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flexible. One reason it needs to be flexible is that we do—we look at the theaters globally. We don't look at each theater in isolation. More and more we see the breakdown or the reduction of the socalled seams that separate the regional commands, and we look at the world as a theater in which we want the flexibility to operate maybe one place, maybe move forces from one place to the other. So that is a way we are looking—new way we are looking at things. We are looking at ways to diversify our overseas presence. We know that political conditions change. Having a multiplicity of options is smart strategy, politically as well as militarily. Jointness is one of the new features of our operations we saw again demonstrated very well in Iraq. So a lot of our facilities we look at in a new way, not just as a naval base or an Air Force base, but as a combined joint facility. So we are looking for that kind of presence qualitatively changed. We are also looking to allies themselves to make the contribution that they must make to the common defense, and certainly we are fortunate to have capable allies who are capable of doing more and benefitting themselves from these new forces of transformation. The bottom line is that whatever review or reassessment we are undertaking has the goal of enhancing, improving, upgrading and modernizing our presence and our ability to fight wars, to defend, deter, not to reduce our commitment, not to pull out. Just the opposite. It is to leave—it is to exploit new technological capabilities. It is to adapt to new threats that exist. The net result is meant to be a stronger commitment to our allies and more effective ability to fulfill our commitments, and I would say just in conclusion that after what was done in Iraq, I think no ally or friend should doubt either our capability or our political will to defend our interests and to defend our friends. Thank you very much. [The prepared statement of Mr. Rodman follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE PETER RODMAN, ASSISTANT SECRETARY, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee: Thank you very much for this opportunity to join you in addressing some of the most important security challenges before us in the Asia-Pacific region.
U.S. DEFENSE STRATEGY
U.S. defense strategy today, broadly considered, is a response to a variety of security challenges, many of which are new challenges that may well dominate the first decades of the 21st century:
• the threat of international terrorism;
• uncertainty about where new security threats will arise, and the need that this creates to be prepared to respond quickly to problems around the world;
• the wing challenge of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction ( ), including the threat arising from the nexus of WMD proliferation, rogue states, and terrorists; and
• advances in technology and asymmetric threats at the hands of potential adversaries, which, for us, place a premium on knowledge, precision, speed, lethality and surprise in the conduct of military operations.
But not everything changes in a new era. In the Asia-Pacific region, while the war on terrorism has affected many relationships and redefined many requirements, there are also some enduring strategic factors—our solid and vitally important alliances and some enduring requirements of deterrence.
Thus, the four key tenets of our defense strategy today are: • to assure allies and friends by strengthening existing security ties and developing new partnerships; • to dissuade military competition by influencing the choices of key states, raising the costs of military competition, and experimenting with transformed forces overseas; • to deter aggression and coercion forward by increasing our capabilities for swift military action within and across critical regions; and • to defeat any adversary if deterrence fails.
Let me apply these principles to the Asia-Pacific region.
Security and stability in Asia remain a vital U.S. strategic interest. Some critical facts about Asia illustrate why:
• More than 50% of the world's economy and more than half the world's population reside in Asia. U.S. businesses conduct more than $500 billion in trade with Asia each year. • Half a million U.S. citizens live, work, and study in the region. • Asia is home to four of the seven largest militaries in the world, some of them nuclear powers. • Real defense spending has risen 30 percent in the region since 1985, despite the end of the Cold War and Asia's economic crisis of 1997–1998. • There are more than two dozen unresolved territorial disputes left over from historical conflicts.
Unlike Europe, the Asia-Pacific region has few, or only rudimentary, integrating institutions. U.S. bilateral alliances make up most of the regional security structure that exists. Whereas Europe was a principal beneficiary of the end of the Cold War, settling into a broad stability, the Asia-Pacific region in contrast finds its geopolitics all the more fluid after the Soviet collapse. For example:
• The rise of China is a major new factor, economically and strategically. • Japan is taking important new steps in the security field.
• The Republic of Korea is assessing its security and diplomatic requirements in new ways.
• The North Korean threat has grown.
• The end of the Cold War has freed India and the United States to rediscover options towards each other, including in the security field.
• The rise of Islamist extremism has introduced new challenges to stability, especially in Southeast Asia, but also on the Eurasian mainland.
In this complex new environment, the United States is well positioned to play a positive and effective role for stability and freedom. We start with our strong security cooperation with our five treaty allies—Japan, Australia, South Korea, Thailand, and the Philippines—and other close partners, such as Singapore. Their support for a strong U.S. military presence, and our bilateral military cooperation with them, allow us to maintain a strong deterrent posture. Even broader cooperation, bilateral and multilateral, has characterized the Asia-Pacific dimension of the war on terrorism. Australia has long been a steadfast ally and partner, and recent events have only magnified the value of our alliance with it. #. key role that Australia's brave forces played in Iraq and Afghanistan, and its commitment to a leading role in regional security, only demonstrate Australia's growing importance. Our alliance with Japan has long been the anchor of stability in Northeast Asia. Our security relationship with Japan is now evolving into one that is relevant globally. Japan's support in Operation Enduring Freedom has been unprecedented; its refueling operations for coalition ships in the Indian Ocean, for over 18 months now, have been invaluable, as have been some strategic lift missions it has undertaken. Japan has strongly supported us in Operation Iraqi Freedom and is considering ways to send its military there as well. We have also been cooperating with Japan in the area of missile defense. In the Republic of Korea, where our alliance has endured for over 50 years, we and our Korean allies have launched a joint review of our military posture. The rocess is guided by how best to take advantage of new technology to counter North É. capabilities and strengthen deterrence in new conditions. Modernization of our combined forces—transformation—is a necessity and also an opportunity. Our two Presidents have pledged to work closely together on what they called, in their May 14 joint statement, #. transition to a more capable and sustainable U.S. military presence on the peninsula.” We have also reached agreement on plans to expand the role of ROK forces in the defense of the peninsula, to relocate the garrison at Yongsan, and to consolidate U.S. forces in Korea around key hubs. U.S.-Philippine relations have grown closer in recent years. Our two governments share concerns over growing evidence of links between Philippine and international terrorist organizations, including Jemaah Islamiyah. We are providing security assistance to enhance the capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to counter terrorism. We are currently planning a combined training exercise, Balikatan 03–1 in the 4th quarter of this calendar year. Thailand has provided critical support for Operation Enduring Freedom and has cooperated with us on all aspects .# the war on terror. Its commitment to support postwar reconstruction efforts in Iraq is a positive reflection of our ability to work together on issues of global importance. Thailand's willingness to afford us unimpeded access to valuable facilities enables us to maintain a high level of readiness in the region. Cobra Gold, the centerpiece of the US-Thai annual training and exercise schedule of over 40 activities, is now focused on peace enforcement and peacekeeping. Our training relationship has expanded over the last decade to include cooperation also on counter-drug matters, disaster response, humanitarian assistance, demining, and now counter-terrorism. j ore has been a strong supporter of the U.S. presence in Asia. Singapore has provi o the U.S. with essential access to ports and facilities, including Paya Lebar Airbase and Changi Naval Base. A U.S. R. logistics unit of approximately 160 people was established in 1992, in part to facilitate over 100 U.S. naval ship visits per year in Singapore. Singapore has been one of our strongest counter-terrorism artners and a leader in multilateral counter-terrorist efforts in Southeast Asia. It as made a number of high-profile arrests of suspected Jemaah Islamiyah members and has disrupted terrorist plots targeting U.S., British, and Singaporean interests. The U.S. and the region F. a t stake in Indonesia's success as a modern and stable democracy. Reform of the Indonesian military is an essential piece of that effort. Indonesia is a crucial player in the global war on terrorism, and an important friend. Our relations with China have improved in recent years. We seek a constructive and candid relationship with this emerging and important power. President Bush has met four times with top Chinese leaders, and relations have improved in the military-to-military sphere as part of the overall normalization of our relations. We look to China as an important interlocutor on a number of strategic issues, including the current tensions over North Korea's nuclear weapons program. aiwan is a success story—a thriving democracy with a resilient economy. We have a firm commitment to Taiwan's defense embodied in the Taiwan Relations Act. The United States is concerned by the trend in the military balance across the Taiwan Strait. Most disturbing is China's missile build-up, which is proceeding at a pace of 75 new deployed missiles a year. Our task is to assist Taiwan to improve its deterrent capability, which we consider essential to the maintenance of peace in the Taiwan Strait.
REALIGNING THE U.S. MILITARY FOOTPRINT IN ASIA
There has been much discussion lately of the changing U.S. military “footprint” in the Asia-Pacific region. Let me explain our basic thinking.
The Department of Defense has been examining the U.S. overseas military posture and presence broadly, across the globe—in Europe, East Asia, Central Asia, and Southwest Asia, as well as in the Asia-Pacific.
Our goals in realigning our forces around the world are:
• to tailor the mix of our military capabilities stationed or deployed in key regions to the particular conditions of each region; and
• to strengthen our capabilities for prompt global military action anywhere in the world.
As the threats of the new era are not confined to a single area and often require immediate military response, the key to effectiveness is capabilities, not particular levels of forces. We saw this demonstrated in Iraq. Nor are forces expected to fight where they are based. We don't necessarily know where the next threat will be coming from. Mobility and speed of deployment are key.
Our working assumptions include the following:
• U.S. regional defense postures need to be based on global considerations, not just regional. • Existing and new U.S. bases overseas will be evaluated as combined and/or joint facilities, given the new premium on combined and joint operations, • Overseas stationed forces should be located on reliable, well-protected territory. • Forces without inherent mobility must be stationed along major transportation routes, especially sea routes. • Long-range attack capabilities need forward infrastructure to sustain operations. • Forward presence need not be divided equally among all the U.S. regional commands, because we are also striving to reduce the barriers associated with the “seams" that separate those regional commands. • Expeditionary operations require a network of forward facilities (with munitions, command and control, and logistics) in dispersed locations.
A key objective of U.S. transformation efforts will be to increase the capability of U.S. forward forces, thereby improving their deterrent effect and possibly allowing for reallocation of forces now dedicated to reinforcement of other missions. We can accomplish this by various means, including:
• Increasing precision intelligence and strike capabilities on a global basis; operations in the war on terrorism, as well as a range of other military challenges, reinforce this need.
• Planning globally for U.S. forces stationed and deployed overseas to take advantage of the superior strategic mobility of U.S. forces.
Any changes in overseas basing will be designed to strengthen U.S. defense relations with key allies and F. and enable us better to respond to unforeseen contingencies. The kinds of changes we have in mind for our overseas presence include:
• diversifying U.S. access to overseas bases and facilities, which should allow for military presence in areas closer to potential conflict regions and provide a broader array of military options in crisis or conflict;
• posturing forces overseas that are more flexible and capable of a wide range of expeditionary operations. which will further broaden options and strengthen deterrence; an
• promoting greater allied contributions, which will make for more durable U.S. defense relationships with allies and facilitate allied roles in future military operations.
The U.S. will maintain its critical bases in Northeast Asia, which may also serve as hubs for power projection in future contingencies in other areas of the world. This is especially important on the Korean peninsula, where we will maintain a strong deterrent capability and, if deterrence fails, a more robust capability for swift military operations on the peninsula.
We have not made any decisions about realigning U.S. forces in Japan, South Korea, or elsewhere in Asia. We will do so only in close consultation with our allies.
Our realignments will in no way lessen our commitment to our allies and friends and to preserving security and stability in Asia. On the contrary, they are conceived as part of a modernized and more effective global posture—one that strengthens our ability to fulfill our defense commitments. No ally or friend—especially after recent events—should doubt either our capability or our political will to defend our interests, our values, or our friends.
By far the most serious threat from East Asia is that posed by North Korea. The conventional military threat to South Korea on the peninsula remains undiminished. With its “military-first” policy, the North Korean regime continues to spend a disproportionate amount of its scarce resources on maintaining a millionman army j. keeps tensions on the peninsula constantly high.
North Korea's recent advances in its nuclear weapons program have created an increasingly serious situation. It has been caught in the act of building a highly enriched uranium production capability; it has repeatedly stated it has nearly finished reprocessing the spent fuel at Yongbyon; it has threatened to transfer nuclear weapons to others. By these and other actions, North Korea is posing a grave challenge to the international nuclear nonproliferation regime that the world community has labored so hard to build up over four decades.
Reprocessing of spent fuel is of particular concern. North Korea could recover sufficient plutonium from spent fuel at Yongbyon for several nuclear weapons. This could lead to a larger North Korean nuclear arsenal or the possibility that this economically desperate regime, the world's foremost proliferator could sell plutonium, enriched uranium, or even nuclear weapons to rogue states or terrorists.
The United States and its friends and allies are in agreement that the Korean peninsula must be free of nuclear weapons, and that North Korea must completely, verifiably, and irreversibly dismantle its nuclear weapons programs. This is not a bilateral problem between the United States and North Korea: it is an affront to the international community. North Korea has violated explicit international obligations. While President Bush has not taken any option off the table, the United States is actively pursuing diplomatic solutions through international institutions, such as the and the §§ Security Council.
Mr. LEACH. Mr. Rodman—Admiral Fargo.
STATEMENT OF ADMIRAL THOMAS B. FARGO, COMMANDER, U.S. PACIFIC COMMAND
Admiral FARGO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee. It is a pleasure to be with you this afternoon. Last March my posture testimony focused on our five priorities in the Pacific Command, and today I would like to provide a brief survey of our four primary security concerns in the region, and then I look forward to your questions.
The dramatic events in Southwest Asia for which the Pacific Command has been a primary force provider have not eclipsed the importance of Asia-Pacific threats to global security.
First and foremost, we are keenly focused on the Korean Peninsula, where, although I believe the likelihood of war is low, the stakes would be very high if war occurred, and even higher if North Korea continues to pursue a nuclear capability.
The Demilitarized Zone borders the most heavily armed strip of territory on Earth, and as a result, millions of South Koreans live within range of North Korea's artillery, some of which we know to be armed with chemical warheads. Further, from its highly enriched uranium program to its illicit drug trade, North Korean policies and performance are abysmal. Nuclear weapons in the hands of the world's greatest missile proliferator would destabilize Northeast Asia and pose the threat of trafficking nuclear weapons or fissile material while undermining international treaties and norms against proliferation.
And our greatest fear, of course, is the nexus between terrorists and weapons of mass destruction. Armed with these weapons, undeterable, unaccountable enemies could inflict enormous damage without warning. It is this sobering conclusion that demonstrates the need for regional unity on a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and requires multilateral cooperation to irreversibly and verifiably end North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
The President has repeatedly stated our commitment to a multilateral peaceful solution of this issue. Our job at Pacific Command has been to ensure that diplomacy is backed up by viable military strength, and we have done so. During the height of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Pacific Command forces were postured to deter ventures in Northeast Asia, and we continue to remain both vigilant and prepared.