Also Participating: Major General Chuck Wald, J-5
Mr. Bacon: Good afternoon. Welcome to our briefing.
Secretary Cohen will deliver the commencement address tomorrow at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. It begins at 10:00 a.m. We're working on piping it back here, so you'll be able to listen to it in the comfort of your booth.
Second, earlier today at a meeting in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Assistant Secretary Warner and the Uzbek Defense Minister, General Tursunov, signed an agreement implementing part of the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. Under this agreement, the U.S. will begin a cooperative project to dismantle a former Soviet chemical weapons testing facility near Nukus, Uzbekistan. We will help dismantle this, clean it up, demilitarize it...
Q: (inaudible) (Laughter)
Mr. Bacon: Well, it is. It may sound different in Uzbeki, but I'm not prepared to pronounce it with the Uzbeki pronunciation. I think Uzbekistan actually is changing from Russian, which used to [the] language, back to Uzbek. So it may have, its pronunciation may be in flux as well.
This dismantlement will eliminate a serious proliferation threat. Congress has already appropriated up to $6 million for the project, or authorized $6 million for the project. So this will be underway relatively soon.
With that, I'll take your questions.
Q: Ken, NATO announced today that KFOR-Plus has now been approved by the NAC at least in overall, in round totals. You said last week that 7,000 U.S. troops were likely to participate in the 50,000. Can you give us any more details on what might comprise the 7,000 and when they might be...
Mr. Bacon: No. The next step is for the NATO military authorities to translate this guidance into a military plan, to issue a statement of requirements for the number of people and types of people that will be necessary for each country. Then they'll go through what they call a force generation process where countries actually volunteer to put up the troops necessary to fill out the force. I would guess that this would probably take a week or so. In the course of that, we will see what our requirement is; we'll decide how we will meet that requirement -- how many troops, what types of troops, where they'll be from -- and those decisions will be announced as they're made, but they're not made yet.
Q: Do you have any preliminary idea, what kinds of U.S. troops might be used? The Brits and the French have tanks in Macedonia. What kind of troops...
Mr. Bacon: I think, Charlie, it's just premature right now to discuss that, because all of this will be considered by NATO. But this force is a different force in several ways than the KFOR that was planned last fall -- the Kosovar peacekeeping force -- or planned earlier this year.
The first is, of course, it's about double in size. It will be a minimum of 45,000 versus a minimum of 27,000 under the early plan.
Second, it will be prepared to deal with a much bigger refugee challenge. That is, there are many more refugees who have to be returned to their homes both within the country, the so-called IDPs, the displaced people, and secondly, the refugees that are in now Albania or Macedonia who have to be returned. So that's a much bigger challenge today than it was several months ago.
This means there will have to be some more building, more infrastructure taken care of, more attention paid to meeting human needs as the refugees go back than before.
Second, this force will be structured to provide more non-military and public security functions than was envisioned under the prior force, just to make sure that there is in fact a very secure and stable environment when the forces go back.
So as the militaries translate these missions into specifics and ask countries to put up forces to meet the specific tasks, we'll be doing that with the other allies, and announce at the appropriate time what we're putting in.
Q: When do they make the decision about the timing and when the force actually goes to...
Mr. Bacon: Well, we have said that we want the force to deploy as soon as possible, and I think many of our allies share that view. So...
Q: But when will the NAC actually make that decision?
Mr. Bacon: First, they have to put together the force, and then they'll figure out how to get it down there and get it down in the quickest possible way.
There are already on the ground about 12,000 to 14,000 NATO troops in Macedonia. This is the, sort of the nucleus of the KFOR that was sent down there before. I think there are 12,000 NATO troops, and there may be some other non-NATO troops to make a total of 14,000 in all in Macedonia. There are about 10,000 allied troops in Albania, including our 5,000 or so as part of Task Force Hawk. Then we have troops there doing humanitarian work as part of Task Force Shining Hope. General Wald talks about every day building the camps and performing other humanitarian jobs in Albania. Then of course, other countries have significant forces in Albania as well.
So there's a total in theater now of about 22,000 to 24,000 troops.
Q: The stage of disposal will be Skopje in Albania or any other country too?
Mr. Bacon: Well, these details will be worked out. But as we've said before, if troops enter by sea, they'll go through Thessaloniki. If they come in by air, they'll come through Skopje, Macedonia. But it's possible that some could come in through Albania as well by air.
These are the types of details to be worked out in due time. They haven't been worked out yet.
Q: What about Hungary?
Mr. Bacon: I think it's unlikely that they'll enter through Hungary initially, but of course, our view is that this is the force that will enter to enforce the peace agreement. If there were a peace agreement, then conceivably they could come down through Hungary. But I think initially they'll go in through entry points that are closer to Kosovo than Hungary.
Q: Can I ask you a question about the THAAD test this morning? What happened with that test? Why was it scrubbed?
Mr. Bacon: The successful test has, in the simplest possible terms, which is about all I'm qualified to describe, has two components -- a target and a missile that launches to hit the target. In this case the target failed. Therefore, the THAAD missile was never launched.
The target, which was a Hera rocket, was supposed to at a certain point in its flight path, I believe, turn down. Instead, it began to tumble chaotically out of control. And although that would have made it a much easier target for the THAAD to hit, the people running the test decided not to launch, because they didn't think it would be an adequate or proper test of the THAAD.
Q: Should this be seen as another failure in the THAAD program?
Mr. Bacon: No. I think that would be inappropriate. What failed here was not the THAAD. That was never launched. What failed was another rocket.
It will take probably several weeks to figure out why that failed, because you can't have another test until you've figured out why the previous one failed. So my guess is that they'll go through a failure analysis as quickly as possible. They may be able to figure it out almost immediately -- I don't know -- or it may take some time to figure out why the rocket spun out of control. Once they figure that out, then they'll plan another test.
Q: Nevertheless, there were high hopes that this test might be the first real successful hitting of a missile with a missile. Is it frustrating, embarrassing, to have once again, have to put this off and try again another day?
Mr. Bacon: It's life. They will come back and try again. There are a series of tests that the THAAD program is working through, I think a total of 13. This was going to be number 10. We will have to reschedule number 10 and do it another time.
Q: Back on Kosovo for a minute.
Q: Can I ask one more question on this...
Mr. Bacon: Sure.
Q: Is it the contractor's responsibility , the Hera rocket, or is it someone else?
Mr. Bacon: I don't know. I suppose that will depend in part on what caused that. That's a good question, and I don't know the answer. It might depend in part on why the failure occurred. I don't think we know yet.
Q: Most of the THAAD problems have been with the interceptor itself. Was the targeting radar of THAAD on and functioning during the test, the thing that tracks the target?
Mr. Bacon: The radar has not been a problem. The radar has always worked well. I don't know whether the radar had been -- I assume the radar was on, but I don't know that for a fact. But the radar, as you correctly observed, has not been the problem. It's been the interceptor. Here the interceptor never got a chance to fly.
Q: If you can briefly go back to the force...
Mr. Bacon: Sorry, I have a question here on Kosovo.
Q: On Kosovo. At this point can a permissive environment still only be created by Milosevic agreeing to the five peace conditions? Or at this point with you sending KFOR in, could a permissive environment be created and defined by NATO simply by the reduction of the Serb threat? In other words, if you reduce his threat to the point you feel it is no longer a threat, does that then become a permissive environment for NATO?
Mr. Bacon: We have not changed our standards for determining what constitutes a peaceful environment under which the force would enter. There are five conditions, and they have to be met. The operative statement on this remains the statement from the leaders of the 19 NATO nations at the Washington Summit in which they laid out what Yugoslavia would have to do. The first is a ceasefire; the second is a clear and convincing withdrawal of their troops. After that has begun, NATO then would be willing to consider a suspension of its bombing, but we'd have to have convincing evidence that the withdrawal had begun and that it was a significant withdrawal, which was going to continue quickly and meet a goal of getting Serb troops out.
Q: What message should Milosevic take from the decision to deploy an expanded KFOR as quickly as possible?
Mr. Bacon: I think there's one single message he could take from it, which is that NATO is planning for success. We believe that the air campaign will succeed because it's inflicting greater and greater damage on his forces on the ground in Kosovo every day and greater and greater damage on his ability to sustain his forces throughout the country -- every day and every night. Even in bad weather, we continue to strike at targets aggressively, and when we have periods of good weather, as we did last Friday and Saturday, we can strike significant numbers of targets in a 24-hour period.
Q: The troops that are now in Albania in AFOR (sic), which is humanitarian, and the peacekeeping forces of KFOR in Macedonia, the additional troops that are going, are they going to be with KFOR in Macedonia, or are they also going to be in Albania?
Mr. Bacon: Those are the details that will be worked out. Basically, the headquarters for KFOR, the peace implementation force, is in Macedonia, and that is under the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps. That will remain the headquarters. It's possible that not all the troops will be stationed in Macedonia or enter through Macedonia. That remains to be worked out. But we do have some flexibility. There are 10,000 NATO troops in Albania supplementing the troops in Macedonia. Those are exactly the types of details that will be worked out by NATO and NATO countries over the next week or so.
Q: And General Jackson remains the commander of KFOR?
Mr. Bacon: He does. Sir Michael Jackson remains the commander.
Q: Ken, one more thing on the KFOR. Is this liable to be like the force in Bosnia where you have Kosovo divided into certain areas where American troops will be in a certain area and British -- although it would be kind of a mix and match force, I mean, you won't have French tanks protecting American troops or any of that kind of thing, will you? You will move in troops which have their own protection, U.S. protection, right?
Mr. Bacon: Well, we will move in a force that is prepared to protect itself. Force protection will be a primary goal as it was in Bosnia. I've said many times that in many respects the initial force in Bosnia, the IFOR, was modeled, should be a model for this force. I think...
Q:...Kosovo will likely be partitioned up with...
Mr. Bacon: Well, certainly that was part of the original plan, and I believe that there will be eventually some sector divisions for various countries. Yes.
Q: When you say that the air campaign will succeed, does that mean that you believe that it will succeed before the winter sets in?
Mr. Bacon: It will succeed, and the refugees will get home.
Q: Ken, two questions. With the SecDef speaking tomorrow, will there be a briefing tomorrow afternoon?
Mr. Bacon: There will be a briefing tomorrow afternoon.
Q: Secondly, what's the prime purpose for putting Yugoslavia in the dark? It's hurting the military, but it's also hurting the civilian population. Is the prime reason for taking out the power grid to try and cause civilian dissatisfaction and cause the overthrow of Milosevic?
Mr. Bacon: The reason that NATO is attacking the power supply is the same reason that NATO is attacking the fuel oil infrastructure of Yugoslavia. Modern militaries cannot run for long without oil, gas, and electricity. This is a way to cut down their ability to operate and to weaken the military further until Milosevic decides that he's had enough. That's pure and simple, the reason.
Q: Some of the peace conditions that you just mentioned -- the ceasefire and the tangible, concrete withdrawal of troops -- as I recall months ago, the KLA also agreed to lay down arms as part of a peace agreement. Is there any indication that they will do that? They've been sounding off that they will, especially now that they've gotten bigger and stronger and certainly fueled by more feelings of hatred over what's happened over the last few months.
Mr. Bacon: If the Serb troops are out, there's no reason for the KLA to be armed. Who's to fight? If the Serbs withdraw the Yugoslav army forces, the special police forces, and the paramilitary forces, as NATO is demanding, then there will not be an enemy.
NATO's goal is to create an environment of peace and stability in Kosovo and under the Rambouillet Accords, there was disarmament. The Kosovar side, the Kosovar Albanian side, agreed to those terms. So we would...
Mr. Bacon: Pardon?
Q: We'll hold them then to the Rambouillet...
Mr. Bacon: Well, that may not be the operative agreement, but NATO's goal clearly is to create peace and stability in Kosovo. I think that you could argue that there's no need for the KLA to, there's no need for an armed force there. There may have to be some security forces. One of the things that NATO will do is work with international organizations to develop ongoing and permanent security forces in Kosovo, but our goal is to stop the fighting.
Q: The KLA has said that as far as they're concerned the Rambouillet agreement is no longer operative. They want independence, which NATO clearly doesn't.
When you talk about security forces, is part of the reason for the concern about the possibility that the KLA in the future might begin to see NATO as an enemy, as an obstacle to its own goals?
Mr. Bacon: I don't anticipate that after NATO has worked for months through a progressive and successful military campaign to drive the Serb forces out so that Kosovar Albanians can get back into their homeland, that NATO will be seen as an enemy.
Q: Ken, you and NATO officials say, have made it very clear, that this new expanded force is not meant to be an invasion force, but given that all NATO leaders and officials also said again today that all options are on the table, still on the table, does expanding this force make it easier to turn to that option if one day NATO decides to go that route?
Mr. Bacon: This force is constituted to be, will be constituted to be a peacekeeping force, to be in place so it can enter Kosovo quickly after a peace agreement and help the refugees get back to their homes as soon as possible. We're not -- this is not a shadow invasion force. It's being constituted as a peacekeeping force.
Mr. Bacon: This goes back to the types of questions I got earlier. I think it's premature to talk about the makeup of it, because that will be decided over the next week or so.
Q: It was always going to be a heavy force, though.
Mr. Bacon: Yes.
Q: KFOR was. So there's got to be some tanks in there.
Mr. Bacon: Yes. I'm sure there will be a considerable number of tanks. There already are British Chieftains and, I think, French tanks in Macedonia.
Q: There's an armored brigade in Bosnia, isn't that right?
Mr. Bacon: That's true, but it's busy in Bosnia.
Q: Ken, what do you say to critics who say that it's a mistake to make such flat out statements such as you've just made that this is not an invasion force, that it would be wiser to be somewhat ambiguous about it so as to leave some doubt in Milosevic's mind and create more pressure. What's your answer to that?
Mr. Bacon: I don't think we have to create doubt in Milosevic's mind. Milosevic has been preparing to repel an invasion long before the March 24th air campaign began. He began building defensive positions along his borders with both Albania and Macedonia before March 24th. I think he's always assumed that NATO would "invade" or at least would try to send in a peacekeeping force that he didn't want in Kosovo. So I don't think there's a question of leaving doubt in his mind. I can't read his mind, but he seems to think he can read NATO's mind. Of course he's dead wrong on that.
He assumed that NATO would never launch airstrikes against him, and it did. He assumed that once the airstrikes were launched, they would be pinpricks, and they have not been. And he assumed that NATO would not remain unified long enough to carry out significant air attacks, and NATO has remained steadfastly unified as the attacks have become progressively more damaging.
So I don't think he can read NATO's mind very well one way or another.
Q: Ken, a few days after the Chinese Embassy was bombed in Belgrade, Secretary Cohen said in congressional testimony that he had planned to go to China in June, but he was unsure how that event would affect his plans.
Has that been clarified? Does he still plan to go in June, or...
Mr. Bacon: He did have tentative plans to go in June, and he has postponed any trip until some later date -- not canceled it, but postponed it.
I think the primary reason for that is that right now he feels that his place is here in Washington devoting as much time as possible to running the U.S. participation in the air campaign in Kosovo, preparing for the peacekeeping force, etc., but also it probably is not the easiest time to visit China. China, as you know, has broken off military-to-military relations temporarily with the United States, and he feels that it may be better to go later.
He remains, of course, steadfastly committed to engagement with China as a long-term policy.
Q: The Chinese have not rejected this trip.
Mr. Bacon: I'm not aware that they have. This was a decision that he made, mainly in light of his duties here in Washington. As you know, he's canceled many other trips over the last two months.
Q:...that the break-off in military-to-military is only temporary?
Mr. Bacon: Yes. That's what they've announced.
Q: Speaking of China, a big story. It appears that the Chinese have the designs for all U.S. nuclear warheads designed in, I guess, the last 50 years. Some of our rockets. How do you respond to the Cox report? And does the United States military wish that the U.S. DoE and others responsible for developing these weapons would develop more advanced weapons and missiles to distance the U.S. from the Chinese?
Mr. Bacon: First of all, the distance between the U.S. and the Chinese is huge. We have a strategic nuclear arsenal of about, I think around 6,000 nuclear weapons at this stage. They have approximately 20 missiles that may be able to strike the United States, so there's a huge imbalance.
Second, as you know, the CIA did an analysis that came out last month in which they tried to assess the damage from the spying that China's done really over the last 20 years or so through a variety of administrations, and they said that it was very difficult to determine what sort of contribution the fruits of their spying may have made to their nuclear force.
They did not find that their program to acquire nuclear secrets in the U.S. had resulted in any apparent modernization of their deployed strategic force.
So I think it's important to look at what the impact of this spying has been so far on the Chinese force, at least as seen by the CIA.
Obviously, this is a matter of huge concern to this Administration and to this Congress. The Clinton Administration has already taken a number of rules to tighten security in the DoE labs, and the Defense Department has, although it wasn't the focal point of this investigation, has taken recently a number of steps to improve security in the Department of Defense labs as well.
We have been cooperating fully at the Defense Department with the Cox Commission over the last several months, provided a lot of information to them, everything they've sought, and we've tried to be very responsive to their needs and also to their recommendations.
Q: Has the PRC gained in a qualitative way by acquisition of these nuclear secrets? I understand in a quantitative way they're still way behind, but in a qualitative way, are they catching up rapidly because of this?
Mr. Bacon: As I said, the CIA found in April that their acquisition of nuclear secrets does not appear to have resulted in modernization of their deployed strategic forces. So I think I'll just leave that assessment with the CIA.
Q: But they have a new generation of weapons that they have been working on for some time, a land-based mobile and a sea-based that are basically the same thing, that appear to be about the specs of a Trident missile, for example. Do you have any estimate on when they are going to deploy that?
Mr. Bacon: I do not, no.
Q: Have they tested that in a MIRV'd version to your knowledge?
Mr. Bacon: I'm not aware that they have, but we'll check further on that.
Q: The committee recommended, I think they recommended that the DoD take responsibility for security of satellite launch sites in China, saying that security had been inadequate, apparently privately. I don't know whether they rent secure -- they recommended the DoD take over security to make sure that things are not, you know, taken in satellite launches. Would you be comfortable with that?
Mr. Bacon: We already have done that. That was required in the Strom Thurmond National Defense Authorization Act for FY 1999. It said that DoD should establish a new organization called the Space Launch Monitoring Division, and we're in the process of doing that. This would be a corps of experts who would monitor U.S. space launches in China, and they would provide, basically, a chain of custody to make sure that U.S. technology was always secure before it was launched.
What happens is that a private company hired to launch a satellite will ship the satellite over there, and it remains there for awhile as it's put on the rocket and the launch preparations take place. Not only would the monitors be present for every stage of such a launch to make sure that the U.S. technology was secure, but they would also be required to be in all meetings between U.S. and Chinese authorities -- U.S. corporate and Chinese authorities -- to make sure that no technological information was exchanged improperly during those meetings. That is underway.
Q: How is that different from what happened before? I thought there was...
Mr. Bacon: It was required to happen before, but there were some problems, and there were some glitches, and as you know, one of the things that came out in the course of the early investigation was that there had been some alleged improprieties in meetings between corporate officials and Chinese officials. Monitors had not been present. Some technology had been exchanged improperly. And that's still being investigated by the Justice Department. Those allegations are being investigated by the Justice Department.
But one of the things that the Congress concluded was that we needed a more seamless system that applied without doubt to all launches, and that there were an adequate number of trained U.S. monitors available to make sure that all space launches were properly covered.
Q: Ken, the U.S. is a super power, the only super power in the world today. But China is stealing all the U.S. secrets. Do you see in future that Chinese threat to the world peace or to the U.S.?
Mr. Bacon: First of all, I think it would be overstating it to say that China is stealing "all" U.S. secrets, and I don't believe that's what the Cox Commission concluded. So it's important to be careful about what the Chinese have done and what they haven't done.
China is clearly putting more investment into its military, but remember that the military was one of the four modernizations announced by Deng Xiaoping, and it was really the last modernization to be funded of the four. It's catching up now to some of the modernization programs in agriculture and industry.
They still have a long way to go in the size and the sophistication of their force, but they are clearly making an investment to modernize their force.
Our goal has been to engage with China in a way that would allow our two countries to work together in pursuit of our own national interests in ways that might make an arms buildup, any arms buildup -- one, would minimize the need for an arms buildup in Asia, and two, to try to find ways to make any arms buildup that did occur to be less threatening and more transparent to other countries in the area. We'll continue that effort despite some bumps along the way.
Q:...real point. Do you agree with the Cox report?
Mr. Bacon: I haven't read the Cox report. It's 700 pages long. I suppose it's something we should all read maybe over the Memorial Day weekend. (Laughter)
Q: Does DoD find the extent of this espionage surprising? I assume that you all had access to the information earlier than we did. As the totality of it became revealed to you, was it surprising? Or do you guys pretty much assume that this stuff goes on all the time, and it's at a manageable level?
Mr. Bacon: Obviously, any successful espionage effort is disturbing. We devote a lot of resources to blocking espionage by a variety of countries. We understand that it is part of national life, espionage. It does occur. The Republic of Venice was built on espionage. It was one of the keys to their power going back more than 1,000 years ago. Espionage has always been a factor in military life. We are aware of that. We will continue to do our very best to interrupt, interdict and stop espionage efforts directed against the United States.
Q: But was the extent surprising?
Mr. Bacon: I said the extent was certainly disturbing. Yes.
Q: Will the military exchanges and contact between DoD and the Chinese military, will that be reviewed now or in any way looked at again in light of these disclosures?
Mr. Bacon: First of all, we believe these exchanges were, although important, not the type of exchanges that allowed any classified information to be transmitted one way or another. We were really trying to get to know the Chinese military a little better and allow them to get to know our military a little better so we could avoid misunderstandings today and in the future. I don't think these were programs that had any sort of threat of transferring sensitive information from the U.S. to China.
Let me turn this over to General Wald because he's got an important briefing today.
[Charts available at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/#SLIDES]
Major General Wald: Good afternoon.
[Chart - Weather Conditions]
I'll start with the weather. After a break yesterday, the weather this morning and early into the early part of the morning was pretty poor. They did lose some of the sorties last night. It has cleared up significantly over the AOR today, and over the next seven to ten days it looks like it should be green, which means they should be able to fly throughout the whole area of the FRY and Kosovo itself. Maybe a thunderstorm or two, but this should be the predominant weather now for the next couple of months. We'll have some periodic afternoon thunderstorms, and then maybe a front moving through every ten days or so for a day or so, and then the rest of the time should be clear.
Plus, as we go into the summer months the daylight hours should obviously increase quite a bit. So the OPSTEMPO in the Kosovo area, particularly in the air-to-ground sorties, should increase significantly.
[Chart - Level of Effort - Day 62]
Yesterday, because of the weather, there was a little bit of a decrease in targeting. Still 21 targets, many significant ones. Some in the Belgrade area, command and control, some electrical power targets as we talked about a little bit earlier, a significant radar target in Montenegro. One of the early warning radars was taken out yesterday, and then some fielded forces, a little bit of artillery and some mortar-type artillery and some other artillery.
[Chart - Operation SUSTAIN HOPE - Last 24 Hours]
Sustain Hope continues. The refugee departures from Kosovo have increased significantly over the last 24-48 hours. 5,700 into the FYROM over the last 24 hours. The possibility of another 19,000 -- over the past 72 hours I should say, 19,000. And FYROM and Albania have received about 19,000 total. They're projecting another 7,000 refugees in the next 24 hours into the FYROM. But we still have the ones back in Fort Dix here with their families departing.
[Chart - PROVIDE REFUGEE - Refugee Status]
As I mentioned, Fort Dix continues to take refugees. 624 sponsored refugees have gone to families directly from JFK. We have two more flights the next couple of days coming in there. And then the flights into Fort Dix will continue to the point where it will get up to about 4,200, and at that point they'll have to continue to move people out into the economy with families, and that's moving along a lot quicker over the last couple of days.
Major General Wald: Yes, it is. Right.
[Chart - Refugees/Level of Effort]
The food right now is at a level of, they're sustaining about 780,000 people per month in the AOR. That will continue. There's enough shelter for 710,000 people. Once again, there are 300,000 of those refugees in homes in Albania sharing shelter with families there, and another 120,000 in the FYROM. They still have quite a few medical beds that are available for the ones that are in tent cities. Still upwards to 1.6 million refugees in 40 camps, and more being built.
[Photos available at http://www.defenselink.mil/photos/#Operation+Allied+Force] [Photo - Novi Sad Radio Relay & TV-FM Broadcast Station, Serbia - Pre Strike]
Some imagery from overhead yesterday. This is the Novi Sad radio relay station, which was attacked yesterday. This is a pre-strike showing some of the infrastructures and towers. You'll see in the post-strike this tower is down. This tower is down. They may have taken that down themselves. This building has been hit and will be struck at this point as well in the next photo.
[Photo - Novi Sad Radio Relay & TV - FM Broadcast Station, Serbia - Post Strike]
There's the one building I showed before. It's totally destroyed. The tower on this one is down. You can see the larger tower I pointed out earlier is laying down and destroyed. Then a large hit here. So this TV-FM broadcast station is probably non-functional.
[Photo - Novi Sad Transformer Station, Serbia - Post Strike]
This is one of the transformer areas we hit last night. This was with TLAM. This is the Novi Sad transformer station near Novi Sad. It's one of the major transformer areas that provides a lot of the electricity for that part of Serbia. It's been taken down. You can see not a lot of destruction, but the transformer switching yards themselves have been hit, and that's non-functional now.
Q: Were these TLAMs in any way specially designed for this kind of target?
Major General Wald: The TLAMs are specially designed, as all our weapons are. And we pick the perfect weapon for the perfect target, so yes, it's very specially designed. Not for that particular target, but...
Q: For instance, we know there are cruise missiles with single warheads and with multiple warheads, and some are with -- did these TLAMs have any particular weapons that are designed to go against electrical facilities...
Major General Wald: No. This is a regular conventional-type TLAM that was able to take out this particular transformer area here.
Q: That was in the last 24 hours or before? The Navy said they didn't shoot any TLAMs last week.
Major General Wald: This was the day before yesterday.
[Photo - Sabac Engineer Depot, Serbia - Post Strike]
This is the Sabac engineering depot in Serbia, one of their major engineering depots that has a lot of capability for repairing bridges as well as pontooning and forging equipment. You'll see that several of the buildings here have been taken out. Some of their storage areas as well as some of their transshipment areas and one of their administration areas has been taken out as well as a transshipment area here, which will keep them from moving any equipment that's left there down the river toward a repair facility.
[Photo - Sabac Engineer Depot, Serbia - Post Strike]
This is another section of that same engineering area. You can see some of the buildings that held some of their more important equipment were targeted and attacked.
Q: That's like their Corps of Engineers...
Major General Wald: That's right. That's one of their major corps of engineer headquarters.
[Photo - Dobanovic Command and Control Facility, Serbia]
This is the Dobanovic command and control facility, a residential area that has a bunker underneath it. One of their major higher headquarters. Senior leadership headquarters buildings with a bunker behind it, and a penetrating bomb hit that last night, and we know it was struck. We're not sure if the capability has been destroyed, but it was hit exactly where they wanted to hit it.
Q: Is this what's been described as a presidential retreat or villa?
Major General Wald: That's exactly what that is.
Q: It's the bunker that was hit?
Major General Wald: Yes, it was. The area that was hit was back here, right behind the building. There's a bunker below that, and they struck it.
Q: How far away from Belgrade is that?
Major General Wald: It's on the outskirts. I think it's about eight kilometers, if I'm not mistaken. If I'm not correct, I'll get back with you, but I believe it's about eight klicks.
Q: Was this one of the 5,000-pound...
Major General Wald: No, it was not. It was a 2,000-pound penetrating bomb. And that's one of his major command and control buildings.
Major General Wald: I have no idea where he is. If he was, it will just add to the fact that his capability is being destroyed, and he should know that.
Major General Wald: The weather -- as I said earlier -- this morning was not so good. You can see a little bit of the cloud area over Kosovo and into the northern FRY. That has cleared out since. It is clear as we speak. They're flying a high OPSTEMPO as we speak. The weather, fortunately, was as predicted and has gotten better. You can see earlier the green and blue areas would depict clouds moving along through normally to the east. You can see Kosovo starting to clear, and it has, and behind it is quite a bit of clear air. I suspect over the next week or so, we'll have a very, very good weather pattern with quite a high OPSTEMPO, actually. I think they actually scheduled around 1,000 sorties, about 800 attack and support today.
Command and control. This is the MUP national military command bunker just southwest of Belgrade, one of the major MUP headquarters. It's a bunker area. You can see some entry points there. They had a 2,000-pound penetrator on this target. Successful. That's an F-117.
This is a radio relay site in western Serbia. This is one of his major radio relay sites we struck last night. Again, with an F-117. Hitting some of the more difficult targets with penetrating-type bombs from 117s, and we continue to take down his command and control capability and his infrastructure for that.
This is the underground command bunker, the picture I showed you a moment ago. You can see, it's a little bit difficult. You can see the road complex I showed you a minute ago, the buildings, then right behind it where I pointed out is where he's aiming.
You won't see a lot of explosion here because it's a penetrator. It will delay and penetrate in and then explode. So that looked like a success.
Integrated air defense.
This is a Flat Base radar in Montenegro, one of the most important radars they've had for the early warning of the aircraft coming and going from the coast. It's an F-16. He's got it in the "expand" mode, so it's a little bit blurry. This is a very, very important target for taking down his early warning.
Forces on the ground, we continue to hit those. And as his early warning radars are taken down and his command and control, and we have more aircraft in the AOR with better weather, and the air crew become more familiar with the area, it will just become more and more successful, and it will be more difficult for him to hide any of his capability, whether it be the tanks, trucks, artillery.
These buildings continue to be destroyed, so his sustainment even in Kosovo itself is being taken out.
You'll see here in the Prizren army barracks, F-16CG with an LGB in southern Kosovo yesterday.
This is a complex with several target areas in it. This is an F-16 actually FACing, so he's moved up here. He's just filming this. That was another aircraft that hit it. There was probably something in there, some ammunition.
Another army barracks, southern Kosovo, F-16.
Once again, we just keep grinding away at all his capability and his sustainment. As this happens and the weather gets good, you'll see even more of this. And the UCK, of course, is building up. So he's starting to have a double problem here.
Another one at the same place. Laser-guided bomb from an F-16. You can see a big hit earlier, probably a 500-pound type bomb. This is a 2,000-pounder. It does more damage.
So the question here is whether his field commanders in Kosovo are even giving him the word of how bad it is for him, but you've got to wonder how much he's willing to take.
This is revetted artillery in southern Kosovo. This is an F-14 forward air control aircraft with F-18 off the THEODORE ROOSEVELT. There are actually four bunkered areas along here. They'll attack two or three of these. The forward air controller is just walking the attacking aircraft down the line, attacking them as he goes.
This F-14 dropped his own bomb on another bunker area in the same place. You can see after he's done, he'll start moving down. A little weather comes in, but he's able to take one more out.
When he does move his artillery into bunker areas, it's very difficult for him to keep them from being attacked.
Some artillery in southeast Serbia a day or two ago, the day before yesterday. F-16CG. You can see he's trying to hide them in the tree lines.
More artillery. Same type of aircraft, same area. This one's bunkered up a little bit which doesn't do a lot of good from a 2,000-pound bomb.
I believe that's all. Any questions?
Q: Are you able to keep up with the artillery that's being moved down toward the border, as far as your raids are concerned? Are you keeping that at a zero level, or are they gaining in placing their equipment?
Major General Wald: I don't think all of them are gone. I think there still is some there. But as he fires them, and we identify that or detect it, or he moves them around, we're having a lot of success, as you can tell, and from the numbers you've heard before with that artillery. So I think what he's really having a difficult time with is finding more artillery. They aren't moving in artillery that we know of from outside of Kosovo. So as it's attritted, his artillery is being decreased to the point where he'll be very ineffective, particularly if he has to start defending himself against the UCK, for example.
Q: I understand. My question, I guess is, is air power sufficient to take care of the threat of border build-ups by the Serbian forces? Is air power up to it?
Major General Wald: Well, I certainly think so. It has been so far. He's only been degraded significantly, so I don't think it would be any worse in the future, so my answer would be I think it is.
Q: General, has the IADS threat been reduced to the point where NATO can fly daylight missions over all over Yugoslavia with relative impunity now?
Major General Wald: You can't fly with impunity. You can fly where we want to with the type of packages we fly in over the entire of Yugoslavia and Kosovo. But you can't fly with impunity, because they still have AAA, they still have hand-held SAMs, and they still do have some of their surface-to-air missiles available. So "impunity" would be the wrong word. But local air superiority certainly is there, and we're flying throughout the whole of the FRY and Kosovo as we desire, 24 hours a day.
Q: While you were showing us the videos you commented, "you've got to wonder how much more he can take."
Major General Wald: That's an editorial comment as a professional officer, wondering how much a person like that is willing to sacrifice, how much of his military.
So the question I guess I'd have is, how much information he's receiving from his military, how much they're giving him, how much they even know of where they stand in this whole process.
I think I've said it several times before, the best intel they have probably is briefings like this. They probably don't have the ability to really get a real good analysis of how far down the chart on some of these areas they really are from an overall sustainment standpoint, and I'm not sure in a military like he has if his officers are willing to tell him the truth of exactly how they stand. So I can't say that for a fact, but I have to wonder.
Q:...suggesting that that's the difference here? That if he knew all of what you know about what damage you're inflicting that maybe he...
Major General Wald: No, I wouldn't suggest that at all, because he certainly doesn't think like Western people think. He doesn't think like professional military people think. And he certainly doesn't think like our leaders think. He's a lot more willing to sacrifice his people and capabilities. So once again, it's hard to judge his will, but it certainly isn't hard to judge how much of his capability is being destroyed and that's mounting up significantly over time.
Q: Can you provide the latest figures on how many tanks and armored vehicles and whatever have been destroyed or damaged and what percentage that is of his overall...
Major General Wald: I think Admiral Wilson's going to give a brief Thursday and cover those in general terms. But it's a lot more than it was last week at this time, and I think NATO gave a brief on some specifics. But it's being decreased significantly. The artillery is way down. His strategic SAMs have been struck, many of those, in a big way. His aircraft - obviously, the MiG-29s particularly, there are two or three left maybe, if they're even operational. But once again, Admiral Wilson will be here Thursday and give you a rundown there. Is that correct?
Mr. Bacon: Yes.
Q: I'm not sure I caught your comment when you were asked. Is it believed that Milosevic was at that presidential villa at the time of the attack?
Major General Wald: I don't have any idea whether he was or not, and I have seen no reports whether anybody believed he was there or not.
Q: What's the message that it sends when you attack a site such as that?
Major General Wald: I think it shows that NATO is very serious about the fact when they say they're going to degrade his military capability across the board, that's exactly what they mean. I think it also shows that there's no sanctuary for any target whatsoever in Kosovo or the FRY that has to do with the VJ/MUP army or his ability to perform repressive acts. So I think it shows that NATO's very serious about being successful, and they're going to go down that road.
Q: I guess, I was trying to tie it to your earlier comments where you said you weren't sure whether President Milosevic was getting an accurate picture of the damage. Is this an attempt to deliver that message a little more directly, of what kind of damage he's...
Major General Wald: Not particularly, but if he didn't get a message of the fact that we're serious about bombing everything he has that has to do with the military, then this probably was a wakeup call, if he was around there.
Q: Ken, you made a big point of going after his fuel and oil storage facilities and production facilities, but apparently he's getting a lot of fuel along the Danube River by barges. I've seen only one picture of one of those being attacked. Are you confident you can limit that source, supply of fuel?
Major General Wald: I'll answer one part of it. I think Mr. Bacon must want to answer part of it.
One of the fuel storage areas at Prahovo was an area he was using for that type of resupply. That, over the last few days, has been destroyed. I showed you some film of that. So that would be one area he may have been using, and I think that's been destroyed, so that shouldn't be a problem.
Q:...the Danube oil was offloaded?
Major General Wald: Some of it.
Mr. Bacon: That's one of the major offloading sites, and we have been attacking that fairly regularly.
Basically, Milosevic or the Yugoslav economy and military has three sources of oil now, because we've shut down their internal refineries and oil industry. It can come in through Montenegro. It can come in down the Danube. Or it can come across the border from neighboring countries.
We believe of those three access routes, by far the one they're concentrating on the most is down the Danube. We have...
Q:...up the Danube.
Mr. Bacon: Well, on the Danube. And we have been concentrating basically on interdicting oil from all three routes. But what we're doing specifically on the Danube is talking to surrounding countries that can ship oil on the Danube and urging them to stop. We have also been hitting facilities along the Danube such as the Prahovo facility that General Wald mentioned, and we will continue to do that to make it easier for them -- more difficult for them to offload any oil that comes on the Danube.
Q: Where's it coming from?
Mr. Bacon: First of all, we believe that some of it is coming from Russia and being shipped through Ukrainian ports. We're very concerned about this. We have talked, we're in the process of talking to Ukrainian officials about it in an effort to get them to stop.
We've also, as I said, been talking to other countries that surround Yugoslavia in an effort to stop the smuggling that inevitably takes place across the border.
Gasoline is up to over $20 a gallon now in Yugoslavia, when it's available. So there's quite a significant economic incentive to try to smuggle the stuff in any quantity across the border.
Q: Two questions. One for the General, one for you, Ken.
General, so far I think NATO [is] using [some] 500 and 2,000-pound bombs.
Major General Wald: And there are some 1,000-pound bombs and some 750-pound bombs, and a very few, handful, of 5,000-pound bombs.
Q: But then this afternoon German Foreign Minister [Joschka Fischer] they were talking about at the visit, U.N. resolution, Security Council resolution, and they are working on a political solution for the Kosovo crisis.
Now without China, you cannot have U.N. Security Council resolution. China is still pretty mad after the embassy bombing, and now this report against, I mean on the espionage and cheating on the nuclear.
So where does China stand today and how do you want for the future to end the war in Kosovo?
Mr. Bacon: I guess the Chinese are best able to analyze where they stand today on Kosovo, but let me just say that China should have a very real interest in helping to end this crisis. It, unfortunately, has suffered some because of the military campaign. It has an interest in peace and stability not only in Asia, but throughout the world. It's a responsible international citizen, a permanent member of the Security Council, and they never wanted a military campaign in Kosovo in the first place. So since they didn't want one in the first place, they should be anxious to end it as soon as possible. It is our hope that they will play a responsible role in helping the U.N. Security Council find a way to end this crisis that incorporates NATO's five conditions.
Q:...said today that hundreds of Yugoslav troops had been killed in these bombing raids. He wasn't any more specific than that. He said it could be 150 or 950. Could you comment on that? Do you think that hundreds in fact of Yugoslav troops have been killed in these bombing raids?
Major General Wald: I don't have any estimate of what they are, but it wouldn't surprise me if that number is correct. It may be more than that. I don't know.
Q: General, how much POL is coming in? Is it a trickle, or is it meaningful?
Major General Wald: The POL, I think Mr. Bacon talked about this a few weeks ago. I think the amount of POL coming in is still about the same as it was about two weeks ago. The problem they have near-term is they're going to need more than they did before, because their sustainment is being taken out and their actual storage has been hit significantly in the last couple of weeks. So even though they're getting about the same amount in, they don't have a lot of that sustainment or supply to depend on, so they need more.
Mr. Bacon: The other problem on that is that they are having a much harder time delivering it, getting it from entry points to the places it can be used.
For instance, although there are occasional ships getting into Montenegro now, we're not aware that oil is moving from Montenegro into Serbia, because we've done a pretty good job, NATO has done a pretty good job of interdicting those supply routes. That's, of course, what we're doing throughout the country -- not only taking down storage facilities and pumping facilities, but also making it much more difficult to transport it by taking down bridges and interfering with other ways, railroads, etc.
Q: General, in the attacks on the electric power transformers, are you now trying to inflict permanent damage on these facilities as opposed to temporary damage?
Major General Wald: No, there's been no attempt to inflict permanent damage on those facilities.
Q: But you showed us the picture of the cruise missile hits with the conventional explosives.
Major General Wald: Well, they would have to repair some of those stanchions, but that full facility has not been totally destroyed or taken down for an extended period of time. But a hard kill like that will destroy some of the towers and some of the wires, so they'll have to repair that.
Mr. Bacon: If we wanted to cripple their electrical system, we would attack the fuel production facilities, the power generating plants. We have not done that. What we've attacked are the transformer facilities. Those can be rebuilt in a relatively short amount of time for much less cost than it takes to rebuild a generating plant.
Press: Thank you.
Q: Two quick questions, please?
How many... First of all, in what target category do you put electrical stations?
Major General Wald: Sustainment.
Q: And do you know how many...
Major General Wald: It's also command and control.
Q: Do you know how many residences Milosevic has?
Major General Wald: I don't know. I would suspect he has several.
Q: Why does it take nine weeks to take out 80 percent of the power of Yugoslavia and Serbia, if in fact, as you say, the modern military runs on fuel, oil, electricity?
Mr. Bacon: From the very beginning, this campaign has been progressive and it has grown over time in its severity. I don't think there's any doubt at the beginning that we were attacking a limited number of targets, concentrating first on the integrated air defense system and forces on the ground, and then we began to move progressively toward command and control and sustainment targets and other targets that are militarily related. Over time we have expanded the target list, and we'll continue to do so.
Remember, this was never a campaign directed at the Serb people or designed to hurt the people of Yugoslavia. It's designed to stop the military. What we've done over time is systematically increase pressure on the military by hitting a wider range of sustainment targets.
Q: Is this a change in tactics? And is it a realization that you are coming up on crunch time when critical decisions have to be made in terms of the approaching winter and the refugees and the like?
Mr. Bacon: For Milosevic it's always been crunch time, and it will be until he agrees to a peace plan that incorporates NATO's five conditions.
But clearly, NATO is signaling by aggressively attacking the power plants that it is going to increase the pressure continuously until this is over.
Press: Thank you.