United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

News Transcript

Press Operations Bookmark and Share

Transcript


DoD News Briefing - Rear Adm. Craig R. Quigley, DASD PA

Presenters: Rear Adm. Craig R. Quigley, DASD PA
July 19, 2001 1:30 PM EDT

Thursday, July 19, 2001 - 1:30 p.m. EDT

Quigley: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have one announcement this afternoon. The Center for Naval Analys3s has selected the co-chairmen of a study group chartered to find suitable alternatives for training Atlantic Fleet naval forces. Retired Navy Admiral Leighton W. Smith and retired Marine Corps General Charles Wilhelm will lead the CNA effort that will include a group of retired senior military officers and analysts in a review of potential alternatives to Vieques. This group of experts will reinvigorate and build on previous efforts to find effective alternatives for training our forces in the Atlantic. The three primary training requirements are air-to-ground ordnance delivery, amphibious operations, and naval surface fire support. [ News release ]

And with that I will take your questions.

Q: Craig, I mean, hasn't that already been done? Hasn't there been -- what's different about this effort than previous analyses and studies that have been done to --

Quigley: If you go back to the Pace-Fallon effort from, I believe, 1999, if memory serves, their charter was different from this. Their charter was to specifically find an alternative site for Vieques. They concluded that there is no site that is a perfect match to provide the capabilities that Vieques does today, but their report does go on to say that it could be done, perhaps, in some combination of means.

That is specifically what Secretary England has in mind here, and the charter, again, is not to find a site that is a perfect replacement for Vieques. The goal is to provide training, good quality training, for Atlantic Fleet naval forces. Now, you can do that at more than one location, you can do that in more than one way, and that is what he has chartered the Center for Naval Analyses to do. That is what this group, headed by Admiral Smith and General Wilhelm will do, and that is their charter, and it's different from what General Pace and Admiral Fallon set out to do a couple of years ago.

Dale?

Q: Several questions. When will the other members of the study be named? And will Admiral Smith and General Wilhelm be selecting them, or are they being selected by the SecNav? Will this group have hearings, public meetings to evaluate other sites?

Quigley: Well, I can't give you a time frame -- it will be soon -- but I can talk about the process a little bit. This is all being done under the aegis of the Center for Naval Analyses, and they are going to continue to work with, now, the two individuals that have agreed to be the co-chairs. So this is going to be an iterative process between CNA's analysts and others, and General Wilhelm and Admiral Smith. That's going to be the grouping and the process by which other members will be found.

So this is a tasking from Secretary England to CNA that says, Here is a task I want you to set out to do, now you go find me the people that are qualified and available, and things of that sort, to accomplish this objective.

Q: In terms of timing, he's not given them a deadline? I mean --

Quigley: I am not aware of a time frame that's been set on the task. I mean, it's clear that Secretary England has made his intentions clear to leave Vieques in May of 2003. So it's -- what's that, 18 months, 19 months from now? There's a good amount of time, but not unlimited amount of time. And you need to find those alternative means or sites, or what have you, between then and now. And so there is a time frame involved; none stipulated in the study group tasking.

Q: And one other follow. When will the administration be submitting legislation to do away with the November referendum? Or have in fact you all decided now not to do that?

Quigley: We're almost there, but it has not yet been -- draft legislation has not yet been submitted.

Otto?

Q: Well, I mean, you're running right into a crunch. You've got a week -- a little more than a week before Congress goes on recess, then they're gone all of August and you're back in September with all the spending bills and stuff to do, you're trying to jam this thing through less than a month before the referendum is to be held.

Quigley: Very much aware of that. But you've got to get it right the first time before you send it over. That in itself helps accelerate the process. We're getting closer, but I can't give you a good estimate of time.

Tom?

Q: You mentioned that this review will look at whether you can do it at more than one location. And I thought Pace-Fallon pretty much said that combined live-fire training at one site was really the way to go. And then you say also, "more than one way of training." I think Pace-Fallon also dismissed, you know, such training as simulation, for example.

Quigley: I think -- it's been awhile since I've read Pace-Fallon, but on the second part first, I believe that they said something to the effect that you cannot totally substitute simulation for actual firing.

If memory serves, I believe that was what they said.

I don't think anybody is saying today that simulation is a perfect substitute, or 100 percent substitute for other means of actual dropping ordnance, firing surface fire support weapons and the like. It could be an element of the alternatives that these folks are now setting out do, but I don't think it was ever intended to be a perfect substitute for, neither in Pace-Fallon nor certainly as this study group is envisioned.

Q: Okay, what about the --

Quigley: Repeat the first one? I'm sorry.

Q: Whether they can do it at more than one location.

Quigley: That is the question. That is certainly one of the questions. The issue that Secretary England wants addressed is how can we provide effective training for Atlantic Fleet naval forces? Boom. That's the only criteria he's really going to set on them, and so think innovatively and consider alternative sites and means and methods to do that. And he puts no other strictures on their thinking, and that is their charter they are set out to do.

Q: It seems like you're stepping away here from what Pace-Fallon was saying. That's my point.

Quigley: Well again, their charter is a little bit different than what Pace-Fallon's was.

Otto, you had something?

Q: It still comes back to the whole premise of what we're doing, you know, where basically you've told somebody to jump out of an airplane hoping you can invent a parachute before they hit the ground. (Laughter.) Because you don't know that you can find any of these alternatives, but you've already decided to give up what you have, and it violates the first rule of wing-walking.

Quigley: Well, I guess I wouldn't agree with your assessment, I guess. I'd start with that. We are confident that this task can be accomplished. I'll put it there.

Yes, sir.

Q: First, any update on the General Shelton meeting to India? He is now about to leave India. And also -- (inaudible) -- India Globe and others report there might be U.S. military bases in India, and also U.S. soldiers will be trained in the Indian jungles in the Northeastern states.

Quigley: Let me take the second one first. That story appeared two, three days ago, I want to say, and I can find no verification of its accuracy at all. So I cannot explain to you where that story originated, but I cannot find anybody in this building that is contemplating such a thing or negotiating such a thing, and so I'm at a loss to explain the origin of that story for you.

On the first part, General Shelton's visit, he has felt that it's been very productive. He's met with the minister of Defense, met with the chief of Defense staff. Again, the focus of the talks as stipulated was to how can we advance a military-to-military relationship and talk about regional security concerns that are common between both India and the United States. So, a good set of talks.

Q: Anything signed, or will be signed or --

Quigley: I don't believe so. I don't believe that was the goal.

Q: That may follow -- (inaudible) -- visit to India?

Quigley: Go ahead. I'm sorry?

Q: That may follow the secretary's visit to India?

Quigley: Once more? Once more, I'm sorry.

Q: Secretary Rumsfeld, he may visit India, do you think?

Quigley: I certainly can't rule that out, but nothing is scheduled at this point, no.

Pat?

Q: Can I take you back to Vieques for a minute? You said there are three things that they want to look at -- air-to-ground, amphibious ops, naval surface fire support. Does that leave out anything that is currently done at Vieques, or are submarines involved?

Quigley: No, those are the key skill sets.

Q: So submarines don't have to be able to have access to whatever it is they're looking at.

Quigley: No. That's not an element of the training now, or what's being tasked to the study group.

Q: And there's no mandate that all the -- in this charter that all those three things happen simultaneously at the same place, is that right?

Quigley: Correct.

Q: And has Atlantic Fleet signed off on that? I mean, have they -- are they okay with it?

Quigley: I think that the mission areas, the capabilities here, the training that would accomplish these goals, that's long been an area of agreement. That is what we currently use Vieques for. So these are the elements of training that we need to find alternative means to provide through Atlantic Fleet naval forces.

Q: But the big difference --

Quigley: I don't know if there was a big formal approval process. That's been --

Q: Yeah, but there's a serious difference between doing it all together in one place and doing it in several places.

Quigley: Oh! Well, then, the answer to that question is yes.

Q: Yes, there is a difference.

Quigley: Yes, Atlantic Fleet has bought into that.

Q: He has signed off on that, okay.

Quigley: Yes. Mm-hmm. The issue is effective training. And you can -- and Secretary England has specifically tasked this group to find alternative ways of achieving that training.

Bob.

Q: One more point on that. So what you're saying is that it's an accepted conclusion now that doing that training separately is sufficient, is okay as a substitute for doing it in one place? Is that no longer in question?

Quigley: Well, let's wait and see what the study group comes up with. I mean, we're kind of jumping ahead. This is their charter. They've just been named. The rest of the members of the group aren't even formed yet. But this is their charter.

Q: So, I was trying to understand what their charter -- maybe I misunderstood what their charter was, but is it to analyze that question, or is that an assumption they're taking right off the bat?

Quigley: It is to find alternative ways to provide adequate training for the Atlantic Fleet naval forces. Now, you're doing it this way today at Vieques. And in May of 2003 we have said we're not going to do that any more. So what are alternative means of providing training after that date? And that is about the end of their guidance. And beyond that, they're expected to think hard about alternative ways of achieving that goal.

Q: Well, they may end up coming back saying that it's not feasible to do it separately. Is that a possibility, or is that --

Quigley: I can't --

Q: -- what they're looking at?

Quigley: Yeah, I can't rule anything in or out. I don't know how they will proceed from here. They just aren't to that point yet. But I would say that the expectation is that they would come up and take a look at alternatives and, kind of going back to Otto's question, that there would be an answer in hand by the time that May 2003 rolls around so we can continue providing adequate training for Atlantic Fleet naval forces after operations at Vieques cease.

Toby.

Q: How seriously is the military taking this threat warning in the Gulf region that was issued yesterday by the State Department? And were any of those threats specifically aimed at military installations or bases or forces over there? [ State announcement ]

Quigley: We pay attention to threats to our forces every day around the world. But the means by which -- well, not so much the means, because they're similar. But the motivations of the Defense Department and the State Department in providing warnings of possible threats to American forces and American citizens are different in their motivation.

In the military you've got a relatively stable, I should say fixed, population. We have forces at air bases; we have them at shore installations overseas. Ships come and go; planes come and go. But there is always that kind of anchor, if you will, of a fixed site from which support is provided. And then you have family members. But again, you've got a known population in a relatively known area. So we're very sensitive to what we perceive to be possible threats to those populations in the immediate vicinity where they're found. A hundred miles away, I'm interested, but it might not necessarily be a direct threat to the American military and their family at this location.

The State Department, on the other hand, has a very different population that it's trying to provide a warning to. They would include business people, travelers of all types, tourists that would not necessarily be familiar with the country that they're working in or visiting in or vacationing in. They would not necessarily be as sensitive to some of the warning signs of threat to their security and to their safety, like you would have military people who live there, military people and their families who live in an area and are much more trained and accustomed to paying attention to some of the warning signs of threats to their safety or security. So the State Department uses a different process to get the word, if you will, to a different population than the military does.

Now, we share information back and forth all the time. But the means by which and the timing of warnings that go out via the State Department or via the Defense Department are not necessarily in lockstep up and down, because you're going for a different population.

Q: So are you saying that the State Department warning that was issued yesterday was not -- did not include, you know, the military --

Quigley: Oh, no. I mean, we're very cognizant of the fact that the State Department put it out.

Q: I guess what I'm trying to get -- right. But are you saying --

Quigley: We further got that word out through the military chains of command in that part of the world. So they're very aware of that, but they're already aware of that on a daily basis.

Q: Are you saying that the threats were not aimed at military institutions, then?

Quigley: I'm not going to get into any of the nature of the threat. I'll let the State Department's words speak for themselves as to their motivation for putting out the threat yesterday -- the warning.

Q: And are you taking any extra measures --

Quigley: We always take a look every day at what is appropriate. And that's the most detail I'm going to go into, I'm sorry.

Bill?

Q: Yeah, it was reported yesterday that the Pentagon will be meeting with representatives of the Taiwan military out at Monterey? Is that the case? And what will they be discussing?

Quigley: We do frequently meet with representatives of the Taiwan military, in accordance with the terms of the Taiwan Relations Act, again, to discuss issues of interaction and means by which to provide for the defense of Taiwan. But by the same token, as a policy issue, we do not typically provide any details of those meetings. I will say that there have been seven of them in the last four years, since 1997.

Q: Is there a meeting set for this week?

Quigley: I'll go back to my first answer. I'm not going to be helpful as to the details of time, place, content, attendees, other than to say that these meetings do occur, as I indicated, seven times in the last four years.

Q: Okay. And do you have any comment on the House action regarding the $1 million bill for the EP-3?

Quigley: We're aware of it. So far, our activities here continue to be the same in that we continue to go through the bill and find those elements that we consider to be fair and appropriate. I will tell you that we don't agree with all of the items on the list. But on the other hand, we're aware of Congressman DeLay's amendment. We'll monitor its progress through the House and, of course, comply with the law, if it comes to that.

Q: Do you support it or oppose it, though?

Quigley: I'm not going to take a position on that. Until --

Q: The Pentagon has no position on that?

Quigley: We typically do not have a position on draft legislation, and that's what this is.

Alex?

Q: Have the authorities in Taiwan ever replied to the list of items that would be available to them for purchase to provide for their defense?

Quigley: When they would do that -- if it comes to that point, we would do then the appropriate notification and public announcement to the Congress. And up until that point, it would be a private bilateral exchange of information between us and the Taiwanese military and the government. So the means for publicly disclosing what the Taiwanese have come to an agreement upon would be our notification of the Congress, and we are not to that point.

Yes?

Q: (Off mike) -- how it would provide diesel submarines, should they ask for such a thing?

Quigley: We are continuing to work that one.

Pam?

Q: Senator John Warner this morning at a hearing suggested that his committee, the Senate Armed Services Committee, would like to receive from the administration a list of amendments to the ABM Treaty that would make the kind of testing contemplated possible without scrapping the treaty. Are you aware of any effort here in the Pentagon to draw up a text for such amendments to be submitted to the Congress?

Quigley: No, but if it was something he's done this morning, I'm sure that process is just starting. I'm not aware of that.

Yes, sir?

Q: I just want to go back to the U.S. military bases in India. (Off mike) -- defense minister for India, Jaswant Singh -- he was asked a question in India, and he said that India has not ruled out for the possibility of U.S. military bases in India. And that -- (off mike) -- something was discussed during his visit here with the U.S. officials. But he said he had not ruled out --

Quigley: The best I can answer -- I take no issue with that. It's just not an issue that is being discussed or negotiated, that I can find, anywhere.

Yes, sir?

Q: Going back to the security dialogue in Monterey, that's going on in Monterey this week, could you tell us who heads the U.S. delegation?

Quigley: No, I will not.

Q: (Off mike.)

Quigley: As I indicated before, I will not provide any details as to date, location, agenda, or attendees, other than to say that we will and have routinely discussed these issue with the Taiwanese.

Q: Is one of the goals --

Q: (Off mike) - -

Quigley: It's a government policy decision that we have taken for several years.

Q: So you're not confirming the meeting?

Quigley: I'm not.

Q: Is one of the goals of the dialogue to increase the interoperability of the two militaries, by any chance?

Quigley: I think I've got to stick with my original answer.

Q: One more question, if I may. (Off mike) -- said the other day that the U.S. armed forces would do their absolute best to carry out the president's directive to intervene in a Taiwan Straits situation, if so ordered.

Wouldn't that be a good idea, to have some kind of interoperability with the Taiwan armed forces?

Quigley: Well, we'll do our best to carry out the directions of the commander-in-chief, whatever the circumstances might be. You can have a philosophical debate till sundown as to what might be the appropriate way of going about doing that, but there are very specific and sensitive particular details that are contained in the Taiwan Relations Act. We comply with those, no more, no less, and that's where I will leave that.

Tom.

Q: On QDR, the secretary yesterday expressed his dissatisfaction with the work of the team looking at force structure. There was a report this morning and the early word, I think, inside the Pentagon said that report had called for 24 carriers and two Army divisions, although it's unclear if it was cut by two or only two Army divisions. Is that report accurate?

And can you also help us understand a little bit more, Admiral, where the disconnect is between the terms of reference and the work of these panels? Of the eight seven are run by civilians, one by the joint staff. The forces panel is run by civilians from PA&E, so who is misunderstanding the terms of reference?

Quigley: Let me try to take those one at a time. One, I do not agree with your term "dissatisfaction." I was in the room yesterday. I did not hear him express his dissatisfaction at all. I heard a very different explanation come out of the secretary's mouth, and I would refer you to the transcript as to how, in this own words, he described that process.

Second, I will not get into any of the parsing of the findings of any of the IPTs. Let the QDR be judged by its final product.

And on the third one -- repeat the third one, Tom. I'm sorry. What was the third question?

Q: Well, the third one goes to how the process works. Of the eight teams, seven of them are being run, managed by civilians, one by the joint staff. So when the secretary says they're either misinterpreting the terms of reference or there are ambiguities that must be dealt with, who is seeing the ambiguity, who is misinterpreting them?

Quigley: I think his description yesterday want to when you get the secretary, the chairman, the service chiefs were the ones that crafted the terms of reference that the IPTs then took as their guidance to begin their work in their particular area, one of the eight that you refer to.

Clearly, the senior group thought that their terms of reference were clear. They were unanimous in their agreement on the content and the wording of the terms of reference. But as the secretary said yesterday, clearly they missed on one, and that was a -- one of the specific terms of reference that gave the tasking to one of the IPTs, that they thought they understood one thing, they came back with an interim result to the secretary and the rest of the senior group, and it was clear there was a mismatch. So the senior group is clarifying further the terms of reference, the choice of words, the phrasing so that it is clear to the IPT what their tasking is. They'll go back, they'll do that again, and we'll move on.

Q: But did the final report reflect the civilians from PA&E who lead that panel, or was that driven by the military?

Quigley: Well, ultimately it's a collaborative process. It has been, it will continue to be. The secretary of Defense is responsible for the Quadrennial Defense Review. So the buck stops there, if you want to look at it that way. But the IPTs are composed of a combination of both services, the appropriate under secretaries' offices, whether it's acquisition or a budgetary issue or a people issue or what have you, as well as members of the Joint Staff. So you have all three of those elements working together under the leadership of a team leader. And then that team presents its findings to the senior group. And ultimately it's the secretary's Quadrennial Defense Review, and you'll have a process where that will be submitted to the Congress. The chairman by statute is obliged to provide a risk assessment of that overall product. And that all needs to happen by the end of September.

Yes, ma'am.

Q: Do you have a pay, then, schedule back to China, the EP-3, if you are going to pay at all?

Quigley: No. We do not.

Q: And not any time soon. Will the House resolution affect the activities here?

Quigley: Well, I believe it's not so much a resolution as it is a proposed amendment. And it is proposed legislation. So it's a -- we're very much aware of it. But it is not into law yet. If it comes to that point, we will, of course, obey the law.

Q: Can I ask one more question? On the meeting with Taiwanese officials, you said they had seven meetings. Is that during the past four years? Is that --

Quigley: Mm-hmm. Since 1997.

Q: Does that mean twice a year, then, regularly?

Quigley: It is not regularly in the sense of every X number of months they will have a meeting. It is not that regular. But it's a constant dialogue back and forth between the United States and Taiwan. When there are enough items on the agenda to be worthy of discussing, then they'll set a meeting.

Q: Would you reveal the level of U.S. officials who --

Quigley: No, I can't.

Barbara?

Q: Can I just go back to Tom's question for a second and make sure that I actually understood? This team -- is it correct that this team is led by civilians, chaired by civilians, whatever, civilian OSD officials? And so when the secretary said yesterday, you know, "they" missed on what -- the product they delivered, since they, civilians, head this team, in fact then what he is referring to is the civilians who led this team missed the product that he wanted to see? Am I understanding that correctly?

Quigley: I don't believe the secretary stipulated which of the IPTs he was referring to.

Q: Well, the one -- but he was referring to one of them that is led by civilian officials?

Quigley: Mm-hm. (Affirmative response.)

Q: Right. Okay.

Quigley: I mean, I don't think anybody's pointing fingers here and making some --

Q: I just want to make sure I understood. So when he --

Quigley: -- deep mystery out of this.

Q: Right. But he did -- the one he referred to generically, let's say, is led by civilians. So he's -- he's not saying that military people missed, he's saying that the civilian head of the team missed?

Quigley: In this case.

Pam?

Q: Could we have the terms of reference, if you strip out the -- like two or three classified paragraphs?

Quigley: We are working to try to do just that.

Q: That would make this a lot more understandable.

Quigley: I understand.

Yes, sir?

Q: Today Japanese prosecutors in Okinawa judged Air Force sergeant who has been handed over prior to indictment. So any comment on that? And do you think that the length of the detention period is adequate or too long?

Quigley: Oh, I won't offer a comment on whether I approve or disapprove of the Japanese legal system.

But we continue to be quite satisfied that he is receiving fair and humane treatment at every step along the way. This marks a next step in the process. We'll continue to be very much a part of that. A lot of the rules change now that an indictment has been handed down against Sergeant Woodland. There is a different process, there's a different time line that's brought into play here. But again, there's absolutely nothing that we have seen so far that causes us any concern for him receiving anything other than fair and humane treatment every step along the way: language interpreters, legal counsel, a very good understanding of the legal process that's followed in Japan. We'll be following it very closely, but it is a next step in the process, and we'll be watching it every day.

Dale.

Q: Just -- and I apologize in advance -- to go back to Vieques one more time --

Quigley: Mm-hmm.

Q: (Laughs.) We're now just a few days away from the referendum that the Puerto Rican government has scheduled on what should happen on Vieques. Does the department or the Navy have any plan to do anything between now and the date of that vote to try to influence the vote, to make an appeal to people to support the Navy or to stay home and don't take part in that referendum, or do anything that would influence that referendum?

Quigley: I am not aware of any such activities that you describe, no.

Yes.

Q: Could I go back to China?

Quigley: Uh-huh.

Q: Is the department going to resume military exchanges with mainland China?

Quigley: Would you ask that again? I'm sorry?

Q: The military exchange with mainland China, the secretary has that -- (inaudible) -- to make it case by case --

Quigley: Oh. I'm -- okay, I understand. No. I mean, we are still there. It is being evaluated. Proposals are being evaluated on a case by case basis by the secretary. And that's still where we are. I know of no intention, at least in the near term, to change that process.

Q: Any upcoming exchanges?

Quigley: Not that I'm aware of, Bill, no.

Yes.

Q: May I go back to General Shelton's visit one more time to India? (Laughter.) This -- formal high level visits have been taking place to and from India to the U.S. and from the U.S. to India, and this is the highest level military visit to the -- to India under this administration, and also the Indian defense minister was here. And suddenly President Bush also met with him while he was in the building here. What is going on suddenly between the two countries? There was a time when just years ago that the U.S. was not willing to talk to India at all and India was isolated, and now suddenly that they are -- everybody is going to India, including Christine Rocca, the defense secretary for South Asia. She is leaving tomorrow, on Friday -- on Saturday. And as far as military-to-military relations and exchanges under review, where India stands on those terms?

Quigley: I don't know if I can give you a really comprehensive answer to your question other than a desire to have as complete and appropriate mil-to-mil relationship with India as we can. India is a very strong democracy in a very important part of the world with whom we want to have good relationships, both between governments and between our militaries. And I think the steps that you're seeing here in the visits by both nations are a step down that path.

Q: Will you provide more in detail after General Shelton returns to the U.S. about his visit to India?

Quigley: We'll sure try.

Q: Thank you.

Q: Thanks.

Quigley: Yeah. Jim.

Q: On India, the sanctions -- I believe that there are some sanctions that limit the amount of military cooperation, at least military sales to India. Are they going to be lifted? Is that --

Quigley: They will not be an element under the Defense Department's control. I don't know. Ultimately that would come under the State Department.

Yes.

Q: If I could just follow, how far could you go, though, under the current sanctions regime in having military contacts with India?

Quigley: I don't know. Let me take that. Let me take that, and we'll see what the current restrictions are. [Update: Sanctions imposed by law after the 1998 nuclear test in India prohibit transfers of military technology between the U.S. and India. The sanctions also prohibit foreign aid programs. Currently, a presidential waiver does permit assistance under the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program. Sanctions do not prohibit military-to-military contacts such as discussions, exercises or port visits.]

Q: Thank you.

"THIS TRANSCRIPT WAS PREPARED BY THE FEDERAL NEWS SERVICE INC., WASHINGTON, D.C. FEDERAL NEWS SERVICE IS A PRIVATE COMPANY. FOR OTHER DEFENSE RELATED TRANSCRIPTS NOT AVAILABLE THROUGH THIS SITE, CONTACT FEDERAL NEWS SERVICE AT (202) 347-1400."