IWS - The Information Warfare Site
News Watch Make a  donation to IWS - The Information Warfare Site Use it for navigation in case java scripts are disabled

26 June 2003

Special Envoy Says U.S. Adjusting Security Needs to New Demands

(Christopher LaFleur's June 26 testimony before House panel) (3050)

A key Bush administration goal in the 2002 National Security Strategy
was to transform U.S. national security institutions to meet the
challenges of the 21st century, according to Christopher LaFleur,
Special Envoy for Northeast Asia Security Consultations.


In testimony delivered June 26 before the House Committee on
International Relations' Asia and Pacific Subcommittee, LaFleur said
that since the September 11 terror attacks on the United States, U.S.
security objectives have required "new thinking about where we focus
our energies in the East Asia region."

In the Asia and Pacific region, LaFleur said, U.S. strategic goals
include strengthening alliances to defeat global terrorism, defusing
regional conflicts, and preventing enemies "from threatening us, our
allies, and our friends with weapons of mass destruction."

The United States has also focused its attention on "the enduring
value" of America's alliances in Asia, LaFleur said.

"These five alliances -- Japan, South Korea, Australia, Philippines,
and Thailand -- are important to achieving our objectives in the
region in every sense. In addition, we are working with traditional
friends, regional groups and others to bolster cooperation to address
our concerns," he said.

U.S. alliances with Japan and South Korea, LaFleur said, "are moving
forward, growing, and adjusting to today's changing security
environment.

"We are trying to make the most of our Northeast Asian allies'
evolving attitude towards local, regional, and global security so that
we are both more capable, jointly and singly, of responding to threats
we face today and may face tomorrow.

"The process is a complex one, but Japan, South Korea, and the United
States are approaching this effort with confidence and good will. We
believe the end result will be to strengthen our alliances with both
South Korea and Japan, as our partners see we are responsive to
changes in their capabilities and intent on sustaining our long-term
role in the Asia Pacific," LaFleur said.

Following is the text of LaFleur's prepared testimony:

(begin text)

Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515-0128

Christopher A. LaFleur
Special Envoy for Northeast Asia Security Consultations
June 26, 2003

House International Relations Committee

Thank you for the opportunity to testify on the subject of U.S.
Security Policy in the Asia Pacific region.

National Security

Our objectives in the Asia Pacific region are based on the President's
2002 National Security Strategy, which commits the United States to:

-- champion aspirations for human dignity;

-- strengthen our alliances to defeat global terrorism;

-- defuse regional conflicts;

-- prevent our enemies from threatening us, our allies, and our
friends with weapons of mass destruction;

-- ignite an era of global economic growth through free markets and
free trade;

-- expand development through open societies and the infrastructure of
democracy;

-- develop agendas for cooperative action with the main centers of
global power; and

-- transform our national security institutions to meet the challenges
of the 21st century.

The Strategy was published almost exactly a year after September 11,
2001. These objectives require new thinking about where we focus our
energies in the East Asia region. At the same time, they have also
focused our attention on the enduring value of America's alliances in
Asia. These five alliances -- Japan, South Korea, Australia,
Philippines, and Thailand -- are important to achieving our objectives
in the region in every sense. In addition, we are working with
traditional friends, regional groups and others to bolster cooperation
to address our concerns.

We are working to enhance our alliances and friendships in East Asia
by ensuring that our linchpin ally, Japan, continues to play a leading
role in both regional and global affairs, based on our common
interests, common values, and close defense and diplomatic
cooperation.

We reaffirmed those common values and interests with Japan in the
meeting of the Security Consultative Committee -- commonly referred to
as the "2+2" -- in December 2002.

The "2+2" Joint Statement is testimony to our shared views on threats
of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic
missiles, Iraq, North Korea, regional security issues, China's role in
regional stability and prosperity, missile defense and defense
planning. I note that the level of Japan's participation in Operation
Enduring Freedom has been unprecedented and, for Japan, path-breaking.

We are working with South Korea to maintain deterrence towards the
North while preparing our alliance to make contributions to the
broader international stability over the long term. At their May 14,
2003, meeting in Washington, DC, President Bush and South Korean
President Roh Moo-hyun reaffirmed the strength of our relationship,
and in a joint statement they underscored that they would not tolerate
nuclear weapons in North Korea and insisted on the complete,
verifiable and irreversible elimination of North Korea's nuclear
weapons program through peaceful means based on international
cooperation. With Japan and South Korea, we are coordinating our
policy on North Korea through the TCOG meetings, the most recent of
which took place in Honolulu on June 12-13, 2003.

Australia has proved yet again to be an indispensable ally in the
Asia-Pacific region, international CT, non-proliferation, and other
security cooperation. We are building on 50 years of U.S.-Australian
alliance cooperation as we focus on regional and global problems.
Australia's central role in the Iraq conflict, its support of our
troops in Afghanistan, its ongoing peacekeeping efforts in East Timor,
and its commitment to fight terrorism at home and in the Asia-Pacific
region proves how valuable an ally it is in taking its security
commitments to the common defense seriously.

With the Philippines, the recent State Visit of President Arroyo
illustrated that security relations are deeper and warmer today than
at any time in recent history. The two Presidents pledged to
strengthen the partnership further in the years ahead. We have
redoubled our commitment to assist the Philippines to develop the
capacity to counter the terrorist threat in the southern part of the
country. President Arroyo also has pledged to contribute personnel to
the coalition effort in the reconstruction of Iraq. In addition, we
have designated the Philippines a Major Non-NATO Ally.

With Thailand, we have deepened our already close cooperation on
counterterrorism. Recent successes include the arrest of three members
of a Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) support cell who are suspected of plotting
to attack diplomatic missions and other targets in Thailand. In
addition, Thai authorities, working with U.S. Customs and Embassy
Bangkok, this month apprehended an individual attempting to sell a
small amount of radioactive material.

Although not an ally, China also plays a critical role in Asia's
security and has played a helpful role in the counterterrorism
campaign. We have welcomed China's cooperation in helping to resolve
our mutual concerns about North Korea's nuclear program. The PRC has
stressed its opposition to the North Korea's decision to withdraw from
the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, its concerns over North Korea's
nuclear capabilities, and its desire for a non-nuclear Korean
peninsula. China also most recently played a key role in organizing
the April multilateral talks in Beijing.

Finally, we are seeking to strengthen our relations with other
friendly countries in the region and regional institutions in East
Asia. We are working to expand our cooperation with the Association of
South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asian Regional Forum (ARF), and
the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum to manage change in
the dynamic East Asian area and to enhance security in this large and
important region. Secretary Powell has just returned from productive
Post-ASEAN Ministerial Conference and ARF meetings in Phnom Penh,
Cambodia, that addressed critical regional security issues, including
North Korea and Burma.

As the Secretary stated, "The ARF members made it abundantly clear
that we all need to work together to see a nuclear weapons-free Korean
peninsula. ASEAN's help in keeping pressure on North Korea is
absolutely necessary to achieve a diplomatic solution that leaves the
peninsula, the region, and the world safer."

To support the development of ASEAN as an institution critical to the
security and development of the pivotal Southeast Asia region, we are
working to implement the ASEAN Cooperation Plan (ACP) and the
Enterprise for ASEAN Initiative (EAI), announced by Secretary Powell
and the President last year. The goal of these initiatives is to
strengthen ASEAN's institutional capacities, to encourage greater
integration of the new, less economically advanced states in ASEAN, to
enhance ASEAN's ability to contribute to regional stability, and to
expand our already strong economic ties through trade agreements with
qualified countries in Southeast Asia. We have already concluded a
free trade agreement (FTA) with Singapore and are laying the
groundwork for possible agreements with other Southeast Asian states
in the future.

Security Posture

I would like to focus now on the two alliance relationships in which
we have launched comprehensive reviews, these being the Republic of
Korea and Japan

South Korea

South Korea's opportunity to participate actively in shaping regional
and global affairs has grown significantly as its economy has
developed. The ROK has strongly supported the global war on terrorism
and its support for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq reflect Seoul's
commitment to an increasingly global partnership. Most recently,
President Roh dispatched engineer and medical troops in support of
Operation Iraqi Freedom. Korea has agreed to grant $10 million in
humanitarian aid for the Iraqi people, including $500,000 to help
improve prisons. Looking forward, Seoul is already thinking about
pledging reconstruction aid to Iraq, following up on the $45 million
it is giving to Afghanistan.

Our discussions on security posture with the ROK were launched first
and have made significant progress, in part because we are building on
the understandings we have reached over the past decade to reduce the
footprint of U.S. facilities in the ROK. We agreed in the early 1990s
to relocate U.S. forces at the Yongsan Garrison in downtown Seoul.
Over the past several years, we also finalized plans to consolidate
U.S. facilities across the ROK.

However, at the December 2002 ROK-U.S. Security Consultative Meeting
(SCM) held in Washington, D.C., both sides realized we had the
opportunity to take greater advantage of advances in military art and
science. The SCM established a "Future of the Alliance Policy
Initiative," to conduct policy-level discussions to develop options
for modernizing and strengthening the alliance.

The initial "Future of the Alliance Policy Initiative" meeting was
held in Seoul on April 8-9, attended by senior officials of the ROK
Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Deputy
Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard P. Lawless and I represented
the U.S. side. The Koreans and we shared the view that the U.S.-ROK
alliance must be developed in ways that contribute to security not
only on the Peninsula but also in the larger Northeast Asian region
and beyond. We agreed in principle to expand the role of ROK forces in
Peninsula defense and to enhance U.S. forces ability to contribute to
regional stability, and we proposed a plan to strengthen the future of
the alliance by further developing 21st century war-fighting
capabilities.

We agreed to consult further on modernization of the ROK-U.S. combined
defense posture and deterrence capability by consolidating the USFK
base structure to achieve greater efficiency and to foster the
balanced development of ROK national lands. We agreed as well to
continue discussion on the timing of the overall realignment process.

President Bush and South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun, reviewed these
issues at their first summit in May. The two Presidents pledged to
"consult closely on the appropriate posture of the USFK during the
transition to a more capable and sustainable U.S. military presence on
the Peninsula." They acknowledged the "opportunity provided by the
Republic of Korea's growing national strength to continue expanding
the role of the ROK armed forces in defending the Korean Peninsula."

On June 4-5, we conducted the second round of talks on the "Future of
the Alliance Initiative" in Seoul. Basing discussions on the May
U.S.-ROK summit, the U.S. and South Korea agreed on a two-phase,
multi-year pullback of ground troops from near the Demilitarized Zone.

We briefed the ROK on our plans to invest in an $11 billion program
for strengthening our defense capabilities in the ROK, including
upgraded missile systems, and reinforced military intelligence. These
measures will enhance our two nations' military force readiness and
build a stronger deterrent posture. Frontline defense capabilities
will remain strong as the ROK invests in its own capabilities and
assumes a number of roles currently assigned to U.S. forces. In
addition, we briefed on our intention to retain a major training
facility north of Seoul where U.S. units will rotate for training
regularly.

Our close consultations with the South Korea are ongoing. ROK Defense
Minister Cho will visit Washington June 26-27, where he will meet with
the Vice President, Secretary Powell and Secretary Rumsfeld. We aimed
to convene the next round of "Future of the Alliance" talks soon.

The objective of all this activity is to build a stronger U.S.-ROK
alliance, restructured for the 21st Century and the new security
environment. This will enhance deterrence on the Korean Peninsula and
enable U.S. Forces in Korea to make a larger contribution to regional
security. Our bases and military personnel will be repositioned so as
to be less intrusive to our South Korean neighbors.

Japan

Turning to Japan, our bilateral security relationship remains the
linchpin of our defense posture in the Asia-Pacific region. Based on
our Mutual Security Treaty, we enjoy a very close and mutually
beneficial relationship with Japan, the most important feature of
which is the broad forward deployment that our bases and facilities in
Japan afford, not only for the defense of Japan but for our regional
and global interests as well. Many of our Japan-based forces, such as
the Third Marine Expeditionary Force in Okinawa, are expeditionary in
nature, allowing for rapid deployment as circumstances require.

Although our bilateral security relationship was created to address
the more localized security environment of the Cold War, it has been
evolving steadily as the global security environment has changed.
These changes reflect the need for the alliance to take into account
the broader regional and international security environment, beyond
the direct defense of Japan. In 1997, we revised the Guidelines for
U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation to establish a framework for the
parties to cooperate in responding not only to threats against Japan
but also to security situations in the region surrounding Japan. For
their part, the Japanese have taken a number of steps allowing them to
increase their participation in global security matters, such as the
enactment in the early 1990s of a law allowing Japanese participation,
albeit in a limited fashion, in international peacekeeping and, during
Operation Enduring Freedom, to dispatch military forces and materiel
to assist in CT operations far from Japanese shores.

The security relationship continues to evolve and at a rapid pace.
Understanding that global terrorism is a threat to Japan, just as to
other democratic and free societies, the Japanese responded with
unprecedented speed and determination to the September 11 terrorist
attacks. They quickly enacted a number of laws that allowed their
Self-Defense Forces to provide military logistical rear-area support
for Operation Enduring Freedom. They are in the process of enacting
similar laws that will allow a comparable level of engagement in Iraq.
Japan is a party to all UN conventions aimed at stopping terrorism and
has cooperated well in freezing the assets of terrorists and terrorist
organizations and in helping build CT capacity among other nations of
the Asia-Pacific region. In recent months, Japan has also displayed a
growing interest in adopting some form of Missile Defense, which we
regard as an encouraging development.

While Japan continues to observe strict limitations on its defense
policies, there are many signs, reflected in some of the changes I
have noted, indicating that the Japanese understand that it has become
more important to their national interest to broaden their
contributions to our alliance.

This new thinking is reflected not only in some of Japan's recent
undertakings but also in its willingness to explore with us ways that
we can further enhance the alliance and develop Japan's own security
posture. Last December, at the "2+2" meeting of our two countries'
Foreign and Defense ministers, the Japanese agreed "to intensify
security consultations to explore areas of cooperation to reinforce
effectively their national efforts." We have begun following up on
this agreement in our ongoing discussions with the Japanese on ways we
can develop our alliance to address the evolving security environment.

The topics we will be addressing include reassessing the threats we
face, the roles and missions we should adopt to address them, force
configurations that would allow us to do so, and the basing needs that
such forces would require.

We are still at a preliminary stage in our discussions, but we have
reviewed our overall strategic interests and reconfirmed that we share
a broad range of common values and shared interests. The Japanese have
indicated they will take these discussions into account as their own
defense plans are updated. For our part, we have apprised our Japanese
counterparts of our ongoing review of future force structure and
assured Japan that we would be consulting with them closely before we
reach any final conclusions.

In sum, our alliances with Japan and South Korea are moving forward,
growing, and adjusting to today's changing security environment. We
are trying to make the most of our Northeast Asian allies' evolving
attitude towards local, regional, and global security so that we are
both more capable, jointly and singly, of responding to threats we
face today and may face tomorrow.

The process is a complex one, but Japan, South Korea, and the United
States are approaching this effort with confidence and good will. We
believe the end result will be to strengthen our alliances with both
South Korea and Japan, as our partners see we are responsive to
changes in their capabilities and intent on sustaining our long-term
role in the Asia Pacific Region.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)