News Briefings

DoD News Briefing

Monday, July 17, 2000
Presenter: Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen

(Joint Press Conference with Australian Minister of Defense John C. Moore at Maritime headquarters, Sydney, Australia)

Q: Bill Gertz, Washington Times. I'd like to ask the minister if he could comment on what his defense priorities are in terms of hardware: new ships, aircraft, ground forces, all of the above, and if Mr. Cohen could comment afterwards on the Iranian missile test -- how it fits in with missile defense issues?

Moore: Well, as it relates to our capital assets purchase, I guess the heading is "all of the above." But, you'll have to wait until the white paper comes out at the end of the year, in which we will outline our view of strategic necessities and realities in the region, and what we do in relation to setting our capabilities to meet those perceived obligations. In the green paper that's currently distributed for discussion you'll notice that there is some discussion of the types of capital assets we've got, but all answers will be provided in the white paper which will become available in November/December.

Cohen: With respect to the Shahab-3 test, this has not come as a surprise. You may no doubt have noticed over the past several months during the course of my many public presentations, I have pointed to Iran in the testing of the Shahab-3 and what I assume will be the testing of the [Shahab-]4 in the future, and beyond that. It is one of the reasons why it's important for the United States to undertake to research, develop, and potentially deploy an NMD system that would provide protection against countries such as Iran posing a threat to the United States. So we have watched it very closely. This has not come as a surprise, that they will continue to research, test, and develop and deploy the missiles in the future.