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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Tracking Number:  128043

Title:  "Korean Peninsula Remains Dangerous Flashpoint." Admiral Huntington Hardisty's testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee. (900209)

Date:  19900209


02/09/90 *


(Text: Hardisty testimony before the SASC)

Washington -- Soviet military capabilities in the Pacific remain a real threat although Soviet intentions for adventurism in the region have diminished, according to Admiral Huntington Hardisty, commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Command.

Testifying February 8 before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Hardisty said the most dangerous flashpoint in the Pacific is on the Korean peninsula where the potential for armed conflict is most likely.

Following is Hardisty's statement, as prepared for delivery:

(begin text)

Mr. Chairman:

It is a pleasure to be here today to talk about the Pacific Command. You and the distinguished members of your committee have repeatedly shown interest in preserving America's vital security interests in Asia and the Pacific. As a nation, we have reason for pride in our success in this region: employing only about sixteen percent of the active U.S. military strength, we have helped maintain regional stability for over forty years in an area that encompasses half the globe. We have accomplished this through forward deployment, force readiness, and visible support for our allies and friends. With your help, I believe we can continue that achievement.

Much has changed globally since last year. We are more hopeful of a world free from the oppression of the old communist regimes and a world moving to reject criminal exploitation by drug cartels and dictators.

In the Asia/Pacific region, the U.S. strategy of containment and the deterrence measures associated with that strategy have been successful and we are shifting our focus for the future from bipolar (U.S.-U.S.S.R.) to multipolar and regional considerations. With the exception of Europe, all the regional powers emerging in the multipolar world will be in, or border on the U.S. Pacific Command (U.S., Japan, U.S.S.R., China, India). The region is in a transition period with change as the dominant factor. Therefore, our focus is changing to best serve U.S. interests as we move forward into the next century. We have three broad regional objectives for the future. First, we wish to maintain an overall environment of stability and regional balance in which democracies can flourish and economies can grow. This is best served by presence, positive involvement, security assistance, and by building trust and confidence. Second, where necessary, we will be prepared to provide more support in countries such as the Philippines where instability exists. Finally, we

GE 2 epf505 will maintain a deterrent posture where circumstances warrant; the Korean peninsula is the prime example. These objectives will best support U.S. political, economic, and security interests and will carry us through the 1990's and into the next century.

To attain these objectives we must have forces that are combat ready. These forces need to be configured for rapid reaction, mobility, and positioned such that they can react across this vast theater in a timely manner to any crisis or threats to U.S. interests or citizens.

In addition to this focus on regional stability and balance, we also must keep our global war plans and capabilities up to date. The capability of Soviet forces, even in this uncertain period of promising developments inside the Soviet Union, demands that we do so.

Our Pacific strategy must deal with the realities of the region -- diversity, change, increasing U.S. interests, and the need to maintain the confidence of our allies.

Asia and the Pacific are continuing a period of explosive growth. Old values and alliances are changing, and the balance of political, military, and economic power is changing as well. In the past, we were the dominant partner in the alliance network that worked to maintain peace and stability in the Pacific. But now, some of our allies are our most vigorous economic competitors. Political developments across the region have nurtured new levels of nationalism that we must understand and appreciate as we work with old friends. Newly independent nations in the South Pacific watch us closely as they search for their own national identity and direction. We must operate carefully in this changing international environment, ensuring that we do not confuse our friends or undermine the alliance structures that have proven so successful in the past.

I will amplify the importance of Asia and the Pacific to future U.S. national interests, the threats to peace and stability that we face in the 1990's, and our approach for confronting those threats. I will sketch the critical roles played by our friends and allies in our strategy, and conclude with a brief analysis of the forces and key programs that we must have to accomplish our challenging mission.

Importance of the Pacific

Throughout decades of change the United States has provided a stable, firm presence for freedom and security throughout the Pacific region. It is unquestionably in our interests to continue to do so as we look forward to the twenty-first century. We have entered the century of the Pacific ten years earlier than we might have imagined. America's economic and political well-being are inextricably linked to the nations of the Pacific Rim. The U.S. and Japan together account for 40 percent of the gross world product. U.S. trade with Asia and the Pacific has exceeded our trade with Europe for the past seventeen

GE 3 epf505 years, and is greater now than our combined trade with our North and South American neighbors as well. The Asian gross national product equals that of Europe and is growing at an average rate three percent faster than that of Europe. There can be no economic revitalization for the United States independent of Asia. Almost two-thirds of the world's population lives in this vital area now, and the number is growing. Democracy is advancing in general, but its final success is by no means assured. Our national security interests directly reflect our regional economic and political ties. Militarily, the nations that maintain seven of the world's ten largest armies are within Asia and the Pacific region, and seven of our nation's ten mutual defense treaties are with Pacific nations. The United States is and must continue to be a great maritime trading nation. The geography of both the Pacific and the Indian Oceans makes the area strategically important not just to the United States but to all the world's major economic powers. Successful U.S. policy has nurtured positive, unprecedented change. We must now be ready to deal with this success.

The Threat

We applaud the recent easing of tensions in Europe and hope that this trend will continue until it embraces Asia and the Pacific. We are greatly encouraged by General Secretary Gorbachev's initiatives, by the exchange of visits between U.S. and Soviet military leaders, and by the vigor of ongoing strategic and conventional arms control talks. In my judgment, global war with the Soviet Union is less likely today.

We continue to work toward constructive engagement with the Soviets in the Pacific. As a step in this direction we hope to see U.S.-Soviet reciprocal port visits this year. In the future I look forward to hosting the Soviet Far East Theater Commander in Honolulu and visiting his command in return. But progress toward peace in the Pacific has not completely paralleled that in Europe, and very real threats to regional stability still exist. In Korea, our assessment of the potential threat from the North is unchanged. U.S. and allied forces in Korea stand together to face a strong adversary across a troubled border; but unlike the situation in Europe, no mutual force reduction talks are being conducted in Korea and warning time remains very short. Allied Pacific nations continue to face internal and external enemies whose activities are often unaffected by changes in the Soviet Union. Insurgencies, terrorism, and drug trafficking trouble this region just as they trouble the world. Regional threats have changed somewhat, but they have not gone away. We must remind ourselves that - unlike Eastern Europe where communist regimes are being replaced by democratic reforms - in Asia, repressive regimes and dictators have slammed the door on reforms. Finally, the quantity and quality of Soviet military forces in theater remains formidable. This

GE 4 epf505 is not to say there has not been change -- there has been retirement of equipment, redeployment of some ground forces, and altered patterns of reconnaissance and operational activities. However, improved replacement equipment is being fielded and strong forces still remain in locations from which they can threaten our vital interests in Northeast Asia. Soviet power projection capabilities have qualitatively improved, and their modernization of strategic systems continues. Although their intentions appear to have changed, the Soviets retain significant warfighting capability in the Pacific Region.

U.S. Goal and Objectives in the Pacific

Our overall goal is to provide a security umbrella for Asia and the Pacific under which U.S. national interests can be attained, democracies can flourish, free trade and commerce can prosper, and basic human rights can be preserved. To achieve this goal we seek access and influence in peacetime; we prepare to deter aggression in time of crisis; and, if U.S. interests, citizens, or allies are attacked or threatened, we are ready to respond promptly and decisively.

We envision a multipolar future world containing six major power centers. Five of those power centers border the Pacific Command:

-- The United States: The major world player and only acceptable balancer in the region, but facing increasing pressures to reduce its presence due to economic competition and budgetary deficits.

-- The Soviet Union: Facing an uncertain future with great internal tensions brought on by reforms and growing nationalistic and economic expectations of its people; with an external policy focused on attempts to "tap-in" to the Pacific and European economies.

-- Japan: A producer state with prosperity highly dependent on continued access to resources and markets. The world's banker, maintaining significant influence over many of the world's industrial nations, but with an aging population and growing social pressures.

-- India: The only regional power in the Indian Ocean in the absence of a balancing power.

-- China: A regional power also. Modernizing economically, but slowly. Convulsed with a generational leadership change and internal political pressures. Nevertheless, pragmatic, independent, and beholden to no one.

As the world changes, the threats change to our regional goal. Accordingly, we have relooked our regional strategy for the future. In the Pacific, our past strategy of containment was based on a bipolar, global scenario. Such a worst-case condition cannot be completely discounted so long as the Soviet Union retains its current capabilities and its internal reforms set in motion are not completed. However, the most probable threats to peace in Asia and the Pacific now lie in other directions.

GE 5 epf505

Multipolar, regional threats now require an increased emphasis on maintaining regional stability and balance. While there is no "NATO-like" multilateral defense structure in the Pacific to help us to achieve these objectives, we have successfully built a network of bilateral relationships by tailoring our approach to each of our partners. Credible U.S. presence in potential trouble spots is one of the strongest stabilizing forces we can offer. The perception of quick response to calls for assistance from our friends and allies can stop threats from escalating. Fortunately, the structure and positioning of U.S. forces in Asia and the Pacific that have been so important to the successful strategy of containment in the past also lend themselves ideally to protecting U.S. interests and citizens by maintaining regional stability. Most of our forces in the Pacific are light and highly mobile. They are easily tailored in size and composition to meet whatever threat arises. We have the necessary plans and forces in theater to provide flexible responses ranging from a show of force to sustained joint combat operations.

In 1989 we stood up our counternarcotics effort, which I have established as the Command's number one peacetime priority. We have made progress in our detection, surveillance, and monitoring missions through the activation of Joint Task Force Five and expect to make even greater strides as the task force's fusion center comes on line this spring. We have provided valuable reconnaissance assistance to DEA in their marijuana eradication efforts in Hawaii, and stand ready to support the U.S. Atlantic Command, the U.S. Southern Command, and the U.S. Forces Command in counternarcotics missions.

Role of Our Regional Friends and Allies

Pacific regional security is a team effort, and we have in place an alliance network that has served as the ultimate guarantor of security for four decades. But to continue to succeed, any partnership requires frequent assessment of mutual needs and concerns. The following is an assessment of some of the most topical concerns in theater:


The U.S. security relationship with Japan is the linchpin of our Pacific strategy. The Japanese are well on their way toward a self-defense force capable of meeting their commitment to defend the sea lanes out to 1000 miles. Airborne early warning, high performance interceptors, seaborne air defense, and anti-submarine platforms are the prerequisites, and all are being accommodated and upgraded in Japanese defense plans and programs. It is not in the interests of the United States, the Japanese people, or the stability of Asia for Japan to develop power projection capabilities. Such developments would foster arms races

GE 6 epf505 and instability throughout the region. Current developments in the Japanese self defense force therefore support its defensive mission under the Japanese constitution and are consistent with a mutually beneficial U.S.-Japanese security relationship.

However, even after achieving their self-defense goals, the Japanese will be outnumbered in their own back yard by more powerful elements of the Soviet Far East military forces. They will need the continued help of U.S. forward deployed forces to achieve the mutual security objectives of both countries and the region.

Although our military relations are excellent, there are sensitivities. As I reported last year, on Okinawa there is limited real estate for expansion of the economy and therefore sensitivity to the presence of U.S. forces, the land we occupy, and the space in which we train. Japanese leaders realize the importance of U.S. forward deployed forces in the critical Northeast Asia region and support our presence, however, and we are working with them to make consolidations wherever possible and to resolve outstanding issues.

The Japanese have done much in the area of burdensharing, but I believe they can and should do more to help improve stability around the Pacific Rim. We have been working closely with OSD to develop innovative costsharing improvements for the maintenance and support of U.S. forces, as well as to increase Japanese contributions to assist economic development, support peacekeeping, and combat drug trafficking. Our overall approach must be comprehensive but measured, and must not allow friction in trade or economic relations to undermine a security relationship that is vital to our long-term strategic interests. Maintenance of the close U.S.-Japanese security relationship and a Japanese self-defense force consistent with its constitution is vital to regional peace and stability.

Republic of Korea:

The economic strength of Korea and its improved defense posture is an important regional development. The security situation remains uncertain, however, in spite of some encouraging efforts at North-South talks. The threat from the North has not diminished. Nevertheless, we have proposed ways in which the Koreans can assume greater responsibility for their own defense. While U.S. force presence will continue to be required in the 1990's as a proven deterrent to North Korean adventurism, it is time to transition to a more supporting role, reflecting the Republic of Korea's increased capability to provide for its own defense.

While South Korea is already contributing substantially to the cost of maintaining our forces on the peninsula, we have proposed ways for them to increase their contributions. These initiatives include aircraft maintenance, construction, and labor cost sharing.

GE 7 epf505


The Philippines provide us vital staging bases to train and sustain our forces and to protect critical sea lines of communication. We conduct 65 percent of our training in the Western Pacific in the Philippines; excellent training ranges and facilities at Crow Valley are not available anywhere else in the Pacific and would be extremely difficult to replace. These ranges/facilities also offer opportunities to improve interoperability with our allies. Logistically, Subic Bay gives us a large protected harbor with well developed ship repair, supply, and storage facilities, while Clark Air Force Base has the runways, storage, and material handling capability necessary to handle supply througout for Indian Ocean operations. There is no single location or combination of locations that can replace what we now have in the Philippines in terms of cost, strategic positioning, and operational efficiency.

I am cautiously optimistic that the government of the Philippines and the U.S. will see it in their mutual best interests for U.S. military presence to continue in the Philippines beyond 1991. I recognize that we will face significant hurdles with the Philippines on issues such as assistance levels, criminal jurisdiction, and unhampered military operations; nevertheless, I believe the negotiations stand a strong chance of success because of the mutual benefit of the R.P./U.S. relationship to both countries. The economic benefits for the Philippines and the strategic benefits for the U.S. make this a win/win relationship for both nations. As partners in forward positioning of U.S. forces, we share with the Philippines a major role in promoting regional balance and mutual security that is important to Asia as a whole. The December 1989 coup attempt temporarily diverted the Aquino government's focus from the renegotiation talks, but we already see evidence that they are preparing to enter negotiations.

In the event of failure to reach agreement for continuing access to the Philippine bases, we do have relocation alternatives. Clearly we prefer not to move: relocation would be more expensive, disruptive to U.S. command and control, take years to complete, and would not provide the same geostrategic advantages we now enjoy. Changes in our presence could raise questions among our friends in the area concerning our intentions and staying power, and could provide a vacuum into which others might try to move. But whether we relocate from the Philippines or not, protection of our interests in the region and fulfillment of our obligations to our friends and allies will remain unchanged.

Northeast Asia:

China continues on a path of economic and military modernization, although at a reduced pace reflecting recent

GE 8 epf505 political events. The Chinese are key participants in many Asian equations: Sino-Soviet agreements could reduce border tensions; China is a consideration in any U.S. Asian strategy; tensions with Taiwan appear to be easing; China has demonstrated force projection resolve in advancing its claim in the Spratly Islands; we hope China will play an important role in the cessation of hostilities in Cambodia; and China-India talks are an encouraging sign.

Despite the bloodshed at Tiananmen Square and follow- on U.S. government sanctions, I believe that China will continue to look to the West for the technology and expertise it needs. As a fundamental feature of our policy in Asia, the U.S. should continue a relationship with China that offers clear benefits for China's return to peaceful development and encourages Chinese leaders to steer a course that supports stability throughout the region.

Southeast Asia:

The ASEAN nations continue to progress in political and economic cooperation. We have developed strong and viable bilateral friendships with the armed forces of each of these nations. Mutual defense arrangements with Thailand and the Philippines and enhanced security cooperation with Singapore underlie our commitment to stability in the region.

In Vietnam, we have reason to hope that our joint progress on MIA issues will lead to continued improvement of relations between our nations. The Cambodian conflict remains a destabilizing factor in the region. We continue to support the efforts of ASEAN countries and the United Nations in their initiatives to provide a comprehensive solution to that conflict and to restore peace and human rights.

Thailand remains our staunch ally bordering a communist dominated Indochina. The U.S.-Thai military relationship has continued to grow; we have greatly improved our interoperability with Thai armed forces as exemplified in Cobra Gold, a joint/combined exercise that is now the largest such training effort the U.S. conducts in Southeast Asia. The war reserve stockpile program, which we signed with Thailand in 1987, has been implemented and will enhance the Thai armed forces' capability to sustain combat in defense of Thailand. Under the terms of this program the U.S. and Thailand will establish a joint stockpile of munitions for use by all services of the two countries. We are also cooperating closely with the Thais in the establishment of a new air defense system, and providing them limited security assistance funding. These activities are tangible evidence of U.S. commitment and resolve to maintain our important friendship with Thailand. Thailand plays a critical role in any counternarcotics effort in Southeast Asia and our security relationship fosters Thai cooperation in that effort.

Indian Ocean/South Pacific:

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Our alliance relationship with Australia is very close and will remain a partnership based on shared goals and interests. The Australian government remains committed to deterrence and arms control through participation in joint facilities and the granting of access to U.S. ships and aircraft. Our bilateral relationship with Australia under the ANZUS treaty remains a cornerstone of stability and peace in the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. I am encouraged by the existing strength of Australian-U.S. relations and its bright outlook for the future.

In implementing our strategy we must continue to focus a significant level of attention on the South Pacific. Disaster relief efforts, civic action projects, and various security assistance programs are serving our mutual interests and providing much-needed training opportunities and secondary benefits to the island countries. We are increasing ship visits throughout the Pacific to maintain U.S. access and influence and to promote U.S. interests in this area. We are concerned over efforts to form a nuclear free zone in the South Pacific and to challenge U.S. nuclear disclosure policies.

Regrettably, the government of New Zealand's ship ban policy caused us to suspend our security obligation to New Zealand under the ANZUS treaty. It's a sad thing to happen between old friends and allies, and the result is diminished security in the South Pacific and elsewhere. We look forward to the day when we can return to trilateral cooperation under the ANZUS treaty, but not at the expense of our "neither confirm nor deny" policy. In the meantime, our regional alliance interests reside in the strong bilateral security relationship between the U.S. and Australia.

India continues to grow militarily as a major, non- aligned power in the region. India's military buildup in both defensive and offensive systems, mostly of Soviet origin, is impressive. While the Soviets continue as their major arms supplier, India is a democratic country with vital interests in a successful relationship with the West. There is mutual benefit in more extensive and generally improved military-to-military relations between the U.S. and India. An improving relationship between India and the U.S. should not be cause for concern among our other friends in the region. Because the U.S. government recognizes the potential India holds for being a stabilizing force in the region, we are expanding our defense contacts with India to enhance prospects for mutual cooperation.

What Do We Need?

The keys to achieving our goals in Asia and the Pacific are combat ready, properly equipped and properly positioned forces, and a network of healthy bilateral relationships. Particular areas of concern to me are:

(1) Crisis response, force projection, and conflict operations. Essential to the success of our defense

* PAGE 10 PAGE 10 epf505 policies are U.S. conventional forces -- high quality men and women who are trained and ready to fight; capable of force projection whenever and wherever required; and supplied and sustained with equipment and weapons that will be able to counter any threat, numerical superiority or advanced weapon systems.

With some adjustments, our current force structure is appropriate for our strategic objectives in Asia and the Pacific independent of force level changes on Europe's central front. But the Pacific is already an economy of force theater; we must be cautious and deliberate in addressing changes in our forward deployed force strength. Small reductions send signals far out of proportion to any real savings.

(2) Force deployment. To enable us to move promptly and decisively and reinforce or resupply as necessary, maritime superiority and strategic lift are critical. We must have the ability to protect our lines of communication from air, surface, and submarine threats under all contingencies, along with the strategic and tactical lift necessary for us to get to the crisis area in a timely manner.

(3) Command, control, communications and intelligence (C3I). Our defense posture requires C3I resources adequate to prevent surprise and capable of the timely direction and control of our forces. The capability to assess developing situations early and accurately is basic if we are to provide timely response across half the world's surface, and our readiness is highly dependent upon our ability to monitor and control military response to crisis situations.

(4) Support to allies. A security assistance program with appropriate flexibility and less earmarking provides us enormous dividends in sustained influence and access to our Asian and Pacific allies. Cooperative programs, combined exercises, international military education and training, and humanitarian and civic assistance under Title 10 generate remarkable political military benefits at low costs. These are extremely cost effective methods of maintaining access and influence. Continued congressional attention to these programs with increased support is necessary.


Our strategy of forward deployed forces, bilateral alliances, and military-to-military contacts has worked for many years in the Pacific. Our security posture today is in good shape. We have high quality, well trained, well equipped men and women in our armed forces, and strong relationships with our friends and allies.

We recognize the changes in the world, and we have taken the initiative to change our focus for tomorrow in a way that will continue to support our nation's fundamental interests in the Pacific: Peace, prosperity, economic security, democracy, and support for human rights. But perceptions are critical: we must ensure that we make no

* PAGE 11 PAGE 11 epf505 adjustments in our posture that would weaken the confidence of our friends in the area and draw into question our resolve to remain a power in Asia. Stability is fundamental to our achievement of our goals, and in the Pacific more than in any other region security relationships are a foundation for our political and economic influence.

Economic, political, and military trends all show that a stable and secure Asia and the Pacific will be central to America's future. The U.S. Pacific Command is an economy of force theater, with forces well positioned and configured to maintain regional balance and stability. We achieve tremendous benefits from access and influence for relatively little cost.

Finally, I must compliment the finest force of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines that I have seen in my 38 years of military service. The men and women of the U.S. Pacific Command are maintaining impressively high levels of readiness, dedication, and skill. I am proud of them and believe we owe them our full support, especially in the pay incentives and quality of life programs that are so necessary to retain our most valuable resource.

The administration, the Congress, and the American people can be proud of the accomplishments of the men and women who serve in the U.S. Pacific Command. I am convinced that we need to continue our forward basing and must strengthen our bilateral relationships throughout the region to ensure that the resources and markets critical to our economic growth remain available, and so that we can maintain our political and security leadership roles in Asia and the Pacific into the twenty-first century.

(end text)


File Identification:  02/09/90, EP-505
Product Name:  Wireless File
Product Code:  WF
Document Type:  TXT
Thematic Codes:  140; 1DE
Target Areas:  EA
PDQ Text Link:  128043

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