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Remarks by Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith to the Center for Strategic International Studies

Presenter: Douglas J. Feith
December 03, 2003
Feith:  Good afternoon.  I’m pleased to be back here under the sponsorship of the Center for Strategic International Studies and I thank your President John Hamre for the center’s hospitality and for his personal ongoing contributions to U.S. National Security Policy.

 

            The policy organization at the Pentagon does two main kinds of work.  There are the day-to-day tasks, drafting instructions for negotiators for example and working on coalition issues in the war on terrorism, conducting defense talks with other countries, or responding to a civil war in Liberia.

 

            This topical work tends to attract the most attention from the Congress and the press and the public.  But some of the most important work we do grabs few headlines.  This is the longer term thinking about U.S. defense strategy, which is the policy organization’s second major line of effort.

 

            From the moment President Bush came to office he’s asked the Defense Department how best to position the United States in the world for the decades ahead.  He and Secretary Rumsfeld have demanding appetites for strategic thought.  That is the large ideas, broad in scope that set courses that can run many years into the future.

 

            The name given to this effort is transformation because the President is determined that the Defense Department think boldly and remake itself thoroughly, changing the way we train and equip our forces, use them for combat, stability operations and otherwise position those forces around the world.  Work with allies and partners and conduct procurement and other business activities.

 

            Now some people think of transformation narrowly as a matter of using new technologies to produce better weapons but the concept is more comprehensive. 

 

A key facet of transformation is realigning our global defense posture. That is, updating the types, locations, numbers and capabilities of our military forces and the nature of our alliances.  That’s the aspect of transformation that I want to talk to you about today.

 

            Even before 9-11 President Bush said to me security threats of the future would differ from those of the Cold War era, that they required a different way of thinking and organizing our defenses.  He campaigned on a platform of transformation.  Since the Soviet empire collapsed, he observed, the world changed far more radically than our own defense doctrines, institutions, equipment and alliances had changed.

 

            I can report that the United States has made progress toward transformation during the Bush Administration. 

 

First we transformed our relationship with Russia. We recognize that the hostility that characterized U.S./Soviet relations during the Cold War has ended.  Hostility was enshrined in the doctrine of mutual assured destruction and the anti-ballistic missile treaty.  Accordingly along with the hostility we’ve set aside that morally dubious doctrine and that outdated treaty.  We’re cooperating with Russia in many fields, as President Bush and Putin agreed formally to make unprecedented cuts in their nuclear arsenals.

            At the beginning of this administration many commentators voiced anxiety about the risks of the U.S./Russian tensions over arms control, NATO expansion and other issues.  This is now a non-issue.

 

            Second, we’re transforming our alliances.  Today we have an enlarged NATO with increasing, though still far from adequate, capabilities.  A good plan for streamlining NATO’s command structure, a new NATO four-star command focus specifically on military transformation and an affirmative answer to that old chestnut, “Can NATO take on a mission out of area?”  NATO has taken on command of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and NATO assisted Poland in assuming command of a multi-national division responsible for stabilizing a portion of southern Iraq.

 

            Likewise we’re developing a more robust U.S./Japanese alliance, an up to date U.S./South Korean alliance, and a strengthened U.S./Australian alliance.  Our key Asia and Pacific allies are investing in new technologies, playing roles in Afghanistan and Iraq, coordinating with us regarding global and regional threats such as the North Korean Nuclear Program and working with us to rationalize the U.S. troop footprint in their countries to keep the alliances sustainable and capable well into the 21st Century.  And of course, we’re transforming U.S. military capabilities, strategies, technology and organization as well as hardware.

 

            As we transform deterrence and our alliances we want to transform our global posture.  Our current posture, as John Hamre mentioned, still reflects in many ways the mentality and the reality of the Cold War era during which U.S. forces deployed forward were defensive trip wire units that were expected to fight near where they were based.  The kind of forces used for that mission are not the agile, fast, lean forces we need for the future.

 

            Our forces overseas should not remain positioned to fight the Cold War.  In the immediate aftermath of the Soviet Union’s demise we reduced the numbers of U.S. forces deployed forward, but they remain concentrated in their Cold War locations from which they had to be deployed to deal with crisis elsewhere: in the Balkans, Persian Gulf, Central Asia and other locations. Key premises underlying our forward posture, have changed fundamentally.  We no longer expect our forces to fight in place. Rather their purpose is to project power into theatres that may be distant from where they are based. 

 

            We’re revising our thinking about forward deployed forces in light our new strategic circumstances.  The 9-11 terrorist attack literally brought home to us how dangerous those circumstances can be.  Terrorists as well as rogue states can command formable destructive power including through access to chemical biological or nuclear weapons but also by targeting the critical infrastructure on which advanced industrial societies rely.  U.S. and friendly territories are vulnerable.  The proliferation of chemical, biological, nuclear weapons and missiles continues.  Ungoverned areas serve as breeding grounds for global terrorism threats from these sources may require immediate military responses.

 

            President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld directed a re-examination of U.S. forward deployments that’s free of old orthodoxies and takes the long view.  We’re aiming to achieve the most basis and comprehensive review of the nation’s global defense posture since the United States became a world power.

 

            In the immediate post World War II period Dean Acheson had a sense that his work was creating institutions that would last a long time and he made that point by entitling his memoirs “Present and the Creation”.  President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld likewise are thinking about the relatively distant future.  In developing plans to realign our forces abroad they’re not focused on the diplomatic issues of the moment but on the strategic requirements and opportunities of the coming decades.

 

            Let’s be clear about what we are and what we’re not aiming to achieve through transforming our global defense posture. 

We are not aiming at retrenching it, curtailing U.S. commitments, isolationism or unilateralism.  On the contrary, our realignment plans are motivated by appreciation of the strategic value of defense alliances and partnerships with other states. 

We are aiming to increase our ability to fulfill our international commitments more effectively.  We’re aiming to ensure that our alliances are capable, affordable, sustainable and relevant in the future.

 

            We’re not focused narrowly on force levels that are addressing force capabilities.  We are not talking about fighting in place but moving to the fight.  We are not talking only about basing, we’re talking about the ability to move forces when and where needed.

 

            In transforming the U.S. global defense posture we want to make our forces more responsive, given the world’s many strategic uncertainties.  We want to make our military presence increasingly rotational with the emphasis, as I’ve noted, on the capabilities of forces rather than their numbers. 

 

            We want to benefit as much as possible from the strategic pre-positioning of equipment and support.  We want to make better use of our capabilities by thinking of our forces globally rather than as simply regional assets.  We want to be able to bring more combat capabilities to bear in less time that is, we want to have the ability to surge our forces to crisis spots from wherever those forces might be.

 

            It bears reemphasizing our military forces both forward deployed and based at home are only part of our military capability.  Another part is rooted in the network of alliances and security relationships that we created with other nations.  But the United States acts in the world, we don’t act by ourselves, but as part of community of states.  That network of friendships and alliances is a valuable element of this community.  The networks composition and nature have changed over the years as the strategic circumstances in the world have changed. To surmount such problems as terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and failed states we need to organize differently and increase our capabilities, realigning the U.S. global defense posture is an essential part of the what we need to do.

 

            Understanding of our realignment plans should help lay to rest the accusations of the U.S. papers unilateralism in national security affairs.  Our plans will help ensure that the U.S. has the defense resources and relationships in place to allow us to work with allies and friends in the future.  It will make those relationships affordable and usable, which is to say sustainable and relevant. 

 

            Our intent is to expand existing security relationships and develop new ones.  We want to build partnerships that manage concerns, ensure compatibility among forces and facilitate intelligence sharing.  In some cases U.S. forces will be in a supporting role. In other cases U.S. forces will be supported.  For example, we were in a supporting role when West African ECOWAS forces intervened recently in Liberia and when Australian forces did their peace operations in East Timor.  Examples of support for U.S. forces include NATO’s ISAP forces in Afghanistan and the role that British and Polish forces have taken in commanding multi-lateral divisions in Iraq.

 

            Changes in the U.S. global posture also aimed to help our allies and friends modernize their own forces, strategies and doctrines.  As we discussed the U.S. realignment with them, we’re discussing cooperative transformation efforts.  The new NATO Response Force and the Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk are examples of combined allied transformation efforts.

 

            Realigning the U.S. posture will also help strengthen our alliances by tailoring the physical U.S. footprint to suit local conditions.  The goal is to reduce friction with those nations, the kind that results from accidents and other problems relating to local sensitivities.  Removal of the U.S. Air Expeditionary Wing from Prince Sultan Air Base for example should help improve our relations with the Saudis, and relocating U.S. forces south and out of the densely populated Seoul area in Korea will help remedy various problems with the Korean public while serving other important military purposes as well.

 

            Our new posture emphasizes agility to respond to changing circumstances.  Intelligence is never perfect and we need to be able to hedge against errors regarding emerging threats.  We need to plan, but we must plan to be surprised.  Our forces will be deployed forward in regions selected to enable them to reach potential crisis spots quickly.  We also want to maintain familiarity with various parts of the globe.

 

            In the Cold War we focused on threats to specific regions, now we’re dealing with threats that are global in nature so the global strategies and actions are required.  President Bush’s proliferation security initiative is an example of a global strategy to dealing with the spread of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and missile related material and technology. We need to be positioned properly with the right forces, the right relationships, and the right authority to execute that strategy.  In addition we want to develop our capacity to project power from one region to another.  Threats don’t respect the administrative boundaries of the Defense Department’s Unified Command Plan. 

 

            There is value in developing support capabilities away from front lines, relying on so-called reachback technologies.  For example intelligence support, including battle damage assessment can be provided outside the theatre of operations.  We also may be able to increase our use of reachback capabilities of our allies and friends.

 

            Because our forward deployed forces are unlikely to fight where they’re based our key goal must be to make those forces rapidly deployable to the relevant areas, as events require. 

 

            We can project power in a rapid matter whether the base is in the U.S. or overseas but it’s helpful to have support infrastructure overseas.  Examples of an expeditionary approach to war fighting that drew upon such infrastructure include Kosovo, a case of power projection within a region in pursuit of regional stability and in concert with regional allies.  And Afghanistan, a case of global power projection in which forces flowed into central Asia from U.S., European and Asian theatres. We’re encouraging allies to establish deployable, truly usable headquarters and forces.  We intend to increase combined training for expeditionary operations for example, and to encourage allied participation in so-called high-end U.S. exercises. 

 

            For this deployability concept to work, U.S. forces must be able to move smoothly into, through, and out of host nations, which puts a premium on establishing legal and support arrangements with many friendly countries.  We’re negotiating or planning to negotiate with many countries for legal protections for U.S. personnel through status of forces agreements and agreements known as Article 98 agreements limiting the jurisdictions of the International Criminal Court with respect to our forces’ activities.  And we’re putting in place so-called cross servicing agreements so that we can rapidly reimburse countries for support they provide to our military operations.

 

            Military capabilities have increased stunningly over the past decade as a result of technology and innovations and tactics.  Our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have shown the world how relatively small forces can have large, strategic effects.  A single fighter-bomber sortie now hits multiple targets, whereas in the past multiple sorties were required to hit a single target.  Small teams of Special Forces and Marines supported by flexible close air support and often operating together with indigenous forces were able to accomplish missions in Afghanistan and Iraq that in the past would have required brigades or divisions.

 

            Old military thinking about numbers has been overtaken thoroughly by events.  Longstanding notions about ratios of offensive versus defensive forces and about how much can be accomplished by a certain number of troops or platforms have had to be revised wholesale.  Military and political leaders around the world are just beginning to absorb the lessons of the recent fighting to appreciate why U.S. officials emphasize military capabilities as opposed to numbers of forces.   These lessons have an important bearing on our global posture realignment.

 

            Our key purpose as I have noted is to push increased capabilities forward, which is crucial to the security the United States and of our allies and friends.  That purpose does not require that we push additional forces forward – in fact we can now have far greater capabilities forward than in the past with smaller numbers of forces.  We want to ensure that our allies and friends recognize that in transforming our posture we’re strengthening our commitment to secure our common interests even in those places where we may be reducing force levels.

 

            Last week President Bush announced that we would realign the global posture of our forces to better address the new challenges we face.  And we will be consulting around the world on this matter.  I’ve discussed the principles and purposes of our realignment work but I want to stress that no final decisions have been made.  So the consultations that the President announced last week will be real consultations.  All the decisions the President will eventually make will depend on the inputs we receive in the course of these consultations.

 

            How our partners react to our ideas is important to us, as are the steps they’re willing to take to advance our common security interest through host nation support and other needs.  Indeed, the consultations in and of themselves are an element of our global posture they help strengthen our relationships by harmonizing our thinking and our assessments of the threats and military requirements.  They give us an opportunity to explain the rationale of our global realignment such as our focus on capabilities rather than numbers.

 

            In their recent trips to Asia and Europe, Secretaries Rumsfeld and Powell began to describe our efforts.  Next week my colleague Under Secretary of State Mark Grossman and I will carry forward the consultations, which will over time include U.S. allies and partners in every region of the world.  This is a global initiative and our consultations will be global.

 

            Our friends and allies are sensitive to changes in the U.S. overseas posture, that’s why we’re consulting with them before the President or Secretary Rumsfeld make any decisions on changes.  Whatever improvements in military effectiveness the actual posture decisions produce, they will serve our interest fully only if they also help sustain and strengthen our ties with our friends, allies and partners around the world.  We’re confident that they will.  Thank you.

 

            Moderator:  Secretary Feith has agreed to take some questions.  I will be spotter so please identify if you’d like to raise questions.  Please wait until you get a microphone.  We’ll start right here in the third row.  And if you’ll please wait until you get a microphone so that everybody can hear.

 

            Q:  Tom Bowman with Baltimore Sun.  I wanted to ask you if you could talk some specifics and if decisions have been made. Clearly Germany, for example, is a big target in all this (inaudible).  How quickly do you think we’ll see U.S. forces out of Germany either to the United States or to smaller basis, elsewhere in Europe or in other regions?

 

            Feith:  Well we’re going to be talking with the Germans as part of this trip that I mentioned that Mark Grossman and I are going to be taking next week.  And we’re not going to pre-empt ourselves.  We have a number of thoughts that we’ve developed over the last two years or so since we’ve started working on this project but I meant it when I said in the remarks that no decisions, hard decisions have been taken. And we’re going to be talking with people all over the world including obviously the Germans who host a large number of U.S. forces now.  And a decision will be made after the consultations.

 

            Q:  Well you mentioned the Cold War legacy of some of these locations, would you concede that Germany is clearly a Cold War legacy where forces are located?

 

            Feith:  Well clearly we have been in Germany throughout the Cold War and a large part of the reason that the Cold War ended in such a brilliant victory without war was because of the partnership between Germany and the United States and the other NATO allies so that’s clearly part of the Cold War legacy.  But what we’re going to be doing now is looking as I said, decades out, and deciding how we want to be postured and what kinds of relationships and arrangements our authorities do want to have to be able to move forward and deal with problems as they arise in coming decades.

 

            Q:  (Reporter from Korea) Two quick questions.  Do you think the number of troops stationed in Korea will be reduced in (inaudible)?  And the other question is are you going to disband United Nations command in Seoul?

 

            Feith:  The issue of numbers will be discussed.  As I said no decisions have – if I’m going to be pressed on these decisions I’m going to have to continue to reply that we have not made any decisions.  What we have been focused on and what we’ve had pretty extensive discussions with our Korean allies about is rationalizing the footprint that we have Korea, moving forces around and doing consolidations and as I mentioned in my remarks getting them out of densely populated Seoul. 

 

            Seoul have grown enormously in recent years and we had forces in an area that was an outlying area once upon a time and it’s now right in the middle of urban Seoul and it’s obviously a good move and as I said I think it will improve our relations with the Koreans if we can move those forces out.  We have all kinds of good reasons to take multiple facilities that exist in places like Korea and consolidate them and get all the efficiencies that come from doing that. 

 

            I have nothing to say on the issue of the U.N. command and that will undoubtedly be part of the whole discussion that we have regarding the realignment of our posture in Korea, but we have no particular plans to make any changes in that area.

 

            Q:  (George Wilson): I wondered if you could fill in one low spot about the occupation of Iraq.  Why didn’t General Tommy Franks occupy Baghdad and set up his command post and declare martial law as opposed to keeping himself no closer than the Baghdad airport?  Was there some reason for that such as not enough troops, afraid of taking casualties?  Why didn’t we set up a command post of the victorious General in Baghdad and declare martial law at that moment?

 

            Feith:  Well I’m not going to attempt to write the history of so precise a question in front of you all here.  I guess the obvious response is that the question is better directed to Tommy Franks.  But there was a lot going on in Iraq at that time and lots of decisions were made and they tend to be very complex.  And a lot of the people who are looking back on those decisions are taking thin slices of a broad picture and challenging and reviewing and that’s a good thing to do and it’s what historians do, but there are a lot of complexities to these things.  And before I even attempt to answer that I would want to do the kind of study that a good historian would do to make sure that I understand all of the factors that went into General Franks’ decisions. 

 

            What I can say overall is that the job that Tommy Franks did and the insights that he brought in his war plan and the way he fought the war and accomplished what he accomplished in Iraq is something that is very admirable.  And he did a terrific job and I’m sure that all of his actions, every slice will be examined intensely over the years and that’s how it should be.

 

            Q:  Brian Bender with the Boston Globe.  You talked about moving from this regional focus to a more global one and you mentioned the Unified Command Plan.  Can you talk about how or what your thinking is on how the unified commands would operate differently than they do now given that forces will flowing to and fro and not necessarily be as static?

 

            Feith:  Well this is an issue that we look at continually.  Secretary Rumsfeld has a great interest in the Unified Command Plan. For general audience let me say Unified Command Plan is the allocation of responsibilities among the combatant commanders.  So it’s the plan that among other things draws the line between where the Pacific Command is and where the Central Command is and where the European Command is.

 

            Whenever you draw lines of that kind there are administrative seams and one of the challenges of the Pentagon leadership is to try to make sure that those lines of division among the areas of responsibility of the combatant commanders don’t create strategic problems for us, don’t create gaps.  The seams are in very interesting places, I mean the lines in the world are in very interesting places, and as I said in my remarks the world and strategy and events don’t respect these administrative lines.  And for example there’s a line between India and Pakistan. There’s a line between Israel and most of its neighbors.  There’s a line between Turkey and Iraq and it’s an on-going focus of our work to make sure that the fact that our combatant commanders have areas of responsibility that cut in half major regions of the world where there are problems among the countries in that region that are all interrelated – we need to make sure that, that does not blind us to things that we need to see and the Secretary has redrawn the lines in the Unified Command Plan and as I said we’re looking at a continually to see if we want to redraw the lines again or take other measures.  Sometimes we take organizational measure to try to reduce the seams and get the combatant commanders to work in certain ways and to conference in certain ways and to think strategically across these administrative lines.

 

            Q:  Don (Inaudible) of Deutche Vele, German Broadcasting.  Mr. Secretary what value do you place on the infrastructure the U.S. military has in Germany currently in terms of airfields but also in terms of housing for U.S. personnel and family?  And do you see this to be effected by your global repositioning?

 

            Feith:  Do I see - I didn’t catch the last part of your question?

 

            Q:  Is the infrastructure going to be effected by the realignment of troops?

 

            Feith:  Well there clearly is value in the infrastructure that’s been built up over 50 and more years in Germany and we are going to be making changes to our posture in every region of the world. I’m confident that there will changes in Germany too.  And whatever the changes will be will affect the infrastructure, as they will in Korea as they have the Middle East and I mean I just think that’s just inherent in the realignment activity.

 

            Q:  John Barry, Newsweek.  I’m going to cheat and ask two questions.  One technical and one strategic at least I hope.  You’re talking the bases in Korea you mentioned the common sense of rationalizing and consolidating them.  The comment one hears from military people is that if you consolidate you are simply making fewer targets.  It means that U.S. assets are going to present that fewer targets with the North in the event of a war and so that in a sense managerial efficiencies runs against military logic – that’s my first question if you’d address that?

 

            The second is in listening to you talk about the thinking behind the base analysis you talked of the necessity of thinking decades ahead but I didn’t hear you then dwell upon, I think you merely mention essentially the strategic changes that we’re likely to see in the years ahead.  One thinks of the rise of China, one thinks of the rise of India those sorts of things.  Is the base realignment strategy taking into account where America wants to be positioned vis-à-vis the great strategic changes in the years ahead?  Could you address that?

 

            Feith:  The later question first.  The answer is yes we are taking that into account.  But one of the concepts that Secretary Rumsfeld has worked very hard to develop within the Department is the concept of thinking strategically on what’s called a capabilities based model rather than a model that is based on being able to predict precisely where a threat may come from. 

 

            One of the Secretary’s big themes is that one never has enough intelligence to know precisely where the next threat is going to come from and certainly if you look over recent decades – and a remark that I know that I’ve discussed it with many of you here that you and that you’ve undoubtedly heard if you come around Secretary Rumsfeld is, when Dick Cheney was in his confirmation hearings for the Secretary Defense job in the 1st Bush administration he was asked no questions about Iraq. And when Secretary Rumsfeld this time around was in his confirmation hearings nobody asked a single question on Afghanistan. 

 

            This simply reflects the fact that the world is full of strategic surprises and no matter how smart you are you can’t expect to know precisely where the threats are going to come from or what you’re going to have to do with your military forces down the road.  And it’s for that reason that I didn’t focus on specific countries or specific threats because while we note the world as it is, and we note the threats that now exist, what we think we can do with greater confidence is identify the kinds of capabilities that we may confront and the kinds of capabilities that we’re going to need to have to deal with the threats down the road and we have a greater sense of our ability to do that than we do to predict precisely where we might have to fight and against whom and under what circumstances.  So that’s a long answer to your second question.

 

            And you first question was on?

 

            Q:  The military consolidation (inaudible)?

 

            Feith:  Well there are all kinds of trade-offs when one is talking about how to create a footprint and I mean as you rightly point out there are practical financial considerations, there are various benefits that come from consolidation having to do with the co-location of the people who have to work together and the like.  And then you go up the ladder to considerations of military security and effectiveness and force protection and the like and the whole range of considerations is taken into account.  And nobody is suggesting the kind of consolidation that would be militarily imprudent, but if one looks at the large number of facilities that we’re maintaining in Korea it’s quite clear that we can without crossing the line of imprudence do a substantial consolidation that will improve operations, improve efficiency, reduce costs and improve our relations with the Korean people, there’s a lot to be said for it.

 

            Q:  Nick Childs from the BBC.  You mentioned costs there and that’s what I wanted to ask you about really, was whether there is any overall conception in this and what the potential costs are?  Although as you say there’s the issue of possible consolidation.  Some of the things you were talking about like increased force protection capabilities like rotating forces in and out of regions, increased agility all sound relatively potentially expensive compared to garrisoning, which at least has the virtue of being relatively inexpensive.  Is this something that potentially could add to the projections for the defense budget in the years ahead?  Require additional funding?

 

            Feith:  That’s a very complex question.  {Laughter}.  Because what we’re talking about are such a large number of activities and different types over a long period of time that it’s really quite a challenge to try to come up with some kind of net financial assessment.

 

            We have been doing a lot of thinking about that. Obviously we can’t come up with anything precise until final decisions are made and as I noted that will have to await the consultations and one element of the consultations as I mentioned in my remarks is the question of how much of a contribution we’ll be getting from the various host nations who currently are contributing in various ways quite substantially to the common defense effort.  So it’s a good question that you raise and I don’t know the definite answer for it but in the issue of rotations for example, there are more expensive ways of doing rotations and less expensive ways of doing it.  One of the things we’re looking at is how do we do our various activities - its part of transformation - in a way that is clever and more cost effective.  And we have a number of ideas in that area also but I can’t really get into details and I can’t net it all out for you right now.

 

            Q:  James Kitfield from National Journal Magazine.  Two concerns that are raised when you talk about this construct more of a rotational base versus a permanent overseas presence.  One is you talk of the CINCs, you talk to the people over there they always tell you there is something gained by presence that you will not -

 

            Feith:  Both of points are important and correct.  We do not dispute that there is value in overseas presence, actually value of various types.  You get a better situational awareness, you get a better understanding of local conditions and cultures you get better relationships.  There are opportunities to learn practically useful things and whether it’s in the area of weapons technology or tactics, techniques and procedures just from living with one’s allies in their country.  So there are lots of benefits of being abroad.  This realignment does not represent a repudiation of our interest in our policy to have troops forward deployed and living abroad.  So I think that’s completely correct.  And the second point you made was?

 

            Q:  Hardship tours?

 

            Feith:  As far as hardship tours that depends how one organizes this and whether it involves hardship tours and whether it involves people living abroad with their families or without their families those are decisions that are somewhat down the road.  And it is not at all clear to me that at the end of the day we’re going to have more strain on our forces and we may have less depending on how the realignment goes.  It’s not inevitable if it goes one way or the other, it will depend on a lot of decisions that are yet to be made.

 

            Q:  Thank you very much.  Nikkei Newspaper from Japan, and I have just two quick questions.  One is how does – what kind of impact does, as transformation will bring to U.S./Japan security alliance?  And the second question is that during the (inaudible) administration U.S. has decided to maintain 100,000 U.S. troops in East Asia but does it mean that the U.S. will abandon it’s policy due to a transformation:

 

            Feith:  I miss the last one – does it mean that we will abandon?

 

            Q:  Does it mean that the U.S. will not continue this policy anymore?  Which means that the maintaining 100,000 troops in East Asia?

 

            Feith:  Transformation in connection with our alliance with Japan is as rich a concept as we have of dealing with allies because the Japanese are so capable.  When we talk transformation with our Japanese allies it covers the full range of issues that I outlined, that we mean by the term transformation, everything from rethinking strategies and doctrines to developing new technologies for intelligence and weapons systems and the like.  Not every country can participate in the full range of transformation activities, the Japanese can. We have been talking with our Japanese allies about getting them involved in the full range of transformation activities and one of the projects that’s most of prominence is cooperation on missile defense.

 

            On the question of the total number of U.S. forces that will be deployed in Asia I don’t know what that number is ultimately going to turn out to be, but it may be less than the current number.  And as I said, one of the most important lessons learned from Afghanistan and Iraq is that really sophisticated analysts looked at capabilities not numbers.  And in the old days people thought that there was such a tight correlation between numbers and capabilities that numbers became in the view of many people a reasonable measure of the degree of our commitment.  That is not any longer the case and it is going to take an effort but part of what we’re going to be doing in our consultations on this subject as we continue them is to try to educate people everywhere around the world about the fact that what we see as the key to preserving our alliances and fulfilling our commitments is ensuring we have the capabilities forward that we need to do the job, to maintain the alliances and those capabilities we want to push forward. 

 

            In some cases our ability to push those capabilities forward depends on our reducing the numbers because we always are resource constrained, everybody is.  You have to make sure that your alliances are capable and affordable, and that they produce the kinds of capabilities that are usable when you need them.  And in many cases streamlining your military and reconfiguring the footprint and having different kinds of equipment, some which maybe less labor intensive than other types of equipment can wind up giving you a force that you can afford, you can sustain for the long term, you can use when you need it.  It requires fewer people and gives you much greater military capability – that’s what we’re aiming at. And so I would urge anybody who is looking at these old numbers that were set as important measures of America’s commitment to a region – they should start to rethink that in light of what we actually learned about war in recent years.

 

            Moderator:  Last question.

 

            Q:  So you’re talking about global force review and you mostly are talking about U.S. forces abroad but does this global cover as well the territory of the United States mostly to downsizing the bases.  And if so, how those two processes are (inaudible) is the first question.   And second is sort of follow-up of what you said before.  A sort of brutal question, shall we translate your words to the terms that at the end of the day there will be less U.S. troops abroad and less U.S. troops home?  Thank you.

 

            Feith:  First of all on the issue of U.S. forces based in the United States.  Yes, that is relevant.  When we’re looking at how we are positioned around the world and where we have forces and where we’re going to house the various forces that we have, we’re looking at it globally and the United States is part of that global view.  We didn’t do this analysis saying whatever we have in the United States is going to stay unchanged and we’re simply going to move things around and around the world, nothing was going to stay unchanged.  We’re going to be realigning our posture at home and abroad.  And your second –

 

            Q:  That there would be less forces abroad and less force home?

 

            Feith:  I don’t think I want to venture a guess right now about how it’s going to net out. But it’ll be a remarkable coincidence in when this whole process is over we have the same number of forces abroad and the same number of forces at home.

 

            {Laughter}

 

            Moderator:  Thank you very much.

 

            {Applause}

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