(Also participating was Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff)
Rumsfeld: Good afternoon.
Tomorrow is an important day in our democracy, the day that Americans determine who will represent them in the U.S. Congress and in the many state and local jurisdictions. It's an important reminder of why we are engaged in the global war on terrorism. Terrorists attacked us because of the fact that we are free people, and we're determined to do what is necessary to defend our freedom and our way of life.
Next, I want to point out that Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith left over the weekend for Japan and South Korea. Both nations are important and steadfast allies of the United States. He will confer on the full range of security issues affecting our respective countries, including the war on terrorism, the ongoing effort in Afghanistan and the threat posed by North Korea's weapons of mass destruction programs.
Also I want to point out that last Monday, in response to an emergency request by the World Health Organization, the U.S. helped with an outbreak of whooping cough among children in northern Afghanistan. An estimated 70 children had already died of the bacterial infection in a remote part of Darwaz district, and it's estimated that as many as 100 to 200 more children could have died each week if untreated. To reach the isolated region normally takes three or more days on horseback. And since the vaccine has a shelf life of only two days when it's not refrigerated, it might well not have survived the trip. The photographs give you a sense of the difficult terrain.
To stop the spread of the whooping cough, U.S. helicopters transported a team of WHO Personnel with vaccine to treat some 2,000 people. U.S. military forces performed an important mission to save lives, and they deserve and have our appreciation.
Meanwhile, Iraq continues to violate U.N. resolutions by firing at coalition aircraft patrolling the northern and southern no-fly zones. General Myers will give you the latest operational details. It seems to me that it tells a great deal that today, at the very time that the United Nations is debating and discussing a new U.N. resolution on Iraq, that the Iraqi regime continues to attack coalition aircraft and crews.
Myers: Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
As operations -- as Operation Enduring Freedom continues, coalition forces in Afghanistan continue to recover weapons, and at the same time, experience rocket attacks on their compounds there. In the Persian Gulf, maritime intercept operations continue, and this week alone, there were 73 diverts of primarily what we call the dhows, the smaller ships that were smuggling illegal oil and dates from Iraq. And that effort, of course, by Iraq was not in accordance with U.N. resolutions.
Moving to Iraq proper, anti-aircraft weapons continue to fire upon coalition aircraft as they have. We have two video clips where we see firing on coalition aircraft, and we have one video clip where we respond. The first clip was taken on October 24th, and shows two Iraqi Ringbacks firing at Operation Northern Watch aircraft just west of Mosul. Ringbacks are 122-mm multiple-rocket launchers modified for use as surface-to-air missiles.
There are two launchers, one near the center of the screen, and one at the lower left. The center one fires first.
And so we can begin the video.
Q: It just went.
Myers: Did it go?
Rumsfeld: It's happened?
Myers: It's happened.
Rumsfeld: That was quick.
Myers: That was quick.
Q: What's their range, General --
Myers: I'll get that for you. (Answer: Maximum altitude: 56,000 feet for 122 multiple rocket launcher; 41,000 feet for 100-mm AAA.)
The second clip was taken on October 22nd, and shows Iraqi 100-mm AAA firing at coalition F-16 aircraft from orchards located northeast of Mosul. You've got to watch the top center of the screen. Has it rolled yet? The top center will show the firing.
Roll the video. The top center. (Pause.)
Okay. And then the last clip was taken on October 30th, and shows two of our F-16 aircraft dropping laser-guided bombs on two of the three AAA guns in revetments. This laser-guided bomb is a 500-pounder. And the battle damage assessment said we destroyed one gun and damaged the other.
Q: Why can't they hit anything, General? Not us, but them.
Myers: I'm sorry?
Q: Why are they so unsuccessful in hitting us? They've been trying for 10 years.
Myers: I guess given tactics and techniques and procedures, that we can avoid that. And as you know, sometimes the SAMs they send up are unguided because if they turn on the radars, then we can hit the radars. So in some cases it's cautiousness; in some cases it's probably luck; and in some cases it's good tactics on our part. But it's -- every -- let me just remind you, every mission over there -- and I'm sorry, I said they were both from the south and the north; they're actually all in the north -- Northern Watch area.
Myers: These were all Northern Watch.
That every mission that our pilots go on is considered, you know, a combat mission, for obvious reasons. They have come close, they have come close to some of our reconnaissance aircraft. If you remember, it was what, about eight months ago or nine months ago, when the pilot reported feeling the shock from a surface-to-air missile, unguided, supposedly, that went off very close to the air vehicle.
So with that, we'll take your questions.
Q: Mr. Secretary, the Saudi foreign minister said yesterday that Saudi Arabia -- even if the U.N. approved military action against Iraq -- which we understand that the president has not made any decision on military action. (Laughter.) But the Saudi foreign minister --
Rumsfeld: Very good, Charlie!
Q: But the Saudi foreign minister said that even if the U.N. did support such action, that the Saudis would not provide basing rights or military support. Meanwhile, the Kuwaitis said that they would, said yes, that they would provide such support.
Do you think that that's the final word from the Saudis? And if it is, could the United States, our coalition, launch a successful invasion of Iraq without Saudi support, military support?
Rumsfeld: Well, I did not have a chance to see the foreign minister's statement, so I can't address that. And you're quite right; no decision has been made with respect to the use of force in Iraq.
The U.S.-Saudi relationship is one that has gone on for many, many decades. It's been very mutually beneficial. As you know, we have a good deal of interaction with them now in the Department of Defense.
I don't know that what you quoted is necessarily a change in their policy. So I don't -- I don't find it notable in any sense. And with respect to --
Q: How come it wasn't a suggestion of change?
Rumsfeld: With respect to the rest of your question, sure; anything the president asks this department to do, we'll be capable of doing.
Q: Even without Saudi help?
Rumsfeld: I didn't say that. I said it the way I wanted to say it because -- first of all, even the quote you gave did not suggest there would be no Saudi help; it was fairly precise as to what it said.
And I think it's -- I think I've been right for a year and a half in saying that it's best to let countries say what they want about what they do and how they do it, rather than for me trying to recharacterize it or for me to respond to a question from you where you characterize something that was said.
We have a good relationship with Saudi Arabia and it's been mutually beneficial.
Q: Mr. Secretary, what can you tell us about the car explosion that was reported today in Yemen? Were any U.S. forces involved in that? And have you learned anything about the aftermath of who was killed in that event?
Rumsfeld: I've seen the reports. And the discussion in one of the reports -- I didn't notice whose report it was, but it looked like a wire service report of something out of the region -- it said that Harithi might be involved, in which case, as I recall, he was in fact one of the people that is thought to have been involved with the USS Cole.
Q: Have you confirmed that through government sources?
Rumsfeld: No. I have not. And needless to say, he has been an individual that has been sought after as an al Qaeda member, as well as a suspected terrorist connected to the USS Cole. So it would be a very good thing if he were out of business.
Q: And the U.S. role in that? Was there any U.S. role in that operation?
Rumsfeld: I think the best -- the reports have just been coming in, and what I'd like to do is to look at them and digest them and see. We, of course, have people there. But the -- it wouldn't be a wise thing to be operating off of partial pieces of information.
Q: Mr. Secretary, what do your boys over in Foggy Bottom tell you about what's going on in the Security Council? I know you're reluctant to talk about it. But we get from a lot of sources that a compromise resolution has been worked out. Is that true? And if so, will it be voted on this week? And is it satisfactory to the United States and the U.K.?
Rumsfeld: Well, the negotiations have been going on for several weeks now, and Colin Powell and the White House have been discussing these things with the countries that are the principal participants in the Security Council. And my understanding is that a good many of the issues have been worked out and that there are now several issues that remain and that they are being discussed, and they will be discussed, then, internally in the United States government, and then the United States government will discuss them, one would think, as they move towards a conclusion sometime this week, or whenever. But as you know, DOD is not intimately involved in that.
Q: But you're in the loop as far as being an interested party, I would assume, right?
Rumsfeld: Sure. Sure. Sure, we're interested. And needless to say, the purpose of these discussions that are taking place is to try to find a resolution that offers Iraq an opportunity to decide if it wants to continue to maintain and develop weapons of mass destruction, or whether it would prefer to invite in inspectors under an inspection approach that is sufficiently inclusive that the U.N. will be able to know of reasonably certain knowledge whether or not Iraq is cooperating. And therefore, the give and take on the resolution is how that ought to be teed up for the Security Council to vote on it, and that's what's taking place.
Q: What's your gut feeling?
Rumsfeld: Well, I'd kind of like to wait and see what it looks like when it's all over.
Q: General, do you and the chiefs share the concern of some in government that the recent sniper attacks in the Washington area will become part of the kit bag of terrorists and, therefore, be under the umbrella of asymmetric warfare? And how big a weight would that be in weighing the response to Iraq?
Myers: Well, I mean, I think the idea of using snipers to create uncertainty and confusion and perhaps a degree of panic in populations is no different than the anthrax attacks that we had on the Senate office buildings and the Capitol; no different, really, than what we saw on September 11th in terms of using the airplanes. So I think it's those sorts of things. So I have no idea. I mean, it's just -- it's unknowable how that will work. I think -- my personal belief is that the al Qaeda organization is interested in killing lots of Americans. They've stated that as such, I think, and therefore, I'm not sure this sniper would be the way they'd go about it. On the other hand, who knows?
And I don't -- the only -- I don't know the connection to that and Iraq. I don't know where you're headed with that. What was your thought?
Q: Well, in other words, if we invaded Iraq tomorrow morning, perhaps a response would be sniper attacks in cities in the United States. Therefore, it's a weight on the scale.
Myers: Well, I think -- you know, job one is the war on terrorism, and we're going to have watch that very, very carefully, as we do other things in the world that we have to do. And that would fall in that category, I think, of things that you have to watch out for. Of course, here in the United States, that would be primarily a law enforcement issue, notwithstanding the information sharing that would have to go on between the department here, other intel agencies and the civil authorities.
Q: Mr. Secretary, how do you assess -- (off mike) -- vis-a-vis to Iraq after the new elections in Turkey yesterday, where Mr. Erdogan, the new leader, already expressed some reservations?
Rumsfeld: I have not seen any statement to that effect at all, so I don't know that even answering the question makes much sense for me. I've seen the outcome of the elections, but I've not seen any authoritative comments from any of the people who were elected with respect to that subject.
Q: And one more question. Anything to say about your talks tomorrow with the chairman of the Turkish Joint Chief of Staff, General Hilmi Ozkok?
Rumsfeld: Yes. He is the guest of General Myers. General Myers is going to have meetings with him, as I am and others in the administration.
(To General Myers) And I believe you're hosting a dinner for him?
Myers: Yes, sir.
Rumsfeld: And we look forward to it. We welcome him to the United States.
Q: Mr. Secretary, General, last week General Franks hinted at kind of expansion and formalization of our presence in the Horn of Africa area in the war on terrorism. Have any decisions been made that you can discuss? And can you sum up what our interest is in the Horn of Africa area?
Myers: Want me to try it?
Rumsfeld: Sure, go ahead.
Myers: We have several interests. One is that the Horn of Africa turns out to be a fairly busy place in terms of the flow of people and other instruments of war: weapons, explosives, perhaps weapons of mass destruction, that those sorts of things -- certainly intelligence -- that it flows either through the waters there or through some of the countries.
Second thing is that in the Horn of Africa there are a number of areas that you can call ungoverned or at least not under some government's tight control; where terrorists can gather and either do operational planning or training, and so forth. And so, we're very interested in the area for that reason and positioned forces there to take appropriate action. Going beyond that in terms of what the forces are going to do would get into the operational details, which I don't think I can do.
Q: Have you formally decided on a creation of a special task force for the Horn?
Myers: There is a task force that is -- yes.
Q: (Off mike.)
Myers: It's almost stood up.
Q: What will the task force name be?
Myers: I'm sorry?
Q: What will the task force's name be?
Myers: I'll get you that.
Q: Mr. Secretary, you and others have said many times that Iraq is very accomplished at hiding weapons of mass destruction, moving them around. Even when this U.N. resolution passes and inspectors go back in, do you think that there's a chance that they may not find anything, because Iraq is so accomplished at that? And what happens then?
Rumsfeld: Well, those are all, you know, open questions. The answer as to whether or not that's possible, I think, is a function of what kind of an inspection arrangement is finally decided upon by the Security Council. That is to say, what does the resolution contain? And does it have the prospects of being such that it would be next to impossible for Iraq to, over any sustained period of time, deny and deceive? It is -- as we've said, it's very difficult, if a country is determined to be uncooperative, it's very difficult for inspections to work, because inspections by definition are generally with a cooperative country.
But we won't know, either, what the inspection program will be till the resolution's done, nor will we know what Saddam Hussein's reaction to that inspection regime is. Therefore, the question isn't answerable at --
Q: But even if it is this unfettered inspection process, do you think there's still a chance that they may not find something?
Rumsfeld: Oh, goodness, I'd have to -- I really would have to see the -- what was -- I'd have to see the inspection approach, and I'd have to see what the Iraqi response to it was to have a sense of that.
Q: Secretary, could we go back to Saudi Arabia just for a moment? I can see where the -- a member of the American public might be asking themselves, "Here's Saudi Arabia, a country the United States went to defend in 1990, has spent considerable time defending, and yet, appears to be such a reluctant ally in public." Now, you seem to be saying, "Don't worry about it." But doesn't it bother you at all that the public support from Saudi Arabia seems to be so lukewarm? And how would you explain that?
Rumsfeld: Well, I kind of take the world like I find it. And what we have is a situation where countries all across the globe are cooperating with us in a variety of different ways, and each gets up in the morning and decides how they want to characterize that. And if that -- if accepting that maximizes the amount of assistance we get from countries, terrific; then we get the maximum amount of assistance and we have the best chance of putting pressure on terrorists and capturing them or killing them, arresting them, interrogating them, finding out more information and preventing more terrorist attacks. So the formula is not perfect, but it is clearly -- the formula of allowing other countries to explain what it is they're doing is clearly in the best interest of the United States of America.
Q: But are you saying, don't read too much into these public statements from Saudi Arabia?
Rumsfeld: I wouldn't want to say something like that. (Laughter.)
Q: Are you saying, don't worry about it?
Rumsfeld: No. I'm saying exactly what I said. And I thought I said it, you know, reasonably well.
Q: Can you describe what concerns you have, what concerns the U.S. has with Yemen and its -- as a potential place where terrorists pass through, live, do deeds that are harmful to the U.S.?
Rumsfeld: What our understanding is? Yeah, sure. We approached the government of Yemen -- and the president has visited here in the Pentagon, as you know -- and indicated a desire to have their cooperation in the global war on terrorism. They allowed as how they thought that was a good idea and that they would like to cooperate. And as a result, we have some folks in that country that have been working with the government and helping them think through ways of doing things.
And it's been a good cooperation. And we've shared some information. And we think that over time it ought to be beneficial because there's no question but that there are al Qaeda in Yemen, there's no question but that to some extent they've take advantage of, on the one side, the sea, on the other side, borders that are sparsely populated, just as in other parts of the world borders have been used advantageously by terrorists. So the arrangement's been a good one, and it's ongoing.
Q: On the most recent explosion there yesterday, just so I understand this, you have some information, but you can't share it with us, in terms of what role the United States may have played in --
Rumsfeld: I think I'll leave it the way I left it.
Q: Does the cooperation between the U.S. and Yemen you describe include U.S. participation in the use of force against al Qaeda in Yemen?
Rumsfeld: I'm not going to get into the arrangements we have with the government of Yemen, other than to say what I said.
Q: Hi. I'm sure there's a good number of National Guard members and Reservists watching the media closely, especially amid reports that the call-up from them might be as large as the one for the Persian Gulf War, if we were to do something with Iraq. Like Charlie, I too know that the president hasn't made any decisions on that, but I'm curious if you could shed any light on the possible timing of such a call-up; whether something like that could begin even before a formal decision by the president, in sort of the guise of -- I mean in sort of the idea of prudent planning, and when we might actually begin to see some movement in that direction?
Rumsfeld: Well, if you think about it, we've called up a great many people already. We've called up over 70,000 men and women in the Guard and Reserve. The numbers have been reduced now to the point of something in the 40,000 to 50,000 range. (Ed. Note: Currently 57,721: See http://www.defenselink.mil/releases/2002/b10302002_bt554-02.html.)
Rumsfeld: And we also have had some stop-losses of people who have not been excused from duty, who otherwise would have been. So there -- an awful lot of those people are volunteers.
There is no question but that we will continue to be making various types of call-ups and -- Reserve and Guard call-ups. We do it as we look at the entire force disposition worldwide. We have folks in Kosovo, we have them in Bosnia, we have them in the Sinai, we have them in a number of places around the world and -- in the Philippines.
There are an enormous number of complicated issues in doing this. And if, for example, you have an activity that involves people who require, oh, 30, 60, 90 days to go do what it is they do, then you might do some of those. If you have people that are on very short calls, you might not. You have to rotate people, and that process is going on continuously.
So I would expect that there would be additional Reserve call-ups in the period immediately ahead, and I would expect also that we may very well continue to let some additional people out who have been in for some period, and we would be replacing them, for example. And it's -- an awful lot of the people, as I say, however, are in voluntarily -- I don't mean "involuntarily." (Laughter.) They are serving voluntarily, even though their units were called up. And those folks, for the most part, are not bracing at getting out right now. So it's a --(Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness)) David Chu and the Joint Staff and I have met, I don't know, two or three times, at least --
Myers: Yes, sir. At least three times --
Rumsfeld: -- looking at all of this and trying to do a layout over a period of time as to what we think might be the demands, but I would look for additional call-ups.
Q: When you say "the period ahead" -- this week, by the end of the month?
Rumsfeld: Oh, I wouldn't want to nail that down. But it could be anytime. And it may very well be pieces, scraps, units, elements, activities, capabilities, those types of things.
Q: Mr. Secretary, thank you. The mines were removed from DMZ in South Korea --
Rumsfeld: Yes, in one area.
Q: Yes, and also North Korea is known to have a nuclear weapon. I believe these are a direct threat to national security of both the U.S. and South Korea. At the same time, 37,000 U.S. troops in South Korea are found in harm's way. I think these are a grave problem to the national security of the United States. Can you tell us how to redress the national security arrangement between U.S. and South Korea?
Rumsfeld: Well, Doug Feith, as I said, will be visiting South Korea in the next day or two, and they will be talking about the full range of subjects. You're quite right, North Korea is assessed to have a nuclear weapon or two. They also have a very large army, and they have a large unconventional capability, they have a lot of ballistic missiles. They're the principal ballistic missile proliferater on the face of the earth. And we do have a large number of U.S. forces there. We intend, by our presence and by our force structure, to serve as an appropriate deterrent to any aggressive action by North Korea. And we expect that it has for the past close to 50 years, and we expect that it will prospectively.
Q: Mr. Secretary, you met Friday, I believe, with the secretary of the Navy and the chief of Naval Operations for a discussion of --
Rumsfeld: True. It was an excellent meeting.
Q: Well, could you tell us, in the aftermath of that meeting, what is your view now about the transformational nature of the CVN-X carrier, that ship that will be around for at least 50 years. Is it sufficiently advanced to justify a $10 billion expenditure?
Rumsfeld: Look at the smile on his face. (Laughter.)
Q: I'm just reacting to your smile. (Laughter.)
Rumsfeld: We had a very good meeting. I have a lot of respect for the people that were in the room and the hard work they've put into this and the thought, and indeed, the creativity that they have put into their recommendations. And I would expect that -- I don't pay a lot of attention to the timetable, but as I've said here before, sometime between now and Thanksgiving, an awful lot of this stuff has to be decided. And we're getting closer and closer and closer. And I feel very good about the proposals that the Navy has put forward, and they're then going to have to go back and do some additional analytical work and punch some numbers and come back. And it's an iterative process.
(To General Myers) You were there.
Myers: No, I was not there. I missed -- (laughter) -- I did miss that one.
Rumsfeld: Well that was a darn good meeting.
Myers: But I've been in previous meetings. (Laughter.)
Rumsfeld: I was thinking you'd been there. Excuse me.
Q: How much of a commitment has the -- if there was to be a war in the Persian Gulf, how much of a security commitment has the U.S. made to Israel now? And I guess my question is, how much can you talk about it? Because I would assume you would want Iraq to know that you could meet that commitment. For example, can you tell us if there has been any activity by U.S. military troops training in Iraq, any prepositioning of fuel or supplies? And exactly how much of a commitment have you made to defend Israel if there was to be an Iraqi aggression against them?
Rumsfeld: (Pause.) I didn't ever really answer your question on the carrier, and let me -- let me -- (laughter) -- let me say --
Q: (Off mike) -- on Yemen.
Rumsfeld: Let me say -- Oh, come on, John! (Laughter.)
Rumsfeld: I did my best.
Q: (Off mike) -- the Saudis.
Rumsfeld: On the carrier, I suspect that when all the dust settles, what you will find, in direct answer to your question, is you will find the maximum amount of new technology and transformational capabilities and not one thing more that would be sufficiently far into the future and advanced that it would be -- represent a high risk and not be able to be achieved. So, what you'll find is that we will have gone right there and found that exact balance between moving things forward and not going so far that you inject risk elements that very likely couldn't be achieved and would put in jeopardy the time schedule.
Q: But you could do this by 2007?
Rumsfeld: I didn't say when or how or anything else. I said the answer to your question is, the balance will be just about perfect. (Laughter.)
QWhat does that mean in --
Rumsfeld: I hope. (Laughs.)
Q: In plain English, what does that mean? Carrier, or no?
Rumsfeld: (Pause.) (Laughter.)
Q: Cut to the chase, Mr. Secretary!
Rumsfeld: Sure. Well, we're going to announce all that. We have to do that in the next -- goodness gracious, it's the 4th or 5th of November already and Thanksgiving's just around the corner.
Q: It sounds like you're trying to announce it now.
Rumsfeld: I'm not trying to announce it now. I'm saying we've had some excellent meetings and we're going to end up with a very good proposal and you all are going to like it. Now -- (laughter) --
Rumsfeld: Israel. We have a very close working relationship with the state of Israel, as you know. They come here; we go there; we have meetings. We're sensitive to the risks. They live in a difficult neighborhood. And needless to say, our interest and their interest would be in avoiding any attack on Israel. And we intend to do, as they intend to do, those kinds of things that would deter and dissuade that from happening.
Q: And what might some of those be?
Rumsfeld: Oh, I don't want to get into a list of unpleasantries at all, so I shan't.
Q: Assuming that what we've read reported about the Saudi foreign minister is correct, and acknowledging that no decision has been made yet in Iraq, General Myers, could you tell us what capabilities the newly established U.S. -- I don't know if they count as bases, but in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan -- what impact they would have on a possible war with Iraq? How much capability do they add that wasn't there, say, in 1990, for instance, when we relied so heavily on Saudi Arabia as a base?
Myers: Yeah, the problem with that, Pam, is you start getting into the operational pros and cons and capabilities and limitations, and you start to give away --
Q: Are they close enough to play a part in a war?
Myers: They'll be important to the overall war on terrorism. Doubtful they'd play a major role in anything that would happen further to the West.
Q: We won't tell anybody. You can tell us. (Laughter.)
Rumsfeld: And furthermore, until the president makes a decision with respect to the use of force, obviously you don't go around asking people to make commitments with respect to it. Therefore, to the extent you start talking about what you need or what you'd like or that type of thing, prior to talking with them, is unhelpful, and we don't want to be unhelpful.
Q: Sure. (Off mike) -- politics and capabilities.
Q: Mr. Secretary, on the -- as you make these procurement decisions, one program that's in kind of a special situation is the V- 22 Osprey. It's just about three or four months into a two-year flight test program. Does that mean that no decision will be made on the entire future of that program? In other words, are you going to wait for the test results before you decide what to do about that program?
Rumsfeld: I don't know for sure. But I suspect one alternative would be to make some preliminary judgments based on the expectation or the hope or the possibility, at least, that it would sail through its test program. And you could make some preliminary judgments as to in the event it does test out, you would handle it this way; in the event it doesn't, a trained ape knows what the answer is. (Laughter.) Even I do!
Q: Yeah, but does that include us?
Q: On the Reserve component use, apart from the post-9/11 call-ups, we're several years now into a pattern in which certain types of Reserve component units have been called up for sort of routine operations. Are you -- at your level or Dr. Chu's level, is there any serious consideration to going back and looking at the active Reserve --
Rumsfeld: Yes, absolutely.
Q: Can you talk a little bit about what --
Rumsfeld: Yeah. Yeah. There's no question but that there are a number of things that the United States is asking its forces to do. And when one looks at what those things are, we find that some of the things that are necessary, in the course of executing those orders, are things that are found only in the Reserves. Now, the question is, does that make sense? Does that make good sense for the United States of America to be totally dependent on Guard and Reserve for a set of activities and capabilities that we now know, post-9/11, are clearly going to be things we're going to have to be doing on a fairly regular basis? And the short answer to that is no, it doesn't make a lot of sense.
And therefore, we certainly are looking at it, and we intend to, over some reasonable period of time, come forward with some suggestions as to how we might migrate some active activities that are not always going to be needed for sure into the Guard or the Reserve, and vice versa; some things from the Guard and Reserve that we suspect will always be needed, because that's a much more appropriate use of the Guard and Reserve.
Q: Any teasers?
Q: Which specialities?
Rumsfeld: I think I'll not.
Q: Well, whatever you do, like civil affairs is an example of what you just said -- will that be decided in time for the budget that goes to Congress next year?
Rumsfeld: I hope so. And if not, we ought to be smart enough to do what you've done, is to look at some of those and speculate as to how it might come out, and think about providing a budget that would allow you the flexibility to do that in some way. And --
Q: You're right, there is some opinion that the whole total -- total force concept is at risk because we can't keep calling on Reservists to go back, go back, go back. Is there any kind of master plan to kind of take the pressure off or rethink the whole total force concept?
Rumsfeld: I guess you'd say when you do the kinds of things I've already responded to today, that that is a look at the total force concept. And we have to ask ourselves how ought our military to be arranged in the 21st century? And I don't know that it would necessarily -- I wouldn't want to prejudge the outcome. And I think you'd still have what one would call a total force concept; that is to say, a certain amount active, and a certain amount Guard and Reserve. But you'd have it better allocated between the two so there would be less stress on Guard and Reserve on a continuing basis, since we now ought to be smart enough to be better able to see what those things are.
Q: Any appetite for a draft now, Mr. Secretary?
Rumsfeld: None! (Laughter.)
Q: Mr. Secretary, back to the V-22. Your answer to that, you know, indicated your inclination to keep the program going, you know, at least into that next budget cycle when -- while the testing is ongoing, rather than, you know, terminating it before the testing can be completed. Is that a correct interpretation?
Rumsfeld: Oh, oh --
Q: In other words, you said that you can make prejudgments as, you know, preliminary indications that have passed testing, if testing will succeed.
Rumsfeld: Well, maybe I shouldn't have said what I said. I mean my -- reasonable -- I mean, a reasonable approach to me, and I've not been intimately involved with the V-22, nor do I think I've even been briefed on it this round yet.
(To General Myers) Have you?
Myers: No, sir.
Rumsfeld: But a reasonable approach would be, why in the world would you put in place a test program if you didn't want to know what the outcome might be? We did put in place a test program; it seemed reasonable thing to me. It's an interesting capability. And I have no idea what the test program will prove. And having put it in place and recognizing the timing of it, it seemed to me the next reasonable thing to do would be to do what I said, namely, to get your budget arranged so that those things you might want to do with the V- 22, you have the capability of doing. But you obviously would not go forward if the test program subsequently proved that the stability of the particular aircraft was such that you didn't want to do it.
Rumsfeld: Thank you.
Q: Thank you.
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