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Material Submitted For The Hearing Record
Prepared Statement Of The Honorable Madeleine Z. Bordallo, A
I would like to thank Chairman Leach and Ranking Member Faleomavaega for welcoming me to take part in this hearing and also thank the witnesses for their testimony. This hearing raises important issues of concern because U.S. forces have a tremendous impact on diplomacy and statecraft taking place in the Asia Pacific region.
The security of our trading partners, Japan, Korea and Taiwan is underpinned by military planning much of which involves the use of Guam as a staging point for operations and as a logistics support facility.
Guam is proud of the role it plays in projecting American power into the Asia Pacific region. Just as the military depends on Guam as a vital way-station, the people of Guam look to the military as good neighbors upon whom their economic development depends. Strengthening this relationship for the future raises many questions, especially as the Department of Defense seeks to reposition its forces world-wide to place a proper emphasis on emerging threats.
First, the recent visit of the U.S.S. Carl Vinson has shown Guam's capabilities in hosting an aircraft carrier. Could the panel here today evaluate the visit in the context of suggesting what steps can be taken to further Guam's suitability to permanently homeport an aircraft carrier in the future?
Second, I just received an email this morning raising the possibility of an A-76 study at Andersen Air Force Base in October, which may affect the approximately 184 CE federal civilian positions at the base. I have never seen a better run base than Andersen and we have both seen firsthand the problems with the privatized base operations support contract at COMNAVMAR. So what are your thoughts Admiral Fargo, with regards to further A-76 studies in Guam?
Lastly, Admiral Fargo could you share with the committee your view of how the current impasse between the Air Force and the Marine Corps over the clean up of Andersen South could be resolved? Does the withdrawal of the Marine Corps from Guam represent a shift in planning with regards to training Marines in other areas in the Asia Pacific region such as Australia?
My list of questions comes from Guam's close association with the military and our enduring support of a strong American presence in the Asia Pacific Region. So let me ask lastly and for the record, is there absolutely any doubt in your mind that the people of Guam are grateful for the outstanding work you do and that we stand ready to welcome an increased military presence on our island?
Thank you and I look forward to your response.
Questions For The Record Submitted To Admiral Thomas B. Fargo, ComMander, U.S. Pacific Command, By The Honorable James A. Leach, A RepResentative In Congress From The State Of Iowa, And Chairman, SubCommittee On Asia And The Pacific, And Admiral Fargo's Responses
Plans For Regional Redeployment
In the past, U.S. officials have pointed to the figure of approximately 100,000 armed forces personnel as a tangible signal of America's commitment to Asian security. Given new technological innovations and the ability to strike from long distance, does it make sense to remain fixated on numbers of troops deployed to the theater? What do you expect the eventual regional force level to be once we have completed our process of restructuring?
Historically, our friends and allies in the Asia-Pacific have viewed our forward deployment of approximately 100,000 troops as a signal of our enduring commitment to the region. In this, the information age, as we leverage technology and transformation into greater military capabilities, numbers like these will be less relevant to our decisive combat capability. However, the perceptions of the nations in our region are no less relevant. As we seek to realign our forces to maintain an enduring combat-capable presence we must continue to assure our friends and allies, and dissuade and deter potential adversaries. Changes to our footprint will be done in close consultation with our allies and will enhance our regional/global capability to meet an evolving threat.
As part of the Integrated Global Presence and Basing Strategy (IGPBS) we are currently assessing force posture requirements. Identification of endstate troop strength would be premature at this point. We will continue to execute our Defense Strategy in support of the National Security Strategy to maintain a "balance of power that favors freedom". A capable Joint warfighting force continues to be a pillar of our strategy to further U.S. interests in the PACOM region. Even if the Cold War confrontation between North and South Korea forces should disappear tomorrow, the U.S. will require forward-stationed and deployed, combat ready forces in the Asia-Pacific to protect its interests, to include prosecuting the War on Terrorism. Forward stationed forces demonstrate a lasting commitment, while temporarily deployed and rotational forces provide flexibility to rapidly reposition in times of crises. The presence of forces, with the capability to transition from peacetime roles to crisis response, sends an unmistakable signal of U.S. resolve to defend its interests and sustain its commitments to its multinational partners. They contribute to ensuring access in key regions and can provide an immediate response capability. Our forces also provide early warning, regional intelligence, and, through security cooperation activities, promote regional understanding, cooperative military-to-military relationships, trust, interoperability, and foster U.S. influence; bolstering our ability to defeat would-be aggressors. Seeking an enduring presence in the region, we will continue to transform our forces towards an increasingly regionally focused, strategically agile capability, while reducing our "tail to tooth' ratio where possible. In summary, we will continue to support the initiatives we have begun in concert with the IGPBS, adapting our force posture to the future challenges we may face, while leveraging transformational and technological advances. The results of the IGPBS will likely increase presence in some areas and decrease troop strength in others, with the net difference unknown at this point. We will maintain and strengthen our commitments to our allies and friends in the region and approach change from a global perspective.
Has PACOM identified facilities in East Asia to which the U.S. could seek either new or augmented access agreements in order to further the proposed restructuring of the U.S. force presence in the Asia-Pacific theater? If so, what are they and how would they further U.S. strategic interests in the region?
Securing access in-time-of-need is a critical pillar in Operationalizing our Asia-Pacific defense strategy. Diversified access in East Asia has a number of beneficial effects for the Pacific theater. An increase in the number of places in the region to which the U.S. has some form of access improves our posture for responding to the two potential crisis areas for which we have standing Operations Plans (OPLANs), minimizes single-point vulnerability, and provides a hedge against surprise. We are currently working in concert with the Integrated Presence and Basing Strategy (IGPBS) to determine our force laydown.
The habitual relationships built through exercises and training and a coherent view of regional security with regional partners is our biggest guarantor of access in time of need. These mil-mil activities are administered in accordance with our Theater Security Cooperation (TSC) plan. Access to ports, airfields, and training areas, as well as overflight clearances, in peacetime as well as during contingencies is a security cooperation objective in virtually every nation within our Area of Responsibility (AOR). We endeavor to create a hub-and-spoke architecture to provide the prompt application of combat power and throughput in support of global action. This network will consist of Regional Hubs (HUBs), Forward Operating Bases (FOBs), Forward Operating Locations (FOLs), and Forward Support Locations (FSLs). Power projection and contingency response in Southeast Asia in the future will depend on this network of U.S. access in areas with little or no permanent American basing structure. [DELETED—CLASSIFIED] Access in this region is also essential for the throughput of forces and sustainment to the CENTCOM theater. Additional reasons for increasing the number and diversity of access options include: affording U.S. forces increased opportunity for realistic training towards better expeditionary capabilities; varied and increased training areas also serve to relieve the
Eressure on sensitive areas like Okinawa where troop density is a factor. [DEETED—CLASSIFIED] U.S. presence associated with tailored access can also serve to strengthen U.S. influence with our allies and friendly nations in the region. Access over time can develop into habitual use of certain facilities by deployed U.S. forces with the eventual goal of being guaranteed use in a crisis, or permission to preposition logistics stocks and other critical material in strategic forward locations.
To what extent would possible troop deployment changes be taken into account by the force structures and equipment acquisitions of Japan and South Korea? How would you describe the current state of any discussions about developing more complementarity in forces and equipment?
Possible force structure and equipment acquisitions by Japan and Korea are part of the ongoing Future of the Alliance Initiatives and Defense Policy Review Initiative (DPRI) discussions with Korean and Japanese counterparts, respectively. As an example, in the Republic of Korea's (ROK) case, the ROK Ministry of National Defense submitted the 2004 defense budget proposal in June to the Ministry of Planning & Budget, requesting $18 billion for next year's defense spending, up 28% from this year. The budget provides over $6 billion for force investment, a 42% increase, and over $11 billion for Operations & Maintenance, a 21% increase over this year. If approved, ROK defense spending would increase the proportion of defense budget to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 2.7% to 3.2%. This increase partly reflects changes the ROK armed forces must make in response to U.S. Future of the Alliance Initiatives and be fully relevant to their own defense and complementary to our capability.
Some of the new programs included in the ROK budget proposal are shown below. Of particular note, spending for SAM-X (Surface to Air Missile project) listed in the air defense category will most likely be spent on U.S. made Patriot systems. U.S. commanders have long encouraged Korean counterparts to develop Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I)/electronic warfare capabilities. Mobility/Strike capabilities ($11 million): five programs including reorganization of 3rd Cavalry Brigade, and tape-typed explosives. Naval/amphibious capabilities ($5 million): two programs including the next generation escort vessel, and Korea Navy Tactical Data System 2nd project. Air/air defense capabilities ($120 million): 6 programs including SAM-X, air refueler, GPS-guided explosives. C4I/electronic warfare capabilities ($26 million): four programs including AWACS, ground tactical C4I system, and the military intelligence integration system.
ROK-U.S. and Japan-U.S. discussions to develop more complementary forces and equipment are on track and progressing well.
What are the reasons for the redeployment of U.S forces away from the demilitarized zone (DMZ) on the Korean peninsula? Will the lack of a "tripwire" mean a reduced U.S. commitment to South Korea's security? What is the timetable for the movement of U.S. troops south of the Han River?
Redeployment of U.S. forces away from the DMZ increases our combined Republic of Korea (ROK) and U.S. defensive capabilities by ensuring the 2nd Infantry Division's "punch" is ready when needed. [DELETED—CLASSIFIED] Redeployment of the 2nd Infantry Division and other U.S. forces away from the DMZ is part of an overall ROK-U.S. agreement called Future of the Alliance Initiatives. These initiatives are designed to strengthen and maintain the ROK-U.S. alliance. The ROK and the U.S. agreed to undertake these initiatives in December 2002. As these initiatives become reality, U.S. forces will be optimally positioned for increased warfighting capability with decreased impact on Korean people.
This movement does not mean a reduced U.S. commitment to South Korea's security. It means just the opposite—an increased commitment to South Korea's security. The repositioning of U.S. forces and other initiatives increases the U.S. ability to defend the ROK and respond to a range of regional threats. More importantly, repositioning U.S. forces recognizes South Korea's increased ability to take the predominant role in its own defense. The word "tripwire" is becoming an outdated term, which in some Koreans' minds implies U.S. commitment only if U.S. forces are attacked.
The Mutual Defense Treaty between the Republic of Korea and the United States of America signed in 1953 guarantees U.S. commitment to South Korea's security. U.S. commitment to this alliance was forged in blood and should not be held hostage to a "tripwire" mentality. A more recent sign of U.S. commitment to South Korea is our pledge to invest 11 billion dollars over the next four years for some 150 enhancements to combined defense (June 2003). These enhancements include Patriot missile defenses to protect Korea against North Korea's missiles, a Stryker brigade that can be rapidly airlifted by C-17s to reinforce the peninsula in a crisis, and high-speed vessels that could swiftly carry in Marine reinforcements from Okinawa.
The ROK has agreed in principle to Future of the Alliance Initiatives, and ROKU.S. discussions on the details of the U.S. troop movement timetable are ongoing.
What has been the extent of deterioration of North Korean conventional forces since the early 1990's, if any?
What is the likelihood that U.S. Special Forces and other troops will be committed later this year to counterterrorism operations in the southern Philippines? What operations and joint training exercises is the U.S. currently contemplating in the Philippines?
Mr. Chairman, we have no immediate plans to deploy additional forces to the Philippines to conduct counterterrorist activities. However, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom—Philippines, Joint Special Operations Task Force—Philippines, which consists of approximately 200 US forces, will continue to provide limited advice and assistance to the Armed Forces of Philippines Southern Command Headquarters in Zamboanga until the end of the year. Security Assistance (SA) training in the Philippines will also continue in order to enhance the Armed Forces of the Philippines capability to conduct counterterrorism operations now and over the longterm.
Currently, USPACOM has a robust schedule of military-to-military activities with the RP. These events include Joint Chiefs of Staff exercises, joint and combined exercise training, Inter-agency working groups, conferences, etc. Some of the many exercises we are planning to conduct in the near-term ('04) include; a US-Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Bilateral Exercise during BALIKATAN with AFP units that have been trained under the Security Assistance Program, to assess the SA training modules and to validate US and AFP interoperability and Combined Joint Task Force operations; CARAT (Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training Exercise, and Interoperability Exercise ), and MARSURVEX (US Navy Bilateral Exercise in maritime patrol, surface detection, tracking and reporting), PALAH (US Navy Bilateral Special Warfare exercise with Philippine Navy Special Operations), TALON VISION (Ground Air Integration exercise, air control and mutual support, rotary wing interface), MARSEAEX (US/Philippine/ Thailand Multilateral exercise in maritime Search and Rescue procedures), MTWS (Maritime Tactical Warfare Simulation, a combined Command Post Exercise), PLX (a US Marine / Philippine Marine interoperability exercise), SEACAT (Southeast Asia Cooperation Against Terrorism—a multilateral, scenario-driven exercise involving CARAT participants (Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia) centered on multi-national cooperation on an information gathering/sharing effort, and WESTERN PACIFIC MCMEX (Mine countermeasure exercise with Western Pacific Nations), to name a few. The primary focus of these activities is to increase US and RP military interoperability and enhance our bilateral capabilities in combating terrorism.
We are committed to helping the Philippines when they ask for our assistance, in keeping with the constitution of their country and the United States.