1 October 1998
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See also the informative DTRA Web site.
Thursday, October 1, 1998 - 10:00 a.m.
Presenter: Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. John J. Hamre
(Also participating in the briefing are Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Technology Jacques Gansler and DTRA Director Jay Davis)
Dr. Hamre: First I really would like to introduce, of course you know Jacques Gansler, and it's not true that I caused that injury. He's still too athletic and had a sports injury. Jay Davis is going to be coming up momentarily. Jay is the Director of the Defense [Threat Reduction] Agency. His Deputy Director is Major General Frank Moore, who is sitting right beside him.
In the back row are kind of the key actors who have been so instrumental in the existing organizations who are transitioning in. George Ulrich and Dave Tarbel of course are heading them up. Please talk with them if you have any questions specifically about the individual organizations.
This is, I think, an enormously important day. It was ten years ago when the Berlin Wall came down. As with every major change in the security history in the United States, there's a period of some transition when you sort out what was the last world like and what is the new world going to be like. In many ways I think this represents one of the very important milestones in this transition.
We have three organizations that were born in the Cold War and that we are today announcing and standing up a consolidation that really represents the way that this Department has to address the challenges of the next security period in America's defense history. These organizations provided, absolutely, the foundation that's required for this new security era.
The three organizations -- of course first is the Defense Special Weapons Agency which was the old Defense Nuclear Agency, and if you go back in time, this organization was started when we began the Manhattan Project. Its history has been very much central to the entire period of the United States Department of Defense and how it's dealt with nuclear weapons and nuclear deterrence and stockpile stewardship and all those key issues that have evolved here for the last 40 years and are still with us.
The second organization is the On-Site Inspection Agency. This is an organization that kind of represents more toward the tail end of the Cold War. It was created to be the executor of the process under which we and the Soviet Union interacted with each other in establishing the inspection regimes associated with our arms control agreements and became probably one of the most important, the most important organization for the day to day interaction, and in many ways provided the confidence and the reassurance that we needed to have during those really rocky early days when the Berlin Wall came down where we could still have professional interaction with the former Soviet Union and with the newly independent states that emerged. OSIA was that -- very few people know about it, but that key agency helped in that transition.
The third organization is the Defense Technology Security Administration, and Dave Tarbel heads that up. That is an organization that traces its roots back deep into the Cold War period and it was an organization that was set up to prevent militarily useful technology from leaving the United States and falling into the hands of bad people -- not just our former opponents in the Soviet Union, but in general, protecting America's industrial technology and keeping it from falling into the wrong hands.
We went through this last ten years wondering what is the future going to bring, and what we've found is that each of these three organizations becomes essential in the future, but frankly they needed to be brought together, and our view was they needed to be made integrated into a more coherent and interactive organization. Because the new era is a startlingly complicated era, one where national security challenges are far more diverse and far more complex. It no longer has the ease of thinking about it in terms of a communist world and a free world. It's a much more complicated world, and we're seeing the spread of technologies falling into the hands of rogue states, of organizations -- terrorist organizations. We're seeing the proliferation of missiles and chemical weapons and things of this nature that are so unsettling and will largely characterize the security challenge that the United States will face for certainly the next decade and probably well beyond. We needed to have a central organization that was integrated in bringing all of these different strands together in one place, and that's why we created -- that's why Secretary Cohen created the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.
This occurred in the context of a larger streamlining and reorganization under the Defense Reform Initiative. Frankly that has, I think, created some confusion. The bulk of the Defense Reform Initiative was associated with streamlining and cutting excess in the Department of Defense. This is definitely a streamlining initiative, but there is no intention here to cut our capabilities at all. Indeed, this consolidation, the reductions that we have taken have only been in administrative staff. We don't intend any reduction in our capability as we're transitioning these three organizations into the new defense organization this afternoon.
Indeed, our view is that this is likely to be, and I'm sorry to say it, a growth industry in the Department of Defense -- finding ways to mitigate the spread of dangerous technologies, finding ways to contain the proliferation of weapons to other countries, finding ways to lower the threat to the United States and to our allies. That's the mission of this Agency, and frankly, that's probably of growing importance for the Department of Defense.
So even though it is part of a reform initiative in the sense that we're trying to become more efficient, this is an area where we want to become better and we want to become stronger. We, fortunately, start with three remarkable organizations and will grow from there.
I would like to follow up here at this stage, before we get into questions, I would like to introduce Dr. Jacques Gansler. Dr. Gansler is the Under Secretary for Acquisition and Technology. It is under Dr. Gansler that this organization formally resides and reports to Dr. Gansler. There are, of course, so many large and important policy issues that there will be close linkages with our policy organization, but Dr. Gansler is the formal sponsor in the Department for this new Agency. I would ask Dr. Gansler to hobble up to the stage here to talk with you briefly.
Dr. Gansler: They put the cast on two days ago so I'm getting quite flexible now. This is the result of playing one too many volleyball games and I ripped the Achilles muscle. If you see me hopping around the building for the next five weeks, you'll understand why.
Let me pick up on Secretary Hamre's comments in the sense that there was an important statement made, I think, in the Defense Reform Initiative report, and it's what Secretary Cohen has been saying as he's been going around with his bags of sugar and so forth. Namely, and I'll quote it here, "Of the challenges facing the Department of Defense in the future, none is greater than the threat posed by the weapons of mass destruction." In that sense it was one of the major changes we were trying to make, as John was pointing out, in trying to reform the overall organization. It was not intended as an efficiency, but a focus that we were trying to do, to face this really complex set of challenges that this threat represents to us, and a growing threat, unfortunately. So some of the changes we've had to make were institutional. This is an institutional one. There will be others that we have to make that go well beyond the institutional aspect of it.
It's, needless to say, an extremely, very, very difficult task to try to stop the spread and to counter the spread of weapons of mass destruction. It's DTRA that we're going to count on to provide the central focus and the leadership, and I want to emphasize that. This is not a passive role at all that we're asking for them to take. It's a very active role that we're asking them to take -- new initiatives, new directions that we can pursue as this threat continues to evolve in the early 21st Century.
I might, on a personal note, mention that during my own nomination hearing which was now I guess over ten months ago, I stressed that this was one of the areas that I thought I had to personally spend a good deal of time on and that the Department had to spend a good deal of time on, namely the growing threat of weapons of mass destruction -- chemical, biological, nuclear, and the delivery vehicles. DTRA will be doing this through a wide variety of approaches, whether it be in terms of treaty compliance, cooperative threat reductions, counterproliferation, active deterrence, etc. There's a whole domain of areas that we need to look at in terms of countering this threat.
So very, very critical. I personally end up having some of the responsibilities directly by law in terms of the Nuclear Weapons Council, and of course in my role, as John mentioned, in terms of having the responsibility for this organization. I also went out and got for my Director of Defense Research and Engineering, Hans Mark, because he had such a strong background in this nuclear area as well, so he can help us in this area. But there's no question that between Hans and I and Jay and Frank and all the others who are involved, and particularly Dr. Hamre who has played a really major role in the formulation of this, and John didn't bring that up. His modesty leads him to that. But he personally has been a leader of this activity.
I think the first responsibility that I felt I had in trying to set up this organization that John and I spent a lot of time working on was who do you hire to run it, because if it's going to be successful it has to be well led. So we did spend a good deal of time trying to make sure we had some people who would be leading this organization who could provide that leadership and had the right background for it. Fortunately, we believe that Dr. Jay Davis who we hired from Livermore [Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory], and Major General Frank Moore, who actually was working for me and I was willing to sacrifice him -- he was running our special security programs -- that represent an ideal combination of the civilian and military mix that we require in this area, and with strong backgrounds.
Dr. Davis, as you probably know, is particularly well versed in the field of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. He is by training a nuclear physicist and of course he's served a great deal of time at Livermore. He's also served as a scientific advisor to the United Nations and has direct on-site inspection experience with the United Nations and Iraq. In fact one of the things when we were interviewing him, he showed me this picture of him standing out there in the desert as part of his on-site inspection activity. He was Director of the Center for Accelerated Mass Spectrometry, and he is also Associate Director of Environmental Programs at Lawrence Livermore and that's where he got involved a great deal in the chemical and biological type activities.
So we're very pleased that we were able to get Dr. Davis to take on this particularly challenging position. We're going to ask Jay to kind of cover for himself and Frank what we're actually trying to do with this organization. So let me turn it over at this point to Jay.
Dr. Davis: I'm going to carefully stay out of your way in case. I don't want to contribute if something goes bad here.
Dr. Gansler: I'm learning.
Dr. Davis: This is all an experiment, right? Well done.
Thank you very much Dr. Hamre and Dr. Gansler. I thought in introducing myself to you I'd touch briefly on three topics, and we can go through some of the questions you might have and take a look at what we have on the charts up here.
Those are my experiences relevant to the mission of this Agency, the significance of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency at this time, and sort of my vision for the future of it. As Dr. Gansler said, I'm by training a nuclear physicist, but by practice a research manager and an engineering construction manager. I do have experience in most of the disciplines that are relevant to the understanding and controlling of the threats of mass destruction. That experience ranges from work on detection techniques for verification of the INF and START Treaties to the development of toxicological methods to look at low level exposure to chemical agents.
As a manager I've done a thing that I think is useful. I've built very successful multidisciplinary organizations that could do multiple missions and have led the sorts of organizational mergers and integrations of the type that have to be successfully executed to make this Agency accomplish the goals we've set out for it.
The creation of the Agency comes at a very significant time for the United States, having very successfully out-fought, out-created, and outlasted a focused ideological threat and physical threat in terms of communism. We now have to deal, as John Hamre and Jack have said, with a much less focused threat.
The dispersal of weapons of mass destruction capabilities into the hands of small groups that are driven by much more varied motivations than those of the past presents a threat that unfortunately may be obvious to us only after the fact in some cases. After they've acted. We're going to need to develop for the Agency and for other components of the government, anticipation and speed of response that's required in fashions that I think we did not experience during the Cold War, particularly with regard to these threats within the American homeland itself.
It's very important to restress the fact that the components that come into DTRA are doing their current missions very successfully. I have in my past been a fixer of organizations. This is not a fixer job. Not a fixer of a broken organization. But what we're expecting in the future is the synergy, integration, and outreach that was not required of these agencies as individual components in the past.
The mission statement we adopted is very, very clear. We have to continue what we're doing at present which is reduce the present threat and prepare against the future threat in ways we've not done in the past.
The missions with respect to the present threat are well defined, and again, very successful. To deal with the future threats, and the future may be uncomfortably close -- in fact you could argue in some cases the future may be well behind us with some of these instances -- we'll need to build new relationships to other partners, both inside and outside of the Department of Defense.
We have to work with the research and intelligence communities to understand both the possible evolution of threats and the intentions of those that would carry them out. I frequently say in the old days with the Soviet Union, you could do the simple exercise that said capability, which was easy to see and photograph; sort of skip over intention because they wouldn't have built that stuff if they didn't have an intention to use it; and land on threat with some confidence. In the case of the domestic application of a biological weapon, for example, capability sits everywhere, you know almost nothing about intent unless you in fact have penetrated a fraternal or nearly religious organization. So the multiplication of those two together to get threat is a much more uncertain activity. It makes it much harder to do.
We will have to respond and anticipate in ways we hadn't before to meet that challenge and to create these partnerships this Agency will need to build one of the things we've been assigned -- a very compelling intellectual architecture for response and control of the threats of weapons of mass destruction. That is a principal part of the leadership task we've been given. It's not a small task. It will be the business of our senior managers, the members of the Advanced Concepts and Systems Office, which is a planning cell within the organization, and the best and brightest of the staff we have in the Agency. Those will be joined with a very impressive group of people who bring us outside technical access and outside Agency experience, the members of the Threat Reduction Advisory Committee appointed by the Secretary of Defense.
In my early tours and 100 days here in town I have seen a great deal of enthusiasm and willingness on the partners of this Agency to begin working with us, both within DoD and outside DoD, to participate in that task. So I'm very, very confident that it can be done. This is an immensely difficult job. I wouldn't under-exaggerate that difference. I think it's one that will take us a decade to do and we're well started on it today.
I'd be glad to answer questions and refer the technical ones I can't to the experts sitting over here.
Q: You talked about the intelligence aspect of it. So there will be an intelligence component to this Agency? And related to that, a lot of the criticism that the intelligence community gets is that they're not working together. They've got all this mass of information and who's looking at it the right way? So how are you going to work, include intelligence in your organization and work with outside intel?
A: (Davis): We have sitting on our advisory committee members of the intelligence community, but the intent is to be much more active than that. We will be working with the intelligence community to come up with an integrated set of threat assessments, particularly domestic ones, and do a thing I call creation of scenarios, which is coupling the intelligence to how you would really act. You produce the best five or six scenarios you can, for example, for domestic events, and then play them out and ask yourself how good was our response, what in anticipation would have made the response better, how do you go back to the intelligence community and tell them to look for something different?
I've had a strong positive response from the intelligence people who have said to me, task us, tell us what different you would like from us. So it's not a matter of handing the product through the door. They've shown quite a bit of enthusiasm for better tasking to the job we need.
Q: So your Agency would be more proactive in this area?
A: (Davis): Yes. I've partly in my past been involved in planning for emergency response, and if you plan for emergency response the first question you ask is how far before the event could I have understood something, could I have picked something up? So we will be going back, as partners with the intelligence community, and working scenarios both directions in time.
Q: You'll be like a consumer, but you won't be generating...
A: (Davis): We would not generate it. But what we will do is interact with them to say study this differently, look for that differently, and try to bring in... It's an interesting connection to try to make, try to bring the people in, biology's a good example, the biological research community which is mostly industrial and academic, into the process of anticipating what might a risk be five years down the road. Not just look at the risk we can identify today, but help the intelligence community anticipate the future risk.
Q: Does the Agency, the idea of forming the Agency is an old one, or is it the response of the fact that all these reports coming that Saddam Hussein is still (unintelligible) nuclear capabilities and also the bin Laden factor?
A: (Davis): John might answer that better than I.
A: (Hamre) This really grew very much out of Secretary Cohen's review last fall, about a year ago at this time. When he first came into office he put his priority on the Quadrennial Defense Review, which was really looking at our warfighting elements, and then he said I couldn't get all that done by May when that was due, so in the summer and into the fall he had a bunch of us that were looking at more of the supporting structure and the defense agency structure.
What grew out of that was a view we weren't well organized to deal with the cross-cutting nature of counterproliferation and the challenges that that posed. These three organizations that are being brought together -- along with other elements in OSD and in the Army -- all had various parts of the responsibilities to the broader problem, but you had to bring them all together to try to get one group that could focus on it. We decided it really makes more sense to get a single organization for the focus. So it really grew out of that review last fall.
I would say it represents a culmination of years worth of change. For example, the Defense Special Weapons Agency, which was earlier the Defense Nuclear Agency, went through an important evolution to broaden itself so that it was involved, for example in chemical weapons and protection, especially. DSWA has done some tremendous work helping our armed forces that are deployed overseas figure out how best and how better they can operate in a chemical environment. So this transition's been underway for some time, but we felt that we needed to really change the organization to make it more efficient.
Q: If I may, can I just do one follow-up? Senator Sam Brownback yesterday held a press conference and he said that he took very seriously the article that was published in the Washington Post yesterday that Saddam Hussein in 1997 and 1996 under the supervision and surveillance of the U-2 was able to develop further his nuclear capabilities. Do you take this seriously? Do you think it is really possible that he has been able to do that despite the fact that the monitoring regime in place?
A: (Hamre) We have never advocated to close the nuclear file, as you know. Some people have felt that the United States is being too conservative on this matter, but we've never advocated closing the nuclear file on the UN inspection and sanctions that are in place through the resolutions.
I really don't want to get into certain specifics because I don't think I can do that here at this press conference, but this is something that we have to continue to monitor. That's why the Secretary has been so adamant. The issue here is the compliance of the Iraqi government in complying with the United Nations resolutions. That's really the issue. Monitoring is associated with that, but that's not the central issue. It's complying with the resolutions.
Q: Going back to the force protection aspect of it, there is obviously a force protection aspect to DTRA?
A: (Davis) Uh huh.
Q: Can you give us a little bit more on that?
A: (Davis) It might be good to flip to one of the charts that shows the organization chart. The force protection activity which we execute for the Joint Chiefs as a result of the tasking after Khobar Towers becomes one of the directorates in this organization. I share, unfortunately, Dr. Hamre's assessment of that. The bad news is it might be a growth activity. It's one done very, very competently. After the embassy bombings we were asked to loan people to the State Department for their assessment of other sites. We apply that to U.S. facilities abroad and domestically. That will continue to run at 100 to 90 inspections a year. So it's an integral part of the organization.
Q: The other nuclear stockpile type - DSWA's old mission will continue on as...?
A: (Davis): It continues in what's called Nuclear Support, which is basically the partner with the Department of Energy and the stockpile stewardship. So the Department of Defense's command and control system for the nuclear weapons, the transport monitoring, the safety and surety of the devices, being a partner in the technical and engineering aspects of that with DOE are executed within this Agency as well.
Q: One area you haven't touched on is technology security. Could you talk a little bit about how your organization is going to strive to make the export license application process more user friendly? There's a perception in Washington on the commercial industry in defense that because of the China allegations and, you know, that mark up, authorization mark that gives you more, the license applications going to (inaudible), that the process is going to become more cumbersome.
A: (Hamre) Can I answer this, or at least try to answer it, Tony?
This is a huge and very complex question and there are several dimensions to it. There is the dimension of technology security, and that is keeping critical technologies from falling into the hands of bad actors, as it were. You brought up the issue which many people in industry complain about which is our current process is very inefficient, and it is cumbersome, and it takes a long time. I just went through a ten month process related to encryption and how we're going to deal with encryption -- really kind of a prototypical example of the difficulty, the tradeoff that we have to strive between genuinely trying to help to foster American technology, because we do really want it to dominate the world. That's in our interest. At the same time, to not let it go out and fall into the hands of people that have evil intentions toward us.
I had a conversation earlier this week with Strobe Talbot, my counterpart over at the State Department. We have launched here in DoD a fundamental reassessment of the whole foreign military sale process, export control, that sort of thing. It's underway, it's in the early stages. My discussion with Strobe Talbot earlier this week was to say we need to start sitting down with you very early to work out a lot of those details, how it's going to work.
We need to get away from being caught in monitoring lots of technology transactions which are not crucial to national security so that we can devote our resources to those key things which are crucial to our national security, and there are many. I think we would be naive to think that this isn't an important dimension to our future.
We have to do a fair reassessment of where we're going, and it's just starting now. We've reached out to industry through the Defense Science Board. Dr. Gansler has commissioned a task force in the Defense Science Board to work with us on that.
Just the other day I received a letter of request from the American Bar Association that has some subcommittees that focus on export licensing and things of this nature. They want to partner with us on this.
Our position has always been we are very happy to cooperate in the streamlining of the export license control process, but our primary interest is first the security interest. That's going to be our first concern in designing a more efficient process.
A: (Davis) If I could add to that a bit, too, I think part of the enthusiasm we have for bringing the technology security activity into an organization where it will be mixed with a very, very high technological and operational component is that we'll have a better ability to look forward at what might be the risk of letting something out, or what might be the new risks as opposed to looking backwards in a very negative licensing standpoint, if you will, to look at gee, the risks we knew about two years which we now will control. We've all had a fair amount of enthusiasm for that.
Q: A two part question. What do you see as the greatest threat right now? I'm assuming they are countries like Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and terrorists in general. But also related to that, how will you, the Agency, work with these countries or deal with these countries when you don't have even a strained relationship like with the Soviets where even as the Berlin Wall is coming down you're still working...
A: (Davis) The (inaudible) wasn't good enough, huh?
A: (Davis) I can parse it into two parts. First, where does the threat come from? In fact, I think, the greater concern most of us have is not for the threat carried out by a country, because that's probably traceable to and at some point identifiable to a country, but in fact what are called transnational groups, the groups that are amorphous, that operate across national borders, that might choose to carry out terrorist events in the United States primarily for political or, if you will, social reasons. So I have as much concern for those, particularly in the area you pointed out earlier, the intelligence end -- how do you couple it to intelligence -- to pick up the small group of 20 or 30.
The bad news about the present world is that weapons of mass destruction which were once the result of multibillion dollar investments are now basically available out of a good biology lab at a good four year college if you have access to it for 60 or 90 days. So the question of finding the actor is much, much harder.
The deterrent capability of the United States is still very effective against national states. It's not so clear that it has that same effect on transnational organizations. So part of our threat assessment is understanding that spectrum.
To come to the second part, how you try to build relationships with countries you might even have bad relationships with at present. There are, if you will, lateral applications of many of the things done by the On-Site Inspection Agency at present under the treaty regimes. I had a fair amount of excitement a couple of weeks ago, I got to look at the aircraft being set up for the Open Skies Treaty. You look at that aircraft which has very clearly defined roles in overflights of the 27 countries when the treaty finally comes into effect, and you realize the same tool could be taken under multinational auspices if you chose to, into an area where you might not have very good relations for tension relaxation purposes. It is not at all far fetched to think of seconding that technical capability to the UN and overflying some other part of the world with multiple parties on board. A fair amount of politics and policy to make it happen, but we have the technical capability to carry that out and could offer it.
So I think we have the ability to creep into the general business of relaxation of tensions with some of these assets. Part of having an integrated advisory committee and study cell concept is to look for new applications of the things we have, with properly not getting too far in front of our headlights.
Q: As you start your activity, what are going to be your priorities for R&D in terms of the detection? Is it countering lethally, non-lethally? Can you give us a sense of...
A: (Davis): I think there are certainly two or three priorities I have that are primarily in the chemical and biological area because that's the new mission and the new uncertainty. We execute, as part of the chem/bio defense program here the acquisition of an enormous amount of hardware. The Army is the executive agent to outfit by four or five more years 75 percent of American forces so they can fight through a chemical/biological environment.
The question for me in the R&D area, and it involves coupling to both DARPA and the Department of Energy which do a fair amount of work there, is if that's the equipment I'm currently buying for the warfighter, what R&D do I need to do for the next generation? It's back to this question of how would the threat evolve? The biological threat ten years from now is not the present threat.
How would I look at the equipment we're procuring for the military, reoptimize it for civilian application as part of our support to first responders to domestic events? The mission profile, if you will, for a civilian first responder sprinting into a building for 20 minutes to bring people out is very different than that of an infantryman who intends to fight 14 hours in the equipment he's in. So how do you reoptimize the technical capability the military is at present the largest buyer of for civilian applications. We're not going to buy it and provide it for civilians, but it's an R&D question we can work on.
The other one is the general question of sensors and warning networks for this. The unpleasant phrase that people in the business use about a biological attack is you will know it when it comes to you out of the autopsy rooms. It's not like a bomb or not like a chemical attack. You may have been attacked five days ago or six days ago and begin to notice it now when you take casualties among your pathologists and doctors and nurses.
So the general question of sensors, sensor sets, integrating them and understanding how early a response could you get is certainly very high on my list.
We don't own that uniquely. As I pointed out, both DARPA and DOE have a fair amount of activity there. So the question is do we understand, this is again an assignment from Dr. Hamre and Dr. Gansler, do we understand the nation's portfolio? Is there a hole in it? If so, we have to bring to them the information that needs to be filled and use the bully pulpit to get it done.
Q: Is there enough money going into this area?
A: (Davis) A hard question to answer. Ask in 180 days when we've done the study, I think would be a fair answer.
A: (Hamre) Can I augment that to say we're in the process of revising our five year plan. We do it every year. Of course we're in the middle of that. If we were to look at the budget that's on the Hill and the five year plan associated with that, there's not enough money that's going into this area. We are going to be increasing funding in this general area to include research and protective activity. You'll see that in January when we submit our budget proposal.
Q: (Inaudible) (Laughter)
A: (Davis) More. Let me just say more.
A: (Hamre) And it's more when we don't necessarily have an increase. I don't know what's going to happen in terms of our top line, but we have already made a commitment to add hundreds of millions more in this area.
Q: Working with Special Operations Forces here, there's a tantalizing little item in here about optimizing their capabilities, their (inaudible) capabilities. Can you give us a sense of what cooperation you're going to start with USSOCOM in their counterattack role and counterproliferation?
A: (Davis) Well, part of our tasking -- it does say special weapons up there. As you can imagine, that can cover a multitude of sins. So part of the task is unique capabilities, one off weapons, or few off weapons. It's also sensor sets that help you understand the nature of the target you might go after. Obviously there's a limit to how far one is going to discuss that here.
But part of our R&D role, particularly in the Special Weapons Directorate is giving them new capabilities for unique missions. And as well, since they have some, since Special Operations Low Intensity Conflict has domestic support roles as well, understanding how we work with them and back them up in that area.
A: (Hamre) Could I... Again, forgive me for augmenting Dr. Davis' answer.
We, the Department of Defense, do not have the lead responsibility in the United States when there is an incident and it involves terrorist activity. If it involves terrorist activity with chemical or biological weapons, we face the prospect where the event will be so -- potentially so far reaching that it will very quickly bring us in. It's inherently a law enforcement, an emergency response responsibility of the United States, but we're the only people in the entire federal government that have mobilization capabilities. So we know we're going to be deeply involved. We know that consequence management is going to be a primary task for the Department of Defense in the future.
Dr. Davis' organization will have an important relationship to that but the foot soldiers, as it were, in consequence management, emergency response, augmenting the first responders is going to really fall on our active and reserve military personnel and very much on the shoulders of reservists. We are in a different way addressing that issue to try to find ways for the Department of Defense to become more efficient and responsive in augmenting first responders when we have these kinds of incidences.
Dr. Davis' organization is going to be helping to say what is the nature of the threat? What could it be? What sorts of investments should we be making in our second responders to make them more capable and useful in helping first responders? It's going to be closely, closely related, but it goes beyond just this organization. It's going to have to be involved with our military...
A: (Davis) If I could have the last thing you took down back up that shows the org chart, there's a useful point to make here. This organization has a box up here near the Director's office called Senior Advisors. There are, organic to it, senior advisors from the State Department, from the FBI, the Department of Energy is putting one in there. So the FBI and the Department of Justice own on a large scale the domestic responsibility for response to terrorism. We will be working very, very closely through the senior FBI agent who is part of my organization, to understand how to optimize that relationship.
As Dr. Hamre said, there's no question who owns the incident. It's how do we best tune what to do if the incident gets larger than their capabilities. So that's a very early day activity. We intend to be interlaced very, very strongly with the FBI in that planning.
Q: It seems that judging by the tests that have been going on in Philadelphia and DC with local law enforcement handling a chem/bio attack that they're not very well prepared right now, obviously. So what is DoD going to be doing in order to get more involved in this process of training and bringing them up to speed...
A: (Hamre) If I may, two years ago, three years ago, Congress passed legislation in the Defense Authorization Bill. It was an amendment sponsored by Senator Nunn, Senator Lugar, and Senator Domenici, that directed that we, the Department of Defense, get more directly involved with first responders. It specifically told us that we had to train first responders in 120 of the largest cities in the United States. So we have started that program.
This has led to a fair amount of confusion in the country, frankly, because they see the Department of Defense coming in and trying to offer training, but we're not by law authorized to give them equipment or to provide resources for equipment. That really falls in the channel of either the Federal Emergency Management Administration or the Justice Department.
This fall the Administration has been working very carefully, and within a few days I believe we will announce how the federal government is going to organize itself more efficiently so that first responders don't have this confusing problem of where do you go in Washington.
The incidences that you are referring to where we've had some training exercises... First of all, we need to say this is an enormously hard problem. It takes fundamentally different tactics if it's a chemical terrorist weapon or a biological terrorist weapon. If it's a chemical weapon, you want to get people out of the area as soon as possible. If it's a biological weapon, you want to contain people in the area. These are fundamentally different tactics that you have to evolve, and it takes awhile to get diagnosis on the scene and say what are you dealing with? What actually have you got here? What is the problem? A lot of first responders don't have that diagnostic capability.
So what looks to you like confusion on the part of police forces or HAZMAT units isn't confusion at all, it's the inherent uncertainty that comes with an episode.
Everybody is learning dramatically from this experience. We are learning how we ought to be tailoring ourselves. One of the things the Department of Defense is doing in conjunction with the rest of the federal government is to become more useful to the first responders in providing diagnostic capabilities.
So we have formed and are forming ten, what we call Rapid Assessment Initial Detection teams. They're in the National Guard. These are teams that within four hours can get anyplace within one of the federal regions and can start providing diagnostic skills to the local first responders. Because they can't afford to buy the kind of sophisticated bio detection equipment that we are buying. They can't afford to buy the field diagnostic capabilities for chemical weapons and this sort of thing.
So we are providing, we think, a niche role for the Department of Defense which is this quick ability to provide diagnostic help to local first responders. First responders still have to be the ones that organize the initial effort, and we've got to help them protect themselves in this environment.
Our view is that then we are largely going to be triggered in our larger secondary role which is to come in and provide large reinforcing capabilities. There isn't anybody in the federal government that can provide barrier nursing in field conditions like the Department of Defense. That's the sort of thing we're going to have to bring to the theater. We'll have to bring MP forces that can provide some order and protection. We're going to have to, everything from food, I mean we're going to have a lot of people who don't feel it's going to be safe to go downtown to the grocery store anymore but are going to need food. So there are lots of things that we're going to have to do.
Much of this is going to have to emerge from detailed wargaming, modeling and assessments. Dr. Davis' organization will be in the heart of that, and we will be setting up exercises with first responders coordinated here in the federal government with FEMA and Justice and others. I think within just a few days we'll be in a position to announce how we're going to do all of that.
Q: To follow up with that, and you answered part of it with the fact that you're going to have the National Guard provide some sensors with extensive equipment. But earlier, Dr. Davis, you had mentioned that you were going to figure out five or six most likely scenarios, and right now they're conducting the exercises in 120 cities such as Toledo and Buffalo perhaps that might not be targets such as New York or Washington. Are you going to be focusing, are you going to be doing any extra exercises or focusing more on Washington and more likely targets?
A: (Davis) I think the focus on those scenarios is not so much geographic as it is technical. Let me amplify Dr. Hamre's remarks.
One of the hardest things about the chemical and biological event is that unlike a bomb going off you're not sure what happened and when it happened. You don't even know what the event is, frequently, for some time. It's an interesting exercise to go back and replay the time line of the Japanese response to the sarin release in their subways, because the general opinion of the people that have second guessed that from the emergency response world is that they did that absolutely superbly. They sort of managed that event as best as it possibly could be. But unlike a weapon or a bomb going off, there's an enormous period of uncertainty when you're not even sure what's happened. So your response is clumsy and fragmentary.
Our interest is not so much what is the geographic scenario, the geographic location in which a thing might happen, but what are the credible threats? What could be executed? At what scale, what device, what delivery mechanism, what location generically?
So, I think, as Dr. Hamre says, the first round on those is basically wargaming and scenario playing when you do these tabletop exercises. The second one would then actually to be to go to the field and try to play a scenario out and see if the response in the field in a real location looked like what you created. But it's a fairly complicated iterative process.
Q: Can I ask a DRI-related streamlining question? Can you give a sense of scope by way of savings, personnel, dollars, workspace being saved by putting everybody under one roof way out, out of harm's way here?
A: (Hamre) Tony, for this particular organization what we're going to do with the savings we get from eliminating duplicative administrative staff is going to be enough to cover the cost of consolidation. So we're not trying to save money in this area. And frankly, I rather suspect in this area because it's sadly going to be a growth sector, that we may have to increase resources. We've already done that in our budget preparation and this organization is going to be administering some of that.
So this isn't - this one, even though it's Defense Reform Initiative and it's embedded because it is a reform for the Department, this isn't to save money.
Can I take one... Forgive me for doing this, but I got a mental block when I was introducing people and Joerg Menzel who is the Deputy Director at OSIA is sitting right here. And Roland LaJoie who has been working with us, was the first Director of OSIA and has been instrumental in helping us with the engineering details of the consolidation here. I know all these gentlemen are perfectly happy to stay and answer any questions. I just volunteered your time. (Laughter)
Q: One question, Dr. Hamre, if you don't mind, it's really not related to this. (Unintelligible), yesterday, is calling for arming Iraqi opposition and he is calling for a new $100 million to be used to give them the kind of arms that is provided to the Bosnian army for training purposes. Can you comment on that? And is that, like, a serious amount of money can really make any difference for Saddam Hussein?
A: (Hamre) Forgive me, this is one where I'm going to have to defer to the Secretary on this issue. This is one where the Secretary has been authoritative in speaking to and I really would have to defer to him. I haven't had a conversation with him about this, so any comment I would make would represent only my personal thinking and not speaking for the Secretary. I really have to defer on it. I'm sorry.
Press: Thank you very much.