tv Lieutenant General Jack Weinstein Discusses Nuclear Deterrence CSPAN August 5, 2016 7:43am-8:28am EDT
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go to booktv.org for the complete weekend schedule. >> now, a discussion about the role of the air force and the u.s. nuclear arsenal in national defense, general jack spoke at an event at the capitol hill club in washington, d.c. this is 45 minutes. >> good morning, everybody, i want to welcome you to the last of our seminars on nuclear deterrence and missile defense with a caveat that we have two possible additions, mr. bahiti and tom both have asked to speak and i'm trying to accommodate them and we will work that out,
one was general on the ninth of september and on the 22nd colonel are going to talk about the space enterprise ground, general white is going to talk about space enterprise vision, yes, the 22nd are doing an event with the task force 21 here on the 22nd which begins at 11:00 o'clock that morning and we will be doing an event, this is in indiana next march, we will let you know about that. we also -- i want to thank the staff of general in help of putting this together. i want to welcome our allies who are here today from various embassies as well as members of the military and i also want to welcome c-span that's here today taping this event as well as japanese television, for those audience watching from c-span, this is a seminar series that began of march 1983 in an effort to explain and the people
understand the strategic effort to the reagan administration as general weinstein will point out, this is the second time we have modernized the nuclear triad. general weinstein is head of a 10 and if you want to see his bio it's on the air force because i want him to speak rather than me. if y'all give a warm welcome general weinstein. [applause] >> peter, thank you and for everyone for coming in early this morning, but in washington, d.c., today is a beautiful day, humidity is low, the sun is out and the traffic is not bad, it's a wonderful day in washington. i want to highlight a couple of people others besides hundreder, lieutenant, i will see new for working directly for me. we worked in the past.
a brilliant icbs maintainer, maria who rebrought to work, a talented individual that i love working with every day, someone else i would like to introduce and i will have the next person stand chaffer is an rotc student, i talked to his father about that. [laughter] >> he is on the five-year program. he's at iowa state. he's worked for us all summer, if you want to look at the strength of the air force, you're looking at it. he's going to head back to school because we need to make him lieutenant, hopefully he wants to be a bomber pilot. which is great, thank you for what you've done for us, more importantly thank you for what you're going to do for your nation. thank you. [applause] >> hey, i'm excited about speaking with you this morning and i'm going to talk about the value of deterrence. i want to also touch on
misdepositions -- misconceptions that you have read about or heard about and i want to tackle those. but the heart of our deterrent force is airmen that support them and secure them and that is really the key that makes the united states air force i will say unique among all air forces on the planet. and if you really want to know how different we are, when you look at the responsibility our nation puts in our young airmen, the responsibility we put on the junior airmen to do everything that i just mentioned, it is really remarkable and the strength is our young airmen and let me just tell you about the environment they work in, last week it may have been kind of hot and muggy but the index is over 110-degrees, 110-degrees
with 100% humidity but we still had young brave men and women on the front line even though it was extremely hot. that's just one day. have you ever been to louisiana, it is like that from about may to september and then you go to the other extreme and you go to minot and it's really cold in north dakota. you can see it on tv but may not be the same. everyone serving in the military, over 85% of people serving are serving in a time of war supporting the nation and when i was the commander of 20th air force we had a security air force at mino, and the weather in february was minus 42-degrees. these are the talented american that is are providing a deterrent force.
i want you to think about the airmen that comes from every corner of the united states, i had an individual that worked for me who was born in germany, two german parents who wanted to become american citizen and support the united states air force and now he's officer as american citizen, that's the strength of the force and that's what makes us unique. i want to talk about the value of our deterrent force because it really underpins our upon -- conventional forces and diplomatic pawer of -- power of the nation. when you lock at what it provides the nation and responsibility, it's a breath of responsibility, that breath of responsibility fights terrorism with isis and alquaeda.
our convention forces forces are able to operate and support what the president wants us to do because there's a foundation of a nuclear deterrent force that protects our nation as it has protected our nation for a very, very long time. we also need to talk that deterrence is more than the triad and we talk about the triad in the past. at one point we had the triad and it was the same triad and it was infrastructure and we talked about comappedding control and we talked about weapon system we talk about bombers and we talk about the capability that bombers provide, the capability that icbm's provide and the capabilities that my friends in the navy provide with the scbm force. it's much great e than that because the triad includes in
europe, nc3, national command and control, the ability for the president to communicate in forces whether it's the benign environment or worst day, the president needs the capability to talk to its forces and give guidance and the united states air force provides that. the united states air force provides tankers, makes us a global military, the ability to go anywhere on the planet and that global military is provided by tankers and that's another item that the united states air force provides and then you have a whole underpinning of surveillance because you really need to know what's going on if you are going to make decisions and the united states provides intelligence surveillance and then you look at space capabilities, and space capabilities is critical whether orbit or warning satellites that tell us what is going on and whether the united states is
under attack or not under attack as provided by space. when you think of a triad to me it's not weapon systems, it's looking at the full gamut to protect our nation and allies and provide the deterrence. i would like to go back in time a little bit and i want to go back in time to when my grandfather rest his soul who was in the united states in world war i. if you look at the united states and the war to end all wars, world war i was devastating. and if you look at the 20th century from 1914 to 1945, that was a very dangerous time on this planet's history and the amount of people that died during that period of time was aastronomical and tough when mayor powers fought major powers.
1.8% of the population was killed in world war i and then we have a break which truly wasn't a break and then we have another world conflict except this world conflict was much more devastating than world war i was. in world world war ii it was 2.8% of the population that was killed. totally between world war i and world war ii, 75 million people were killed. civilians alone in world war ii that were killed were 45 million civilians. and if you look at what the early part of the 20th century was, that was an awful time, world powers fighting world powers, civilians dying, military dying and all you need to do is take a trip to europe and look at the three american cemeteries and look at the rows and rows of america's best and
brightest, you will see firsthand the devastation of what it's like when world powers fight world powers. and then the atomic weapon was developed and then world powers are not fighting world powers anymore. we have had and we are in one right now and i can list all the wars that have happened in 1945 until 2016 but you're not having major powers fighting major powers, so i want to be clear, any death in war is a tragedy, one person dying is someone's spouse, someone's brother, a mother losing a son or a daughter, so any death in war is a tragedy but world powers are not fighting world powers. and i believe it's because of a nuclear umbrella that exists in
this balance of power that we have among major states that have nuclear weapons. and i will tell you the world was a little easy, we didn't think it was easy but it was pretty easy. it was really bipolar after world war ii. it was the united states and the soviet union, but that's not what the security environment looks like today. the security environment today is complicated. it's multipolar and we can use and it's a dangerous place. one thing we are going to come back to is how are we going to protect our nation, how do we keep our citizens safe, how do we keep our allies safe, how do we do the extended deterrence. ..
>> a pleasant experience, needed with the commander, sitting down having lunch with them at a missile alert for silly, taking them into a launch control center and having discussions. it was fascinating. then i move to vandenberg air force base. we have the commander of the russian space forces. another pleasant experience.
i am also reading my counterparts. and my counterpart at vandenberg decide my good friend and i believe it was for a bit of time general held that was at vandenberg. it was the commander. great discussion. all of the sudden the world changed. the world changed when we have a president of russia standing on tv with his generals talking about is nuclear forces. it's kind of unprecedented. it's also unprecedented for me to go to youtube and to look up and exercise that the russians are doing and that exercise is being portrayed on youtube in english. obviously that's but for someone other than people that speak russia. then i watched tv and w we of islands being built in the south china sea.
and then earlier this week we have north korea launching two missiles. one word, one didn't. but only one has to work. that's the vibe and we have. what does they turned force provide you or what do you need a deterrent force? what you really need in this whole arms control agreement is not simply to cut weapons. cutting weapons isn't the goal. the goal is strategic stability among world powers. that is what you need strategic stability. so arms control and deterrence works hand-in-hand. it's a partnership we have been working with a good friend of mine that so and the state department, frank rose. a close relationship because there is a symbiotic relationship between arms control and deterrence. it also provides a framework for
mil-to-mil and diplomatic engagement and improved transparency and improves mutual confidence because that's what we need. we also can't forget the regional a short piece of original deterrence in the we provide our allies by having a nuclear force. that contribute to the nonproliferation objectives of the united states. we don't want other nations to develop nuclear weapons. we have nuclear weapons to protect other nations. they need to know that and went to work close with the. that's also worked with assuring our allies. that's what this report provides. however, despite the value of the deterrent force in keeping world powers from fighting world powers, there's a lot of misconceptions that are out of there. and misconceptions are interesting and they are talked about and they are written about, but i find it really interesting because i don't basic in fact. it's good for headlines but they
are not good for actually what's going on in the world. let me go back to the very beginning. we can't forget the deterrent force of the united states provides and what you united states air force provides in two of the three legs of the traditional triad is that strategic stability and that balance to about our conventional forces to operate. so some of the misconceptions. first one was that a new cruise missile is destabilizing. i will tell you in my heart, not having a strong deterrent force is destabilizing for our nation. i've yet to find in 5000 years of history a country that is weaker that survived. so providing a deterrent force is key and it is not destabilizing the also there are
comments that you will not be able to establish between one missile and another missile even the we that cruise missiles since we had the hot dog missile years ago. and oh, by the way, cruise missiles were recently used by the russians in this area and they've developed new cruise missile's. there's also a comment that deals with because we are modernizing our forces there would be more aptly used. and that is completely false. when you wear the uniform, you provide advice. that's what the responsibility is a facile release of for a nuclear present is the president of the united states. so developing nuclear weapons, and if it doesn't have a leg to stand up because the only person that releases nuclear weapons as the president of the united states and that is something that cannot be delegated, that is not something taken lightly but it is the president of
united states who does that. then we have a discussion that talks about, and this comes up i would say every other day, and that is we can go to a diet. i've heard mont had a deferred a lot of other terms being used but when i look at the problems, i can look at it through my lens. i can't look at it through the what i see the world. because i see the world as an american. i was raised in this country. for some of you may they be able to tell there's a tinge of an accent. but you will need to look at the problems that threw the eyes of other nations. other nations get a vote. as i mentioned in deterrence is
capability plus will. what deters the russians? what deters the chinese? what deters the north koreans? what deters potentially the iranians? what deters other nations from using nuclear weapons? that is not a question you can answer in a vacuum. so having strategic discussions about going to a diad are really interesting to me. but the question is what deters russia from using nuclear weapons? what deters china and using nuclear weapons ask and for the past, since the late '50s, early '60s, with atlas icbms on alert, with a b-52 on alert, with the uss george washington as the first ssbn, it has been the triad that has kept the peace. and it has the triad that has
ensured no one believes they can wakeup today. no one believes that they can attack the united states because of our capability. so the problems it needs to be looked through the lives of other nations not solely through our limbs. what is the future going to look like? i have no idea. none. i was surprised when the wall came down. i wasn't surprised having a cup of coffee in baghdad in one of saddam hussein's palaces that i was sitting and having coffee. i wasn't surprised when i was having a beer in hanoi sitting down with young vietnamese who wanted to speak english because they loved america. and i was surprised when i had the commander of the russian --
telling them how proud he was because of what they were doing with the most fundamental thing that they could do which is protect their nation. and he goes i'm proud of what my missile others do, and i'm proud of what you do. that's really start to come from the commander of the russian strategic rocket forces. and the security of our but today is a little bit different for all i know is what have we plan for the future, is not going to be what the future is here but what we need to do is have a strong deterrent force in order to keep this nation safe because we can't forget what president obama said in prague. a world free of nuclear weapons, but i'm not naïve because that may not happen in my lifetime. and as long as we have these weapons they need to be safe, secure and effective. so everything we do every single day ensures stability, protects
this nation and support for the president of the train is doing in his prague agenda. and we and air force are committed to maintaining what we have done by modernizing our forces, modernizing our bombers, modernizing our icbms, modernizing our and c-3 capabilities so the president the united states always has the capability to talk to anyone he needs to talk to. so together i hope we all know we can't hope for the future that is a peaceful world and everything is going to be find. we can hope for it but that may not be the future. what we need to do is plan for the future. we plan for the future by modernizing our forces, providing a strong nuclear deterrent foundation, having well-trained, well motivated him
in which we have today, continue to do in the future and that doe provide an assurance to everybody in this room, everybody in the united states and our allies as well as letting other nations no that today is not the date you can attack the united states of america. you cannot do that. you cannot do that because we have people at sea today. we have people training, flying b-2s and b-52's. we have people in icbm silos as they've always been there since like and 60, 1961 with the first station. so thank you for letting me talk about how i feel about the nuclear force. i think underpins our entire national security. every single day i want you to think about as you are doing your normal day-to-day activities, you're able to do your normal day-to-day activities and be safe and the united states of america because you have people in north dakota, montana, wyoming, louisiana, and
all over the planet protecting this nation. thank you. [applause] >> questions, please. okay, thank you. >> -- [inaudible] to to escalate the conflict, what do you think he's talking about? >> that's a good question for the admiral at you strategic and but what i read it means i can using nuclear weapons in order to get my will across on what needs to happen. so i believe it is using it in a conflict or any scenario in order for whatever is trying to accomplish gets accomplished. that's what i believe it means.
>> we just launched two competitions, one for the cruise missile, one for the strategic deterrence. the long range strike weapon, the new cruise missile has been made a classified program. you've had the most pushback on the cruise missile program, so what was the thought process behind making that a classified program and reducing its visibility to the taxpayer? and then secondly, it doesn't look like frank has yet made the decision for the ground-based strategic deterrent so why then will not your competition? >> the question has to do with alvarez so, as well as the ground-based strategic deterrent. i want to turn into on a little bit you made the assumption that the recent classified lrso so we wouldn't release how much it cost, and that's not true. the classification of lrso was
done well before reworking to any of i will say cost david victor delaware protecting lrso is a capability and that it will provide at a certain details because what makes it a strong weapon is typical is the inside of weapon for the future threats and that's what i will say about the lrso. the people on capitol hill that control the money and control the authorizations and appropriations, those people get briefed on programs of that nature. there's nothing where i wanted to keep it away. what we are hiding is to protect the capabilities of that weapon will provide. a replacement, the request for proposal just like lrso committed the streets last week. companies are working on it right now and as you know reduce the acquisition process, mr. kendall, i have a lot of
meetings with the is a very intelligent individual, ask questions and we're just going to what i would consider a normal acquisition process on the system. he has questions. we are providing responses back but the key item and it wasn't confident in the program the request for proposals would not have been released. to having the request for proposal's release for lrso is a composite to our modernization programs in the future. that was the key item. [inaudible] >> no. i recommend you just talk to the acquisition folks on those specific to a will to talk more about the strategy of why we need the capability. >> i'd like to double back on what you said about seeing the
problem through the lens of potential adversaries. my first question, if i could ask you to elaborate all of it on what do you think looking through wins -- through their lens they are thinking when essentially they reject the notion that first nuclear weapon process threshold at all the nuclear weapons will then be released? they clearly feel that they can get away with using one or maybe two, what is the difference between the way they are thinking and the way that a lot of people around here think? >> i don't think, crossing the nuclear threshold i will say something to be thought of, and it's something that has not happened in a very long time.
southern ocean of one equals 1000th, i'm not there yet, to be honest. i'm not vladimir putin's i can't really answer for him. i will tell you though that even when the soviet union went away, and russia was in some dire financial straits, they believed that their nuclear force was a foundational piece for the country and make them a superpower. even though money was taken away from other forces, money never came away from their nuclear forces and they always maintained the capability. so to give i believe there strength is the fact that they are on the world stage and there strength essay that a nuclear force. they have always had a nuclear force. one thing i want to talk but is something i don't want lost. when you look at the modernization peace and it goes into the questions you asked on
lrso, a few years ago the russians came online and said they will replace all their soviet era icbms by 2021. so they been modernizing their entire force. when you look at the chinese, a tiny seven upgrading and modernizing their force. the only two nations that have not upgraded, and talk about bending metal to develop new systems, is the united states. we are still operating on 1970s technology. and why we have programs that which is released, it's going to take years for those programs to come into the bend metal stage. fly believe it's -- so i believe he believes it's what makes him a superpower. i do say when i say look the other lives, they have modernize their nuclear force. i'm not from the school that believes we should not. because i think it makes us weaker. i think we need to look at, this is more of a social science aspect, what deters some of them
using the weapons? to me it's having a strong capability for this nation. that will prevent people from thinking they can get away with it. that's why to me the modernization peace is absolutely critical. because deterrence is the weapon system. deterrent is also a mindset. it's what someone believes about you. and if they believe that the united states doesn't support this and whether our systems atrophy because we don't modernize of them that's going to paint a different picture. i think it paints another completely different picture when you're modernizing your force. these weapons were developed an arsenal was built up in the '60s. and then we had the reagan buildup in the 1980s and we develop new weapons systems. all by the way we've had to try it but we have modified the triad over time. when you look at the size of our
stockpile, our nuclear stockpile has decreased by 85%. in 1991 when president bush took off over, the b-52's off alert, killed peacekeeper rail garrison, kill the small icbm and now we have a nuclear force of minuteman threes, and the bombers the we can generate if needed, we did that because we know we need to deter other nations. that was a good day. i think having systems allow people to get to the table. if you retire systems because you think it's time to retire systems and not based on a strategic dialogue with another nation, i think that put us in a very precarious situation. the ground to launch a cruise missile and the person to was a very successful weapon. it was developed, fielded, used in a deterrent capability and
then when it achieved its aims, they went away. today that shows the value of deterrence and shows what this nation stands for. thanks. >> can you address options -- [inaudible] the other one is can you address the issue of no first use, how that would impact the deterrent value of your forced? >> i think if you read even this sectosector of the air force tak about better i think it's dangerous to come up with a policy when right now what you want of israel but of ambiguity and give the president option is the bottom line. takintaken options way, i don'tw what the future looks like as a major. i don't know what the strategic if i but it's going to be.
i don't know the exact circumstances but when you start taking things off the table, that changes the catalyst for the other nations behave. it takes items off the table. when i wear this uniform i want this uniform to represent peace. not more. that's what i want it to represent. i want to represent it to strengthen. and desolate in the nuclear world for my entire career, that deterrent force provides a level of strength and a level of peace 24 hours a day. if you start taking options off the table, that's bad for future presidents when they can do that. so to me, a little ambiguity in the get go through a checklist that talks with every circumstance that may happen in the future. the stronger thing is for other nations to know you have the capability. the president needs options.
[inaudible] >> general rant has completely stated his concern that made up able to benefit or survive a post 2030 environment. so my question is if you speak with more to what the concern is, the concern -- [inaudible] if you could just expand on that in more detail? second, the air force has made it clear the system when it comes online in the 2028-23600 will be assigned a low basis of the however the air force as did one of the objectives of a modular system approach is to offer alternatives.
so the question is, is air force seeking a design not a decade, nude not to take a stab at multiple decades in the future could be transitioned to a mobile platform in the event of a decision to do so? >> let me talk about that first. it's a final based system, period. the modularity of the system though is really, really key. because when you look at the current system can't afford to operate the command-and-control system, a system that talks to the missile and what of the cruise operator, that's not a modular-based system. you have to open up that software and change it based on an upgrade you need to make. you can do that easily. it's really expensive to do that. when you paste a modular approach, been darkie can put you can do on the command and control so based on what the future looks like that you may want to change. you can upgrade the guidance based on challenges that are in the future. it's a smarter way to do things.
.net everything is compacted and the only way to do is to open it up and that's really expensive. so that's that peace. general vance comments all i will say when you look at the 18 area to have access aerial to know capability we are likely ballistic trajectory looks like it could be challenges in the future based on the what you need to do is have a system that can always do what the president directs that system to do. i would just kind of put it on to that think the biggest issue in gbsd is really the modularity of the peace that i can't stress enough the system needs be cost effective as in all modernization programs. we need to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars and develop a system that we can develop a system for as cost effective as we can make it. that's really the key. as well as the upgrades in the future and to upgrade in the future they can be cost effective to that peace.
>> isn't there an inconsistency between saying it's terrible and destabilizing that president putin might be cost of living using nuclear weapons first and saying the u.s. needs the option of using nuclear weapons first? >> i don't think they are a poster i think what you want to do is you want to deter russia. we are talking of who we want to deter russia. if the russian president believes our policy is such that he can escalate in order to get something, then i think that changes the calculus. i think what we need to do is for vladimir putin to understand that there is no way you can use a nuclear weapon and believe it's okay to do that. >> how is his the first use of different from our first use? >> i think the difference is, here's what i'm looking