ACCESSION NUMBER:309829 FILE ID:EPF404 DATE:10/28/93 TITLE:DEFENSE DEPARTMENT REPORT, OCTOBER 28 (10/28/93) TEXT:*93102804.EPF *EPF404 10/28/93 * DEFENSE DEPARTMENT REPORT, OCTOBER 28 (Drugs/Pacific, Belarus defense minister) (500) News Briefing: Deputy Spokesman Captain Michael Doubleday (USN) and Brian E. Sheridan, deputy assistant secretary of defense for drug enforcement policy and support, briefed. Following is an unofficial transcript of East Asia/Pacific excerpts from the Legi-Slate database: (begin unofficial transcript from Legi-Slate) NARCOTICS INTERDICTION IN THE PACIFIC Q: This (narcotics interdiction policy) seems to be focused exclusively on Latin America and cocaine. What about heroin and the Pacific? SHERIDAN: That's a good question. One of the things that we are very mindful of in the Department of Defense is that our contribution to a counterdrug effort really maximizes unique DOD resources and talents, and it is our job to make sure that the problem we're trying to address lends itself to the things that DOD does very well. The heroin problem is a far different problem than the cocaine one, and it is simply not cost effective for us to do the types of things against the heroin problem that we can against the cocaine problem. However, we provide a significant amount of intelligence collection and analysis toward that problem, and when we have reason to believe we can use DOD assets in a helpful way on a given movement of heroin, we do so. But it's a very different problem than the cocaine one and simply does not lend itself to the kinds of things that we do well. And also, as a matter of national strategy, cocaine is clearly laid out as our number one problem. And with those two things in mind, we look to be as helpful as we 1an with heroin, but we don't look to do things that are not effective. (end unofficial transcript from Legi-Slate) ASPIN, BELARUS MINISTER SIGN JOINT MEMORANDUM Defense Secretary Aspin and Belarus Defense Minister Colonel General Pavel Kozlovskiy signed a memorandum of understanding October 28 that provides for greater military contact and cooperation between Belarus and the United States. Aspin told reporters that the ceremony fulfills part of President Clinton's directive to seek better cooperation with military establishments of former Soviet states. The president issued that directive following the Vancouver summit with Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Similar signings have already taken place between the United States and two other former Soviet republics: Russia and Ukraine. The memorandum has three key elements: -- It establishes the basis for periodic exchanges between the two defense ministers and the top military officers of the two countries; -- It provides for a bilateral working group that will meet periodically to find ways of expanding cooperation between the two defense establishments; -- It notes that the two parties will work toward developing new areas of cooperation in military affairs. Aspin said after the signing ceremony that the third basic element means that the two military establishments could work toward some form of cooperation in international peacekeeping operations. NNNN .