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DoD News Briefing - Rear Admiral Craig Quigley, DASD PA

Presenters: Rear Admiral Craig Quigley, DASD PA
February 03, 2000 1:50 PM EDT

Thursday, February 03, 2000 - 1:48 EST

RADM. QUIGLEY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have a couple of announcements to make, and I'll be glad to take your questions.

First, an update for you on the Defense Department's participation in the recovery of Alaska Air 261. We do, indeed, share the sentiments of the president earlier today that we remember in our prayers those who have lost their loved ones on Alaska Airlines Flight 261. Now that the NTSB has declared the transition from a search and rescue to search and recovery, Navy personnel and equipment continue supporting the NTSB in that regard.

Again, as we've had way too much experience recently, probably, the various organizations that bring experts to the effort are getting quite proficient at their task. We have the motor vessel Kellie Chouest, using a Scorpio remotely operated vehicle. And that was the type of ROV that recovered the cockpit voice recorder at about 4:30 Pacific Coast Time yesterday afternoon. Search continues for the flight data recorder as well as other elements of the wreckage. Other vessels in the area now include the USNS Sioux -- S-I-O-U-X -- a fleet ocean tug staffed by civilian mariners. And the Sioux should be one of the primary salvage ships with heavy equipment -- heavy lift equipment and sidescan sonar on board. The Kellie Chouest is equipped with a high resolution sidescan sonar as well and the Scorpio ROV that I mentioned before. And there are detachments onboard both of those ships of either uniformed Navy experts or contract mariners.

The motor vessel Independence is in place to help place, monitor and recover oceanographic equipment. And the USS Cleveland, an amphibious transport dock, I don't know if she has actually departed her home port yet. If not, she will very shortly, and will serve as kind of a mother ship, if you will -- it's a very large amphibious ship -- for small craft, helicopters, refueling, necessary repairs and whatnot of the various smaller elements that are participating in the search. And you may have seen the destroyer Fife and the frigate Jarrett were employed the last couple of days.

Both of those vessels have now been released and they are en route back to their home ports.

Second, I want to remind you all that in 40 minutes or so, Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera, Army Chief of Staff General Shinseki and Sergeant Major of the Army Robert Hall will be joined here in the briefing room by Secretary of Education Richard Riley and Retired Army General Colin Powell, chairman of America's Promise, and they will discuss two new Army educational and recruiting programs. And again, that's 2:30 here in this briefing room.

With that, I will take your questions. Jamie?

QCan you just update us on what the situation is with the Russian tanker in the Persian Gulf that was stopped by U.S. Navy ships?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Yes. Just to kind of go back and recap a little bit, the vessel was stopped by international Maritime Interception Force units yesterday afternoon, and an inspection team has been on board since that time inspecting a variety of things, which I'll go into in a little bit more detail in a moment. But the decision has been made now to divert the vessel. I don't know to where at this point. That decision has not been made. And so stay tuned on that one.

When an inspection team goes aboard, there's a very standard process. I mean, keep in mind we've been doing this now for nine years, and that is the purpose of the MIO [Maritime Intercept Operations] force that is in the Arabian Gulf. And its charter is to monitor all shipping traffic in the Gulf. And in that time, we've established fairly standardized procedures that have been agreed to by the various international participants in the MIO force.

And a radio call on bridge to bridge is typically made to a vessel. That was the case here as well. And permission is requested to board the vessel. In this case, that permission was readily granted. There has been no incidence of violence what whatsoever. The inspection team goes aboard and starts to check a variety of things. Certainly the cargo, the bill of lading, which is a formal description of that ship's cargo.

They start checking deck logs. They check navigation equipment. They check communications logs. They talk to crew members, and they just ask them, "Where have you been? What have you been doing?" And all of these elements in the aggregate are then used to make a decision to whether or not to divert a vessel. And in this case, the decision has just recently been made to divert the vessel. As I say, I don't have a location on that yet.

QDoes that mean that it was involved in the smuggling?

RADM. QUIGLEY: We have not come to that conclusion yet.

QWell, this was a check, I take it, Admiral, of the crude oil cargo?


QAnd the origin of the crude oil cargo could very well be Iraqi, and --

RADM. QUIGLEY: The cargo of the vessel, this was a tanker vessel, the cargo was -- it's called gas oil, and I asked the question earlier this morning, I've heard that term for a long time and I'm not quite sure what it was. It is an element of refinement in a petroleum product. So it is a refined petroleum product. A sample was taken of that gas oil and from that, I am told, that you can discern locations in the world from where a particular type of gas oil is taken from the Earth. And that is one element, along with the others that I mentioned, that all go towards trying to determine the truth.


QSo it was determined that this came from --

RADM. QUIGLEY: Just a second, Jimmy. Chris?

QI believe gas oil is basically like diesel fuel, and I assume you would not be boarding this ship if you did not have sort of the equivalent of probable cause that it had taken on prohibited gas oil in Iraq, right? You don't just stop every ship that --

RADM. QUIGLEY: Oh, no. No. Again, the purpose of the MIO force is to monitor shipping in the Gulf. All nations, all types of ships, that's what we've done for nine years, and from a variety of means; we don't do this willy-nilly. There's probable cause, if you will -- that's perhaps too legalistic a term, but we have reasons to challenge the vessel and check to make sure that it's not violating the U.N. Security Council resolution that puts in place the sanctions.

QWhat were the factors that first led to challenging the vessel, and what were the additional factors that led to the decision to divert the vessel?

RADM. QUIGLEY: I'm not sure I understand your question, what factors?

QWell, what -- yeah, but what evidence was there that led the intercept force to first challenge the vessel?

And secondly, then, once challenged, what factors were there, what evidence was there to lead to this decision to divert the vessel?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Let me go to the second part first.

All of the elements that I just described are standard actions taken by an inspection party once they go aboard a ship after a stop on the high seas has been accomplished. And in this particular case we felt strongly enough that with the preponderance of that evidence that a decision to divert was appropriate.

Now, the first part of the question, we have a variety of sources of information, everything from standard visual to intelligence sources, a variety of means to ascertain vessels that we suspect to be violating the sanctions. And when we see those combination of conditions come together, that leads us to take this sort of action. I'm sorry, but I won't be able to go into greater detail as to what those elements are. But in this particular case, we feel pretty confident that those elements were in place.

QCould I -- if I could follow up -- may I just follow up? -- because in Moscow today the Russian trade minister said that this ship had not even entered Iraqi waters. Does the intercept force of the U.S. have evidence that this ship indeed had been in Iraqi waters if not in an Iraqi port?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Well, again, I'm not gonna go into specifics as to the elements that we felt were appropriate in leading to the decision to stop, board, inspect and now to divert the vessel other than to say that in the aggregate we feel that we're on solid ground and that taken together, all those elements point us in the right direction.

QThe analysis that was done of the petroleum product, has it been completed, and did it show us that it came from Iraq?

RADM. QUIGLEY: I asked that question just five minutes ago, and no, the analysis is not yet complete.

QHow many other Russian ships have been boarded in this program?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Oh, if you take a look, it's not about the flag flown by the vessel. This is about nine years of sanctions and enforcement of those sanctions with the ships of virtually every nation on the globe being monitored once they enter the Arabian Gulf with the sole purpose in mind here of enforcing the U.N. Security Council resolution on this.

Now, the specific answer to your question is we're still checking the records. We've got nine years of records to check. Last year -- let me check my notes here real quick -- there were 19 -- in 1999 we queried 2,422 vessels -- now, that just means bridge-to-bridge radio or something of that sort, or bridge-to-bridge telephone -- boarded 700 and diverted 19.

Now, the next question is, from what nation or nations were those various ships? I don't have that data here. Central Command might have that. But that's data that I don't hold here.

Q (Off mike.)

RADM. QUIGLEY: Well, I know the aggregate numbers, but we've not been able to break them down. This is not the first time that a Russian vessel has been boarded, but it is an unusual event. But I don't have the specifics, Elizabeth, as to the dates.

Yes, sir?

QGeneral [sic], the Navy has already said that the vessel came from Iraq and that they believe it contained oil from Iraq. You seem not to be saying that much now.

RADM. QUIGLEY: I'm saying that we look on a variety of elements and aggregate them together to make the decisions.

QI'd like to be clear about the decision to divert the ship, which is normally made after it's determined that it is carrying contraband. In this case, have they decided to divert the ship to a port while they complete this analysis, or have you already concluded that there is enough evidence that this oil, in fact, came from Iraq?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Well, a little bit of both, I guess, Jamie. In the answer to Elizabeth's question, we do not have the analysis back yet, so we're not completely done, but we feel that there's enough indicators to us to make the decision to divert the right one.

QThis diversion, does it require a voluntary reaction from the ship, or will it have the force of some kind of arm to force it into a port?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Well, a ship's master, of course, has an option as to how he or she will react to the request for boarding, request for inspection and diversion and whatnot. In this particular case, Bill, other's been excellent cooperation from the ship's master and crew.


QCould you, Admiral, explain the implications of the decision to divert? Does that require a finding at some level of evidence of smuggling? And what happens during and after the diversion? Is this ship now in the control of U.S. naval forces?

RADM. QUIGLEY: I understand your question. Let me move beyond, a second, because we're simply not there yet on the final analysis as to whether or not, you know, this ship was carrying contraband. But if it were, or any vessel is carrying contraband, after a vessel is diverted to one of a couple of different points within the Gulf, then you have a certain flag flown by that country, you have a cargo and you have -- on that ship, I should say -- you have a cargo and you have a crew.

The crew members can be of any of several nationalities or perhaps all of one nation. We contact the other nations in the Gulf and ask if they would be willing to then host this vessel, to take this vessel on. When we come to an agreement with a nation in the Gulf for that to take place, the vessel goes to that location and then the laws of that nation then apply.

Typically, the contraband is sold, with the profits from the sale partly going to offset the costs of the nation that agreed to take the vessel in the first place and partly to go into some of the funds that are paying for the very MIO operation in the first place. Then, again, you go to the laws of the nation involved as to the ultimate disposition for the ship itself and the crew members.

QLet me, if I may follow. You said repeatedly that you have reached with complete comfort, in aggregate, the decision to divert. But again, my question is, what are the implications of that decision? Is it based on a finding that there's likely cause, there's got to be some threshold for deciding out of 700 ships, 19 get diverted.

RADM. QUIGLEY: Sure. I understand.

QAnd I assume also, if you've already decided to divert, you decided where to divert it to? Can you tell where that is?

RADM. QUIGLEY: No, we have not made the decision as to where to divert it to. That could be made as early as yet today, but I'm not sure. I know that just before we came out here, the decision had not yet been made. And on the first part of the question, Roberto, it's not necessarily formulaic as to how you come to that decision. It is a subjective judgment, as opposed to some sort of a mathematical equation, but when the MIF force determines that there is enough there that they are confident enough to divert the vessel, not an insignificant action, then and only then is that decision made.

QSo -- I'm sorry to keep going back at this. It's a judgment of what? What is it they have judged?

RADM. QUIGLEY: The various combination, or aggregate, of the elements that I discussed earlier -- deck logs, communication logs, navigation logs, the actual taking a look at the cargo. It isn't always oil. A year ago or several months ago, when the price of oil was quite low, we have diverted ships carrying dates because, frankly, the value of a cargo of dates exceeded the value of a cargo of oil when oil prices were depressed.

So it's -- but what do you find? How convincing is it? And there is an element of judgment, certainly, involved, as opposed to a strict sort of a formulaic approach.

QThere's no question we're talking about the judgment that's being -- and I'm curious to know why you're unwilling to say it.

RADM. QUIGLEY: The judgment of what?

QThe judgment is that this was cargo that violated the U.N. sanctions on Iraq, correct?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Right, and that there is enough evidence there, from those deck logs, from the communication logs, and stuff of that sort, to say that we believe this vessel is carrying contraband. We have not come to that as a final conclusion, but we feel comfortable enough in making the decision to divert, based on what we have found so far.

QAnd who made that decision? Who made that decision?

RADM. QUIGLEY: The MIF force. The MIF force.

QHave you ever diverted a vessel and not then seized its cargo? Of the 19 vessels you have diverted, you have seized the cargo of only one of those.

RADM. QUIGLEY: I'll have to take that question, John. I don't know.


QWhen was the last time that a Russian ship was boarded in the Gulf? And also, have any other ships -- Russian ships been queried in the past month or so?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Queried? I don't know. We'll have to see if I can find that.

I believe you're looking at sometime in 1998 for a Russian vessel, but we're still checking those logs. I don't have great confidence in that. I think we're right.

QDo you know what -- (off mike)?

RADM. QUIGLEY: I don't have that either.

QADM Quigley?


QIs part of the problem in finding a place to divert that you're getting turned down by countries you've asked? Have you asked anybody --

RADM. QUIGLEY: No, the diversion sites are in international waters, and it's a decision made -- what's the weather conditions? What's the loading, ship traffic in that area -- just kind of what makes sense. But it's not a territorial issue decision. Ultimately, when you move from a diversion site to actually your conversations with other states in the Gulf region, then certainly, yes, you'll enter their territorial waters.

QHow effective is this embargo regime, this maritime interdiction and inspection program? I mean, I've heard reports that many ships get through. Is that true, and can you give us any idea, and why is that?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Well, it's a hard one to quantify, Jamie, but we think that the message we'd like to send out to the international community and would-be smugglers is that we're watching.

Every vessel that's in the Arabian Gulf is monitored by the MIF force -- every one. You combine elements of its history, intelligence information, its movements within the gulf, and you come up with likely candidates for further watching, if you will.

How effective is it? We have diverted many ships in nine years and confiscated much contraband. Ultimately, what that equates to is money that does not go into the coffers of Saddam Hussein and forces compliance with the U.N. Security Council resolution. That's the major element.

QYeah, but on the other side of that, you said many ships were stopped, much contraband was -- but how much is getting through?

RADM. QUIGLEY: I don't know if I can provide a good answer to your question.

QAdmiral, how big is the MIF force now, and what is the size of the U.S. component?

RADM. QUIGLEY: It's typically four to six ships in the gulf. In this particular case, you're looking at the Navy cruiser USS Monterey and the frigate USS Taylor -- in this particular case. But the U.S. generally has between four and six surface ships. Many nations have participated in providing a vessel -- or more -- to participate in the MIF force over the years since the monitoring regime and sanctions enforcement were put in place. I can read those nations, if you wish: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Italy, Kuwait, the Netherlands, New Zealand, UAE, the U.K., and the United States.

QAnd who's the commander of the force?

RADM. QUIGLEY: It rotates. I think at the moment it's -- I'm not sure at the moment. I believe it's an American. But I need to confirm that for you. [Vice Admiral Charles W. Moore, Jr., USN is the current commander of the MIF.]

QBut this -- is the Russian shipping company that owns and operates the ship, is it privately owned, and is there any evidence at all that this smuggling operation would have been supported or sanctioned by the Russian government?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Yeah, this is a privately owned vessel, and the answer to the second is no.

Keep in mind how vessels are flagged. If you -- talking about a government-owned vessel, I mean, a U.S. Navy vessel -- I'll use that as an example -- it's owned by the government of the United States of America. Any nation's warships are property of that nation's government. But you also have ships flying the flag of a particular nation that have no relationship with the government of that nation. And that's what we had here.

QWell, what about the company that operates it as opposed to the ship itself?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Same answer. This is a completely privately owned vessel.


QWhat has happened to the 19 crews of the ships that were diverted? Were they put up in a nice hotel? Beheaded? Sent home? What happened to them? (Laughter.)

RADM. QUIGLEY: Well, you go to the laws of the nation that has agreed to take custody of the vessel, and it will vary depending on that nation's laws. Very typically, however, the crew members are released and sent to their home nation, whatever that might be. But it can have variations, Jim, depending on that nation's laws.

Q (Inaudible.)

RADM. QUIGLEY: John? I'm sorry, say it again?

QBut the vessel itself typically is held by the nation?

RADM. QUIGLEY: It can be used by the host nation, can be sold by the host nation. It's whatever, really, they see fit.

QAnd just a technical point. This is a Russian flag vessel?


QA Russian-registered vessel?

RADM. QUIGLEY: I'll check on the registry. The flag, definitely.

QAnd is there a message you are intending to send to the Russian government by what has happened here today?

RADM. QUIGLEY: We would like to send a message to all smugglers that we're always watching, and we have a very good chance of catching you.

QHowever, if I understand it correctly, you have been in touch with the Russian government over the course of the last month to tell them that we're watching your boat, and they apparently have ignored your warnings. So is there a special message to the Russians that you're trying to send?

RADM. QUIGLEY: I believe those conversations have been held with the State Department, so I would have to defer to them, John.

QYou were talking about some of the elements that led to the decision to board, and you mentioned navigation equipment. Does navigation equipment keep some kind of internal mechanical or electronic log that you can inspect?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Yes. Electronic.

QOh. And like an odometer on a car, maybe, that can't be tampered with?

RADM. QUIGLEY: That's not a perfect analogy, but you can read out the history of -- electronically -- the history of certain types of electronic navigation equipment. It's not universally applicable, but there are some types of electronic navigation equipment that provide you a historical track of where you've actually been. And you can compare that with what your actual paper chart that you may be using on your chart table, and what do the pencil marks say, and how much have I erased; does it jibe with the statements that I receive from the crew members when I would ask them the simple question, "Where you have been?"

QAnd what does this navigational equipment show?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Again, I'm not going to get into that, because we're not done.

QWhat's the capacity --


QYes, are U.S. crewmen currently on the ship and directing it?


QAnd --

RADM. QUIGLEY: Well, let me go back just one step. We are not directing it. Are we running the engines, are we making the food? No, we're not. The ship's crew is still doing that. But our inspection party is still on board.

QAnd have you been -- is the U.S. government in touch with any of the potential host nations to seek possible harbor for this boat?

RADM. QUIGLEY: I'm not aware that we are yet to that point. Ultimately -- ultimately -- if we come to that point, those conversations would be held by the State Department.

QCan you list some of the countries that have done this before? I mean, where --

RADM. QUIGLEY: I honestly don't know, but it would be countries within the Gulf, so it would be the GCC states.

QIs there any possibility that in this case, the ship would be released to the Russian government to -- since it doesn't belong to the Russian government -- to be disposed of, along the same lines that the money going into the same fund --

RADM. QUIGLEY: Well, I think we're getting ahead of ourselves here, because it's not for us to make that call. It's, again, the laws of the nation that ultimately agrees to accept the vessel, if we get to that point.

QAnd it's possible that that nation could end up being Russia, even though that's not what's happened in the past? Could it be released to the same country?

RADM. QUIGLEY: I -- I don't know, Jamie.

QDo you know the capacity of this vessel?

RADM. QUIGLEY: No, but we can find that out.

QBig? Little?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Medium size, is how I would describe it. It's not like that supertanker, John, as you think of that, but neither is it a little coastal lighter or something of that --

QCan you take the question, so we have the capacity?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Yes. Yes. We can come close, if we don't have the exact data.

QOn the MIF, are the two ships that you mentioned, the two Navy ships, are they the only American ships in the MIF, or are those the two American ships that did the work?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Yes to both questions, at this particular point in time.

QAnd you -- (off mike).

RADM. QUIGLEY: The U.S. vessels that are in the Gulf -- and other nations may do it differently, but the U.S. vessels that are in the Gulf can be assigned to the MIF force for a period of time and then withdrawn and replaced by another. So today, we've got Monterey and Taylor, but they could be exchanged out for other vessels in the weeks and months ahead, and typically are.

QAnd you don't know the composition of the rest of the force right now?

RADM. QUIGLEY: I don't have that immediately available, but we can certainly --

STAFF: (Off mike) --- the other two countries currently --

RADM. QUIGLEY: Oh, the other nations with it? Okay.

QIndia and Kuwait?

STAFF: Kuwait.

QDoes this ship have any history --

QI'm sorry, what was that?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Jim, let me go back and clarify. U.K. and Kuwait --

QAre the other two parties.

RADM. QUIGLEY: -- are the other two nations that have vessels in the MIF at the moment.

Jim, I'm sorry. Go ahead.

QDoes this ship have any history of previous smuggling activities? And in particular, has it been observed on any similar runs to the kind of run that it made in this area?

RADM. QUIGLEY: I don't know its history, but if it's been in the Arabian Gulf before, we've monitored it.

QAdmiral, you said earlier that the boarding party was granted permission to board?


QIs that how it is? Because there are other accounts that say there simply was no response from the bridge of the tanker and that after some period of time with no response, then the decision was made to board.

There was no resistance or anything like that, but that there was no an overt granting of permission by --

RADM. QUIGLEY: I'm not clear as the specific exchange of information. I'm going on the fact that there was no opposition to the inspection party to come aboard.

Now, you can do that a couple of different ways. You can come aboard by helicopter. You can come aboard by small boat. In this particular case it was by helicopter.

QBut you don't know for sure that somebody on the bridge of the tanker actually --

RADM. QUIGLEY: No, I don't.

QOkay, fine.

RADM. QUIGLEY: And said "You have permission to come aboard"? No, I just --

QRight. It wasn't that overt.

RADM. QUIGLEY: I don't know it to that level of detail. I'm sorry.


QDid the president --

RADM. QUIGLEY: Bill, go ahead. Sorry, just -- .

QThanks very much. Could you clarify two points? At present as we speak the Russian tanker is dead in the water, basically holding, being watched by at least two warships. And then, if there's a terminal and you decide to stick it to a terminal, or if it's ordered to go to a terminal, is it escorted by warships to the terminal?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Yes. Yes. First to the divert point -- I mean, again, we're getting a little bit ahead of ourselves here, okay? But the decision is made to go to the divert point in international waters. And then ultimately if the decision is made that yes, it's smuggling and all that, then it would move into the territorial waters of a nation.

QWas the boarding party armed?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Boarding parties are always armed. And -- just as a standard precaution, yes.

QWhat weapons --

RADM. QUIGLEY: Small arms. Light weapons.

QWhat role did the State Department and the White House make in determining that the ship should first be boarded?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Excellent questions to ask of the State Department and the White House.


QDid the Pentagon have to get a green light from the White House or State Department in terms acts of --

RADM. QUIGLEY: To do the -- ?

QTo do the boarding, and the timing of the boarding?

RADM. QUIGLEY: No. No. No, I mean that -- for nine years this has come into a fairly standard process that is known by all nations that are flagging vessels. If you're a -- it is no surprise -- I can't believe it would be any surprise to any nation of the world that there's this U.N. Security Council resolution that is very specific on contraband coming from Iraq.


QJust to understand that, have you observed any pattern of Russia, Russian ships attempting to get around the sanctions? That's question one. And two, when people are would-be smugglers, they risk at least the forfeiture of the contraband and forfeiture of possibly the ship.

What do they risk the forfeiture of?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Let me take the second part of the question first. If you're a smuggler, you risk losing it all. Whatever you paid for your cargo, whatever you paid for your ship, however many crew members you may have paid, and how much you paid them -- you risk losing it all. And there's a high price to pay if we catch you smuggling.

Now on the first part of the question, no. There's no pattern by any particular nation. There's been a variety of nations in the nine years of the regime.

QCould I --


QI don't know if we're through with this subject.

RADM. QUIGLEY: I need to wrap this up in just a couple more minutes. If there's another topic, we need to move on to that.

QWell, at 2:20 I wanted to know if I could ask about another topic.

RADM. QUIGLEY: Okay. All right. Any more questions? Just please -- Pam, one more.

QCould you explain again that diversion point? Is that a physical point that you're -- in international waters?

RADM. QUIGLEY: It is a physical --

QI mean, is it an island? Is it a --

RADM. QUIGLEY: No, it is a place relatively close to the territorial waters out of the main shipping lanes.

QA place in water, or is it --

RADM. QUIGLEY: There's one in the Northern Arabian Gulf. There's one in the Southern Arabian Gulf.

QKind of a floating -- (off mike)?

RADM. QUIGLEY: An anchorage.


RADM. QUIGLEY: It's close enough so that you can either lie to or anchor out of the way, and not be in the way, if you will, of other shipping traffic, and yet you're still in international waters, and you haven't declared --

QOne last one, Craig --

RADM. QUIGLEY: We need to -- I'm sorry. We need to move on to other topics.

QWhere did this take place?

RADM. QUIGLEY: In the Straits of Hormuz. I don't have a chart with me, but in international waters, between Iran and the UAE, in that band of water, in the Gulf of Oman, on the --

QYou're talking about outside the straits --

RADM. QUIGLEY: Outside the Straits of Hormuz, outside the Arabian Gulf, actually.

Yes? New subject.

QThe Kosovo lessons learned report is going to be released next week. Can you give us any heads-up on what that's going to conclude?

RADM. QUIGLEY: No. I don't think that would be appropriate. I'll let Secretary Cohen deliver that to the Congress, as he promised he would.

QCan you just tell me -- just two other quick questions about Kosovo. Can you tell me -- did the United States ever come up with or compile an estimate how many civilians were killed in the NATO bombing campaign?

RADM. QUIGLEY: No. We have never come up with a number, because we couldn't -- we felt that we couldn't do a particularly accurate job of that estimation.

But let me say, again, as we've said many times before, this was an extremely carefully planned air campaign and was the most accurate air campaign in history, period.

Were there unintentional civilian deaths? Yes. That comes from any time you have conflict.

We tried very, very hard to minimize those numbers. We think we did a very good job, but it wasn't perfect.

QAnd one last question: Do you know if there's any estimate of Yugoslav military deaths and military casualties that -- among particularly the fielded forces that were targeted by NATO?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Not that we have any confidence in.

QNot even any rough estimate?

RADM. QUIGLEY: No. I mean, because if I stand here and give you a number, I've got to have confidence that it's correct, or at least very close to being correct. And we have that -- we don't have that confidence, Jamie, and that's why we've always shied away from that.

Pam? Just a couple more questions, and we need to wrap this up.

QSure. On John Deutch, when he was deputy Defense secretary, did he use personal computers from home? Were they secure? Is the Pentagon looking into that, what kind of information he might have --

RADM. QUIGLEY: I'll take that question. I don't know.

Any other topics?

QGee, we have extra time. Maybe we could just come up with something.

RADM. QUIGLEY: Well, I know the folks with Secretary Cohen [Caldera] need a few minutes here to set up, so.


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