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tv   This Week in Defense  CBS  January 15, 2012 11:00am-11:30am EST

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welcome to this week in defense news, i'm vag vapg. the obama administration's new national security strategy that will deeply cut the 80,000 u.s. troops in europe isn't necessarily hot button issue in the united states but it's worrying u.s. allies eastern european countries that join nato as an insurance policy against their historic bully russia. obama strategic pivot to put greater focus on asia and a call for europe to do more for its own security comes as defense cut deepen. there are bills cut and france is in the midst of a major reform initiative to trim by 60,000 troops all this has major implications for nato, one of america's most important strategic alliances what do the cuts mean for the transatlantic
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alliance? what can europe and america do to ensure the mutual security and how will lessons from nato's experience in afghanistan and libya shape the alliance's future capabilities. today we have a special guest. highest ranking officer on the continent. the french general. general is in charge of the multinational headquarters of 700 in norfolk, virginia who are focused on deploying to afghanistan, new technologies to counter-explosive devices. general, it's an honor to have you on the shows in thank you for hosting me. >> so let's start. the new defense strategy will reduce the number of u.s. troops in europe. what will the impact of that change be and what do both sides have to do to adapt to this new reality? >> i think it's changing. we have to adapt. we have the iranian crisis which we all have to deal. we have a change in the
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strategic environment across the world. and we have the new -- did not come as a surprise out two of reasons. first, we may have had the during the libya campaign. and second all european allies have been in contact with the u.s. administration to develople strategy. it's not a surprise to anybody. >> one of the -- there are several subordinate issues. one is obviously european governments are not in a position to increase investment. secretary gates last year went to brussels in his speech criticizing europe for not doing more for its own defense raised eyebrows but was no different than any speech in american defense secretary has given to europe to increase its investment. how will europe be able to step up its own investment in such tough economic times when citizens themselves don't feel threatened? >> i think the first thing is we wish not to expect an increase in defense spending anyway. the crisis is that it's a fact
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we need to make better use of the money our nation is ready to spend on defense which is why we have engage in many initiatives the most well-known of them being small defense. and the -- is not to do more with less but to do better and to do better we have to do it together. >> before we get into that because i want to spend time talking about the specifics in smart defense later in the show. from a europe reassurance standpoint each country in europe and in the alliance has a different view of this. herein european nations are the ones most disturbed by it. they feel that sort of the territorial threat from russia a little bit more acutely than folks in western europe do. is europe less safe with fewer american troops in it and what are some the assurances that nato and the united states have to give some of the partner nations to comfort them a little bit to work through this transition. >> very important in our alliance is to make sure that we take into account the point of all allies the sensibilities
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and sensitivities and history and culture of everyone and come to a consensus decision on how to react to the environment. you have to say that some have different perceptions but the possible risks around the nations. the importance of having american troops on the ground in europe is the same as it was in 1949. no difference to it. the number is an issue. my mind possible in the modern ages to compensate numbers by more political engagement and by other ways of reassuring we can have more exercises. give more visibility to the forces which are there and to prepare to use them in case something will happen. >> one of the things you spend time thinking about is as you said exercise is an innovative ways of creating that kind of engage. under the idea that you aren't going to get more money to do this but the threats aren't
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going to go away strategically. what are the ways that your command in particular is going to try to facilitate novel and new ways of doing business and what are some of those novel and new ways of doing business. >> the, again, i come back to discuss it later. right now on to the chicago and beyond is a small defensive initiative. we will go into this later. another way is the way we dramatically reorganize our education and training environment. using-- making better use of all of the capabilities of each nation. making the awareness possible for every single force what's available, where, which cost before the problem for example and also in part making the best possible use of all of the very important technology development that enable us to have very realistic very pragmatic with less cost and less expenses. >> are one of the ways of doing
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that sort of pooling and sharing is obviously a very important concept where equipment would be pooled to be used by member nations as well as specialization where each will not do broad set of missions but also specialize highly on fewer of them. can training be one of those places where you can do much more effective pooling and sharing as well as -- >> we can do much better because if we can network all of the training visibility which exist we improve the situation quite a bit. we adapt to our training more to the current environment and the threats and risks. we use modern technology and have this changing environment. diminishing of presence in europe plus from naigs and the u.s. i think finding better ways to exercise and getting more opportunities to our men and women in uniform to exist together is one of the major --
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that glue of the alliance. >> do you think there will also be more mass mobilization exercises, something that akin to what we used to do in the cold war but in a more short notice and more bare base where all of a sudden you say everybody has to mobilize and go someplace in large enough numbers to be reassuring but send a strategic message sometimes. >> the issue of -- it means that you think that there is a massive threat somewhere. so we have to adapt to our training to the assessment of a environment and to the ambition of the alliance. there are many ways to bring reassurance maybe not organizationing that using as we did in the past. >> so do you think it's more certain time command post exercises that could be important doing that kind of thing? >> we need to be ready to go. we may want to organize larger size between need to show presence with everywhere and
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also to face different obstacles. >> more distributed matter. >> more distributed and more modern. >> up next,
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we a back with french general, nato supreme allied commander transformation the top european officer based in the united states. sir, let's go to the question of smart defense. you mentioned a few times. what exactly is smart defense? what does it hope to accomplish and what are the details of the
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strategy? >> smart defense in a nutshell is a way to make sure the alliance collectively maintains abilities to its levelup contribution and put through all missions mandated by the head of the government despite current economic difficulties we live through. smart defense a change in mind set. a change in behaveiers as far as capability is concerned when i say capability the whole spectrum from -- the training and deployment. >> and down to industrial base as well. >> involve industry very much in our thinking. smart defense is giving us the ability to do better with less resources. and to do better we need to do more together. more cooperation, more specialization by design. >> what are the top priorities under that schema? if you were going to give here are the top three or four priorities or five priorities we have to have both in terms of the capabilities but in ways
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to achieve those. >> not want to reinvent the wheel. problem is with nato. we have many initiatives in the past. we know what we need. we base our work now on lessons of the past and lessons from operations and operations or just finish operations like libya. we look at with a we could have done better and then this is the bedrock which we build the initiative. the fact that this time it's not only the top gun approach. it's the nation deciding by themselves what do they want to. do where do i have initial interest that can be for realliance. >> one of the challenges historically has been the nations want to preserve their capability under their own flag, industrial and otherwise there is sign that some of that stuff is really changing. even france has made some industrial decisions that have been surprising to some observers, for example in terms of domestic manufacturers. do you think that -- it can
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have the opposite effect where folks will focus their limited resources on preserving some of the things they see dear to themselves. which way do you think it will break. will it break toward greater sort of protectionism or nationalism or shift toward a more broader understanding, wait a minute, we have to do more collectively together and trading off national capability. >> my own experience working in the past has been this toor this time you have -- what's new is occupation and political will there is. nations want to do more together because they see in light of the current crisis they cannot continue doing everything alone. every nation has a different approach depending on the culture and history are sovereignty a nation might be able to give up and to attain and this is normal. but something which is important is also to take into account the weight of industry inside each nation. those nations who do have an industry which plays a role in
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defense will always think a different output with consequences. >> and small one. >> industrial strategic decisions aren't new. what are -- you talked about ql libya. in your mind is somebody who is one of the important players and the lessons learned and spreading them across the alliance. what are the top and enduring lessons of afghanistan and libya? >> afghanistan isn't finished yet. it's difficult to draw up the lessons right now. we were in the transition phase. specifically libya. strategic surprises. we need to be ready to face any possible threat or risk across the whole spectrum, two, the advantage of playing on both ground coalition and the alliance. three, the we need to make sure we have the right expertise in our own command structure and four, the weight of what we call our enablers.
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things that do not -- which come out possible. >> do you think that there is a will knowing because the united states -- the united states took a back seat role but played an integral role in terms of being the back bone of the operation. is there a will to start to address some of those backbone short comings whether it's in isr or aerial refueling precision munitions, et cetera that libya evidenced on the european side? >> i wouldn't say u.s. has take an back seat role. all nations have contributed in the operation of libya albeit directly or through common funding of assets or common manning of a command structure. everybody has played an important role. but the way the u.s. has this time not led the whole operation from scratch has been i would be a wake up call and take into account in the way we
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develop capabilities right now in various parts of the alliance. >> there is a question that folks have about a capability gap. obviously long time discussion between the united states and europe. but there is a fear that this gap is going to widen given that europe is likely to spend less than the united states. obviously at any point. as the united states starts to shift its emphasis and focus to start fighting in more contested areas. one of the areas is operate in anti-access environments where libya was a permissive environment. what sosht of electrical focus that european countries have to make particularly european nato allies to wrap their minds if we are sent to an iran situation or some other place where we can operate in an area that is in much more contested area than for example a libya or an afghanistan? >> basically i think we will always be different in the output of defense institutions in all nato countries look at
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the sheer size. so the differences is normal. i would challenge one gap. there is a difference and bridge through -- and this is the heart of the mission we have in act to bring the ability both in equipment in training and all aspects of combat. if you look at the gunnison, for example. the inclusion of realtime pictures and video for qrun integration. this is something that is not integral at the beginning. you want video you have to work with your own mission system. if you look at intelligence sharing, there was a lack of intelligence sharing between -- we have developed an afghan mission network that enables us to exchange of even secret information and everybody is at the same level of information and knowledge. this is the way to which what you call a gap and we call a
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we are back with the general the former chief of the french air force who is now the commander of nato's command
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transformation. let me start off in this last segment with something that both defense secretary panetta and dempsey said. america is changing its strategy because the nature of warfare is changing. we are transitioning from afghanistan into a different future. nato in fact will be doing that in 2014 in transitioning to the future. as you look out there, what are the changes you see in warfare and what are the trends that you will have to start getting the alliance ready for? >> i think the main change to go away from the large, very large corporations. we still prepare for major operations in case there is a threat to the allies. but we go from this major operations in a member nation to things which are much more defused and more difficult to
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identify. when we counterterrorism and we start canceling -- all these individuals are there that can pull many strings military sometimes with quite bit of equipment we see now from nations have submarines. >> guided musicians. >> exactly. or we can pull the string and all this continues to be in sequentially. a new very difficult to progress where we get prepared to because engagement is not reducing. it's broadening. >> and that was what increases your focus on both inner operatability and counter-ser-- surveillance. >> and various acts what we call in nato the comprehensive approach or the whoafl government approach. there are so many people engaged in the class and the military is one ever the act. sometimes the main one and
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sometimes the only one but only one of the actor. >> it's very important enabling one. the next major summit is in chicago in may. what are the top priorities for that meeting? what are we looking fiewrd to seeing coming out of the alliance. >> chicago will be a guarantee to reaffirm this strong strength of this link through -- with the four main topics one is transition in afghanistan. what do we do during the transition and beyond that. one is defense. end of a mission that was in lisbon and we will declare interim operation capability in chicago for that. >> whether or not the russia likes it or not ultimately? >> our hope is to find an agreement with russia. negotiations are ongoing. one is partnerships and we could see doing the afghanistan and -- the important partnership. interoperateability and add-ons
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by partner nations to our operations qand capability development the focus being on smart defense. >> do you think one ever the things which is always court of baffled me a little bit, is that you guys were located down in norfolk originally because you were collocated with the u.s. forces command that command was disbanded last year as a cost saving measure by the u.s. government. does it really make sense for you to be located down there or does it make better sense to be located up here in washington. >> i see we work very much with what is left from the norfolk area. second point, has dramatically increased relationship i had with the authorities in washington on all sides of the house and when we have i guess more condictivity, higher level of relationship and more mutual ability of the work. now the location of the
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headquarters, i feel very well and very well in the norfolk area the location of headquarters in nato decision. >> in 30 seconds or so we have left, you said that one of your most important things is to increase transatlantic defense cooperation. what kind of transatlantic defense industrial base do we need to serve the alliance's needs. >> we need to make sure that industry is playing hand in hand with us. i cannot tell you we need this issue with that. i am trying to address all parts of industry not only those that are leveled but all that can have an impact on the industry. we have a level of partnerships with both sides of the atlantic. we need go to the major cchs and find a good way to the relationship with small and medium sizedded businesses because there is much to work with us. we need make sure if we develop a strong relationship with industry to help us identify the trends, technology of future environment and employment of new technologies and hope for through this
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initiative to reduce both the time duration of the cycles of developm
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