US Military Despises Donald Rumsfeld
- Why Our Military Despises Donald Rumsfeld
by Ralph Nader
Civilian control over the military is a long established democratic
tradition in our country. It was the military that was believed by our
founding fathers to be susceptible to plunging our country into
foreign adventure. Presently, however, the boondoggles, crimes and
recklessness of draft-dodging George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and former
Air Force pilot, Donald Rumsfeld, together with their draft-dodging
neo-con associates, have turned this expectation upside down. The
civilians are the war-mongers.
Probably the least told story of the Iraq war-quagmire is the extent
to which the Pentagon military, especially the U.S. Army brass,
disagrees with and despises these civilian superiors. Donald Rumsfeld,
one of the most disliked of the Secretaries of Defense, has spent much
energy making sure that high level dissent in the military is muzzled
and overlayered by his loyalists.
Just last week Rumsfeld demoted three military service chiefs in the
Pentagon hierarchy and replaced them with three loyalists who
previously worked for his buddy Dick Cheney.
Right from the beginning the U.S. Army brass opposed the invasion of
Iraq for both military and strategic reasons. They believed such an
attack would absorb massive human and material resources that would
divert from the chase after the 9/11 terrorists and the resolution of
the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. They disagreed with the paucity of
soldiers that Bush/Cheney and Rumsfeld were to send there. They were
appalled by the lack of post-war planning directives by the
At the 4 star general level, the Army brass knew Saddam Hussein was a
tottering dictator, embargoed, surrounded and contained by the U.S.,
Britain, Turkey, and Israel, and unable to field an army equipped with
minimum loyalty and equipment. They also knew that going to Iraq would
be the gigantic equivalent of batting a large bee hive. To this day
Army commanders in Iraq, most recently General George Casey, recognize
that the U.S. military occupation is a magnet for more and more
terrorists from inside and outside Iraq. CIA Director Porter Goss was
more explicit before Congress last February testifying that occupied
Iraq is a recruiting and training ground for more terrorists who will
return to their countries for more disruption.
When Colin Powell was at the Pentagon, he developed what came to be
known as the Powell Doctrine-know clearly what your military and
political objectives are, follow up with overwhelming force and have a
clear exit plan. Bush/Cheney, Rumsfeld violated this Doctrine. Their
only objective was to topple their former ally, in the Eighties,
Saddam Hussein. After that, they were clueless and surprised by the
To top Army officers, the worst of all worlds is Iraq. Their Chief of
Staff, General Eric Shinseki, after testifying before Congress about
the need for over 300,000 soldiers for any such invasion, found his
retirement accelerated. Draft-dodger Paul Wolfowitz, then number two
in the Pentagon, rejected his estimate and recommended less than half
Retired high military officers, diplomats and intelligence officials,
with good sources inside the Department of Defense, say that the
military is furious with Bush/Cheney. The latter orders torture with
thinly veiled instructions and dubious legal memos and when disclosed,
as at Abu Gharib, the Army takes the rap to its reputation.
Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld start these so-called commando groups, which
included ex-Saddam toughs, and their predictable atrocities against
young Sunni men becomes the U.S. Army's headache to restrain. The idea
behind these outlaw, death squads, reported/ The/ /New York Times
Magazine/ last year, was to enable summary destruction of arbitrary
'suspects' and terrorization of the Sunni population. The Army kept
telling Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld that such Administration-approved mayhem
was backfiring and fueling more hatred by the Sunnis against the U.S.,
its troops, and these hired gangs.
The Administration finally responded by telling the Army to assign
more men to advise and monitor these gangs which the U.S. is equipping
Other sources of irritation within the military is Bush/Cheney making
sure that the fallen soldiers and the injured soldiers are returned in
stealth fashion at Dover Air Force base and Andrews Air Force base
outside of Washington, D.C. Bush/Cheney do this for political reasons,
knowing opposition to the war increases as U.S. casualties mount.
Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld still refuse to count officially U.S. soldiers
who are injured outside a combat situation, again for political
reasons. This keeps the official injury count at about one third of
the real total. Career Army officers do not like their solders being
used this way.
The Army is also upset over the loss of some of their senior officers
and non-commissioned officers to the giant corporate contractors
operating in this cost-plus environment of maximum profit for less
than maximum service. These companies are hiring away these
experienced soldiers with offers that double or triple their salaries
to do the very privatized jobs which the Army used to do for itself.
In a tight skilled manpower situation, the Army finds this drain to be
undermining its mission.
On the surface, Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld are heavy on their photo
opportunities with the troops, heavy with the flattery that these
political tricksters heap on the soldiers and alert to any potential
There was a recent slip up though. At a Pentagon news conference,
November 29th , a reporter asked General Peter Pace, the chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, what should American soldiers in Iraq do if
they witness Iraqi security forces abusing prisoners. The General's
reply: "It is absolutely the responsibility of every U.S. service
member, if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to intervene
and stop it."
Standing next to him, the calculating conniver, Donald Rumsfeld tried
to distort the words of the forthright Pace by saying that American
soldiers only had an obligation to report any mistreatment.
In a nutshell, that is the difference between the Pentagon military
and their arrogant civilian superiors who have disrespected their
judgment and ordered them to shut up and follow unlawful policies.
Meanwhile the quagmire bleeding Iraq continues in its way to bleed
America. Speak up military. Remember the Nuremberg principles.
$2.6 TRILLION Still Missing From Department Of Defense ...
Testimony before the House Appropriations Committee: Fiscal Year
2002 Defense Budget Request As Given by Secretary of Defense Donald H.
Rumsfeld, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Hugh Shelton,
and Comptroller Dov Zakheim, Rayburn House Office Building,
Washington, DC, Monday, July 16, 2001.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Mr. Congressman, thank you very much. Your question
is, of course, right at the heart of an enormously important issue for
the Department of Defense. We have a panel in the Quadrennial Defense
Review on this subject. We have met with it twice in the last two
weeks. We're obviously going to have to meet with it again. It is a
big, broad, complicated subject.
As you know, the Department of Defense really is not in charge of
its civilian workforce, in a certain sense. It's the OPM, or Office of
Personnel management, I guess. There are all kinds of long- standing
rules and regulations about what you can do and what you can't do. I
know Dr. Zakheim's been trying to hire CPAs because the financial
systems of the department are so snarled up that we can't account for
some $2.6 trillion in transactions that exist, if that's believable.
And yet we're told that we can't hire CPAs to help untangle it in many
To see the full testimony
Testimony before the House Appropriations Committee: Fiscal Year
2002 Defense Budget Request
As Given by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff General Hugh Shelton, and Comptroller Dov
Zakheim, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC, Monday, July
REP. LEWIS: If the committee will come to order -- (pause) -- good
morning, Mr. Secretary.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Mr. Chairman, nice to see you.
REP. LEWIS: Let me begin the meeting by expressing my
appreciation for those of you who were so responsive to adjusting your
schedule last week. My bride and I had to spend a little time in
California on a special family matter that had nothing to do with me,
but on the other hand, we want you to know that everything is going
fine, and we're happy to be with you.
Most appreciative of your readjusting today, Mr. Secretary,
General Shelton, Dr. Zakheim.
I wanted to mention, just as an aside, Mr. Secretary, to give you
a sense of the committee's concern about our schedule -- I believe you
know very well that the committee has been very supportive of the
review that you're about. But to put it in some perspective in terms
of our challenges, it was one year ago tomorrow that we were filing
the conference report for the '01 bill. Generally speaking, it
suggested that it's very advisable to have defense matters move well
ahead of the pack, if we possibly can, because there are people in the
place who do believe that there are other priorities beside defense,
no matter what this subcommittee might think.
So this year, because of a number of circumstances, we're going
to be in the midst of that very competitive environment. And so the
committee is going to have rather intensive work to do in the months
We are appreciative of your scheduling problems, but frankly,
this is my first go-round with a new administration that happens to be
my administration, where they want to review the way we've been
spending dollars -- appropriately so. But in the meantime, it's
created some problems and challenges that we will be asking you to
help us with as we go forward.
As the committee comes to order, today the committee is pleased
to welcome the Honorable Donald H. Rumsfeld, secretary of Defense,
second time around; General Hugh Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff; and Dr. Dov Zakheim, the comptroller of the Defense Department.
General Shelton, this may be your last appearance before the
committee, and we want you to know that the committee is very proud of
the some thirty-eight years of dedicated service you've given to our
military forces. And particularly your service over these last years
has been just -- to talk about capping off a career, you have made a
fantastic contribution to the nation's strength, and we want you to
know the committee appreciates that work.
GEN. SHELTON: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
REP. LEWIS: Our witnesses are here to testify on the president's
amended defense budget request for fiscal year 2002. It's taken more
than a usual amount of time, as I suggested, to put this package
together, Mr. Secretary, but we can appreciate the challenges you've
While the department's budget request for the fiscal year that's
ahead of us is $328.9 billion, that is a reflection of 32.6 billion
over last year's enacted level. This represents an increase of 7
percent, taking inflation into account, the largest proposed single-
year increase for defense since the mid-1980s.
Mr. Secretary, for a good many years now, members of this
committee have been pointing out the need for significant funding
increases in support of our national security effort, and there is no
question that with this budget you and the president have recognized
this as well. And I would ask those who would question the size of
this increase to carefully examine where these additional funds would
go. Of the $33 billion increase, some three-quarters, or nearly 25
billion, is in direct support of our men and women in uniform for
increases in pay and medical care, for housing and installations and
for training and operational support. That is the vast majority of the
additional funds you're requesting, and it's really by way of taking
care of the basics. They put our people first, and for that, Mr.
Secretary, I commend you.
Another area of emphasis in this budget lies in the area of
missile defense. I must say that General Kadish had to be doing a
dance over the weekend -- (laughter) -- as we began to face a series
of tests, as he's described it, but a very, very successful
development in terms of the prospect of asking for additional funding
for missile defense. In this area, the administration is bringing
forward a series of proposals which, in terms of policy, priority and
process have already generated debate and no small degree of
controversy. This involves not just questions about the ABM Treaty,
but also over funding priorities within our defense program and
whether and how we can redesign the process for developing and
fielding new technologies to meet new threats.
I hope we are able to engage with you today on these issues
involving missile defense, Mr. Secretary, for they are not only
important in and of themselves, but they speak to a larger challenge
we all must confront; that is, what are the real threats of the future?
Where should we be putting our priorities, and how best can we
move forward once we decide to meet those priorities, for as we all
know, the threat of ballistic missiles is just one of many challenges
that confront our nation and its allies as we move into the years ahead.
These are hard questions, and as we consider this budget, Mr.
Secretary, many fundamental questions still remain unanswered. This
budget does not address changes to war-fighting strategies, the size
and composition of future force structures, nor how to transform our
forces for the future.
We realize that these are issues for the Quadrennial Defense
Review that will be completed later this year, but they're still vital
inputs to the defense appropriations process. And especially where
appropriations are concerned, a major question is: Can we afford, and
how do we best balance the costs of adequately supporting today's
forces, modernizing that force in the near term, and beginning the
process of transformation that force for the demands of the 21st
century? This is a question the committee must grapple with now, and
as we consider the fiscal year 2002 defense budget, we urge you, Mr.
Secretary, to work with us closely and make results from the QDR
available to the committee as soon as possible.
You have rightly noted in your written testimony that the United
States armed forces are the best trained, best equipped, most powerful
military force on the face of the earth. We want you to know that this
committee is proud of that force and the exceptional professionalism
and dedication of all Defense Department personnel, from the newest
recruit, Mr. Secretary, to you and, of course, to General Shelton, who
in the months ahead is probably going to have some phenomenal new
challenges, and we will miss this fantastic service that has been
So, after my good friend, Jack Murtha, has made his remarks, I'd
invite you to summarize your statements and then we'll proceed with
REP. JOHN P. MURTHA (D-PA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, he welcomed you three, but one of the most
important people here is Arlene Lewis, who is with us today. Seldom do
we get the honor of having her, so we welcome Arlene Lewis to this
See her back there?
REP. LEWIS: Thank you. (Chuckles.)
REP. MURTHA: All right.
I'm disappointed, Mr. Secretary. We harped, this committee harped
with the Clinton administration to either reduce the tempo of
operations or increase the budget. We knew that without one or the
other we were going to have an inadequate defense budget. We're going
through the same drill again where this budget is inadequate, in my
I'll say this. Where you put the money, as the chairman said, is
exactly the right place. The thing I hear when I'm out in the field is
problems with health care, the problems with quality of life, the
problems with housing, and you have addressed that issue the best you
could with the amount of money you have available. But as the tempo of
operations stays the same, without reducing that tempo of operations,
we're going down a very treacherous slope, in my estimation, and we're
going to have a difficult time keeping the quality of the troops at
the highest level with this high technology that we address.
The $20 billion, I agree completely with where you distribute it.
The supplemental, we made a suggestion in the supplemental and I
think, I hope that Dr. Zakheim will pay attention to it. We put $200
million into the installations of health care so that we can get ahead
of the curve. Inflation rate is 3 percent in the installations and 13
percent when we buy the care from outside vendors. They need more
nurses, they need more administrators, and so forth, and we tried to
make that change, and I hope that you'll look at that and see if we
can not even do more next year to provide better and more medical care
in the military installations themselves.
But I can't argue with the amount of money that was distributed
to you. I can't argue with any of the priorities that you have set
forward, and look forward to hearing your justification for the budget.
REP. LEWIS: Thank you, Mr. Murtha.
Mr. Secretary, as I have indicated, your entire statement will be
included in the record, but you may proceed as you will and we look
forward to an open exchange here. I do understand at the beginning
that General Shelton and others have schedule pressures and we're
going to try to move forward in an expeditious manner and, in the
meantime, General Shelton, we're interested very much in your comments
SEC. RUMSFELD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
(Discussion aside about microphone.)
REP. LEWIS: This is the Appropriations Committee. We can't
really figure the electronics out -- (laughter).
SEC. RUMSFELD: Apparently that's the mike. Whose is this?
REP. LEWIS: It's your public, Mr. Secretary.
SEC. RUMSFELD: (Laughs.) Mr. Chairman, I thank you, and members
of the committee. I appreciate the tight schedule you're on and assure
you we will do everything to cooperate with you as we go forward. And
certainly the results of the QDR will be available to this committee
as they become available.
Congressman Murtha, with respect to your comment, let me say that
we do -- General Shelton has a study underway with respect to the
department's engagement approach across the globe, and I am advised
that he believes and the chiefs believe that the op tempo issue has
been moderated somewhat today relative to, I suppose, a year, year and
a half, two years ago.
I do -- rather than reading my statement, I'd just like to save
time for some exchange of views. Let me just make a few comments.
This committee knows well the numbers and the situation of the
armed forces today probably better than almost everyone in Washington.
So you understand the shortfalls that the men and women in uniform
have been facing in terms of readiness, operation, procurement, health
care, maintenance, infrastructure, modernization, housing,
intelligence. We do have the best-trained, best-equipped military
force on earth, as the chairman indicated, and peace and prosperity
and freedom across the world are underpinned by the stability and the
security that these men and women provide.
But there is no question but that years of underfunding and
overuse have taken a toll. With the end of the Cold War there was a
drawdown, an appropriate peace dividend, but it overshot the mark by a
good deal, and as the size of the forces reduced, the men and women in
uniform were asked to take on more and more missions. They saluted,
they did their best, but at the cost of putting off maintenance,
training, procurement and other necessities, and now that bill is
staring us in the fact. The cumulative effective of year after year of
neglect is catching up.
The budget numbers the chairman mentioned; it's a sizable
increase; some $22.8 billion. That's a significant commitment of the
taxpayers' dollars, but we need every cent of it, let there be no
doubt. We need the funds for pay and housing and health care and
quality of life; we need it for the backlog in maintenance,
modernization and transformation and research and development, and
this budget certainly helps. But let's be clear, it does not get us
well. I know that and you know that. The underinvestment and over- use
of the force went in far too long; the gap is too great; the hole
we're in is too deep; there is no way to spend our way out of it in
one year. Again, you know that and I know that.
We're proposing this budget in full recognition that just to keep
the department going next year on a straight-line basis, with no
improvements, just covering costs and inflation, and honest budget
numbers, we'd need a budget of $347 billion -- another $18 billion
increase. To get well by 2007, that is to meet current requirements in
areas like readiness, proper flying time, training, maintenance and so
forth, would cost the American taxpayers tens of billions of dollars
more, and that's before calculating the additional investment that
will be needed for transformation.
It's an indication of the depth of the hole we're in that the
$22.8 billion increase that the president proposes only makes a good
dent in the shortfall that the armed forces are facing. So where do we
find the money for the rest of the needs? We simply have to match
these sizable spending increases with sizable increases in efficiency
at DOD. And I've asked the department to come up with reforms and cost
savings that we can undertake in the coming months, but we'll need
Congress to give us greater freedom to achieve cost savings, so we can
assure the taxpayers that we're using their dollars more efficiently,
and we can redirect funds to urgent priorities. We simply have got to
turn waste into weapons.
Today we're proposing some immediate and significant savings and
efficiencies, but we'll need help from the Congress to allow us to do
Let me make a comment about the B-1 bomber that's been very much
in the news. It's a 20-year-old system. It's not stealthy. It's
designed for the Cold War. That has been headed towards expensive
obsolescence. Last month, the Air Force proposed to modernize the
aging B-1 fleet, turn it into a more potent weapon capable of
contributing to 21st century security without requiring new money. It
proposed cutting the size of the force from 93 to 60, taking the
remaining aircraft and concentrating them in two of the largest B-1
bases rather than the five bases where they're scattered today. The
Air Force would then take the savings, use them to modernize the
remaining aircraft with new precision weapons, self-protection
systems, reliability upgrades, so that they can become viable in a
future conflict. They are not viable in a conflict today; they're too
Doing this would add some $1.5 billion of advance combat
capability to today's aging B-1 fleet over the next five years without
requiring additional dollars. It would make the B-1 force usable so
that it could provide America the kind of all-weather, long-range
strike capability that will be critical in the 21st century. This is
the kind of efficiency we owe the taxpayers.
Congressional support for the plan would send an important signal
to all of the services and give them an incentive to find further cost
savings by telling them that such efforts will be rewarded with freed-
up funds to improve capabilities. Failure of this proposal would send
a damaging signal across the defense establishment that finding ways
to save money and increasing efficiency is a waste of time and leads
to nothing but hostility to the Air Force.
That's not the message we need to send, so a lot is riding on the
decision, and we need your support and the support of Congress on this
effort to respect the taxpayers' dollars.
Another example, of the Peacekeeper -- I won't go into it. I've
mentioned it in my prepared remarks. It's a system that is no longer
needed, and the warheads will be needed, and we believe that it is an
effective and efficient way to proceed.
There are other cost savings. I have no desire in the world to
enter into a round of base closing. When you get up in the morning,
that's not the first thing you want to do. It's just a very difficult
thing to do. It makes people unhappy. It causes anguish and angst and
concern. But we have to do it. Everyone who talks about says we've got
20 to 25 percent more base structure than we need. We simply cannot be
respectful of the taxpayers' dollars and sit there toting, year after
year, 20 to 25 percent more base structure than is required to operate
this department. So we're going to be coming at you -- as little
stomach as I have for it, we will be coming at you on base closings.
I could go on, but the point is this: I've never seen an
organization, public or private, that could not operate at something
like 5 percent greater efficiency, but only if it has the freedom to
do it. But it's not possible to do that at DOD, because of the
restrictions on the department and the way it currently functions.
So unless the department is given encouragement to turn waste
into weapons, we will have to come to you next year asking you to
appropriate more of the taxpayers' dollars to still -- meet still more
urgent needs, many of which could have been paid for by finding cost
Five percent of the DOD budget is something in excess of $15
billion. We could do a great deal with that saving. We could pay $3
billion needed to annually increase ship procurement from six to nine
ships, so we could maintain a steady state, 300-plus ship Navy. We
could cover the 1.4 billion needed annually to fund base operation
requirements, or we could pay the entire annual cost of procuring the
additional aircraft necessary to help meet the steady state
requirements for Navy, Air Force, and Army aircraft. These are all
important priorities that need to be funded, and I would certainly
prefer to come to you next year and tell you that we've found ways to
fund certain programs by operating more efficiently.
Mr. Chairman, we need the support of the committee for the
president's budget. We need every dime. We need your support for the
proposed increases in pay and housing, the quality of life for our men
and women in uniform. We need your support to fund the increased
flying hours that are needed. We need your support to reduce the
backlog of facilities, maintenance, and repair, and weapon system
maintenance and repair for modernization, and for transformational
research and development. But we also need your support to give us the
freedom to move dollars from waste into more effective capabilities
for this country.
As I said at the outset, after a decade of underfunding and
overworking our force, we're in a hole.
Getting out of it will require significant, sustained investment.
I'll feel a lot better about it coming before this committee next year
to ask for those funds if I can tell you and the president and the
American people that we're treating the taxpayers' monies responsibly;
and today we are not.
REP. LEWIS: Thank you, Mr. Secretary. We appreciate your candor.
I'm glad that there was nothing provocative in your remarks.
SEC. RUMSFELD: (Laughs.)
REP. LEWIS: General Shelton, I have not been to India since
1965, but in my youth, I had a chance to spend a good deal of time in
that subcontinent shortly after 1947, when it became the world's
largest democracy, a country that continues to expand and grow. I was
astonished, upon first having the opportunity to have this job, to
learn that we'd had almost no significant high-level contact with the
military in India.
It was my understanding that you may be headed in that direction
here shortly, presuming our schedules work out. But in the meantime,
frankly, I've got to tell you that I'm very pleased with the fact that
you are making that effort. I hope to follow sometime later in the
year on a return visit myself, so I'd really appreciate your spending
some time with me after you have a chance to return from that contact.
So with that, General Shelton, we are very pleased to hear
whatever you might want to present to the committee.
GEN. SHELTON: Well, thanks, Mr. Chairman. I'll look forward to
it and I will get with you as soon as I get back.
Chairman Lewis and Congressman Murtha and other distinguished
members of this committee, it really is an honor to be with you here
again today and to report to you on the state of America's armed
forces. I'd like to highlight just a few key priorities and concerns
from my written statement, which I've submitted for the record, and
then we'll move right into your questions.
First let me thank the Congress, and this committee in
particular, for your significant and sustained support of our men and
women in uniform. And let me thank you, Chairman Lewis, for your very
kind words this morning. Thank you.
With your help, we've made considerable progress in a lot of
areas that directly impact the overall health and welfare of our
troops, from the increased pay and allowances to pay table reforms, to
TriCare reform and expanded health care coverage, to additional
funding to provide adequate housing for our military families, and
finally, the budget plus-ups that have enabled us to arrest the
decline in readiness for many of our front-line and first-to-fight units.
But let me also say that we need to sustain this momentum if we
are preserve the long-term health and readiness of the force in the
years to come. Together as we consider new budgets, new national
security strategies, it's important that we also remember that the
quality of people in our military is what is extremely important
because they, in essence, are the critical enablers for all that we
hope to accomplish.
Since my last testimony before this committee, we have been
reminded of the human element of our national security in several
Last October, the USS Cole was savagely attacked by terrorists in
the port of Aden and 17 sailors died in that attack. Some have asked
why would we put a ship in harm's way in such a dangerous part of the
world? Well, that's what we do; we go into harm's way to protect
America's interests around the globe. The sailors of the USS Cole were
en route to the Gulf to establish our presence and to protect
America's vital interests.
And last December we had two U.S. Army helicopters that crashed
during a training exercise in Hawaii. Nine soldiers died in that
crash. And some asked, why would the Army put its soldiers into harm's
way during a dangerous training mission in the black of night? Well,
that's what we do, we train for the most difficult missions that we'll
face. We must know that when America's interests are threatened, we'll
be ready to go, day or night, because failure is not an option. We
minimize the risks to our great men and women in uniform, but we have
to train like we anticipate having to fight.
A few months ago, as we all know, an unarmed EP-3 reconnaissance
aircraft flying in the airspace over the China Sea was struck by a
Chinese fighter and, of course, for a while we had 24 of our great
personnel detained. Some ask why are we conducting surveillance
against another nation? My answer to that is, "That's what we do." We
are vigilant, we are watchful because we know that our interests and
those of our allies in the region may be challenged and we must be ready.
I'm very proud of the performance of these great men and women
and the thousands of others who very proudly wear the uniform of our
country. They have been and always will be our decisive edge. Indeed,
they're so good at what they do, unless there's an incident or an
accident, we rarely take notice of the contributions that they make to
national security. They sail our ships, they fly our aircraft, they go
on patrols quietly and professionally, and America is safe and
enjoying great prosperity in part because of them.
However, today our people and our forces are experiencing some
significant challenges, a number of which I'd like to bring to your
To begin with, although our first-to-fight forces are trained and
ready to meet any emergent requirement, we find that many other
operational units are not as ready. These include our strategic
airlift fleet; our intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance
aircraft; our combat service support units; and our training bases,
all of which provide critical capabilities to our war-fighting forces.
These units are in some cases suffering the consequences of high-op
tempo and the diversion of resources to sustain the near-term
readiness of the first-to-fight forces.
In fact, since 1995, DOD has experienced a 133 percent increase
in the number of military personnel committed to joint operations. I
mean real-world events, not exercises, and we are doing it with 9
percent fewer people. This high operational tempo on segments of the
force has placed an increased strain on our people.
I believe that the fundamental cause of the situation is the
imbalance between our national security strategy and the post-1997 QDR
force. Fixing this imbalance during -- it's one of the key goals of
this year's QDR and one of the top priorities for Secretary Rumsfeld
and all the Joint Chiefs, because the challenge will only increase
over time, and we owe it to our people to get it right.
In fact, today we are struggling to reconcile a multitude of
competing demands, including near-term readiness imperatives, long-
term modernization and recapitalization of some of our aging systems,
and infrastructure investments essential to preserve the world's best
And as I've mentioned in previous testimony, we made a conscious
decision to cut procurement accounts in the 1990s and to live off the
investments of the 1980s. This marked reduction in procurement means
that the average age of most of our major weapons systems continues to
increase, as highlighted by the secretary. Many of them have
experienced or exceeded, rather, their planned service life or are
fast approaching it.
Let me provide you with just a few examples. Our front-line air
superiority fighter, the F-15, averages 17 years, and it's only three
years away from the end of its original designed service life. Our
airborne tanker fleet and B-52 bomber force are nearly 40 years old.
ISR, our intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft and
electronic warfare aircraft platform, such as the RC-135, Rivet Joint,
our EP-3s, our P-3s, and our EA-6Bs, all average between 19 and 38
years of service. And finally, there are numerous helicopter platforms
within the department, in all the services, and they have either
passed or are fast approaching the end of their original designed
service lives. In fact, most of the war-fighting platforms I've just
mentioned meet with 25-year rule required by the great state of
Virginia to qualify for an antique license plate.
Our force is not aging gracefully. Today we spend significantly
more each year to maintain our aging equipment in repair parts and
maintenance down time and in maintenance support. And the operational
environment and current pace of operations requires us to keep this
equipment ready to go. But to do that, as you know, we've been
draining resources from the very same modernization accounts that we
should be using to buy replacement systems. If we don't replace these
systems soon, either the force structure will shrink further, or we'll
have to continue to maintain the same systems, which results -- is
resulting in spiraling operations cost and maintenance cost, and also
reduced combat capability. In my opinion, these are unacceptable
options. The bottom line is, I don't believe that we'll be able to
sustain our long-term readiness under these conditions.
So what do we do? Two things. We must bring into balance our
strategy and our force structure, and we must significantly increase
our efforts in procurement to modernize and recapitalize the force.
The QDR should produce a strategic blueprint and investment profile to
help us shape our force and to carry out the new strategy.
Another related concern is the fact that our vital infrastructure
is decaying at an alarming rate. Budget constraints have forced us to
make hard choices. We've had to redirect funds from military
facilities and infrastructure accounts to support current readiness
A quality force deserves quality facilities; therefore, I think
it's essential that we provide the resources to reverse the
deterioration of our post camps and stations. One way that Congress
can directly help is to authorize a process to dispose of excess bases
and facilities. According to a 1998 DOD BRAC report, we currently have
23 percent excess base capacity.
Now, Mr. Chairman, I'd like to focus on what I referred to
earlier as the decisive edge, and that's our men and women in uniform.
President Bush stated that "A volunteer military has two paths; it can
lower its standards to fill its ranks, or it can inspire the best and
the brightest to join and stay -- and this starts with better pay,
better treatment, and better training," end of quote. The president, I
believe, has it exactly right.
We must continue to close the significant pay gap that still
exists between the military and the private sector. This will allow us
to attract and retain the best and the brightest to meet our future
needs, and we must make continued investments in health care, in
housing and other quality-of-life programs that are essential to
sustain a quality force.
One of the most valued recruiting and retention tools that any
corporation can offer its potential employees or its current workforce
is a comprehensive medical package and, in this regard, DOD is no
exception. For that reason, the chiefs and I strongly urge Congress to
fully fund the Defense Health Program and all health care costs as a
strong signal that we are truly committed to providing quality health
care for our troops. I can't think of a better way to renew the bonds
of trust between Uncle Sam and our service members and retirees than
this commitment to quality health care.
Additionally, I would ask your support to help ensure that all of
our men and women in uniform, single, married and unaccompanied, are
provided with adequate housing. Unfortunately, this is not the case
today. Currently, almost 62 percent of our family housing units are
classified as inadequate. Correcting this situation is essential if we
are to improve the quality of life for our service members and their
families, and as we have learned over the years, we recruit the
service members, but we retain the family.
Mr. Chairman, if we are able to achieve success in the
initiatives that I have listed, I believe we can sustain our quality
force and ensure that America's best and brightest continue to answer
the call to serve America.
To sum up, I firmly believe that America has the best military in
the world today, but let me also point out that our greatest adversary
today, as I have said so many times in the past, is complacency. It's
imperative that we take action today to ensure that our men and women
in uniform are properly equipped, trained and led, and if we do so,
I'm confident that we will prevail in the challenges ahead.
Again, thank you for the opportunity to appear before this
committee, Mr. Chairman, and now we look forward to your questions.
REP. LEWIS: Thank you, General Shelton.
MR. ZAKHEIM: I don't have a prepared statement, sir.
REP. LEWIS: Thank you all very much for being with us this
morning. Mr. Secretary, we will follow on with a good deal of
discussion regarding what we're doing to attract and retain those fine
men and women that General Shelton was referring to. I feel it's kind
of my responsibility, though, to join one of the key issues that's a
part of your budget at the outset.
Mr. Secretary, the budget proposes spending $8.3 billion on the
full range of ballistic missile defense programs. This is an increase
over last year of nearly 60 percent, or $3 billion. This is an
increase over last year of nearly 60 percent; in addition to this
funding increase, the administration is proposing significant changes
in policy as well as the acquisition process as it applies to the
potential fielding of national and theater missile defense programs.
It's clear that this new program is much more aggressive and
complex than earlier efforts. For both national and theater missile
defense, you are proposing multiple development programs, carried out
in parallel with no firm commitment to any one system or approach. In
addition, you are seeking a degree of flexibility in managing the
development and potential acquisition of these programs, including
broad discretion over how appropriated funds are allocated towards
different systems. This is unprecedented in recent memory for any
Finally, this missile defense program poses many challenging
policy questions. These include, first, the need to consider modifying
or withdrawing from the ABM Treaty, and second, the relative priority
and value of missile defense programs are measured against other
pressing demands, such as the department's aging infrastructure
equipment, et cetera.
So with that, Mr. Secretary, what is the threat that justifies
making these changes? And we'd be very interested in your commentary
regarding the significant increases in funding. Mr. Secretary?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Yes, sir, Mr. Chairman. The intelligence
community is unanimous in recognizing the reality that with the end of
the Cold War and the relaxation of tension, we have seen the spread of
ballistic missile technologies and technologies relating to weapons of
mass destruction in many unusual places across the globe, including
countries that -- where people are starving, countries that seem to
have very little resources. And as a result, they have identified
ballistic missiles, as well as other asymmetric threats, including
cruise missiles and terrorism, and prospectively cyberattacks, as the
kind of threats and problems that the Unite States will be facing in
the decades ahead.
Certainly the Gulf War persuaded people that competing with
Western armies, navies, and air forces wasn't very wise. And as a
result, it is an awful lot cheaper and relatively easy for these
countries to attempt to and in fact succeed in gaining ballistic
missiles and cruise missiles and weapons of mass destruction.
So the threat is real. It's growing. The numbers of countries
with ballistic missiles is increasing every year. The numbers of total
ballistic missiles on the face of the Earth are increasing every year.
And the destructive power of these weapons is increasing.
The United States some years ago was the target of a ballistic
missile, and a number of Americans were killed and wounded in Saudi
Arabia, at Dhahran.
Now as to the size of the missile defense budget, it is a
research and development and testing budget. It is not a deployment
It is a lot of the taxpayers' money. On the other hand, the
Defense Department currently is receiving something less than 3
percent of the gross national product of the United States, and the
missile defense budget is, in total, less than 2.5 percent of the
defense budget. And the non-theater ballistic missile portion of it is
about 1-1/2 percent of the defense budget. So while any numbers of
billions of dollars are large in terms of the taxpayers' money, as a
percentage, it is a very small fraction of what the Department of
Defense is spending.
REP. LEWIS: Mr. Secretary, it's my intention to stay very close
to the five-minute rule, because of everybody's schedule today. You
did not bring yourself to address, however, the question of the ABM
It would appear --
SEC. RUMSFELD: Oh, my apologies. Yes, indeed.
The treaty exists. The United States does not make a practice of
violating treaties, and we certainly don't intend to here. The
president and President Putin have agreed that there will be
discussions between our two countries in the weeks and months
immediately ahead. The president has announced publicly, unambiguously
and repeatedly that he intends to find and establish some sort of a
framework beyond the ABM Treaty, which is a 30-year old treaty that
prohibits ballistic missile defense. The president intends to have
ballistic missile defense to protect the population centers of the
United States as well as of our friends and allies and deployed forces.
The treaty was designed explicitly to prohibit ballistic missile
defense. Needless to say, if you want to have ballistic missile
defense, you're going to have to find a way to get beyond that treaty.
And that is what those discussions are about. That is what the
president opened with his counterpart from Russia. I've met with the
minister of defense of Russia, Secretary Powell has met with the
foreign minister of Russia on these subjects, and we intend to be in
close discussion with them in the weeks and months immediately ahead.
REP. LEWIS: Mr. Secretary, I appreciate very much your response.
Let me mention to you that I've spent a little time reviewing in
some depth the work of the commission that you chaired so ably that
dealt with this subject area. I personally feel strongly that you are
addressing a subject forthrightly here that's critical to America's
interests, and the committee looks forward to working with you in
connection with that.
REP. MURTHA: Thank you.
Mr. Secretary, I'm one of the strongest supporters of missile
defense. What I caution you, and I know that you understand, that
research is the key to the success of the program. I went over to --
the committee went over to Korea a couple years ago. We rushed THAD to
failure. We put so much money in they couldn't spend it, and they
rushed the program and it didn't work out A couple years ago, we
slowed down the F-22 program because we felt like they were rushing it
to failure. The V-22 program, we've had to do the same thing. So I
appreciate what you're saying about putting the money in research
before we start to deploy the program.
One of the things you said about general provisions -- which we
call general provisions, you call restrictions on the Defense
SEC. RUMSFELD: (Laughs.) Where you stand depends on where you sit.
REP. MURTHA: The vice president, when he was secretary of
Defense, called the committee. He said, "We've got to get rid of these
general provisions" Staff went over them and I think we eliminated
about 65 percent. Well, he called me back. He says, "The lawyers say
we have to have them." So I hope we can work closely together because
an awful lot of these general provisions are necessary for you to do
SEC. RUMSFELD: Right.
REP. MURTHA: And so when I talk about general provisions, we're
trying to help you, not hurt you.
One of the other things that we keep failing to mention, tempo of
operations, the exercise tempo of operations is as important as
anything else we do. These folks come off a -- or come off a
deployment, and they come back and then they go on an exercise. The
same people do it over and over and over again. And one of the things
we have to try is to reduce that exercise tempo of operation at the
Health care. I appreciate what you're saying about funding health
care. I just hope the department doesn't come up with a plan that
really is inadequate as far as health care for our retirees. And I
know we'ave had some discussions about that in the past.
I want to mention that when Vice President Cheney was secretary
of Defense, he said that the defense budget should never get below 4
percent of the gross domestic product. Well, of course, we're well
below 4 percent. And the threat has changed some, but still, we're
struggling with the amount of money we have available.
One other thing I just want to mention is the DD-21. I worry that
there's not enough people on that. I've heard General Shelton say that
he's trying to reduce the number of people, but when you look at the
Cole and the accident we had in the Cole -- the incident we had in the
Cole, it wasn't an accident, the terrorist attack, and the fact that
if we hadn't had the number of people -- I don't know what the right
number is, but I just worry that 95, if 35 of them were killed in an
incident, we'd need more people on that ship. So I think you have to
look at that when you make the decision about what is going to happen
with the 21.
And I appreciate what General Shelton said about pay, because
every place I've gone, General, that's the thing they talk about the
most. We did make some changes in redux because of complaints. This
committee was in the forefront on pay and always has been. So I
appreciate -- I know how painful it is to come and -- not waste your
time testifying before the Congress, but I know how many times you
testify and how impatient you get testifying before us. But we look
forward to working with you on all these very, very delicate issues.
SEC. RUMSFELD: If I may, Mr. Chairman.
Congressman Murtha, thank you so much. We'll be delighted to work
with you on the general provisions and see if we can't find the right
ones that can enable us to have some more flexibility.
With respect to health care, one of the problems we have is we
have made every effort to arrange to see that this budget is going to
fully fund that. The problem is there is no experience in the world
with anybody doing what we're proposing to do here, so there are not
actuarial tables that can help us.
With respect to the 4 percent of GDP, when I came to Washington
it was 10 percent during the Eisenhower and Kennedy period. And then
it was about 5 percent when I was secretary of Defense 25 years ago.
Four percent made a lot of sense when Dick was -- Vice President
Cheney was there. We're dropping below 3 percent. And there's no
question but that we have to get ourselves arranged so that we are
taking proper care of the force and so that the force is being
fashioned to fit the 21st century.
REP. MURTHA: Mr. Secretary, I just want to add that the
direction you're going is absolutely right. The two-front strategy
hadn't been in effect for 15 years. We couldn't fight a two-front war
unless it was Haiti and a big war. (Laughter.) So you're going in
exactly the right direction, and I appreciate the difficulties and
decisions you're trying to make.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Thank you very much, I appreciate that. I wish it
were more unanimous! (Laughs.)
REP. J. LEWIS: You don't have that problem within this
committee, Mr. Secretary.
SEC. RUMSFELD: No, sir!
REP. J. LEWIS: Mr. Skeen?
REP. JOE SKEEN (R-NM): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
We've got the burner going on this thing so somebody's covering
this group of people up here. We've got the line here.
Mr. Secretary, the KEA SAT will be ready for flight test and
experiment next year. Does OSD support conducting the flight experiment?
SEC. RUMSFELD: I'd have to get back to you for the record on that.
REP. SKEEN: Well, we're presenting this to you so you won't have
anything to do when you're sleeping at night or anything, we've got
all this stuff. But thank you.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Thank you.
REP. SKEEN: Cruise missile detection. Last month, ABC News and
several newspapers reported on the European progress with passive
radar to detect stealthy cruise missiles. Would you support having our
Army, Air Force, our air defense experts to experiment on the
potential for this technology?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Mr. Congressman, I think I'd rather talk in a
closed session on the subject of cruise missiles.
REP. SKEEN: That's fine. We can do that. I just wanted you to be
aware of it. I have Holloman on my agenda and they're very interested
Mr. Secretary, the civilian computer networks that are critical
to the economy are subject to information warfare. Are the DOD and NSA
and our university researchers being coordinated effectively to
SEC. RUMSFELD: I wish I could say confidently and affirmatively
yes, but the reality is that we have a good distance to go on
information -- our information capabilities and our networks and the
protection of those networks. And there are elements in the department
that are reviewing that, and as a matter of fact, I received a
briefing on it within the last week -- (to General Shelton) -- didn't
we, General? --
GEN. SHELTON: Yes, sir.
SEC. RUMSFELD: -- and we have a distance to go.
REP. SKEEN: Mr. Secretary, tracking mobile targets is the most
difficult problem that we have. And the enemy's very long-range anti-
aircraft missiles will make our architectures obsolete that use large
When will UAV and space-based counterparts to these aircraft
needs be deployed?
SEC. RUMSFELD: We have, in this budget, in the R&D and the S&T
sections, proposed to accelerate some work with respect to UAVs. There
is no question but that despite the fact that they're a relatively
recent entry into the inventory, UAVs are in enormous demand. And
they're what we call the high-demand/low-density assets, and we've got
several categories of them that we need to fund considerably better
than we have in the recent years.
GEN. SHELTON: If I might add, though, Congressman Skeen, we also
have recognized the importance of being able to detect and track
mobile targets, and that has been one of Joint Forces Command's first
large experiments that they have ongoing at this time; with some
payoff, I might add.
REP. SKEEN: We appreciate you being at White Sands, there.
GEN. SHELTON: Thank you, sir.
REP. SKEEN: Let me just cite this part of it. Mr. Secretary, the
F-117 Stealth fighters from Holloman Air Force Base are dependent on
tankers to rapidly deploy. How will we meet the greatly increased
demands on our tanker fleet to support our new strategy for rapid
deployment and long-range strike?
SEC. RUMSFELD: The tanker question is one that's under review in
the QDR at the present -- excuse me for using that jargon -- in the
Quadrennial Defense Review which was mandated by Congress -- and we
are currently looking at the tanker issue. And there is no question
but that it, along with airlift, will have to be addressed as we
develop the 2003 budget in this fall.
REP. SKEEN: (Inaudible.)
GEN. SHELTON: If I could just add, Congressman Skeen, as you
probably noticed on Desert Fox and Allied Force, the operation in
Kosovo, the air bridge and the support of the tankers were critical to
that throughout both operations, and they did a magnificent job even
though, as I indicated, they are old and aging and, as the secretary
said, we're having to go back and relook at the program for them. But
they perform magnificently on a daily basis, even if they are old
REP. SKEEN: Well, I appreciate the concentration that you've had
Mr. Chairman, that's --
REP. LEWIS: Mr. Dicks?
REP. NORMAN DICKS (D-WA): Thank you. Mr. Secretary and General
Shelton, I want to go back to this question about the money. "Jerry
McGuire" said, "Show me the money."
You know, we've had some studies that were done by very prominent
people. I think Jack -- (inaudible) -- was on one group that said we
-- what was it --
REP. : And Warner.
REP. : Yeah. So was I on it.
REP. : Yeah.
REP. DICKS: -- we needed $60 billion a year more. And Harold
Brown (sp) and Schlesinger called for an increase of $50 billion
annually. Now, Mr. Secretary, the other day you had us over, and we
appreciated that very much, and you went through and kind of added up
what was necessary to really do this budget correctly, and it was
significantly more than the $18 billion that we're talking about in
the increase in '02 budget. I mean, I think it's important for you to
tell the American people in your own personal and professional
opinion, you and General Shelton, what you think we need to have in
order to deal with not only the very important quality- of-life
issues, but transformation and modernization. I mean, what do you
think that the number is that would help us deal with the problems
that really face the country in terms of transformation and
SEC. RUMSFELD: Well, Congressman Dicks, in my prepared statement
I discussed some of that, and in my statement before the Armed
Services Committee I have laid out a whole series of areas that have
been underfunded year after year after year by the United States
REP. DICKS: Right.
SEC. RUMSFELD: There is no way on the face of the Earth we're
going to dig out of the hole we're in, in one year. It will take a
series of years. And it is unambiguous that they overshot the peace
dividend by a significant margin.
We are currently recapitalizing infrastructure in the Pentagon at
192 years. The private sector appropriate rate is something like 57 to
67 years' recapitalization. Now you don't get that right fast. It
takes some time.
Our shipbuilding budget is headed down to 130 -- 230 ships. It's
currently at 310 or so.
REP. DICKS: But let's --
SEC. RUMSFELD: And year after year of not building sufficient
ships has put us on a trajectory that is clearly unacceptable for this
REP. DICKS: But you know, here's a great article in the Weekly
Standard, "No defense." "Here's some unsolicited advice for two old
friends, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz: resign."
I mean, in other words, I think you've tried to do your best to
go down to the White House and ask for the money that's necessary to
get this job done, but you've been turned down. And they have said
they will not give you the money.
As we're told, you asked for like $38 billion, and they give --
and OMB said you'll only get 15 (billion), and you wound up with 18
(billion). And we appreciate the fact that you got the 18 (billion).
But what I worry about is, if you, as secretary of Defense, and
General Shelton know that the country is underfunding the defense
budget, then why can't we convince the president and OMB, which seems
to be running this government, that we've got to have a significant
increase, or we're going to let America's military capability
deteriorate? That is unacceptable.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Mr. Congressman, the country has known we've been
underfunding the defense budget year after year after year. This is
nothing new. I just arrived. I walk in, walk in the front door, turn
around, look under every rock, and every one of them says, "We need 3
billion more. We need 6 billion more here. We need 5 billion more
there." You can't do it all in one year. It is not possible.
REP. DICKS: I understand, but -- okay, I understand that. But
would $38 billion have been a more realistic number for '02 than 18
(billion), in terms of the problems that we're facing?
I'm with you. I agree with what you're trying to tell the country
-- that we're significantly underfunding defense.
Now I've been here for 21 years on this committee. Maybe it's
even longer than that. And I'll tell you, I've heard everybody say
we're going to do it by -- oh, by improving procurement and doing all
that, and I'm with you on that. I agree with you. But I don't think
we're going to solve this problem without a significant increase in
funding. I think you've said that. I think your statement says that. I
mean, you just didn't add it up.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Mr. Congressman, this is a significant increase.
It's the biggest increase since the mid-1980s. It is --
REP. DICKS: But if it isn't enough to get the job done, Mr.
Secretary, what -- we're not fooling each other --
SEC. RUMSFELD: You can't do it all in one year. It is not
physically possible. Second --
REP. DICKS: But you got to start with a single step that's
significant. And the thing that frustrates us here --
SEC. RUMSFELD: This is a single step.
REP. DICKS: -- and I'm a good Democrat, but when I heard Mr.
Cheney say, properly, during the campaign, that we needed to do more
on defense, that help was on the way, I thought we were going to see
something significant, like when Ronald Reagan was elected president,
Ronald Reagan increased the defense budget. And we did it
significantly, and it addressed the problems.
And in 1991, when this -- when Cheney and Powell had to go to the
war, we had a military capability that was sufficient to get the job
Now, what we're seeing here today is we're allowing the
deterioration of America's military capability, because we're not
doing transformation right, we're not doing modernization right. And I
say this with all due respect. I hope that you would be successful in
your dealings with the administration, but apparently that isn't
happening. And I think we have to be honest.
General Shelton, what do you think?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Wait a second. You're not going to lay that on me
and not let me answer, are you? (Laughter.)
REP. DICKS: Oh, of course not.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Look. This budget does not continue the
deterioration. This budget reverses the deterioration that's been
going on for year after year after year. It is a significant step
REP. DICKS: But not in transformation and not in modernization,
Mr. Secretary. You say it in your -- you go through every category and
say what we're short of. We didn't get it! We didn't get the help we
needed we needed in transformation. We didn't get the help we needed
SEC. RUMSFELD: When you say let's be honest, that testimony you
received from me is as honest as anyone can be. I have laid it right
REP. DICKS: Exactly. And that's why I'm saying, if you've laid
it out, why doesn't the White House get it?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Well, they do, and they gave us the biggest
increase in 16 years, and a 7 percent increase, and walking away the
largest increase of any department or agency. And we are completing
our quadrennial -- congressionally mandated Quadrennial Defense
Review. The conclusions out of that will have additional
recommendations for transformation. There are transformation aspects
in this budget. And when we come out with that, as the chairman
indicated, it will be arriving at a tine when we're developing that
'03 budget. And you will see a number of things.
Frankly, I don't want to fix all the infrastructure in the
defense establishment, because as I said, we've got 20 to 25 percent
more infrastructure than we need. It would make no sense to go out
there and try and fix all of it.
REP. DICKS: General Shelton?
GEN. SHELTON: Congressman Dicks, first of all let me say that I
think that today our armed forces, which help define America as a
global power and help protect our national interests around the globe,
I think are one of the greatest investments that Americans have. Three
cents on the dollar. That's what we're paying for everything in DOD.
When you put it in terms of $320 billion, it sounds like a lot. It's
still three cents on the dollar in this economy that we have today, at
the lowest point of any time since before World War II.
We have some very significant challenges that the secretary and I
have addressed and as I talked about today, with aging force
structure, with aging infrastructure, deteriorating infrastructure. We
all know that we're not going to be able to make significant inroads
into fixing the modernization and the transformation and the
infrastructure at three cents on the dollar. Exactly how much it's
going to take, I think, we've all seen the CBO, Congressional Budget
reports reports. We've seen the independent studies that have been
looked at, that range f<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)