AUSPC 2012 – Defense Cooperation Dynamics: Enhancing Regional Security

Published: November 1, 2012

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Editor’s Note:

The 21st Annual Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference, “Arab-U.S. Relations Amidst Transition within Constancy: Implications for American and Arab Interests and Policies,” was held last week in Washington, DC, bringing together over 500 diplomats, analysts, officials, business people, military officers, scholars, students, researchers, journalists and others to review and discuss the issues and challenges confronting the US-Arab relationship.

SUSRIS was there, as it has been at every AUSPC since it was launched ten years ago, to chronicle the conference proceedings. The two-day event, organized by the National Council on US-Arab Relations, covered the breadth of issues including defense and security. This year’s panel on the subject, titled, “Defense Cooperation Dynamics: Enhancing Regional Security,” featured the remarks of US Central Command Deputy Commander Vice Admiral Robert Harward on the view from the region’s US military headquarters; Dr. Anthony Cordesman, CSIS Arleigh Burke Chair in Strategy; Dr. David Des Roches and Professor Robert Sharp, both of the National Defense University’s Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies. Ms. Molly Williamson, a distinguished senior official in the State, Defense, Energy and Commerce Departments served as panel chair.

We provide this transcript of the “Defense Cooperation Dynamics” panel conversation here for your consideration and commend to your reading the numerous articles, interviews and conference transcripts that SUSRIS will produce from the AUSPC in the coming days. Be sure not to miss any of the important discussions from the AUSPC by subscribing to SUSRIS on the web site or checking the Special Section on AUSPC 2012.

21st Annual Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference – AUSPC 2012
Washington, DC
Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Honorable Molly Williamson – Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations; Adjunct Scholar, Middle East Institute; former Senior Foreign Policy Adviser to the Secretary of Energy (2005-2008); former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for the Middle East, South Asia, Oceania and Africa (1999-2004); former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (1993-1995).
Opening Remarks:
VADM Robert Harward – Deputy Commander, U.S. Central Command; former Commander, Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435 in Afghanistan; former Deputy Commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command; and former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff representative to the National Counterterrorism Center.
Dr. David Des Roches – Professor, Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University; National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Malone Fellow in Arab and Islamic Studies.
Dr. Robert Sharp – Assistant Professor, Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University.
Dr. Anthony Cordesman – Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy, Center for Strategic and International Studies; consultant to the U.S. State Department, Defense Department, and intelligence community; former Director of Intelligence Assessment, Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Biography Section Below

[Remarks as delivered]


[Patrick Mancino/NCUSAR VP] Ladies and gentleman. It is a pleasure to welcome someone who looks after this relationship everyday, 24 hours, 365 days out of the year. Vice Admiral Harward who joins us from CENTCOM.

In summary, and on page 33 of your program book you will see his extensive biography but I would like to just highlight some of Admiral Harward’s accomplishments. He serves as Deputy Commander of the United States Central Command, otherwise known as USCENTCOM located in Tampa Florida.

USCENTCOM’s Area of Responsibility. otherwise known as the AOR for folks that are in the business, covers the central area of the globe and consists of 20 countries and I think out of these 20 countries the majority of them are in the news every day. Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kurdistan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, UAE, Uzbekistan, Yemen.

In summation and summary the Vice Admiral’s tours included Naval Special Warfare Community Commander Seal Team 3, Assault Leader and Operations Officer at Naval Special Warfare Development Group, Seal Plans Officer for the Commander Amphibious Force U.S. Seventh Fleet, Executive Officer Naval Special Warfare Unit One, Aide de Camp to Commander U.S. Special Operations Command, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force, Deputy Commander in Bosnia, Deputy Commander Special Operations Command Pacific, Commander Naval Special Warfare Group 1 and Deputy Commanding General Joint Special Operations Command.

Ladies and gentlemen a brief biography of the Admiral. He was born in Rhode Island in a Navy family graduated from the Tehran American High School in Iran. After enlisting in the Navy he was awarded a Fleet Appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. I know we have some Mids coming tomorrow; they couldn’t make it today because they have class, but we have West Point here.

He attended the College of Naval Command and Staff College, Naval College, and the Armed Forces Staff College. He holds a Masters Degree in the International Relations and Strategic Security Affairs, served as a Federal Executive Fellow at RAND and is an alumnis of the MIT Center for International Studies. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring to you Vice Admiral Robert Harward, Deputy Commander U.S. Central Command.

[VADM Robert Harward] Thank you for the introduction, although I would prefer they just refer to the bio in the magazine because it sure makes you feel a lot older after they talk about that. Secondly although we did reference West Point here today I can’t miss the opportunity to let you know I’ll cover all bets for the game this year. That’s been a very wise investment over the last ten years if you follow that track record.

Dr. Anthony, thank you and thank you and the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations for holding this conference. I can’t tell you how important it is to come together and hear current events as the previous speaker just alluded to and future considerations as we go forward.

I look at Molly, Colonel Des Roches, Dr Cordesman and Bob and I can’t think of a more appropriate group to come together and discuss some of the current events and challenges we face in the future.

I’d like to begin this morning by taking a few moments to lay out the security situation from a CENTCOM perspective and from where I sit it is clear there is only really one external aggressor in the region and that is Iran. Iran’s maligned activities are not confined simply to the future to the progression of an uncertain nuclear program but from where I sit it is also pursuing a lot of other lanes that we need to focus on and talk about.

Click for larger map.

Their malfeasance is evident across multiple fronts including the brazen and murderous activities of the Ministry of Interior and Security and the Quds Force operatives we are seeing around the region including their proxies like Lebanese Hezbollah. These groups have killed or attempted to kill ambassadors, diplomats, scientists, soldiers and civilians in at least eight different countries over the last 18 months.

The regime continually espouses bellicose rhetoric including threats against the United States and Israel as well as the threat against the global economy through closing the Strait of Hormuz. The threat against the Strait where 20% of the global supply of oil passes daily is backed by their accumulation of thousands of mines, anti ship and coastal defense missiles, thousands of fast attack boats intended as an asymmetric weapon against conventional warships in the region. Not just U.S. but other coalition members.

They continue to develop, test and demonstrate medium range ballistic missiles for the stated purpose of holding at risk those in the region they consider a threat. Iran’s well established past pattern of deceit and reckless behavior have progressively increased the potential for missed calculation that could spark a regional if not a global conflict.

Beyond Iran the region continues on a tumultuous path. The Arab Awakening has toppled governments for Tunisia to Egypt and Yemen and left areas like Syria in the throes of a civil war. One thing we know for certain it has never gone back to what it was. I think back to the days when I graduated from the Tehran American school in 1974 where as a Westerner I could freely travel through Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and other countries in the region and be greeted and welcomed because of the policies and strategy the West employed in the region and yet I look today we are in a much different world. And as I said previously we are never going back.

The Awakening was, and is, an outgrowth of resentment against unjust and unresponsive governments with many parallels to the French Revolution of 1789. Although history may give us insight into the current progress and processes it will clearly illuminate that the broader path still lies ahead. What we do know is that we must accept the Awakening for what it is and not for what we might want it to be. It is not a pell-mell rush to democracy although we hope to see democratic institutions emerge from the process.

It is also not a reason for dismay as great things have come out of mankind’s hope and prayers for change. Yet experience in history shows a change to represent the will of the people is often messy and it takes time. This is reality and therefore it is replete with the hopes and tragedies of the human experience.

The differences between Egypt’s transition and Syria’s civil war cannot be more jarring or more persuasive that each country will chart its own path through these difficult waters. We believe our long and consistent history of cooperation with the Egyptian military was influential in the way they choose to respond to public demonstrations and opposition of what is occurring in Syria. For the region at large I believe a great deal rides on Egypt maintaining true to its respected traditional culture of inclusiveness and not going backwards, even as the international community gropes for solutions in Syria to stop the Assad regimes reckless violence that turned peaceful demands for change into a merciless civil war.

Returning to the fact that Iran is the only aggressor state in the region it is Iranian support following Russia’s regrettable veto in New York that has emboldened the regime’s violent repression of the Syrian people yearning for a voice in their own government.

Specifically, Iran’s tragic decision to supply the Assad regime with advanced lethal weapons and Quds Force direct support involvement supporting the Syrian military is worsening the humanitarian crisis we all are watching and inciting spillover violence and instability in neighboring countries. Ultimately this immoral support to an immoral regime will cast Iran in the worst possible light both in the region and across the globe.

So how do we at Central Command deal with the Awakening? Everything we do at CENTCOM is framed by four drivers of our foreign policy.

First, support for each countries political reform to adapt at their own pace.

Second, support for economic modernization that provides the people ownership of their future that gives them a sense of betterment, a better future.

Third, support for renewed pursuit of Middle East peace recognizing the status quo is not sustainable and the Two State Solution is critical.

And finally we stand firmly with our friends against any aggressor state in support of regional security; the territorial integrity of sovereign nations and the free flow of commerce.

This is a region where the only constant is change. As the region transforms, following 12 years of two major wars the CENTCOM mission must transform as well.

Let me give you a few examples of how we are standing together with our friends on this long journey ahead.

Last month we hosted the largest international mine countermeasure exercise in the Arabian Gulf. The exercise included participants from six continents representing 35 countries uniting to defend freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce through the Strait of Hormuz. The exercise enhanced cooperation, developed maritime capabilities and bolstered long term regional stability. UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed had stated repeatedly that because the Strait is critical to the international economy, freedom of navigation through the strait is an international responsibility. This exercise demonstrated the will of the international community to follow through on that commitment and their responsibilities.

In another example of combined security we have been working closely with each of the Gulf States to develop and expand our regional air and ballistic missile defenses. Based on the concept of our Combined Air Operations Center or CAOC known as the military acronym in Qatar we envision a Gulf CAOC where a common operation picture of the air space in and around the gulf would be a shared among all the participating states thus enhancing the situational awareness and combined defense of all states.

The second in a series of ministerial meetings called the GCC-U.S. Strategic Cooperation Forum occurred last month where Secretary Clinton met with the foreign ministers from all the GCC, and they specifically commended and endorsed each of these efforts.

Beyond the Gulf specifically it is my view that the situation in Yemen lends reason for hope. Following 40 years with Saleh at the helm President Hadi is disproving his skeptics and by the force of his personality and will is leading the people in the process towards a national dialogue and reconciliation. I would also highlight the approach to security taking place in Yemen where the U.S. is working by, with and through the Yemeni security forces to find, fix and capture or finish Al Qaeda operatives on the ground. This is a whole government approach where nothing happens that has not been vetted through the interagency process here in Washington as well as with the approval of President Hadi and the Ambassador in Sanaa.

As we move forward and towards the normalization of relationships with Afghanistan where the majority of our troops redeploy from the theater, I envision the ongoing struggle against terrorism will be the by, with and through model we just discussed. This method of operations will depend on the trust and confidence of our partners not only that we have in them but more importantly that they have in us, to respect their national interests and sovereignty as we seek mutually beneficial ends.

So let me conclude my opening remarks by highlighting the goal and visions of CENTCOM. Our overarching goal is to support U.S. objectives through peaceful means and to prevent conflict. However in the case of impending conflict our job is to provide the President feasible military options and we are prepared to do that.

USCENTCOM’s vision is a region where improved security leads to the greater stability and where regional cooperation helps to isolate and counter those who would use violence in pursuit of their goals.

Thank you very much.

[JOHN DUKE ANTHONY] Our chair for the remainder of this session is the Honorable Molly Williamson who is a known fixture to many of you in this city but from those who come from afar she is unique in being the only American I know who has been Deputy Assistant Secretary in four U.S. cabinet ministries in our country. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce dealing with the Near East, Defense dealing with the Near East, Energy dealing with the Near East and the Department of State dealing with the Near East. This is a unique civil servant and someone who has given her best public life to improving America’s relationship with the Arab countries, the Middle East and the Islamic world. Molly Williamson.

[Molly Williamson] Thank you all very much, and thank you to John Duke Anthony for this great honor.

This is such a critical time with respect to not only the region but our relationships within it and with it collectively. We have been looking at now almost two years of roiling experiences throughout the Arab world and all indications are is that this evolving season is likely to last for years.

There are three key factors I would like to have in the back of our minds as we listen to our expert panelists discussing this. There are many other factors but I’d like you to keep these in mind in particular.

A factor within the region as a primary concern is the demographics. This is an extremely young population throughout the region, about 60% under the age of twenty-five, they demand and call for and need jobs and greater economic opportunity. Regardless of ethnic or sectarian or religious ties it will take time to narrow the skills gaps and to establish the necessary market reforms that will invite foreign investor confidence but the demand for jobs, justice and dignity is immediate.

In 2009 the regions labor force totaled some 135 million workers, by 2020 it is expected to reach 185 million workers. This means that countries in the Middle East need to create 50, five zero, million jobs over the next ten years or five million jobs a year compared to an average of around three million jobs per year that have been generated over the last ten years. To do that in order to maintain existing levels of unemployment the babies are already born who will join the labor force beyond the year 2020 and they are demanding a voice in the future of their countries and governments.

So Factor One is regional stability is at stake.

Another factor is the strategic commodity of oil. The planet is expected to remain heavily reliant on petroleum for the foreseeable future. Sixty percent of all the currently known and proven reserves of conventional oil are in the part of the world known as the Middle East and especially the oil producing Arab Gulf states.

Transportation of 40% of the worlds globally traded conventional oil traverses daily three choke points in the Middle East. They are the Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb and the Suez Canal. So a Second Factor to keep in mind is that the international energy market stability is at stake.

And another factor, not the last, certainly not the least, is the factor of concern about Iranian nuclear aspirations and regional hegemonic designs. So Third Factor noting that international sanctions regimes are in place we are witnessing escalating tensions not only within the region but as well globally.

To explore how and why we continue and must continue to nurture our defense relationships with this critical region, especially now, we have an extraordinary panel of experts and I am so proud to be on the podium with them.

The first speaker is Dr. Anthony Cordesman. I think he is so well and widely known throughout this town but the important intelligence and policy centers throughout this town. I have had the great honor of working with him at the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Commerce and the Department of Energy where his expertise and wisdom have been sought by policymakers from all portions of the political spectrum.

He will be followed by two prominent scholars, professors at the Near East and South Asian Center of the National Defense University. They are Professor David Des Roches who will talk about some of the impediments and challenges in our military sales in the region and with Professor Robert Sharp who will be looking at the various ways and important needs for nurturing our relationships with military institutions in the region.

I am grateful to be with you today. Please hold your questions to the end. You have cards that I believe can be brought up to us throughout the course of the discussions.

Thank you very, very much. Dr. Cordesman.

[Dr. Anthony Cordesman] Good morning ladies an gentleman. Molly was kind enough to allow me to summarize the problem and ask that Mr. DesRoche and Mr. Sharp provide you with all of the solutions. My task, more seriously, is to try to survey the factors that drive the need for cooperation between the United States, the Gulf States, within the Gulf and, indeed, within the region.

There are really six key factors that I think will shape cooperation over the next decade.

One that has already been touched on by Molly and the Admiral is critical. The most important aspect of security cooperation may have absolutely nothing to do with the military dimension. It may well be the need for progress at the economic level in governance, in providing jobs in dealing with demographics and these are areas where it is the quality of development and aid and the changes that states make on their own that will dominate the path of security.

I think that we all need to pay close attention to a report that came out of the Arab world, the Arab Development Report of 2009. Very few people attempt to quantify just how serious the pressures are within the Gulf States and within the Arab world. We have our own problems with economic denial in the United States but it is an almost universal feature of countries and just to put this in perspective, the moment you look beyond the idea of oil wealth even the Gulf you see just how disparate the states are, ignoring all of the other sectarian, ethnic governance and tribal issues.

One key way to measure it is per capita income. Qatar is second in the world, the UAE is 12th, Kuwait is 19th. We begin to get into the uncertain zone with Bahrain which is 49th and Saudi Arabia is ranked 51st. Sorry Oman which is 51st and Saudi Arabia which is 55th. There is a rough law of thumb that you are in deep trouble in the ability to move forward towards development on a national broad basis, it is questionable if you drop below the sort of 100 ranking in per capita income.

Iran is 95th and dropping sharply. Egypt is 132nd. Jordan is 142nd. Iraq is 163rd and dropping in spite of increased oil revenues and Yemen ranks 184th, one of the few economies in the world where it is not clear where anyone modeling the economy can find any clear path toward recovery.

For many people in this audience you have already lived through the fact that these are states throughout the region which have increased in population two and half or three times since 1950. That rate of increase has dropped sharply but it will still double again between 2040 and 2050. It is not a matter simply of job creation for the young. It’s aging populations, infrastructure, water, over dependence on oil, the problems of industrialization and within it there are other problems.

When you look at the patterns of violence in the region, we often think in America of terrorism directed towards us. The level of violence among Moslems killing Moslems or more broadly, people in the region killing people in the region in internal conflict is about three to four times as an order of magnitude the total numbers of terrorism directed towards outside groups.

You have a clash within a civilization, not a class between them.

You have problems over secular versus religious, increasingly Sunni versus Shiite versus Alawite. You have a steady expulsion of Christians and other minorities in much of the region and deep ethnic interactions between Arabs, Kurds and other groups. These problems cannot be solved through security, through measures of repression, through counterterrorism. They basically cannot be solved from the outside. Countries do not get development through aid. Aid may help countries that help themselves.

As the Admiral pointed out none of this moves quickly. One of the stupidest phrases I have ever heard is “Arab Spring.” Historically these things play out at a minimum, over a decade. The winner of the first revolution almost invariably is consumed in the process or becomes authoritarian and is either worse or more destabilizing than the regime it replaces.

The denial of history is one of the universal characteristics of society but we need to understand just how deep these problems are; and again if you look at the Arab development report while they Molly only touched on the depth of the challenges that are faced in this area, and that was before the upheavals created the economic, ethnic, sectarian problems which now affect the area.

I think that we have seen from Iraq and Afghanistan, we have very little core competence to do more than provide limited assistance. We also should l think take the example of a Kuwaiti banker who I thought picked up on the Arab Spring perhaps with the most perceptive action I’ve seen. He went out and bought the Westerners at the meeting a copy of the History of Europe in 1848. He pointed out that the European Spring started in 1848, lasted till 1914 and did not end well. These are realities we have to prepare for and the region does.

That said, the second challenge is to go beyond counterterrorism and try to find the proper balance to deal with extremism. Not simply in terms of counter terrorism but new methods of internal security, methods, which encourage stability. Methods, which build on the examples of countries like Saudi Arabia, which have focused on reeducation and reintegration. Areas, which bring people together, not divide them. A shift from a focus on military and repressive internal security forces to well-trained police and other security forces with the proper equipment, lesson which it seems very difficult for some Gulf States to learn.

At the same time, it is to provide new forms of security cooperation on the part of the U.S. and the west to help not simply criticize. It is to deal with things like ergonomics, transit and movement of population, immigration, but beyond that we need to look ten years into the future and realize whatever the unstable movements are, terrorists, freedom fighters, some awkward combination in between, religious extremists. We are already beginning to see the problem of what happens when Manpads, anti-tank guided weapons, sophisticated improvised explosive devices, the ability to conduct some form of cyber warfare, all of these enter into the equation. You need to prepare for changes in the quality and the nature of the threat and that is something which we have only begun to discuss largely because of what has happened in Libya and what is happening in Syria.

It is also a reality that looking at all these issues from terrorism on up there is a remarkable lack of progress in the GCC states in passive defense. Securing water facilities, securing key oil facilities, looking at infrastructure security and if you want to see what I mean go onto Google and just look at the overhead photography at a commercial scale of desalination plants, power plants and energy plants in the Gulf. The cookie cutter approach to security which is visible to the non-expert is a warning. People have put lots of money into these areas and unfortunately far too little substance. This is only beginning if you look at things like smart border fences and other areas which we need to address.

As the Admiral pointed out, cooperation now needs to deal with the risk of what is happening in he Gulf. You have a tremendous buildup in Iran’s asymmetric warfare and missile capabilities. You have an Iran paralyzed in many ways in naval and air development. This creates a structure where it can introduce many different types of asymmetric warfare in the Gulf. If we declared a moratorium on the Strait for at least six months and forced people to think of all the other ways Iran looks at asymmetric warfare in the Gulf, picking out individual countries, focusing on off-shore or shore facilities, looking at smart mines, looking at the use of longer range anti-ship missiles attacking tankers, its use of submarines and submersibles throughout the Gulf, singling out Kuwait in one exercise, looking at the Gulf of Oman in another you begin to see the complexity and demand for cooperation.

The United States Navy cannot do this. There are many missions we have not yet mastered. Swarming is an exercise you can practice and you can test, but you find out the hard way. Attrition, slow wars, very limited focus wars that take time, are wars you find out the hard way. The mine exercise brought over 30 countries to bear and that’s extremely useful but looking at those same reports from the press it found less than half of the simulated mines and this builds on an experience in 1991 where with the best minesweepers in the world, the British, we still managed to sail into an Iraqi minefield without detecting it.

These are warnings particularly with smart mines that change the whole nature of the region and I’ve said as long as you keep water, power and electric facilities this vulnerable it is critical.

The Admiral also mentioned the need for the CAOC, integrated air missile defense, it applies for situational defense and mine warfare, it applies to swarming or naval battles of attrition, it applies to movements which could rapidly shift the apparent target of any kind of raid or strike in the gulf. The goal here is deterrence not war fighting. But it depends on real time integration not slow national compartmented levels, not extraordinarily expensive waste of money on systems which cannot possibly work or are more oriented toward political divisions between Gulf States than the reality of effective cooperation.

The demand is that it work.

It is that countries be held accountable and contractors be held accountable, and that is a level of progress which unfortunately we fall far short of.

The Admiral mentioned short and long-range missiles. At this point in time these are largely terror weapons. A conventionally armed unitary warhead on a guided missile with today’s accuracy cannot possibly hit a point target. When it actually hits it has about one third of the lethality of a regular bomb with the same weight of high explosives, but they will move toward more accurate systems in Iran. They will have more reliable and quicker reacting systems, they may get precision guidance, and they will go to cluster munitions. Iran is a declared chemical weapons state and one problem we have throughout this area is there is no regime to detect the progress in biological warfare. Missiles will change. And with that is the need for a unified, integrated missile defense architecture. That architecture almost has to come from the United States, but it is not us that can hold the mission, there are simply too many systems and too many risks.

At this point in time it also requires a level of test and evaluation which quite frankly has not occurred as the United States has moved toward theater missile defenses and hard decisions about which systems to deploy.

Within this we come next, I think, to what is a risk none of us want to see. That is what would happen if we actually went from negotiations, by far the preferred option, or deterrence, to some form of preventive strike or military option in the region.

None of us like to talk about what military cooperation would have to be if Israel actually executed preventive strikes. None of us have as yet talked about what would happen if we had to exercise what we call the “military option.” But I would suggest to you that this is an option which to work requires hundreds of strikes on the part of the United States, a period in which to assess battle damage, restrikes in something very close to sustained over watch which means that if the Iranians change or alter their programs we would have to strike again.

The time has come to really describe and think out that military option versus containment. The time has come to understand the level of cooperation that would be required between the United States and the Gulf States. Denial and indifference are not a form of military cooperation. Ignoring unpleasant possibilities is not a way forward.

And last of all, the reality of a nuclear arms race. We already have one. In the late 1980s at some point the Israelis sharply increased the range payload of the boosters on their missiles. There is no meaningful unclassified estimate of the number of nuclear weapons they have, or their type, but they probably have boosted and thermonuclear weapons, which are vastly more lethal than what Iran could develop in the form of fission devices. This is not something you can ignore as Iran moves forward. I would hope we’re wrong about their intent. I don’t believe it. If you read the November report of the International Atomic Energy agency and the military annex to that, you get an almost totally different impression from either the press or what is often political science reporting on this threat. And it has not gotten better.

If they do move forward to deployment, and let me note with their conventional weakness in air and sea they have a very strong reason to go to nuclear-armed missiles both because of the limits of their missiles and the need to preserve an asymmetric option. You get a potential for a nuclear arms race much of it not really directed toward Israel. Iran may use Israel as the name of the excuse for its programs but that is scarcely its underlying ambition or goal.

Small nuclear forces almost invariably have to be targeted on cities. You don’t know what one or two do, you have to have a long, wide, area targets. You have to go initially, as you have only a few weapons, to launch on warning or launch under attack, which creates a near hair-trigger mode in your command and control structure. You can deny that, you can create all kinds of doctrine, but that is the reality, it was the reality for us.

Let me say when people talk about nuclear stability at the time of the Cold War, it is somewhat amusing to hear it. Stability in 1946 was 11 U.S. nuclear weapons, half of which worked. Stability at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis was 27,000 U.S. nuclear weapons to approximately 3,700 Soviet weapons. Stability peaked for the United States in 1967 at 31,000 weapons; it peaked for the former Soviet Union in 1987 at roughly 41,000.

This obviously cannot be replicated in the Gulf but when you talk about going to nuclear, to fourth generation chemical or biological and you understand Israel already has created an existential ability to target Iran, let me just point out that you are to some extent in this region with 20% of the worlds oil exports, you are living in a world under the guillotine. The bars of the guillotine may be so far apart you cannot see it. The blade may be so high that it isn’t apparent. There may be many safety locks that make it improbable that it will be used. And the executioner may not even be on the scene, but the reality is that it is there.

And if this moves forward, if we cannot succeed with negotiations we either have to have a form of containment of extraordinary strength, extended deterrence or local nuclear forces to balance this, or they guillotine gets a much heavier and sharper blade.

So let me stop with these parameters. Let me also say this is not going to be solved by looking one or two years into the future, by denial, by ignoring problems, by focusing on narrow areas of the military dimension or on political dreams that cannot be put into practice.

Thank you.

[Williamson] Thank you Dr. Cordesman. Now Professor David Des Roche.

[Dr. David Des Roches] Thank you very much. Your excellency, excellences and members of the diplomatic corp, Admiral Harward. Who I first met in the gym at the Park Rotana Hotel in Abu Dhabi it was six o’clock in the morning. I was listening to an old Buck Owens thing on my CD lifting pink weights in the corner and all of a sudden the room started shaking with loud music and you and your security were having a pull-up contest. I was thinking well either cage fighting has moved to cage fighting has moved to Abu Dhabi or that’s the new deputy commander of Central Command.

Admiral Harwood, General Kimmet, Colonel McKendrick, Major Shively, cadets, distinguished sponsors and of course our host Dr. John Duke Anthony. It is an honor to be here.

I’m going to talk a bit about weapons sales from the United States to the Middle East and I am going to defy a little bit of conventional wisdom. Security assistance is seen as the cure for a lot of American security issues in the region. But it’s not easy. There is a general misperception among the “bien-pensant” that the United States is an extremely active promoter of weapons overseas, particularly in the Arab World. Organizations such as Amnesty International pointed out that although the U.S. government says it stands in solidarity with the people of the Middle East it also supplies weapons that contribute directly to human rights violations.

Although it’s important to note many of the weapons, as a matter of fact a majority by dollar value are things such as missiles systems that aren’t implicated in those sorts of things. So a closer examination shows that the case is actually more shaded. There are actually significant internal impediments to arms sales just within the U.S. government. Our legal structure, the structure of our government and the very nature of the body of laws governing arms sales are designed to impede rather than promote U.S. weapons transfers.

This structure, this framework does not advance U.S. commercial or I would argue security interests, instead it is a significant destracter particularly in a time of crisis when a key partner needs to build up a rapid transfer of military weaponry to build up a rapid military capability.

There are four major areas… Oh, it’s also worthy of noting that no other major weapon exporting country has these impediments. Indeed countries such as China, Russia, Britain and France have arms export regimes which are characterized by processes of acceleration rather than this constant series of breaks and stops that one finds in the American arms transfer regimes.

There are four major areas which the American system impedes the transfer of weapons. As I said; the legal structure, the issue of releasability, the role of the Congress and the oppositional structure of the Executive branch of the government. I will speak very briefly to each of these four and then if you have questions you can ask me either here or off the podium.

First the legal structure. The governing regulations of the export of American weapons is the Arms Export and Control Act of 1976. The key word here is “control.” Most other countries promote arms exports. This regime was developed in the Cold War to build influence in countries over relatively long period of time. It is singularly unsuited for the demands of the modern world where countries face immediate dangers. Our process is designed to prevent the transfer of weaponry and calls for congressional approval for weapons sales over a value threshold that was set in the 1960s. One that inflation has since made almost ridiculous.

Additionally American weapons transfers are complicated by an amazing number of legal restrictions, the requirement for an information security agreement, for sovereign immunity for American technicians, contractors and military personnel, for end use restrictions. Any logical outside observer, in academia people are fond of saying if a Martian came down and looked at this. If a Martian came down and looked at the American arms transfer regime they would conclude that weapons are not sold by the United States they are merely leased, because there are so many restrictions on them.

Indeed if you as an American citizen write to the Army Bureau of Marksmanship Promotion saying that you would like to buy a weapon so you can practice marksmanship, which is a program we have had for hundreds of years. The weapon you’ll get is an M1 Garand which originally belonged to the American army then was transferred to the Turkish army, and then when the Turks decided to get new weapons they said, “We’ll just sell these to somebody else,” and the United States government said, “No you won’t, they’re coming back to us.”

There’s also a maze of restrictions based on the mood of Congress, and there are laws that require compliance with things like proliferation, tracking in persons, human rights of course, narcotics production, a broad range of factions. I am not saying that these are unimportant, I am saying is that competitors, competitor nations like Britain, France, China and Russia don’t have these.

The second issue is releasabilty. It’s a good thing that America does not compromise its technological edge by releasing key cutting edge technology to other countries. That’s just the way it is. I’m an American and I like it that way. However in practice the gladiatorial combat that characterizes the internal U.S. government releasability regime can give a commercial edge to countries with similar capabilities who lack qualms about release.

As you can tell by my name I am of French ancestry but I’m actually Quebecois so let me talk some smack about the French. I would argue that the French fighter Rafale is almost exclusively, I call it the vulture. Nowhere in the Middle East is the Rafale competitive as an option except in those areas where we have declined to release similar capability. Basically Rafale is a viable market player only in those instances where Americans have chosen not to release certain technology. They swoop in on the market that we’ve left off.

Of particular disadvantage for many American companies is that our releasability regime is based upon somewhat dated concept of nationality. Many Arab countries typically employ expatriate technicians in their military. This is not a surprise to anybody. In most instances a weapon that can be released to say for example an Emirati, cannot be released to a Ukrainian who might work as a technician on that weapon. So what that, this is not a small problem.

What that basically means is that our U.S. government releasability consideration has to take into account the nationality of every person involved in that weaponry, and that is a significant problem. This is something that countries in the regime can do something about. They all have various programs designed to nationalize their own workforce and the military workforce. Understand that if you want to have compliance with the American releasability regime its not just fighter pilots it’s also fighter maintenance technicians that have to be from the host country.

Finally the role of Congress. I’ll just speak very briefly about this. The bottom line about the years there’s a formal system and over the years starting with a formal memo from Lyndon B. Johnson and Hubert Humphrey, we have adopted a series of informal consultations with Congress that amount in practice to any interested Member of Congress having the ability to halt an arms sale for any length of time.

Secretary Clinton has written about this as an impediment to our national security. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has said it harms our reliability as a supplier, impedes interoperability and partnership capacity objectives with our allies and partners, and limits our ability to make timely changes to the U.S. munitions list.

So they are experts. They say the role of Congress needs to be relooked. We have a regime where basically the legislature can put an indefinite hold, almost without fingerprints, on any weapons sell.

Finally the structure of the Executive Branch. The evolved structure of the Executive branch, not the Congress, the Executive branch is one in which there are multiple bureaus representing various subject areas, such as human rights, non- proliferation, counter narcotics, who then press their subject matters in regards to specific problems in specific countries. If all you have is a hammer every problem looks like a nail. If you were assigned, rated, evaluated and promoted in an organization that’s dedicated to non-proliferation, when you take a look at Honduras and Guatemala your first question is going to be are they seeking to acquire weapons of mass destruction. That’s just human nature.

A proposed weapons transfer brings this structure and these differences, these competing agendas to the front. I have attended interagency meetings at the National Security Council that again our academic Martians who comes down and looks at this would describe this not as an interagency meeting, but rather an argument between two or three offices of the State Department while the rest of the interagency sits and watches.

This structure does not serve American interests. Instead many bureaus with functional instead of regional responsibilities tend to advocate their goals without reference to the bilateral nature of the relationship. That’s just the structure. We have seen these functional bureaus gain ascendency in Bahrain and the Congressional Research Services has published a lengthy study on that. I’ve got one copy but if you friend me on Facebook I have posted it there as well.

It appeared in this instance that the U.S. government, in the aftermath of the crackdown on protestors in Bahrain, the U.S. government intended to send a finely calibrated message in impeding arms sales. They wanted to turn the thermometer for 98 degrees to 97 degrees. Unfortunately from the perspective of the recipients what they saw was a large switch that was thrown from on to off. That was made probably for good considerations, for valid considerations, it may have been the right choice. We can argue about that indefinitely. But the tools, which we used to send what we thought was a finely tuned message, were seen by the recipient as the blunt end of an axe.

These are formidable obstacles that are not insurmountable. Partner countries in the Arab world will still seek American weapons as their first choice, both because of the technological excellence and more importantly because of the interoperability with American forces. That is the ultimate weapon, and that is something you want get if you buy Rafale.

This is our true edge, adjustment to our suboptimal systems of government and oversight would enhance both the regional interest and American interest and I will welcome your questions.

[Williamson] Professor Sharp.

[Robert Sharp] When I was reviewing my notes during the earlier speakers I thought I’d been parachuted into the wrong panel. Because I am not going to talk about bangs, and bombs and booms. I’m going to talk about education. Actually that’s sensible because indirect and direct approaches are the way to counter threats. Not that there isn’t time for bangs and booms and bombs but we need to have an orchestrated approach with the proper balance, so I’m going to talk a little bit about that.

I want to thank John Duke Anthony for the invitation. It is my great pleasure to share this panel with such distinguished and indeed well-known speakers.

I’m going to talk about defense cooperation dynamics as well, but I want to offer some evidence about things we are doing in the region with our friends and allies to contribute to regional security through professional military education. What the Center I work at is doing, its not an advert for it, is developing the conceptual component of partner national power. If you like, it’s about helping to develop the thought process of our friends and allies. So we are building partner capacity by the development of partner professional military education. We can do more, and we can do more across other components of government, role of government, society, etcetera.

If you ask me my personal opinion I would say the solutions to the human transition that some people are calling the Arab Spring is education, particularly women.

Western teaching technologies ad techniques for professional military education make assumptions that the military is subordinate to the civilian authority and that there is a fundamental need for critical thinking so that transition can be managed and futures can be shaped.

Professional military institutions in the region don’t necessarily start from that same assumption. So our job is to help them if they wish to be helped. Often the military is committed to change but constrained by a variety of factors including things like culture, time and institutional structure. It does take time to transition things like curricula faculty and students to try and change the thought process.

I think what we want to support ultimately is the security sectors in our partners and allies and friends so that they are able to do two things. First of all they are able to support the transition occurring in their country at the velocity required so they end up on the right side of success when it finally evolves.

Secondly, being able to move from a position to whereby they are effective individually and regionally move from inter-operating to integrating. I believe that we need to assist willing partners doing exactly that.

We spent a lot of time this morning talking about threats. The way to defeat threats is by integrating and collaborating. So I believe we need to try harder to encourage our regional partners to go beyond interoperating, which of course some already do because they buy our equipment. But to actually integrating, meaning as I have mentioned, adopting common conceptual approaches to in my example professional military education.

Now I’m referring specifically to developing critical thinking. And what we have been doing in the region is we been supporting the development of critical thinking and we have derived an equation for success in critical thinking as part of professional military education and we have used that in our work with the Lebanese armed forces, United Arab Emirates, Yemen and other countries and we look for opportunities with countries like Egypt, Tunisia, Iraq Libya etcetera, etcetera, as time allows. And what you could argue we do in a nutshell we are CENTCOMs educational line of development and we are in direct support of respective embassy teams.

Now I mention that we had designed an equation to try and generate critical thinking. I want to share a little bit about that with you. It goes something like critical thinking in professional military education is achieved by the combination of andragogy, Bloom’s taxonomy and Socratic questioning. Lucky you. I’m going to give you about 30 seconds on each.

Many of you are familiar with the term pedagogy, which is the teaching of children, leading teaching. Andragogy is the teaching and leading of adults. It is fundamentally different. Adults need to know why they’re being educated, how it will occur, what is required of them. They need to be involved in setting learning objectives. They have a self-concept about their own decisions. They must take ownership in terms of how they are going to learn.

They have experiences unlike children that they need to share. If the education is not based on utilizing their experiences they will quickly loose interest in it. It must be active, collaborative and constructive. They must ready to learn in terms of them considering it useful, and they must be orientated to learn. Meaning that the education must be student rather than institutionally focused and experiential.

And finally, unlike children whose motivation is extrinsic, raves and a pat on the back from mommy and daddy, for adults its all about self satisfaction, enjoyment, control, choice and value. And we help reasonable partners apply the assumptions of andragogy to how they teach within their profession military education.

Additionally we adopt Bloom’s taxonomy which some of you may be familiar with, its not unknown within Western education institutions. The reason I mention it is that Bloom’s taxonomy at the top end of the scale supports critical thinking. It’s like a ladder of objectives and the bottom is remembering. It is the ability to retrieve information. Moving up the level understanding, constructing moving above it applying the new found knowledge. Above that analyzing, breaking it down. And finally, top end evaluating and then creating.

Now you can see therefore how effective this taxonomy can be in designing learning objectives to generate critical thinking particularly if aligned with andragogy. And so you know rather than having a course objective that says remember everything the faculty told you, you have a course objective like evaluate regional national defense strategies or even create a country national security strategy.

Finally, a bit on Socrates. He asked questions like what’s wisdom? What is beauty? What is the right thing to do? And he believed the only way to teach was to ask questions. You can form your judgment about how successful we are with Socratic question techniques within the region. I would be delighted to talk to you over the questions about the success of our programs. Socrates talked about exploring concepts like complex ideas supporting critical thinking, getting to the truth of things, opening up issues and problems, uncovering assumptions, analyzing concepts. And he had broadly six questions which we try to encourage students and faculty to ask within seminars or discussion groups. Questions to clarify thinking, questions that pose or probe assumptions, questions that probe reason and evidence, questions about viewpoints and perspectives, about implications and consequences and then simply questions about questions.

So those three teaching methodologies we pulled together in our critical thinking for professional military education success equation. We work with these friends and allies to help them evolve their curriculum, students and faculty to adopt them and we find the results are sometimes overwhelming in the way in which they grasp them and adopt them and try to move forward in that regard.

I would be very happy to take any questions you have. Thank you.

[Williamson] Thank you very much. We have already more questions than we have time so I am going to go straight to questions, and anything we haven’t finished.. if your question didn’t get addressed please fill free to buttonhole our folks in the back.

The first question we are going to start with is addressed to Professor Des Roche. Why would that Martian conclude that the U.S. institutes brakes on selling weapons when it sells more than the next ten to twenty countries? Clearly we see arms sales as good for American, helping the economy, producing jobs, fostering leverage and the like. So the first question to Professor Des Roche.

The second question to Dr. Cordesman. Could a Gulf regional wear even with the use of nuclear weapons draw in the United States, Russia, perhaps even China? Have we not gotten past the threat of global nuclear war?

And the third question for Admiral Harward. The last decade has seen a large increase in armed contractors in the Middle East, some under the United States, some under other governments but none seem to be under CENTCOM chain of command or rules of engagement. Does this present challenges in areas as we look beyond even to Pakistan?

So we will start with those first three questions.

[Des Roches] I threw the Martian out so I get to go first I guess. U.S. weapons sales occur in spite of, not because of or government system. The fact that our sales numbers are so large reflects two factors. The first is the incredible technological edge of our weaponry. The fact of the matter is military weapons more than almost any other commodity requires a tremendous amount of research and development and most countries cannot maintain the level at such an extent and still field weaponry. This is why the Swedish export for Grippen they have to recapitalize that incredible technological investment. They are just not a big enough country to do that on a sustainable basis.

The second reason why we sell a lot of weapons, more than anybody else by dollar item, is because of interoperability with American forces. At the end of the day if you’re a country and you do your rational goals and you say “Who do we want to be interdependent with if we are attacked?’ You say who can actually project their power and the answer is, you can get three ships out of Britain or France, or you can actually have a deployable capability with airlift, with air-to-air refueling that is sustainable around the world. Only the United States can do that right now.

I would say though that we’re not joined up. If you look, and within U.S. government, the questioner, which I thank you for, it’s a very logical question. It looks at American interests, and then it looks at American actions that say obviously a calculus of interests led to actions. How naïve. That is not how the U.S. government works.

I worked in the Pentagon for twelve years never once in the Pentagon did I see somebody say this arms sale has to go through because of economic reasons. The people responsible for employment in St. Louis where the Boeing factory is located, the Boeing military factory is located, are not the people who make the decisions on this job. They’re completely divorced. It’s a direct contrast with other countries. When an arms sale is announced in the Great Britain press the radio bulletin on the BBC will say, “Fredonia has just announced a plan to purchase 1500 wickets from the British company X. This will lead directly to 15,000 jobs in Glamorgan,” or wherever wickets are made. That is not the case in the United States government. We do not have joined up government. The economic consequences are divorced.

The closest I have ever seen is when there is an issue that a production line might go cold and even then that’s drawn again by export considerations saying that well if the sell doesn’t happen now the line might go cold. Then if the country decides to buy weaponry later on it will cost even more. But there is no joined up policy.

Thank you for the question though it is a good one and most people don’t understand how that system doesn’t work.

[Williamson] Dr. Cordesman.

[Cordesman] The good news is that we are down from tens of thousands of nuclear weapons to roughly 5,000 on each side and at this point in time there are only about 1,400 thermonuclear weapons targeted on American cities every day. So in that sense I think we should all feel much happier.

The bad news is that virtually all of our arms control agreements totally ignore China, which has a minimum of 240 weapons and some experts put at four or five times that number. So we have an emerging nuclear power, a problem with shifts in the Pacific. Rationally most wars don’t happen and historically most wars obviously did, so I think one has to be careful about perceptions that this is all that stable and gone.

But the practical problem we face inside the Gulf area is any kind of nuclear conflict or even the threat of a nuclear conflict forces us either into preventive strikes or some form of containment with the southern Gulf States. The Secretary of State has offered extended deterrence that is a general term that hasn’t been defined as nuclear or conventional. The scale of it has not been defined and the President has said we would not choose containment as an option. But the reality is that even if Iran fully agrees to all of the current terms we still have containment because it can go on with many of the efforts that would move toward nuclear development, it can go to smarter missiles, increase the number and lethality of those missiles and use other weapons of mass destruction.

And so we will be caught up in dealing with this unless there is a fundamental change in Iran’s objectives and behavior that goes far beyond whatever the debate is over the nuclear program. Will that drag Russia and China in? I frankly don’t see how. But it certainly will involve them in a non-nuclear dimension because with 20% of the worlds oil flowing out of the Strait and a lot of it directly affecting the Asian economies you can see what the impact will be indefinitely into the future.

So yes we can all live much more safely with only 1,700 weapons targeted on the U.S. than perhaps with 10,000 but it isn’t over.

[Williamson] Admiral.

[Harward] Contractors. If we look back to our history of contractors it was in the late ‘80s where we started to assess whether contractor solution was more adequate and appropriate for some military capabilities that we could inject, bring on line when we need it, and have the flexibility to divorce ourselves of it when the capability was no longer needed.

Over the last course of the last ten years its been a growth industry and the initial premise has taken on a whole different aspect that we, at this point, haven’t completely assessed; the effectiveness, the flexibility or the cost effectiveness. I would sense where we are now that’s going to take on greater scrutiny but I would say at the end of the day we still want to ensure from a military perspective we maintain that flexibility to introduce capabilities that we may need on a short term basis not necessarily on an enduring basis to be able to leverage and have options.

I’ll give you a perfect example of one that I visited this month. If you were to compare a Tippy-Two radar site with an Aegis class ship, both are critical elements in this combined missile defense capabilities we bring on board. And when you man an Aegis ship with 300 men and they no they are going to serve a three-year tour on that ship you can train the military personnel, leverage them day in and day out and maintain that continuity of effort to deploy that asset wherever it may be. B e it the Pacific or CENTCOM cause that flexibility may adjust.

Now when you look at a Tippy-Two radar set, a somewhat similar capability you may never deploy it. We’ve recently deployed one to the GCC area in support of our defenses against the ballistic missile threat Iran poses and of those 300 individuals running the site about 100 to 150 are contractors. The other 150 to 200 are military personnel who defend the site and supply logistics but again I couldn’t dedicate those same military personnel to that system to train and run it if it was never going to be deployed.

So these are the dilemmas and challenges we are going to have to face as we employ and need that contractor capability and yet are going to be constrained financially as we can go forward. Because I can tell you an E-3, E-4, E-5, if you train him and can do these sort of skills and they are a lot cheaper than a contractor but I don’t know if I’m going to need that same skill set longer down the road. So it is an assessment we are all going to have. We’re focused on it right now. I would tell you. And to your question how much falls under the CENTCOM purview we consider all contractors that are involved in military operations, employed by the Department of Defense, that we assume accountability for their actions, their oversight, who trains them, how they are employed and their actions they take when downrange.

And I would tell you the numbers, right now, are just as significant as the number of uniform personnel we have in the region. In fact I would suggest some time this year those numbers will outpace uniformed individuals inside the region. Another reason why this question and issue will be so important for such a long time.

[Williamson] Thank you. I have a question for Dr. Cordesman. How can negotiations succeed with Iran, if Iran believes the U.S. is after regime change and so behavioral change is not credible and the possibility of sanctions relief is not credible? Dr. Anthony did you have a question from the group.

[Anthony] After Dr. Cordesman.

[Cordesman] First there are no real barriers to negotiation and threats are incentives as well as problems. I have to say that I would not take the efforts we have at regime change terribly seriously as an American. And my own experience having lived in and worked in Iran is they can probably keep it in reasonable perspective as well. The difficulty that I think you get into is a broader one, that is do you have a credible set of incentives as well as disincentives. And here we have to remember that the negotiations occuring through the “5+1”, we are not the leader in those negotiations and by and large we shouldn’t be. There are too many tensions between us and as important as resolving U.S. and Iranian tensions should be the current negotiating structure is certainly considerably better than putting the U.S. and Iran directly into confrontation and negotiations over this issue.

I do think that we need to face the fact that whatever happens in Iran will happen internally. We can encourage it perhaps by outside communication that does not include communication from the baby Shah, it does not include the MEC which I am probably indicting because they did not give me the massive speaker fees that they gave to so many of the people who lobbied for them. But I also do not see them as a serious threat at this point as distinguished from a [Reshavi] cult and really can’t believe that the MOIS and Al Quds and other Iranian groups that assess them, take them seriously either.

[Anthony] Now this question is the other side of the coin from the focus of Professor Sharp and it asks about where is the requisite element of empathy. You seem to focus extensively on getting our partners to understand air systems, air structures for interoperability and the critical thinking and the Socratic dialogues, etetera. But on the empathy side, the question is, it is fine for us to educate our partners but what about allowing and encouraging our partners to educate us. Cases in point being that every day since 1975 in Saudi Arabia’s cabinet there have been more American educated, trained Ph.D.s than in the U.S. cabinet, Supreme Court Senate and House of Representatives combined have had Ph.D.s of any kind. And so this aspect of the looking at the region, still in ways is though it were an object to be influenced, to be cajoled, coerced, certainly convinced of our models and systems and operational and logistical aspects, rather than, or without a commensurate emphasis on our being educated about the legitimate Arab needs, legitimate Arab concerns, legitimate Arab interests, legitimate Arab objectives. Without the latter one practically guarantees more Abu Ghraibs, more burnings of Korans, more insensitivity to basic human values, not just Arab and Islamic ones, but echoing in January of 2003 Israeli special forces coming to this city and training Americans on how to knock down doors, how to inspect a home, how to violate the norms of privacy in the name of security.

Something’s missing here in terms of several hundred thousand Saudi Arabians having obtained their four-year education and more here, but almost zero numbers of Americans having obtained their education for four years there. There are not the barriers on the Saudi Arabian side. There just isn’t the interest and the demand in the effort, which would go along with empathy if it existed. Would you reflect and respond to that?

[Sharp] I would say to you the approach is completely empathetic and in full understanding of what that means and what it is.

Maybe I conveyed the wrong impression by what I said and if so that was incorrect and I apologize. When we visit these countries the first questions we ask them are what do you do, how do you do it, how can we help? In fact the standard workshop starts with the first two days of capturing an understanding of what they do and how they do it. Then we offer our best practice and then we work together to see if any of that is of any use to them and we work together to look at a plan for moving forward.

So it is completely empathetic and the workshops that I’ve recently run in a range of countries have ended up with these countries adopting component parts and moving forward exactly on that basis and indeed being very grateful for the fact we have shared our best practice with them.

[Williamson] I think we probably have time for one last question and this is for any of the panelists, and that is how useful would efforts be to build bypass capacities throughout the Gulf region? Could we have more land pipelines for example to reduce dependency on the Strait of Hormuz and so I share that for any who would…
Dr. Cordesman?

[Cordesman] I should defer to Admiral Harward. There have been studies now for over 20 years taking a pipeline route through a port into Oman. There is a pipeline being built that will go to the Indian Ocean but it goes through the UAE and it does not really fundamentally change the target mix. The pipelines that Saudi Arabia has going into Yanbu are unfortunately being utilized, not unfortunately for Saudi Arabia, but for military contingency planning. Pipelines north through Iraq would in the long run, or east if Syria should stabilize, also be a potential route, which could be a major shift in reducing vulnerability.

But as Molly touched on earlier, here’s the problem. Pipelines are extremely costly. Pipelines that have to go through the Empty Quarter and over the escarpment are, to put it mildly, not only costly but technically difficult. You don’t have a stable situation in Iraq. You don’t have a stable situation in the Mediterranean. And the problem is you already are counting on very significant increases in production capacity coming out of the Gulf eventually, give or take Iraq and Iran. And so if you build the pipeline you still find a massive dependence on the Strait. And the problem is reducing dependence on the Strait by 20 to 40 percent doesn’t necessarily affect a global economy that is extraordinarily dependent on the steady predictable flow of that oil indefinitely into the future.

So I think that these are measures, which we need to explore, they can ameliorate the problem but simply relocating the pipelines to less vulnerable port areas does not really solve the problem over time.

[Williamson] Thank you Dr. Cordesman.

I regret that we have run out of time, there are lots of questions that didn’t get addressed. We’ll try to work them into other sessions as well, and don’t forget you can buttonhole people out in the back. They welcome it even, I hear.

The Honorable Molly K. Williamson

Ms. Williamson speaks extensively on energy, economic and demographic factors affecting foreign policy formulation, U.S-Middle East relations, especially the Israel-Palestine conflict, Iran and nuclear challenges and the interagency process. She is a Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the National Council on US-Arab Relations, a Scholar with the Middle East Institute, a consultant and a frequent guest lecturer at Johns Hopkins University, World Affairs Councils, and the National Join Staff College.

Ms. Williamson is a former Foreign Service Officer, having served six presidents, achieving the rank of Career Minister. She is also a member of Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service oral boards, a Board member of the American Foreign Service Association, a Board member of the international Executive Service Corps, and a Board member of the American Academy of Diplomacy.

Ms. Williamson was the Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Secretary of Energy (2005-2008), with global responsibilities at the nexus of foreign policy and energy policy. When Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce (1999-2004), Ms. Williamson was responsible for the Middle East, South Asia, Oceania and Africa, advancing trade relations with 86 countries with a trade portfolio valued at over $120 billion/year.

Ms. Williamson was Principal Deputy, then Acting Assistant Secretary of State (1996-1999), International Organizations Bureau, responsible for the policy and programs affecting UN political and Security Council matters, peacekeeping and humanitarian operations. As Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (1993-1995), she was responsible for the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. Ms. Williamson was engaged in operational defense structure bottom-up reviews, the policy challenges of Iraqi provocations, crises in Rwanda and Somalia, and nuclear tests in South Asia.

Ms. Williamson has had numerous postings in the Middle East, including Interim Ambassador to Bahrain, as well as Chief of Mission and Consul General in Jerusalem during the Madrid Peace Process (1991-1993), which culminated in the Oslo Accords.

Ms. Williamson has been trained in Hebrew and Arabic.

Ms. Williamson, a native of California, has been awarded two Presidential Meritorious Service Awards, the Secretary of Energy’s Exceptional Service Award, the Secretary of Commerce’s Performance Award, the Secretary of Defense Service Award, and 14 awards from the Department of State.

Vice Admiral Robert Harward

Vice Adm. Harward assumed command of Joint Task Force (JTF) 435 in November 2009. JTF 435 achieved Initial Operations Capability Jan. 7, 2010 and transitioned to Combined Joint Interagency Task Force (CJIATF) 435, Sept. 1, 2010. As the task force commander, Harward has control, oversight, and responsibility for U.S. detention and correction operations in Afghanistan. With policy guidance from U.S. Embassy and in cooperation with Afghan, interagency, coalition, and international counterparts, CJIATF 435 assists the Government of Afghanistan as it builds capacity to enable the responsible transition of self-sustaining Afghan National Detention and Rule of Law institutions that are compliant with Afghan and international law.

Harward qualified as a Surface Warfare officer aboard the destroyer USS Scott (DDG 955) and then transferred to the Naval Special Warfare community. He was the “Honor Man” of BUDs class 128 and has served in both east and west coast SEAL teams.

Harward’s tours in the Naval Special Warfare community include commander SEAL Team Three; team leader and operations officer at Naval Special Warfare Development Group; SEAL plans officer for commander, Amphibious Force U.S. 7th Fleet; executive officer, Naval Special Warfare Unit One; aide-de-camp to commander, U.S. Special Operations Command; deputy Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force (CJSOTF) commander in Bosnia; deputy commander Special Operations Command, Pacific; commander Naval Special Warfare Group ONE, and most recently Deputy Commanding General, Joint Special Operations Command. Harward also commanded multiple JSOTFs conducting combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Harward’s assignments outside of his community include a tour in the Executive Office of the President at the White House where he served on the National Security Council as the director of Strategy and Policy for Combating Terrorism from August 2003 until March 2005. Starting in April 2005, Harward was assigned as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff representative to the Senior Interagency Strategy Team where he helped stand up the National Counterterrorism Center in Washington, D.C. Most recently Harward served as deputy commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command.

Harward was born in Newport, R.I., grew up in a Navy family and graduated from the Tehran American High School in Iran. He was awarded a fleet appointment to the United States Naval Academy where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1979. Harward attended the College of Naval Command and Staff, the Naval Staff College and the Armed Forces Staff College. He holds a master’s degree in International Relations and Strategic Security Affairs, served as a federal executive fellow at RAND and is an alumnus of the MIT Foreign Policy program, Seminar XXI.

Dr. Anthony H. Cordesman

Anthony H. Cordesman holds the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at CSIS. He is a recipient of the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal. During his time at CSIS, he has completed a wide variety of studies on energy, U.S. strategy and defense plans, the lessons of modern war, defense programming and budgeting, NATO modernization, Chinese military power, the lessons of modern warfare, proliferation, counterterrorism, armed nation building, the security of the Middle East, and the Afghan and Iraq conflicts. (Many of these studies can be downloaded from the Burke Chair section of the CSIS Web site at Cordesman has directed numerous CSIS study efforts on terrorism, energy, defense panning, modern conflicts, and the Middle East. He has traveled frequently to Afghanistan and Iraq to consult for MNF-I, ISAF, U.S. commands, and U.S. embassies on the wars in those countries, and he was a member of the Strategic Assessment Group that assisted General Stanley McChrystal in developing a new strategy for Afghanistan in 2009. He frequently acts as a consultant to the U.S. State Department, Defense Department, and intelligence community and has worked with U.S. officials on counterterrorism and security areas in a number of Middle East countries.

Before joining CSIS, Cordesman served as director of intelligence assessment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and as civilian assistant to the deputy secretary of defense. He directed the analysis of the lessons of the October War for the secretary of defense in 1974, coordinating the U.S. military, intelligence, and civilian analysis of the conflict. He also served in numerous other government positions, including in the State Department and on NATO International Staff. In addition, he served as director of policy and planning for resource applications in the Energy Department and as national security assistant to Senator John McCain. He had numerous foreign assignments, including posts in the United Kingdom, Lebanon, Egypt, and Iran, as well as with NATO in Brussels and Paris. He has worked extensively in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

He is the author of a wide range of studies on energy policy, national security, and the Middle East, and his most recent publications include (CSIS, 2010), Iraq and the United States: Creating a Strategic Partnership (CSIS, 2010), Saudi Arabia: National Security in a Troubled Region (Praeger, 2009), Iranian Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Birth of a Regional Nuclear Arms Race? (Praeger, 2009), Withdrawal from Iraq: Assessing the Readiness of Iraqi Security Forces (CSIS, 2009), and Winning in Afghanistan: Creating Effective Afghan Security Forces (CSIS, 2009).

Colonel David Des Roches

David Des Roches is the Senior Military Fellow at the Near East South Asia Center for Security Studies. Prior to this, he was the director responsible for defense policy concerning Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Prior to this assignment, he has served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the DoD Liaison to the Department of Homeland Security, as the senior country director for Pakistan, as the NATO operations director, and as the deputy director for peacekeeping. His first job in government was as a special assistant for strategy and later as the international law enforcement analyst in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

A British Marshall Scholar, he has also attended the Federal Executive Institute, the German Staff College’s Higher Officer Seminar, the US Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School and the US Army Command and General Staff College.

An Airborne Ranger in the Army Reserve, he was awarded the Bronze Star for service in Afghanistan. He has commanded conventional and special operations parachute units and has served on the US Special Operations Command staff as well as on the Joint Staff.

Professor Robert Sharp

Bob Sharp is focusing on Yemen and Lebanon supporting the Near East and South Asia Center for Strategic Studies. Prior to joining the NESA Center, he served for nearly 4 years as an Assistant Professor at the College of International Security Affairs (CISA) at National Defense University where he wrote Masters’ Degree syllabus for a program concentration in Conflict Management of Stability Operations and also taught counterterrorism/counterinsurgency, and Homeland Defense.

Bob served 25 years in the British Army, retiring as a Colonel. After graduating from the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst in 1981, he served in command and staff roles on operations in Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Gulf War 1, Afghanistan, and Cyprus. He has worked in policy and technical staff appointments in the UK Defence Intelligence and several multi-national organizations including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). In his later career, he specialized in intelligence.

He holds a bachelors degree from the UK Open University. He is a 2004 distinguished graduate of the National War College and holds a masters degree in National Security Strategy from National Defense University, Washington, D.C. Bob is a naturalized American citizen and resides in Northern Virginia with his wife, Erin. They have two boys.