SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10613]
UNITED STATES POLICY TOWARD FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
APRIL 15, 1999
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
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One Hundred Sixth Congress
FLOYD D. SPENCE, South Carolina, Chairman
BOB STUMP, Arizona
DUNCAN HUNTER, California
JOHN R. KASICH, Ohio
HERBERT H. BATEMAN, Virginia
JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
STEVE BUYER, Indiana
TILLIE K. FOWLER, Florida
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
JAMES TALENT, Missouri
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
HOWARD ''BUCK'' McKEON, California
J.C. WATTS, Jr., Oklahoma
MAC THORNBERRY, Texas
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
SAXBY CHAMBLISS, Georgia
VAN HILLEARY, Tennessee
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJOE SCARBOROUGH, Florida
WALTER B. JONES, Jr., North Carolina
LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
BOB RILEY, Alabama
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
MARY BONO, California
JOSEPH PITTS, Pennsylvania
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
STEVEN KUYKENDALL, California
DONALD SHERWOOD, Pennsylvania
IKE SKELTON, Missouri
NORMAN SISISKY, Virginia
JOHN M. SPRATT, Jr., South Carolina
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
OWEN PICKETT, Virginia
LANE EVANS, Illinois
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts
ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD, Guam
PATRICK J. KENNEDY, Rhode Island
ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH, Illinois
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCTOM ALLEN, Maine
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
JIM TURNER, Texas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
JAMES H. MALONEY, Connecticut
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
ROBERT BRADY, Pennsylvania
ROBERT E. ANDREWS, New Jersey
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
MIKE THOMPSON, California
JOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
Andrew K. Ellis, Staff Director
Thomas Donnelly, Professional Staff Member
Michelle Spencer, Research Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
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Thursday, April 15, 1999, United States Policy Toward Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Thursday, April 15, 1999
THURSDAY, APRIL 15, 1999
UNITED STATES POLICY TOWARD FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Skelton, Hon. Ike, a Representative from Missouri, Ranking Member, Committee on Armed Services
Spence, Hon. Floyd D., a Representative from South Carolina, Chairman, Committee on Armed Services
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Cohen, Hon. William S., Secretary of Defense
Shelton, Gen. Henry H., Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
Cohen, Hon. William S.
Shelton, Gen. Henry H.
Spence, Hon. Floyd D.
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
Kosovo Update submitted by Gen. Henry H. Shelton
UNITED STATES POLICY TOWARD THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Thursday, April 15, 1999.
The committee met, pursuant to call, at 1:35 p.m. in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Floyd D. Spence (chairman of the committee) presiding.
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCOPENING STATEMENT OF HON. FLOYD D. SPENCE, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM SOUTH CAROLINA, CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
The CHAIRMAN. The meeting will please be in order. I want to first of all welcome Secretary Cohen and General Shelton and thank you both for being here today to discuss the ongoing operations in the Balkans. We hoped that Secretary Albright would also testify this afternoon, but unfortunately she declined the committee's invitation, I am sure for very good reasons.
Mr. Secretary, as you know, Mr. Chambliss, Mr. Graham, and I returned earlier this week from a trip to Europe and to Macedonia that included discussions with General Clark, Admiral Ellis, Ambassador Hill in Macedonia, and our United States and British military forces currently deployed in Macedonia.
It was a worthwhile trip. It made some lasting impressions on me.
First of all, the flood of refugees into the border states surrounding Kosovo is a real humanitarian crisis. No one will doubt that. What impressed me most, I guess, was the response of NATO military forces to the refugee problem, especially the building and managing of the refugee transit camps. They have surely saved thousands of innocent lives and made the their life a lot better than it was for those I saw there. But, Mr. Secretary, regardless of how it is that we find ourselves waging war on another Nation, the reality is that NATO is at war in the Balkans and the stakes are high.
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC While I believe the administration and NATO leaders made a number of miscalculations relative to Milosevic's resolve and the effectiveness of air power, I also agree with those who argue that NATO cannot afford to lose this war. Unfortunately, avoiding a loss does not constitute a viable political and military strategy. The air war is predominantly an American affair. So as the air war escalates, the absence of any broad-based understanding of how victory is defined is deeply troubling.
Even if the weather cooperates, and even if the administration adopts a more aggressive and admittedly higher-risk approach to bombing, and even if the NATO foreign ministers stop trying to do General Clark's targeting for him, how confident is anyone that the military force being applied in the Balkans is consistent with the ever-changing political and diplomatic objectives?
If the air campaign does not succeed, what then? As I have stated on numerous occasions, I oppose the introduction of United States ground troops into the Balkans in either a permissive or a non-permissive environment. As a Nation, we should never allow ourselves to fall into the trap too often set by our allies in NATO military operations that our military operation cannot succeed and the alliance will surely crumble unless United States troops are leading the way.
Right now, we are leading the air war and at the same time are providing the vast majority of the lift, communications, logistics, and intelligence support. In the event that NATO ground troops are introduced, we would presumably continue to do all of these things. I ask rhetorically, isn't this enough?
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Under such circumstances, could anyone honestly accuse us of not shouldering more than our fair share of the alliance's effort? Shouldn't the Europeans be able to provide the ground troops for what would likely become a long-term military presence in southern Europe?
The United States military strategy retains as its centerpiece the ability of our military forces to fight two nearly simultaneous major regional wars, focused primarily on the Persian Gulf and the Korean peninsula.
In a press briefing yesterday, Secretary Bacon stated that he would not know how to define a major regional contingency. But this is exactly where we are headed in the Balkans. Yet the Nation's military leaders never planned on Europe being a major regional contingency, and neither did OMB when it came time to build the administration's defense budgets.
As this third major regional contingency unfolds before our very eyes in the Balkans, we are exposing ourselves in Asia and in the Gulf even more. We have moved a carrier out of the Pacific and have transferred critical aircraft to the Balkans from their missions over Iraq and other places, we are running out of certain preferred munitions and are calling up the Reserves to address other shortages.
Even if one considers the Balkans conflict to be a threat to our United States' national interest, it certainly does not rise to the level of a threat posed by a North Korean attack on the South, or a Chinese attack on Taiwan, or a war breaking out in the Persian Gulf.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In my opinion, and I think many others', we are already inadequately prepared to decisively engage in Asia or the Gulf, with a large and growing military commitment in the Balkans. What happens if war breaks out in these regions of the world where there is no question as to our national interests?
In General Shelton's own words, ''Our military forces have become a low-density, high-demand asset. We simply cannot continue to conduct large-scale, open-ended missions in the Balkans without jeopardizing our ability to protect and promote our national interests elsewhere around the world.''
Mr. Secretary, I was heartened to learn that the President was planning to submit a request for supplemental appropriations to help pay for the cost of Kosovo-related operations this fiscal year. However, if the rumors are true that the request is likely to be only $3 to 4 billion, I do not believe that will be enough. Simply paying to recoup the direct cost of operating the force and for expending ammunition is necessary, but far from sufficient. It does nothing to address our vulnerabilities and shortfalls in other critically important and dangerous regions of the world, and it certainly does nothing to address the numerous problems associated with this state of seemingly never-ending high operational and personnel tempo, so-called ''wear and tear'' on an already undersized, underfunded, and overextended military.
Three billion dollars to 4 billion will not recover the true cost of doing more with less as operations in the Balkans grow. I hope the President will take this into account as the proposal for a supplemental appropriations bill is put together.
Mr. Secretary, we all recognize that Congress cannot wage war, but we also realize that a war cannot be conducted for long without the understanding and support of the Congress and the American people. I hope today's hearing will help further our understanding of escalating United States and NATO operations in the Balkans.
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The CHAIRMAN. Before turning to our witnesses, I would like to recognize the gentleman from Missouri, the committee's Ranking Member, Mr. Skelton, for any remarks he would like to make.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Spence can be found in the appendix.]
STATEMENT OF HON. IKE SKELTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MISSOURI, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. Let me also welcome our witnesses today, the Honorable William Cohen, Secretary of Defense and General Henry Shelton, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Let me commend you, Mr. Chairman, for calling this very timely and important meeting. Let me also compliment the two gentlemen before us for your very critical and excellent leadership in this very demanding time in which we find ourselves.
The ongoing crisis in the Balkans is the most significant challenge to European security since World War II. It is important for every American to understand that security, stability, and peace in Europe is very, very essential to the United States of America.
Most recently, problems in Yugoslavia have centered on the problems in Kosovo, where ethnic Albanians are the majority population in an area of historical, cultural and religious significance to ethnic Serbs. Potential for the outbreak of violence in Kosovo has long been a concern. Serb hostilities against ethnic Albanians in the province of Kosovo started back in March of last year. The American Ambassador to Macedonia spent the last year shuttling between Belgrade, Yugoslavia, and Pristina, Kosovo, to get peace negotiations started. Yugoslav President Milosevic has refused international remediation and has repeatedly broken agreements to end the violence in Kosovo, including one agreement with Boris Yeltsin of Russia.
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As a last resort, NATO's 19 member nations began air strikes against Yugoslavia on March 24th of this year. Kosovo sits on a major fault line between Europe, Asia and the Middle East, at the meeting place of Islam and both the Western and Orthodox branches of Christianity. The ingredients for a war are there: ancient religious and cultural grievances, struggling democracies; in the center of it all is Yugoslav President Milosevic, who has done nothing since the Cold War but start new wars, encourage ethnic and religious division, and murder innocent civilians.
Gentlemen, just the other day, a farmer in Hickory County, Missouri, the congressional district that I represent, told me that when a grass fire starts, you put it out before it spreads. Similarly, ending this tragedy in Kosovo and protecting stability in Europe is crucial to European interests and crucial to American national interests.
Twice this century, Americans in uniform have gone to Europe to fight wars against tyranny and did so successfully. As free and moral nations, the United States and its NATO allies have a responsibility to end the atrocities being committed in Yugoslavia and to prevent the violence from spreading to neighboring countries; in other words, to put the grass fire out before it spreads.
Last week, along with the Secretary, I visited NATO Headquarters in Belgium with a bipartisan congressional delegation. I came away from the trip reassured that all 19 nations are firmly allied in our effort to put an end to Milosevic's policy of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. It is my hope that Mr. Milosevic will put peace and the necessary agreements in place, that he will back down before ground forces are necessary.
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However, the United States and its allies must be prepared for all military possibilities and scenarios. We should do whatever it takes to win. The commander in chief, currently General Wesley Clark, should have those resources for which he asks and when he asks for them. Failure by NATO to defeat Milosevic would weaken not only NATO, but create a serious military and political consequence in Europe and consequently for America in the future. The credibility of NATO is at stake. If we fail, European stability would be compromised.
We should not allow, whether it was true or notand I happen to think it was untrue, but the allegation was therewe should not allow someone that is in charge of a battle or of a conflict, such as there was in Somalia, not receive those items or resources for which was asked. I happen to think that was an untrue allegation when that occurred, because they probably could not have gotten the resources there on time. But let us not even let that come to pass. Let us give General Clark what he needs and when he asks for it.
I am looking forward to hearing from you and learning about the current political and military situation in the Balkans. I thank you for being with us.
One last footnote, Mr. Secretary, I could not help when I was with you to notice the high quality of young men and women in uniform. That is so reassuring to me personally and it should be very reassuring to our fellow countrymen.
Thank you again for being with us.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Skelton. Without objection, any statements you might have, gentlemen, will be submitted for the record, along with any other material you might have.
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Mr. Secretary, the floor is yours.
STATEMENT OF THE HON. WILLIAM S. COHEN, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
Secretary COHEN. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and Congressman Skeleton for your comments. I spent about 3 or 4 hours on Tuesday with Members on the Hill and I think you have heard my presentation at some length. I will try to shorten it. I am somewhat apprehensive. When I walked in, the Chairman said, okay, how much time are you going to give us? I said roughly 3 hours, and he kind of shook his head whether that is enough. We will try to make as much accommodation as we can to stay as long as we can. We would like to try to finish by 4:30 if we possibly can.
With that in mind, let me just summarize my written statement. I think you have copies of it. I will just hit the key points.
The goals of the political objectives in Kosovo have been outlined many times: to get the Serb forces out, to get the Kosovars back into a safe and secure environment, to allow them to have their own self-governance, and to have an international peacekeeping force led by NATO. Those are the political objectives.
The military mission that we are carrying out is designed to, as we use it, to diminish, damage, downgrade, and degrade Milosevic's military capability, and to do that through the air campaign which is currently being waged.
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We appeared before you in the past. We said it wasn't going to be easy, it wasn't going to be neat, it wasn't going to be quick, and it is not going to be without risk of casualties. As a matter of fact, we made it very clear to all concerned that there was a likelihood of casualties in this kind of an environment. The reason for it is pretty clear. You have a very tough environment in which to operate, by air or indeed by ground. But by air, we have the weather, which has been bad and will continue to be sporadic. We have the geography, which is very mountainous, very tough terrain in which to operate by air. And you have a very robust air defense system.
All of this was well-known in advance, certainly to us, and we tried to make that very clear to all concerned, that this is the type of environment that NATO's Air Force would have to operate in.
We had about 21 days of the air campaign. Of those 21 days, approximately 7, now 8 days, have been with clear weather, or reasonably clear weather. So when we gauge the measure of success of this air operation, we have to understand that we are carrying this out under extraordinary circumstances, with extraordinary capability and precision.
I talked about this earlier today, and we all regret the loss of innocent lives in this kind of a campaign, but we ought to be understanding of our pilots and what they are going through, the kind of training that they have, the kind of circumstances under which they have to carry this mission forward, traveling at either subsonic or supersonic speeds, having to make determinations in a split second at very high altitude. We go to extraordinary lengths to reduce if not eliminate the loss of innocent lives, but sometimes errors take place. But we ought not ever to allow anyone to elevate what Milosevic has done and the kind of brutal oppression and atrocity he has carried out, to allow him to go on television to say this is an atrocity being carried out by NATO. That is a grotesque characterization by a man who has indulged in one of the worst crimes against humanity that we have seen in a long, long time, and we ought to keep that in mind.
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Our pilots are doing an outstanding job. As Congressman Skeleton, Congresswoman Tauscher, and Congressman Buyer were with me over the weekend, they will tell you that our people are really working 15, 16 hours a day, and taking great satisfaction in their mission. Those that are engaged in the humanitarian mission and those engaged in the combat mission, they are doing what they are trained to do, and they are doing it without complaint, and we ought to be very, very proud of them.
So after 21 days, what have we accomplished? We have degraded his military capability. We have taken out his oil refining capacity 100 percent, so he no longer has that ability to produce petroleum products for his military. We have taken out 50 percent of his ammunition production capability. That has been a significant degradation. We are attacking his command and control and communications facilities. We are now hitting the staging areas and his headquarters for his MUP and VJ, and we are moving against his forces in the field.
As you have seen, General Clark is now starting to get the aircraft, the A-10's. He will be getting the Apaches soon in order to carry that air campaign to those targets in the field that are heavily armored, the ones now posing the most serious threat to the Kosovars.
We are seeing signs of sinking morale on the part of the Serb military. We are seeing defections. There have been some real problems up in Belgrade as far as his call-up of his reserves. And we are starting to see that pressure that we have been putting on his military start to take hold. It is going to intensify.
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We are going to intensify this air campaign with not only the increase in the aircraft, but the increase in the targeting in the field.
We are going after those things which keep him in power as such, those things that he prizes most, and I believe you will see substantial progress being made in the coming days because the weather is clearing. We are having greater and greater opportunities to go after those things that we feel must be taken down.
On our U.S. forces, Mr. Chairman, you are correct, out of the aircraft that are over there, we have roughly 400, 450 let's say, approximately, out of 600, 650, are U.S. aircraft; 82 more have been requested by General Clark, and perhaps more are in the offing as far as carrying out this campaign.
It is about a 60/40 split, as the Chairman has testified to in the past. Roughly 60 percent of the attack missions are being carried out by U.S. forces, about 40 percent, anywhere from 37 to 40 percent by the allied forces. We intend to intensify the campaign so we can conduct operations on a 24-hour-a-day basis, not only going at nighttime, but also going in the daytime now after his forces in the field.
Questions have come up about the Apaches, why has it taken so long? The Chairman has pointed out, if you just are concerned about getting Apaches into the field as such, it doesn't take that long to fly them in, a couple of days. But it is not just Apaches that go in, it is all of the force protection for those Apaches that have to go in as well. They have to go into an area that has also been inundated with humanitarian relief. The same aircraft that are flying some of this support equipment into Tirana, have to carry the humanitarian rescue missions there as well.
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So you have a very small airport that can only take one flight at a time. It now has been upgraded to the point where it can start accepting the components for the Apache force as such. So it has taken a few days, it will take another week or so before they will actually be operational, but that is well underway.
On ground forces, it has been an issue that I know is of concern to you, Mr. Chairman, and to virtually every member of this committee, and concern to us. The President has made it clear that the consensus for NATO is that it must be an air campaign. There has been no planning for a ground force, an invasive ground force into a hostile environment.
There was an original assessment that was done last August-September in which the NATO planners looked at what it would mean in terms of having a ground force go in, either just to Kosovo or to all of Serbia as such, and the numbers ran anywhere from 75,000 into Kosovo, up to as many as 200,000 or more into all of Serbia. Nothing further was done with those assessments. They were put on the shelf.
Then they went to an assessment, a plan for a permissive environment; namely, you had a peace agreement, you then had a permissive environment in which a peacekeeping force would go in, and the calculations were roughly a 28- to 30,000 peacekeeping force would go in.
You may recall in my past experiences before this committee and also in the other body, I felt that if there is going to be a peacekeeping mission, that the Europeans must bear the overwhelming majority of that contribution. And indeed when we discussed this in NATO, they decided that they would pick up that burden and carry the bulk of the peacekeeping force; that we would contribute out of that 30,000 roughly up to 4.
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That in itself was controversial, as you may recall when I proposed that, coming before the committee earlier this year. But nonetheless, the detailed planning was for a peacekeeping force and not for a force going into a hostile environment.
Should that become necessary, should the commander ever request it, should the head of the Military Committee of the NATO Alliance make such a request, that would have to be promoted up to all of the NATO allies, including the United States, obviously, to make a determination. They have indicated they don't have plans to do that. They have not made such a request. There is no consensus in the NATO alliance for such a force. So for that reason, we are continuing with the air campaign, and that is what the President has signed up to, what NATO forces have signed up to, what all of the allied members are committed to.
On the atrocities on the ground, I will leave that open to the questions in termsI think everybody is aware of what has been taking place. There has been some question raised, however, during the course of the question and answer period over in the other body and in the press. It was clear to us that Milosevic was planning this campaign for some time, that he was poised to take this action, and in fact started the action before any allied bombing took place.
George Tenet of the CIA, Director of the CIA, indicated that those forces were in place, that they were prepared to go forward. There was a risk that it could intensify or accelerate his plan, but he was planning to carry this out. So we should make no mistake about the fact that someone has argued that somehow this precipitated the ethnic cleansing. He has been in the process for some time, and the plan he had had been undertaken before any allied activity took place.
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About CongressI think this is very healthy. I think this is the responsible thing to do, to start a discussion, indeed a debate, amongst Members of Congress, because this is the essence of a democracy. This is how we have a collective will expressed. The Chairman will tell you, and I believe very firmly in this, we should never really see a situation where we commit our forces in which there is great division at home or in the Congress. And if things go awry and you start taking casualties, people start at that point to undercut the policy, saying we weren't involved.
Congress needs to be involved, and that is why it is important why you are holding this hearing and why we are here today. It is what distinguishes us from dictatorships. We have to take time to build a collective consensus. That was done in NATO and has to be done here in the Congress as well. So I look forward to your questions and hopefully some answers.
Mr. Chairman, I would correct just one thing in my statement. This remains a risky operation. Given the terrain, given the weather, given the type of environment in which the pilots have to function, no one should underestimate that this is risk-free.
I indicated in my statement the possibility of casualties. I would upgrade that and say the probability of casualties. We should not ever go into a situation of this magnitude and seriousness and expect not to have casualties. We have done everything in our power to minimize them, and I pointed out that out of over 6,000 sorties flown, we have had one loss of one aircraft, and no pilots who have been apprehended. We had the three soldiers who were taken, I believe illegally, in Macedonia, but that is a mattertheir status remains to be determined. But in any event, they are entitled to Geneva Convention protection, which they are not getting right now.
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We have gone to extraordinary lengths to minimize the risks to our personnel and will continue to do so, just as we go to extraordinary lengths to minimize the risks to innocent civilians who have been suffering a great deal on the ground itself.
Mr. Chairman, I will stop here. Thank you for inviting us to come and testify before you, and hopefully through this process we will be able to develop a consensus on where we need to go to achieve the objectives that have been set out.
[The prepared statement of Secretary Cohen can be found in the appendix.]
STATEMENT OF GEN. HENRY SHELTON, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF
General SHELTON. Mr. Chairman, Congressman Skeleton, thanks for the opportunity to appear before this distinguished committee and discuss Operation Allied Force.
Before giving you a short briefing on the operation, I would like to make just a few opening comments. For those of you that have had the opportunity to visit the 31st Air Expeditionary Wing at Aviano, or the Air Force team at Ramstein, Germany, both places of which are kind of on the front lines of the air campaign in Kosovo, I am sure you have come away, just as I was, very impressed by the enthusiasm, the competence, the professionalism and the dedication displayed by our men and women in uniform. They believe in America, they believe in our mission, and they believe in the cause. Their sense of duty and self-sacrifice should be an inspiration to all Americans. I can assure you it was an inspiration to me.
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Those qualities can also be found when you go out and visit the Theodore Roosevelt battle group, the Kearsarge ARG, Task Force Hawk or any other element that is currently involved in Operation Allied Force. I know that each member of this committee joins me both in the praise and the prayers for those brave Americans who today go in harm's way every day in the pursuit of peace in Kosovo, along with their families.
Likewise, our thoughts and prayers also go out to the three soldiers currently being held in Yugoslavia, and their families, as we work for their safe return. They are not and they will not be forgotten.
Their capture, I think, highlights a point that I would like to emphasize, and that is that our forces continue to operate, as Secretary Cohen has said, in a dangerous and deadly environment. Thanks to the thorough planning and the superb execution, we have been able thus far to degrade their multilayered integrated air defense system in Serbia, and it has helped us avoid casualties among our forces.
I would say that we have, in short, been very fortunate. Nonetheless, the prospects for casualties remains very real, as Secretary Cohen just pointed out; and as all of you know, there is no such thing as a risk-free military operation, a fact that was made clear early on by the loss of the F-117 and also the unfortunate incident of our three soldiers being detained.
What I would like to do now is give you just a quick outline of the forces that we have there today, what the campaign plan is, what we are going after, and then end up with about 30 seconds' worth of closing comments.
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Let me have the first slide, please.
First of all, the forces that we have that are participating in the operation and aircraft, 227 fighters and bombers. These are the F-117's, it is the B-1, the B-2, F-16, F-15, A-10s, et cetera; 219 support aircraft, everything from refuelers to electronic aircraft to the specialty aircraft, such as psychological operations and others, helicopters, et cetera. Also, 17 reconnaissance aircraft. These are the intelligence, the surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft that allow us to look, to see, and to hear what is going on in some cases.
We have the naval force there that consists of one aircraft carrier, and you can see the remainder, along with two submarines.
We are joined there by, of course, our NATO allies. You can see the contributing nations shown over here to the total force: 135 fighters and bombers, support aircraft, reconnaissance, for a total of almost 200 aircraft. They also provide 2 aircraft carriers, 1 submarine, in addition to other ships.
Let me talk for just one second about the SACEUR campaign plan, how he has gone about carrying out the NATO mission. I will start with referring to the bottom chart, which says that we right up front recognize, as you heard me speak to before the operation began, that there are three basic enemies that we would have to deal with, the first being the very comprehensive multi-led, robust integrated air defense. We then would have to deal with weather, which at this time of the year is very bad in the Balkan region. Of course, we also would have to deal with the terrain, as Secretary Cohen commented, which is probably almost ideal terrain when it comes to defending, and it makes it very tough if you are on the offense.
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So we started off by hitting the integrated air defense, to set the conditions. We first planned to set the conditions, then to try to isolate his forces, and then move into a domination or decimation phase. I will talk to each one of those.
But we started off against the air defense. We used long-range precision missions to do that, CALCMs, TLAMs, we used the F-117, the B-2, using precise munitions. Then, as we progressed in the campaign, we started to bring in more ground attack as we were able to then carry out the campaign against the ground forces. But initially, we hit the integrated air defense and along with that, the army and the special police headquarters, the command and control, to start to set the conditions for moving on up to the forces in the field.
We started taking out the command and control and communications, to try to deny him what we will call that ''common operational picture,'' where he can know what is going on in the field, he knows what his air defenses are doing and seeing, basically to break down the amount of control that he has; and then move into a sustainment capabilitypetroleum refineries, storage and reserves; and then hit his lines of communications, specifically the highway and rail bridges, that allow him to rearm, to resupply, to have the lateral mobility on the battlefield to move at will, as he has been doing up until that point; and then hit the forces out in the field themselves.
Now, if you ask me where we are today, we would probably be just about in here. As you know, we started engaging them much earlier, but at the same time we have been going after and will continue to go after these other integrated air defense, the headquarters, and the things that sustain the capability that he has reflected here.
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We are in the process now of carrying the fight to the forces in the field. And then we have got two other classified areas that I can't discuss in open session that will allow us to intensify the campaign even further.
I talked about the air defense system just very briefly. It very robust. He has numerous SAMs, or surface-to-air missiles. He has the Russian-manufactured, old Soviet system SS-3, the newer SS-6's, very capable systems. He has a series of airfields, as you see reflected throughout not only Kosovo, in this region, but on up into Serbia. They all were targeted. He has army airfields that he uses to operate his helicopters out of. They also were targeted, along with the surface-to-air missile storage and his early warnings sites. As you can see, he has numerous of these located throughout the Republic of Serbia.
Command and control watchwe went after his national command and control authority. At the army headquarters level, the special unit corps, we destroyed those. These were predominantly the forces, their headquarters themselves, and, along with that, the radio relay and communications stations located throughout Kosovo and on up north of Belgrade.
We have hit his army and his police garrison headquarters, or places that you normally would find them, very heavily down in Kosovo, but ranging throughout Serbia and on up north of Belgrade, again to take the fight to him, to his leadership, to let them start to feel the pain, as well as those deployed out in the field.
Finally, we have concentrated heavily in these initial days on his infrastructure, his ability to sustain the force.
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We talked about the fuel refineries, that he has no refining capability for the most part left. Fuel storage, a significant amount of his fuel storage is now gone. The bridges he uses to move about to rearm, resupply, you can see down in Kosovo, the rim of Kosovo, we have interdicted all four of the major lines that he has to move forces in or to move them out.
We also have hit bridges up in Belgrade, including those that come across the Danube, hence blocking the Danube and denying him another means of moving in resupply. We also have hit his ammunition production facilities. At least 3 of the 4 major manufacturing plants that he has on that are now defunct, along with a considerable number of ammunition storage throughout the region. Also his maintenance and vehicle storage areas as well.
Mr. Chairman, I think that our forces in the field today have done an extraordinary job. They continue to carry out the campaign against the Serbs. They have done it in a very professional and distinguished manner, as I am sure those of you saw who went to Aviano. We are very proud of them and the effort that they have put into this campaign, and I would say today it has been very effective and it is continuing to be prosecuted in a highly professional manner.
Again, thank you for the opportunity to appear before the committee.
[The prepared statement of General Shelton can be found in the appendix.]
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much. I won't ask any questions at this time. I will give the others an opportunity. Mr. Skelton.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SKELTON. I have one question, Mr. Secretary. Are the 19 NATO nations continuing to work together and present a united front?
Secretary COHEN. The short answer is yes.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Stump.
Mr. STUMP. I have no questions.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Bateman.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have so many questions that I am not quite sure where to begin. Let me, before my time expires, say the thing that is foremost in my mind and thoughts as we contemplate this predicament I think we find ourselves in.
I would most strongly urge you to urge our President to ask the Congress to endorse his stated political and military objectives and for our authority to utilize such means as he thought necessary and defined as Commander-in-Chief in order that those people wearing our uniform, who will do his bidding, will have the assurance that the Congress of the United Statesspeaking for the people of the United States, the only way they can be heardhave indeed endorsed these policy objectives.
I am going to be faced I am told, within this month, with a choice of voting to cut off funding for these operations, which I find to be a singularly unattractive option, or faced with voting for a blanket generalized declaration of war. I find that a very unattractive option.
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I find myself in very substantial agreement with the policy, the goals and objectives, though I have very, very grave reservations of how we got where we are and what we did or did not do at one point or another, but we are there. I substantially concur in those objectives. But I am also very mindful that we need a legal predicate for what we are doing that I think is very unfortunately missing.
We have, as an outgrowth of a civil conflict within a sovereign nation, a predicament that does affect our national security interests; yes. It affects our NATO alliance and relationships; yes. But we are also doing it in the context of someone else's sovereign territory, without an act of aggression against any other national state.
I don't know how we do that, unless someone has given legal authorization. I would plead that the President come before the Congress and ask for that. I think it would be an incredibly significant thing in terms of the success of the operation, in terms of the seriousness with which Milosevic would take this operation, instead of lingering in the hopes that when and as some causalities occur, the American people will lose heart and abandon this operation that they have never approved to start with, and about which many if not most of my constituents have the gravest reservations.
Mr. Secretary, you spoke of democracy and the importance of a debate, but we need something which is a centerpiece of that debate, not 435 or 535 talking heads, talking to one another and over the heads and through this, that, or the other. We need our President to come before this Congress, tell us our national objectives and where our national security interests lie, and ask for the authority that he needs to pursue this. I feel confident he will get it.
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Beyond that let me inquire, in the selective targeting that is being doneand I know it is an awful, awful decision that has to be made, and you need the greatest expertise in terms of knowing the optionswho is ultimately making the choice as to what targets are hit in this air campaign as it goes on? Is it General Clark, the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe? Is he doing it without a veto power of the 19 representatives, representatives of 19 governments involved in the NATO alliance? Is he having any targets rejected that he recommends because the alliance might fall apart if he went forward with those targets?
Secretary COHEN. Well, I will let the chairman perhaps add to my own comments. But generally speaking, SACEUR is responsible for developing a target list, working with the Military Committee of NATO. They review the targets, they make a proposal. It comes through the chain of command. It comes to me and is passed on to the President, who reviews, as he should as Commander-in-Chief, the entire list of targets, and taking into account the military value is versus the potential for collateral damage. All of that is calculated in the recommendations coming from SACEUR, right up through to the President.
I think for the most part, General Clark has had almost complete discretion. There have beenbecause this is a different operation with NATO, the first type of operation NATO has conducted in this fashion, I think initially there was some at least confusion in terms of how this is going to operate, in terms of whether or not individual Members had to approve or disapprove. He now has been given broad categories where he exercises great flexibility and discretion.
But each President of the NATO countries, at least the major players, they do have an opportunity to at least express their judgment on this. It is something that is taken into account in terms of the political consequence of hitting a particular target.
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But I would tell you that for the most part, General Clark is satisfied that he has the discretion he needs to carry out his military objective. But I think you always want to be in a position of having the Commander in Chief or the President of the country have a chance to look the list over and make at least a recommendation, without getting into the politics of it, but deciding whether or not that is a target which, if hit, would carry such consequences that it would be counterproductive.
But that has always been done, and I believeand I will let General Shelton speak for his own opinions about thisbut I believe that General Clark is satisfied with the discretion he now has.
General SHELTON. Congressman Bateman, I would only add one thing to what the Secretary saidor two things, maybe. First of all, at the beginning of the process, each of those targets that General Clark selectsand he is the one that selects the targets, and he makes the recommendations to start the chainthey are looked at in terms of their military significance in relation to the collateral damage or the unintended consequences that might be there. Then every precaution is made where we can to weaponeer the targets so that collateral damage is avoided. At that point, that target is either approved by General Clark or, in certain high category types of targets, they are sent back here for approval by the President, exercising his authority as he should, as the Secretary said.
I believe, based on my latest discussion with General Clark which occurred the day before yesterday reference the targeting process, that that is working fairly smoothly right now. You know, NATO hasit is a phased air campaign. There are, in fact, certain categories that the North Atlantic Council has not decided on as of this point. But everything except for that very small category is within General Clark's purview to attack.
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And that is a considerable number and considerable amount of latitude. And I think he is satisfied at this point.
Mr. BATEMAN. Mr. Chairman, I regret the fact that the red light is burning but I will yield back.
The CHAIRMAN. I appreciate your indulgence. Mr. Sisisky.
Mr. SISISKY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will be fairly fast. Mr. Secretary and General Shelton, I welcome you here and what you said, General Shelton, and of course what my colleague to the right of me said, we are the luckiest country in the world to have the young people that we have. It just absolutely amazes me.
But even more important, Mr. Secretary and General Shelton were down at the Norfolk naval base with the President talking to dependents whose spouses, male or female, were overseas in harm's way and how they took it really needs the gratitude of the American people. It is absolutely amazing. And they don't like their spouse being overseas or being in harm's way, but how they related that this is part of our life, part of my husband's life, or part of my wife's life to protect the United States. I think the American public really owes them a debt of gratitude.
You said, Mr. Secretary, that General Shelton would explain a little bit about the atrocities that are taking place and I think we need to hear that.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC You also explained why the Apaches were late in coming. I think you need to just dwell a little more in that, because since I got back to Washington that is what I hear. The atrocities, we are not seeing some of that. Although I will say, this is probably the head of the Defense Department and Joint Chief of Staff, you are getting plenty of help from television. It is absolutely amazing the type of questions, everything imaginable. The arm chair quarterbacks are really at work. So if you listen to them, maybe it will help you a little bit.
But I think that is the two big things that we need to do. And before my time runs out, it is absolutely amazing with 6,000 sorties to have one go down. I don't know how in the world you do it. Maybe you can explain this here, how you do it. It is absolutely amazing. Thank you.
Secretary COHEN. We will not explain it too much for Mr. Milosevic so we will keep him in check here. With respect to the atrocities, I think you are seeing the reporting that is taking place now, there are mass rapes that are being reported. We are seeing entire villages that are being wiped out. Homes set on fire. One report, again yet to be fully verified, of families being inside while it is set on fire. We are seeing reporting that people are being rousted out in the middle of the night by people wearing black ski masks and with a gun to their head telling them to leave or to die. We are seeing reporting done of the wholesale rounding up of young males who are taken off and segregated out from their families and we don't know their fate but we assume the worst.
We are seeing a repeat of scenes out of Schindler's List, only this is in color as opposed to black and white, of being stuffed into trains and sent out of the country. Packed in like sardines and beyond almost human endurance.
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We are seeing evidence of mass graves. I believe you will, when this thing is finally completed and unfolded, that we will hear stories that will shock us beyond our normal tolerance levels when we see the kind of barbarity that is being carried out on a daily basis. So much of it is reporting from the refugees and displaced persons at this point. But I believe that much of that will also be confirmed in the coming weeks and months.
General SHELTON. Congressman Sisisky, I would add to that on the Apaches, the reason that it has taken a while to put those in is that there is a lot more to it than just putting the Apaches in, as you know. The Apaches could literally be flown down and be in position between 24 to 48 hours, but in order to place the Apaches in, you also have a lot of other things that go with them in order for you to be able to not only protect them but to be able to employ them.
There is a multiple launch rocket system that goes with them to provide suppressive fires at the time that you are employing them. There is the force protection issue that is quite a large amount to protect an area the size that it takes to put 24 Apaches plus numerous other helicopters that go with them in a support role. There is also engineer equipment that goes in to berm these for force protection. It also adds up to about 150 C-17 loads. So when you have an airfield that will only operate during daylight hoursat least until the great U.S. Air Force turned it into a 24-hour a day operation last Sundayand it only has a maximum on the ground two right now, started off as one, that takes a little while. And they were competing a little bit with the humanitarian supplies that were going in for the large number of refugees. So they have done a great job. Those aircraft will be arriving there by the weekend. And as the Secretary said, they will be achieving operational capability very shortly.
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I would just also add to your comment about the families, they are truly the wind beneath the wings of the service members and I would say in most cases the families are just as dedicated, just as supportive as those are in uniform. And I think that that also underscores why the chiefs place so much attention on quality of life, for it is families from medical care to commissaries to everything that goes in, pay, that goes with the service member. It also contributes to supporting those families.
Mr. SISISKY. Thank you. Your last comment, very important.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Hansen?
Mr. HANSEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, I basically just have two questions I would like to ask if I could. Mr. Secretary, I don't know of any situation I have ever observed where there is more confusion and when the Sunday gas bags come on with all of these experts talking about everything that could possibly be done, I think the American people are totally confused on this issue.
The questions I would like to ask are two of them: What, succinctly stated, Mr. Secretary, would you say is the exit plan out of this thing? And number two, if I could become a little more specific, is having watched cruise missiles and tactical Tomahawk missiles throughout the Persian Gulf and when I had Admiral Moorer give us the situation where they shot 303 in one day in Desert Fox and now the numbers that have been used here, and full knowing that we are not going to see this new generation come on until what, 4 years from now, that is if they are on schedule, and seeming to be the weapon of choice, what is the plan here? I understand OMB rejected the Navy's request and if we are going to continue using this weapon as heavily as you have in the past, I just don't know how it is ever going to make it with the supply you have got. I was told yesterday that there are more B-52s than there are cruise missiles to put in them. Those two questions I would appreciate a response if I could.
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Secretary COHEN. The first question in terms of the exit strategy, it really is consistent with what the political objectives are. Mainly getting the Serb forces out, Kosovars back, the international peacekeeping force that is NATO led and also the self-governance for Kosovo. That is what the political objectives are, and that would be the exit strategy as such.
The military is now carrying out its air campaign to degrade Milosevic's military so that we can achieve those political objectives and then it would cease and desist. So that is the exit strategy as far as this air campaign is concerned.
Assuming you had a return of the Kosovars under these circumstances would there be a peacekeeping force there? And the answer to this questionthat is what we were up testifying about the last timethat there would be a peacekeeping force that would be NATO led and that our contribution would be roughly 4,000 out of the total that would be contributed on the part of NATO itself. But the exit strategy as far as this campaign is concerned is for Milosevic to say, okay, pulling the forces out, no more killing, no more slaughter, allow the international peacekeeping force and the autonomy that the Kosovars had before he took it away from them in '89 or '90. The Chairman can tell you about the cruise missile categories.
General SHELTON. Congressman Hansen, I cannot go into a great level of detail in terms of quantities versus requirements, et cetera, in the open hearing. I certainly could give you detail in a closed setting, and would be happy to share that with you in private. But suffice it to say, General Clark has had all of the precision preferred munitions that he has needed to carry out this campaign and we have projected enough quantity on hand to keep going indefinitely at the current rates that he is consuming them.
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There is an interestingwe have literally thousands of TLAMs in the inventory. But as we go downstream 2 to 3 years from now with a new series of munitions that are coming on, such as the Joint Direct Attack Munition, which is dropped by the B-2, very precise. Out of 16, 15 hit dead center of their target spread over a large area. So we have a lot of precision munitions and the new ones that are coming on are considerably less expensive than those older versions are and so we have been transitioning to those as part of the strategy.
There is a reprogramming action in right now before the Congress to purchase additional CALCMs that you referred to, and also in the supplemental request that will be forthcoming to replace a lot of the munitions that are being expended right now. A good portion of that is for precision munitions.
Mr. HANSEN. In the event that Milosevic would sign the Rambouillet Treaty, does that end it?
Secretary COHEN. That would end our air campaign. Absolutely.
Mr. HANSEN. You are through? The air strikes stop?
Secretary COHEN. That is correct.
Mr. HANSEN. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Taylor.
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Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Chairman, I thank you for recognizing me. I want to thank the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs for being here and Secretary Cohen.
Senator McCain in his well publicized address a day and a half ago asked some questions that I thought were right on the money and I am going to repeat them. The accord, if I am not mistaken, calls for the Serbians to be able to leave 5,000 people in Kosovo. One of the questions he asked is given what has just happened, why on earth would the Kosovar Albanians want 5,000 Serb thugs left behind and how can they accept this at this time? The world has indeed changed since that accord.
The other question that he asked I think is a very fair question and I hope you will relay it to the President of the United States. Why is he spending more time telling our enemy that he is not sending in ground troops than he is in spending time telling the American people why we are there?
And the third thing for you, Mr. Secretary, since I have been here now for two conflicts, at this point in Desert Shield, the guard and reserve, there had been massive call-up of the guard and reserve. Preposition ships were being sent over there. Units from our corps were being shipped in droves to Saudi Arabia. I guess it is fair to say that by December plans had already been made for the day after Christmas and the next day for something like 200 ships to set sail for Saudi Arabia, all clearly being televised to our foe to let him know just how serious we were.
Milosevic had to have watched that, he has also got to be watching our inactivity now. There is not a massive call-up of the guard and the reserve. The preposition ships, if they are sailing, we are certainly not letting him know they are sailing. I haven't heard from anyone in any of the airborne units telling me that they are being activated. I don't see any of the German armored units getting ready to roll. I have to believe that Milosevic is sitting back and saying they are not serious. I have seen what they do when they are serious; they are not doing that now. I think it is very fair now that we are in it, Mr. Secretary, why are we not doing those things?
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Secretary COHEN. Well, Congressman Taylor, first of all, this is a NATO operation. This is not a U.S. unilateral operation. In fact, if I came here before this committee and suggested that the United States should mobilize its forces so we can take unilateral action in Kosovo, I think that there would be many people who would object to that.
Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Secretary, just one second. Have you at least made those recommendations to our NATO allies?
Secretary COHEN. The NATO allies have made it very clear that they have signed on to an air campaign and that there is no consensus within NATO for a ground campaign at this time, and I have not seen the evidence that they want that in the future.
We have a different situation, we have the military commander, we have SACEUR, we also have the Chairman of the Military Committee in NATO, both of whom have stated that they believe this campaign can be carried out effectively with the air campaign and have not made a request for any consideration of even planning for a ground campaign in a hostile environment. So under these circumstances, we had the consensus, which is important to hold, but we think we can carry this through effectively. Milosevic will know that we are serious when you start to see all the targets that are being taken down now, each one exponentially growing each day that we get clearer weather and more aircraft in. He knows that we are serious because he is losing a good portion of his military capability in the short term and we hope much more in the long term.
Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Chairman, again to give credit to where the question comes from, which is to Senator McCain, if the original purpose was to protect the Albanian people, how can we now say the purpose is to degrade the Serb military?
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Secretary COHEN. Well, I think we have to be very clear of our original purpose.
Mr. TAYLOR. Because you are not protecting the Albanian people.
Secretary COHEN. The original purpose has been consistent. What we tried to do was explore diplomacy to the very end. That is what we always tried to do. If the diplomacy wasn't successful we would try to deter him from taking action and we knew that he was in a position to carry this campaign forward, that he was in fact planning to carry it forward and had, indeed, started to carry it forward. And so we knew that we couldn't stop him once he started by carrying this campaign forward in a short term. We tried to deter him by showing there was united allied resolve. But failing to deter him, we said you are going to pay a penalty. You cannot do this with impunity. But we never portrayed to anyone that we could stop him from moving when he had 40,000 troops in the region, all of which were poised to take the action that he had been planning to take for a long time. That was never represented and has not been represented by the administration or any one of us.
We said we do our best to deter him by showing that there was resolve to take action against him and failing that, we would go in and make him pay a substantial penalty, which he is now paying and more to come. We have to sustain the campaign and take it to more and more of his forces in the field and let him know that he is going to suffer a significant degradation of his capability which keeps him in power and he is going to face the possibility that the KLA is going to be resurgent and radicalized and then start to fight him on a different front. That is what he is going to face. So he may have some short-term type of success. He has got a long-term problem and a big problem.
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Mr. TAYLOR. But if I may, Mr. Secretary, all the things you said with the continued reassurance of the President of the United States that he won't send ground forces there, I don't think you can send the message with the President saying that every day. And I do think we are giving this a halfhearted effort, and I think the kids whose lives are on the line deserve better than that.
Thank you for listening, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Buyer.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you, Mr. Secretary and Mr. Chairman, for being here today. I want to thank you, Mr. Secretary, for permitting me to accompany you on your recent trip to Europe, and I have some observations.
One is I believe that Serbia has decided to be in this for the long haul because when we look to examine our own munitions and strategic goals, well, they have their own too, and it is obvious that they are bringing great unity to a country which 2 years ago was divisive, especially on Milosevic, and now there is unity within his own country. And I would like to have some comment on the intelligence within the stability of Serbia which would be helpful to us.
The other is that I also got a sense at the working dinner that we had with all the 19 permanent reps, the ambassadors, it was fascinating to listen to many of them stand up and give their one-two's. I could not help but sense that I was listening to a guilty Europe, the sons and grandsons of the European continent that had they acted against Hitler in '38 and '39, that perhaps there never would have been a Holocaust.
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As I listened their rhetoric, combined with the President's, our own President's rhetoric, there is a complete mismatch that I have spoken to you about and I am going to ask you to help cure. The mismatch is between the political rhetoric, NATO's political objectives and the military mission that has been given to NATO. With the instrumentality of a political decision there is a means to the end. So to you, specifically, Mr. Chairman, I would like for you to tell us whether or not you believe the military, our participation with NATO presently, can achieve NATO's political objectives through air power alone.
Now, to bring those three intoto make them congruent, let me use this by example. Political rhetoric, everyone focuses on Milosevic as though he is some Hitler or Stalin and therefore he is the target and makes it appear as though the military mission or your political objective in Serbia is to throw Milosevic out, when in fact it is not. So the rhetoric does not match NATO's political objectives for the autonomous multiethnic Kosovo, refugees back in, Serb army out, bring the peacekeepers in, and then you have got this military mission. So I would appreciate it if you would comment on those, how we could bring that into better congruency.
Secretary COHEN. The first question, I think you will continue to see a temporary rallying around Milosevic which is to be expected. But you are also starting to see some fracturing of that support. You read some reports in today's Washington Post and elsewhere that people are now starting to recalculate exactly what has Milosevic brought them in the last 10 years? You have had roughly four ventures on his part, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, and now Kosovo. And he has succeeded in isolating Serbia from the rest of the international community. So there is a lot of rethinking going on now as far as internally within Serbia. That will continue.
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Initial reaction: Let's have a rock concert in the square to celebrate our defiance of the West. There are less rock concerts taking place today as they see what is going on as far as the destruction of their lines of communication and their military capability. So I think you will start to see the evidence of some unraveling as far as the support for Milosevic is concerned.
We are seeing it take place with defections now down in Kosovo with the armed forces there. More people trying to avoid being called up into service in Belgrade itself. I think that the morethe longer this goes on, the more we havethe greater damage that is done, you are going to see a much bigger impact on so-called unity in Serbia.
Secondly on the political rhetoric, I was happy to have you with me on the trip along with Congresswoman Tauscher, and others. You also in addition to hearing the voices of the Europeans, I think you heard me also raise this issue about the European contribution to NATO security. I do not pass up an opportunity to point out that I am concerned about the level of defense commitment that each of the individual NATO countries are making because they have smaller forces with lower budgets as we undertake this kind of a mission that is going to create a real mismatch between our capability and their commitment and capability. So I agree with you that there is a lot that needs to be done as far as forcing our European allies to face up to their responsibilities in this new century in this new environment.
With respect to the political rhetoric, I will let General Shelton deal with the military mission, the political rhetoric and the political reality. Is what we are trying to achieve, can it be done through the military missions? We believe we can successfully cause a degradation of his military to the point that he has to recalibrate. Now, he has to think that I am going to see a degradation of my military capability at a time when I am going to see an increase in the KLA's capability. He is either going to agree to the conditions set forth by NATO or he is going to find himself in a long-term struggle with a much greater opponent with a much weaker military. So we believe that the military mission, if continued, and if we have allied support to continue it, that it will be successful in achieving its political goals.
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General SHELTON. Congressman, those of us in uniform, as you well know, would always prefer to see a political settlement to it and we always recognize that force should be the last choice in trying to resolve differences.
However, and normally after diplomacy has done everything it can and has failed, and that was the case here with Rambouillet, followed by several interventions with Milosevic, including Ambassador Dick Holbrooke, that boiled down to two choices. We could do zero or carry out the NATO air power plan. The military objectives that were laid out for that campaign plan early on were very clear, I think, and as the Secretary has said in simple terms, it was to reduce his capabilities of both his military and his police to continue to carry out the oppressive and repressive type of actions that he had been doing up to that point when it started.
And I might add that we recognized right up front, and I think we were very clear with everyone, not only here in Washington but in eachamong each of the chiefs of defense, that we could not preclude the use of his forces inside of Kosovo itself, that he already had 20,000 and another 20,000 outside. He had already started his atrocities and consequently had pushed the OSCE force, the 2,000-person force out of the area, would not allow them in, and our own observer mission that was there had been asked to leave the area. And so when left with those choices, the clear military mission was laid out, then the Joint Chiefs were unanimous in saying given the choices we have got, and our leadership role in NATO, we should move forward with the air power.
The way we see this playing out is he will be subjected to this NATO air power until such time that he either decides that there is a political settlement that looks better to him or he sees the balance of power shifting within Kosovo to where the KLA is achieving some parity or superiority that would allow them then to push his forces or to be effective against the forces that he has remaining.
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Mr. BUYER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Meehan.
Mr. MEEHAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Secretary Cohen, General Shelton, from my vantage point, I can't understand why we would say in advance that we are not going to have ground troops, notwithstanding what our allies in NATO say. It seems to me it is just bad strategy to tell the enemy what we are going to do or not going to do next. But in any event on the whole issue of the introduction of ground forces, there has been a lot of talk about introduction of ground forces into permissive environments. What constitutes a permissive environment. For example, would the degradation of the Serbian armed forces to a level where they ceased to pose a threat to allied operations constitute a permissive environment?
SecondI just want to make sure I get my questions out, secondly I am interested in the status of the Yugoslav air defenses and what kind of degradation there has been. I am not as concerned about the fact that we don't have Apache helicopters in there because I am interested in the further degradation of those air defense systems before they go in, because I think frankly they are in danger if we don't continue that mission.
The final question that I have, interest that I have, is how has our relationship with Russia been affected long-term here? What kind of long-term damage has there been? I understand, Mr. Secretary, that you and the President and Vice President have been working to keep communications open. But are there any areas where the cooperation between the United States and Russia has broken off as a result of our disagreement on this matter?
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Secretary COHEN. Congressman Meehan, first of all with respect to what is a permissive environment, I would say that a situation such as that existed in Bosnia is a permissive type environment. If you have an agreement. You nonetheless have to be prepared that you could have some sporadic types of challenges. But if you had a force that went in under an agreement whereby you had a disarming of the KLA and you had the Serb forces out, then you would call that in essence a permissive type of environment.
Mr. MEEHAN. Excuse me, Mr. Secretary, even if the situation is a forced agreement, as inevitably will be the case here?
Secretary COHEN. Even if you have to force an agreement, we are trying to bring his military down to the point where there is an agreement or whether that balance of force would shift on the ground where they would be pushed out, but we would not go in under those circumstances if there is continued fighting going on between the KLA and the Serb forces. At that point that would be a nonpermissive environment.
On the air defenses I will yield to the Chairman in a moment, but with respect to NATO and Russia, we have not seen any break between the NATO countries and Russia itself. We are engaged with them. They have postponed some of their reciprocal visits with us at military to military level. Nonetheless, we keep a line of communication open with them and most recently Secretary of State Albright met with her counterpart and, as you may have read in the press, he had proposed or the Russians had proposed something quite similar to what NATO is proposing, with one very key exception, and that was the Russians were opposed to recommending that it be a NATO-led peacekeeping force going in.
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But the areas of agreement that we have I think are significant. They were co-negotiators at Rambouillet. They believe that Milosevic should have signed up to this. They tried to persuade him to sign up to it, so they were as frustrated as NATO was that he didn't sign up to it and they also recognize that they want to have a relationship with the West that is important to their future security as well. So while the tensions have been somewhat higher, you will notice that the rhetoric has been reduced somewhat. You have President Yeltsin who has now appointed Mr. Chernomyrdin to conduct some effort at negotiation on the Russian's behalf. All of that I think sends a signal that they understand that we have issues that transcend this particular dispute over whether force should be used in Kosovo or not.
General SHELTON. Sir, regarding the air defense, let me say first of all, as I mentioned a while ago, to start with he had a very robust integrated air defense. And the word ''integrated'' is key, because there are lots of parts to it and when it fits together, it is formidable and that is the way it was when we started out.
So our plan then was to use lethal means to degrade it and then use our electronic warfare, nonlethal means to further degrade it. Thus far it has been a successful campaign, successful in that it is degraded. He no longer has that common operational picture. But it is also still an effective system. As an example, we have taken out the more capable early warning radars made by the U.S., made by the British, several of those have gone out now, and as a result he has rolled out some older systems that are still effective but not nearly as good as the ones that they replaced. We have taken out a lot of the radio relays that go with it that allow him to be able to connect it all together.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So what we are finding now is that instead of in many cases cutting on the radars and having a radar and acquisition radar pick up the plane and a targeting radar then to guide the missile, that he is firing it optically, trying to guide the missiles, which has not worked that well up to now.
He has SA-3s and SA-6s, which are Soviet made systems that in the case of the SA-6, are very effective systems, very mobile. He has literally hundreds of SA-7s, which are the shoulder fired, and we have done very little to degrade those, along with the AAA or the anti-aircraft fire. When it comes to his air-to-air threat, which we said going in was a high threat, he has lost 50 percent of his frontline fighters. The MiG 29s, he lost those within the first three days and he has also lost about 25 of his jet fighters all together, to include the air-to-air and air-to-ground. So overall I would summarize it as saying it is degraded but still effective, still very dangerous area that we are flying into and that becomes even more pronounced as you get down lower to go against the forces in the field as we are doing day in and day out now.
The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Fowler.
Mrs. FOWLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you for being with us, Mr. Secretary and General Shelton. I know that while trying to conduct a war you are having to come to all of these hearings also, but we do appreciate you being with us and briefing us. One, I wanted to follow up on statements made by my colleague Mr. Bateman and just share his concern. I was very disappointed that back on March 19th and March 22nd, when we had some lengthy meetings at the White House with the Democrat and Republican leadership from the Senate and the House with the President and with his team, that the leadership, both Democrat and Republican, made it very clear to the President that before any action was taken against Yugoslavia, such as bombing, that he come to the Congress and come to the American people, and he chose not to do so and, in fact, two days after the meeting started the bombing and started a war against Yugoslavia.
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Now I understand that there are contingency plans being made for putting in ground troops even though the President is saying no ground troops, and I would certainly hope that again I know this week the congressional leadership expressed to the President at the White House meeting his need to come to the Congress, go to the American people. I would hope that he would do so before making more of our young people at risk. We have got thousands at risk today because of his starting this war against Yugoslavia. We have thousands of ethnic Albanians who have been killed, hundreds of thousands displaced, and I am deeply concerned as to where we are going.
We have wonderful young men and women in this military who are doing a great job. Because every time we ask them to go, they do it. But I would hope he would come to the Congress and go to the American people if he plans to go any further.
I would like to follow up, Mr. Secretary, on the comment you made a few minutes ago referring to the KLA, because there have been Members of Congress, some have been saying why don't you arm the KLA; others saying, no, you can't because KLA itself has been involved in terrorist activities and human rights abuses so there have been some conflicts there. And I understand that the administration holds the view that we should not be providing support to the KLA because of the overall interest in reducing the amount of fighting on the ground rather than increasing it.
So first, is that an accurate characterization of the administration's position?
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Second, while the media reports have been that the KLA has been beat up pretty badly by the MUP and the VJ, there have also been reports that due to these events there has been a boost in KLA recruitment. We have seen pictures of people going from this country over there to help the KLA. Can you give us any perspective on the KLA's current strength?
Third, does the administration have any evidence to support reports of KLA abuses or the receipt of support to the KLA from terrorist or extremist entities?
And finally, in some of your briefings you have indicated that the NATO strategy is aimed at compelling Milosevic to accept NATO's position either through use of air power alone or because of a recognition that as a result of bombing the KLA has been moving on the ground towards achieving a change in the balance of power. Do you have any indications that there is actually a change in the balance of power on the ground occurring at this time between the KLA and the Serbian forces?
Secretary COHEN. With respect to the administration position on the KLA of arming the KLA, the position of the administration is that we would not arm the KLA; that the objective is to reduce the level of armaments, not to increase it, and so that is the administration position on that.
With respect to its support, I think it is growing. Director Tenet would testify to that perhaps in a closed session to give you more detail about it. But what we have seen over the past year is that a year ago there was a small fraction of the people who supported the KLA and that every timeand I should point out that it is not all one way. This is not something where you say the KLA has committed no atrocities or no violence and it is all on the Serb side. That is not correct.
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What has happened is the KLA has, in the past they would kill three or four or five police, it would be a small guerrilla type of effort directed against the Serb army and then the Serb army would come in and wipe out a village. So there was a disproportional response. What happened in Racak earlier this year, where they had a couple of policemen, a handful who were attacked and they suddenly sent the tanks in and destroyedthey killed about 25 to 30 people, just wholesale decimation of that small community of people.
And that was what has radicalized the KLA at this point. You are getting more and more people who will now join by virtue of the excess of the Serb forces. And so you are going to see more and more people joining that effort. I believe that the Director of Intelligence would indicate that the KLA has not been destroyed, that they have taken to the hills, that they will, in fact, reinforce themselves and come back stronger. And that is one of the calculations that Milosevic has to take into account as he sees his military now being degraded by NATO forces and the prospect of a KLA, resurgent KLA that is more committed than ever to the struggle.
Mrs. FOWLER. Mr. Chairman, part of my question didn't get answered. Do you have any evidence of funding from extremist or terrorist organizations to the KLA? That has been one of the concerns expressed.
Secretary COHEN. I am not aware of that, but I think I am probably the wrong person to ask. I think that the KLA will get funding wherever they can. I don't judge that. I think that wherever they can get arms, wherever they can get support, they are going to take it, and that is something that I don't think we should try to fudge over.
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. Mr. Underwood.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you again for, in Mrs. Fowler's words, for coming to the Congress and explaining your activities while I am sure the strain of conducting these activities is great.
I guess from my vantage point, and perhaps other members of the committee or other Members of the House, one of the difficulties I have in trying to understand what exactly we are trying to accomplish is the use of the words reduce or diminish or degrade as opposed to words that are more clear, like eliminate or destroy or remove. And it is in that sense that there is at least on my part some anxiety about the efficacy of conducting this air campaign. And how do we assess its success? And if the assessment is tied to words like reduce and diminish and degrade, they appear to be so elusive that they at any point in time you could say that you have met them, and on the other hand, you could have successfully done all three and yet not brought Mr. Milosevic to any compliance with any of NATO's original stated goals.
So, at what point are there better terms to use or at what point too are we going to say what the assessment points are where we are saying the air campaign is actually being successful or not? And is there any evidence that, in fact, there is a change of heart in Belgrade about NATO's original objectives?
And I just have one more point and then I will turn it over to you, Mr. Secretary. The stated strategy here, global strategy, is to be able to fight two wars simultaneously. Is this one of those wars? And what are we doing to kind of plug up the hole in the western Pacific as they move the Kittyhawk over to the Persian Gulf?
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Secretary COHEN. With respect to the language that is used, we could use other types of words which would then be an overstatement. For example, destroy, and that would connote you had to destroy each and every element in Milosevic's force in order to achieve your military objective. We think that the words that we have used about degrading and diminishing and damaging his military to the point where we achieve the political objectives is the correct one. I notice the Chairman, I didn't realize this before, but he added the word ''decimate.''
Mr. UNDERWOOD. That is the word he used in the briefing.
Secretary COHEN. He is trying to be responsive to you and say decimate. But we believe as we systematically go after these targets, the lines of communication, it is railways, the bridges, the roads which allow him to reinforce his military by cutting off his fuel supplies, by enjoying his ammunition production capability. Those things we can, in fact, measure and determine whether or not we are being successful in those.
And so that is the reason why we didn't want to overstate it, and you say destroy and the criticism would be you haven't destroyed everything yet, so we think the calibration is right as far as the language and goals. Has there been a change in heart by Milosevic? Not yet. We have only been at it 21 days and eight of those days have been clear days. The others have been very difficult to carry out the mission. But nonetheless we are starting to see some change of attitude on the part of the people who are supporting him. We are seeing some defections in his military. We are seeing some rebellion as far as the call-up of the reserves. So there are in fact things taking place around Milosevic which are starting to turn against him and we believe as we intensify this campaign and we put the kind of pain and inflict that kind of pain that is necessary we are going to see our goals achieved.
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General SHELTON. And I would just add to that, we have also seen some increase in the KLA activity in the last couple of days against his forces and also his capabilities starting to erode in terms of sustainment, ammunition shortage, ability to move because the LOC is being interdicted and increasingly he will feel more under attack now as the ground campaign in Kosovo, the war air campaign against the ground starts to pick up.
In terms of the removal of the Kittyhawk or the sailing of it into the area, that is being replaced by units that are prepared to deploy in CONUS, ready to move. On the two MTW question, we are in fact committing to Kosovo the equivalent in the air of an MTW. Close to it. We will have to surge. If we had to go to the other two MTWs, which we are permitted to do and can do, we would surge as well as pull back units and forces that are engaged right now in exercises or engagement. Theater engagement plans would be how we would do that, plus any excess capacity that was there in this particular operation now would be sent to one of the two other MTWs.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Bartlett.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much. Mr. Secretary, I have listened to the arguments for being in Kosovo and I will tell you that I am unpersuaded. And even if I were persuaded I would still contend that we are there illegitimately. No war has been declared and we are clearly at war. If the existence of atrocities and refugees is the trigger that brought the involvement of our military, then where were we when 2.5 million were killed in Cambodia? Where were we when more than a million were killed in Rwanda? And that is spread to Burundi, where more than 800,000 were killed. Where were we with the displacement of more than 2 million in Sudan? And where were we when more than 100,000 Kurds were killed by the Iraqis and where were we when Turkey was killing and persecuting the Kurds? The argument, sir, that we are there because of atrocities and refugees rings more than a little hollow.
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And the argument that we are there because of our national security, one could make the argument that the risk to our national security of this civil war within a sovereign state that had not spread beyond its borders were considerably less than the risk to our national security involved by going in there and antagonizing and alienating the Russians, who are still a formidable strategic nuclear power in the world.
I think, sir, that both of the arguments for going in are not defensible arguments. And even were they defensible we are in there illegitimately. We are at war. No war has been declared.
Secretary COHEN. Congressman Bartlett, I didn't expect that I would be persuasive enough to change your opinion about this, but I want to say if you take the attitude that because we can't do everything, we therefore should do nothing, then we would confine all of our activities right here to the continental United States and never get engaged in anything beyond the United States.
We were not in Cambodia. We were not in Rwanda. In fact had we been, I dare say if I had come before the committee saying let's see if we can't get a peacekeeping mission in Rwanda I would have run into a buzz saw in this committee saying wait a minute, we have no business being engaged in trying to help the poor suffering people there.
The difference here and why we are engaged is because this does, in fact, affect a good many of our allies and has the potential to affect their security. And we have a NATO apparatus and an opportunity to make a difference here, whereas we couldn't organize such an operation in Rwanda unless we were doing it unilaterally. We tried to be active in promoting the African Crisis Response Initiative so that the African nations can in fact start to develop a peacekeeping capability where they can deal with issues because we can't.
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But I would dare say that if we take the attitude that any country has the right to start to decimate an entire part of its population and the rest of the world, especially NATO, should sit on the sidelines when it does in fact affect their security interests, then I think we are making a big mistake.
Mr. BARTLETT. If the problem were in Costa Rica, how much of NATO do you think would be there with us?
Secretary COHEN. Well, as a matter of fact in the Persian Gulf, because of the kinds of questions that were raised by key Members of Congress who came to a conference in Germany when the issue came up how many are going to be supporting us in the Persian Gulf since they had an interest, NATO didn't have an interest as such, we had some 26 nations who made military contributions to our effort in the Persian Gulf. So when the cause is worthy, we can rally people to our support as well and we did.
Mr. BARTLETT. This is a debate, sir, that the American people should have through their elected representatives. We are clearly at war. We should not have been at war without war being declared and we didn't do that.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. We might better break for this vote right now and come back. Mr. Reyes you will be first up.
Page 56 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [Recess.]
The CHAIRMAN. The meeting will please be in order. The gentleman from Texas, Mr. Reyes.
Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Secretary and General Shelton, I don't think you can hear it enough that we appreciate the jobs that you respectively do.
I have two questions this afternoon. One deals directly with what is going on in Kosovo. The other one deals more along the lines of what we see as a challenge in particular for the United States Army. And I say that because during the last Congress, Congressman Ryun and I sent you, Mr. Secretary, a letter where we expressed concern for the size of the force, of the Army. I simply, along with a number of my colleagues, believe that we just don't have enough military personnel in the United States Army. As we are getting ready to consider whether officially, unofficially or building up, however we want to phrase it, the prospect of ground troops in Yugoslavia, in Kosovo, I can't help but think that in other parts of the world, the Middle East, the Korean Peninsula, Bosnia, where we already have many divisions committed, I cannot help but think that those governments are not quietly celebrating the fact that we are having discussions about stretching our Armed Forces even thinner than they have been. We are a very busy, busy military in terms of what we have undertaken with a greatly reduced force.
So, my first question deals with in your opinionand I am not interested in a party line, I am interested in a personal opinion, is our Army, given that it is less than 480,000 men and women in uniform, is that big enough? Is that large enough to fight two major regional conflicts? And are we getting ourselves into a very difficult situation the way we are going without increasing the size of our Army?
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Secretary COHEN. Congressman, let me try to answer that initially and then defer to the Chairman to give you a professional assessment of the size of the Army and whether it is sufficient or not.
We have tried to make the reductions of the Army and our other forces in a way that would reduce some of the support personnel as opposed to the first line fighters, the tip of the spear so to speak, in order to try to get control of the cost, to eliminate as much of the tail as opposed to the tooth that we could without doing any damage to the overall military capability.
I have talked with General Reimer, I have talked with General Shelton and the Vice Chair, and we believe that we can still carry out the missions of the Army and the military with the forces as outlined in the QDR.
We also have to be careful, I think that Mr. Bartlett who is not here, careful in terms of where we do make commitments. We try to be as judicious as possible. We do have peacekeeping missions in which we have got to start not only downsizing them but terminating them. With respect to Bosnia, as you pointed out, we were originally at 20,000. That was our contribution to Bosnia. We are down to about 6,200 maybe a little bit higher now. We will go below that, I believe, in the next 6 months as far as Bosnia, assuming that we don't have great instability in Bosnia as well.
But we have got to, where we make commitments on peacekeeping we also want to complete the mission and then downsize them and we are in the process of making those kinds of recommendations as well. We have got a busy military. And the reason that we are as good as we are is because we are busy. But that is a double-edged sword. The Chairman talked about the morale over in Europe right now in Aviano, also in Ramstein, and they are really pumped up and they feel good about what they are doing. So when they are doing the things they are trained to do, the morale is highest. There is a double edge to that because they can only do it so long and then you start to get the wear and tear not only on them but also their families, which Congressman Sisisky has pointed out. They sacrifice as much as the member of the military does in terms of the load they have to carry when their spouse is not there to help them out.
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So we have to be more judicious about it, and that is one of the reasons I have been concerned about not getting involved in a long-term commitment on the ground in Kosovo, why we have tried to hold this consensus on the part of NATO for this air operation. But the Chairman I think is in a better position to tell you whether or not we are at about the right size or whether we are where we need to be and can go no lower as far as the Army is concerned.
General SHELTON. Sir, I should say I don't think we know whether we got it about right. What we do know is that we are still in the process right now of adjusting not only the forces but the force structure as a result of the QDR. As a result of the post-Cold War period that we find ourselves in, as a result of a strategy that involves not only an ability to fight and win two major theater wars but also an engagement, an ability to not only prepare but also to carry out our strategy of engaging and being prepared for the future.
The total force, I think, is probably about right. But that is counting our guard and reserve. And as you know, when we have talked specifically about the Army, as I recall, the figure is about 54 percent of the Army now is in the National Guard and the Reserve. That means that we have an increasing reliance on the National Guard and Reserve. It means that when we go to two MTWs that there has got to be a mobilization. It means that even as we find ourselves prepared to fight in the two MTWs and having to carry out what is a small scale contingency like in Kosovo, that we also have to use more and more of the guard and reserve to carry that out.
I am also concerned about the low density, high demand specialties and whether or not each looking internally to the Army internal force structure, as with all of our services, the Chiefs are looking at have we got the internal structure right? Because some of the units are really having high demands placed on them, whereas others are not in quite as much demand. And maybe we need some internal adjustments. But I think this is something we have got to watch very carefully.
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I think overall we have got the sizing about right, but when it comes to active, how much is in the Reserves, I am not sure that we have got that right or that we have got exactly what we need in terms of the types of units internal to each service.
Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Snyder.
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, put on your former Senator's hat for me, if you would. You, at the beginning of your comments talked about the importance of having a debate, a robust debate, and I agree with that. I am having a little problem with about how we go about doing that. As you know, we are pretty focused over here on both sides on these 2000 elections, and we are still licking some wounds from the events of the last 6 months.
I was really surprised when we came back after a 2-week break and had our briefing that both of you were at, and we had two separate caucus briefings; the Democrats met at 3, and the Republicans, I think, met at 4:30. I thought, If that is not a metaphor for what is going on in the town right now.
Give us some advice. How do we go about debating and providing the proper oversight and robust kind of discussion we need to have, versus gettingwith this Kosovo issue with our men and women at riskcaught up in some kind of trying to set up each other for partisan advantage for future election activity?
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Secretary COHEN. Well, Congressman Snyder, let me try to answer it this way. I have always believed when it comes to national security interests, there should be no parties involved. When I served in the Senate, I guess I have to say the other body, your
Mr. SNYDER. The lower house.
Secretary COHEN. The House of Lords, did you say? When I served there, one thing that struck me about that committee and the Intelligence Committee is there was rarely, if ever, any disagreement on a party line basis. We almost always came up with legislation that we could support on a bipartisan basis.
I must tell you, when the Chairman and I were invited to come up and address the Members on Tuesday, I tried my best to say let's do it all together. It is easier on us, that we can make a presentation to you and open up to questions and answers. But I thought it would be in the spirit of bipartisanship to say that when you are discussing a national security issue, you really ought to put aside political differences. You can have personal and philosophical differences about whether it is wise or unwise, should it be troops or no troops. That is a legitimate area for debate, always. But the prospect of having to go to one caucus and then to a second caucus, I think only tends to harden the lines of division, rather than trying to find ways in which there may be some consensus developed.
This is up to the leadership here in the House. But I would say when you come to this kind of an issue, I think as much as possible, given the fact there are bound to be real substantive differences of opinion, which is what is great about this country, and as I pointed out earlier today, the only place you find unanimity of opinion is in a dictatorship, but you don't find it in democracies. That is the strength of our country, that we can debate issues and ventilate and argue about them and ultimately come to a conclusion. When you come to that conclusion, you have the strength of the country behind you.
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I think anything that can be done to say we should brief or meet, without interruption of votes, do it on a bipartisan basis on national security, would be in our overall interests.
Mr. SNYDER. I wanted to ask a second kind of process issue. I guess it is not a process issue, it is modern conduct of military activity. This 24-hour news cycle. It already seems like the downing of the F-117 is old news. General Shelton and I were talking during the breakthe spokesperson from NATO, Jamie, there are going to be Jamie fan clubs before this thing is over. Every day he is on the news.
I am concerned that some of this news cycle business, I think the coverage is great and it is interesting, but it can affect what we do. It contributes to our preoccupations. We had people at 3, 5 or 6 days, you are hearing from them, well, it hasn't worked yet. Who thought it was going to work in that period of time? But I think this is part of this 24-hour information that comes.
Do you have any comments? Specifically, has this impacted how you all conduct the war, and have you had to adjust your strategy in a way from this constant news attention that we all want?
Secretary COHEN. I can just speak for myself. We haven't changed at all in terms of the campaign itself. I believed from the beginning as we look at a phased air campaign, we would have to intensify it as soon as possible. I believe that you should apply as maximum force as you can reasonably do in the shortest period of time in order to achieve objectives, and we haven't changed from that. That campaign plan that was laid out by General Clark is consistent with that.
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Given what we had to do initially, to go after the IADS and go after the lines of communication and command and control, all of that, we planned for a longer campaign. One of the things I did with all of my colleagues and the counterparts in NATO is say, If we go in in the beginning, you must be there throughout, and that means being in for the long haul.
It is very difficult in this age in which we live, Toffler called it the age of future shock, how you characterize it. But you have this tremendous pressure that is constantly being put upon the decisionmakers, be it here politically, in a non-national security issue, but just congressionally.
I recall the change that has taken place since I was in this body and the other body. It used to be you were given time to reflect on issues. You might even be judged by various organizations based on how you voted. Today they make judgments and their ratings established on whether you sponsor a bill or not. If you don't sponsor it, you must be opposed to it, and therefore you get a rating that is negative or positive.
So I think everything has been compressed. That makes the job that much harder. But I would say from a military point of view, we are going to continue as long as we can continue with the support that we need. We haven't altered that during the course of this campaign.
General SHELTON. I would just add to that, sir, we are very conscious of the fact that you don't win unless the TV says that you win, and that we live in an environment in which we have come to expect almost instantaneous gratification, a 30-second ad, a satisfying result quickly. And unless you get that, there is tremendous pressure to do something that you wouldn't otherwise have done, and not stay the course, not remain steady.
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The campaign plan that was laid out here was designed to do that right up front. When you saw the atrocities that were being committed, the ethnic cleansing, you feel an internal pressure to want to come away from the setting, the conditions that I talked about, and immediately start tryingand if you do that, you will pay a tremendous price. So it does put pressure.
But there has been no external pressure that I am aware of to change the campaign plan that has allowed us to proceed as it was outlined.
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Ms. Tauscher.
Mrs. TAUSCHER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Secretary, General Shelton, I just want to reiterate my position. I am strongly supportive of our involvement in this NATO mission. I do believe that it is in our national security interests to have a stabilized Europe and that a destabilization of the Balkans greatly influences the opportunity for Europe to fall into a catastrophic situation, and that is going to very much be a dangerous situation for the United States.
I just want to shift the debate a little bit to the families of our fighting men and women. When we were in Aviano and Ramstein last weekI guess my concerns are about the imminent danger pay. Is there any way we can make sure that is expedited so that our fighting men and women are able to deal with this situation for their families?
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Secondly, WIC funding for some of the families. Is there anything that we should be doing or anything that we should be doing to help to make sure that they are getting the kind of support they need? As we move more equipment into Aviano, are we going to face an overcrowding situation and is that going to jeopardize the ability for the families to stay with their fighting men and women?
General SHELTON. The imminent danger pay is being worked as we speak. It is being expedited. The WIC program is in fact a program that if they are entitled to, they can apply for. You know, there are certain rules that you have to meet from the Federal Government in order to qualify.
Mrs. TAUSCHER. Is there anything we can do, General, to make sure folks over there are not dealing with a delay because they are so far away from us, that we are doing everything we can?
General SHELTON. I would check, but the way we do business today, everything is done with electrons and they move very fast. Everything should be processed almost as rapidly as it is here. I won't promise you it is, but I will check and make sure it is. Your last question dealt with
Mrs. TAUSCHER. Overcrowding in Aviano.
General SHELTON. You mean because of the buildup?
Page 65 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mrs. TAUSCHER. Yes.
General SHELTON. They have done a tremendous job, as you probably saw there, just magnificent in the way they have accommodated that. As we look at additional resources, one of the concerns that we have expressed, the Secretary and I haveand we have asked General Clark to provide some feedback in his planningis where the bed-down will be. Obviously Aviano can't take that much more at this time, so most of the others that he will receive will have to go into other basing.
So that is all part of the plan before the decision is made to deploy them, is where they will go and lots of other considerations. But that is a big one.
Mrs. TAUSCHER. I applaud all your efforts. Please let us know how we can continue to be of help.
General SHELTON. You saw how supportive those family members have been of the hundreds of service men and women stationed there.
Mrs. TAUSCHER. Unbelievable. Mr. Chairman, if I can make come one comment. General Leaf had flown a sortie the night before we were there last Thursday morning, and he was commenting on a personal basis. This is the first time not only do we have a real-time war that is playing out on CNN, but where fighting men and women are kissing their spouses and then going to the field and getting on a plane and flying sorties. So it a very different situation than we have really ever had. And I think we should be mindful of the fact that this could have an effect.
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There is a positive effect, obviously, for our fighting men and women to have their families nearby, but I am concerned about a depressive effect on some of the family members, especially young people. So I hope we are doing everything we can to provide them with any kind of counseling or other services so they can continue to stay together. I think that is very important for us. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Hostettler.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just want to follow on to the words of my colleague, Mr. Snyder, who was talking about the issue of bipartisanship. Mr. Secretary, you are absolutely right, when it comes to our national security interests, that is not a partisan issue.
I think what we are seeing today is the evolution of really the conflict between the branches, the issue of separation of powers; because I can tell you it is very frustrating when I go back home, as I am sure you have done in the past, and talk to constituents and they ask you, ''Congressman, what can you do about this?'' especially citizens, constituents, that don't necessarily see our vital national interests at stake here. And I quite frankly have to answer them in a way that is not necessarily, I believe, in sync with the Constitution. I really can't do a thing, because except for when we are asked to pay for these things after, it is to show my support for the troops and give as much money as is necessary, which we will do.
But there are things that are happening that I think we are finding we don't have much control over as a country, as a political entity, as NATO is, and that is, for example, the rise in the level of rhetoric on the part of Russians, especially the Duma and others. We know that Duma elections are in December.
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I wish my Chairman of the R&D Subcommittee was here, Chairman Weldon, in that just a while ago he said, I think the Duma took a vote last night to break off relations. I don't know what that was. But we know that constitutionally, in Russia, the Duma does not have the force that maybe the Congress does here. But that is the voice of the people in Russia that is speaking.
So could you tell me what has happened, not in the long term, but really in the short term recently, what is Russia doing with regard to their presence in the area, and could it be that the reason why the President is talking about the no use of ground troops and is staying with that line, could that not be because Russia has in fact said that if ground troops are deployed in this area, that may be a prelude to their intervening, Russia's intervening on the part of Yugoslavia?
Mr. HUNTER. I just want to let you know, you have about 4-1/2 minutes to vote.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. This is important.
Secretary COHEN. Why don't I wait until you come back?
Mr. HOSTETTLER. If you could, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. You want to take a 5 minute break here?
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary COHEN. I think to give him any kind of adequate answer, I don't want to rush.
Mr. HUNTER. Do you want to take a break?
Secretary COHEN. Why don't we continue with you?
Mr. HUNTER. I am all ready. You gave us a pretty good picture through television of the mass graves that we have seen through overheads. Do you have any more information on that that has confirmed that those indeed are mass graves?
Secretary COHEN. I don't think I have any more information other than what we have. One of the difficulties, you know, we are getting hit from both sides in terms of the information that is being produced. On the one hand, when you show mass graves through aerial photographs, that immediately gives Milosevic and his forces an opportunity to go out and reconfigure what they have done if they in fact have indulged in this.
But I will try to get more information for you. We are trying to verify that. We are watching that as closely as we can and trying to collate all of the sources of information with refugees coming out, giving stories, pinpointing where the executions are taking place.
Mr. HUNTER. The British estimate was there were 100,000 males missing from the populations of people that had been displaced outside the border. Would you confirm that? Do you have any adjustments to that number?
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Secretary COHEN. I think the number is substantial. I don't have any way of confirming it.
Mr. HUNTER. Before my colleagues come back, this is a great opportunity to get into our next big issue that is going to face us on the floor, and that is going to be the supplemental coming over. Mr. Secretary, we have talked about the fact that you can't have a Ronald Reagan foreign policy with a Jimmy Carter budget. We have, as you know, a Jimmy Carter defense budget, $150 billion less than President Reagan spent in 1985 in real dollars.
We have pledged a lot of support to these troops, but we still have 10,000 of them on food stamps, as you know. We have still a declining mission-capable rate. General Shelton, you know it has gone down an average of about 10 percent or more across the services. That is, the ability of your aircraft to fly off successfully, complete a mission, and come back. You are short on basic ammo and have been for a long time.
Secretary COHEN. That is not your fault. You get a free ride here.
Mr. HUNTER. We have a real shortage on ammo, Marines and Army, and we have a spare parts shortage. While even though it is addressed often at the Washington level, the shortage or the fix is not taking place at the troop level. We were out with Congressman Bateman's Readiness Subcommittee at Nellis Air Force Base, and the Top Gun training unit out there reported of their 24 planes, something like 13 of them were down, 8 of them without engines. As I recall.
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Now, if we really want to give the best to our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, we are going to have to come up with a very major dollar fix. As you also know, we are stretching our resources around the globe.
I think part of the reluctance of a number of my colleagues with respect to this operation is the fact that it is obvious that units are being taken from places where we have existing operations to serve this operation.
There is a feeling, a growing feeling that with the force structure that we have, we are not able to meet all of our global commitments, and that reflects the reduction in Army divisions since Desert Storm of 18 down to 10, the reduction of active fighter air wings from 24 to 13, cutting air power almost in half, and the reduction in Navy ships from 546 to about 325 today.
So two questions for you. Will you work in partnership with us, those of us on this committee and the other committees that oversee Defense, to give a full funding of our defense requirements instead of nickel and diming this thing, replacing a bullet for a bullet, for example, in this supplemental appropriation?
Secondly, would you considerand I know, General Shelton, you have to have been looking at thiswould you consider force structure increases based on the tremendous personnel turbulence that is caused by stretching these people around the globe and pulling them out of schools to move them into operations prematurely? You know what I am talking about an 800 pilot shortage and an 18,000 sailor shortage. Some of that is attributable to OPTEMPO; that is people being just stretched too much, not seeing their families. Maybe you can't do it with 10 divisions and 13 fighter air wings and 325 ships.
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So, those two questions. Will you work with us as a partner to get full funding? Mr. Secretary, that means you may have to go pound on the table in this administration to get that, along with General Shelton. But I think that is a big concern here.
Secretary COHEN. Congressman Hunter, let me say that when I first took over this position, I was faced with a congressional cap on defense spending that was negotiated at the highest levels between the President's numbers and the congressional numbers, and that was established before I took this position.
Since that time, in a relatively short period of time, working with you and other members of this committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee and people who have been out in the field gathering information, helping us understand the nature of the readiness challenge, in a 2-year period of time we have persuaded the administration, the President, to increase that budget by $112 billion over the next 6 years, and the Chiefs have asked for $148 billion.
Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Secretary, remember, we all understand, the President can't commit a President who hasn't been named yet in the future. He has really increased it $4 billion this year in real new authorized dollars.
Secretary COHEN. Nor can any congressional session commit for future Congresses. But what we have done is we have in fact had to program and plan for that amount, so it does put the burden on any successor administration. This is what was committed to, and at a minimum, this is what we need. And should Congress decide it wants to go above that, of course, that is welcome too. But right now, we have committed this administration to a policy of funding up to that level, and that will have a major impact on a successor administration.
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I will leave it that we will continue to work with you. But I think we have worked very hard to get that number on the upswing, rather than where it was going before.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you. General Shelton?
General SHELTON. Congressman Hunter, as you have heard me testify before, we do know that our readiness is fraying at the edges. We knew it had started to nose over. We were concerned about the low density, high demand, in particular, but the utilization of the force and the lack of spare parts. That is why both the Secretary and I and the Joint Chiefs in general pushed so hard to get the funding level raised and did in fact get it up, as the Secretary testified.
I think that as I just said a few moments ago, it is still too early to tell in terms of where we go from here with the force structure. But one thing we know for sure, the shape, respond, prepare strategy that we have got, which we still think is the right one, combined with the amount that we have used the force over the last couple of years, has meant that we probably need to do some adjusting to the structure.
Whether or not that is external or internal, as you well know, we have got a tremendous amount in our Reserve components, and they do yeoman's work for us. We are using them a lot. I don't know to what level we can sustain the utilization of the Reserves, the National Guards and Reserves in the coming years, if we have to use them in some of the areas like civil affairs and psychological operations, some of our Reserve pilots. That is something that the Air Force, the Army, all the services have got to take a look at.
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If in fact we can't find the right balance within this force structure that we have right now, then we would be the first to come forward and say that something will have to give.
We are using the force fairly heavily, as the Joint Chiefs have testified to. I will just make a couple of comments on ammunition. In fact, part of the request being forwarded, has been forwarded up to the Secretary and will be going forward, does in fact include a significant amount of ammunition. It has not only the replacement of what we are currently utilizing and project to utilize, but also to bring the inventory levels back up to what we feel is the appropriate quantity to be able to carry out our strategy of two MTWs.
Mr. HUNTER. You know you have $1.6 billion shortage in the Army and 193 million shortage from the Marines. You include a $1.8 billion increase in ammo beyond the usage?
General SHELTON. There is a substantial amount there for ammunition. Whether or not it covers the full amount that you are referring to, we deal with a couple of things. One is the requirement for the two MTWs, and the other one is the total requirement for everything. I am not sure what you are measuring against. We certainly are asking for a sizable amount.
Then the other one on spare parts, as you know, the Defense Department put $1 billion in last year. Some of that just takes time to get through the pipeline. I agree with you, in many cases now there is still a shortage. But it takes awhile for the pipeline to catch up with it.
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The non-offset supplemental which will be asked for, I would certainly ask the Congress to approve that in a hurry, because we are in the third quarter right now. We are using funds that otherwise would be designed to sustain us through the fourth quarter, for the training, to keep the training and the readiness up. Unless that supplemental is provided fairly quickly, we will see a degradation in readiness, and a rather significant one, by early or late in the third quarter or early fourth quarter.
Mr. HUNTER. Let me give you a sure bet, General. We are going to give you folks a lot more in this supplemental than you are asking for. You are going to have a lot more assets than the President is requesting.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. I had a question about Russia.
Secretary COHEN. Let me respond. I am sure that your colleague, Congressman Weldon, spends a lot of time with the Russian members of the Duma. And it is something I would urge, I must tell you, I would urge as many Members as possible in the House and Senate to keep up the travel to Moscow and other places in Russia. They feel that they are not accorded the same treatment they once had. They feel that they no longer command the respect they once had. That has had a real impact in terms of their national psychic identity. So the more contact that you as a Member of Congress can have with your counterparts in the Russian Duma, I think, the better.
Page 75 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC What has happened is that they have serious economic difficulties, the loss of status, and the fact that they didn't like the fact that NATO was being enlarged and they did not like our efforts to contain Saddam Hussein. So there are a lot of issues out there for them to complain.
But what is interesting is at the highest levels, the rhetoric which started very high and very hot, has been really lowered substantially in the last couple of weeks, because the leadership recognizes that by really pumping up the rhetoric to the high levels it was, did in fact have an impact on society itself, so that you would run the danger of at the lower levels of government starting to take hold in the Duma and elsewhere, that you could set in motion a dynamic which would be hard to reverse.
So you have seen a ratcheting down, as such, of the rhetoric at the highest levels. In the meantime, the level has come up quite a bit in the Duma and elsewhere. We think it is important that we keep these lines of contact open and try to work our way through this period, because everybody at the leadership level understands these are major issues we have to contend with.
START 2 ratification, CFE, as far as our conventional forces in Europe, all of these issues, the Cooperative Threat Reduction Act and the monies that are allocated to reducing the level of nuclear weapons and chemical weapons in Russia, all of that is very important for us to continue.
So I think what you will see is an effort made by the political leadership to start dialing down the rhetoric, and that will have more of a leveling impact. But right now I would say, given the economic situation they face, given all of the problems that they are now challenged with, that they can focus on this issue to relay a sense of nationalism in Russia, and that is of concern to a lot of people there as well as here.
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So we have to work with them very closely to keep the lines open, and we are doing that. So I have been quite impressed with what Secretary Albright has been doing as far as talking to the Foreign Minister, the Vice President talking to his counterpart in Russia, and the President talking to President Yeltsin. So that is ongoing.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. That answers very fully my second question. My first question had to do with the current assets that are Russian assets that are observing the developments in Yugoslavia.
Secretary COHEN. Right now there is one intelligence-gathering ship that is in the region. We have no information that they are passing any intelligence on to the Serb forces, and we have discussed this with them; that that would be a great mistake on their part, were they to collect intelligence and pass it to Serb forces that would enable them to put our pilots in greater danger as a result of that. That is a message that has been delivered to them.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Mr. Chairman, if I could have one more, there was a report about a week ago about ships leaving Sevastopol and they are trying to get some clearance from Turkey with regard to passage. Did that not ever develop? Were those ships not ever sent into the area?
Secretary COHEN. Just the one intelligence ship to date.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Thank you very much.
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Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman. Mr. Chambliss.
Mr. CHAMBLISS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Secretary, first of all, I want to tell you, having been over there last week, I appreciate your participation in whatever the final decision channels that it had to go through to allow Chairman Spence, Mr. Graham, and I to go into Scopje to visit the refugee camp. It was a meaningful trip and we certainly learned a lot.
During the time we were in the theater we had extensive briefings, both with Admiral Ellis in Naples at the European Command, as well as with General Clark. You know, after talking with them, after hearing you speak any number of times, after hearing General Shelton and many other folks who were involved in the administrative decision on why we are there, I am going to have to tell you that I am still struggling with the issue of why we are there and trying to explain to the folks in my district exactly why we are there.
I don't think that has been clearly defined yet. That is important. But the important thing is that we are there now. But I do think you need to know that there is still a real question out there among the American people about why we are there. And I think the first body bag that comes home is going to create serious questions in the minds of even more Americans. Not just why we are there, but why are we staying there?
I know that those of us who were opposed to our involvement in the Bosnian operation early on somewhat became convinced with the argument that well, we have got to maintain stability in that region, we have got to confine this situation to Bosnia, we can't let it spread. I remember, of course, you were Senator Cohen at that time, and you heard those same arguments. I know you had those same questions. I assume you probably somewhat became convinced for that reasoning, because I think that is a valid reason for the Bosnian operation.
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But with Bosnia we were going to commit troops for a year and be out of there after we maintained peace. Here we are, 3 years and $12 billion later, and we are still there and there is really no end in sight there. All of a sudden what has happened is the war has spread next door into Yugoslavia. I just have a difficult time rationalizing that in my mind.
The one thing I will say, having been over there last week, is both of you know I have a significant interest in weapons systems like JSTARS and like the C-130 and the C-17, even the F-117, all of which we are just extremely proud of. All of our troops that are in and out of there, and the way those weapon systems are performing I think is magnificent, and they are doing exactly what we designed them to do.
I just hope, Mr. Secretary, after utilizing JSTARS like you have done, that you will push even harder for the support of the additional JSTARS platforms that you have already asked for this year and that we will continue to keep that in our budget henceforth.
Going a little bit further into what you alluded to with respect to the Russian involvement, far be it for us to tell you how to do thisyou all are the experts at it, as well as the folks at the State Departmentbut that is the real key to the resolution of this. I think there are any number of ways to come at a resolution very honestly, if you look at it today, having seen the terrain over there and knowing what the ground troops would face, knowing that there is a limit to what you can do from a bombing standpoint. I think the solutions that are staring at us right now, while there are many, none of them are good, and we have to find what is the good solution, what is the right solution. In my opinion the Russians are a key to that.
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You are absolutely correct, they are floundering around. They have been treading water since the demise of the Soviet Union, looking for an identity in the international community. This is a perfect opportunity for them. They have some sort of dialogue, whatever it may be, with Milosevic. I know you all are going to continue to try to involve them in this, and I think they can be a real key player.
I have to tell you also, having talked to the refugees and knowing that even though they are not maybethose people that we talked to certainly are not a highly educated people, they are a very poor people, and they don't understand world politics and what goes on in other parts of the world. But the one thing they do understand is who is causing their pain. They understand what Mr. Milosevic has done to them.
I am a little bit concerned about us as NATO, or us particularly as the United States of America, negotiating with an international thug and an international murderer, which is exactly what he is. And I hope that we are able to, with the involvement of probably the Russian community, to find some positive solution that allows us to exit out of there with the integrity of NATO in place, and obviously the integrity of the United States.
I think one thing that Mr. Bartlett said. I might not go as far as he did with respect to some of his comments, but I will tell you this: NATO has got a real decision they have got to make long term. We have been in a defensive posture in NATO since 1949, and all of a sudden we have done a 180 and gotten on the aggressive side. And where is NATO going to go?
We have set one heck of a precedent here that we are going to have to live with forever and ever. And somebody told me earlier today that they understood that NATO stood for ''not thoroughly thought out.'' I don't know that that is necessarily true, but we have committed NATO to something we are going to have to live with for a long time to come.
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So I don't know whether I generated any comments on your parts, but that is my feeling after having been over there.
Secretary COHEN. Thank you.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank my colleague. Mr. Kuykendall.
Mr. KUYKENDALL. Yes, Mr. Secretary and Chairman. A couple of these, just your feedback, maybe good or not. The U.S. is a member of NATO, and we have referred continuously today about a 19-member NATO alliance. And we are actually the hammer in NATO, the rest of them just come along for the ride. We don't seem to be displaying that kind of leadership in how we run this. We look like we are going to have other people tell us how we ought to run this operation, and then we are the 19th one, along for the ride.
If we have 60 percent of the aircraft, we have basically all of the naval forces involved, if there are any ground forces of any great consequence, it will be the biggest, meanest ones will be ours for the most part, and somebody else will add some more to it. I think we need to exercise leadership in NATO commensurate with the role we play in NATO militarily.
As soon as they want to start providing a bigger piece of the operation, as soon as they want to start paying for the piece of it that we are part of, then we ought to allow them to have a bigger say. I don't know how you deliver that message delicately. Maybe you don't. But we are the leader, and we need to act like the leader. We are not doing that in NATO right now.
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I don't know what your position would be on how you can emphasize that some. The Supreme Allied Commander is a 4-star American general who is supposed to be prosecuting what he is told to do by a NATO military alliance. This is not a diplomatic one necessarily, it is a military alliance.
So I am disturbed a little bit by this kind of lack of cohesion in the leadership and trying to run a war by proxy, by committee, and then just earlier today, the comment that even targeting decisions are sometimes run all the way up to the heads of state of these various countries or even our own. I don't know, unless you all know of one, I don't know of a single target in the entire country of Yugoslavia that I would view as an important enough target to ask the President of the United States about. There is nothing there that is that important. There are no nuclear weapons involved in this engagement; it is all conventional, it is short-range conventional. It is almost tactical of sorts. If we weren't in front of the only little shoot-out in the world right now for the most part, we wouldn't even be having hearings like this over this big of an engagement.
A couple of the questions in particular also would be on press coverage. We have talked about this before. I think as much as the press in this room and other places won't like it, we have got to put a squeeze on that, because I am tired of watching the tactics we use to recover pilots, the tactics we use in launching our Cruise missiles to take out what kind of targets, the ammunition status, the parts status, everything else being in the newspaper.
Milosevic doesn't need a spy network; we have the L.A. Times and CNN. We need to use that to our advantage, not allow us to be used. That is what he is doing. We need to do a better job of that.
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I would encourage your comments, if you have any, on how you can try to dampen that some and get that message through to our allies as well: Folks, we don't tell them every target we go after, and we don't explain away ones when we happen to hit something we weren't aiming at. Particularly this young pilot, whoever he was, that is now being tagged with a mistake. Somebody ought to put up on a map and show them what 15,000 feet looks like. And you can't tell the difference, folks, I tell you, when you decide to drop your bomb, whether it is a convoy of trucks or a convoy of tractors pulling trailers. It all looks like a convoy. If it is moving in the right direction, that is what you are there to do.
The world doesn't understand that. They think we have a pilot that made a mistake and we are apologizing for it. The world needs to understand he is a committed professional, and these things happen in these engagements, and we don't need to talk about them any.
Finally, the simple question is, have we activated any Reserve forces to supplement these operations and the ones in Iraq; and, if so, when will we start hearing about who they are? They haven't gotten much news coverage anyway. That is the one thing I haven't heard about. If it is a secret, tell me about it, and I will be happy to not have it in the paper tomorrow.
Secretary COHEN. There have been a number of activations of the Guard and Reserve units to carry out this mission. So we have done that. We may have to do more of it in terms of carrying out what General Clark would like to have.
Page 83 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Let me say with respect to the hammer, you are right; we have been the hammer in the NATO force, but we have had great support from our British friends. The Germans are now participating in ways that 5 years ago you would not have seen take place. I used to go over to conferences in Munich and I would talk to the Germans about their inability or unwillingness to contribute forces to serve outside of Germany itself. They had a constitutional prohibition which they interpreted saying they couldn't do that. Today they are flying attack missions, as are the Italians and others who are participating, the Norwegians. So we are the hammer, but we have great support from key allies.
With respect to targets, let me just make a couple of comments. What distinguishes us from Milosevic is we are concerned about human life. We do place a high premium on protecting innocent people. And one of the reasons that I think we are as admired the world over and why the world turns to the United States, because we have these values.
So when you come to military planners who look at targets, they make certain value judgments. They look at the value of the military target, they look at what the damage would be, is it going to be low, moderate, high, and then make recommendations right up the chain of command to the Commander in Chief, as they should.
When you get to a question whether you are going to kill a lot of innocent people to take out one particular target, then you get into an area where the Commander in Chief really does have an obligation to review that and pass some judgment on it.
But I will tell you, the President has given General Clark essentially what he needs in the way of flexibility, assets, command. He has what he needs to carry out his mission. And we have gone through this process of what role other heads of state will play in looking over their target selection. And we believe we went through some initial phases where perhaps there was too much delay in approval and the process wasn't working right. I think we have squared that away now, where Wes Clark feels he has what he needs.
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General Shelton, why don't you address it?
General SHELTON. Yes, sir. I would add to what the Secretary said, that I agree that there are targets, particularly in those top two categories when we get into the classified, that they have major policy implications, and therefore it is appropriate. But I would also tell you, that hasn't been an issue; that General Clark has gotten the targets he wanted approved that are in those categories well ahead of time, and we have in fact gotten the President's approval. That has not held up any of the efforts whatsoever.
Also I would say that it can be done very fast. I think the fastest time we have right now, and we could probably do it even faster, is 45 minutes from the time we got it until the time it had been approved by the President.
The press coverage and the information, I also share your concern. We try to strike a balance between keeping the American people and keeping the Congress, everyone informed of what is going on, but particularly regarding the press coverage, to strike a balance between that and operational security. My background is the less the better, because of the never telegraphing to a potential adversary what you are doing, what you have done, what you are thinking about doing; and yet there is some of this that he knows by virtue of what has happened to him and what continues to happen to him day in and day out. So we probably don't lose anything in that regard and we still have a considerable amount of stuff that we don't discuss publicly.
Finally, on the targeting, I want to go back to that for just a second as relates to the pilots. When I was in Aviano last week, we had just had what was at that point the first incident, I think, of a bomb missing the intended target. Actually three bombs went in, two hit dead center, one fell a little bit short. I stressed to the pilots at that time, through the chain of command, that we do everything we can to minimize the unintended consequences of our action; in other words, hitting things we don't intend to hit or causing damage we didn't intend to cause; but that when they are going into this environment, particularly when they are experiencing hostile fire from the ground, et cetera, they do the very best they can. They are very professionally weaponeered, the targets. We avoid unintended consequences to the very best of your ability.
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In the final analysis for that guy going in, this is combat, this is war, so he does the best he can, and things are going to happen that we didn't intend to cause to happen when you are using force. They all understand that. No one, to my knowledge, today is being chastised because of unintended consequences.
The incident we had the other day with the train is another one. We went back and looked at the film. The pilot could not tell in time that there was in fact a train on that bridge that he went for.
So I think we have struck the right balance. We have done everything we can, and there we are out to do the job and get the mission accomplished. They understand that.
Finally, regarding the use of our Reserves, this is truly a total force operation, has been from the very start, just like Bosnia is today. We could not be doing it without the National Guard and Reserve components, everything from individuals, like pilots that are flying our tankers, right up to the command solo psychological operations aircraft that took off on very short notice to go over and support the SIOP campaign to counter some of Milosevic's television and radio propaganda he was using to maintain control. So it is total force.
Mr. KUYKENDALL. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Maloney.
Mr. MALONEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Secretary, General Shelton, thank you very much for your testimony today. Let me start with a comment.
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The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary, you have to leave for a meeting at the White House.
Secretary COHEN. We have a few more minutes.
The CHAIRMAN. I wonder after that whether the General can stay with us or whether he has to go too?
Secretary COHEN. If I have to go, he has to go.
The CHAIRMAN. All right. Mr. Maloney.
We have to take orders. I know how that goes.
Mr. MALONEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Let me start by saying that I think why we are there is clear to me, which is both a matter of humanitarian concern and the matter of the stability in Europe, and I think both of those are tremendously important to us and I support the efforts that are being made.
I have two questions. One is sort of a technical one, and the other is a broader one.
Mr. Secretary, earlier today in response to a question, the question was in effect if Milosevic signed the Rambouillet agreement we would stop our air campaign.
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I wouldn't want that to be misunderstood. My understanding of the policy is that signing the agreement isn't really the trigger; that, in fact, he would have to comply with the Rambouillet agreement, and there is much more to it than simply signing the document. That would be my first technical question.
My second question goes to the issue, isn't Rambouillet really obsolete? There is an old expression, ''Circumstances change intentions,'' and I think there are two grounds for thinking that Rambouillet is obsolete.
First, Mr. Secretary, you had said we are trying to deny Mr. Milosevic the things he prizes most. I would argue that that is not fuel refineries, bridges, or even troops. I think his policy has proven that what he prizes the most in some respect is his ability to stay in power, which is related to his view that Kosovo itself, or at least certain portions of it, the Field of Blackbirds and other culturally important issues for him and the Serbians, are what he prizes the most. And Rambouillet in effect may have missed that point or obfuscated it, and now that that has become very clear, that he is willing to do almost anything. And that no matter how many troops are killed or how many bridges or how many refineries are eliminated, that won't change the situation.
Number two: Isn't Rambouillet obsolete from another point of view, which is that Lincoln said, ''A house divided against itself cannot stand''? I cannot imagine any house more divided against itself than Kosovo in terms of people having been killed or raped, or both. And to expect the Kosovars to come back together to live in the Serbian-Kosovar-Yugoslavian house, I just think the circumstances may have so fundamentally changed, that that anticipation of Rambouillet just is obsolete.
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In that regard, I just want to make reference to something that was, I thought, a very insightful column, a TRB column in the New Republic about a week ago which addressed some of those issues, and I just commend it to your attention.
But I would ask your comments on the first technical question; and, secondly, my general questionI think perhaps Rambouillet is obsolete, and we may need to start again.
Secretary COHEN. With respect to the technical aspect, signing up is not enough. What he would have to do, he has to pull his forces out. It is not just signing a piece of paper saying, okay, I agree.
We don't trust him. We will never trust him. It will always be a case of we have to verify in this particular case. He has to pull the forces back. We can determine that very quickly. It is pulling the forces out, allowing the refugees back in, resettlement to take place in a safe environment, allowing autonomy or self-governance, and allowing an international peacekeeping force. Forget about the term ''Rambouillet.'' Those are the conditions that he must sign up to and then complete before this campaign of ours will stop.
When I said we are targeting those things that he prizes, his military keeps him in power. He is going to see that military systematically start to be degraded in ways that are going to put him at risk on a different front with the KLA, so we think that this campaign can be successfully completed.
Page 89 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC On the house divided, we will have to wait and see. We have seen examples in the past where there have been ravages of people, and they have been able to go back into an environment if they feel secure. That is the reason, frankly, when we say NATO-led, or the core of NATO must be involved in this. They don't trust other people to provide that security. They will trust a NATO-led force or a NATO force that will help preserve their security.
So I think we will have to wait and see. But the answer is he has to get out, and they have to get back in and be safe and secure.
Mr. MALONEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. All set.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. Gentlemen, and ladies, you heard the discussion we had a while ago. The Secretary has to leave to go to the White House.
Mr. Secretary, Mr. Chairman, we appreciate your both coming. We will talk more in the future. Thank you very much.
[Whereupon, at 4:35 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]
CHARTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD
April 15, 1999
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A P P E N D I X
April 15, 1999