SEN. (Chairman) (Daniel) INOUYE (D-HI): Mr. Secretary, it's yours now.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, Senator (Ted) Stevens (R-Alaska) , Senator (Thad) Cochran (R-MS). I thank you for this opportunity to meet on the president's budget request. In addition to General (Richard) Myers, I have asked the principal deputy comptroller, Mr. (Larry) Lanzillotta, to join us. Unfortunately, Dr. (Dov) Zakheim, the comptroller, has had a death in the family and was not able to be here.
As you, I am deeply grateful to the outstanding service of the men and women in uniform. As you, I visit the troops around the world from time to time, most recently in Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan and in Afghanistan, and they are certainly doing an outstanding job as they put their lives at risk for all of us. It certainly makes all of us determined to make sure that they have everything they need to do their jobs, and I look forward to working with you and the committee to ensure that they are in fact the best-trained, the best-equipped fighting force on the face of the Earth, ready not only for the challenges we face today, but also for the challenges we face in the future -- indeed, increasingly deadly challenges in the 21st century.
To that end, President Bush has requested a $14 billion supplemental for fiscal year '02 and a $379 billion budget for fiscal year '03. The '03 budget request is $48 billion increase over '02. It includes 19.4 billion for the war on terrorism -- 9.4 billion for a variety of programs related to the war, plus 10 billion which is essential to conduct the war effort and provide the minimum necessary flexibility to respond quickly to the changes in operations as the war unfolds.
Our estimate -- in direct answer to Senator Stevens' question about the $10 billion -- our estimate is that the $10 billion should cover the war on terrorism for about the first five or six months of fiscal year '03. The normal things -- force protection, combat air patrols, strip alerts, fuel, transportation, maintenance, support services, mobility, costs for the Guard and Reserve -- the normal activities of the global war on terrorism -- and we had a choice: We either put nothing in for the fiscal year '03 war on terrorism, because you can't know precisely what the amount will be; or you make a guess that it's going to increase or stay at the current level; or you just take a number, like 10, that will bridge us between the end of this year, when Congress goes out of session, and into October, November, December, January, February, when Congress would have a chance to see what has, in fact, happened in fiscal year '03, with respect to the war on terrorism and make an orderly judgment. So it's -- there's no mystery. It's not complicated. That is, in effect, what the $10 billion is for.
The 379 billion is a significant investment of the taxpayers' hard-earned money. But certainly, nothing is more important, as Senator Cochran said, than our nations' security. I urge that we do take up the defense budget first, not last, and that we give our forces the tools they need to do the job.
I also am hopeful that the president's fiscal year '02 supplemental request will pass, which is essential to preserving readiness for the rest of the fiscal year and to support for the Defense Emergency Response Fund, which give us the ability to prosecute the war.
Our country is being called on to accomplish three difficult missions at once: first, to win the global war on terrorism; second, we have to prepare for the wars we may have to fight later in this decade by making sure that we -- a number of long-delayed investments during the so-called procurement holiday of the last decade and making a number of those investments in procurement, people and modernization. Third, we have to be prepared for the wars in the future, between 2010 and beyond. And therefore, we do have to transform the armed forces so that they can deter and defend against the emerging threats of the 21st century. Each of these missions is critical; none can be put off. We cannot delay transformation while we fight the war on terrorism.
As we painfully learned on September 11th, our adversaries are transforming. They're watching us. They're studying how we were successfully attacked, who we responded, and they're looking for ways that we may be vulnerable in the future. And we stand still at our peril.
Last year the department's senior leadership, civilian and military, began intensive discussions about where America's military should go in the years ahead. In one year, the Department of Defense developed and adopted a new capabilities-based defense strategy. We replaced the decade-old two-major-theater-war construct for sizing our forces with an approach that's more appropriate for the 21st century. We adopted a new approach for balancing risks, ones that takes into account not only operational risks, but also the risks to people, to the failure to modernize and the failure to transform. We've announced the new unified command structure, with a new Northern Command to help in defending the American homeland. And we've developed new contingency planning guidance to assure that the U.S. has up-to-date contingency and operational plans that are appropriate to our new national security environment. And we did this all while fighting a global war on terrorism.
In the course of last year's defense reviews, we identified six key transformational goals around which we're focusing our strategy: protecting the homeland and forces overseas; projecting and sustaining power in distant theaters; denying enemy sanctuary; protect U.S. information networks from attack; use information technology to link up U.S. forces so they can fight jointly; and last, to maintain unhindered access to space and protect U.S. space capabilities from enemy attack.
The president's 2003 budget request advances each of those transformational goals by accelerating transformation programs and funding the objectives that I just outlined.
One of the programs the department is pursuing is a revitalized effort to test and develop ballistic missile defenses capable of defending the U.S., our friends and allies, and our forward-deployed forces from limited ballistic missile attack.
On September 11th, terrorists took commercial jetliners and turned them into missiles, killing thousands. Let there be no doubt, it is only a matter of time before terrorist states, armed with weapons of mass destruction, develop the capability to deliver those weapons to U.S. cities, giving them the ability to try to hold America hostage to nuclear blackmail. With the power and reach of weapons today, we have little margin for error, and we need defenses that can deter and defend against such attacks. That's why I'm concerned about the Senate Armed Services Committee's decision to cut more than $800 million from the president's request for missile defense.
Terminations. As we all know, resources are finite, and even with the significant increase in the budget proposal, these transformational investments cannot be made without terminating some programs and finding other savings. Although this year's requested budget increase is large, virtually all of it is spoken for by a number of must-pay bills, covering the cost of inflation -- $6.7 billion; health care, retirement and accrual pay raises -- $14 billion; realistic costing for readiness and procurement is another $7.4 billion; and funding for the global war on terrorism at about $19.4 billion.
After counting the costs of keeping the department moving on a straight line, the costs of the war, there is really not a great deal that is left. In the 2003 budget request, we have made $9.3 billion available, in part by terminating a number of programs, such as the DD-21, the Navy Area Missile Defense, and 18 Army legacy programs. Let's face it, it would be nice to have retained them all, but choices have to be made, there's just no question about it. And as we put together the 2003 budget, a number of programs, including Crusader, required further review. And after several months of examination, we decided to recommend termination of the Crusader program.
The decision to recommend termination is not about killing a bad program; it's potentially a good system. It's not about a system that could not be used. It's a system that is wanted by a number of people, including the Army. But that's not the issue. The issue is how do we balance the risks? In short, it's about foregoing a system that was originally designed in an earlier period to make room for more promising technologies that can accelerate transformation.
In February of this year, we began developing the Defense Planning Guidance for fiscal year '04. In the fiscal years 2004 to 2009 program, the senior civilian and military leadership had to focus on the looming problem of a sizable procurement bow wave beyond fiscal year 2007. This is shorthand for describing the cost of the procurement of systems that would be ready for fielding later in this decade. If all were funded, they would crowd out all other areas of investment and thereby cause a repetition of the same heartaches and headaches that we still suffer from today as a result of the procurement holiday in the 1990s.
And the time to address that bow wave is now, not earlier -- not later, excuse me.
If you look at this chart, you'll see what the Army looks like for '03 to '07. And if you add two years at the end, for '08 and '09, if every program we have today in the budget were funded the way it's currently programmed -- (to staff) -- Larry, why don't you give him a hand and let's get it up there. If every program that's in the budget were funded the way it's currently programmed, including Crusader, the bow wave sores. If you look at -- (to staff) -- Larry, please point to where the line is for '07. This year we're working now on the '04 to '09 budget. (To staff) Show where '09 is, up at the top. That's what we're facing.
Mr. Chairman, you said that -- you suggested that we were ignoring the advice of the military and the chief of staff of the Army. We're not ignoring his advice at all. It's understandable that he would like all of those. So would the Navy. And the Navy's look roughly the same. So would the Marines and so would the Air Force. There's no way that's going to happen. We all know that. That means that at some point, if you wait till '09 to address it, it's too late. If you start earlier and address it, you can in fact have an impact on what happens to this so-called bow wave that exists out there.
We have great respect for General (Eric) Shinseki and for his views, and for the other service chiefs. They're doing a wonderful job. But it's their job to make proposals for systems that fall within their service, and then it's somebody else's job to take all of those proposals -- and they all look like this -- and bring them together and rationalize them and make them more coherent.
Second, let it be said that combatant commanders -- General (Tommy) Franks, out in Central Command -- they don't fight with Army systems or Navy systems or Air Force systems; what they want to do is fight with joint systems. They have to take all of the capabilities, not the ones that one service recommends, but all of them, and make them rational and coherent, and then be capable of putting power on a specific target in a specific way. So the task we're faced with in the department is -- it would be wonderful if we could just simply say yes to all the services, "Make any recommendations you want, and resources are infinite, we don't have to worry about that," and then we can go about our business. But somebody has to make tough decisions, and in my view you have to make them earlier, rather than later.
The Crusader, if fielded in the next decade, would have represented an improvement over the existing Paladin howitzer in rate of fire and in mobility. The issue is whether the U.S. would be better off upgrading Paladin and eliminating Crusader, and accelerating the Future Combat System -- which you can see is shortly behind the Crusader, not very far, and it has an artillery piece as well -- and improving the munitions of all those capabilities simultaneously, including the rocket systems. And the answer, we believe, is yes, we are better taking the Crusader out, bringing the Future Combat System forward, upgrading the precision of the munitions. We're convinced that that's a better way to invest the money, and that was why the decision was made.
Senator Stevens raised the question, why now? How could we do it right in the middle of a markup? (To staff) Would you put the time line up. This is an important question because we don't -- first of all, we'd like never to have to make these decisions.
It would be much more pleasant to be able to come down here and say everything that every senator wants is going to happen. The problem is, if you look at the black lines, those are DOD actions. And what we do is we start in the early part of the year with the Defense Planning Guidance. We started in February. And we start developing that so that we can begin building the budget starting in May, in June, for '04 to '09. We're doing that right now. The Defense Planning Guidance has as its function making decisions.
Now, the complication is that the Congress is the red line, and we're still talking about an '02 budget authorization, an '02 budget appropriation there. We're talking about the FY '01 supplemental in July of '01 there. And then the red to the right is the '03 budget authorization and the '03 budget appropriation. And the reality is, there's only about three, four weeks when we could make any decision that wouldn't conflict in some way with some portion of the congressional authorization or appropriation process. I wish it were otherwise.
But our task now is to be building the '04 to '09 budget, and that's what we're doing downtown. And we then fashion the final portion of it and send it to OMB in November. The president makes his decisions and he sends it up to the Congress in February, and you'll be working on the '04 to '09 budget while we're building the '05 to '010. And we're always out of sync. There just is no way I know of that we can make a decision and have it not land up here at an awkward moment when you are either working the appropriation or the authorization. I would dearly love to know some way -- other way to do it, but I don't know.
The hardest choices really are those about balancing risk between the challenges we face in the near term and the mid-term, and those less certain, but possibly more formidable challenge that we face in the longer term. And that was certainly the choice we had to make in terminating the Crusader and recommending that to the Congress. It is not, of course, an indication -- in answer to your question -- that the United States can do without ground forces. To the contrary. It's a decision that reflects confidence in the Army that they have set a course over the longer term that's sound and, indeed, needs to be accelerated. Nor is it a decision that the future Army can manage without direct fire and rely solely on air support. Rather, it's a decision that precision in artillery and rocket fires can be as revolutionary as it has already proven in air-delivered weapons, and that mobility and rapid deployability will be crucial in the future not only in getting to the battlefield, but in maneuvering over potentially vast areas.
In direct answer to your question, Senator Stevens, it's the Army's plan and the OSD's plan that those dollars would stay in the Army. They would affect direct fire in terms of rockets, precision- guided munitions, and acceleration of the Future Combat System, which as I say, has an artillery piece, as well as some upgrades to the Paladin. There are a number of the technologies attached to Crusader which clearly can be migrated both back to Paladin and forward into the Future Combat System.
In short, it was a decision about balancing risks; a decision that was made after a great deal of consideration as to what our needs in the coming period will be.
In light of the new defense strategy and the initial insights from the war, we weighed the relative merits of the Crusader against other alternatives to meet the Army's need for organic indirect fires, both cannon and rocket. And following a great deal of discussion and evaluation, it became apparent to me that on balance, alternatives to Crusader would be more consistent with both the new defense strategy and, we believe, with the Army's overall transformation effort.
A couple of statements have been made about Crusader. Some have suggested it might be helpful, for example, in Afghanistan. The idea of trying to get the Crusader into Afghanistan, a landlocked country, is, I think, a reach. Had that been the case, that indirect fire artillery would have been an advantage, certainly the combatant commander and his land component commanders would have brought artillery to the battle. They, the experts, made a decision not to. They were the ones who made that decision; let there be no doubt.
Another assertion which has been made is that Excalibur munitions will be exorbitantly expensive, as much as 200,000 per round. In truth, the Excalibur program office currently estimates that average procurement unit cost will be about $33,000 a round and believe that refinements to the production plans could yield costs of no more than 10,000 per round. That's still expensive, but if you think about it, if a precision round can do what 10 or 20 dumb rounds can do, that's not a bad trade-off.
And second, you can use a precision round in much closer proximity to your troops. You can use a precision round in much closer proximity to civilians where you -- you're worried about collateral damage. And it seems to me that if one adds in the logistics cost of moving dumb bombs, which have a much poorer rate of hit, much less lethality, the procurement -- the logistics cost alone, I think, shift the equation.
Another assertion is that the Crusader cancelling would lead to mid-term operational risk because Paladin is out-ranged by enemy systems. U.S. forces clearly will retain an unparalleled capability to deliver fire support at long range in the mid-term. The Army's field artillery capability is provided by Paladin and MLRS, the Multiple Rocket Launcher System. Extended-range MLRS, with a reach of 45 kilometers, can out-range virtually all howitzers in the hand of potential enemies. Guided MLRS and ATACMS provide even greater range, at 60 to 300 kilometers. When post-Gulf War improvements to the Army's fire support capability are considers, such as Apache Longbow, the MLRS upgrades, Paladin, improved ammunition, the firepower of its divisions is overwhelming.
And the test, I think, would be to ask any of those countries that supposedly have better artillery whether they would trade the United States for our capability to put power on a target, and the short answer is, there isn't a country on the face of the Earth that would even think about it.
Mr. Chairman, there's always reasons to not do something. But if we do not make tough choices now, then in the long run we're not serving the interests of the Army, the armed forces or the security of the country.
As we transform for the threats we face, we have to prepare the force for conflicts they may have to fight later in the decade. And to deal with the backlog that resulted from the procurement holiday of the last decade, we have requested 71.9 billion for procurement -- 68.7 billion in the procurement title, an increase of 10.6 percent over '02, and 3.2 (billion) in the Defense Emergency Response Fund.
We've requested 150 billion for operation and maintenance accounts for 2003, including a substantial funding for the so-called readiness accounts of tank miles, steaming days, flying hours.
If we're to win the war on terror and prepare for the threats of tomorrow, we have to take proper care of the department's greatest asset, which are the men and women in uniform. They join because they love their country and they believe that freedom's worth defending. But at the same time, we have to recognize that they have families to support and children to educate.
We already ask them to voluntarily risk their lives. They should not be asked to live in substandard housing while they do so. And that's why the president's 2003 budget requests 94 billion for military pay and allowances, including a 1.9 billion, across-the- board, 4.1 percent raise, plus 300 million for targeted pay in the mid-NCO grades and mid-officer grades; 4.2 billion to improve military housing, putting the department on track to eliminate most substandard housing by 2007; funds to lower out-of-pocket housing costs for those living off base, from 11.3 percent to 7.5 percent, putting us on track to eliminate the out-of-pocket housing costs for men and women in uniform by 2205; 10 billion for education, training and recruiting; and a breathtaking $22.8 billion to cover realistic estimates of the costs of military health care.
The hard truth is that line-item promises to grow and put pressure on all other categories of the budget: R&D, modernization, transformation, pay and the like. And we need to face up to that.
Some have argued that the military departments need relief from end-strength caps because of the many demands that have been placed on our forces. There's no question but a lot of demands are being made. But before entertaining such relaxation, I've asked the services to scrutinize the missions and assignments from which we can extract our uniformed forces, to relieve some of the pressures.
While the numbers are not always large, one area that we must look to immediately are those missions to which our forces are assigned but in which there may be some exposure, for example, to prosecution through the International Criminal Court. As you know, we're working closely with the Department of State to ensure that our forces would be protected from prosecution before committing U.S. forces overseas.
After the cost of keeping the department moving on a straight line, the cost of the war and the savings generated, we are left with about 49.8 billion. That requires some trade-offs. We're not able to meet our objective of lowering the average age of the tactical aircraft. However, we do invest in unmanned aircraft and in the F-22 and Joint Strike Fighter, which require significant up-front investments now but will be coming online in the years immediately ahead. While the budget funds faster growth in S&T, we were not able to meet our goals of 3 percent for the overall budget, though we're slightly higher than the 2002 president's request.
And clearly, we're not able to mention -- to fund the shipbuilding in fiscal year '03 at a rate that we clearly will need in the future. As with every department, the Navy had to make some tough choices, and they did. The 2003 shipbuilding budget is 8.6 billion. It procures a low of five ships for several reasons: First, there are a number of problems, including contractor problems and also cash shipbuilding cost estimates that were way too low, and they were not in the forward-year budget. And we needed to fully fund them. Second, the Navy made a calculation that in the short term, it can maintain the desired force level at the proposed procurement rate because of the relatively young average age of the fleet. The Navy's forward-year defense plan does budget for seven ships in '05, seven in '06 and 10 in '07.
Mr. Chairman, 379 billion is a great deal of money. But if we consider the estimated costs of September 11th attacks to the national economy, they range from about $170 billion to almost 250 billion in lost productivity, sales, jobs, revenues, not to mention the terrible cost in human lives and human suffering. We, as you know well, can't put a price on defending our country. We have to deter and defend from those who may wish to attack and kill our people. The president's budget amounts to about 3.3 percent of our gross national product. Compared to the cost in lives and treasure, if we under- invest, it's a needed and a proper investment in our national security.
I believe I've touched on most of the questions that you asked, Mr. Chairman, and that were asked by Senator Stevens. If not, I'd be happy to touch on them in response to other questions.
SEN. INOUYE: Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary.
And now may I recognize General Myers.
GEN. MYERS: Well, Chairman Inouye and Senator Stevens and distinguished members of the committee, it's indeed an honor to report on the state of our nation's armed forces. And while the open wounds created by the events of September 11th have begun to heal, nothing will erase the horror of that day from our memories. We remain a nation at war, and our troops still face grave danger.
The al Qaeda network has been severely damaged and they know they're going to pay a price if they directly challenge our forces. But just as a wounded animal is the most dangerous of all, al Qaeda remains a real threat. Without a doubt, they still seek to harm our men and women in uniform, our citizens and our way of life.
Around the world, we face other dangers, challenges and obligations. This demanding world forms a strategic context for the future of our armed forces. To serve our nation effectively, we must win the war on terrorism, continue to improve our joint war-fighting skills, and transform our forces. We're making steady progress in all three areas, but there is still much to do.
As we all know, the war on terrorism is being conducted using many different means, from military operations to diplomacy to law enforcement. On the military front, our operations are intended to achieve three objectives: first, to disrupt and destroy global terrorist organizations; second, to eliminate safe havens for terrorists; and third, to ensure that weapons of mass destruction do not fall into the hands of terrorist groups.
The successes we've achieved so far are founded on three factors. The first is the superb training of our armed forces. Our troops were ready from day one, and they performed magnificently, whether flying the longest-duration combat missions on record, or fighting from cave to cave in the bitter cold and high altitude of the Afghan mountains, or creating logistics bases from scratch, or launching strike missions from the pitching deck of an aircraft carrier in the black of night.
The second has been the invaluable contributions of our coalition partners, including the anti-Taliban Afghan forces. At last count, there were over 80 countries working together, and that number alone should send a clear message to terrorist organizations that they can run but they can't hide forever.
And the third is the unprecedented coordination of effort by U.S. governmental agencies. We have individuals from several agencies deployed with our troops on the front lines, we have interagency coordination groups assigned at various military headquarters, and we have military liaison officers attached to civilian organizations. And most importantly, we all understand the critical need to share intelligence information and integrate our planing processes so that our collective efforts form a whole far greater than the sum of its parts.
I know you're aware that we've extended our operations beyond Afghanistan. Most notably, we've begun to train and assist the military forces in the Philippines and Yemen and in Republic of Georgia in their counterterrorism efforts. I recently returned from a trip to the Pacific, where I visited our troops on Basilan Island. In addition to the training and assistance the Special Forces are providing, the Seabees and Marine engineers are building the first road on that island. Now, this is really tough work. It's every stereotype you've ever seen about the tropics. It's hot, it's humid. Dense jungle, dust, mud, bugs, you name it. But we've got tough people there.
The construction troops and Special Forces trainers are not only doing tough work, they're doing vitally important work. In the Philippines, the Abu Sayyaf group is ruthless. With ties to al Qaeda, they're a threat that extends beyond the Philippines, and we'll continue to work closely with the Philippine government to help eradicate this particular threat.
The cooperative effort in the Pacific goes beyond the Philippines. On the same trip, I also met officials from Japan and South Korea, and it was gratifying to hear firsthand the steadfast commitment of our allies to achieving victory in this war on terrorism.
After months of progress since September 11th, we've started to transition from interim actions to more permanent arrangements. For example, to ensure we have the best capabilities available for the homeland defense mission, the president recently signed a revised Unified Command Plan to establish a U.S. Northern Command. This revision provides several improvements.
First, it helps eliminate the gaps and seams among the different military organizations that have homeland defense responsibilities, and it allows for better military support of civilian agencies. It also improves our ability to anticipate and to plan, rather than to merely react to events. And second, I think it helps advance our transformation efforts by allowing the commander of Joint Forces Command to concentrate on joint exercises and experimentation.
But we cannot focus solely on today's counter-terrorism operations. We must also support other worldwide commitments, such as Operations Northern and Southern Watch, the Balkans peacekeeping mission and the defense of the Korean Peninsula. And we must face other challenges of the 21st century.
With the help of Congress, we've come a long way in recent years towards improving our joint war-fighting capabilities. We're working hard to get even better, and certainly, the operations in Afghanistan are proof of our progress. But much more work needs to be done. In my view, the area with the greatest potential payoff is command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance -- or C4ISR, for short.
Currently, our commanders have vastly different C4ISR suites. For example, the combined air operations center at Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia is essentially state-of-the-art. But if you had visited the commander for the Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan just before the operation, General Franklin Hagenbeck, you would see a different variety of equipment, from paper maps and grease pencils to a few laptop computers. And if you go aboard a Navy warship, you would see another command and control suite that's very different from the previous two.
What we need is a common suite that links everything together and allows commanders to pick and choose what elements they need to prosecute their mission -- not only among U.S. forces, but with our coalition partners, as well. To that end, we're developing a standardized command and control architecture called the Standing Joint Force Headquarters that will lead to an improved ability to receive and employ forces -- what I call "plug & play." This summer, Joint Forces Command will test this concept in the Millennium Challenge joint exercise and experiment. These types of improvements will also help us continue to transform our armed forces.
Transformation is not defined by a policy or choice. It's an inexorable process of change. To me, it's simply fostering changes that result in a dramatic improvement in the way a combatant commander wages war. And such dramatic improvement requires not only technological change but also, and perhaps most importantly, changes in how we think. True transformation must include training and education, doctrine and organizations. As we transform our forces, we need to build capabilities that allow us to defend our interests in a wide array of situations. The key to that, in my view, are flexibility and adaptability. Our people must be expert at many tasks, and our equipment must be applicable to many missions.
Another key to transformation is recognizing that sudden technological breakthroughs are few and far between. More often than not, transformation results from an accumulation of incremental improvements and arises from the course of service-modernization efforts. Let me give you an example.
When I was flying in Vietnam, we often targeted bridges and antiaircraft sites. And we had to wait for the right weather and fly a lot of sorties to destroy each single target. And in the course of that, we lost a lot of crews and a lot of planes -- all because our weapons weren't very accurate.
Think about where we are today. We've got weapons relatively impervious to weather conditions that steer themselves using a Global Positioning System satellite signal. And now we can use one sortie to destroy several targets.
How did we get to today's capabilities from Vietnam? Incremental improvements along multiple paths. We improved the targeting and guidance capabilities of our bombs, even figuring out how to use the Global Positioning System, which we originally thought was going to be just an aid to navigation, to guide them.
On another path, we developed unarmed aerial vehicles that would loiter for hours over the battlefield, improving our ability to identify and locate potential targets. And still, on another path, we worked on data transmission and computer processors so we could see the reconnaissance pictures in real time.
All these separate improvements added up to the transformation of capabilities that were seen in the battlefield in Afghanistan. And this transformation has been built on successive improvements over a period of 30 years, not on -- necessarily on any single breakthrough. That's why service modernization programs are so important to the process of transformation.
Members of the committee, I'm pleased to say that the U.S. military remains the preeminent military force in the world. This excellence is due in no small part to your unwavering support for our troops. We've made tremendous strides in recent years, providing our people a comprehensive set of quality-of-life improvements, especially in the areas of pay, housing and health care.
Sustaining the quality of life of our people is crucial to recruiting, to retention and to our readiness to fight. But more importantly, it's the right thing to do for the men and women who this very minute are fighting to defend our freedom. Your support of these initiatives in the global war on terrorism is greatly appreciated.
But there are a couple of issues I'd like to bring to your attention. First, some of our capabilities are being stretched. The war has increased the operations tempo for segments of the force, including active, Reserve and Guard units, and the tempo is especially stressed for those specialized assets and capabilities commonly referred to as low-density, high-demand. Of course, we are managing this essentially every day, trying to reduce that stress.
And I'm also concerned about the diminishing availability of training ranges and military operating areas. Environmental concerns are very, very important, and we take those very seriously, but we must be able to strike a balance with readiness requirements.
In mid-April, the secretary of Defense, Secretary Rumsfeld, forwarded to Congress the Readiness and Range Preservation Initiative. The service chiefs and I fully support this proposed legislation, and I would ask for your support as well.
Mr. Chairman, I welcome the opportunity to work with you and the committee on these issues and others that impact our nation's security and our defense. I thank you again for your support in the war against terrorism and for the opportunity to be here today, and we look forward to your questions.
SEN. INOUYE: I thank you very much, General Myers.
I'm certain all of us are aware that members of the subcommittee are concerned about the status of systems such as Comanche, the Crusader, the Osprey, the F-22. But on -- the front pages of every morning paper, and very likely the headlines, speak of this new, massive threat, terrorist threat, against America.
From the information you have received, Mr. Secretary, is there anything you can tell us as to the nature or the magnitude of this threat?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Mr. Chairman, I can. First, as to the nature, last year when we were revising our strategy, we moved from a threat- based strategy to a capabilities-based strategy, because it was clear that threats are going to come at us in ways that go for vulnerabilities. That is to say, we're less likely to be attacked by -- against our Army or our Navy or our Air Force directly, because it would be expensive for people to try to develop those capabilities, and they serve a great deterrent effect. We're more likely to be attacked through asymmetrical vulnerabilities -- our space assets, cyber-attacks, our dependency on electronics as an advanced -- technologically advanced country, terrorist attacks, ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, things that go for seams in our circumstance as a free people -- the very fact that we are a free people and we don't care to live in a repressive society, where people aren't allowed to get up in the morning and go where they want and say what they want, and children go off to school and we can expect them to come home safely.
So we have to expect that the asymmetrical advantage of a terrorist is that he can attack at any time, at any place, using any conceivable technique, and it is physically impossible to defend at every time, in every place, against every conceivable technique. There is no way to do it.
The only way to deal with those threats is to go after them where they are. And that's why the president's global war on terrorism is based on that principle, that we have to find the global terrorists, anywhere in the world, and we have to stop nations from providing safe haven for them.
With respect to the nature of the weapon, there is no question but that we will continue to be surprised in the sense that who would have -- if you think about taking one of our airliners filled with our people and using it as a missile, to fly it into the World Trade Center or the Pentagon -- that is a new technique of terrorism. We can expect other new techniques of terrorism.
The problem I see -- and it's a very serious one -- is that there has been a proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. And the terrorist networks have close linkages with terrorist states, the states that are on the worldwide known terrorist list -- Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, North Korea, one or two others. Now, those countries have been developing weapons of mass destruction for some time. They are testing and weaponize chemical and biological weapons. They are aggressively trying to get nuclear weapons. We know that. And I guess the second part of the question you posed as to the magnitude is I think realistically we have to face up to the fact that we live in a world where our margin for error has become quite small. In just facing the facts, we have to recognize that terrorist networks have relationships with terrorist states that have weapons of mass destruction, and that they inevitably are going to get their hands on them, and they would not hesitate one minute in using them. That's the world we live in.
Can we do that? Yes, we can. We can live in that world. We have to rearrange ourselves here at home. We have to rearrange ourselves worldwide. We have to recognize that our warning -- we are going to be living in a period of limited or no warning, because of the asymmetrical advantages of the attacker as opposed to the defender. We have to recognize that the word surprise -- the only thing we ought to be surprised about is that we are surprised when we are surprised. If a terrorist can attack at any time at any place using any technique, that advantage is there. The al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan train hundreds of these people. They are spread across the globe. They are in our country, and they are very well trained. We have seen their training manuals. And they are well financed. They are still getting money. We are putting pressure on them all across the globe, trying to shut down their bank accounts, trying to make it more difficult to travel, more difficult to spend -- to raise money, trying to make it more difficult for them to recruit and retain their people. But it is a difficult task. It is taking all elements of national power. And it is the hand we have been dealt, and we are hard are about.
SEN. INOUYE: There's nothing specific as far as your information is concerned?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Mr. Chairman, I have got so many specifics in my head. I get a daily briefing every morning from the fused intelligence supposedly from our intelligence-gathering agencies. I read it. In every case there are a series of threats -- specific in a few cases, general in other cases -- not specific as to time. Not always specific as to location -- rarely as to location -- but more category. And if you add them all up they end up in the hundreds. And what we have to do is see that they are distributed to the people who have responsibilities, and so they go out to our combatant commanders who have force protection responsibilities, sot hat they can use their best judgment as to whether, for example, to take a ship and get it out of port if there's a risk to that ship. The Department of State from time to time draws down their Embassy personnel. But the odds are that on any given day nine-tenths will be all walk-in traffic -- some people trying to find out how we'll respond. We know for a fact that from time to time we get a threat warning -- not because there's a threat, but because the people issuing the threat warning want to see what we are going to do. They want to learn how we respond to that kind of a warning. And they jerk us around -- try to jerk us around and test us -- stress our force in a way. I always have lots of specifics. But, needless to say, I can't discuss specifics here in an open forum. And it's not really the nature of my business anyway. It's more the intelligence and FBI side.
SEN. INOUYE: Before my time expires, I just wanted to make certain the record is clear that as far as investments in weapons systems and other procurement items, I believe the Army's share in Fy '03 is about $19 billion, the Air Force is about $38 million, and the Navy is about $38 million. So that would make Army 5 percent, and the Navy and Air Force 10 percent. Looking at the chart there, one might get the impression that the bulk of the money went to the Army, and I think I would just want to clarify that. Is that correct?
SEC. RUMSFELD: You say the bulk of the money went to the Army?
SEN. INOUYE: No. One might get the impression.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Well, if you could put up the other chart, please Larry.
SEN. INOUYE: Am I wrong that the Army's investment is $19 billion for FY '03 and the Air Force and Navy $38 billion?
SEC. RUMSFELD: I think that that's not apples to apples, no, sir. I'd have to check it. Here is the indirect fires chart that shows the investment in artillery -- the Paladin artillery piece, the Crusader, and then the future combat system coming in in the outer year. The top of that chart are all rocket systems. But all of those are investments designed to enable the Army to provide indirect fires for combatant commanders.
Do you want to answer the question of the chairman?
MR. LINZILLOTTA: Mr. Chairman, I don't have the numbers for the Army, but the Army increase from '02 to '03 was $10 billion. The Navy/Marine Corps overall increase was nine and a half, and the Air Force increase was 12.7.
SEN. INOUYE: What is the total amount for this '03 FY?
MR. LINZILLOTTA: For the Army, sir?
SEN. INOUYE: Yes.
MR. LINZILLOTTA: Ninety point nine.
SEN. INOUYE: And what is the Air Force?
MR. LINZILLOTTA: One hundred and seven. That doesn't include any money that would come to them through the --
SEN. INOUYE: I'm talking about the investments, not the total budget.
MR. LINZILLOTTA: Sir, I'm sorry, we don't have that number with us.
SEN. INOUYE: Senator Stevens.
SEN. STEVENS: Thank you very much. Mr. Secretary, I appreciate your answers to the questions I raised. I still have a problem about the timing of the decision, and I think we ought to have some informal meetings. If we had been on time with our bills this year, and because of 9-11 we started off behind time, as we all know. But hopefully we can get on time next year. But if we're on time, your bill should be on the floor by -- at the end of April, and passed by some time in May. I think we should not have decisions coming out of a planning group like you have that don't phase into the budget of the president. If there's going to be a cancellation, I think it should be discussed prior to the time when the president prepares and presents his budget in the spring. Otherwise we lose out. I'd just make this statement to you that we lived through a period of time when there was a group of people in the Congress who didn't like this generation of requests, but they're all for the next generation request. We had to fight C-17 three times. We had to fight the V-22 three or four times. We faced problems with every major system in its infancy. And to have one that was almost mature, like Crusader, canceled, I think is going to lead to a whole series of problems if we're not careful of it.
Let me ask you this question though specifically. We provided $17.9 million for a regional defense counter-terrorism fellowship program in the '02 budget. It's my understanding the department has not implemented that program. Senator Inouye and I, when we went to Indonesia recently, spent a lot of time with their military and their government. It's very clear that the new dialogue between our military people and the military people in Indonesia is very productive. But we created that fund primarily with Indonesia in mind, but it hasn't been implemented. Can you tell me why it hasn't?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Senator, we very much favor that fund, and as you know are anxious to be of help with the CT fellowship, as one of the tools to help countries develop their indigenous capacity to deal with the threat of terrorist networks. It is in the process of being implemented, as I understand it. And we favor it, we're for it, and certainly the country you just visited is one of those countries that would be an appropriate beneficiary of that.
SEN. STEVENS: In a totally different area, over the years we have been concerned with a number of permanent changes station moves that military people are required to make. That causes service members and their families, I think, to decide to leave the military when they are moved too often. In last year's budget request the president requested a level of funding that would allow 52 percent of the force to move each year. Has there been any changes in the whole concept of the number of permanent changes, station moves within the department?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Changes in the last six or eight months? Not to my knowledge. Although I share your concern. I personally believe that it is unhelpful for a lot of reasons. It is hard on families, but it is also hard on a person's ability to learn their job if they are constantly being moved from one place to another. So I am hopeful that we will be able to lengthen tour lengths somewhat during this year and next year. Dr. (David) Chu, the undersecretary for personnel and readiness, who is in fact been performing a study which has not yet been supplied to us -- the other piece of that is -- my personal view is that it would be also desirable for people to have the opportunity to serve somewhat longer in a total career, given the fact that people are living longer and that a number of people would like to not have to be up and out. I keep finding people who are outstanding non-commissioned officers who are in their 40s who are kind of shoved out at the top, as well as in the officer range.
If I could just go back quickly to Crusader, I believe you made the comment that Crusader was a mature system. The Crusader that is relatively mature, where there is a prototype, is 60 tons. The one that the army is working on is a downsized one -- down to 40 tons. They don't know if they can do that, but they believe they can get it down there. There is no prototype yet for that. Even at going from 60 to 40 tons -- it's not really 40 tons. It's really 97 tons. If you want to take a single tube with the fuel and the people and the armor and the supply vehicle that has the ammunition in it -- what you need to fight with a crusader -- it is not 60, it is not 40 -- it is actually 97 tons. To take a battalion of Crusaders, if it were ever to happen, 18 tubes, and put them into a battle, in a land- locked country, you would have to fly it in obviously -- it would take something like 60 to 64 C-17s, according to TRANSCOM, or Transportation Command -- half the entire C-17 fleet to get in one battalion of Crusaders, 18 tubes, into a battle. That assumes you have got airports that are safe and you can unload. And then you've got bridges and roads that you can take that heavy equipment, and take it from the safe airport into the battle. That's a tough task.
SEN. STEVENS: With regard to change of station, I thank you for that comment, Mr. Secretary.
General Myers, we reduced the PGS funding for '02, precisely because of the complaints we are having or we were receiving about the number of moves that military personnel are having to make. How have you adjusted the military to meet that reduction?
GEN. MYERS: Senator Stevens, as you know, I think the services each are taking actions to respond to that budget decrease. And the Joint Staff is part of the group that is led by Dr. Chu that is reviewing this whole process to come back and talk about what the appropriate amount is. And we'll continue to stay engaged in that. But I know the services are actually engaged. And I agree with the comments that the secretary made.
SEN. STEVENS: I think we are -- my time is up, but I'm just making this -- we are approached mainly by married couples both in the service, with children. They are established in one base, and then all of a sudden everybody has to move -- the children change schools in the middle of the school year. There just doesn't seem to be the focus on the individual family's problems when that happens. We hear about it. I assure you we hear about it. But particularly with the families that have multiple children. And some of them not far away have four and five kids in their family -- and that is a massive thing to move a family and children in the middle of a school year and put them in another place, particularly if you do it every two years. We just think that the policies have not changed as the military has changed. Because we remember a fully single military, you know? I remember going with Senator (Ernest) Hollings (D-SC) over in Germany where there wasn't one single enlisted person that had an accompany tour authorized. Now they all have accompany tours. And to have them changed every two years is just I think outmoded. I would hope you have addressed that, because I hear more about that problem from military people than I think any other thing -- it's the move in the middle of the school year. So I urge you to review that, and see if there isn't some way to modify the policy as a whole throughout the department.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Thank you very much.
SEN. INOUYE: Senator Cochran.
SEN. COCHRAN: Mr. Chairman, thank you. As you observed in your testimony, the Senate Armed Services Committee has recommended an $800 million cut in the missile defense programs. Obviously this is going to slow down, or in some areas maybe cancel programs that this administration has been supporting. Particularly I am concerned about theater programs that are now in the process of the last stages of development, and in some cases being fielded to protect troops in the field and assets overseas that are located in areas where there is a very real threat of missile attack. To what extent do you think we should seriously consider trying to restore these funds on the floor of the Senate or in conference with the House?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Well, I am certainly hopeful that the funds will be restored. We now have -- the ABM Treaty will be behind us in June. We will for the first time be able to go out and test and experiment with the variety of things that had been inhibited by the treaty in prior periods. And we do not have a set of conclusions, but we clearly need to invest the money in theater -- of course theater depends on where you live. This is our theater, and if our deployed troops are overseas, that's a theater as well. And we do need to be able to address all that spectrum of issues with respect to ballistic missiles.
You know, these things can be launched from ships at relatively medium distances off our shores. They could be launched from various locations at our friends and allies and deployed forces. The missile technologies are being proliferated around the globe. North Korea has been active helping all of the states, the terrorist states I mentioned earlier, develop their ballistic missile programs. We also have to recognize the risk from cruise missiles. And we -- as I said earlier, we have to recognize that that is the kind of thing terrorism, cyber-attacks, the kinds of missiles with weapons of mass destruction that we talked about that our country is at risk from.
SEN. COCHRAN: One of the statements that was made this week that is very alarming to me is the suggestion by the FBI director that it's inevitable that we are going to have further terrorist strikes against the United States, and maybe even some of the kind that have been seen in Israel. To what extent does this budget provide funding for the Department of Defense to be engaged and actively involved in defending against these kinds of attacks against the U.S. and our people?
SEC. RUMSFELD: It's very difficult to get an exact number, but the defense establishment of course is intimately working with the Coast Guard that deals with our coasts and our ports. We have been providing the combat air patrols over the United States. We have a great deal of funds in for force protection around the world. We have funds in the budget for intelligence gathering, which contribute significantly to that. It is -- across the government it is a large number that is being spent. You want to -- well, I'll take a look here. Yeah, this does not have a specific number, but it is a very difficult thing to pull all those threats and characterize them as in that particular category. But it's a great deal.
SEN. COCHRAN: It's my hope too that we will observe the importance of the amphibious forces and other naval assets that were involved, particularly in the very early stages of the war in Afghanistan, bringing planes and other assets to an area where we could actually get engaged in an effort to prevail in that theater. Obviously we don't have enough money in the budget to solve all of the needs, all the defense systems and programs in all the services, but I couldn't help the other day being impressed by the chief of naval operations, the secretary of the Navy, the commandant of the Marine Corps talking about how old a lot of our amphibious assets are. The average life of four different classes of ships is 33 years. And to accelerate the LPD-17 program, for example, seems to me a matter of some urgency. Do you agree with that, and would you support funding to try to address that problem?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Senator, we have completed a portion of a ship- building study, and there is no question we are going to need more ships than we are currently on a trajectory to have. The actual mix of those ships is a complex one, and it is not clear to me that I would want to answer that question without getting the Department of the Navy to sit down and go through with a good deal of granularity precisely what they think the proper mix of ships ought to be. We know the total number has to go up. And while the average age of our Navy is not ancient -- it's relatively young, which is the reason the Navy made the trade-off decision it did for this year, to have a lower ship-building budget than any of us would have wanted -- they felt that there were more urgent needs they needed to address. But they then steep it up in the period immediately following '04 -- or '03 I should say.
I don't doubt for a minute that because of your correct point that the amphibious -- categories of amphibious ships are in fact older than the total Navy, that they ought to be looked at as possibilities for the number of ships to be built in the years immediately ahead.
SEN. COCHRAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. INOUYE: Thank you. Senator (Dianne) Feinstein (D-CA).
SEN. FEINSTEIN: I want to continue for a moment -- (inaudible) -- a real shortfall that we have. You spoke of it in your written testimony -- or wrote of it in written testimony on page 24. General Franks has testified as to the shortage. Admiral (Dennis) Blair says that one of his great shortcomings was the absence of both air and sealift.
In the budget are 12 C-17s for '03, and 15 being built in '02. I am prepared to support you on the Crusader. But it seems to me that more ought to go into the lift area. It takes us so long to get adequate forces to any theater that we really ought to beef this up more than we have. Would you comment?
SEC. RUMSFELD: You are certainly correct, Senator Feinstein. The lift is a subject that comes up every year as we are working with the Air Force and the Navy and the Army. There is a competition for those assets, and we are going to have to improve and strengthen our capability in that area. What you have to do is make tradeoffs and judgments. In the budget we have before us, the C-17 is what we concluded was an appropriate balance, given the balancing of all those risks.
General Myers, do you want to comment on it?
SEN. FEINSTEIN: Yes, it's a very small number of C-17s. I am looking at the Air Force aviation -- 15 in '02 and 12 in '03.
GEN. MYERS: Right, senator. That's correct. But what we do is have a multi-year procurement program here that builds -- 60 aircraft over the period that we are talking about. And I think it takes our total C-17s to 180.
SEN. FEINSTEIN: Over what period, general?
GEN. MYERS: I think that's through -- that's for six years. So --
SEN. FEINSTEIN: One eighty?
GEN. MYERS: To 180 C-17s. This --
SEN. FEINSTEIN: Total?
GEN. MYERS: Total at that point. And I think they're working on procurement increments beyond that as well. And so when you combine what we are doing in the C-17 we are buying new. What we plan to do with the C-5 aircraft as well; what we have done with the ship- building over time, where our strategic lift and sealift is more robust today than it was 10 years ago when we did Desert Storm. I would agree with the secretary -- I think we've struck the right balance here, but this is something that we -- that the service chiefs, the combatant commanders have all said based on the last mobility study that we need 54.5 million ton miles per day out of our strategic lift, and that's the goal we're working towards.
SEC. RUMSFELD: I would add that our allies frequently are without lift as well. So when we try to work with coalitions we are continuously pinged for assistance with respect to airlift. And they also need to address this issue.
SEN. FEINSTEIN: Well,it's just as I look at this, this is a very high priority item, and I'd rather see some funds transferred from other places into this, so that at least when we move we could move in a much more timely way really than we seem to now.
Now, having said that, Mr. Secretary, I can't resist the opportunity, because I've written you two letters on the subject and haven't had a response, and that's on the nuclear posture review. I viewed with substantial consternation the leak that was carried in the Los Angeles Times that pointed out that certain rogue states were targeted for a first-use of a nuclear weapon, if we didn't like what they were doing. Now, I can understand that with respect to biological and chemical weapons -- perhaps -- but China was also added to that list, with respect to any cross-straits military activity. And I would view that as one of the worst things we could possibly ever do in terms of its repercussions across the world. Now, I'm not alone in this. Bruce Blair in his writings points out that here's America, the world's juggernaut in military, economic and domestic terms, inducing the rest of the world to emulate U.S. policy and lift the 50-year taboo against the use of nuclear weapons. I am very puzzled by it. I've asked you in two letters if I might have a more in-depth response to why this was done at this particular point in time, because I think it is just counterproductive. It says to everybody else, You better start building your supply of nuclear weapons. And if the United States is going to do this, why shouldn't we countenance doing the same thing. If you could respond, I'd appreciate it.
SEC. RUMSFELD: You bet. If we have got two letters from you that haven't been answered, I'll get that fixed promptly. I apologize.
SEN. FEINSTEIN: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
SEC. RUMSFELD: With respect to this subject, the document you are talking about is highly classified. I do not intend to get into details with it. The way you have characterized it is not accurate. That is to say the article that you were referencing your comment off, to the extent it is roughly what you've said, is not accurate. The nuclear posture review -- I think it is correct to say -- and, General Myers, I would be happy to have you chime in here. I think it would be accurate to say that the recently-concluded nuclear posture review does not change the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons one bit. And clearly the thrust of the quotations you were using suggested to the contrary.
SEN. FEINSTEIN: Correct. So you are saying that among the states that were mentioned -- I think there were seven or so in the Times article that I read -- and the addition of China, and the specific reference to a cross-straits military action, would not bring about a nuclear response from us? Is that correct?
SEC. RUMSFELD: What I am saying is, number one, it is a highly classified document which I do not talk about in open hearings. Number two, it -- nowhere in it does it make judgments about when nuclear weapons would be used. Those are decisions for the president. And, third, the single most significant thing in the nuclear posture review, senator, was the fact that the president made a decision to reduce offensive strategic operationally-deployed nuclear weapons from thousands down to the 1,700 to 2,200 level. That is not something that anyone could characterize, who has an ounce of judgment, as something that is -- if the article suggested it -- that it's something that is lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons or sending a signal to other nations that we would not want emulated.
SEN. FEINSTEIN: No, don't mistake me. I didn't say that it was.
SEC. RUMSFELD: No, but the article --
SEN. FEINSTEIN: That's good.
SEC. RUMSFELD: No, I understand that. But I think the article you quoted had some of that in it. If I misunderstood you, I apologize. But --
SEN. FEINSTEIN: Well, I'm not concerned about that part because I know the facts on that part. What I am concerned is this new little twist in there that I had never heard before. And I really, respectfully, am not the only one. I mean, many others have commented, including the Center for Defense Information.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Well, I think I've said all I can on that classified subject. Thank you.
SEN. FEINSTEIN: Well, I would appreciate a response or a classified briefing then, perhaps.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Sure. Let General Myers --
GEN. MYERS: Senator Feinstein, let me just -- and we have to be careful of how far we go into this whole issue in this forum, but I might just say that the Nuclear Posture Review, in terms of the threshold for use and that issue, the way we put together a so-called "new triad" actually would diminish the need to use nuclear weapons. I think it's -- and that's the part we need to go into, I think, in another session, or maybe a letter can handle that. But I think it's -- the kind of work that was done in the Nuclear Posture Review actually makes it a lot less likely that we would ever have to resort to nuclear weapons to solve any --
SEN. FEINSTEIN: Well, I appreciate that, and because this came out in California, I've had a lot of people very deeply concerned about. As a matter of fact, they know much more about this than they do about our approval of judges, which happens to be another resounding call. And there is really deep concern. And I think -- I think if it's wrong, the record has to be corrected.
But I'd like to go on, before my time expires, to one other quick thing, General. I'm very concerned about the deterioration in Afghanistan. I'm concerned about the reports that there is deterioration in the stability of the establishment of a new government. I'm concerned by the skirmishes that are now taking place, which indicate to me a real resiliency on the part of the Taliban and al Qaeda, that they will in fact try to come back if in fact they can come back. And I'm concerned that this budget may not reflect our best interests in terms of maintaining a long-term peaceful stability to enable a new government to develop, to enable a new military to develop, and to enable a country decimated to get on its feet economically. And, you know, this goes into something -- Senator (Joseph) Biden (D-DE) made comments about this in additional funds that he sought, and that I think there's a very strong feeling among many of us that it is to our interests to see that the country remains stable and that we have a peacekeeping force there to ensure it.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Senator, I find that we did apparently answer your letter, but very recently and it may not have gotten --
SEN. FEINSTEIN: I have not received it --
SEC. RUMSFELD: -- into your hands. Here's a copy of it.
SEN. FEINSTEIN: Thank you.
SEC. RUMSFELD: The situation in Afghanistan is complex. It is a country that has been at war for many, many, many years. It is a country that throughout history has had clan fighting. It's had enormous drug-trafficking and crime.
On the other hand, there is a persuasive indicator that things are more stable there than they were, because refugees are returning. It's becoming a problem, how many refugees are coming in. They're coming in from neighboring countries. The internally displaced people are moving back to their homes and into the cities. And people vote with their feet. They're obviously saying to themselves, "It's better there than where I am." And so I think that that, as a key indicator, the flow of refugees back into that country ought to tell us that it is certainly not stable like Washington, D.C., or San Francisco, or wherever, but for Afghanistan, it isn't bad.
The humanitarian workers are able to get around for the most part. The areas -- big areas are reasonably secure. People get killed every once in a while, just like they do in the United States and Europe. It is no where near as stable as here, but it has -- it is a vastly better place than it was.
I don't know what the situation will be with the government, except that the interim government is in place. The loya jurga process is underway. They're going to go from an interim government to a transitional government in the period ahead. The skirmishes you referred to are -- are correct. There are, periodically, mild dust- ups between the so-called warlords or regional leaders, for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it's fights between people over personal grudges from before. Sometimes it's over turf. Sometimes it's over control of a border.
I don't know -- I'm told if you wanted to have as many peacekeepers in Afghanistan, given the size of the country, as we have per population or per square mile in Kosovo or Bosnia, it would be just -- you know, over 100,000. And the question is, how do you do that, proportionally? And even those countries, you still have some untidiness in Bosnia and Kosovo. We're not against an international peacekeeping force expanding, if that's what people want to do. It might be a good thing. And there's no one opposing it. The problem is there's no one stepping up and wanting to do it. Indeed, the U.K., that led the first ISAF, asked to be relieved. The Turks have asked -- have agreed to come in if we give them assistance, which we're doing, but they've asked not to be extended. Some other countries are in the process of moving out of the current ISAF. If there were countries that were eager to take over and eager to come in and put peacekeepers in there, I'm sure the Karzai government would be happy to have them.
What we're doing is we're trying to find the terrorists around the world that are trained to kill innocent men, women and children. That is a big task. It's an enormous task. We're going to have to keep on in Afghanistan until we keep finding more al Qaeda and Taliban and the ones that are in the neighboring countries. But in addition, we're helping to train the Afghan army. The Germans are helping to train the Afghan police force.
I don't know -- I don't know what else one can do. You can't do everything. You -- you have to make choices. And the government is anxious to have an Afghan army, and so we're helping do that. If other countries want to step forward and do the International Security Assistance Force, I think that's just fine.
SEN. FEINSTEIN: But we are not, is that correct?
SEC. RUMSFELD: What we're doing, with respect to the ISAF, is we have agreed to provide logistics, intelligence support, communications assistance, and last, we have agreed to be a quick reaction force to assist the ISAF if they get in difficulty. Second, with respect to the second phase of the ISAF, we are the ones out with a donors' conference trying to help the Turks raise the money so that they can take over the leadership of ISAF. We've agreed to do all the things we did with the British leadership, and in addition, we're now negotiating a memorandum of understanding with the Turkish government, which will undoubtedly leave us in a position of providing even more assistance for the Turkish ISAF leadership than we did for the British. So, we're doing quite a bit.
SEN. FEINSTEIN: Thank you. My time is up. Thank you very much.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Thank you.
SEN. CHRISTOPHER BOND (R-MO): (Off mike.) Thank you. As a former governor and as co-chair of the National Guard, obviously I'm very much interested in the high level of involvement of Guard and Reserve forces in homeland security. And it concerns me very much that the establishment of the Northern Command does not appear to have involved sufficient input from senior National Guard leaders. The adjutants general, the governors, have a role in this, and I think they ought to be able to participate at the high level. How do you envision incorporating the National Guard input from the states at the most senior level? And to give you a hint of what I'm thinking about, I have proposed legislation to make the deputy commander a representative of the National Guard. So, I'd appreciate it, General, if you want to respond to that.
GEN. MYERS: You bet, Senator Bond. I think you raise a very important issue. As you know, this command doesn't stand up until 1 October, so we're in the implementation planning phase, if you will, where issues like that are being discussed and trying to find a right way forward. I think you're right in your assertion that any -- any command such as this is going to have participation from National Guard units and Reserve component units as well as active duty units. In fact, there will probably be a fairly heavy reliance on some National Guard capabilities. I don't think that there is a question.
The issue of whether or not you should have a senior Guard person in the hierarchy there I think is still be considered. My personal view is I think somewhere in that hierarchy that would be appropriate. I think we need to -- need to have that. So --
SEN. BOND: Well, I think you -- I think you have a real problem, and based on past experience, it's a very difficult one to solve, so we'll look forward to working with you. But I -- I'm afraid that from what we've seen that only giving the appropriate rank to a member of the -- to a leader of the National Guard will solve the problem. If he doesn't have enough stars, they're not going to be -- they're not going to be paying any attention to him or her.
GEN. MYERS: Right. We're going -- we're going to work all that. I think that's -- those are valid concerns, but I think they're concerns that the secretary and I and the folks that are working this implementation plan, which they're right in the middle of, are going to work.
SEN. BOND: Thank you. Let me move to another one, and either Mr. Secretary or Mr. Chairman, recently it was discovered that a stale -- a tail stress problem exists in the F-22 Raptor. It's already the nation's most expensive fighter, and the testing will be delayed as changes to the air frame are considered. Air Force officials said last fall they found certain high-force maneuvers put unacceptable stress on the tail of the F-22. Given the fact the aircraft will cost over $200 million when completed, and the overall program cost is over 60 billion and rising, as you are looking at the budget constraints, is there consideration being given to adjusting the current plan by 339 aircraft?
GEN. MYERS: I can talk a little bit about the fin buffet problem. I think the -- and I'm going to tell you, if I have relied -- and I did for a while, relied on some articles in the press that were -- turned out to be incorrect. And I talked to General Jeffords, chief of staff of the Air Force, last week on this issue to find out what the issue was. When you have twin tails -- we know we have at twin -- we have a buffet problem. We have it in the F-15 -- and you've probably ridden in the F-15. You can look behind you at high speeds and you can see the tails back there move. I mean, that's one of the phenomena.
SEN. BOND: I'm scared to look back. (Laughter.) I was worried enough just looking forward.
GEN. MYERS: Me too, Senator. But even -- even on the world renowned, and the great F-15 that's built in St. Louis there, that I have several -- several hundred hours in, even in that airplane we have -- we have this issue. On the F-22, I understand it's not even an issue yet. It's one of those things that they predict that at the -- at the edge of its service life, out at 8,000 hours, they might have a problem that affects the rudder back there on the fins, and certainly they're taking steps in the test program to characterize this. In terms of the numbers, I'll refer -- I'll let the secretary handle that.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Well, this goes back to the question that Senator Stevens raised early on about this time line. And as we've indicated, the Department of Defense, while you're working on the '02 supplemental and the '03 budget, we're working on the '04 to '09 budgets. And as we do that, the defense planning guidance gets completed, which it now is. And in that there are a series of studies that are called for. And, if there seems to be no question about something, in goes in basket one. And we may just say continue this or do this. If there is a question but we feel that the service, or the joint staff, or the OSD has not looked at some options, we take basket two and say come back with some options, but make sure this particular option is included. And then in basket three, we say just come back with options. We don't have an option we want you to look at for sure. And last is a plan to deal with something.
Now, there are dozens of things that have been lumped in one of those four baskets in the defense planning guidance. And what happens during this period that you're working on '02 and '03, we're working on '05 -- correction, '04 to '09. And all of those things are under review. And as I said to Senator Stevens, I don't know that there's any way on earth that this can -- that we could do it any differently. We simply need that time to build the budget. And we're reviewing what ought to be in that budget for '04 to '09.
SEN. BOND: Thank you, sir. The Navy's made readiness --
SEC. RUMSFELD: Could I -- I'm sorry to interrupt. I apologize. I -- the question -- the dilemma we face is, let's say that in a month, or two or three, those studies come out and you're still working on our bill, should we tell you then, or should we wait until you've gone out of session in December and the new budget comes out? It's hard to know.
SEN. BOND: Mr. Secretary, I apologize. We're working under time constraints --
SEC. RUMSFELD: Oh, I'm sorry.
SEN. BOND: -- and I have a couple of questions I wanted to add. The Navy's near-term readiness emphasis has benefited depot maintenance, spare parts and ammunitions, but shipbuilding and TACAIR have been negatively impacted. I was recently told for the first time in the history of the Navy the average age of naval aircraft is older than the average age of ships. I'm concerned that we're spending good money on aging platforms that have reached the end of their useful life, such as the F-14, which costs about twice as much to maintain as the 18. The plan for retiring 14s calls for replacing them with F- 18s, yet this year the DOD reduced the F-18 buy, with no guarantee the shortfall would be made up in the coming years. And I'm -- I'm very much concerned about it. I'm told the Navy has a plan for adjusting TACAIR but the overall shortfall in the Navy's shipbuilding and TACAIR accounts are very limited. What's -- do you have a plan for improving the procurement of shipbuilding and TACAIR.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Well, we do. As my -- in my opening statement I didn't go through that portion, but in the written version, we indicate what the plan is with shipbuilding, and you're quite right, we do have to increase it in -- in the forward year defense plan that we're currently working on, and we intend to do that.
Second, with respect to the tactical aircraft, you're also correct. As the age of those aircraft goes up, the cost of maintaining them, the difficulty of spare parts is a very serious problem. And when you go on a procurement holiday during the 1990s and you arrive in the year 2001, 2002, you have to pay the piper. And one of the reasons the shipbuilding budget is lower is because the Navy made some trade-off decisions and therefore the -- the budget is as proposed.
With respect to the F-18, I'm told that we have a multi-year procurement contract and that the proposal we had in for '03 for 44, it commits -- the multi-year contract commits the Navy to purchasing 48 plus-or-minus six aircraft, so we're well within the contract.
SEN. STEVENS: Senator Domenici.
SEN. PETE DOMENICI (R-NM): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. STEVENS: Pardon me. My mistake. Senator Shelby.
SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R-AL): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Secretary Rumsfeld, Senator Cochran brought up the cuts in the missile defense program that you're very aware of and we are all going to be working with you to restore. What some of my concerns were in this area is cuts, yes, but where were these cuts? Some of them were specific to the program. In other words, if you stopped the critical development initiatives in the program, like systems engineering, system integration initiatives and so forth, you're really going in the back door to kill missile defense, as I see it, and I think that's what some of the -- some people would like to do this. I appreciate your comments on that. I know that you're going to fight to restore those cuts. We're going to fight with you and I believe we will prevent it at the end of the day -- at least I hope so.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Senator, thank you. You're exactly right. Not only were the funds reduced, but the funds were reduced in a micro way --
SEN. SHELBY: That's right.
SEC. RUMSFELD: -- that go directly to the -- our efforts to have a broad based research and development program across a range of possibilities, and they are particularly harmful because not only of the total amount, which is significant in and of itself, but the way that it's been done.
SEN. SHELBY: Targeting. Thank you. Well, I look forward to working with you and others on the committee for this.
Into another area, the science and technology -- in other words, the funding. DOD remains, Mr. Secretary, below the three percent funding target for science and technology research that you set. I believe, and we've talked about this before at these hearings, robust investment in fundamental science and technology I believe is absolutely essential to transformation and future success. You've demonstrated your interest in that over time, but you've also demonstrated it in looking to the future weapons, and this is where so much of this comes from.
Mr. Secretary, with that in mind, when will the Department of Defense meet the three percent goal and show a stronger commitment to basic science and technology research? How do we do it? I know we're talking about money, but we're also talking about priorities, aren't we?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Exactly right. It is a matter of priorities, and it is in my view a reasonable goal to get up to the three percent level. And where we are this year is we are coming in with a proposal that is higher than last year's --
SEN. SHELBY: It is.
SEC. RUMSFELD: -- presidential request proposal. Now, as you know, what happens when the budget gets up to the Congress, it gets changed around quite a bit and things get put into that number that we had not requested and that we do not believe are directly headed towards helping the problem you've posed as to how do we develop these capabilities out five, 10, 15, 20 years.
SEN. SHELBY: That is a priority for you isn't it --
SEC. RUMSFELD: Absolutely.
SEN. SHELBY: -- science and technology funding for the weapons of the future?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Absolutely.
SEN. SHELBY: Okay.
SEC. RUMSFELD: And I have -- I'd have to go back and look, but my -- my recollection is we are on a trajectory to get up to that three percent during this forward year defense plan.
SEN. SHELBY: Can you furnish that for the record --
SEC. RUMSFELD: Yes sir.
SEN. SHELBY: -- if you would? I appreciate that. Mr. Chairman, that's all I have.
SEN. STEVENS: (Inaudible) -- three percent. Senator Domenici.
SEN. DOMENICI: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Secretary, just by way of an observation, I have on a number of occasions in the past couple of weeks run into Americans who walk up and want to say something to me. In the four instances that I am going to refer to, they've all been people who want to tell me that their spouse -- (off mike) -- just yesterday was telling me their spouse was a marine pilot -- (off mike) -- married for two years, and how scared she was because for the first time he was -- for the first time he couldn't tell her where he would be, at least for a while. But then she volunteered and said how grateful she and her husband were for the pay which had increased so dramatically for her husband, a very experienced Marine pilot, and for their housing allowance, which is the first I had heard from somebody walk up and mention it, and indicated that -- that she hopes everything would go well for her husband, and he was ecstatic about going to war, going off to do what he signed up to do. But more important, she said, I want to tell you that we're -- we think you care about us.
I think that's happening to our military personnel across the world, wherever they are. I think what they are doing and our concern through you and our president and the Congress is actually it is hitting a real, real important kind of vein in these Americans who are serving us. I hope you know that already, but I think it's important that we share it with you, because we get plenty of complaints and we share them with you.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Sure. (Laughs.) Well, I'm pleased to hear that. You're right; there's nothing more important than the human beings who make up this great armed forces for us. And they do a wonderful job, and they deserve to be appropriately compensated.
SEN. DOMENICI: I want to talk a little bit here about a memo that was circulated to senior Pentagon officials suggesting that the United States may be too reliant on space systems. I understand -- I know that you've been a strong proponent of leveraging our advantage in space for military purposes, and I too have supported research being conducted at places like the Sandia Space Vehicle Directorate at Kirkland Air Force Base next to Sandia Laboratories in Albuquerque.
Could you elaborate as to why you have raised this concern about our over-reliance on space? And has that concern been prompted by operations in Afghanistan?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Well, I don't know what memo you're referring to. Is it a memo that has my name on it?
SEN. DOMENICI: Yes.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Uh-huh. The concern that has been discussed -- and I'd like to have General Myers comment as well; he used to head up the Space Command, as you know -- the concern that exists is we have a wonderful advantage because of our space assets, and they began back in the Eisenhower era and they've contributed a great deal to our ability to do what we do.
A great many of those assets are not hardened. And therefore, one has to ask the question, "If you have that potential vulnerability, how do you manage that?" And one of the things you can do is to harden them. The other thing you can do is to have certain types of redundancies and to see that you're getting what you need from multiple sources rather than single sources.
SEN. DOMENICI: Well, let me shift over to you, General. First of all, I never get a chance to thank you for what you do. I see him a little more than I see you. But I want to extend my thanks to you for the way you have been conducting yourself --
GEN. MYERS: Thank you, Senator.
SEN. DOMENICI: -- in behalf of our country. I know that you and the secretary have highlighted the importance of joint operations, both through our success in Afghanistan and for the objective force. In particular, we see the importance of the interoperability of our air and ground units in Afghanistan for coordinating close air support and support from heavy bomber strikes.
If I'm not mistaken, General, the creator of the Aerospace Command & Control Simulation Facility that's at Kirkland Air Force Base provides virtual simulation training for the Air Force crews and also joint exercise with the Navy and the Army as well.
I raise this issue because I believe that NASA could rapidly enhance the kind of network operation capabilities that you have mentioned in your testimony. So, first, if you are familiar with that facility, would you care to offer your comments about how you see it accelerating the interoperability of forces?
GEN. MYERS: Senator, I'm only -- I'm familiar, but not familiar enough to answer, I think, directly today. So I'll furnish that for the record. But on interoperability --
SEN. DOMENICI: Yes, sir.
GEN. MYERS: -- clearly there's, as I said in my opening statement, too, there's clearly no more important requirement than to ensure that when our forces go on a mission, that they be able to coordinate among each other in a seamless way. And we do a pretty good job of that today, but we can do a much better job.
And so simulation facilities and other capabilities like that are essential to that capability and to that requirement. And I will just say that, and then I'll furnish for the record on the facility specifically in Albuquerque.
SEN. DOMENICI: And I'll submit two questions on that same issue to each of you.
GEN. MYERS: Okay. Can I go back to the space piece for just a second?
SEN. DOMENICI: Please.
GEN. MYERS: Once I got to Space Command and had been there just a little bit of time, it really did become apparent that the wonderful advantage we acquire from having preeminent space systems can also be an Achilles heel if we don't watch it. And I think the secretary is absolutely right. We often don't even know if our systems are under attack.
If you go back to -- it was a commercial satellite five or six years ago that failed, and people's pagers didn't work; doctors couldn't get to work; bank transactions couldn't be made; you couldn't swipe your card in a service station and expect to pay for the gasoline because it wouldn't transmit through this one satellite.
The frustrating thing to me was that until you investigate, you don't know what the situation is. Are you under attack? Did you have a malfunction? What is it that's causing this problem? And I think the '03 budget and previous budgets have dealt with this in a fairly responsible way. But it's one of those things we've got to keep our eye on.
If you look at our communications satellites, without going into a lot of detail in open hearing, they're fairly vulnerable. Global position system satellites, that signal is a very, very weak signal, and vulnerable as well. And on and on you go on our space systems.
And I don't think anybody is proposing that we don't need these space systems. We just need to take the steps to make sure that we know what's happening to them when they're on orbit, that we know the difference between malfunctions and attacks; that we will, if you will, the term "harden," as the secretary used, if we harden them, make sure they have the ability to tell us what's happening so we can analyze it properly and take corrective action.
SEN. DOMENICI: And there's a lot of research going on on hardening, isn't there?
GEN. MYERS: Absolutely. And that's all required. And we've just got to pay particular attention, because we get great leverage from these assets. We need to make sure that we protect them.
SEN. DOMENICI: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. INOUYE: Thank you very much. Senator Hollings.
SEN. HOLLINGS: I thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Secretary, I'm somewhat hesitant on a question not important to a Defense secretary but very important to Charleston, where we have these C-17s based. In fact, we had all the 141s and around the clock in Desert Storm. They did an outstanding job. And right to the point, they're doing an amazingly outstanding job right at this minute in Afghanistan. Eighty percent are going in there. You don't take a boat. You fly in. And it's the C-17s that are bringing them in.
Now, we had 120 C-17s were planned, and we were assigned in Charleston 54. And General Myers or somebody can get these figures down. And we had a bed-down of the additional 60. In addition to the 120, we're going to get 60 more, which we all support. But instead of getting more, we're cutting Charleston back from 54 to 46 in order to look like a sign where they have no C-17s whatever, but they do have some good political leaders in these areas at Travis, Dover, March, Elmendorf, Hickham. I know better than any, because I've been out there over a month or so ago and shook hands again with all the pilots to thank them for what they were doing. And we have an outstanding reserve unit. In addition to the 437s, we have the 315th Reserve. Actually, the Reserve are flying a little bit more than the 50 percent of the flights.
Point: You don't have Reserve C-17 pilots at these other things. And it looks good on a sheet of paper. "Well, we just put a few around here to get the vote to get the extra 60." But you don't need that.
Everybody is going to support you in the defense and the president in making sure we get the additional 60 C-17s. And it's not necessary, whereas you're going to unfairly penalize those who've been doing the outstanding job and been gearing up to get the additional ones and everything else, on the one hand, but on the other hand, not have the Reserve units.
We do need more C-17 pilots at this minute. And I've been trying to see if we can get more trained and into the regular Air Force. But look at those figures or have the staff look at those figures and say, heavens, just don't penalize the people who have been doing the good job.
At least get us the original number of the 54 rather than -- we got a briefing just the other day; they're going to cut me back to 46 to make these reassignments, which I don't think are in the interest of the Defense Department, because you don't have the Reserve pilots and you don't have Reserve units for C-17s at all of these various fields and everything otherwise. So I'd appreciate it if you could get someone on the staff to look at that, sir.
SEC. RUMSFELD: We will certainly do it, Senator. There's no question but the C-17 fleet is important to us, and we will get back to you with some answers.
SEN. HOLLINGS: I appreciate it. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
GEN. MYERS: Can I take this opportunity, Senator Hollings, just to tag on to what you said about those great air crews? I've traveled in the theater, in General Franks' theater. And I took the liberty on one occasion to fly up with the crew in the front end of the C-17, up on the flight deck, with a fairly young crew. I think we had maybe a captain and a lieutenant in the seats and a captain backing up behind. And this was a flight from inside Uzbekistan down to a forward operating location and then into Afghanistan the next day, into Baghram, down to Kandahar, and then back to Uzbekistan. It required tactical approaches to some of the airfields because of the threat. It required the use of night-vision goggles.
And I will tell you -- and they were out of Charleston, it just so happens, as you would probably expect -- what a tremendous job those young men and women -- because one of the crew members, of course, was a woman -- what these young men and women do. And I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to, on the record, say how impressed I was with their professionalism, their dedication, and the C-17, for that matter.
SEN. HOLLINGS: I thank you very much. Their morale is high and I want to keep it high. And it would somewhat be injured, I feel -- I know I'm injured if you're going to start cutting me back just after we're doing an outstanding job. Thank you.
SEN. INOUYE: Thank you. Senator Kohl.
SEN. HERBERT KOHL (D-WI): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Secretary Rumsfeld --
SEC. RUMSFELD: Go to the mike.
SEN. KOHL: Secretary Rumsfeld.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Sir.
SEN. KOHL: Good morning.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Good morning.
SEN. KOHL: This weekend, Vice President Cheney told the American people that another terrorist attack was, in all likelihood, imminent. However, at the same time these warnings are being sounded, combat air patrols around our cities have ended in the case of commercial aircraft. Those patrols were our second line of defense; the first line, of course, being the screening of passengers and baggage.
In the case of chartered aircraft, however, those fighter patrols were our only defense against another hijacking. No security whatsoever takes place on chartered aircraft, which would allow a terrorist to charter a large aircraft, board with his friends, carry on luggage with explosives, and use that aircraft as a weapon against innocent civilians, exactly as what happened on 9/11.
In light of these recent warnings, I am more determined than ever to see this enormous gap in our aviation security system addressed. So I would like to ask you, Secretary Rumsfeld, do you believe that currently unsecured chartered aircraft pose a security threat? How serious is that threat? How important is it that we address that threat as quickly as we can? Is the Department of Defense working with the Department of Transportation to deal with this threat?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Senator, let me take that in pieces. It's an important question. Vice President Cheney was exactly correct in his statement on Sunday. We do face additional terrorist threats. And the issue is not if but when and where and how. And we need to face that.
Certainly the issue of aircraft is an important one. I can say, without question or debate or any concern at all, that our security today is vastly greater than it was on September 11th, for some of the reasons you have mentioned, but for some other reasons as well. There's no question but that the commercial airliners are doing a much better job in terms of security. We have security in airports. There have been men and women in uniform up until this month, and they're going to be transitioned out later this month.
In addition, the radars for our whole defense establishment was oriented out to look for foreign threats, and that has not been changed. And the radars that we're using in the United States do a vastly better job of managing and tracking air traffic in the continental limits of the United States, and indeed in Hawaii and Alaska as well, because of the changes in radars and the linkages between the NORAD and the FAA is now excellent.
Now, the combat air patrols have not been eliminated. We still have random combat air patrols. We still have random AWACS flights. We believe we have a system which is uneven in how it's done, for the very purpose of confusing people as to how it's done. And it is not a regular pattern as to what we're doing, but we feel quite confident that it is doing a good job.
So I think that any aircraft has the ability to fly into any target, whether it's a nuclear power plant or a school or a hospital or a building. And that's a fact. And it is not possible to ground all aircraft. What we have to do is to balance out, as we have done, the whole host of the things. But the principal place the work gets done is on the ground, as you suggested.
SEN. KOHL: I'm not sure if I made myself clear. General aviation, private airplanes, chartered aircraft -- there is no security. Nothing prevents anybody from boarding those aircraft. When you go into any of those terminals, there is nothing that happens to take a look at who is boarding, with what they're boarding, and what their intentions might be, which sets up a situation potentially exactly, Secretary Rumsfeld, like 9/11. Now, I --
SEC. RUMSFELD: You'll have to talk to the Department of Transportation. They're the ones, of course, who are managing the --
SEN. KOHL: Well, I guess I would ask you this question.
SEC. RUMSFELD: -- airports.
SEN. KOHL: If I'm citing the facts correctly, that there is literally no security at our general-aviation airports, that anybody can board an aircraft without being looked at in even the most cursory way, would that disturb you?
SEC. RUMSFELD: There's no question but that, given the warnings we've had and the use to which aircraft can be put, that that is a problem, if it's true. I just am not knowledgeable about whether or not general-aviation airports are as you've characterized them. I'm sure you're right, but I just -- it's really something that the Department of Defense is not involved in. It's a Department of Transportation responsibility, and I'd have to check with Secretary (Norman) Mineta, which I'll be happy to do.
SEN. KOHL: I would like to suggest you might give him a call at your earliest convenience, you know, working with them -- and I wanted to raise that issue with you because I know it's something that would concern you also.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Yes, sir.
SEN. KOHL: Last question, sir. President Bush will sign an arms control agreement very soon with Russia that will reduce our deployed strategic nuclear arsenal from roughly 6,000 weapons to between 1,700 and 2,000. The agreement does not call for destruction of the 4,000 or so weapons. Instead, the president intends to keep these weapons in storage.
Clearly 1,700 to 2,000 strategic nuclear weapons are more than enough to deter any would-be adversary. The question I'm asking you is whether you envision any scenario that would require 6,000 strategic nuclear weapons. And after that, the question is, so why don't we destroy those 4,000 or so instead of putting them in storage?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Yes, sir, Senator Kohl. Technically, the treaty that's going to be signed is 1,700 to 2,200, as opposed to 2,000.
SEN. KOHL: I'm sorry.
SEC. RUMSFELD: And I think that the important thing that came out of the nuclear posture review was the dramatic downsizing of our offensive operationally-deployed strategic nuclear weapons that the president has proposed and that we are in the process of getting on that trajectory now with the decisions made with respect to Peacekeeper, for example, as well as some submarines.
What will actually happen to the warheads is an open question. Some will undoubtedly be destroyed. Some will replace warheads on other strategic nuclear weapons that we intend to maintain the fleet. Still others will be stockpiled for safety and reliability problems.
One of the nightmares in this business is that the phone will ring and we'll be told that a whole class of our weapons are no longer safe or reliable, for whatever reason. As you know, they're looked at and checked from time to time, and the Department of Energy has that responsibility.
And to the extent that we get that call -- and it happens from time to time that some class of weapon is under question -- then we would need to replace that class of weapons with some other weapons. And so it's perfectly appropriate to have additional weapons.
If you think about it, time and money can change the number of weapons you have. Russia today has an open production line for nuclear weapons. We do not. It would take us years to start up our ability to make nuclear weapons, warheads. Therefore, having additional weapons, to be able to use them in the event of a problem with safety or reliability, it would be mindless not to. It would be inexcusable for us to destroy all those weapons and not have them as a backup in the event they're needed.
The other issue that you didn't mention, which is something that is important to me, and I know to the president, is the theater nuclear weapon issue, which keeps getting side aside. And the Russians have many thousands, multiples of the numbers we do. They also have a long queue of nuclear weapons that have not yet been destroyed. And they also have a lot of piece parts that could be reassembled, conceivably.
So the problem of what we do with those is an important one, as you have suggested. But I think what's even more important is the draw-down from 56 -- whatever the numbers may be on their side or our side -- down to 1,700 to 2,200.
SEN. KOHL: I'd be very concerned about the other side not destroying, even more so than ourselves.
SEC. RUMSFELD: I wouldn't put it that way. I would put it that we're worried about their management of their nuclear weapons and the security of them --
SEN. KOHL: Yes.
SEC. RUMSFELD: -- and the risk that they could get loose and be available to people who we would prefer not to have them.
SEN. KOHL: Yes.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Quite honestly, it does not make a lot of difference whether they destroy them or not. If one's worried about what they might do with them, it is more an issue, as you suggested, of the security of them. I mean, I would expect that they would have the same interest in keeping some for safety and reliability as we would, for example.
SEN. KOHL: Some minimum amount on both sides. But aren't we, and haven't we been for some time, concerned about the security?
SEC. RUMSFELD: You bet.
SEN. KOHL: And to the extent that nuclear weapons are stored and not destroyed, then that concern about security is there, isn't it?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Absolutely. I'm not worried about the security of our weapons, sir.
SEN. KOHL: I agree with you. But in order for them to destroy their weapons, they would, what, need that agreement on our side?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Oh, I don't think so. We didn't need this treaty, in a sense. I mean, the president announced he was going to go down to 1,700 to 2,000, regardless of what the Russians did. And then Mr. Putin announced that he was going to do that. The agreement is useful, I suppose. But we were going to do what we were going to do, regardless. And the problem with the issue of destroying those weapons -- one problem I've mentioned.
A second problem is this. There isn't any way on earth to verify what people are doing with those weapons. To get that kind of transparency or predictability into what they're doing, you would have to know what their production rates are, how fast they could increase their production rates and make new weapons -- if you're worried about how many weapons they had, the extent to which they could take tactical nuclear weapons, theater weapons, and reform them into strategic offensive nuclear weapons, the extent to which they could take piece parts and reassemble them into offensive nuclear weapons. So there are so many things one would have to look at, that the idea that you could verify it -- we couldn't verify it.
Now, in our country, everyone knows what we do. Goodness, gracious, there isn't anything that the general or I even think that doesn't end up in the newspaper five minutes later. But everything we do is transparent. And when we destroy weapons, everyone in the world knows it. When we don't destroy weapons, everyone in the world knows it.
That's not true in Russia. It's not true even today. We don't have a good grip on how many theater nuclear weapons they have. We don't have a good grip on what their production rates are for nuclear weapons in a given year.
So I think this understanding, which has been turned into a treaty, is a good thing. I think that the country is doing the right thing in attempting to turn Russia towards the West and take steps which will reassure them that we, in fact, intend to do this so that they can reassure those in their country who are doubting.
And there are some people in their military who doubt these things and wonder if this turning West by Russia is really going to be the right thing for Russia or the permanent thing for Russia. And if a treaty helps in that regard, I'm all for it.
SEN. KOHL: I quite agree with you. And I also believe that it's an excellent agreement. I would like to hope that as time moves on, we can move from stored nuclear weapons on both sides to destroyed nuclear weapons on both sides. I think you might agree with that. Thank you, sir. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. INOUYE: I thank you very much, Mr. Secretary, General Myers. In behalf of the committee, I thank you very much for your appearance today and for your testimony. In the coming weeks we will review the testimony we have received to formulate our recommendations to the full committee. We'll do our very best to expedite this process. Having said that, there are many questions that we'd like to submit to you. Members have asked me to submit them in their behalf. And we look forward to your responses to them.
The committee will stand in recess until June the 5th. At that time we will receive testimony from public witnesses.
I thank you very much, Mr. Secretary.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.