--Interview with Dr. Andrew F. Krepenevich, the Director of the Center of Strategic and Budgetary Assessment (May 4, 1998) 访国防小组委员会成员、战略与预算评估中心主任小安德鲁•克雷佩利维奇博士
MR. CHEN BOJIANG: Recently, I read some documents on future warfare and the national defense development of the United States from Defenselink (on the web). One of the most impressive documents I read was a national defense panelist report titled. “Transforming Defense-National Security in the 21st century.” I am very interested in interviewing its authors. And as the director of the National Defense Panel, I feel honored to have the opportunity to interview you today.
I’d like you to give me an introduction to the national defense panel. Could you please talk about issues such as the nature and the main roles of the institution, the selection of the panelists, and how the panel functions as a whole.
DR. ANDREW KREPENEVICH: The panel was formed by congressional legislation in the Defense Authorization Action1 1996, and it was the product of efforts by two senators, Senator Coats from Indiana and Senator Lieberman from Connecticut. And they were concerned that even though the Cold War was over, and different challengers were before the American military, that our armed forces were not changing very much from the way they were during the Cold War. And they wanted a different set of ideas to date. And so they were able to get the Congress to pass the legislation, and the panel was comprised of nine people. The people were selected by the Secretary of Defense in consultation with the Congress, and the nine panel members, then from February of 1997 until December, first reviewing the Quadrennial Defense Review, Process, and Report. and then the panel produced its own report. Its job was to look at the security challenges the United States would face in the Year 2010, and beyond. And so the panel focused on the year 2010 to 2020, and submitted its report, as I said, in December of 1997.
MR. CHEN: What was the purpose and background of writing the report “Transforming Defense-National Security in the 21st century?” What was the response and impact of this report after its publication?
DR. KREPENEVICH: I think the response was generally favorable. Certainly the sponsors2 of the legislation and Congress were quite pleased, to the extent that they have introduced the proposal to extend the life of the National Defense Panel, so that they can call it back into session in the future.
In terms of the near-term effect, that I think is, in terms of steps taken to increase joint experimentation in the American military, there is legislation pending now that is designed to increase the American military’s resources and focus on experimenting with new technologies, new forces, designed to meet the challenges that will appear over the next 10 to 20 years.
Over the long term, I think the benefit of the panel will be in terms of having established an alternative3 to the administration’s defense program. It remains to be seen whether Congress will take the opportunity to use this alternative as the basis for a debate over the future of American national defense.
The congressional sponsors of the panel are hoping that this will happen, and so they are looking to take the results of the panel and educate their fellow members of Congress, so that there can be this kind of debate.
MR. CHEN: “Transforming Defense-National Security in the 21st century” focused on the long term issues facing U.S. defense and national security. Obviously this “transformation” could not take place over night. How long do you think it will take to for this “transformation” to be complete? Will there be several stages in this “transformation” that you can currently identity?
DR. KREPENEVICH: If you look back at earlier periods of military transformation, typically it takes 15 or 20 years, from beginning to end, and sometimes even longer. And so given that we are in the early period of transformation, I would think that we still have maybe another 15 years or so. But the time can be lengthened, the time can increase, if we move slowly.
Much depends upon the willingness of the military services, the leadership and the government. That will help determine how quickly you move through a transformation.
In terms of the stages, it’s difficult to say because you don’t undertake a transformation just for the sake of doing it, you do it because you see challenges that you have to respond to, or opportunities that you need to exploit. And so a great deal depends upon what other military organizations are doing.
And so I can give you an example of a stage in the transformation, and that might be a stage in which the United States military develops missile4 defenses, that for a period of time seem quite effective. But this would be-it’s my guess-only for a short period of time before large numbers of missiles begin to appear in other military establishments. Once that happens, I think it will be very difficult to maintain effective missile defenses. But it’s very difficult to say with great confidence that this is exactly how the future will come to be.
MR. CHEN: According to the analysis of this report, the transformation aimed at meeting all the U.S. security needs in 2020, covers all aspects of national defense. In your opinion, what is the most important aspect of the transformation? What are some of the difficulties one is likely to come across in this transformation process?
DR. KREPENEVICH: I think the most important aspect of the transformation is to have a clear understanding of how the challenges to our military forces are going to change, because your vision of what the competition will be like; that drives, that informs everything else that follows.
And so, for example, the National Defense Panel said a challenge will be to project power without having the ability to use forward bases5. That is a statement that will influence everything else; the kinds of equipment, the kinds of organization, the way you conduct battle6. So having the vision of what the competition will be like is probably the most important aspect.
In terms of the difficulties in the transformation process, there are many difficulties, which perhaps is one reason it takes 20 years to bring about. I think one difficulty will be to convince7 the American political leadership that this transformation is necessary, especially given that the United States military today is viewed as very capable and very successful in recent years, and therefore people will ask why-if we are successful, why do we need to change. And I think that will be one of the big challenges that we face.
MR. CHEN: Implementing8 a transformation like that described in the report expected to be complicated and will require a delicate balance between near-term challenges and long-term challenges. What do you think about this balance9? Or in other words, what do you think is the best way to deal with the near-term and long-term challenges?
DR. KREPENEVICH: Well, that’s a very good question, because the defense planner’s job is to minimize the danger to the nation’s security, not only today, but in the future. And so the planner must, with the resources he has, seek to minimize the overall risk to the national security.
It was the opinion of the National Defense Panel, and it’s my personal opinion, that we are not devoting sufficient resources to preparing for the very different kinds of challenges that will emerge in the next 10 to 20 years. And so given a fixed level of resources, I would put more resources into preparing for the long term, while sacrificing10 some resources in the near term.
WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS 词汇提示
1.the Defense Authorization Action 《国防授权法》
2.sponsor  n. 支持者，发动者
3.alternative  n.二中择一，可供选择的事物
4.missile  n.导弹
5.forward bases 前沿基地
6.conduct battle 作战
7.convince  v.使确信
8.implement  v. 实施
9.balance  n.平衡
10.sacrifice  v.牺牲
QUESTIONS AFTER LISTENING 听后答题:
1. When was the National Defense Panel formed?
A.1995 B.1997 C.1996 D.1998
2. How many people are there in the Panel?
A.8 B.9 C.11 D.10
3. How were the members of the Panel selected?
A.They were selected by the President.
B.They were selected by the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff.
C.They were selected by the Secretary of State.
D.They were selected by the secretary of Defense in consultation with the Congress.
4. What was the Panel’s job?
A.It was to look at the security challenges the U.S. would face in the year 2010 and beyond.
B.It was to focus on the changes of environment in 2010.
C.It was to review the Report of National Defense.
D.It was to make weapon development plan.
5. What will be the benefit of the Panel in Dr. Krepenevich’s view?
A.To have an alternative to the administration’s defense program.
B.To have a better understanding on the administration’s defense program.
C.To have an alternative to administration’s education program.
D.To have an alternative to the administration’s weapon development program.
6. How long will it take for a military transformation in Dr. Krepenevich’s view?
A.15 or 20 years and sometimes even longer.
B.10 or 15 years.
C.8 or 10 years.
D.5 or 10 years.
7. How does Dr. Krepenevich comment on the missile defenses?
A.It will be very effective for a long time.
B.It will be unnecessary.
C.It will be effective for a short time before large numbers of missiles begin to appear in others military establishments.
D.It will be too expensive.
8. What is the most important aspect of the transformations?
A.It is to have a chance to expand the military forces.
B.It is to have a chance to increase the expenditure on the national defense.
C.It is to have a clear understanding of the trend of the world military development.
D.It is to have a clear understanding of how the challenges to the U.S. military forces are going to change.
9. What is one of the big challenges for the transformation?
A.It is to convince the American political leadership that the transformation is necessary.
B.It is to convince the congressmen that the transformation is necessary.
C.It is to convince the electorate that the transformation is necessary.
D.It is to convince the Secretary of Treasury that the transformation is necessary.
10. What is the defense planner’s job?
A.To strengthen cooperations with the allies.
B.To exchange views with the civil departments.
C.To expand the contract with foreign military forces.
D.To minimize the danger to the nation’s security.
KEYS TO THE QUESTONS 参考答案：
1.c 2.b 3.d 4.a 5.a 6.a 7.c 8.d 9.a 10.d