|QDR: Challenges Ahead |
QDR: Challenges Ahead
Testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the Quadrennial Defense Review As Given by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, and Lieutenant General Bruce A. Carlson, Director, Force Structure, Resources and Assessment, J-8, the Joint Staff, 216 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 4, 2001.
Senator Levin: (Sounds gavel.) Good morning, everybody. The committee meets today to receive testimony on the Quadrennial Defense Review, the QDR, from Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Lieutenant General Bruce Carlson, director for force structure resources and assessment on the Joint Staff.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz played a key role in overseeing and shaping the QDR. Lieutenant General Bruce Carlson played a leading role in ensuring that this review took account of the views of the military leadership. And we welcome you both to the committee this morning.
Before we begin, allow me just to take a moment to commend our civilian defense and military leadership for the outstanding professionalism and the dedication that they have shown in the weeks since the horrific attacks of September 11th. Everyone in this country and the international community now knows in this war on terrorism our unity is strong. This committee and the entire Congress stand with the president as we track down, root out and relentlessly pursue the terrorists and their networks behind those attacks, and go after the states that support and harbor those terrorists and those networks.
Congress established the Quadrennial Defense Review in 1999 to ensure a regular and comprehensive examination of our nation's defense strategy and force structure best suited to implement that strategy. Congress intended the QDR to be the road map that the Department of Defense and the Congress would follow when building the future years' defense program. This year the QDR assumed special significance, because Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld testified that it would include the results of his defense strategy review, and would play a major role in shaping the administration's fiscal year 2003 budget request. In his assessment of this QDR, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Hugh Shelton, stated that the strategy and recommendations that it outlined are, quote, "a major step toward," close quote, meeting the twin challenges of ensuring that U.S. forces can protect and advance U.S. interests in the near term, as well as transform any future security challenges.
However, he also stated that, quote, "While the QDR sets the broad direction for transforming to meet defense demands of the future, there remains a need for a more comprehensive roadmap that will sustain the tenuous balance between strategy and resources," close quote.
This QDR seems to me to be full of decisions deferred. Decisions are often couched in the future tense -- decisions that will be made, or actions that will be taken at some undefined time in the future. Indeed, as the QDR states, quote, "This report represents not so much an end but a beginning," close quote. And so rather than the comprehensive roadmap to the force of the future envisioned by Congress, this review largely, to borrow General Shelton's words, provides a vision.
Included in this vision are several conceptual changes that are collectively terms a paradigm shift for a new force sizing construct. Each of these changes raises important questions for this committee and for the country. First, homeland security is, quote, "restored as the military's highest priority," close quote. In the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks the need for homeland defense is surely more clear than ever. But less clear from the QDR is how the military will rearrange itself to prevent terrorist attacks on U.S. soil and support civilian authorities in managing their deadly consequences, or how the military will interact with the new Office of Homeland Security.
The new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, testified at his confirmation hearing three weeks ago that, quote, "This whole issue of homeland defense or homeland security needs a lot more thought," close quote. The committee looks forward to specifics on the administration's thinking on this important issue within the context of its overall defense review and strategy.
Second, the QDR embraces a so-called capabilities-based model for planning purposes that emphasizes how an adversary might challenge U.S. forces, rather than where that challenge might occur. The QDR report acknowledges that this approach is a concept, and the committee welcomes testimony on the specific implications that this conceptual approach will have on how we modernize, size and deploy our armed forces.
Finally, the QDR states that U.S. forces must, quote, "remain capable of swiftly defeating attacks against U.S. allies and friends in any two theaters of operation in overlapping timeframes," close quote; and that U.S. forces must be capable of, quote, "decisively defeating an adversary in one of the two theaters in which U.S. forces are conducting major combat operations, but imposing America's will and removing any future threat it could pose," close quote.
The committee welcomes testimony of the specifics behind such a strategy, whether and how such a strategy will impact force structure, and how this strategy differs from the existing requirement that U.S. forces be able to fight two major theater wars nearly simultaneously.
Terrorism is the most immediate threat to our security -- in my judgment it has been for years, and the judgment of many others, including a number of colleagues here who have been engaged particularly in our Emerging Threats Subcommittee, including former colleagues Hart and Rudman. However, even as we address this most immediate threat, a significant threat, we must remember it's not the only threat. The United States must remain ready and versatile military forces capable of conducting other operations, from deterring and defeating large-scale cross-border aggression to participating in smaller-scale contingencies, to dealing with terrorism and drug trafficking. And we need military forces -- we needed military forces to meet all those threats before September 11th, and we need military forces to meet those threats after September 11th.
Senator Warner and I asked the General Accounting Office to conduct a review of the Quadrennial Defense Review in the coming months. And I know that the department will cooperate with the GAO in its effort to analyze the QDR for the committee. Today's hearing will be the first in a series over the coming weeks, including hearings to receive testimony from experienced outside observers on the QDR, and testimony from the intelligence community on the terrorist threat to the United States.
This committee is determined to work with the administration to use our military forces wisely, to preserve a high quality of life for U.S. forces and their families, to sustain readiness and to transform the armed forces to meet the threats and the challenges of tomorrow.
I am going to call on Senator Warner. But before I do so, I just wanted to say the following: It's necessary that Secretary Wolfowitz leave at noon, which is a change in our schedule, and which we are happy to make to accommodate him. However, what that then requires is that we continue this hearing with Secretary Wolfowitz, and General Carlson obviously, at a later time. But we do want to accommodate Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. And so after Senator Warner has his opening statement, we will turn to Secretary Wolfowitz and General Carlson for their statements. We will then have just a few minutes each today to ask questions, and we will pick that up at a later time. Senator Warner.
Senator John Warner (R-VA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. In view of the schedule of our distinguished guests here this morning, witnesses, I'll defer delivering my statement, asking that it be put in the record, and just make two brief observations.
Our president, George Bush, has acted with extraordinary courage here in the aftermath of September 11th. But I look back to his landmark speech at the Citadel when he gave his vision as a candidate for president as to how our national security structure should be reshaped to meet the changing threats of the world. It's just remarkable to think that was done months, months before he was elected president, and then of course this incident.
I know from speaking with you that the department was moving in several directions prior to September 11th, and understandably you had to retrench in this document to meet the deadlines of issues it, which were important, and at the same time to leave the document flexible such that as you continued to learn from the 11th and the changing threats of the world, threats that we really never envisioned could have happened. You can move forward with directing the security policy of this country. Difficult task, Mr. Secretary and general, and I commend the secretary of Defense, yourself, the former chairman and now the present chairman -- the present chairman having had a great deal to do with this document in the preparation of it. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Levin: Thank you, Senator Warner.
Mr. Wolfowitz: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I apologize for the change in schedule. As you know, Secretary Rumsfeld is traveling, and I have been asked to come to a meeting in his place. But I will be happy to come back here and discuss this extremely important subject at greater length.
Senator Levin: Let me just assure you, Secretary Wolfowitz, that we can understand scheduling changes these days, and I know everyone on this committee is supportive of what you are about, so don't worry about inconveniencing us -- we will just pick it up at a later time.
Mr. Wolfowitz: And let me also say we appreciate enormously the spirit of unanimous bipartisanship by which the Congress has worked with the president in the last few weeks in addressing this incredible crisis that we face. In fact, I think we are being challenged now in yet another way. It's sometimes been said facetiously that Washington can't handle more than one crisis at a time, and that was in reference to crises that are much smaller than the one we face as a country now. But the subject we are addressing today, the Quadrennial Defense
Review, is really how we address the condition of our armed forces 10 years from now. And some people might say, Well, you surely can't handle that at the same time that you are conducting a major campaign against terrorism worldwide. It is going to be a challenge, but I think it is a challenge that we have to rise to. We have got to do both. We have got to deal with the present, but we have to think beyond the present to the future and recognize that just as we were taken by surprise on September 12th, the surprises 10 or 15 years from now may be very different from what we are going to contend with today.
On September 11th, really the day after on September 12th, we asked ourselves the question: Given what had just happened, given the campaign that we were obviously heading into, did it make any sense to complete the Quadrennial Defense Review in the form that it essentially reached as of the time of the terrorist attacks, or should we just simply put it on the shelf and start all over again? And we concluded after some careful thought that it was very important to complete it -- not just because we had a statutory deadline, but because we think that the Quadrennial Defense Review has set some very important directions, whose importance and accuracy is only confirmed by the events of September 11th. To us, September 11th means primarily that we need to move in those directions more rapidly and with more resources than we would have envisioned before these attacks. But we think the directions are fundamentally correct. And as the report says, these directions do represent a paradigm shift in the way the department thinks about its long-term requirements. A paradigm shift is difficult for even a small organization. For an organization of several million people, uniformed and civilian, it is a very big task, and it is not one that can be done overnight. And we thought it's important to get on with it.
I note on page -- I am not going to try to even attempt to read my testimony -- I know members of this committee read very well. I would urge you, if you are interested, that a great deal of thought has gone into this statement. I'd like to call your attention on page six, where we list six of the important ways in which we think the events of September 11th have confirmed the directions set in the Quadrennial Defense Review. First and most obvious, but I think also most important, the emphasis on establishing homeland defense as the top department priority. Mr. Chairman, I think you noted there's a great deal of work to be done in defining what those requirements are. And indeed one of the conclusions we reached in the review is that we are just as a country, as a department, at really a very early stage of figuring out what the role of the Department of Defense might be for example in responding to a major act of terrorism with weapons of mass destruction. We have got to accelerate that work and get moving with it even faster. It's not something obviously to put on the shelf.
A second emphasis in the new paradigm is the emphasis on uncertainty and surprise. Of course, one wants to have better intelligence, looking at ways to improve our intelligence, ways to reduce the possibility of surprise. But I think it's a mistake to think that the answer to the possibility of surprise is simply to improve your intelligence so that you won't get any countersurprise. You have to figure that surprise has been a fact of military history throughout the years, throughout the decades, and you need to have forces that have the flexibility to respond to the unexpected, not simply to preview and predict the unexpected. Sometime you're going to miss, and when you miss you need to be flexible and have a range of tools to respond.
Third, the emphasis on contending with asymmetric threats -- we just saw one of the most horrible and most potent of asymmetric threats directed against us on September 11th. There are a variety of others. The basic principle that people who decide to take on the United States are not going to look to challenge our naval superiority or challenge our ability to dominant the skies in anyplace where our Air Force flies. They are going to look for places where we are weak, and they are going to try to attack those weaknesses, and we need to figure out how to deal with them.
We talked about developing new concepts of deterrence -- not to throw away the old ones, I want to emphasize -- but to add to techniques for deterring people whose motivations may be different. And in the case of September 11th, of course we saw the problem of deterring people who may be prepared to commit suicide and who may be able to conceal their identity in some degree.
We very importantly talk about a capabilities-based strategy rather than a threat-based strategy. As we think about the future, as we think about the next decade, it is in my view difficult to predict who might threaten us. It's easier to think how they might threaten us -- what capabilities they might direct against us. And a capabilities-based strategy is one that focuses on the kinds of threats we might face, the kinds of capabilities that might confront us, and also the kinds of capabilities that might be able to give us unique advantages.
And finally, in this quadrennial defense review, we've tried to explain the concept of risk, which in the past has been seen in fairly narrow terms of the risk associated with our current war plans and whether we have the forces to execute our current war plans. That remains a very important dimension in assessing risk.
But as the report notes, we believe there are at least three other dimensions that need to get great attention as well: The risk that can be imposed on our current forces if we are assigning them too many tasks with too few forces and stretching either the force as a whole or particular elements of the force and leading to reduced readiness and even people leaving the military because of excessive wear and tear on their families, essentially. We call that the force management risk.
The third dimension is the future capabilities risk, the risk that we will underinvest and we will focus so much on our current war plans that we will underinvest in the capabilities that are needed 10 and 15 years from now; and finally, what we call the institutional risk, the risk that we will not be good stewards of the nation's resources, with two harmful effects -- the risk that we will be wasting resources and, while there may be more resources available now, there's even less room for waste; and also the loss of confidence and loss of efficiency that comes when you are (muzzled?) down and don't appear to be a good steward.
There's a great deal else in the document, and I tried to summarize a lot of it in my testimony. I think one of the most important things has been setting the goals for what a transformed force needs to be able to do. And I want to emphasize, a transformed force doesn't mean a force that is 100 percent transformed. It means a force -- and these are just very crude estimates, but my feeling would be that 10 or 20 percent of the capability is transformed and that that transformation capability allows the more traditional capabilities, what we call legacy forces, to perform their missions more effectively.
On page 10 in my testimony and in the document itself, we laid out what, after very careful deliberation by the secretary of Defense with the senior leadership of the department, we concluded were the six top priorities for transformation. These are not selected at random. I think they're very important. They cover a range, including, very importantly, the problem of protecting our critical bases of operations, including U.S. territory, as we have discovered, from attacks, including possibly attacks with weapons of mass destruction.
I think I have believed for a long time now and have been persistent throughout the development of the QDR that the force transformation goal that we list there -- that is, the capability to have high-volume precision strikes at various ranges, including long ranges -- is a major transformational capability and one that has to be approached not simply as an air component or even simply as a ground component, but that integrating air and ground capabilities is something that could make us truly transformational in terms of our ability to take out targets at long distance.
We had an early experience of this during the Gulf War 10 years ago when our most effective means for finding Scud missiles, Iraqi Scud missiles, was putting very brave Special Forces people on the ground in western Iraq. When they got there and they found targets, we didn't have the kind of integration with our air capability to make that bravery effective.
I think we see now, as we contemplate operations in parts of the world that we never really thought about a month ago, that more of that capability to strike targets at long range through complementary use of air and ground capabilities is a capability that we would like to have today and we certainly can envision needing in the future. And those are the things with which we've tried to drive this.
Let me just conclude, Mr. Chairman, by saying that you talked about decisions deferred. There are a great many decisions that have been made. And the decision to undergo a paradigm shift is a fundamental decision, and it was made not by some small group of civilian analysts in a closet figuring out what the military ought to do. It was made after literally dozens of hours of deliberations by the secretary of Defense with the senior military and civilian leadership of the department.
I've been a participant, I think, by now in five major defense reviews in one form or another, including development of the base force 10 years ago. I've never seen that level of senior guidance directed to the task. And I think a number of the decisions that are made in this document, including some that I just discussed, are the product of now a very strong consensus for change in the department.
The philosophy is that many of the details of those changes are not ones to be dictated in a centralized manner by people who may not be in full touch with the problems, but to bring some of those issues forward in a variety of ways, starting with the FY '03 program review. And these are obviously decisions that we need to take in close coordination and consultation with you and with our entire Congress.
The implementation of a paradigm shift of this magnitude, even in the best of circumstances, would require the closest of cooperation between the executive branch and the Congress. To do it under conditions where we are simultaneously fighting a war makes it even more incumbent upon us.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Levin: Thank you. General Carlson.
General Carlson: Sir, with your permission, I'll just submit my statement for the record.
Senator Levin: Thank you. We'll have four-minute rounds in light of the change in schedule here.
Mr. Secretary, the QDR indicates that substantial additional work and planning will have to be devoted to the subject of homeland security. The report mentions that the Department of Defense will review the establishment of a new unified combatant commander to help address complex inter-agency issues and provide a single military commander to focus military support.
However, on Tuesday Secretary Rumsfeld announced that he has designated the secretary of the Army as the Department of Defense's executive agent for all homeland security matters. How is the designation of the secretary of the Army as the DOD's executive agent for all homeland security matters consistent with the Goldwater- Nickles legislation that removed service secretaries from operational matters and assigned them the mission of organizing, training and equipping the services' forces?
Mr. Wolfowitz: Mr. Chairman, that is an interim measure and an emergency measure taken because we needed somebody, and somebody with the skills and enormous competence of Secretary White, to handle what are suddenly enormous emergency requirements. He, in fact, was appropriately insistent, on accepting that responsibility, that it be understood and made clear that it was interim. He has an 18-hour-a- day job already as secretary of the Army, and we've just added another 18 hours. And there's only so many months that we can keep stretching him that way. That is a temporary fix, and we will be working with you and coming back with something that will sustain us longer term.
Senator Levin: What are the practical consequences of the QDR recommendations for military end strength or for force levels?
Mr. Wolfowitz: The way we approach the question of force levels and end strengths -- let me first describe the way we were approaching it prior to September 11th.
Senator Levin: Because we only have four minutes each, do we know what the practical impact will be in terms of end strengths and force levels in terms of numbers yet?
Mr. Wolfowitz: No. We took the current force structure and the current end strength as a starting point. We identified for the services targets for efficiencies. And prior to September 11th, we were prepared to make those very specific quantitative targets. And I think we will go back to some version of that with the notion that the first place to look for efficiencies are things that you don't want to be doing.
One of the last places is end strength, and probably the very last place is force structure. So we are trying to get the resources that we need to do transformation at the same time that we stay as close as possible to an end strength that will make the force management risk acceptable and a force structure that will make the operational war-fighting risk acceptable.
The first cut by the joint chiefs in --
Senator Levin: When you say cut, you mean the first --
Mr. Wolfowitz: First assessment by the joint chiefs, an exercise called Positive (Match?), came up with a preliminary assessment, which I think is reported in the QDR, that we can execute the new strategy with the current force structure at moderate levels of risk in most scenarios, although there's some where the risk would be high. That is work that we have to take further.
There are some people who believe that possibly one could keep those moderate levels of risk with a different force structure, but then you get into the issue of whether you can keep acceptable op- tempo and pers-tempo with a lower end strength.
Senator Levin: But that's resolved yet.
Mr. Wolfowitz: It is preliminarily resolved at what sounds like a status-quo answer, which is current force structure, current end strength.
Senator Levin: And then my last question. The Army has established a goal of fielding the first components of the objective force by Fiscal Year 2010, but as part of that, a plan to field interim brigade combat team at the rate of one per year, starting in Fiscal Year 2003. Has the QDR changed the fielding rate for nterim brigade combat teams or the date of first fielding of the objective force? Do you know?
Mr. Wolfowitz: No, it does not.
Senator Levin: Thank you. My time is up. Senator Warner.
Senator Warner: Thank you very much. Mr. Secretary, I certainly commend Secretary Rumsfeld and yourself and all in the Pentagon during this period; extraordinary leadership by each of you, both civilian and uniform, exhibited.
Turning quickly to the events of the 11th, we saw from within the cities and towns and villages of this great nation came the enemy. And my question goes to the doctrine of posse comitatis, which in 1878 was laid down on the premise that our forces in uniform should never be used in any way that would be interpreted as they were policemen. It's well and good, and it's served this nation these 100-plus years.
But it seems to me it's time to re-examine that doctrine. I will soon be forwarding a letter to you posing a series of questions. These enemies that struck us (of recent?) came from within the civilian mix, albeit legally or illegally or whatever their citizenship status may have been. They came from the streets of the USA. It seems to me that when that type of thing happens, we have to bring together every asset of the United States of America, irrespective of where it comes, military, civilian and the like.
I was momentarily late coming to this because we're honoring firefighters and public service officers who gave their lives and now some wounded in the cause that we experienced on the 11th. So give us some thought. Do you think that -- do you agree with me that it's time you take a look at this?
Mr. Wolfowitz: I agree very strongly. I mean, we in the Department of Defense assume that if we're hit with a catastrophe of the many kinds that unfortunately one can now imagine more vividly, that whatever people think beforehand, they're going to come and say, "What can you do?" And we, in certain areas, can do more than anyone else in the country because of the special capabilities we have, because of the unique organizational capabilities of the department. And it would be better to think through in advance what kind of civilian control and what relationship with civilian authorities rather than provide --
Senator Warner: Particularly if we befall a tragedy of any chemical or biological work, massive number of casualties, we have to, I think, bring in the military for medical transportation, any number of ways, instantly to help.
Quickly moving to a second concept, deterrence. Throughout the history of mankind, military forces were looked upon primarily at first to deter an enemy from striking. How do we now invoke that doctrine, given that we see with clarity people who are willing to surrender their lives to bring harm to the people of this great nation?
Mr. Wolfowitz: I think it's very difficult, Senator. I wouldn't pretend to have the answer. But I think one deterrent still works on the probably much greater number of people who want to protect their lives. And one of the things I'm struck by is, by the way, the experience seems to be that some of these brave souls, when they are taken into custody, suddenly they are willing to talk and say a great deal. I don't know whether it's because these are not the ones who are ready to commit suicide or whether people, under some circumstances, will --
Senator Warner: (Inaudible.)
Mr. Wolfowitz: But we need to figure out how to get to people like that.
Senator Levin: When you use the word "brave souls," I take it ironically.
Mr. Wolfowitz: Absolutely ironically. Sorry. Thank you for clarifying that.
Senator Warner: Force planning. Two MTWs -- in other words, the United States, really since the beginning of almost years ago, have been operating with the requirement to fight and win two neary simultaneous conflicts. How has this document changed that concept?
Mr. Wolfowitz: It hasn't changed the idea of being able to handle two nearly simultaneous conflicts, or I think the terms of the document, in overlapping time frames. We continue to believe that that is an important requirement because it helps you to, if there's trouble in one place, to keep it from erupting in other places.
What we have changed is the notion of having to have the capability in two different places simultaneously to achieve a kind of overwhelming victory. And I guess, to be (a bit tangible?) about it, we have a requirement to be able to deter conflict in four critical regions of the world.
One of the goals of our transformational capabilities, by the way, is to try to improve the deterrence capability of our forward- deployed forces. We have a requirement to defeat aggression in any two regions in near-simultaneous time frame. And by "defeat," we mean the kind of defeat that we inflicted on Iraq in 1991, which is a lot more than just stopping them. It was pretty much tearing them apart. But it was not marching on to occupy their capital, which is what is euphemistically in our language called a decisive defeat.
We think it's important to retain one -- we're talking about how we size our forces -- to have forces large enough that, should the president decide he can impose that kind of decisive defeat on --
Senator Warner: The short answer is the fundamentals of that document have not been abandoned.
Mr. Wolfowitz: The fundamental of being able to handle two things at once has not changed.
Senator Warner: Fine. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Levin: Thank you, Senator Warner. Senator Carnahan.
Senator Jean Carnahan (D-MO): The QDR states that the Defense Department will now be placing new emphasis upon counterterrorism across federal, state and local first responders, drawing on the capabilities of the Reserve and National Guard.
The national defense authorization bill requires that DOD better define the role of the National Guard's weapons-of-mass-destruction civil support teams. These teams are being trained to decontaminate affected areas and to help with medical aid. I was wondering if you could describe what you feel is the importance of these programs and detail your commitment to honing our ability to respond to -- to such attacks.
Secretary Wolfowitz: I think these teams are extremely important, and they're critical to our ability to identify early, if there is the kind of attack that would require bringing in the special capabilities. If you identify an attack as a biological attack or a chemical attack, the faster you identify it, the faster you can respond. And those teams are really critical to our response time. And we -- I know this has been an initiative led by the Congress -- we applaud that initiative and we are implementing it as fast as we can.
Senator Carnahan: Thank you. I -- and one question for General Carlson. The QDR places a great emphasis on expanding America's ability to project power deep into Central and East Asia. This committee has often stated support for increasing our long-range bomber capability to accomplish this goal. Now this document has indicated that the Air Force is developing plans to increase basing in the Pacific and the Indian Oceans. Would such a plan include developing permanent shelters for B-2 bombers, say, on Guam, for instance?
General Carlson: Ma'am, I think it would be appropriate to wait until the services have developed those plans and then we'll -- we'll have to determine whether it would require shelters, or whether they think that deploying weapons or other mitigating equipment would be useful.
Senator Carnahan: Well, would the Defense Department begin to consider the expansion of B-2 fleet?
General Carlson: I'm sure it will be one of the options that the Air Force considers.
Senator Carnahan: Thank you very much.
Senator Levin: Thank you, Senator Carnahan. Senator Hutchinson.
Senator Hutchinson: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for holding the hearing today. Mr. Secretary, I thank you for your extraordinary leadership and the great job that you and Secretary Rumsfeld are doing in this time of crisis. And, be assured, as my colleagues have repeatedly assured you, of our support and the support of the Congress in this time.
You alluded to in your opening comments in the operational goals of the transformation effort -- the number one operation goal being to protect critical bases of operations, U.S. homeland forces abroad -- forces abroad -- allies and friends in defeating CBRNE weapons and their means of delivery. It is -- it is -- I know much of this had to have been written prior to the September 11th attack, but it is surely very relevant, and I think it is appropriate that that's the number one operational goal. And yet, I believe we've had a very misguided approach in recent years as to our vaccine acquisition strategy. We've invested tens of millions of dollars in a -- in an acquisition strategy that has failed, and the fact is that we are -- we do not today have adequate supplies of anthrax vaccine to vaccinate our troops even as we go through a troop build up and send them into the Middle East, I believe, vulnerable.
The recommendations of the report that was mandated by Section 218 of last year's defense authorization regarding vaccine production, prepared by the department and released recently, recommends the creation of a government-owned, contractor-operated facility. I would like you to comment on that recommendation, and, in general, your thoughts on our vaccine acquisition strategy.
Secretary Wolfowitz: As you know, Senator, one of the problems with our vaccine acquisition has been problems in production at one particular facility. And that I think has been the principal thing that's set us back, at least in the time that I've been able to look at it. I think the events of September 11th really do put all of that subject, in my view, in a different and more urgent light. And I think we've got to press ahead with every option that can give us capability against biological weapons as quickly as possible. There are some issues of risk that have to be weighed, but I think the risks -- one weighs those risks in a very different light after September 11th than one would have before.
Senator Hutchinson: Mr. Secretary, our strategy's been based upon the idea, and I think, contrary to previous recommendations back in the early '90s, it's been based upon a total reliance upon the commercial sector to provide that, and it's obvious it's failed. And while we all hope for FDA approval of those vaccine -- that vaccine production, that we can -- we can get some immediate relief, it's my conviction that on the long term, the vaccine needs for the military are unique and are not going to be necessarily commercially appealing, and that we're going to continue to have those kinds of problems if we rely upon the commercial sector solely in the future. Does -- has the department made a decision, and if so, at what point do we expect that decision to be made -- if not, regarding whether we continue to rely on what I think has been a very failed approach of whether we're going to move to, and follow the recommendations of the Section 218 report?
Secretary Wolfowitz: We haven't really gotten to that yet, Senator. We need to with some urgency. I think even the commercial vaccine sector has to be looked at in a different way. I think we've -- I think a lot of companies have gone out of the vaccine business because of the way in which we've assigned risks, the way in which we've tended to put liability on companies. And I think, not only the military but civilians have got to re-look at whether that's really the result we want given some of the threats we face out there.
Senator Hutchinson: Well, I certainly agree. It's something that must be dealt with great urgency. And I appreciate -- you've been very responsive to me, and I look forward to working with you and the administration on what is a very serious problem not only for our force protection, but for, I think, our civilian population.
Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Thank you, Chairman.
Senator Baucus: Thank you. Senator Inhofe.
Senator Inhofe: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I -- I was going to get into several areas, but there won't be time because of the scheduling, but, one is, I have taken the time to go to Fort Lewis and view the IVCT. And Mr. Chairman and Senator Warner, I suggest that encourage as many members of this committee to do that as are willing to make that trip, because that was very rewarding to me.
Now, Secretary Wolfowitz, I'm going to read -- I was very gratified -- you mentioned a minute ago, you said that we -- that we all read very well, but sometimes our interpretation of what we read isn't always the same, so I'm going to read out of your -- a quote out of your report. "Any function that can be provided by the private sector is not a core government function. The test of a core activity is whether or not it is directly necessary for war fighting. If a function is highlighted as core, DOD will invest in process and technology to improve performance."
My interpretation of that -- I was delighted to read that -- is that we recognize we're going to have to have some core capability within government, in other words, logistic centers. I'd ask, first of all, if that interpretation is accurate. And secondly, when you say invest in process and technology to improve performance, I believe this is something that's absolutely necessary because many of our logistic centers have World War II technologies and they cannot really function efficiently until that investment is made. Would you respond to that?
Secretary Wolfowitz: I think --
Senator Inhofe: And maybe you too, General Carlson, because I know you're familiar with air logistic centers.
Secretary Wolfowitz: I think absolutely. Clearly, the thrust of that language is to try to make sure that where things can be done by the private sector, they're probably better done and more efficiently done, and we can conserve our resources and particularly our very specialized manpower for the core capabilities. But sometimes the core capability is something that looks like a civilian function but it has to be taken into battle with you, so it's different. Or it has to meet performance standards that are unique to the military, and therefore it's different. So, it's something that's got to be looked at.
Senator Inhofe: I think you had addressed that in this last question -- the last sentence that I did not read. It says, "In these areas, DOD will seek to define new models of public-private partnerships to improve performance." And I -- I agree with that. I believe that can be done, because you accomplish not just the benefits that are natural from the private sector, but also the fact that you have control, a government control of those core functions. Did you have any comment on that, General?
General Carlson: No, sir, I don't -- (inaudible) --
Senator Inhofe: All right -- (inaudible) -- fine. I would like to ask both of you, in your report you say "access to key markets and strategic resources." I know that you've been watching and aware of some of the discussion and debate that's gone on concerning our dependency for 56.6 percent of our oil from foreign sources, half of that being from the Middle East. And the extreme way of presenting that, which I have done on the floor several times, would be it's -- it's ludicrous to assume that we should be dependent upon Iraq for our ability to fight a war against Iraq. Now, as you look down the road today, and then ten years from now, which -- what you're doing in this report, where do you see that dependency going, and how important is that you in terms of our capabilities?
Secretary Wolfowitz: Well, I think the dependency is a serious strategic issue. I really would have to defer to the Energy Department people on what the projections are, but sense is that that dependency is projected to grow, not to decline, and that -- I think you're right to point out that it's only that we in a sense would be dependent on Iraqi oil, but the oil is a weapon, the possibility of taking that oil off the market and doing enormous economic damage with it is a serious problem. I do think that energy conservation, energy production, are part of the answer. I also think you have got to reduce the number of people who have their hands on that kind of trigger, who can disrupt world markets -- (inaudible) --
Senator Inhofe: Right, I do agree with that. My time is up, but I would only say that, you know, any one incident, once we are as dependent as we are, in terms of our ability to fight a war, could be extremely disruptive. And we've had these, you know, the Exxon-Valdez things, or things that are intentional. So, I would hope that you keep that in mind as -- as a real critical thing in terms of our capabilities in the future.
Secretary Wolfowitz: We will. Thank you, Senator.
Senator Inhofe: Well, if my time isn't up, I'll go on for a while here. When we -- we talked briefly about the IBCT -- (laughter) --
Senator Warner: We're working on our own QDR.
Senator Levin: You got an extra minute. (Laughter.) Congratulations. That won't happen again. The -- let's see, Senator Roberts is next.
Senator Roberts: Now, these same kinds of tactics were used by Oklahoma during the (Kay ?) State football game. (Laughter.)
Senator Levin: Did it do them any good?
Senator Roberts: No. (Laughter.) Well, yes, they won, as a matter of fact. Well, actually we won, but the score didn't indicate that, Mr. Chairman. Don't take that out of my time, please.
I have a follow-up in regards to the question by the chairman on who plays the lead role in regards to terrorism at DOD, and I wasn't quite sure about your response, Mr. Secretary. And thank you for coming. Thank you, General, for the work you do.
We had, on the Emerging Threats Subcommittee about a year ago, four people from DOD to come down and talk to us about terrorism and homeland security. I asked them to sit in order of their authority or command and they didn't know where to sit. So, we said, "All right Solleck (sp) is in charge." And then DOD had some different ideas. And we said, "All right, the secretary will designate somebody." We thought it was going to be Solleck (sp). I read in the press it's going to be John White. I have no real quarrel with that, but then you've indicated to the chairman that that's not permanent, or you're going, you know, continue to work with that once, you know, Governor Ridge comes to down, or what? Where are we with that?
Secretary Wolfowitz: Well, earlier this year, in part precisely at your advise and the Congress' advice, we in fact designed the Assistant Secretary Solleck (sp) as the person in charge. We don't have a confirmed assistant secretary yet. We have a crisis of a magnitude that we had not anticipated, and we have a new cabinet level officer working on this with whom we're going to have to engage closely. So, as an interim measure, we concluded that the best way to fill this gap for the time being was to ask --
Senator Roberts: I see --
Secretary Wolfowitz: -- (inaudible) -- to do double duty. It is interim --
Senator Roberts: Right.
Secretary Wolfowitz: -- and I think we've got to really go back to -- to -- the ground the floor to think through what is needed, and it may indeed be an entirely new position.
Senator Roberts: We have a pretty good hearing record in that regard, and I would, you know, urge you to take a look at that. And we'll be happy to make it available.
Leap ahead technology, seed corn, the subcommittee I am privileged to serve on is in charge of the research in regards to our technology and our advantage as we've had this asymmetrical warfare. The QDR -- by the way, thank you for the QDR -- the last one was numbers driven, it wasn't policy driven, with all due respect. This one is certainly driven by transformation, and what happened on September 11th. But you say a level of three percent of DOD spending per year, that is the ability to allow us, not only now but five years, ten years from now to maintain our superiority. My question is, will the department reach this goal in the fiscal year 2003 budget submission?
Secretary Wolfowitz: I -- it's certainly a -- I know it's a great concern of the secretary of defense, and I'm assuming if -- if we don't, there will be very good reasons for not, and it's near the top of the defense planning guidance directive.
Senator Roberts: I want to buttress the remarks by my distinguished colleague from Arkansas, who is trying to do everything he can to make sure the war fighter has access to the proper safeguards in regards to biological terrorism or warfare. If you see the program that is put together by the Center for International Strategic -- whatever it is -- CSIS -- Center for International Strategic -- what's the "A" stand for?
Secretary Wolfowitz: Studies.
Senator Roberts: Okay, Studies. All right. Thank you. You have to learn the acronyms. They have something called "Dark Winter," and it's a Power Point thing that I urge you to see. I know that Senator Warner has seen it. Some others have seen it. That is something that is a very serious situation. Obviously, the military would be called in during a situation like that. I can't think of anything that is more important right now than to focus on this. Senator Hutchinson has tried to point out that we can't do it all in the private sector. I'm not saying not do any of it in the private sector, but my goodness, we have to get involved in that. And I noted your response to him. I just wanted to underscore the importance of that, and that, you know, bioterrorism now I think is numero uno on the -- on the public's mind. And I know your answer is that I am sure you will do that, because my time has expired.
Secretary Wolfowitz: Yes. We will do that, Senator. Thank you.
Senator Baucus: Senator Sessions.
Senator Sessions: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The QDR has been anxiously awaited, and I know you've had a lot going on in recent weeks, and it's good to receive it. And I would just add how much I appreciate, Secretary Wolfowitz, your leadership, and General Carlson and others in the past few weeks to prepare our nation to exert force if need be around the world in an effective way. I've been very, very pleased. I've traveled in my state a lot in the last several days and weeks, and people are complimenting favorably -- the American people, I think, feel good about our military and what you're doing today.
But with regard to the QDR, it -- I'm troubled and concerned that maybe the status quo tended to prevail. I had expected some disruption, some broken China perhaps, some protests -- even protests from myself, at some changes that we might have expected to see. But it looks like we kind of just continued our general direction. Now, there's good transformation in it, which I support, but I noticed in a Pentagon press release quoting a senior defense official, referring to the QDR, this is what he said, he said, "it is a concerted effort to try to concentrate on those items in which the secretary -- the defense secretary -- the chairman, the vice chairman of the chiefs of staff, the service secretaries, the service chiefs, the combatant commanders, and the lead under secretaries in the departments have all agreed upon" -- closed quote.
So, I guess those are the right people to be involved in a QDR strategy, but I'm concerned that maybe we work to hard to achieve consensus and perhaps enough change. Would you comment on my concern?
Secretary Wolfowitz: I think there's both there, Senator, and the consensus didn't come because everybody said at the beginning that this is the way to do it. It took a great deal of push from the secretary. We have a different way of structuring forces. We have different ways of measuring risk. I think, at the same time there can be too much measuring things by broken crockery. And we have a big organization with lots of people with good ideas, and I think you need to lead them and encourage them to bring those ideas to the surface. But there is real change here.
This is not the QDR that would have been produced if we had just gone on autopilot six months ago. Those sessions that the secretary held with those senior people that you mentioned were driven over and over again by the secretary, by his ideas, by his insistence that the way -- the course we're on doesn't work; that there's a mismatch between strategy and resources; that we are sizing our forces based on a construct of occupying two capitals at the same time when we have much higher priorities than doing that; by some very serious debate about this issue of what is long-range precision strike. And I have to say that there, in my view, is a place where the Army was right. Again, some of the people -- and I don't mean my colleagues in the Air Force, I mean some of my civilian colleagues who tended to think long- range strike is a mission for air forces. In my view, it's a mission for both together. And frankly, I think we -- we've still got a longer way to go.
So, I think consensus is important at the end of the day, because you've got to take a very big organization and move it with some coordination in one direction. But it wasn't the direction it was headed on eight months ago.
Senator Sessions: Well, consensus is valuable. And certainly dissension and serious division is not healthy. And you've achieved that consensus, and I know that you've challenged this department, in the last few months since you and Secretary Rumsfeld have been there, more than any secretary in maybe ever, to rethink everything that you're doing. So, I have no doubt that we're going to make some progress. But, are we -- as I understand it, on forces, we're basically unchanged, on the two MTWs We're not fundamentally changed?
Secretary Wolfowitz: Oh no. I would say we are -- we -- it depends on what you mean by fundamental. We are still talking about two conflicts in overlapping time frames, but we are not talking about two MTWs sized the way they were sized before.
Senator Sessions: And one of -- I would -- my time is up, and I would just mention two things. We've had some recent meetings with Secretary Aldridge over the destruction of poison gases that are stored in Alabama and other places. I believe he's going to fix that, but there's a loss of confidence in the community in the Army's ability to do that safely, so we're going to have to reestablish that, number one.
Number two, we just learned that the cost of that whole national de-mil program has gone from $7 billion to 24 billion, and before that it was much lower than 17 billion, so that number is just escalating. And I think you've got a real challenge to do that safely. No community can expect this dangerous gas to be destroyed recklessly or in an unsafe manner, but that is a lot of money by any standards, $24 billion, and I think it is worth your personal attention.
Mr. Wolfowitz: It will get it. Thank you, Senator.
Senator Levin: Thank you.
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME): Mr. Chairman, I recognize that Secretary Wolfowitz's time is very short, so I'm going to submit the majority of my questions for the record. Mr. Secretary, I would just like to ask you a couple of quick questions. One is, what changes, if any, were made in the QDR as a result of the September 11th attacks? I know the majority of work was done prior to the attacks. Specifically, had you intended that homeland defense would be the department's top priority prior to the attacks on September 11th?
Mr. Wolfowitz: Definitely, and that was one of the important things that defined this paradigm shift. I would say the principal change is that prior to September 11th, we were envisioning as the sort of last thing to try to close this was to make some projections of what savings we planned to achieve through efficiencies or, eventually, if necessary, through cuts in end-strength and force structure and what kind of -- let me back up and say it a little differently -- what we envisioned as the investment requirement for transformation and modernization, and look at a projection of how that could be achieved through a combination of efficiencies and cuts on the one hand and new resources on the other. And, frankly, given the new situation and given the many new resource requirements that are coming down, we thought that any such projection would at this point be kind of meaningless, so we backed off of that.
But with respect to this question of detail on force structure and detail on end-strength, we didn't simply take status quo because that was convenient. We took status quo in terms of force structure after the positive-match exercise that assessed the current force structure as roughly meeting the current strategy. And that, by the way, is a change, because with the old strategy, there was a serious risk entailed in the current force structure.
We took the current end-strength as a starting point because we know there is already very high pers tempo and op tempo problems in the forces, even with the numbers that we have. We think in some of the cases, in some of the services, they may be able to manage that down better, in which case they can look at end-strength reductions. But the most important thing is they not do it in a way that creates very high and dangerous op tempos and pers tempos in the process.
So that is a starting point, but it wasn't selected because we like status quo. It was selected because we sensed, at the current end-strength and current force structures, we were at just about a point of serious strain in the force.
Senator Collins: And my second question with regard to homeland defense is, is the Pentagon giving consideration to creating a single combatant commander to manage the Pentagon's domestic security efforts?
Mr. Wolfowitz: Yes, we are, Senator.
Senator Collins: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Levin: Senator Collins, thank you.
Both of our witnesses, we thank you. We will continue this hearing in the near future at a time to be determined, and good luck.
Mr. Wolfowitz: Thank you.
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