relax, our export controls that we'vemade.
Q: You talked before about the... I think you called it the tendency torecoil from the horror of these weapons, and I just wanted you to clarify. Isthe tendency not to confront it on the part of OSD, is it on the part of themilitary? And how much of this problem is due to the fact you still have theJROC, for example... the military recommending deep cuts in this programbecause they want to fund their modernization requirements first, which is oneof the things the GAO pointed out and has been pointed out before. So where'sthe disconnect here?
Secretary Carter: We all, I think everyone familiar with this problem,uniformed, civilian, are concerned about this problem. That's why we issuedthis report. Everyone in the Department was involved in that. I think theconcern is widespread.
What I was referring to, the tendency to recoil, is a tendency that I think weall have to look at biological weapons; and they're so gruesome that you haveto gird yourself up to imagine them being used against Americans, and to makethe necessary preparations.
You referred to, I believe you were referring to an assessment that isongoing, the so-called front end assessment of a portion of ourcounter-proliferation program I described earlier. Let me show you a chartthat I think will help.
Q: ...final recommendations out of the JROC about two months ago where theyrecommended up to a billion dollar cut in the whole program.
Secretary Carter: Let me come to that, Barbara. That's exactly what I wantedto describe here.
This is a chart that gives you a picture of the investments we're making inthis capability. Over here, you see an artist's rendition -- I suppose youhave to call that -- of an iceberg. That is to signify that this very largecapability and investment we have in prevention, deterrence and defense --which I said was at least a tenth of our defense budget overall -- is a verylarge investment -- $25 billion or so.
I pulled out for the purposes of this chart about $6 billion worth of thoseprograms that are focused on getting new capabilities, new capabilities intothe field -- be they in the area of counter-force or active defense, ballisticmissile defense, CCCI, passive defense, prevention, and so forth. We are nowconducting an assessment of these very programs that will provide us newcapabilities in the future. Barbara, that assessment is not completed. Therecommendation to which you refer was rejected, and this investigation -- or"assessment," if you like -- was begun because we wanted to look at ourinvestment profile in new capabilities in counter-proliferation to make sure itwas the right investment profile. As I think the Secretary mentioned, weexpect the outcome of that effort to be an increase in our investment in thesecapabilities, but, I hasten to add as you look at this chart, to realize that Ihave selected, out of this very large iceberg, a particular piece, theacquisition piece. I'm focused on a piece of the acquisition piece, which isthat part which acquires new capabilities.
Q: Sir, senior defense officials are now saying that you have clearly noweapon in inventory at the moment that could successfully attack the Libyanplant. You just don't have a deep penetrating weapon?
I guess, one, very simply, are you satisfied with that? And two, how much isyour military response hindered by the fact that you simply have no weapon thatcould go against a facility like that? And how can that be years and yearsafter you've know that this facility's in existence?
General Hughes: First of all, I have to explain the context of my answer.I'm your friendly intelligence officer, not your operations officer. AshCarter may have a view here that he'll give you in just a moment.
But I, personally, believe that we have capabilities which will be adequate,when the time comes, to go against such facilities. There are many ways toattack these capabilities. We don't merely have to drop a bomb on them.
Secretary Carter: That's a point I made in my presentation earlier. Thereare a variety of military techniques for hardened and buried facilities. We'reexploring a variety of them, not just one kind.
Q: To follow-up a question I asked earlier, does North Korea now have themissile capability to reach Alaska?
General Hughes: Not at this time, sir.
General Hughes: Not soon. We believe it will take several years of unimpededtechnological progress to achieve that capability.
Q: Going back to Tarhunah. Today, we do not have the actual capability totake out the facility?
Secretary Carter: I'm not prepared to agree with you on that, and I wouldsimply repeat what General Hughes said, which is, there are a variety of waysof attacking facilities of this kind. There's more than one approach, and Iwould not agree with your characterization.
Q: ...on the ground?
Secretary Carter: There are a variety of capabilities, a variety ofapproaches for doing that; and I'm not going to detail them any further.
Q: You showed accessible technologies (inaudible). Do you have evidence thatcountries are using this technology to increase the accuracy of their missiles?And additionally, what can you do to prevent it as we are now relaxing our GPSaccess worldwide and spot imagery is going to be a lot more precise andcommercially available?
General Hughes: The short answer is we do have some knowledge about somecountries trying to use the access they have to this technology to improveaccuracy and capability. We're also taking steps to try to control theiraccess to these capabilities in times of crisis or conflict, and to preventthem from using it improperly.
Q: I understand that you're doing that with GPS. You can selectively jam asignal. But what do you do with SPOT imagery once they have the map of Israel,they have the accurate locations there?
General Hughes: It's inappropriate for me to discuss this kind of operationalissue with you at this time, in this forum. But you'll have to take my wordfor it, that there are options for us.
Press: Thank you.