2010 Strategic Deterrence Symposium - Panel 5 - "21st Century Security Environment and Implications for Deterrence"Moderator: Dr. Brad Roberts, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy; Panelists: Dr. Sergei Rogov, Director, Institute for U.S. and Canadian Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences; Mr. Dean Cheng, Research Fellow, Asian Studies Center, The Heritage Foundation; Mr. Ian Wallace, Counsellor, Defence Policy and Nuclear, British Embassy, Washington, D.C.; Mr. Michael Elliot, SES, Deputy Director, Plans and Policy, U.S. Strategic Comman
Dr. Roberts: -- for which nuclear weapons would be deeply relevant. We're also interested in developing additional tools of deterrence to reinforce deterrence of these new challengers.
Allow me to close with a footnote and a comment on how these factors combine and relate to the discussion of yesterday afternoon.
Repeatedly yesterday people talked about a continuing theme in American strategic thinking of reducing reliance on nuclear weapons since the end of the Cold War. Just to be clear, you won't find that term, reducing reliance, in the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review.
We have looked at the security environment, we have identified the possibility of reducing the numbers and roles of nuclear weapons and working to create the conditions that allow us and others to further reduce their role and numbers over time. But for the problems for which they remain relevant, the Nuclear Posture Review reflects the view of the President and the Secretaries of State and Defense and others in the Cabinet, that deterrence must remain strong and effective for the purposes for which it's still relevant.
So we're not looking dogmatically to reduce reliance on nuclear weapons. We're committed to reducing numbers and roles where we can do so safely and securely. Some think that's a very subtle and not very important distinction, but it is an artifact of a long and careful discussion in the Nuclear Review Process about how we wanted to convey our national commitment to reshaping the role of deterrence in the 21st Century security environment.
With that, let me turn first to Dr. Sergei Rogov.
Dr. Rogov: Thank you, Brad.
First of all, I have to say it's my great honor and pleasure to be here and I want to express my gratitude to General Chilton and his staff, and in particular to Colonel Kashim who is taking such great care of me. [Laughter].
Now let me say that when Brad said we reduce reliance on nuclear weapons you have to be very careful. We, that's the United States. We, Russia, are not reducing reliance on nuclear deterrence. Later today Admiral [Chekmasov] is going to talk to you about the Russian official position on this issue.
I am not speaking for the Russian government, but I am Chairman of the International Security Advisory Board to the Russian National Security Council, so while I'm in the business of giving free advice to my government and everybody else including this audience.
Let me start with the notion of transition to the polycentric international system. I would call it the new multipolarity because this new multipolar system which is evolving today I think in many ways is very much different from what historically and traditionally existed, at least until the 2nd World War before the Soviet Union and the United States created the bipolar system. Because this is a multi-civilizational international system. And perceptions in different civilizations might be different, since this one is no more limited to just Christian-wide civilizations. There could be different meanings even for terms like deterrence in different cultures.
The second point, unlike previously, practically all major centers of power possess nuclear weapons or have the capability, like Japan, to very quickly acquire nuclear weapons. That's why the conflict between major centers of power could be particularly dangerous, just to mention the 1st or 2nd World Wars, if participants had access to nuclear weapons.
Finally, we have problems with the lack of universal accepted rules of the game and the weaknesses of international institutions which are supposed to manage the international system like the United Nations or G8 or IMF, World Bank, World Trade Organization. And the Arms Control Regime which used to maintain stability during the Cold War has been almost on the verge of collapse. Let us remember the CTBT is dead, the ABM Treaty is dead, the CFE Treaty is not alive, and last December the START-1 expired and still the new START treaty is not ratified.
So in a way we have a race against time, whether we are able to build the new system to maintain strategic stability before we are going to face very unpleasant scenarios.
Let me say a few words about strategic stability. Since during the Cold War we started to stick to a very narrow definition of strategic stability. Mostly in terms of the disparity in strategic nuclear weapons between the Soviet Union and the United States. But definitely there is a much broader definition of strategic stability which takes into account all factors which define the national power, military factors including conventional, but also other factors of power.
In my definition strategic stability, the broad definition, is maintenance of the balance of power which prevents a major military conflict and in particular the conflict between key international players.
Let me say a few words about the military balance from a Russian point of view. Today we face a very unprecedented situation in Russian history. For centuries we enjoyed conventional superiority, in particular numerical superiority to our neighbors. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and decline of the Russian industrial base and drastic reductions of Russian armed forces, we have today the conventional balance in the West which is three-to-one in favor of NATO, and something like ten-to-one in the East in favor of China. That definitely has a very serious impact on our thinking about how to defend and protect our country.
And that's why what happened in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union, we started to emphasize the role of nuclear deterrence in protection of Russia. I'm not going to go into details, but let me say a few words about tactical nuclear weapons which is perceived in Russia as a counterbalance to this huge conventional inferiority which we face both in the East and in the West.
First of all, the very term tactical nuclear weapons is a little bit misleading. And Dr. Foster said yesterday that we have ten times more tactical nuclear weapons than the United States. It's not quite so, although official numbers have never been published.
The reliable estimates give the number something like 3,000 to 4,000 sub-strategic nuclear weapons. I use this term because you have to remember that our ballistic missile defense system and our strategic air defenses, they are nuclear tipped.
So the real number of the battlefield tactical nuclear weapons in Russia is not as big as claimed here. Of course we have more tactical nuclear weapons than the United States. Here is a very important asymmetry in Russia and American deterrence postures.
The new START treaty, and this is something which I would call is a very good development, but is basically a reflection of creative accounting, you know, like Goldman Sachs. [Laughter]. And Rose Gottemuller will be able to correct my allegations, but if we buy the START-1 counting rules to the force structure which General Chilton commands the number of warheads will be not 1550, but something like 3500. So it's more like what we talked about in START-2 which never came into force.
Of course the United States is downloading your delivery means, but from a Russian point of view the United States has a huge uploading capability. And with 5,000 active weapons, unfortunately Russia didn't declare the number of our active nuclear weapons, so we can only speculate. The United States will have something like 1500 deployed strategic warheads and something like 2500, maybe even more, for uploading, which could be done I think within several months, within the year. And that means that the new START treaty basically reflects a Russian agreement to accept formal parity with the United States in deployed weapons. But agreeing that the United States could generate a much bigger force since Russia since our uploading capability is very limited and when our heavy missiles will be finally retired in just a few years, we simply won't have throw-weight to upload our missiles. And we don't have some problems with the SLBM Bulava. So for us, 1550 is ceiling except the bombers since probably our bombers, if we use the START-1 counting rules, can carry about 17 nuclear warheads according to the new START definitions, but something like 500 or 600, that's my speculation.
Let me say a few words about the next stage, how we can proceed. I think we face several huge challenges. One is that if we reduce more we have to take into account other nuclear powers, both three official powers -- UK, Great Britain and France -- but those are three unofficial powers. I hope that the number of unofficial nuclear powers is not going to jump while we are negotiating for the follow-up treaty.
Definitely it's impossible to avoid the question of tactical or sub-strategic nuclear warheads. The issue of BMD, in particular phase four deployment of SM3, Block 2B is going to be very important later this decade.
And conventional precision guidance munitions, conventional deterrence capability. On the Russian side there is a huge concern about American SLCMs, conventional SLCMs, and of course Global Strike, this is something which will be followed very closely in Russia, and I hope since in the new START we agreed on five telemetry exchanges annually, General Chilton will be so kind as to share us with telemetry on your testing of conventional tipped delivery means.
Now what could be the next steps? Here I think probably we have a great opportunity to change the paradigm of the Russian-American relations fundamentally, something which we failed 20 years ago and 10 years ago. And there is said stop the u-turn to a new Cold War, but the goal, to my mind, should be partnership between Russia and the United States in strategic issues when we deal with common challenges.
Particularly important I think is [preparation] between Russia and the United States on ballistic missile defense. But that should be cooperation between two ballistic missile defense systems.
So when General O'Reilly or Secretary Gates tell us join our ballistic missile defense, we are not enthusiastic because it is interpreted as we are providing our assets, like radars, to the United States; but without any control of American BMD.
Besides not too many in Russia are concerned about Iranian security threat to Russia. Iranian nuclear attack to Russia. Although we have much greater concerns about possible missile and nuclear threats in other regions, because all the ballistic missile proliferators are to the south and east of Russia -- Korea, China, Pakistan, India, Iran, Israel. Not Iran only.
I think that it should be, the goal should be interoperability between our two ballistic missile defense systems, and not only -- And it might include integration of our informational assets, but it also should include technological cooperation.
And the great friend of the Soviet Union, Ronald Reagan, in his Star Wars speech promised to share ballistic missile technologies with the Soviet Union. Maybe this is an idea which needs to be revisited.
Finally, how to make new steps if at all. I believe that at some point we have to eliminate that official distinction between strategic and tactical nuclear warheads. It's only Russia and the United States who do this distinction. All other nuclear powers, they look at nuclear weapons as nuclear weapons. And for Russia, today as Dr. Schlesinger emphasized when he was making his presentation tomorrow, he is looking at sub-strategic weapons as a great equalizer. But if we take the START counting rules, what is deployed and what is undeployed, because what is undeployed is anything which is not mounted. Are tactical nuclear weapons mounted today on delivery vehicles? No. They are storaged. If you want to use a very controversial term, they are de-alerted. Like all those downloaded strategic warheads which you are going to keep in storage.
And I think maybe at the next stage, somewhere in the middle of the next decade, we can agree on two ceilings. One ceiling should be for all deployed warheads, whether they are strategic or tactical. And another ceiling should be for all storage warheads, whether they are strategic or tactical. Like the new START permits us the freedom to mix in our strategic forces. So with nuclear arsenals I presume the United States will keep more strategic warheads deployed, probably all deployed warheads will be strategic, and more strategic warheads in storage, and very few tactical warheads.
While Russia will keep more tactical warheads and that will be symmetries between strategic and tactical nuclear warheads which exist today between Russia and the United States, could be somehow equalized on the notion of parity, because any treaty which we can agree will be based on parity, but the multiple [unintelligible], we cannot apply principle of parity when we deal with multilateral arrangements and we engage in China or India or any other questions. And that should help us to start the transition. When we move from the hostile interaction between our two nuclear deterrence forces, when we keep our counter-force means on high alert, and try to remodel the interaction between Russian nuclear deterrence and American nuclear deterrence. Unless Global Zero happens, but I'm afraid not in my lifetime.
On the model of British-French interaction, they both have nuclear deterrence. They both have the means to destroy each other as nations. But there is no mutually assured destruction between France and UK. Although you don't necessarily always love each other. [Laughter]. But it's a different, qualitatively different type of relationship. And I very much hope that conferences like that, this kind of brainstorming really will help us not simply achieve incremental improvement in our deterrence capability, but fundamentally change the political and strategic relations between our two countries, which will help to manage the multiple balance of power. Not that we can dictate, no way. But only Russia and the United States can invite, induce others to join, to accept some rules of the game.
Thank you very much.
Dr. Roberts: Thank you, Sergei. Dean Cheng?
Mr. Cheng: Good morning.
I'd like to express my thanks to General Chilton and General Helms for the opportunity to speak to you this morning about Chinese views of deterrence and its role within Chinese security policy.
I'd like to begin by asking you to keep in mind three considerations. First, that there is no bolt out of blue in PRC history comparable to Pearl Harbor or Operation Barbarossa.
Second, that the Chinese People's Liberation Army, or PLA, does not seem to have nearly the concern with inadvertent war or the lessons from World War I as is common in American political science.
And finally, that Chinese views of deterrence have generally not been based upon bilateral relations, but rather that it has had to deter many states.
So to begin, it is important to consider how the Chinese define deterrence and how that compares with the Western understanding of that term. The Chinese phrase that is most often equated with deterrence is [wei sa]. This is how the PLA translates the term. In the PLA encyclopedia, for example, the term [wei sa sandia] is translated as "strategy of deterrence".
But translations are often imprecise. I believe there is an Italian saying that goes [tragitore, traditore] or all translators are liars. [Laughter].
For most Western analysts, deterrence is seen as dissuading an opponent from acting in a particular way. And thus Thomas Schelling in his 1966 book Arms and Influence defined deterrence as "the threat intended to keep an adversary from doing something". This is the same definition used in the U.S. military's deterrence operations, joint operating concept included in your packet from yesterday.
Schelling specifically differentiates deterrence from compellance which he defines as "a threat intended to make an adversary do something". Glen Snyder makes the same point by noting that "deterrence is the power to dissuade as opposed to the power to coerce or to compel."
Now this is in very sharp contrast with the term [wei sa] which embodies both deterrence and compellance. The PLA encyclopedia in its definition strategy of deterrence notes, for example, that "it is the display of military power where the threat of the use of military power in order to compel an opponent to submit." Other substantive Chinese volumes expand on this. In the PLA Textbook, the Science of Military Strategy, for example, Generals [Pong Weng Chen] and [Yawi Od Zur] of the Academy of Military Science note that deterrence plays two basic roles. One is to dissuade the opponent from doing something; the other is to persuade the opponent what ought to be done through [wei sa]. Both demand the opponent to submit to the deterror's volition.
So [Pung En Yao] and other Chinese analysts basically combine Schelling's definitions of deterrence and compellance within the term [wei sa].
Now from the Chinese perspective, strategic level deterrence involves all the components of comprehensive national power, and these include military force, economic power, diplomatic influence, scientific and technological capabilities, and even political and cultural unity. These serve to deter or compel opponents and these capabilities need to be integrated so that there is a coherent strategic deterrent at the disposal of the national leadership.
Now an essential component here is real military power suitable to the types of wars that will be fought. And by this the PLA means actual military forces currently fielded in contrast with military potential, such as that embodied within say a strong economy or a strong scientific and technological base.
In today's environment that means fielding a military that can fight what the Chinese term "local wars under informationalized conditions". That is joint forces capable of exploiting modern information technology to wage non-contact, non-linear, non-symmetric warfare on the land, in the sea, in the air, in outer space, or in cyberspace.
Now successful deterrence requires not only capabilities but also the will to use that power. That's something that's also again common to our understanding of deterrence, but it also requires a third component -- the ability to persuade an opposite number that one has both that will and that capability. This is of special importance because from the Chinese perspective [wei sa] requires influencing the opponent's decision-makers. [wei sa] is ultimately as much about psychology as it is capability.
Now in discussing the military capabilities involved for deterrence, PLA analyses include conventional and nuclear forces, not surprisingly, but also increasingly space and information capabilities as well.
On the issue of nuclear deterrence, the Chinese characterize it as involving three possibilities -- one maximum nuclear deterrent. An opponent can be disarmed with just the initial massive strike. Minimum nuclear deterrence, a handful of nuclear weapons which may strike an opponent's cities. And what seems to be the direction for Chinese military development, moderate intensity nuclear deterrence which involves a sufficient and effective nuclear capability which unfortunately the Chinese have not been kind enough to define in terms of specific numbers or systems.
Conventional deterrence relies on a nation's conventional military forces. Now in the Chinese analysis this is gaining in important as conventional forces are more controllable, and ironically, less destructive than nuclear forces. So therefore, they are more useable. Moreover, as modern technology has advanced, it has made non-nuclear forces that much more capable, granting them the ability to wage the long range precision strikes and non contact warfare that are seen as a hallmark of modern military capabilities, exemplified by the U.S. military.
Space systems both enhance other forms of deterrence while also serving as a deterrent in their own right. For conventional deterrence they make it possible to fight those non-contact, non-linear, non-symmetrical wars by providing the necessary positioning, targeting, navigational and weather data. Moreover the ability to detect opponents makes it possible to deter enemy action from the outset by denying them the element of surprise. The idea is that if they can be seen in advance, then you can publicize it and then an opponent is not going to be willing to go to war, potentially.
For nuclear deterrence, PLA authors interestingly suggest that space systems may in the future neutralize an opponent's nuclear deterrent so that when paired with one's own nuclear forces an opponent will be deterred or coerced.
In addition to complementing nuclear and conventional deterrence, PLA writings also suggest that space systems may deter an opponent on their own. A space force can affect deterrence in a number of ways. In the first place because of a combination of expense, fragility and vulnerability, one can hold an opponent's space infrastructure hostage. That is much like nuclear deterrence; space deterrence becomes a question of cost benefit analysis and asymmetric levels of interest.
Is, for example, Taiwan worth the likely cost of repairing or replacing a badly damaged or even destroyed space infrastructure?
Moreover, because space systems affect not only military but economic, political and diplomatic spheres, damage to space systems will have wide-ranging second order repercussions.
So if you damage an opponent's space infrastructure this will impose economic and diplomatic costs, not simply that of the replacing satellites, but for example causing financial disruptions on a global scale or degrading your global command and control efforts which will in turn affect your ability to operate in other regions and in response to other contingencies.
The combination of first and second order effects may therefore be sufficient to persuade an opponent that they cannot attain victory at an acceptable price, and as one Chinese article then notes, "Then they may not be willing to undertake hostile activities at all."
Finally, PLA authors also discuss the concept of information deterrence. And the information deterrence in information warfare, that is the use of information techniques writ large to influence foreign governments, militaries and populations, is seen as a stand-alone form of interaction, distinct from more traditional forms of warfare, and offering the potential of achieving winning without fighting, "The acme of the general skill" as Sun Tsu writes. My apologies -- I actually usually try to avoid quoting Sun Tsu, but in this particular case it seemed somewhat appropriate. [Laughter].
There are two aspects to information deterrence. One, the more operational, is the ability to influence the flow of information on the battlefield. The side that is better able to exploit information is seen as exercising information deterrence, a concept that is receiving more and more attention in PLA writings.
The other more strategic is the ability to influence decision-makers and the public. And this is not just an opponent, but one's own, and also third parties.
And this involves not only affecting the flow of information, but also the ability to construct the narrative and to provide one's own information. Within this broader context, the Chinese discuss what they term the three warfares -- legal warfare, or law fare; psychological warfare; and public opinion or media warfare. And one should consider the recent creation of a Chinese 24 hour news service in multiple languages with global access within this context.
So how do China's views of deterrence mesh with 21st Century security requirements? In the first place, [wei sa] is not a new approach. It has long been a part of Chinese military thinking. The concept of people's war, the development of China's nuclear forces, preparations for protracted war, were all driven in part by the hope that such measures would make potential aggressors hesitate, while also putting in place mechanisms necessary to fight and defeat an opponent should deterrence fail.
Second, just as China believes that maintaining national security requires comprehensive national power; so too strategic deterrence is best achieved through not only military but also economic, diplomatic and political means. So only a rich unified nation can deter an opponent across the full spectrum of capabilities. I would suggest that this lends a whole new meaning to the concept of escalation dominance. That being said, it should be noted that the avowed goals of PRC defense policy now involves constraining or limiting wars, in a sense our concept of deterrence.
One Chinese article, for example, notes that [Jeng Zu Min] explicitly stated that limiting wars was now a vital part of the strategic guidelines for the new period which is the fundamental guidance for PLA thinking and is still in operation. In essence, according to PLA authors, the Chinese military is expected to fulfill the mission of forestalling the outbreak of war.
Now this view, let me note, is consistent with Chinese views of [wei sa] because deterrence and warfighting are not seen as opposites but as complements. The ability "to fight and win wars is the prerequisite for constraining wars". In essence, the PRC believes that being able to fight and win wars, and making sure an opponent knows this, is the key to successful [wei sa].
To this end, the uptick in public Chinese military activity, be it out of area operations in the Gulf of Aden, military exercises such as the ongoing Vanguard 2010, and increased activity along the [Ryukyus], to harassment of U.S. platforms such as the USNS Impeccable and Victorious, should all be seen in the context of the application of [wei sa] towards the United States and also other nations. Both deterrence and compellance.
At the same time the PRCC's foreign military activities such as U.S. military exercises, American intel operations in China's EEZ, arms sales, as efforts by the United States and other nations to exercise [wei sa] against it. Indeed, the PLA regularly mentions, for example, the Schriever series of space wargames as foreign [wei sa] in the space realm.
Finally, as one PLA analysis notes, the core question is how to realize a particular political goal without using force while causing the enemy to believe that force may be used. This is really, I would suggest, the key aspect of PLA thinking, PRC thinking, about [wei sa]. It emphasizes that the point of deterrence is not simply to deter enemy actions or even to compel submission, but to achieve a given political goal. For the Chinese, deterrence is not an end, but a means.
Thank you very much.
Dr. Roberts: Thank you, Dean.
Mr. Wallace: Thank you, Brad.
First of all I'd like to join others in thanking General Chilton and General Helms and indeed all of the STRATCOM staff who have been involved for laying on this fantastic symposium. I very much enjoyed last year's symposium, and this year has been equally as informative and indeed entertaining, so I thank you.
To begin with I would like to offer an important piece of context for my remarks, and that's simply to say that following the British general election in the spring of this year we now have a new Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government which replaced the Labor Administration that had been in power since 1997. Partly for that reason, although I think we would probably have done it anyway, we're now undertaking a very significant defense and security review which is due for report in October and is heavily underway as we speak. And is very focused on a wide range of issues, but particularly on the very issues that this panel is being asked to discover. What are the 21st Century threats of a security environment more generally? And indeed, what are the implications of that for deterrence which the Defence Secretary and Foreign Secretary have both highlighted an important area for consideration.
So, in other words, if it looks like I'm being cautious with my remarks and later answers, that's probably because I am. Feel free to challenge me later, but obviously I'm reluctant to get ahead of my political masters as they work through these issues.
With that in mind, therefore, before I address the topics I probably ought to give you a bit more background to where the UK stands on some of these issues that relate most closely to the deterrence subject.
Firstly, as the name suggests, the Strategic Defense and Security Review is explicitly designed to be more than a defense review. It is for the first time a review that is being run not by Ministry of Defence, by the Cabinet Office, and taking in diplomacy, development, and indeed energy, intelligence, and counterterrorism. And I think that reflects the way in which the new government would like to run its national security and potentially have, as we've heard, significant potential for being used as a way of managing our international affairs and therefore potentially how we engage in deterrence activities.
Secondly, our Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, have made very clear their intention for the UK is to retain global posture. That in itself I think is a reflection of the 21st Century security environment. It's their analysis that far from Britain living in the past, we have to continue to engage in the world precisely because the global economy is essential to our national interests, and therefore Britain has to be in a position to defend those interests and do so on a global basis. Again, that has significant implications for how we do business.
Third, in common with many nations in the world, certainly in the last few years the UK faces a significant budget challenge, and while defense has been told that it will be relatively protected, certainly against some other departments, we have no illusions that we will face heavy pressure to bear down on our costs. Each capability will have to be shown to be effective against those strategic threats, any threats that we face.
Two points flow from this. Firstly, the government's view remains unabashed, that in order to retain its national security it needs to retain its economic security, and that is an integral part of the national security posture. But also that it has profound implications for how we work with other nations. I think the theme that we've been following through the last three days about partnership and alliances being an important part of deterrence is something that will be taken on by the SDR and developed quite considerably.
So taking that altogether, you will not be surprised that the government already made clear that deterrence, both with a capital D and a small d is likely to emerge as a major theme out of the review and the associated work.
On conventional deterrence, Liam Fox, Defence Secretary, spoke at Chatham House in London last month and was very clear that for him conventional deterrence updated for the 21st Century would be an essential part of that defense posture. And equally clear that that wasn't simply something which Defence had to be engaged in, but would be a cross-government enterprise. Indeed, an international enterprise with both traditional allies and new partners.
On the deterrence with a capital D, this is a good opportunity also for me to emphasize that the government has been absolutely clear that Britain remains committed to maintaining a nuclear deterrent. For those who are not aware, we currently have a submarine-based minimum credible deterrent which is continuously at sea and available to NATO, and one of the first commitments in the defense section of the coalition agreement between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, was to make clear that the deterrent would be policy for the term of this government.
Therefore, the deterrent itself is not part of the Strategic Defense and Security Review, and apart from a small piece of work on declaratory policy which to a certain extent relates to the announcements in the Nuclear Posture Review of the United States.
What we are doing, however, and this was mentioned in the coalition agreement, is a piece of work looking at the so-called value for money, how we go about delivering that deterrence capability in the future. That will be announced as part of the SDSR. But absolutely no doubt on the part of the government that nuclear deterrence remains a fundamental part of our defense policy.
Fourth, ministers have already made clear and as I mentioned earlier, that Britain simply doesn't have the capacity to stand alone against all of the many threats which exist in the world, and therefore, partnership and alliances remain and will be developed as an increasingly important part of our posture.
And fundamental to that will be Britain's ongoing commitment to NATO. And deterrence clearly remains a very important part of that commitment.
Steve Pifer and Frank Miller did a great job yesterday of setting out the case or the debate rather, on U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe debate which we heard carries so much symbolism for many in the alliance. All I would add to that from a UK perspective is to say that going forward we remain absolutely clear that nuclear weapons need to remain fundamental to the alliance and that that should be recognized in the strategic concepts agreed at Lisbon. But going beyond Lisbon, what we hope to see is an integration of more of the strategic capabilities and indeed domains and work within NATO to understand how those different capabilities and domains relate to each other in dealing not only with the threats that have existed in the past, but also the threats that are going to exist in the future.
So that gives you a little bit of context on the UK and thank you for indulging me on that.
In terms of the threats or the strategic environment going forward. I fear there isn't a great deal that I can add to what people have said going forward other than to give you a perspective from our own concepts and doctrine center who did a piece of work on the future character of conflict as preparation for our SDSR. They looked out both 5 years and 20 years and you will not be surprised to learn that many of the themes that they picked out are ones that we've heard already over the last couple of days.
The increasing danger of proliferation, both nuclear and chemical and biological weapons will be a risk that both Britain and its partners and allies need to contend with. A view that ballistic missile defense offers a way of mitigating some of that risk, but not a way of completely eliminating it.
A sense that Britain will face a declining technological advantage both in relative terms and because of the nature of the types of conflicts that we may well be drawn into and the way in which our adversaries increasingly operate when dealing with us.
And also an increasing relevance on the centrality of what they call the centrality of influence that's in conflict because of the way in which 21st Century media operates, because of the way in which society is developed, because of the way in which the world is interconnected. There's an increasingly important part of 21st Century conflict will be the importance of influence.
And linked to that potentially is the reverse, perhaps, or at least the reflection of that back into the domestic population will be the importance of remaining legitimate in what you do in the eyes of your population. Taken together, I think you'll see that that suggests very strongly that deterrence will remain an important area, important concept to consider in any British defense policy going forward.
So does our traditional deterrence concept still valid? I think the most honest answer for that is yes, but. And the important but will surprise no one. The clever, more clever people among you may be able to articulate better than I can what that but means, but I think as far as we're concerned in the Ministry of Defence in the UK, one of the biggest challenges is not so much answering the question what is the world going to look like, how do we manage our defense policy, how do we manage our deterrence policy? But rather developing the capability to over time develop our understanding of all of these multifaceted elements and new domains which we've had presented to us.
In the words of the British military historian, Professor Sir Michael Howard, when talking about the character of a conflict, he said, "No matter how clearly one thinks, it's impossible to anticipate precisely the character of conflict. The key is not to be so far off the mark that it becomes impossible to put oneself in the right place once that character has been revealed." I think going forward, that suggests two things. Certainly from a British perspective firstly, that in part because of the way our government system works, during the Cold War we developed fewer I think academic theorists. In fact our probably most prominent nuclear thinker was Sir Michael Quinlan, who some of you may have known. The late Sir Michael Quinlan, like me, an MAD civil servant. But I think what we've perhaps lost in recent years is the ability to create new Michael Quinlans at a time when arguably the deterrence challenge or the challenge of thinking about defense has become even more tricky.
The new or newer domains of space and cyber are just one element of that. The integration of ballistic missile defense and other newer capabilities. And also the fact that we have more awareness of other nations, whether they're adversaries or potential allies who think about these issues in a different way.
So I think one of our principle conclusions from SDSR is that we need to develop the human capital to take forward some of these questions. It's not to say that they're not important, and it's not to say that lots of people haven't been thinking about them in considerable detail, including some of my colleagues from DSTR that are here today. But it is to say that in large part the history of the Cold War was the practice of deterrence was slightly different from the theory of deterrence, and that largely the best way to develop these understandings is to learn by doing. But the trick is to do that in a way that doesn't cause you problems as you do so.
So looking forward, our challenge is to make certain we develop not only the thinkers but the people who understand the concepts in a way that they can develop the way of doing business in a way that builds our understanding and not takes us into more difficult and risky areas as they do so.
Clearly events like this are absolutely fundamental to that, and the trick now is to move from talking about these problems to operationalizing the solutions. Anyone who has ideas for that, please let me know.
Dr. Roberts: Thank you, Ian. Lastly, Mike Elliot.
Mr. Elliot: Thank you, Brad.
As a member of the STRATCOM staff, I would be remiss if I didn't thank all the participants in the audience out here for joining us again this year and telling you what an important part of being part of this dialogue you are.
At the same time, as a member of the community, I would be remiss if I didn't give us all an opportunity to thank General Chilton for hosting this event. Three years ago we were having these conversations in rooms not much bigger than closets. So to put a group of people this large together and to talk about what's a very difficult time and some very very difficult issues and how we should address them I think is very important. So General Chilton, thank you.
I'm by nature, by trade, a planner and by nature a planner, so I tend to look at these issues in relatively pragmatic terms of how are we going to do these things. At the same time, I read a lot of articles on deterrence and have noticed a trend over the last few years that suggests we need a new concept for deterrence or a new approach for deterrence, and the implication of these articles is invariably that we must be using a cookie cutter approach to what we're doing right now and that that can't possibly work. The idea of mutually assured destruction in cyberspace is not going to work.
I for one do not agree that we need a new approach or a new concept of deterrence. I think the principles that we have established, and I would point out to you laid out quite well in the Deterrence Operations Joint Operating Concept, are perfectly satisfactory. What we do need is we need to focus on the application of those principles. And by that I mean the time to think about how one country is going to deter another country or a non-state actor for that matter, from taking some particular action in crisis is absolutely the last time or the wrong time to be thinking about what we should do, what we should be communicating.
In a very complex world, the issues that governments will face are going to be compounded by the pressure of the moment and so I submit that what we should be putting our emphasis on today is on thinking through the complex situations that could arise, and the we means not just the United States, not just the Russian Federation, but all nations, particularly those that possess nuclear weapons to think through how these situations can arise and make sure they understand what their stakes are and how the other side, particularly how the other side is going to view this.
Now the 21st Century makes it a much more difficult problem in that we're living in a world that has become infinitely more complex. More complex today certainly than it was yesterday and unfortunately, probably not as complex today as it will be tomorrow. The why of that is because we are increasingly globalized. As you all understand, we will become more such in the future. What that's done is it's blurred the traditional nation state boundaries that a lot of this theory was developed on. That means our citizens and certainly our political and financial interests are scattered throughout the world as are those of other nations.
Now what makes this even more difficult is the 21st Century communication systems that we have out there are rapid, they're continuous, they're intrusive, and unfortunately, they're not always accurate.
You take that and the nature of the sound bite communications that the mainline media participates in, and then complicate that with a viral spread of information and blog spheres, can gang up on governments to force them into pressure situations that they would prefer not to be in. That can have the effect of making a small issue a big issue and it can have the effect of making a big issue dangerous.
This world of almost instantaneous communication, therefore, amplifies the diverse values, the political systems, ideologies, and strategic cultures we face, and as a result of that the opportunity for miscalculations by governments and the very human people that run governments is great. Miscalculation and miscommunication can put two nations in a situation that they would not otherwise want to be in.
I believe that the greatest problem we face today is the potential for an unrestrained non-state actor to particularly draw two nation states into a situation that while they may be able to anticipate, they work very hard to avoid, and to be put in a situation of feeling compelled to act, this is of course very important with weapons of mass destruction being possessed by other sides.
An example of what I'm talking about might be an attempt by a non-state actor to procure nuclear weapons technology, the belief that by non-governmental entities that they can contribute one small piece because it's worth a significant amount of money to their cause. That that device or those materials are turned into a weapon of mass destruction that is used against another nation state. I submit we don't want to be in that position and the time for these countries to think about that and band together to prevent that is today, not at some point in the future.
Now, what does this mean to our near term future? I believe it means that we must invest in an understanding of the political importance of predictable situations. Even if we think they're unlikely. Because the stake in these situations can be so high. We need to understand how a bad situation can become worse by a miscalculation, and by the influence of these third parties in the media.
I think we have to remain engaged, importantly so among all levels of governments. The military is something we pushed in the United States for a long time to engage with our partners, and I have to tell you, my recent experience as part of the new START negotiation team made it even more clear to me how little I knew about my colleagues in the Russian Federation and how important it was to simply sit and talk to them.
Now multiply that by multiple nations, multiple elements of government, and it's critically important I think that we do this so that when the situations come up the pressure of the press, the pressure of the blog sphere out there puts us in a bad situation, that we know who to pick up the phone and talk to, and bring clarity to the situation.
Finally, we must be prepared, and we've used the term at STRATCOM for some time, to wage deterrence. That means we have to engage proactively and we have to think about continuous campaigns to make clear the situation to the main strategic partners we have out there, whether we intend it to be an adversarial relationship or not. We have to understand how the world and the situations can put us in that situation and prepare for those moments.
That's all I have, Brad.
Dr. Roberts: Thank you, Mike. We now have 30 minutes or so for discussion from the floor or through the screen. I'm happy to take a first question from the floor or to turn to the screen.
Seeing no hands being waved, let me turn here for a moment and then turn back to the floor.
There are a number of questions about the Russia-China strategic relationship. Sergei, could you elaborate a bit more on the place of China in Russia's view of the emerging security environment and the impact that has on Russian thinking about nuclear deterrence? And Dean, could you from the opposite side of that border talk about the place of Russia in China's strategic and nuclear thinking?
And there are a number of questions about the comparative place relative to the United States in this thinking. In other words from a Russian perspective is China relatively more or much less important than the United States in Russian strategic perspective? And similarly from China. Thank you.
Dr. Rogov: It's a very delicate issue, but since I'm not a government official I can give you an irresponsible opinion. [Laughter].
As I said, for centuries Russia was much bigger than her neighbors. And it's really, really a very new experience for Russia today to see much bigger neighbors. In particular, a neighbor like China. Apparently you are not going to trade the American-Canadian border for Russian-Chinese border. [Laughter].
And we succeeded in improving our relations with China in the last two decades and have more or less normal relationship, but we are concerned about growing asymmetry with China getting more and more economic power, and definitely China is spending today more than Russia on defense.
If this trend continues, the symmetry soon could become really, really pretty worse.
Of course we all hope that Russian-Chinese relations will develop fine, but there are different kinds of scenarios. You probably paid attention to the exercises which we had in the Far East three weeks ago under the disguise of anti-terrorist and anti-separatist region. And there have been reports that this exercise ended with a similated nuclear explosion by Russia. You usually don't use nuclear weapons against terrorists, at least that's my understanding of inapplicability of nuclear deterrence. Definitely, we are concerned about this huge conventional balance, and today it's just numerical but later on with the fast development of the Chinese economy we could lose the qualitative edge.
At the same time, while China is modernizing her nuclear forces, we cannot exclude that it will decide to do what the Soviet Union decided to do in the ‘50s, to catch up. And if China within the next decade, and I have no proof that it's going to happen, I'm just speculating. If it's trying to build, to go all the way to something like 1,000 nuclear weapons, a feeling that they are threatened by American ballistic missile defenses on the one hand and the Indian nuclear developments on the other hand. And that's why we're going to have a totally different trilateral relations between Russia, the United States and China.
And since conventionally -- I'm talking about doomsday scenarios, but Russia cannot protect herself against China today or in the foreseeable future. That's one of the reasons of our reliance on nuclear weapons, our decision to lower the nuclear threshold, and maybe one of the key problems for Russia when President Medvedev talks about modernization and cooperation with the West and with the United States in technological development of Russia.
We are very much interested not only in civilian technological cooperation, but look forward to the possibility for military technology cooperation in areas, as I mentioned, like ballistic missile defense, but in general precision guidance munitions.
And look, Russia is negotiating with France to buy the helicopter carrier Mistral. Russian ground forces are now purchasing, instead of BMP, we're buying armored personnel carrier from Italy. We are buying some stuff from Germany.
So when I talk about fundamental change in the Russian-American relations, moving to a cooperative model, I still believe that we might need one or two additional arms control agreements. But political cooperation and even military cooperation, that's to me, that's what should be the focus.
And by the way just last week, as you know, we also have in the Far East the Russian-American exercise when for the first time the Air Force of the United States and Russia were trying to catch up the aircraft which was captured by the terrorists.
So I look forward to a situation when General Chilton could visit his counterparts in Russia and vice versa, and from the responsible speculations we can go into some serious and practical cooperation. But I might be too optimistic. I have to be.
Dr. Roberts: Dean, would you like to add some irresponsible comments of your own?
Mr. Cheng: Hopefully not too irresponsible. [Laughter].
As is known to all, Chinese civilization is 3,000 years old. As a result, they have a lot of memories, many of which are often unpleasant, particularly about their neighbors. All of their neighbors, not just the Russians.
That being said, it is useful to note in particular, however, that Chinese views of Russia is that it has often been uncomfortable if not antagonistic relations and it is worth noting here that it is the only case of two official known nuclear powers directly engaging in combat, the 1969 border conflicts between the PRC --
Dr. Rogov: Two of my classmates died in 1969 on the island of [Damonski], and they were --
Mr. Cheng: Let me not here that my parents had already emigrated to the United States at that time. [Laughter]. And had nothing to do with it. [Laughter and applause].
At the same time, China's views of Russia, let's get past that uncomfortable moment there. [Laughter]. Is in the first place a useful source of more advanced technology, but even here Beijing's views of Moscow is that of an unreliable partner. And a prominent example here is the SU-30. China obtains the SU-30 MKK, the K standing for [kikei] or China. But the SU-30 MKK is considered less capable than the SU-30 MKI Which is exported to the Indians going back to that antagonistic relationship with all of its neighbors.
China also views Russia as a convenient partner for dealing with the United States in places like Central Asia through things like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization which was the aegis under which the 2005 major military exercises were held between Russian and Chinese forces. But at the same time, it is important to note that SCO is as much an opportunity for jockeying between Beijing and Moscow for influence in Central Asia, as it is countering the United States.
Now speaking of the United States, where does the U.S. fit into this hierarchy? Frankly, the U.S. is much more important from Beijing's perspective. In the first place on the positive side, PRC-U.S. trade is significantly higher than PRC-Russia trade. The U.S. provides access to technology. It's Microsoft campuses that are set up in China. But second of all, at the same time the U.S. is viewed as what Steven Colbert termed a "frenemy". That is yes, it's a major trading partner but it is also a potential military opponent.
At the same time, however, it is worth noting that in Chinese assessments of the global military situation, the largest portion is inevitably devoted to discussing the United States military in all its myriad capabilities, but almost always that is then followed up by a discussion about the Russians and this is especially noticeable when it comes to space, and then after that a whole series of other, again, antagonistic neighbors -- Japan, India and the rest.
So I guess in summary, China views Russia as a partner for the moment, a convenient source for various things that it can't necessarily produce at this time by itself. Given its well known respect for intellectual property rights, it does expect to reverse perhaps some of the items it obtains, be it from Russia or the United States, but that the U.S. occupies a prominent place of importance in its world view.
Dr. Roberts: Thank you.
May we get a microphone down here in front for Michael Crapon?
Question: Sergei, a question for you.
China and the United States have demonstrated significant military space capabilities in recent years. Can you fill us in on Russian thinking about space deterrence?
Dr. Rogov: Well, there have been records since the time of the Cold War that are very much concerned about American space capabilities and we were also engaged in some of our own in the ‘60s and later. There have been military space programs.
Right now for financial and technological reasons, Russia is not doing much. But there has been last year the organization of the Russian Space Command. It was reported that the new Space Command now is in charge both of the most cold BMD system, and other space capable assets of Russia.
And I don't think that we look for parity with the United States in space area, and our main concern is to do exactly what you said yesterday, to prevent the weaponization of space, deployment of possible American battle stations in orbital positions, not only for BMD purposes, ballistic missile defense purposes, or attack of our satellites, but also attack of the targets on the ground.
That's the kind of doomsday scenario which is in our mind since our great friend Ronald Reagan made his Star Wars speech. And this is one of the reasons why General O'Reilly has some problems in explaining to his Russian counterparts what he is doing because in the back of their mind they still are concerned that the United States is being something big, bad and defensive which I don't think so, but we need much greater dialogue in this area.
Dr. Roberts: The question was what are the perceptions of the new START treaty in Russia and China?
And could I add in one from the list here, and that is as we think about a potential follow-on to new START, if it were to encompass both deployed and non-deployed, both strategic and non-strategic, would we have the same transparency into Russian capabilities that we have in the strategic offense deployed domain? Would that be possible? Thank you.
Dr. Rogov: Probably I should start. First of all, maybe preempting your response, my impression is, the Chinese are not very happy about the new START treaty. In particular apparently they expected us to give tough resistance to the United States on the issue of ballistic missile defense.
In Russia, in general though I think Russian public is very much supportive of the treaty. And psychologically its nice, that the United States treats us as an equal, and since Russia is no more super power except in the nuclear field, the very fact that Russia makes such a key security treaty with Russia and Russia only -- not with China, not with UK, with all due respect, or France, that makes us feel important and more secure.
But there has been some pretty strong criticism of the START in Russia during the hearings on the START in the state Duma. I participated there. And the main criticism is first, Russia failed to really establish ironclad limits on American ballistic missile defense. It's an open-ended process and American imperialists, of course, will build the Star Wars. That's number one.
The second is related to the uploading potential, and they claim that the United States can generate a strategic force with uploading something like three to four thousand strategic weapons.
Meanwhile under the new START conditions, Russia will have problems in keeping 800 launchers. We have to deploy a new ICBM, RS-24 and then it has been reported that the first three RS-24s were recently deployed in [unintelligible] together with STOPL-M. And we experienced very big difficulties with testing Boulevard and the test number 13 has been delayed.
So well Russia might have less than 500 launchers and the verification -- and look how well, symmetrical to the debate in the U.S. Senate. You know well that under the new START the number of the verification side has been reduced almost by half. Which means that the number, if we still stick to the Cold War surprise bolt out of the blue counterforce attack, then the United States if it uses its uploading potential, will have the capability to conduct preemptive disarming, decapitating strike and General O'Reilly with his Star Wars will defend America from Russian retaliation.
That is a reflection sometimes of lack of information about what the United States is doing and what Russia is doing; but other critics emphasize the threat from SLCMs. For instance the Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Duma who is a Secretary of the Communist Party says that the United States in several years could attack Russian strategic assets with 10,000 conventional SLCMs. I responded to him that the U.S. industry has to work for about 20 years to build 10,000 conventional SLCMs, but of course the United States is only important, and Global Strike, that's another favorite Russian critic subject. But there is concern about the plans for development of a new delivery means for the Global Strike. Something which is claimed to be not a ballistic missile. Frankly I am not going to, that's going to be a very successful project, but I envisage in future a bit political fight since we will claim that this new delivery missile, this new missile which could be used for Global Strike instead of Minuteman or the D5, that it's covered by the new START which covers conventional ICBMs, conventional tipped ICBMs and SLCMs, SLBMs, and the United States, my impression is going to cover that this is not a ballistic missile so it's not limited.
So I think if the United States ratifies the new START treaty, Russia will ratify it very quickly. Which reminds me of the Russian [unintelligible] that's related to the concept of deterrence and how differently it's understood. Because there are no such terms in Russia's launch in warning or launch under attack.
We use a different [talk] which is [unintelligible]. And those who know Russia know that the [unintelligible] is something different from launch on warning or launch under attack. Is it retaliatory or offensive strike? Which means we are not going to be the first to attack, but we are not going to be the second. [Laughter]. I think this concept will be applied to the new START ratification by Russia.
Mr. Cheng: Very quickly with regard to the Chinese perspective on these things, a couple of thoughts.
One, China heartily applauds the significant cuts by the U.S. and Russia and probably regrets only that there are not further and more significant cuts on the part of the United States and Russia. Of course that doesn't apply to China, because China is very happy to have it both ways. On the one hand, of course nuclear weapons are terrible; but in particular in the hands of those nasty imperialistic hegemonic super powers as opposed to China which is this merely small little developing country that really doesn't have much worth noticing about.
Now this is exacerbated by the fact that China, frankly, doesn't have much history with regards to arms control, partly because China has not been part of the arms control process, and partly because, again, China is not really sure that it should be constrained in that manner.
It does, I would absolutely agree with Dr. Rogov, that the Chinese would very much like the Russians to stop American TMD in its tracks through various means and by hook or crook, and indeed should expand it further. So, for example, the Russian and Chinese proposals about non-weaponizing space, of course, that wouldn't cover ground-launched ASATS because that's not really applicable here.
It is interesting to note in this regard that the recent test of the X37 caused rather fascinating conniption fits among at least some of our Chinese interlocutors at a recent conference, you'd think that we had deployed them in squadron if not wing strength, and were demonstrating them over Afghanistan.
Finally, I will note that the Chinese speaker who was here I believe last year, Senior Colonel [Yao Jung Jiu] at last year's conference put on by the Eisenhower Center of the U.S. Air Force Academy noted, "It is not for the weak to reveal to the strong." I think that encapsulates very much the Chinese view of transparency, and if there are questions about Russian transparency in the midst of a longstanding arms control negotiating process, one can only imagine the ease with which transparency will be affected with a nation that takes the view that transparency is your responsibility, i.e. the Americans, not our responsibility, that of poor little old China, little old me.
Dr. Roberts: Sergei, let me turn back to you for a response on part two of my question.
Dr. Rogov: That concerns the verification of the warheads.
What we have right now is a really pretty funny situation. We agreed to verification of deployed warheads. So while there will be 18 inspections in '10 for deployed launchers, but we don't have verification of undeployed warheads. And there have been some technical problems with this verification. Although American National Academy of Sciences in 2005 published a report which claims that it's possible to verify warheads and some of our scientists think that too.
So I presume if we're going to have, and that is my idea -- that's not the Russian official position -- to have at the next stage an agreement covering both deployed and undeployed warheads, definitely that would require some verification procedures. And this is something which to my mind goes to the essence of this very I think strange kind of strategic stability which we maintain with the United States. When we keep most of our strategic forces on alert, being ready to launch weekly against the strategic assets of the other side.
So how far we are willing to exchange the information on our nuclear weapon storage facilities? Some information is available to the United States thanks to the Nunn/Lugar program which is something which contradicts mutual assured destruction. And if we at the next stage would develop understanding how to verify both deployed and undeployed warheads, I think really, really we will come very close to this fundamental change in the interaction between Russian and American nuclear postures. Because mutual assured destruction is a very rigid system. You have certainty and uncertainty. So to have certainty about the targets, this is something which the other side may not particularly enjoy, and vice versa. And I think that it's not just a technical problem. It's political and strategic problem of change in the relationship. Because I believe, although I am not a technical specialist, that the issue of verification is result. I remember how in 1989 at the Black Sea Fleet ship cruiser Slovak, which is now Moscow, was [unintelligible]. I participated together with Les Aspen and Russian and American scientists. There was a test in verifying whether nuclear weapons were present on board of the Soviet ship or not, and it was a successful test. That was in '89. So I presume now the technologies are much more advanced.
But the question again, I'm repeating, it's not technology. Changing the political attitude and changing the strategic paradigm.
Dr. Roberts: Thank you. We have just a couple of minutes left for this panel.
There are a number of questions -- Sorry, do you have a question?
Question: Thank you.
I would be interested in understanding what can be said about Russian and Chinese attitudes toward the potential for deterrence for the evolving situation in the Middle East.
Dr. Rogov: Let me make a confession. Thirty years ago I defended my PhD dissertation which was on American-Israeli military alliance. It was a classified dissertation and I didn't have a clearance to read it. [Laughter].
But Israel, taking into account the history of the Arab-Israeli wars and the Soviet involvement and the American involvement in 1967 and '73, was taken into account by the Soviets, and I still think that despite, well a very serious change in our political relations, somehow there must be a flight plan that's the terminology of which includes your country since it's not a big country.
Iran is a new development. We have been much more, speaking about Asia, not about the United States and NATO. We have been much more concerned about China. Pakistan, this is also a big concern for us. We don't see India as an unfriendly power. Although we are concerned that Indians can provoke the Chinese into building up if the Indians would build up quickly, the Chinese respond.
North Koreans are not perceived as a threat since it's very difficult to imagine Kim Jong Il attacking Russia with nuclear weapons. The problem is that his missiles can fall on Mother Russia, and that's what we don't like.
With Iran, there are very few people in Russia who like Iran. And actually Russia had more wars with Iran than with China. And there has been unhappy history of the Russian-Iranian relations and even occupation of some parts of Iran by Russia and by the Soviet Union, and the Iranians have not forgotten that. But we are a lesser Satan, even smaller than Israel in their eyes. But it's very difficult for us to think that Iran would attack Russia with its nuclear missiles.
We don't like Iranian nuclear program. We are concerned that Iran would trigger proliferation as you mentioned yesterday, that there will be a wave of other nuclear powers in the Middle East. And all that right near the borders of Russia. America is far away. That's a very negative input on our security.
But we, as far as ballistic missile defenses are concerned, we don't think it's a high priority to have ballistic missile defenses against Iran. We would be willing to cooperate with the United States if we can strengthen our ballistic missile defenses on a regional level. Using the IMF Treaty, since by IMF Treaty both Russia and the United States destroyed all medium range and intermediate range missiles. So the IMF, which nobody else wants to join, provides us a framework for cooperation with the United States. It is by definition the medium range and intermediate range missile defenses, ballistic missile defenses, is not against each other since neither Russia nor the United States have them, so it cannot have a negative impact on the Russian security or American security.
And as far as regional defenses cooperation, if we can agree with the United States and with NATO, I presume we will be quite open to BMD cooperation with the United States and taking the problem of lack of long range radius in Israel, unless the United States will already provided you with success. Gaballah radar and [unintelligible] radar, could provide you, for instance, the crucial information on the moment Iranian's launch.
But I think that if we cooperate on BMD that would be the strongest deterrence of Iran since they may be crazy, but they are not stupid to simultaneously go into conflict with the United States, Russia and the rest. I think they are more modest than that.
Dr. Roberts: Dean? A minute or two, please.
Mr. Cheng: Very quickly, the Chinese in the first place have evinced no real interest in extended deterrence towards any of its neighbors or anywhere in the Middle East or elsewhere.
With regards, however, to Pakistan, China very clearly views Pakistan as a potential second front with regards to the Indians. So that's probably the closest direct military strategic role with regards to that part of the world.
Frankly, the most important focus of China with regards to this part of the world is oil. China is already a net oil importer. Much of that oil comes from the Middle East. Iran is the third largest deployer, I believe, with about 15 percent of China's oil imports. But the simple reality is that China would be very happy to buy all of its oil from Saudi Arabia if it could arrange two things. One, a suitable price; and two, ironclad guarantees that that oil will flow regardless of foreign pressure.
Iran, because it is under sanctions, has one advantage. The Americans can't really prevent Iran from selling oil to China because the Iranians aren't beholden to the Americans.
Finally, the Chinese are a part of the UN peacekeeping operations in Lebanon, and I would suggest that its participation in PKO is consistent with Hu Jintao's comments about PLA historic missions, are part and parcel of both the larger international footprint, but also an opportunity to subtly gain experience in out of area operations without forward deploying significant forces.
Dr. Roberts: Thank you.
Sorry we haven't had time to do justice to the many fine questions that came in electronically, but before returning the proceedings to General Helms, may I invite you to please join me in thanking the panelists.
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