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Defense Department Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) Rollout Briefing

FPC Briefing
Kathleen Hicks
Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans and Forces
Dr. Peppino DeBiaso, the Director of the Office of Missile Defense Policy
Foreign Press Center
Washington, DC
February 4, 2010


Date: 02/04/2010 Location: Washington D.C. Description: Kathleen Hicks, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Forces, and Dr. Peppino DeBiaso, the Director of the Office of Missile Defense Policy brief about defense department's Quadrennial Defense Review at the Washington Foreign Press Center on February 4, 2010. - State Dept Image

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1:00 P.M. EST

MS. HICKS: Thank you and good afternoon. I’m going to speak to you a little bit about the Quadrennial Defense Review and then I’ll turn it over to Dr. DeBiaso to speak a little bit about the Ballistic Missile Defense Review, and then we’ll be open to your questions.

As you may know, on Monday, the Secretary of Defense provided the reports of both of these important documents to Congress. They help to institutionalize the shift that the Secretary of Defense called for last year to rebalance our forces for the urgent demands of today and for the complex and lethal threats of the future.

Both reports emphasize international cooperation to ensure the United States and our allies, partners, and friends are able to meet the demands of a broad spectrum of threats, concerns, and issues that impact every nation.

The QDR report delivered to Congress conveys a defense strategy centered on two key themes. The first is the need to rebalance capabilities to prevail in today’s wars while building capability to address future threats.

We owe our people in harm’s way nothing less than focusing on the operations in which we are engaged today. We also stress the importance of prevention and deterrence and of preparing for that wide range of threat challenges as pillars of our strategy.

Finally, this QDR elevates the need to preserve and enhance the all-volunteer force, the most important pillar of America’s defense.

This operational imperative to rebalance forces for today’s operations is more pressing than any prior QDR has fully acknowledged. At the same time, the Department is preparing for the broadest range of future contingencies and plans to ensure flexible and adaptable forces that are able to address the entire spectrum of conflict.

One of the most critical insights from our force planning in the QDR was that to underwrite the flexibility in the near and long term, we need more and better enabling capabilities, capabilities such as intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, rotary wing aircraft, and language skills.

The second main theme from the QDR is that we need to reform the Department’s institutions and processes. The President and the Secretary of Defense have given us a clear vision that we must reform how we operate to best support military needs and to ensure wise use of resources.

This QDR very much builds on the momentum that the Secretary of Defense and President established in the fiscal year 2010 defense budget, and at the same time, it provides a long-term strategic framework for dealing with conflicts well into the future.

As a final point, I would just state that the QDR emphasizes the importance of partnering with friends and allies to achieve all of the objectives that I have just described, and we focus very much on pursuing a global defense posture that is collaborative and tailored.

With that, let me turn it over to Dr. DeBiaso.

MR. DEBIASO: Thank you, Dr. Hicks. What I’d like to do is spend just a couple of minutes outlining for you the Ballistic Missile Defense Review which, like the QDR, was a major Defense review of a particular set of defense capabilities conducted over the last nine or ten months in the Pentagon. This review was directed by the President and the United States Congress and it was intended to evaluate American missile defense policies, plans, strategies, and programs. Its intention and its outcome was to realign our ballistic missile defense efforts to ensure that they are responsive to sort of near-term regional threats, while at the same time sustaining and maintaining the defense the United States has developed against long-range ballistic missiles to protect the homeland.

The report highlights a number of key issues. It begins with an overview of the threat and comes to the conclusion that the global ballistic missile threat, both in terms of quantity and quality, continues to grow and expand. We continue to see improvements in accuracy, in lethality, in range, in the survivability of these capabilities across the board.

We looked at whole host of factors as we conducted this review. We looked at our own force requirements, our own defense strategy and strategic needs, our partnerships and alliances across the globe, to determine what’s the best structure and set of revised policies that would be responsive to the challenges of the 21st century.

Key to all of this, as you’ll see in the review, is the identification of sort of six broad principles that will govern and shape how we go forward in our missile defense interactions.

The first of those principles, as I said, is to continue to defend the United States against a small number of limited ballistic missiles. We will maintain the system that we have. We have elements of that at Fort Greely* and Vandenberg, California, and we’ll continue to improve that over time.

The second element of this or second principle of this review is to increase our emphasis in addressing the growth in regional ballistic missile threat. This will result in a corresponding increase in our own effort to develop regional missile defense systems, such as the PAC-3, the THAAD*&, and Standard Missile 3.

The third principle is that all of the capabilities the United States fields must undergo rigorous operational testing. That’s been a concern over a number of years, especially in the Congress. And what we’re going to do is make sure that we have a much more rigorous set of test activities to ensure that the systems we are developing and fielding will meet the requirements that we have set for those.

The fourth principle is that as we go forward with these new set of capabilities, they’re going to have to be fiscally sustainable over the long term. The Department of Defense, as Dr. Hicks mentioned, is in two current conflicts, lots of demands on the Pentagon resources, so we need to look carefully at all of our missile defense programs to ensure we’re getting the most bang for the buck, as it were. So some of these decisions that were made by the Secretary of Defense for the fiscal year 2010 budget reduced and otherwise eliminated a couple of missile defense programs that were behind schedule, over cost, or weren’t meeting their operational performance parameters.

The fifth principle is that as we move forward, from here on out with our missile defense programs and capabilities, we’re going to want to look at capabilities and field capabilities that are flexible, scalable, and adaptable. We know that in the coming future, in the coming years, we’re going to have a challenge between the demand imposed on missile defense and the supply that we have, and so we’re going to look at ways to ensure that we can take our missile defenses and that they can be moved from region to region or area to area, depending upon the nature of the crisis or conflict that may evolve.

And the sixth principle that we’ve identified in our new policy and strategy framework is to seek expanded international cooperation with our friends, allies, and partners. We have a number of ongoing activities with allies and partners, and we’ll continue to look to opportunities to work with foreign governments in ways that help build the capacity of our partners as well as create a set of capabilities that strengthen and enhance deterrence and, if deterrence fails, provide a means to deal with the potential use of ballistic missiles against forces, either ours or our friends, or against the territory or populations abroad.

One new dimension in terms of how we’re thinking about this broader approach is this idea of fielding missile defenses in this phased adaptive approach, which some of you may be familiar with when the President announced the decision with regard to European missile defense back on September 17th of last year. And it is this phased adaptive approach where we will introduce capabilities as the technology – missile defense technology allows and the threat evolves in a way that corresponds with the evolution of the threat. And we will do this in a way that works closely with partners and allies abroad.

So that kind of approach will apply to whether we’re – our engagements are in Europe, in the Gulf or the Middle East, or in the Asia Pacific region. So we’ll continue to sort of foster this approach as we go forward.

With that, I’ll go ahead and conclude my prepared remarks.

MODERATOR: Okay. As we move to the question-and-answer portion, please wait for the microphone, which could be coming from either side of you, and please state your name and publication clearly, also specify which briefer that you are addressing the question to. So go ahead, now you may ask questions.

Go ahead, Ilin. Wait for the microphone.

QUESTION: Hello, my name is Ilin Stanev. I work for the Bulgarian newspaper Capital. I have a question for Mr. DeBiaso. When can we expect deployment to the new European anti-missile system, because you said that you have a lot of conversations with your partners but there is no – there is nothing firm about that? I mean, in six months, in 10 months? And is there any decision on where it will be deployed, because when the – President Obama said that there will be this phased approach in the anti-missile defense SALT issue, you (inaudible) the possible place for deployment, but there is no new information about that. Thank you.

MR. DEBIASO: Thank you for your question. When the President made the announcement back on September 17th of last year, he laid out sort of a broad principle with regard to the new approach we would take to missile defenses in Europe. Around that timeframe, the White House also put out a white paper which identified sort of roughly four phases in which we would see capabilities evolve in Europe, beginning in about the 2011 timeframe, moving through 2015 to 2018 to 2020. It’s not a rigid timeframe, but it was intended to articulate sort of a roadmap that would involve the fielding of missile defenses over time that would correspond with our expectations concerning the evolution of the threat, and that in each of those phases it involves how we would grow capabilities starting in the southern part of Europe to deal with short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, and expanding in a northerly fashion should the longer-range missile threats (inaudible) continue to grow.

Since that time – of course, we haven’t identified countries because, for diplomatic reasons, we want to engage with those countries first to determine whether they are interested in participating. But since that time, we’ve engaged on a regular basis with our NATO allies in Brussels, apprised them of our thinking and how we see this capability evolve as a NATO capability. We’ve identified – I want to say a couple of months ago – Poland came forward and said that they would be prepared to host a land-based SM Standard Missile site in the third phase. As some of you may have seen in the press today, the president of Romania announced that as a result of discussion with Under Secretary of State Tauscher* that Romania is prepared to host, in phase two, approximately in the 2015 timeframe, the first of the land-based SM-3 systems.

So consistent with the sort of broad outlines and guidance of the President from the September timeframe of last year, we are beginning – well, we are beginning to see the implementation of these plans and negotiations. We obviously have sort of years of – I don’t want to say years, but certainly months and months ahead of us of negotiations over specific arrangements. But that will continue as we go forward in the coming months.

MODERATOR: Go to Yomiuri in the middle.

QUESTION: My name is Satoshi Ogawa from Yomiuri Shimbun. Thank you for having us today. My question is about QDR. QDR says that U.S. forces must prepare for growing anti-access capability, access denial capability. So some U.S. defense experts pointed out that anti-ship ballistic missile by China, Chinese military, is game changer or career killer. So my question is how do you assess Chinese military access denial capability?

And with regard to that, QDR pointed out that U.S. must develop joint air-sea battle concept. So could you give us some thoughts of that idea?

MS. HICKS: Sure. Okay, on your first question with respect to anti-access threats, we do see a range of such threats out on the horizon. The report speaks very explicitly to growing capability from Iran, from North Korea, both on ballistic missile defense – Iran on quite a range of other capabilities as well, and then we speak to some capabilities we see in Russia and we do speak to capabilities we see in China. The specific capability you mentioned is, of course, one such issue.

We have – to be specific to your response, although it’s a subset of what we look at in the QDR, we have, of course, allies who live in the western Pacific who depend on the United States to help them deter threats, who look to us to help assure them. And the U.S. has interests therefore that require it to project power in that region. So we do have, I think, legitimate concerns about the growth of capabilities that could deny that access. We look very much forward to more transparency so we can have open conversations that reduce any form of mistrust, so we can start to understand what those capabilities are for, what the intention of those capabilities are for.

In the absence of that kind of understanding, of course, the United States has to have a planned way forward, which is what the QDR lays out, a range of investments, and also operational concepts, which gets to your second question – I’ll address that in just a second – that take into account those kind of anti-access capabilities whether it’s in the Pacific, the Middle East, or elsewhere.

So you will see in the QDR, again, a range of investment laydowns that have to do with both exploiting our own advantages as we see them in terms of undersea warfare, for example, but also being prepared for environments in which there’s very advanced anti-aircraft systems, air defense systems, that is, where there are ballistic and cruise missiles that are proliferated, where there are cyber and space threats, or at least threats to our cyber and space systems. And so those are all areas we are looking to invest in that go well beyond the specific issue you raise. This would certainly go beyond China.

With respect to the air-sea battle concept, this really harks to the development of the air-land battle concept that the United States developed with regard to the Soviet Union in an earlier period of time during the Cold War. We very much believe that we can’t just invest in particular capabilities; we have to have a coherent understanding of how those capabilities would be used in combination with our basing approach, with the resiliency of our infrastructure, with how we operate with allies. And that holistic piece is what we hope to see come out of that air-sea battle concept.

Thank you.

MODERATOR: Okay, the gentleman in the red lanyard.

QUESTION: I’m Ghihong Seong, working for Yonhap news agency from Korea. I’d like to ask about missile defense plan. According to BMDR report, it said South Korea is an important U.S. (inaudible) partner. Korea has indicated interest in acquiring a missile defense capability and U.S. looks forward to taking further steps to enhance operational coordination. My question is that that means Korea have intention to join U.S. (inaudible) network? I have – know that Korea is reluctant to join the BM until now and U.S. hope that Korea should participate BMD. Is that your official position? Thank you.

MR. DEBIASO: Thank you. We have had conversations and discussions with all of our allies in the Asia Pacific region over the past two, three, four years on missile defense issues. We engage Japan, South Korea, Australia, for example, as part of our regular dialogue of defense cooperation. And with South Korea, our dialogue has included discussions about the proper role of missile defenses within sort of the United States-South Korean security framework. So it’s not like – I don’t want to give you the impression that there’s some larger network of missile defense capabilities out there that South Korea has said they want to be part of. The dialogue we indicate – we refer to in the report is about the dialogue that we and South Korea have on a bilateral basis, sort of consistent with the security framework that’s in place.

So we’re continuing to have that dialogue and discussions and looking at opportunities to cooperate and develop sort of a common understanding of what the issues are, what the nature of the threats are, what the two sides might do by way of sort of joint ventures. But that really is sort of an ongoing set of discussions at this point.

MODERATOR: Okay, the gentleman in the back.

QUESTION: My name is Alexander Gasyuk, representing the Russian daily Rossiskaya Gazeta. Sir, could you comment on possibility of cooperating with Russia in missile defense issue? Is U.S. going to incorporate some Russian radars which are located in the southern part of Russia into the whole system? Thank you.

MR. DEBIASO: I’ve been in the Pentagon for a number of years so I can actually sort of go back at least the last 10 or 15 years, when we started the dialogue with Russia over missile defense cooperation quite a few years ago, at a time when it was really only the United States and Russia that possessed and operated ballistic missile defenses. Russia has had a ballistic missile defense system, or an ABM system, around Moscow for several decades, and some short, medium-range missile defenses.

So really going back quite a few years, the United States always held the view and continues to hold that view today that working with Russia makes good sense as potential strategic partners, developing capabilities to deal with the common threat of ballistic missile proliferation. And so even to this day, we remain interested in cooperating with Russia.

In fact, Under Secretary of State Tauscher has been over to Moscow probably two times in the last five or six months to have discussions on missile defense – one, to talk about the things that the United States is doing in missile defense, and two, to offer a range of cooperative proposals to determine whether Russia would be interested in working with the United States, particularly in a NATO context.

One of the more notable dimensions of that would be the involvement of Russian radars that sort of look throughout an area across the Middle East where ballistic missiles are being tested and used and wandering systems are emerging. So that remains of considerable interest to the United States in terms of working with Russia in that regard.

MODERATOR: We’ll go to Reuters down in front.

QUESTION: Thank you. I have a question for each of you. Sir, what is the next stage of U.S.-Japanese missile defense cooperation beyond the co-production of the SN3? Is it 2A, the longer-range clamshell? What does the U.S. seek in terms of throwing cooperation forward now that you’re completing the Kongo class sit out and test with – I think it’s the third one this fall. Where would the U.S. like to take that in its next stage?

MR. DEBIASO: Sure. I think right now, our level of cooperation in the missile defense area is – with Japan is fairly, fairly extensive. Japan has acquired SN3 Aegis-class ships and interceptors, Patriot PAC-3 missile defenses. And as you rightly note, we have a significant co-development program underway to at least develop the SN3 2A, an improvement to the standard missile 3 interceptor, which would provide it more capability against – in longer-range ballistic missiles, medium range and intermediate range ballistic missiles.

I think for now, we kind of see that as our trajectory forward. I mean, the SN3 2A co-development program is a very significant effort both for the United States and Japan, and the contributions on both sides are rather significant. So I think that’s where our focus will be, certainly over the next three or four years. I believe the first test of the SN3 is scheduled for about 2014. So we’ll focus on that element.

I think the other dimension will be to further strengthen our ability to cooperate in an operational sense with Japan, both as the United States and Japan feel increasing numbers of missile defense capabilities in the Asia Pacific region, is to ensure that the United States and Japan can work together in the context of our security commitments to Japan.

QUESTION: So then what would have to happen in order to advance in that regard? Does – are discussions already underway on operating together?

MR. DEBIASO: Right. Well, it makes sense to – if the United States Navy is – with missile defense capabilities in that part of the region is functioning and the Japanese navy with missile defense capabilities is functioning in that area for the protection of Japan, of course, that we’d be able to sort of work together, which of course is sort of normal and it’s what you’d expect, given that we have a bilateral security commitment going back to the 1952 or ’54 security treaty with – mutual security cooperation agreement with Japan.

So I think both sides remain interested in working together more closely in the context of upholding the longstanding security commitment we have with the Japanese. And that includes, clearly, working together in the field of missile defense.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.) I just want to ask one thing. The QDR says that there will be an expanded U.S. military presence in Asia. But I’ve been looking, so far to no avail, for any concrete plans to increase the U.S. presence in Asia or the Pacific. Can you explain what --

MS. HICKS: Yeah. Let me address it in general --

QUESTION: Okay.

MS. HICKS: Let me address it in general terms, and then I’m going to ask Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Janine Davidson, who oversees our global defense posture work, to talk to you in any specifics.

I would say in general, we very much believe, based on many of the discussions we’ve already had about the threats that exist in the Pacific and the strong relationships that we have there, that we need to have a very dispersed and robust, resilient posture, that we have to ensure that the relationships that we’ve developed in the region are not taken for granted, and that we have the right mix of capabilities that are both welcomed and helpful to that environment.

And on the specifics of various areas we’re looking at in terms of training – functional areas we’re looking at in terms of training and others, I’ll turn it over to DASD Davidson.

MS. DAVIDSON: I don’t have a great deal to add on the overarching framework. I’ll just say that when we look at posture, we look at three different things – the forces that are in the region, the activities that they do in the region, and – as well as the footprint that they have there and the agreements that we have with the country. So, forces, footprint, and agreements is kind of what we look at. I think a lot of people, when they look at posture, what they see is are we building new bases, are we building new barracks, and are we increasing major troop presence. That isn’t always just the only way to think about it.

What we’re – what we did in the QDR is we took a look, region by region, and sort of globally. Globally, we came up with a philosophy – a posture if you will – that says we’ll have a cooperative and a tailored approach to posture. I mean, each region has different needs. In the Pacific, we have, as Ms. Hicks said, a number of partners that we’re going to work with in a coordinated manner. So in the – as we go forward after the QDR, we’re launching a new study – well, so that we can dig deeper into each of the regions to sort of operationalize, if you will, our philosophy for cooperative and a tailored approach.

We don’t want to make major movements in our force presence without consulting the allies that we’re there to support and work with. And so that’s where we are in the next phase.

One of the things that we’ve looked at in the sort of activities part of posture is training. Not only do we need to make sure that our troops that are positioned abroad are well trained, and well trained in the region where they’re operating. We also want to work with our partners in the region. And so one of the things we’re doing as we go forward that I think you’ll see is we’re looking at new avenues and new methods and ways to train together with our partners. And in doing that, we anticipate there may be new places that we want to look at to think about doing that.

And again, in keeping with our philosophy, this isn’t just about us. It’s about the way in which we operate with our allies and the way we train with our allies. So that’s one of the key things that I think that you’ll see.

Another element of our posture in the region is maritime security. So our – it’s more about the activities that we have there with our allies. So that’s – those are sort of main framework for the way we’re going to look at – forward, and what you probably will see.

QUESTION: But --

MODERATOR: I’m sorry, we don’t have time for a follow-up at this point. I’d like to open it up to questions from others. Go to Israel in back.

QUESTION: Hi, thank you. I was wondering – first of all, Israel and the United States have a long-term missile defense program. There were some issues with whether to go forward with the Arrows 3. I was wondering if you could just talk about, you know, going forward, how the process is going to be playing out and where you see things if they’ve been resolved, et cetera.

And then just looking at regional capabilities when it comes to working with the Arab and Gulf states, there’s been reports of increasing arms sales, also, perhaps, like you said, training presence. And I’m wondering if you could talk a little bit strategically about how you’re seeing the relationship there evolving.

MR. DEBIASO: You’re correct. We have a longstanding, cooperative relationship with the Government of Israel on missile defenses that started back in the early ‘90s with the Arrow 1 program, sort of short-range missile defense interceptor, and progressed to the Arrow 2, which is now in place and operating throughout some key areas within Israel.

With regard to the follow-on program, Arrow 3, what the United States is looking at – and really, this was a question that – for further technical details, should – I’ll ask the Public Affairs folks to sort of take this bask to the Missile Defense Agency.

But from a broader perspective, we are – the Missile Defense Agency is working with Israel on the Arrow 3. There’s some developmental money that’s been appropriated by Congress, and our approach is to see to what extent Israel can make progress on that new weapons system in a timeframe that corresponds with their stated desire to address growing threats from Iran given longer-range ballistic missiles.

As part of that sort of forced mix of concepts we’re looking at, the United States is also looking at the role of the Standard Missile 3. Today, the United States has these interceptors deployed on a number of ships – on U.S. ships. They’re deployed, similar (inaudible) deployed on Japanese ships. They have an incredibly good test record. We’ve used the SM-3 12 or 13 times out of about 15 tests in terms of successful engagements.

And we believe that the SM-3 holds real potential – not only the sea-based interceptor, but we’re looking at it in terms of a ground-based configuration. And so we want to keep that in the mix of our discussions with Israel as well, because we think there’s an opportunity to have a system that is highly proven and available in a much shorter period of time. Really, this is all about getting the best missile defense capabilities in the field which can respond to the scope of the threat that’s in place. And so we’ll continue that dialogue looking at both systems as we go forward in the coming years.

MS. HICKS: To comment on the broader question about the Middle East and the – how we look at our relationships in the future, first, of course, the QDR very much recognizes that the closeness of the U.S. relationship and cooperation with Israel is vital and will continue. But we also believe that security cooperation with the Gulf states – Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq – those need to continue to strengthen as well.

And we’re looking very much at our bilateral defense relationships with all of those countries, and looking for areas of cooperation that are natural – counterterrorism, counter-piracy, counter-extremism, human trafficking. There are a lot of threat issue areas, including ballistic missile defense, where cooperation is a great gateway to better relationships.

So the long-term issue for us in the Middle East is, of course, looking at what the right strategic architecture is for us. And this is particularly true during enact of the responsible drawdown of U.S. forces from Iraq and an orderly transition to normal diplomatic and civilian presence. As we do that and as we look at maintaining access and having alternatives to support in Afghanistan, we have to engage with all of our allies and partners throughout the Middle East and beyond to figure out what that right regional security dynamic is.

And as DASD Davidson said, that’s the work ahead of us, to work with our allies and partners on what some of the alternatives might be.

MODERATOR: Thank you all for coming. I’m afraid that’s all we have time for today. This event is now concluded.

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