Remarks of Vice Admiral John Morgan, U.S. Navy;
Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information, Plans and Strategy (N3/N5);
To The Missile Defense Conference and Exhibit,
March 22, 2007,
at the Ronald Reagan Building, Washington D.C.
Thank you for that kind introduction… Distinguished guests… Members of the International Community and Diplomatic Corps….Generals… Admirals… Ladies and Gentlemen… GOOD AFTERNOON.
I admit it… I stand before you as a true baseball fan… in less than 10 days…the long dark winter will be officially over… and the boys of summer…will return to ballparks around the country. While it’s a long time between April and October… game-by-game… the hunt will be on… and the prize is to make the playoffs… and then win the World Series.
As a Yankees fan… I know what you’re thinking… surely there is one thing we can all agree… the 27th world championship is always the toughest one to nail down.
Speaking of the Yankees… I’d be remiss if I did not quote one of the most famous Yankees of all time… that’s right – YOGI BERRA. I’ve always loved this one… Yogi once said… “IN THEORY, THEORY AND PRACTICE ARE THE SAME. IN PRACTICE, THEY’RE NOT.” Think about it.
When it comes to missile defense… Yogi would be right on target. With that in mind… I fondly recall my 2 tours in both BMDO and MDA… a time in which… missile defenders constantly strove to translate theory into practice.
Lately, I’ve done quite a lot of thinking about the future… and I’ve asked this tough question…how will Seapower influence history in our time? It has been argued before the Supreme Court that the basis of the Constitution is to protect the maritime interests of the United States…indeed, there are more Constitutional clauses dealing with maritime commerce issues than any other subject. So you see…Seapower is a fundamental component of our national character…and our national strength. For the future…I believe our National aspirations…are bound up in our relationship with the sea.
So today…I would like to talk about two concepts related to the future — Foresight and Forehandedness—or seeing the future…and then doing something about it.
When I think about a good example… of our nation acting with foresight…in order to be forehanded…I think about the run-up to World War II. As the Axis Powers armed to the teeth through the 1930’s…men of vision like Carl Vinson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt…had the foresight to see what could easily become a world-wide, two-front war…one in which the great resources…and abilities…of this abidingly maritime nation…would be called into action.
Quietly at first…and then more publicly as war broke out in Europe…these two men…were forehanded in building up our armed forces.
In no realm…was this forehandedness more evident…than in preparation for Naval Warfare… on a global scale. Let me give you an example.
Did you know…that all of the US NAVY ships… that actually saw action in World War II…were accounted for on the Navy’s Shipbuilding Plan… submitted to the Congress in November of 1941? Isn’t that remarkable…such forehandedness took place one month… before the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.
Although many more ships were planned…resourced…and built…after the entry of the US into the war…the ones that actually fought…were all conceived of… planned for…and initially funded…before Pearl Harbor. That is foresight. That is forehandedness.
Here’s my point…our moment…our test in history…is different…may not be as daunting…but it is equally as important to the future of our country.
My Friends… let me be clear… we are gathered here in this building named after Ronald Reagan… aware of the tension between theory and practice… concerned about the linkage between foresight and forehandedness… and mindful of the recent confluence of events which trumpets the need for this conference.
* We’re here because we now live in the Missile Age – you see it is obvious to all that ballistic missiles have become today’s weapon of choice
* Missile proliferation is both rapid and pervasive
* We are witnessing improved accuracy and lethality with multi-stages and longer ranges
* We’ve observed multiple test firing of ballistic missiles in both North Korea and Iran.
* The compounding risk… now mates ballistic missiles with weapons of incredible destruction… empowering dangerous players to “go global”.
* These relatively inexpensive weapons are now… a new means to increased state prestige — technically, militarily, and diplomatically.
* If this trend is not reversed… U.S. Forces… our friends…and the homeland are increasingly at risk.
Ladies and Gentlemen, our moment does not compare to the monumental challenges faced by Congressman Vinson and President Roosevelt during their gathering storm – Churchill’s famous descriptor of the dangers confronting their world. Yet, as the dangers differ, the evidence of missile proliferation is irrefutable. So, the question before us is abundantly clear – will we have the foresight… and will we be forehanded in our test… to act… in time… to promote global stability… security… and prosperity. Your Navy is positioned to answer that call right now with People… Platforms… Radars… Infrastructure… Interceptors – and the right theory and practice.
Aegis missile defenses are deployed at sea today, along with the Sea-Based X-band Radar.
There will be 18 missile defense engagement – capable ships by 2009. The first Atlantic Fleet ship will be ready later this year… having been accelerated by one year.
The inventory of Standard Missile interceptors is growing and will exceed 200 rounds by 2011.
A new Navy 21 inch interceptor is in the works…and it will substantially increase denied launch areas and defended footprints. The ramifications of this new capability are enormous. Such systems, previously considered tactical in their employment, will soon have strategic implications… as entire regions or indeed continents… will be protected from missile attack.
A web of maritime alliances already exists for missile defense: for example, the Dutch participated in a major test in 2006; the Spanish will follow suit in June of this year; the Australians, Koreans, want more, not less, naval BMD; and finally – the first Japanese Aegis ship with BMD capability delivers later this year.
For the U.S. Navy, I believe we are at a strategic crossroads for missile defense. Interestingly, the CNO has challenged the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard to rethink the Maritime Strategy for the United States and to shape a new Maritime Strategy for…and of our time.
In our work toward that end… we have embarked on a unique project to hold a “Conversation with the Country”. To date, we have had “Conversations” with the American public in Newport, Phoenix, Atlanta, Seattle, and San Francisco. On Friday, we will be in New York City, then on to Chicago and Miami. One thing has been clear in those Conversations – many Americans expect the Navy to play an important… and indeed indispensable role…in our Nation’s missile defense mission. So, as we develop our new Maritime Strategy, missile defense will be an essential Seapower mission.
But, any discussion of Strategy…is ultimately an examination of the ways and means…to achieve a desired vision or aspiration… in other words… what are the ways and means to achieve an end. So a natural question for us today is this –Why missile defense from the sea? Yogi knows… he’d likely say because it’s where theory is already in practice. In addition to being tested and proven, naval forces are blessed with unique and desirable attributes:
Geography matters. The majority of missile trajectories that could endanger the U.S….or our friends…travel over water.
Naval forces are inherently mobile, scaleable and persistent. They can be integrated with a layered defense. They afford defense in depth and a cumulative probability of kill. They can be molded into Adaptable Joint Force packages. They are self-deployable and can be integrated with allied navies.
They operate with organic sovereignty, independent of host nation support – in other words…no permissions slip required. Without firing a shot, naval forces can help de-escalate a crisis.
Navies can operate out of sight…from over the horizon…and missile defense can be indistinguishable from other operations.
Forward deployed and mobile naval forces need not be provocative, they can reassure… dissuade… deter… defend… and counter-attack if needed.
As we move forward with the Maritime Strategy, we have listened to many voices. The American public, the Combatant Commanders, the Congress, and our allies—this message is consistent—the Navy has an important and indispensable role in this priority national defense mission. Navy Ballistic Missile Defense represents one of the true “game changers” that come along…only so often in naval technology—such as nuclear propulsion, the aircraft carrier, and Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles.
Key questions will need to be answered in the months and years ahead, including how much of the BMD job the Navy will be asked to do and how much of the BMD job the Navy can afford to do. Finally, if missile defense is to be a naval mission as part of our Maritime Strategy, then a Maritime Command and Control Capability will also be required. I don’t have those answers for you today, but I can assure you, that our brain trust is thinking about this subject every day.
In response to the challenge, “why would the Navy lean forward into this mission?” The rejoinder is clear to me… the Navy’s raison d’etre… is to sustain maritime supremacy… in order to project power from the sea… and influence events ashore. To do so now… and into the future… we must be able to defeat any means… an adversary might use to deny our freedom of action. And if you have not noticed… the naval arms bazaar is a flourishing market these days… everything is for sale to include… naval guns, IEDs, mines, torpedoes, cruise missiles… and yes… ballistic missiles. In adapting to these trends… the U.S. Navy brings a combined and integrated package of Trident ballistic missiles, Tomahawk cruise missiles, an array of tactical aircraft… and now tested and proven ballistic missile defenses. As a part of the America’s joint arsenal… the Navy is both a Sword… and a Shield for the nation.
As we rethink the nation’s Maritime Strategy and contemplate our future role in America’s missile defense posture…I believe that US Naval Forces must also prepare… for what we do not expect. We must create within the force… a culture of foresight… in order to anticipate to a whole range of dangers…risks…and opportunities. We must be an adaptive… flexible… and resilient institution… that can act in a forehanded manner to protect our American way of life.
In closing… I’m here to challenge you.
You would not be a sitting here today…if you did not worry about the future…if you did not want to make a difference.
Here’s my challenge to you… be fore-sightful…and forehanded…ask yourself…should your Navy make a larger contribution to missile defense?. If so, why…and then how. If we can see the future…then what must we do to realize it?
Thank you. Happy to take your questions about the Yankees, Missile Defense, or the Maritime Strategy project.