Defense Under Secretary Douglas Feith Meets the Press

Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Douglas J. Feith
U.S. Embassy, Tokyo
November 15, 2004

   Michael Boyle, Press Attache, U.S. Embassy, Tokyo

   James Brooke, New York Times
   Yoichi Kato, Asahi Shimbun
   Akio Takahata, Mainichi Shimbun
   Linda Sieg, Reuters
   Hiroki Sugita, Kyodo News
   Michio Hayashi, Yomiuri Shimbun

Mr. Boyle: All right. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for being here. I was kidding with the reporters before that we had put all the Japanese over on this side, and all the foreigners on this side. That was not intentional at all. We're on the record this afternoon with Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith, and I think Under Secretary Feith would like to say something briefly, and then we'll start taking questions.

Under Secretary Feith: Yes, it's nice to meet with you. I am here for meetings with our Japanese colleagues. We are having meetings with officials from the Prime Minister's office and the JDA and the Foreign Ministry, and also to meet with American service personnel who are here, and see some of their facilities. And as you know we have a relationship with Japan that is, I would say, unsurpassed in its importance for our country, and this is a relationship that we are interested in not only maintaining but strengthening. The importance of the Asia-Pacific region is increasing, the importance of Japan in our view as a key ally of ours is increasing, and this is a major thought as we work on realigning our defense posture globally. We have a project, as you know, that we have been working on for about three and a half years on thinking through how we want to realign our defense posture around the world, and our intention is to do the realignment in a way that increases our ability to fulfill our alliance commitments. and we're going to be strengthening our capabilities in the Asia-Pacific area, and we're going to be, at the same time, addressing relationship issues, making sure that as we update and make the kind of changes that we need to make in our posture, we are also removing any unnecessary problems/irritations in relations with our friends, and that's one of the subjects that we are discussing here with our Japanese colleagues. And with that I will be happy to take your questions.

Mr. Brooke (New York Times): Kyodo just reported a few hours ago a report that the Japanese might over the next year or so reduce their effectives in Hokkaido by about 80%. Now we are talking about garrisons. 30 out of 38 garrisons might be closed, obviously because the Soviet threat isn't there. As you study shuffling or moving American troops around the Japanese archipelago I am interested, I was down in Okinawa over the last month or two months ago, what you are thinking is in terms of moving some effectives out of Okinawa and possibly to Hokkaido to these soon to be empty bases and what other sort of relief might be in the cards for Okinawa in terms of maybe keeping the bases there but not necessarily having the personnel there.

Under Secretary Feith: Well the Japanese have a number of decisions of their own to make about transformation. This is a time when the United States is thinking through all kinds of aspects of transformation from the way we have ourselves postured around the world to the kinds of equipment we purchase, the way we structure our forces. The concept of transformation is multifaceted. The Japanese are engaged in, I would say, a similarly multifaceted effort looking at their own forces. It's useful, in fact, that we're talking together about that, and I think the idea of promoting what I like to call combined transformation, ways that we can work together so that we can transform better through the discussions that we are having together is a good thing. I am not going to comment on decisions that the Japanese are contemplating about how they do their own transformation, but on your question about Okinawa, as you know this is a major focus of our talks, and we have been engaged with the Japanese government for many years on how to make changes in Okinawa that allow us to do the missions that needs to be done and take due consideration of the concerns of the Okinawans. I think we will succeed. We have already succeeded to some extent. There has been the process that's been underway for years under which a number of changes have already been made, and we're talking about additional changes, and I think that at the end of the day, we will succeed in getting rid of irritations that are unnecessary or that have grown up or become aggravated over recent years. One of the things that we have found, and it's not just in Japan, we have found that all over the world is, we made arrangements many years ago that were based on the lay of the land at a given moment in time, and then, over the decades, the cities grow, areas that used to be remote turn out to be in the middle of urban areas now, and we have not made the kind of comprehensive review of our position around the world that we are doing now. I think what we are doing now in our global defense posture realignment is not only as some people have described it, and maybe even I have described it before, as the biggest thing of its type since WWII. I think I have been corrected that it is unprecedented. In other words, not even before WWII did we ever look at our posture this way, and one of the things that it allows us to do is to take account of the fact that the lay of the land has changed, not just in Okinawa but in Korea, in Europe, all over the world, and this gives us an opportunity to update our posture and improve it and thereby improve the relationships that we have with our host countries.

Mr. Kato (Asahi Shimbun): Are there sticking points between Japan and the United States right now since the transfer of I Corps, the first Corps, from the state of Washington, it seems to me that it is not clear yet, what it is that the United States exactly wants to relocate from the state of Washington to Camp Zama. Of course I understand that I Corps itself is going to be transformed through the course of this entire comprehensive transformation, so first could you tell me what exactly you want to bring over to Zama, and why because the Japanese government has to give a good reason why Japan has to step up its host nation support and the way to cooperate with the United States. What exactly do you want to bring over and what is the reason that you can explain to the Japanese government that we should accept your proposal?

Under Secretary Feith: Well, I don't want to get into more, into a level of detail that is not appropriate. Permit me to address your question at a somewhat higher level of generality. What we are working on with the posture realignment in general, and specifically in Japan, we're working to increase our ability to work with other countries, with our partners, with our allies, in defense missions across the range of relevant operations, all of the way from combat to peace operations. We have a lot of things that we want to do in the world that require good cooperation with lots of other countries, and so what we are aiming at with the posture realignment is to put ourselves in a position where we can work more effectively with more countries. Now the goal is to, as we work with countries like Japan, to make sure that we are addressing not only the broader global security issues, but issues of direct relevance to this region, and I think that when we finish this posture realignment we are going to have increased deterrence in this area. We are going to have increased capability to work with Japan on security concerns that directly relate to Japan and security concerns that are around the world that we have in common with Japan. Now, what we are interested in is having the kinds of facilities and the kinds of activities that will improve our ability to work together, and that applies to air forces, maritime forces, ground forces and making sure that we have the right kinds of connections and the right kinds of relationships and can work on developing doctrine together, and can train together, and do combined operations. That's the goal, and that's the kind of consideration that we have in mind when we talk about moving units around. It is all to serve the broader purpose of making sure we have the right kinds of connections that we can actually work together effectively, all types of forces.

Mr. Takahata (Mainichi Shimbun): If I may follow up to my colleague Kato-san's question. If you can't go into details, but could you explain to me the two transformation problems: one in South Korea, and one in Japan. How do they correlate, in terms of when do we flexibly deal with future cases of instabilities in so-called instability area? One would think that the Japanese public's worrying that to what extent and how much Japanese will cooperate militarily into these situations, if they think that it is out of a traditional boundary of Japanese security treaty, that comes back to how do you translate the Article 6 of the treaty?

Under Secretary Feith: What we are focused on in the posture realignment is creating capability. As I said the capability to work together with allies and partners. Having that capability doesn't mean that we have necessarily agreed in advance to do any particular mission. Our partners in the world are sovereign countries and they decide as sovereign decisions what they want to do. So the answer to your question about what kinds of things might Japan and the United States do in the future is going to depend on the sovereign decisions of the United States and Japan, and what we are aiming to do with this realignment is to simply give ourselves a better capability to work together when we choose as a sovereign matter to work together. On the issue of Korea, I think the principles that we are bringing to the work that we are doing in Korea on realigning our posture there are essentially the same as the principles we are bringing to the work that we're doing here in Japan, and we are aiming at increasing our capabilities, making sure that they are up to date, that we have the right high-technology equipment, that we have the right disposition of forces, and the example that I gave about urban areas growing certainly applies in Korea. The Yongsan facility was built in what was considered a remote area at the time that it was built, and it's now in the middle of Seoul, and it's been an irritant in the relationship, and in the realignment that we are doing there we are going to be relocating that facility, and that's the kind of thing that makes sense to do, and it's the kind of updating that one needs to do every once in a while, and one could argue that it's overdue, but we are happy that we are addressing it, and at the end of the day we are going to be better situated from a military point of view, better situated from the point of view of our relationship with South Korea. We think that our deterrent and defensive position will be improved, and we will put ourselves in the position where the alliances that we have with Korea and Japan are going to be more capable and more usable for common purposes, and therefore more sustainable for the future. One of the things that motivated this whole activity of the defense posture realignment was our concern that if we don't update our posture, we are going to be faced with a situation where these alliances are ... they're just not relevant. They don't have the right kinds of capabilities for the future, and that would lead to an undermining in time of popular support for the alliances, and we don't want that support undermined. We want that support sustained and, if anything, increased. We all understand that any time one makes changes, there's a certain unease and a certain disturbance involved in making changes, but it's a necessary price, in our view, to pay in order to have alliances continue to be supported going into the coming decades.

Mr. Boyle: Let's come over hear and have another question.

Ms. Sieg (Reuters): To follow up, two questions. One is, in terms of the Japan-U.S. alliance, security alliance, do you have any, I know it's often said, perhaps too easily, that the U.S. would like Japan to be the Britain of Asia. Would you comment on that? And secondly, in terms of, recently it's been said don't focus on the specifics of, you know, moving First Corps to Zama, etc. etc., but on the principles that are involved so, in terms of principles do you see a need to redefine or restate in any new sense the basic U.S.-Japan security alliance. I think that's what particularly the Japanese public is interested in: redefining, or is it necessary to redefine that security alliance?

Under Secretary Feith: I think the world is different now from what it was 50 or 60 years ago, and all of our relationships inevitably get updated, get adjusted, and to some extent redefined by new circumstances, and the kind of relationships that we have with Japan, with NATO, with other allies in the world are continually taking into account important new circumstances like the 9-11 attack, like the War on Terrorism, like, compare that to the end of the Cold War. The way I look at it, and I think what the term transformation really means is, transformation is a frame of mind. It's a frame of mind that is continually processing the fact that the world is changing, and so when you say, "Does the U.S.-Japanese security alliance get redefined?" I would say it gets redefined continually, and it has been redefined continually over the last many years, and I think that's the right thing. We're doing things together now that reflect the way the world is now. And one of the things that changed in the world is the idea that there is such a thing as regional security that is somehow detached from the security of other regions in the world, and that idea just doesn't really fly anymore. The world is so inner-connected, and this is part of the phenomenon of globalization. All kinds of regions of the world are so much more intimately connected with other regions of the world than they used to be because of communications, ease of travel, technology and the like, and so you have a much greater understanding on the part of many countries in the world that things that happen in areas that used to be considered far away are really of immediate security concern, and I think the willingness of countries to do things ... NATO is a good example. There was a gigantic debate about out-of-area operations by NATO, but after 9-11 you saw NATO jump into a role in Afghanistan because of the recognition that what people do in Afghanistan can tie into attacks on the United States that wind up affecting the whole world economy.

Ms. Sieg (Reuters): Can I just interject? I think part of the concern in some sectors in Japan is that this redefinition which you're talking about which is ongoing and certainly has become more obvious in the past several years is being done without actually sort of officially admitting it or officially redefining it. So what I'm saying is instead of just practically redefining it ... in other words there's been discussion about perhaps a new era, a statement, of updating the Guidelines, or in some sense reinterpreting the actual security treaty, or is it just going to go along, as you say, continually being redefined in a practical sense, without coming up with words that admit that or that recognize that?

Under Secretary Feith: I don't know the answer yet. There may be a decision that we want to do something more formal to address aspects. That's something in contemplation, but I'm not sure ... there's an argument that it may be a good thing and there's an argument that it may not be necessary. I think the treaty we have is a good treaty and provides a reasonable degree of flexibility the way well written treaties tend to do. But it is true that the world has changed pretty radically in recent decades, and the idea that one might want to do the kind of more formal approach to defining common ideas is something that we're open to.

Mr. Sugita (Kyodo News): You mentioned earlier about the doctrine which is the combined activities of U.S. and Japanese forces, but the doctrine you have in mind, what's the difference that doctrine has from the past agreement between the U.S. and Japan legally? I mean, the doctrine is being formed into some kind of paper, or some kind of treaty or something ... what do you have in your mind when you say, "the doctrine?"

Under Secretary Feith: I don't remember, oh, when I said we could develop doctrine, no no no, what I was referring to is military doctrine: how one deals with certain types of military problems. I wasn't talking about doctrine, strategic level doctrine, I was talking about the kind of doctrine that military officers can work on to say that when we have this kind of a problem this is our approach to it.

Mr. Hayashi (Yomiuri Shimbun): You said the world has dramatically changed after 9-11, and at the same time in this region, you may well understand that the traditional security concerns still exist, and I think that the majority of the public opinion, as well as the government officials, are concerned in the words transformation, renewed capability, renewed ways of conducting operations, of connecting U.S. and Japanese forces. They're probably concerned a major change would cost a lot on this country. For example, the Ministry of Finance is fighting very very hard with the JDA to reduce the number of soldiers, and when the JDA talks about new kinds of roles and missions they have, or they must have, in the future or with the United States, there should be more resources. That's their concern. So could you please list a couple areas of activities or missions that Japan hopefully could have with the United States in the future in this region, as well as the operations outside of this region?

Under Secretary Feith: The issue of internal Japanese decisions on the defense budget, I'm not going to comment on, but the point that I made about the connection of events in certain parts of the world to other parts of the world is, I think, relevant to the calculations that officials make in countries all over the world about what is reasonable to invest in defense. The prosperity of countries like Japan, the United States, and many of our key friends who are part of the - how should we put it - the community of the advanced economies, the prosperity of those countries depends on a degree of stability, peace, orderliness, in international affairs, and there are various types of problems, from aggression by nation states to breakdowns in order in some countries, terrorism, and there are all kinds of problems in the world that can have very serious, bad effects on international stability, and have direct consequences for the economies and for the quality of life of people in countries like Japan and the United States. The quality of life of our people hinges on the ability of our businessmen to travel and do business abroad, of our students to go study abroad, of our tourists to go visit abroad. It's a matter of quality of life for our people, and if international security is undermined by major problems like terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, major wars and the like, even though those things may occur in what seems like a remote part of the globe, it can actually affect our prosperity and the quality of life of our people, and there's an understanding of that, and that's why countries prudently invest in the kinds of defense capabilities that allow them to contribute to international peace and security, and each country's going to make its sovereign decisions on how it does that, but I think that the reason that you see people in various parts of the world making these difficult decisions to spend substantial sums of money for defense is that there really is a recognition that the countries that do that have an important interest in having those capabilities and being able to deal with the kinds of problems that you can deal with when you're capable like that. Otherwise, you run the risk of becoming a victim of circumstances. Countries want to be able to control their situation in the world, which is why they invest in the capabilities to make the world a little safer, and more secure.

Mr. Brooke (New York Times): Jim Brooke again. Just two quick questions. In light of what you just said ... Japan over the weekend, the last few days, have been quite excited about this Japanese submarine that went into some of the Ryukyus -

Mr. Boyle: Chinese.

Mr. Brooke (New York Times): Excuse me, Chinese submarine. What's been your assessment of the importance of this? The submarine came in, was intercepted, and turned around and finally went back. On a different topic, I've been to Guam twice writing about the investment in the military in Guam, Andersen, and the naval station there, and I may be going back again. It's Thanksgiving time, time for the boys swimming ... take my kids down there. That's a long story in the New York Times so you know what's going on. How do you see the role of Guam in the western Pacific geostrategic puzzle? What is the importance in Guam? So if we could do it in a Chinese sub, you know, in Guam.

Under Secretary Feith: On the sub, it's a matter that has produced a protest, as I understand, from the Japanese government to the Chinese, and it's their matter to deal with. We, of course, support Japan's right to protect its own territory. On Guam, I would say that the importance of Guam ties in to the point that I made earlier that the Asia-Pacific region is a region in which U.S. interests are high and growing. We think this is an extremely important area economically, from a security point of view, and we are interested in having capabilities in this area that will allow us to contribute and continue to contribute to security, and uphold our alliances and commitments, and do what we need to do, and Guam is a part of that. It's an important forward presence for the United States in this region, and it's a place that has contributed to our capability, and has the potential to contribute even more.

Mr. Kato (Asahi Shimbun): Sir, you talked about removing the irritation a couple times in your segment, and so I'm not going into detail, because you're not going to answer, I guess, but how do you set the measure of success in terms of removing the irritation, and if you listen to the people living around Futenma Marine Corps Air Station, for example, they want as much as possible, and they will never say, "Oh, that's good enough." How far are you ready to go, and where do you set the goal of removing the irritation so that the alliance can be sustainable?

Under Secretary Feith: I think your question sets up the right considerations, and exactly how you strike the balance is not easy to answer in a word. I guess the short answer is you have to be sensible or prudent. You pointed out that you're dealing with people who have particular interests, and they are also part of a country that broadly has interests in our alliance, and so they benefit as Japanese from all the fruits of having this important cooperation with the United States. The Americans benefit; the Japanese benefit. But people who are directly affected obviously have very strong views about how they want things organized, and as you point out, you can't make everybody happy completely, and so you have to do these things as reasonably as you can. We are attuned to the importance of organizing things in Japan in general and Okinawa in particular, to make sure that we're not needlessly, excessively, creating problems, while we're performing the crucial missions that are what the alliance is about, and we're working with the Japanese government, we're working with the local officials, to try to come up with ways to strike these balances intelligently, where we can get our missions done, and serve the broader purposes, and take care of the local considerations as best we can.

Mr. Takahata (Mainichi Shimbun): Mr. Secretary, I would like to revisit the issue of transformation in South Korea, because the current discussions between you and allies are done like the hub and spokes kind of situations, and there has been no discussions or talks between Japanese authorities and South Korean authorities, and this may be a matter of a little bit further into the future, but as I understand from your remarks that the bulk of transformations would give more ability for relating to deal with a little bit bigger area, than probably at some point in the future there should be discussions of those three nations - U.S., Japan and South Korea - because as I read some of the media reports in South Korea, partly because of the historical reasons, there are certain politic nationalism on the part of the South Koreans, I am thinking that if they are to lose the headquarters regarding South Korea, and the headquarters would be put into Japan, then the hurt, kind of, a little animosity toward Japan, because their status would go down, and the Japanese status would be a little up, so I think it's a minor point from the U.S. point of view, but still, we are to jointly together to deal with the new problems and the old problems in the wider Pacific area. I think we need to address those issues between Japan and South Korea, together with the good chairmanship of yours. How do you think that?

Under Secretary Feith: We clearly have regional security considerations that require us to talk amongst ourselves. I mean the Japanese, the Koreans, the United States, and we have various ways that we do that, not the least being the six-party talks, where all three of us are participating.

Mr. Takahata (Mainichi Shimbun): And perhaps you are doing quite well, I suppose, in terms of military planning.

Under Secretary Feith: There are regional security considerations that involve the three of us, and others for that matter, and it's important that we can work together. I must say I don't, and I don't think anybody in the U.S. government, views this situation the way you were describing, that there's somehow a tradeoff between the importance of Korea, or the importance of Japan ... we don't view the posture realignment that we're doing with Japan or Korea in those terms. It's not a matter of shifting from one place to another. We want our posture in Korea to meet the principles that I talked about, to give us the ability to do the security work that we need to do on the Korean peninsula, to do the security work that we need to do more broadly, to set us up so that we've got the right defensive positions, the right deterrent, the right capabilities, and we want the same thing in Japan, and we're going to make the changes in cooperation with the Koreans, in cooperation with the Japanese, that make sense. That particular linkage that you suggested is not one that registers with us.

Mr. Takahata (Mainichi Shimbun): I understand, but what I told you is recently floated in some of the Korean media, the Korean newspapers. I can't correctly quote without the papers, but to sum up, they might feel that they're being neglected through the transformation balance. So my question is probably you need to address those things.

Under Secretary Feith: I would argue that the failure to transform is neglect. They are not being neglected. We're going to be transforming in Korea precisely because we don't want to neglect them.

Mr. Sugita (Kyodo News): Mr. Secretary, as you know, the Japanese government is now pursuing the extension of the JDF trips in Iraq, Samawah, and the plan they have in mind is a one-year extension from the middle of December, but the Japanese people are concerned about how long, or when can JDF troops get out of Iraq and come back to home, and also the same question is about U.S. troops. How long do they have to still be there? What do you have in your mind in that kind of questions?

Under Secretary Feith: The Japanese are going to make decisions about their contributions to Iraq, I believe, the way all the other members of the coalition make decisions about their forces in Iraq, and that is those are national decisions. Those are the sovereign decisions of each of the coalition countries. You asked the question of how long the U.S. troops are going to stay. Our strategic purpose in Iraq is to put the Iraqi government in a position where it can run its own country and handle its own problems. When we leave Iraq, we are not going to be leaving behind a country that has no problems. We hope to be leaving behind an Iraqi government that has the capability to handle its own problems, and one of the keys to achieving that is progress along the political development. And what I would say is there's some light that can be shed on the subject of what has recently happened in Afghanistan. In Afghanistan is a country where we had a similar goal: getting an Afghan government in a position where it can manage Afghanistan's own affairs, and develop representative institutions, a broad base of support with the public, a political process that's based on rules, a constitution, and a system for elections so that the people can have a voice in picking their leaders, and it's really remarkable - and this is a success that the United States, Japan and a number of other countries have contributed to - it's really remarkable that the Afghan government, with good international help from the UN and from various coalition countries, organized the registration of voters in the country, and there's an estimate that there were approximately 10 million or so eligible voters, and President Karzai had said if we can get six million of those voters to register, we'll have a broad enough base for an acceptable election, and the registration drive was under way. And the Taliban and their friends were conducting a campaign to undermine the voter registration, and to give you an example of how that campaign worked, there was a case where a van was stopped, and there were about 17 people in the van. They were taken out of the van. Fourteen or so of them had voter registration cards, and they were all murdered on the spot, and the three or so people who did not have the voter registration cards were let go. Now that was the kind of campaign that was conducted against voter registration. Well, 10 million people registered to vote, and the number that actually voted, I think, was over 8 and a half million people, and what that represented was a major strategic victory in Afghanistan, support for the new constitutional system, and there was a sense obviously throughout the country as these people lined up by the millions to vote, despite the intimidation, despite the personal risks involved, there was a sense that the future was with the new authorities who were operating on the basis of law. Now, you ask what's the goal in Iraq. The goal in Iraq is to get to that point in Iraq where there is a widespread sense that the future is with the new authorities operating on the basis of law, on the basis of a good constitution. There's a very good interim constitution in place in Iraq. It was a real achievement. There was the creation of a Iraqi government with sovereign authority this past June. That was a major achievement, and we're moving to elections for a legislature which we hope are going to take place in January. Within nine months or so is supposed to be a constitution produced by that legislature, and a few months thereafter elections under that constitution, and if we can keep political progress going in Iraq, together with the development of the Iraqi security forces, and the continuing operations that the multi-national force is doing against the former regime elements and the terrorists, than you have a possibility of the kind of progress in Iraq that we've seen in Afghanistan, and the possibility that we can at some point in the near future say that the main military mission is completed. Now, we will want to continue to make sure that we're helping Iraq, and helping increase the capabilities of its forces, but one would hope that the progress on the political front, the security forces front, economic reconstruction and the like will put us in a position where we can answer your question about how long do we have to continue with the kind of military operations that are under way and answer it in the near future and say, "Not much longer."

Mr. Brooke (New York Times): Can I ask one more?

Mr. Boyle: Quickly.

Mr. Brooke (New York Times): I think in Korea and in Japan there's a debate going on about whether the U.S. forces here should be deploying out of the region. In this issue at Camp Zama, moving from Washington the headquarters, and of course the issue in Korea. How do you address that where there's a sizable body of Japanese and Korean opinion who say it's great having these American troops here as long as they're here to defend us. We don't want them roaming out and deploying out of here to engage Country X in actions. I was wondering if you could respond to that.

Under Secretary Feith: This is a question that Secretary Rumsfeld has addressed on a number of occasions. He's made the point that the American people can not afford separate armies, separate armed forces for Korea, for Japan, and for every other country where we might be located. We have a single force that is available to do the defense work that needs to be done around the world, and we have to have the ability to respond flexibly to whatever the circumstances are that develop anywhere in the world, and we have to be able to move forces around to take care of our responsibilities to the American people, to our allies, and so we can not have troops forward deployed where they are in essence locked into the country that they're based in. It just doesn't make any sense. You just can't run the U.S. government that way.

Ms. Sieg (Reuters): The issue is I think not so much where the troops are based and where they go, but who decides where to send them.

Under Secretary Feith: The president of the United States. That's not hard.

Ms. Sieg (Reuters): I think you know what I mean.

Mr. Boyle: Okay, one more over hear, and it's got to be the last one. Going, going ...

Mr. Kato (Asahi Shimbun): Secretary Rumsfeld mentioned in his first press briefing after the election that along with the transformation the United States is also trying to improve the way to maintaining war plans and contingency plans. I think it's only logical if you have different defense posture you're going to have different contingency plans. I was wondering how you're going to change the contingency plan in this region, and is Japan going to get consulted in the course of changing the contingency plan?

Under Secretary Feith: We have important bilateral work that is done with Japan and various other allies on contingency plans, and we'll continue to do that. We have plans that we work on together. Part of what it means to be an alliance is that we work with our allies on the plans for operating together.

Mr. Kato (Asahi Shimbun): So you're going to review the contingency plan, war plan, in Korea.

Under Secretary Feith: We review our contingency plans on a routine basis, and what we're in fact doing is setting up mechanisms in the Pentagon right now so that we can review them on a much more frequent basis. Part of our concept of defense transformation - and this was rather a pet project of Secretary Rumsfeld - part of the concept of defense transformation is you do not have contingency plans that are stale, and he was unhappy with the fact that we had contingency plans that were developed over years, and he would be briefed on a plan, and he would say, "When was this plan last revised?" and it might be a certain time before. And then he would say, "Well, when was the work initiated for that plan?" and that would, of course, be a few years before that, and then he would say, "What were the assumptions that underlay the development of that plan?" and if you think of all the major things that have happened in recent years, the idea that you would have a plan where the assumptions could be four or five or six years out of date, he just found completely unacceptable, and so one of the things that we've been doing - and it's one of our bigger initiatives in the Defense Department - is finding ways - and it's got a lot of aspects to it, including the development of new analytical tools - finding ways to update contingency plans on a much more frequent basis, so that it's a matter of months rather than years, and the assumptions get reviewed frequently, so that they're not stale, and you don't have war plans the assumptions of which are based on circumstances that are long gone, and part of what we do, and we have some plans that are unilateral, but we also have some plans that are alliance plans, and so in that case it's going to be required to work with allies to update plans rapidly, and that's an element of what I would say is combined transformation.

Mr. Boyle: Mr. Under Secretary, thank you very much. Inevitably, we have run out of time, and thank you all, ladies, gentlemen.

Under Secretary Feith: Thank you. Nice to talk to you.

Ms. Sieg (Reuters): Is there a timeframe for the transformation discussions with Japan?

Under Secretary Feith: I think there are timeframes for different elements of it. It's got a lot of pieces, and certain pieces will be wrapped up at different times. This whole global posture realignment that we're talking about is going to be years to complete, and even more years, it could be 10 years before we finish doing a lot of the stuff that needs to get done. It's kind of a rolling process.