Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 1:30 p.m. EDT
Quigley: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have no announcements this afternoon so I'll be pleased to take your questions.
Q: There's a report out today that the U.S. may close 15, I guess, installations in South Korea and return thousands of acres of land. Can you tell us about that?
Quigley: Well, if you go back to Secretary Cohen's tenure when he was secretary of Defense, and I want to say this was in the -- oh, maybe last year of his tenure, he authorized U.S. Forces Korea to begin a series of discussions with the Korean military and government authorities on a smarter way, a more efficient way to consolidate the U.S. military presence in Korea. It would involve the limited authority to open up some new facilities in new geographical locations throughout South Korea, and with the hope of closing many others, to structure and to place the U.S. forces more efficiently throughout South Korea.
It's a long process. It was designed to go until 2011. So we're still in the very early stages of that. It's been in place for, say, a year, a year and a half. But that is the overarching goal, is to take a look at the existing infrastructure as it exists; where could we more efficiently consolidate our operating footprint? And if you really think it makes sense to perhaps open a new facility here, if we could close those two or three over here, then let's take a good hard look at that. But it's meant to be a very gradual, long-term process.
Not a part of the discussions is a discussion of force levels; it is just how the forces are dispersed throughout the country. That's what we're talking about.
Q: But are there going to be installations that are going to be closed? I mean, is that --
Quigley: Well, this is very much a moving target. No, I can tell you with conviction that that is nothing resembling a final answer. This is supposed to be a long-term project; it will be that way, and it will have a very deliberate and analytical approach to it for several years to come. I don't think anybody can predict what the final number will be, but the hope is that at the end of the day you're going to have a more efficient structuring of the U.S. forces that are stationed in South Korea.
Q: Craig, do you have any other details on the results of the missile test Saturday? Have you learned any new information that may have given you a better indication of how the test went?
Quigley: No. I asked that exact question earlier this morning. And so far, the team members are still being gathered together from Kwajalein, from Vandenberg, and what have you, with zip drives and floppy drives and notebooks, and what have you, to start to crunch the data.
I would guess that we would have a little bit more understanding -- this is based on a General Kadish estimate of probably a week or two to have a little bit better understanding. But it will be several months before it's a really, really full understanding. But he is committed to coming back over and sharing the additional information, probably in a week or so. But no new understanding fundamentally different than what we understood from that real quick look Saturday night. [ Transcript ]
Q: And that is basically that in every respect, that this was a successful test?
Quigley: Well, I'll use General Kadish's words. He said based on our initial reaction, it appears that all of the test results -- or all of the test goals were met. But he said I'm sure that when we are really and completely through in analyzing the data, we might not end up there. But at least in the quick look, it seems as if all of the major goals and objectives of the test were met.
Q: And that hasn't changed since --
Quigley: That has not changed, no. But that's not based on any real analytical work since Saturday night. It's really that process is just starting.
Q: Now, on a more political question. Does the Pentagon view the success of this test as helping to mute some of the critics who said that missile defense would never work?
Quigley: Well, I'll tell you that anybody who's in the testing business wants to see the test of the system that they're taking a look at succeed. I mean, I think that's basic human nature. But we fully understand that this is a first step. We're glad it was apparently a successful test. But it's a first step in a long journey to complete what is intended to be a very long-term research and development and testing regiment for a layered missile defense system.
Q: Congress has not gotten around yet to passing the defense supplemental. How close are the services to getting to crunch time, canceling training flights and other evolutions, if they don't get that money?
Quigley: Well, it's something we're following very closely. That is mitigated somewhat by the assurances from both houses of the Congress that they're going to move it along as quickly as they can. If it was running into serious opposition and the signals we were getting from the Hill were such that there was just no way this was going to be approved, you would, I think, take a different view.
But that's not the signals that we're getting from both sides of the Congress, and that we're encouraged that it is moving in the right direction. Are the services making contingency plans? Sure. They have been for some time. But with the assurances and the positive signals and messages that are coming from the Hill, we're hopeful and confident that the supplemental will be passed very soon.
Q: Are they shuffling money now to keep, you know, flying hours and that sort of thing constant, or is there still money in the pipeline?
Quigley: You would have to check with the individual services. They may very well be doing something different among them. I do not know that. I do not know.
Q: Do you have a better answer on the EP-3, the bill that China has presented you, as to how you're going to respond to that, or better details as to how they came to that conclusion?
Quigley: Not yet. We're still going through it here and trying to assess those elements of the bill that we think are reasonable and fair for the services that were provided. But it is still a work in progress.
Q: You do not think that you're going to be paying the full bill?
Quigley: Well, again, it's taking a look at the various elements within it to try to ascertain whether or not we think that they're legitimate and correctly applied to services that rightfully went to supporting people or some of the disassembly and ultimate removal of the plane. Some will, some won't.
Q: At the time that the negotiations were going on before the Chinese agreed to release the people and the plane and so on, did the United States ever agree to compensate China in any way for the kinds of things that are on this bill?
Quigley: Not that I'm aware of. But I would also be quick to tell you that the Defense Department was not doing the talking with the government of China at that time, either. But the short answer is, not that I'm aware of.
Q: Can we have a breakdown of the bill?
Quigley: No, sir. We will do that behind the scenes and work that directly with the Chinese ultimately.
Q: Secretary Wolfowitz was on the Hill this morning, and he talked about the testing program for missile defense, and indicated that as early as February, it could run up against the treaty. Do you guys have a listing of all the upcoming tests, and which of those may bump up against the treaty? Do you have any more detail on the tests?
Quigley: No, we don't. It's really two separate processes, Tom. You have General Kadish's organization, who is chartered to do the research, development and testing of the most effective missile defense system that he and his team can come up with; and there is a separate group of people that is monitoring compliance, based on the anticipated restructured program, within the ABM Treaty.
Now, since we just got the restructuring done, they are still working through the anticipated test plan and what have you and, to the best of my knowledge, they have not come up with the specific on this date, "when you do this test you will then be in violation of the ABM Treaty."
There is wide disagreement as to specifically what actions would bring you into conflict with he ABM Treaty. There is no question that the president, Secretary Rumsfeld and others have said our intentions are to move beyond the ABM Treaty, but breaking that down to a specific date and an event linked to that date, we're not there yet.
Q: Well, Secretary Wolfowitz had brought this up. Do you have any information on the February test, what it would entail?
Quigley: No. No, I don't.
Q: And when will this compliance group come up with its findings?
Quigley: It is a work in progress, and always will be. We're going to change the test program, as sure as I'm standing here, based on future successes and failures. We have said that we will accelerate a particular technology if the testing proves successful, and we'll slow down or perhaps terminate other ideas that looked real good but the testing just didn't pan out.
So a testing schedule, as you lay it out in the months and years ahead, is going to be a very, very flexible document. It's designed to be that way. Something that you predict will happen on a particular date that might very well bring you into conflict with the ABM Treaty might not happen at all, it could be accelerated, it could be slowed down. It's just going to be something that we're going to be watching carefully as time passes.
Q: Do you have a target deployment date?
Quigley: One sec. Chris?
Q: There was someone saying last week that construction in Alaska next spring and summer might be the thing that rubbed up against the treaty, but I think that that construction wasn't to begin until April. So when Wolfowitz mentions February, it sounds like he's talking more about testing rather than Alaska construction.
Q: But he was talking about testing.
Quigley: Yeah, and I don't know what test section or subset he's referring to in February. I'm sorry.
Now, we did do the 30-day notification yesterday to the Congress for the clearing of trees at Fort Greely, and that would take place this fall, I believe. But that's not moving in earthmovers and steam shovels and what have you to do actual construction. It's to remove trees that were burned out from the fires resulting from the drought there a few years ago.
Q: And one other thing, as far as the testbed site up in Alaska, the treaty states that White Sands and Kwajalein Atoll will be the test sites, that -- and that they have to be agreed upon.
Do you guys see any problem with that? I mean, do you have to get Russian agreement for the testbed --
Quigley: Well, once again, we --
Q: -- or is that one of those that's still in a gray area?
Quigley: Well, once again, we've said very clearly that our intentions are to ultimately move past the ABM Treaty, and we would eventually bump into the constraints of that treaty. It may happen sooner, it may happen later, but that day will come.
There is no agreement, as I indicated before, on precisely some of the language and the events that -- some very considered students of the particulars of the treaty say unequivocally yes and unequivocally no, looking at the same piece of the treaty. So it's a tough one to interpret, I think reflecting the difficulty in negotiating it back in 1972.
But I just can't give you a clear answer as to when that would be, because of the vagaries in the test programs in the months ahead.
Q: Do you have a target deployment date for an NMD?
Quigley: We do not, because we do not have an architecture yet upon which we have decided. This is intended to be a very robust testing program, testing a variety of means in all three phases of the flight path of a ballistic missile -- terminal phase, midcourse, which we tested Saturday night, and the boost phase as well. Some of those will work well. Some won't.
There may come a time where we are so satisfied with the results of a particular component that we say we are now ready to deploy that piece. But boy, we're sure not there yet.
Q: The test Wolfowitz was talking about is a systems integration test for combining data from ABM and non-ABM radars. It would be putting ABM radar data into Patriot PAC-3 [Patriot Advanced Capability] and THAAD [Theater High Altitude Area Defense] systems, and that is scheduled for February. So that's the one that Tom was asking about.
Quigley: You've got me on that one. I do not have that level of detail with me. So I'm -- I don't question you; I just -- I did not know that.
Q: Well, that's what it is.
Q: On a related missile defense, Taiwan's president, Chen Shui-bian, said in an interview in our newspaper that he would like to see joint cooperation between the United States, Japan, and Taiwan on theater missile defenses. Do you have any comment on this? Have you considered working with the Taiwanese on a regional missile defense system?
Quigley: Not that I am aware of. Those would certainly be decisions made by governments, though, Bill. And I mean, right now I think our commitment remains, at the government of the United States level, to the Taiwan Defense Act and all the tenets that we have tried so very hard to adhere to over the years.
This is different. This would be a new discussion, and that would demand very high-level discussions between the governments, and so I can't give you a good answer. I'm sorry.
Q: Also, he suggested that there be increased military cooperation within the current constraints between the United States and Taiwan. Do you have any comment on that?
Quigley: We have said for a long period of time that we are committed to providing for the necessary defensive needs of Taiwan, and we do that, and it manifests itself in a variety of ways; provision of armaments, training, parts, maintenance, things of that sort to the systems that we provide to the Taiwanese. If there's a reasonable request that would come from the Taiwanese military to provide perhaps additional training on a system that they would feel is deficient, we would certainly consider that. If you're talking about a dramatic expansion of existing arrangements, then I think that's a very different issue, and again, that would have to go back up to a pretty high level of our government to make that decision.
Q: And the last part of that. Since President Bush announced that the United States would do whatever it took to defend Taiwan, has the Pentagon adjusted its plans or policies for possible contingencies with Taiwan?
Quigley: No, not that I'm aware of. We're very good at, over a period of many, many years, asking ourselves "what if" questions and working either basic or quite advanced contingency plans for a variety of events that could happen around the world. So that you try, sometimes successfully, sometimes not so much, to predict the future and to make some at least rudimentary plans for potential actions that take place in the world. So we've got a variety of those contingency plans that have been thought through over the years. I think contained within those is a wide variety of permutations and combinations of world events, and that would include that part of the world as well.
Q: So the Pentagon would be confident that it could do whatever it took to defend Taiwan right now?
Quigley: We would do our absolute best to carry out the direction of the commander in chief.
Q: Has the threat condition in the Gulf subsided at all?
Quigley: It changes on a continuous basis. It's a very localized condition. If you're in one country in the Gulf region or anywhere in the Middle East, for that matter, 100 kilometers away in a different country you could have an extremely different set of threat circumstances.
The best answer I can give you is that we task our -- not only the American embassies in those countries, the defense attaches, any U.S. regional commanders whose responsibility includes that portion of the world, to pay very close attention to that, as close as they can on a daily basis.
And if they need -- if they feel that they need to increase or put on a higher level of security footing the forces in that region, they will do that. It makes it for an extremely -- oh, I don't know if cumbersome is the right word, but it is not a -- movement is hampered. When you maximize your security posture and force protection posture, you minimize the free movement of people and goods and vehicles and the like. That's the whole deal, to shrink your footprint. But it makes it for a very difficult way of life on a day-in, day-out basis. So you're constantly trading off and assessing where do I prudently draw the line to create an appropriate protective posture for the people that are in that part of the world, understanding that they have other work to do while they're there, and we need to not hinder them from doing that too much.
At the end of the day, you always must come down on the side of doing the prudent, conservative force-protection measures that you think you need to do to save the lives and to protect the people that are stationed there. But it is constantly a work in progress, and you'll see the conditions go up or down over days sometimes, certainly over weeks and months.
Q: Is the U.S. Navy holding an Iraqi merchant ship?
Quigley: No. I remember that rumor popping over the weekend. The conditions under which the coalition forces inspect suspected smuggling vessels are quite clear. You've heard us talk about notice to mariners and notice to air mariners before. If you have a directive that is of a more long-lasting nature, you make sure you go out to all shipping companies around the world. And what this directive entails or describes is the specific inspection procedures that coalition maritime forces will follow when they inspect vessels that are bound for Iraq. So it should come as no surprise to any shipping company or any ship's master the procedures that a boarding and search party would want to follow when they come aboard.
When they come aboard a vessel and they prepare to do that search procedure on board, if they cannot successfully accomplish the inspection of the cargo of the vessel, then you get a couple of options.
You discuss this with the master of the vessel. You would not be prohibited (sic) to go through to Iraq, though, until the boarding and inspection party was confident that there was no contraband on board the vessel.
In this case, I believe the vessel was carrying sugar. One of the specifics is that the boarding party must be able to get all the way to the bottom of every ship's hold. You must see it. You must be there. Otherwise there could be something hidden below some layer of pallets or burlap bags or something of the sort. And since they were not capable of doing that, what they told the master of the vessel was that he would not be allowed to go through to Iraq. But they did not impound the vessel. The master was given the opportunity to go to some other port or stand out to sea, re-configure his cargo so that the boarding and inspection party could meet all of its inspection criteria and do a thorough inspection of the vessel's contents. And some masters of vessels will choose to do one way, and some will choose to do another. This particular vessel was given the option of re-configuring its cargo, and that is what the master chose to do. I don't know where the vessel went, but he went back into the Arabian Gulf, presumably to do just that, to re-configure the cargo.
Now, if he does that and then re-approaches Iraqi waters heading up the Shatt al-Arab, or something like that, we would again inspect the vessel. And if all the criteria were met, met the criteria of the sanctions and the Oil for Food and what have you, on his way he would go. But only if we can completely carry out the inspection regime.
Q: Could you explain the Pentagon policy with regard to the privacy of service members' e-mail addresses? I'm referring to the New York Times story of this weekend saying that the Pentagon gave out e-mail addresses of particular sailors at the request of a congressman checking up on their --
Quigley: Well, the Pentagon doesn't have something that I can quickly describe up here from the podium in the way of an email policy, or an addresses policy, as you describe it. We are frequently asked for names, addresses, homes of record addresses, current addresses of service members for a variety of reasons. And if we would receive a request from a congressional member to notify constituents or something of that sort, we would routinely honor that request.
If it's from a business, let's say, who wants to solicit, with the potential for sales to either uniformed members or their families, we routinely turn that down. So we try to be judicious and try to protect the privacy of the individuals, but also to satisfy reasonable requests.
Q: And would you accept those requests from the press? If I gave you a list of people I wanted to talk to, could I get their addresses?
Quigley: I would just have to work closely with our general counsel and figure that out. I don't know the answer to your question.
Q: Why would the services have the individual service members' e-mail addresses?
Quigley: They wouldn't necessarily have e-mail addresses. Everybody -- you may not have an e-mail address. Everybody would have a current address and a home of record. You would find that from pay records and the like, Otto, but it wouldn't be a comprehensive list of e-mail addresses, because all service members don't necessarily have one. If I don't have a work e-mail address or if I don't have a home computer in my home, I don't have an e-mail address.
Q: Is there any concern in this building about that transpiring of events? I mean, this is the most sacred right that a U.S. citizen has, which is to vote or not to vote, and then for this to happen and for you all to play a part in it, is there any concern here?
Quigley: Well, I think it's always something that we take very seriously, and try to do the right thing each and every time.
Q: Was the right thing done in this case?
Quigley: I don't believe that -- have you seen the DoD inspector general's review that was done of voting procedures last fall? [ IG report ]
Q: (Off mike.)
Quigley: Because it's been posted. I would be the first to say that there are improvements that we can make in our process. But I think, on balance, we provided a very good opportunity for most service members to vote.
Q: Right, but that's not my question. This is with regard to having service members be on the receiving end of messages from a congressman encouraging them, or pressuring them or whatever, to vote and to get their ballots in. Is that something that the Pentagon thinks is okay, or is it something of concern to you?
Quigley: I don't know. I'd have to think about that for a while.
Q: Moving to South Korea for just a minute. Is it correct that we're planning to start closing or consolidating some bases next year and spread it out over 10 years?
Quigley: You could see some interim realignments done, but there is no -- there is no stipulation that some percentage must be done by a certain point in time. But if there is a consensus reached between U.S. Forces Korea and the government of South Korea and the military that this is really clear-cut and really we should do this now because it will really make a more efficient structure and save some money, things of that sort, certainly we would entertain such clear-cut decisions earlier in the process rather than later.
Q: And I know --
Quigley: And if they're done -- I'm sorry for interrupting, but if they're done, if they really think they're done with the process before 2011, that's okay, too. But we are giving them until 2011 in order to do a comprehensive job.
Q: And is it 30,000 acres plus some training? The way it was described was 15 installations that make up 30,000 acres, which they said is the largest amount of a -- I know we've been doing give-backs over years -- the largest amount that we've given back in two decades, but that it also includes training ranges. So are the training ranges in the 30,000 acres and on the 15 -- the numbers are all kind of --
Quigley: I don't know that level of detail. Let me take that, because I don't know if we have it here, but we can work with the folks at U.S. Forces Korea to get that level of detail. [Update: Work on the Land Partnership Plan is in progress. Because there is no final agreement yet, it would be inappropriate to discuss the specifics.]
Q: Okay. Is there money involved? Do we have to pay to clean up something? Or --
Quigley: Could be. We're not ruling that out. But it depends on what we find at each and every site along the way.
Q: Russia and China signed this agreement. Is the Pentagon concerned at all about what appears to be an emerging anti-U.S. alliance?
Quigley: I don't think we look at it that way. Anything that -- I mean, you're talking about two very powerful nations there. I think it's not only to the advantage of the United States, but certainly every country in that region, for there to be cordial, friendly relationships between those two very powerful nations. You can have friendships with more than one nation. And the United States has friends around the world. So does Russia. So does China. So do many other nations. So I don't think that just because those two nations have apparently entered into an agreement there on several different issues, I don't think that's something for the United States to be alarmed about.
Q: One of the key features is their common opposition to missile defense. Are you concerned at all about that?
Quigley: We are confident that at the end of the day, the rationale behind developing missile defense will change the mind of several individuals and nations that currently are in opposition. And we remain cautiously optimistic that we can do that.
Q: There was a published report over the weekend suggesting serious problems with recruiting and retention of minorities in the Special Warfare community, particularly the Navy SEALs. Is there any concern at the OSD [Office of the Secretary of Defense] level -- I know that the Navy has found that it had no systematic problem, but is there any concern at the OSD level with the fact that the number of minorities in the Special Warfare communities is a fraction of what you find throughout the rest of the services?
Quigley: I think I'd expand that concern, Dale. I mean, we would like to see a representative number of minorities throughout the warfare communities of the armed forces. Now, that being the goal, I'll be the first to admit that we probably won't achieve exact numerical parity, if you will, in every subspecialty within every branch of the armed forces. But you have to ask, I think, and you have to be honest enough to ask the hard questions as to why a particular community has a number that is either disproportionately high or disproportionately low for a given ethnic group. And sometimes you find it's the luck of the draw. Sometimes you find a systemic problem. When it's the latter, you take the actions that you can to fix it and move on. So I would expand it further than just that narrow look.
Q: Well, is there any ongoing effort at the OSD level to look at these problems and to see if there's something systemic? I mean, it pops up with the Navy SEALs, it pops up somewhere else, and it's looked at individually. But is there any effort across the board to study that?
Quigley: Not that I know of, but let me take that and find out if DoD is doing a look of the Navy in this particular instance. But not that I have heard.
Q: Do you have any thoughts on who should pay the electricity bills at the Naval Observatory and the home of the vice president?
Quigley: Yeah, I think this is something of a tempest in a teapot.
The Navy has been responsible and remains responsible for paying all the utilities bills for the Naval Observatory for many years, and that is true today. A couple of years ago, when there were some equipment upgrades being done on the vice president's quarters, meters, electric meters were installed in order to more accurately project the actual consumption of electricity for the vice president's quarters. Up to that point in time it had been an estimate based on square footage. But everybody agreed that that wasn't a very accurate way to do it. But in the absence of a meter, it seemed as good as we could come up with. So this was installed. Over the last two years we've got wildly fluctuating monthly numbers, for reasons that we don't understand exactly, as to the monthly consumption. But the process was such -- and it was pretty cumbersome, in an arcane accounting procedure that was followed that we're now trying to change -- the Navy would ultimately be responsible for the total utilities bill of the entire observatory, whatever that would be.
But the Office of the Vice President would be budgeted for an estimated amount, again, based on square footage over time, and then they would transfer that money to the Navy Department to help offset the overall cost of the utilities bills for the Observatory that the Navy would pay.
In our view, that's one more step than is necessary, because you're talking about public funds in any case. And it's an -- more of an internal accounting issue than it was somebody coming up with a net loss or a net gain at the end of the day.
So the procedure that the Navy completely concurs with is to streamline the process and go from the budgeted amounts in the federal government, to go straight to the Navy and avoid the Office of the Vice President completely. And it saves one step along the way, streamlines the accounting stream of dollars, and at the end of the day, perhaps the taxpayers would even have a small savings by eliminating a step in that accounting chain.
Q: So the U.S. Navy does not mind having to pick up something that at least some people felt was an expense of a different part of the government? The Navy's got that extra dough and --
Quigley: No. In this case, no, the Navy had budgeted for all of the Observatory, and that is true with the fiscal '02 budget proposal before the Congress right now, and they're very satisfied that this is actually a better way to do it and a more efficient way to do it.
Somebody over here. Barb?
Q: Oh. Is there another question on this?
Q: Well, yeah. I just want to --
Quigley: Sorry. Dale?
Q: Yeah. I understand that that's a large home, but can you tell us, without violating any classifications, why in the world an electric bill at a fairly large home would top $130,000 a year?
Quigley: Well, I think a couple of thoughts come to mind. One, that's an estimate, and I'll put that with a capital E, because we've had such wide fluctuations in the usage by month over the two years -- only two years -- that the meter has been installed. And we don't really have a good explanation for that.
But you're also talking about a home that is used many, many times for official representation for the government of the United States. So you're not talking about equipment that you would find in a normal home. We're talking about a heavier duty heating system, air conditioning system, freezers, refrigerators, things of sort, that are a lot different than you would find in your average private citizen's home.
Q: Two completely different subjects. Now that we're coming up on July 20th, is the secretary going to meet his new deadline for divesting himself of his portfolio?
Quigley: It's actually the 19th, the day after tomorrow. And the answer is no. He has submitted a request for a further extension to the Office of Government Ethics and the Senate Armed Services Committee, same two authorities that provided the original approval. Again, same reason as 90 days ago.
This is proving to be a much more difficult row to hoe than anybody had hoped it would be. We're getting down towards the end with only a couple of the illiquid investments that have yet to be divested, but they remain undivested. And he is hopeful that we'll not need the full 90 days, but that's what he has asked for. We hope the Senate and the Office of Government Ethics will approve his request. And his financial team will work diligently to divest as quickly as we can.
Q: Different subject. I'm not sure it's actually crossed your scope yet. The new program to look for volunteers to perform funeral honors.
Q: Can you just help us understand what that's all about and why you need people to volunteer to perform at military funerals?
Quigley: Sure. It's always a desire, I think, to do the right thing for the families of our deceased veterans, particularly of the World War II generation. And when you bounce that still-growing number of deaths per month from that very, very large number of Americans that served in the Second World War against the active duty and reserve requirements of today's military, the numbers don't match.
What we have committed to is two uniformed members of the Armed Forces, one of which would be from the same service as the deceased, would be present for each of the funerals, as well as the provision of an American flag, the folding and the presenting of that flag to the surviving family members and the playing of Taps. And that is what we feel we are committed to doing as a minimum each and every time. But there's no question that you could add a level of solemnity and dignity to every funeral service if you could have more people, such as an honors firing squad or something of that nature, more people for an honor cordon, things of that sort.
So what we are asking is for veteran service organizations and other similar organizations to ask for volunteers if they would like to be participants and help in the funeral ceremonies for some of these deceased veterans. And they could do many of those things I just mentioned, as well as particular desires of an individual family member at a particular funeral service, and lend that extra air of dignity and support to the deceased service member.
There will come a time in the future when we may not need to have that level of support, and it can be more fully shouldered by the active and Reserve current generation of uniformed service members, but that's not going to be true for several years to come.
Q: Are you going to be meeting the requirements of providing two uniformed members for every military funeral --
Quigley: As far as I know, we are, yes.
Q: How many --
Q: Craig, a question about the --
Quigley: Hold that one second, and let -- if that was the same topic, let me finish that, if I could.
Q: How many deaths per -- (inaudible)?
Quigley: Approximately 1,200.
Q: Twelve hundred -- (off mike).
Quigley: No -- day. A day. Twelve hundred a day. And this is --
Q: Well, when you talk about this passing after several years, you mean because that generation of veterans will be gone?
Quigley: Yes, ma'am. Will have passed on, yes.
Q: So it's 1,200.
Quigley: A day. You know, the first --
Q: (Off mike.)
Quigley: A day, correct. And if you go back just two or three years, the number was approximately 1,000 and that has grown, will continue to grow, I believe, for the next couple of years and stabilize and then start to decline. But that is a considerable number of funeral services. I mean, right here in town you see Arlington, you can see it every day, but that is being replicated in funerals all over America, both public and private.
Hunter, go ahead.
Q: Sir, a question about the Quadrennial Defense Review. I understand that some service leaders are preparing, posturing themselves for a sort of a quick finish of that; that is, the results of the review may be delivered up to OSD sooner than had initially been anticipated. On that side of things, can you shed any light on that from OSD's perspective? Is there an expectation for an early wrap-up of QDR and, if so, what lessons do you expect to have out of that? What kind of presentation of the lessons do you expect?
Quigley: No, I understand your question. I think that all participants in this process have known from the get-go that when it really got going in earnest a few weeks ago -- not the standing up of the people and the fundamental preparatory analysis, but the really hard work of getting down to the terms of reference and things of that sort, everybody understood that the time horizon you're looking at here would be shortened, because the calendar, in this case, is not your friend. You absolutely need to complete this process by September, and it's already the middle of July today, and you've got to keep moving quickly on this process. I think everybody's committed to completing as much of it as they can.
Now, after having said that, if you come to a point where you have got to prioritize the remaining time with the remaining work, we're prepared to do that. But I think everybody's goal today across the board is to complete the QDR as originally we set out to do.
Q: And that'll be by -- ?
Q: You members of Congress are asking --
Quigley: September. Right. And, you know, that's statutory. That's in the law, that we need to have it done by then. Why then? Because it is intended to be from the get-go a fundamental piece going into the planning for a new president -- in this case, President Bush's first full budget that his administration puts together from start to finish in the '03 budget. And that process will start immediately after September and work through the fall and the winter to be given to the Congress next January or February.
Q: Is there any chance that it'll come in earlier than expected, that the QDR could be wrapped up in August?
Quigley: I think they will take every amount of time that they can to do as good a job as they can. I don't think they're going to speed it up any -- they're going to use if -- they're going to use whatever time they have to do as thorough a job as they can and still stay within the spirit and letter of the law.
Q: But Secretary Rumsfeld hinted -- indicated to the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee yesterday that he would try to give them some readout on the thing to shape the '02 budget numbers.
Quigley: What I think he was saying was try to help them understand some of the -- if they had a question and failed to understand, perhaps, why did you do this this way in the '02 budget submission, and there was some light that he could shed on that decision from the '03 -- or, from the QDR work, he would be glad to do that. It won't fit in all cases. But there will be some parts of the QDR where you may not have every last "t" crossed and "i" dotted, but you would still have enough understanding of the direction that you're going in order to provide some rationale and explanation to the Congress.
Q: Back to the funeral question, how big of a problem is it to meet families' request?
Quigley: Oh, it's very much of a challenge for all the services, both active and reserve. But it's something we need to do. This is the right thing to do.
Q: Thank you.
Quigley: Thank you.
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