The ICAS Lectures

No. 2001-0621-TLP

U.S. Strategic Interests and Position in East Asia:
China, Japan and Korea

Torkel L. Patterson

ICAS Spring Symposium
Asia's/Koreas' Challenges Ahead

Rome Auditorium, The Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies

Johns Hopkins University

1619 Massachusetts Avenue, NW

Washington, D C 20035

June 21, 2001

Institute for Corean-American Studies, Inc.

965 Clover Court, Blue Bell, PA 19422

Tel : (610) 277-9989; (610) 277-0149
Fax: (610) 277-3992

Biographic Sketch: Torkel L. Patterson

[Editor's note: This speech was transcribed in verbatim. Any error(s) in the text are unintended and are solely the responsibility of the Editor. sjk.]

U.S. Strategic Interests and Position in East Asia:
China, Japan and Korea

The Hon. Torkel L. Patterson

Special Assistant to the President and

Senior Director of Asian Affairs

National Security Council

The White House

Moderator: Sang Joo Kim

S.J. KIM: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. It is my pleasure to acknowledge the clock of the National Security Council is quite punctual. We have the Honorable Torkel L. Patterson here and he doesn't need an additional introduction, and his biographical sketch is on our website, and without further ado -- however, the President of ICAS is currently traveling overseas. It was very difficult for me to pull all these schedules together. However, Madam President Synja Kim sends best wishes to all of you and invites all of you to the next ICAS Fall Symposium in Washington on October 12. Now let me have Mr. Patterson take the floor. The floor is all yours, and he has all the time he wants, and you have the crowd. Thank you.

T. L. PATTERSON: Thank you. I'm very pleased to be here. I'm a little bit wary of tape recorders and microphones and cameras, coming from the silent National Security Council. We're on time and we're silent! Meaning that we don't like to speak for attribution. So I just have to ask -- am I talking on the record, or am I talking on background? "By a senior administration official." Or is this -- are these recordings for

media purposes, or what is the ...

[from the floor]: -- it's media.

PATTERSON: So this is a media event. I'm on the record.

KIM: To us, it's an educational process.

PATTERSON: It's an educational process.

[from the floor]: You can't have it both ways!

PATTERSON: You can't have it both ways!

[from the floor]: (Inaudible)

PATTERSON: No, it can be mildly interesting on the record, I suppose. I'm very pleased to be here with you all today, and I'll talk for about 20 minutes or so, and then we'll open up to questions and exchange ideas with you about things. I understand from this group that the principals of this group are people that are of Korean-American heritage and people interested in what's going on in East Asia and Asia in general.

I came to the NSC in January of this year. I didn't actually start working until February because it takes a while for us to get our security clearances on board, and the first incident that we had was with the unfortunate incident with the U.S. Submarine and the Japanese fishing boat; and then we had the incident with the Chinese and our EP-3 aircraft, and of course we've had the visits of several leaders to the White House. So we've had quite an interesting pace, and as we look forward to the next several months, we've got a lot going on also, culminating with the President's trip to Asia in the fall when he'll also go to Korea.

I thought I'd give you a little bit of an overview -- a little bit of the organizational structure of the NSC just so you'll understand what we're doing, and then I'll talk a little bit about our strategy as we look out ahead, and look at how we're thinking about things.

I used to work at the NSC about eight years ago and at that time we had an Asia Directorate and I was the Director for Asian Affairs, and I did Korea and Japan. I've come back to the NSC now and I'm in the Asia Directorate. I'm the Senior Director for Asian Affairs, and we have added several countries to our region. We now include South Asia as part of that. So in the Directorate and the people I work with, we go from Pakistan to Tahiti, and from Tasmania up to the northern territories or southern Kuriles, depending on where you draw the line.

As we look out across Asia, we have a couple things that we think about, and how do we conceptualize, how do we think about Asia as we look to the future, and what things are important to us. And I think the important thing, if we think four years from now, looking down the road, what is the most important thing that we could achieve? What is the most important thing that the region could achieve for itself? And if you think about that for a little while, I've come to the point of view that what we need is high quality, sustainable growth. We don't need high growth necessarily. We need quality, sustainable growth. If we don't have quality sustainable growth, then all of our problems multiply. We have -- we can't really get a handle on poverty; we can't get a handle on radical fundamentalism in some areas; we can't get a handle on instabilities percolating along; we can't get a handle on maybe solving AIDS problems in other areas. If we have good growth, we will have some difficulties, we will have problems, but they'll be easier to manage. If we don't have growth, all of our problems become more difficult. It's a much harder environment.

What are the things that we can do to help achieve growth? And basically in my mind they come into four areas. The first area is the area of regional and domestic stability, meaning non-violence and stability in an area, in a region within a country. And that's a prerequisite for growth. If you don't have that, it's very hard to attract investment, it's very hard to have growth. And so we as a government, and we at the National Security Council are particularly interested in that, particularly when it involves U. S. national interests, and I can talk more about that with respect to stability on the Korean Peninsula or with respect to our dealings with North Korea and across the Taiwan Strait as two examples.

The second area -- what we need to focus on -- is having an open trading environment. And as you know, the U.S. is very active in that area, and in Asia we're particularly active. Of course, we're having a big push for China's admission to WTO and recently we've been -- the Chinese have made a step where we're on track to have China's WTO accession, and it looks like -- well, "on track" is a term of ours, I suppose, but it means that we're heading to within this year that we'll probably have China's accession to the WTO. So, as we're looking ahead to that, we're working on that -- that's a positive factor. We're working together with China trying to achieve that, and I think we're basically on track. They have to do some more negotiations with the Europeans and finish up a little bit with us, but I think we're basically on track for that.

We're involved in bilateral trade agreements. We have one we're working on with Singapore. We've been -- announced our Vietnamese initiative on trade with them. We're thinking about one. The Australians are trying to discuss one with us, an Australia Free Trade initiative. So we also have bilateral free trade. We also have efforts going on at APEC to promote trade reduce barriers. So there's a rather robust trade effort by this government, and I think that's our second area.

The third area has to be -- has to do with the regulatory environment and the environment within a country that supports foreign investment and supports growth. This means that you need to have a banking system that functions. It means you need to have a contract law that works. You need to have transparency, so if you have a contract and you have a problem, you can get that settled, and so it's an attractive place for investment.

So if you have those three things, then I think there's no problem with an availability of resources and money to attract investment. You have stability, you have a trade environment -- a positive trade environment, and a regulatory environment within the country. You can look at each country in the region and you can make a judgment on each of those three points, too. I mean, not only is it an agenda for us to work on bilaterally and multilaterally, but it's also an agenda for each country to work on in that area.

The fourth area is one which has to do with the private sector to some extent, but it's also a little bit in the public sector, and that is -- you have to have a business plan that manages to a profit. And this seems like such an obvious point, but it's a point in which a lot of people have forgotten. And one of the causes -- again, my own opinion -- of the economic crisis that we had in Asia was the fact that people weren't -- particularly in Japan and Korea -- they weren't -- they didn't understand the idea of having to manage to a profit. In other words, you don't enter into a business -- the idea that you enter into a business to make a profit and be held accountable for your governance, have transparent accounting rules, isn't something -- to us it's very -- for an American, that's a very standard obligation of being in business. But for a lot of people in the world it's not, and particularly I think in Japan and Korea there was a lot of confusion over that: what it means to be in business and what do you do? Certainly small family-owned businesses understand that completely. That's what you're in it for -- is the money. But the bigger the organizations got, the more difficult it was for them to understand that the bottom line of their existence was making a profit. And people thought the bottom line was to maintain their size, or to grow bigger, or to have relationships with a bank. "My father banked with you, my company banked with you. So if I need to borrow $100 million from you to pay off my $75 million debt, then you'll give it to me this time, and we can keep rolling this along." Well that environment is gone now. That sort of mind-set is gone now, and so you have to manage to a profit.

And I think if we look at the case of Korea under these four elements, we can see where work needs to be done in each of those four areas. If you look in China under these four elements, we can see where work needs to be done, although I think the Chinese are a little bit better at understanding managing to a profit in a lot of cases. But certainly not the state-owned enterprises. They don't understand that yet. But they're working on that. And you can apply this to Indonesia, certainly, these four criteria in Indonesia.

And so if you look at these four areas, those are the four areas that our policy tries to adapt to and adjust to in each of these areas as we go through it.

Okay. Now in the backdrop of this we have, in Asia, we have three major or three great powers. We have Russia, China and India, and two of them are rising great powers, and one of them is a -- basically, a falling great power. And how do we adapt in the region to these great power -- these changes, these great power changes? That's a question under which this strategy of growth has to be examined. How do we deal with India? How do we deal with China? How do we deal with Russia? And are we -- do we see any of these countries as a threat to our interests, or do we have common interests that we share with them?

I think that certainly the approach we're trying to take is -- we're going to be very supportive of India, and as we look across South Asia and say "What do we have there?" I think we've got a mind-set in Washington that's looked out to South Asia in the past and seen problems. We've looked out there, and what do you think of when you think about South Asia? -- if you ask most Americans. I think the answer to that is: well, proliferation, poverty, problems, terrorism. And you tend to lump South Asia and problems all together in your mind, and stick it off with the Middle East as something that -- well, somebody maybe yes, but right now not so much. Well, we want to change that mind-set and change that way of thinking about South Asia. We want to say South Asia has a positive future, it has hope, and it's in our national interest to be supportive of that. We want to support a stronger India; we want to support India's economic engagement in the Western world, and they have a long way to go but they're working on that. And India can't do this in isolation in itself. A great country is not one that just thinks of itself or just thinks of one part of its people. A great country is one that is inclusive of all the peoples within itself and on its borders, and also one that has respect for diversity and respect for differences. That's what makes the United States great, that's what makes Canada to some extent a great country, the U.K. It's what Russia -- the Soviet Union was actually pretty good about that, encouraging somewhat diversity within their own system. China has to work on that a little bit, but they have potential for that. Indonesia -- we need to encourage that. We want to encourage the entire country to think of itself as a whole country and have respect for diversity, respect for religious differences, respect for the different types of peoples that are within a country and within an area. And this is certainly true with India, and so as India moves forward and moves up and grows greater and stronger, we want to have India bring with it Pakistan and Bangladesh on its borders in that way. These are big issues and there's a lot -- I can go into more detail on each of these but that's the general sense that we have there. So South Asia is important, India is important -- a strong future for India.

With Russia, we have a long history, a long -- in our short term, 50 years of dealing with the Soviet Union in the Cold War era. We've had an end of the Cold War, but we have the start of a new period and we're adjusting our relationship with Russia. We're moving forward in, I think, a fairly constructive way. At a past, recent meeting with the President and Putin, they came to an understanding. There might be areas they disagree on, but there are areas that they can work together on. And I think you'll see a great cooperative spirit in working with Russia.

With respect to China, we started out the year with Qian Qichen's visit to Washington. He had a very good visit. He made a lot of comments about Taiwan while he was up in New York, but when he came down to Washington, we had a very positive, constructive meeting. We invited him to The White House. He had a meeting in the Oval Office -- the first time anyone of his rank has been received in the Oval Office and it wasn't just a modest five-minute courtesy call, but he had a substantial -- I can't remember -- 35 or 40 minute meeting with the President. And, very positive, good atmosphere. We recognize China as an important country, one that we want to get along with, one that we felt that we could deal with in a manner of respect. And the President also said that there are areas that we agree on and areas that we'll disagree on, and the areas that we disagree on -- we'll speak frankly about them. Taiwan, religious freedom. The areas that we agree on, let's work together. Trade, maybe there are some areas on proliferation that we can cooperate on. North Korea maybe we can cooperate on, thinking about how to stabilize that where we have common interests there. So very good dialogue, very good discussion, "like to be in touch with you -- go forward."

Then we had the EP-3 incident. Very unfortunate incident. But it raised a lot of questions with us about the sincerity of the Chinese leadership in wanting to communicate and wanting to deal with us, because it was very hard for us to communicate with them. We found it very difficult during that time to have direct communication with them. We did work through our Embassy in Beijing effectively, and we were able to resolve that situation in a pretty quick amount of time. It wasn't as -- we didn't have access as quick as we would have liked, as quickly as we would have liked. But we got the crew back, and now we're in the process of working through getting the airplane back. We're on a path for recovery. They wouldn't let us fly the plane out, but they are letting us disassemble it, and we'll load it onto an airplane and fly it out, and then reassemble the plane after we get it out of China.

And now as I mentioned earlier, we are looking forward to the President going to Asia in the fall, and he will go to APEC in October. It will be a -- the meeting will be in Shanghai, as you know, and after that the President will go to Beijing, as he said. So the President will visit Shanghai for a few days, and he'll go to Beijing for a few days. Prior to that he'll go to Japan and Korea. And I think, between now and then we'll have a good chance to establish communication, dialogue with China, and we'll have -- the President will take the opportunity to get to know Jiang Zemin while he's there, and I think we're looking forward to a successful "get to know you," "get to understand you," maybe develop some trusting relationship with each other while the President's in China.

On Korea, we had president Kim Daejung in early March to see the President. He was the first visitor from Asia to come. It was an honor for the President to receive him and he had a great deal of respect for President Kim. He spoke to him about what President Kim had accomplished as a member of the opposition for a long time and his Nobel prize for his efforts and his desire -- President Kim spoke about his desire to bring reconciliation and peace on the peninsula, and they exchanged views about how they understood the situation in North Korea. And they didn't have much disagreement on that. They really had a lot of commonality there.

The difficulty was, or the interesting part was that the people felt -- that were observing this -- that the President and President Kim had a big difference of opinion, a big clash, and it became the story that the President and President Kim disagreed, and they didn't disagree. I was in the meeting and there was no disagreement between the two of them. They had complete agreement on support for Kim Daejung's sunshine policy and on how they assessed the situation in North Korea. And the President explained that we were going to look at the discussions that had been begun under the previous administration and see which parts of those discussions we might take advantage and which ones weren't -- we didn't consider serious, and we have done that. We've looked at those -- the missile agreement that was -- there really wasn't an agreement. There were discussions on missiles. There was nothing close to an agreement. There was no verification elements in anything that the previous administration had discussed. And so they -- we've looked at that, and we decided that we would be willing to talk to the North about missiles, and we're willing to continue the agreed framework which the President said at the time. He also said at the time that he'd be willing to eventually have talks with North Korea after we looked at the issues.

So we unfortunately had -- we didn't have a good understanding with the public about what happened after that summit, but I think we had a good understanding with the Republic of Korea at the time. And then recently we had the foreign minister from Korea come and visit, and we had a good exchange there, and this week, or next week we have the defense minister in town and we'll have a good discussion with him at that time.

So I think that the situation in Korea is a stable one, more or less. The situation in North Korea is -- the economic situation is probably not good. I was there in 1995 in Pyongyang, and at that time I thought that this is a country that will never grow, and I said -- I made a bet to a group such as yours that said that this country within five years will collapse. But I'm wrong. It's still there. It hasn't collapsed. But it's not in good shape. It's in bad shape. I have a picture in my office, a photograph in my office, taken from a satellite in 199--, let's see; when was it? In 1985 -- this picture at night of -- no, 1986, I think, taken over the Korean Peninsula, and it shows a lot of lights in South Korea, and very few lights in North Korea, except lights around Pyongyang, and some lights in Japan and lights in China. Then I have another photograph, the same view, taken 10 years later and South Korea looks like an explosion of light. There's just light everywhere. China also, lots of light. But North Korea, less light. So in the 10 years from 1986 to 1996, the amount of electrification in North Korea has gone down, has decreased, just by this simple looking at two pictures. And I think this is a sad -- something very sad, and when you compare it to what has happened in Seoul and South Korea during that same period, you have a state that at one time, even the people in South Korea were concerned that North Korea might rival the South for the way it did things. But now we know it totally -- it can't do anything very well, and if you have -- some of you may have visited North Korea. It's -- there's nothing there that you would want to buy, and the only thing that you would like is to reach out to the people there. You'd like to reach out and share with them food and share with them the abundance that's in South Korea. But they're prevented from having that by their regime there. It's really -- to me, it's very sad. And anyway, we have to work through this, we have to go through it, and we're going to do it in a very patient way. We're going to provide humanitarian assistance to the North. We're not going to try to force the North to collapse. We're going to go forward in a constructive manner, but we're not going to run back to North Korea every time North Korea cries or says -- threatens war or says they're upset. We're not going to run back to the table. And we want to get the dialogue, the discussion to be between the North and the South, not between the United States and the North. Reconciliation between the United States and North Korea can wait. What's important is getting the South -- more precisely, getting the North to talk to the South. The North tries to leverage every little bit it can out of the South, and says, "Well, until the U.S. starts talking to us, we won't talk to you. Until you give us money for our, you know, Kumkang Mountain project, we're not going to talk to you." You know, there's a lot of conditions placed on the South and we are trying to channel the energy of this process into North-South, and not into North-U.S. here, so that's part of what we're trying to do also.

So, I've spoken now for 25 minutes or so, and I was supposed to speak about 20 minutes, so I'll stop here and I'll be happy to answer your questions. Yes, ma'am. Do you want to go ahead?

KIM: First rule. Identify yourself and make your questions succinct, please. No statement. Thank you.

QUESTION: (inaudible for transcription)

PATTERSON: Well, the most important thing in the President's trip to China is to have a good feeling with Jiang Zemin, to establish a good channel of communication with him. And that's what -- I think that's what his focus is going to be on. They'll talk about the things they agree, and they'll talk about the things they disagree. The President is very straightforward and he will not hesitate to be direct about that. In terms of the Cross Straits Dialogue, I think President Chen has been following the correct path in terms of trying to establish being open to have discussion. I don't think that there needs to be any preconditions for dialogue between the two, and I would encourage both sides to meet and to discuss. But the U.S. is not going to try to get involved in that process.

QUESTION: (Inaudible for transcription)

PATTERSON: On the -- I'm trying to remember the first question - Korea Conventional Forces, right. I'm sorry. On the Korea Conventional Forces, you have a situation on the Peninsula which you're all aware of where you have lots of conventional force very close to the border between North and South Korea. You have hundreds of artillery tubes pointing at Seoul. You have most of the North Korean military down there along the border. Very short warning time of a crisis. And you have 30,000 or so Americans just on the other side of that line there. It's not -- or even more. Probably 100,000 Americans if you count all the Korean citizens -- Koreans that are also American citizens in Seoul. It's not a good situation, and it's one that shouldn't be ignored. And we're just saying that this should be on the agenda of discussions. We're not saying that the U.S. should take the lead in those discussions. So it's something that the South can discuss with the North if they want to have that be in their dialogue, and I think it is in this --. So it doesn't necessarily have to be on the condition of our dialogue. It's a dialogue we want to be engaged in with the North, and we would like to discuss it, but we don't have to take the lead in that discussion.

On the question of the detainees there, we are concerned about it. We would like to have humanitarian access, we'd like to have more knowledge, more transparency about the judicial process, we'd like to know more about how these things happen, and what they're charged with and why they're being held, and what's the process under which they will come to release, what's the justice system, how is it working? And see that effort made. And I think we're going to work toward that as we work up -- well, not just having to do with the visit. It shouldn't be tied to the visit. It should be a matter of practice. These sorts of things are not the way modern states do business, and a modern state which I know China aspires to be -- China aspires to be a modern, great country -- will want to modernize its justice system, will want to modernize the way it maintains, and be seen in the world as a just society. So we need to keep pushing that, push it hard, push it consistent. I don't really see a necessity to make it contingent on one event or another event. In the past, you'd have a release of political prisoners or a release of this tied to a trip, and then as soon as the trip was done, everybody'd forget about it, you know. So let's not get into those old habits. Let's try to keep, let's try to not tie things to other events. Let's try for general, genuine reform, genuine transparency there.

KIM: Paul.

QUESTION: Paul Chamberlain. It's good to see you again, Torkel.

PATTERSON: Thank you, Paul.

QUESTION: I have two questions, hopefully not -- free market principles as they regard to a company focus on profit --. I agree completely with that objective, but I'd appreciate some thoughts on how you can envision the United States achieving it. And the other question deals with the agreed framework. Article 4 Section 3 of the agreed framework says very clearly, North Korea is not required to come into compliance with the safeguards agreement until a substantial portion of the LWR-5 -- is completed, which arguably won't be until 2005. Of course, we'd like to have early inspections but how do you see us achieving that objective of early inspection?

PATTERSON: Paul and I used to work together in the Pentagon 10 years ago, and he always has very good questions about these issues. Can you remind me of the first question again? My short term memory is very bad.

QUESTION: How can the United States -- what are some measures the U.S. government can take to promote, to encourage companies to --

PATTERSON: Right. Okay. Got it. Thank you. There's those four things I mentioned. The first three are things the government works on, the fourth one is for the private sector to do. There are some government entities particularly related to the OPEC and TDA and other banking, treasury efforts that will help people understand market mechanisms and things like that. But that's not really the business of our government to do that. I acknowledge that. It's the business of the private sector, and it's the market situation. There's lots of ways to make money, but if you want to attract foreign investment you have to have a good business plan. You have to have a real business plan. And if you have a real business plan and if you have the other three things I mentioned, there's no problem attracting money for your ideas. The money will come. There's lots of money available for investment. So that's --

On the agreed framework, you're right about the technical specifications of the agreement, and it's correct that there's no binding requirement for compliance until a significant portion of the work is done. I think what we'd like to do is to see an indication of movement towards compliance, and have it rather than -- the agreement itself is very vague. And so because it was too difficult in our time to make it specific then, it's -- everybody then punted it down the road saying they'll work it out in the future. So we're at that point now, and we're going to be working it out.

KIM: Dennis.

QUESTION: I'm Dennis Halpin. I'm a Fellow with International Relations Committee. I'd like to ask you -- there was an article in the New York Times this morning -- historic legacy issues with Japan that indicated that in the new textbook there's also, I guess, a different-than-American interpretation of the events that led to the Pacific war, that Japan was seeking to liberate Asian people from colonization. On the Hill there's a -- Bill which has to do with compensation by Japanese firms for slave labor that had to be done by U.S. POWs from Bataan Death March. There's 160 co-sponsors. The view seems to be that if the German companies can reach an out-of-court settlement on slave labor, the Japanese companies can. My main question though is, with our allies, and building our allied structure in the Pacific, do we intend to bring up at all with the Japanese the difficulties caused by these historic legacy issues -- would like to have as close a relationship as with the U.K., but I question about the comfort when the textbooks and the whole legacy of the war, the Nanjing massacre -- for some of our allies like South Korea -- this is a real problem and it seems to me it could be a problem in building a U.S. alliance structure in the Pacific that would have a key role for Japan.

PATTERSON: Well, this issue is a very emotional, very difficult issue and it's one the Japanese public has to address for itself. I know there are many voices and many voices in Asia that are critical of those textbooks, and there are bad textbooks in lots of different directions in Japan. There's a rather poor history education process in Japan, and there is quite a difference between the situation in Germany and how it came to grips with its wartime period and Japan, and these are things that are resolved within the collective consciousness of the Japanese to resolve and really not something for me to comment on. On the -- I guess I'll stop there.

QUESTION: (Inaudible for transcription)

PATTERSON: Yeah, I think it's a very constructive organizations, very positive step. I think it's terrific that the Chinese are able to gather people together and meet there, and I look forward to learning more about the organization and the intent to -- what they accomplish, what they actually accomplish. I think it's good. We're not trying to discourage other multilateral efforts in the region. In fact, I think the more that people meet and talk, it's a good, positive thing.

KIM: Okay - Charles.

QUESTION: Charles Snyder of the Hong Kong Standard. I have a question about your thinking in terms of the process leading up to the October visit of the President to Beijing. What do you see in terms of visits back and forth to advance some of the issues, and what specific areas are you looking for -- for some sort of development of the relationship or some sort of break-through, some sort of action --? I'm thinking in terms of perhaps human rights or military relations or some of the broader --.

PATTERSON: Well, the President will go in October. There'll be opportunities for other senior officials to go before that time and we'll take advantage of those opportunities to engage with China. They have a senior official that's in Washington now talking to us about bilateral relationships and I expect that between now and October we'll have more of those types of visits. I mentioned the objective of trying to establish a relationship of mutual respect and that's, I think, our key goal. We'd like to turn the difficulties we have in some areas into areas of cooperation with China. And so we'd like to expand the areas where we have disagreement -- excuse me -- expand the areas where we have agreement by taking areas of disagreement and turning them into areas of cooperation. And this is not easy to do and will require lots of discussion there. And we will clearly express our areas where we have differences -- that will be Taiwan, and it will be over human rights and religious freedom.

KIM: In the meantime, Dennis and Bill, why don't you come and take your seat as discussants.

PATTERSON: I have to leave in four minutes.

KIM: Okay. Jonathan.

QUESTION: Jonathan Clarke of Cato --. I wonder if I can ask you to contrast your present time in government with your earlier time. There's been a suggestion that there is a shift in emphasis in the administration's strategic priorities from Europe to Asia. I wonder whether you have detected it (inaudible for transcription) or not (inaudible for transcription) not simply a -- switch -- would require a lot of changes in the (inaudible for transcription) structure, (inaudible for transcription) -- and so on.

PATTERSON: Right. There's been a lot of stuff I've read in the papers about that, but frankly I haven't read anything that's come across my desk about that. So a lot of this is speculation, and a lot of internal reviews are going on and people are leaking for their own reasons, for a structure of reasons, and whatever, but we don't have the final outcome of the Pentagon review. We don't know where this will end up, but I would say -- my sense of this is going to be that we're going to remain forward-deployed and committed to Asia for the foreseeable future. And as long as I'm there that's going to be our policy and we're going to do it, and I'm going to be there at least three more years, three-and-a-half more years or four. So I'm a diehard forward-deployed alliance person. And that's my institutional and personal role.

KIM: Thank you. Now, in the interest of time, Bill and Dennis have been designated as the discussants. Why don't you take the floor, Bill. Quickly. In the meantime --

PATTERSON: I'll just walk out, if you don't mind.

KIM: Thank you. I'm sure that you'll be permitted to receive this -- a liberty bell from Philadelphia -- and my best to Condi --.


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