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with this issue—oh, our Constitution tells us we cannot wage war, we cannot take an offensive posture toward other countries. The second most powerful economy in the world. Does the Administration support the idea that Japan should be a permanent member of the Security Council?
Mr. Lafleur. Yes, we do.
Mr. Faleomavaega. Are we making efforts to push the idea that Japan should be a permanent member of the Security Council?
Mr. Lafleur. I would have to get to you whatever the current status of those discussions are. They come up from time to time up in New York at the U.N., but I can assure you that we do support the position that Japan ought to be represented on the Security Council.
Mr. Faleomavaega. And in your consultations with Japan, have we made any changes to our current security agreements with Japan?
Mr. Lafleur. No. We are at a preliminary stage in those discussions. We are reviewing from a very general base what our shared strategic interests are, somewhat going through these one by one and just reconfirming our analysis and understanding. And so we really haven't reached the stage where we would be discussing concrete changes.
Mr. Faleomavaega. I assume you are also involved with the current negotiations with North Korea?
Mr. Lafleur. No, sir. That is not part of my area of responsibility. I work with the Republic of Korea.
Mr. Faleomavaega. When you said Northeast Asia, I thought maybe North Korea was a part of thats
In dealing with China, there always seems to be a basic question raised about China's military capability. In some circles China does not really even come close to our military structure and capability, and I am curious, what is your understanding of China's ability? I suppose for purposes of defending it herself if she is being attacked, how does China rank among the military armies in the Asia-Pacific region?
Mr. Lafleur. Sir, I think you alluded earlier to defense spending by Japan and the place that would put Japan relative to other countries. I think, though—and I will have to defer to my betterinformed colleagues on military affairs, but I think generally speaking, we want to look not only at how much money is being spent, but also what it has to be spent on. In the case of Japan, for example, much of their military budget goes, as does ours, to payments for salaries for personnel, and that is, of course, in Japan extremely expensive, as it is increasingly for us as well.
So we have to look also at what you can acquire for the money spent. In the case of China, obviously much more could be acquired for a similar amount of money. And there is also the question of the degree of transparency of the military budget figures. There is no question that the Chinese military capabilities, though, are expanding.
Mr. Faleomavaega. One of the issues, Secretary Rodman, that Members of the Committee have had time to debate, and maybe you can help us, help me at least, relates to the recent advent of our waging war against Iraq, and the magic word that seems to be floating around these days is preemption. Can you share with the Members of the Committee the Administration's position? Or. what is your understanding of what preemption is as it references our basic military policy now. not only relating to what we have done in Iraq, but I suppose we can apply the same principle in the AsiaPacific region if there is a conflict.
Mr. Rodman. I think our basic text on preemption is the President's national security policy report of last September, and it is a doctrine that—first of all. I think we are first—it was prompted by the threat of terrorism. If we know something is about to bit us or is likely to hit us. do we sit back and wait for thousands of Americans to be killed and then respond? And the answer is no. But we have also—I think the President has also described the problem in slightly broader terms than just terrorism. We talk about the nexus between terrorists and state sponsors of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, and the possibility that at some point some terrorist group will get hold of weapons that are capable of causing mass casualties. I mean, after all. 9 11 was done by conventional means, if you will, and we know the terrorist groups are trying very hard to get chemical or biological weapons or some kinds of radiological weapons to inflict mass casualties perhaps on a greater scale.
So I think the doctrine of preemption is a simple principle that says we can't—we cannot wait to be struck: if we find a threat, you know, we need to be willing at least in some conditions to act against it. I don't think it is meant as a broad blueprint for attacking everybody out of the blue, but I think it is a simple principle, and I think, stated in those terms, it is hard to refute. And what it means as a practical matter, I think, I leave to the President and his colleagues i a decide in particular cases.
Mr. Faleomavaega. I think this is where you hit it right on the nail, Mr. Secretary, the concern that I have in defining preemption. But there is also this phrase called clear and present danger, and this is one of those major issues now that seems to be evolving for our security measures and what decisions we make as a government. Do we do it out of just sheer hearsay, or do we make absolutely certain that there is clear and present danger before we go after that enemy in justifying preemption? You are suggesting that in preemption you don't have to—just a little tweak, and I am going to shoot the bugger if he dares tries to attack me.
I think this issue is very much prominent right now. I think, among the Members of the Congress and working with the Administration, how we can justify preemption, and then at the same time, to what extent can we justify ourselves if there really was or is a clear and present danger to our own Nation's security. I guess there is no clear answer to that either except an opinion, as it would be the opinion of the vast knowledge and understanding that the Administration has on this issue.
Mr. RODMAN. Well, let me just say a little bit more. I think you are right there is no clear answer that predirects what we are going to do in every case, because every case is different, and ultimately it depends on the decision of a President based on the intelligence he has before him.
I mean, one other point that we have made is that the standard of proof cannot always be the same standard of proof you would use in a courtroom, because that may never exist. So ultimately it depends on the quality of intelligence and the difficult judgment that rests on a President's shoulders in any particular case that he is presented with.
Mr. Faleomavaega. I would like to ask Admiral Fargo, when you mention the word "miscalculations," in your best judgment, as far as lessening any miscalculations on our part, on our military structure, we are pretty good at that, but the danger lies on miscalculations and what could happen in the Taiwan Straits, another area of the Asia-Pacific region, what is your assessment on the possibility of miscalculations in the Asia-Pacific region?
Admiral Fargo. Well, I think right now it is relatively low, and we work very hard at this, obviously, to make sure that we have clear policies, a solid deterrent posture. We aim to deter and not provoke, and those particular efforts that are reinforced by our forward posture and the manner in which we operate and deploy our forces, I think, help work toward ensuring that the potential for miscalculation is low.
Mr. Faleomavaega. Thank you.
And, Mr. Chairman, I do also want to thank the gentlelady from Guam for the questions and the concerns that she raised. It affects her constituents in her district. We are always delighted to have her come join us in our Committee, and, gentlemen, I want to thank you for your testimony.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Leach. Well, thank you, Mr. Faleomavaega.
Ms. Bordallo. Mr. Chairman, I have just one final question I would like to ask Admiral
Mr. Leach. You are very welcome.
Ms. Bordallo. Thank you. Thank you very much.
Inasmuch as you have said that the Marines have more or less turned down the—using Andersen South as their training ground, I understand there is a process in the military once the property is surplused, then the Air Force would offer it to the Navy. If the Navy is not interested, then it would probably go back to the Government of Guam.
What are your views, Admiral? What is the future of this property? Do you have anything to share with us?
Admiral Fargo. I think it is too early to speculate right now. As you point out correctly, to my understanding, is there is a very clear process of how a piece of property moves through the different government organizations first and then is made available. I have just received the Marines' letter, that says that they have conducted these surveys and they don't think it meets their training needs for about a week. So I think we are early in this process.
Ms. Bordallo. Thank you very much.
And thank you again, Mr. Chairman and our Ranking Member.
Mr. Leach. Well, thank you very much, and let me just conclude with underscoring a phrase that I think is very profound of Admiral Fargo's, that it is the goal of his command and, I think, American foreign policy generally, to deter and not provoke in this very vital region, and I think that is a well-stated and thoughtful reflection of what U.S. policy is.
Thank you all very much. This Subcommittee is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 1:30 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]