Today I am proud to report to the Congress that the United States military remains, by any measure, the pre-eminent military force in the world. Whether training here at home or serving overseas, our men and women in uniform, and the thousands of civilians who support them, deserve the thanks of the American people for their selfless service.
As chairman of the Joint Chiefs, I could not be prouder of the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who protect and defend our great nation. They are the finest expression of what America means to the world, and it is an honor to appear before the Congress to tell you their story.
When I assumed my duties last October, I brought with me a set of priorities, derived from many years of experience in peace and war. That experience taught me three profound lessons. The first was that, in this lethal profession of ours, there is no substitute for being ready when the nation calls.
The next was that our people and their families are our most precious asset, and that if they are treated with care and dignity, there is nothing we may not ask of them. And finally, I learned that we must always think about tomorrow even as we fight today's battles.
As chairman, these are my first and strongest priorities. Are we ready? Are we taking care of our people and their families? And are we preparing adequately for the future? Though we face many ongoing challenges, I can report to you with confidence that in each area, we are fundamentally sound and ready to answer the nation's call.
Over the past year, we have looked hard at the future and at the changes that will shape tomorrow's armed forces. In May the secretary of defense presented the Quadrennial Defense Review, our best thinking on how to position our armed forces for success in the 21st century. The chiefs and I urge the Congress to support its conclusions to maintain the readiness of the armed forces, to keep faith with our military and civilian personnel, and to prepare for an uncertain future.
Our National Security Strategy continues to evolve in light of dynamic changes in the international security environment. When our greatest threat was the USSR [Union of Soviet Socialist Republics] and its satellites, our strategy focused on the twin pillars of strategic deterrence and containment.
The collapse of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact transformed our world by eliminating the Soviet conventional threat to Europe; by dramatically reducing the strategic nuclear threat to the United States; and by discrediting communism as a viable alternative to free market democracy.
Today, regional instability, international terrorist organizations and the possible use of weapons of mass destruction are the principal threats we face.
U.S. security strategy has evolved accordingly in response to these sweeping changes. In 1997, the White House released the president's National Security Strategy for a New Century, followed by the secretary's QDR Defense Strategy, and the 1997 National Military Strategy. Our national security strategy seeks to shape the international security environment to foster stability and promote U.S. interests abroad; to respond when necessary to the full range of potential crises from smaller scale contingency operations to major theater wars; and to prepare now for an uncertain future.
Our strategy is no longer oriented on the Soviet Union or any other single state, but on the full range of threats and opportunities confronting U.S. interests, seeking global engagement in a manner that fosters political and economic stability.
Similarly, we now focus on regional threats to global U.S. interests such as those posed by North Korea and Iraq rather than on global warfare. As a result, while seeking to preserve long-standing relationships, we are adapting our alliances to promote peace and stability without focusing on specific adversaries.
In addition, while strategic nuclear deterrence remains vital, our strategy now seeks to counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), while building trust among nations through arms control, transparency and confidence-building efforts.
We now structure our forces and systems to face security challenges characterized by the information revolution, transnational organizations, asymmetric challenges and regional powers. Despite undertaking many new tasks, our forces stand ready to execute their foremost requirement: to fight and win our nation's wars.
Our posture of forward presence directly supports our efforts to shape the international security environment to encourage stability and promote peaceful resolution of potential conflicts.
The QDR thoroughly reviewed our overseas force posture and reaffirmed the need to maintain current force levels of about 100,000 personnel in both Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, with a strong rotational presence of about 25,000 personnel in Southwest Asia and 15,000 in the SOUTHCOM [Southern Command] area of responsibility.
These forces provide regional stability and a deterrent against military aggression in these key areas.
In Europe, the Partnership for Peace continues to be an encouraging success story. After four years, Partnership for Peace has laid the foundation for transforming NATO for a new century. U.S. bilateral efforts have set the standard for NATO allies by assisting 27 partner nations with military reforms and NATO interoperability programs.
During 1997, the U.S. contributed $48 million to support more than 40 PfP exercises and other events. Our goals for FY [fiscal year] 99 will include efforts to increase NATO resource support for partners, and to improve NATO-partner planning for peace support operations.
NATO enlargement is another key element in reshaping the security architecture in Europe to help ensure future stability. I am convinced that accepting qualified new members will decrease the chances of future conflict in Europe and serve both U.S. and alliance interests well in the next century.
Last December, NATO ministers accepted initial cost estimates of approximately $1.5 billion over 10 years for common funded military requirements associated with NATO enlargement. This figure is based on the results of the ground analysis performed by SHAPE [Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe] over the past several months, which estimated alliance requirements for integrating and defending the three invited nations.
The NATO figure is lower than the estimate in the February DoD report, primarily because NATO found military infrastructure in these nations to be in better shape than expected. I fully support NATO enlargement as a necessary adaptation to our changed security environment and a sound investment for peace and stability in Europe.
NATO operations in Bosnia in support of the Dayton Accords involve a number of prospective new members and remain the largest NATO undertaking since the end of the Cold War. The NATO Stabilization Force continues to deter the resumption of hostilities and facilitate the civilian implementation process.
Although President Clinton has announced that, "In principle the United States will take part in a security presence in Bosnia when SFOR withdraws this summer," we are still awaiting the post-SFOR plan from the NATO military authorities for approval. SACEUR [supreme allied commander, Europe] has identified early summer for deployment of the NATO Follow on Force.
My assessment is that the size of the FOF must be based on the security environment in Bosnia, the mission the force will undertake and the level of risk we are willing to accept. The U.S. contribution will be a function of how much we want to continue to influence matters on the ground. We will in any case expect the Europeans to shoulder increased responsibilities.
Ultimately, the U.S. contingent must be strong enough to defend itself against all threats it is likely to encounter in Bosnia.
Around the world, U.S. military forces carried out a demanding series of operations in FY 97 in more than 20 major operations and many other smaller ones.
On average, 43,000 service members per month participated in operations ranging from peacekeeping to humanitarian assistance to evacuation of U.S. and allied nationals from threatened locations. The American people can be proud of the outstanding performance of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines around the globe.
Our strategic reach and flexibility contributes immeasurably to international stability -- and the high level of professionalism and competence shown by our forces ensures the respect of both friends and potential adversaries everywhere we go.
In the Balkans, the 32,000-strong NATO Stabilization Force continues to provide a safe and secure environment for implementation of the Dayton Accords. Approximately 8,500 American troops, both active and Reserve, serve in Bosnia with another 3,500 located in neighboring countries.
SFOR is supported by a coalition air operation, Operation Deliberate Guard, which includes approximately 1,150 U.S. personnel and 50 manned and unmanned aircraft. Also important to regional stability in the Balkans is Task Force Able Sentry, the U.S. contribution to the United Nations Preventive Deployment in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Three-hundred fifty U.S. troops serve in UNPREDEP, supported by a U.S. aviation detachment of approximately 30 personnel. We anticipate this mission will end in FY 98.
In recent years, Africa has been the region most likely to involve the commitment of U.S. forces in a crisis situation. In the past two years, U.S. forces have deployed to Africa on five occasions for both noncombatant evacuation and humanitarian relief operations, a clear indication of our important interests in regional stability.
One program that can help provide stability in Africa is the African Crisis Response Initiative, or ACRI. The goal of the ACRI is to enhance existing African capacities to respond quickly and more effectively to developing or ongoing crises in Africa. The objective is to generate rapidly-deployable, interoperable units from stable, democratic African countries that can work together to maintain peace on the African continent. Success of the ACRI concept will contribute to long-term African stability and reduce the need for our forces to respond to crises in sub-Saharan Africa.
In 1997, U.S. forces also supported enforcement of the no-fly zone over northern Iraq as part of a coalition force in Operation Northern Watch. Following repeated Iraqi violations of the northern no-fly zone, the Turkish parliament on Nov. 7, 1997, approved an expansion of coalition no-fly zone operations. Approximately 1,300 U.S. personnel and 50 aircraft support Operation Northern Watch, along with forces from the United Kingdom and Turkey.
In southern Iraq, Operation Southern Watch remained in effect throughout 1997 to ensure compliance with U.N. Security Council resolutions prohibiting Iraq from building up its forces south of the 32nd parallel, threatening its neighbors and repressing its internal minorities. Twenty-eight thousand U.S. personnel, 28 ships, 363 land- and carrier-based aircraft, and a mechanized battalion task force support Southern Watch, a multinational operation with participants from the U.K., France, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
We are fully ready to defend and enforce our interests in the region, particularly with respect to Iraqi noncompliance with U.N. resolutions regarding chemical and biological weapons.
In the Arabian Gulf, maritime intercept operations continued to monitor shipping to ensure compliance with U.N. Security Council resolutions. Although the U.S. assumed the bulk of responsibility for operations during 1997, the U.K., Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Canada and Italy also participated.
In the Sinai, nearly 1,000 U.S. troops served with the Multinational Force and Observer mission. Since 1982, U.S. troops have performed monitoring duties in accordance with the provisions of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.
In the Western Hemisphere, our armed forces performed numerous missions in support of the administration's counterdrug efforts, providing support for 501 counterdrug missions in the United States. Support to domestic law enforcement agencies included mobile training teams, fence and road construction, transportation support, linguist and intelligence analyst services, detection, monitoring and communications operations, and ground and aerial reconnaissance.
On July 26, 1997, Secretary [of Defense William S.] Cohen temporarily withdrew authorization for all counterdrug-ground reconnaissance and ground-based detection, monitoring and communication missions by U.S. armed forces in CONUS [continental United States] and other U.S. territories and possessions.
In Latin America, more than 1,500 U.S. personnel are making significant contributions to the development of a more comprehensive regional approach to counterdrug operations. In Honduras, Joint Task Force Bravo, with 510 U.S. service members, completed its 14th year of operations to promote cooperative security and regional stability in Central America.
The U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, currently hosts 40-60 migrants on any given day, while U.S. forces also supplement Coast Guard and Federal Aviation Administration detection and monitoring capabilities in the Florida Straits.
In 1997, DoD personnel deployed to Haiti to perform humanitarian and civic assistance projects as part of rotational unit training exercises. We are continuing our training deployments for the time being at a pace and level of effort comparable to that maintained over the past year.
In the vast Asia-Pacific region, our military forces exert a strong stabilizing influence in an often unpredictable area. In addition to our five mutual defense treaties with South Korea, Japan, Australia, Thailand and the Philippines, we are stepping up military-to-military contacts with the People's Republic of China to promote mutual understanding, transparency and trust.
Our forces in [South] Korea continue to perform a vital role in deterring conflict and ensuring stability on that troubled peninsula. U.S. Navy port calls to Hong Kong continue, and completion of the Military Maritime Consultation Agreement provides an historic framework for a U.S.-PRC dialog on military operations at sea.
Elsewhere in the region, continued efforts to research, find, repatriate and identify American personnel missing in action in Southeast Asia resulted in 11 successful missions in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, with 484 missing American servicemen positively identified to date.
Five recovery operations are scheduled in North Korea for FY 98 to help account for missing servicemen from the Korean conflict. Additionally, we have deployed a team to assist the Laotian government in building an organic national demining program, similar to our efforts in Cambodia.
Maintaining a high state of readiness to execute the military tasks assigned by the National Command Authorities remains our first and most important priority. U.S. military forces remain the best equipped, best trained and most capable of any in the world. Our military power, in conjunction with a strong, dynamic economy and skilled diplomacy, guarantees that American citizens and territory are protected and that our standard of living and our democratic values are maintained.
Our ability to maintain strong, capable forces throughout the globe, backed up by flexible, strategically deployable forces from CONUS, makes us the pre-eminent military power in the world. This ability to selectively apply military forces anywhere in the world is a major stabilizing factor in international affairs and a key component in American world leadership.
Since the end of the Cold War, we have used our military forces more frequently to support our security interests and conduct major operations where U.S. leadership was needed. There is no question that more frequent deployments affect readiness. We are beginning to see anecdotal evidence of readiness issues in some units, particularly at the tactical level of operations.
At the operational and strategic levels, however, we remain capable of conducting operations across the spectrum of conflict. Readiness issues have our full attention, and we are working aggressively to refine and improve our mechanisms for tracking readiness and, with congressional support, for correcting the readiness shortfalls we have identified.
While we are undeniably busier and more fully committed than in the past, the U.S. military remains fully capable of executing the National Military Strategy with an acceptable level of risk. I can assure the Congress that we are not returning to the 1970's. We are fundamentally healthy and will continue to report our readiness status to the Congress and American people with candor and accuracy.
Contingency operations not funded in the defense budget continue to impact on how we allocate resources within the military.
The extension of operations in Bosnia and increased tensions in the gulf have resulted in unfunded contingency requirements in FY 98. In addition, the FY 99 budget does not explicitly fund Bosnia contingency requirements. To ensure adequate funding for readiness and normal operations this year, we will request supplemental appropriations in accordance with congressional language. Without timely relief, we will be forced to absorb these costs from operations and maintenance accounts, to the detriment of overall readiness.
Tempo, the pace of peacetime activities of the force, is another major concern for senior military leaders. The reality of our current tempo is that we are doing more operations with a smaller force. While our overall force structure has declined by approximately one-third since FY 88, our requirements across a broad range of military operations have greatly increased. On any given day more than 40,000 personnel are participating in ongoing named operations and many more are away from home supporting other routine, yet no-less demanding, requirements.
Unchecked, high tempo may lead to both near-term and long-term readiness concerns. In the near-term, increased tempo contributes to lost training opportunities and accelerated wear on equipment. In the long-term, increased tempo has its greatest impact on our people, by negatively impacting their quality of life and jeopardizing our ability to attract and retain quality people.
We have implemented several initiatives to better manage the increased tempo brought on by a changed security environment and our strategy of engagement. The Joint Staff has led an effort to control selected low-density/high-demand assets through the Global Military Force Policy.
In addition, a 15 percent man-days reduction in the Joint Exercise Program through FY 98 has been directed, and we are studying further reductions now. Other ongoing efforts include the increased use of reserve component assets; global sourcing; increased use of contractors and allied support; use of like systems (i.e. EP-3s [Navy anti-submarine warfare aircraft] in lieu of RC-135s [Air Force reconnaissance aircraft); and the Joint Monthly Readiness Review, which includes tools to provide better visibility and management of potential tempo problems.
Managing the pace of operations better is directly related to improving personnel readiness -- the linchpin of a trained and ready force. We place our people in a demanding environment that subordinates them to national and professional requirements. Their commitment is around the clock. Our standards are high, and we demand frequent, personal sacrifices from them, sometimes to the extent of risking their lives. Attracting and retaining the right people, and developing them as joint warfighters, is as important as anything else we do in the readiness arena.
Recruiting and retention are the most immediate measures of our ability to hire and keep the right kinds of people to accomplish our mission. Although recruiting is a growing challenge, all the services met or exceeded recruiting objectives in FY 97, with quality of recruits remaining above the DoD standard. FY 97 was a more difficult year than most, but the services met the challenge and are aggressively working to meet 1998 goals. While increased resources for recruiting can help, funding is only part of the picture. All services must compete with a strong economy and a highly competitive job market.
Retention goals have remained constant at about 80 percent for the past four years. First-term re-enlistment rates remain a concern, reflective of the societal phenomena and propensity to enlist factors also affecting recruitment. Across the board, pilot retention in particular is causing concern. Among other incentives, the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps are expanding aviation continuation pay to encourage higher retention rates for their highly trained aviation personnel.
Now, more than ever, the role of our reserve components is growing in importance. 1997 saw an increase over 1996 in use of RC support to theater CinCs as one way to help moderate the strain of increased tempo. RC units and individuals possess many of the capabilities needed for regional contingencies and crises, as well as exercise support and routine peacetime augmentation, which are not always readily available in the active force.
As the secretary [of defense] has said on a number of occasions, we cannot achieve the flexibility and interoperability we need for the full range of military operations without a seamless total force. This year, two senior assistant to the chairman positions have been added to the Joint Staff to assist me in improving the way we support and employ our reserve components -- our trump card in maintaining our position of global leadership.
Similar to our military personnel, many of our civilian employees are asked to perform jobs under conditions not experienced by other federal civilians. As we recognize their day-to-day contributions to maintaining a ready force, we must also continue to ensure that we provide adequate deployment compensation packages for our civilians deployed in support of military operations.
In addition to high-quality personnel, one of our greatest military strengths is our unparalleled military command, control, communications, computers and intelligence systems. As in the past, our C4I capability is dependent upon both government-owned and commercially provided systems. This Defense Information Infrastructure is vital to the success of our National Security Strategy.
1997 saw both continued successes and increasing challenges to our C4I infrastructure. We made strong progress in improving interoperability of our C4I systems between the services, and with our allies as well. However, a major concern exists with legislation encouraging sale of portions of the radio spectrum, once reserved for military or other federal government use, to the private sector.
Increasing competition for use of the frequency bands critical to military operations could threaten our decisive advantage in C4I. DoD and the Joint Staff took important steps in 1997 to consolidate DoD's review of frequency spectrum use, laying the foundation for our participation in the national debate on how best to allocate use of the spectrum.
A top readiness priority remains strategic lift, a strong pillar of America's military strategy. We examined mobility requirements in the Quadrennial Defense Review across a continuum of planning scenarios, from smaller-scale contingency operations to major theater wars and single theater conflicts. In each case, we measured the ability of DoD's long-range investment program for strategic mobility to support potential deployment requirements. The QDR reaffirmed DoD's baseline requirements for intertheater mobility, as outlined in the 1995 Mobility Requirements Study Bottom-Up Review Update.
Our strategic airlift capabilities have improved greatly with the advent of the C-17 Globemaster, the emerging cornerstone of America's strategic mobility fleet. The C-17 program is executing a seven-year procurement of 120 aircraft by 2003, saving approximately $1 billion compared to annual buys.
The C-17 will eventually replace the aging C-141 fleet as the mainstay of our strategic airlift capability in the next century. We are experiencing reliability problems with the C-5 Galaxy, and USTRANSCOM [U.S. Transportation Command] is studying a comprehensive modernization program to correct the Galaxy's low mission-reliability rates.
Strategic sealift represents the heart of our power projection capability and requires additional attention. The MRS BURU validated a need for 10 million square feet of surge capacity to move the forces for a single MTW, which would then be recycled for a second conflict.
In order to ensure we have access to the types of shipping we need, primarily roll-on/roll-off ships, DoD embarked on an ambitious acquisition plan for organic sealift. The 19 large medium-speed roll-on/roll-off vessels which DoD will acquire by FY 01 will be the centerpiece of America's strategic sealift capability. This program has enjoyed strong support from Congress in the past and is funded in the Navy budget. Keeping this program on track for a FY 01 completion is essential and a top strategic lift priority.
In addition to the LMSRs, the study identified a need to add 19 RO/RO ships to the Ready Reserve Force. This component of the surge requirement has proved to be more difficult. Although we've added 14 RO/ROs to the RRF since 1992 for a total of 31, the MRS BURU completion goal of 36 by FY 01 will not be met.
The Joint [Staff], TRANSCOM and Navy staffs are continuing to look at all options, including evaluation of commercial U.S. flag programs, not available at the time of the BURU, in order to fill surge requirements, to reach a capacity goal of 10 million square feet. DoD had been converting foreign-built vessels in the absence of suitable U.S.-built vessels.
DoD has established a program to expand the available square footage on several existing RRF RO/RO ships by 200,000 square feet. This has reduced our shortfall to approximately 350,000 square feet, or an additional three RO/ROs, but Congress has not authorized foreign-built RO/RO acquisition the past three years.
If an acquisition requirement remains after final evaluation of commercial sealift, we will develop a program for procuring the rest of the required sealift. A strong commitment to reaching the Ready Reserve Force capacity goal is needed to meet our sealift requirements for the 21st century.
In addition to deploying forces by sea and air from CONUS, the U.S. military enjoys a major strategic deployment advantage through its afloat and ashore pre-positioning programs. Major wartime stocks of equipment and supplies are pre-positioned ashore in Korea, Europe and Southwest Asia, greatly increasing our ability to rapidly build up combat forces in time of crisis. Marine, Army and Air Force maritime pre-positioning assets augment these stocks and can deploy quickly over great distances with very large cargoes to crisis areas.
Our pre-positioned stocks give us unmatched strategic reach and flexibility and contribute in a major way to our ability to deter aggression by regional adversaries. These programs are adequately funded and supported at the present time. Continued support by the Congress will go far toward keeping us the world's pre-eminent strategic power far into the next century.
Our experiences in the Gulf War, and in numerous operations since then, have highlighted the need for better medical force protection. Accordingly, we are aggressively pursuing a unified strategy to protect military members from medical hazards associated with their military service, from accession through retirement.
These initiatives include thorough medical screening upon accession, at home station and before deployment; standardized methods to identify medical hazards and apply countermeasures while deployed; better preventive medicine during deployments; and stronger emphasis on post-deployment screening.
Our program for enhanced force medical protection relies on exploiting advanced technologies such as the electronic medical record and biosensing. Emerging technology and heightened awareness give us the best opportunities ever for protecting the force -- opportunities we must not and will not neglect.
Though no DoD lives were lost to terrorism last year, terrorism continues to be a major threat to our forces deployed abroad and here at home. Few challenges are as menacing. Terrorism itself is not a new phenomenon. What is new is the vastly increased capability available to terrorist organizations, due to proliferating information and weapons technologies.
In the near future, these organizations could attempt to employ weapons of mass destruction, such as chemical or biological agents, or even small nuclear devices, to achieve their ends. Adding to the danger is the increasing level of financial support that terrorist groups receive from private sources and hostile states.
Unable to confront or compete with the United States militarily, our adversaries spend millions of dollars each year to finance terrorist organizations targeted against U.S. citizens, property and interests. Increasingly, these groups are expanding their operations to North America. Consequently, the combatant commanders and the services are redoubling their efforts to provide our service members with the best possible force protection education, doctrine, procedures and technology.
Stimulated by the recommendations of the Downing Assessment Task Force, the secretary of defense designated the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as his principal adviser and the department's focal point for all matters related to force protection. All recommendations contained in the Downing Report have been implemented, resulting in an improved organizational focus, better policy, more intelligence emphasis, increased use of state-of-the-art technology and additional physical security funding.
Important force protection initiatives include the newly designated chairman's deputy director for operations for combating terrorism, the catalyst for new DoD policy, direction, standards and education; enhanced force protection training for DoD personnel at the individual, unit, commander and senior leader level; comprehensive vulnerability assessments worldwide; and improved intelligence sharing and analysis of terrorist related events, both at the national and theater levels.
Today, force protection enjoys a higher budget priority than ever before. The Joint Staff recently completed a comprehensive review of future funding for force protection, designating force protection as a major priority for the FY 1999-2003 program review. In the near term, a Combating Terrorism Readiness Initiatives Fund has been authorized to fund emergency or high-priority anti-terrorism requirements.
Despite these efforts, we cannot guarantee that no terrorist incidents will occur. We have, however, made great strides in strengthening our force protection/counterterrorism programs and posture around the world, to give our service members the best possible protection against this increasingly dangerous threat. Our progress to date is a testament to the exceptional cooperation between the services, CinCs, DoD agencies and commanders at all levels. For all of us, the goal is to make the U.S. military the premier counterterrorism force in the world.
One of the best forms of force protection is arms control, and we continue to work diligently in pursuit of arms control initiatives on all levels.
Congressional support remains crucial to our efforts to put agreements into place. For example, the Chemical Weapons Convention bans an entire class of weapons of mass destruction and allows for intrusive inspections for verification while protecting national security concerns. Its principal intent is to curb proliferation to reduce the threat that U.S. forces will encounter chemical weapons.
The status of biological weapons negotiations is more of an open issue. The 1975 Biological Weapons Convention prohibits the development, acquisition, stockpiling or retention of biological agents, toxins, or weapons, but unfortunately has no enforcement mechanism. We will work to ensure that any compliance regime also protects national security and proprietary interests for dual-use technologies.
In the conventional forces arms control arena, the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty remains a cornerstone of European security, with 30 participating states. Since the current treaty reflects the old NATO-Warsaw Pact structure, we are working to revise the treaty based on national ceilings. Our guiding principle is to provide military stability and transparency while retaining our operational flexibility and capacity to perform current and anticipated missions.
An extremely significant arms control initiative that received widespread attention during the past year was the "Ottawa process" to ban all anti-personnel land mines. As written, we could not sign the agreement because it denied us an adequate transition period to phase out the antipersonnel land mines we now use to protect our troops. In Korea, for example, where we stand face-to-face with one of the largest hostile armies in the world, we rely upon personnel land mines to protect our troops. The agreement would also deny use of our mixed antitank munitions, which are critical to defeat enemy armored offensives, as well as time to devise and implement alternative technologies.
As the world leader in the effort to eliminate antipersonnel land mines, our position on this issue is very clear. On May 16, 1996, the president ordered a unilateral ban on the most dangerous types of land mines, those that remain active long after their intended military use. Since that time the United States has destroyed over 2.1 million of these land mines and will destroy the remainder by the end of 1999, with the exception of those deployed along the DMZ [demilitarized zone] in Korea.
We are also working to develop an alternative to self-destructing APLs. Our goal is to eliminate the use of all APLs by the year 2003 except in Korea, and have alternatives ready for Korea by 2006. Additionally, we are significantly increasing our demining programs throughout the world. Currently, no nation devotes more expertise or resources to solving this problem than the United States. Our plan is to provide $80 million for international demining efforts, by far the largest investment of any nation.
For these reasons, I am concerned about any APL legislation that is more restrictive than the president's policy. Such legislation is unlikely to significantly improve our already robust demining efforts and may endanger the lives of our troops. The U.S. and other parties adopted the Convention on Conventional Weapons amended Protocol II on land mines on May 3, 1996. This agreement is intended to strengthen humanitarian controls on the use of APLs. I strongly urge the Senate to give this and the other CCW protocols the support they deserve.
Negotiations on strategic issues are also ongoing. In 1993 the United States began negotiations with Russia on agreements that differentiate between strategic Anti-Ballistic Missile systems covered by the ABM Treaty and theater anti-ballistic missile systems, which are not. The resulting agreements were signed on Sept. 26, 1997, and will be submitted to the Senate for ratification.
The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty process remains a success story. Currently, all parties have exceeded Phase I (December 1997) reduction requirements and are already approaching Phase II (December 1999) limits. It remains unclear whether the Russian Duma [parliament] will ratify START II, despite our efforts to address Russian concerns through the NATO Founding Act and other initiatives. It remains our position that the Duma must ratify START II before negotiations can begin on START III.
I am concerned about the programmatic impact of a delay of START II entry into force. Strategic weapon systems funding over the FYDP [Future Years Defense Program] is based on START II force levels. In the event that START II is not implemented and a START I force structure is retained, additional funding of approximately $5.1 billion will be required during the FYDP.
In his State of the Union address, the president asked the Senate to approve the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty this year. The Joint Chiefs of Staff support ratification of this treaty, with the safeguards package that establishes the conditions under which the United States would adhere to the treaty. Last week, four previous chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, [Army] Gen. [John M.] Shalikashvili, [Army] Gen. [Colin L.] Powell, Adm. [William J.] Crowe [Jr.] and [Air Force] Gen. [David C.] Jones, joined me in endorsing this position.
A related issue is the critical operational need for the U.S. to ratify the Law of the Sea Convention. The convention codifies navigational freedoms essential to the planning and execution of our national security strategy. The treaty also provides the assurance that key sea and air lines of communication will remain open as a matter of international legal right, which is necessary for the mobility of today's down-sized, less forward-deployed force. I encourage the Senate to approve the treaty expeditiously.
Given the demanding pace of our military operations, we must allow our people to focus on the mission free from worry about their families or quality of life. I continue to believe in the value of a strong, comprehensive compensation package to attract and retain quality people.
The specific core elements we need to sustain a quality force -- competitive pay; quality, accessible medical benefits; an attractive retirement system; and decent, affordable housing -- underpin our ability to keep the force trained and ready. I must emphasize that addressing these fundamental quality-of-life expectations is vital to building and maintaining a healthy, capable military force.
We appreciate the efforts of the administration and Congress to provide the full pay raise allowed by law. A fair, inflation-protected retirement is also a key retention incentive, and we must maintain cost-of-living adjustments to maintain its effectiveness and keep faith with those who have served.
We have already made significant changes to the retirement system over the past 15 years which will hold down future costs. In each case, these changes grandfathered those people currently serving. In my view, further attempts to reduce retirement benefits will have far-reaching effects on retention and recruitment and would be ill-advised.
In the area of health care, we are in the midst of a long-term program to restructure our military medical community to better support the wartime mission. Nevertheless, our obligation to support military retirees with quality health care remains firm. Though proximity to military health care facilities has been reduced as our medical infrastructure has changed, we must preserve our commitment to our retirees by ensuring that their health costs are not increased and their access to care is not lowered.
One promising initiative is Medicare subvention, a program which reimburses DoD by Medicare for treatment of Medicare-eligible retirees at military treatment facilities. This year, DoD will begin testing Medicare subvention at six sites around the country. Our retiree outreach programs consistently tell us that health care is a primary concern for military retirees. To keep faith with those who served, and to attract the quality recruits we need, military health care benefits must be protected.
Military housing is an ongoing concern because of the unsatisfactory condition of many of our units, both family dwellings and barracks. Approximately one-third of all military families live in government housing, and of these, 66 percent have been declared substandard. 25 percent of our 500,000 barracks spaces do not meet current standards, with the services reporting a shortfall of 42,000 spaces. Because living conditions impact on recruiting, retention and readiness, congressional support to address our shortcomings in military housing is badly needed.
With congressional support, we continue to improve the quality of our family support systems throughout the force. Military child-care programs and facilities have been designated by the president as models to improve our national programs, and they are vital quality-of-life components of a trained and ready force. Continued congressional funding and support remains essential to maintaining and upgrading adequate child-care and family-support services, particularly in an era of frequent deployments and separations for service members.
We must provide a quality of life for service members that reflects the uniqueness of military service and allows us to compete successfully to retain our quality people. However, despite a long-standing departmental leadership commitment to quality of life, slow supplemental funding for unprogrammed contingency costs impacts those programs. Often, base operations funds that directly support people become bill payers for unprogrammed operations costs. We need to protect quality-of-life program funding and focus further attention on those areas that help members and families during frequent deployments.
In addition to adequate benefits and facilities, a safe and professional working environment based on trust and teamwork is essential to fielding a quality joint force. All members of the armed forces must have confidence in their ability to serve and progress in an environment free of discrimination and harassment.
Like the diverse society we serve, the military is made up of men and women from many different cultural, ethnic, social and religious groups. This diversity is a source of strength we must nurture and support, based on our bedrock commitment to respect for the dignity of the individual.
Our support for equal opportunity is a key part of everything we do, and will continue as a core value of military service. When America's families give us their most precious asset -- their sons and daughters -- we owe them no less.
Developing and fielding modern, next-generation systems and technologies, along with supporting doctrine, training and operational concepts, will be the key to fielding a strong, capable joint force in the next century. The challenge of funding both current readiness and modernization has been highlighted by my predecessor in the last four posture statements, and was a major focus of the Quadrennial Defense Review completed last spring.
Major defense programs which cut across service boundaries, such as theater air and missile defense, C4I and strategic mobility, must be funded if we are to achieve the leap-ahead capabilities we need to preserve our military superiority into the new century. Both readiness and modernization are imperatives we must not ignore.
Our modernization efforts hinge on Joint Vision 2010, our operational template for future joint operations. JV 2010 continues to mature as we refine our operational concepts and as we transition into the implementation or "operationalization" phase.
The key components of JV 2010 implementation will be joint experimentation, joint training and joint doctrine. To validate new requirements and develop radically different operational concepts, the joint experimentation process will involve a crawl-walk-run approach, integrating the great work being done by the services and CinCs and culminating with several experiments between 2002 and 2003 to set the stage for the keystone event -- "Global Challenge" in the year 2004.
We continue to improve joint training through our efforts to standardize requirements. Joint training policy requires the combatant commands to define their joint training requirements in the form of Joint Mission Essential Task Lists -- those collective tasks deemed essential to the accomplishment of their warfighting missions.
To facilitate standardization between joint and service organizations, the Universal Joint Task List has also been developed. This list provides common joint language across the strategic, operational and tactical levels of war, allowing joint commanders to set meaningful training standards. Together, these changes are paving the way for better joint exercises.
As chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I exercise Title 10 responsibility for developing joint doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures. Joint doctrine is developed in concert with the services and combatant commands, providing authoritative guidance to commanders of joint organizations and their component commands. Of 110 doctrinal publications slated for publication, 108 have been completed and disseminated to the field.
In addition, the chairman's Joint Doctrine Awareness Action Plan continues to produce a series of professionally developed products which are very popular in the field, including a joint doctrine web site, joint force employment briefing modules, multimedia CD-ROMs and a joint force employment interactive simulation.
These efforts support our modernization requirement, an imperative which emerged as a central finding in the Quadrennial Defense Review. From beginning to end, the QDR was grounded in our national strategy. That strategy -- to shape the international security environment, retain the ability to respond to the full spectrum of crisis, while preparing for an uncertain future -- must be viewed as a whole. Three steps are required to effectively reform our program while supporting that strategy.
First, we need a vision. We have an effective joint vision in JV 2010 and each service has a supporting vision to guide their development.
Second, we require investment both for recapitalization and modernization of the force. I support the force structure decisions of the QDR as the correct investment decisions for recapitalizing and modernizing our force.
Third, we require a stabilized defense program so that we can execute procurements as planned. I am convinced that our ability to maintain the best military in the world will depend on our ability to harness the efficiencies and cost savings of re-engineering our infrastructure.
The National Defense Panel was commissioned by the Congress to comment on the QDR and provide an independent analysis of alternative force structure. Their final report emphasized the need for accelerating the Revolution in Military Affairs at a cost of $5 [billion] to $10 billion per year on top of the $60 billion or so programmed for modernization in the QDR.
Their emphasis on transformation of the armed forces is roughly analogous to the "prepare for an uncertain future" aspect of the current defense strategy. I fully agree with the secretary of defense that, while the Department of Defense must be transformed to meet the challenges of the 2010-2020 time frame, that transformation must be carefully managed in light of our current responsibilities to shape the international environment, and if necessary to respond to a full range of crises throughout the world.
In particular, I am concerned about the suggestion that the two MTW capability is merely a force-sizing construct. The fact is that we cannot aspire to global leadership without maintaining a core capability to conduct major combat operations in two theaters in overlapping time frames. Indeed, it is precisely this capability that deters potential opponents and makes major wars much less likely. In the final analysis, this requirement is only one of a number of force-sizing constructs, with the force requirements for executing our strategy of engagement being the most demanding.
Even so, there are many aspects of the NDP report that are valuable and inform ongoing reviews of our programs and policies. For example, the secretary notes that the NDP is very supportive of the Defense Reform Initiative, including its call for additional BRAC [base realignment and closure] rounds intended to bring our infrastructure more in line with our force structure. The views of the NDP are also being carefully considered in such areas as the JV 2010 implementation process and the Unified Command Plan review process.
The current UCP remains appropriate for today's strategic environment, but as in the past it will be thoroughly reviewed and modified as necessary. We are currently implementing the organizational, strategic and programmatic decisions of the QDR along the general path outlined by JV 2010. I am also required by law to review the Unified Command Plan and forward my recommendations to the National Command Authorities not less than every two years.
The service chiefs, combatant commanders and I recently completed one such review in December 1997. Major revisions included assigning the planning responsibilities for the new independent states of the former Soviet Union incrementally to EUCOM [U.S. European Command] and CENTCOM [U.S. Central Command]; adding additional responsibilities to SPACECOM [U.S. Space Command] as military representative for space matters; updating ACOM's [U.S. Atlantic Command] mission statement as a joint trainer, force provider and integrator; and clarifying CinC responsibilities for force protection.
The NDP appropriately recognized that rapid advances in technology and new operational concepts now see us undergoing a true Revolution in Military Affairs that offers a decisive military advantage over potential adversaries. Much more than a technological phenomenon, the RMA embraces both advanced military technology and complementary advances in organization, training, tactics and command and control.
The key to exploiting the full potential of the Revolution in Military Affairs will be harnessing emerging technology within a coherent framework of joint and service doctrine and organization -- all based on an accurate appraisal of the threats and challenges we will face in the new century.
At current funding levels, however, the modernization programs we need to make the RMA happen cannot be executed without compromising current readiness -- our first and most important priority. As the Quadrennial Defense Review concluded, our current force structure is fully committed to executing the National Security Strategy and cannot be further reduced to release funds for the RMA. Realizing the true potential of the Revolution in Military Affairs must therefore be accompanied by a corresponding Revolution in Business Affairs within the Department of Defense.
We know that significant savings can be achieved by streamlining our business practices and realigning defense activities. I urge the Congress to support the secretary's QDR recommendations in this vital area, particularly his calls for additional base closures to eliminate unneeded facilities and installations.
One important aspect of modernization is National Missile Defense, particularly in light of developing ballistic missile programs in certain hostile states. The objective of the National Missile Defense program is to develop and maintain the option to deploy an ABM Treaty compliant system that will protect the U.S. against limited ballistic missile threats, including accidental launches, unauthorized launches or Third World threats.
Our current threat assessment for nations most likely to have long-range missiles capable of striking the U.S. does not warrant an immediate NMD deployment decision. Our acquisition approach, sometimes termed "three plus three," is to demonstrate an NMD system-level capability by FY 99, make a decision to deploy the system by FY 00, and have it operational in an additional three years, if required by the threat.
In the years to come, our ability to wage information warfare will give us a decisive edge over potential adversaries. Over the past year, information operations has emerged as a major area of interest for DoD. Information operations consist of actions taken to target adversary information systems while defending our own. While IO offers great potential across the spectrum of conflict from peace to war, the emergence of this new realm of conflict brings vulnerabilities as well.An adversary using IO techniques could gain a significant advantage by attacking portions of the U.S. military and commercial information infrastructure. To avert such a scenario, DoD has focused a great deal of attention on information assurance, or operations that protect and defend information and information systems.
IA transcends DoD to deconflict efforts across organizational boundaries, to produce a rational approach to integrating commercial sector efforts. On June 1, 1997, the Joint Staff director for operations created a deputy directorate to handle all policy, doctrinal and readiness issues associated with information operations, a major step into the future.
A crucial component of information operations is the need for an increasingly global information infrastructure. While the four pillars of JV 2010 require more information, acquired more accurately, processed quicker and delivered faster than ever before, they also require a new way of thinking about information and warfare. Thus, a shift in emphasis from C4I platforms to C4I networks is central to our future success.
Both the RMA and RBA require revolutionary changes which capitalize on C4I networks that will link weapons systems and joint task forces together to meet the NCA's demands. We have taken important steps in this regard, but realizing revolutionary advances in C4I will require close cooperation with and support by the Congress.
Critical investments in interoperability (both within U.S. forces and with our allies and coalition partners) must continue. Just as important is our investment in operational evaluation and experimentation with new C4I systems and technologies.
The Joint Warfighter Interoperability Demonstrations, for example, provide unique high-payoff opportunities to "try before we buy" new C4I technologies, doctrine and procedures -- and provide both us and our allies significant gains in interoperability for the dollars required.
In recent years, the drawdown allowed us to replace aging equipment from on-hand stocks. Today, with stable defense budgets, replacing aging equipment and fielding new systems must be funded with procurement dollars made available both by adjustments to force structure and through more efficient and economic business practices. Sixty billion dollars remains the rough level of procurement funding necessary to modernize the force. The QDR and FY 99 president's budget both support this goal, with a steady climb toward $60 billion by FY 01.
Today, as the world's premier military power, we enjoy a unique opportunity -- a chance to learn from the past and apply those lessons to the future to ensure our continued freedom and prosperity.
The 20th century has seen both high achievement and stark tragedy, but out of its conflicts emerged an America with the strength and vision to play a leading role for international peace and stability.
Now we must move forward with boldness and determination to shape that legacy for our children and our children's children. With the support of the Congress and the American people, our armed forces will be ready to play their part in building a new century, perhaps the best century we have yet known.
Published for internal information use by the American Forces Information Service, a field activity of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs), Washington, D.C. Parenthetical entries are speaker/author notes; bracketed entries are editorial notes. This material is in the public domain and may be reprinted without permission.