As I speak, over 3,000 Australian Defence Force personnel have already deployed to East Timor under the UN-mandated International Force East Timor or INTERFET, with more on the way.
Most importantly our people are joined by many other countries - Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, Britain, Italy, Canada, South Korea, France, the United States and Brazil. Over 550 other nationals are presently in East Timor with more ready to depart from Darwin and Townsville.
Of course, Australian support for peacekeeping operations is not something new - Bougainville is but one ongoing example.
In the past we have also supported regional countries with contributions of troops to resist internal and external problems - Cambodia is another good example.
But the East Timor operation - multilateral in scope, strongly representing South East Asia, led by Australia and conducted under a United Nations Chapter VII or peace enforcement mandate - is of a very different scale and nature.
This is the first time that Australia has been asked by the United Nations to build and lead a multinational force and to provide the largest single component.
The UN authorises all necessary measures by INTERFET to fulfil its mandate. It is an essential part of this operation and an authority the United Nations does not lightly issue.
It is worth considering how unprecedented is this level of regional military commitment as well as the issues it forces Australia as a nation to confront.
CONFIRMATION OF GOVERNMENT'S POLICY
Although no country anticipated the extent of the destruction after the consultation, the policies this Government has adopted since it came to office in 1996 ensured Australia made some prudent preparations.
These preparations included:
*maintaining Defence spending at current levels,
*building a more combat capable ADF, increasing the number of combat troops in the Army including raising another regular infantry battalion,
*eliminating hollowness in Army units, so that all established units can deploy within shorter readiness times,
*increasing the training and operational readiness of a brigade size force in Darwin, and bringing the catamaran HMAS Jervis Bay into service.
In summary, making the Defence Force ready to meet regional contingencies. It is worth pondering how ready and able Australia would have been to respond to events in East Timor had these reforms not been taken.
But the events in East Timor have also highlighted the need for the Government to continue in its stated policy to improve efficiency and free up resources for re-investment in combat capability and operational readiness.
This includes efforts to:
*bring into service the modified and refurbished amphibious transport vessels,
*rectify the JORN project to eventually provide continuous real time surveillance of Australia's northern approaches,
*further increase mobility and flexibility, by acquiring AEW&C aircraft, surveillance platforms, light tactical aircraft, new strategic transport aircraft, reconnaissance and ground support helicopters, improved command and control systems, new armoured vehicles and an improved amphibious capability, and
*to develop a modern acquisition process that can ensure the timely fielding of urgently need capabilities.
THE WIDER DEFENCE DEBATE
One of the broader consequences of the East Timor crisis has been to spark for the first time in well over a decade, a wider public debate in Australia about defence. Let me just say that the Government welcomes this debate.
There has always been academic interest in the subject, the efforts of this conference is one such example. But such debate has been largely confined to the small and specialised strategic community in this country, with general public interest being confined to the more sensational stories about project mismanagement or ADF accidents.
It is my hope that the recent events will constitute a watershed in public understanding of defence issues. But it must be a informed understanding.
Given the scale and nature of our commitment to East Timor it is hardly surprising that inaccurate and somewhat misguided reporting and analysis has been plentiful, so let me take the time to correct some of the more dubious assertions being made.
In doing so, I will refer to a few of the more important strategic questions which events in East Timor have forced on to the table.
Our involvement in the East Timor crisis is not motivated by any desire to cause difficulties in relations between Australia and Indonesia. It is important to note that we are in East Timor at the request of the United Nations and with the agreement of the Indonesian Government.
It is in Australia's vital interests that Indonesia be a peaceful, stable and democratic state, economically prosperous and playing a leading and respected role in the region. It is also in Indonesia's own interests to ensure East Timor's transition is a peaceful and orderly one.
Australian efforts in building our relations with Indonesia are directed to that outcome. We want a relationship based on mutual respect and an understanding of our shared mutual interests. And we remain committed to rebuilding the relationship in this cooperative spirit.They will be largely determined by the outcomes in East Timor and by the result of the next Presidential election and the make-up of the new Government in Jakarta.
We will need to wait on these events and the perspective that time will bring.
With respect to defence relations, it is in our own security interests to have links such as defence attache representation, high-level strategic talks, staff college courses, maritime surveillance and disaster relief exercises.
Such contacts are necessary to achieve our objectives in East Timor, and are desirable because defence links will be part of any effective long-term relationship with Indonesia.
That decision shows the challenges Jakarta and Canberra face in maintaining a working defence relationship that supports the long- term national and strategic interests of both countries.
THE FUTURE POSITION OF EAST TIMOR
Full restoration of peace and security in East Timor will depend on a comprehensive political settlement of the differences between various sections of East Timorese opinion on the future of the territory.
Let me stress there is not a military solution to the East Timor problem. The process of reconciliation will need to take as its starting point the clear judgement of the majority of East Timorese in favour of independence as expressed in the recent ballot.
But it must also pay proper attention to the aspirations and views of the minority.
Progress towards reconciliation will depend on the efforts of the United Nations but, ultimately, on the people of East Timor themselves. This process will be slow and difficult, and may well take many years. We are working with the United Nations to start that work immediately.
We are working to ensure INTERFET will be replaced by a full United Nations peacekeeping operation as soon as possible. So we will do all we can in that time to provide a secure environment for the process of political reconciliation and humanitarian relief to go forward.
Another, closely connected issue is the role in the region of an independent East Timor. Before too long an independent government in Dili will have to address the question of its future relations with neighbouring countries.
Dili's future relationship with Indonesia will be particularly important. The legacy of history will be difficult to handle. But it is essential that Dili and Jakarta manage an accommodation to keep their relations balanced and based on cooperation.
Once the UN's mandate has been achieved and international attention moves on, East Timor will have to seek its security in and with the region. Naturally Australia will want to be a close friend of the independent East Timor. But we will work hard to prevent East Timor from being a problem in our longer-term strategic relationship with Indonesia.
THE US ALLIANCE
Our strategic relationship with the United States more than passed the test of East Timor. I regard the respective roles of Australia and the United States in this crisis as entirely appropriate to the spirit of the alliance, and an example of the complementarity that we bring to our bilateral relationship. Let me place on record the Government's appreciation of the United States' support over the crisis.
The East Timor operation was never an ANZUS operation, but a United Nations-mandated one.
It was important and entirely appropriate for Australia to take the lead in restoring security, it was a regional problem that the region is taking the lead in managing. Indeed the US itself has recognised Australia's leadership on the East Timor issue.
Australia was willing and able to cooperate with other regional colleagues in restoring order on East Timor and allowing the United Nations process agreed with Indonesia to continue.
That being said, it would have been very difficult to carry it out without the diplomatic and practical support we draw from the US. The alliance remains as relevant and useful to this nation as it does to the US.
This crisis has shown that the US is a reliable strategic partner for Australia. But it has also shown that Australia is a reliable strategic partner for the US. It also reminds us that Australia can carry its weight in the alliance, and that the alliance meets regional security needs.
But in doing so we meet our own national interests first and foremost. As the Prime Minister stated yesterday, the Government does not see Australia as playing the role of deputy for the US or indeed any other country in the region.
Neither does the Government see the US playing a role as regional policeman, although continued US engagement in the region is vital to our security. So how will events in East Timor affect Australia's role in the Asia-Pacific region?
AUSTRALIA IN THE REGION
Since this Government came to office we have adopted a more outward looking approach to defence. During that time Australia has also seen a significant deterioration in our strategic environment. That is why we increased the readiness of the brigade in Darwin for possible use in contingencies in our immediate neighbourhood.
That decision was based upon strategic assessment that saw potential crises in the inner arc of islands that cover the approaches to Australia. These crises did not necessarily have to lead to direct threats to the Australian mainland. But their potential impact on regional stability, on the capacities of countries to manage internal problems clearly impacts on the stability of the Asia-Pacific.
The lesson is clear: we cannot pretend that what happens to our neighbours does not matter to Australian security. Our willingness and ability to lead the sort of international coalition that we now see will stand very much to Australia's credit. But we must understand why that is.
East Timor has made abundantly clear the obvious point that a nation's diplomacy cannot be effective without the backing of a convincing level of defence capability. That is why Australia is in East Timor, leading and making the greatest contribution to INTERFET.
Events in East Timor reinforce the fact that the Defence Force must be able to give the Government the options it needs to protect Australia's interests and promote regional stability with our immediate neighbours.
This has implications for defence force preparedness, logistic sustainability, and our ability to manage possibly separate and concurrent operations.
There has been much armchair analysis as to the sustainability of our deployment to East Timor by people who seem to think themselves qualified to second guess the assessments and planning of the Australian Defence Force. So let me reaffirm the Government's position, once again.
Australia has sufficient forces available to deploy and maintain a contingent of up to 4,500 personnel for at least a year on East Timor. This includes sufficient forces to allow for a rotation of units. I have been advised by the military that they are planning for units to spend no more than nine months on deployment, and if possible, somewhat less.
Our present force will also allow us at the same time to maintain significant forces to deal with other contingencies that may arise, and to ensure that we have the forces for critical national tasks such as counter-terrorism for the 2000 Olympics.
The Government hopes that within a year the situation in East Timor will have improved to the point that a formal United Nations peacekeeping operation can take over and allow for our forces to be significantly reduced.
But the Government recognises that there is a possibility that we may need to sustain such a deployment for longer than that. The Government is therefore developing plans to provide the extra forces that would be needed to sustain a deployment of 4,500 personnel beyond the initial twelve months.
That would involve raising the readiness of a number of additional battalions. The Government will be taking decisions over the next few weeks about the ways in which this can best be done, to ensure that the preparation of these forces can begin early so that they will be well-prepared if they are needed.
At present, Reserves are not required to meet our main personnel needs for the deployment to East Timor, though we will seek reservists volunteer in some specialist areas, such as dental and engineering services as we often do for deployments of this nature. Over the next few weeks the Government will also consider the role of the Reserves in the event of a longer-term commitment.
The Government is working closely with the leadership of the ADF to ensure our deployment to East Timor is adequately resourced. That is the case at the moment and it will continue to be the case.
The Government is committed to ensuring that the Australian Defence Force is properly resourced.
DEFENCE RESOURCE AND CAPABILITY ISSUES
This brings me to the issue of the need for a larger defence budget. It was not so long ago that there were voices doubting that Defence needed or deserved any increase in its budget. More recently, serious opinion has conceded even before East Timor that changes in our strategic environment have compelled a rethink on defence issues.
In addition to making the need for a convincing level of defence capability abundantly clear, East Timor also serves to inform us that real, useable military capability is very expensive. As the Prime Minister foreshadowed in the Parliament last week, recent events may require us to consider an increase in defence spending.
But that does not mean the Government will back away from the need for Defence as an organisation to carry through the internal reforms that it has started. In fact, any increase in defence budget only makes it more important to ensure that Defence spends its money wisely and in a manner fully accountable to Government.
Defence must meet the Government's requirement - and the community's expectation -- that it can spend its budget effectively and efficiently.
So if the Defence budget were to increase, what areas would have priority claim for extra funding?
The immediate issue of funding the East Timor commitment is the relatively straightforward part. No effort has been spared to give our troops all they need to do the job. The final cost of the commitment cannot be known, but we estimate that between now and the end of this financial year it will be at least $500 million, with more needed to sustain and to reconstitute our ground forces behind the INTERFET contribution.
INTERFET will be followed, hopefully soon, by another United Nations peacekeeping operation to see East Timor through to full independence. We anticipate that this follow-on peace keeping force would operate in a more benign environment and would therefore be smaller. Australia will not need to play such a leading role in this phase as in INTERFET, but we will continue to help to a significant degree.
But the demands of peacekeeping are only one possible claim on the budget.
HIGHER LEVEL CAPABILITIES
Another issue we must face is reconciling the need for forces required for operations of the peace-making and peacekeeping variety, and those that might be necessary for higher intensity warfighting operations.
At the end of the day, the purpose of the ADF is to be able to defend this country against armed attack. This means that we cannot allow the task of peacekeeping - even of the robust Chapter VII kind -- to detract from the higher end of the spectrum of military capabilities.
In the long run - the next 10 to 15 years - Australia faces important choices about core military capabilities, as long-serving naval and air platforms come to the end of their life.
The decisions that will be required about those capabilities are not far away. They include looking at options to find military capabilities that can replace our fast jet fighters and strike bombers and many units of our surface fleet.
It is in this context that a significant increase in our defence budget may become essential if we are to keep a capable and effective ADF, able to do the things government wants it to do.
Defence must work hard at maintaining its relevance and military capabilities, particularly as other countries in the region recover economically and develop in the longer term their own mature array of defence capabilities.
All these issues will be covered in a major statement of Defence policy that I will issue next year, the Defence White Paper 2000. Specifically, the Government will:
*Update our strategic judgements and explain the implications of a deteriorating strategic environment;
*Clarify the circumstances in which the Government may need to use force to protect our interests;
*Define the sort of military tasks the ADF must be equipped to conduct;
*Explain which of a range of affordable force structure options is best suited to our circumstances, and outline its strategic benefit and resource cost; and
*Address how Australia is to harness the Revolution in Military Affairs to our benefit and to meet the challenge of interoperability with allies and friends.
This will be one of the most difficult and important Defence statements ever produced. The challenges posed by our evolving strategic circumstances are immense. East Timor has reminded us of the importance of a credible and robust defence capability, able to respond effectively to what strategic developments might occur and do what national interests might require.
Our allies and neighbours also need to understand the basis of our defence policy, and to regard Australia as a constructive and relevant player. I am confident after recent events that there will be a more informed receptive and thoughtful discussion and understanding of these issues in the community.
BMDO Director On Ballistic Missile Defense (Sept.20)
Sept. 20 speech by Lt Gen Ronald Kadish, Director of the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, to the National Defense Industrial Association ; Washington, DC.
(Source : U.S. Department of Defense; released Sept. 27)
Good Afternoon. I want to thank RADM Rempt for that kind introduction and the invitation to meet with you today to talk about ballistic missile defense.
Last week, I had the pleasure of joining RADM Cobb in Moorestown for an excellent hands-on introduction to AEGIS development and integration. AEGIS and the Navy have important roles in our missile defense program.
Having access to three fourths of the earthâ€™s surface has an impressive mobility, flexibility and rapid response capability, that we have to pay attention to when we're talking about the technological challenge and the time line required to deploy at the theater level as well as national.
With that in mind, Iâ€™d like to share with you all a little information about where I plan to take both BMDO and the program. And where I view my role as the director of the organization.
I have one simple goal: That is, to deliver what we promise. And what we promise is missile defense -- theater and national -- that responds to a changing and growing threat.
When you break that statement down to its various components, we have a lot of work to do to deliver what we promise.
But, if I can do that during my tenure, I will consider it a very successful tour of duty.
In order to achieve this goal, we need three things: the technology, the resources, and the support not only of the defense industry and the Services, but of our fellow citizens and our allies.
Why am I confident that we can succeed? One simple reason is that over the last few months I've seen the current and growing consensus in this country about the need for a ballistic missile defense. Those of you who have been associated with the program, know that that has not always been the case.
Where does this consensus come from, since, missile defense is a tough technical challenge? This consensus, I believe, comes from the factual view in the press.
I know you've been in the details of technology this afternoon, but my purpose is to bring you up to the macro level of what we are all about.
I want to direct your attention to the National Intelligence Council Report released earlier this month that, again, confirms there is indeed a serious threat that needs to be met. I'll only touch on the high points because the executive summary of the Report is readily available on-line and I strongly recommend its reading.
It confirms that there is a serious threat to the United States.
The National Intelligence Council looked out to 2015 and its conclusions are sobering: It concluded that during the next 15 years the United States most likely will face ICBM threats from Russia, China, and North Korea, probably from Iran, and possibly from Iraq.
The Council pointed out that the ballistic missile threat is changing. Although the majority of systems being developed and produced today are short- or medium-range ballistic missiles, North Korea's three-stage Taepo Dong-1 Space Launch Vehicle demonstrated its potential to cross the 5,500-km ICBM threshold if it develops a survivable weapon for the system.
The Council tells us that other potentially hostile nations could cross that threshold during the next 15 years.
Needless to say, this is a serious challenge to our national security.
Why should some countries make this substantial investment in missile technology? The Council noted many that are developing longer-range missiles probably assess that the threat of their use would complicate our nationâ€™s decision-making during crises.
While potential adversaries recognize our military superiority, they are likely to assess that their growing missile capabilities would enable them to increase the cost of a US victory and potentially deter us from pursuing certain objectives -- an asymmetrical strategy.
The Council's answer to why our adversaries would want to invest in a ballistic missile arsenal is this: Acquiring long-range ballistic missiles armed with Weapons of Mass Destruction will enable weaker countries to do three things that they otherwise might not be able to do: deter, constrain, and harm the United States.
In the face of this threat, active missile defense makes sense -- for our homeland defense and especially for theater force protection.
Now, as a nation, we have several ways to address this threat. We continue to rely on our strong conventional and strategic forces to act as a deterrent. We continue to use diplomacy and arms control measures to reduce the risk. And, we are developing active defenses to protect our forces, interests, friends, and allies overseas and our homeland.
BMDO, the Services, and industry are a key part of our Nationâ€™s response. We are charged with developing and building missile defense systems that will take on those threats -- ground, sea and space based.
One of the key questions facing us is -- will it work? Two issues underscore our approach to this question -- hit-to-kill" technology and layered defense.
Hit to Kill Technology
Several critics have derided our confidence in the hit-to-kill concept. I believe that 1999 has been watershed year for Hit to Kill. Successful THAAD and PAC-3 tests demonstrated that the concept is valid.
As most of you know, we have had a series of problems with the flight testing of the Armyâ€™s THAAD system. Throughout these tests, almost all of the system components performed flawlessly. On June 10, 1999, we achieved our first successful THAAD intercept. Then, on August 4, 1999, more than 50 miles over the New Mexico desert, the THAAD interceptor again hit another ballistic missile target. We believe these hits demonstrated that we have overcome the difficulties with THAAD. Based on these two successful intercepts and our renewed confidence in the THAAD program, we decided to authorize the Army to prepare for entering the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase.
In fact, this year has seen four successful hit-to-kill intercepts -- two PAC-3 and two on THAAD -- watershed events in my view.
On the NMD side, in the first week of October we are going to attempt our first National Missile Defense intercept. Based on the way we are going to demonstrate this, we are going to be looking only at the kill vehicle. We are very hopeful we will add a fifth intercept.
Let's talk about layered defense.
Given that hit to kill works -- how can we assure that this technology can negate both theater and global threats? And our architecture says we need a layered defense to keep the offense from winning. Layered defense is critical to our warfighting success.
Lower and Upper Tier systems are critical to achieve success and prevent unacceptable leakage.
We are a global power with many needs for power projection. Naval systems provide an additional element. That is the flexible mobility that is inherent in navel platforms. They operate in environments where we don't have to ask permission for entry.
They have a power projection capability on the Theater level -- especially for immature theaters. NTW is now in Risk Reduction and proceeding to Flight Test rapidly.
As part of our Upper Tier strategy, NTW is ready to move forward with its flight testing program later this month. Since Aug of 1998 NTW has been making significant inroads in "testing" through key risk reduction activities. These are geared toward achieving one of my highest priorities for BMD programs - cost-effective lowering of risk to actual flight tests.
During Autumn Events 98, the AEGIS TBMD Linebacker equipped USS Port Royal and Lake Erie, the High Range Resolution Radar equipped USS Russell and the SM-3 Captive Carry Seeker aboard our BMDO Airborne Surveillance Testbed collected both radar and infrared data on BMD targets.
This week NTW will launch the first SM-3 round, designated Controlled Test Vehicle -1. Although no intercept will be attempted, this test is the next logical step in the rigorous incremental approach to testing that the NTW Program Manager has provided as his basis for keeping risk within acceptable limits.
After CTV-1, NTW will move into a seven shot Flight Test Round Series as part of the AEGIS LEAP Intercept program. Navy Theater Wide is on track and it is critical to our architecture.
Where do we go from here?
The threat is more diverse and widespread than at any point in the past. And, the intelligence community tells us that todayâ€™s theater-class threat is evolving into a longer-range threat within the next 15 years.
Missile defense technology similarly has evolved and improved to the point where active missile defense systems â€“ for both theater and strategic threats â€“ is feasible. On top of this we are moving our programs into the phase of development where we make them reliable, repeatable, and operationally effective and suitable.
Today is very different from the past because there now exists a pretty stable consensus that supports missile defense.
There is great patience on the part of Congress and our senior leaders in the administration to allow us to make mistakes in the development of these systems. However, my first thought will apply more and more, that is - - we have to deliver what we promise.
We are trying now to move our programs into a different phase of development and deployment. Where we can make them more reliable, more repeatable, more operationally suitable and effective. And prove that they are.
But -- and this is a big "but" -- the challenge we face in NTW is to reach consensus that TBM Defense is a mission that we can make work and make affordable in our architecture.
That's what this risk reduction program is all about. That's what this conference is all about. There are some tough decisions up ahead.
The bottom line still remains that Navy Theater Wide will provide us the flexibility and mobility required of our lower tier architecture. The challenge is -- will it work and is it affordable, especially on the timelines we need to meet the threat.
To do all these things - develop and deploy highly effective and interoperable missile defense â€“ I need your help. Many of you here represent industry. Our defense industry makes missile defense a reality. We in the DoD simply direct or manage what you do, but you guys make things happen. The rubber hits the road or the ramp because of you â€“ not because of the DoD. So, if missile defense is going to succeed, I need you and your colleagues to succeed.
We need industry to dedicate the brightest and best into the mission of missile defense. I know that you are doing this today and I encourage you to continue in the future to dedicate the resources necessary to ensure we succeed together. This mission is too important and the existing and emerging threat too important to ignore.
Second, I encourage industry to join me in the commitment to technical excellence, focus on quality, and an enduring dedication to ensuring missile defense systems are affordable.
I am proud to be a part of this important effort -- the policy debates and the critics will continue, but our country will sort out the consensus of the need for active missile defense. Our task is very simple -- to make it work, make it affordable, and deliver what we promise.
Thank you very much.