Status Report

Statement of General James Cartwright at Hearings on FY 2006 Defense Authorization Budget Request for Space Activities

By SpaceRef Editor
March 17, 2005
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MARCH 16, 2005

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:

This is my first opportunity to appear before you as Commander of the United States Strategic Command. Thank you for the time you’ve given me to discuss the missions assigned to us as we continue to prosecute the Global War on Terror and take on the challenge of combating weapons of mass destruction.

My prepared remarks cover USSTRATCOM’s role in the challenging 21st century environment and plans for addressing those challenges with capabilities to serve our nation’s needs in war and in peace.

The 21st Century Global Environment

Global interdependence—economic, political, and social—combined with near instantaneous global connectivity, is a trademark of the new century. It also heightens the importance of strong links between US strategic objectives and regional operations. US strategic objectives have profound influence on individuals, regions, nations, and non-state actors and networks. The tight linkage between US strategic objectives and the conduct of regional operations is evident in our operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and more recently in Asia in the aftermath of the tsunami. In Afghanistan, the strategic objective to combat global terrorism guided, as well as constrained, our regional decisions. The regional operations in Iraq are clearly influencing cultural, economic, and security considerations around the globe.

Our adversaries are using asymmetric approaches; exploiting social, political, and economic vulnerabilities to avoid confronting superior US forces head on. We continue to see increases in the speed and deceptive scale of proliferation of potential weapons of mass destruction, including delivery and concealment capabilities. We see adversaries who would use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and suicide bombs against their own people and infrastructure, as well as against deployed multinational forces. These adversaries have easy access to the same global technology base we do, and can exploit the same communication and information resources as the American public. They have proven they are an intelligent and adaptable enemy.

All operations, while regional in execution, have global consequence and therefore require a global perspective. Regional combatant commanders, who are responsible and accountable for conducting combat and peacekeeping operations in their areas of responsibility (AORs), have long depended upon support provided from outside their AORs. Much of that support, which in the past was provided on an ad hoc basis, has now been codified in the Unified Command Plan as a USSTRATCOM global responsibility. We are positioning USSTRATCOM to advance a distinctly global and strategic perspective on current and emerging capabilities necessary to deter threats to our way of life, particularly those threats involving weapons of mass destruction. USSTRATCOM will enable combatant commander’s regional operations through realization of a comprehensive set of global mission capabilities, soundly integrated to achieve more effective and efficient execution.

We look upon this responsibility as both an exciting challenge and a solemn obligation to the regional combatant commanders, the American men and women who serve in their AORs and to the American people.

Global Enablers

21st century operations are fundamentally different from those of the last century. Combat operations are being conducted in rapidly changing circumstances, shifting from humanitarian operations to intense firefights within a few hundred yards of each other with little or no warning. This dynamic nature is matched by a varying composition of assisting partners. We must be ready to conduct integrated, distributed operations using global and regional military forces. In many situations, these forces will be augmented by other US government personnel, coalition and commercial partners, and possibly, non-governmental organizations. To plan and effectively execute these types of distributed, agile and integrated operations, the regional combatant commands increasingly rely on multiple capabilities the global commands must support or provide.

The Unified Command Plan expands USSTRATCOM responsibilities through the assignment of global mission areas that span levels of authority, cross regional boundaries and intersect with various national and international agencies. USSTRATCOM’s missions are:

  • Global deterrence;
  • Global support from space-based operations;
  • Global intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance;
  • Global strike;
  • Global information and network operations;
  • Global command and control;
  • Global integrated missile defense coordination;
  • Globally combating weapons of mass destruction.

Achieving the full potential of these missions is contingent upon identifying the right capabilities mix and sustaining our global reach through space. However, without the context of advanced situational awareness, and the power of collaboration, even the best tools may be insufficient to deter and defeat a determined adversary. We are placing an emphasis on the following global enablers:

The New Triad. USSTRATCOM supports The New Triad concept; a strategic way ahead in pursuit of a more diverse set of offensive and defensive warfighting capabilities. We are active participants in all three legs of The New Triad: offensive nuclear and non-nuclear strike (including non-kinetic), passive and active defenses, and a defense infrastructure capable of building and sustaining all offensive and defensive elements, including the critical support areas of command and control and intelligence.

Coupled with improved collaboration and shared global awareness, The New Triad concept will enable more precisely tailored global strike operations. With a full spectrum of nuclear, conventional and non-kinetic options available, regional combatant commanders will be enabled to achieve specific local effects against high value targets in the context of the strategic objective.

While we are confident in our ability to support effective global strike operations today, we must continue to evolve that capability to meet the demands of an uncertain tomorrow. For example, I intend to conduct experiments to better understand the value of weapon accuracy within a range of stressing environments. If modeling and testing confirm the value of such capability, this may lead to new thoughts on the balance between nuclear and conventional strike alternatives.

The new responsibilities assigned to USSTRATCOM have required the command to broaden its Cold War focus from deterring nuclear or large-scale conventional aggression to becoming a major contributor to the much broader defense strategy. Nuclear weapons; however, continue to be important, particularly for assuring allies and friends of US security commitments, dissuading arms competition, deterring hostile leaders who are willing to accept great risk and cost, and for holding at risk those targets that cannot be addressed by other means. As steward of the nation’s strategic nuclear deterrent, we have two specific areas of focus— rationalizing our nuclear forces, and providing for a relevant nuclear stockpile in the context of The New Triad. USSTRATCOM’s first priority will continue to be the maintenance of the absolute security, safety, and surety of the stockpile. At the same time we will continue to evaluate and provide a range of options, both nuclear and non-nuclear, relevant to the threat and military operations.

The New Triad concept presents an opportunity to reduce our reliance on nuclear weapons through the evaluation of alternative weapons, defensive capabilities and associated risk. It is our intent to have the upcoming Quadrennial Defense Review address nuclear issues, and the associated infrastructure, to determine transformation requirements for our nuclear capabilities in the 21st century. We will look at rationalizing our nuclear forces as an element of the overall force structure and the proper tailoring of nuclear effects as part of the broad spectrum of national power. These assessments will be important to future operational planning as well as future budget plans.

Finally, The New Triad concept provides a framework in which to establish a new dialogue on the future role for nuclear weapons in our national strategy. The challenging security and threat environment of the 21st century signals the need for an informed national level discussion to hear the voices of government leaders, military, academia and the public if we are to effectively establish a long term nuclear investment plan.

Space. The importance of the space mission to our national security cannot be overstated. The US economy, our quality of life, and our nation’s defense are all linked to our freedom of action in space. For example, satellites are at the heart of routine financial activities such as simple automatic teller machine operations or complicated international currency and stock market transactions. The telecommunication industry is heavily vested in space. Commercial airliners, container ships, trains, trucks, police, fire departments and ambulances have also become highly dependent upon space-based global positioning systems to enhance their ability to safely deliver people, goods and services. The fact is, our dependency on space increases every day – a fact not lost on our adversaries. This growing national dependence on space-based and space-enabled capabilities establishes a true imperative to protect our space assets and our ability to operate freely in, and from, space.

We currently enjoy an asymmetric advantage in space, but our adversaries are gaining on us. Our space support infrastructure is aging and, in some instances, on the verge of becoming obsolete. We will continue to face additional challenges as other nations exploit new technologies and capabilities in attempts to bridge the gap between them and us. The space environment itself is also rapidly changing. For example, the number of objects in-orbit increases every month, while the size of those objects decreases. This is challenging our space surveillance technology, developed in the latter half of the 20th century, because it was not designed to detect or track the current magnitude of new, smaller objects, including micro-satellites. This increases the chances of collisions, which threatens our manned spaceflight program; opens the door for unwarned action against US satellites by adversaries; and limits our ability to protect our space assets.

We must do a better job of leveraging the capabilities of our space assets – in DoD, national and commercial systems. We must also maintain the ability to protect our own space assets and capabilities, both actively and passively, while denying our adversaries the military use of space – at the time and place of our choosing.

In order to bring these elements of space control together, our near-term plan is to work with the various space programs to identify potential gaps and make sure existing information and applications are available and provided to authorized users on a global network. This plan will serve as the basis for a concept of operations to exploit information from our space assets, providing space situational awareness to the regional combatant commands. Distributed Operations. For distributed, integrated operations, dominant situational awareness is an imperative—globally, regionally, and locally. It must exist across the full breadth and depth of operations, from planning and combat through post-conflict reconstruction, and ultimately, peacetime.

For our forces to effectively employ collaborative capabilities and capitalize upon situational awareness, we must enable them to create pictures of the battlespace tailored to their specific needs — what we refer to as User Defined Operating Pictures. It is USSTRATCOM’s job to provide the global capabilities to enhance situational awareness, facilitate collaborative planning, and provide a basic User Defined Operating Picture capability for all of the combatant commands.

Many of the capabilities required for agile, distributed operations will be facilitated by space and enabled by a global information environment with ubiquitous, assured access to information, when and where any combatant commander needs it. To achieve this vision, the old mantra to provide information on a “need to know” basis, must be replaced by a “need to share.” Critical information that the warfighter didn’t know existed, and the owner of the information didn’t know was important, must be made available within a global information environment easily accessible to commanders at all levels.

Interdependent Capabilities. Our action plan for global command and control focuses on ensuring the all-source information needed for effective operations is available to all theaters. For the global Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) mission, that also means developing integrated and persistent systems capable of supporting precision targeting. USSTRATCOM has the lead for coordinating global ISR capabilities and will be working closely with the regional combatant commanders, Joint Forces Command and the services to develop the associated strategy.

The Department’s net-centric global information services, currently in development, are essential to our global missions. These services will connect global and regional applications and improve both horizontal and vertical information integration.

We are developing a prioritized plan for transitioning away from stove-piped legacy systems to capabilities that support broader information and applications access. Included in this plan are actions focused on leveraging existing legacy applications and data by making them more broadly accessible. Each user will be allowed the flexibility to select from any available data source, anywhere on the network, those objects most useful to them at any particular time. Additionally, any new data source will be available the moment it comes onto the network, rather than requiring a modification to existing systems, as is the case today. USSTRATCOM is an advocate for net-centricity. Our focus is on:

  • Capability to enable our “internet-like” environment and access to information;
  • Realization of a high-bandwidth, ubiquitous communications backbone to deliver information with high assurance and low latency; and
  • • Robust information assurance required to defend our networks and our information.

Creating a collaborative structure is more than just designing and disseminating tools—it is also about changing human behavior. Our objective is a global, persistent, 24/7 collaborative environment—comprising people, systems, and tools. Our future structure must support real time command and control at both the global and local levels as well as enable dynamic, adaptive planning and execution in which USSTRATCOM, the regional combatant commanders, and other geographically dispersed commanders can plan and execute operations together. Our collaborative environment must also provide the capability to “connect all the dots” — enemy dots, friendly dots, neutral dots, contextual dots — all the dots that matter — as they appear, rather than wait for a post-event analysis when all of the different data stores can be opened. With improved collaboration and shared awareness, we can more effectively conduct operations using the full spectrum of capabilities to achieve desired, focused effects against high value targets.

In that regard, we are actively assessing the currently available collaborative environment and processes and investigating potential pilot programs to encourage organizational information sharing to build trust in shared information. Fundamental to this issue is the establishment of data tagging standards and associated information assurance policies.

With regard to sharing information, we are in some respects navigating uncharted waters. While the value of sharing information with allies, coalition partners and other Federal departments and agencies is well understood, sharing information with industry or other private sources presents proprietary, intellectual property and privacy concerns which are not well understood. Such information has the potential to be of great value to USSTRATCOM and the regional combatant commanders in accomplishing our missions. We will be attentive to the actions currently being taken throughout the Federal government in response to Executive Order 13356, “Strengthening the Sharing of Terrorism Information To Protect Americans,” which may provide us valuable insight and guidance in this sensitive area.

Building an Asymmetric Advantage

In addition to our role as steward of the nation’s nuclear stockpile and guardian of global deterrence, USSTRATCOM now has the responsibility for working across regional boundaries to address threats in a global perspective. To achieve the asymmetric advantage we desire requires us to build the interdependent, collaborative, operational environment we’ve envisioned. It is our responsibility to provide global services and global context to the regional combatant commands and their deployed forces so we are collectively a more effective force – for warfighting, peace and all possible combinations of both.

New Command Structure. As the latest step in maturing our approach to fulfilling USSTRATCOM’s global mission responsibilities we are implementing a new command structure. This structure is critical to the asymmetric advantage we seek, leveraging essential competencies of associated components and key supporting agencies through an distributed, collaborative environment.

Rather than creating additional organizational layers, we are bringing existing commands and agencies under our global mission umbrella through the establishment of Joint Functional Component Commands. These interdependent Joint Functional Component Commands will have responsibility for the day to day planning and execution of our primary mission areas: space and global strike, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, network warfare, integrated missile defense and combating weapons of mass destruction.

USSTRATCOM headquarters retains responsibility for nuclear command and control. Additionally, headquarters will provide strategic guidance, exercise global command and control and conduct strategic level integrated and synchronized planning to ensure full-spectrum mission accomplishment. USSTRATCOM will also advocate for the capabilities necessary to accomplish these missions.

This construct will allow us to leverage key, in-place expertise from across the Department of Defense and make it readily available to all regional combatant commanders. Our vision is for the combatant commanders to view any Joint Functional Component Command as a means by which to access all of the capabilities resident in the USSTRATCOM global mission set. Anytime a Combatant Commander queries one of our component commands, they will establish strategic visibility across our entire structure through our collaborative environment. The fully integrated response USSTRATCOM provides should offer the Combatant Commander greater situational awareness and more options than originally thought available. Specific Joint Functional Component Command responsibilities include:

  • Space and Global Strike. The Commander STRATAF (8th Air Force) will serve as the Joint Functional Component Commander for Space and Global Strike. This component will integrate all elements of military power to conduct, plan, and present global strike effects and also direct the deliberate planning and execution of assigned space operation missions. For plans not aligned with a specific mission set, the Joint Functional Component Command for Space and Global Strike is tasked to work in close coordination with USSTRATCOM headquarters as the lead component responsible for the integration and coordination of capabilities provided by all other Joint Functional Component Commands.
  • Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance. The Director, Defense Intelligence Agency will be dual-hatted to lead the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Joint Functional Component Command. This component is responsible for coordinating global intelligence collection to address DoD worldwide operations and national intelligence requirements. It will serve as the epicenter for planning, execution and assessment of the military’s global Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance operations; a key enabler to achieving global situational awareness.
  • Network Warfare. The Director, National Security Agency will also be dual-hatted to lead the Network Warfare Joint Functional Component Command. This component will facilitate cooperative engagement with other national entities in computer network defense and offensive information warfare as part of our global information operations. Our coordinated approach to information operations involves two other important supporting commands. The Director, Defense Information Systems Agency also heads the Joint Task Force for Global Network Operations. This organization is responsible for operating and defending our worldwide information networks, a function closely aligned with the efforts of the Joint Functional Component Command for Network Warfare. Additionally, the Commander, Joint Information Operations Center coordinates the nonnetwork related pillars of information operations: psychological operations, electronic warfare, operations security and military deception. Both the Joint Task Force for Global Network Operations and the Commander, Joint Information Operations Center will be full members of the USSTRATCOM distributed, collaborative environment.
  • Integrated Missile Defense. The Commander, Army Space and Missile Defense Command will head the Integrated Missile Defense Joint Functional Component Command. This component will be responsible for ensuring we meet USSTRATCOM’s Unified Command Plan responsibilities for planning, integrating, and coordinating global missile defense operations and support. It will conduct the day-to-day operations of assigned forces; coordinating activities with associated combatant commands, other STRATCOM Joint Functional Components and the efforts of the Missile Defense Agency. The Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense is a key element of the “defenses” leg of The New Triad concept.
  • Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction. The Secretary of Defense recently assigned USSTRATCOM responsibility for integrating and synchronizing DoD’s efforts for combating weapons of mass destruction. As this initiative is in its very formative stages, we have yet to formalize any specific componency structure. However, we anticipate establishing a formal relationship with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency as an initial starting point.

This new componency structure is in its infancy and will take several months to fully realize. There are detailed issues to work through, including the proper distribution of subject matter expertise and an assessment of expanding relationships with other US government departments and foreign nations.

A final element of our evolving organizational structure involves developing relationships with the private sector to build upon efforts under the Partnership to Defeat Terrorism. This important partnership with the private sector supports many of our national objectives and crosses into relatively uncharted territory.

  • Partnership to Defeat Terrorism. The United States has achieved success in the Global War on Terrorism by attacking terrorist infrastructure, resources and sanctuaries.

Nevertheless, our adversaries continue to plan and conduct operations driven by their assessment of our vulnerabilities. The main vulnerability requiring our constant vigilance is the nation’s economy, and one need look no further than the economic aftershock attributed to the 9/11 terrorist attacks to affirm this assertion. The risk is accentuated given the global underpinnings of our economic structure. Even a small-scale terrorist attack against a lower tier provider in a distant land can have wide-ranging and pervasive economic implications. Given the evolving understanding of terrorist’s use of global processes, the Partnership to Defeat Terrorism was created to intercede on behalf of combatant commanders, among others, and positively affect outcomes through connections with the private sector. Since November 2001, the Partnership to Defeat Terrorism has successfully combined private sector global processes with other elements of national power to help fight global terrorism as part of USSTRATCOM’s global mission responsibilities. This fruitful relationship with the private sector has proven effective on a number of occasions and has garnered the support of influential leaders both within and outside government. Yet, the Partnership to Defeat Terrorism is somewhat of an ad hoc process based on trusted relationships. As such, the value of the program is directly related to the availability of the participants. USSTRATCOM was recently contacted by a group of people from various non-military sectors, advocating the creation of a working group to formalize this ad hoc program to begin planning a more permanent approach for the long-term.

On a strategic level, the value of such an effort is the open realization that all elements of national power, which have not traditionally operated in a synchronized and coordinated role in National Security, understand the urgent need for their involvement.

Full realization of the benefits inherent in the distributed, interdependent organizational structure described above requires an effective collaborative operation. A true collaborative environment provides us the asymmetric advantage necessary to deter and defeat the agile adversaries we face in the 21st century environment. In the future, these skills will take on even greater importance as we broaden our partner base within the US government, with coalition partners, commercial partners, academia and others, including non-government organizations.

Achieving the Strategic Imperative

Agile, responsive distributed operations, enabled by meaningful information exchange, shared objectives and shared situational awareness, are key to the successful performance of USSTRATCOM’s global missions. We have assessed the capability gaps in our global mission areas and have developed action plans, working with our partner commands, to improve our collective ability to carry out operations at all levels. USSTRATCOM’s strategy is focused on:

  • Stewardship of the nation’s strategic nuclear deterrent force;
  • Defending against asymmetric approaches used by our adversaries, including weapons of mass destruction;
  • Responding effectively in a rapidly changing combat operations environment;
  • Achieving prompt, predictable precision operations;
  • Coordinating with US, multinational, interagency and private sector partners in a collaborative environment; Implementing this strategy relies on new and enhanced capabilities, including:
  • Dominant situational awareness,
  • A ubiquitous, assured, global information environment,
  • Dynamic, persistent, trustworthy collaborative planning,
  • User Defined Operating Pictures, using distributed, globally available information, and
  • A culture that embraces “need to share” rather than “need to know.”

We are not there yet. Working with our partner commands, we have developed plans to improve our global capabilities. We need your continued support to deliver the capabilities needed to combat the threats of the 21st century. We need your support for:

  • Pursuit of high capacity, internet-like capability to extend the Global Information Grid to deployed/mobile users worldwide;
  • Adoption of data tagging standards and information assurance policies to increase government-wide trusted information sharing;
  • Technology experiments to enhance our understanding of the value of accuracy and stressing environments for current and future weapons.

And finally, as an element of our role as steward of the nation’s strategic nuclear capabilities, we need you to:

  • Consider a new national dialogue on nuclear policy. This nation is ready for a genuine policy debate on the role of nuclear weapons within the context of the current global environment and the potential offered by The New Triad concept. We must build a longterm nuclear investment plan suited to national security goals.

USSTRATCOM recognizes what has to be done to be a global command in support of the warfighter. We are aggressively moving out on actions to ensure USSTRATCOM fulfills our full set of global responsibilities, supporting our national security needs in peace and in war.

Thank you for your continued support.

SpaceRef staff editor.