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Question. How many of the 305,000 U.S. military forces in Europe are essential to wage a conventional war?

Answer. Most of the military forces which the U.S. maintains in Europe are there to conduct a conventional defense of Western Europe if required. [Deleted.] Additionally, there are personnel assigned to peacetime activities such as post exchange or commissary operations and maintenance of facilities. In the event of hostilities, these people are designated to join military related units as individual fillers or replacements.

Question. Is it not possible that we could base additional units in the U.S. with the mission of being assigned to NATO in the event of an emergency under the "dual basing" concept?

Answer. While it is possible to extend the “dual-basing" concept further, we do not feel that it is advisable at this time. As I explained before, we believe that U.S. forces should be reduced only through an agreement with the Warsaw Pact on Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction, negotiated in close cooperation with our allies. Moreover, dual-based forces are more expensive than forward deployed forces for two reasons : first, two complete sets of equipment are required ; and second, the dual-based forces need to be maintained in a higher (and costlier) state of readiness to be capable of rapid deployment in a crisis. The effectiveness of the dual-based concept also depends a great deal on having a period of crisis measured in weeks or months. An increased dependence on dual-based forces increases the risk of a crisis rapidly deteriorating into armed conflict.

Question. How many dependents of military and civilian personnel are in Europe?

Answer. 222,000 military and civilian dependents.

Question. Is it a fact that U.S. military forces have never gone to war previously with their dependents being located almost "across the street'' ?

Answer. I do not believe that history furnishes a direct analogy to our current position in Europe with respect to dependents. Of course, some dependents were on our western frontiers during the Indian Wars, and others were in Korea in 1950. It is also true that one never knows where or when or under what circumstances a nation will go to war. We had many dependents in Hawaii and the Philippines before Pearl Harbor.

My point is that NATO is purely a defensive alliance, and i- not itself "going to war." U.S. military forces are in Europe primarily to preserve the peace that is epitomized, among other things, by the very presence of American dependents. I am firmly convinced that our dependents help preserve the morale and discipline of our troops on extended overseas tours. Furthermore, we have current operative plans for their speedy evacuation in the unfortunate event that war breaks out or becomes imminent.

Question. How long do you believe it will be before our NATO allies could independently achieve a realistic conventional capability?

Answer. The force improvements that are being undertaken in connection with the Study on Alliance Defense for the 1970's will provide a much enhanced Allied conventional capability in the next five years. Toward this end, the 1972 defense budgets of our Allies have increased some 3% in real terms over 1971. This force improvement program is based on the principal of Alliance solidarity, as expressed in President Nixon's pledge that given a similar approach by the other Allies, the United States would maintain and improve its own forces in Europe and not reduce them except in the context of a reciprocal East/West action. The security of NATO is indivisible and the special military and political role of American forces present in Europe that I have described earlier is considered an irreplaceable contribution to the common defense. This is not to say that we are completely satisfied with the current sharing of the common defense burden; we are not, and the Allies have recognized their responsibility to shoulder more.

Question. Do you beliere the allies would "pick up the slackif the U.S. reduced its conventional forces ?

Answer. I do not believe that the Allies would "pick up the slack” generated by a U.S. unilateral reduction. On the other hand, if you regard the "slack" as the difference between what NATO now has in conventional capabilities and what it could have, I firmly believe that our Allies are committed to narrow the gap. As I have stated before, I think they can and will make these improvements if we uphold our end of the bargain. Furthermore, in so doing, our Allies will be undertaking a greater share of the common defense burden.

Question. Secretary Kelley stated last week:

"Our general purpose forces are sized primarily to provide a capability, together with our allies, to conduct an initial defense either in NATO Europe or in Asia against aggression by the Warsaw Pact or Peoples Republic of China."

Precisely, Mr. Secretary, what do you mean by the term "initial defense"?

Does this mean that we do not plan on a capability of sustained military operations?

Answer. It does not mean that we do not plan on a capability of sustained military operations. Initial defense means stopping a major attack and stabilizing the military situation. (Deleted.] Obviously, such a strategy has meaning only if the defending forces have the strength to absorb the impact of an initial attack. Forces sized, structured and supported for an initial conventional de fense in conjunction with our Strategic Reserves, additional worldwide war reserve inventories, reserve forces and training bases should provide us the capability to maintain a stabilized military situation.

Question. Is it a fact that U.S. Army personnel in Europe have an annual turnover rate between 80 to 90 percent?

Does this not impair their unit combat efficiency?

Answer. While requirements for manpower in Vietnam were high, the Army was drawing on units in Europe as well as the United States and other parts of the world—to provide replacements for units in Vietnam. Now that Vietnam requirements are much lower, we expect a return to greater stability in Europe. I should add that the Army is now undergoing a very rapid reduction in its total strength and that early releases are causing the U.S. Army in Europe to lose experienced, hard skill personnel as well as large numbers of lower-grade soldiers. We project improvement, however, and expect to reduce the turbulence substantially within the next six months. In this regard, the Army has established stabilized tours for commanders and key noncommissioned officers in order to achieve greater stability in units.

Question. Is it not more logical to assume that if war occurred, the Soriets would invade "across the northern plains of Western Germany" where no C.S. forces are locatell, and consequently we could be rapidly outflanked!

Answer. [Deleted.]

Question. Are you convinced that the tens of thousands of men and billions of doilars invested annually to maintain a conventional capability is worth the cost, recognizing that the NATO capability to wage conventional war may be restricted to a deleted] days? Why?

Answer. Senator, as I have already indicated, I do not believe that NATO's ability “to wage conventional war” is limited to a [deleted]. That is a serious misreading of our ability to defend conventionally in Europe.

It is expensive to provide this capability. We as well as our Allies recognize that it is so. But it is money well spent if it continues to do what it has thus farand that is deter aggression or political pressures against NATO and provide us an option other than immediate resort to nuclear war should deterrence fail.

Question. Is it a fact that the U.S. would have to establish beachheads in the Bonelur countries if war broke out to resupply our forces in Europe?

Answer. The Benelux countries possess some of the finest, most modern water ports in the World. [Deleted.] Either of these ports alone has a capacity far in excess of the total U.S. throughput requirement. [Deleted.]

Question. Would this require over 19,500 V.S. personnel to be airlifted and in place ton days after war breaks out?

Answer. The Army has a package of about [deleted] logistical personnel or ganized into [deleted] units. This package is commonly referred to as the Army LOC/Port Package. Its mission is to arrive by air by [deleted] to open and

operate the land line of communication, and to move resupply in the first early days of the war until follow-on augmentation logistic units begin to arrive from CONUS. This package is capable of operating beachheads if they are required, but its primary mission is much broader.

In order to minimize gold flow and cost to the taxpayer and at the same time to maximize the combat strength in Europe, a calculated risk has been taken with the support element by reducing the logistical tail below those required to simultaneously provide support to the combat elements anu to open the lines of communication.

Because we have pre-positioned war reserve materiel to support initial combat operations, we have been able to take cuts in logistic units which can be returned to the Continent within the necessary time frame to operate ports and initiate resupply operations.

In preparing for the possibility that we will not be able to use host nation resources to the extent required, the Army has developed the LOC/Port Package for timely deployment at the outbreak of war.

Question. Do you believe U.S. and Allied Air Forces could achieve and maintain air superiority ?

Answer. Achieving and maintaining air superiority depends on several factors, such as the available warning time and the region over which air superiority is sought. With reasonable warning, the United States should be able to reinforce forward deployed forces so that, in concert with Allied Air Forces, we could maintain superiority over NATO territory and over the land battle area.

Question. There are [deleted] men who have intelligence assignments for the Army Security Agency, Navy Security Group, and Air Force Security Services. Who determines the essential requirement to maintain over [deleted] people in this area? Who reviews this program to determine if it should be 10,000, 16,000, or 30,000

Answer. (Deleted.]

Question. Do you believe a significant reduction can be made in this area in in the future?

Answer. [Deleted.]

Question. In addition there are 17,700 U.8. military communications personnel located in Europe, namely: 5,200 Army, 2,650 Navy, and 9,860 Air Force. How essential is it to maintain this vast array of communications personnel? What reductions can be made in the future in this area!

Answer. The communications personnel in Europe are essential for support of fleet, ground and air operations; strategic and tactical command and control; intelligence collection and distribution ; support of administrative and logistical systems; the installation, operation and maintenance of global, area and base voice and message switching and terminal facilities.

Since 1968, over 4,000 communications personnel have been reduced. Further reductions are planned as a result of reducing size of intermediate communications headquarters and changing from government owned to leased communications systems. Future reductions will be based on:

(a) Installation of additional automated facilities. (b) Major changes in military forces in Europe and elimination of installations.

Admiral MOORER. I would like to make one point in reply to Senator Cannon's specific question, which is a good one, and we get it all the time: What difference does it make, what will be the effect if we withdraw one additional division and/or what would happen if we withdraw three aircraft squadrons or something of that kind? [Deleted.]

NONPARTICIPATION BY FRANCE IN NATO

Senator CANNON. Of course, the biggest fallacy that I see with that, and do not misunderstand me, I am not completely opposed to this, and I think I have had all of the arguments on both sides, including those on the opposite side, from my constituents, who are some 5,000 miles away in central Europe, and they say, must we be asked to pay additional taxes and tighten our belts down to maintain a strong posture in Europe when France does not think enough about it to even remain in NATO? Admiral MOORER. That is a good question.

a Senator CANON. And they are right under the gun. So we get both sides of the argument. [Deleted.]

Admiral MOORER. Yes, sir; that is a good point [deleted].

All of these points that you bring up are very good ones, Senator, they are dealt

with all the time. [Deleted.] Secretary LAIRD. The series of questions you are asking are very important questions and, of course, I have had discussions on these points over in Europe with General Goodpaster and others. I am sure that they are not satisfied completely with the final determinations that had to be made in this budget. But I think we are doing the best job we can with this resource allocation in providing the kind of deterrent forces that are needed to prevent war, and that is what we are trying to do with the resources that are available.

Senator CANNON. As long as we do not have war, we can always say we had the right strategy and we have had that up to the present time, of course, but that sometimes is a question of which comes first, the chicken or the egg.

PREPARED QUESTIONS FROM SENATOR SMITH

The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, questions by Senator Smith will be put in the record for the usual answering.

(Questions submitted by Senator Smith. Answers supplied by Department of Defense.)

Question. On page 20 of your classified statement you mention that "we are also moving to redress pay inequities to persons on the retired list.” Would you elaborate on this? How do you propose to incorprate changes in this area with changes in ther parts of the military retirement system which I understand are currently being considered in the Department of Defense?

Answer. An Interagency Committee appointed at the direction of the President to review the military retirement system has recommended a one-time recomputation of military retired pay. The President has approved that recommendation. In accordance with established procedures, a draft of legislation and supporting documents to effectuate that recommendation will be forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget. On receipt of clearance from that office, the proposal will be forwarded to Congress. Inasmuch as there is nothing in the recomputation proposal which would be inconsistent with any changes in the retirement system which may be proposed there is no reason that separate action could not be taken by the Congress on the recomputation proposal.

Question. On pages 22 and 23 of your classified statement you state that I believe in connection with our new thinking that it may also be possible to eliminate some additional headquarters staffing." Since manpower costs hare groun dramatically in the last few years and now represent a significant portion of the defense budget, I would be very interested to know where some headquar. ters staffing might be reduced.

Answer. In order to effect further reductions in headquarters staffing, without causing disruption and loss of efficiency, I think we must proceed methodicalls to streamline our headquarters activities to the greatest extent possible. By “streamline" I mean elimination of duplicative activities at lower echelons and consolidation at the highest practical level; elimination or reduction of activities which are low in priority or of a non-productive nature; and personnel authorizaions that are realistic in proportion to the work to be done. I realize the above nethods are general in nature, but I believe they constitute the most effective vay, overall, to proceed in the future.

Question. On page 13 of your classified posture statement, you indicate that [otal Force planning included "both Active and Reserve Components of the 1.8. (and) those of our allies. . . .” Would you comment specifically on the apabilities, readiness, etc., of the reserve forces of our NATO Allies? What, f any, progress has been made in this area?

Answer. Our NATO Allies provide substantial reserve forces to the common lefense. [Deleted.] The main purpose of many Allied reserve structures is to provide the support forces which provide sustaining power in a prolonged 'onflict.

All of our Allies have highly efficient reserve call-up schemes and very detailed contingency plans. [Deleted.]

This NATO reserve system has deficiencies which are recognized by the Allies. [Deleted.]

The Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) has sent observers to the United States to examine our National Guard and Reserve system in an effort to improve their own.

In summary, the NATO Allies have a significant reserve capability; their system has some deficiencies but programs are underway to improve this important element of the Total Defense Program.

Question. In your comparison of the United States and Soviet strategic bombers you mentioned that the Soviet Backfire had an unrefueled range of [deleted] nautical miles at high altitude subsonic speeds with a payload of [deleted] pounds. Is this a realistic scenario for a Backfire strike at the continental nited States ?

Answer. An all high altitude, unrefueled subsonic cruise mission would be one of a number of possible Backfire missions for strikes against the continental United States. Airfields in Cuba or Mexico could be used for post strike recovery.

If Backfire were staged through Arctic bases on the Chukotskiy Peninsula, opposite Alaska, it could strike targets in [deleted] the continental United States on unrefueled missions [deleted]. Extended coverage of the continental United States could be achieved if the Backfire were to have an inflight refueling prior to reaching the target area. [Deleted.]

Question. What is the number of air-to-air refueling tankers that the Soviets and United States presently has? In this regard, what would be the tanker to plane ratio for the FB-111 A to make an intercontinental strike at the Soviet Union with safe return?

Answer. The Soviets currently have 50 Bison tankers, which would be used to refuel the Bear and Bison intercontinental bombers. The U.S. strategic tanker force presently consists of 615 UE KC-135 tankers. The tanker to FB-111A ratio for an intercontinental strike is [deleted].

Question. What will be the Administration's position on a military survivor benefits bill this year? Specifically, I am interested in the Administration's position on H.R. 10670 which passed the House last October by an overwhelming vote. Do you think it appropriate to consider a survivor benefits bill with other anticipated changes in the military retirement area?

Answer. Last year during hearings before a subcommittee of the House of Representatives the Department of Defense on behalf of the Administration strongly supported enactment of legislation to provide an improved system of benefits for survivors of retired military personnel. As an outgrowth of those hearings the House passed H.R. 10670. While there are several provisions in that bill which differ from those favored by the Department, the major features are consistent with the Administration position. A report expressing Administration support for the major features of that bill will be submitted to the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee in the near future. While the Administration position with regard to this matter was developed in conjunction with a review of the military retirement system, the urgency of providing a realistic survivorship plan for military retirees is such that I would recommend legislation be enacted as soon as possible and without waiting for the proposed changes in the military retirement system which we are developing.

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