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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 30, 2009 4:00pm-4:30pm EDT

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america today. .. >> able to be moved anywhere in the world, and it's more than the floating runway, it's a floating base, a sovereign base from which that instrument of
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american power is equipped and maintained. and it's from that ship that's operating in the indian ocean that 46 percent of the fixed-wing sor tees, flying over afghanistan in support of huh troops, are coming off that carrier. that type of projection to being a base that can be the foundation of a largest humanitarian relief operation that has ever taken place in history, and that's exactly what happened in december of 2004 when the tsunami swept through southeast and south asia. it was the aircraft carrier abraham lincoln that was quietly at port in hong kong on a routine visit over the christmas holidays on a sunday. and by saturday she was providing 50,000 pounds of food and water a day into the
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tsunami-affected area in indonesia. that event also led us to adjust our strategy, i think, in a very significant way. as i said, we have been responding to disasters throughout our history, but we said, well, let's see what we can do proactively, and we began a series of humanitarian missions that, to date, in the four years in which we have been conducting them have touched 409,000 patients from our ships. that's in south america, the pacific and in africa. and if you consider the 409,000 patients, that's like going to the verizon center, packing the house and then having doctors treat each one of the people in the ve -- verizon center 20
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times. that is not an insignificant contribution that our people are making. but it's not just our aircraft carriers. it's our cruisers and destroyers who are out and about, the workhorses of our fleet, and they're flexing from the high end of warfare to the low end of warfare. they're in the gulf of aden patrolling an area that's four times the size of texas against pirates, and they are destroyers like the uss bane bridge which took a sizable detachment of seals aboard complete with all their equipment, staged them at sea, and enabled the perfect save of captain phillips from alabama. they're the cruisers and destroyers that are in the western pacific and the middle east providing ballistic missile defense. it's the destroyers that simultaneously for the last couple of weeks have been operating off the east and the west coast of africa as part of our africa partnership station delivering aid and working with other nations there on maritime
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security issues. they're in the south pacific participating in the 15th cooperation for a float readiness and training exercise with singapore, the philippines, malaysia, thailand and indonesia. they're in the arabian gulf protecting the sea lanes that are so critical there, and indeed, the world's most important choke point, the strait of hormuz, which is the passage through which so much of the world's crude passes. below the surface are our submarines doing some of the most sensitive and important intelligence work for our nation and maintaining a stealthy and reliable and potent striking power for the nation should it be called upon. and above the water are our very capable and flexible airplanes not unlike the old venerable p-3 antisubmarine warfare plane that we are literally flying the
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wings off, not chasing submarines, but rather chasing insurgents who are planting explosive devices in iraq and after began stand. now -- afghanistan. now, that's the stuff we have, but that's not our most important resource. the most important thing we have are our people. and one aspect of our operation is the the fact that we have 14,000 sailors on the ground in the middle east in iraq, afghanistan, and the horn of africa. that's more sailors than we have at sea, we have about 10,000 at sea today. since 9/11 we have deployed individually 78,000 sailors into iraq and afghanistan. sailors who had been serving on ships and submarines and airplanes but who are now into the fight supporting our ground forces there. clearly, our seals have a large presence in the middle east.
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in iraq and afghanistan, but as you saw, it was the seals that performed the rescue of captain phillips. we have construction battalions who not only are in the fight in iraq and afghanistan, but they're also part of our humanitarian missions around the world. our sailors are serving in provincial reconstruction teams. in fact, last december i was in afghanistan on a very cold mountain talking to a team leader who happened to be a nuclear submariner and who had been driving a nuclear submarine around a few short months before. we have navy doctors who are distributed on the ground with our ground forces, but they're also on ships around the world with our sailors, and they're also key in our humanitarian assistance efforts around the world. in every ocean, on every continent you will find american sailors, and our ship and our
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aircraft or sometimes operating by themselves alone. we're even in operation deep freeze in antarctica, and i can attest personally of the sailors that were under the ice on the uss annapolis in the arctic when i visited them a couple of months ago. so in a way you can see that we're a little bit of an everything force, and what some, i think, have called a hybrid force. it's conventional, it's irregular, but most importantly it's both at the same time wherever the nation needs it to be. we must be flexible, and we must be able to operate in that way. the world is more interconnected than it ever has been before. the time and pace of operations today compared to when i began my career are lightning fast, and they're only going to get faster. and it isn't good enough that we get there. we in this very interconnected world have to be there when
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things happen. and that interconnectedness is also going to become increasingly fragile, and it's going to be easily disrupted and what i believe is going to be a more disordered world, and we can see the disruption that's just caused by a few teenage pirates operating off the coast of somalia. i refer to them as our old foes because if you go back in history, it was the pirates in africa that were the reason for the founding of the united states navy. so what goes around comes around, and we're back at it again. demographic pressures are also going to add to some of the challenges of the future. if you consider that the population in the urban areas in 2050 will be the same as the world population in 2040 or 2004, i'm sorry, so you can see that just the urban areas are going to grow. seven of the ten largest cities are going to be on or near the
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coast, and you're going to see that demographic press down near the coastal areas. resource competition is going to heat up for water and fish and arable land. climate change is going to affect our weather patterns, and it's going to effect the icecaps, so all of that is going to change. and beyond all of that we also face the challenges of proliferation. and as i mentioned that no conflict will ever again in my mind be high end or low end, you know, hybrid really is the word du jour. but it's more than the word du jour, it really is what our future will be. we see proliferation of advanced weapons, submarines, the population of world submarines is expected to increase 280 in the next two decades.
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we've seen how a group like hezbollah can have an advanced antiship cruise missile. so, again, i'm not sure that we will ever be able to go into an environment and say that it's either low end or high end anywhere. anymore. what was once kind of remote and not of great interest as far as battlefields go, they're opening up. i talked about areas, they will become more important as the demographic presses in, as there's a competition for resources and as maritime connects the world together. we're going to see cyber space open up very quickly and then the under sea domain with a competition for resources, i believe, will become more porn. the ability to influence world events, therefore, is going to be more important that we do that from the sea, and it clearly is an important option
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for our country to have. especially because in the future a small footprint on someone else's southern soil will -- sovereign soil will become even more sensitive. between 2001 and 2010 one-third of permanent overseas military personnel are planned to return to the continental united states, and when those bases and those folks go away, american presence cannot go away with it. and it will go from a land-based presence to a maritime-based presence. all of this and our strategy and operations, the growing trends and the importance of the maritime option will affect the shape and structure of our force. what i want to do is just pop up a slide here. while the dots appear to be fairly large, it's just a representation of where our ships are today. each one of those dots represents a ship, the cluster
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the submarines because we never show where those submarines are. but if you look at that, there are about 142 of them there, and that's a pretty good spread, but you can also see the global reach that that fleet provides the nation. but if you look at the yellow dots, those are areas where combatant commanders have asked for more capacity, for more numbers, and we simply do not have the force structure to provide that. so it will be increasingly important that as we move forward we look at ways to be able to meet the capacity demands that are being called for. and as you can also see, 14,000 sailors on the ground in iraq and after began stand. -- afghanistan. because even as you look at this, and you can talk about increases in capabilities on the ships we have, one ship can be in one place at one time. those are the laws of physics as best as i can tell. i think about the capacity and
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the capability, and the capacity of our carriers. as i said, we have four deployed, but in order to keep those four deployed, there have to be others in the pipeline ready to move, training, outfitting, preparing, getting ready to go forward. i think about that. i think about the capacity of naval aviation. talked about the fact that we're using our antisubmarine warfare planes very effectively in the hunt for improvised explosive devices and insurgents, but they're also in demand for antisubmarine warfare needs global ri. i think about amphibious lift, and the reason that's important is because of the sensitivity of sovereignty and the need to be able to be there but not be there. that will become increasingly important. and i think about the capacity of the workhorses, the combatants, the cruisers and the guided missile destroyers that i talked about earlier and the la
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toarl combat ship which i'm very pleased to say we've turned the corner on that important capability for our navy. but capability will become important, will remain important, and that capability will be how do you address and how do you work in this hybrid environment in which we will live and operate? i believe that the high end capability can go low, but the low end can't go high. all the time. we saw the range of the guided missile destroyer from providing ballistic missile defense to rescuing captain phillips. that's a pretty good spread and a pretty good investment and versatile investment that we have. but we see demands from our combatant commanders for increased maritime ballistic missile defense and increased intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. and as i mentioned before, for us flexibility while we're
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deployed, while we're spread globally is very important because when a situation develops, you don't go home to get your gun. you have to be there ready to respond with the kit that you have and the training that you have providing your say -- provided your sailors before they go forward. the challenges to get to a force structure that can service the world that we're going to live in is going to be challenging. there's no question about that. it's going to require solutions that give our sailors the advantage in any fight. i often say that i never want a american sailor in a fair fight. they always have to be in the advantage position. and as secretary gates has said, the solutions will not always be exquisite, and for that reason you've seen some discipline and some decisions that we have made
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recently in our program, for example, truncating the 1,000 destroyer, a technologically advanced ship, but that's not with the come -- what the combatant commanders are asking for or where we see the trends developing. we made the difficult decision early in the lcs program to cancel two ships. that was important because i believe had we not done that, it would have jeopardized the rest of the program. i recently made the decision to cancel a weapons development program that we had been pumping money into for years and had nothing to show from it, for it. we've recently canceled an unmanned underwater vehicle that was following the same pattern, a lot of money in and no capability out, and i will not hesitate for an instant to make those types of decisions to deliver the force that our sailors need for tomorrow. and more important than all of the stuff that i talk about are
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our sailors. they are the key ingredient as to why we are the effective navy that we are. for the first time, we have used the all-volunteer force in a protracted fight, and we are learning a lot from it, but i will tell you that the navy that i serve in today is the best navy in which i have ever served because of the men and women who are out and about doing the types of things that i've mentioned. and operationing and compensating that -- operating and compensating that force is very different than it was when i came in the navy. we can't compel service as we did back in the days of the draft. we can attract, and we can encourage, and we can convince. and it's important because only 28 percent of young people in the united states qualify for military service. so the importance of being able to attract and recruit and retain those fine americans is
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increasingly important. and retaining and recruiting that force is much more expensive. if you consider in the period between 1990 and 1995 a mid grade petty officer, an e-5 is what we call them, the pay scale for that petty officer between 1990 and 1995 increased $85 in five years. between 2000 and 2005 that pay raise was $11,000, so the nature of the force that we're dealing with today and the compensation that is required -- and that doesn't even get into covering things such as medical and housing and retirement costs -- is a very different set of issues than we've had in the past. but that is what we must do to have the type of navy that we
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have today. and i think what you can see from these brief remarks is that your navy is out and about, it is busy, it is global, it is delivering on those six capabilities that we addressed in our maritime strategy. the strategy is just not a piece of shelf wear. look around the world, and you can see your navy doing that. the decisions that we're going to make in the future are going to be key to the type of navy the nation has to protect its interests globally, and i look forward to being involved in that discussion, in that debate, and i welcome the opportunity today to have that discussion with you and hear your thoughts and questions that you may have, and i thank you for your time. [applause] >> during our q&a this morning
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if you'd be kind enough to identify yourself when asking a question and tell us what organization you're with, and also, please wait for the boom microphone to come to you so we can make sure we can capture it. and i would like to take advantage of the podium here to ask the first question which is given the increasing proliferation of the problem and the sheer vastness of the real estate involved, could you expand a little bit on what you see the navy's ongoing role in combating piracy is? >> right. thanks, ron, i appreciate that. piracy as i have said is not a new problem. it's the reason for our existence. and our role in combating piracy is to join with other countries that have similar maritime interests and operate, have a presence, and be able to share the information that is key to
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interrupting what i call the business of piracy. because it really is a business. the ransoms are taken, the ransoms buy better equipment, better communications, better weapons, and so it is interrupting that business. the work that we're doing with many countries off the coast of somalia has evolved significantly in the last year or so. the cooperative nature, the way that we are sharing information has enabled a more effective approach, but it's still a very, very large ocean area. it's about four times the size of texas that we're all involved in. but pirates don't live at sea, pirates don't bank at sea. all of that business of piracy is done ashore. and there has to be an effort to increase the governments, to
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remove the lawlessness from that part of the world so that you can squeeze the pirates from the sea and have the rule of law address their criminal activity ashore. that is what happened in the straits of malacca a few years ago. very high incidents of piracy there but malaysia, singapore, indonesia and thailand came together, put in place a maritime scheme, shared information, joined in cooperative patrol, but at the same time they were able to use their law enforcement ashore, and they were able to essentially eradicate piracy in the straits of malacca. we have to continue to work cooperatively, but i would also say that three, four years ago if you had said that china, russia, the e.u., nato, malaysia, india, the united states, australia, canada, greece, turkey would all be working together, that's a
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pretty, pretty interesting mix of countries. but that's what we're doing because there is a common concern that we all have, and i think we are making some good progress there. but it's also an international effort. for example, we created a task force, task force 151, to be a coordinating element for piracy, and right now that task force is being commanded by a turkish admiral on a united states ship. >> other questions? >> why don't we -- i'll call, i'll spot here. okay, there you go. >> got it? hi. >> hi, john, how are you? >> john donnelly, congressional quarterly, good morning. there's been some talk lately about getting rid of, basically, the idea or the goal of being able to fight two major conventional wars at about the same time in different theaters. the chief staff of the army, the
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joint chiefs have each basically said it's time to revisit this idea. wondering what your take is on that, and shouldn't we retain the capability -- we, the united states -- retain the capability to fight, say, a north korea and an iran should they both flare up at about the same time? >> yeah. i think that's one of the fundamental questions as we work through the quadrennial defense review is to determine what are the needs and how do you put in place these force-planning constructs that allow you to design the force that you need? because at the end of the day, you know, we are going to live in an uncertain world. and we will never be able to eliminate that uncertainty. but what we must be able to do is to look at what is the type of force in size and in capacity and in capability that we should
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have to address the many challenges and opportunities that are going to be out there? so as we go through the quadrennial defense review, part of that is going through what is the right force-planning construct? is that two? is that one and a half? and that's what the qdr does. and i'm, you know, there are probably different opinions of qdrs. i am a huge proponent of the quadrennial defense review. i believe that it is a healthy exercise every four years to be able to take a snapshot of where we are, to look at the world and look into that crystal ball as best as we can discern it and determine where should we be, what type of capability should the united states have to address our interests and to be able to be the type of force for good that we have been over the decades and, indeed, the centuries? >> if i may follow up real quickly.
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without prejudicing the qdr -- >> yeah. >> what's your personal view on this two-war issue? >> well, this may sound like a dodge, john, but as we go through these deliberations, i mean, it's a very significant and fundamental decision that you have to make. and we are going through that now looking at what is the right way to try to divine that characterization, if you will, of what we're going to need in the future? and i believe part of the success of the qdr is to go into the process and to look at the analysis with an open mind. if i went in and said, you know, this is, you know, what i strongly believe and shut off all of the good analytical work and the serious discussion that's taking place, i'm not sure that that would be in the best interest of what we're trying to achieve. the qdr allows us to go in and
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challenge some of our assumptions and question that, what we're doing. and that's not easy. that's a hard thing to do particularly in a large bureaucratic organization that has a lot of inertia behind it where there's interest in specific programs. but if you do this right, you begin to question, and you should question, you know, are we doing the right thing? yes, sir. >> hi, eric rosenberg here: you talked about your perceptionsover an increasingly disordered world out there, i was wondering if you could talk about the trend lines of nuclear proliferation, and then if i could sneak in a second question on chinese, in march there was a lot of friction with china's naval forces. >> right. >> how are those trends today, and how did you diffuse those? >> yeah. well, i think on the first one on nuclear weapons, i think that's an extraordinarily
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serious topic, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, proliferation of nuclear technology. you know, we have a couple of countries that are as panels for nuclear capability, but i think the biggest concern is the technology, where that technology may be, and can that then fall into the wrong hands? and when you get the nexus of that technology and extreme nonstate actors, that's a pretty dangerous mix. so that to me is one of the great concerns, and will that proliferation take place in the maritime domain? that's one of the reasons why i believe that as nations come together and engage in maritime security constructs and procedures that the ability for us to understand what's moving on under and above the ocean, the ability for us to share
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information quickly with our friends and partners will be key and will contribute to being a safeguard against that type of proliferation. with regard to china and the chinese navy, we did have the issue in the western pacific with one of our surveillance ships and the chinese fishing boats. it's interesting to note shortly after that took place i was on the phone with my counterpart for about an hour. i then about three weeks later was in china on my fourth visit to china and also my third time with my counterpart, admiral lee, and we were able to talk about these things. but contrast that with what we're doing in the gulf of aden with the cooperative nature of the counterpiracy operations there. so we're able to, you know, work our way through


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