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DoD News Briefing with Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul McHale and Lt. Gen. Vaughn at the Pentagon

Presenters: Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense, Paul McHale, and Director, Army National Guard, Lt. Gen. Clyde A. Vaughn
May 18, 2006

            MR. WHITMAN:  Well, thank you for joining us this afternoon.  My  apologies (sic) for being a little late here. 

 

            This afternoon I thought it might be helpful to you, given the tremendous amount of interest in the border security issue and the two individuals that we have with us today that have been involved with all the details of that -- Paul McHale, the assistant secretary of  Defense for Homeland Defense, and Lieutenant General Clyde Vaughn, who is the director of the Army National Guard are both here to answer any additional questions that you might have, given the recent announcements and the involvement of the department in some of these activities. 

 

            So with that, let me turn it over to the two of them, and we'll get going. 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  Great.  Thank you, Bryan. 

 

            Good afternoon.  Bryan has asked me to give about a one- or two- minute opening just to kind of frame the issues, and then I think General Vaughn will have a couple of brief comments to make.  And then we're eager to move to questions for the balance of the -- balance of the session. 

 

            I think, as most of you are aware, the task of maintaining the integrity of the U.S. international borders is assigned by statute to the Department of Homeland Security.  The deployment of military forces, therefore, along the southwest border will be in support of DHS.  As you know, the military forces will be drawing largely from the National Guard, and all National Guard forces will be under command and control of the governor in whose state the forces are then operating. 

 

            The initial commitment will be up to 6,000 military forces on a rotational basis for up to 12 months.  Military support will not exceed 3,000 personnel during a possible second year of deployments. 

 

            The Department of Defense will pay the costs on a reimbursable basis. The missions will include, for example, surveillance and reconnaissance, engineering support, transportation support, logistics, vehicle dismantling, medical support, barrier and infrastructure construction, road building and language support.  DOD will play no role in the direct apprehension, custodial care or security associated with those who are detained by civilian law enforcement authorities.  In short, law enforcement along the border will remain a civilian function. 

 

            The National Guard missions will be substantially similar to the annual training missions executed as part of our counter-drug program along the southwest border during the past two decades.  The difference is that the size of the force and the commitment of resources in this case will be far greater than anything we have done in the past.  The missions assigned to our soldiers and airmen will be directly related to the military skills normally associated with their warfighting and disaster response missions.  In addition, DOD and DHS will use civilian contractors when appropriate. 

 

            The National Guard deployment along the southwest border in support of the Department of Homeland Security is an important but temporary bridge to improved civilian security capabilities.  We will draw down our forces consistent with ongoing mission requirements. Men and women of the Department of Defense will work diligently and professionally to support DHS, improving our border security and simultaneously providing excellent training for our soldiers and airmen. 

 

            General Vaughn? 

 

            GEN. VAUGHN:  Thank you, Mr. Secretary. 

 

            There are probably several examples that we'll get to in the question and answer series of how we would do this, and we've done it for several years.  This will probably be a mixture of several of those cases.  If we look back at 9/11, you remember in the aftermath of that the airport security piece when we moved in in Title 32. 

 

            Again, moved out smartly and did what -- did what the president and the governors asked us to do on that.  And if you look at the Latin America and the Central America piece of this that we've done for many years in an annual training basis, there's 20 years' worth of history with that model down there.  The big thing is the states have met every requirement thus far, and I'm confident that -- that this is well within our capabilities to meet the requirement that we have today. 

 

            And so I look forward to your questions. 

 

            MR. WHITMAN:  Yes, ma'am? 

 

            Q     Mr. Secretary, can you be a little more explicit on the budgeting aspect of this?  Initially we were -- it was suggested that some of this would be part of the annual training, therefore possibly absorbed by some of the training funds.  How does that compare or justify with the 1.9 billion (dollars) that the president is seeking in the supplemental, including the 756 million (dollars) for the Guard?  Is that in addition to your authority in the budget, and how much is that?  And also, what are the budget offsets for this that are suggested in the presidential -- 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  I can, from my personal base of knowledge, give you a fairly comprehensive answer to that question, but not in quite the detail that I think you might hope for. 

 

            It is true that a good portion of the DOD expense related to the military engagement in this mission has been previously budgeted.  All of the National Guard personnel who will be deployed along the Southwest border have an annual training requirement, usually for two weeks of active duty, for training in preparation for their Title 10 active duty military missions were they to be called to federal service.  So virtually all, if not all, of the National Guard forces involved would have a two-week training requirement, and the costs associated with that annual training requirement have been previously budgeted. 

 

            Now, I don't want to imply that the pay and allowances for all of that duty has been previously budgeted because we've got a couple of exceptions to that.  We'll be looking at three-week rotations as opposed to two-week rotations.  In addition, the secretary of Defense has given guidance that we're working a partnership with the governors, and in some cases the Southwest governors have available  National Guard forces from within their own states that they might want to call to extended active duty beyond the scope of annual training.  And that, too, has not been budgeted.  So there are some pay and allowance issues that go beyond the scope of the annual training, but most of the pay and allowance expenses have been previously budgeted.  And we are, in fact, leveraging that budget capability to use soldiers for very meaningful training that simultaneously contributes to better border security. 

 

            Now, with regard to the 1.9 billion (dollars), there are expenses that go beyond that which has been previously budgeted, particularly related to operations and maintenance.  The O&M factors will be significant.  In addition, there may be a small Title 10 engagement in this mission. 

 

            That too has not been previously budgeted. 

 

            And so when we add up the most significant elements of DOD expense not previously budgeted and we overlay that expense on the available -- or what we think will be the available -- $1.9 billion allocation, roughly -- and this is an estimate at this point; it has to be -- roughly 756 million (dollars) out of the 1.9 billion (dollars) will likely cover DOD expenses not previously budgeted.   

 

            So we have the pay and allowance issues that have been budgeted, related to annual training. 

 

            We have principally the O&M expenditures that were not budgeted, and the reimbursement to DOD out of the 1.9 billion (dollars) is expected to be something in the range of 756 million (dollars). 

 

            Q     Right.  Again, do you know how much it's going to -- or how much of that already included budgeting for training -- 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  That's in addition -- 

 

            Q     -- that's going to be spent on this? 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  Yeah.  The 756 million (dollars) is above and beyond all previously budgeted expenses related to annual training.  So it is the incremental cost beyond the AT funding. 

 

            Q     Do you know how much that is?  How much the existing amount of money that's in the budget -- 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  For annual training? 

 

            Q     -- for annual training will be used for this -- 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  I understand your question.  I don't know.  General -- I don't know if General Vaughn knows the answer to that. 

 

            GEN. VAUGHN:  No, but that -- an interesting and great question because, you know, obviously, if you strike on any operation, the commanders have to do the recon and build it from the ground up.  So as you build this thing backwards from the four states coming back our way, this is the way we see it.  Here are the border missions.  Here's the way they see it. 

 

            Now, as we synchronize all that and then we figure out what can be done in annual training, then we'll extract what that is and apply this to the figure he just covered. 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  In answer in perhaps greater detail than you really want to that question -- we really can't answer your question with precision at this point because we don't yet know exactly how many soldiers will be employed in meeting these mission requirements while engaged in annual training.  We don't know the force mix yet because we have just received from the Department of Homeland Security the mission sets in which they would like to see us be engaged.  And so we now have to go through the mission analysis to determine how large a  piece of that mission requirement will come from forces in annual training, how much of that force might be drawn from the border states in extended Title 32 active duty, and what portion, if any, would be drawn from Title 10. 

 

            And so until we have that level of detail, we can't calculate how much of it is related to annual training and what has been previously budgeted to cover that cost. 

 

            Yes. 

 

            Q     Well, can I follow up on that?  The mission sets that you've received from DHS -- if you -- a couple of different questions here. 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  Yes. 

 

            Q     Are those basically the (caps ?) you've just outlined, but specifically, what mission do you expect Title 10 to do -- and let me make sure I understand what you mean by Title 10 -- are you talking federalized National Guard, current active duty?  How many in Title 10? 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  Right.  By Title 10, we mean current active duty Title 10 military forces, or conceivably Title 10 Reserve component capabilities drawn from services other than the National Guard.  We are not talking about federalizing the Guard. 

 

            Q     But how many active duty forces do you expect to devote to this, and to doing what jobs? 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  The answer is not many, and we're not sure at this point, although I can give you some examples.  

 

            There are certain capabilities that exist exclusively or primarily within our active-duty military force.   

 

            You know, for instance -- well, I'll give you a very clear example.  Last year we engaged in mission sets quite similar to these during Operation Winter Freeze along the New York-Canadian border. And while much of that force consisted -- it wasn't nearly as large as what we're talking about here, but it was a significant operation. While much of that force came from Title 32 National Guard employment, there was a small element of Title 10 active-duty personnel involved in that mission because they had unique capabilities for the remote detection of weapons of mass destruction.  And those forces were available to support customs and border protection in the event that there was a credible threat that a weapon of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists might be brought across the Canadian-U.S. border. 

 

            Another quick example: 

 

            The Marine Corps has a ground sensor movement capability.  That capability involves deploying sensors on the ground to detect human movement in a given area of surveillance.  And that capability -- I don't want to say it's unique to the Marine Corps, but it's certainly found primarily within the Marine Corps.  And that unit in the past also has supported these missions along the border. 

 

            Q     I'm sorry, but I really would like to follow up. 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  Sure. 

 

            Q     In terms of the Marines, are you talking about something like unattended ground sensors? 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  Yes. 

 

            Q     And in terms of the deployment that was on the Canadian border, what -- let's be very clear.  You just talked about it in terms of weapons of mass destruction. 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  Yes. 

 

            Q     Is that the mission it's going to perform on the border with Mexico? 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  No.  That was meant to be an example of how we augment National Guard capabilities, as required, with active-duty military forces.  

 

            The Marine Corps example is a much a better example.  There is a sensor platoon -- that's the size of a unit we're talking about here. There is a sensor platoon -- I think it's 4th Sensor Platoon within the Marine Corps -- that has that kind of ground sensor capability. And it is possible, as we have done in the past with that very unit, that that unit would be involved in augmenting the organic capabilities of the National Guard. 

 

            Q     But somehow you must have some sort of shape or feeling for it in your own view within the Pentagon here.  What are the ballpark numbers of active-duty military forces you see?  And do you see them actually going to the border?  Will they be in rear positions?  Will these be the troops that General Blum has talked about potentially being armed -- 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  Your question is a good one, but it's probably three or four days premature.  We just got the list late last night from DHS of the mission requirements that they would like to have us perform. I have reviewed that list very preliminarily.  I haven't seen any requirement that was obvious in terms of the need for active-duty Title 10 forces.  Most of the missions -- in fact, all of the missions that I have seen, with one possible exception -- have involved capabilities that we would normally find within the National Guard. 

 

            So I guess, just in closing, and to turn (sic) some other folks here, the expectation is that very few, if any, active-duty Title 10 military forces will be involved in this mission.  I don't want to close the door completely on that possibility, but the vast majority of forces will be in Title 32, drawn from the National Guard. 

 

            Yes, sir? 

 

            Q     I'll have two questions, if I could. 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  Yes, sir. 

 

            Q     One, can you say anything about what states these people might come from?  And secondly, if this is such a good idea, why is it happening four years after 9/11 and five years into the administration?  And why shouldn't people conclude this is really driven by tanking poll numbers and need to mollify conservative House members? 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  Let me -- I'll take the second part, but if General Vaughn could talk about the first part where the units are coming -- 

 

            Q     Well, I was hoping you'd take the second one and let him take -- (laughter). 

 

            GEN. VAUGHN:  We're in the Army.  I'll speak for the Army right now, of course, and I'm filling in for General Blum (sp) for the Army Guard and Air Force.  But I can talk to the Army how we would do that. And I think probably you would assume that maybe three-quarters of the force would come from the Army Guard. 

 

            We're an Army organization.  We're embedded deeply within the Army.  And there are other folks that will play, and just exactly who it is and where they come from -- that being the Army, and that also being the United States Forces Command, which is the Army force provider.  And I would tell you this:  it'll have a lot to do with who's in the queue to go in the next couple years overseas.  And now, I don't want to -- I don't want to give you a lead or anticipate that, oh, by the way, we think we're going to be at a particular level of a deployment the next couple years.  That's not what I'm saying.  But those units and soldiers that are apt to go overseas, we will train them specifically for the war set missions.  So we will look back at the soldiers and units that have just returned, returned the year before, and then the year before that.  And then, from a process of elimination we'll start through that, and we'll arrive at what that force mix and where it should come from.  And by the way, we have lots of states that are interested in supporting this mission. 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  With regard to the second half of the question, I think it's pretty clear.  This is a moment of historic opportunity in which we have the ability to achieve comprehensive immigration reform. Now, I'm from the Department of Defense, and I'm not qualified to comment on the political issues or the broader issues of immigration reform, but I think it is quite clear, and certainly was reflected in the president's statement the other evening, that border security is not -- is not to be seen as a challenge in the abstract, but rather as an integrated element of a larger immigration reform strategy. 

 

            And I'm a recovering politician, so I do follow what goes on in the United States Congress, and I know among my former colleagues this really is a -- probably the first time since 1986 an opportunity in terms of national policy to substantially review and reform the immigration laws and policies of the United States.  About once a generation we take a hard look at immigration and move that strategy forward in terms of both policy and the laws that reflect that.  And I think anybody who's following the Congress now realizes this is a historic moment in the Congress, and that as one piece of incremental movement toward comprehensive reform, a more robust, more effective presence on the border to achieve more meaningful border security is an enabler for reform affecting immigration generally. 

 

            And so I think four years ago I don't think that was the political climate.  I think the tactical climate is different today. I think the political climate is different.  And we're one part of a much larger national challenge and we're prepared to meet our obligation. 

 

            GEN. VAUGHN (?):  Let me add one thing I meant to cover on where they would come from.  And perhaps you were getting at that.  The hurricane states.  We will box off the hurricane states also until we get beyond the hurricane season, then we'll look at that again.  But we will not go to them. 

 

            Q     Yesterday  Secretary Rumsfeld told the Senate appropriators that states will be able to opt out of sending their troops there.  If you do back-of-the-envelope calculations on the 6,000 people on three- or two-week tours, you're up to 100,000 discrete people that are going through there.  So that's at least a quarter of the Guard.  How many states can actually opt out?  And what arrangements do you have with them for that?  And would you also speak about the issue of how many are likely to be armed and how you would go about avoiding like the tragic incident in 1997 when a Marine shot a -- 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  General, I'm going to ask you to talk about rules for the use of force. 

 

            GEN. VAUGHN:  Okay, sir.  Let me go to the opting-out piece.  You know, without the granularity on the front end to get to what kind of units really that are going to be required, it's hard to tell.  Right now it's very encouraging the number of states that are calling us about this.  And so, you know, opting out, that would be just conjecture on my part.  There's certainly a lot of good training.  Not  all our folks are going to Camp Swampy, for instance.  I mean, there's SNTC rotations and JRTC rotations in support of big Army training. 

 

            And so we've got to balance all that.  I'm comfortable that we'll be able to carry this mission. 

 

            Rules for the use of force mean, you know -- I'm going to have to kick this thing back, you know, on the attorney side.  But you know, soldiers carry weapons.  You know, as we head down this line, we have to remember that very thing, that Army soldiers carry Army personal weapons.  That's kind of the way that General Blum has laid this thing out. 

 

            Now, the rules for the use of force between the various attorney generals of the states and on the other side, how that works out and what they come to, that is being worked.  That'll have to be given to us.  We don't build that. 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  Let me -- first of all, I agree with what General Vaughn said, but let me bring a little more specificity to it. Lieutenant General Blum in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee last night indicated correctly that soldiers will be armed as necessary to execute their mission requirements associated with this deployment.  We are not engaging in law enforcement activities. The contact between soldiers and those who are apprehended by civilian law enforcement authorities will be minimal.  Very few of our soldiers will likely be in positions where they face physical risk.  Every soldier who is in such a position will be armed, and there will be standardized rules for the use of force to guide that soldier in using his or her weapon primarily for purposes, if not exclusively for purposes, of self defense. 

 

            But we do not expect that a large force of armed soldiers will be placed in close proximity to the border.  We're in a supporting role to DHS, and most of the functions that we envision involve building roadways, constructing barriers, doing aerial surveillance, doing intelligence assessment -- the kinds of positions in which those soldiers in supporting roles will not be placed in personal danger. 

 

            But consistent with what General Vaughn said, any soldier who is in a position of potential danger will be armed and will have thorough familiarity with rules for the use of force so that that soldier can protect himself or herself against any foreseeable danger. 

 

            Yes, sir? 

 

            Q     Sir, you've mentioned that DHS gave you the list of mission requirements.  Can you tell us what was on the list? 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  I've had very little time to review it, but I have reviewed it, and it is consistent with the general description that I have given to you in my opening comments.  Really, the best guidance I can give to you is, if you want to know what we're going to be doing, look at what we have been doing through the National Guard in the counterdrug missions going back to 1989.  The kinds of things that we have done routinely will be the kinds of things that we will be doing on this deployment, except that we'll be doing those things with more people over a larger area with greater resources.   

 

            And so if you go back to 1989 and the counternarcotics program that is statutorially assigned to the Department of Defense, we have been building barriers, we have been constructing roadways, we have been doing extensive aerial surveillance, wide-area reconnaissance to detect movement across the border.  As one gentlemen referenced in an earlier question, we have routinely placed ground-based sensors to detect illegal movement across the border.  We have done intelligence analysis.  There are a few other missions sets that will be part of this requirement that go a little bit beyond, but not markedly beyond what we have done in the past -- some transportation requirements, things of that sort.   

 

            But essentially, over a much larger expanse, with more equipment, more people, more resources, we'll be doing much the same thing in support of border security that we have been doing in support of counternarcotics.  And the list from DHS largely reflects -- in greater detail, but largely reflects that mission set. 

 

            Yes? 

 

            Q     Yes, when do you expect the first Guard troops to actually arrive for this mission?  And when do you expect it really to be ramped up to where you the full presence? 

 

            GEN. VAUGHN:  The pieces that we've seen would lead us to believe that this is early June.  And the ramping up of that, you know, just like any other mission, you know, between the site surveys and just what's required down range, you know, if it's large and heavy on the engineer construction, there are plans, there are building materials, there's a lot of things to move before you start actually moving soldiers in.  But when you get into the reconns and the things that have to go on, you'll start to see some movement in June.   

 

            And, in fact, you know, in the border states, there are usually so many training activities going on in and around, some people could even mistake that, you know, for that.  There's already -- in the counter-drug arena, there's already forces down there.  But you'll see movement in June. 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  And one point relevant to that, we have an obligation -- it's a legal obligation, it's a moral obligation -- to make sure that our soldiers during annual training receive training that better prepares them for warfighting or for consequence management missions related to disaster response.  What we don't want is to prematurely move people into the area of operations before we can effectively and immediately employ them in MOS training.  We don't want soldiers sitting on their packs.  We don't want to make a statement in terms of the speed of movement that is then belied by a lack of activity once the soldiers get there.  So we'll be looking at a phased deployment into the AOR in order to ensure that upon arrival or almost immediately upon arrival we can begin giving to these soldiers the training that they deserve. 

 

            Yes, sir.  Hit him, and then we'll come back up to you.  Yeah. 

 

            Q     Just to clarify, has it been decided that active duty troops will be part of this component and the decision now is how many? 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  It hasn't.  And that's really what I was trying to say earlier.  We want to keep the door open to -- you know, I hate to describe it as a niche capability, but there are certain technical capabilities that may exist among limited personnel on active duty. And if we determine that the National Guard capability needs to be augmented by that active duty capability, we want to preserve the opportunity to do that.  But we have not determined any Title 10 capability that is essential to augment the National Guard, at least at this point. 

 

            Q     And a quick follow-up.  You mentioned -- what -- how is this deployment, how is being on the border for two or three weeks going to help National Guardsmen prepare to go downrange? 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  If you have a -- I'll give a brief answer and then turn to the general, who's quickly at my elbow and eager to answer that question.  If you have a National Guardsman who is a combat engineer, putting that combat engineer on a D-9 dozer to build a  roadway along the U.S.-Mexico border is about the best MOS training he can possibly have in preparation for the earth-moving he would do in a warfighting environment.  If you have a communicator, putting that communicator on the border to construct a communications net identical to similar to what he or she would be using in a -- in an overseas environment is great MOS training.  If you have a pilot, a helicopter pilot, putting him or her up in the helicopter with a FLIR capability in order to conduct night vision surveillance of the border is great training for what he or she might do in combat two or three years later.  There -- we will be matching, as we have routinely for 20 years, we will be matching the training requirement for the mission at hand to ensure that our men and women receive the kind of training that they deserve, not only to make a contribution to border security, but from a long-term perspective, to be better prepared for overseas warfighting or domestic consequence management. 

 

            GEN. VAUGHN:  That was an excellent answer.  (Laughter.)  If they deploy -- if they're going to train for two to three weeks -- and there are functional areas that this just perfectly lends itself to -- we have proved that there's efficiencies involved, especially in the engineer model, because, you know, when you get all this laid out -- and as he described, there's a lot of work has to be done up front for that -- but there will be a lot of forces that are engineers.  And they are available because all of our engineers have deployed, and on the Army forces generation model, they're in the first part of the model, which says they're available for the homeland. 

 

            So if you run those engineers in there, where everything's properly prepped, and you work them to death and then run them back out and send in the next team, it is a heck of a model, and it's been proven in the Latin America for some time.  That won't cover all the functionals, but that'll certainly cover some that there will be a lot of people involved in. 

 

            MR. WHITMAN:  Looks like we've got a couple more, and then we'll have to bring it to a closing. 

 

            Yes, sir? 

 

            Q     Thank you.  When will you announce what states will contribute?  And what kind of equipment do you think they'll bring to the fight?  And does this mean more UAV capability onward? 

 

            GEN. VAUGHN:  I think, first of all, it would be completely conjecture to talk about UAV capability from the Army National Guard. We're not fielded that heavy in UAV capability with the Guard, okay? 

 

            Equipment-wise our equipment is getting better across the nation. You know that we're having to put a lot of equipment into the hurricane states.  The Army is putting a lot of equipment into the hurricane states.  The active force is working very close with us to make sure that those hurricane states have what they need, and they've done a risk analysis of it. 

 

            Okay, so it comes up -- then where would you get this equipment, you know for the border, and you've got to go back and analyze what that particular set is.  I would say just jumping out in front that the states will have to provide some equipment.  The states -- the four states involved in this will have to carry some equipment on this, and we'll have -- we'll go to the states outside of the mission  set for the next war fight rotations and outside of the hurricane states as we gather in these annual training rotations.  And we will move and rotate equipment through there for training. 

 

            Q     When will you announce the states that will contribute? 

 

            GEN. VAUGHN:  We have a family of plans in this business that has to go together.  In order to have clarity, we have to have the mission come from JCS.  It will come to the services or come to the chief of bureau, whatever, but it has to come over to the Army and to the Air Force side. 

 

            Once we get that, and our commanders on the ground, who are the adjutant generals and the governors, and they've done the mission analysis, and that comes backward at us, we will take that piece that they can't do beyond their capability and we will go backwards from there within the qualifications that I gave you a while ago, and we will fill in the blanks on that.  

 

            And I would say just as a shot, it will take us at least a couple of weeks, you know, to get the first couple of phases done after we receive the mission from our higher headquarters. 

 

            MR. WHITMAN:  Let's make Pam's likely three-part question the last one.  (Laughter.) 

 

            Q     Could you set -- 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  Does he always treat you like that? 

 

            Q     Well, I begged him. 

 

            Could you set our expectations?  At the end of the year we will have, say, 100,000 people have rotated through a border mission, have spent over $700 million-plus on this.  What is the expectation as to how much illegal immigration is going to be cut?  I mean, if we only see a 10 percent cut, will it be worth it?  Should we be expecting something much larger?  What kind of metrics are you using? 

 

            MR. MCHALE:  We're in the process of developing those metrics. But let me tell you what you should look at, and then perhaps put it in context to suggest some things that would not by instinct be apparent as metrics for success. 

 

            When we first started talking about this, there were some in the discussions who viewed apprehensions, the number of apprehensions of illegal aliens the primary, maybe the exclusive metric of success.  If we put out this capability along the border and we reinforce the ability of Customs and Border Protection to interdict illegal aliens coming across the border, we provide surveillance, let's say, and we then provide sufficient information to CBP that they can interdict and apprehend a greater number of people, there were those who argued that we simply measure the number of apprehensions, compare it to past apprehensions, and if we apprehend more people, the mission has to a quantifiable degree been a success. 

 

            I think that's really tortured logic, because I think one of the measures of success, not easily quantified, is deterrence.  The fact that we communicate that there will be a more robust capability along the border provided in a supporting role by the National Guard, may well deter the number of people who would otherwise try to come across the border illegally, knowing that the likelihood of capture is far greater. 

 

            And so I'm not sure how we measure deterrence, but I know for sure that deterrence is one of the strategic goals to be achieved by having a more robust presence along the border.  And so I think over time we're going to have to look at a totality of the circumstances, to include a lot of factors, such as some measure of deterrence, some measure of humanitarian relief.  I think we're going to save lives that otherwise would have been lost in the desert, because we will have a better idea of who's attempting to cross the border under life- threatening conditions. 

 

            I think a measure of success -- the secretary made reference to it yesterday -- may be improved military training at places like the Marine Corps's Yuma Range.  We have had a terrible impact upon training opportunities at that Marine Corps range because of the presence of illegal aliens crossing the border, entering the range, thereby causing the range to shut down.  That's not an insignificant problem.  It's been a huge problem.  If we are able to, for instance, construct barriers that would substantially decrease the adverse impact upon that range and simultaneously save lives that that otherwise might have been lost in the desert, that too is a metric of success. 

 

            So we don't have an easy pattern of metrics at this point, readily quantifiable.  But I think over time we will develop an ability to assess the totality of circumstances to determine:  Are we deterring people from crossing the border, catching more people who try, saving lives that otherwise might have been lost, and improving military training in areas that in the past have been areas of high traffic for illegal movement?  Those are the kinds of things that we'll be looking at over time. 

 

            MR. WHITMAN:  Thank you very much. 

 

            Q     Thank you.

 

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