tv This Week in Defense CBS May 30, 2010 11:00am-11:30am EDT
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>> good morning. happy memorial day weekend. welcome to this week in defense news. i'm vago muradian. we take a look an the joint operating environment. a report by the joint forces command that may be the most interesting document in national security. it has been two years since the air force has had high profile mistakes. first, it has taken 14 months for the obama administration to issue the national security strategy to outline the planning and policies and programs. what is the strategy? what does it mean and how does it shape the u.s. thinking? here is rick nelson with the latest. >> thank you for having me on. >> what is the strategy and why is it important? >> the strategy is the president's articulation of
u.s. grant strategy. it is the document that he uses to communicate to the u.s. public and international community what the united states' priorities are and why. >> it is important within the government for everybody to make sure they are marshalling efforts in the same direction? >> it is a critical document from that regard. >> what are the biggest differences between what the obama administration wants to achieve and what the bush administration achieved? >> what obama has done was focused on terrorism and hard power. the president has reaffirmed that terrorism is still our number one threat we are facing. he has broadened the scope since 9/11. the rising state actors and
nuclear proliferation. we have other issues like the economic crisis. >> the debt is listed as as a key threat. >> that is right, vago. not necessarily from a financial perspective, but we cannot afford to do it alone. >> if i recall from the 2002 strategy. the bush administration says the future administration will keep one from rising. the obama administration says we will not stop anything from rising. we will try to engage the responsible actors around the world. >> if you will have a strong nonproliferation regime, you need the actors with the weapons. russia and china. those are your partners. >> is it fair to characterize it as saying it is soft or that it doesn't preserve the united
states' ability to act? is there something to allow the united states to act? >> sure. there is the element of u.s. exceptionalism in the document. it says we have to take into account other factors and realize in the 21st century the national security goes beyond hard power and military force. >> in terms of trying to strike balances, how is the united states, do you think, going to be able to do this expansion of eight powers and expand to 20. does that lead to a dilution of the american affairs in the global voice? >> nothing has changed about the united states being a power house. what is changing is the way we operate to get effective use of
the american power globally. >> that essentially is using your voice to harness others are moving in your direction? >> yes. the trans national threats. thee nuclear proliferations, yes. we have to do more than just protect the home lands and the terrorists we are trying to defend. >> also, the homeland security piece was the most significant piece of it? >> yes. it was a recognition that homeland security was in the guiding document. we mention domestic extremism in the document dealing with national security. that was groundbreaking. >> rick, thank you for joining us. coming up next, the update on the air force drive to
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lax oversight and failed safety inspections. our next guest has been charged with solving the problems of the air force. general, welcome back to the show. >> thank you. great to be here. >> i wanted to start off with what is the new impact on the air forces nuclear enterprise? >> the treaty right on the heels of that. we are in the process of working with the department of defense and doing some preliminary planning are the air force to understand what the implications are. we will go to single warheads on itbns. it revalidates the commitment the nation has. >> so, do you have any idea how many warheads you have which will be the ones and have you
figured out which ones go away? >> it is too early for us to have any real detailed planning. to have that planning done at this point. lots of work to be done. >> let's move to the new nuclear road map. what are the highlights? >> when i was here a couple ever years ago, we were talking about a -- of years ago, we were talking about a new command. we had people coming in over the coming weeks and they had new itbns. in february, the bombers came into the strike command. they have all the operation and responsibility for all of our strategic systems. >> by the way, congratulations. you will be going to the 20th air force soon. >> thank you.
>> back in 2008 when you took the job, you said in a interview that the issue was a shortage of nuclear arms with the shot -- shortage of the right jobs. >> i can say then as well as now, we have committed airmen doing the job. there is a lot of supervision that goes on. it is appropriate when it comes to nuclear weapons. when we need to improve is having the right experience at the right rank and the right job at the right time. the syncing and refined integration of the three icbn wings and bomber wings. it is smaller than the stryker air days. we need to be deliberate with the airmen and all of our ranks to make sure we have that still
level as ideal and as optimized as possible. >> does that give you career management issues given it is still small? >> it absolutely does. there is no question about that. in strategic air command days, there were so many committed to that command that the kind of volume of people, there were a lot of folks you could interchange. you cannot do that anymore. we have to be deliberate. the planning has to be more exquisite. you have to put one of those guys back in. you cannot do that anymore. >> let's go to the personnel reliability program. it is the system the service uses to monitor those people who touch nuclear weapons. 9 out of 10 inspections has failed because of that program. is there something wrong with the program that is leading to that? what is the problem there that
we are seeing? >> i'm the person responsible for the personal reliability program for the air force. that is a challenging program to manage. it is simple in its design. frankly. it is simple in execution. the commander can look his troops in the eye and work with nuclear weapons today. when they take medication, if they are being treated for medical conditions, if they had some pressure in their family, you have reason to pull them out of that duty for that day. whatever period of time you need. the program, when it comes to inspections, we have increased sample sizes. our interaction with the local community and our dependence on local hospitals, these have just become challenges. it is an unforgiving program with paper work. spirit and intent. that is being complied with
very well. the attention to detail has to be perfect. >> that raises an issue. are you being, in part, too strict? folks have said in terms of nuclear inspection it is a pass/fail. you can be perfect on everything else, but there is something minor that leads to a failure. are you being too strict? >> well -- >> i want to make it clear i'm not trying to be lax. >> we don't apologize for the high standards. for the artificial environment of an inspection where you are trying to validate the folks of trying to do a job you never want to do, you put additional pressure and design into the scenarios in order to pressurize the situation and see how well the folks perform under the circumstances. our daily performance in the combat performer, we have a
strong alert rate. our bomber availability is really good. we don't forget the standards, but our inspection performance has been uneven. we refined that inspection process that i feel very good that we have a very good inspection product. we know where to put the energy and resources. that is what we are doing. >> how do you maintain given the large parts of the air force are supporting the operations? how do you make sure you preserve that focus, which as you said was easy to do with the air command, but more difficult now you have one giant air force community? >> the demand is not only the deployment, but the enforcement as well. the attention on the nuclear
side as well as the tempo side. we have taken our eye off the ball on the readiness to forgive the requirements. you don't opt out of the nuclear exercise. you are all in. it always starts at the top and it needs to be propagated at all levels of the leadership. our secretary and commander has been committed. if it starts at the top and it is propagated at every level of how vital the mission is and how our airmen are valued and the roles are performed at home, that is the key to keeping our eyes on the ball. >> how have you changed the way you will end up commanding? >> i have a chance to see how well we are performing in all of our missions. i'm very familiar with that icbn. i know i will go back into a field where i will find people committed and dedicated to an important mission. i am very excited to go out to
be close to that mission again and be in the field again. i also trained a lot of those guys that have those jobs. i'm excited to be part of that again. i know i will find out standing performance. >> thank you for joining us. up next, the most interesting document in the national security and you don't know much about it.
many are familiar with the quadrennial defense review and its role in shaping the pentagon strategy. many of you have not heard about the joint defense environment. the report gives the product of the global survey that tries to forecast economic security trends that will shape how u.s. forces could be deployed in the years ahead. when we were in virginia beach
recently, i discussed the document with larry wright. he oversaw the review. >> everyone who has gone through it has decided what to do. as a result of that, we came up with the joint operating environment. the best we can do at laying multiple futures out there so the joint commander can solve the problems. >> what are the trends that are most concerning? >> if you look at energy, we know that we lost a lot of lives and spent a lot of capital in afghanistan and iraq transporting oil back and worth. some have come up with wind and solar power to save us money and to prevent the loss of life and treasure. we send about $30 million every day to venezuela to buy oil. wouldn't it be great if we
could inn investigate -- invest in infrastructure here in the u.s. >> we have talked about what it costs for a gallon of oil. what does it tell us about the conflict the united states will engage in during the future? >> the quadrennial defense review will determine where i will fight and it lays out a number of different scenarios. >> and the future is full of counter insurgencies. you come to a conclusion of state-on-state conflict is not over. how did you come up with that? >> we looked back at history. is there a page in the review from the 1800s and how wrong the predictions were. when we looked at russia and georgia, we found there is a
state using non state methods. and the war against israel, we saw what you and i would call state tools with rockets and cruise missiles. we see a blending of those technologies in the future. >> you use a notable example of william pitt saying we are going to be in a peaceful period. not recognizing in a few years that britain would be at war with france. this is a risk assessment and has a lot of very rich information in it. why is it done at the joint forces level? shouldn't this be generated by the national security council to shape government views about what future threats and challenges are? >> as we embarked on it, we pull you would from -- we pulled from a number of sources. we have a number of people
working. the u.k. has a futures program. and the national intelligence council puts out 2025. there are other agencies, but our audience in the environment is the joint forces commander. >> your assessment has one of the attributeses of it. the demographywilll change. how did you arrive at some of these assessments that some folks look at and say how did you get there? >> we looked at the trends. if you look at what is going on right now in europe, we see a big backlash against muslims.
head scarves are being banned. in a democracy, are they now going to vote things in that may be different than the administration that we are used to dealing with as allies? >> that changes the coalitions. >> exactly. >> thank you very much. it is a fascinating document. you are welcome back anytime. coming up in my notebook, why the coast guard needs the critical can tension right now. -- critical attention right now.
there is a tendency to forget about the coast guard until there is a disaster. when that happens, it is expected to save the day. as the u.s. government bungled the response to hurricane katrina, the coast guard stepped forward. when an off shore oil rig exploded in the gulf of mexico, it is the coast guard that helps out. now criticism is mounting. the coast guard can inspire confidence that it can solve the most insurmountable program. they must balance 11 missions from homeland security to drug missions to environmental protections. some are suggesting the service
may get another mission. if its missions grow, funding must grow too and must remain stable enough to allow for cutters and patrol boats and command systems to ensure the coast guard of the future can fulfill the obligations. thanks for joining us for this week in defense news. i'm vago muradian. you can watch this program online at the defensenewstv.com. two quick notes before we sign off. a congratulations to robert tapp. he replacedded replaced thad allen. and remember those who have given their lives in military service to the nation. i'll be back next sunday morning at 11:00. have a great week. this is unlike any car you've ever seen before.
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