10 June 2004
U.S. Global Posture Strategy Getting Thorough Review
Decisions must coordinate domestic and international
U.S. government decisions on where to position military forces,
as well as what kind and how many to have, are being undertaken
in a complicated review process that involves foreign policy considerations
and close consultations with allies and the Congress, three senior
administration officials say.
The three, representing the Departments of Defense and State,
as well as the National Security Council, briefed journalists on
background at the Pentagon June 9. The Defense Department official
began the session by saying that five considerations are shaping
the process: (1) strengthening relationships with allies and build
new partnerships; (2) building in maximum flexibility and agility;
(3) including a regional, as well as a global, focus; (4) emphasizing
speed: that is, making the assets as rapidly deployable as possible;
and (5) focusing primarily on capabilities, rather than on numbers.
In addition, the senior Defense official said, the question of
military basing is only part of the total consideration. The whole
picture, he said, is "much bigger."
"When we're talking about posture, we're looking ... at ... the
activities that we have with our allies, with our military presence;
the activities that we have in terms of day-to-day interactions
of forces that are stationed forward, but also our ability to surge
capabilities. And the whole complex of interactions that we have
with military forces throughout the world are fundamental to this," he
Furthermore, the same official emphasized that relationships are
also taken into consideration concerning "the right capability,
the right capacity, [and] the right orientation in terms of how
we're dealing with the challenges that we face."
The term "relationships" can also entail, he said, common views
toward transforming desired capabilities; types of legal parameters
for maintaining and using forces in host countries; and even combined
command structures with allies and partners.
The State Department official, while acknowledging that the global
posture review is "quintessentially a Defense Department matter," noted
that "there are some very fundamental political and policy dimensions
"I think it's important to recognize," the State official said, "that
as we speak about our capability to defend our interests and those
of our allies ... we should never forget that those ... are profoundly
political commitments; they are from the American people and the
American government to other peoples and governments around the
world. And so we pay a great deal of attention to the political
dimension of the Global Defense Posture Review."
Following is the transcript of the briefing:
U.S. Department of Defense
DoD News Briefing with Senior Administration Officials
June 9, 2004
(Defense Department Background Briefing)
STAFF: Well, a full house today. Thank you for joining us this
There has been continued interest in the global "footprint" issue,
and we made a commitment to you some time ago that, as we work
through this process, at various points in the process we would
attempt to give you updates as to where we are; and that's exactly
what we're going to do today. Indicative of the process, you can
see that it is something that is done in a very "interagency" way.
And today, because it is a process-type briefing, in terms of where
we're at, the attribution for today is on background. But you see
we have two Department of Defense [officials], a State Department
official, and a senior NSC [National Security Council] official.
They've got a few things that they want to bring you up to date
on and then we'll open it up for questions; but we do have to end
at the top of the hour.
So with that, I will turn it over to --
Question: But, (staffer's name) -- I'm sorry -- can we get names
and titles just for --
STAFF: Oh, I'm sorry. Yes, you can, and I know some of these are
not -- some of the individuals are new to our briefing room, and
so I will just set this --
Q: For those that are of weaker vision, can you pass -- (laughter)
STAFF: You're right. Why don't we just pass it around, and by
the time the 30 minutes is up everybody will have had a chance.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I'm going to start.
(Consultations off-mike among Senior Administration Officials.)
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Anyway, from DOD [Department of
Defense] I'm going to start.
Some of you -- what I'm going to cover is familiar. To some of
you it will be new, but I thought it was good to get everybody
on the same footing. And that is to begin with when we talk about
changes in our global posture -- to give just a couple quick ideas
of what it is we're intending to do with this. And I think in some
ways there have been some misnomers that this is just about basing,
and I think it is important for us to convey to you that this is
indeed bigger, as an enterprise.
As we think about posture and the goals that we have and the changes
to our posture worldwide, we really have five pieces in mind.
In the first instance it is to strengthen the relationship --
strengthen our allies and build new partnerships: that what we
do with our military interactions worldwide -- where we're situated,
where our forces are located, the activities that we have -- they're
fundamental to the kind of challenges that we face in the world.
And we want to make sure that what is out there in the world is
relevant to the challenges that we face, and to those that our
allies face. And we think there are important changes that ought
to be made, and making those changes will in fact put our alliance
relationships on a stronger footing.
The second point is that, as we're doing this, one of the things
that we're keeping fundamentally in our minds is that we need to
be able to contend with uncertainty: that the idea that we can
predict at a time and place where we're going to be challenged,
or how we're going to be challenged, we know not to be true. Certainly
the experiences of the last several years -- but, arguably, the
experiences of the last 10 or 15 years -- tell us that our ability
at prediction is quite weak.
And so what we really need to do is build the relationships: have
the flexibility and the agility so that we can deal with the kind
of challenges that we're going to face as we look at the world.
And that -- so that is to build the right kind of relationships;
it is to have a flexible posture in the world, so that we can contend
It also means, importantly, that we think that our ability to
say that we know precisely where we're going to fight and, therefore,
we can position an asset or capability to say "we're going to fight
in place" is probably fundamentally wrong: that we're more likely
to be working with our partners to develop capabilities, so that
we can move to where the challenges will likely be. And that's
important in our thinking.
The third point:
When we look at this, we certainly look at regions. And a regional
focus has been fundamental to what we've done; but we're also looking
across regions. That is to say, we've brought both a global and
a regional view to the kind of challenges that we face in the world,
and how we deal with those. And that's how we've been interacting
with our partners, is to say that some of the problems and security
challenges we face are quite regional. Many of them are global.
And as we think about the posture, our posture and theirs, we've
got to reflect a combination of both at what we're doing.
The fourth point:
For us, because of the nature of the uncertainty, [and] because
of the nature of the challenges, speed will be important. Speed
isn't always important, but in many instances it will be. And so
we need to be rapidly deployable in the capabilities that we have.
And that rapid deployability is not just in a particular asset,
but it's in the whole architecture. It's from the command and control
piece to the major operating units to the support pieces.
And a lot of attention has been given in recent years to the operating
pieces. Can a particular capability or a particular asset move
from one location to the other?
But equally important is the command and control apparatus as
well. Is that rapidly deployable? Are all the support pieces, are
they rapidly deployable? And as we looked at this as an entire
architecture and not specific pieces -- we're trying to do that
as we [have] worked our way through this posture.
And the last piece -- and in some ways the most important -- is
that the focus here has been on capabilities and not numbers; that
is, we need to ensure that we and our allies have the right capabilities
to deal with the security challenges that we face. We'll then make
a determination of whatever the numbers are. But if we begin this
with numbers, we're almost sure to get it wrong. And so our focus
here, and the focus of our allies has been: what are the appropriate
capabilities? What are the relevant capabilities for dealing with
the challenges that we confront?
Now, just a couple more things: When we talk about posture, as
I said in the opening, it's often said that we're thinking about
basing. It's much bigger [than that]. When we're talking about
posture, we're looking certainly at facilities of various types:
but we're also looking at activities -- the activities that we
have with our allies, with our military presence; the activities
that we have in terms of day-to-day interactions of forces that
are stationed forward, but also our ability to surge capabilities.
And the whole complex of interactions that we have with military
forces throughout the world are fundamental to this.
We also look at the relationships that are a result of these activities
-- relationships that range from heads of state down to unit level
that are all about having the right capability, the right capacity,
the right orientation in terms of how we're dealing with the challenges
that we face. And those relationships can involve common views
toward the transformation of capabilities that we seek; the relationships
can involve the type of legal parameters that surround our ability
to maintain forces in host countries and to use forces there; they
can involve command structures in terms of combined command structures
that we have with allies and partners in various parts of the world.
And as I said, it also involves the basing, the facilities piece:
although a key element of this is not just the traditional main
operating bases, but also the access arrangements that we have
in parts of the world, or the "warm" facilities that we're able
to train in -- again, a reminder that if we're going to deal with
uncertainty, then there has to be a certain flexibility in this
posture that we have in the world.
So as we have said in the opening, we're in an ongoing set of
consultations of dealing with our partners, and much of what we've
been talking about to them is why we're doing this, what we are,
as well as some of the particular ideas.
And so I will leave it there and turn it over to you.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: OK. Thank you.
Speaking for the State Department, it's clear that what you've
just heard and what you know about this is quintessentially a Defense
Department matter. Force posture is about the military. It's about
assets and infrastructure and how the military meets the missions
that are tasked to it. But there are some very fundamental political
and policy dimensions to it, which is why it's a presidential policy,
and why the State Department and other agencies have a very important
equity as well.
I think it's important to recognize that, as we speak about our
capability to defend our interests and those of our allies, it's
-- we should never forget that those commitments are political
commitments, fundamentally. And I think that after Istanbul, the
U.S. will have over 50 treaty alliance commitments around the world,
more than it has ever had, and it's fair to say that countries
on many continents sleep better at night knowing that the United
States is their treaty alliance partner. Those are profoundly political
commitments; they are from the American people and the American
government to other peoples and governments around the world. And
so we pay a great deal of attention to the political dimension
of the Global Defense Posture Review.
It's also the case that the State Department plays a role in national
security relationships through assistance, security assistance
funding, running the IMET program and the arms modernization funding,
and we also have arms transfer authority, for it's delegated to
the secretary of State. And so as we think about the future and
the posturing of our forces both at home and abroad, the State
Department and the policy community gives a great deal of thought
of how all these pieces of national security and foreign policy
fit together. So there's a broader vision even than assets and
infrastructure and access relationships; it has to do with working
together with our security partners programmatically year after
year to build toward the best possible combined capabilities, working
closely with partners.
I think the third point I would make, and then I'll stop, has
to do with the process. There's been no argument inside this administration
about the proposition that a lot of where we have forces around
the world -- our relationships ... sort of froze in place a long
time ago, ... [they] had a logic that was based on an earlier time
technologically and an earlier time historically.
And so we've been working quite collegially to support Secretary
Rumsfeld's initiative, in the first instance, for he deserves credit
for bringing this forward, working with the Joint Chiefs and the
And in so doing, it's easy to focus on what's been there for a
long time, and what changes. And I simply want to underscore that
we pay a great deal of attention to what we will be in the future,
and we may focus on some assets that may move at the end of the
process from here to there.
But it's also important to know that it's a two-way proposition.
This whole vision of Global Defense Posture and the 21st-century
positioning of our and our allied and coalition partners' military
capabilities is an investment in the future. It's an investment
in the future military capability of ourselves and our partners,
but it's also an investment in the political relationships which
will be the bedrock of those capabilities that will lead to positive
decisions; public opinion and parliaments around the world will
support common security policies. And so it all fits together in
And where we are more specifically is that in both Asia and in
Europe for many months now we've had a series of official visits,
where both the "why" and the "wherefore" of this initiative have
been discussed, have been briefed and have been, I think, quite
well received, both in Europe and in Asia. And I say that with
And I think we're -- it's fair to say now we're in the process
of the more detailed consultation, where, partner by partner, we
are entering the realm of putting more specific notions on the
table. After all, these are host countries. These are security
partners. They have enormous equities. Their own security is tied
up in these discussions.
And so we're now engaged in a very important conversation, which
will inform our own deliberations here in Washington at some stage,
when we have the input and we're satisfied that we have had --
that our friends and allies have had a full opportunity to address
their perspectives with us. At that stage, I think we will be able
to say that we have consulted, and then we can take the deliberative
process to the next stage.
I think I'll stop there.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Let me just add one point, which
is that this is a rigorous analytic effort that we've been working
as an interagency team for about the last 18 months. And I'm here
as the physical manifestation that we have been working it as an
interagency team these last 18 months.
Q: If I might ask, I assume you're not here today to make any
announcements on any further moves -- public announcements on further
moves that you plan, like the ones you've made Korea, the proposal
you put to the Koreans. Having said that, how close are you to
making such announcement publicly in terms -- for instance, possible
movement of troops out of Okinawa, or possible movement of troops
out of Germany -- how close are you to some kind of public announcement
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I think it's fair to say that
from the administration's standpoint, there is a deliberative process
going on. You've seen media stories that may reflect -- accurately
or less accurately, I won't say -- discussions that are ongoing.
And I think it's inevitable in the modern age that this is not
all going to stay out of the media.
I know that the Pentagon is having important discussions with
Congress as well about aspects that are of great interest to them,
and we have with the State Department oversight committees. And
so there will be a lot of things that come out, but we're not at
the point of decisions. We're in a deliberative process. We are
consulting, and that phase is ongoing. And until such time as we've
done justice to our security partners in these discussions, it's
not fair to say that we're at the point of decision.
Q: I understand that. But you've publicly said now that you plan
to begin pulling troops out of Korea by the end of 2005, 12,500.
Granted, that's still in a consultative process. Having said that,
when might you announce or might you begin pulling troops out of,
say, Germany, by the end of next year or next year? Do you see
what I mean?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yeah, it's a -- there's three
different levels at which we're looking at this. We've made a lot
of emphasis on what the capabilities are. And that's really where
the discussions are right now: What are the capabilities that we
need to have forward; what capabilities can we have the United
States to be able to surge forward? Part of that discussion is
exactly how will this -- as the BRAC [base reduction and closing]
process unfolds, how does that couple in? These things are inextricably
linked together, since the total global capability is going to
be a function of what we have in the U.S. and how we can move that
forward or near the U.S.
The next stage is, then, what is the usability of the forces?
So there's much more than just what's going to be there, but in
which sort of ways are we going to be able to use it. And that's
a whole different series of consultations with host-nation governments
on how we can use that.
And then finally, once we know what the capabilities are we want
to have forward -- how usable they will be able to be, both within
the theater or across the globe -- then we can get down to exactly
what the specifics are, and the numbers. And as that unfolds, at
some point in time, country by country we'll be ready to make announcements.
But we're not to that point now; we are just in the beginning of
the consultative process across a number of regions.
Q: I understand you only have -- we only have a limited amount
of time. Was the announcement on Korea made because it involves
a relatively small number of troops, and many of those will go
to Iraq, so it wouldn't affect the BRAC process? Why was the announcement
made on Korea?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: The announcement was made that
-- I should let DOD answer.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yes, what we said in Korea was
-- is that we're going to take some of the troops there and to
be able to use them in Iraq. Exactly -- it's not 100 percent certain
that they would be coming back to Korea. There is a chance that
they might come back to some other spot other than Korea when they
come back, and that would all be intertwined with the global force
Now as troops go to Iraq right now, they're nominally going for
about a year's rotation, and so in that time frame, we would gain
an understanding of exactly what the disposition of those troops
would be. But as part of the consultation process with the Korean
government, that is something that we did agree to mutually.
Q: As you try to look around the world at where it's advantageous
to have troops, how do you figure in Iraq, since the end of it
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yeah, I would say that Iraq specifically
-- and exactly what the end game there is -- is a piece of the
puzzle that has not totally been defined, because there are ongoing
operations, and we'll just have to see how that evolves and what
the security situation evolves there.
One thing I guess I'd like to mention: It seems like we're focusing
on exactly where troops are. Some of the "tectonic" movements that
are going on here [are]: We're moving away from forces that we
garrisoned where we thought the fight was going to be, and moving
to a position where we're developing a rotational force, which
is what we call part of the "presence policy" -- awful lot of focus
on what the footprint is, which deals with the facilities.
But the presence [is] exactly who's where when, and that is something
that becomes rotational and quite dynamic. There's a surge capacity
to that, where we can put a much larger percentage of the force
out there at a given time and place, whether it be for deterrence
or actually be for operations. There's a bigger piece in security
cooperation: how we can build up capability in allies.
So I understand that where the interest is, from a press point
of view, is exactly what the numbers are. We just think that's
just the tip of the iceberg, and the real generation of capabilities
are some of these other aspects.
Q: Is there any benefit anymore in forward basing? I mean, it
sounds -- given the technology --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: There's a --
Q: -- the way that we have now we could --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: There's a significant benefit
in moving forward capability, and how you get that capability is
a complex mixture of what the region is, what it might need to
be used for, what your peacetime engagement policy is going to
be, and then what possible conflict operations might involve.
A key part of a global force posture, though, is moving forward
capability that we can deal with any crisis in a relatively short-term
time frame and to be able to seize the initiative very rapidly.
And that's -- one part of the policy is -- is in a much more compressed
time scale, to be able to seize the initiative in any conflict.
And that's why there's a lot of moving forward capability.
But there's been a tremendous number of lessons learned through
Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom, and the global war on terrorism.
We think collectively -- you're seeing up here principally people
in suits, but this is -- the uniform services, and Joint Staff,
and the combatant commanders are very, very tightly integrated
into this. We feel we have a better way to approach these problems
and we can move capability forward. But it looks like we don't
need near[ly] the numbers that we have out there right now.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Let me add to that. In addition
to the narrow military efficiency argument, there are lots of benefits
to having American forces around the world. First and foremost,
assuring our friends and deterring our adversaries, which continues
to matter, and physical presence continues to matter as a piece
Q: Do you need two full divisions to do that or --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I didn't say you needed two full
divisions to do it. You asked a general question about its usability.
And second, training with the militaries that we fight as partners
alongside. And a lot of that happens in the places where our forces
STAFF: Let me direct traffic here a second.
Tom, over to Esther and then to Pam. All right?
Q: This is for the State Department official. You said that proposals
now are getting, quote, "more specific" now with the allies. Could
you expand on that a little bit? That sounds like we're getting
ready to, you know, in the poker game, really start to play here.
Can you, again, expand on that? And given that, are we talking
a year or two, three years down the road as opposed to --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: When we first went out and briefed
last year mainly, and into the early part of this year in Asia,
but in Europe in December, the general briefing was a vision of
the "why" and the "wherefore" of the whole thing. It was a historical
overview. It showed a lot of lessons learned, as my colleague just
mentioned. And it showed that we're in a different century now;
things are different in the way military can bring capability to
bear, and so that the asset and support base has changed.
We are now at the phase of being able to bring forward the notional
ideas that we have, which in the first instance were the product
of our combatant commands working with the Joint Staff and OSD
[Office of the Secretary of Defense] to look at what makes the
most sense, all other things being equal.
And so we have to have a more specific conversation, country by
country, to be able to say these are the notional ideas that we
Q: For example?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, Country X -- (chuckles)
-- Asset X, Y, Z, facilities. There may be places where you had
dispersed facilities because you thought they'd be under attack
in a major war, whereas now the threat of war has receded, so you
have a lot of efficiencies to be gained by consolidation and technology
hubs and things like that. There's a different logic. This is recognized.
But we need to go there and show more specifics that have to do
with important assets, facilities, units, et cetera, and to have
a discussion that's worthy of these relationships. We -- and so
we are at the phase now of having specific discussions and soliciting
feedback. And so --
Q: And what about with countries that you don't have any --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Let me just add, if I can, to
the point there on -- before we get the numbers, though, there's
-- also the issue is, how often can we move forces in or out? How
much can we change that mix of forces? What sort of training capability
will we have? Our own training? With the host nation? Third-party
So that all has to do with what the usability is, how much capability
we're going to get -- not just for the forces we're putting there,
but to be able to work with other forces. How much can we push
forward a transformation capability with the nations there? So
there's a lot of different dimensions to this, rather than just
what the specific number's going to be.
Q: And one last thing. Are you being more specific with countries
where you perhaps don't have a relationship now, and you'd like
to have one? Is that --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: We -- that is part of the process
that we're in now -- to begin to engage in a conversation about
prospective activities that we're --
Q: Lithuania? Bulgaria?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, I won't be specific, but
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: We're also talking to countries
where we have no intention of having capabilities, but we don't
want them to be surprised by a set of choices that are coming.
Q: Is China on that list? The "big gorilla?"
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I have participated in discussions
Q: About your plans?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yes.
Q: Yeah. Obviously you don't want to be very specific right now
about things that you may or may not be pulling out. I wonder if
you might be able to give us a little bit more specificity about
things you are bringing in.
In the Korean theater, the Pentagon has been quite specific about
the $11 billion in enhancements that it's working on, on the Korean
peninsula, and the capabilities that it is bringing into that theater
-- bombers, unmanned aerial vehicles, advanced computer systems,
et cetera. Can you tell us in places -- other places, like Europe,
Germany, Japan, Okinawa -- where you may be bringing in capabilities
to offset any possible changes?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I think before you get -- the
answer will come principally from DOD. But from a political perspective,
I just want to recognize that we never forget that we're talking
about host countries, we're talking about partners, and we're talking
about activities on their sovereign territory, so we make no presumptions
We have ideas, and there's a very compelling logic to those ideas,
which my colleagues will elaborate. But I don't want the impression
to be given that we're overlooking the consultation process. It
may be warmly welcomed to have greater combat capability and more
relevant posturing, but I don't want to make any assumptions about
any country. We're in the --
Q: Could you be specific about proposals or ideas for --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well no, we can't. We wouldn't
be specific, even if we might be able to be because that is, again,
a part of the evolving process.
The other thing is, is that there is a not a single way forward
on this. We know what we want to end up with as the capabilities;
there's a number of different options and ways to get that. And
that's part of this process, this consultative process, is to try
to determine, you know, which way will work the best both for us,
for our current partners, and to be able to build up capability
and capacity out there in the rest of the world, and to be able
to successfully pursue the global war on terrorism.
So there's a number of different ways to pursue this, and we really
won't know specifically what's going where or how we would do things
until the pieces start to come together.
In general, in capabilities, though, you can just basically look
at the lessons learned out of Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom
is that speed is more important than mass; that the key -- if you
have a discretionary set of resources to invest, you want to set
that into netting the force, bring the force together, and then
you get a holistic capability that's much better. Intelligence
and the warning that intelligence gives you is very critical in
capability. There's also some things that we want to do in building
up capacity out there, both in the area of stability operations,
where we can cooperate with allies and partners, and then also
in the area of transformation and how we can have some of our friends
out there profit from many of the lessons that we've learned. And
then the other thing is the ability for precision.
And so those are the type of capabilities that we want to move
forward. And there are some specific things we'll look for, and
components of that capability in certain regions. But globally,
since we can't predict where the next fight will be, we want to
make sure that we have the ability to get that forward, and that's
key to the strategy and it's also key to what we're looking to
be able to do back here in the United States as we bring the forces
back. And so a thing that's important to us is the BRAC process.
Absent BRAC, we will not be able to bring back these forces and
position them in the most optimum way to generate the most -- the
greatest amount of capability. But the BRAC process provides us
a window of opportunity, where we can couple this overseas footprint
with the BRAC process and ... be able to make those moves for a
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: One of the resounding things,
by the way, we've heard from the allies is -- we've talked to them
-- of the attributes you just heard discussed here is that they
want to be very much part of that, and they, too, are changing
their forces. And for them to stay linked and connected with the
American military forces as we change and as they change is of
fundamental interest. It's of interest to us and it's of interest
to them. And part of laying out some proposals to them is for us
to hear back their own ideas of how their own forces are changing,
and what we can do in combination with them as we see having capabilities
that are in forward areas that are relevant to the security challenges
that we and they face and are appropriate, and that we do so in
a way that we're moving forward together in the kind of changes
that we entertain.
Q: Could you address specifically what your assumptions are for
response time? Are you going with the Army's "96 hours to a conflict" --
having a division in -- I'm sorry -- maybe (a different theater
?) -- in conflict?
And could you speak to the issue of strategic lifts -- sealifts
and airlifts? Are you anticipating increases in that as you make
these plans, or are you going with what the current plan program
And could you also talk about pre-positioned equipment? How much
of an increase -- do you see that coming down the pike?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: We won't go into what specific
time frames are because that would be inappropriate. We are working,
and the Joint Staff and the combatant commanders have come up with
some goals on times to seize the initiative, times to bring a conflict
to conclusion, and so that's part of the calculation of where we're
To your point on mobility and strategic lift, that's part of a
mobility capability study that's ongoing, that was directed by
the strategic planning guidance. That will be awhile, in the neighborhood
of a year, before it reports out. We do expect that there will
be some impact on that, because it will be a much more mobile force
-- expeditionary, rotational. So we would think that lift would
be quite critical, and especially as we shorten these timelines.
And your third question was on pre-positioning. And pre-positioning
is part of the global force posture. It's part that we're starting
to get into now as we look at how we want to couple in the capabilities
and the operational requirements that we'll be going to, and so
we not only will look at amounts and place of pre-positioning,
but also how we do it and how we put it together, and are there
things that we can do jointly that we used to do service-specific.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Let me just say one more thing
on pre-positioning. I think it's very important in terms of the
idea, and it captures in many ways some of the ideas that are behind
In the past, when we looked at pre-positioning and going back
to the Cold War days, the origins of pre-positioning, we would
look at those parts of the world where we thought specifically
we knew where we were going to fight, and we would put assets there
with the idea that we'd fall in on those assets and move very quickly
to the point of where we thought the conflict would be.
One of the ideas that we have here is that now, because of some
of this uncertainty, the pre-positioned assets are more likely
and probably more appropriately placed along transportation routes.
We don't know necessarily where all the places are we're going
to fight. We do know there are advantages to having equipment and
support -- both combat equipment and then support equipment in
forward areas. There are great advantages to that. But because
of some of that uncertainty, the real advantage comes from having
it on a transportation route and not having it in a fixed place
where you would fall in with the expectation that you would fight
in that area.
Q: Are you talking about the edge of an airfield, for instance?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Could be on the edge of an airfield.
Could be on -- along sea routes. So that whatever the appropriate
pieces that you would need could be moved by theater transportation
assets and moved to the area that you would need. So certainly
if you look at combinations of rail, air and sea, those are the
places where you'd think you would want to have your pre-positioned
STAFF: I'm afraid we've already gone beyond our time, but we will
take one last one. And, Dale (sp), you're the winner of sorts.
Q: Oh, good. You mentioned that you don't have a timetable for
completing this process. But given what you said about the connections
to BRAC, aren't you locked in to trying to get this done by about
this time next year because that's when the BRAC commission will
be making its decision?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I don't think we have to get it
done. We have to understand what the gross numbers would be and
the gross capabilities globally. One thing is, and we don't --
we're not involved in exactly how things would be laid out inside
of the continental United States because of the -- and U.S. territory
because that is part of the BRAC process, which the overseas folks
are not privy to having any insight into. But we can give them
what -- totally -- numbers would look like across the globe as
we look at things, and then the planning can be based upon that.
So it drives the consultation. It drives understanding, the pacing
that we want to go. But we definitely do not need to come to completion
of this prior to closure of BRAC.
Q: Can I --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yeah. Which is to say we do need
to have decisions on what we're going to do, even if the --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: -- if the implementation is going
to be years in the making, we will -- to be able to provide BRAC
with good, accurate information, we're going to have to come to
those decisions, yes.
Q: These specific discussions that you're talking about -- do
they involve numbers or arrangements of U.S. forces, and then you
will come back and publicly propose a number, as you did with Korea?
Or was the 12,500 kind of discussed all along? In other words,
these specific discussions you're talking about -- do those involve
potential troop numbers?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Maybe --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yeah, I think they will influence
what's necessary for the BRAC process. I don't think the word "publicly" --
Q: (Off mike) -- discussions you say you're having with other
countries -- do they involve potential specific troop numbers?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Let me start over. We are speaking
in terms of places, facilities, potentially units, which, of course,
leads you to numbers. I don't know that numbers are the most important
aspect of the discussion, as I've seen it and as I've participated
in it. But they do lead to general senses of numbers.
And in your question you used the word "publicly." I'm not sure
that that's -- that's on the timeline somewhere, but before that
point, there will be a Washington reckoning, a deliberative process,
where we take account of everything we've heard from our allies,
and we consider it, and we see if that -- how that plays into the
worldwide plan. And at that point, I think, recommendations will
go forward for a decision.
Then, of course, there will come a point where public announcements
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: And I would just add this is also
in partnership and full consultation with the Congress. And so
as we move forward each step, there's an effort to go back to them
and to make sure that this is a U.S. government position.
Q: Will that pretty much follow the Korea formula and, say, Germany?
You will [say?] that you've publicly proposed to Germany that you
-- that so many forces be removed and then you will --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I think it bears pointing out
that in Korea and in Japan there have been ongoing processes, which
arguably are more mature, insofar as they were engaged early on,
on their own terms. And so the future of the alliance talks, the
Japanese talks as well -- and so those are a little bit different
than much of the rest of the process, which really began with the
president's announcement last fall and began with the delegation
visits, starting last -- at the end of last year.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: And I just want to fill in one
last thing -- the question on numbers. When we've been interacting
with our allies, one of the things we have said to them -- and
this is in many parts of the world -- is that we think the right
place to begin this discussion is on capabilities. Overwhelmingly,
they have said they agree very much with that; that if we don't
get the capability piece -- that is what is it that we think militarily
we and our allies together need to do together -- if we don't get
that right first, then we're almost surely going to get the numbers
So the discussion really has been on capabilities. And I think
our allies have responded very well to that notion, that let's
talk about what are the military capabilities that we should have
forward in those areas, the capabilities that we think need to
be able to be surged to those areas in response to different challenges;
the capabilities they themselves are developing, and how this all
forms part of a global security network. And let's be get -- let's
be very clear about that, and then we'll come to the specific decisions
about numbers that follow from that. But if we start in another
place, the capabilities discussion will never happen. And I think
the allies have responded very well to that.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: If I could --
STAFF: The last comment from our State Department official, and
we will bring this to an end.
Q: [staff member's name], you didn't call on one Trade [publication].
STAFF: This will be the last question. Thank you.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Before you have the question,
if I could just say that once we're done with that, in the mix,
as foundations of all this, will be the traditional commitments
of the United States -- the defense of Europe, the defense of Korea,
the defense of Japan, and all of the security commitments which
we have today. So the capabilities will reinforce and strengthen
STAFF: I would never want to be accused of slighting a Trade [publication]
in this room.
Q: Well, I'll make sure I remember that!
STAFF: Now, our officials have been very kind with their time,
in fact, 15 minutes more than they had planned for this --
Q: I'll be brief.
STAFF: -- so a very brief question from a Trade.
Q: How do you plan to pay for this? You've got a procurement bow
wave that's acknowledged. O&M is (flowing ?) with operations. Will
this have to come out of hide of the State and DOD budgets, or
will you get additional [budgeting] top line [funding]? You're
going to be building new facilities, and what-not.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yes. And we're building those
numbers right now to try and understand exactly what the impact
is, when it occurs, how it does relate to BRAC. Also, we're looking
at both the cost and the savings associated with this. If numbers
do come back, then there are some sizable savings associated with
that. And so we are working that in, and we will do this as part
of the defense program.
Q: (Off mike) --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: It is true that the decisions
will not be insensitive to cost.
Q: OK. But when you said yes, you meant yes, they will come out
of hide in some way?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: They will be done within the defense
STAFF: Thank you all for attending today. That is the end of the
briefing. By your interest I can tell that these sessions on a
periodic basis would be useful to you, and we will continue that.