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tv   [untitled]    March 9, 2012 8:30pm-9:00pm EST

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i want to thank all three speakers, of course. i had promised and i will keep that promise that we'll take some time just to let the three speakers clarify what the other speaker may have said or may have not said. i think we'll keep the same order as we had. that is michael, would you like to comment on what dean and ted have said? >> yes, i'll be very brief because we want comments from the floor. i'll just say a couple of things. first of all, dean has been an adviser to the defense department on these issues. so recently and currently. so he's very knowledgeable about the strengths and limitations of the systems. he's also done a national academy study --
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>> may explain his position. >> let me just comment on two points that ted raised. one is was there any technical input to the missile defense review or actually i think he said this was no technical input. these were some of the technical groups that pored over the details of the systems and remember, we are talking about the systems in the process of evolving over a decade. and there's always lots of uncertainty here. both in terms of what we'll find out about our own systems and what we'll find out about the threat. technical groups represented in the review included -- and you have to make your own judgment about their capability of veracity from the missile defense agency itself. from the navy. from the air force. from the office of science technology policy, from the
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white house, from the joint staff of the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. from several of the national laboratories. and others. there were reviews or at least interactions with technical experts in britain, france and other countries in the nato alliance. and other allies. these concepts and plans were briefed to the most senior russians who had many technical experts present. so the notion that the missile defense review report was completely unrelated to any technical input is factually not correct. >> you didn't address the question. the fact that you're appealing to different organizations
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playing the role, i have been in the pentagon. i have watched the charades go on. you select what you want to say and you say it. now, if you have some facts with -- are you willing to say, for example, that the current missile defense system is defending the united states right now? do you believe that? >> that's a different point. >> no, no. what do you mean? >> the first point -- >> no, we have to let -- >> we can't get into the exchange. >> well, not a specific exchange. talk -- >> i'm responding to a couple of the points you've made. >> respond to the factual point. >> i'm responding in the way i'd like to respond, not the way you'd like to respond. >> okay. fine. >> so that's the first point. it's factually incorrect. second point, was the motivation of the administration solely to appease the republicans? nothing could be further from the truth. when the report was released, it
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was denounced by senior republican senators. intimately familiar with the missile defense as a sellout to the russians. that we were appeasing the russians by withdrawing the interceptor from poland. that also was not true. we were developing systems and plans as i described, which went over a ten-year period, making it increasingly difficult for potential adversaries to use ballistic missiles against targets in europe, in any sort of cost free calculation. it would have been increasingly difficult for them. are we aware that they'd use decoys? of course we're aware. this is kindergarten level understanding. we have done a lot of work on
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decoys. more work than is publicly available. we have done a lot of work on how to defeat decoys. do we have all the answers? no. will we have all the answers in 2020? i don't know. probably not. will we increase the doubt that potential adversaries could be effective in their attacks and therefore give them pause, cause them to not attack? in other words, enhanced -- yes. do we have the incredible ability to use the systems? 100%. do we have the intent to use them? 100%. if deterrence is about credibility and credibility is about will and cape blkt we'll have more capability today and we'll use it. and i can assure you that the iranian government is fully aware of this. and the north korean government
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is fully aware of it. if you think they're more encouraged and more likely to use these systems because of the weaknesses in the systems, that is a misreading of the situation. now, just very briefly on the national missile defense. i didn't talk about that in my talk. others raised it briefly. just on the table we have two systems. modest systems. one in ft. greely, alaska. one in vandenberg air force base, that are coupled with other radars around the world. intended to defend the continental united states, not against a full scale attack from russia. but against limited attacks from other adversaries. this is a policy that the u.s. has sustained. obama sustained the bush policy. he's chosen not to augment the
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capability. that also has been attacked by republican senators. so we have a system in place, again, just to demonstrate the willingness to defend the united states against limited attacks. and we have this growth of regional network systems that are intended to make it more difficult for them to attack regional targets. final point, conceptually, missile defense involves three layers of attack. sometimes called a layer defense. slightly artificially the trajectory of the attacking missile is divided into boost phase and terminal phase. and different elements of the defense are focused on each phase of the trajectory or the attacking missile. so there's boost phase intercept, which is tough. there's recourse intercept, and there's terminal intercept.
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and as these technologies mature and as the networks and the -- the sense of networks mature, we have expectations that the ability to degrade the attacking missile in either boost phase, mid course or terminal phase will grow so that the likelihood of penetration will be reduced. you know, we say in policy, policy is about prediction. you establish a policy because you expect that if you do it, it's most likely that the following will result. sometimes you're right. sometimes you're wrong. but i think it's not helpful, it's not constructive, although it's often done to impugn the motives purely for grounds other than the technical capability. and dr. carter who we all know very well who was undersecretary of defense at the time of the missile defense report, not
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assistant secretary, and who's now deputy secretary, who's a noted technology and policy expert, a rhodes scholar, a long-time harvard faculty member -- >> former close friend of mine. >> ultimately will be one of the key figures in the defense department as deputy secretary to oversee and evaluate the progress of the missile defense program. so i think we have the best capability we could have, looking at this. it's a free and fair society. we're delighted to get the criticisms when they're on a particular point. i think the administration is willing -- by the way, i should -- finally, sorry, i went longer than the five minutes there. members of the congress and the congressional committee staffs have some excellent technical experts and they have looked at these systems too.
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so it's a work in progress but i certainly personally believe that the motivations are sound. they're in the defense of this country. and that the capability that's been put into it is also quite high and we're continuing to work on the problem and i think it's a valuable investment. it's about $8 billion a year. >> michael, thank you. dean, just keep the same order. please feel free to comment on michael -- >> okay. very briefly, the thing i like about ted's analysis is he raises one of the most challenging one for missile defense, can you tell decoys and the rest in the real war heads? that is the achilles heel of mid course defense, very challenging problem. in my view, while i think the defense science board says the
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problem has not been solved, we can't do it perfectly, we can do a reasonable job against -- >> he did not say that. they said we do not have the capability. >> let me finish. >> no, because i think -- >> no one interrupted you, when you spoke for 25 minute, let them speak and -- >> then the facts ought to be correct. >> then you can correct them -- >> i have to correct -- >> not in the midst. >> guess what, ted? i'm going to give you chance to talk to. >> okay. >> your diatribe was not necessarily facts and no one interrupted the diatribe. >> any time you want to talk technically with me, please feel free. i think dean was talking last time. >> yeah, let me try to get out the points. the countermeasure debate is a tough one. i have wrestled with various ways to explain it.
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in my view, countermeasure decoys are not easy to build. credible ones. that is ones that can fool the kinds of radars and infrared sensors we have today. but it is true that if i define a certain missile defense architecture, i can come up with a countermeasure to defeat it. i can also once given a countermeasure, i can always design a missile defense system to defeat that countermeasure. both those statements are true. and so missile defense systems don't work perfectly. the countermeasure is about a binary issue, it either works or it doesn't. some of them are easy, trivial to defeat, tough to defeat. maybe you'll get 20% of them, 80% of them, et cetera. but it is a difficult problem. it is being worked very hard.
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ted mentioned a couple of tumbling targets. missile defense agency is aware of tumbling targets. i don't believe that's a showstopper. ted mentioned that if you cut the missile into pieces that radar and infrared sensors cannot tell the difference between those chunks of missile body and war heads. as absolutely technically not true. you can -- not easily, but you can tell the difference between the two. defense science board report -- it's a very good report, i recommend you all if you like to get into the technical details it's called the early intercept missile defense. down load it from the web. ted said the report says none of the radars worked for the phase adaptive. there's no place -- >> it says the radars don't have adequate range. is that what it says?
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>> it doesn't say that either. >> well, you're wrong. >> well, i mean -- >> ted, i want you to comment. but all in turn. >> if you increased the radar by a factor of three, then the radar is adequate. the defense science board report nowhere says that you cannot discriminate decoys from war heads. that statement is never found in any of these pages. the one place that it says is that the department of defense has not demonstrated that you can do kill assessment. that is to say, once a kill vehicle hits something up there and you get the splatter of chunks of stuff coming out of it, do i know that the nuclear war head has been destroyed? and that is a challenging problem as well. it's a very different problem than the decoy discrimination problem. that's the one statement they say that has not been demonstrated. they do not say that the discrimination problem is impossible or can't work.
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nor does i say that adversaries are already testing decoys that could defeat the defense. there's a wonderful chart in there that shows foreign -- foreign decoy release times after the boost phase. foreign decoys. that's british, french, russian, chinese and anybody else. it does not say north korean. it does not say iranian. so one of the open questions is the adversaries for the system are iran, not russia, not china. maybe the french. i don't know. but we don't know, at least there's no information in the open domain about what iran and north korea can do. and so i would submit that their ability to develop decoys could defeat this system is problematic at best. finally, it's true the russians
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worry about phase 3. rather than give you the arguments i have a paper coming out in survival which is a journal published by the international institute for strategic studies that goes in the whole question of how much is this system to russia? phase 3 does not threaten russia, whatsoever. phase 3, no threat whatsoever. if you put the ships off the coast of the united states, then it could do something. but that's not what the russians have complained about yet. so -- >> that's not true. we wrote a paper, was published it under the federation of american scientists. we looked ostensibly at the potential that the united states could draw the ships back off the coast and defend the country. at least in principle. i want on the clear that in practice i don't think the system is going to work at all. just another way to pump money out of your pockets to the defense industry. but the 4 kilometer interceptor
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on ships can easily defend the united states in theory. to argue that an adversary has a capability but won't use it because they won't choose to, the phase adaptive approach is supposed to be adaptive by putting it on ships so we can move it all over the place. i think that's in the ballistic missile defense review. so why we would not in a crisis choose to do that is -- would depend on the crisis. because it's a possibility, at least in principle, to argue that i'm only going to look at this particular military threat, but not the other. both of which are within the reach of the technical capacity of the system. is simply to mislead the public. if you tell people from europe and you also tell people you would have to -- you would have to pull this threat back and use
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it off the coast of the united states, but you don't believe this would be the case, that's what i would call a comprehensive argument. if you tell them that it is -- can't be done from europe and you don't tell them that it can be pulled back, then you're misleading them in my judgment. >> remember it's land base of poland. >> well, i'm just saying what -- all right. now, since the system is currently defending the u.s. according to the study that you're defending, iraq has weapons of mass destruction so we need to go to war against them. that was vetted all over the place, wasn't it? so you're supposed to believe that because the air force and the navy and contractors who get paid to tell the department of defense what it wants to hear and get used by the department of defense to make misleading statements to the public, this
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is okay. this is what you should accept as authority. what you should do is go and look at the analysis that's published. all right? the war head -- three meter long war head that i can show you the data for, if we take the trouble to bore you with it, we don't need to, has a radar cross-section below 100s of a square meet at an x band. i know dean has seen it. i don't understand why it's .1 meter. and that diminishes the range substantially. it means it won't acquire the target at long range and it means if there's any chance of discriminating you will not have what's called the signal to noise to do it. let me explain a very simple notion that you'll understand quickly.
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if i can only dimly see an object because it's at the threshold of what i can see, then even if i have in principle resolution to see it, i still may not it, i still may not be able to identify it relative to other objects that look similar. only if it's in bright light can we really see all the details i might be able to actually identify one object relative to another. incidentally i have to know what i'm looking for. when somebody tells me we're going to solve the decoy problem, i have a simple question. if something puts a war head inside a balloon, in space, and they throw out another bunch of balloons with it, and every balloon is designed to look different, by forethought, some are painted different colors, some are made different sizes. i would like to know how to tell it apart. that's a technical question. i'll stop there.
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i want to thank you all. this has not been easy to discuss. it's all going to become clear with a single question for the professor. to just hang on for a few seconds. >> i'm not sure that's true. so when i think about it, i think about we have to think about it very long term. where are we going to be in 10, 20 years? i thought it about it in three dimensions. people addressed two of those here. one is can we solve it by pursuing missile defense? i would hope the conversations among the nations we're having
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conversations with will inform that question about whether it's going to hold up with security. the second are the technical questions. i would hope that systems like this would implore that part of the dpengs. we saw that in the chemical area for example. i think the program has been stopped or slowed. the third dimension, which is maybe the one you haven't talked about. maybe we could refocus a little on that. i mean, we're looking at cuts in the budgets. there are other things we can do for global security costs. come into this. we talk about costs. how do you think about prioritizing this versus other things you can do? and maybe we could get an answer on that? >> excellent question. i'll keep to the same order if
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that's okay with you, michael. >> well, it's hard. and every constituency wants it to be an area with no cuts. at the moment, and it's been a while ch it's going to increase. iran and north korea are the principle nation state threats to the united states, to u.s. security, to our ally security. as nuclear weapon states and as producers and deployers. we have to do everything we can politically, militarily, economically to meet the threats. and if there are deals that can be cut, arms patrolled, and
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other means of restraint i i think we're all for that. but you have to have substantial military assets put against the threats. that's what we're doing. i don't think that missile defense against north korea will be cut. certain elements might be cut. there's a phasing issue that you won'ted out. there's funding that's been cut for down the road. u by think this is a priority area. >> did you want to address roger's third dimension. >> i wish there was a answer to that question. because it's the $64,000 question. not just in defense area. but in health care and all public policy. it's great subject for the school to work on. how do you allocate resources from competing demands? and i know of no good rational clear way to do it.
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in my mind the issue is not so much the technical issue. it's the opportunity cost. i spend $10 billion a year on missile defense. would that be better spent august meanting special forces augmenting the navy? what about land forces? what about air force? what about space? what about siper? what about our economy? i wish i knew a way to make those allocations but i don't. it's a classic problem. the way the decision is made on the hill and in the pentagon, they hold a finger up and the debates, competing interests and
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a decision gets made. may not be optimal. >> first of all, if the country feels it needs a missile defense, it has to do it in a realistic way. none of the appeals and this and that. we all know thousand system functions, anybody who has been in the pentagon knows you can get any answer you want there. farce the question of discrimination is concerned, i think there's a simple way to at least think of it from the point of view of a physicist, which i would argue is the easiest way to characterize the problem. and then the engineering details, which are, of course, important. you have to ask, are there physical observables associated with different ploys?
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can the adversaries develop a strategy to deny those variables? so for example, the example i gave earlier, yes, you can look at a balloon, and if it's in the sun, it might be hotter than if it's not. if it's got something in it, it might be cooler or hotter depending on the thermal exchange with the object inside. but is it plouzable that an adversary can't put a war head in a balloon, put other balloons out there and heat them or not. can you conceive of a set of physical variables that you can measure with adequate precision? makt cal practical. that will tell you which can create a war head? i worked on this in great detail. the somehow new idea of science. i worked on the trident 2. not the triden one.
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we did a detailed study looking at measurable quantities. so somebody wants to talk detail with me? i'm all ears. until i hear detailing, other than hand waving, maybe it will work, maybe it won't, that's not a way to plan the national security for the country. now there is a technical potential for building a defense. it's a boost phase defense. mike said it's not possible. i don't know how he knows that. i've been studying it in great detail. >> i did not say that. >> that's what i understood you to say. >> i said there are three phases. missile defense involves a layered defense. >> i apologize for misquoting you. >> extensive work going on in all three phases. >> there are not. that's one of the problems. that's one of the things i've
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been trying to do with bill perry, another hippie. and there are things you can do that can could allow you to build a defense of some capability. i would be happy to talk with you privately. we're talking to the russians about it. and we're trying to talk to the administration, but they always seem to be too busy. >> they may not know what they're doing. i know these people have sat through almost two hours of discussion of very complex, i think important subject. and i think they are entitled, at least the ones to get their hands on quickly, to ask questions. you have to give your afill, and you have to tell me to whom you are addressing your question. so harry?


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