Thursday, March 1, 2001
(Also participating: Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary of Defense-designate Paul Wolfowitz)
Quigley: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have several announcements to make this afternoon.
For starters, we're very pleased to report that so far no servicemen and -women in the Northwest have been injured or killed, certainly, in yesterday's earthquake that was up in that part of the country. There are reports of minor damage to several military facilities in the region. Damage assessments continue, as you -- I'm sure you can understand -- the foundations of buildings and underground systems and things of that sort.
The Washington National Guard has activated its emergency operations center and has flown the governor over the region in a Black Hawk helicopter to take a look from the air, to survey the damage.
The Army Corps of Engineers is conducting inspections of the dams and other public works facilities in the Pacific Northwest. So far, they've seen some cosmetic damage, but no substantive structural damage -- been detected so far.
And the Coast Guard reports that the ports of Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia are open and that they're obtaining assessments of any damages to bridges. So they're taking a look at the bridges in that area, too.
And it probably will be a while before we have a complete assessment, but that's the quick look, and we're very heartened by that.
Secretary Rumsfeld will be in attendance as President Bush delivers the principal address at the christening ceremony of the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, CVN-76, this Sunday during a 2:00 ceremony at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia. Mrs. Nancy Reagan will serve as the ship's sponsor. Other honored guests expected to attend include Virginia Governor James Gilmore, Virginia Senators John Warner and George Allen, acting Secretary of the Navy Robert Pirie Jr., Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vern Clark, and Chief Executive Officer of Newport News Shipbuilding Will Fricks.
The carrier will join the fleet in 2003, upon its commissioning, and is expected to serve the fleet for 50 years.
Next, today we welcome 12 students from Syracuse University. These students are working towards master's degrees in the fields of visual communications, journalism, public relations, broadcasting, and other disciplines within the communications field. Welcome to you all.
We're also pleased to welcome to our briefing today a group of four public affairs officers from the Chilean armed forces, who are in the United States for one week to learn about the media in the United States and about the role of government spokespersons.
They are here today to observe our briefing and to meet with members of the Public Affairs staff. While in Washington, they'll be attending various press briefings and meeting with media representatives. And welcome to you all as well.
And finally, at 2:00 today, if you hear sirens coming from the direction of the fifth and sixth corridors, this will be an evacuation drill. So don't go rushing for the exits, necessarily, unless you're in those affected areas.
We'll be doing a limited evacuation drill here in about a half an hour. It will affect only those persons with offices between corridors five and six, first through the fifth floors. Now the purpose is to evaluate our ability to communicate emergency instructions to building employees during some of a crisis situation. Also, we'll test the shelter in place concept, which involves evacuating an area of the Pentagon without forcing occupants to go outside of the building.
The drill should last about 45 minutes. There probably will be some inconvenience for those attempting to traverse that area of the building, so I ask for your patience if that pertains to you. This is the second such drill that we have conducted in the past couple of years.
And with that, I'll take your questions. Charlie?
Q: Craig, has there been any decision by the secretary yet on who the spokesperson's going to be?
Quigley: No. He's getting closer. As I'm sure you know, Dr. Paul Wolfowitz was confirmed by the Senate last night, by unanimous consent, as the deputy secretary of Defense. And beyond that, Mr. Dov Zakheim has been -- the White House has announced the president's intention to nomination Dr. Zakheim to be the comptroller. But other than an ongoing, very, very intense effort by the secretary to find people that have the skills, that are willing to serve in these positions of great importance -- he's making progress, but nothing to announce yet.
Q: And speaking of skills, I think I speak on behalf of all of us that we would implore the secretary to consider someone with broad experience in defense, and preferably -- preferably -- someone who has reportorial experience. It's a two-way street, you know, from that podium. I mean, the press has its needs, too, as well as -- granted, the premiere job of that person up there is to protect, defend, coddle, whatever, the secretary --
Quigley: That's -- (off mike) -- the Constitution --
Q: -- but we also have needs, and the person who has that job needs to understand that. And the secretary, I think, needs to understand that, too.
Quigley: In my discussions with him and also Ken Bacon, before he departed this position -- I mean, I know Secretary Rumsfeld had asked for his views as to what sort of a person, what sort of skill sets do you need to bring to this job. And he was -- you all know Ken very well, and he was very clear about the sorts of capabilities that the person in this position would need to have.
So I know that Secretary Rumsfeld took those comments aboard, as well as hearing the advice and counsel of others. And it's a process not only in the assistant secretary for Public Affairs, but in all the other senior positions within the Department of Defense, it's an area that he's putting an awful lot of effort to in the first few weeks in office.
Q: I'm going to do a follow-up, since we're on the record here. Has the secretary considered a very able, adroit and pleasant fellow, who wears a Navy uniform, by the name of Craig Quigley? If not, he should.
Quigley: Well, I don't think that a uniformed person should be the principal spokesman for the department. I mean that's Craig Quigley's opinion, okay? I don't think --
Q: But you can retire and give up the uniform, right?
Quigley: Well, I was going to say, that's certainly his prerogative. But I think you really need to have a full-service person here to be able to do this briefing, particularly, and that's not something that a uniform person can do. You need to be an advocate of policies. And I can explain policies to you, but I can't be an unabashed advocate of a Republican versus a Democratic policy, and such a restriction simply does not exist for a political appointee.
So I think in order to serve the secretary and the department fully, 100 percent, you really do need to have the principal person be a civilian. When they're sick, when they're on the road with the secretary, great, and on in interim basis, that's fine.
Q: Now that I've gone on the record, may I ask I question? Actually, I have a myriad of questions, but I've boiled it down very simply in one area: salvage. Has any decision, you know, been made as far as the civilians are concerned? I know they're due to brief the Navy next week on the Ehime Maru. Any early warnings or any early decisions?
And the second point is, has anyone, including the Navy, ever raised, with the exception of the Glomar Explorer and the Russian sub, ever raised or tried to raise a vessel of that size from that far down?
Quigley: Well, as we speak, Ivan, the survey of the bottom, within approximately six square miles of the vessel sitting on the bottom, is still going on. We've got to have that full understanding of the bottom topography before you can get a fully informed estimate from world-class salvage companies that might have the capability to raise that vessel.
So I guess the short answer to your question is no. The topography and the survey of the bottom continues. But kind of the sequence of events would be that process would complete, the data complied, the information would be shared with Navy salvage experts, as well as other commercial salvage experts that would have or could have the capability to raise a vessel of that size from that depth with those bottom conditions and all those particulars. And then we'd have to take a look from there. So you take a look at the technical feasibility of carrying out that task.
Q: Has that ever been done before, as far as we know?
Quigley: It has not been done of a vessel of that size from that depth, to the best of the knowledge of the various salvage folks that I have talked to recently. You're talking about a vessel of about 500 tons. That has been raised, a vessel of that size, but from relatively shallow depth. Or you can get an object from 2,000 feet, up to about 1,000 pounds or so, using the arms on remote-operated vehicles and things of that sort, and other methods of bringing those to the surface. But the combination of size and depth, to the best of my knowledge, has not been done.
Q: One last quick one on this. You say topography, but I would assume, too, they're checking any underwater currents down there and other conditions as well?
Quigley: Oh, indeed. Absolutely. And visibility, and what is the material on the bottom, what is the underwater landscape, what other debris -- rocks, things of that sort -- may be in the vicinity. And all that goes into the hopper on which a salvage company would then base their technical capability of performing that task.
Q: Craig, the other day you told us you couldn't identify the weapons used in Iraq attacking the radar network there because it might aid and abet Saddam Hussein's military. But Admiral McGinnis -- is it?
Quigley: McGinn, I believe.
Q: McGinn. Went into the use of the weapons in vast detail on the record. Is he aiding the enemy in this instance, or were you just being arbitrary in not telling us what weapons were used?
Quigley: Well, no, I -- clearly, I don't think he believes he's aiding anyone in that regard. I don't know as if I can improve upon his words. I think I'll let his words stand without any embellishment from me.
Q: Well, on the point of not telling us what these weapons were, your version was this might aid the enemy. Is he right or were you right?
Quigley: I guess both would be true, in my view. (Laughter.) And the reason that I'm reluctant from here, from the podium, in a public way to discuss in any great detail the choice of weapons against a particular target is it could lead to an adversary having an unintended advantage the next time, or the next time after that. And since you're talking about the no-fly zone enforcements here, both north and south, having continued for some time, then it is entirely possible that we would have future engagements, perhaps not exactly like this one, but very likely to use a particular weapon system against a particular type of target.
If there's an advantage that we could impart to an adversary by acknowledging the sort of weapon and some of our thinking involved in that, that would not be a good thing, from a tactical sense.
Clearly, Admiral McGinn thought that that -- the knowledge that he imparted the other day would not serve to compromise that. So --
Q: Well, who's making the policy here? This is very arbitrary on your part. He says it on the record; you refuse to discuss it.
Quigley: Well, I think the policy that we've done from here over time of not being particularly forthcoming on what types weapons and what sorts of targets has been fairly consistent. There have been --
Q: But on Iraq -- in Iraq we -- you listed every weapon in our inventory except nuclear weapons -- we've used fuel/air explosives, stand-off guided missiles, dumb bombs -- in vast detail. Same thing during Kosovo.
Quigley: I think when you do something like Desert Fox, a sizeable strike like we did in December 1998, we tend to be more forthcoming when you have a big event of that sort, because it is a notable event. It's very newsworthy. But in the daily routine of responding to attacks on coalition aircraft that's been going on for some time, we're just going to try to not offer any advantage to the Iraqis that could place coalition air crews at risk.
Q: Yes. On Rumsfeld's review, you said he's taking a painstakingly long time to put together his senior staff. How is that affecting his ability to complete the review, which I understand has about a month to go?
Quigley: Well, it has an impact on it. Yes, indeed it does. He's making progress in choosing the members of -- what will be the senior members of his team here in the Pentagon. But it is fact having an impact.
He's trying to do two things at the same time, and that is to choose the team members that will be with him during his tenure as secretary of defense and accomplish a review of defense programs that the president has told him in no uncertain terms is very important to his list of priorities. So he's doing the best he can and going as fast as he can. But yes, it has an impact.
Q: Is he calling in outsiders to conduct pieces of the review?
Quigley: A variety of folks. I've mentioned here before, it's amazing to me the diversity of views that he can call upon to offer insights into their thinking and use from papers they have written, studies that they have been a part of, things of that sort, to further refine his own thinking.
Q: Craig, the secretary told us on the way back from Munich that this study would be broken up into different parts, some parts which could take 30 days, two months, 90 days. Could you try to break down a little bit on progress made in different areas, for instance, perhaps on the two-war strategy or the future of the F-22 or future weapons programs, the size of the forces?
Quigley: No, I'm sorry, I can't. I can't offer you a progress report. I'm sorry.
Q: (Inaudible) -- does the secretary hold the view that civilians in no way contributed to the accident on the Greeneville, the ramming of the Japanese boat?
Quigley: Well, I think his words on the Lehrer NewsHour was that at that point, we had no indication that they contributed to the accident. I'll tell you, his view today is I think he'll wait for the court of inquiry to come to that decision very clearly.
Q: Does that convene on Monday still.
Quigley: Correct, starts Monday in Hawaii.
Q: Today, the French foreign ministry said that the allies are in discussions about a possible international military presence in southern Serbia outside of Kosovo. I was wondering, is the U.S. part of that discussion. And can you shed any light as to why a military presence would be needed outside of Kosovo in southern Serbia?
Quigley: I can't lend any light on the second part of your question. But the U.S. has no interest in operating outside of southern Serbia. We will stay within the NATO context of our operations there. And that is KFOR. And, as you know, that is an alliance-wide decision that is made with sector responsibilities and the like. But I can't answer the second part of your question. I don't know what the French would have in mind.
Q: Go ahead.
Quigley: Go ahead.
Q: Oh, I'm just wondering, if the U.S. does oppose doing that, would that mean that this could not be done as a NATO --
Quigley: Well, if you're talking outside the border of Serbia, okay, into other neighboring nations, that's certainly not something the United States has in mind, nor NATO, I believe.
Q: Not even in the buffer zone that ---
Quigley: You're talking about the ground security zone?
Quigley: Okay, well, that -- here's Kosovo, okay?
And then the ground security zone extends five kilometers outside the boundary of Kosovo, but still within Serbia, or Yugoslavia, okay? So I'm still in Yugoslav territory. I'm not in neighboring nations' territory --
Q: No, no, no. I --
Quigley: Maybe I misunderstood your question.
Q: Yeah, I think you did. As I understand it the idea would be to have a military presence outside of Kosovo but in southern Serbia.
Quigley: I don't know of that being contemplated by NATO right now. I know it's not something that the United States contemplates.
Q: Or in the buffer zone, because that would be outside of Kosovo.
Quigley: In the ground security zone, you mean?
Quigley: No, I think the intention at this point, certainly of the United States, is to stay within the boundaries of Kosovo.
Q: Can I change the subject? On --
Q: What's the situation regarding the F-22 and the money that will be required, I understand quite soon, in advance of a decision about going ahead with production to keep the contracts alive?
Quigley: End of this month. Yeah. End of this month is the timeframe. No decisions yet, but the secretary is very much aware of that date by which there must be a decision made.
Q: End of this month.
Q: I suspect I know what you'll say about this, admiral, but what do you say about reports that one fire control technician on the Greeneville was doing the job of two people, and this is the same fellow who told the NTSB he wasn't able to do that job because of the civilians in the control room?
Quigley: I think I'll let the Court of Inquiry find out what they can in that regard.
Q: Yes. On Vieques? The governor of Puerto Rico met with the secretary earlier this week, presented him his -- her vibroacoustic study. And my question is, has he had a chance to look at it? Will he consider either limiting the training on Vieques, postpone the training that is requested, or ceasing all training on the island altogether?
Quigley: Well, they had a good meeting on Tuesday, I believe it was -- right? Tuesday? And -- yeah, Tuesday of this week. The subject of the various medical issues on Vieques was brought up. But she did not have with her a copy of the study per se. But the issue of the medical topics of concern to both the governor and the people of Vieques were discussed. It was a good discussion: very cordial. I think both the governor and the secretary would look forward to doing that again in the future and continue to try to find a way ahead here that's satisfactory to all parties.
Q: Where was the meeting? Here?
Quigley: Yes. Mm-hmm.
Q: Admiral, what's to discuss? I mean, there's --
Quigley: One sec.
Go ahead and finish your thought, please.
Q: Okay, well, I have several questions.
Q: Okay, on Vieques. She basically -- even though she didn't present the text of the study, asked the secretary to postpone at least the JTF next training, which is scheduled for the second half of March, until the results of the -- (inaudible) -- study were conducted -- or HHS study were conducted. Would the secretary consider either delaying the training or limiting the training until the results of the study came out? That's one question.
I'll let you answer the last question.
Quigley: The last thing they discussed was a common desire to not continue their dialogue through the press. (Laughter.) The secretary will abide by that.
Q: She had a news conference.
Q: Okay, one last question. She said that the secretary had mentioned that they would communicate further --
[Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz enter the briefing room.]
Quigley: Speaking of the secretary --
Rumsfeld: (Off mike) -- I want to hear how you do it! (Laughter.)!
Quigley: Don't put your notebook in there.
Go ahead, finish your thought, please.
Q: Okay, I would like the secretary -- (laughter) -- the secretary mentioned that he would communicate with the governor further. Has that communication taken place or will it take place soon? And what can we know about it?
Quigley: Well, again, I mean, I will -- (to Secretary Rumsfeld) -- Correct me, if I'm wrong, sir; I'm sure you will. But the last thing that the governor and the secretary discussed was their common desire to not have this discussion carried out in the press, and the secretary is going to stick to his guns in that regard.
Mr. Secretary, the podium is yours, sir.
Rumsfeld: Good afternoon. This fellow who is following me is Paul Wolfowitz, the newly confirmed deputy secretary of defense. It happened last evening, it was unanimous. And I am delighted that he's here and will be helping.
I might just make a couple of comments before I introduce Paul, and then we'd be happy to respond to some questions.
The people part of this process is a difficult one, and I've been spending an enormous amount of time on it. Paul is, as you know, now the only -- the second confirmed person; I'm the other. And we have, I suppose, six, eight or 10 people whose names are at various stages of this very complex process, one of whom has been announced by the White House as an intention to nominate -- Dov Zakheim for comptroller. The others are at various stages of discussion.
Paul and I -- Paul was not able to do much prior to being confirmed. You're probably familiar with the rules that require that anyone who is a possibility for a presidential appointment really has to adhere to a very strict set of rules in terms of involvement in the department.
And the reason for that is that a certain behavior pattern could be characterized as presuming confirmation, and several secretaries back there was a good deal of discussion about that. Some of you may recall that. I think it was during the Perry period when the Senate was concerned about someone being in a position to make decisions or give advice that presumed confirmation. So none of the people who we have at various stages of discussion are in fact involved in decision- making. They are adhering scrupulously to the requirements.
I would also want to say, and I will find another opportunity to say it, that Rudy de Leon has just absolutely been terrific. He is a fine deputy secretary, he has been an enormous help to me personally. He has been a big help to Paul and, fortunately for both of us, he has agreed to stick around for several weeks to help us through the coming period.
The only other thing I would say is that Paul has been for the last seven years the dean and professor of international relations at the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins. He spent four years as an under secretary of the Department of Defense for policy in the George Herbert Walker Bush administration, and in the Reagan administration he spent several years as U.S. ambassador to Indonesia. Previously he had served in the Department of State in the policy planning staff and in the Department of Defense, way back in the 1970s, as I recall.
He has a bachelor's degree from Cornell and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago. His bachelor's degree is in mathematics, interestingly. And Paul and I have worked together on a variety of projects over the years, including the Ballistic Missile Threat Commission, which Paul served on. And I am very, very pleased that he is joining me as the deputy here at the Department of Defense.
Paul, would you like to say some words?
Wolfowitz: Be delighted. First of all, I'd like to express my profound appreciation to President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld for placing this confidence in me. I am impressed with the magnitude of the responsibility, and I really appreciate that you've entrusted this to me.
And I also appreciate the fine work Rudy de Leon has done not only helping you but helping me, and I look forward to that help.
It seems to me Yogi Berra seemed to have a comment that's appropriate for almost any occasion, and the one for this occasion to me is, "It's deja vu all over again." This, as Secretary Rumsfeld said, will be my third tour in the Pentagon. You folks don't look much older, but the staff that used to work with me looks very aged. I think it's a sign of the hours that people work around here. (Laughs.)
But in many ways, it's not deja vu all over again. It is an incredibly different era from either of the previous times. It really is a post-Cold War world. We have enormous challenges, I believe, to undertake in both fixing some of the immediate problems of the current force, but also shaping the force for the 21st century. And I can't imagine a stronger national security team than the one President Bush has assembled. I can't imagine a better secretary of defense than the one he picked. And he's going to keep us working hard and aging rapidly. (Laughs.) But it's going to be exciting. So I look forward to it very much.
Rumsfeld: Yes, sir.
Q: Mr. Secretary, I wonder if I might ask, do you -- over the past decade, the job of deputy secretary has been generally to manage nuts-and-bolts programs here at the Pentagon level, while the secretary handles policy and strategy. Mr. Wolfowitz's specialty has been in policy and strategy as opposed to management. How do you see -- how do you see his job meshing and fitting with yours?
Rumsfeld: Very skillfully. (Laughter.) We're talking about that now and discussing it. And my guess is it'll be a number of weeks before we sort through exactly how we want to be arranged and what the flows will be for each of us. There's no doubt in my mind but that one of the tasks of the deputy has always been and certainly will be in this case to see that big decisions that are coming down the road are addressed and arranged and presented in a manner that allows proper secretary decisions or presidential decisions. So that is a big piece of it.
Over the decades, the relationships between the number one and number two have varied and who's done what has varied. I don't think there's any one cookie mold that's perfect. It kind of depends on the people.
Q: One quick follow up.
Q: Mr. Secretary.
Q: Excuse me.
Are you satisfied, from intelligence reports, with the damage that was done in a recent joint strike near Baghdad? And if not, do you see possibly another strike in the near future?
Rumsfeld: Of course, our interest was in addressing the question of the safety of the pilots, coalition pilots that are flying those missions. And there is no question but that their safety is better today than it was before. There's also no question but that the -- as you're well aware -- the Navy munitions did not find their targets precisely. And we now think we have a pretty good grip on why that happened, and it's unlikely to happen again.
Q: Mr. Secretary, I apologize, but --
Rumsfeld: Ask HIM [Wolfowitz] something! (Laughter.)
Q: We're getting to that, sir.
Q: -- but since you've kept us at arm's length since you've taken the job, I'm forced to ask a multiple-part question. So I apologize. (Laughter.)
Rumsfeld: Arm's length?! Goodness gracious!
Q: Well, I think this is only the second time we've seen you.
Rumsfeld: I've only been here a month or so.
Rumsfeld: I've been a little busy.
Q: We can quibble about that later.
My question. How does the Bush administration budget, which essentially is last year's budget plus inflation, and the lack of a supplemental, square with the administration's pledge to rebuild and restore the military?
Rumsfeld: Budget for what period? '01 or '02 or --
Q: Well, this year's budget and supplemental and next year's proposed budget.
Rumsfeld: Well, it squares in this way. That the president has announced that he wants to engage the brains before the taxpayers' pocketbook, and he has put forward a budget and indicated that he will address the question of a supplemental and/or a budget amendment for '02 at the point where he has had a good chance to see the results of the defense review that we're -- the pieces of the defense reviews that we're undertaking at the present time. And --
Q: Have the services told you that they need money now for things like training and spare parts and fuel and --
Rumsfeld: There have been --
Q: -- peacekeeping in Bosnia?
Rumsfeld: There have been any number of people who have opined on various aspect of the defense budget, both on the Hill, in this building and in various think tanks, such as -- well, the Congressional Budget Office has, the CSIS has, Jim Schlesinger and Harold Brown have written articles on it. There are any number of suggestions. And at the right moment, the president will have his.
Q: A follow-up on a completely different subject.
Q: Has the United States apologized enough now for the tragic accident involving the Japanese fishing boat, or will there be more apologies forthcoming?
Rumsfeld: Well, I really don't know. I think that the Defense Department has, I think, done everything humanly possible with respect to the search and rescue efforts.
They are examining the question of the possible salvage of the vessel and doing a site survey at the present time. I have met with people, and I don't know of any other events that are planned.
As you know, the admiral was in Japan. I think he's still in Japan. Is he not, Craig?
Quigley: He's now en route back.
Rumsfeld: Yeah. Just en route back.
And I can't answer your question because it involves the Department of State and the White House and other places, as well as the Pentagon. But we have nothing planned.
Q: Mr. Secretary, the '02 budget includes -- as presented yesterday, includes some extra money for research and development. Could you shed some light on how much, if any, of that applies to the area of missile defense and the current program? And in what way does it affect the missile defense program?
Rumsfeld: The -- we are wrestling with the missile defense issues right now. In fact, I had a meeting last night on the subject. And how -- that will be one of the things that will come out of the defense reviews, as to --
Q: (Off mike) -- numbers? Doesn't some of that apply directly to missile defense or not?
Rumsfeld: Certainly there is in the budget, the budget that exists, money for missile defense, yes.
Q: I mean, I'm referring to the extra -- is there some extra money that the president added in the R&D area for missile defense? There was a report of that. I don't know if that's true or not.
Rumsfeld: I believe that's correct, although how it would be spent is what's really important. And that is open at the moment. That is what we're currently discussing.
Q: I have -- (off mike) -- for Secretary Wolfowitz.
Q: You must have a tremendous perspective for all these years.
Wolfowitz: Likely --
Q: Could you name one where you really thought it was the right thing to do years ago and it turned out to be a disaster? (Laughter.)
And two, your fingerprints all over "two major contingencies and a sideshow." That's not going to work anymore, or do you have misgivings about that now?
Wolfowitz: (Chuckling.) I'd have to think a long time before I came up with this "major disaster."
The -- actually, I think, 10 years ago -- you refer to the effort that was led by Secretary Cheney -- and I played a part, with General Powell -- of creating the so-called regional defense strategy and the base force that went with it. And I think it was a giant step toward building a post-Cold War force and force structure. But it was largely a downsizing of the force. We didn't have a lot of time to think about the new shape of the force. We hadn't thought a lot about the new threats.
I think everything's on the table in this review, including the question of how you handle the so-called two major regional contingencies. And are they an abstraction, or are they specifically North Korea and the Persian Gulf?
Q: Mr. Wolfowitz, I have a question for you, too. But in a sense --
Wolfowitz: You were going to try to sneak the secretary back in there --
Q: It also applies to the secretary. And as one who is long of tooth, I think I can ask this, with all due respect.
What is it that motivates you elder statesmen to come back after all these years?
Rumsfeld: He's not that old!
Q: He's a child!
Q: Rumsfeld is old. (Laughter.)
Q: That's right! Compared to the gentleman besides you -- (laughter). But seriously, are you in step with all that's going on now since so much has changed? You both are products of the Cold War, if you will. And -- you know, I mean, it's a different world you've come into. Wouldn't it be better if you were out playing golf or writing your memoirs? Why are you back here?
Wolfowitz: I don't play golf very well, and I don't think my memoirs would be all that interesting.
But no, I'm back here because I think there's terribly important work to be done, also because I really believe in the dedication of our men and women in uniform and the fact that they deserve the finest help we can give them. And as to whether I'm -- I mean, I've been trying to learn all the time. I think some of us who worked hard on the Cold War have a better appreciation of how different the world is post-Cold War. I think because I knew the missile defense issues and the strategic deterrence issues at a time when the enemy was the Soviet Union I have a better idea of how many things we built that we would never have built if it was a different world.
So I'm trying to stay young. Working for him certainly helps keep you young.
Wolfowitz: And 57 isn't that old. Come on, give me a break.
Q: Mr. Secretary, two questions. On the supplemental, why not just rubber-stamp it? Is it sometimes that you don't trust the --
Rumsfeld: What's that mean, "rubber stamp it"?
Q: Rubber stamp what it is that the services want, the $7 billion supplement for this year. Is it that you don't trust their assessment of what they need? And the second question is, we've been really hungry for information about the strategic review that you're doing. Could you sketch out for us some of the topic areas that you're covering and the progress that you've made?
Rumsfeld: Sure. Be glad to.
On the first subject, the -- there are a host of ideas as to what budget numbers ought to fit in each category. It seemed to the president -- and I think it's a perfectly reasonable assumption -- that it is the president's budget, it is not one service's budget, it's not my budget, it's the president's budget. And he preferred to follow through on things he mentioned during the campaign that he believed needed to be looked at. So it seems to me a perfectly responsible thing to do.
With respect to the reviews, and as you're aware, they are going to vary in terms or how they're done and they're going to vary in terms of when they're done. And I suspect that each one will end up with follow-up work that will need to be done after we have the first preliminary look. The -- one is involving the question that Senator Byrd raised with me on financial management, as you're well aware. And we have some individuals helping out there. The subject of acquisition reform, system reform, as you're well aware, is something that's been studied and studied and studied, as many of these subjects have been studied. And there's -- part of the problem is simply mining that very fine work that's been done.
As a matter of fact -- today is what?
Q: March first.
Rumsfeld: I think it was earlier this week or late last week I met with the Hart-Rudman group, and they had any number of suggestions and ideas on organization and focus and emphasis, as you probably have seen portions of their report.
We have -- Admiral David Jeremiah is helping out with the subject of quality of life issues and some of the very difficult questions on health and education and morale that exist in the services. As you are aware, Andy Marshall is helping with pieces of the defense strategy review, as are any number of other people, and that process is underway. As I say, some will be completed prior to others. And the military is being engaged, the uniformed side is being engaged, the civilian side is being engaged and has been asked for suggestions and thoughts.
We have a group that is looking at the intelligence -- how we're organized in the department and in the community to deal with the subject of intelligence and whether or not we're comfortable with that and whether or not we think it's providing the kind of information I think is going to be necessary for the period ahead, which is notably different than the information that was needed during the Cold War. I probably have forgotten a couple of pieces of it, but those are a rough outline of them.
Q: Yeah -- the budget that was submitted yesterday included some new money for military pay and R&D, as you mentioned, and yet the overall number was the same that the previous administration had suggested. Can you --
Rumsfeld: I think that was happenstance. It was arrived at a different way.
Rumsfeld: Well, whatever. Can you say where the adjustments might have been made so that there was less -- you're budgeting less for something in order to find more money for pay and R&D?
Rumsfeld: I think I'll let Admiral Quigley address that at some point. (Laughter.) I have not spent a lot of time on the issue.
We are working on people, we're working on the defense reviews. The budget, as you suggest, has been put forward and the president has said at some point we will address the question of a supplemental and/or a budget amendment for '02. It is going to be as the defense reviews finish that I will be engaging that subject.
Q: Do you expect --
Q: Have you learned anything yet from the ongoing review of policies regarding civilians on military maneuvers, and have you seen any glaring shortcomings yet in those policies?
Rumsfeld: You're talking about the moratorium?
Q: Yes. As I understand it, you've asked all the services to review whatever policies they have.
Rumsfeld: Yes. No, it's just starting.
Q: A question for Dr. Wolfowitz --
Q: Immediately after -- just a second. On the same question, immediately after the Greeneville accident, Mr. Secretary, you said that there was at that time no evidence whatsoever that the presence of civilians had caused the accident.
Do you still think that's true? There have now been some reports from individual crewmen who said, in fact, they couldn't do their jobs -- one guys who was doing the jobs of two, and couldn't do them.
Rumsfeld: I think the inquiries that are underway will answer those questions, and it's not for me to opine on.
Q: Mr. Secretary.
Q: One quick on the budget. One quick on the budget, if I may. Both you and Congress want to improve defense. Do you expect that perhaps the $310.5 billion will increase before the end of the year?
Rumsfeld: I think that's a decision the president's going to make. (Laughter.)
Q: Mr. Secretary, could you get back to the subject we were addressing when you came in? You had a meeting with Governor Calderon on Tuesday.
Rumsfeld: I did. Mmm hmm.
Q: It was described to us as a very cordial session. She said yesterday, I believe, or perhaps Tuesday evening that she had asked you to hold off on any further training on Vieques until the completion of the various studies. The Navy is scheduled to start training down there I think any day. Can you tell us if they will be going ahead or if you have asked them to hold back?
Rumsfeld: The Navy's going to proceed with some aspects of their training but not using the inner range pending the discussions that are taking place. We did have -- I met with the governor first on, I guess it was the evening dinner at the White House for the governors, and then we met on Tuesday. And the discussions have continued through Deputy Secretary de Leon, I think, within the last several days. Where they stand is -- it's an iterative process, and they're underway.
Q: Well the agreement that was in force between the previous administration, the Clinton administration and Governor Rosello, that is now null and void?
Rumsfeld: I don't have any announcements to make about the thing except that the discussions are taking place. And when there is something to report, you can be sure we'll report it.
Q: Mr. Secretary, the outline of the budget presented yesterday called for or indicated that we need more rounds of base closings.
Rumsfeld: I noticed that. (Laughter.)
Q: You've been through -- I think you've been through that fight once before.
Rumsfeld: No, I haven't. No, this followed my tour here. The only time I got even touched by it was Carlucci asked me to chair it, and I declined. (Laughter.)
Wolfowitz: I think we better go.
Rumsfeld: Yeah, we've got a meeting over at the White House we're going to run off to, but --
Q: One last one for Dr. Wolfowitz.
Rumsfeld: Well, just let me finish.
Q: Okay, but -- (inaudible) -- you know what do you see as the size --
Rumsfeld: The force -- the base structure ought to fit the force structure. And I've seen all kinds of opinions as to what that means in this context.
We have not had a chance to look it, and we will. And to the extent it doesn't, we very likely will make recommendations. What mechanism would be used or how it would operate, I haven't addressed. But --
Q: Dr. Wolfowitz --
Q: One of your last roles -- I know this didn't happen on your watch, but in the aftermath of the Cole --
Rumsfeld: Wait! Someone was asking Paul a question.
Q: Yeah! (Laughter.)
Q: Dr. Wolfowitz --
Rumsfeld: I want you to get to know Paul!
Q: In your confirmation hearing, you said that you had not seen a plausible plan yet for providing military support to the Iraqi opposition to take a run at Saddam Hussein. Does that mean that that's off the table now, or is that something that you'll be -- you know, you'll be working to come up with a plan to do that?
Wolfowitz: Well, I'd say two things. First of all, as was said earlier, I've got a lot of work to do in working the nuts and bolts of this building, so I don't expect to be spending most of my time on policy issues.
As far as Iraq policy is concerned, what I said in the hearings is you have to make your decisions based on what is possible in given circumstances. When President Bush saw a million-plus Kurds on the border with Turkey a month after the Gulf War, he saw an option to use ground and air forces to clear an area in Northern Iraq that has remained secure to a considerable degree now for almost 10 years.
So, can we create options, can we exploit options? I think that's what I assume the administration is going to be looking hard at. But strategy doesn't consist of writing an abstract: "This is what I'd like to do." It consists of having a plan that creates options; when the options develop, you act on what you've developed.
Rumsfeld: We're off.
Wolfowitz: Thank you very much.
Q: Mr. Secretary --
Q: Please come back.
Rumsfeld: Thank you.
Q: Come back often.
Q: You're always welcome.
Rumsfeld: Thank you.
[Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz depart.]
Quigley: Tom, let's start with you, if I could, and finish -- state your question again, if you would, and I'll see what we can do.
Q: I understand that you don't just take the Clinton administration's outgoing proposed budget and start from there, but could you just say where the difference is? The bottom line is the same, but more money is going to military pay and R&D than President Clinton would have spent, so where were there cuts made to come up with that?
Quigley: The president has made two statements in the submission of his budget blueprint to the Congress, so far.
One is that this is a budget that he, at least in Secretary Rumsfeld's case, he fully expects there to be a good scrub for a need of a supplemental and/or amendments to the '02 budget. So this is the outline, the blueprint, the large elements of his '02 budget submission, and that's $310.5 billion.
Now, if Secretary Rumsfeld comes up with some reason that needs to -- that is convincing to the president to re-orient priorities within that 310.5, that's one thing he'll listen to and consider. And second, if that number needs to rise for a good reason that Secretary Rumsfeld would have to be convincing to the president, he'll listen to that argument as well. So it's both an issue yet to be finally decided as to the internal arrangement of the 310.5, or, should that number rise higher, he has left both of those options open, very specifically, to Secretary Rumsfeld's work in his defense reviews. And he will be amenable to discussions, and the final decision would be his.
Q: Right. But it seems --
Q: Well, that hasn't been done yet. Sorry.
Q: It seems to me the Clinton administration budget, that re-orientation has already apparently taken place, to some extent.
Quigley: Well, I think the president has made certain priorities very clear: it's the monies that he set aside for the R&D, for the quality of life issues, and things of that sort. But how those are then taken care of either within the 310.5 or as an element of an increase to the 310.5, that chapter of the book has simply not been written yet.
Q: Thank you.
Quigley: Thank you.
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