DoD News Briefing - Rear Adm. Craig R. Quigley, DASD PA
Tuesday, April 17, 2001, 1:30 p.m. EDT
Quigley: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have three announcements this afternoon.
Yesterday the Office of the Special Assistant to the Undersecretary of Defense for Gulf War Illnesses, Medical Readiness and Military Deployments launched its new web site, DeploymentLINK. We have the URL [ http://deploymentlink.osd.mil/ ] and we'll have a brief announcement on that for you here. But it will serve as an information resource on past, current, and future deployments for active-duty service members, Reserve component members, family members, and veterans. And there is a link to DeploymentLINK from DefenseLINK [ http://www.defenselink.mil/ ].
Second, the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services will hold its semiannual conference at the Sheraton Premier Tyson Corner Hotel in Vienna, Virginia, beginning tomorrow, through Sunday, the 22nd. During the conference, DACOWITS will celebrate its 50th anniversary, with several activities that are open to the public. An outdoor celebration is planned at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial on Thursday the 19th, at 9:00 in the morning. The event, hosted by the acting under secretary of defense for Personnel and Readiness, Mr. Charlie Cragin, will include a retrospective look at the changes resulting from recommendations made during the first 50 years of DACOWITS. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Henry H. Shelton will deliver a keynote speech, and the conference is open to the public. [For more information see http://www.defenselink.mil/releases/2001/b04172001_bt165-01.html ]
Finally, I'd like to welcome Professor Steve Livingston and 15 of his students from the Elliott School at George Washington University. They are part of a graduate course on national security and media. Welcome to all of you.
With that, I'll take your questions. Charlie?
Q: Craig, the secretary is meeting with the president this afternoon. Is he carrying over a recommendation on when these reconnaissance flights will resume or should resume over China?
Quigley: The secretary will not discuss his interactions and recommendations that he makes to the president.
Q: Well, when will these flights -- are these flights likely to resume this week?
Quigley: Charlie, I'm not going to be very helpful in that regard. I'm not going to get into the scheduling of our reconnaissance and surveillance flights anywhere around the world, nor describe their details in any way. I'm sorry.
Q: Well, this department has repeatedly said that these flights are going to resume, and people within the department have said they're likely to resume soon. You have said that when they resume is likely to depend on what goes on in the talks. You can't lead us any further than that, give us --
Quigley: You have heard the president and the secretary of Defense and the secretary of State all say that this nation will continue to carry out surveillance and reconnaissance flights around the world. But getting into the specific schedules or locations or types of those, beyond that, I can't. I'm sorry.
Q: Craig, is there any consideration of sending armed escort fighters along with future surveillance flights to ensure their safety?
Quigley: Well, it's a part of that same sort of answer to that one, Jamie. Any sort of particulars of details as to how we would carry out the flights, again, it would not be something we would discuss.
Q: Did the secretary's recommendation include a point about possible confidence-building measures that the Chinese would be approached about to make these --
Quigley: I'm not going to get into the secretary's recommendations.
Q: Not even the nature of them?
Quigley: No, sir.
Q: Can you tell us anything about the meetings, just in terms of who the U.S. representatives are meeting with, how long the meetings are supposed to go on, and whether the U.S. delegation to that -- the representatives to that meeting brought with them any visual aides of any kind to make the case?
Quigley: Well, as of the time of arrival in Beijing yesterday, we did not have the names nor affiliations of the representatives from the Chinese government that were going to attend the meetings. I don't know if they have that in-hand yet, Jamie, although it's pretty late at night now there in Beijing time, but that issue was not resolved when our delegation got there.
They are prepared to discuss the four agenda items that were in Ambassador Prueher's letter to the foreign minister from a week -- week and a half ago, I don't remember the exact date, and I can go over those again if you wish. They are the causes of the accident, possible recommendations as to how to preclude such accidents from taking place in the future, a discussion of the plan for the prompt return of our aircraft -- of our EP-3. And we understand that the Chinese wish to discuss the continuation of surveillance and reconnaissance flights. And that is the agenda.
Q: How will this incident affect the Pentagon's recommendation as for what types of defensive weapons the United States should sell to Taiwan?
Quigley: I think we're looking at them as two separate incidents. You have an accident, and the purpose of the meeting on the 18th in Beijing is to discuss the four agenda items that I just mentioned, but all of those are related to the accident. And on this hand, you have the Taiwan Relations Act, which is spelled out in the law as to what our motivations are in discussing and eventually agreeing to sell legitimate defensive weapon systems to Taiwan.
So you're really talking two different issues there. The one is driven by recent events, and the other has its basis in the law.
Q: But the fact that China appeared to be acting hostilely toward the United States over the last two weeks has no bearing on to what extent the United States aids Taiwan in its defense?
Quigley: Well, we need to go back to what Secretary Rumsfeld said from this room on Friday afternoon. I don't think anybody believes that the Chinese pilot took off that day with the intention to collide with the American EP-3. He was flying too aggressively. We think that is the case, based on the fact that he made a total of three passes, and the last one perilously close, and ended up with a collision. But it wasn't the goal was to have a collision. So you're talking about an incident here of aggressive flying versus compliance with the law, and we look at it as two separate events.
Q: But what happened after that could be construed as a hostile act. China kept 24 of our service members for 11 days. So doesn't that influence the way the Pentagon views China as a potential adversary both for the U.S. and for Taiwan?
Quigley: Well, again, I was trying to respond to Jamie's questions, and they relate to the sale of arms to Taiwan. And that is rooted in the law, the Taiwan Relations Act of 1982. And it calls for us to take care of the legitimate defensive needs of Taiwan.
Q: By assessing the threat posed by China, and at the Pentagon, I mean, the threat is considered capability plus intention and motivation. And didn't the actions the last two weeks in China -- doesn't that indicate something about intentions?
Quigley: I don't think that -- we certainly don't believe that the Chinese should have detained our aircrew for 12 days. But neither do I think -- I have not heard anybody discuss that in any way of a threat towards the United States interests. We don't agree that they should have detained the aircrew, and we think they should release the aircraft immediately.
But I put a big difference between their conduct in those two regards and somehow being perceived as a threat to the United States.
Q: Can you bring us up to date on the latest planning process from this end about involving possibly some industry team members in a co-civilian-military expedition to either dismantle and bring back the aircraft or some other way dispose of it, should a decision be made by a delegation to do that?
Quigley: Thinking our way through how we get the aircraft back to the United States, you really end up having to start at the beginning, and that is to get a team of aeronautical engineers familiar with the construction of the EP-3 onto the ground and take a look at the airplane in much more detail than the perfectly qualified aircrew could do, but they are not aeronautical engineers. So, you don't need to make the plane perfect, you need to make the plane safe to fly. So they need to go over the aircraft and understand the full extent of the damage, and from that, then determine which of those systems you need to repair or replace in order to make the aircraft safe to fly. If that is doable and it's acceptable to the Chinese, we could then consider sending in a repair team of some sort with the appropriate parts and the tools and the auxiliary equipment you would need to effect the repairs and fly the plane out.
If the plane is not flyable, or if that solution is not acceptable to the Chinese for one reason or another, an alternative might be to literally disassemble the plane and then figure out a way to either fly the parts of the airplane off the island or ship them off the island in crates or something.
And we simply haven't worked that through, although both of those are doable options. You can disassemble the plane, if it is beyond the capability to repair as it sits, or if that's unacceptable to the Chinese.
Q: Lockheed Martin has been approached about contributing, perhaps, some of their civilian personnel to --
Quigley: I'm sure we would go to wherever the expertise was available to understand the complexities. We'd use in-house abilities as well as contractor skills to make either of those courses of action work.
Q: Craig, is the issue of arms sales to Taiwan currently on schedule? In other words, do you plan to advise Congress and Taiwan on April 24th on what weapons that you would be willing to sell the Taiwanese?
Quigley: I believe the Defense Department will discuss with the Taiwanese representatives on the 24th. I don't believe that the notification to the Congress will go until after that, the next day or couple of days, I believe.
Q: I see. But it is on schedule now?
Quigley: Yes, sir.
Q: The administration has said that defensive weapons to Taiwan is in great part driven by the offensive capabilities of China, offensive threats by China against Taiwan. Will not the issue of the two ballistic missile bases pointed against Taiwan be brought up in this meeting at all, will not be discussed?
Quigley: You mean the one in Beijing tomorrow? I believe it is focused pretty much exclusively on the incident surrounding the EP-3.
Now, the factors you mentioned, all factors of Chinese offensive capabilities that could possibly be threatening to Taiwan would be a factor in the other decision, Charlie, and that would be what are the legitimate defense needs of Taiwan, but not an issue for the discussions on the 18th, to the best of my knowledge.
Q: Can you give us a sense of whether all the Pentagon players have finalized their recommendations in terms of what the Pentagon thinks Taiwan should need for the following year, or is that still a work in progress as we speak?
Quigley: It's still a work in progress, below the level of the deputy secretary.
Q: Okay, and could you give us a reality check on the Aegis destroyer, in terms of how soon in can be in Taiwanese waters with Taiwanese sailors on it, if in fact Bush took that step? There's been a lot of public --
Quigley: That's a hard one to answer. It would depend on -- the United States has chosen a particular hull form on which to build an Aegis weapon system. And if you go back to beginning of the program, it was the Ticonderoga class cruisers, that has now evolved to the Arleigh Burke destroyers. There's no particular magic that that has to be the hull form on which you put an aegis combat system. So do you want one larger, smaller, do you want the exact same design? And it gives you a different answer to the question depending on what you come up with as far as the requirements go. So I don't think I can give you a good answer.
Q: Is it a minimum of three, four, five years before they would get -- it would see any type of aegis-equipped vessel?
Quigley: Minimum, I would think. It could be more than that, even. Depending on the design specifics and licensing agreements, it could be longer than that. But it really would depend on, what do you want this thing to look like? And if I have to start from scratch in designing a system -- a vessel, that's going to be longer still. So it's just a lot of permutations and combinations there.
Q: So that's not something they could have in the next year or two, basically?
Quigley: No, no.
Q: Reports in the Taiwanese press say that the commander in chief of Taiwan's Navy has just completed an 11-day visit to the United States, during which he met with General Shelton, Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz, and also, apparently toured an Aegis-class system, whether it was a vessel or not, I'm not sure. Do you have any details on that visit?
Quigley: No, I don't know. Let me take that. I don't know if that was done -- if he'd have gone down to Norfolk or something, I don't know. Let me find out. [Yes, Adm. Li Jye recently visited the United States, including an Aegis platform.]
Q: There was a joint communiqué in 1982 with the United States and China under which the United States agreed not to sell, qualitatively or quantitatively, more weapons to Taiwan; something to that effect. Do you know whether the United States still feels constrained by the terms of that communiqué?
Quigley: Yes, we still adhere to the terms of that communiqué in '82.
Q: And how does that jibe with the contemplation of the Aegis-equipped destroyer, for example? Wouldn't that be a qualitative increase in the weaponry?
Quigley: I don't know as if we've ever acknowledged that the -- I mean, in our -- we have agreed with Taiwan over the years that we would not discuss which particular systems they had asked us to consider. We have not done that this year.
Q: Have you had a chance to do an analysis on all of the different close encounters that American aircraft have had over the last several months with Chinese aircraft, as to whether or not it is one aggressive pilot that appears to have done all of that, one airbase that has produced these aggressive pilots, or is it all up and down the coast that you have been having this problem?
Quigley: We do not -- I don't know if it's limited to a particular pilot or small number of pilots, but it does appear to be more of an issue on the aggressive flying around the airbases that are on Hainan Island in the South China Sea, as opposed to more north and along the east coast of China.
Again, we have no problem with intercepts of our reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft as long as it is done in a safe manner. They have every right to come out and check us out and see what we're doing. We're in international airspace, that's fine. The issue is the overly aggressive flying. And the squadrons that come out to do intercepts on the -- to the east coast of China, do not appear to have the same aggressive flying style as those along the south coast.
Q: Does that tell you something about the military and the control of the government on Hainan Island versus the mainland, in terms of instructions that they give to their pilots? Is there an analysis or a conclusion that one can derive from that?
Quigley: I don't think we have a conclusion because you could have several factors at play here. I mean, squadrons have different personalities that evolve over time. And one squadron might have more of an aggressive spirit than another squadron, based on the leadership, based on the traditions and the history of that squadron. Gosh, just a whole bunch of factors could be an element of that, and I don't think we've come to a conclusion, certainly not that I have seen.
Q: What about --
Q: Is there any -- I'm sorry, go ahead.
Q: What about the flight proficiency of these pilots? You certainly have an idea of their proficiency from just their operating level.
Quigley: Well, our observations are limited, Pat. I mean, when we fly the reconnaissance and surveillance flights, we're out 50-70 miles in international airspace. We see a fairly direct intercept coming from a home base coming out, take a look, they'll loiter for a while and eventually head off in the direction of that home station.
So as far as a sort of detailed assessment of -- you would think of air combat maneuvering skills and weapons engagements and things of that sort, we just don't see that.
Q: Well, I'm thinking of average flight time a year, how many hours. These guys are flying 50, 100 hours a year, huh?
Quigley: Well, let me see if we have that in an unclassified way.
Q: I mean, that's a basic intelligence estimate on these guys --
Q: -- a very limited proficiency.
Quigley: Yeah, let me see if we have that in an unclassified way.
Q: In the photography of the aircraft that was released on Friday, there appeared to be an Israeli-made Python air-to-air missile underneath the wing of the aircraft. Does the Pentagon have any thoughts on finding Israeli-made equipment hung underneath an airplane that's doing an intercept?
Quigley: Well, I'm told that the government of Israel informed the government of the United States they had sold the Python missile to the Chinese after the sale had been done. And what the State Department may do with that information from here I don't know.
Q: But it's okay with the Pentagon? I mean, there's no --
Quigley: Generally speaking, we're not in favor of such capable weapons systems being proliferated to a variety of nations around the world. That's a good missile, and its capabilities are considerable.
And we appreciate the Israelis telling us after the fact. But as you saw, I guess, last fall or with the sale of the Phalcon system, the proposed sale of the Phalcon system, by Israel to China, we're reluctant to provide such first-rate combat capabilities to the Chinese military.
Q: Does it violate any agreement that Israel has with us? In other words, is there implicit American technology in that weapon?
Quigley: I don't know. Let me see what I can find out. [No, it does not violate any specific arms agreement.]
Q: From AMRAAM [advanced medium range air-to-air missile] and Sidewinders we sold them?
Quigley: I don't know. See if we can find out.
Q: Craig, a follow-up --
Q: Can you say when that notification came from Israel, or when the sale was made?
Quigley: Well, it wasn't notified to us. I believe it was the State Department. I'll see if we can maybe find out from State when that occurred.
Q: Could you also find out to what extent the F-8s that China has over there are in part derived from the Israeli Lavi aircraft that we helped bankroll in the 80's then cancelled our support for? There's been a lot of stories in the last 10 years talking about how Israel helped pass technology from the Lavi that found its way to the Chinese fighters. Can you check with the policy people here to see what extent --
Quigley: I would prefer you get that answer from the Israelis.
Q: I believe last year, on the Taiwan arms sales, the administration agreed to sell AMRAAMs but keep them in the United States until a similar capability was introduced in China. I'm not familiar with the Python, but is that an equivalent capability for the shorter range?
Quigley: I don't think it's as capable a missile as AMRAAM.
Q: So you would not --
Quigley: It's a good missile but it's not that capable.
Q: So you would not consider that to be a --
Quigley: No, but that's kind of going back to what Tom asked before, to kind of keep it on the par. But I don't think you would see -- you would not equate the Python to the AMRAAM.
Q: Can I still -- on the meeting starting tomorrow, China has said publicly they had no intentions of returning the aircraft. Does that present the -- probably the major loggerhead that the Pentagon delegation will have to deal with?
Quigley: Well, I see all of those agenda items as not being necessarily easy. But our position going into this is very clear. I mean, that EP-3 is American property and we want it back. It's a considerable financial investment, it's a very technologically capable aircraft, and the equipment that's on it is very technologically capable, and we want it back.
Q: Can I ask a quick follow up? Has the Pentagon's view of damage assessment evolved in the last -- since Friday when Secretary Rumsfeld said the crew did an excellent job of going through the checklist, in terms of -- is the view now that they did enough of a good job of destroying the equipment that we may have a minimal intelligence loss on our failure --
Quigley: Well, I will say that our knowledge has evolved from Friday as the debrief of the crew proceeded and finished. We have a much better understanding of what they were able to accomplish. But unfortunately, a lot of it still resides in the classified area. I think I should probably stick to what the secretary described on Friday. We do think that they did the absolute best job they could with the time they had, and they had very good results in minimizing whatever sort of compromise there may have been.
Q: Can you give the American people a sense of that this wasn't a major intelligence loss, or are you still looking at that aspect right now?
Quigley: Still looking at that aspect of it.
Q: What about if they carve the airplane up and sell it piece by piece to other friend or foe of the United States? Can you give us an assessment of how much that would hurt, from the perspective of this building?
Quigley: Well, again, I guess I should start at the beginning and just think that that is absolutely not appropriate. That is American property. The circumstances by which it landed at a Chinese field are well known. I've discussed that many times over the past couple of weeks, and the emergency conditions that brought it there. And I think what you'd really have a chill would be -- anybody who would be looking perhaps to make investments in China would seriously question whether or not the Chinese would have respect for property. And in this case, that is U.S. property that we asked to be returned to us as soon as possible. And I mean, any sort of an action to cut it up and sell it in parts, John, as you described, is just simply inappropriate.
Q: Craig, there seems to be a little bit of an agenda disconnect between what the Chinese are saying is the agenda and what the United States is saying. And I noticed, when you ticked off your agenda items, you put back the Chinese interests in the conduct of our future reconnaissance flights, which Mr. Fleischer at the White House had not put on his agenda yesterday. And yet the Chinese Foreign Ministry today omits the return of the EP-3 from their agenda. So --
Quigley: Well, I'm going back to the source document, which is the Ambassador Prueher letter to the foreign minister, which was agreed to by the Chinese. So to my way of thinking, all roads lead to that basic source document as the agenda. And that was the agreed-upon agenda to get to the meeting that will be held in Beijing tomorrow.
Q: So does that mean you are willing to discuss future reconnaissance flights?
Quigley: We know the Chinese are -- want to discuss that topic. We'll hear what they have to say.
But as I said earlier, I mean, the president, the secretary of Defense, secretary of State have said that this nation, the United States, will continue surveillance and reconnaissance flights around the world. I mean, we do this in international airspace, in full compliance with international law, and we have every right to do that.
There is a benefit to the information that is gained by these surveillance and reconnaissance flights, not only to the security of this nation, but to -- of our friends and allies around the world.
Q: What's that benefit, Craig?
Quigley: Oh, gosh, a variety of knowledge -- knowledge. If I can really simplify it, it's knowledge. The information that is gained from the surveillance and reconnaissance in this overt way -- there's lots of information available out there.
Q: About the Chinese military?
Quigley: About a variety of things in the places around the world that we fly these flights on a regular basis and have done so for decades. Lack of knowledge mystifies things. You don't know what is being done.
You don't know what this country is working on or how they -- what is being discussed, what is being done, any sort of activity that you can carry out in a very overt way, to just listen, to read, to watch, to -- what is being done and conducted by a nation is -- it sheds light on the whole process and demystifies the process and keeps everybody much better informed. And that's a better way to enhance the security of the United States and our friends and allies around the world.
Q: What knowledge can be gained -- can't be gained by other means of surveillance, such as satellites or ships in the area, other means of --
Quigley: Well, I think you have to look at it in a comprehensive way. We have a variety of means, as other nations do, of gathering information around the world. Much of it is open source literature. And you read what a nation is discussing and what it's thinking about and what are its scientists and educators writing about, what are some of their thoughts, new breakthroughs by their companies that do technology development, and things of that sort. So you can keep abreast of the pulse of a nation and of a region around the world, and it's good to have that knowledge and to share it with our friends around the world.
Q: Dare I try to change the subject?
Q: Can I ask one --
Q: You have now had a chance to debrief the crews. Do you have any further thoughts, does the Defense Department, on how these American servicemen were treated during the days of their captivity? Was it acceptable treatment? Did it fall within the parameters of the Geneva Convention, if that is in fact applicable, given the conditions -- the peacetime conditions?
Quigley: I don't think that it's -- the Geneva Convention is applicable, because that's more along the lines of prisoners of war. But I will say that as you've heard many of the crew members state over the weekend, in a variety of interviews and discussions with their families, they were fed well; they were kept in very comfortable, clean, very decent accommodations, officers' quarters.
They were not -- they were questioned, but the crewmembers did not perceive it as being threatening or derogatory at any time during the course of the time that they were being questioned by the Chinese. They answered what they were comfortable answering, and in keeping with their training. They felt well-prepared for the questioning that they did receive, through their training as professional aviators, and don't think that they were surprised or taken aback by any of the topics that were asked by the Chinese.
But I think that they would say to you that they did not feel mistreated in any way during their time they were detained.
Q: Can I follow up on that, Craig?
Quigley: Yeah, Barbara.
Q: But yet Lieutenant Osborn has repeatedly publicly said he was awakened in the middle of the night, he was taken off for up to five hours of questioning at a time, he was held in complete isolation from his crew members until they threatened a hunger strike so they could see him again. He said that he felt he had to himself try and stay awake so he could hear if his crewmembers were being taken off for questioning.
Do you find all of that acceptable?
Quigley: I don't think that -- I think Lieutenant Osborn would be the first to tell you that he did not find any of that enjoyable. But if you have a sense of mistreatment and some sort of brutality being exercised against our aircrew, I don't think you could say that, and I think he would agree with that as well. He would just as soon not have been questioned at all; ditto with the other 23. There were elements there that were not fun for the aircrew to have gone through during their time in detention.
But I'm -- maybe I misunderstood John's question, but I was looking at more of an analogy to a brutal state of captivity, and I don't think we can say that at all.
Q: No, certainly not, and not addressing the notion of whether it was fun or not, but what does the Pentagon leadership think of what was done in terms things like sleep deprivation and isolation? What is your opinion of that as to whether that's acceptable treatment for U.S. crew members in China or not? Is it acceptable?
Quigley: Our preferred treatment would have been to have released the crew immediately. That remains our position, has all these days. They never should have been detained.
Q: I just wanted to clarify something McWethy brought up about the patterns of Chinese aggressive flying. Is it fair to say that the majority of flights Chinese has thrown up against U.S. reconnaissance planes have been of a non-aggressive nature, you know, in terms of size and scope, or is what happened --
Quigley: I don't have a quantification for you on that. I know that by region, if you go to the East Coast, it's less aggressive; if you go to the South Coast, it's more aggressive. But I don't have a quantification for you.
Q: It's not fair to use your evidence -- you're saying most of the flights that U.S. crews encounter are fairly benign or not aggressive?
Quigley: No, I don't know that. I have not attempted to quantify it.
Q: Change of subject? When do you expect a decision or an announcement from Admiral Blair on the Greeneville incident?
Quigley: Admiral Fargo, you mean?
Q: Admiral -- I'm sorry.
Quigley: Well, he was -- he received the recommendations of the court of inquiry last Friday, April 13th. The members of the court -- three members of the court met with him for about three hours out in Pearl Harbor and explained their findings, their recommendations.
He asked questions to make sure he understood that -- that he understood the points they were trying to make. He has 30 days, from the date of receipt, so whatever 30 days is from the 13th of April. It's not clear to me if he'll use all 30 days. That's completely at his discretion.
But then, when he comes to his decision, he will make that announcement publicly, and the recommendations of the court of inquiry would be released publicly at the same time. If there are elements of the court of inquiry that would be classified, then they would be redacted, of course. But the -- or Privacy Act stuff. But the other elements of the recommendation from the court would be released simultaneous with the announcement of Admiral Fargo's decision.
Q: Will this go to the SecDef before he makes the announcement or --
Quigley: No. No, it stops at Admiral Fargo. That's it.
Q: While we're talking schedule, Craig, anything on the reviews and the budget release? Do you have any closer idea of --
Quigley: No, I don't. I don't. I know it remains a very, very important part of Secretary Rumsfeld's every day activities, but I -- and we're making progress on both topics, both the studies that are supporting the defense review as well as the budget, but I don't have any dates yet. Sooner all the time, but nothing specific.
Q: On that topic, did you read Mr. Safire's column and his interview with --
Quigley: I did.
Q: He indicated -- he told Safire -- they both worked together for President Nixon -- that it would be this winter before he comes up with the review.
Quigley: Well, he has said that there will be elements of the studies that will result in some very near-term action, and others much more long term and, in fact, could require follow-on studies themselves, once he finds an area that needs additional analysis, Pat, he would do that. It depends on the complexity of the topic being addressed, and if it is a fiscal question, if you need to have money associated with the finding, when do I need to get the money to take some sort of action?
Example. If it's a policy decision -- okay? -- I'm going to change the policy on something, that doesn't necessarily have any financial implications to it, so I don't have to worry about being in sync with a budget cycle, if that's the case. But if it has a financial aspect to it, then do I need it to be impacted by the '02 budget, or is it okay that I could be impacted by the '03 budget and out?
You have the Quadrennial Defense Review that is coming up this fall that will have a profound effect on next year's -- on the fiscal '03 budget. And you're working as fast as you can right now on those elements that need to have an impact by the '02 budget so you can drop them into the ongoing budget debates in the Congress while there's still time for them to do something with them before the 1st of October and the new fiscal year gets here.
Q: Can I go back to the issue of Greeneville report? You said it stops with Admiral Fargo. That seems contrary to normal military practice.
Quigley: Well, let me rephrase. You're absolutely right. The decision is made by Admiral Fargo, and then there is an automatic review of a non-judicial punishment proceeding. I guess that would come up to the CNO, I guess. [Review of a non-judicial punishment proceeding would be a responsibility of the vice chief of Naval Operations.]
Q: To go even further, if you go back to the case of Khobar Towers, there were two separate investigations held; both recommended no punishment against the -- or the official recommendation was no official punishment against the commander. Secretary Cohen overruled that and did reprimand the commander of that facility. I find it unusual in military practices that a commander is not -- that his decision on something like that would not be subject to review by CinCPac and by DoD.
Quigley: Well, I don't think it would be reviewed by CinCPac. I think there is a review. And I misspoke before. I believe the Admiral's Mast, if that is the way ahead, or nonjudicial punishment or court martial or whatever, there is a review process that goes along with that. Now, you have a decision-maker, and that is Admiral Fargo in this case. But that decision is reviewed by a higher authority, but I'm pretty sure it stays in Navy channels. Let me double-check that. And so the next senior to Admiral Fargo in the strictly Navy channels would be [the vice] chief of naval operations. I don't think it goes to the joint side, to Admiral Blair. I do not think so, but let me double-check that. Can we take a look on that.
Q: I have just one clarifying question, back to the Python missile issue. Do you know if the U.S. has protested to the Israelis the sale of this? You seem to be indicating unhappy language from the podium, but I don't know what you've uttered privately to them.
Quigley: I do not know. If we had communicated to the Israelis, it would be via the State Department. It would be via diplomatic channels. I mean, I think we would have preferred to know in advance, but we didn't get that.
Q: There was no indication whatsoever from the Israelis in advance of this sale that they were considering it?
Q: When was it?
Q: Yeah. The sale, it was a while ago, though, wasn't it? I mean, it wasn't like last year.
Quigley: Yeah, it was. And I'm not sure what date that exchange would have taken place. I don't know how long ago. It was a few years ago. I don't know how many, exactly.
Quigley: Yeah, Chris?
Q: A Vieques question. What are the plans for training on Vieques in late April and the Enterprise battle group?
Quigley: We have notified the secretary of state of Puerto Rico of our intention to train for about a week, commencing on the 27th of April.
Q: Using the Inner Range?
Quigley: Yes, and inert ordnance, of course.
Q: I've got a quick Kitty Hawk question here. Is that almost to Guam now, or is the aircraft carrier group on its way to its final destination and there's no plans at this point?
Quigley: There's a lot of speculation as to where the good ship Kitty Hawk is headed. She remains at sea in the Western Pacific and she has had no changes to her schedule so far. We typically do not get advance notification of her schedule, but I will say that there has been no changes made to her schedule in the past week or more. She completed a port visit in Singapore and left Singapore and is proceeding east in the vicinity of Guam.
Q: At what point does she reach Guam, or the environs there, that it's impractical to move the carrier battle group up toward China?
Quigley: It's never impractical if you wish to move a carrier battle group on the oceans of the world. But all I can say, that there's been no change to her schedule so far.
Q: What's the schedule?
Q: What's the schedule for this air defense exercise? What are the dates?
Quigley: I don't know.
Q: Would you take that?
Quigley: Yeah. The Navy might have that, but I'll see if I can check.
Q: What's the typical steam time between Guam and Taiwan?
Quigley: Between Guam and Taiwan?
Q: Or the South China Sea. How long does that take --
Quigley: I'd have to break out a chart and measure the miles, and you tell me how fast you want to go and I'll do the math for you.
Q: Thank you.
Q: No, back to Vieques, please.
Quigley: One more, Charlie, if you -- yes, go ahead.
Q: Okay. Today the governor of Puerto Rico is quoted in the local press as saying "what agreement?" Basically, she says there's no agreement because there's never been a document signed by two people. Does the department --
Quigley: Sure there has.
Q: Could you amplify --
Quigley: I believe it was the -- I think it was Mr. Morey, the secretary of state of the Commonwealth at the time, Secretary Cohen, Secretary Danzig, I believe there were several signers of the agreement which then became law, federal law, and was endorsed by the legislature of the Commonwealth as well. So, yeah, it was signed.
Q: Does the department consider that there is an agreement in place regarding Vieques?
Quigley: Yes. Yes, indeed. That is our -- that is our desire, that the agreed-upon way ahead is found in that agreement and we intend to abide by it, and we hope the governor does as well.
Q: Well, at some point, if the governor, in your judgment, is in violation of the agreement, would the department then consider -- no longer consider itself bound and be free to go back to live ordnance?
Quigley: That's a complex -- that is a more complex question than it sounds.
Q: (Off mike.)
Quigley: You're going to have to -- you're going to have to take a look at the entire federal government and work that through the inter-agency, Dale, to get an answer to that questions, and then determine the way ahead from there.
Q: But it sounds cliche, an agreement requires two people. I mean, you need two to tango. So, if one party considers that there's no agreement, and what point does the federal government say this agreement or this document is null and void?
Quigley: Well, it all centers on actions, not words. There are actions that are spelled out in the agreement between the commonwealth and the federal government, and they are law enforcement activities, agreement on the part of the Navy to not use live ordnance. It's a variety of elements that are contained in the agreement. And as long as the elements of the agreement are complied with over time, then the agreement would remain in force.
Q: Well, calling on the law enforcement, I know the security of the range has been an issue. There has been exchange of correspondence between Navy officials and the government. The Navy has recorded numerous incidents in which the security of the range has been violated and the safety of the sailors and others --
Quigley: Those security forces there, mmm hmm.
Q: -- have also been. Do you have an account of those incidents, because the governor of Puerto Rico only claims one or two minor incidents?
Quigley: Well, that's something that we hope to discuss with the Puerto Rican law enforcement authorities to make sure that we're talking about apples and apples and that our understandings are the same.
Q: Is the governor -- if you're planning on conducting training at the end of this month, and the government of Puerto Rico doesn't provide the law enforcement that you would need to conduct the training, are you going to send other federal officials, either marshals or some other security forces to provide security of the perimeter and the range?
Quigley: I can't speculate as to how we might do that.
Q: Thank you.
Q: Congressmen --
Q: Thank you!
Q: Congressmen Hansen and Stokes have written to the president saying that basically no agreement is existing. I mean, there's a -- you know, it doesn't exist, therefore, (inaudible) to be able to renegotiate to get back to live fire. Is the department considering measures to get back to live fire?
Quigley: Again, as I said before, there is an agreement in place. Our intentions are to abide by the terms of the agreement, and we would hope that the commonwealth would do the same.
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