GENERAL THOMAS A. SCHWARTZ
COMMANDER IN CHIEF UNITED NATIONS COMMAND/COMBINED FORCES COMMAND & COMMANDER, UNITED STATES FORCES KOREA
BEFORE THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE-
8 MARCH 2001
Statement of General Thomas A. Schwartz
Commander in Chief United Nations Command/Combined Forces
Command; and Commander, United States Forces Korea
March 8, 2001
Mister Chairman and distinguished committee members, I am honored to appear before you as Commander in Chief, United Nations Command, Republic of Korea - United States Combined Forces Command (CFC); and Commander, United States Forces Korea. We want to first express our deep gratitude to Congress for the consistent support you provided our forces over the years. The more than 37,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines, and Department of Defense civilians of United States Forces Korea benefit every day from your support, which enables us to accomplish our vital mission. We welcome this opportunity to present the current security situation in the Korean Theater of Operations through five major categories: 1) Korean Peninsula Overview, 2) Post-Summit Korea: Perceptions vs. Reality, 3) North Korea, 4) The Republic of Korea and United States Alliance, and 5) Command Priorities.
KOREAN PENINSULA OVERVIEW
The physical presence of U.S. ground, air, and naval forces in Korea and Japan contributes significantly to U.S. and northeast Asian interests. These contributions endure well into the future. As shown in the figure below, the vital U.S. national interests in the region are many, and the threats to those interests are great. However, the U.S. presence provides the military access in east Asia that allows and encourages economic security, and political stability.
While the U.S. has made great strides in our ability to rapidly project power around the globe, there is still no substitute for some degree of forward presence when faced with limited warning times, and vast distances. Our presence in Korea provides the access necessary for defending the Republic of Korea today, and responding to regional threats in the future. It is physical, not virtual, U.S. presence that brings peace of mind to the
democratic nations of the region, and provides tangible deterrence.
The security offered by this presence is directly and indirectly responsible for the economic vitality and political stability of the region. The physical security has fostered the rapid expansion of the mutually reinforcing elements of democratization and market economies. The political and military stability resulting from U.S. involvement in northeast Asia provides the confidence necessary for foreign investment to flow into the region. The results are staggering. In the course of a single generation, Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, and Singapore have risen respectively to numbers 3, 4, 7, 8, and 10 in total trade with the U.S., and comprised over $425 billion in trade in 1999. Most of this would not have been possible without the direct security offered by the U.S. presence. It is the U.S. presence that will allow this regional prosperity, so critical to the global economy, to flourish in the future.
POST-SUMMIT KOREA: PERCEPTIONS VS REALITY
In June of last year, the world witnessed the historic meeting between President Kim Dae-jung and Chairman Kim Chong-il. This remarkable event, the centerpiece of a great deal of diplomatic activity on the Korean peninsula, touched off a wave of reconciliation euphoria in South Korea and generated the public perception that peace was just around the corner. However, the situation’s reality is far from the perception.
The pace of diplomatic activity is indeed staggering. Both before and since the summit, the North Korean government has greatly expanded its diplomatic outreach to a number of countries. Three reunions of families separated since the war occurred since August 2000. Athletes from both sides marched together under a single flag during the opening ceremonies of the Sydney Olympics. North Korea’s second most powerful official, Vice Marshal Jo Myong-rok met with President Clinton in October. U.S. Secretary of State Albright reciprocated by visiting Pyongyang later that month. Since the summit, the two Koreas have conducted multiple ministerial and working level economic talks, and the first ever meeting between the two defense ministers. The two sides have agreed to restore the Seoul-Sinuiju railway through the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), create an economic development zone in the North Korean town of Kaesong, and conduct sports and cultural exchanges.
Despite this welcome increase in direct North-South dialogue, the military threat from North Korea continues to improve. The perception of a peaceful peninsula differs from reality. North Korea has yet to discuss or implement any meaningful military confidence building measures beyond agreement of the opening of a railroad corridor through the DMZ. The North has focused thus far on obtaining significant foreign aid in exchange for political and humanitarian gestures. As recently as December 2000, the North threatened to halt the entire reconciliation process, including family reunions, unless the South immediately provided 500,000 kilowatts of electrical power, to be followed by up to two million kilowatts. It subsequently resumed the exchanges even though it did not receive the power.
The gap between reduced political tensions and the current North Korean military capacity and capability in certain areas concerns us. If the North Korean regime is serious about reconciliation, it is the time now for it to reduce the military threat and reciprocate to the peaceful gestures from other nations. North Korea should begin now to reduce military capabilities, both conventional and weapons of mass destruction.
Despite the perception of political and humanitarian change, the reality is that there is as yet no permanent “peace dividend.” North Korea still poses a major threat to stability and security in the region and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future. Kim Chong-il stubbornly adheres to his “military first” policy, pouring huge amounts of his budget resources into the military, at the expense of the civil sector, as he continues his military buildup. As a result, his military forces are bigger, better, closer, and deadlier since last year's testimony. We define this dangerous military threat in simple terms as capability and intent.
Capability: Bigger and better. The military is the overwhelming power and dominant presence in North Korea. Its ability to strike South Korea without warning and to employ nonconventional weapons and systems continues to grow bigger and get better. The North Korean People’s Army, which includes the army, navy, and air force, numbers over 1.2 million, making it the fifth largest active duty force in the world. Limited military production continues in aircraft and artillery systems with renewed manufacturing efforts in missiles, submarines, and armored vehicles.
The ground force alone numbers one million active duty soldiers and ranks third in the world. The North Korean air force has over 1,700 aircraft. The navy has more than 800 ships, including the largest submarine fleet in the world. There are an additional six million reserves supporting the active duty force. In total, over twenty-five percent of its population is under arms, with all able-bodied children and adults receiving military training every year— although admittedly in a country where “the quest for food” is a daily reality for the average citizen and the vast majority of people lack adequate food, clean water, heat, clothing or access to even basic medical care.
Recent force improvements include forward repositioning key offensive units, emplacing anti-tank barriers in the forward area, establishing combat positions along major routes between Pyongyang and the Demilitarized Zone, improving coastal defense forces in the forward area, constructing missile support facilities, and procuring air defense weapons and fighter aircraft. Applying lessons from U.S. operations in Europe and Southwest Asia, the North Koreans also modified key facility defenses, dispersed forces, and improved camouflage, concealment, and deception measures.
Training levels over the past two years have been record-breaking, with the focus on improving the readiness of major offensive forces. Immediately following the June 2000 summit, the North Korean People’s Army training cycle in the summer of 2000 was the most extensive ever recorded. It was preceded by the most ambitious winter training cycle for the past ten years. High levels of training continue as we speak to you today.
Capability: Closer. As big as they are, North Korea continues to position forces into the area just north of the DMZ— in a position to threaten Combined Forces Command and all of Seoul with little warning. Seventy percent of their active force, including approximately 700,000 troops, over 8,000 artillery systems, and 2,000 tanks, is postured within 90 miles of the Demilitarized Zone. This percentage continues to rise despite the June 2000 summit. Most of this force in the forward area is protected in over 4,000 underground facilities, out of over 11,000 nationwide. From their current locations, these forces can attack with minimal preparations or warning. The protracted southward deployment follows a tactic of “creeping normalcy”—a significant movement over a period of many years that would attract too much international attention if accomplished over weeks or months.
The North fields a total artillery force of over 12,000 systems. Without moving any pieces, Pyongyang could sustain up to 500,000 rounds per hour against Combined Forces Command defenses, and Seoul, for several hours. This artillery force includes 500 new long-range systems deployed over the past decade; however, most dangerous is the accelerated deployment over the past two years of large numbers of long-range 240 mm multiple rocket launcher systems and 170 mm self-propelled guns to hardened sites located along the DMZ. Current training continues to improve their capabilities.
Capability: Deadlier. To keep Combined Forces Command off balance and offset the conventional military technological superiority of the United States and Republic of Korea, the North's leadership has developed substantial asymmetrical capabilities in ballistic missiles, special operations forces, and weapons of mass destruction. The North's asymmetric forces are dangerous, receive an outsized portion of the military budget, and are well trained. Improvements continue in each area.
The North’s progress on its ballistic missile program indicates it remains a top priority. Over the past year, North Korea upheld its moratorium on flight-testing missiles. However, they continue to make enhancements in their missile capabilities. Their ballistic missile inventory includes over 500 SCUDs of various types that can threaten the entire peninsula. They continue to produce and deploy medium-range No Dongs capable of striking Japan and our U.S. bases there. Pyongyang is developing multi-stage missiles aiming to field systems capable of striking the continental United States. They have tested the 2,000-kilometer range Taepo Dong 1 and continue significant work on the 5,000 plus kilometer Taepo Dong 2. North Korea also threatens American interests through the proliferation of ballistic missile capabilities--missiles, technology, technicians, transporter-erector-launchers, and underground facility expertise--to other countries of concern. North Korea has reportedly sold at least 450 missiles to Iran, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and others.
At the tip of the spear are North Korea's special operations forces -- the largest in the world. They consist of over 100,000 personnel and are significant force multipliers. During wartime, these forces, which Kim Chong-il would use as an asymmetrical capability from a ground, air, and naval perspective, would fight on two fronts, simultaneously attacking both our forward and rear forces. They continue to train year around in these skills, and just completed a robust training period last month.
North Korea also possesses weapons of mass destruction. A large number of North Korean chemical weapons threaten both our military forces and civilian population centers. We assess North Korea to have large chemical stockpiles and is self-sufficient in the production of chemical components for first generation chemical agents.
Additionally, North Korea has the capability to develop, produce, and weaponize biological warfare agents. They could deploy both chemical and biological warheads on missiles.
Finally, we continue to be concerned with the potential nuclear threat from North Korea. In the late 1980s and early 1990’s, North Korea may have produced enough plutonium for at least one, and possibly two nuclear weapons.
Intent: The Kim Chong-il Regime maintains a “military-first” orientation. The army is North Korea's largest employer, purchaser, and consumer, the central unifying structure in the country, and the main source of power and control for the ruling clique – the “pillar of the revolution.” North Korean state-run media pronouncements continue to insist on unification under Kim Chong-il’s leadership. In an unprecedented interview with ROK news media executives on 12 August 00, Kim Chong-il stated, “In relations with foreign countries, we gain strength from military power, and my power comes from military power,” thus openly stating his belief that military power is his security imperative and the cornerstone of his philosophy. This “military first” policy was reiterated in the North Korean leader’s New Year’s editorial on 1 January this year. Maintaining a large and credible military force does a number of things: It provides deterrence, defense, an offensive threat, and gives the regime leverage in international negotiations.
The North Korean economy is in ruins. Let’s take a look at some stark numbers: a decline in Gross National Product (GNP) by 55 per cent from 1990 to 1998, down to about $12 billion; a foreign debt approaching the same figure; foreign trade at only 10 per cent of GNP; per capita income of less than $600; many factories closed, with those remaining open in operation at less than 20 per cent of capacity; daily grain rations for common people at between 100 and 200 grams (one-half to one bowl); estimates of the number of deaths from hunger and disease in the last five years ranging from several hundred thousand to three million - despite foreign aid of over $1.6 billion since 1995. The result of this past winter’s harsh weather – the worst in over two decades – will likely be thousands of deaths, serious injuries, and major illnesses among the general populace.
In the face of this human tragedy, North Korea continues to invest 25 to 33 percent of their GNP annually in the military (as compared to 3 percent in the U.S.). Top priority for the nation’s scarce economic resources are the military related industries. For additional hard currency infusion, the North Korean regime continues to export weapons and engage in state sponsored international crime to include narcotics trafficking, and counterfeiting U.S. currency.
Without major fundamental economic reforms, the North will continue to rely on charity to avert complete economic collapse. Absent a sustainable economic turnaround, the North faces the potential for huge humanitarian disaster. The North Korean leadership appears to recognize its dire economic circumstance. The economic and human weakness brought by natural disaster and the failure of state planning likely prompted the diplomatic offensive that we are seeing from the North Korean regime. However, until North Korea undertakes meaningful confidence building measures, it will be necessary for the United States and our allies to remain vigilant against the threat posed by North Korea’s sizable military machine.
Conclusion: While the growing inter-Korean dialogue evident over the past year gives cause for hope, the tense security situation on the Korean peninsula is unpredictable and serious, and will so remain for the foreseeable future. The North Korean military remains the main element of national power and source of leverage that Kim Chong-il possesses to advance his interests. Despite North Korea’s continuing interests in foreign aid and economic reform, the Kim Regime continues to field far more conventional military force than any conceivable sense of self-defense would warrant. We and our allies in the Pacific must encourage tangible military confidence building measures that are verifiable and reciprocal. The measures taken so far (economic, diplomatic, and cultural) are first steps, but tangible military measures are key to reducing the risk of conflict. Throughout this process and into the future, the unequalled ROK-US Alliance will remain vigilant, trained, and ready to fight and win decisively!
THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA AND UNITED STATES ALLIANCE
The Republic of Korea and United States alliance remains the best in the world. It is an alliance built on mutual trust, respect, a common set of values, and commitment to the defense of freedom of South Korea. Our combined forces can fight and win today if called upon. Our power, might, and daily readiness are unparalleled. Unquestionably, our South Korean partners are professional war fighters. They can mobilize over 4.5 million service members and can bring 54 divisions to the fight. Our combined war fighting assets include over 1,500 strike aircraft that can launch over 1,000 daily sorties, over 1,000 rotary aircraft, more than 5,000 tracked vehicles, 3,000 tanks and over 250 combat ships to include 4 or more carrier battle groups. If necessary, this unequalled combined combat power and might can defeat a North Korean attack and destroy its military and regime. It is this power and might that strengthens our deterrence mission and ultimately provides regional security.
Our continuing cooperation and understanding is a success story in many ways. It is institutionalized in our Mutual Defense Treaty and in our Security Consultative and Military Committee Meetings. Four alliance areas deserve particular note: alliance successes, military procurement, defense burdensharing, and a brief discussion of command initiatives that will shape our alliance.
Alliance successes: Overall, our alliance is stronger because of U.S.-South Korean cooperation to conclude three significant issues in the past year. Most notably, we successfully revised our Status of Forces Agreement, which safeguards the rights of our service members while better respecting the laws, customs, and culture of the Republic of Korea. Second, both nations concluded a cooperative investigation on the tragic events that occurred fifty years ago at the Korean village of Nogun-ri. Here again, this issue has been resolved in a manner that is consistent with an alliance based on democratic ideals and an honest quest for truth and accountability. Finally, South Korea, in consultation with the U.S., established a policy of developing operational missiles with a range of no more than 300 kilometers and a payload of 500 kilograms, which are the Missile Control Technology Regime limits.
Military Procurement: The Defense White Paper 2000, published by the Ministry of National Defense, addresses aggressive modernization goals for the South Korean forces. United States Forces Korea wholeheartedly supports these efforts and feels that they will set the conditions for an autonomous South Korean military in the future. Modernization and improvements are being made in many key areas through indigenous production, co-production, and procurement through Foreign Military Sales. South Korea continues to demonstrate overwhelming preference for U.S. military equipment. South Korean military purchases from the U.S. as a percentage of total foreign procurement has ranged from 59.2 percent to 98.9 percent in the last ten years. The decade average is 78.6 percent.
Last year the South Korean military purchased Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), theater airborne collection systems, and weapons and electronics upgrades for their newest destroyers. Additionally, we are encouraged by the serious consideration that the Republic of Korea is devoting to purchase the F-15E strike fighter jet, the AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter, and the Patriot (SAM-X) missile systems. These powerful systems are interoperable with U.S. systems and will ensure that military might can be brought to bear quickly and decisively, at a time when it may be required. Not only will these systems improve today’s alliance combat power, they also contribute to the future regional security for Northeast Asia.
There are three areas where the Republic of Korea must procure capabilities to support our combined combat readiness: 1) Command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) interoperability; 2) Chemical and biological defense capabilities; and 3) Preferred munitions necessary for the early stages of the war plan.
Defense Burdensharing: Of the four burdensharing categories in the 2000 Report to Congress on Allied Contributions to the Common Defense, South Korea met the Congressional goal in one. The Republic of Korea increased the number of peacekeepers in support of multinational military activities, primarily in East Timor. The Republic of Korea did not meet Congressional targets in the three other areas: 1) cost sharing, 2) defense spending as percentage of Gross Domestic Product, and 3) foreign assistance. This is a downward trend from the previous year and must be reversed, as key U.S. Congressional leadership has articulated.
In the cost-sharing category for fiscal year 2000, the Republic of Korea paid $751 million out of $1.83 billion United States non-personnel stationing costs. This is a 41 percent contribution that fell short of the Congressional 2000 goal of 75 percent. The U.S. and South Korea enter negotiations this year to adjust this level of cost sharing and sign a new Special Measures Agreement. The Republic of Korea must raise its present percentage of non-personnel stationing costs. The U.S. State Department concurs.
South Korean defense spending as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product dropped from 3.2 to 2.8 percent between 1998 and 1999. The 1999 value of 2.8 percent was below the U.S. defense investment of 3.2 percent.
South Korean outlays for foreign assistance failed to increase by 10 percent between 1998 and 1999, and at 0.04 percent of Gross Domestic Product, they fell below the Congressional goal of 1 percent.
Command Initiatives: During this past year, we have developed a number of initiatives designed to better meet the needs and demands of our great alliance. The most important of these are support to the North-South transportation corridor, the “good neighbor” initiatives, environmental programs, and the Land Partnership Plan.
The United Nations Command will continue to fully support President Kim Dae-jung’s reconciliation process and the development of a road/rail transportation corridor through the Demilitarized Zone. The command has already modified the 1953 Armistice Agreement to allow the Republic of Korea to coordinate construction issues on behalf of the Military Armistice Commission. Close cooperation between United Nations Command and the South Korean Ministry of National Defense has, and will continue to ensure sufficient levels of security in the Demilitarized Zone during de mining, corridor construction, and future operation. As we work closely with North Korea over issues concerning access and commerce in this corridor, we will continue to insist that all actions, and all confidence-building measures, are both reciprocal and verifiable.
During the summer of 2000 the command and the government of South Korea initiated comprehensive good neighbor initiatives in response to an alarming rise in “anti-U.S. Forces Korea” sentiment that turned violent in some situations. The program includes education programs for both U.S. service members and the Korean public, public affairs programs to offer a balanced perspective to the Korean press, and increased interaction between U.S. service members and local Korean military units and citizens. To educate and nurture an understanding between our service members and South Korean citizens we began a bilingual quarterly newsletter jointly published by U.S. Forces Korea and the South Korean government, and posted on the Korean Defense Ministry’s Internet website. Still in its infancy, these initiatives have already paid dividends and will continue to do so into the future.
Being good stewards of the environment in our host country is important to our mission and the alliance. We have accomplished much but there is more we will do. Future problem mitigation and environmental protection requires continuous funding from both the Republic of Korea and United States. Our investment in protecting the Korean environment is the responsible course that serves to strengthen our alliance.
The final future initiative is the Land Partnership Plan begun in December 2000 with our Korean partners. This program seeks to improve the combined forces readiness posture, improve force protection, enhance public safety, stop training range encroachment, advance quality of life for U.S. forces, support South Korean economic growth, and posture our forces for cooperation well into the future. The combination of a robust and growing Korean economy, rising population, and very limited land on the Korean peninsula is placing extreme pressure on the command. Encroachment by farming and construction on training ranges and in safety zones around ammunition storage areas endangers the public and is lessening our ability to properly train. This initiative will reconfigure and protect training areas, and consolidate our forces around hub installations. Both nations stand to gain significantly from this effort, but the program requires strong support from the Korean government. U.S. Forces Korea must have access to small new purchases of rural land for consolidation before we can release large areas of valuable urban land and facilities. Additionally, both sides must approach the plan as an integrated whole, and not piecemeal the package, to maximize benefits.
During my comments today, I will discuss the status of programs and programmatic areas in which resource allocations are of significant concern to me. My intent is to discuss possible problem areas as they now appear. However, these program areas and their associated funding levels may change pending the outcome of the new Administration's strategy and defense review which will guide future decisions on military spending. For FY 2002, the President's budget includes funding to cover our most pressing priorities. I ask that you consider my comments in that light.
Achieving our vision and accomplishing our missions requires us to prioritize scarce resources. Our command priorities are 1) War Fighting Readiness, 2) Support to War Plans, 3) Force Protection, 4) Future Force Development, and 5) Quality of Life.
War Fighting Readiness: Our number one command priority of war fighting readiness consists of training, exercises and headquarters operations:
Training is the cornerstone of our combat capability and level of readiness. Our combined forces continue to remain trained and ready. We can fight and win! The North knows it. They fear our power and might. We are fully capable of decisively defeating North Korea and destroying the regime. However, the command faces significant training challenges ranging from training range encroachment to required modernization. We need to reverse problems in three specific areas: 1) Training area requirements, 2) Korea Training Center modernization, and 3) Realistic urban operations training facility.
Our first concern is that our joint forces experience a lack of adequate training areas on the peninsula. The problem stems from training areas being widely dispersed, non-contiguous, often temporarily unavailable, and too small to support the range of our modern weapon systems. Current training areas also suffer from sustained civilian construction and farming encroachment. The Land Partnership Plan addresses this urgent problem by consolidating and protecting necessary training areas. The new Inchon International Airport scheduled for full operation in 2003 creates additional problems for airspace management. The Republic of Korea government must energize a realistic and near term program to improve their airspace management system. Failure to do so will increase the risk for both commercial airlines and military aircraft.
The second long-term challenge is the support for our Korea Training Center, Synthetic Training Environment Vision. Currently, we have the ability to train a battalion task force in the live environment at the Center but only under manpower intensive, manually supported efforts. We need to increase training realism by modernizing range instrumentation. We are working with Department of the Army to fund this requirement.
To squeeze the most benefit out of every training minute and dollar, we must infuse new training technologies. In the near term, full funding of our joint exercise program is critical to maintaining our current level of readiness. Currently, our vital simulation centers (Korea Battle and Korea Air Simulation Centers) are not fully funded which requires us to reprogram dollars from other programs to fund these readiness enablers. This is a less than ideal situation.
Third, and finally, urban combat training is imperative for all forces in Korea as urbanization now dominates South Korea, the second most densely populated country in the world. We greatly appreciate the fiscal year 2001 military construction (MILCON) you provided and efforts are ongoing to construct our Combined Arms Collective (urban warfare) Training Facility. However, instrumentation for this critical project is not funded. To achieve the maximum training benefit from this facility, we need to install the prescribed instrumentation systems.
The second component of war fighting readiness is exercises. Both the content and timing of our combined and joint exercises successfully posture this command to deter, defend, and decisively win a military engagement. Exercises equal deterrence! Because of the proximity of the threat, the complexity of this theater, and our high personnel turnover, we must conduct robust theater level exercises annually to maintain combat readiness. Each exercise is unique and focused on a different essential component of the combined war fight. The loss or reduction of dollars to support these exercises will weaken readiness and deterrence, and hamper our combined forces training to fight and win.
Our vital Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff exercise support is currently under-funded. Budget constraints have seriously impacted our joint and combined exercise program. The combination of the increasing cost of strategic lift, and a flat-line strategic lift budget, has degraded our exercise strategic lift capability. It would be unwise to let this continue over the Future Years Defense Plan (FYDP).
We will try to maintain our major exercises, but we must not sacrifice realistic, quality training opportunities in the process. Again, we must monitor our cuts carefully because these exercises are not hypothetical—they are the exercising of real, “go to war” plans. Korea is the only theater in the world where real war plans drive all exercises.
Finally, we need significant help with our headquarters operations. We anticipate needing additional funding in this area in order to conduct day-to-day operations in the headquarters for United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, U.S. Forces Korea, and Eighth U.S. Army.
Support to War Plans: The four principle categories of support to war plans are logistics; personnel; command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I); and intelligence capability. Although we have made great strides in recent years, all four categories require additional support.
The distance between the northeast Asian theater and the U.S. make logistics support a healthy challenge to overcome. The task that is most vital to our success in Korea is the current readiness of our forward deployed forces. It is time to change the way Korea-based units are viewed in our logistics system. Instead of considering our forces as forward based or stationed, we must be considered “forward deployed” in much the same manner as forces in the Balkans. The proximity of the enemy and short warning times mandate our forces be ready to fight tonight. In order to “fight tonight,” our units must have the supplies and equipment necessary to defeat any attack. We will defeat any North Korean attack early, while our augmentation forces and supplies are overcoming the tyranny of distance from the United States. To accomplish this our forces must have a support priority equal to the highest priority of each of the four services. We intend to work through the services to improve this posture.
Intra-theater sea and airlift form the cornerstones of our ability to integrate forces and provide responsive theater support during conflict. We fully support the Army’s initiative to forward station Army watercraft close to northeast Asia. We also are avid supporters of Air Force programs that will ensure adequate availability of C-130 and C-17 aircraft for intra-theater lift during a crisis. The geography of the Korean Peninsula makes the effective use of theater-controlled air and sealift essential to our success.
The limitations of airlift and sealift to rapidly move forces and supplies to Korea are a concern. We fully support the planned and continued modernization and maintenance of our Defense Department’s strategic enroute infrastructure.
The U.S. also needs to improve the strategic deployment triad: 1) For airlift, this means a robust acquisition program for the C-17, increased efforts to improve the reliability of the C-5, and strong support for the Civil Reserve Air Fleet; 2) For sealift, this means the completion of our Ready Reserve Force and Large, Medium Speed Roll-On, Roll-Off programs; and 3) For pre positioning programs, this means 100% fill of equipment and adequate sustainment for these programs for all services.
Pre-positioning programs for equipment offer us the ability to reduce the strategic movement requirements early in any conflict. In Korea, our ability to defeat a North Korean attack is critically dependent upon the pre-positioning of key items of equipment and supplies. We primarily focus on the Army’s brigade set of equipment and supplies, the pre-positioning of critical munitions and repair parts, and the location of assets critical to our ability to integrate and sustain forces early in the fight. Our pre-positioning programs focus on the initial fifteen to thirty days of the campaign while the United States’ strategic sustainment base gears up. We have shortages with regard to our stocks of preferred munitions, Air Force replacement parts, replacement ground combat systems, and the Army’s pre-positioned Brigade set.
Key logistics and sustainment shortfall remains in Army Prepositioned Stocks (APS-4). Sustainment shortfalls limit ability to reconstitute the force and sustain missions, resulting in increasing risk. Significant major end item shortages do exist. Lack of repair parts and major assemblies with the APS-4 sustainment stockpile will directly impact the ability to return battle-damaged equipment to the fight. Current funding stream does not adequately support sustainment shortfalls in APS-4. However, the Army’s current plans are to cascade additional equipment into APS-4 sustainment stocks over the next couple of years thus, reducing the shortfall. We strongly support the services’ requirements to improve our ability to sustain combat operations. Failure to support these requirements increases our risk.
The second element of supporting our war plans is personnel. Our main challenge is the turnover of our people. In a theater with approximately 95 percent turnover per year, the small size of our joint staff is currently our major concern. We are manned at about 34 percent of our wartime staff requirements. In addition, new mission areas such as force protection, information assurance, information operations, and critical infrastructure protections are being established without any authorized billets. We cannot continue to handle new requirements without the manpower to do the job. This must change. Korea cannot go on at the 34 percent manning level.
We are most concerned about our command and control systems. Today, severe deficiencies in command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) functionality impairs our ability to execute the war plan. To achieve the information superiority that President Bush describes in A Blueprint for New Beginnings-A Responsible Budget for America’s Priorities, we must pursue technologies that provide collaborative, interactive, real-time common operational understanding. This is best achieved by building a C4I architecture that embraces the principles of network-centric warfare while leveraging emerging space based capabilities and sensor to shooter technologies. We are also engaging Joint Forces Command to integrate ongoing C4I experimentation in our major peninsula exercises to help us stay on the forefront of emerging technology. We feel this relationship will put us in a solid position to integrate maturing technologies into our theater architecture.
Pursuing leading edge technologies alone will not guarantee success in the future. Transitioning to modern technology requires an accompanying shift from the current analog processes that served us well during the Cold War to the digital processes needed to address regional threats in the information age. To begin this transition, we need to balance current readiness with the imperative to pursue C4I capabilities that ensure full functionality. As such, the vast majority of our anticipated fiscal year 2002 budget for C4I supports the minimum required to sustain current “go-to-war” systems while we expect to pursue this new vision over the Future Years Defense Plan. This includes maintaining the funding previously earmarked for Korea support through U.S. Army Forces Command and Army Signal Command.
Our “go-to-war” command and control (C2) systems consist of the Global Command and Control System (GCCS, both U.S.-only and combined versions), as well as a combined secure video teleconferencing (VTC) system. These combined systems are the Department of Defense’s largest and most complex bilingual command and control systems and are absolutely imperative to commanding and controlling U.S. and South Korean forces. Over the last five years, U.S. Forces Korea has had to divert funds from other Operations and Maintenance programs to sustain these C2 systems. We can no longer afford to take this approach. Our funding shortfall is significant, but contains only what is required to maintain the status quo. We have deferred new growth and operational enhancements to the outyears.
Any discussion of C4I must include two near term challenges—information assurance and spectrum availability. These capabilities are critical to protecting our investments in C4I. Our increasing use of information systems breeds a growing dependence. While this dependence does create opportunities for us to exploit adversary information and information systems, it does, however, expose our own vulnerabilities. We are pursuing a viable information assurance program to protect our information while defending our information systems, but we anticipate facing a severe funding shortfall with regard to our top down driven projects. However, this could change as a result of the Defense Strategy Review.
I share the same concerns as other CINCs regarding the upcoming plan to sell off major portions of the U.S. frequency spectrum. Today, we are hindered from fielding new systems as well as training as we will fight because of host nation spectrum access. We will soon be fielding the Apache Longbow attack helicopter in Korea but have not yet gained frequency approval for armistice training and operations due to conflicts with South Korean commercial telecommunications providers. Additionally, there are no available frequencies to support unmanned aerial vehicles during armistice, and only limited frequency approval for Joint STARS and PATRIOT air defense system. Further sell off of additional spectrum in the U.S. will reverberate around the world and significantly impair on our ability to execute operations. I strongly urge great caution in this area.
Enhancement to our intelligence capability is an absolute necessity. President Bush’s articulation of the need for “leap-ahead technologies for new...intelligence systems” (A Blueprint for New Beginnings...) hits the mark in Korea. Our top priority is to advance our intelligence backbone, the Pacific Command Automated Data Processing Server Site Korea (PASS-K) with 21st Century Technology. This is a General Defense Intelligence Budget Program (GDIP) that has operated with insufficient funding for over five years, and is now running on fumes. I fully support the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) requests for funding, to expedite long neglected modernization, and acquire next-generation improvements. Failure to do so risks degrading our already diminished indications and warning posture while hampering our collaboration with the entire joint intelligence community. This must be funded!
We must improve our theater’s intelligence systems’ functionality. Our VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) Satellite network provides us mobile communications, but is currently separated into three isolated networks. We intend to integrate the three into one network, while modernizing and upgrading in the process. This will improve capacity and reduce costs while providing much needed redundancy in this fragile system. However, we have a funding shortfall in this program.
We need to leverage our capability to collaborate with the entire joint intelligence community off peninsula to perform rapid targeting, battle damage assessment, and threat analysis. We plan to install hardware and software onto the existing systems and networks to accomplish this essential requirement. This will facilitate the integration of U.S. Forces Korea collection efforts into national databases and threat assessments, seamlessly collaborating theater and national intelligence related to Korea. Without increasing our footprint in Korea, this will increase our accessibility to analysts at National Security Agency (NSA), DIA and Joint Intelligence Center-Pacific Command. We need funding support for this effort.
Finally, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) assets must not dip below current levels in Imagery Intelligence and Signals Intelligence (SIGINT)...it must improve. Until the unmanned aerial vehicle proves itself reliable and affordable as a replacement for the U2, we must hold the number of U2 pilots we have and not let this precious high-demand, low-density asset decrease on peninsula. I also fully support the U.S. national intelligence community, particularly National Security Agency, requests for funding to improve ISR and SIGINT capabilities.
Force Protection: The environment in Korea presents several unique challenges for the protection of our service members, civilians and family members. While our force protection posture continues to improve, United States Forces Korea has 95 installations across the peninsula, many quite small and remote. We have organized these 95 installations into 12 “enclaves” for more centralized planning, execution, and coordination of resources and to provide a clear chain of command responsibility.
During this past year, we have reviewed and updated the force protection plans for each of our enclaves. We are now taking the next step by exercising these plans, using likely terrorist scenarios, to continue to improve them. I have established a U.S. Forces Korea level “Tiger Team” to conduct an exercise at each of our enclaves during this Fiscal Year. Each exercise is preceded by a “Red Team” assessment, which simulates a terrorist group attempting to penetrate and attack one of our installations. We have conducted four of these exercises thus far. We have shared the lessons learned from each of these with the joint community and all of our units as we continue to refine our force protection plans.
We have identified four systemic Force Protection concerns within United States Forces Korea: lack of standoff, access to installations, off-post housing, and off-post activities.
Our most resource intensive vulnerability is lack of standoff. Urban encroachment on our installations, decaying infrastructure, and the lack of available real estate for force protection modifications contribute to the vulnerabilities. In the short term we have used Joint Staff Combating Terrorism Initiative Funds to install blast walls and Mylar coating in limited areas to protect our most critical facilities. Our Land Partnership Plan addresses some of our long-term weaknesses. This plan will shift many of our installations and training areas from urban centers to rural areas and allow us to move more of our people onto our installations.
Access to our installations poses another significant challenge. We have taken positive steps to improve our access control through implementation of a fingerprint scanning identification system and reducing the number of non-U.S. Forces Korea persons who can be sponsored onto our facilities. The Army currently fully funds our contract security guard force that maintains installation access control and perimeter security without diverting soldiers to this task. Continued funding is vital.
We are conducting a complete study of off-post housing and temporary lodging to assess our vulnerability and determine appropriate protection policies. Our long-term goal is to substantially reduce the number of personnel being housed off-post through increased construction of on-post quarters. In the near term we execute a very proactive force protection public awareness program for those living or traveling off post.
We have routinely conducted force protection assessments for all high profile off-post activities and events. We have expanded risk assessments to assess our vulnerabilities with regard to the lower profile activities such as inter-camp bus routes and personnel attending college classes on local campuses. We continue to look for and implement innovative ways to mitigate our vulnerabilities and educate our personnel and their families on threat avoidance. We believe force protection funding shortfalls will be significant for fiscal year 2002, and we need your help to ensure our American personnel are properly protected.
Future Force Development: As technology advances we must constantly seek innovative improvements to our capabilities through Force Development. We support the efforts of the research and development community, and would benefit most from improved intelligence analysis capability; ability to locate and track weapons of mass destruction; protection against nuclear, biological, and chemical attack; ability to defeat hard and deeply buried targets, and missile defense.
We are excited about the Army’s Transformation concepts and I am pushing for the stationing of one Interim Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) in Korea to replace one existing brigade. This will provide the maneuverability and combat power necessary to operate in the mountainous and increasing urbanized terrain of Korea. It will also prepare us to refocus the Army’s forward deployed forces in Korea to a regional role. The IBCT provides a rapidly deployable ground force to complement Air Force Aerospace Expeditionary Forces, and Marine Expeditionary Forces, and Navy Amphibious Ready Groups and Carrier Battle Groups as U.S. Forces Korea’s role transitions to that of northeast Asia regional security.
Quality of Life: Quality of life, our final command priority, is a basic element of overall readiness and is critical to our mission. As stated in President Bush’s A Blueprint for New Beginnings..., “we cannot honor our servicemen and woman and yet allow substandard housing and inadequate compensation levels to endure.” The Korean peninsula faces shortfalls in both areas. The investment philosophy of “50 years of presence in Korea...one year at a time” has taken a severe toll on our housing, infrastructure, and morale. Personnel Tempo is 365 days a year in this “hardship tour” area. Our service members wake each day within artillery range of our adversary knowing he will be the one who decides if we go to war. Our intent is to make a Korean tour the assignment of choice for our military personnel by providing the best quality of life possible. Our goal is a quality of life that is comparable to other overseas assignments. This is clearly not the case today. A Korea assignment today involves the greatest loss of pay in the military, the highest command declination rate, the highest “no show” rate in the U.S. Army, and the poorest quality of life of any permanent change of station assignment in the military. We have a plan but we need help. To attack these problems, we need to address Pay and Morale, Housing and Infrastructure, and MILCON.
Even with the great assistance we received from Congress last year, we continue to face grim conditions regarding housing and infrastructure throughout this command. Nearly 40% of the service members in U.S. Forces Korea live in inadequate quarters. Overcrowded facilities force us to billet many unaccompanied personnel off-post, increasing their personal risk and cost of living. Unaccompanied housing and dining facilities suffer from rapid deterioration and excessive wear through overcrowding and lack of Real Property Maintenance and Repair (RPM) funding. Some military personnel still live in Quonset huts and Vietnam-era pre-fabricated buildings. However, if funded, by 2008 the barracks will be upgraded to an acceptable standard. Fifteen percent of all buildings in the command are between 40 and 80 years old and 32 percent are classified as temporary buildings. In 1999 and 2000 alone, the command suffered 295 electrical power and 467 water supply outages from decaying infrastructure.
The lack of adequate family housing is the most serious quality of life issue we face in Korea. It contributes to high personnel turbulence and discontinuity, degrades morale and productivity, resulting in high assignment declinations and retention problems for our services. Indeed, Korea’s uniqueness as a yearlong unaccompanied tour has been purchased at a price. We provide government owned and leased housing for 1,987 personnel—less than 10 percent of our married service members—compared to more than 70 percent in Europe and Japan. Our goal is to increase the command-sponsored rate for Korea.
The solution is to raise the quality of life for personnel that serve in Korea, and we have a plan. This current plan includes new construction and leasing local housing units. We intend to apply more than half of this cost from our Host Nation Construction funding to build 4,200 of the 6,300 units needed over the next twenty years, but we will need your help to fund family housing construction. In addition, we need leased housing (800 units authorized by Title 10 now, and add an additional 2,000 units to expand the command sponsored population). This year’s “New Housing Project” budget includes 60 new units at Camp Humphrey’s. This project must not be cut. A total of 6,300 units across the peninsula are required.
Congressional funding that you provided last year has enabled us to improve water distribution systems at Kunsan and Osan Air Base, and improve existing barracks at Camp Carroll, Camp Hovey, and Camp Page. Nevertheless, chronic under-funding of military construction (MILCON) funding for Korea during the past 15 years and the interruption of MILCON dollars for our command between 1991 and 1994 has limited our ability to give our service members the quality of life they deserve. We desperately need to execute a comprehensive construction program and begin to eliminate the unacceptable living and working conditions in aging facilities that U.S. forces in Korea face every day.
Aging facilities are also more costly to maintain. Under funding of real property maintenance (RPM) exacerbates an already serious problem with troop housing, dining facilities, work areas, and infrastructure. We hope to receive additional funding that will allow us to keep the doors open to our facilities and make emergency repairs only. It will still leave us short of our total requirement.
Finally, utilities costs are soaring. This is an area where increasing costs can no longer be absorbed. Oil costs are up 60%. Electricity is up 5% and scheduled to go up 15% more. Because of these increased energy costs, we anticipate needing additional funds.
In summary, we work our command priorities through a balanced readiness approach—carefully addressing combat readiness, infrastructure, and quality of life with limited resources. Our ability to fight and win decisively is tied to proper balance in all of these essential areas. Overall, our top priorities for fiscal year 2002 are as follows: 1) C4I architecture modernization and protection, 2) Combat Readiness: air and ground battle simulation centers, 3) Anti-terrorism and force protection, 4) Environmental protection and damage mitigation, 5) Real property maintenance, and 6) Family Housing.
We would like to leave you with five thoughts:
First, we want to emphasize that the support of Congress and the American people is vitally important to our future in Korea. We thank you for all you have done. However, we must also ensure that our resolve is consistent and visible so that North Korea, or any other potential adversary, cannot misinterpret it. We have an investment of over 50 years in this region. I believe we should continue to build on it to guarantee the stability that is so important to the people of Korea, northeast Asia, and to our own national interests. We urge committee members to come to Korea and see first-hand the importance of the American military presence and the strength and vitality of the United States - Republic of Korea alliance.
Second, the North Korean military continues to increase its nonconventional threat and conduct large-scale training exercises in spite of severe economic problems and a perception of a thawing relationship between North and South Korea. North Korea’s continued growth in military capability and the intent implied, amounts to a continued significant threat. Now, more than ever, the strength of the Republic of Korea – United States alliance, built on a foundation of teamwork and combined training, provides both nations with a powerful deterrent as well as the readiness to fight and win. Make no mistake; there is no “Peace Dividend” yet in the Korean theater at this time. The North Korean threat to peace and stability in northeast Asia will not fundamentally diminish until the North engages in tangible military confidence building measures, both now and in the future, that are verifiable and reciprocal.
Third, this is the second year of commemorations recognizing the significance of the 50th Anniversary of the Korean War, viewed by many of our veterans as the “forgotten war.” We are committed to honoring the brave veterans, living and dead and hope you can join us in Korea for these commemorations to remember their sacrifice.
Fourth, now and in the future, the U.S. and northeast Asian nations cannot secure their interests and economic prosperity without credible, rapidly deployable, air/land/sea forces in Korea. Presence is security, commitment to friends, and access into the region. As the only presence on the mainland of east Asia, U.S. forces in Korea will play a vital role in the future peace and stability of the region.
Finally, you can be justifiably proud of all the exceptional things the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Defense Department civilians continue to do with great spirit and conviction. They remain our most valuable asset. They sacrifice for our Nation every day. This is why we remain so firm that we owe all those who faithfully serve proper resources for training, a quality infrastructure, and an adequate quality of life. Again, thank you for this opportunity to share our thoughts with you.