tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 14, 2016 11:19am-1:20pm EST
behavior? as with the previous question, i believe the dprk isn't sure it can get away with that. i can tell you from firsthand experience that they are concerned that the phrase "improving human rights behavior" is code for ending the kim regime. our position, i believe, should be the following, that we cannot address legitimate dprk security concerns unless we ultimately reach a political settlement with the dprk and probably one that includes a treaty of peace, and since i believe that, i do not think, therefore, that a
political settlement of that type, of that weight, is possible unless the dprk adopts basic internationally accepted standards on human rights. this is not mean. they have to accept an american-style liberal democracy. it does not mean the end of their whole system. it does mean over a period of time, substantial changes domestically. but i think that's the ohm way out of our situation, by negotiation. ladies and gentlemen, i am going to stop right there and assume that you all now will carry the weight. thank you very much. >> thank you. [ applause ]
i'm going to do that. >> ladies and gentlemen, we're going to get into q&a session. please uwhere is the microphone? okay, hold onto this. there was quite a succinct question, number six through the other way around one. now first craig. >> thank you, dr. kim, for hosting this program particularly with the honorable ambassador, who was my dean at school of foreign service and it's an honor to participate in a program with bob gallucci. despite the fact that he raised very, very per septembered and disturbing questions for those of us who don't live with this issue day after day, i found the answer to your first question,
bob, the most disturbing one, because it affects all the others, that is their perception of reality. it's one thing for regimes to disagree on motivations, ideology, that type of thing, but when we get down to raw facts, and your impression is they actually believe that certain facts did not occur when the rest of the world knows they did occur that means their grasp on reality is highly suspect, and therefore their motivation and their actions in the other context of the questions you raised is quite seems unpredictable and unbelievably dangerous. so given the fact you say they have this detachment from reality how can we rely on expectations in any of the other areas when they don't see the
world as the world is, not just the way as we see it but the way it objectively is? >> joe, i don't dissent from your drawing that conclusion from my comment, right? in other words, i think this is not good news that their perception of reality is so much different from our perception of reality. i was really driving that question towards one sentence, and that they believe that they have been mistreated, they've been wronged by us over these years, so their characterization of this captures that, of the
agrieved party. i presented my own view so you didn't confuse me with the dprk. i don't share their view, but after having listened to them, and we didn't, by the way, spend a lot of time on history because i didn't think it would be functional, useful, but we spent enough time in kuala lumpur that i got the message, and you may know that three years ago steve bosworth and i met with them, with the new foreign minister in berlin, so, and for a two-day session and i had the same impression then that they're, as we say they're smoking their own stuff here. they really believe the characterization of history. what that should tell us is not, in my view, not that we should not still try to engage them, but that we need to understand
the many opportunities for misunderstanding for purposeful misunderstanding, to be sure, at some point, but for honest misunderstandings, too, and we need to be careful about that. if i didn't, don't get another chance i'm going to say that when we shouldn't, with the dprk or a country like that in which we have a history that is fraught, i don't think that the idea of trust makes a lot of sense for quite a long time, so if we make any kind of agreement, even tentative ones of some kind, we should be planning on monitoring and verifying and we shouldn't not simply enter at any understanding with an expectation that everything will
be fine. everything between us and the dprk will not naturally be fine. it's going to have to be made that way, so you took this as making the idea of, joe, the idea of engaging the north with this background as being especially challenging, and i think you're exactly correct. >> thanks, always love to engage the ambassador on agreed framework, i loved it, to paint that issue but in your talk i must say i agree with almost everything you say here. i would put it a little bit differently especially this last conversation. to me the north koreans, over this long period, have been very objective, very rational, very organized, very deliberate from
going from point "a" in 1984 to now, this long, long period of developing an impossible thing, in a nuclear weapon, under the constraint of u.s., the world, how to get them, and they're so close to doing that, maybe they've done it. they haven't really demonstrated quite yet enough, so i'm thinking it's critical for us to see this short gap in which maybe a year or two or five years they, for themselves, need to convince themselves first, and then the south, and then us that they've got this capability. at that point, then i think you're right. they think that the game changes. not quite yet though. so i think we have a little bit of room to maneuver. my main concern though is, my main question on north korea that you really didn't address, i think you and a lot of people here, we look at u.s./north korea.
i think that's fundamentally a mistake to look at it that way. i think we fundamentally have to look at north and south korea, and what are north korea's objectives toward south korea? i don't think they've given up yet. maybe they have, i don't know that. if they haven't given up, we've got a really big problem, because that's where what you call the deterrence effect of the nuclear weapons plays a really big role, and you correctly put that. you didn't know. you said you don't know what they're thinking on that. i think that's what we need to figure out and convince them very quickly that south korea is off the table, other wise, if you remember back in the 1970s when they had a large military capability against seoul before we really ramped up to challenge that, they were doing all kinds of mischief in south korea if you remember and they were not getting punished for it.
later on in the '80s, we showed that we could punish them for it and they stopped. for the last 25 years they've not monkeyed around in south korea. i'm very afraid that once they get that nuclear deterrence they don't want to use nuclear weapons, they never will, but i can imagine the south being, and us being a lot more nervous pricking at them if they've got nuclear weapons behind them. so if they're still thinking of the south, what i mean is unifying the country, it's a rivalry i don't think the peninsula can tolerate two different regimes on the same peninsula. that rivalry until that's defanged, i think it requires a much more aggressive standpoint from our side. your last point on the engagement part, i quite agree. i think we should engage them right up front with this, but not on sanctions.
i think the sanctions, i'm an economist, i've been watching these sanctions. frankly, they don't work and the north koreans know that, they probably want more sanctions. that's what they've seen coming at them forever. i would change tactics. i would say you know, your regime is in danger. we're not going to overthrow you but you're in danger of being overthrown. moreover we need a preemptive different kind of military in south korea that can hit them really fast, really quick and pinpoint, you know, not a massive nuclear attack on them but we need -- they need to learn that we mean business, and i'm afraid this 25 years we've never shot at them, we've never really done anything tough to them and they've gotten to that. it seems to me we could change our, get much more up front, much more provocative, show them
that, you know, if they're thinking of south korea, it's not going to bourque. >> thank you bill. >> so there's a lot there. >> yes. >> just a couple i'll pick on just a couple of points, the sort of strategic objectives of the dprk. i have assumed and i can't defend this assumption but i have assumed that their long-term objective is the unification of the korean peninsula under a regime centered in pyongyang. i've assumed that's their strategic long-term objective. in the middle, the short term, they would like sanctions lifted. i'm pretty sure of that, even though i probably am very close to your position about the impact of sanctions in terms of their "economy." but i think they'd like sanctions lifted. i'm certain that they would like
u.s./roc military exercises first tuned down and then stopped. i know that, that they would like that. i think they would like to, as we used to say, to drive a wedge between seoul and washington. they'd like to loosen the alliance if they could. and i think that the question about how we should deal with the north under these circumstances, i came out in my remarks in favor of an early effort at engagement, but a fair question that comes from your comments is, if that doesn't work, then what? and i don't have a good answer
to that other than containment, and i mean there are other words for containment but essentially that means maintain sanctions regime of some kind, keep the dialogue with beijing operating so that you get some support for the implementation of that sanctions regime, continue the exercises, make sure that the alliances between mutual security treaty between japan and the united states and the alliance, bilateral alliance between the roc and the united states are strong and viable, and do that through intensified consultations to deal with contingencies which may arise. that's the kind of thing i would imagine. but i'm just saying i'd like to try engagement initially and see whether it could go anywhere.
>> tong? >> dr. gallucci, it's been a long time, since geneva, 1949 -- i'm sorry, '94. it's fascinating to listen to your analysis and assessment what north koreans might do, what their positions are, what can be done about them, but coming down to a specific area of talking the talks, say beginning with the next administration, which will be installed in january, what specific steps or types of talks would you foresee or recommend for the new people to follow in line with some of the things you have listed, that's one i want
to hear about, and as you pointed out, there are some who might say it might harden sanctions right off the beginning of the administration, so that it can increase leverage to talk to north koreans and in their view that's not the way to go, and you discussed that, but to capture the momentum of opening dialogues with north korea toward eventual goal, i would say, dismantlement of nuclear weapons on the korean peninsula, i agree when you said, when someone like james clapper says north korea will never give up, we had a lost cause when we proceeded with the
denuclearization of the north korean program but he's also right though when he said north koreans, and you sort of agreed to his view, that north korea has to keep nuclear weapons as the key to survival, its survival, so i see these things, and of course you reflect all your experiences and your insight from directly talking with the north koreans and kuala lumpur recently and berlin all year and other things, but i want to just mention one thing about the south korean issue in this whole occasion. i don't think north korea believes it can unify korean peninsula under peaceful terms but forcefully. i believe kim jong-il said back
in 2000 told the secretary albright that he is, north korea would be opposing to any unification by system either by south korean terms or north korean terms and there has been a lot of evidence that number one, i think because they know they cannot unify south korea, korea on its own terms, as long as there is alliance with the united states, and also it's too much a different system, it's got to be long-term gradual to event reunification through a de facto reunification if you will, and commitment to maintenance of peace on both sides and exchanges and mutual cooperation, what have you, sort of the things that they agreed to during the liberal
administrations of south korea under came dae jung and no nom wian, but i think, i mean we heard the report and your team from kuala lumpur writing up a report on the result of your talks.report and your team from lumpur writing up a report on the result of your talks. as a recommendation to incoming administration and incoming team and how is that coming along also, and what would you, be your specific recommendation for the next administration to follow? which don't still know about, if there is a view clinton gets elected tonight she's going to take a harder, ironically, not like her husband, when he was in the white house, everything was proceeding pretty well.
if there was a problem he would go to pyongyang and wendy sherman who also turned the hotline, but one more thing, i think it is also fortunate to discuss the chinese role, china factor, joe is here, but i think some are really concerned it's not middle east anyway, or with russia but the korean peninsula and the real problem of u.s. foreign policy will face will be how are you going to deal with china regarding the north korean situation? >> so a couple of things from your comments and thank you for them. i have a tendency to want to warn about expectations for beijing's role in solving this
problem, and my concern is two-fold. one that the chinese have up 'til now figured out that while they are not pleased with everything that pyongyang does, they are not sufficiently displeased that they are prepared to support sanctions which might, in fact, cause such pain that it would destabilize the regime, so there's a kind of thermostat operating here on the role that the chinese will play, it seemed to me from as far back as 1993 and '94, when i was sent to beijing a number of times with the task of enlisting the chinese to use their influence in pyongyang. the second reason why i'm a little hesitant is, there's a phrase that it's in my mind and that is that we should not take
the biggest arguably the biggest and most important international security issue in the asia-pacific region and subcontract it to our major rifle in the asia-pacific region. in other words, we should take the leadership on this and not the chinese, that we will not do ourselves proud, we americans will not, certainly with our allies, if we defer to the chinese to manage this. getting their help i do like, if we can get more of their help, i would like it better, but there's a limit to how far i wish to go in that direction. that's the first point. second, i think i caught the question in there from kuala lumpur, is there a connection to the new administration? we promised the representatives
from the dprk that we would come back and talk to people in washington and share whatever we thought we had learned in terms of insights about the dprk, that the dprk wished us to take away, and we have been doing that. lee siegel, who lives and works in new york city, and was the person who set these, the logistics for this meeting and put them in place did do some writing and has shared that writing with various people. i have done some oral debriefing and so we're trying to be good to our word that we gave in kuala lumpur, so that i don't want to overstate anything we might have accomplished. remember, this was sharing of views and insights and not more than that. but whatever it's worth, for
whatever it's worth we have done that. >> thank you. peter? >> thank you, kim. mr. ambassador, thank you for your remarks. it is very useful to hear people talk about what does north korea actually believe as opposed to what we see rhetorically with actions. i'm going to continue and ask you what north korea thinks about some additional things. and i take them from the current news, which i think is important. one, josh rogin writes in "the post" this morning that any attempt to dramatically increase sanctions, because i would parenthetically say i don't think the sanctions against north korea are as bad as they are against iran, or were, that he says the chinese will really push back on that very hard, and it will get nowhere, and i'm curious what, again, what do you
think the north thinks about that? second, the u.s./china commission will be issuing its report soon, the congressional chinese commission, and they say that the chinese modernization of its military is increasing much faster than what had been predicted by either our intelligence communities or our allies in east asia, and my interest is, we rarely hear this, does north korea see itself as part of that effort to enhance and cooperate with china in terms of its military objectives? third. mr. carlin of sais writes that there have been enormous number what have he calls missed opportunities between north korea and the united states since the agreed framework was put together in 1994, and he particularly chastises the bush administration for failing to
understand what north korea was trying to achieve, and i'm curious the extent to which i know north korea feels they've been aggrieved, part of it is we didn't build the two nuclear power plants and those kind of things but i'm curious from the perspective, it's now 20 years down the road, where are they? i wonder, do you think north korea believes it doesn't have the ability to put a warhead over the united states when it has now put two satellites over the united states, including one right over the super bowl? second, a surreptitious attack from a submarine or a freighter in which it is not easily identifiable in terms of who did it means that the deterrent equation like an emp attack from a freighter kind of goes away. i'm curious what you think whether the emp commission in a very lengthy explanation said
that the russians had given and the chinese had given the north koreans very significant help in developing emp capabilities. and so that to me is very critical. the next thing is, to what extent does the missile defenses, whether it's t.h.a.d. or aegis or ground-based interceptors deployed in konus have an impact on the north koreans? because i know what their rhetoric is. i find it fascinating the chinese are really upset they've frozen all relation, all military relations with south korea over the deployment of t.h.a.d., but if they're interested in stability in the region, which is what we always hear they are, why would they want to give north korea an unimpeded shot with whether a nuclear armed or non-nuclear armed weapon? the t.h.a.d. doesn't have any impact on the chinese strategic systems. they know it, but they don't say
so, but i'm curious the extent to which north, what do you think internally north korea when they see if they saw robust not only the state department say let's get this thing done as soon as possible and get going and finally, my friend mike dunn was my boss at ndu and my boss at afa, and he made a point in interviewing the former tutor of kim jong-il in seoul, and asked him why he thought the north koreans had nuclear weapons, and the individual was quite shocked and said, well don't you understand? and general dunn said, well, tell me from your perspective as having been someone very close but being a defector, why? he said well it's very true. they want to see the united states military withdraw from the peninsula, then they will use their nuclear forces as a means of deterring the united
states from coming back to defend south korea, should the north koreans decide at that time to reunify the peninsula with force, which this gentleman said he thought was their goal, and i'm curious, does north korea still believe that? because i think that explains it's not just the exercises they want and splitting the roc and u.s. eye a lins but i think their fundamental objective and they say that in communiques and statements always kind of at the end and of course the united states should with draw their military forces from the peninsula. >> thank you, peter. >> peter, that was at least seven questions. >> you're right, i miscounted, i thought it was six. >> i scrupulously avoided taking notes. among, i'm going to skip around here, because that's the way my mind works and you just queue me on the ones i've missed. so one of the first questions
went to the chinese calculation. i don't have any special insight to that calculation these days other than the evidence which a number of people have written about that the chinese, that one of the reasons f nif not the chief for the sanctions that have been applied to the dprk not having the impact causing the pain that sanctions advocates might want is because the chinese have not allowed those sanctions to work and indeed have provided the means by which the sanctions can be circumvented, and if any of you have been to the dprk recently, i have never been, but for some reason people think it's very
useful to send me an email when they come back and tell me what they've seen, so the last bunch of these emails describe a capital city that is unlike what it's looked like traffic, there restaurants, there are construction cranes. it is looking like almost any other asian city from 30,000 feet. now, is it the only place in the dprk that is -- appears to be thriving? the problem significance is not the only place but maybe the principle place. this would not all be possible without beijing, so i -- i take from that that we have work to do in beijing, even if you take my view that there's a limit to what we can accomplish, there's still work to be done. the second question i thought was the one that went to, do the
chinese view the dprk's military capability and maybe particularly the nuclear weapons capability as part of its own modernization. i would say absolutely not. i think that if the dprk could wave a magic wand and have the -- excuse me, if the chinese could wave a magic wond and have the dprk's nuclear weapons program disappear from the planet, they would wave that wand. that program is a potential source of catastrophe for the chinese because it could end up bringing the united states of america and the military naval forces right to its door step, the last thing the chinese want. and if you look at the rationale, as the chinese have offered for their modernization program, both for the blue water navy, for what they've done with their strategic systems, the increase in numbers, increase in
mobility, this is got nothing in my view with the dprk. it has everything to do with, ironic will, the american de-emphasis on nuclear weapons that we have asserted but in favor of conventional forces. both are conventional prompt global strike and our multilayered, as they see it, ballistic missile defense, which goes to another one of your points, which is what are the chinese worried about? they're worried about our radars, to begin with. they understand the system is limited. they may think it's less limited than they claim it is against sophisticated intercontinental ballistic missiles that have re-entry speeds of the kinds they have and targeted re-entry vehicle, et cetera, but they're still worried that in is a system that can be upgraded.
it's comparable worry to the russian worry about what's happening in europe. they don't take any comfort in hearing president obama talk about the de-emphasis on nuclear weapons because they look at the words surrounding conventional prompt global strike, forgetting we actually don't have the capability and they worry about the viability of their strategic systems, particularly when compared -- excuse me, when combined with our ballistic missile defense because this puts at risk their deter rent, their second strit capability. for me, that's -- that explains a lot of what the chinese are about and how they could have if you, pardon this expression, the can chutzpah of offering nuclear weapon to our ally after the dprk launches a ballistic
missile. instead of complaining to us about that, they might use their influence in pyongyang so there will be fewer missile tests. but be that as it may. the idea that the pulse from a nuclear weapon is something the dprk is interested in is actually not something i've thought about, but i don't think it figures prominently, and i would be surprised if it's high on the list of weapons effects that are in the minds of the technologists in the dprk when they think about their nuclear weapons. i just don't think that's what they're about. it may be something we want to be interested in, but i don't think that's on their list. when it comes to the deterrent
calculation, i want to say if i wasn't clear in my remarks, that i don't believe that american political decision-makers in the past or in the future will be deterred from executing their responsibilities because the dprk has nuclear weapons. the question about whether it could deliver nuclear weapons now with its mrbm capability to the republic of korea and japan, let's, for the sake of discussion here, this afternoon, stipulate, as lawyers like to say, that they can? i think that we will not be -- we, the united states of america, will not be dissuaded from executing our alliance responsibilities and i would want every bit of signalling that we could to go to pyongyang
so they don't misconstrue, and that's what i was really talking about. they're miscon strug the effectiveness in what they could accomplish with nuclear weapons. y'all may remember when we first had nuclear weapons in the early '50s, we had illusions of grandeur too. with the thought we could deter everything with these nuclear weapons. turned out we couldn't. and they still don't serve all purposes because they're not credible. might they want credible if we were launching regime change against the dprk? yes, they might. my point was, at levels lower than that, they're not credible, not to us. but the question is, what do they think? and i don't know. >> thank you. larry?
>> ambassador gallucci gave everyone thoughts of food for thought. i will try to be brief in terms of my comments and also a couple of questions. now, ambassador gallucci correctly stated that north korea has borne the major responsibility for what he described as the failure of engagement with the united states. that is correct. but i would add the caveat that the united states also bears some of the responsibilities for the failure to realize u.s. objectives in negotiations. we have been unsmart in many instances in how we have negotiated with the dprk.
a naive assumption going back to the 1990s, behind our negotiating strategy that north korea would soon collapse or that there would soon be regime change. listening too much to the chinese, when the chinese would advise us to ease off on ensuring that the north koreans comply with the agreements they have made with us, 2005, 2007, going into negotiations with the north and agreeing to two unwritten handshake agreements, october 2008 and february 2012. now naive can you get?
when you make a handshake agreement, unwritten with the north koreans, which, of course, they disavowed any knowledge of within a few weeks. after our diplomats told us they had made these handshake agreements. so, there is some blame to go around. and there are some other mistakes we have made as well. now, i want to comment on the preemptive strike issue because this is being talked about. both the u.s. and south korea. i'm not advocating a pre-emptive strike, but i will say this, the time, if you're going to do it for a pre-emptive strike, is probably now and within the next year or so. a strike against their nuclear
and missile test facilities, so put those out of action and to buy us much greater time before the north could achieve that icbm nuclear warhead capability. the situation which ambassador gallucci describes, i don't believe if it came about would prevent north korea after a u.s. pre-emptive strike from hitting us back with nuclear weapons. because, frankly, i think at a time when we would pick up, perhaps, legitimate perceptions that they were going to strike us with nuclear weapons, when that time comes, the north is going to have multiple delivery systems, both on land and at sea, that no pre-emptive strike
would be able to take out. and a pre-emptive strike under those circumstances also means an all-out war. you're going to accomplish nothing by hitting just a couple of command and control centers in a pre-emptive strike. the stakes are much, much higher than that. and this is about the sanctions issue. and generally it's along the lines that ambassador gallucci has laid out with regards to china. there are only really two avenues, viable avenues, to toughen sanctions, that might
cause the north koreans to begin to bend in negotiations about their missile issues. one is sanctioning chinese banks. many chinese banks allow the north koreans to move money back and forth, to support these programs. and any toughening of sanctions i think would require the united states to do that, to start sanctioning an array of chinese banks that we know are engaged in this kind of collaboration with north korea. the second option, this is what i have written about, is to lay a resolution in the security council calling on all u.n. member states, ie, china, to cut off oil shipments to north korea, which i believe would be
the toughest sanctions and where i think with a sophisticated public strategy, could put some real pressure on china and least spark a much more open debate in china, within china, about china's policies towards north korea. besides those two options, is there another option, ambassador gallucci, that you could think of to pressure the chinese other than those two options with regard to sanctions? and finally, i'll make a quick last play. when the north koreans have that capability to hit all our bases in the pacific and the u.s. west coast, they're going to want to negotiate at that point. and they're going to sit down and look us across the table and
they're going to say, are you americans going to be willing to jeopardize san francisco so you can defend seoul? and i think the american response right now is in the realm of the uncertain when we get into the early 2020s about what that answer would be. but in terms of what they would lay on the table to us, what did the north koreans specifically say in kuala lumpur about the peace treaty? that would be basically my second question. did they really lay out what they want in a peace treaty, whom they would want negotiating with them? did they give you any real details about this? and also the priority to the peace treaty and any new round of negotiations between the u.s. and pyongyang? >> larry, thank you.
i want to respond to some of these things but one thing principally. and i would like attention. i was thinking of jumping up and running to the back of the room and locking the door before anybody left because i wanted to get this out and i wanted to make sure nobody left here not understanding what i wanted to convey because i wasn't good enough at conveying it, so let me try it again. there are two different words. one is preventive strike, preventative war. the other is pre-emptive strike. when the united states of america in 2003 moved into iraq, that was a preventive war. the administration at the time
used the word pre-emptive. it did because the pre-emptive has standing both in terms of international law and in terms of just war theory, the ethics. you are are allowed under international law and under laws of ethics, you are allowed if your enemy is on your border and about to attack, you are about to attack him first. you don't have to wait and suffer that strike. that's pre-emption, if you're about to get attacked. if you get up one morning and look at trend lines in another country and say in five or ten years, that country's going to be our enemy still but a lot stronger, let's go to war now, that's not a pre-emptive strike. that's a preventive war. what i wanted to say and thought i said, but maybe not clearly
enough, is i am opposed to preventive war. opposed to preventive war with north korea. i am not imposed, indeed, i would insist that my government as a citizen launch a pre-emptive strike against north korea if it came to the confident and serious judgment that north korea was about to attack the united states of america or one of its treaty allies. there is no reason to wait until tokyo is destroyed or seoul is destroyed or san francisco is destroyed. if it's about to happen. ethically, morally and legally, we can strike them. that's why i said the north koreas are creating a vulnerability that they do not
now have. did i share this view with them? yes. i hope they got the right distinction here between pre-emptoin and preventive war. right now i want to make sure you got this right. i don't mean you have to agree with me. it's just a distinction is a real one and governments have reasons why they blur the two. so, i'm not for preventive war with north korea. i am for pre-emption if they're about to attack. unlock the door. now, what is it that i feel comfortable saying about what the north koreas/dprk said to us in kuala lumpur? i think i'm comfortable saying
that i was asked rhetorically how could we trust you. you want us to give up our nuclear weapons. how could we trust you not to launch regime change? look what you did in aq. look what you did in libya. look what you talked about doing in iran. how could we trust you? so, two things are in my mind. one is, how could they trust us? the other was, what were we thinking back all those years when we were negotiating the agreed framework, which as far as we knew, at least i knew, was going to stop their nuclear weapons program because i didn't know they would engage with the pakistanis for an enrichment
program. i knew about the plutonium program. i knew lots about the plutonium program. and we were going to stop that sucker. so, what was my view then about why they would trust us? it was that we would develop after the framework was signed a political relationship. we would openly in offices in pyongyang, they would open one in washington. we would develop cultural ties, political ties, you know, situation would warm between north and south, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. i have the same answer now. and i said, the only way i can conceive of you trugs us is in the context of a political settlement that includes a peace treaty to replace the armistice. that's how i got to the human rights thing. how could we do that?
we could do that if you move to accept international standards that transcend sovereign borders with the way governments treat their own people. that does not mean have you to give up your regime. so, we had that kind of a discussion. and i would say we had a discussion that went into some of the questions i put here in a little bit of depth, but i don't feel comfortable trying to capture their words to me that were said in private. i want to say one other thing here while i've got the floor. and that is that while we were very focused in kuala lumpur on the coming american election today, and a new government, which at that moment i didn't know who was going to win and i don't sitting here in front of you now, but i observed that there was another election that was going to take place towards
the end of 2017 in the republic of korea. that was going to be important, too. and that i would not imagine any sustained and serious engagement of the united states with the dpr can k that was not done with concurrence in, dare i say, enthusiasm, of the government in seoul. we would also want tokyo to be aboard to those discussions, too. so i haven't emphasized the role of the republic of korea this afternoon, but i don't believe what i have talked about as engagement is plausible if a government is elected in seoul that doesn't favor engagement. our alliance comes first and i think we will take care of that alliance. i don't know of another one of
your points, larry, was about how you get the chinese to do what we want the chinese to do, and i don't have any keys to that. what i worry about is the reverse of that in a way. anybody who's been in government knows that governments do not stay in lane. we might want to talk to the chinese about the north koreans and they might want to talk to us about taiwan. we don't want to talk about taiwan. not particularly. not the way they to want talk about taiwan. nor do we want to talk about the south china sea at the same time as we're asking for something in northeast asia. so, in a way, i worry about the obverse, or whatever that is, of your question of how do you influence the chinese? can you do linkage politics but they can do it, too. have you to think that one through before you start doing that otherwise you kend up with the short end of the stick
rather than the long end of the stick and that's not too good. >> okay. now, i would open to the floor. any questions from the floor? would you please come to the microphone, the roving microphone? over there in the back. >> thank you. i'm from nhk. i have a question, this year many senior diplomats and officers defected from north korea and it would suggest that they end up politics is drastically changing within north korea.
maybe less stable direction. did you feel any -- anything, which changed compared to before at the conversation at kuala lumpur? and if the situation is changing, would north korea be less stable or more vulnerable situation, what do you think the probability of the -- going to run into dangerous adventure is increasing or decreasing? >> it's not a bad question, i'm just not up to the answer, which is to say i don't have much to base an answer on in terms of engagement or even reading tea
leaves from the news. i don't sense a particular vulnerability of the regime right now. i mean, what i've heard about the economic activity in -- at least in pyongyang, it sounds as though -- i don't want to say that dprk is thriving under international sanctions, but it is not apparently suffering as much as some might have anticipated or those particularly who hope the iran model might be applied to the dprk. it doesn't appear that it could be. so, i see nothing in all of that that would suggest a particular vulnerability or instability right now. i just don't. >> thank you.
>> hi. i'm with grace with north korean refugees in the united states. thank you very much for your very insightful comments, ambassador gallucci. i just have a question on a very out-of-the-box idea. it's a way to greatly increase diplomatic, political and legal pressure on the regime and china without being threatening militarily. and that is to have the international community adopt a one korea policy up. mentioned taiwan and history shows that it is possible to recognize a different china than what was originally in the u.n.
and it was done through action in the general assembly. and i'm just wondering if the legitimacy of the dprk could be raised as an issue in the general assembly and as year after year passes, could political will be built up enough with all the countries of the world instead of only focusing on china or the usual states to get the world to accept a one korea policy based on the fact that the general assembly after the end of world war ii stated that korea needed to be independent from japan and united and so this is a way to
address this unanswered korea question while putting a lot more diplomatic and political pressure on north korea and china. >> thank you. so, the closest i've seen to that -- an idea like that, which would, as i understand it, delegitimize the government in pyongyang as a representative of korean people on the korean peninsula is the idea that is floated in council on foreign relations report, and i've seen it elsewhere, which is to consider in a sense, if all else fails, denying the dprk membership and united nations in the general assembly to sort of delegitimize the government as -- but have the international community do it instead of one country denying the recognition. so, i suppose that can be
thought about. right now i'm -- i would like -- i'd like generally people to think about policy to be thinking about ways of getting engagement to proceed in a reasonable way rather than disengagement. if you think about delegitimizing the dprk, that's not way far away from where they are now. i mean, they are the prior state in the international community right at this moment, and they know it and they are thriving. so, if you do -- if you don't do anything in terms of impacting their life and their life goes on right now because essentially beijing ensures that it does, notwithstanding what the rest of the international community does, then i'm not sure how much one would have are accomplished. but it's still a possibility. >> thank you.
peters, the microphone here, please. >> i would like to raise a little different issue. recently korea is going through kind of a turmoil as a result f of -- who has been spreading influence, including tremendous financial problems and the opposition parties are telling park geun-hye to resign. there are massive demonstrations going on in korea. this is not directly related to our present conference but i'm
concerned and -- you mentioned next two years but we have a much more urgent issue with us. if the leftist government comes out they might well accomplish what kim jung-un tried with korea, together with the korean leaders together with government -- can't think of right word right now. so are we going to pursue with president park geun-hye who has been singing same song with president obama and u.s. policy makers, we have a problem even so, but now i'm concerned that we are getting into real
difficulty depending on what goes on the next couple months. thank you very much. i would like to hear your comments. >> thank you. i think prudence and wisdom on my part is to stay far away from domestic politics in the rok right now. i would say that i absolutely do believe, however, that the ultimate election in the rok will bear in very substantial way the out come of that election in what sorts of policies can be pursued to deal with the dprk. so, i think that connection is real. what is happening now and the difficulties that the president is having in the rok is not something i think i could usefully comment on, so i'm going to let it go.
>> ambassador gallucci, i was sort of astounded to hear you say you did not know anything about heu program, while you were negotiating such a successful -- >> that's true. >> -- successful framework. i don't remember you mentioning heu but in that connection you mentioned mistrust, degree to which mistrust between dprk is so high that they still do not really trust, take whatever we say, washington says, they don't take it at face value. now, with respect to the motivation for north korea to pursue the other paths of developing nuclear weapons by way of enrichment, which
administration later claimed all kinds of programs although it did not specify the term heu program in that sense. my point is, north korea still could not trust the united states even after they signed framework. which state liked it, they will come to you geun-hye park become hero and i heard a lot from north korean officials afterwards. now, was it because they still could not trust united states and they could not rely on what the terms provided, for example, targeted completion of the light
order reactive projects and they said you have to be done in 2003 and you have not done anything and they were complaining and complaining and chick would explain to them, you have to remember, this is not the only target, that we tried to do it by that time but we did not promise you we're going to do it by that time. that's one question. the other thing, you mentioned pre-emption, international law and all that, the problem with that is not only the incomplete capability of taking out all the nuclear arsenals in north korea, but more importantly, how are you going to judge? you're going to need some evidence, clear evidence that they're about to attack you with their nuclear weapons. so, how are you going to get that and how are you going to depend on it? the other thing is, the
consequences of pre-emption in terms of damage to south korea and also united states, do you consider that also when you do it? lastly i come back to your point of needing for the next administration to start seeking -- talking the talks. again, washington atmosphere has been for the past 20 years, especially after what it perceived as north korean breaking away or unkept promises that they made in terms of a denuclearization. and there is no atmosphere, no support in this town. in the media, politicians or general people population that would support kind of a dialogue that you and some of the
people -- it's really great to have someone like you keep engage in this issue very important because people got to learn from your experience. and how it's going to turn around and, again, when you make recommendation to the next administration, you want to make a different set of recommendations depending on who gets elected, one for clinton, one for trump? >> thank you. so, on the first question you were apparently shocked or stunned that when i was negotiating with the north koreans in 1993 and '94 that i did not know that they were at the same time negotiating with islamabad, at least with a quu
khan for gas centrifuge technology. right at this moment, i still don't know that. in other words, what i'm telling you, there came a time when i did discover that from our intelligence community that there was this ongoing exchange and transfer from islamabad to the dprk. but that, for me came -- and i, by the way, never gave up my security clearances. i kept them, so this is based, even with full access, i did not know about this until -- i think the safe thing for me to say is after 1996. and the agreed framework was
1994. so i don't -- not only did i not know about it, but i am virtually certain neither did anybody else within the american administration. know about it in 1994. and so if you were to tell me that you had evidence that the contacts were happening then, i could easily believe you and say, well, we missed it. it wouldn't be the first time we have missed something. the deterrence question, how could we be confident that we knew -- that we know we're going to be attacked, how could we know? how could there be the adequate basis for pre-emption. well, it's a very high bar. it's very hard, especially when you're talking about nuclear weapons. this is not a bunch of militia on your border and the question
is, do you call in an air strike. this is the proposition here, the scenario we're talking about is that a country, the dprk is going to launch a nuclear strike with missiles at united states of america or its allies, the republic of korea and japan, and we are going to launch an attack on them in advance to decrease the damage they would do by such a strike. well, it's hard to get that information in advance, not impossible, knowing something about the american intelligence community after over 20 years of being in the u.s. government, but it's hard. and we are capable of getting it wrong. and i have been part of getting it wrong more than once. so, i don't say this easily, though.
you know, when you take a job in the administration and i've done this a number of times, raised my hand and took an oath, you swear to protect the united states of america from enemies, foreign and domestic, so you take an oath, and i would say -- i said a few minutes ago not only would i support, i would expect, i would insist on pre-emption, if we had that high confidence. if you don't, then it's not a good idea. it occurs to me that larry questioned whether we could actually succeed in pre-emptive strike. well, what -- your capability is aimed at reducing the enemy capability. it doesn't mean that you completely are confident you're going to hit every mobile missile, every submarine they may have been able to deploy.
you may not. but if you think you're going to be struck, can you do serious damage. and unlike other people here, and i think this are people in this room who do not believe the american assurance once we are vulnerable to attack by the north koreans, the assurance we give in our extended deterrent assurance in our alliance context to japan and republic of korea, i spent over 21 years in the u.s. government and i believe us. i believe we will fulfill our alliance responsibilities. we know what's at risk here. remember, and i know joe at least remembers, when the chinese said you won't trade los angeles for taipei. well, yes, we will. i'm not enthusiastic about the prospect. i have family there. but that is what we sign up for.
so, those who would question this, i warn them to be careful and don't assume, don't ever assume the united states will fail to fulfill its obligations, it would be a mistake in my view. >> well, ladies and gentlemen, let's give ambassador gallucci a hand today. our small token. >> thank you very much. >> you verified this. >> i did. >> spelling is correct? >> it is. >> as well as this is our -- >> i do tennis. >> very well. you look great. >> yes, thank you so much. thank you. great session.
>> the meeting is adjourned. c-span where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. the house returns for its lake duck session today at 2:00 p.m. eastern. off the floor, house republicans hear from candidates running for leadership positions including house speaker and will cast
their votes tomorrow. house democrats hold their elections thursday. on the floor this week, several bills on iran including reauthorizing sanctions against third-party investment in iran's energy sector. those set to expire at the end of the year. the senate returns tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. they vote on legislation allowing the library of congress, veterans oral history project to collect recordings of buy graphicical history by gold star families. senate republicans and democrats hold their leadership elections this week. live coverage of the u.s. house on c-span and the senate on c-span2. tonight on the communicators, ceo of audi of america, talks about the hype from the auto industry they're almost ready and their prediction when they'll be on the markets. >> you read the headlines, you see uber, carnegie melon, proclamation automotive executives are making.
in the automotive business we're used to a lot of hype. i think when it comes to everyday matters, i think marketing hype is okay. when it comes to matters such as this, i think it's a little bit disingenuous because words are flippantly thrown around. when someone says auto ton mouse, autopilot, self-driving. what a consumer thinks, i come out of my home, i hit a button and that car will take me anywhere in america at any time under any conditions. i think as we all know, that's not the case. >> watch the communicators tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. the center for a new american security hosted a discussion recently with service secretaries from the army, navy and air force on national security threats, military readiness and the presidential transition process at the pentagon. they all expressed the need to accelerate the defense acquisition system and the importance of recruiting diverse military personnel.
cnn pentagon correspondent barbara starr moderated the panel. it's an hour and 15 minutes. welcome, everybody, and good morning. i'm michele flournoc, co-founder and ceo of the center for a new america. we're all grateful you could join us this morning. today we have a really rare r i would say unique opportunity to hear from all three sitting secretaries of the services. secretary of the navy ray mabus, secretary of the air force deborah lee james and secretary of the army, eric fanning. we were speculating as to whether anyone's ever gathered all three of them together like this, but i think this is a wonderful opportunity. as you know, the service secretaries play a critical role in the department of defense. they report directly to the
secretary of defense and provide the civilian leadership and oversight of each of the services. the services, as you know, are the force providers. their job is to organize, train and equip the force and the service secretaries provide critical direction and civilian oversight of these essential title 10 functions. indeed, the relationship between the service secretaries and their respective service chiefs is among the most important civil military relationships. each of our speakers knows from personal experience what is required for a strong and healthy civil/military relationship. each of these distinguished leaders has taken on tremendous responsibility within the department of defense at a particularly challenging time. first of all, amidst one of the most complex and volatile security environments we've seen in decades with the rise of a resurgent russia, the rise of a powerful china, the persist enlt
and evolving threat of transnational terrorism, new technologies and challenges like cyber, persistent rogue states like north korea, a middle east in turmoil and the list goes on and on. but they've also had these leadership roles at a time of severe budget constraints. they've had to navigate the budget control act, budget caps, unpredictable funding as we lurch from continuing res lags to continuing res lags and always living under the threat of sequestration. each has had to make very tough trade-offs in an effort to balance readiness for current operations, for structure and modernization. and while the combatant command rightly focus on current operations, the service chiefs and secretaries are really charged with giving a future seat at the table. making investments necessary to make sure the force will have what it needs to deter, defend
and ultimately prevail in the future. each of these leaders has also championshiped reforms within his or her service. to reduce unnecessary costs, to free up more resources, to invest in cutting-edge capabilities for the war fighter, to bring the department's business practices into the 21st century. i'm sure you're all shocked to know that that wasn't the case before. to strengthen our ability to recruit and develop and retain the extraordinary people who will ensure that our all-volunteer force will remain the best military in the world, now and in the future. so, this morning provides us with an extraordinary opportunity to hear from these leaders about their experiences at the helm of america's defense. what necessity have achieved, what they have learned, what needs to change versus what needs to continue. the challenges and opportunities that remain ahead. to moderate this discussion,
we're very fortunate to have with us barbara starr, the pentagon correspondent from cnn, but before i hand it off to bash remarks let me just note that when we get to the q&a period, we will ask you to write your questions on note cards. just raise a hand or a finger to left cnn staff know you would like to do a question, they'll provide you a note card, collect that and bring those up to barbara starr. again, thank you all for joining us. and looking forward to a really insightful conversation. thank you. [ applause ] >> thanks, michele. we'll go about 45 minutes or so chatting up here and then we'll go to questions. start thinking of them because if i don't get a big handful of cards, we'll go turn by turn and one of the secretaries will call on you and ask you what your question is, and then can you figure it out.
i think what am i chel said underlying everything in this room, which everyone in this room knows better than me. the future has a seat at the table. it has a seat at the table in so many ways. let me just throw a question out there broadly and ask -- we'll just start with miss james and come right down the line. as you come to what may be the end of your tenure, one way or the other, how has this job differed from what you thought it was going in in terms of how you do it and what the priorities are? so, let's just chat about that. >> well, first of all, if i could think michele and cans and you, barbara, my colleagues, this is an extraordinary opportunity. i appreciate being included in it. how has the job differed from what i thought it would be? well, first of all, the enemy gets a vote. i would say right at the top of my list n my three years, nearly
three years on the job, the world has just fundamentally changed in so many different ways. so, as michele flournoy mentioned, three years ago russia had not moved into crimea. of course, they're there now. they had not moved into syria. indeed, most americans had never heard of this terror group known as isil. all of these things have changed in the last three years. and, of course, we in the air force, we in the u.s. military, our job is to be able to respond. so, that is a key difference. another difference for me, something that i didn't quite understand as well as i might have going in the front door, was just how difficult it is now getting things done in washington. it has become truly a very divisive situation. it was mentioned about sequestration, continuing resolutions. it just seems very, very difficult to advance an agenda these days. we have to get back to the art of compromise in this town much more than we have been able to
do in the past. >> secretary mabus? >> i'm going to give you a different answer here because i think one of the great strengths i brought to the navy is i had no issue what the issues were when i came in. i had been in the navy 45 -- 40 years earlier, but i'd had very little -- >> sort of on a different level. >> short, undistinguished service. but what it gave me the opportunity to do is i didn't have any preconceived notion as to how this job should be done, as to what the issues were, as to how i should approach it. i didn't bring any baggage. and so i got to take a fresh look. the thing that i think has been as big a surprise as anything or as big a frustration is the -- how slowly the bureaucracy moves, particularly dod-wide.
if you want to kill something in the pentagon, do one of two things. say we need to study this to see what the second and third order effects are, or we need to do it dod-wide. there are -- because then you go to the lowest and slowest common denominator. the army, the air force, the navy and marine corps have very different services, very different needs and i think that you can get a whole lot more done if you have a little bit of competition between these services. and if you allow them to be the experimenters to go out and see what works, either succeed fast or fail fast. >> secretary fanning? >> i'll approach it differently as well. i had two great teachers when i came into be secretary of the army. i had been deputy undersecretary
of the navy and deputy secretary. and so i think -- i had been in the clinton pentagon, so i had a long time to watch service secretaries and what their roles are. there were two things for me in this administration. in the clinton administration i worked in osd. i didn't work in one of the military departments and didn't really have an appreciation for the role of the military departments, the civilian leadership in the military departments. one thing i find -- in fact, i often thought of the military departments as sort of political siberia. why would you want to leave the office of secretary of defense. but that's why it's such a great job, because you have a tremendous amount of autonomy and the military departments and civilian leaders in the departments are much closer to the troops than i felt when i worked in osd. which makes it a challenging job because in the army we have 1.4 million people n and out of uniform, but that's what makes it so rewarding to be closer to the people who have raised their
right hands and made this commitment to defend the country. >> so, if you are the civilian leaders of the services, let me just drill down a little bit because ever since i started covering the pentagon, you know, you hear about -- you cover the issue of -- and it's far from boring, acquisition, new weapons, research and development, and it's always struck me what that is really about is finding a way to move faster and get your decision cycle moving faster than your adversary's decision cycle. it strikes me that's still a funds mental struggle because you can can have these low-tech insurgency movements that move very quickly. can you have north korea that just decides to move quickly without a typical research, development and test of its programs. how once -- i'm really serious. practical advice, once and for all, if you know one of the
three of you became the next secretary of defense, what could be done to get all of this moving faster as you look a a resurgent russia that you didn't anticipate when you came to office, as you look at isis, which nobody really knew what that was when you came into office. i think there's a common thread here of wanting to get the bureaucracy and the politics of decision-making moving faster. practical advice. we'll go the other way. >> sure. well, two very different things. i echo what debbie said. i didn't anticipate how much time would be spent on the budget because of the instability each year. you know, we start every year -- every year with a continuing resolution and don't really know what the top line is. we don't have that stability to plan for the long term. so, it takes an enormous amount of time of the institutional leadership to constantly be rethinking through the budget based on -- dazys based that instability year after year
after year. i think in terms of trying to get the decision cycle down, that's been -- you know, i was only confirmed in may and my primary focus this year has been on that issue in particular for the army. so, we stood particular for the army. we stood up -- i worked closely with air force office when i was there. it set up differently. designed to get capabilities fielded faster. rather than getting 100% solution out into the field, getting something into the hands of the troops they can use, experiment with and refine in realtime because that's what the adversary is doing. >> that's a real fundamental change in thinking over the years. >> it is. it is. the system is set up for that pristine solution. the acquisition system, testing processes that we have. the adversary figuring out how to do things very short cycle,
get things in the field and experiment with it realtime. our soldiers as well, get the capability into their hands. >> exactly what eric said. i took at one hearing a chart of what you've got to go through to get approval of record and it was about this figure and still couldn't read it, it was like a plate of spaghetti. all the hoops you had to jump through. what we've been trying to do and what eric and debbie have been trying to do, we've been doing pilot programs instead. instead of a program at record, get something out in the field fast. succeed fast, fail fast. get something, an example in navy we put a laser weapon in the arabian gulf.
we did that four years ago, supposed to be a six-month pilot program. but we kept learning so many lessons. it was so valuable. we're using it now to develop followon weapons. if we had gone through the acquisition program for a program of record. >> still be working on it. >> it's to get it out of the hands of the lab and into the war fighter as quickly as you can while avoiding the incredible number and complexity of things have you to go through. >> especially for both of you, not to dismiss the army on this, but for both of you, you have huge ticket, very expensive programs now. f-35, the new ships coming into the field. but you know, not unexpectedly i suppose they are all having problems, challenges getting them, you know, up to the standard that you want. you have to have these major
weapons systems. it seems harder and harder the more complex they get to work on them 20 years and think you know the adversary you're going to meet 20 years from now. on the f-35, for example. >> the practical advice i would offer, barbara, actually several fold. when it comes to the totality of our programs, again, i'll speak for the air force, we have many programs. some are the high-profile highly complex types of programs which have run into difficulties over time. many of them are going along, they are proceeding, they are smaller, lower profile. so my practical advice is to target the significant few for your key reviews and the strong oversight and ease up a bit. less review, less oversight, more empowerment for the many, many smaller programs that are actually doing well. that would allow you to better focus the time and attention on the significant few where there could, indeed, be difficulty.
so that's one thing. another thing is to maximize the authorities that we already have in law that perhaps we haven't fully maximized yet. i'm thinking here of an approach called the other transaction authority. this is a provision in law which allows to you move much more quickly and which we in the air force, at least, set up a couple new contract vehicles to try to get innovative companies to do business with us on some key problems, particularly in the area of cyber. we're setting up another one for space so that we can attract new companies and innovations into the military and do it more quickly. so maximize some of the authorities that we've got would be another focus. then the third i also want to pile on about the rapid capabilities that we have in each of our services. the rapid capabilities office, if you will, and there are other pockets where we can already, under existing authority, move much more quickly. i'll give you one that's top of mind for me at the moment, and that is this emerging danger
that we're seeing in the middle east with respect to unmanned aerial systems. these cheap, buy them over the oempbt small drones. if explosives are placed on them as we've seen a handful of times now in syria and iraq, they can do damage. how do we put our heads together on that topic quickly and figure out who to defeat that type of approach. it's not necessarily the development of a new thing to complete it. it could be taking what we've got already and packaging it in a good way to go after the threat. we need to go after it rapidly. >> i suspect you got everyone's tank with that subject, so let's drill down a little bit. nuts and bolts. what can the u.s. military do? we all have seen the video of this now, these little drones flying overhead and deploying their explosives. what can you do? >> i will tell you it was a week or two ago that there was a
situation. it was four killed, not u.s. citizens, from one of these small unmanned systems. so it's a problem. i will also tell you about a week ago it was now that we were informed -- we the air force -- over there in theater was informed there was such an unmanned aerial system in the vicinity. quickly we were able to bring it down. we brought it down through electronic measures. so you don't necessarily have to shoot. there's a variety of ways to attack the problem. what we need to do is put our best thinking together and focus on it going forward in the future. >> did you jam it? how did you bring it down electronically? >> i can't get into the specifics of it, as you can imagine. again, it's a problem and example of something we have to attack quickly. >> this the reporter in me, i have to get it out. side note, in that particular
instance since the coalition was informed, did it pose a threat to you as in coalition troops? >> any drone that possibly is carrying explosives is a threat. it could be a threat to troops. it could be a threat to civilians on the ground. we brought it down is the key thing. we need to focus on this for the future. >> that's an example of the laser weapon i talked about can bring down a drone. >> your shis, of courps, of cou talk about the practical threat you face. your ships, there's been some confusion about it, but not all that much, apparently targeted by rebels in yemen firing surface to surface missiles at you. very low tech threat essentially. what can you do about it? >> well, what you do about it overall is you have multi-mission platforms and you
train your sailors, your marines to be flexible and adaptable because you don't know what the threat is going to come at you. you don't know what the next thing coming over the horizon is going to be. but when those missiles were fired at the ships, they took absolutely appropriate action. nothing hit the ships. no one was harmed on the ships. and to show the value of naval presence, being everywhere at the right time at the right place but all the time is that instead of saying you're in big trouble two or three weeks from now when we can get somebody here to shoot at you, we had somebody there. we had a tomahawk shooter right there that when the decision was made to retaliate, to show people that if you attack us you do so at your peril, we were there. we could do it. we could do it instantly.
>> i think it's just interesting that one of the threats here is, again, while the beaurocracy may move a little slow in this town, enemies move pretty fast, pretty low tech through the army, eric. the only reason i say marine corps is land force. through land forces facing this isis threat. we know they are isis challenging you rudimentary, but they have that capability. this weekend we saw isis oil fires and phosphorus plant in northern iraq that doesn't take massive multi-bazilliazillion d weapons but does take your troops having the equipment to operate. talk to us about that. that's a threat perhaps could be anticipated but still when it
comes it's very challenging. >> we do a fairly good job anticipating threats, not when they are going to use them or how they are going to employ some of them but being prepared for a multitude of threats if the battle space. but it gets back to a point that we've been talking about this morning, and it is that decision cycle that iterative cycle the adversary is so good at. in a lot of ways, there's a lot of innovation in the military, a lot of innovation in the industrial base that succeeds despite the processes and the barriers we put up in place. in many ways, the department of defense operates like the 1950s and we're driving technological change. when there's all this change happening outside the department that we can't even keep up with, the iterative pace of technology outside the department is faster than we're able to absorb it. >> what worries you the most?
what's out there that worries you the most on iterative technology moving faster. >> it's everything of the the rapid capabilities office, we set it up in the army. we've been focused on a type of fight for 15 years. russia goes into ukraine. all of a sudden we see they have turned into much more of a learning institution their military than we thought they were. they have been watching us, studying us, making improvements. our decisive advantage we thought we had wasn't as big, it turns out, as we hoped it was, we thought it was. we set the office up for things like cyber, electronic warfare, position navigation and timing and countering this threat of uas. i think the two things -- the three things that worry me the most, cyber, pnt, position, navigation and timing, gps, not having that in a fight. everything we have is pretty much dependent on it in one way or another. then the threat of these
unmanned systems that we're starting to see proliferate. >> let me -- we can talk about this point forever, but let me shift to the sort of service member side of it. over the last several months, everyone in this room has heard the constant conversation, whether it's aimed at congress and budget and sequestration, the pressure on your budget, what you're not going to be able to do with sequestration. we have heard from all sides in the political arena, the military, you know, pick your adjective, broken stress disaster, not ready. set that aside for a moment. let's get the bottom line from all three of you on readiness against current and anticipated threats. ken, what can you do -- what do you worry that you cannot do to meet the current threat? how ready are you? how broken is the readiness?
>> the united states air force is not at all broken. so i would begin by saying we are the best air force on the planet, but we have challenges. we have challenges in manpower. first of all in my opinion over the course of 20 some years downsizing the air force, we've probably gone too far, which is why we're stop downsizing and growing the force particularly to plug in holes in the maintenance arena. we're also growing rpa, remotely piloted aircraft for us and our cyber force to name just a few, just those couple. so we are growing our force modestly. when it comes to our readiness, our ability to do our jobs that we are called upon to do today, you always have to ask your self ready to do what. which job are you talking about. the question is are we ready to do what we're doing in the middle east, the fight against isil and iraq and syria, for
example. the answer is you're darn right we are. we've been doing it, doing these types of operations for years. we do them extremely effectively. but then if you say what if you get into a different type of a fight, a fight where you don't necessarily control the skies and where the enemy on the ground, or elsewhere, can interfere with you in a major way in space or cyber. what if you get into a fight where there are integrated air defenses you go up against on the ground. that is where we have concerns about our readiness. we don't have enough of our forcefully ready to that level to be able to take on that level of fight. if we get called upon to do it, make no mistake. we will go and do the job. our levels of lower readiness, other worry is it will take a while toting the job done. we may lose more lives. more people may be hit or
killed. we may lose more assets, aircraft and the like. that's the impact of not having high levels of readiness for what i call the high-end complex fight. >> the navy marine corps are ready to fight tonight. we're global. we're around the clock. the things that -- the people we deploy, the force we deploy are at the absolute top of readiness training and equipping. the next to go are at that same level. they are getting the craned they need. they are getting the equipment they need. the maintenance is being done on the ships. it's the next force, it's the surge force after that that because of sequester, because of declining budgets, that we're not getting enough training for the long-term. we're not doing the long-term
maintenance as well or as deeply as we should. the number one thing for the navy was when i came in. we just didn't have enough ships. the fleet had declined from 316 ships in '01 to 278 ships in '08. and you didn't have enough ships -- you were having to make choices as to where you sent assets. we have an assessed need of 308 ships. in the time from '01 to '08 we put 41 ships under contract. not enough to keep our fleet from continuing to shrink and not enough to keep our shipyards in business. in my seven years, we have put 86 ships under contract. we'll get back to 300 ships by 2019 into 301 by 2021 -- 308 by 2021, which is our assessed need of today.
but we're living with the fleet size today based on decisions made 12, 15 years ago. the decisions that i'm making on these big ticket items are going to determine the fleet size in 2025, 2030. and your comment about giving the future a seat at the table, you have got to do that and you've got to do it in a way that you don't know what the threats are going to be. because every time a strike group comes back, an amphibious ready group comes back, i get a briefing on it. the one constant is they face something they had not expected. that during their workup, during their training, it just wasn't covered because it wasn't foreseen. we're not very good at foreseeing the future. we're just not. the only thing we can do is have enough of the equipment, have as
rapid a change as you can possibly have. and finally that you train to be very flexible, that you don't fall into one mind-set. you don't fall into, in eric's phrase, fighting the last war. that you are adaptable. you do see new threats when they come and you're good at overcoming them. >> i'll echo the army is ready. it's an incredibly lethal war fighting machine, by far the best that we've ever had and the best in the world. saying you have to ask the question ready for what. but when we talk about, first of all, readiness we say number one priority of the amy. it's kind of everything if you leave it at that. it's resilient soldiers trained and properly equipped. so i think the army is ready. we are expanding the training. we've really been focusing on that in the last year to get at what debbie is talking about, to
get at stiff action larger scale near peer adversaries, different fight than we've been working on in the last 15 years. because of that fight we've been in the last 15 years, i would never say broken, never say hollow because it is a very strong lethal army, but we've been run it hard. we've been running it hard for a long time now. there's no end in sight to that uptempo. that has been tough on the army. it's been at the expense in some ways of the future. we've cut the procurement budget pretty dramatically over the last 10, 15 years. that's future readiness. focused on today's readiness making sure that the army of today is ready and prepared for combat and the situation it finds it's self in. i worry about making sure that the future army has what it needs to get done, whatever it's asked to do. >> so what i'm hearing from all three of you is, yes ready comma
but -- that's what you're paid to do is worry essentially. so let me ask this. i think secretary james you mentioned if you had to be -- it impacts all of you. nobody goes along to the frontline. if you were suddenly in an area where you did not control the skies. you're in an area challenged by missiles on the ground. so let's be very specific. if for all three of you, not hypothetical, it's been discussed. if, for example, you had to do a so-called no flyer safe zone over syria, many people in the pentagon say, okay, that would take resources away from the current isis fight. could you prosecute the current isis fight air, sea, ground, and still have the resources if you were ordered to do a no fly over
syria. could you do that? >> i'll just begin by saying, the air force -- >> without diverting resources away from your isis fight. >> so let me begin by saying, if we were called upon to do a no-fly zone or territory of some sort, with know how to do this. we know how to put it together. we know how to plan it. we know how to execute it. it has been done before. as you point out, it would require money, people, and resources. we would figure out how to accomplish it. remember, we're not -- the united states air force is not alone. we're with the u.s. navy. we have a coalition of partners. so i have to believe that if we were called upon to do this, we would keep the fight going at pace against isil in iraq and syria and we would figure out a way to do the no-fly zone if we were asked to do it. we've done it in the past. we know how it can be conducted.
>> but you were suggesting it can be difficult to layer on these additional tasks, if threats emerge and additional tasks emerge given what you're facing right now any house with the challenge to your budget. >> difficult is pretty much what the military does. we do planning and we do execution. so i don't want in any way to make this sound like it wouldn't be complex. it would be enormously complex. what i'm trying to convey is if asked to do so, we would step up to the plate. we would do it with our joint war fighting partners and we would do it as part of the coalition. >> eric, you talked about -- or one of you did. let me ask you, there's been a lot of talk about russia going into crimea, ukraine at various points. you have a stepped up army land presence and air force presence in eastern -- in eastern europe
now. military personnel generals have expressed concern if russia really did make a move, can the u.s. army -- can nato push it back fast enough? do you have enough in europe to have that credible deterrent to russia right now? do you need more? >> i think we are a credible deterrent to russia. let me just address that for a minute in terms of if there's a no-fly zone or stepped up rotational presence in europe. it goes back to the readiness question. we hold our military to a higher standard as we should. we want victory in a decisive way. we're asked to do things all over the world. our adversaries just have to jam us or prevent something from happening. we have to penetrate and defeat them decisively. we have to do it any place on the globe at any time.
as secretary of the earl, i'm always going to want more to make me feel more comfortable in terms of the deterrence to russia or resources for soldiers. i think right now we are a credible deterrent. >> because i suppose it all depends what level of risk one is willing to take. you don't have -- you don't keep everybody at top alert status around the world all the time, but you do have ships there just in case. >> that's the value of a maritime force is that presence day in, day out. that's the reason you need the size fleet that you need. you have to have enough ships to be there. having a ship in fnorfolk, havig a ship in san diego doesn't do much going forward, doesn't come much for an immediate crisis. to your question to eric, we do this as a joint force. we've got a lot of presence,
particularly navy and marines. the army has coin behind the marines and black sea rotational force. we work together incredibly well, the air force and the navy and in the -- what used to be air/sea battle but the notion that we can control the skies, we can control -- and the other thing that a maritime force brings you is we operate off of sovereign u.s. territory. we don't have to ask anyone for permission to get the job done. the best example of that was when the president made the decision to strike isis in august '14, we had a carrier on station in less than 30 hours launching strikes. and we were the only strike option for 54 days. it wasn't because we didn't have other assets. we had lots of other assets in
the region. but the countries wouldn't allow our planes to take off for strike. we dependent have to ask. >> what do you tell your successors as this -- as this whole transition approaches? have you -- not you personally, the u.s. defense department, have you pretty much given up on that old notion you might have to be ready to face two major regional conflicts, unless i'm the only person old enough on this panel to remember those days. have you given up that construct? what is the new construct that's replacing that or is that where we are? of course there's north korea out there, russia, middle east. >> we are, i think, as a joint force, as u.s. military, we are preparing in the event that there should be a conflict with what is sometimes called a near peer competitor. we're preparing
for the possibility of a persistent fight against terror for years to come. so it's a combination of all of these elements that we are trying to make sure that we are prepared to do. but always not wanting to pick a fight with anybody, this is mostly about deterrence, about being there, about reassuring our allies around the world. as is noted, we are a globally engaged force. so to the extent our people feel some strains, it is because of this pace of operations. >> my last question before we go to all of these, which are looking really good, north korea -- north korea. the reason i ask about this in terms of transition and what may come next, a couple weeks ago cia director john britneyan publicly was talking about north korea, said he thought it was something not only the current
administration obviously has to be prepared to deal with at any time, but that he thought a new administration needs to get ready now, that both candidates, irrespective of who wins, need to be briefed up, need to be ready, that you could literally have a new president having to deal with north korea from minute one, that they could take advantage. so talk to me about as you look ahead on what you want to prioritize for your successor, what you want to prioritize for your self as you form the next budget, how much does north korea play into your thinking. you've got people right there. >> we have a lot of people right there. first of all, i just want to speak to your last question and say we have not given up on the idea to do more than one thing around the world simultaneously. don't want anyone to think that. you sort of hit it on the head
when you said balancing risk. that's essentially what these jobs are about. we have this resource. we have incredibly potent lethal force. it's just a matter of determining how you balance that risk based on, as debbie said at the start, the enemy getting a vote in this. so we have not walked back from that concept at all. we can do more than one thing. we are now doing more than one thing. north korea plays heavily in my mind, because it is so -- the situation is so unpredictable and the the pace seems to be increasing there. and there are quite a few soldiers that are sitting right there ready in case something happens. so making sure that we are prepared for this increasing threat, as north korean capabilities increase is a very important part of the calculus when we're putting the budget together. >> but it's not