SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10828]
OPERATIONS AND RECONSTRUCTION EFFORTS IN IRAQ
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS
APRIL 21, 2004
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
One Hundred Eighth Congress
DUNCAN HUNTER, California, Chairman
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCCURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
HOWARD P. ''BUCK'' McKEON, California
MAC THORNBERRY, Texas
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
HEATHER WILSON, New Mexico
KEN CALVERT, California
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
ED SCHROCK, Virginia
W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
JEFF MILLER, Florida
JOE WILSON, South Carolina
FRANK A. LoBIONDO, New Jersey
TOM COLE, Oklahoma
JEB BRADLEY, New Hampshire
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCROB BISHOP, Utah
MICHAEL TURNER, Ohio
JOHN KLINE, Minnesota
CANDICE S. MILLER, Michigan
PHIL GINGREY, Georgia
MIKE ROGERS, Alabama
TRENT FRANKS, Arizona
IKE SKELTON, Missouri
JOHN SPRATT, South Carolina
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
LANE EVANS, Illinois
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
MARTY MEEHAN, Massachusetts
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
JIM TURNER, Texas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
ROBERT A. BRADY, Pennsylvania
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
SUSAN A. DAVIS, California
JAMES R. LANGEVIN, Rhode Island
STEVE ISRAEL, New York
RICK LARSEN, Washington
JIM COOPER, Tennessee
JIM MARSHALL, Georgia
KENDRICK B. MEEK, Florida
MADELEINE Z. BORDALLO, Guam
RODNEY ALEXANDER, Louisiana
TIM RYAN, Ohio
Robert S. Rangel, Staff Director
James M. Lariviere, Professional Staff Member
Justin Bernier, Research Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Wednesday, April 21, 2004, Iraq's Transition to Sovereignty
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Wednesday, April 21, 2004
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21, 2004
IRAQ'S TRANSITION TO SOVEREIGNTY
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Hunter, Hon. Duncan, a Representative from California, Chairman, Committee on Armed Services
Skelton, Hon. Ike, a Representative from Missouri, Ranking Member, Committee on Armed Services
Baram, Dr. Amatzia, Senior Fellow, United States Institute of Peace
Grossman, Hon. Marc, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Department of State
Keane, Gen. John, USA (Ret.), Former Vice Chief of Staff, United States Army
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Myers, Gen. Richard B., USAF, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Wolfowitz, Hon. Paul, Deputy Secretary of Defense
Yaphe, Dr. Judith, Senior Fellow, National Defense Universaity
[The Prepared Statements can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Baram, Dr. Amatzia
Grossman, Hon. Marc
Hunter, Hon. Duncan
Skelton, Hon. Ike
Wolfowitz, Hon. Paul
Yaphe, Dr. Judith S.
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Documents can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Iraqi Polls Bring Secular Success by Jonathan Steele
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMs. Davis (Susan)
IRAQ'S TRANSITION TO SOVEREIGNTY
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Wednesday, April 21, 2004.
The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:05 a.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Duncan Hunter (chairman of the committee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. DUNCAN HUNTER, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM CALIFORNIA, CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
The CHAIRMAN. The hearing will come to order. Our guests this morning are the Honorable Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense, General Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Honorable Marc Grossman, Under Secretary of State. Welcome to the committee, gentlemen. We look forward to your testimony. We appreciate your appearance before the committee this morning.
We are going to have a second panel following, and we will introduce those witnesses at that point in the hearing.
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At the beginning of the war on terror, the President called on America to drain the swamp that breeds intolerance, hatred and extremism. Nobody can seriously doubt that Saddam Hussein's Iraq was part of that swamp. We all agree he was a mass murderer who had committed multiple acts of aggression against his neighbors, used weapons of mass destruction, defied the United Nations, continually attacked Coalition aircraft enforcing UN approved no-fly zones, financially rewarded homicide bombers in Israel, and harbored terrorists who had killed Americans, including Abu Nidal, Abu Abbas, and Abdul Rahman Yasin, who was implicated in the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center.
Our long term victory in the Global War on Terror will require changing the behavior of such regimes or eliminating them. After more than a decade of diplomacy failed to change Saddam Hussein's behavior, a coalition of nations invaded Iraq and deposed the region, eliminating one major part of the swamp that fosters terror.
It has cost us blood and treasure. Americans have opened their wallets to drain the swamp, but more importantly we have offered up our sons and our daughters, some of whom have paid the ultimate price to make us safer. As painful as those lessons are, there should be no doubt that their willingness to carry that burden has eliminated the threat that was clearly aimed at the United States.
The question before this country now is how to move forward. But we have to do more than eliminate state sponsors of terror in in order to win the war that started on September 11th, we have to create new states that represent their citizens, respect their neighbors, reject terrorism and seek a constructive role in the world. This will be a long and difficult process. It took decades upon decades of false starts, poor policies and a civil war before American democracy reached its current state.
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With that in mind, it would be foolish to expect the process in Iraq to unfold perfectly according to some preconceived plan. In fact, building democracy in Iraq will be harder because there are dedicated enemies of the process throughout that region. But we must remain committed to the task.
Maintaining that commitment means giving the troops the resources they need when the Commander in Chief says he needs them. It means honoring our promise to transfer sovereignty to the Iraqi people on June 30th. It means respecting those countries who join us in Iraq rather demeaning their efforts because their troops don't speak French or German.
It means respecting the role of religion in Iraq while resisting those who use to it justify their own selfish pursuit of power. It means keeping our eye on the future, 10 years down the road, and not making new policy every time the 24-hour news cycle preaches panic. It means having enough wisdom and patience to accept this as a long-term commitment to the American people.
So gentlemen, we look forward to your testimony and to the ensuing discussions. Thank you again for being with us. And let me recognize my partner on the committee, the ranking Democrat, the gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Skelton, for any remarks he might wish to make.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hunter can be viewed in the hard copy.]
STATEMENT OF HON. IKE SKELTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MISSOURI, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
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Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. I join you in welcoming our witnesses, Secretary Wolfowitz, General Myers, Secretary Grossman, and I look forward also to the second panel, Mr. Chairman. Our old friend General Jack Keane will be with us then as I understand it.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this hearing. It is important, both because of the impending political transition on June the 30th and because we are in the midst of the most deadly month for American troops since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
This is our constitutional duty, to raise, maintain the military, it is our duty to have oversight into the very serious questions we have in front of us. These issues deeply affect the American people, and they should be fully discussed. I hope that we will continue to hold hearings. I know we will. I understand there is one scheduled for Afghanistan in the very near future.
Gentlemen, I saw this coming. I don't like the phrase Deja Vu, but it is there. Just as the period leading up to the war, we knew that we had to have plans for the aftermath. We now know that we have to plan carefully for the turnover on June 30th. I raised concerns about the postwar period beginning on September the 4th, 2002, in a letter to the President, and I sent the rest of the Pentagon copies of it, the same March the 18th, and sadly most of my worst outcomes have come in about true, sadly for the last several months.
It was Sun Tzu who said ''To win victory is easy, to preserve its fruits difficult,'' and that was the genesis of my two letters of warning. Some of the insurgencies are because insurgents are seeking to take advantage of the upcoming political deadline, June 30. Some of this is because of mistakes made in the immediate postwar period. We did not have sufficient troops to bring stability or to stop the looting.
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The absence strengthened local clerics like Sadr, providing a base of support for his challenges to us. The decision to disband the Army also created legions of unemployed. These errors cannot be undone, you can't unring those bells, but we must not go on making a transition without sufficient planning. We have just 70 days before the next big event occurs, and major questions need to be answered.
Mr. Chairman, I do not revel in highlighting these concerns. I feel it is my constitutional duty as a member of this committee. And I don't blame all of the current violence on the poor planning. But lives of American troops and many Iraqis who are trying to build a better country for themselves depend on getting it right.
It seems to me there must be answers to questions outstanding in three major areas. Let me go over those. First, everything else is dependent upon establishing security throughout Iraq. American forces will provide security after June the 30th, the same as now. The next 2 months are still important.
There is storage and reconstruction projects that shut down food convoys, unable to reach towns and bases, of violence to both Sunni and Shia areas. I support the decision to increase the number of troops. We have to. What else will it take to get the situation under control? How can we stem the exodus of allies like Spain, Honduras, Dominican Republic, and I understand that Thailand is now talking that way.
How we ensure that our forces can continue to act is a must to bring security after June the 30th. And just as important, how do we get back in track of restoring trust with the ordinary Iraqis to winning their hearts and minds?
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Second, the question of transferring political sovereignty. I support the decision to involve the United Nations. This interim government is critical even if it is to only be short lived, building credibility for Iraq and reassuring the Iraqi people that America is not bent on long term occupation. Mr. Brahimi's concept is a sound one, but we still do not know who will make up the interim government.
Third, we must deal with the question of how to build professional Iraqi security forces able to provide for their own nation. Examples in the last few weeks have been mixed and General Abizaid mentioned this on the news. For every example like the 36th Battalion of the Civil Defense Corps, who I understand performed well in the Fallujah area, I am disturbed by the example of police and armed units who refused to fight or changed sides or folded.
I am pleased that Major General David Petraeus will be taking over the efforts to train those forces. You could haven't a better man than him to do this.
And have we systematically been taking stock of the problems to date and correcting them before Americans and Iraqis die as a result? Have are we building a sense of investment on the part of the Iraqis?
I raise these questions. I am very committed, as I know every member of this committee is committed, to success in Iraq. We must do it. We must face up to these questions. We must do it. We must do it right. I would like to mention some other things.
Reports in the news of some $700 million being used for Iraqi preparation without Congressional approval coming from the Afghanistan funds, as I understand it, at least according to the news media and Robert Woodward. If there was a memo that was sent to Chairman Hunter and me, I would like to see that, or a letter. I know of no such notification.
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I also, Mr. Secretary, and Mr. Chairman knows, I request information on the report of 20,000 private security contractors, and I have yet to receive an answer to my letter of some 2 and a half weeks ago. I get the feeling that we in Congress are not being fully informed as we should be ahead of time. We are a partner in this process. The Constitution says so and we have come through with the resolution, we have come through with the money, we have come through with our support and we have come through with our advice, and I hope that we will be considered a full partner in this effort. Second place in this effort doesn't count. We have to bring about a stable and successful Iraq. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Skelton can be viewed in the hard copy.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. And, Mr. Secretary, a point that Mr. Skelton made referring to the political handoff that is going to be made, the transfer of power to the interim government on June 30th is part of the equation, but he also mentioned the military handoff.
Obviously, a lot of people are under a misapprehension that somehow there is going to be a military, total military handoff to the Iraqi military on June 30th. That is not the case. But at some point down the road, as we stand up the Iraqi military and it takes on more and more responsibility, it will assume the security role in Iraq. And of course we want you to describe to us in this session, and General Myers, the status of this process, how the Iraqi military is forming up right now in your professional opinion, with respect to all elements, leadership, field grade officers, NCO corps, and going also to training and to equipment and how that process is proceeding.
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And you might give us your evaluation, your candid evaluation of what we might call good spots and bad spots in terms of their performance in this last upswell of violence in Iraq. So I think that is an important aspect to mention, to bring into this discussion.
But now that we have talked to you a little bit, Mr. Secretary, thank you for being with us this morning, and we look forward to your comments. The floor is yours, sir.
STATEMENT OF THE HON. PAUL WOLFOWITZ, DEPUTY SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This is such an important committee and such an important subject, and we welcome the opportunity to air these issues in public.
If I might just comment on two things that you and Congressman Skelton just said that I think are extremely important. First of all, I hope everyone in Iraq, and especially our enemies, heard what Congressman Skelton said about the fact that we are united on the need for victory.
And people shouldn't get confused when we debate how best to do that, that there is any lack of resolve. I think that is very important. I appreciate it. I think the troops appreciate it.
And, second, I appreciate your comment, Mr. Chairman, that the political transition on July 1st does not mean a major change in how the military security operation is conducted. General Myers and I will be able to discuss that in much more detail, but it is so easy, especially when you are 8,000 miles away and your sources of information aren't great, for some Iraqi Battalion commander to think that he is going to be on his own on July 1st. They are definitely not going to be. I think it is very important.
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We will get into all of those. But I just wanted to stress those two points. Mr. Chairman, I have a long statement, about 23 pages that I submitted for the record.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, Mr. Secretary, all statements will be taken into the record.
[The prepared statement of Secretary Wolfowitz can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. I beg the indulgence of the committee to let me read some excerpts from it, because we have put a lot of thought in it. I think there are some important things to be said, but I will try to shorten.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, as he prepared to lead his troops into action in Fallujah earlier this month, a Marine company commander took time to write to his father, a retired Marine:
This battle is going to have far reaching effects, on not only the war here, he wrote, but in the overall war on terrorism. We have to be very precise in our implication of combat power. We cannot kill a lot of innocent folks. There will be no shock and awe. But, he said, this battle is the Marine Corps Belleau Wood for this war. A lot of terrorists and foreign fighters are holed up in Fallujah. It has been a sanctuary for them.
The Marine Corps will either reaffirm its place in history as one of the greatest fighting organizations in the world or we will die trying. The Marines are fired up, he said. I am nervous for them, because I know how much is riding on this fight. However, every time I have been nervous during my career about the outcome of the events when young Marines were involved, they have also exceeded my expectations.
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God bless these great Americans, he concluded, who are ensuring that we continue to fight an ''away'' schedule.
Let me join with that blessing and say that our prayers are with him and with all of our people currently serving in Iraq and in Afghanistan. They are making America and the world more secure by helping the Iraqi and Afghan people to build free and prosperous democracies in the heart of the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Whether members of the Active Duty, Reserve or National Guard units, or civilians, these heroes embody the best ideals of our Nation, serving so that others may be free, so that our children and grandchildren can be safer, and we thank them all for the sacrifices they endure.
We also owe a sincere debt of gratitude to the roughly 19,000 men and women from our 35 Coalition partners who are also serving the cause of freedom in Iraq, and their civilian heroes and heroines as well, from the Coalition Provisional Authority and from a wide assortment of nongovernmental organizations in Iraq who have recently become a particular target of terrorist attacks, civilians like Fern Holland who quit practicing law in the United States in order to go to Iraq and help improve the lives of women there. Fern Holland was brutally murdered because of the work she was doing, and although it is a small consolation to her family and friends she died doing what she believed in.
And finally let me thank the members of this committee and the Congress for their continued strong support to our men and women in uniform.
Mr. Chairman, a little over a year ago, we all watched the statue of Saddam Hussein fall in the heart of Baghdad. On that day, 25 million of some of the most talented people in the Muslim and Arab world were liberated from one of the worst tyrannies of the last hundred years.
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According to a somewhat popular theme these days, the world is full of bad guys, and Saddam Hussein is just another bad guy. And any time I hear Saddam Hussein described that way, I know that the speaker doesn't really know about Saddam Hussein. If I might say, Mr. Chairman, in my career I have known some bad guys up close and personal. People like the former dictator of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, or the former dictator of Indonesia, Suharto. To paraphrase someone else, I knew Ferdinand Marcos and Ferdinand Marcos was no Saddam Hussein.
Saddam Hussein was more than just a bad guy. He institutionalized and sanctioned brutality on a scale that is simply unimaginable to most Americans. Saddam Hussein ruled by fear, creating a society in which the ideal citizen was an informer. Let me make it clear, because I understand that some people didn't get this when I testified yesterday.
I am not trying to go back and debate the causes and justifications for this war. We can do that in another session. We are here to talk about the way ahead. But it is very important if we are going to talk about the way ahead to understand the nature of the enemy.
The enemy that is out there fighting us today is still largely organized around the killers and torturers and murderers that sustained Saddam and the Baath Party in power for 35 years. Saddam did not kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqis single handled. He had an apparatus to do that and that apparatus, while severely weakened, is still out there fighting us now.
And the fear that they generated is still out there affecting Iraqis who are on the fence deciding whether or not to cooperate with the Coalition. A smothering blanket of fear woven by 35 years of repression, where even the smallest mistake could mean torture or death or punishments worse than death, like the death of your children, is not a fear that will be cast off in just a few weeks or even a few months time.
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Saddam began weaving this blanket of fear from the very beginning. In 1979, one of his first acts as president was a sweeping purge of top Baathist leaders. At a meeting of the Iraqi National Assembly, with tears in his eyes, Saddam talked about how a senior party member had confessed his disloyalty, and then he continued to name other guilty colleagues. Guards then dragged these people out of the meeting. And then Saddam asked his ministers and top party leaders for their first test of loyalty. He called on them to form the firing squads to execute their comrades who had just been identified. Then he had videos of the whole event distributed to leaders throughout the Middle East, so that his neighbors would know what kind of leader they were dealing with.
In doing this, and implicating members of his regime in his worst crimes in ensuring that his potential victims understood how seriously to take his threats, Saddam Hussein was applying the techniques of a most brutal gangland boss, but on a national scale and as the head of an internationally recognized government.
One of the most heartbreaking stories to come out of Iraq almost defies belief. Scott Ritter, the former UNSCOM inspector and an opponent of the war, described prisons whose stench he said was unreal, an amalgam of urine, feces, vomit and sweat, unquote, a hellhole were prisoners were howling and dying of thirst. In this prison, the oldest inmates were 12, the youngest mere toddlers. Their crime was to be children of the political enemies of the regime.
As I said, I am recounting these stories not to go into history, but to describe what one writer has called the density of evil that permeated Iraq. Its effects are like a torture that doesn't end. It is so alien to our own American experience that I think we need to talk about it to understand where Iraqis are today psychologically and so that we can confront one of the most formidable challenges that we face.
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Mr. Chairman, a significant part of the anti-democratic, anti-Coalition forces in Fallujah and elsewhere in Iraq today are members of the old Fedaheen Saddam, the old Iraqi Intelligence Service, the old Special Security Organization, and in some cases the old Republican Guards.
I would like to submit for the classified record an analysis from the Defense Intelligence Agency that goes into some detail about two of the directorates of the old Iraqi Intelligence Service. One of them is the M14 Directorate, the so called anti-terrorism directorate. The anti-terrorism is an Orwellian phrase. It in fact was a terrorist unit that specialized in hijackings, assassinations, and explosives.
[The information referred to is classified and retained in the committee files.]
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Former Iraqi Intelligencethis is an unclassified sentence from that reportformer Iraqi Intelligence Service operatives from the Directorate of the Special Operations and Anti-Terrorism, called M14, have been currently involved in planning and conducting numerous improvised explosive devices, vehicle borne improvised explosive devices, and radio controlled improvised explosive devices for anti-Coalition attacks throughout Iraq.
If you want to understand why we are dealing with some fairly sophisticated explosives in the attacks against us, you can read the classified portion of this report. Cells of former M14 personnel are organizing and conducting a terrorist IED campaign against Coalition forces.
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The explosive section of M14 prepared for the invasion by constructing hundreds of suicide vests and belts for use by Saddam Fedaheen against Coalition forces.
The IIS established a campaign that was purposefully decentralized so attacks could be carried out in the event that cell leaders were captured and killed. When Iraqis know that those people are in the field, when they get warning letters and death threats, when they get notices that they should do nothing to celebrate the fall of Saddam Hussein a year ago, they have to consider the penalties that these people can inflict on them against the much more indeed rewarding behavior that the United States can conduct.
And it creates a certain imbalance. But I think it is an imbalance that we can win and that we are winning. A few months ago in the town of Samara, a town roughly the size of Fallujah where this similar kind of sanctuary problem was developing, the 4th Infantry Division conducted a cordon and search operation. The Special Forces told me that they cleaned up 200 people. General Ordierno, who was the commander of the division, thinks it is closer to 500 or 700.
But the bottom line is that several hundreds of people were able to hold a city of 250,000 in their grip. Because that grip was loosened, we saw a very different result in Samara in the last few weeks.
Jim Spiel, who is a retired Army colonel and the police adviser in Baghdad, reported on an earlier visit to Samara after that clean-up operation that Samara is a different place from what it was during my visit in December. The number of active police stations has more than doubled. The attitude toward the Coalition forces was much improved as well. That was then borne out, Mr. Chairman, in the reports of the situation in Samara during the recent action, which are very different from the problems we have encountered further west. General John Batiste, Major General John Batiste, who commands the 1st Infantry Division that took over from General Ordierno's division, stood up a security working group in Samara in anticipation of the pilgrimages of earlier this month.
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As a result and with the close cooperation of Iraqi security forces, who as he said were part of the solution, the limited violence was contained. He suggests that the Samara model can be used throughout the region. I emphasize that because we are dealing, as we have been dealing from the beginning, with a very complicated picture throughout Iraq. That is not uniform. Fallujah is a serious problem, and we are very concerned to deal with it and to keep it from spreading. But it is not necessarily reflective of the whole country.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, a year after Iraq's liberation, it is important to pause and consider what we have accomplished together with the Iraqi people. For 35 years the Iraqi people were ruled by terror and by Saddam's personal fiat. Baathists engaged in murder, torture and arbitrary imprisonment. Iraqis had no real rights and were subject to the whims of Saddam and his sadistic sons.
Today, as the chart on my right shows, Iraqis have an interim constitution that is the most liberal basic governance document in the Arab world. The so-called Transitional Administrative Law, or TAL, contains assurances of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of movement.
Through 35 years of tyranny, money earmarked for lifesaving medicines were used by Saddam's regime to buy the end of life. Money marked for hospitals went to rebuild palaces and torture chambers. Today health care spending in Iraq has increased 30 times, 30 times over the prewar levels, and children are receiving crucial vaccines for the first time in years.
After 35 years of tyranny, Iraq's economy was moribund due to state control, rampant corruption, and Saddam's misallocation of resources to palaces and weapons and to his cronies. Today the Iraqi economy is on the path of recovery and prosperity, even though the full effect of the $18.4 billion in reconstruction grants that the Congress provided is only just starting to be felt. This is still, I would emphasize, an area of great concern to us.
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Unemployment is a source of insecurity in that country. But we are making progress in the face of years of neglect. It is that progress which the enemy seeks to stop today and which we must make increased efforts to accelerate.
For 35 years, Mr. Chairman, Iraq's oil revenues went to build Saddam Hussein's palaces and to line the pockets of him and his cronies. Saddam corrupted the Oil For Food Program and diverted the oil wells from the Iraqi people for his own power and comfort. Today Iraqi oil revenue goes to the Development Fund for Iraq, where it helps build a new infrastructure and a new future for the Iraqi people.
At two and a half million barrels per day, Iraqi oil production has researched its prewar levels and oil proceeds in the last 12 months exceed $7 and a half billion and are projected to be $14 billion for this calendar year.
For 35 years Iraqi schools were propaganda factories for Saddam Hussein's cult of personality and Baath Party fascism. Today, that fanaticism no longer pervades the schools and textbooks, and Coalition forces have rehabilitated more than 2,500 schools.
After 35 years of genocidal repression of the Marsh Arabs, the historical people that inhabited the southland of Iraq for millennia, a lush ecosystem the size of New Jersey had been turned into a barren desert by Saddam's vindictive attempt to destroy this people and to make them an example to warn anyone who would challenge his rule. Today the marshlands are being restored and an ancient culture is being revived.
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC For 35 years, the Iraqi people's only link with the outside world was the poisonous propaganda of Saddam's state run media. Today, Iraqis have a wealth of independent news sources, including 170 newspapers, 170 newspapers currently published in Iraq.
For 35 years Iraqis had no voice in their government. Today, more than half of the Iraqi population is active in community affairs and one in five belongs to a nongovernmental organization.
Perhaps most importantly, in the years since Iraq has been liberated, no new mass graves have been filled with the bodies of innocent Iraqi men, women and children, capriciously murdered by a brutal regime, and the torture rooms and execution chambers have been shut down.
Despite all of the violence and uncertainty caused by the enemies of a free Iraq, it is clear that Iraqis sense dramatic improvement in their everyday lives and anticipate more. According to a recent independent poll conducted by Oxford Research International, despite the difficulties that are there and that we read about every day, 56 and a half percent of Iraqis still say their lives are much better or somewhat better than a year ago, and a full 71 percent expect that their lives will be much or somewhat better a year from now.
This, Mr. Chairman, though, is an area we have got to work on even harder. It confronts us not only with the problems of unemployment in a population that is dissatisfied, it raises fundamental suspicions about the United States.
General Petraeus, who I think Congressman Skelton referred to, who is great leader, did a fantastic job in his year in northern Iraq, described it to me as what he called man on the moon effect, as in you Americans could put a man on the moon, how come you can't fix my electricity, how come you can't fix my water, how come you can't do this and that?
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The expectations about us are literally on the moon. It is impossible to live up to what people think that we can do overnight, but the longer we take about it, or let me put it in a positive way, the faster we can realize expectations, the more we will build confidence that we are there to help them and to counter the evil propaganda of Al Jazeera and other organizations that claim that we came there to take their oil.
Mr. Chairman, our strategy to achieve victory involves three independent lines of operations. The first element involves building capable Iraqi security forces to maintain stability. It is a key issue, as you referred to in your opening comments. We can talk in much more detail.
The second element involves nurturing Iraq's capacity for representative self-government, with the aim of creating a government that the Iraqi people will feel is theirs and that moves us out of the position of being an occupying power.
The third element of the strategy involves the reconstruction of Iraq's infrastructure, the restoration of essential services and putting people back to work. Mr. Chairman, no one can sit here, I certainly can't, and predict the exact form of the permanent government that will emerge in Iraq. I could put up the other charts. By the way, we will come back to this in more detail later. But I want to emphasize that what is going to take place on July 1st is not the permanent government, it is the interim government. There is yet another temporary government, the transitional government that will be elected as opposed to appointed in January.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And finally there is a permanent government that will be elected under a ratified constitution if we can keep to this timetable that has been negotiated with the help of the United Nations, that will be elected at the end of 2005. We are talking about a process, not a single step, and no one can predict the end of that kind of process. Americans of all people I think should understand that democracy does not guarantee specific outcomes. It opens ideas for debate. We should not expect Iraqis to achieve immediately what we or our British friends have labored to accomplish over the course of centuries. Throughout the world, particularly in Eastern Europe and East Asia, new democracies have emerged in the last 10 or 20 years. They are all different, and none are perfect, neither is ours for that matter. But even an imperfect Iraqi democracy will be light years ahead of the horrors that that country has emerged from. I think it is wrong to assume that Iraqi Arabs and Kurds, some of the most intelligent people in the world, cannot achieve what Lithuania or Korea or other newly emerging democracies throughout Eastern Europe and East Asia have accomplished in the past couple of decades.
Since the liberation of Iraq a short year ago, Iraqis have demonstrated their capacity for compromise and to build a country, a new Iraq after Saddam's unique tyranny. One of the challenges we are focusing on intently, the issue that you raised, Mr. Chairman, is Iraqi security forces. Their performance during the recent spike in combative activity has been mixed. At least half of the security forces did stand their ground. And even in Fallujah, where the fighting was most intense, some Iraqi Civil Defense Corp units fought bravely and well for a period of time.
Other units did not face the enemy, some avoided contact altogether, and a small proportion that we are most concerned about actually cooperated with the enemy. Our disappointment with the security forces has to be tempered with realism. Recent events provide lessons that we must apply to increase the impact of what we are doing. The first lesson is the need for strong leaders in the security forces.
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Second, it is clear that the members of the security forces need an Iraqi rallying point. They need to understand that they operate under an Iraqi chain of command, that the top of that chain of command is a lawfully constituted Iraqi government. We have been in the process for months of recruiting officers from the old Iraqi Army to bring them into the new Iraqi security structures. That is a process I believe that we need to accelerate, but also the process of political transition that we are working with Ambassador Brahimi is key to that element.
But third, Mr. Chairman, and this is our responsibility, and I say ours, the U.S. Government, I think it is jointly the executive branch with the Congress, is that the Iraqi security forces need more and better equipment. We knew that they weren't fully equipped yet. But some of our RCDC units and police were badly outgunned in recent action. We are relooking at their equipment requirements.
There have also been delays in equipping Iraqi security forces. Some of those delays have been caused by challenges in the contracting process. We hope we have fixed those problems. Some of those delays I believe could have been avoided if we had succeeded in getting some of the authorities that we asked from Congress last year. And I at the end of my statement will repeat some of thewe have actually raised our ambitions in this regard, but I hope we can work with you and members of this committee to give our forces that kind of flexibility.
We have all of the flexibility that we need when it comes to using ammunition. We don't have all of the flexibility that we need on things that are the equivalent of ammunition, which is money for the commanders. Every time we get more, and the Congress has been very helpful, we find that the need outstrips what we have done. We need to work together to fix that.
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Mr. Chairman, while it is important not to view the accomplishments in Iraq through rose colored glasses it seems to me that some people have given themselves over completely to the darkest of pessimism. To some people, all progress in Iraq is illusory, and every silver lining has a cloud.
I think the American people should know what their forces are accomplishing in Iraq, how the efforts of our service men and women are transforming the lives of 25 million predominately Muslims for the better, and transforming a region that for too long has accommodated despotism and bred terrorists.
For example, some say that the June 30th date for the transfer of sovereignty is completely arbitrary, driven more by the demands of U.S. electoral politics than by actual conditions in Iraq, and that therefore the deadline should be extended. Let me emphasize the choice of an early date as opposed to a later date was not arbitrary at all.
If you will recall, our original plan envisioned a sovereign Iraqi government only at the end of a multi-step process of drafting a new constitution and holding elections by the end of next year. We decided to shorten this time line for two key reasons.
First, a shorter timetable was seen as a necessary incentive to prepare Iraqis for sovereignty. Without a sense of urgency and accountability, Iraqi leaders have been unable to resolve some of the difficult issues needed to conduct elections and shape a new government.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But second, this was particularly a concern of our military leadership, an early end to the occupation is essential to our political strategy to defeat the terrorists. As the infamous letter from that al-Qaeda associated terrorist Zarqawi demonstrates, and if members haven't seen it, I would urgeI will put this in for the record, it is a long and dramatic letter.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection that will be taken in the record, as well as the document that you referred to earlier.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Thank you. His letter demonstrates that a democratic transformation is what the terrorists fear most. It is the worst possible scenario for those who oppose the emergence of a new Iraq. They fear it. That is why they are trying so hard to derail it. Moving ahead is important to inspire Iraqi confidence that the transition is progressing, that their country will not be occupied indefinitely.
But it is also important to make clear, as you did, Mr. Chairman, that Coalition forces are not leaving on July 1st. There will still be threats to security in Iraq, but on July 1st Iraq will be governed by an Iraqi government.
Some say that we are in Iraq with an illegitimate coalition that is just window dressing. I beg to differ. Thirty-four nations have troops that are bravely fighting alongside us in Iraq and have given their lives. Perhaps most significantly, it seems to come as a surprise to many Americans, more than 250 Iraqis by our count, and I think our count probably underestimates seriously, more than 250 Iraqis in the police, civil defense corps, and other security forces have died in the line of duty fighting for a free Iraq alongside our troops since June 1st.
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Some stay that just as we should have waited for the United Nations permission to go to war, we have waited too long to bring the United Nations into Iraq today. That is a seriously misleading statement. The United Nations has been heavily involved in the reconstruction of Iraq, and we have been urging a larger UN role from the beginning.
The administration has worked closely with the UN Secretary General for the past year. But for his tragic murder by terrorists, UN envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello was instrumental in establishing the Iraqi Governing Council.
Since then we have welcomed the proposals of his successor, the new UN envoy, Ambassador Brahimi, regarding the creation of the Iraqi government. Some say the recent attacks against Coalition forces by Muqtar al-Sadr's militia signal the start of a major Shia uprising that will pit Iraq's Shia, a majority of the population, against the Coalition.
Everything we see, however, suggests that Sadr does not have widespread support in the Iraqi Shia community. A recent ABC News poll showed that only 1 percent of Iraqis named Sadr as a national leader that they trust most. He does not represent a legitimate voice in Iraq, but rather a threat to the legitimate rule of law.
Some say we have no plan for this scheduled transition to Iraqi sovereignty on July 1st. I think as the charts sketch, and we can describe in more detail, there is a plan. UN envoy, Ambassador Brahimi, just announced on April 14th his general concept for the first of those three phases for the Iraqi interim government that will govern for 6 months from July 1st to early 2005.
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As for the shape of the U.S. Presence, the command and control relationships are in the process of being finalized. On Monday the President made a very important announcement that our distinguished ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte, a man I have known and admired for 25 years, I think one of the most distinguished members of our Foreign Service, will be nominated as the new American Ambassador to Iraq.
We have had a team, led by the State Department Ambassador Frank Ricciardone, who is here with us today, and retired Lieutenant General Mick Kicklighter, who have been looking at how to manage the transition from a CPA to an embassy.
With your permission, I would liked them to stand just so they can get a little bit of well deserved credit for the very hard work they do. I can almost never find General Kicklighter without Ambassador Ricciardone being right next to him.
Also, the very important announcement that Major General Dave Petraeus will be going to Iraq to coordinate the full range of efforts to train and equip and organize Iraqi security forces. This is a key element of success in Iraq. We have been making progress on it. Every time we look around, though, we see the need to move faster and better. I can't imagine a better individual to lead that effort than General Petraeus.
Mr. Chairman, I am near the end here. Some say the new Iraq will be dominated by the Shia majority that will inevitably establish an Iranian style theocracy in Iraq. Although it is too early to predict the eventual shape of a permanent Iraqi government, that will be something Iraqis themselves will have to decide. I think that thus far events on the ground are cause for cautious optimism.
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One could point to the restraint with which these massive Shia pilgrimages have been conducted. I would point to an article that appeared recently in the Guardian of London, headlined, Iraqi Polls Bring Secular Success. And with your permission I will submit that for the record also.
According to that report over the past 2 months, 17 local elections have been held in overwhelmingly Shia provinces in southern Iraq using the ration cards as voting card. In almost every case it is reported independents and representatives of nonreligious parties did better than the Islamists.
Mr. Chairman, at the end of my testimony, I have listed four areas where we would hope to get some additional help from the Congress, in the area of authorities, principally authorities, not actual funding, so that we could more easily move money from some of our military accounts into these areas such as training and equipping indigenous forces.
I know it is an issue. I know there are jurisdictional issues between committees here. But as I said earlier, that kind of money is as important or in some cases more important than ammunition for our troops. And General Abizaid has commented that he has billions of dollars a month thanks to the support of the Congress to support the troops, but when it comes, for example, to supporting Iraqi security forces we find ourselves sometimes tangled up in red tape. Some of that red tape is our own doing, some of that is in the laws. I look forward to working with the Congress to try to give the Commander the flexibility that he properly needs.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, some say there are no good options in Iraq. I don't think that is true. In fact, there is only one option in Iraq. It is the option Congressman Skelton referred to, to continue moving ahead and helping the Iraqi people build a free and prosperous democracy. It will not be easy. Only the most naive person would think that, and it will be a long road.
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After the abuse it has suffered it will take time for Iraq to catch up even with the new democracies of Europe and Asia, much less long established ones like our own. But Iraqis recognize these challenges and embrace them as a revolutionary opportunity to build a free nation and to better their lives.
Recently, Nasreen Barwari, the woman serving as the Iraqi Minister of Municipalities and Public Works, Ph.D. in engineering, by the way, I believe, said, quote, on April 9th, 2003, ''The Iraqis were offered the opportunity to begin to dream their future. Before that date we were not allowed to dream. We could not imagine life with the kinds of positive challenges we face today.''
Last October in his farewell speech as Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, General Jack Keane, who I think you will be hearing from later, aptly described the American character in the face of challenges such as those we face today. The foreign terrorists, General Keane said, the foreign terrorists, the Baath Party sympathizers, the Islamic extremists who wantonly kill Americans and innocent people from many nations have no idea what they are up against.
They think they know us because they have heard of Lebanon in 1983 or Somalia in 1994 or the USS Cole in 2000. They think we are morally weak and we will lose our resolve, but their knowledge is superficial, their understanding is shallow. To understand America and Americans, General Keane said, they need to understand the Marne in 1918, Tarawa in 1943, Omaha Beach in 1944, or the Chosin Reservoir in 1950.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC They need to understand that a nation that produces Alvin York, Audie Murphy, John Pershing and George Marshall, Chesty Puller and George Patton, Randy Shughart and Gary Gordon produces heroes in every generation. They are out there now performing every day. Our enemies, he said, are cunning, but they are ignorant, and their ignorance will be their undoing. They do not know our will, our courage or our character.
Last summer, a colonel in the 101st Air Assault Division told me that he explained the job in Iraq to his soldiers like this: He told them that what they are doing in Iraq is every bit as important as what their grandfathers did in Germany or Japan in World War II or what their fathers did in Europe and Asia during the Cold War.
Those soldiers are helping to reshape history in a way that will make our country and the world safer. Like the joint effort to pull down Saddam's statue a little over a year ago our troops are supporting the Iraqi people in their effort to overcome a tyrannical past and build a better, more peaceful future.
We look forward, Mr. Chairman, to working with Members of the Congress to support those magnificent men and women throughout the world who are doing their part to make America and our people more secure. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Secretary Wolfowitz can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary, thank you very much. Secretary Grossman.
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STATEMENT OF HON. MARC GROSSMAN, UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Secretary GROSSMAN. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much, and I want to tell you how much I appreciate the invitation to join Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz and General Myers before this committee, and I also appreciate, Mr. Chairman, the offer to put my entire statement in the record, and I would with your permission summarize it here for you.
Before I begin, let me join Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz and I know all of the members of this committee in also paying tribute to the men and women who are serving their country in the cause of freedom in Iraq. That is military and civilians alike. Secretary Powell, Deputy Secretary Armitage, all of us are very proud of the people that we have sent abroad and that are serving the United States all around the world today.
I also want to thank, as Paul did, our many Coalition partners for their steadfast support, and like Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz did, I thank all of you also for your support of the Department, and particularly for your support of Secretary Powell's request for more people at the State Department. Without more people that the Congress has giving us over the past 2 and 3 years we would not have been able to meet the obligations that the President and the Congress have given us, and we thank you for that, Mr. Chairman, and all of the members of the committee.
I also know that you saw the President's announcement yesterday of Ambassador Negroponte to be the first Ambassador to the new Iraq. Like Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz, we are delighted and we look forward to his confirmation hearings and his rapid confirmation.
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Mr. Chairman, you and the ranking member talked a little bit about the questions that are out there, particularly on the question of a transfer on June 30th, what are we going to look like in Iraq, what kind of embassies will we have, how much will it be, how much will it cost, what kind of government will we be talking to, and I would like just for a moment or two to give you a report on where we stand in making sure that that transfer goes successfully. I would report to you that we have the guidance we need. We have the direction we need, and we have a plan for a successful transition on the 30th of June, 1st of July, and we are doing all that we can to establish an effective American representation in Iraq and in support of the goals that the Deputy Secretary of defense just outlined.
Our obvious guidance comes from the President, who repeated last Tuesday night that the goal is to transfer authority on the 30th of June and that there will be a United States embassy and a United States Ambassador in Iraq at that time.
The President said, and I think it is important to repeat, that we have set this deadline of June 30th. It is important that we meet it. As a proud and independent people, Iraqis, like Americans, do not support an indefinite occupation, and neither does America.
Our specific direction obviously comes from Secretary Powell, and the Secretary has set the Department in motion to support the President's goal of a smooth transition on the 30th of June. And I also thank General Kicklighter and Ambassador Ricciardone for the work that they and their team, both in Washington and in Iraq, are doing to make this a reality.
I can report to you that the Secretary's involvement in getting us ready for this transition continues every day. We are involved with him every day, and I know that he and the Deputy Secretary will continue to guide us in this regard and to execute the plan. We are obviously consulting with the Congress, with our allies, with our colleagues in other agencies, Coalition partners in Baghdad and Washington. If I might, Mr. Chairman, just talk for the one moment about the transition from CPA to an embassy of the United States of America.
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General Kicklighter, I think, had the very good idea early in this process to send immediately to Iraq 15 teams to try to identify the main tasks that needed to be done to accomplish this transition, and those assessment teams went to Iraq and reported back to Ambassador Ricciardoni and General Kicklighter. We are now pursuing our efforts in all of these sectors. They are broken down into individual tasks and milestones that need to be completed, and the sectors actually represent about 500 individual tasks that are all being accomplished as we speak. Responsibility for each task has been assigned to an agency, to an office, and we have target dates for their completion. If I might just offer, Mr. Chairman, to you or any member of your staff, if you would like to come down to the Department and look at this, we have got it computerized on the website, on our Intranet. It would be available to members or to staff, as you wish, to see what kind of progress we are making as we go along.
There are 17 or 15 or 16 of these particular sectors, as I say. I would like to talk today just briefly about four of them: People, security, buildings, money. First, people. State Department officers and Foreign Service people, Civil Service people, low ranking people, high ranking people, have been involved in Iraq from the very beginning.
As you know, Mr. Chairman, they went there alongside Jay Garner and ORHA and Jerry Bremer and the CPA. We have 170 people currently in Iraq. We are very proud of all of them. How big will our embassy be on the 30th of June? There is a story going around that we will have 3,000 Americans assigned to this embassy, and I want to just say as clearly as I possibly can today that our planning figure is for approximately 1,000, State Department and others in that embassy, not 3,000, and about 700 Foreign Service national employees. Here is how I get to this number.
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The State Department, we, have announced positions of 142 American employees and 155 locally engaged staff. In January of this year, Secretary Powell sent a letter to all of his cabinet colleagues asking them how they would like to be represented in the new Iraq at this embassy, and 10 of his cabinet colleagues have so far responded, for a total of 254 Americans and 280 locally hired personnel for fiscal year 2005.
Now, since we have not heard from everybody, we are estimating between 350 and 400 non-State Department Americans; i.e., from those 12 to 15 other agencies, will serve under the Chief of Mission. And finally, we believe that the group of people who are currently at CPA will also transfer to the embassy. And so that is how I get to the number that I report to you today.
I can also report that we have had outstanding response from State Department people to fill these approximately 142 positions. We have many more bidders than we have positions, and we are very proud of the fact that the people are willing to go where there is a big opportunity and where there is obviously something happening. We have also begun to hire some of our locally employed staff. We have also heard, Mr. Chairman, conversation about what the role of the Ambassador will be after the 1st of July.
And let me just say that the American Ambassador, and we hope it will be Ambassador Negroponte upon confirmation, will carry with him a letter from the President just like all of the rest of our Ambassadors have that spells out clearly his responsibilities in Iraq.
Secretary GROSSMAN. In Iraq, and it will say that he is the Chief of Mission; and the personal representative of the President, reporting through the Secretary of State, will have full responsibility for the direction, coordination, and supervision of all United States Government executive branch employees in Iraq, except those under the command of the U.S. area military commander or on the staff of an international organization. That is how we do it around the world. And, of course, the American ambassador and the military commander will have to work closely together to ensure that their respective operations are fully coordinated and best serve the interest of the United States in Iraq.
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Security: Our top priority obviously is to keep our people safe. Nobody should make any bones here that we aren't sending people on a dangerous mission. And we have already begun the security upgrade of some of the facilities that we want to use in Iraq. We currently have 51 armored vehicles in Iraq, another 98 are on order.
Thirty-two members of the diplomatic security service staff are already in Iraq working to get ready for the 30th of June. There are still some difficult questions to answer, and as you know, Deputy Secretary Armitaqe was in Iraq over the past couple of days working on precisely these issues.
Buildings: The Office of Overseas Buildings directorformer Director Chuck Williams traveled to Baghdad in February to complete plans for our interim and potential permanent mission facilities. We have identified the facilities we would like to use there both on a temporary and a permanent basis, and again, Deputy Secretary Armitaqe had a chance a couple of days ago to review all of those sites, and we are well on the way to making sure that they are ready for us on the 1st of July and we have a plan for going forward permanently.
Finally, money: I would just like to give you a snapshot on where we stand in terms of funding this new mission. And I emphasize that the costs I report to you today are only a snapshot as they are today.
Obviously, in order to open this embassy, we are going to face some substantial costs in security, in technology, and in protecting our people. Congress has already provided $97 million in fiscal year 2004 for an interim embassy facility and for interim operations. In addition, we expect to have available in the fourth quarter of the operating expense budget appropriatedI am sorry. We expect to have available in the fourth quarter a portion of the operating expense budget appropriated for CPA, which will be about $196 million, and pursuant to the 2004 supplemental, up to 1 percent of the Iraq relief and reconstruction fund available for transfer, about $184 million.
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Our estimate of costs is that to get this thing going and open we will face costs of between $500 million and $600 million for the balance of fiscal year 2004, and we are working on allocating those costs among agencies. And, in addition, we estimate that the costs in fiscal year 2005 to operate the U.S. mission could exceed a billion dollars. And we are working with CPA, with DOD, and OMB to refine these estimates, and we will provide you estimates as quickly as we can and we will consult with the Congress before anything is finalized.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Secretary GROSSMAN. Mr. Chairman, I think Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz has talked about the things in my statement in terms of Iraq's transition to sovereignty, and I recognize they will all be in the record, so let me skip over them now. He also, I think, did a very good job talking about the transitional administrative law, but obviously I would be glad to answer any questions. And also, how we are supporting the efforts of Ambassador Brahimi to put forward an Iraqi interim government.
If I might just make one addition to the points that Paul made, and that is to say how important it is that the United Nations also continue to work on the question of elections. And Ambassador Brahimi talked about this and about how important elections are. We agree with that. In fact, a call for national elections in early 2005 was a key part, as you will recall, of the November 15th agreement. And in this regard, I just wanted to get on the record our thanks to the United Nations elections team, headed by Carina Perelli, who was in Baghdad, did a tremendous amount of work, is going back to Baghdad to help the interim government move forward on the election process.
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U.N.: The ranking member, Mr. Skelton, talked about the United Nations. I can also report to you that President Bush and Secretary Powell, as you know, have both discussed our desire for a new U.N. Security Council resolution on Iraq. The exact drafting of that and when we might go for it is a question that we all still need to decide, but I can report to you the kinds of elements that we think ought to be in that resolution.
The new resolution would clearly offer a hand to the new Iraqi Government. It could deal with reconstruction activities, including the future of the development front for Iraq, and continue to help establish security to enable the Iraqi people to complete their political process. It should encourage other nations to get involved in both security and reconstruction efforts, and could structure a role for the United Nations in the new political framework, particularly in supporting the process toward elections.
So, Mr. Chairman, my report to you is, we have the guidance and direction we need; we have a plan on the State Department side to move forward to standing up an embassy of the United States of America on the 1st of July. And as the Deputy Secretary said, we are supporting the efforts of the Iraqis and of the United Nations to produce that interim government.
And I thank you very much for taking the time to listen to me.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary, thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Secretary Grossman can be viewed in the hard copy.]
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The CHAIRMAN. General Myers.
STATEMENT OF GEN. RICHARD B. MYERS, USAF, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF
General MYERS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Congressman Skelton, members of the committee. Once again, thanks to all of you for your unwavering support of our men and women in the Armed Forces and, more specifically, our men and women in uniform as they fight this all-important war on terrorism.
I just returned from visiting Iraq and Afghanistan. Make no mistake about it, the spike in violence that we have seen in central Iraq over the last week and a half is indeed a challenge, to be sure. And we mourn every Coalition soldier we lose. But I can assure you today that we are as firm as ever in our resolve to help create a free and prosperous and democratic Iraq. The violent minority, a small marginal minority, cannot be allowed to defeat the hopes of the majority of the Iraqi people.
There is no popular uprising going on in Iraq right now. This violence, in my view, is a desperate attempt by frustrated, isolated groups such as the insurgents in Fallujah and Sadr's thugs in Najaf to derail the progress that we have been making.
As Secretary Wolfowitz said, recent polls have shown the majority of Iraqi people want Iraq to succeed, and they are positive about what the future holds, thanks in large part to the efforts of our servicemen and -women. I know you are as proud of them as I am of how well they are performing. They are tremendously dedicated, they understand their mission very well, and they understand what a huge difference they are making in Iraq.
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The contrast between our troops and the anti-Coalition forces that are fighting couldn't be greater. In Fallujah, we have seen the enemy unload weapons from ambulances, use mosques as operating bases, deliberately put children in the line of fire as human shields, and attack innocent civilians indiscriminately by firing mortars at marketplaces. Our servicemen and -women, at the other extreme, are going to extraordinary lengths to conduct the most humane operation they can. That means, at times, we accept greater risk in order to achieve and limitavoid civilian casualties.
Make no mistake about it, we are hitting the enemy very hard and we are devastating them, but our troops are also very compassionate. Their strength of character in the end will be a major factor in determining Iraq's future.
Let me close by sharing a letter from a Marine Private 1st Class that he wrote to his parents. By the way, this young man enlisted in the Marine Corps after 1 year of collegehe was on an ROTC scholarshipbecause after 9/11 he wanted an opportunity to make a difference. He is now serving in one of the more dangerous areas of central Iraq.
He describes how he went on a mission to look at the structural integrity of some bridges, and in the course of the patrol, they talked to many Iraqis, especially the children, and they had their medical corpsman treat some of the civilians that had medical problems. By the time they drove off, everyone in town was smiling and waving at them. And here is what he wrote, quote:
''what I am trying to say to you guysand ''you guys'' are his parentsis this. We are making a difference here, an area smack dab in the infamous-Sunni Triangle known for its ruthlessness, is gradually, patrol by patrol, becoming safe and free.'' and that ends his quote.
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''patrol by patrol,'' that means we still have a long way to go in this war, well beyond the transfer of sovereignty in Iraq. But our troops are making a difference every day and they know it. We are truly blessed with amazing men and women, with the support of their families, and for the Reserve component, the support of their employers, to do this important work.
And I would add that while I am talking about our men and women in uniform primarily, we do have, it has been said by Secretary Wolfowitz and Secretary Grossman, really dedicated, great Americans and other members of the Coalition who are over there as well and, in many cases, risking their lives to bring about the same thing that our Armed Forces are trying to bring about.
And again I thank you, Mr. Chairman, Congressman Skelton, and members of the committee for your strong support of our Armed Forces.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, General.
And Secretary Grossman and Secretary Wolfowitz, thanks for your opening statements.
General Myers, we have completed most of this big troop rotation that we have been undertaking for the last couple of months. You have got the 1st Infantry up where the 4th Armored or the 4th Infantry Division was. You have gotthe 1st Marines have come in and taken the place of the 82nd Airborne. The Stryker Brigade is now up north where the 101st was. And you have the 1st Armored in Baghdad has been supplemented, because it hasn't rotated out, by the 1st Cavalry Division. I think you have gotone brigade of 1st Armored has gone back to Germany, but the bulk of the 1st Armored Division is in place.
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It is my understanding that you are going to keep the 1st Armored Division in place so that we keep essentially double division strength in the Baghdad AO; is that right?
General MYERS. Mr. Chairman, it is mostly right. I think the way that General Sanchez and General Abizaid are looking at the 1st Armored Division is that they will be the force they will use where they are needed in the center, center south region. They have had elements of the 1st Armored Division and the 2nd, ACR which was also held over in the Najaf-Karbala area.
Concern about the Spanish troop withdrawal. I mean, it is not just the number of troops, it is also the fact that the Spanish were the headquarters for some of the other forces, and to bolster those forces in the center south they used elements of the 1st Armored Division. They are also using the 1st Armored Division for lines of communication, security in that center, center south region, and they have used elements of the second ACR I believe it was over in Al Kut when Sadr's thugs conducted their activities over there. But basically you are right.
The CHAIRMAN. 1st Armored is staying on?
General MYERS. 1st Armored is going to stay on, and we have said for up to 90 days.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, looking at thisin your professional opinion, looking at the profile, the American presence now, manifested by those groups and the other military units that are there, do you think we need more people?
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General MYERS. I think what General Abizaid would say if he was sitting here, or General Sanchezand I was just there, and I talked to them about this. I think they feel they have what they need for the military situation right now, that it is not a matter of more troops. They have the capability they need.
Depending on how the situation continues to develop, we have to be flexible. In that regard, we are doing some planning for follow-on forces.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. When you brought the 1st Cav in initially to displace the 1st Armored Division, as I understand it, some of the heavy platforms weren't moved with the 1st Cav. You have got essentially a lighter Cav than you would otherwise have. Is there a thought about bringing the armor that you left behind for 1st Cav, moving that into theater?
General MYERS. Mr. Chairman, there is thought about that going on right now.
The CHAIRMAN. Could you let the committee know when you have an outcome on that particular area?
General MYERS. We will do that.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. So, in your opinion, you think that you keeping the 1st Armored in place there, notwithstanding the brigade that was brought back to Germany but keeping the 1st Armored elements, that we have enough people in place, enough forces in place to do the job?
General MYERS. I think that is my judgment; that is also General Abizaid's judgment. That is General Abizaid's judgment and that is General Sanchez's judgment. It was the judgment of the division commanders that I met with in the area, I met with the 1st Cav Division Commander, I met with Marty Dempsey, the Armored Division Commander.
Let me just say that this is necessary to do the job. It obviously has an impact on families back in Germany, part of the 1st Armored Division, and families back here in the United States for some of those support units and the 2nd ACR. And this isit is serious. It is obviously serious business inside Iraq; it is also a serious issue with the families. We recognize that, and we are going to try to do everything we can do to minimize any impact on them.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. Nowand we are going to be payingthe 1st Armored personnel that are staying over are going to be paid an additional stipend per month, a bonus per month for staying over that is fairly substantial, isn't it?
General MYERS. Yes, within inside the Department of Defense authorities, we can increasewe can provide financialnot incentives, but financial help to those that have been held over for the additional time. And we are going to do that like we did the last time when we held, I think it was 2,000 that had to be held after the last rotation.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. Okay. Doing that, General, I am sure you have been looking at funding issues as we keep that force in place. We are now going to keep essentially an extra division in place as a result of this upswell in violence. We are going to have to spend more money, there are going to be larger personnel costs as well as operational costs in theater.
We are getting close to the end of the year, at least to start thinking about the end of the year. Do you have enough money, or would you like to see some more money to keep this force in place?
General MYERS. Mr. Chairman, you are absolutely right that the increased operations tempo, keeping what is going to turn out to be a force of around 20,000, which includes the 1st Armored Divisionand that is the bulk of itadditional time in Iraq is going to cost us more money. We estimate right nowwe are working those estimates right now, let me say that, and we have got to take a look and see if we have the wherewithal inside the DOD budget, because we do have some flexibility, as you know, inside the budget to address those additional costs, acquisition programs that aren't executing timely and so forth.
We are in the middle of that analysis right now. And I know that when the service chiefs last talked about this, that there was, I think, a $4 billion shortfall.
We thought we could get through all of August. We would have to figure how to do September. We worked inside the Department and thought we could cover those costs. We will have to see how these new costs stack up and whether we can cover it or not.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. Okay.
Well, let me just say I think that one thing worth thinking about is helping you out with this funding problem. As you know, we have got the old balancing act that will now take place as you get that net down to the bottom of the year.
We are going to see operational costs in theater and we are going to end up with those costs competing against the necessary expenditures to ready up the equipment and the forces that we have taken out of theater, so you will see reprogramming that will keep us from upgrading or from repairing armored platforms, HMMWVs, weapons, et cetera, replenishing munitions accounts; and we will start sucking money out of those important accounts to keep the operations going. I think that should not be the path that we follow this year because, again, we have fairly small forces that aren't committed. We have got most of the Army brigades committed now, if you count Afghanistan and Iraq and our other commitments.
One thing we have got to do, I think, is keep the stuff that is the units that are not deployed, to ready them up as quickly as possible, and that means all the platforms, all the equipment, all the weapons. That is going to take money. And so we don't want to get into this competition for maintenance, for operations and maintenance to ready up the units that aren't in use and have that compete against operational requirements.
So the committee, I think, General, is inclined to help you perhaps more than has been suggested by the Pentagon at this point. We want to work closely with you over the next week or two to see what your real requirements are. And let us make sure, if we have got that additional division in country, that it is well supplied and that that money doesn't have to come out of hide.
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I know when the Marines had not planned to come over, they needed an additional 300 million for night vision equipment and lots of stuff, like lots of operational stuff, and they ended up having to take a fairly substantial portion of that out of hide, meaning they pulled it away from maintenance accounts, meaning that the Marines that may have to respond to another part of the world may not have the dollars to do it.
So we want to make sure that we have both ends of this equation covered, both the readiness requirements back here as well as operational requirements in theater. I am afraid the answer to that, the only answer to that may be money and money soon.
General MYERS. Mr. Chairman, you make a very good point. And I would only add to your list aviation assets, helicopters in particular. We have worked all this equipment very, very hard, and we have to keep up with refurbishments so that we are ready to go back either to Iraq, Afghanistan, or other contingencies. And it is a key point.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Mr. Chairman, I would add to the list, if we could have more flexibility in shifting money between accounts because, as General Myers said, there are accounts that are underexecuting, and the more we can move money into those that you correctly identify are spending faster than planned, there may be more flexibility inside the budget.
We are conducting the midyear execution review right now, and last week Secretary Rumsfeld directed that we speed it up by at least a week so that we can get these answers.
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The CHAIRMAN. Let us get those.
And just very quickly, General, your professional opinion of the status of the Iraqi military at this point in terms of development of an officer corps, NCO corps, and the equipment issue, where do you put them?
General MYERS. You are talking about the Iraqi
The CHAIRMAN. Military.
General MYERS. Their military, not the police?
The CHAIRMAN. Basically, where do you place them right now in terms of this military that we basically had to build from scratch. Where do you put them right now? What do you see as a maturity date for this program that is going to field an efficient, effective force?
General MYERS. We expect to have a 40,000 new Iraqi army on line by this fall, properly equipped and trained, and that part of it is coming along pretty well. We have prioritized; we have taken some money from their effort and put it toward police, border security, facilities protection corps, and the Iraqi civil defense corps because we think there is more payoff in the near term because they can be used for internal security.
That is not how the new Iraqi army is envisioned as being used, although they could play some role that is still being debated. But we want to be careful; we don't want to go back to the old ways of the Iraqi army where they were used for internal security and some of the atrocities that Secretary Wolfowitz talked about. But in terms of the training of their officers and their NCOs, that is progressing apace.
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I think we are exactly right to laud the fact that General Petraeus is going to go back and be responsible for all Iraqi security force training and equipping. And he is in country now, he has been there now I think for maybe 24 hours, 36 hours. He has got the right background obviously to do this, and we think it will enhance our capability.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. Thank you, gentlemen. Thanks for being here and for your service to our country. And I think you are right, this is going to be a long, tough road, but I think it is one that we must stay committed to. Thanks for your testimony.
The gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Skelton.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you and thank you again for calling this hearing.
As you know, we are writing history today. What we have done is already in the history books. And if we fast forward 50 to 100 years, what is done today and the decisions that are made and the answer to my very one question I am going to ask, and only one, will be the centerpiece of what the historians will write.
So, Mr. Secretary, Secretary Wolfowitz, let me ask you the one question that will determine the outcome of this very important effort: Are we winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people?
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Mr. Skelton, I think you are right, that is the key question. It is what General Abizaid refers to as consent, which is a little maybe less than winning hearts and minds but it is having the support of the Iraqi people. And it is complicated in several ways.
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It is complicated, first of all, because we are talking about a fairly diverse group of people. They have not been at their throats over the years; I think that is important, to be clear. In fact, it is extraordinary to me that we have seen so little ethnic violence even in places where we might see it, like Kirkuk where there are large Arab and TurkishArab and Turkish and Kurdish populations living side by side.
I think there is no question that polling data indicates, as many other things indicate, that most Iraqis are happy to be rid of Saddam Hussein. But it is sort of a ''what have you done for me lately'' question. And there we run into I think two issues.
One is the issue that I referred to earlier of fear. There is still enormous fear of the enemy: The enemy can kill your children. The Americans at most might detain you, sometimes for a few days, sometimes longer, but we don't go around doinginflicting that kind of punishment.
So the other hard part where we can win hearts and minds is, we can bring about an Iraq that is prosperous, where people have jobs, where people are voting for their elected representatives. We have got to continue to make that progress. I think we have got to make it faster.
And we are aware of one particularly acute problem which arises, very much connected now to the crucial fighting going on in Fallujah, and that is to convince the Sunni Arab community of Iraq that, in fact, they do have a future in the new Iraq, that they are not going to be oppressed by some new government the way the Shia were oppressed under the old government.
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I don't think it is that most Sunni Arabs long for the return of Saddam Hussein, but this is a country that for much longer than Saddam Hussein was a winner-take-all situation, and whoever ruled in Baghdad ruled everybody. And I think the more we can reassure Shia and Sunni, Kurds and Arabs that there will be a large measure of controlling their own destinies through local government and local elections, I think that, combined with the establishment of legitimate government at a national level and progress on the economic front, can be crucial.
But no one should make the mistake of thinking there is a simple military solution here. The military is important. We have got to defeat this enemy; it is a murderous enemy. But if that is all we do, then we will lose. We have got to proceed on the political and economic fronts as well.
General MYERS. Congressman Skelton, if I could add to that, I absolutely agree with the Secretary's remarks, particularly the part about this is not a military solution alone. Nobody understands that better, fortunately, than General Abizaid. He understands that question, he understands the impact probably as well as anybody in our government, in my estimation. Therefore, our military actions are done very, very carefully.
But people ought to understand that just because we are careful doesn't mean that we are weak or that we don'tthat we lack resolve, which is sometimes interpreted, particularly in the region as that, that we lack resolve or that we can't be strong. In fact, our strength is that we can be careful and still accomplish the mission. And General Abizaid understands that, he works that every day with General Sanchez. And General Sanchez, of course, understands that; and our tactical commanders, they know that.
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Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Weldon.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I thank our distinguished panel for coming in and for their service to the country.
Mr. Chairman, before I get into questioning on this issue, I want to put in the record two items as a follow-on to the 9/11 Commission hearings, while we were on our district work period, that relate to this committee. They are very important. The first was the debate over whether or not the Predator should be armed, which Clark said in his book he mandated and which the administration came back and refuted.
I want to remind my colleagues, it was this committee in 1996, at the objection of the Defense Department and the Air Force, that mandated the Army of the Predator with the Hellfire missile. It was this committee that put language in the defense bill that year mandating it. So let the record show, loud and clear, it wasn't Richard Clarke, it wasn't anyone else, it was this committee that mandated that the Hellfire be a part of Predator. I was the chairman of the R&D committee when we fought that battle, and the Pentagon fought us every step of the way.
The second issue, the debate of 9/11 was over information, intelligence sharing. Again, it was this committee in 1999 and 2000 that put language in both defense bills calling for the creation of a national collaborative center. Here is the brief that was presented in my office as requested by the Deputy Secretary of Defense at that time, John Hamre, to his counterparts at the CIA and the FBI on November the 4th in 1999, where we proposed then establishing a national collaborative center of all 33 classified systems.
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The CIA and the FBI on November the 4th of 1999 said, we don't need it. This committee then put language in the 2000 defense bill and the 2001 defense bill.
I would like to make it a part of the record, Mr. Chairman, which calls for the establishment for the establishment of a national collaborative center.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection.
Mr. WELDON. It took us until 2003 to finally get that capability established in the TTIC. I thought both of those items, which this committee was out front on, should be a part of the record.
Mr. Chairman, all of us have had impact personally by this war. I have three nephews, you have sons that are serving in and out of the theater. I was over with General Odierno in a delegation several months ago, and he was describing for us, up in the Tikrit region, the casualties he had suffered and talked about a young 24-year-old lieutenant.
As I listened to him, I asked him the name of the person. I said, It couldn't be Bernstein, could it? His eyes opened up, and he said, Yes, Congressman; how did you know that? I said, Because I nominated Lieutenant Bernstein to West Point when he was in high school, and I am carrying a three-page letter from his parents, which I then gave to General Odierno.
As he read the letter, we both talked about the kind of quality of our young people serving this country. They are the best that we have in this country, and that is why this committee works tirelessly to make sure that our military personnel are properly equipped and trained even when, from time to time, we have to fight the administrations about the level of defense funding, as we did in the 1990's and as we are doing today.
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Mr. Chairman, I have got to tell you and our friends out here before us, I am not happy with the defense budget request. We talk a good game when we talk about numbers. The Army came in, and your request for the Army this year is a 6 percent net decrease over the appropriated funding level for modernization in R&D as it was last year. The Air Force receives about a 2 percent increase, but the net Army request is 6 percent lower. And that doesn't even consider the fact that the Army has the largest unfunded priority list of any of the services.
I have a list here that I have to deal with in my subcommittee of almost $6 billion of unfunded priorities. And what do those unfunded priorities include? $705 million for up-armored HMMWVs, 295 million for body armor, 315 million for munitions, 424 million for trucks, 879 million for clothing, 1.2 billion for delayed depo and depo maintenance, and 114 million for UAVs.
Now, this committee is always going to look out for the welfare of the soldier, as I know you all do. It is an impossible situation you have put us in where the Army says that, based on the OSD funding request, they want 6 percent less and, oh, by the way, we have 6 billion of unfunded priorities, almost all of which relates to the protection of the soldier on the ground in Iraq or Afghanistan or the soldiers that may be deployed from other units both here and throughout Europe and other locations around the world.
So my request is, along with our chairman, who has come out publicly on this, that we work toward a supplemental and not wait until the election is over, but that we be serious about what is needed.
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I want to give the Army the equipment they want. If we don't take this step, then you are going to force us into the position where we have to raid other accounts to take care of these unfunded priorities.
So it comes down to a question, do we allow for the transformation of the Army, the future combat system that the Army desperately wants, which has a price tag of $3 billion this year; or do we take from that program money and pay for up-armored HMMWVs and the otherthe Bradleys and the other equipment that needs to be replacing those materials and platforms that we are currently losing in theater?
So I would ask for your support. I would plead with the Pentagon leadership. This is at the Pentagon level. I don'tI think this is where it has to start.
And again, I think the budget request that has been provided to us is shortsighted and thatin the case of the Army, I think it is outrageous. We had a hearing on April the 1st with the Army. We asked them to rectify the difference between their need to modernize and the need for transformation, and they just can't get to there from here with the funding that you have requested for them.
How can we justify a 2 percent increase for the Air Force, net that increase, at the same time we are justifying a 6 percent decrease for the service providing the bulk of the warfighters in theater whose platforms and equipment are being so heavily used and need to be replaced and upgraded? That is the question we have to answer. And you have to help us, or we are going to take action on our own and provide leadership to make sure this funding is available to deal with the needs that the Army itself has identified. These aren't our lists, these aren't pork barrel projects. This is the unfunded priority list of the Army, $5.97 billion.
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The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
Mr. Secretary, General Myers, any comments?
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. We will look at all of that in the context of this midyear execution review.
We heard your comments earlier, Mr. Chairman. I think you heard General Myers' comments. I think therewe took a very hard look earlier this year at what could be done, whether more funding could get up-armored HMMWVs and other force protection measures out there more quickly.
What we ran into were not funding shortfalls, but production capacity problems. But we will look at all of those things again.
Mr. HUNTER. But obviously you have got cash funding shortfalls now, at least cash-included burdens with this additional 1st Armored Division presence now, above and beyond what was contemplated a few months ago. So you do have operational costs that are going to be fast spendouts.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. But againI agree with you. But we also have to look at where we have things that are not spending as fast as anticipated. There is a balance.
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Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Will Mr. Weldon yield to me?
Mr. WELDON. That is up to the chairman, because I technically have used my time.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Is the gentleman's time up, Mr. Chairman?
The CHAIRMAN. I would just say to my friend, we have got lots of folks here. We will try to move down the line here and get to you very quickly.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. No, it is not me. I just wanted a clarification.
The CHAIRMAN. Certainly. Go right ahead.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I just wanted to make sure. Are you referring to Mr. Wolfowitz's testimony on 22 and 23 on the special authorities that are being requested because the money isn't in the 2005 budget? Is that what you are referring to?
Mr. WELDON. The gentlemanI thank the gentleman.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. It says the commander's emergency response program, 500 million to train and equip military and security forces for Iraq, increase drawdown authority for the Afghanistan Freedom Support Act. And it says that this money is not requested in 2005, but they want general transfer authority up to $4 billion. It doesn't say 6 billion, it says up to $4 billion.
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Mr. WELDON. My comments are not specifically to that item, but they are to the Army's list that they gave to us. And the Army understands what our industrial base capability is. They are not stupid.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Well, then this may be added to this then, Mr. Weldon.
Mr. WELDON. The Army's unfunded priority list is almost $6 billion, the largest of any service. They are being asked to do most of these occupations or these operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which we all support; and my contention is, we need to give them the money.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Well, my pointand I thank you Mr. Chairman for itis, this may be even higher than the number you are citing, because all of this is in Mr. Wolfowitz's testimony as not presently funded and would have to be transferred from somewhere in the existing budgets.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
And Mr. Wolfowitz, if you want to comment on that, and then we are going to askthe ranking member has a brief comment, and then we will go to Mr. Spratt.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. First of all, a quick comment to Mr. Weldon. As you know, a large portion of the 65 billion in the supplemental does go to the Army, and it is a recognition of the fact that they are the most stressed service now. And we have got to look at that all in toto.
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The flexibility I talked about requesting in our statement was to be ablewhere there is an account that has money available in it, that we can shift that money flexibly, particularly to those areas that could make a huge difference in the security of our troops, which is letting Iraqis fight for Iraq or Afghans fight for Afghanistan. And we have not had sufficient flexibility for that in the past.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary, let us stipulate that we are generally in accord with you, that items that are less pressing can necessarily be transplanted by items that are very pressing, which is the immediacy of the warfight.
The one thing that we don't want to see, that this committee has seen over the years, is a shifting of money when you take, you bring back a Marine division or an Army division and you have got lots of platforms you have got to repair to get them ready to be the 9/11 force for a new callout, and you are not able toyou say, I am not going to repair those Bradleys, I am not going to repair those tanks; I am going to use that money for operational money. Then you are not taking money away from less important items, you are taking money away from very important items. And it is not the kind of competition we want to see.
We want to see the dollars for both thebecause we have such a small standing force today, for readying up the nondeployed forces as quickly as possible, as well as ensuring we have all the operational dollars that we need in theater. That is the situation we want to see. When you havewith respect to giving you flexibility to move monies that aren't being spent or can't be spent, it is my position to be in total accord with you and, I think, most members of the committee.
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The gentleman from Missouri.
Mr. SKELTON. Yes, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.
In reference to Mr. Weldon's comments, I ask unanimous consent that the four letters that came from the service chiefs in response to my inquiry regarding a listing of the unfunded requirement be placed in the record at this point.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. And the gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. Spratt.
Mr. SPRATT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Wolfowitz, we appropriated $87 billion of supplemental funding last October for Iraq and Afghanistan, 51.5 billion of which was earmarked to military operations in Iraq. The burn rate we understand to be between $4 and $5.5 billion for that amount of money, but that was a number that was derived really before the ops tempo picked up significantly.
Can you tell us, first of all, what is the monthly burn rate or expenditure rate of those funds? And what is, as of April the 1st, the unobligated balance on the $87 billion appropriated for Iraq and Afghanistan in October?
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Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Mr. Spratt, I can't tell youI think even if the Comptroller were here, they couldn't tell you yet. That is what we are trying to get clarity on through the midyear execution review. And we are trying, as I said, to speed up that process so we can get those answers as fast as possible, because if there are going to have to be some major shifts between accounts or, even more, if there would have to be requests for more money
Mr. SPRATT. Can you give us roughly what the burn rate is, what the rate of monthly expenditure is?
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Sir, I will get it for you for the record, but I don't know what it is.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. SPRATT. The budget request that the administration sent up included nothing for Iraq and Afghanistan after 2004. It was our understanding, and is our understanding, that that will come separately as a supplemental request. Consequently, we have a budget with about $50 billion, which is Mr. Bolton's number for the expected request. That is probably out of date because ops tempo has picked up. It doesn't include the 20,000 troops additional that General Abizaid is requesting.
And the resolutions that both Houses have passed are totally out of synch with reality. For example, Mr. Grossman says he needs a billion dollars to stand up the embassy office in Baghdad. The House resolution cuts international affairs by $4.6 billion below the President's request. And that is before factoring in the billion dollars that you say you need in the supplemental. In addition to the 50 billion we don't have, the Nickles budget, the Senate's budget after 2005 also cuts the FYDP.
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There is a provision in the House budget resolution which says by May the 15th this committee is supposed to come up with $2 billion in savings in various defense accounts and transfer the money from those defense accounts to other accounts. So we have got a situation, a budget situation, here that is totally out of synch with reality, and it begins with the omission of a critical item, $50 billion at least in supplemental funding.
Can you tell us when you are going to send us a supplemental? Do you have any anticipation of when that supplemental is coming and what its likely size is going to be, particularly in light of ops tempo increases and General Abizaid's request for additional forces?
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Excuse me. I am told, by the way, Mr. Spratt, that based on the figures, the most current figures we have, which are unfortunately 3 months old, the burn rate for Iraq would be about $4.7 billion. That actually may be distorted on the high end for that period because there were a number of front-end procurement costs that are factored in that. On the other hand, we have had an increase in op tempo. We have got 20,000 more troops extending, so there may be a bump-up.
Mr. SPRATT. What is the cost of 20,000 more troops?
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. I can't give you that number right now. We will work on it. WithI am sorry. Did you want
Mr. SPRATT. No. Go ahead, sir.
Page 65 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary WOLFOWITZ. With respect to the question of fiscal year 2005 funding, we have made it clear there will have to be a supplemental. But it will come after we have a better fix on what we think the actualand we are predicting here. I mean, we made predictions, and one of them, we thought the 1st Armored Division could be coming home now; that turned out to be wrong.
Mr. SPRATT. We have heard predictions of late fall, which I would take to be November which I would infer to be after the elections. But if it comes in late fall, are you going to have to do what Mr. Zakheim suggested to the press last week, and that is cash flow, which means borrow from the third and fourth quarters to fund the first and second quarters?
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Mr. Spratt, that is what we have done in the past. In fact, we tried, I think it was in the first year of Operation Enduring Freedom, to have a $20 billion supplemental at the front end for unspecified costs. And I think it may have been the other body, but as you remember, people said, this is a slush fund, you can't specify what is in it. So we thought
Mr. SPRATT. When you do that, don't you find yourself deferring maintenance, delaying training, and losing ground in important areas for the nondeployed troops?
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. It shouldn't happen that way. We will try to make sure that it doesn't.
Mr. SPRATT. Let me ask you about Mr. Woodward's allegation
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General MYERS. Mr. Spratt, I can give you
Mr. SPRATT. General Myers.
General MYERS. I can give you a rough order of magnitude estimate of the additional cost for keeping the forces, the 20,000 that we talked about of which the 1st Armored is part.
Mr. SPRATT. We would appreciate that.
General MYERS. We think the rough order of magnitudethis is the first look by our folksis around 700 million additional cost, total.
Mr. SPRATT. For 20,000 troops?
General MYERS. Of where we are right now for 3 months, right.
Secretary GROSSMAN. May I also make a point before you move on, Mr. Spratt?
Mr. SPRATT. Sure.
Secretary GROSSMAN. And that is, just to be clear, I gave you an estimate of what I think it will cost us. We have identified just over $500 million that is already available to us to get us through the calendar year.
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Mr. SPRATT. The incremental cost is about $500 million?
Secretary GROSSMAN. Yes, sir. And the billion dollars is what we estimate for 2005.
Mr. SPRATT. But that assumes, of course, that the President's request won't be cut by $4.6 billion.
Secretary GROSSMAN. Yes, sir. But I want to be clear that we have about $523 million now, which we think will help us get through the end of the year.
Mr. SPRATT. Carryover money?
Secretary GROSSMAN. Yes, sir.
Mr. SPRATT. Okay.
The final question. Mr. Woodward alleges in his book that $750 million for war mobilization was spent before the war powers resolution was passed, and it was drawn from various accounts without proper notification and documentation or specification to the Congress.
Would you respond to that, please, sir.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Happy to. It is important to clear up the record on this because that is wrong. And our acting comptroller, Mr. Lanzillotta, I think gave a briefing on this 2 days ago.
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Congress appropriated, I believe it was $31.2 billion in 2001 and 2002 to finance the response to the terrorist attacks on the United States and to provide support to counter domestic or international terrorism. During July of 2002, the Senate comp staff identified over 700 million. And I think that is where Mr. Woodward gets his 750 million figure from. It actually grew beyond. As they looked at them in potential preparatory tasks, the comptroller went through that very carefully to scrub out those things that were specifically for Iraq, and came down with 178 million that was global war on terrorism, general application, that was made available in August and September 2002 to finance activities that were consistent with the authorities included in the enacted supplemental.
We did not want to assume anything about what those authorities might extend to Iraq. We understood there was a debate, we understood very likely there would be a congressional resolution. All investments recommended at that time were designed to strengthen our capabilities in the region or to support ongoing operations.
After Congress approved the Iraq resolution on October 11th, 2002, additional funds were made available to CENTCOM and to other components over the following months to support Iraq preparatory tasks, including many of those that have been identified in July 2002. These plans were all consistent with the supplemental appropriation authorities and with the Iraq resolution.
Mr. SPRATT. Thank you very much. Mr. Skelton and I have written you a letter and we would appreciate a response to it.
Page 69 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary WOLFOWITZ. On that issue?
Mr. SPRATT. Yes, sir, and the supplemental.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. And the supplemental.
I might add, too, Mr. Skelton, I know we owe you an answer on this question of private security forces in Iraq. It is, as you can appreciate, an extremely complicated issue, and we have policywe are relooking at it, given the importance of the issue, and we will get back to you, but it is not an easy letter to answer.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from New York, Mr. McHugh.
Mr. MCHUGH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Gentlemen, welcome. I want to start by associating myself with a number of comments made by my colleagues, particularly those of the ranking member and the distinguished chairman with respect to the great admiration and faith and trust and really just high regard we hold for our men and women in uniform. I have had the chance to visit with the chairman and others in Iraq twice, I have been to Afghanistan about 2 months ago, and in both those theaters there is no question in my mind those soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines are more than up to the challenge. But I do think there is another problem from the American side of this equation.
Page 70 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Secretary, you spoke about the ''man on the moon'' syndrome, and I agree with that. We heard that in our visits to Iraq, that that was what was wrong with the United States. Clearly, they could fix these easy problems in a matter of hours if they really wanted to.
But I am not so sure it is an indigenous disease only found in the Middle East or Iraq. I think it is found on the streets of America. I am absolutely stunned when I read and hear of some of the comments and stories about quagmires and what has gone wrong and why are we not out of there already, and what is our exit strategy when we are trying to reform not just a nation that has been under the boot of oppression for 31/2 decades but really to set a stage for an entire region; and as the President put it, I thought very adequately, to say the least, in his press conference not so very long ago, change the way of the world.
And I worry about the American people not staying the course. There is that old Pogo cartoon, ''We have met the enemy and he is us.'' I sometimes wonder at times if we are not our own worst enemy.
We need to stay this course. I think the ranking member put it very, very appropriately: Losing here, failure, is simply not an option.
The ramifications go far beyond the borders of Iraq or the Middle East. And I just wanted to underscore my feelings in that regard because, as you said, Mr. Secretary, I think that message is important to those who are not wishing us particularly well in that region, that we are going to stay this course and make a difference.
That having been said, I would like to just lay out about three questions and then just allow you gentlemen to reply. I guess I can start with Secretary Grossman.
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Mr. Secretary, I don't know, you probably haven't had a chance to see it. But in the next panel we have Dr. Amatzia Baram, who comments, and I will quote from page 8 of his testimony, giving the U.N. a greater political role in Iraq will not end attacks by insurgents or terrorists. The U.N. is not popular with many Iraqis, who blame it for implementing U.S.-imposed sanctions.
With respect to Ambassador Brahimi, we have put a lot of faith in this gentleman, and I don't take exception with that. But I am concerned about some of the things that I am hearing coming out of the Middle East that, like the U.N., Ambassador Brahimi may not be held in the highest regard by a number of influential and probably important Iraqis, particularly given his service in the Arab League when Saddam Hussein was at his worst, when Saddam Hussein was probably doing more to exterminate the Shia population than any other time in his 3-plus decades, including in the northern sectors, of course, the gas attacks on the Iraqi Kurds.
I was wondering what the State Department's impression is of Ambassador Brahimi and, to whatever extent you can give us, an update on where you think his proposals might lead us and how they might be received by the Iraqis in general.
Second, I would say to either Secretary Wolfowitz or General Myerswhichever, or perhaps bothI understand that Secretary Rumsfeld recently made the comment that, at 135,000 troops now with the extensions, if the commanders need more, all they have to do is ask.
I would ask, is that an accurate quote? And if they were to ask for more troopsand General Myers alluded to this, but didn't really detail ithow would we provide more troops beyond the extensions that we have just heard about?
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And last, Fallujah. Validity, I think, and faith in the Americans sticking to it is important. We have got a ''cease-fire agreement,'' for lack of a better description, in Fallujah based on a number of assumptions, not the least of which is that the insurgents would turn in their major weapons. My understanding is that at this moment not a single major weapon has been turned in.
What is the plan of approach in Fallujah? How long do we wait to see if the terms of agreement that were brought to us and accepted by us are upheld? And if not, what do we do next?
So with those three questions Mr. Secretary Grossman I guess we could start with you and Ambassador Brahimi.
Secretary GROSSMAN. Yes. Thank you very much for the question. Let me try to answer it as directly as I can.
First, I apologize. I did not see the testimony for the people who follow. But I recognize that that opinion is out there, it is in editorials, for example, in some of the newspapers today in the United States.
What I would say to you is a couple things. First, when we look at what Ambassador Brahimi has accomplished over the past couple of years, especially in Afghanistan, we have confidence that he is working not just for the United Nations but also for the interests of the United States and for, in that case, the Afghan people and for the Iraqis as well.
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I think the process that he put through in Afghanistan has created great results, and the fact that we are where we are in Afghanistannot perfect, not done, but that we are where we are in Afghanistan, generally positive, Brahimi gets some of the credit there. And so we are prepared to move with him in this regard.
The second thing I would say to you, Mr. McHugh, is that, of course, that Mr. Brahimi is not out there by himself. He knows what it is that we are interested in and, I think, what Iraqis are interested in in terms of their future. You know that Ambassador Blackwell from the NSC spent time in Iraq as the same time as Ambassador Brahimi, and we have said in public and in private that any outcome here has got to meet certain criteria. It should represent the diversity of Iraq, it shouldn't be a law-making body, it shouldn't be too big, it shouldn't be a legislature; it should have the necessary authorities to get the job done, but recognizing that this, as the chairman did, this is a government of 6 months.
And so I think Ambassador Brahimi and others who are working on this know what our criteria are. And when I look at the proposal, as I understand it, that Ambassador Brahimi has put to us, it meets, I think generally, our criteria.
President Bush said last Friday, you know, that he welcomed the efforts that Brahimi had made, welcomed the effort thatthe plan that has been put out there. And so we are going to, I think, stick with this and see if we can't bring it to a good result.
In terms of what happens next, Mr. McHugh, as I understand it, Ambassador Brahimi will go to New York and he will report to the Secretary General. It then will, I think, I hope, become a matter of conversation with the Secretary General of the United Nations. Ambassador Brahimi will go back to Iraq around the 1st of May, and his program is to try to identify this interim government by the middle of May so that it can get on its feet and be ready for the 1st of July.
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Mr. MCHUGH. Thank you. Mr. Secretary, any truth to the rumor that Secretary Rumsfeld said, if they need more troops, we will get them? If so, how do we get them?
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Certainly, every time the commanders have asked for more, though it is not a rubber stamp or blank check, but these commanders are making daily judgments very carefully and we have always found them to be correct. And they need to havethey should have the troops they need to have.
You are absolutely right in the implication in your question that we are going to have to dig very deep if we have to add more. But as General Myers said earlierand he can elaborate at bitwe are looking at what that might mean. Very difficult answers, but there are answers.
If I may pile on your appeal for patience at the beginning, I think it is extremely well stated and I think sometimes it is worth remembering if one thinks back to 1995 and the Dayton Accords. Some people said we would be out in a year. Of course, it is now 9 years later. But we have made consistent, steady progress in Bosnia, and we are almost down to zero U.S. troops in Bosnia. And the place hasn't fallen apart. It is long way from perfect, but it is a huge improvement over what it was 10 years ago.
We did that in Bosnia. The stakes in Bosnia were tiny compared to the stakes in Iraq. And I think we need even more patience. It is obviously going to take more resources; and as I mentioned in my statement, Iraq has a lot of resources, as well, that makes it different from Bosnia and different from Afghanistan. It doesn't mean that they can do it on their own, however, it doesn't mean that they can provide security on their own after July 1st. But I do think if one takes a longer-term perspective and doesn't expect instant resultsI mean, I like your point that we have the ''man on the moon'' effect here in the United States.
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With respect to Fallujah, I don't think anyone goes into this with illusions about the nature of the hard-core enemy there. But what we are hoping to do is at least to find those people in the town who are prepared to help us get rid of that enemy, to mitigate civilian casualties, should it be necessary. And it is important to remember, civilian casualties are a key part of the enemy's information operations campaign. This is as much an information war over Fallujah as it isit is both an information war and a military war. And, unfortunately, since they have the benefit of the lies that are broadcast by Aljazeera, we need to work very hard with the truth to counter that kind of garbage.
General Myers, I think, might want to say more about both those last two questions.
General MYERS. The way the request for troops comes is from the field commanders, I think as people know. It comes up usually first at the Joint Staff. We look at our ability to source that, given other worldwide requirements. Generally, we run that through the Joint Chiefs of Staff and then provide a recommendation to the Secretary of Defense.
Sometimes it is an iterative process where we have dialogue, the Deputy Secretary and the Secretary, as we are going through this deliberation.
I don't know why, but it seems that we hear almost weekly that the Secretary is somehow constraining our combatant commanders from getting the resources they need, troops, and that has not been my experience while I have been the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or when I was the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
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There are serious issues with this, but I have never known the Secretary to constrain or put a cap on troops for major combat operations or others. But we still see the articles. They come out all the time. They are absolutely wrong; they don't understand the facts.
And looking, as I answered Chairman Hunter earlier in looking at the forces, that we may need additional in Iraq, it is not known yet. But General Abizaid is thinking about that. Some of it will have to do with how we handle ourselves in Fallujah. If more forces are required, we have forces identified. Some of them would have to go back to Iraq, breaking some of our administrative guidelines for use of these forces. In other words, they might not have all the time back at their home station that we hoped they would have. They will certainly go over ready and well equipped, but they may not have had as much time at home as we were hoping to provide them.
General MYERS, as Secretary Wolfowitz said, and Secretary Grossman, this is a serious situation. We are at war. We have a lot at stake against these extremists in Iraq. And so that is what your Armed Forces are for, both Reserve component and Active. We will make the forces available if required.
Mr. MCHUGH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. The gentleman from Texas, Mr. Ortiz. And, Mr. Ortiz, before you start here, I wanted to recognize thatI looked out in the audience and I saw a gentleman who looks a lot like the distinguished Ranking Member, Mr. Skelton. That is his son, Wade Skelton, right here. Thank you for being with us today, sir. You have got a great dad.
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Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We see very often the activation of more and more National Guard and Reserve troops being activated. Now, I am just wondering what preparations are being made to minimize the burden now on the National Guard and Reserve troops who have already served more than 12 months on the deployment in Iraq? And also what effect is the removal of troops from Spain, Honduras, and now the Dominican Republic going to have on the U.S. deployments and security efforts? What is the impact once we do that?
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. First part of your question. We have been concerned for some time, even before this latest problem, about the particular stress on particular Reserve units where, for example, we depend almost entirely on Reserves for civil affairs functions, for military police. As a result, we are going back to that well much more often than we like.
One of the military police units that is being extended in Iraq had spent a year in Bosnia just a few years ago. Although that is, I think, more the exception than the rule, it is a very painful exception. And the Army has beenhas a plan now in this year's budget to shift some 100,000 positions, rebalancing between the Active force and the Reserve force, so that we are not in the situation that every time we deploy, we need to call on the Reserves for certain key specialties; that we have a better balance, better mix between the two.
Also as I think you know, General Schoomaker has come up with a plan, that Secretary Rumsfeld has approved, to temporarily increase the size of the Army by approximatelyI am sorry I don't have the precise numbers in my headapproximately 30,000 people, with the idea that he is going to use that head room and has already begun using that headroom to create 10 additional combat brigades on top of the 33 that we have now.
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And if at the point we complete that effort, decide we need another additional 5, he can get that within the 30,000 increase. So we don't need the additional; the plan is to eventually work those numbers down. The difficulty in simply increasing the size of the Army is the results take time to deliver, and if you delivered the results long after the need has gone away, then you have a burden that makes it harder to manage the force. So I think the Army plan now is a good plan.
But, finally, we need towe are doing a great deal. We need to figure out everything we can do with special programs for families, with incentive pay for the troops that have been extended beyond 12 months, with other things to mitigate what is definitely a hardship.
I am sorry; the second part of your question?
Mr. ORTIZ. The perception or the signal that it might send to the rest of the coalition.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. It is a real concern. And it has caused us, I think General Myers said earlier, to readjust how we deploy our forces. I must say, many of our allies have done extremely well. It is worth mentioning the Salvadoreans have been particularly commended by our people for their toughness in the last couple of weeks. And most of our allies seem to be sticking with us. But this is very tough duty. It is not peacekeeping. And we really appreciate the many countries that do have troops on the line.
Page 79 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ORTIZ. See, when I was in Iraq with the committee, we saw a lot of National Guard and Reserves coming in to relieve the Active Duty ReservesI mean Active Duty troops by the Reserves. And they were very concerned with the time that they were going to be there. They said there is a lot of uncertainty, we don't know whether we are going to be there 6 months, 8 months, 12 months. If we only knew how long we were going to be there, it would help us with our families.
So I hope that something can be worked out. Like you say, it is not peacekeeping; this is war.
General MYERS. Mr. Ortiz, if I canthat is the number one thing that we try to work. And we have said, up to a year in Iraq. For Reserves, that doesn't mean a year activated. And what we are trying to do, and we get better fidelity as we go along here in the mobilization processwhich, by the way, when we started all of this, the mobilization process was a product of essentially World War II, and it had changed some but not a lot.
I think we give a lot of credit to the Army for trying to change that mobilization process to make it shorter on the front end and shorter on the back end, when they mobilize and demobilize. They know that they are subject to recall under the Presidential authorities we have right now for up to 2 years. Most unitsmostwill be less than that.
One of the issues we had that Secretary Wolfowitz talked about was this rebalance. Most of our MP capability is, guess where? In the Reserve component. What do we need a lot of in Iraq and Afghanistan? MPs. General Schoomaker is very aggressively attacking that, both putting more MPs in the Active component, and changing out air defense battalions, artillery battalions in the National Guard, and making MP companies out of them, because that is what we needed: civil affairs and psychological operations and transporters and all of these other capabilities that we know we are going to be in short supply in this security environment that we find ourselves in as far as we can see. So all of that is going on.
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You are absolutely right. We are asking a lot of Reservists, Guard and Reserve, of their employers, of their families. We have worked very hard, the Reserve components have worked very hard to try to keep their families very well informed there with our Web-based quick answers to their questions today, because they are not always located on posts, camps and stations, and bases, they are spread out through States. And they have worked that very hard to work the communication piece, which has improved dramatically over the last year.
Mr. ORTIZ. See, and the problem will be later on, the impact that it might have on reenlistment, on retention.
General MYERS. Absolutely.
Mr. ORTIZ. This is a huge, huge problem.
General MYERS. It is. It is one that I personally track. As you know, I have a two-star Guard and two-star Reserve adviser. And that is their main task is to work these issues for me, make sure that I am aware of what is going on out there in the communities and the units so we can try to be ahead to lead turn with these issues. These are very serious issues that we take very seriously on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that the Secretary and the Deputy Secretary and Dr. Chu and everybody that works these issues takes very, very seriously. Absolutely.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you.
Page 81 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary GROSSMAN. Just simply to say, Mr. Ortiz, just to follow up on the point that Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz made on this coalition, it is very important that we recognize what they are doing. And I just wanted to report to you that last night Secretary Powell finished a round of telephone calls to the leaders and his counterparts and all of the members of the coalition; one, to appreciate what they are doing and, two, to tell them to stay strong because we need them there.
Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Can I ask for just a little time? Mr. Secretary, I want to ask you for kind of an unusual request. I just got a call. I just lost one of our soldiers, Lance Corporal Rubin Valdez, Jr. He comes from a little community of San Diego, Texas, where we have already lost two young people. And that young person who was lost is also a neighbor.
Ms. Valdez, Mrs. Sylvia Valdez, the motherand I just had a talk with her. And as I talked with her, I asked if she had anything for me to do? And I let her know that I was just talking to you, Mr. Secretary. And she asked me just to ask you if you could respond to just one question. You don't have to respond to it now. But I would ask you, maybe in writing to her if you could, and that is, her son is a Marine, had already been in Iraq last year, and he was asked to go back. And she just wanted to know why.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. I will send her an answer, sir.
Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Schrock.
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Mr. SCHROCK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, Mr. Secretary, and General, thank you for enduring a second day of these hearings on a topic that is I think very, very important to every single one of us.
In the past I have been repeatedly commenting on the disconnect between the Iraq we see every day on television and the newspapers, and the real Iraq. And I have been to Iraq twice and believe there is far more progress that is being made there than we are being led to believe on the nightly news programs.
But, however, I think we would be remiss in not considering the implications of the recent events in planning for the transfer of sovereignty in Iraq. I am greatly concerned about the poor performance of Iraqisome of the Iraqi security forces in the recent battles with the insurgents. I believe the CPA must carefully consider the root causes of their rather poor performance and what it shows about the resolve of the Iraqi people to be governed by themselves and not by a dictator or by the most powerful zealot at the particular time.
And I believe that the U.S. military will be responsible for security in Iraq for the foreseeable future. I hope that we can have that honest debate. We have had a lot of it today. We need to have it in the halls of the Pentagon, the State Department, and the U.N. To ensure that the Iraqi government that emerges is one that is truly committed to the sovereignty of the Iraqi people over themselves, do to the stability and the security of our country and the entire Middle East.
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Of all of the things that were said in the testimony today, I was struck by two words that you said, General Myers, and that is ''humane treatment.'' and we do engage in humane treatment. And maybe it is just Ed Schrock's perception, but I perceive because we do that, we are probably taking casualties and losing people more so than if we just go in and try to get it over with at one time.
And of course this constant drip, drip, drip every night of the news media banging on us. And I am just wondering maybethis is a tough one to askbut at what point do we just say, enough is enough, give these folks, 24, 48 hours to do what we have asked them to do, and then we go in, and whatever force is needed, go in and get it over with. Are innocent people going to be killed? No doubt. But is that better than dripping it out over a period of months, where they are going to get killed anyhow, and putting up with the dissension that we are not only going to hear from some of the people overseas but people here at home.
I dread getting up every morning. This morning was a particularly rough one when we heard how many folks were killed over there. Maybe that is something that you don't want to discuss. But I am curious what is your feeling about that?
General MYERS. I think we have to be careful on how far we go because we get into operational matters. But in general, if you are referring to basically the situation in Fallujah, we have a very serious situation in Iraq that developed over the last couple of weeks, particularly exemplified in Fallujah.
We have got to realize that there isthat the Sunni population has a lot of fence-sitters, people waiting to see how Iraq develops, to see if they are going to be made part of the new Iraq, that some feel disenfranchised, some inflamed by theand this is going to sound harsh, but it is absolutely true in my mind, the outright lies that media outlets like al-Jazeera make about our actions in Iraq. And we have at least 30 instances where they have made a statement. It is just exactly wrong, and portraying the U.S. as the ones that are not concerned about humane treatment.
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So I can guarantee you that General Abizaid, since events in Fallujah started unfolding when we went in there to find the perpetrators of the killing of the Blackwater contractors, and then burning them and then displaying their bodies as everybody is well aware, between that and trying to make sure that we don't lose the consent of the Iraqi people, importantly; also the Sunni and Shi'a populations.
In the end we will do militarily what we have to do. I will just assure you of that. And I think we will get support up and down our government for those actions. But in the meantime it is a careful balance. It is a tightrope that has been walked by some great Marines. But we don't think we have put them in additional jeopardy by these actions. But the cease-fire, by the way, was only obeyed by our Marines, as you expect. They still take sniper fire and, for that matter, assaults on them. They have been real successful in repelling those. At the same time we have taken some losses.
But, you are right. This is combat. It is war. Mistakes will be made. In terms of our best efforts to protect innocent civilians, there will still be some caught in the crossfire.
In most cases, it will be our adversary who has no regard for their lives anyway, wholook at the mortar rounds that the former Baathist and regime elements put into Abu Gharib prison. They went in there and they killedI think the number is 20 detainees, and injured I think a 100-and-some others. They were Iraqis. They were attacking their people.
The same thing we saw in Basra the day when we heard about the vehicle-borne explosives that blew up police stations, and oh, by the way, a van that was going by that had children in it. These were Iraqis killing Iraqis. We don't know who perpetrated those events in Basra. At least I don't at this point. Quite likely it could be Zarkawi and his folks, who want to foment Sunni on Shi'a unrest as a last-ditch effort to keep us from being successful in Iraq.
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Mr. SCHROCK. During the two years that I lived in Vietnam, as a young naval officer, I was greatly puzzled and bothered by the limited war game we played there and byyou know, whenever the Vietnamese had a holiday, we always observed that by kind of a cease-fire, so to speak. That is when they got ready for the next engagement.
I am just hoping and praying we don't get into that, or we don't start doing that in Iraq, because I think that is just a blueprint for disaster. But I guess weI don't want to seem like the horrible hawk, but we got to get thisour kids' lives are real important.
General MYERS. Sir, I agree with you absolutely. I remember those days, too. As you remember, they would do it on the ground. In Vietnam, they would do it in the air. The pauses, the so called bombing pauses, allowed the enemy to restock antiaircraft ammunition.
Mr. SCHROCK. Ho Chi Minh Trail was full of that stuff.
General MEYER. That is not the intention or the direction we are under right now.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Mr. Chairman, if I could just take a minute to answer the first part of Mr. Shrock's question, because it was also yours at the beginning. It is crucial, about the performance of Iraqi security forces. I have got to emphasize, it is too early to make an assessment, evenwe have got too many things on our hands right now even to know what happened in the last couple of weeks. It will take some time to collect the facts.
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But, again, it is a complicated picture. I want to mention just two anecdotes that came to us from former Army Colonel Jim Steel, who I mentioned earlier, who had been in Iraq for most of the last year doing really heroic duty with the police. He has made a big difference.
He has been extremely candid over the course of 12 months about problems that he has identified. But he sent this with some good news for a change. He said, in Sadr City, which is a big Shi'a slum in Baghdad, we made a surprise visit to the main police station. To our surprise, despite the late hour, 10 o'clock at night, the chief was at the station. He explained that he had stayed full time at the station during the recent crisis. He provided a detailed account of what had occurred. He described how the five stations had been taken over by Sadr's army, but subsequently recaptured within 4 hours.
He was proud of the performance of his policemen and grateful to the coalition forces who responded decisively. He has one policeman missing at this time, only one. Of the 140 AK47s that were seized from his people, all but 62 have been recovered. He correctly pointed outand this is part of our problemthat his 500 policemen are not only outnumbered but outgunned. He has only one BKC, actually a PKM, medium machine gun, while his enemy has mortars, RPGs, BKCs and grenades. He has a point. He also reported that he has only 32 vests.
Then he goes on to say, Mr. Skelton, to your comments about hearts and minds; he said, in addition to his request for additional police and equipment, he asked that we expedite the reconstruction effort, particularly regarding sewer and water.
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We had to drive through raw sewage before arriving at the station. Those are problems we can fix. I mean, we put a man on the Moon, we can get weapons and vests, and we can fix the sewage. We need to do it faster.
Then there was an upper-class neighborhood of Baghdad, and actually this is one that has a lot of former regime people in it. He saidagain, we were surprised to see the chief at work despite the late hour. He explained that either he or his deputy was usually always present. This police station was a disaster 3 months ago. I visited the station immediately after 40 prisoners had escaped. A new commanderand Colonel Steel emphases the importance of leadership in the police forcea new commander was subsequently assigned, and within 2 weeks it was a different place.
We went back tonight to see if the positive changes were still in place. The station was even better than during the previous visit. I don't want to suggest that that is representative. That is what we need to aim at. There is a mixture of some and II guess I don't even want to guess the percentage because it would be a guess. I think the majority have performed reasonably, unless faced with really overwhelming force. Some significant fraction just took off and didn't turn up. And the worst part, and I think it is done in, I hope it is in the 5 percent or lower range, actually helped the enemy. That part is important also, I think, to emphasize in the context of thinking that somehow it was a failure of planning that led, with respect to the Army, that led to our problems.
The fact is, our plan was to use the Iraqi Army. We overestimated the Iraqi Army before the war. We thought that it would be there in disciplined units that could help to provide security. As Ambassador Bremer and Walt Slocum, who is the defense adviser in Baghdad, have said repeatedly, the army disbanded itself. It was mostly a conscript force, conscripts who were basically military slaves. They were barely paid.
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Many of themI remember during the scenes of some of them walking home from NORTHERN Iraq with their soles falling off their shoes. What you were left with was an officer corps that was deeply penetrated by all of Saddam's security services. And if you think we have 5 percent that are helping the enemy with the forces that we have reconstructed, I think in the old army it would be worse.
So no one is being doctrinaire here. We are bringing back officers from the old army. They are our key to success. But it is also important to bring back the right officers from the old army.
Mr. SCHROCK. Mr. Secretary, and Mr. Chairman, that is the good news. But, sadly, good news appears to be no news here at home. That is a very sad commentary on what our people are fed every night on the news. That is very sad.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. I appreciate the chance to at least say it here. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. The gentleman from Mississippi, Mr. Taylor.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank our very distinguished panel and the people that they represent, the Armed Forces, for being here today.
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Secretary Wolfowitz, my memory is very far from perfect, but I think I remember you coming before this committee prior to, and shortly into the Bosnia conflict. And I think I remember you as being one of the folks who said, This could go wrong, this could go wrong, this could go wrong. This could end up in a quagmire. This could go wrong.
And, quite honestly, I think I remember agreeing with you on almost every one of those points. My memory is not perfect. I have not taken the time to dig up the transcripts.
My observation is, as someone who agreed with you on the potential pitfalls in Bosnia, in remembering you in that matter, I am constantly amazed at what I see as a flip-flop now, in that I am constantly being told by you, things are okay, we don't need to change.
And Ias someone who was very concerned about Bosnia, and very, very concerned about Bosnia, I can tell you every time I went to Bosnia it looked a little bit better than the time before. But, again, I votedI was against it. Every time I went to Bosnia, we had a few more allies than the time before. I remember going to places like Brcko, which was an extremely contentious place, and absolutely being overwhelmed at the generosity of the international community to provide building materials so that those folks could rebuild their own homes.
I mean, justI only made two trips to Iraq, so I am far from an expert. I am pretty well at the mercy of what you tell us, what I read in the paper, and what I see on television, what the folks at home tell me when they come home from it. But I didn't think it was safer in December than it was September. My observation. I saw more people more concerned, more alert in their positions, in my trip in December than I saw in September. And I hear conflicting statements.
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I want to give you an opportunity to respond. But the quote was, either from you or from General Myersand again I have immense respect for General Myersand the quote wasand exactly like that fast''They have what they need, they have the people that they need.''
And then I see a day-long orgy of violence in Fallujah, in a town that I knew was dangerous because the 890th unit from the Mississippi National Guard was there, and when I repeatedly asked if I could go visit them, I was told no, it is too dangerous. Heck, we knew Fallujah was dangerous. So how do you have a day-long orgy of violence when we have the people that we need, and we have all of the things we need? That troubles me.
And, again, I want to give you the opportunity. You talked about some of the things we may have missed. And I personally mentioned to the President I thought this was going to be a 10-year endeavor, based on conversations by people I considered to be smart people, including Wes Clark.
And I very much was amazed at the response of this administration when people who I have immense respect for, people like Eric Shinseki, who said we are going to need 200- to 300,000 people to maintain order after the war, at the disrespect that was shown to him, not necessarily by the Commander in Chief, but certainly by people who work with the Commander in Chief.
Now I am hearing we are going to be there for a long time, which again I was prepared for. We are going to need a bigger force, which I was prepared for. But among the many things that we have missedand again I am asking this as a question I hope someone can inform medid we miss the reaction of the average Joe in Iraq?
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I don't ever recall someone explaining to me very well, that this was basiccertainly there was the fear and intimidation, and thereSaddam had no redeeming characteristics, none. I think one of the things that we missed was this almost Socialist-type economy where, okay, if you kept your head down and you didn't make trouble, you got your food, you got your electricity, you got your water, you got your 2- or 3-cent gasoline.
Did we miss as a nation the huge responsibility that we would be undertaking in effect, maintaining that Socialist state, and keeping those folks happy? Are weas I explained to the folks in Mississippi, while they are paying 1.80 for a gallon of gasoline, that we are going to buy it in Kuwait and ship it down to Baghdad so it can continue to be sold for 3 cents. Obviously, that is a huge political problem of trying to get these folks from, in effect, being paid to sit at home into some sort of a market economy.
Did we anticipate that? And how do we respond to that? Because that is going to be a hard sell. If a guy isand correct me if I am wrongbut if I guy is used to getting his electricity for free, he is not going to be real anxious to pay for it. If a guy is used to getting his water and his gasoline for virtually free, he is not going to be real excited about that. If a guy is in effect getting food to sit at home, I don't see where he is going to be real excited to go to work. I mean, we have had our own troubles with those types of programs here in the States. How do you overcome that, in addition to the obvious? Our religions are different. We look different.
As I have said to you privately, if you sent 120,000 Pakistanis to Mississippi, and even if they were perfect gentlemen, even if they didn't rape anyone, if they didn't torture anyone or kill anyone, at some point the folks in Mississippi would be saying it is time for you guys to go home.
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How do we overcome that? Because, again, I know that you are someone who used to look at all of the potential pitfalls and to try to isolate them and cure them up front. Tell me how we respond to these pitfalls now, since we are definitely in this. As I have told you privately, I want our Nation to succeed as much as you want our Nation to succeed. But these are things we are obviously going to have to overcome in order for our Nation to succeed.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Let me start, though my memory isn't great either, and my 16-year-old loves catching me in what she calls ''senior moments.'' but I am very clear about one thing. I remember very clearly, right after the Dayton Agreement, meeting withat Senator Dole's request as the majority leader on the other side at that time, myself, and Ambassador Kirkpatrick, General Scowcroft, a couple of other people, to come and talk with his Republican colleagues about the Dayton Accords. And I remember very clearly that many of them were in a mood to say President Clinton is taking us into a disaster. I think some of the outside advisers were saying the same thing. I don't want to put any words in anyone else's mouth. I remember very clearly saying myself, ''I think you are wrong. I think they are ready for a cease-fire in Bosnia. I think the United States has an interest in supporting this agreement.''
You can criticize how we got there. My own view, strongly, was that both the Clinton administration and its predecessor had made a major mistake in failing to arm the Bosnians so that they ultimately were not able to defend themselves, had to have outside intervention, but I was strongly in favor of coming out to support the President at that time.
I testified in support of it. And I remember Senator Dole as the Senate majority leader supported President Clinton. I am proud to be associated with that. I may, in fact, imprudently have supported the idea of the 1-year timetable. But I think weeveryone at the time recognized that it would take longer.
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There is an essential difference, though, between Bosnia and Afghanistan and Bosnia and Iraq. Which is to say, Bosnia is peacekeeping. No one really wanted to fight any longer, and certainly no one wanted to fight Americans.
In both Afghanistan and Iraq, we are dealing with people who were fighting Americans from before September 11th, and are eager to kill and fight Americans today. They view this as a central battle in the war on terrorism. Just read this letter from Mr. Zarkawi if you have any doubts about what he was up to.
We thought, General Abizaid thought, there may be only a couple of dozen Zarkawi people in Iraq. It looks as thoughwe have already captured, I think, well over 50, I don't want to give an exact number. We have captured some more now in Jordan. This is a network that now fights us in Iraq. It is a network that pulled off bombings in Casablanca, attempted bombings, or terrorist incidents, rather, in London and in Paris. It is a network that was operating in NORTHERN Iraq before the war. It is a determined enemy. It is war. And it is difficult.
I think two points. Number one, I think we are making real progress in this war. You are right that Fallujah has been a problem for some time. We can debate whether we should have taken on the problem earlier. If we decided to take it on earlier, maybe we would have asked for more forces to do it. But the inhibition all along has been the problem that General Myers described quite well, which is the balance between taking on these enemies in populated cities and the potential civilian casualties that can occur at the same time.
Page 94 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I described an operation in Sumara the 4th Infantry Division did some months ago. I think it was quite successful. So, to come back to what General Abizaid says, what we need most, in most cases, is more intelligence not more forces. And without better intelligence and more intelligence, more forces simply end up, as I think you alluded to, alienating the population.
Did we miss anything? I don't think what we missed was mainly on the economic side. I think we were all a little bit shocked at just how stunning the damage Saddam Hussein had done to the Iraqi infrastructure, though frankly we anticipated much more damage being done by the war itself.
If anything was a surprise, it was the virulence and tenacity of these killers that I described earlier, the Iraqi Intelligence Service, the M14 so-called antiterrorism squads that were preparing suicide belts before the war, that had been training assassins and bombers for literally a couple of decades, and that these people would continue fighting.
I remember on April 2nd of last year, a retired marine named Gary Anderson wrote a piece in the Post, which may overstate it a little bit, but it is truly propheticI remember reading it at the time and thinking, hey, he is probably right and these guys are very determinedbut I think that is also, to end on a positive note, the two huge advantages that we have here, killers do not win the hearts and minds of people. They may intimidate them, but these people have nothing positive to offer. They are a cult of death worshipers, whether it is the Saddam people or the foreign terrorists or the Zarkawi types.
Page 95 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And, second, there isn't a Ho Chi Minh Trail. There is a trail of money from outside. There is a trail of some foreign fighters from outside. But these people are not basically supported form outside.
And I think the key, to go back to Mr. Skelton's question, the key is keeping the Iraqi people with us, in fact, doing better to get them with us. It is their war. It is their country. They have got to stand up on their feet and fight it.
Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Secretary, how far off the mark am I? I welcome your memory on the Bosnia situation, and I will take you at your word. But how far off am I on what we would refer to as these pocketbook issues ifif it were domestic politics?
The CHAIRMAN. Just let me announce to folks that don't know, we got about 5 minutes left. But, Mr. Cole, it is your question when we come back. After Mr. Taylor's question, we will come back at 15 after the hour. We have a string of votes. But I think we still have some MEMBERS who have some very important questions.
Mr. TAYLOR. But on things as basic as electricity, food, water, the price of a gallon of gasoline purchased in Iraq, I mean, was that indeed some sort of a socialized economy? Was it a free market economy? I am having trouble visualizing how you can have 60 percent unemployment and yet people still had electricity; 60 percent unemployment yet they still ate; 60 percent unemployment but a substantial number of them had vehicles. And the only way I figured that you could do that is that if the state is giving everyone some sort of stipend. Was that the case? And what happens now?
Page 96 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary WOLFOWITZ. First of all, I think to a considerable extent, it was the case. It was funded with Iraq's own revenues, which, as I said
Mr. TAYLOR. So what happens now?
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. There are considerable revenues. But second, we, as I think you know, on a weekly basis provide these unclassified statistics on the situation in Iraq. The numbers we have suggest that unemployment has come down from 60 percent a year ago to 25 percent ago today. It is still too high. In places like Fallujah, it is much higher because these killers have made it virtually impossible to do reconstruction in that area.
You get a very mixed picture. But you get reports of booming economies in the north and parts of Baghdad. In the south, people doing better than they have ever done before. And these are people with a lot of commercial talent. Even though it was a socialized economy for years, they seem to have enormously creative ways of working aroundwe have seen that in some other countries where we have a whole underground economy. I think they had a lot of that in Iraq.
So I think once they can have secure conditions and basic infrastructures repairedI don't want to get overly optimistic here, but I think theyit has got to be their job to repair the damage. The country managed economically before. It can manage once it has stability.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Reyes said he wanted to give you the award for the longest question. And I want to second that. But good questions, Mr. Taylor. We will fire back up at 15 after.
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The CHAIRMAN. We finished with Mr. Taylor. Mr. Wilson will be our nexthave the next set of questions here. Mr. Wilson.
Mr. WILSON OF SOUTH CAROLINA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you, Mr. Secretary. And in particular, both Secretaries and General, thank you for your service, and I certainly have appreciated from the beginning your candidness and the information that you provided over the past year, year and a half of where we are, where we are going. And in particular, I was just mentioning to Secretary Wolfowitz that I returned just 10 days ago from a visit to Baghdad. I had the opportunity in particular, I was with Congressman Mike Rogers of Michigan who is a former FBI agent, and his keen interest in background of course was law enforcement. And it was a trip that we took to Qatar where we visited with the Iraqi Survey Group.
We also visited Iraq for 2 days and we had the opportunity to visit with the FBI command post at the airport, which was very interesting as to their operations. Additionally, we had the opportunity to visit with troops of the North Carolina Army National Guard, Congressman Bob Etheridge was with us in Kirkuk, and then we had the opportunity to visit with the munitions dump where they are detonating 250 tons of captured explosives every day. It was a phenomenal opportunity.
But there was so much that I was encouraged about and I am giving you an op ed in the State newspaper from Columbia, South Carolina, which was published last Saturday. But what impressed me was when we visited Jordan, there were two particular events that were extraordinarily impressive to me. First, we visited the international police training facility there at Amman, and we saw firsthand the training of a class of 500 Iraqi police and we also had the opportunity in a very impromptu, spontaneous manner to visit with four of the trainees, and through an interpreter of course, and it was enlightening and encouraging about their determination to receive training and provide security in their home country.
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Additionally I was encouraged visiting with the Chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AMCHAP there in Amman, to find out that they have had investors conferences, they have had two, which have already identified the potential of contracts for developing of enterprises in Iraq which could produce a million jobs. And I had never heard of any of this before, but it was very encouraging.
And one side point on that, while we were in Amman it had been announced that 3 days before that 20 al Qaeda possibly related terrorists had been arrested and in their custody they had an 18-wheeler filled with explosives that could have done extraordinary damage to the country of Jordan. And so progress is being made but it is not a conflict just in Iraq. And so I am really grateful for what I saw.
But I am interested in your point of view as to the level of Iraqi security forces, if you could restate that because it is just not published enough.
And then maybe identify Iraqi units that did perform well and possibly explain further, and you mentioned about General Petraeus, who I was very impressed with, and I am excited to hear of his role. But what is being done with the Iraqi security forces, to include the army, the police, the border police and civil defense police.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Thank you. And that observation made about Jordan, I think it may be the incident I saw reported just the last few days. So it was terrorists connected to Mr. Zarqawi, and as I said this morning, maybe when you were not here, Zarqawi is not just a local Iraqi problem. A lot of people do not know he was based in Afghanistan for a lot of years running a camp there. This extraordinary letter of his we got because he was communicating with his colleagues in Afghanistan. And he is a global terrorist. He has organized attacks, unsuccessful ones, in London and Paris, a successful one in Morocco we believe, successful ones in Jordan, including one that killed our diplomat, Mr. Foley, and some unsuccessful ones, fortunately, recently in Jordan.
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The notion that these people only emerged after the liberation of Iraq is simply wrong, and the notion that they are only a threat in Iraq is simply wrong.
Again, I may be repeating some things that I have said earlier, but there is no question that one of the three key ingredients to success here is having Iraqis take over responsibility for their own security, and we need to push as fast as we can so that that can happen as quickly as it can. That does not necessarily mean that our forces disappear, by the way. We may be needed, but preferably in a backup role where you make sure that the highest level of violence can be contained and that one security force cannot attack another security force that ever became a fear.
In fact, we knew that there were a lot of problems still to be fixed. And it is not a surprise, it may be a little bit of a disappointment, but it is not a surprise the performance of Iraqi security forces in the current circumstances has been uneven at best.
The fighting in Fallujah is much more, it is way beyond anything that police are equipped or trained to handle. It is small scale infantry tactics and the enemy appear to be people who have extensive training and experience in the old Iraqi security forces fighting for the old regime and of their terrorist allies. There was one civil defense battalion corps that fought quite well in Fallujah. It is called the 36th Battalion. It was specifically namedmost are locally recruited, live at home at night. They arefor that reason, there are some advantages to that. But also it means in an area like Fallujah they are very easily intimidated if the enemy has the capability like they have got in Fallujah.
Page 100 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The 36th Battalion is different. It was recruited nationally and recruited from a mixture of political parties, the two Kurdish parties, the two Shi'a groups, Mr. Chalabi's INC and the SCIRI Badr Corps people and from Mr. Alawi's INA. But they are an integrated unit. They fight together. They fought with a fair amount of bravery. It has been difficult, frankly, getting them back into that fight, but I think it is still a promising model for the future.
I mentioned earlier cases where police stations in places like Sadr City, which is the big Shi'a slum in Baghdad, or Adhamiyah district, which is the upper class Sunni Arab section in Baghdad, where the police leadership was changed out a couple of months ago, and in both cases the police are performing quite well. In the case of Sadr City they had been initially outgunned by the Sadr militia, and that is again a problem I think that can be fixed. It can be fixed by equipping the Iraqi police better. It can also be fixed as we were in the process of doing by demobilizing, disarming the Sadr militias. That is a problem that needed to be faced up to and it is being faced up to.
There are plenty of Iraqis, I think, who are prepared to fight and die for the future of their country. By statistics, and statistics can be misleading, but more than 250 by our count have died in the line of duty, mostly police and civil defense corps. They are a major target of the enemy. We know that. We know that from Zarqawi's letter. My guess is that we underestimate our casualties. We are not systematic in tracking Iraqi casualties. We think that in addition to better equipment that the two things that are essential for success are a leadership that is Iraqi so that they are under Iraqi commanders and not simply adjuncts to American forces, and a government that they can feel some loyalty to and not continue to carry this label of being the collaborators of the occupation authority.
Page 101 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In that connection, they are up against some evil propaganda that is portrayed as news by outlets like Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera had one person on camera who claimed that U.S. forces were taking children to a juice plant that was turned into a big prison and a place of torturing the children of Fallujah. I mean, just total lies. I hesitate to repeat that because it is so outrageous and so obviously wrong. But it is not obvious to an ordinary Iraqi if it is put on television. So we can help them by winning the propaganda war; however, we are up against people who have no scruples about the truth in that regard.
General MYERS. Let me add the total number on duty training is a little over 205,000. And as the Secretary said, they vary in how well trained they are in their equipping and so forth. Having just visited there, meeting with our folks in the Coalition Provisional Authority and General Sanchez's organization, we now have greater clarity on what they need. We have got contracting devices in place and we have got the funding, and I think in fairly short order we are going to start equipping these forces whether they are police or civil defense corps or whatever in the way they need to be equipped. So that is in hand at this point, and it had not been for the last several month.
As the Secretary said, we are slow to this. I will give you one other example of where Iraqi forces performed very well. In the City of Mosul it too had demonstrations based on what was happening in Fallujah and by Sadr's thugs, and there were big demonstrations in Mosul but they were handled by the government and the police and the Civil Defense Corps in Mosul. They took total responsibility for the situation and handled it and defused it and it was over, and so it is clearly uneven performance.
I would mention that 90 percent of the police and I think it pertains to the ICDC as well, I think it pertains, that 90 percent of them are back on duty. While some of them left their stations during the height of this for the reasons the Secretary said, most of them have returned. And we have got to make sure they are equipped, trained and have the right leadership and they are connected up the chain to the Iraqi political leadership.
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Mr. WILSON OF SOUTH CAROLINA. And I appreciate you recognizing that. The final point, as we visit on congressional delegations one of the real highlights, too believe me, is troops from our own home States and in meeting with troops from my home State of South Carolina they were telling me that in fact the local Iraqi security forces, the police they were working with indeed were capable, were competent, and they identified, Mr. Secretary, what you said, that as evidence of their effectiveness they themselves, the Iraqi police, are targets.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Absolutely.
Mr. WILSON OF SOUTH CAROLINA. That is a negative indication, but certainly one that I think reflects well on your efforts, and I wish you well, thank you very much.
General MYERS. Thank you for visiting our troops. They are committed. The effort to go a long way from them means a lot.
Secretary GROSSMAN. May I add something to the point Mr. Wilson made, and that is to say the governmentwide nature of this, that training facility in Jordan that you visited is funded through a State Department program that the Congress has very well supported and we are proud to make that contribution and we are proud of that and we are proud that you visited it, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Texas, Mr. Reyes.
Page 103 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And gentlemen, thank you for being here with us, especially much longer than anyone had anticipated.
Mr. Chairman, as you and I discussed the last time we were in Iraq about a month and a half ago or so, when we have the Secretary come before us and ask for flexibility in terms of being able to move money around, we had a discussion about running the Department of Defense by supplemental funding. I think as I expressed to you, and I just want to make sure that I do so here on the record, I think that short-circuits our ability to do oversight as a Congress. And I think before we take any kind of action that would give the SecretarySecretary Wolfowitz what he wants in terms of what he terms ''flexibility,'' I would ask that we think long and hard about that, because I think it is important that we keep ourselves in the loop in terms of oversight.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me just say to my colleague, I think you have got a balancing factor here. One factor is to allow the troops who are in engagement right now enough flexibility to get things that they immediately need that can't wait for a congressional vote. On the other hand, we do not want to lose our oversight prerogatives and I think we have to keep them in balance and I would be happy to work with the gentleman to do that. I think when you do have forces in contact and you have got to move resources quickly, I tell you we are going to have another hearing in about an hour and we are going to have a few stiff words for the Army which has been camping ontheir bureaucracy has been camping on steel that we are trying to get over into country to armor up vehicles. So to some degree, giving them the ability and the will to expedite items that they need is important. On the other hand, we do not want to hand big chunks of prerogative over to the unelected branch either. So I will work with the gentleman on that.
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Mr. REYES. And I agree, Mr. Chairman, as we discussed. But when we have a report in this morning's Washington Post where Secretary Wolfowitz denies the Woodward accounting of how money was moved around to prepare for the Iraqi conflict, and then in the last paragraph it says, for example, a quarterly report to Congress detailing Pentagon expenditures from September 18th, 2001 to June 30, 2002 contained line items such as, quote/unquote, increased situational awareness: 5.1 billion, enhanced force protection, 1.5 billion, an increased worldwide posture, 4.8 billion, you know, that is a lot of flexibility in terms of what we expect back on reporting in supplementals.
The CHAIRMAN. I would reiterate I would be happy to work with the gentleman. I think one mistake that I saw in Mr. Woodward's reporting is that Iraq and Afghanistan are both in the CENTCOM, and it appeared to me that he did not discriminate or he did not understand that, because a lot of money that was sent to CENTCOM was not fenced for one or the other. I will be happy to working that in some detail but I know that Secretary Wolfowitz gave an answer here a couple of questions ago to that question. And Mr. Secretary, if you wanted to reanswer that for Mr. Reyes.
Mr. REYES. No, I would rather go to another question.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Could I make one comment, not to go back over what I said before, we have a great deal of flexibility in many accounts. I am not offeringI mean, I believe, by the way, but I want to check for the record, I just saw this newspaper story now when you called attention to it. I am sure there are some reports that use broad general categories. I also know there is a great deal of detailed reporting, particularly to oversight committees.
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But the real point I wanted to make is wethe Congress, I think appropriately gives commanders enormous flexibility in, for example, how they expend ammunition. You will look at the total account but you do not try to account for it tank round by tank round. We have heard this, Members of Congress and particularly this committee have been the main sources for bringing it back from the commanders. I have heard it every time I have been in the field with commanders. We have all of this flexibility in military O&M accounts and almost no flexibility when it comes to fixing a local sewage plant, and fixing that sewage plant might actually do more for our force protection by winning the goodwill of the population. And when we examine it we find that some of the red tape is in CPA and some is in the Federal Acquisition Regulations but some is in authorities that we lack or that we sought to get from Congress and did not get.
And, basically, we are fighting a war by peacetime rules not with respect to the military, but with the nonmilitary adjuncts of this war. And not throwing stones or sayingor pointing fingers, I think we all can do things to clean things up without taking away any legitimate oversight by the Congress, but to make sure as I think I hear over and over again from Members who visit, the troops are the ones who are best judges in the detail of what they need to have. And we need to get that judgment out to the field and made in the field.
Mr. REYES. And I think, if anything, this committee has proven by the number of times we have been in theater, the things that we have appropriated, and the things that we have supported that we have that support for the troops. And I as a veteran, I want to make sure that everybody understands that.
Let me ask you a couple of things that are of a concern to me. When you talk better Iraqis embracing the opportunity and the challenge of democracy, it seems to me that what we are expecting them to do is taking somebody that has never even seen a car and put them in the Indianapolis 500 in terms of expectation of democracy. That is number one.
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Number two, when you talk about, and you and General Myers both said, you know, commanders on the ground say they do not need any more troops, yet we constantly hear the reports about foreign fighters, about how porous the border is between Syria and Iraq, common sense to me dictates we need, if nothing else we need to put more of our troops, additional troops on the Syrian border and perhaps in the Jordanian border to make sure that we know who and what is coming in and stop that from occurring.
And the last thing I want you to comment on is do we have a contingency plan once we transfer leadership and government control July 1st. Is there a contingency plan to take back control? And I ask that question because of the very disturbing observations and now experiences that we have had with the nonsuccess of the Iraqi security forces.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. DCMN ROSEN
Mr. WOLFOWITZ. I am sorry, Mr. Reyes, remind me of your first question, I should have made a note.
Mr. REYES. The first question was it seems to me like we are expecting the Iraqis
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Yes, I am sorry, absolutely.
First of all, the premise of your question is a very good one. We should not expect these people to go to the Olympics or the Indianapolis 500. We need to move in stages. And we are moving in stages. And if someone could put that chart back up about the political transition you will see that there is a temporary government with quite limited powers for 6 months that will lead to elections. Those elections are still for a temporary government called the transitional government that if we keep on schedule will lead to a Constitution at the end of next year and elections based on the Constitution.
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If you think back to Afghanistan in December of 2001 when same U.N. representative, Mr. Brahimi launched this thing called the Bonn process, believe me nobody thought the Afghans could do anything, and very few people had heard of Hamed Karzai, who had been in exile for years and had little political base in Afghanistan. We are starting with a little more in Iraq than in Afghanistan. It is a much more developed country; it is a sophisticated population. There are 4 million Iraqis who were driven into exile who, I mean, who have reached considerable levels of accomplishment in the UK and in this country. Some of who are going back. The most importantly the people who have been in Iraq, the millions are Kurds up north who had a form of self government now for many years.
But I mentioned earlier, and I think you were not here Mr. Reyes, but I learned this from the Guardian in London but there were elections held in 15 towns in southern Iraq in the Shi'a heartlands. They used the primitive system of ration cards because they are not ready for a sophisticated voter registration thing. And the people who won these elections are the people who we think will contribute to a more stable Iraq in the future. That is those who favor nonreligious government. The Islamists parties were largely defeated. So they are not going to go to the Olympics, but I think they are ready for the next event, and if we do not keep moving down a process like this one, they will never learn how to assume responsibility.
With respect to the question of taking back, sovereignty is not something that we can or would take back. But let me be very clear and the chairman was clear in his opening comment, for some time to come under the U.N. Security Council resolution, and probably longer by invitation of the Iraqi government, the security in Iraq will be the responsibility of a multinational force under Security Council resolution 1511 and presumably if there is a subsequent resolution it would repeat that under U.S. command. And that includes Iraqi security forces within that umbrella.
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Finally, with respect to border security, we wrestle with this a lot. There is a significant part of the security forces we are training are border guards. But the biggest problem on the Iraqi borders is notit is not that we cannot seal the 600-kilometer border in the middle of a desert. That is a problem. But frankly it is the people that come across through legal transit points by hiding things. We just had people smuggling weapons into the Fallujah. How did they do it? They put the weapons in an ambulance. It is a law enforcement proposition, like the alert customs agent in 2000 who caught the millennium bomber coming into Seattle.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary, on that point. You just mentioned the ambulances, if the gentleman would indulge me. The one thing we hear from the Marines, and you saw this on CNN. There have been ambulances pulled up where two Iraqis were wounded. Two insurgents. They left the wounded guys on the ground, they picked up their guns and took off. And I think this is a rule that we have made as a government or a negotiator in this situation that ambulances are allowed free travel. And basically by painting a crescent and another symbol on any vehicle, they are able to turn these into ambulances.
I think that should require some focus on our part. I would hope you would look at that. Because that has given a transportation capability to the insurgents that they did not have a few days ago.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. It is a violation of the law of war to do that. Just to tag on to that, the ambulances, mosques that are used for military purposes lose their protected status under international law.
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The CHAIRMAN. But my point is if you have an ambulance now, you are allowed to come close to a Marine position. At some point you are going to see IEDs carried in those ambulances. It is not only a violation of rule of law but a loss of life for our personnel. So anybody can now paint a symbol on the side of a vehicle and call it an ambulance. And I think you need to revisit that permission that you have given to the Fallujah authorities.
General MYERS. What I was going to say they do lose their protection and then they can be engaged based on what the tactical men at the scene thinks is appropriate. We are not restricting them in any way. They use their common sense. If I could tag on to the issue of border security. In this rotation, we call it Operation Iraqi Freedom II, we have sent additional forces, more than planned, to address the border issue. And we have it both on the Iranian border and the Syrian border.
If you look at the forces we have now out west, we put one myth, the Marines out there, in larger strength to deal with exactly that issue. Same thing on the Syrian border. I think we feel and the Jordanians feel, the last time I talked to my Jordanian counterpart that we are in pretty good shape on the Jordanian border and Saudi border. But the borders we worry are about Syria and Iran. And we have taken steps to bolster that security and I agree with the Secretary that we have continue equipping and train the border force.
Mr. REYES. That is still within the cap of the number of troops
General MYERS. There is no cap. That waswhen General Abizaid initially requested forces and as events and changed and so forth, that number went up from our original planning figure. And it went up and where those forces are mainly with the Marines in the west and with the U.S. forces that are up in the north east, I guess I would say on the Syrian border.
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The CHAIRMAN. So the border forces are within the 135,000 force level that is presently in theater.
General MYERS. Right and what I am saying 6 months ago we thought we were going to have less force inside Iraq. Somewhere along the line, General Abizaid said I need more force, not counting the 136 that we have in now. I am just saying in the process of they asked for more brigades and that is where they put them.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. I hope the bad guys out there are noticing that when we are debating in this country whether to have our current forces or more force, not abandoning Iraq. This is a healthy debate and I hope they notice it is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of seriousness.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank the gentleman and thank him for his many trips to Iraq.
The gentleman from Georgia, Mr. Gingrey.
Dr. GINGREY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Secretary Wolfowitz, General Myers, Secretary Grossman, thank you for taking your valuable time to be here today to discuss what is obviously one the most important issues in the world consciousness today. As it usually happens in these hearings, I sit here waiting 2 hours to ask my questions and then the members right before me ask my question. And Mr. Reyes did that today and Mr. Wilson, but I have another one. And it is sort of along the same line.
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You talked about the Iraqi civilian defense force. We talked a little bit about the border guard. But when I was in Iraq in December, I met with General Paul Eaton whose responsibility was standing up the new Iraqi army. Ambassador Bremer, one of the first things he did when he was appointed authority over CPA was just disband the Iraqi army for good reason. I do not question that.
But it seems to me that the time line that General Eaton described to us in regard to retraining, the vetting out the right people, the young Iraqis is in their late twenties, early thirties, to go through officer training. And I understand a lot of that was actually done in Jordan with the Jordanian help. But it seems like to me that that effort has moved very slowly.
And so my question is how are we progressing there? And you talk about what Mr. Reyes and Mr. Wilson talk about in regard to the Iraqi civil defense corps in some instance not standing up very strong and doing their job. You mentioned some instance where they did a good job but not in every instance. But where are we in regard to standing up the new Iraqi army? And we talk about Iraqis doing border patrol. It would seem to me that border patrol in this situation should be done by regular army, military.
I mean, if wewe have a Border Patrol in our country to keep people from entering our country illegally. It is an immigration issue. But if they were crossing the borders with rocket propelled grenades and SA 7 rockets and everything else, weapons, it wouldn't be our Border Patrol that would be guarding, it would be our military. Because we would be invaded by another power.
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Where are we and where are these guys and how long is it going to take for us to finally stand up this new Iraqi army? And I am not talking about the civil defense corps or the police.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. One of the things that we started observing middle of last year or last fall was that the plan for the new Iraqi army was way too slow given the fact that we have an ongoing insurgency that it was designed for a more peaceful circumstance. It had to be accelerated and has been accelerated. But for many of the tasks that we need and we will have to look at the estimate in light of the recent fighting but I still think it is basically valid that for a lot of internal security missions, you did not need a force as sophisticated or as well trained as the Iraqi army. That was the concept of the civil defense corps.
I still think as I say, it is the right concept. Maybe it is more training. I think particularly frankly we have been so slow in getting them equipped that it is impossible to make a good judgment at this point about how they performed. The target was to have some 36 battalions, 40,000 civil defense corps fully equipped and trained by this fall. I am sorry I am losing the number here. I think it is 27,000 Iraqi army trained and equipped by the end of this year. We have 70,000 police, many of whom are not well-trained.
And it is worth mentioning, when we mention numbers like General Myers did earlier, 200,000, we are not trying to pretend that these are 200,000 effectives. In some cases, the most I can say is it is better having them employed than unemployed.
Page 113 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But the range of tasks that is required is, in some cases, quite serious. You are correct, I think in identifying the border guarding issue in Iraq as something that goes way beyond police work. To some extent, it is being done as General Myers said, by U.S. forces. In the wide open spaces, it can be done from the air and then only by us. But I think the equipment level for the border guards needs to be of sort of a regular military force. Much more than police.
The goal wasstill isby the end of this year, to have roughly that 200,000 in different categories trained and equipped and able to do the job. And I think we also now say, which we might not have said a few months ago, to make sure that there is an Iraqi chain of command that they report to so that they have a sense of loyalty to somebody who is not an American.
Dr. GINGREY. Mr. Secretary, I do not disagree with that and I do not question the June 30th date. I think it is a commitment that we have made to the Iraqi people and we should stand by that commitment. But General Myers, I might ask you just to kind of follow up on this issue of the professional Iraqi army, their soldiers, if you will. And if we have a goal of having 27,000 of them by December the 30th, where are we today? How close are we to that goal?
Because, you know, clearly they are going tothey are not going to need border patrol, they are going to need professional soldiers guarding the borders, and we are turning over that power to the Iraqi governing council or whatever they come up with. I realize that we will have a military presence there, but it seems like we are going painfully slow in standing up their professional army.
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General MYERS. The overall goal for this new increment of the Iraqi army and this will probably be enlarged by the Iraqi government, but it is 40,000 and I think the Secretary Wolfowitz said 27,000 trained and ready by the end of the year. We currently have roughly 4,000 trained and another 2,000 in training, and we are working to change methods a little bit where we can train the trainer, train Iraqis to train their own folks. Focus on the NCO corps and have them train their younger recruits, many of whom have military service and want a job and want to come back. That is where we are. That is the first increment.
We think that after 1 July as the Minister of Defense gets a staff under him and looks at his needs that they probably want to enlarge that 40,000 number to something else and that is fair. We thought for the first increment that was a good number as we are balancing our resources with the current needs in the country.
Dr. GINGREY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, gentlemen.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank the gentleman. The gentleman from Massachusetts, Mr. Meehan.
Mr. MEEHAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I would say to my friend from Georgia, Mr. Gingrey, as frustrated as you are down in the bottom row after 2 hours, can you imagine having 12 years and finally making it up to the top row and waiting 4 hours to ask a question? So I share your frustration.
Mr. Secretary, in light of the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, Secretary Rumsfeld has authorized General Abizaid to extend the deployment of certain combat, combat support, and combat service support units for up to 90 days. Nearly 6,000 of them are National Guard and Reservists units that have already served in Iraq up to 12 months.
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I am getting calls from families of the 94th MP companies whose members had just begun their return home from Kuwait when their bus was turned around to say they had to stay. The 94th MP company has been activated for 21/2 of the past 4 years. That is 21/2 of the past 4 years. There is a young man from Massachusetts who has a 2-year old daughter who he has seen once for a couple of days.
That is considerably longer than the majority of most reserve units. I am getting calls from the families of the 439th quartermaster company and the 912th forward surgical team as well.
When this administration laid out the 12 months boots-on-the-ground policy last SeptemberI might add I was in Iraq when that policy first came down and I was with the 804th medical brigade who has beenthey were supposed to be there for 6 months and first got the word that now it was going to be a year. We are already asking our Reservists and National Guardsmen to make enormous sacrifices and it seems in some instances it is unfair to keep the 94th MP there for yet another 3 months. How are we going to relieve the burden on the Guard and Reservists unit in Iraq and some are in Afghanistan as well?
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. It is a very painful situation, Mr. Meehan, and particularly for that particular unit, which I think deployed for a year in Bosnia and then got deployed to Iraq.
Mr. MEEHAN. Right.
Page 116 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WOLFOWITZ. I have encountered some Air National Guard units on my trip to Iraq last fall who had similar experiences. They asked me to look into why their unit, and in that case I think it was because they wereflew a particular model of C 130 that was in the high demand. In the case of the military police units unfortunately the decision was made to put most of the military police capability in the reserves and we need military police on a large scale in any of these deployments.
And this is not any solace for the Massachusetts people that are you talking about. It does not deal with the immediate problem, but we have recognized, since before this situation arose, that we need to do something reasonably quickly to begin rebalancing the active and reserve force and the army has a proposal, some of it already underway, some of it and fiscal year 2005 to begin moving 100,000 positions rebalancing between the Guard and the Reserve so that, for example, we do not have all of our military police or most of our military police in the Reserve components, so that we do not have virtually all of our civil affairs in the reserve component, so that we can mobilize for a situation without drawing so heavily on certain of these Guard and Reserve units.
And in the meantime, I guess the most we can offer is some additional compensation and incentives for the people who have been involuntarily extended. I can assure you it was a very painful decision for General Abizaid and for the Secretary. Not something that we are happy to do. General Myers, do you want to add?
General MYERS. We are asking a lot of the Reserve component. And as you pointed out rightly, not just the folks who are deployed and have to stay over there longer, but their families. And we know that. And also their employers. It is a huge, huge issue.
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What we are doing is that in this rotation in many instances, we took active Army units and trained them in the kind of skills that our MPs and infantry had. Noninfantry and trained them in those skills so they could do those jobs when they got to Iraq. That is one of the solutions. Second, we are asking other services where they have similar capability to fill these positions. And servicesother services do have some capability to fill some of these requirements. So we are working that.
The Secretary mentioned the rebalancing issue which will take us longer, but not a whole lot of time. We will be able to convert National Guard artillery units to MP units fairly, fairly quickly or to transporter units or to fuel and water distribution units. Those sorts of things that General Schoomaker is trying to work.
So we have a series of things that we are trying to do to relieve the burden. Again, we are at war, and when we are at war we count on our Reserve force. We do not have enough folks in active duty. We have to count on them. In my recent trip as in all past trips, when you see the way the military teamworks in country, it is seamless. You cannot tell if they are active duty, Guard or Reserve. They all work together.
I think despite the hardship, they understand the importance of the job. And we will continue to try the best we can, give that there are going to be events that we cannot forecast, to put as much predictability in their lives as we can. And we have been saying that and sometimes we fulfill our promises and sometimes we do not.
Mr. MEEHAN. Let meon this whole question of the Woodward book, I just want to make a couple of points. One that there were extensive interviews that Woodward was granted by the President and others in the administration. And the book basically lays out the theory that we were going to war in Iraq almost since the beginning of the administration, and much of that has beenmuch of that confirmed other books written by former Secretary O'Neill, the sworn testimony of Richard Clarke, the former chief of counterintelligence. And what the book really says is by the end of July, and I will quote from the book. Quote: By the end of July, Bush had approved some 30 projects that will eventually cost $700 million. He discussed it with Nicholas E. Calio, the head of White House congressional relations.
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Congress, which is supposed to control the purse strings, had no real knowledge or involvement and had not been notified that the Pentagon wanted to reprogram the money.
So I understand, Mr. Secretary, what you said was that there was $700 million, but somebody, one of the accountants went through, the controller went through and found $178 million that had been used, but you guys felt that legally it was part of the war against terrorism. So even though it was setting up for Iraq, that it was still legal.
I guess the point is what Woodward really outlines
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. If I could just make it clear, it wasn't the way you said it. It was that these were things that CENTCOM needed, regardless of Iraq. They had application to Iraq if we did Iraq, but they were needed elsewhere. What we took off of that list were those things that were exclusively Iraq preparatory.
Mr. MEEHAN. But reading what Woodward has laid out, it seems to mehe quotes the administration. Isn't it fair to say that the administration was planning for the possibility of war in Iraq long before the resolution was approved? I mean, wouldn't you say that was a fair statement?
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. You know, I welcome an opportunity actually to try to correct the record on a number of falsehoods that are out there. There are so many, it is hard to do it without keeping everybody here to 5 o'clock. Mr. Clarke has put quotes in my mouth that are simply not true.
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It has been said that I was for war in Iraq for years. That is not true. In fact, for me, September 11th was a crucial change. For years it is true that I believed that the United States should have done more to arm, equip and train Iraqi rebels so that the Iraqis could have fought for their country, could have brought down this regime. We wouldn't be having Americans in Iraq today if it had been done that way. We can debate whether it could have been successful. I think it could have been.
September 11th changed that, in my mind, and many other people's minds because this guy now seemed too dangerous. I shared the view of Senator Levin who said in his opposition to the war that the most dangerous time for Saddam Hussein's use of weapons of mass destruction will be when we go to war with him. And I thought that was right. I thought that was why you could no longer afford a kind ofthe parallel of a northern alliance strategy, if you know what I mean by that.
In other words, dealing with the Taliban by fighting a proxy war in northern Afghanistan. We were past the point of a proxy war by September 11th.
With respect to the main question that you asked, and it is fundamental, and I think if you will give me a minute or two to explain it. I am astonished sometimes, though I shouldn't be any longer, at how difficult some people find it to understand that force and diplomacy go hand in hand. You can't have one without the other. As someone said, diplomacy without force is merely prayer. Force without diplomacy is simply a headlong rush into war.
We were in not a headlong rush to war. We were trying to make sure that if we went to the United Nations and said comply with resolution 1441 or all necessary means will be used, which means war, to enforce it that we were sure that the President was sure that he could make that threat and carry it out. Because the worst thing you can do is make a threat and then discover you do not have a plan to do it or the plan is too costly or the plan is something you do not think has a reasonable chance of success.
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It is hardly a secret. It was hardly a secret in early 2002 that we were looking at military options for Iraq. That is not anywhere close to the same thing as a decision to go to war which was not made until 2 days before we actually went in.
Frankly, there were people who sincerely believed, and I guess I simply prayed, I thought there was 1 percent chance maybe this S.O.B, since it turns out he did have a survival instinct. I never believed this was a man who wanted to go down fighting. Maybe he would take the option of a comfortable exile like Idi Amin. But there was no prayer of his complying with 1441 if there was no threat of force. Gaddafi today would not be complying with the nonproliferation treaty if there were not a threat of force.
I think Mr. O'Neill is a fine man and knows a lot about finances. I think he completely misunderstood the discussions he was hearing about Iraq in 2001.
General MYERS. If I could talk about planning for a minute, and from a military standpoint. When the Secretary of Defense, Secretary Rumsfeld came into office, one of the things he asked the militaryand I was the vice chairman at the timehe wanted to review all military plans. So we had, I don't recall how many Saturday sessions, but two or three when we brought up our plans expert on the joint staff and went throughout plans. And the one thing that he very quickly noticed was that given the current cycle of refreshing these plans, that they were almost out of date by the time they were on the shelf because it took us around 2 years or more to develop these plans. Which meant that the assumption you made 2 years before and you get a plan 3 or 4 years later and some of them live for a couple of years beyond that they are quickly not relevant.
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You do military planning for a couple of reasons. One is if you are going to have this deterrent effect, people have to believe your military is credible and if it is going to be credible, you have to have plans for contingencies so you know how to use it. The second reason different from the first is that people need to understand what the military can do and you only know that when you have done the appropriate planning.
So we were in the process of reworking most of our plans. We still areI won't go into the detail of how we are trying to revamp our process where we can have plans refreshed, if you will, in a quicker interval than we are doing today. Which means that the assumptions and the planning will be much tighter and they will be much more relevant giving us credibility and telling our national leaders what is in the art of the possible if you turn to the military instrument of national power. And this can be for humanitarian assistance or combat, because we have plans for all sorts of contingencies.
Certainly, the Iraq war plan was one of the major plans that we had on the shelf as a contingency for the last decade or more. And it was one of the plans that was way out of date. And General Franks at the time being the commander, when asked directly by the Secretary, do you think this plan is suitable to be on the shelf? He said no, we have to revise it. And we did. That is a little bit about military planning and why we do it.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Could I make a point of personal privilege not on Mr. Meehan's time, since Mr. Clarke was mentioned. Mr. Clarke has a fabulous, creative memory. He has Secretary Rumsfeld attending the critical September 4th meeting where the Secretary was absent. He has the Secretary in the Pentagon on the secure video conference at the moment the building was hit, a rather crucial moment. Claims he saw him at that moment, when Rumsfeld did not arrive for an hour later. He put quotes in my mouth that are the opposite of what I think. I can't deal with it all. But the thing I would really like to say clearly for the record, he claims that I was dismissive of the threat posed by Al Qaeda. That is simply, simply wrong.
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Where he and I disagreed is he was dismissive of the possibility that Iraq had going to do with terrorism against the United States. And I, to this day, do not understand why Mr. Clarke during his 8 years under President Clinton or his 2 years under President Bush was so uncurious about why Mr. Abdul Rahman Yasin, the only man still at large from the 1993 World Trade Center bombingand let's be clear, the mastermind in 1993 World Trade Center, Ramzi Yousef, was the nephew of the mastermind of September 11th. The 1993 World Trade Center bombing prior to September 11th was the most serious foreign terrorism attack on American territory.
Mr. Yasin was harbored in Baghdad for 10 years. Mr. Clarke showed no interest in the discussions I had with him as to why this man was being harbored in Iraq. No interest in getting him handed over.
We had a real disagreement about issues connecting Iraq to terrorism. But believe me I have never been dismissive of Al Qaeda. In fact, as early of 1998 when I was on the Rumsfeld Commission looking at ballistic missile threats against the United States, I specifically asked to be briefed on the 1993 World Trade Center, because it seemed to me this was an example of how terrorists might attack the United States without ballistic missiles. And I appreciate the opportunity to at least partially set the record straight.
Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Secretary, I was more interested in the Woodwardit seems to me from my reading of the excerpts that I have read of the Woodward book that maybe the interpretation of what it all means is what gets discombobulated. Because I have not heard anything at this hearing that is not consistent with at least those sections of the Woodward book that I have read. That was the only point that I was making. It seems the interruption.
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Secretary WOLFOWITZ. You were not citing Clarke, but you mentioned him and it was a chancebecause the record is real muddled by him.
Mr. MEEHAN. Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned Clarke, thanks, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. Dr. Snyder.
Dr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, gentlemen, for being here. It has been very helpful. Mr. Grossman you have not been forgotten here. I thought your written statement was excellent. It was candid. You asked the questions I think on the minds of both policy makers and the American people and we look forward to a lot of these questions being answered over the next year, if not longer.
Secretary GROSSMAN. Thank you, sir.
Dr. SNYDER. Secretary Wolfowitz, going back hours ago to where we began the hearingGeneral Myers, I hope you to took heart what Chairman Hunter and others said, it is right there in front of you, the words about providing for the common defense. That is our job. We have two or three ways we do that, the most important one being funding. And I think the committee is begging you: Please send us a supplemental request to deal with that so that good programs down the line don't get raided so that you all can support our men and women in uniform.
You can't always choose the fight a war in a nonelection year. We are all having to deal with that. But if you think we need a supplemental we hope you will ask for a supplemental, because we believe the Committee and the Congress and the American people will be very supportive.
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I wanted to touch on several topics one. Is the 12-month rotation that has been discussed about here. We are conduits of information. I go back home and when it was announced that there was going to be a 12 months boots-on-the-ground policy we talked to folks back home and said I think Secretary Rumsfeld's exact words were it will be no longer than 12 months; it may well be less than 12 months. And we had to change the extension.
But in your written statement, you say on page 10: The timing of the current violence was not entirely unexpected. President Bush warned that we could expect increased violence in the months leading up to the transition to Iraqi sovereignty.
If we expected that there was going to be these kinds of violent gyrations, maybe the mistake was making the promise of 12 months on the ground. But just be aware that we all take your information and go back home, and we offered this to the American people and troops back home as a very firm policy. I know you are pained about this, but it was a difficult thing for families. And it obviously is still a difficult thing.
Dr. SNYDER. I wanted to ask, on page 9 of your statement, you give a very thoughtful list of things that could have gone wrong, Secretary Wolfowitz. But this is what you list. You talk about the Iraqi oil fields were not burned on that list of things that could have gone wrong, but for the success and speed of the war.
One area I would like you to talk about is the weapons of mass destruction from this perspective. We have not been able to account for the weapons of mass destruction.
Page 125 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Baradei of IAEA says he now has evidence, apparently, that nuclear materialsnot materials, but equipment has been discovered in Europe that they think has come from Iraq. We have had the issue ongoing whether we had the personnel to guard all the ammo dumps in terms of what could be hidden there.
Where are we at with regard to safeguarding nuclear materials or equipment, safeguarding ammo dumps where weapons of mass destruction could still be hidden, according to Mr. Rumsfeld, and safeguarding Iraqi nuclear scientists?
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Especially on the last point, I need to get back to you in maybe more detail on the record and perhaps classified.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. My sense is that, with respect to things that we know of as potential nuclear waste sites or having hazardous materials around, that we have taken provision to secure them. I want to make sure of that.
With respect to ammunition, it is staggering, the quantity that exists in Iraq and the difficulty of securing all of it. A lot of effort goes into locating it; when it is located, securing it; and then, blowing it up. This is something that Iraqis can do and can be helpful with, but the magnitude of it is just enormous.
With respect to Iraqi scientists, I know of efforts, active efforts to try to reemploy them in constructive tasks. I am also aware that at least some have been threatened, and I think one or two possibly assassinated. And we are not sure whether that is because somebody feared they might have something to tell us.
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It is striking to me that for a regime that had nothing to hide, they did an awful lot to hide things and to threaten people to keep them from talking. All I can tell you on the general point is we all had the same intelligence. We are still trying to figure out the difference between the intelligence we had and what we are finding there.
Dr. SNYDER. Another question I wanted to ask was, over the last year, we have had different descriptions of who we think our enemies are, whether it is foreign fighters, leftover Baathists, or Saddam loyalists. Deadenders was Mr. Rumsfeld's statement. I think General Myers said today a ''small marginal minority'' in today's Times.
I think it is General Batistethis is just reading from this. It says, ''Some of the fighters,'' talking about the violence in Fallujah and other areas, ''some of the fighters were followers of Al-Sadder, but many others were young Iraqi men who did not see a place for themselves in the new Iraq,'' General Batiste said, vowing his goal was to try to change that.
''they don't see a future yet. There is not any hope politically or economically. I am convinced the secret here is a good political economic solution.''
I mean, he is clearly making a statement that we have, in addition to leftover Baathists and Saddam loyalists and foreign fighters, the unfortunate circumstance, in his view, of hopeless young men who do not see an alternative and maybe vulnerable to getting lured into this fighting. Do you agree with that statement?
Page 127 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary WOLFOWITZ. I do, although all the briefings I have had, including one recently from him by secure video, fit a picture that these unemployed young men do it for money, and the money comes fromI mean this is the first guerilla warfare I have heard of where the main mode of attack was killings for hire. And they get a certain amount of money for taking a shot at us or for placing an improvised explosive device.
So the way of going after that enemy militarily is not to get the young men who are being paid as much as get their pay masters and get the people who are providing the explosive expertise. And those people, to a stunning degree, still seem to be majority former Iraqi intelligence or former Fedayeen Saddam or former special security organizations.
Dr. SNYDER. Who take advantage of
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. I do not know if you were here, Mr. Snyder, when I referred and will submit for the record the classified version of this report on the M14 directorate, which was the terrorism directorate of the Iraqi intelligence.
[The information referred to is classified and retained in the committee files.]
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Those people are out there doing this work.
Now, getting them is one thing, but General Batiste is also right. The more we can dry up their low-level recruits and give them decent jobs, that is a big part of it. And giving people decent jobs is also part of getting the population more generally to cooperate, because when the population feels that they have a stake in the future, when they feel that we are doing good things for them, they are much more likely to turn in the crucial bad guys.
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And this is a war mostly of intelligence. And if we argue about how many troops we need, it is because General Abizaid will say, ''Unless I have more intelligence, I do not need more troops.''
Now, there are exceptions. Fallujah is clearly an exception. But for the most part, what we need is for people to cooperate with us. And dealing with the unemployment problem is a big part of that.
The CHAIRMAN. Would the gentleman suspend for just a minute?
I know that, General Myers, I am told you have a hard stop and you need to leave very soon.
General MYERS. My Greek counterpart is here at my invitation, and he is coming to my office. In fact, he may be in my office. But at your pleasure.
The CHAIRMAN. Absolutely. Thank you for being with us.
General MYERS. Can I make one comment, Dr. Snyder?
A couple of issues on the weapons caches, we said this before, but there is an estimated 600,000 short tons of ammunition in Iraq. Every time I go over there, the military commander said we have never seen a place that has more weapons available. We have discovered 8,756 caches so far. We have cleared 8,684. There are 72 then that are remaining. None unsecured, although some do not have full-time guards, but they are the type of munitions that are not easily taken out.
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To give you an idea of the problem now, we are going to switch to Afghanistan. That was Iraq. Switch to Afghanistan. Yesterday, on 20 April, two caches seized, 83,503 mortar artillery and rocket rounds, 83,000this is in Afghanistan75 mines, 20 anti-tank missiles, 14 cruise-served weapons. That could just as well be a new cache in Iraq, because that is the sort of thing we are dealing with.
I know of no site where there is anything that could be associated with nuclear devices that has not been even cleared or secured or being, as we speak, worked on right now. And we will check for the record, but I do not know of any.
Dr. SNYDER. Mr. Chairman, may I ask one point of clarification on a separate issue?
Mr. Gingrey asked about civil defense forces, and you and I had an exchange in a classified setting with Mr. Rumsfeld about the Iraqi army and the civil defense forces. And I was referred to these charts.
My question is, I do not know if it is a typo or if I do not understand it, but on the one as of April 9, it shows usthis is unclassifiedthat we have on duty 32,451 Iraqi civil defense forces. One week later, that number goes to 23,000, a drop of about 9,000 or 10,000. I do not know if you all know what the reason for that is or if we could get a clarification.
General MYERS. We will get you the reason for the record.
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Dr. SNYDER. It may be a typographical problem.
General MYERS. It is possible it is typographical.
Dr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General MYERS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, General. Thanks for hanging in. I know we promised Secretary Wolfowitz he would be out of here at 2.
But, you know, Mr. Secretary, you were given some pretty deep, thoughtful questions, and you have been answering with deep, thoughtful answers. And it takes a while. We do appreciate your indulgence. The most serious thing that we do, I think, is looking at this theater and what is happening. So we really do appreciate your time.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I am sorry General Myers is leaving, because I actually had some questions for him, but I will put them in the record.
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General MYERS. I will stay for your questions.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Well, let me give it to you and maybe you can think about it, because I know that, as of last night, the Pentagon told me we had 3,928 on-duty Iraqi Army troops and that there were 2,082 in training. I did the math, and that is like 6,000. And you had mentioned earlier that it was going to go to 40,000 in the fall. And now Mr. Wolfowitz is saying, well, maybe 27,000 by December.
General MYERS. I stand corrected. I think it is 27,000 by the end of the year. And one of the ways we are going to hasten that is training the Iraqis and have the Iraqis start training their own.
Ms. SANCHEZ. That is a big increase, even to the 27,000. There will be 22,000 in the next 4 or 5 months, so I mean I would like to get a better detailed accounting of how you get to that. That was the question that I had for you.
General MYERS. We will get that for you for the record, you bet.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Ms. SANCHEZ. Thank you all, gentlemen, for being before us today.
Page 132 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I was kind of laughing whenwell, let me just say that I firmly believe that the success of our mission in Iraq is essential for our national security, and that I understand that the President has declared his commitment to Iraq. I am actually happy about that.
But I think what I am looking for on this Committee, and I think what most Americans are looking for, is some assurance that success remains feasible and that you actually have a clear strategy to achieve it. Because over and over, in the last 2 years that we have been debating these issues with respect to Iraq in particular, I still have not seen the grand plan that works for us to democratize and get out of Iraq in any foreseeable future.
I was kind of laughing at the dismissive quote from, I guess, Mr. Clarke. I have not read any of that information. I was kind of laughing that you said that you were not dismissive in that stance, because I remember back in February of last year, Mr. Wolfowitz, you being very dismissive, for example, of General Shinseki's testimony that he thought that we would need about 200,000 troops in postwar Iraq.
In fact, on February 28 of 2003, you testified here in this Committee that General Shinseki's estimate was wildly off the mark.
Well, here we are. We are getting closer to that 200,000 number. We probably should have put them in first and then drawn down as we needed to, rather than trying to back up what we really have, which is a big problem on our hands.
Most Americans are beginning to realize that this is a big problem. I know the Administration does not believe this is a big problem. It is pretty apparent from some of your testimony this morning that you do not get the sense that most of us have had on this Committee and that America is beginning to realize.
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But I really want to talk back to one of the issues that was going back and forth here, this whole issue of the keyyou came before our Committee in September, and you testified that the key to future security operations in Iraq was the training and the fielding of Iraqi security forces. You said that American commanders did not want any more American soldiers, but wanted more Iraqi. And I will quote you, ''Iraqi security forces who are prepared to fight and die in defense of a free Iraq.'' and in the month that followed, this policy of Iraqification was vigorously promoted by everybody in the Administration.
In fact, it was laughable from my standpoint, because I was looking at it, and every 10 days or every 5 days, there was a different number being thrown out about how many people were in the civil defense and how many were going to be in the Army. And this was the way: We were not going to put our troops in, and, actually, there was talk about bringing the troops home in time for the election, of course.
So just this past month, the DOD boasted that there were over 200,000 Iraqi security troops in the field, and you were projecting three divisions of new Iraqi Army by the fall. And obviously, this just is not true.
They are poorly trained. They are not well equipped. We have few battalions in that Army, and worst of all, we have seen defections, corruption, disloyalty, refusal to fight alongside in Fallujah when we really needed it 2 weeks ago.
So what went wrong with that policy? How are you going to change it? When are you going to make up for that? How are we going to get this back on track? What are you doing to screen, to train, to equip correctly?
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I missed part of this hearing because I was in Homeland on another issue, Homeland Committee, and maybe this was answered.
But this is a big issue, of how many troops we need in there, of getting stability underway, and how we get the Iraqis to actually help us to do this. Because, you know, these numbers, and maybe that 10,000 drawdown that Mr. Snyder just talked about, maybe that is the way you throw numbers around, because that is the way you were adding them up leading to this point.
So what is the real plan with the number of troops and the Iraqi side of this equation?
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. We have said over and over again that the numbers can be misleading, that the quality of training and equipping of these troops is uneven.
A lot of the equipment problems, frankly, are an embarrassment to the United States of America, our red tape, our regulations, our slowness. We can get tank ammunition in the field. We cannot getfor our troopswe cannot get radios or weapons into the hands of the Iraqi police. We are fixing that. It has taken a lot longer to fix than I am happy with, but I think we have made some real progress.
I think the most important piece of progress we have made on our side was to get all of the training and equipping of Iraqi security forces organized, with a unified command under CENTCOM. And now we have Major Patraeus out there to do it, and he is as capable a leader as we could find.
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I think we are behind schedule, but our schedule never envisioned that these people would be fully capable of taking care of themselves by this April, nowhere close. And nobody ever talked about pulling the troops out this summer, our troops out.
What we have talked about, and I think it is still the right strategy, is getting Iraqis in the front lines; 250 of them have died for their country alongside Americans. They are fighting. There are many examples. I think you may have missed some of the ones we talked about earlier. Let me just mention another one that General Myers alluded to up in Mosul where there were demonstrations against the local government.
General Ham reports, ''We kept coalition forces away, relying instead on Iraqi police. They did a great job. They did not forcefully confront the demonstrators, but did keep them from taking to public streets. The demonstrations ended peacefully as group enthusiasm waned.''
There is an important point here, too, that a confrontation between Iraqis and Iraqis has a different quality in the country and throughout the region than a confrontation between Americans and Iraqis. So even though they may not be capable of at least at the moment of taking on a really heavy fight like Fallujah, they can do a lot of things that we do not have to do. I think it is the right strategy. If anything, the real problem is that we need to speed it up.
But let us be clear. No one is saying that we can leave Iraq in July or leave Iraq next July. We will keep the forces that we need to have. We will bring them down only when we can. But the Iraqis want their country back eventually, and they are going to have to fight for it.
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Ms. SANCHEZ. Mr. Secretary, with all due respect, I do not think you are reading it right out there. I mean they are notthey are deserting. They are not fighting side-by-side with our guys. My Marines are going street-by-street in Fallujah, and they are dying over that. And we control 25 percent of that city. And there may be a cease-fire, but the cease-fire is not because we are waiting around for something to happen. We are waiting around to get gas so our guys can move in that city.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Fallujah is unquestionably the hardest place in the country. There is no Iraqi force that can handle Fallujah today. We know that.
The 36th Civil Defense Battalion for a while did fight quite bravely in Fallujah. And it is something we want to look at, standing up more battalions like that.
But we have got to get rid of organized pockets of enemy like Fallujah, and we have to train much more capable Iraqi forces if those pockets are still around. We are nowhere close to that.
But that is not the whole country. It is a small fraction of the country. There are large chunks of the countryMosul is a much, much larger city than Fallujah and much more important, and that is largelyby the way, there are Americans there. We are there to back them up, but we are in a back-up position. That is where we would like to be 6 months from now, not gone, but having Iraqis predominantly in the front lines.
Are we there today? I am not here to say we are there today. We have problems today, but not all Iraqis have deserted.
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Ms. SANCHEZ. Just to say once again, Mr. Secretary, I do not believe we are going to be out in 6 months, and I am not advocating being out in 6 months.
My fear is we are going to be there for 50 years the way we are in Korea today, because we did not plan correctly for this.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentlewoman.
Mr. LANGEVIN. Gentlemen, thank you for giving us so much of your time.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, General Myers. See you later.
Mr. LANGEVIN. If I could, on a couple of topics, I had the opportunity to go to Iraq in January and it certainly was a great fact-finding mission.
A few of the things that came up on the trip, first of all, the morale of the troops is incredibly high. They are performing with, as you know, a great deal of professionalism and dedication to the mission. I was very, very impressed with that. I had the opportunity to meet with some of my troops who are there from Rhode Island.
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We had the opportunity also to meet with Dick Jones. Ambassador Bremmer had just left for the U.N. to meet with Mr. Annan, and a couple of the things that came up there and with some of the generals that we met with, the June 30 deadline, in terms of the hand-over.
I thought then and I think now that it is far too premature to be handing over control. I understand that we are going to go ahead with it. But I would like to know, because we really did not have much of an answer then. I am not sure if you covered it; I was at the White House earlier so I may have missed it. But can you clarify to whom we are going to be transferring power to in June?
The second thing that I would like you to discuss is in standing up the Iraqi Army, I know that originally when we went in there, the President of the Iraqi Army had been fired. And I understand you want to get rid of the top level people, but for the rank-and-file soldiers, I do not believe that was a good move in terms of firing those soldiers and that it only puts people on the streets who were formerly trained soldiers to cause mischief.
I know that there was an attempt and has been some attempts to rehire some of those; that decision had been rethought. When I was in Iraq, we covered that question, and the general with whom we spoke said, ''Well, we started rehiring, and then the process is in flux right now. We are not really sure if we are going to proceed with that or how we are proceeding with that.''
So I would like to get an update on where that is, and are we trying to rehire some of those former Iraqi soldiers?
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Again, I am not advocating at all rehiring some of the top Saddam loyalists. It would be a mistake.
But where are we in terms of the rank-and-file soldiers, because I do not want to see them running around causing mischief and causing problems for our soldiers, putting them in harm's way?
On Fallujah, you just talked about it a minute ago and maybe you cannot go into it in an open session, but I understand that our Marines right now have Fallujah surrounded, that there is a temporary cease-fire. But I would like to get a more direct answer on what the next steps will be within the next couple of weeks.
Are we ready to go in there, and what will happen? Have you thought out all of the contingencies of going in and how that is going to turn out?
The final thing I wanted to talk about is Muqtada al Sadr held up in Najaf. I heard General Myers over the weekend on CNN where he made it very clear that, yes, there are dangers to going into Najaf since it is one of the Shi'a holy cities, but that there may be more benefit to going in and getting him and taking him out. I wanted to know if there is any progress in the Iraqi police going in and arresting al Sadr, and how close are we to acting in the event that they are not able to arrest him?
If you could address those, I would appreciate it.
Page 140 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Okay. Ambassador Grossman will probably be able to add more on the government that will be in office in July.
Let me emphasize, it is the first of three stages and the very first. And it is an interim government with somewhat limited powers to be replaced by an elected government next year. He can give you more detail.
I would make a general point, which is, there is no course of action here that is free of risks. There are risks that way. I think our military commanders would all tell you there are much greater risks than hanging on to the title of occupying power indefinitely and thinking that we can control a country we cannot control.
With respect to the Army, I think it is important to understand that when we went into Iraq, we actually thought that we could keep whole Iraqi Army units as part of the security force post-Saddam. The Army just melted away.
Ambassador Bremmer got there, Walt Slocombe, who was the Under Secretary of Defense in the Clinton Administration was his adviser on defense matters. They looked at the situation, and they said the Army is gone and that it will be healthier for the future of the country if we send a message to people that we are rebuilding a new Army.
The regular soldiers that you are asking about were slaves. They were not paid. I do not know whatI mean they were literally not paid. I think it was on the order of $2 a month. It was a conscript army of several hundred thousand conscripts, and conscripting them back into the old Army was certainlywas not going to be a source of great political satisfaction in that country.
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What we are working on at two levels, those people that you are asking about in considerable numbers are being recruited into these new security forces. The Civil Defense Corps, which is targeted at 40,000 people, I would guess over half of those are people who are regular soldiers, conscript soldiers in the old Army. But now they are getting a decent salary. Similarly for the new Iraqi Army.
And probably, if you look at these other, at least the Facilities Protection Service and the mortar guards, I am guessing, but I think you would find a lot of young men going back in service in that form, but getting paid for it now.
The real issue has been the officer corps, and we arethere are problems in the officer corps because, obviously, some of the worst elements of that regime were promoted to command positions in the officer corps.
On the other hand, we need capable leaders. And a lot of capable military leaders, through no fault of their own, rose on merit in that system.
When I visited Mosul at the end of January, probably shortly after you were in Iraq, General Patraeus took me to the new Iraqi training center they had set up there. And the deputy commander was a former officer, I believe, in the Republican Guards. And Patraeus had an application in to get him an exemption from the de-Baathification policy, because the judgment was this guy was clean and was a valuable leader.
It is happening on an individual basis. We think we probably need to do some of it a little faster. That is one of the lessons learned in the last few weeks.
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On Fallujah, the Marines and General Abizaid more generally are thinking through very carefully all of the military options, not only with respect to Fallujah but with respect to things that might happen in the rest of the country if there is additional, heavier fighting in Fallujah. One of the reasons we are trying to see what can be accomplished in negotiations is that to clean out the mess in Fallujah will unquestionably involve some unavoidable civilian casualties. And that has a destabilizing effect elsewhere, especially with Al Jazeera's propaganda at work.
Mr. Al Sadr is a different kind of matter. The problem there is Najaf, as I think you know, is not a city in which we think it is healthy, at least in the heart of the city, at the very least where the shrines are. It is something that it is good to have coalition forces in there. On the other hand, he and his gang are not the kind of formidable military capability that we are facing among the old intelligence service and other people that seem to beand the terrorists that are the core in Fallujah.
So it can go on a different timetable and a more gradual application of pressure, not even necessarily overt force. And we are trying to manage those two in some balance between them.
Mr. LANGEVIN. Mr. Secretary, General Myers, over the weekend, seemed to be on the verge of giving an order to go in and get al Sadr. Did I misinterpret how quickly we are ready to move there?
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. I do not remember his exact comments, but I think because of the sensitivityI mean we are talking about the two holy cities of Shi'a Islam, second only to Mecca and Medina for the Shi'a, and that is Najaf and Karbala. And it is important that we move very carefully for that reason. And I think because of the different character of the enemy, we have the time to be careful.
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Secretary GROSSMAN. Sir, let me just follow up on the beginning that the Deputy Secretary made in answer to your question.
First, we will turn over on the 30th of June, 1st of July, to an interim government. And I think it is important to emphasize, as the deputy Secretary did, that that interim government will last, as the chart shows you, for about 6 months. And its job is to have elections in December or January of next year, so that the transitional government can then come along and write a real constitution and then get a fully legitimate government.
Mr. LANGEVIN. But who is this transitional government?
Secretary GROSSMAN. I will come to that. I just wanted to set the stage, because I think it is important.
The transitionalthe government that is the interim government is being worked by Ambassador Brahimi of the United Nations. And you will remember after the Transitional Administrative Law was put into effect, the Iraqi government, the governing council and the CPA asked the United Nations for help in two areas: One, can you help us get together an interim government; and two, can you help us with elections?
Brahimi is helping them with the interim government. He was in Iraq over the past couple of weeks, had broad consultations. He made a statement, and with the Chairman's permission, I think it would be interesting to put into the record.
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The CHAIRMAN. Without objection.
Secretary GROSSMAN. On the 13th of April, which lays out a very detailed plan, sir, about how to go forward. He left Iraq on that day, but he left behind some homework for people to do, which is to try in CPA groups of jurists, NGOs, the other kinds of civil society that the Deputy Secretary has talked about, to find names who might be possible to be part of this interim government.
Mr. Brahimi's plan, as I understand it, is to go back to Iraq early in May, have another round of consultations. And he is actually, as he says in his press conference, optimistic that he can have an interim government named and stood up for Iraqis to judge sometime in the middle of the month, so that they have a chance to get going before the first of May.
I think it is fair to say, and I think we ought to be honest about this, and we have tried to be honest all day here, and I do not think Iraqis are going to welcome this as the saviour of all saviours, because it is still not an elected government, it is still appointed by somebody, it is still of limited duration. But since it is of limited duration and its job is to have elections, we think it will do the job.
I think as I said in my testimony and others, President Bush has very warmly welcomed the effort that Brahimi has made and the plan that he has put forward.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Mr. Langevin, somebody just gave me the statistics which I think tell you something about the problem of keeping the Iraqi army. It had of 450,000 conscripts, mostly Shi'a; 65,000 uncommissioned officers; 12,000 generals. I mean, the conscripts went home. You had an army of generals, some of them really evil people, many of them probably just incompetent.
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There are some capable people there. I am not denying there is a problem, and especially the capable people need to find some constructive employment. But I think that the idea that there was an Army there to be kept together and it would have been healthy to do it, it was Ambassador Bremmer's judgment and Mr. Slocombe's judgment and, it seems to me, the right judgment that we had to start over.
Mr. LANGEVIN. I think my time has more than expired. I could go on and on about this, but thank you for your answers.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
Mr. LARSEN OF WASHINGTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you both for being here.
I have a set of questions that I will put in for the record. Perhaps they may be more appropriate for General Myers to answer, but on security and the specific steps that we plan to take to train Iraqi security forces in ICDC and facility protection, army and police and border patrol, but the specific steps that we are going to plan to take. And I will put those questions in writing for General Myers.
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[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. LARSEN OF WASHINGTON. But a point I wanted to make about that is, the discussion about, obviously, what we saw happen in Fallujah is not what we wanted to see happen in Fallujah with the Iraqi security. There was some success there, but obviously, there was not some success. It is a big problem.
And mythe main point I want to make about this is that I hope that we, if we have to choose between quickly standing up security forces or making sure that we have capable Iraqi security forces, that we are on the side of capability first. And that takes a little more time than we want. I think we are better off in the long run for making sure they are capable first rather than trying to find ways to quicken the training process. If those ways result in a capable security force, we can check all of the boxes and at the bottom say, they are ready to go, then that is fine. But let us make sure they are capable first.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. We agree.
Mr. LARSEN OF WASHINGTON. Thanks.
Mr. Grossman, a question for you. Maybe in the bottom row you are going to get all the questions here. I do not know.
But the language we are using with regards to Mr. Brahimi's plan is missing one word I was waiting to hear, and that is ''endorse.'' and I have notI have heard that you are certainly encouraging the plan, encouraging him to go forward. You like the elements in it. You mentioned in your testimony there is some criteria you would like to see, but there has not been any formal endorsement from the Administration yet.
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My question is, will there be? Should there be? And is it possible that the Administration would not endorse this plan? There is nothing else on the table.
Secretary GROSSMAN. No, sir, I am afraid I am stuck giving you sort of a diplomatic technicality here. Secretary Powell has been clear that Mr. Brahimi's first requirement is to report to the Secretary General, and he has not done that yet.
Until he does, it is not really the United Nations' plan. It is not the Secretary General's plan.
So the way I see this is, Ambassador Brahimi will report to the Secretary General. And the Secretary General, I am sure, will adopt this plan. He will then make it, and then we will be able to formally endorse it.
As I said in my testimony, if you read what President Bush and Prime Minister Blair said last week about this plan, we are for it. And if we are missing the word ''endorsement,'' it is purely because it has not yet come from Kofi Annan.
Mr. LARSEN OF WASHINGTON. All the language is there. I see it, but obviously it is going to take
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. You broke into the State Department code.
Mr. LARSEN OF WASHINGTON. Well. That was easy. I am still working on the Department of Defense code.
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Secretary WOLFOWITZ. We are tougher.
Mr. LARSEN OF WASHINGTON. I also would like, certainly from the staff, if I could just get a copy of the TAL. I have read a synopsis of it. And one issue that is not as well described in the synopsis is the SOFA-like provisions.
In your testimony, someone's testimony, as well as in the synopsis, it talks about SOFA-like provisions, but it does not lay those out. I was wondering if you could describe for us how the interim constitution does lay out, at least envisions, the status of forces within the context of the interim constitution and then, second, how that might differ from where we might end up going on an actual status of forces agreement.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. We will give you the documents. There are really three. There is the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1511, which may be supplemented by an additional resolution. But it provides for the security of Iraq up through the permanent government under the constitution to be provided by a multinational force.
Mr. LARSEN OF WASHINGTON. Which would be the December 2005, January 2006 time frame?
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Right, time frame, correct. There is the Transitional Administrative Law which has provisions that specifically commit Iraqi security forces to be part of that multinational force during that interim period.
Page 149 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Then there is Provisional Authority Order Number 17, I believe it is called, which spells out in SOFA-like detail the privileges and immunities, although I do not think it uses those words, of foreign forces in Iraq. It is those three things taken together that provide the basic position of our forces and other forces going forward.
The interim government actually does not have the authority to negotiate anything pro or con. After the transitional government is elected early next year, it is authorized to negotiate with foreign countries about longer-term security arrangements.
It is worth recalling, by the way, in Korea, I do not think we even had a SOFA until 1967. I am not saying we should go that long without a formal SOFA.
Mr. LARSEN OF WASHINGTON. I agree with you on that. If I could follow up on that, having to dohaving to do with the interim government. You say you do not want them to have that negotiating authority. We saw in April, earlier this month, where some members of the IGC were critical, if not critical, at least expressed their individual views about the U.S. actions in Iraq.
How would that be handled in the interim, post-June 30? Because it sort of gets to Mr. Langevin's question, who is it we are handing it over to and what authorities do they have? The reason I am asking these questions is because it is still our women and men who really will have the primary responsibility for security. It is clear Iraqi security forces will not be stood up. We are having some problem with coalition members, obviously. It has been in the news. It is still our women and men who will be responsible for the security.
Page 150 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC How are we going to respond to this new interim government with regards to the safety of our women and men in Iraq?
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Well, it will be this tri-presidency, which at least is a much morewith a prime minister which is the focus of executive decision-making, we do not have now.
I mean, we have the situation in Afghanistan where President Karzai sometimes wants us to do things with our forces that we are not willing to do because we say, ''That is an Afghan problem, we are not going to get in the middle of it.'' we sometimes do things with our forces that cause him political problems, and the answer is, you work it out, you negotiate.
One of the things that we believe is valuable about this step forward is you begin to have Iraqis who have to have some responsibility for their actions and for what they say, and it is not a free ride anymore. And that will come even more so when you actually have elected representatives next year.
But you know democracy is a messy business. It is just better, as Churchill said, than the alternatives.
Mr. LARSEN OF WASHINGTON. Did you have a comment?
Secretary GROSSMAN. Just simply to say, Congressman, that I think part of what we will be seeing here is, it seems to me anyway, that Iraqis have a vision of their society. And they know that they cannot achieve that vision without security, and they cannot achieve that security without the help of us and the multinational force.
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And that is why I think the Transitional Administrative Law, as the Deputy Secretary said, is clear about responsibilities here. And we want to be absolutely clear that the responsibility for our forces remains with us, and in that way, also, we are trying to help the Iraqis make this transition to democracy.
Mr. LARSEN OF WASHINGTON. Well, I appreciate that. And those are probably the three things from here on out that I will be looking at: Iraqi security and standing up; the sofa provisions and how that is being implemented; and then, finally, exactly when the endorsement comes when there is something to move forward on, forward to. I appreciate it.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Three central things, maybe the three central things.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
Mr. MARSHALL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
It has been a marathon session here. I appreciate you staying as long as you have.
I do not know whether this is going to be televised or not, but assuming that it is, I think those who are watching should know how to find the Zarqawi letter. We actually, in my office, took a look at all the different translations, tried to determine which translation was the most accurate. We actually vetted this with Arab scholars and concluded that the CPA translation is the most accurate.
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I do not know, Mr. Secretary, you mentioned earlier you are going to put one in the record. Is it the CPA translation?
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. It is. In fact, I believe you are absolutely right. There was a translation that circulated, and we asked Ambassador Chris Ross, our former ambassador to Syria, who is in CPA now and is one of the best Arabic linguists in the Foreign Service, to take a look at the translation. And he said it is not very good, and he did his own, and that I believe is the one. So I think it is CPA.
Mr. MARSHALL. It is on the CPA website. And if you google, the way to find it is simply CPA Iraq and then Zarqawi, and Zarqawi is Z A R Q A W I. It is a fascinating read.
I would like to talk about that. But before I do that, just as an aside, you were asked about what led to your thinking about Iraq and what was your earlier thinking about Iraq, and it reminded me that I had been down in Powell Moore's country in October or November of 2001, within a month or so after the 9/11 attack. It was a reception being held in Wilkinson County. I gave remarks to about 30 or 40 people. They asked me what was going to happen in Afghanistan. We had just gone into Afghanistan, if I recall correctly, and I responded as to what I thought would happen there.
Then somebody said, what did I think was the biggest threat that we face from the Middle East, and my response was Iraq. It is not because I am some great scholar. It is just because of the dynamics here. I mean the Arab world was the place where the phrase ''the enemy of my enemy is my ally'' was first invented. And you would have to be extremely thick-headed if you are Saddam Hussein not to realize that he now has a delivery mechanism for whatever weapons he has, and he certainly has the motive to attack us. He just has to make a connection. Whether it is al-Qaeda or some other terrorist group, they would be delighted to anonymously deliver what he has got to the United States, and his interest is in flattening our economy, because it is very expensive for us to continue to maintain the no-fly zones, et cetera.
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It is a very obvious threat. What to do is another question. We can debate that forever, how we got there, whether we got there appropriately, whether we have acted appropriately. But we are where we are, and the Zarqawi letter, it seems to me, is extremely interesting and informative.
In December, I paidI was along with a surprise visit to a police chief in Ramati in the heart of Sunni triangle. I cannot remember that guy's name. It was 10 o'clock at night. He thought he was going to meet with a colonel. You mentioned a colonel making surprise visits to police chiefs. This police chief, I think, was the one who was quoted in the Atlantic Monthly after I got back to the United States as having said, ''It is not my job to protect the Americans or to deter attacks against the Americans or to pursue those who are attacking Americans; I am worried about Iraqis.'' and this is somebody we had installed, whose force we presumably had trained and somebody who we were definitely paying. So it is not the kind of help that we need.
Zarqawi in his letter speaks from a Sunni perspective. It is clear to me he is Sunni, born in Jordan, mid 30's, and he talks with a great deal of hatred about the Shi'a. And what he says in his letter, three different locations, is that the Americans are not the problem here. The Americans from our perspective are just targets. Eventually, they will figure it out, and they will withdrawal to their bases. But if they are successful in creating the institution that we are trying to create right now, then we are in trouble. We will not survive. And Zarqawi says that in his letter, and he makes reference to the Shi'a being the key.
He is worried that the Shi'a will populate the police forces that we are trying to establish and the military that we are trying to establish and that, then, they will hunt down him and his buddies.
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I guess I would like some comments about that. I thought that, you know, the Shi'a might have a bit of difficulty hunting down people in the heart of the Sunni triangle, and I also thought that we were going to have a difficult timeit was going to take an awfully long time before you could get folks within the Sunni triangle who would be of a better stripe than this provincial police chief that they had.
Yes, they will take our pay, but they are sure not going to help us. They will tell us they are helping us, but they are sure not going to help us.
So institutionally building the kind of help we need in the Sunni triangle with Sunnis might be very difficult, but Zarqawi is worried about Shi'as and the Shi'as being the institution that hunts them down.
Comments about that?
It seems to me it could be leading toward Civil War, I do not know.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. It is a remarkable letter.
I must say I think one of the things that I found encouraging about it was that he complains thathe obviously thought we were made of weaker stuff. He complains the Americans are not going to leave, no matter how many wounds they suffer.
Mr. MARSHALL. Absolutely. He says, we will withdrawal to our bases, but we are not going to leave, and we are determined to see this through.
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Secretary WOLFOWITZ. And that eventually, and he thinks sooner rather than later, he is going to face an Iraqi government, and then I think he uses the word ''suffocation'' when there is a democracy here.
I read the Shi'a comments slightly differently. I read itremember, he talks about, I think it is four different targets: The Americans; the Iraqi security forces; the Kurds, whom he has been killingwe do not know for sure, but I would guess that those two terrible bombings in Irbil and Karbala were his doing; and the Shi'a. And what he is hoping to stimulate actually is a Shi'a-Sunni civil war and that he believes if he can kill enough Shi'a, the Shi'a will get so angry at the Sunni that they will go after the Sunni. And then they will have this destabilizing civil war.
I think one of the encouraging things of the last couple of months is how totally unsuccessful that has been so far. It may be partly, I think, getting that letter out actually helped to counter his purposes, but the fact is the Shi'a have taken a lot of serious hits. And they have not gone after the Sunnis as a whole. They have not blamed this other Arab population for their ills. They tended to blame Zarqawi, and I think getting that letter out was a big thing.
In fact, I might offer, if Mark will go along with me, to make it available on the DOD website and the State website in addition to CPA, so people will have more access.
Mr. MARSHALL. I have sent it out to any number of people, and I have put it on my website as well.
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What we are looking for here are Iraqis to police and to secure their own country. We are just not in a position to do that. You have made reference to 250, roughly, Iraqi security officers that have died in the course of their duties.
From my perspective, the real question is, do we have Iraqi security officers who are going out of their way to hunt, find, capture, kill guerillas and, in the process, risk their lives doing it? That is the key.
Merely doing it in a defensive posture or there is a gaggle of police officers and somebody blows up a vehicle next to them and kills 20, something like that, or a police station is overrun, where they are constantly on the defensive is not the kind of sign that people being offensive and actively going out there. That is the kind of sign that I think that we really need to see, and storiesI do not want to take any more of your time.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Could I just read this one thing?
Mr. MARSHALL. Yes, sir.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. When the enemy attacked, I do not know, maybe this is too defensive for your taste, but I thought it was pretty impressive. When the enemy attacked the government building in Mosul on April 10 he said, Iraqi Civil Defense Corps fought back under great personal leadership of their commanders. They are poorly equipped and, by the way, that is something we have to fix.
Page 157 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC They not only stood their ground, but counter-attacked, preserving the government building. The newly-elected governor also stood fast. He remained with the security forces, his presence assuring them that they had the backing of the government.
The police did not fare well initially. In the vicinity of the Mosul government building, they essentially withdrew to their stations. The initial attack was defeated, but several more smaller attacks continued throughout the late afternoon.
The Civil Defense Corps and the governor remained on sight throughout. The governor conducted a press conference stating his appreciation for the work of the Iraqi security forces, which helped keep the city calm.
Privately, he worked with the police leadership and got the police back out on the streets. His personal efforts in this regard bolstered the police when they needed it most, and they have been quite active since the attack.
I mean, that is what we need to see, I think, on a nationwide scale.
Mr. MARSHALL. And I think it has to go beyond that. It has to be a situation where those who want to attack us or those who want to attack police stations in Mosul know that there is no sanctuary, that if they are going to behave like that, eventually they are going to be hunted down, captured, and killed.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. I agree with you.
Page 158 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. MARSHALL. They are going to be put in jail.
And what would be helpful from my perspective and I think from the perspective of Americans who are wondering what is going to happen in Iraq is stories that show our allies in Iraq on the offensive tactically. Whether their objectives are precisely the same as ours does not matter at this point, that tactically they are out there trying to find these guys and put them in jail so that then we know that the enemy knows that there is somebody there who can actually find them and who is after them. Americans cannot find them.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. I agree with you, Mr. Marshall.
Mr. MARSHALL. Thank you.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Thank you.
Mr. SAXTON [presiding]. Our last questioner is Mrs. Davis. It is your turn for 5 minutes, ma'am.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I appreciate the fact that you have all been here for a long marathon. I started it and then had to leave for some time. So I hope that I will not be repetitive.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. We answered all your questions already.
Page 159 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. You probably answered the same question many times.
One of the things that I think we all acknowledge and recognize is how brilliantly the troops have performed, but I think the other piece of that that saddens me and causes me great concern is that we may have tested them unnecessarily at times and that it is important for us to be certain that we have whatthat they have what they need and that our policies are representative of the work that they are doing on our behalf.
And I think that is where, you know, there are areas, and I would hope that you would think through as well, where we have fallen short in these cases and be sure that we are learning from all that.
I wanted to turn, and I know that my colleague, Mr. Larsen, had asked somewhat this question about the changeover to sovereignty and the chain of command between the Iraqi troops and the American troops. I am anticipating that there will be those times in which there may be a conflict in terms of who has the upperhand in wanting to do some action.
And I am wondering how are we thinking through those decisions now? Will there be some kind of a sign-off in terms of who is in charge? And what role will the independent contractors play in that as well?
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. With respect to regular forces, the lines are clear legally in terms of command structure that all military forces in the country, Iraqi forces as well, Iraqi forces under the terms of the Transition of Administrative Law are part of the coalition, will be under American command.
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That is actually a clearer line of authority I believe than we have in Afghanistan, where the Afghan National Army, at least nominally, has a different chain of command. I just mention that because it is not a brand new situation where we have American forces with an American commander in a sovereign country. We have seen that in many places; each one is different.
I think, though, in addition to the sort of legal chain of authority, legal line of authority, the Iraqi security forces have every interest in coordinating with us at a practical level. It does not mean there will not sometimes be problems, but I think that part is reasonably clear.
I wish I could give you as clean an answer with respect to the private security forces which have attracted a lot of attention, particularly since the tragedy in Fallujah involved four of them. There is no way to dispense with private security forces anywhere that I know of, including we have some private contractors who provide force protection for us at our own bases around the world.
They are not to replace the military. They are not to be a private military force. They are guard forces. They help make it possible for contractors in a situation like Iraq to do reconstruction activities.
There are some very clear policies that the CPA has laid out. We need to look at them in the light of the recent events and see whether those policies are adequate. What we would hope to have is policies and CPA orders that would carry through under the new government that would apply to those people.
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Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Are we working to get those in place then?
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. We are.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Prior to July 1? And is there a lot of thinking about, rethinking about that? I am not sure whether you are suggesting that we need to understand under what situations we, perhaps, may not be well served by
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. No, we need to understand.
Mr. Skelton has written us a thoughtful letter asking usI told him earlier the reason he has not gotten a response yet is because it is a hard question.
But I mean, things like to what extent do they need to coordinate their movements with U.S. military? I mean, that is an issue that I think we need to rethink in light of what happened in Fallujah, for example.
Ms. DAVIS. You mentioned just a few minutes ago the issue of the Iraqis being poorly equipped. Surely, we would have expected that. I do not know that we would have anticipated that they would have had what they need to be as strong a force against the insurgents as we would like. Who is going to equip them, and where do we fit into that, and should we not have anticipated that much earlier?
Page 162 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary WOLFOWITZ. It is our responsibility I think, including with Iraqi funds as well as appropriated funds. We have known it has been a problem. I am tempted to quote POGO at this point, but I mean, we have red tape and bureaucracy that has gotten in the way. We have had in some cases a lack of the right legal authorities. I think most of these log jams have broken, I am assured, and that there is a lot of equipment starting to flow, and I hope itit has to flow fast.
If we find out that there are still other log jams, I think we will come back here, Mr. Saxton, and look for maybe some emergency authorities or waivers on contracting provisions. The delays are terrible. They have literally cost lives. And as I said earlier, I think we are trying to fight a war with some peacetime rules, not with respect to ammunition where we have good wartime provisions, but with respect to these adjuncts to our forces that are every bit as valuable as tank rounds.
Ms. DAVIS. Thank you.
If I may, just one question that I have been asked repeatedly in my district is whether or not we are starting to reach out and fill positions on our draft boards that have been sitting vacant for some time. That is a cause of concern to some people. I wonder if you can respond to that.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. I will get you an answer for the record. I do not know.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
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Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Thank you. Thank you very much for being here.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mrs. Davis.
Mr. TURNER OF TEXAS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, thank you for being here. You have been quite generous with your time today with this Committee. I know we all share our concern about our troops. I have had five young men in my district lose their lives so far in Iraq.
I think one of the self-evident things that we all agree on is that failure is not an option in Iraq. I think we all have concerns about our initial action there, and I think there are a lot of parents who want to be reassured that their sons and daughters are serving for a good cause. And those who lost sons and daughters and husbands in my district want to know that their sacrifice is not in vain.
And as I look at where we are today, we find ourselves in a position that I know when you and the President went into the White House, the President repeatedly said that we should not be engaged in nation-building. Yet, today, we clearly find ourselves as the nation-builder in chief, and with no option but to see it through successfully.
Page 164 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Having observed, as we all have, the conflict in Israel for so many years, it is pretty clear that when we are dealing with terrorism, that military power alone cannot alone succeed, and we are seeing that in many ways played out I guess in Iraq today.
I know that prior to your service in the Administration, you have broad experience in international affairs. I think, in closing today, I would like to give you an opportunity to share with us what you believe are the other elements that we are going to have to pursue as a Nation in addition to the use of military power to ensure that we can truly some day say we won this war against the terrorists.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Thank you for the opportunity, and my colleague from the State Department may want to critique my answer or add to it.
But I agree emphatically. If you go all the way back to the President's State of the Union message in 2002 that got so much attention because of the axis of evil portion, there was an equally important portion, in my view, where he talked about the need to build, I think the phrase was ''a just and peaceful world beyond the war on terror'' and talked about the importance of reaching out to moderate Muslims.
I was the American ambassador for three years in Indonesia which has the largest Muslim population of any country in the world. They are overwhelmingly moderate in their attitudes toward religious minorities. There is a large Christian minority there and sizable Hindu and Buddhist minorities, overwhelmingly moderate in their attitude toward us and toward the West.
But there is a growing element there of fanatics, some of whom believe in terrorism, some of whom carried out that horrible bombing in Bali.
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You are right that it is important to kill and capture terrorists. And that, by the way, is not only a military task or even necessarily primarily a military task; it involves law enforcement and intelligence and military. But I think it is also very important to work the other side of the equation.
One piece of that is clearly the Arab-Israeli dilemma. And as soon as you get me on anything complicated here, I will turn to the State Department that, lucky for me, has that tough assignment. But I do agree with what the President said, that the Israeli withdraw from Gaza is a step forward, but it is only a step.
I think the sad thing is everyone knows generally what the shape of the solution is. The President has said it very clearly. It has to be two States living side-by-side. We need to get there. But we need to do many other things as well.
And I would say of the two that strike me as most important, that are way beyond the Defense Department, one is to help countries. Pakistan comes to mind as one of the first and foremost, but it is a problem and Indonesia has the same problem, to strengthen modern progressive education so that young people, especially poor young people, in a place like Pakistan do not find themselves going to these madrassa schools where they do not teach much except certain distorted theology and a lot of hatred and do not equip their students to succeed in the modern world.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. But parents send their kids there because it is the only school that is free. I think President Musharraf has dome some remarkable things in Pakistan. We are lucky to have a leader who has stood up as bravely as he has. But the paths in front of Pakistan are enormous. I think they are, in an economic and educational area, Pakistan is one of the most important countries in this regard. But there are many others.
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And, second, I think the broader effort at reform in the Muslim world, particularly in the Middle East, that the President spoke about very eloquently at the National Endowment for Democracy last year, and then again in London, we have for reasons of realpolitic or reasons of state or whatever it is, accepted, in my view for way too long, that there wasn't much we could do about the miserable Arab governments, some of which are allies and some of which are enemies. But over the course of 20 years, most of my last 20 years in government, I actually concentrated on East Asia until September 11th. And I have seen a remarkable change. When I became Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia in 1982, Japan was the only democracy in East Asia. It has now been joined by Korea, by Taiwan, by Indonesia, by the Philippines, by Thailand. And even in big countries like China, there has been a movement. I wouldn't want to exaggerate it, but certainly China is a much more liberal country than it was 20 years ago.
I think the same kind of evolution in the Middle East and the Muslim world is a major part of the answer to people like Zarkawi, who Mr. Marshall correctly identified as a man who believes in death and only offers death.
And I guess I would say the one thing that we have going for us is the terrorist enemy doesn't seem to have any positive agenda at all. But they prey on the sense of failure in the Muslim world, and the sense of desperation that goes with that. It is not going to happen overnight, in case you hadn't noticed. The task I have laid out is a big one. But I think the threat to our country is a big one too, and we need to recognize it is going to take a while to turn things around. It took, unfortunately, several decades to get things as bad as they are.
Mr. TURNER OF TEXAS. Thank you, Mr. Secretary, for those comments. It is reassuring that you share those views. I think that what I would hope that we would all commit to is to carrying out that kind of policy, which I think is the ultimate answer to the threats that we face. And I think we all need to be talking much more about that side of the equation to ensure that we can achieve victory. Thank you.
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Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Thank you.
Mr. SAXTON [presiding]. Mr. Secretary, and Secretary Grossman, thank you very much for being with us today. You have been very generous with your time, and your answers have been great. We appreciate your participation. And we look forward to working with you as we go forward. We have a second panel that we are going to move on to now. So thank you very much.
Secretary WOLFOWITZ. Thank you.
Mr. SAXTON. Okay. If we can get everybody in their place. If members would come back and take your seats. We started this hearing at 10 o'clock this morning, so we are well into it.
We have got our second panel with us, including Dr. Judith Yaphe, Senior Fellow at the National Defense University; Dr. Baram, Senior Fellow, United States Institute of Peace; and an old friend, General John Keane, U.S. Army, Retired, former Vice Chief of Staff to the U.S. Army.
Welcome, folks. General Keane.
Mr. SKELTON. May I say something?
Mr. SAXTON. You certainly may.
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Mr. SKELTON. I just wanted to say thanks for being with us. We understand it is difficult getting everybody together on this. It is really a sacrifice. It is especially good of you to be here. And, General Keane, what a thrill to see you again.
General KEANE. Good seeing you, sir.
Ms. YAPHE. If I can say, it is a pleasure to see you. I pass your picture every morning in Marshall Hall where we have an exhibit up to you and your past with us.
Mr. SKELTON. That is embarrassing. But thank you.
Mr. SAXTON. We apologize for making you folks wait so long.
So, General Keane, why don't we kick this right off here.
STATEMENT OF GEN. JOHN KEANE, USA (RET.), FORMER VICE CHIEF OF STAFF, UNITED STATES ARMY
General KEANE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to share some thoughts with you today.
I sat in this historic room many times in the last 41/2 years and always found this committee to be very supportive, with a genuine desire to understand our military operations and our preparedness to be successful.
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The events in Iraq the last few weeks have raised concerns about the security situation, and, even more importantly, our future direction in Iraq. I must say at the outset, while I no longer speak officially for our troops, they have consistently responded to these attacks with courage and an aggressive determination to get the job done. Their day-in, day-out performance, far from the comforts of home, dust everywhere, long fatigue-inducing hours, working through cultural barriers, supporting at times an unappreciative Iraqi population, facing danger every day and sometimes terror, and all of the time maintaining the genuine optimism that what they are doing is worthwhile, is nothing short of remarkable.
Our troops do not want to die, but they are willing to, and they are willing to risk everything they care about in life. That is something I have been in awe of for all of my 37-plus years in uniform.
We, the American people, are blessed to have such citizens who are so willing to protect our interests, our way of life, and expect so little in return. General Abizaid, General Sanchez, and their leaders also deserve much credit for their bold, rapid response to the events of the weekend of April 5th, and their political and diplomatic skills in reducing the crisis.
The current rise in the security challenges in Iraq is driven primarily by one overriding fact: Iraq, however clumsily at times, is moving toward a fledgling democracy where Iraqis will control their 26 ministries and be responsible to safeguard and enhance the quality of life for all Iraqis. This political fact, while given some of its inherent ambiguities is forcing the extremists and the foreign terrorists to increase the frequency and the scale of attacks.
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Al Zarkawi, the Jordanian terrorist who is orchestrating many operations in Iraq, forecasted such events in his revealing memorandum. It is our many successes over the past year, from freeing Iraqis from the shackles of Saddam's 35 years of repression and fear, to the rebuilding of Iraq, schools opened, hospitals function, industry is growing, the economy is improving, unemployment lowering, local governments are up and running; these realities, coupled with the political transition that beginning this summer is forcing what I believe are acts of desperation by the extremists and foreign terrorists.
These attacks are likely to continue through the summer, past the political transition of power to an interim government, and well into the elections in the December-January time frame.
In war we must always be prepared to deal with the unexpected. No military campaign can possibly predict all of our enemies' intentions. The real issue is do we have sufficient combat power and the requisite flexibility to respond and counter their moves while maintaining aggressive offensive operations. It is apparent that we can and do.
Our enemies will do other things in the future that may surprise us. I am confident we will respond.
In regards to the extremists in Fallujah and the al-Sadr situation, it is encouraging that the Iraqis are attempting to resolve both crises. Fallujah has been an enemy stronghold for the last year. And what makes it unique is that so many of the people in Fallujah are sympathetic to the insurgents, and some directly support them.
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The Iraqi initiative to disarm the insurgents and bring to justice those who killed and mutilated our fellow Americans deserves all of our support. If this initiative failsand it may have based on today's eventswe have no choice except to forcibly disarm the insurgents and to kill or capture the murderers.
In regard to al-Sadr and Najaf, the only good solution is a Shiite one where the moderate Shiite leaders modify and control Sadr's behavior. Using military force to crush Sadr's militia, while operationally very feasible, is a political nightmare to so antagonize the Shi'a majority who have all to gain from a free Iraq.
The major security concern, I believe, that has arisen from this latest crisis which deserves all of our attention, is the effectiveness of the Iraqi security forces and their capability to protect the Iraqi people. After all, we will not be able to leave Iraq until this force is capable of standing alone. We are probably guilty of expecting too much too soon from this force, given its less than a year, in some cases only a number of months since they were organized.
It is unreasonable to expect policemen manning a police station to defend effectively in the face of a planned assault by 30 to 40 insurgents armed with assault rifles and RPGs. Any police station in the United States or Europe where policemen are properly trained would be challenged by such a reality.
Equally true are the challenges facing the Iraqi civil defense forces, as we know, where some of the forces did not perform well. This is understandable. Organizations that can face the fear and terror of very stressful combat do so because they are cohesive, well-trained, properly equipped and well-led organizations, where each individual is willing to submit to something larger than self; otherwise we are expecting extraordinary acts of individual bravery in the face of stressful combat.
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The Iraqi security forces need to be properly equipped, provided the very best rigorous and realistic training, and, most importantly, competent leadership. This is a tough task. It has to be started from scratch, and it will take not days and weeks, but months and years. We must be aggressive in providing equipment and thorough in providing tough, realistic training. Assigning Major General Dave Petraeus, one of America's most innovative and competent leaders, to assist with this task is very encouraging.
Another key security issue is removed from tactical and operational considerations but has consequences which impact both. It is the strategic issue concerning Iraq and its neighbors, all of whom have a common interest in a new Iraq. Two of these neighbors, Syria and Iran, harbor extremists who are facilitating and supporting operations in Iraq. The other neighbors are assuming what appears to be a wait-and-see approach to a developing Iraq.
These six countries who border Iraq and the neighboring Gulf States have a vested interest in the future of Iraq. We should do everything we can to garner their interest, incentivize them, gain their assistance in protecting the borders to deny the entry of foreign terrorists, and to welcome their advice and counsel about the future of a new Iraq. At some point a regional summit should be called to facilitate these discussions.
In conclusion, let me just add that our success in Iraqand nothing else is acceptableis directly tied to our character as a Nation. The insurgents and the foreign terrorists believe we are morally weak, and that with rising casualties and a prolonged war we will lose resolve. In the war of ideas, and the clash of values, which bin Laden and the Iraqi extremists are waging, it is not sufficient for an army to be courageous. We as a people and as a Nation must also be steadfast in the face of uncertainty and persevere when challenge and adversity comes. Our people have every right to know the facts, to understand our leaders' concerns and intentions, and every right to question them.
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Our leaders, both military and civilian, are competent and know what they are doing. But they will make mistakes, and they will face unexpected challenges. But that is not grounds for a lack of resolve. This feat will test our perseverance, our stamina, and our resolve. But I am confident that we will not be found wanting. Our enemies don't really know what they are up against. They believe they know, but their knowledge is superficial and their understanding is shallow.
They don't know the courage it took to form this Nation and the many sacrifices we made over the past 100 years to help others to be free. Our enemies are cunning but they are ignorant, and their ignorance will be their undoing. They do not know our will, our courage, or our character.
We are a Nation that understands our values and our way of life. Make no mistake, they are being challenged today, and I am confident our people and our forces are up to the challenge.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I look forward to the committee's questions.
Mr. SAXTON. General Keane, thank you very, very much.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. SAXTON. Dr. Baram.
Page 174 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSTATEMENT OF AMATZIA BARAM, SENIOR FELLOW, UNITED STATES INSTITUTE OF PEACE
Mr. BARAM. I would like to speak, very briefly of course, about the U.S. or the CPA between two forces now in Iraq; on the one hand side, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, on the other hand, Muqtada Sadr.
First of all, a paradox. I don't think we are facing today a Shi'a mass revolt. Far from that. But already there are the signs that the situation may get worse. And one has to be aware of it in order to avoid such a development. Hopefully this will never happen.
But the historical paradox is that in 1920, the Shi'a revolt was a horrendous revolt against the Brits. They paid very dearly for it. The Shiites paid even much more dearly for it. Eventually the Brits gave the country to the Sunnis, a lesson which only one member of the JC had enough knowledge or courage to tell his people.
The resolve of 1920, erupted as a result of a number of developments. But the most important, what really made the difference were taxes. The British decided to tax the poor Shi'a peasants 30 times, 32 times more than the Ottomans had taxed them, over 30 times as much. This was total madness. And the peasants simply rose up in revolt.
Of course it had some religious coloring, it had some national harmony, a little bit, but it was really about taxes. Today if there is such a revolt, a Shi'a revolt, which we are not witnessing now, it will not be because you are taxing them 30 times more than Saddam Hussein did, it is because you are not pouring on top of them 30 times more greenbacks than Saddam Hussein did.
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It is a historical paradox. It doesn't show a great deal of political maturity. But after 35 years of Baath rule, I wouldn't expect a lot of political maturity. I will just tell you that a very interesting interview, which is very typical to my mind, carried in Basra a few weeks ago, produced a fantastic dialogue. The journalist was from Baath TV, the interviewee was a vendor, a street vendor. How do you feel about the British now here in Basra?
And he said, look, I am going to give them a few more months to fix our infrastructure and to find me a job. If they don't do that, I shoot them. Again, no great maturity, but that is a problem which must be addressed. It is reality. So we heard here in the previous session the needs for job and for reconstruction is huge.
With your permission, I will move very quickly to Muqtada al-Sadr as opposed to Sistani. These are totally two different styles of leadership. Sistani is nonconfrontative, he is a nonextremist, always aiming for the happy medium, obviously nonviolent.
Muqtada is confrontative, hard violence. He is a tough and very violent person. And he is also Messianic, which Sistani is not, and which for the occupation forces meanscould mean trouble. How much Sistani influences people and where does Muqtada come into the equation?
The interesting thing is this. My colleague, Dr. Yaphe will talk about it. I think we share the same view. But the Shi'a of Iraq are not one group, like one monolith. You have tribes, you have families, you have towns, you have town neighborhoods, you have regions, you have parties, you have, yes, I follow this Ayatollah, I follow that Ayatollah, I am secular, I am an atheist, it is a whole world.
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But I could say one thing. Again, I don't know how Judith will look at it, but my view is that Sistani's influence does permeate through much of the Shi'a constituency in Iraq. You can belong to a Dawa, you can belong to SCIRI, a supreme assembly, a supreme council, Hakim.
You can belong to another party. There are about five Shi'a parties now, at least. You cannot belong to anybody. You can be in a small village not knowing about all of those organizations. But unlessuntil a few weeks ago, unless you belonged to the hard core around Muqtada al-SadrI will mention him briefly in a few secondsunless you belonged to these 3,000 people, 5,000, maybe 2,000 people immediately around him, the hard core, you would usually say, yes I admire Sistani, I accept him. Sistani in Iraq in the Shi'a community is like a state of mind, which reminds me a little bit of Frank Sinatra, a New York state of mind.
What does it mean? It is not very clear. But it is very important. Because as long as Sistani was not at odds, obviously, clearly and in a consultative way at odds with the CPA and the IGC, Muqtada's people, who didn't ascribe to Sistani in any way, wouldn't believe in Sistani, were very, very isolated. And Muqtada was not very dangerous.
The moment Sistani started opposing the CPA and the IGC, over the TAL as it is called today, the danger that more and more people beyond Muqtada's immediate circle will start wavering is there. Some of them have already moved into Muqtada's sphere of influence. Still, the vast majority of them didn't. He is still despised in Najaf, he is despised in Karbala, even in Baghdad, in the holy part of Baghdad, he ispeople don't admire him. In certain parts, yes, but not in those middle-class, upper middle-class learned circles, not at all.
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But the fact that Muqtada al-Sadr today can say, which he does, he says, ''I am the striking arm of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani.'' that is a direct quotation, a literal quotation. That is very dangerous.
Because Sistani on the one hand is criticizing the Americans explicitly for what they did in Fallujah and in other places. And two much military force, too much bloodshed. Explicitly. On the other hand, he criticizes Muqtada al-Sadr implicitly. He said, I am almost also against A, B, C, D, E, F, G, things Muqtada is doing. But Muqtada's name is not mentioned. People simply don't get it. And when they get it, they sometimes ignore it.
Now, I often ask myself, is Sistani an expression of public opinion, or is he a formulator of public opinion? He is both. But at least, as long as he was against any action against Americans or the coalition, and as long as there was no clear-cut bridge between him and the CPA and the IGC, people could say, people said it in interviews many, many people said it in interviews, yeah, you know, the Sunnis are attacking us, and we are collaborators, and al-Jazerra is criticizing them for being collaborators. Al-Jazerra is very anti-American. And al-Arabia, they feel under pressure, the Shiites of Iraq, those of them who did not want to fight you at all.
They could say, and they said, the moment Sistani tells me to kill Americans, I will kill Americans. But the typical case wasn'tone of the journalists had insights to ask this guy, oh, so the moment he tells you to do it, you do it? Yes, of course, I will kill Americans. Sure. And do you think he is going to ask you to do it? So the interviewee said, Are you crazy?
Page 178 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In other words, he provided many Shiites who felt that their honor was at stake because they were supposed to fight a Christian enemy and they are not, occupier, because you are occupiers officially speaking. It is another problem. But why I don't fight the occupier? The answer is Sistani does not want me to do that. So it provided them an alibi. This alibi is eroding now. That is where I see the danger. Thank you.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Baram can be viewed in the hard copy.]
STATEMENT OF JUDITH YAPHE, SENIOR FELLOW, NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIVERSITY
Ms. YAPHE. I will try to be brief, but I want to hit on a few key points of things that I have heard since I have been sitting here for a while.
In the year that Saddam has been removed, we have won the war with surprising ease, only to be confronted, as has been noticed here, with a growing and violent opposition to our continuing military presence and political role.
I don't think anyone is arguing that removing Saddam was wrong, nor that his removal has meant a higher risk of terrorist attacks against us. I would make this point: that anyone who thought this transition from a brutal 35-year reign of terror to democracy, the rule of law would be easy, was living in a dream world.
Page 179 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I think, sadly, neither Iraqis nor Americans seem to have much patience or tolerance for the time and effort it takes to rebuild civil society and reconstruct the country damaged by long years of war, neglect, and repression.
Now let's be honest, as I think everyone has said they have been. Expectations were high a year ago. High on the part of Iraqis. We would come in, we would get rid of Saddam, and we would go home. Liberation is fine for the first day or two.
But then, like I thinkwhat is the expression? Like garbage, visitors are like garbage. After 3 days they start to smell. You will pardon me. But after 3 days it is not liberation anymore. So I think that we need to understand that there was a lotthe situation we were dealing with is a lot more complicated and we made mistakes.
Too much demobilization, too deep a de-Baathification and too deep a dependency on some favorite exiles who looked a popular base in their country. The problem here, I think Iraqis do want democracy and economic reconstruction. They acknowledge that they need our assistance, but they need security and economic stability more. Without safe streets and jobs, democracy could have little meaning.
Now, just a few points to make. I also agree with some things Amatzia says and others I don't. I do want to say that will elections assure Democracy and a pro-U.S. Government? No. There are no assurances. You can have democracy, you can have elections. One doesn't guarantee the other. It doesn't guarantee you will have the end results you like. Yes, you could have a government, interim or permanent, that may not agree with everything you want.
Page 180 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But I think the overall point I want to make is that we are going to have to abide by our decision to empower the Iraqis and to live with the decisions they make. It is their country. So that, I think, is a very important point. Or we will be bound to repeat the mistakes that the British made in the 1920's.
I think there is an Iraqi nationalism. I want to say this. We assume that because Iraq is an amalgam of Shi'a Arabs, 60 percent of the population Sunni, Arabs 20 percent, and about 20 to 25 percent Kurds who are Sunni and Shi'a, that Iraq can be defined and divided mathematically. It can't. And Iraq cannot be divided either as an easy solution to a difficult problem.
Identity is more than religion and ethnic origin. And an Iraqi is more than the sum total of his or her parts. I don't think we are seeing, and I agree with Amatzia here, we are not seeing the outbreak of sectarian warfare. It is not Sunni versus Shi'a. I don't think the Shi'a are wedded to an Iranian-style cleric-dominated regime which Iran has. The thing that I think is important here is what we don't hear. It is almost like Sherlock Holmes, the dog that didn't bark in the night. My point is that we are not hearing much about the negotiations that are going on all of time that are critical, the negotiations with Sadr, not entering militarily and wreaking havoc in Najaf, negotiations in Fallujah.
There are going to be a step forward and maybe two steps back. The negotiations are critical. I would point out that despite the efforts of some in Iraq to disrupt, to create community warfare, Sunni versus Shi'a, Arab versus Kurd, it hasn't worked. Despite these attacks, civil war has not erupted, and in my judgment is not likely to do so. Now I could be wrong. Some terrible event could intervene. But in my view, the likelihood of civil war is higher between extremists and everybody else, than it is between Sunni and Shi'a, and even between Arab and Kurd.
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Generally speaking, as I said, Sunni and Arabs, Shi'a Arabs share a belief in Iraqi nationalism and in maintaining the political and territorial integrity of Iraq. And I think that is in the direction that they are going. I won't talk any more about al-Sadr, since my colleague has.
I do want to make one point. The question has been raised about Iranian influence in Iraq. I think itin my opinion, it is exaggerated. Iran tends to overstate its ability to influence people and events there, just as it did in the early days of its 8-year war, and they were wrong.
The Shi'a overestimated thatover 80 percent of the Iraqi regular army was Shi'a. They did not run over to support their brethren, the Shi'a brethren in Iran. They saw them as Persians. They stood with the state and the Government of Iraq. They didn't like Saddam Hussein, but they did stay local to the state. I think that is an important point to keep in mind.
I also think that regardless of expectation, rules in Tehran, conservative, reformist, it doesn't matter. It is in the Iranians' interest to see a stable Iran. I think they are trying to capitalize on their influence, but I think they have lost one of their greatest pillars of support, and that was the clerics that were murdered last year.
I don't think they care too much for Sadr. He is an unguided missile; that is a good expression to use for the Iranians. And they need a stability there. They want to be consulted. They want to have a role. We should not be surprised if there are a lot of Iranians in Iraq. They have been spying on, living there, watching Iraqis, trying to gain influence, and have been present in the religious establishment for hundreds of years. Why should it be so different now?
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I don't think that Iran's Islamic revolution is a model for Iraq. Most Iraqis, especially the majority of the Shi'a, do not think that Iraq can be Iran. It shouldn't be. They don't want it. I think it is true of Sistani, who is apolitical in the sense that he does not see a clerical regime, clerics running Iraq the way that Iran should be.
Well, we all know that we are faced with several options. In conclusion, we could continue to support the current governing council or expand it. I think that it is a possibility. And we have heard talking about turning power over to over to the President, two deputies, and a Prime Minister. I don't know who they are. I notice that every one that you asked that question to skirted the issue. I will do the same, because it is not clear.
I think what I would say is that we need to be careful what we do, that the success of the next stage, of the post-June 30 government, will depend on our willingness to empower the new Iraqi Authority, that we do need to stay the course and maintain an effective presence; that we are not going to be out of here after the 30th.
We will need to maintain an effective security presence, while the new government, interim and permanent, stabilize and acquire the capability to protect themselves and the nation. And we need to support an international effort to rebuild Iraq economically and psychically. We cannot appoint advisers. Once the Iraqi Government takes over, they need to make those decisions.
We can't write their legislation for them or their Constitution. We can encourage secular government, the rule of law, and opportunities for all Iraqis. But we shouldn't favor one party or politician at the expense of the others. At some pointI raised teenagersat some point you got to let them drive the car. At some point the Iraqis will drive their country.
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Three concluding points. Very brief. There is an Iraqi nation and a deep sense of Iraqi nationalism and pride. Iraq does not just naturally divide historically, ethnically, or religiously into three separate parts.
The insurgency of the past couple of weeks suggests a different division, extremists, religious Sunni and Shi'a, because Sunni extremism has been on the rise as well.
And my last point. Cultive personality is not part of Iraq's historical political tradition. Saddam fostered it, used it to rule. I would hope that whatever we do, we don't create the circumstances for another such dear leader to arise. Thank you.
Mr. SAXTON. Dr. Yaphe, thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Yaphe can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. SAXTON. We are going to move to Mr. Skelton for his questions. But before we do, I would just like to say that we have been here for 6 hours. We have a force protection hearing after this hearing. And so Mr. Skelton and I have agreed that we are going to go strictly by the 5-minute rule on this set of questions, which means that I will give a little tap, tap, tap when the 5 minutes is up. And if everybody would just cooperate so we can move through this, we would all appreciate it. I am sure our witnesses would.
Mr. SKELTON. Let me give each of you a question to speed the matter up, and then answer as we go along.
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General, first. Thank you very much. Good to see you again, sir. You are in a rather unique position, having been deeply involved in the planning of the war and its aftermath. What lesson or lessons can you derive from the problems we have had in the aftermath; that is, after the victory that we had in April of last year, or 2003 to today?
Dr. Baram, what prospects, in your opinion, are there for a true civil war in Iraq?
Dr. Yaphe, I have been concerned about the transferring of sovereignty at the end of June and what, if any, effects that would have on the Iraqi people and on our military presence there, including limitations, rules of engagement, and the like. Thank you.
General, you are first.
General KEANE. Sure. Thank you, Mr. Congressman. It is great seeing you again, sir.
For me it is clearly the level of violence that took place after we toppled the regime. And I think most of usI speak for myselfcertainly never expected the level of violence that would be sustained as long as it is. One of the things I really missed when I looked at the regime is what 35 years of repression by Saddam Hussein meant on the psychosis and psyche of the Iraqi people themselves, and the passivity that it created and the genuine skepticism and fear of us as so-called liberators.
Page 185 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So the challenges that we are facing today, and I know that I did not anticipate those challenges that we are currently facing, though I believe what our forces have is tremendous adaptability and flexibility. They are demonstrating that every single day, to be able to make those adjustments. They are doing remarkably well with it. I hope that answers your question.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you. Doctor.
Mr. BARAM. In my view, civil war is not feasible. It is possible, but it is not probable. I will put it this way. Certainly not between the Shi'a Arab masses of Baghdad in the south, and the Sunni Arab masses of Baghdad in the Sunni Triangle.
I don't see hundreds of thousands of Shi'as streaming into Fallujah to smother the Fallujah people. No way. No way. And not the other way around.
I do see growing hostility between all Arabs, Sunni, and Shi'a Arabs, and the Kurds, estrangement and hostility. I cannot tell which way this will go. Hopefully, not very far. But I don't see this kind of Sunni-Shi'a clash.
I do seeand this is happening every day, by the wayindividual cases of assassinations on both sides. And that is a part of the security and stability inespecially in Baghdad today.
But I will say what worries me most. What worries me most is not Sunni-Shi'a, you know, a huge clash, won't happen, to my mind. I am worried about Sunni radicals and Shi'a radicals making common calls, purely tactical, but common calls to kill Americans. About that I am worried, yes.
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Mr. SKELTON. Thank you. Doctor.
Ms. YAPHE. Briefly, the first part of your question,effects of Iraqis of the turnover. It depends on who power is turned over to. If the people who receive power want to perpetuate the rule, change the rules of the game, decide they don't want to go along with the limitations put on an interim government. And I think it will also depend on how quickly the provisionalthis interim government moves toward elections, because I think they have to be held within the time allotted.
If there is not movement on that, the Iraqis are going to be very cynical and say we installed our puppets and we had no real intention of bringing Iraqi government. There has to be an investment of power and there has to be a move toward these, or I think we are in deep trouble.
On your second part, on the impact on our military. The danger to us is not going to disappear with the 30th of June. Come the 1st of July, there won't be any more terrorist attacks or insurgents? I don't think so. I think that the risk will remain high. It will be against us. If the U.N. Is back there, it will be against the U.N. It could continue against any foreign forces, just as we are seeing that, we saw the pressure get them out.
On the rules of engagement, I think we need to be very clear on what our rules of engagement are, and where U.S. forces will act; when, under what conditions they will act, and under what conditions and what the role is for the Iraqi forces. Those things are critical and could have an impact on how easy or how difficult that secondthat next stage will be.
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Mr. SKELTON. Thank you so much.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you. Mr. Spratt.
Mr. SPRATT. In your view, and I put this question to the whole panel, could today's chaotic situation have been foreseeable and avoidable? Would more troops have made a difference in establishing security immediately, preventing the looting in the immediate aftermath of the war?
Did we put too much reliance on the assurance of the expatriates that this would be a cake-walk, an easy objective? Was our prewar planning for the postwar period adequate? And had it been, could we have avoided this, or would this have likely happened in any event? I would ask our Iraqi expert first.
Ms. YAPHE. Well, I thinkI have been present at most of the things that have you mentioned. So let me simply say, I don't know how many forces were needed or would be needed. I leave that up to the military planners, although it seems to me just as a simple observer, there wasn't enough. But I think the reasons for the difficulties are much more complicated than simply saying, not just a question of not enough, I think there were a lot of other problems involved. And that takes me to your second point.
I think there was too much reliance on bad sources, bad intelligence. You don't want to get into the intelligence part of this issue here, I am sure. But I think that part of that was a willingness to take, as articles of faith, that the war would be simple, the war would be quick. We would be welcomed as liberators, with rose petals. But there wasn't, if you had that assumption.
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Then the last part of your question, postwar planning. If you believe the first part of that, then postwar planning, how much would you need, because it was going to be over so quickly and so easily, and we would take over, things would progress, ministries that were there, bureaucrats that were there. Nothing worked out like that.
So I would have to say that there was not sufficient attention given. I don't think sufficient attention was paid to advice that was available on problems that could be gotten into. Whether it was how to plan or what you would face, I don't faultthis is a much longer conversation than we have time for here. The fault was not necessarily in Jay Garner, who planned for crisis that didn't happen, that wasn't the point.
But I think much more, in terms of all that needed to be done and how you coordinate it, we don't do that in less than 2 months.
Mr. SPRATT. Dr. Baram.
Mr. BARAM. There were certain things that could have been seen before the war and in fact were seen. I think there was no doubt in this administration that the Sunnis will try to kill American soldiers. I had no doubt. I gave public lectures about it. It is all in writing.
And for the Sunnis, I mean mainly Saddam's people, ex-Saddam intelligence services, all of these units that were discussed here before, and many others. What maybe may have been still unknown was to what extent they would be successful, how much of it you will be seeing. But the units that you will be seeing, there was no doubt. Because you only needed to listen to Saddam's speeches; and the couple of times at least I found him mentioning Mogadishu, you kill 18, you kill enough American soldiers, they pack up and go home. And so, yes, that could be expected.
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But a question is, so what do you do about it? That is another question. Imy feeling was that the Shi'a will not throw candies and rice on the American tanks for a variety of reasons. They were suspicious about it. They didn't know what you were there. In 1991 they wanted your help. You didn't give them any help. So they didn't know. And anyway, you are foreigners. You are speaking a different language, you are Christians. It is a different world. So, yes.
But at the same time again, it was agreed, I think, that the Shi'as were not going to shoot at you, to try and kill you. And it held water for a whole year. It did, even now I am notI think only a small minority are trying to kill Americans. It is troublesome enough, because it is in Najaf and Karbala and Kufa. But we are not yet at the point where, God forbid, there is a Shi'a massive resolve against the coalition.
So that was basically correct. The issue of the army, it is debatable. We don't have to go intobasically I would say my advice would have been, without being involved in all of this, my advice would have been pay them a salary, pay everybody a small salary. They get a few dollars a month from the government, 3, 4, 5, which was really a pittance. But you pay them 20, $25 for the conscripts every month and that theythe professional army officers or nonenlisted officers, pay them $100 a month. That would have been myhad I been asked.
This way, they come to you, they bring you their documentation, because you don't pay without documentation. You know where they are. You know everything about their military history. Everything is computerized. You have good computers. You know everybody, 450,000 people. Why not have them all on your computers? In exchange, $100 a month as an officer, $50 a month for a sergeant, and $20 or $30 a month for a conscript. And keep them for a year like that. Very cheap.
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That was done, but belatedly. So, yeah, it should have been done earlier. But at leastso you can arguebut on the whole, I would say you are in a country which is basically Islamic. There is a growingthere has been a growing Islamization of Iraq. Or Iraqi society, not just the regime, became all of a sudden Muslim, even though Saddam was a secular leader. All of a sudden he is becoming a born-again Muslim. But in Iraqi society you had a growinga process of Islamization the last 20 years or so. And Iraqis are more interested in that than they used to be, because you are a foreign power. And you should have expected difficulties, obviously.
Mr. SPRATT. Thank you very much.
General KEANE. Yes. Thank you. In terms of the level of violence that we encountered, I don't think that anything we possibly could have done would have prevented that level of violence.
I do believe that the prewar planning to deal with post-regime, you know, the depth of that planning, was nowhere in comparison to what it was to take the regime down. I mean, that is the simple truth of it. So in that sense, we could probably conclude more could have been done in the prewar planning for post-regime operations.
And, again, you have to understand, intellectually I think where most of us were, we were not anticipating that level of violence. So that is fair criticism.
In terms of troop size, I mean it is so conventional to talk about more troops every time we have another violent act in Iraq. And I don't think there is a person in Washington whoor anybody else in this country that can really make that reasoned judgment, whether they be military or civilian.
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And when I was the Acting Chief of Staff during the summer, the first thing I asked John Abizaid when he took over from Franks was, John, do you have enough troops to do the mission? And I said, if you need more troops, don't even think about where the administration is or what your perception is on this; put it on the table, and I am absolutely convinced Secretary Rumsfeld and others will give you the troops you have, and don't think about what the impact will be on the stress of the Army.
John had looked at it very closely himself. He is a thoughtful person. He came to the same conclusion that General Franks did; that they really had enough troops to deal with the actions they had. What they were desperately in need of was more targeted, focused intelligence upon which to use those troops against.
It becomes a balance here. You know, the more troops you put into Iraq, the more targets you actually create, the more you have to take care of them logistically and move convoys up the road. And what these commanders are doing is drawing that balance.
So where I come out on this thing, unless we collectively have lost confidence in Abizaid and Sanchez and their leaders, I think we should support the conclusions that they are coming to, because they have the facts and they have the capacity to make that analysis. And it can't be done here. That is the reality of it. And there is no easy solutions to the challenges we are facing.
Mr. SPRATT. Thank you. If I could have the General's opinion on whether or not we made a mistake in not keeping more or less intact the lower grades of the Iraqi army.
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General KEANE. Well, I think in hindsight, Jay Garner had talked about using the Iraqi army, at least initially, as a labor force. And that probably made some sense. And as Secretary Wolfowitz said this morning, the Iraqi army disbanded on us.
In hindsight, when we look back on it, it probably made some sense, you know, to put that organization back to some effective use as quickly as we could have.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you. Mr. Ortiz.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you. General, good to see you again. My question has been, would be, how should we view thenot only the armed contractors, but the other contractors who are there to try to rebuild Iraq?
And from what I read in the news media, some of them are coming back because they don't have the military protection so that they can do their work. Can you elaborate a little bit on that?
General KEANE. You are talking about the other countries that are there?
Mr. ORTIZ. No, I am talking about the contractors, the civilian contractors, both the ones that provide security and the ones who are supposed to be rebuilding Iraq.
Page 193 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General KEANE. Well, clearly there is risk involved for contractors going to Iraq. That is obvious. I know thatI don't know the ins and outs of all of things that contractors are doing. But I am very much aware of what Halliburton KBR is doing in terms of a week-long training program to prepare their people to go. I know they are actually trying to talk them out of going, to make certain that they have the commitment and resolve to do it. And other companies as well do similar preparations, but probably not on the scale that they are doing.
And also they provide security for themselves and for some contracting operations, dependent on the nature of it. The United States military provides security. It is a reasonable question. The challenge we face is the contractors; many of them are there doing things that United States military forces would have to do if they weren't present. And that would increase the stress on our forces.
And you can remember when we started to depend on contractors more, it goes back to the Bosnia-Kosovo operation, a little of it in Somalia, when we first started to do this, and reduce our logistics footprint in the country, and therefore require less deployments on the part of our soldiers, because we started on the treadmill of deployments in 1989.
It was with that thought in mind that we moved to this contracting operation. It is also a fact that no place but Iraq have we ever dealt with the level of violence we are dealing with. It is unprecedented to have as many contractors in the middle of a combat zone as we currently have in Iraq. And that is what is driving their security requirements that the United States has provided in some cases, and they are providing for themselves.
Page 194 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But there is no hiding the risk that they are taking in doing it. The risk is essentially the same that our soldiers are facing.
Ms. YAPHE. I think General Keane has given you an excellent answer. I have nothing to add to this.
Mr. ORTIZ. If I can recall the budget figures correctly, the contractors and the security personnel, civilian, that are there, make about $18.5 billion, beside the military budget that we provide. So I am just wondering, wouldn't it be betterI mean, if we look at the cost, how much it costs to provide the security, and how much it costs to provide the contractors, wouldn't it be better to train our soldiers so we have a well-rounded individual that can provide this, because this is going to costin fact, I read in the newspaper that some of the contractors are being paid as much as $1,000 to $1,500 a day.
Ms. YAPHE. I will defer to General Keane. But I don't think you can have enough soldiers to provide the kind of security that the private security guards are doing. You are quite correct that money spent for securityand it is only going to only increasemeans there is less that can be put to actual reconstruction. Fewer schools, fewer hospitals, fewer roads, less development, if you have to pay more for security guards.
Ms. YAPHE. But I do not see that we could just say let us just turn that over to the military and save that money. You will not be.
General KEANE. I do not know what the cost-benefit analysis would be, and some people in the Pentagon could do that for you, Mr. Congressman. But just intuitively, the costs for soldiers is very expensive, because it takes years to properly train them to do their, the full plethora of their skill sets, and these personnel costs creep as a soldier stays on active duty, and then also you are also paying for that cost into retirement.
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So soldiers are expensive, and that is one reality.
The second reality is, as the doctor mentioned, it is a case of numbers of soldiers that we have. And there was a willingness to make a trade-off, particularly in the logistics arena, to have contractors do things that soldiers in the past were doing, so that we could maintain the combat fighting strength of the numbers we wanted to have. And that is what those decisions culminated in.
It is a reasonable question to ask, and I think those decisions were sound when they were made at the time.
Mr. BARAM. If I may make only one brief comment on a different aspect of the same question, I was shocked to see the contractors could getfour contractors could get into Fallujah without coordinating it with the military base which is about 2 miles out of Fallujah. Fallujah is a hot bed of murder and mayhem, and I just do not understand how this would happen. So I hope from now on, at least, suchevery movement should be coordinated, that is my only conclusion from this tragedy which happened.
Mr. SAXTON [presiding]. Thank you.
Dr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you all for being here. I know it has been a long day.
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General Keane, I wanted to ask you, do you have any comments on this, we talk a lot about hindsight and foresight and those kind of issues. One of the issues that we have been talking about over the last year intermittently has been who is controlling reconstruction in Iraq, predominantly the State Department or predominantly it has been DOD, and I think they are now, with the June 30th date, if we stick with that, and I think we will, that we will see more reconstruction efforts and control turned over to the State Department.
Do you have any thoughts about that or lessons learned from the last year or directions we should go versus those issues of State Department versus DOD?
General KEANE. Are you talking about infrastructure?
Dr. SNYDER. Infrastructure, yes.
General KEANE. Yes. Well, I bring biases to the table here because of my association with the Corps of Engineers and their capacity to operate in overseas countries and to be able to oversee the management of that. So I have great confidence in their capacity to do that kind of work.
Dr. SNYDER. I do not know how long, General Keane, you were here when Secretary Wolfowitz was here, perhaps a long time, but several times today, and this is an unrelated question to what you are talking about, but calling on your experience, several times today he talked about Ansar Al-Islam and Zarqawi and the problems that he has caused for us in Jordan and in Iraq.
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There have been press discussions over the last few months, and several Members of Congress have been frustrated with our inability to find out why we did not take out that camp, the Ansar al-Islam camp, which was in the Kurdish-controlled area of Iraq. I think Secretary Powell had photographs of it, I believe, at the United Nations when he made his presentation of why we did not take that camp out, and there were evenI think NBC news did a report that they had where they said they had sources both within the administration and within the military that they actually had occasion where they thought Zarqawi was at the camp, and then the Security Council made a decision not to take out that camp.
Do you have any idea why? Since we certainly discussed for a year or so before we began the operation against Saddam Hussein, and Saddam Hussein did not control that area that that camp was in.
General KEANE. No, I cannot help you. I know this. I know we were looking at it as early as the 4th of July weekend before we commenced activities against Iraq in the following February, March time frame, and I do not know what the decision, I do not know what was the basis for not taking the camp out.
Dr. SNYDER. So you say you recollect that we were looking at it in January?
General KEANE. No, around the 4th of July.
Dr. SNYDER. Around the 4th of July.
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General KEANE. Because it was the 4th of July weekend, the summer prior.
Dr. SNYDER. So 8 or 9 months before?
General KEANE. Right. I am not privy to what the basis for the decision was.
Dr. SNYDER. Well, that is more information that we have had about that, so I appreciate that.
Dr. Yaphe, I wanted to ask you, on page 7 of your written statement, you say, ''Who can argue that removing Saddam Hussein was wrong. I can't. Anyone who has studied Iraq as I have for more than 30 years, and who knows Iraqis who have suffered at his hands cannot say it was wrong to remove him from power, or that his removal increased the risk of terrorist attacks against us.''
That last part is what I wanted to ask you about.
I think it was yesterday or the day before, President Mubarak of Egypt in a speech stated he thought the hatred, his words were hatred of the United States was the greatest that he had ever seen it. And I think The New York Times, over the weekend had an article about terrorism, regional terrorism in places other than the Middle East and how it is spreading and that our actions in Iraq has been used as a recruiting tool for terrorism.
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Without regard to how one feels about removing Saddam Hussein or not and all of those kinds of issues, I would like you to amplify on that statement, because I think there are some people who are concerned about the rising antiAmericanism, the hatred, in President Mubarak's words, the fact that the decapitation of al Qaeda may, in fact, mean that we have cut loose other groups out there that are thriving because of this hatred.
What are your thoughts about that?
Ms. YAPHE. I do not think the removal of Saddam affected the terrorism against us. Let me say why I think that.
There is a theory that says Saddam kept such a tight control on Iraq, he did not permit these kinds of groups to operate there. Al Qaeda could never have had a foothold there. I know that there is a small number of people who say that Saddam was working cooperatively with al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. I do not believe that. The intelligence is not there. That is not of issue here.
But what my point would be is that hatred of the United States, Iraq has given people perhaps more reason, but you know, initially nobody said anything. Initially there was relief that Saddam was gone. Now, what happens is, well, why are you still there? So a resentment that we are still there, a resentment at some of the changes we have imposed, and fear, because most of Iraq's neighbors are, with the exception of Iran, are Sunni, and fear that we intend to hand power over either to the Shi'a, and they worry about the impact that will have on their own minority populations; the Turks believe we have sold out to the Kurds, and think that will be a division. In other words, we haveit has created a lot of questions and so that the hatred or the resentment, a lot of it comes out of concern because they do not know where Iraq is going. They assume that we control everything and we are moving in a certain direction.
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But I would like to say one other thing. Hatred of the U.S.-- I saw President Mubarak's statement. It is not just because of Iraq. The flare-up in anger against us, especially in the past week, and it is systemic, but the flames were fanned by the administration's announcement of support for Sharon and his plan for getting out of Gaza, for denying the right of return for Palestinians. Palestinians, antiArabs feel very strongly about this. And then for the assassination of Rontisi, the second Hamas leader to be murdered.
Now, I am not saying that the Hamas are nice people or Rantisi, and what was his name, Shekiesine, I am sorry, these are nice people, no. They headed a terrorist organization, and we all know the activity they were involved in. But again, it looks like Sharon was given a blank check by the United States to pull out on his terms and to do this kind of operation. Whether it is true or not, the perception in the region is there, and that is what has contributed greatly to this antiAmericanism.
I have no theory which is a longer term one. There has been a lot of what, antiAmericanism, if you will, for a long time, and I think it has less to do with our direct policies, our policies with Israel and our support for a lot of these issues, but the fact that we were once very trusted, a trusted presence in the Middle East, we were never a colonial power. We never coveted land. Iraq, to many, seems to belie that. Did we get into Iraq just for the oil? We know that is not true, but it is part of the conspiracy mythology in the region.
But I think the greater point is that we represented certain values. We represented democracy, rule of law, constitutionalism, building of civil society, all of the things that many of the governments we supported did not represent, and in a sense, the longer term disgruntlement, and I will say disgruntlement rather than hatred with the United States, is you did not live up to the image that we had of you to what we thought you really represented.
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Well, I put that out there as a thesis for a longer term problem that we have had, but when you add the recent violence in Iraq and the stories, and I cannot just blame Al Jazeera. Many of the Arabs believe that is the only true source of information. But certainly they are going to take a more sympathetic look at what the impact is on the Iraqi people, and we need to ask ourselves the question, and I do not know what the answer is, what is the extent of collateral damage. You know, just what is going on and how many Iraqis have been hurt. The Arab world will resonate with that concern and with what they see our recent turn in Palestinian policy is.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Dr. Yaphe.
Mr. BARAM. Can I add one sentence. I see it a bit differently, Judy and I look at it differently, which is okay. At least I would say this: in my view, almost all Arabs that I know, almost, not everybody, and all of the newspapers I read of the Arab world were ferociously against removing Saddam Hussein. I am saying it very clearly. I am not saying that there was a love affair between every single Arab in the Arab world or Muslims and Saddam Hussein. I am not saying that. But removing Saddam Hussein was seen as evil from the out start, not a year after, and I can understand it. It means you are entering into the heart of darkness, into the heart of the Middle East, which, I believe, is today very dark.
Philosophically I would say this, both of us are historians, at least the way I look at it, something went very, very wrong with the Middle East after the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, and I mean it; after World War I, from bad to worse to much worse, something very wrong. So now, you are there, you are in the middle of it, and you are trying to fix something. That is something which most people, most Arabs see as intervention that cannot be supported.
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AboutI will not go into the Palestinian-Israeli, Sharon-Bush issue, because that is not my field, at least that is not what I was asked to come here today, but I will say this: if you succeed in Iraq, I am not talking about Jeffersonian democracy; actually, maybe you will have in Iraq eventually something like a Jeffersonian democracy, like under Jefferson, which is on the way to American democracy to sovereign for, but Jefferson democracy is not what you have today. So maybe you will have an imperfect democracy in Iraq, a more representative system, certainly a much more peaceful one, if you are successful, and Iraq will be much more affluent and thriving than it has ever been. Then, people will look at it differently, but it is a matter of years, it is not a matter of weeks. People, because they have already seen success.
Success has something that buys off people, and today, by the way, you will remember perhaps, you are all a little younger than myself or my age, but you remember, I am sure, the era of Joseph Stalin and later, you know, the Sputnik, when the Soviet Union looked like being very successful, in the Arab world, you had tremendous admiration for the Soviet system and that is the beginning of the Nassirist regime, of the Ba'ath regime, and so on.
Today we all know this did not work and the Middle East people know it as well. Today, paradoxically, what everybody will talk about is democracy. All of a sudden democracy is what you really want to reach.
So I think that the American example of success is working. Of course, many things that America is doing is sometimes rubbing the Arab people the wrong way, which is obvious, it is natural. But if you succeed in Iraq, I am not pessimistic at all. Then the Iraqis will tell everybody, look, it worked. The Americans can go home. They will not be very grateful to you, they will send you home, but you will see something happening. If not, that is a different story.
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Mr. SAXTON. Dr. Baram, thank you very much. Unfortunately, that question took us about 15 minutes, so we need to move along here.
Mr. RODRIQUEZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Let me make a little comment and ask maybe some feedback, because one of the things that I feel, and I think Dr. Yaphe, one of the things that I think we have failed to do is that when we look at terrorism, we have failed to recognize that at least we have I think responded appropriately to it, that terror is usually based on a philosophy that the other side is evil, that the other side is the devil, and it is an ideology that I know the terrorists in South America, especially in Chile, the key is to reach out and show and be able toif you want to stop future terrorism, you got to act in a certain way that is construed as being ethical. And to some way, we have kind of played into the evil empire of going in there and taking over and doing things that they have said that we were and now we are exactly, at least able to picture us as being evil.
And I think that we have not really gone as to how do weand when you look at the number of people that we have in Cuba right now without giving them due process and those kind of things, and all of that kind of plays into the terrorists' hands in terms of not doing to them the right thing.
From a democracy perspective also, and there was a lot of dialogue about democracy, that dialogue has stopped. If you look at what the President has said, he did not mention it one single time in the last speech he gave. And I am concerned that even the Saudis and the Kuwaitis would be even against any effort at that, and that is why we even have to move even further to making sure that we try to take it in that direction. Because even the President in his dialogue did not even mention that in his last speech, and that concerns me.
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I wanted to get some feedback from you from that perspective in terms of how do we move it into a little more democratic, knowing full well that the Saudis and Kuwait and the others would not be supportive of that system, because that would be counter to what they have now. But knowing full well also that terrorists also play up on picturing a certain ideology, how do we present ourselves in the more, you know, more truthful manner than just being there for the oil, just being there to, you know, get rid of Saddam and cut out without doing the right thing.
Ms. YAPHE. You have asked two extremely difficult and important questions. To the first part, you are right, why does terrorism recruit so easily, it seems, extremism, religious ideology or political ideology, yes, we are evil, we are Satan, they are good, we are bad, black and white. There is a belief in that. There are other root causes as well. I do not know which ones are more important anymore. I know what the ideology is. Some people will say it is jobs and economy and poverty gains recruits. But when I look at the people who are doing these acts of terrorism, who are running these movements, they are all educated, middle class, educated in western schools, doctors and engineers. They have not gone without. In other words, the real heart of this does not come from the uneducated, unemployed layers.
I think what is important is there is a sense of victimization going along with the ideology, victimization. Why are we weak? Why are we suffering? Why can't we defend ourselves? Why do we need Americans to come in here and protect us or defeat our enemies? Why can't we do this ourselves? So I think there are a lot of complicated reasons.
When I look at, for example, the religious extremists in particular, victimization and a fear that we want to take them over, that our culture is so overwhelming, and that they need to go back to the past or to whatever to preserve, I do not know how to answer that. I think the real answer is there is no answer, that in many ways, what you are asking is, if we were to do a certain thing or behave in a certain way, or follow through on certain things, then could we avoid or would we take away the reason for them hating us? I do not think so. That is a dark answer.
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On the dialogue of democracy, here we have a real dilemma. We have never really pushed hard for many of the governments we support to adopt true democratic values, real elections instead of cosmetic elections, for example, where President Mubarak would win by 96 percent of the vote, and he has a parliament. Well, are there reasons why? Sure. They have to do with real politik, they do not have to do with principles of American foreign policy and Wilsonian democracy.
I get asked this by my students every semester and that is the answer I give, that the theories of democracy are fine and we should be moving in that direction, but the reality of real politik, either whether it is oil, or I think a more key issue is the pace of change.
If we push for change quickly, we may create situations that will be much more dangerous and pose much more risk to our national security. If we push for dramatic change in Saudi and you get religious extremists as a result, it is not going to be good to live with, or worse, and the answer is not they will have to sell their oil, it will not make any difference who runs Saudi Arabia; it does make a difference. Because I do not think the majority of the people would want that, but it is up to the Saudis to decide. I do not mean to give a long answer. I would leave it at that.
Yes, there are inconsistencies in our approach to the dialogue of democracy, but a lot of that has to do with not intervening in these governments which are making some progress, although it is at a glacial pace, and glacial almost to be imperceptible, and I think the pressures are building, and if you look at it, probably the greatest in Saudi Arabia now where there has been the least, the least movement and the greatest resistance.
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The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. We haveI would like to, but we have the other panel that has been waiting 40 minutes, so they may go home if we do not wrap up soon. I apologize to my colleagues and to the panel. You folks all day have been asking great questions and getting great, long answers. It has been good, but it takes some time.
Ms. DAVIS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I thank you all for being here.
As I sit here and at other opportunities where I have heard you make presentations, I always want to ask the question, is anybody listening? In fact, we seem to have perhaps, at least initially, had a limited circle of confidantes that we went to to try and learn more about what we might expect after we owned it, essentially. And I am wondering now, are you seeing that broadened? Is theobviously the Iraqi Governing Council, I think would be providing different perspectives, I would hope, but I am concerned as I hear you speak, and I wonder to the extent you can be open and up front about that, have we broadened that? I think about the fact that I know that Chalabi's nephew is taking over the tribunal. Without being judgmental about that, I do not know how that is read among Iraqis.
Could you comment on that?
Ms. YAPHE. I would make a guess.
Page 207 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. DAVIS. Are we still being fairly insular?
Ms. YAPHE. My guess is that there is a lot of concern in Iraq, and I have heard this from Iraqis of all different stripes, kinds, that there is great concern about attempts to control large parts of government.
For example, Chalabi's nephew, who is taking over the tribunal, that there is a concern that a number of governing council members may have used their posts to improve their status or position, that there is a concern about trying to keep from positions in the different ministries those who would oppose, for example, a direction that Chalabi may want to take, or the others. There is a lot of concern, and that is why I said in my testimony, it would be a grave, grave mistake for us to impose leaders that we think, based on what, I am not sure, would be the best for Iraq, without considering who has a popular base of support, to whom can the people of Iraq identify, because the better we do that, the less aggravation we might have.
It is not going to be perfect. There is not going to be great applause for whatever comes on the 1st of July. We should not expect that. But I think the point is to try to move this in a direction which covers a broader political spectrum than I think is currently represented by some of these vested interests.
Ms. DAVIS. What sign should we look for that, in fact, that is happening?
Ms. YAPHE. The proliferation of political parties. It is happening. There are a number of secular and some are religious-based, but there are a lot of people now coming out, slowly. It is taking time, but my guess is they are beginning to feel more secure about being able to come out, start to form NGO-type organizations, what makes up civil society, think tanks, research groups, unions, professional organizations, and people are beginning to come forth who will be willing to take responsibility. Can I identify them now? No. That is probably just as well. But I think that that takes time and this does not happen in a month or 6 months, and it does not happen while you have say a gang of 4 or 5 who are very strong in opposition and in exile, have gone back to Iraq, but have not built up bases of popular support there. We should have seen some movement in that direction, and I do not think we have. So we need to consider what does that mean and who you vest power and authority in.
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Ms. DAVIS. Dr. Barak.
Mr. BARAM. Well, what Lakhdar Brahimi is going to do now when he goes back to Baghdad, he is going to meet with a number of groups. He is going to meet with Sistani's son, Sistani does not want to see him.
Ms. YAPHE. He does not see anybody.
Mr. BARAM. No, no, he does, but not him, he wrote a very strong letter to him: I am not going to see you personally, unless you would disown the provisional Constitution, which he cannot do, of course. But he will talk to his son. So through him, he can get to Sistani. He will talk to at least three other grand Ayatollahs, a few more Ayatollahs, moderate, working usually with Sistani. He will talk to a body called hi ata lolamohn muslamin, which is the Council of Islamic Scholars, this is a new body, probably the most important now amongst the Sunni Arab community, probably, and he will talk to them. And he will talk to the GC, obviously, and he will talk to the CPA, and to perhaps some others, and he will have to use a lot of creative thinking, and he will have to try and suggest a government that holds water. He will have to, I do not know aboutJudith talked about, discussed this issue of deputies, I do not know if that is going to happen, I hope not, because who needs that? You need a prime minister, a government for 6, 8 months, and then run to elections.
Ms. YAPHE. It is in the interim constitution, or the TAL, the provision law and Brahimi has said it as well, that there will be a president, but it seems with weak powers; 2 deputy presidents, and then a Prime Minister appointed by the president. So the theory you can have someone like, I am making this up, Pachachi as a President, this great George Washington-like grandfather figure, and say your 2 vice presidents or deputy presidents, one from the Kurdish community, one from the, say, Shi'a religious who have been in opposition to Saddam for such a long time and are now on the governing council, and they would appoint the prime minister. I am not so sure this is all a good idea.
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Mr. BARAM. Let me just take it from you. We do not know exactly how it is going to happen. But, basically, I believe he will do that. He will consult with people and he will make sure that the people who are going to fill the various jobs are representative of a minimal segment of Iraqi society and are truly representative of such a segment. So the government will be representative.
By the way, I personally think that the IGCE is reasonably representative. There are too many exiles who came back there, but it does not matter. This will not be the same, it will be a different one. And if it is done right and if it is done in consultation, I am not so pessimistic. I think it can work. And the only thing that will need to be done after that will be to define their authorities, the new government's authorities. It is only for a few months. And those authorities will be probably limited. But they will be sufficient authorities to prepare the country for elections and to run the reconstruction and to run everything as it should be done.
All I can say is that everything depends now on Brahimi, and hopefully, he will do it well. It is true that the Shiites have some reservations about him, it is true, but it is also true that the Sunnis are very happy about him. So whatever. But even Sistani accepted him, and Sistani is much more ready to listen to any U.N. representative than to an American one, because at least the U.N. are not an occupying force.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentlewoman.
Page 210 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HILL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
My question will be brief and should not take very long. Last fall I believe I was in Iraq and we did various things, but one of the things that we did was visit a school; all young girls in the school. And they sang a song to us and they really put on a performance and tried to brighten our day. But I took the opportunity to ask the teacher what religion these young girls were and, to my surprise, she told me both Sunni and Shi'a. And I thought at the time that I did not think the Sunni and the Shi'a got along very well.
Mr. BARAM. It was in Baghdad?
Mr. HILL. It was in Baghdad.
Mr. BARAM. Yes, yes, of course.
Ms. YAPHE. Here I disagree with my colleague. Sunni and Shi'a have gotten along well in Iraq. Intermarriage rates were always, I think, relatively high. I think there was less difference than is seen from the outside between Sunni and Shi'a, which is one of the reasons I do not think there is going to be civil war between the two. I think there has been long years of living together, many tribes and families, including Saddam's, as my colleague often points out to me, have Sunni and Shi'a members within that family, the same family.
Mr. HILL. Well, as we put a structure together that is going to govern in Iraq, how do the Kurds fall into this? What is going to be the relationship in all of this?
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Ms. YAPHE. That is very interesting, because the difficulties with the Kurds are one of the things that will bring the Sunni and Shi'a Arabs closer together. They do notin my experience, they do not mind if the Kurds want to rule themselves somewhere up in the north, that is fine, but they do not get Arab territory, Arab land, they do not get control of the oil. That is part of Iraq.
Mr. HILL. Will the Kurds be able to tolerate that?
Ms. YAPHE. That is a good question and I think it depends on what kind of commitments, and they may have to. I do not see that we have ever had a policy which supports a separate, independent Kurdish State.
Mr. BARAM. Maybe I could just say that I met and heard of few Arabs, there are some, of course, but few who really agree to a meaningful Kurdish autonomy, let alone a federation in which the Kurds would be like totally something different, not even a State. Because this is an old tradition in Iraq. Usually Arabs objected ferociously to Kurdish independencenot independence, to Kurdish autonomy. And for the first time, in March of 1970, Saddam Hussein, of all people, he was then vice president, but he was the strong man already in Baghdad, he came to an agreement with Mustafa Barzani, the father of the present Barzani, on an autonomy. It was deeply controversial in the party, in the ruling party, deeply controversial, but very quickly it became very clear that this was not real autonomy.
Today, the main reason why Sistani and the Shia grand Ayatollahs are opposed to the provisional constitution is this issue: because they feel that this is going to split Iraq, if the Kurds can, article 60C, if the Kurds can veto the permanent constitution, that gives them only 20 percent maybe.
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Ms. YAPHE. The actual language of the interim Constitution
Mr. BARAM. No Kurds, yes.
Ms. YAPHE [continuing]. Does not say Kurds, it says that if two-thirds of three governance, and the Kurds are in three governance, you see, two-third reject the constitution of national law, then it will not become law. Now, that has been interpreted to mean that it gives the Kurds a veto power over national legislation. But if you think about it, that could be any three provinces in Iraq, not just the Kurds. That is the way Sistani and many have interpreted it.
Mr. BARAM. No, no, no. Sistani and everybody else in Iraq interpreted that this is a Kurdish item, it is a Kurdish item of the Constitution and we cannot accept it. And the Kurds were those who demanded on it and who insisted on it and who threatened to leave the IGC if it is not accepted. So this is seen as ''a Kurdish item,'' 60C.
Of course, Judith is right, it does not mention Kurds at all, but that is how it is interpreted. And what I am saying is Arabs find it extremely difficult to swallow this kind of thing, that the Kurds would like to be semi dependent, autonomous and so on.
This, to my mind, is going to be very difficult. In addition, I will just say that we have seen that area and a little adjacent to it there is also the area of Kirkuk where you have many Turkimans. And that is a problem that the Kurds have. The Kurds demand autonomy, which I believe rightfully, inside Iraq, but they would not like to give up the Turkimans any special rights within the area of which they control. So this is a problem, and it is going to be a major one.
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Ms. YAPHE. More generally put, one sentence, democracy offers two things and we recognize them: rule of the majority, democracy means two things, rule of the majority and protection of minorities. It has taken us 225 years to get to where we understand what that means today. It has taken Britain 900 years from Magna Carta to get to that point. We expect the Iraqis to be there the day after tomorrow. It is not going to happen. I think you really become a democracy when you understand that both of these things have to have a place in governance.
General KEANE. I think it is an open question whether the Iraqis will be able to share power effectively among the Kurds, the Sunnis, and the Shi'as. I think so manywhen fledgling democracies form, they see elections as really a central form of democracy, which it is. But as the doctor mentioned, the true subtlety and sophistication of democracy is the majority rules and protects individual rights and protects the minority, and that question has to be answered and it will take years for us to determine whether that will be done or not.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. Mr. Marshall, did you have a last question?
Mr. MARSHALL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you all for being here, and General Keane, thank you very much for your service. You must be wondering why you did not become a professor and engage in these kinds of debates on some faculty somewhere.
General KEANE. I gave that thought up a long time ago. My professors convinced me of it.
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Mr. MARSHALL. I am sure the two professors here would tell us if we did not have clothes on. I can get away with that since I am an ex law professor.
My inquiry has to do with how do we find Iraqis willing to assist us in our tactical objective of searching out, capturing, killing, jailing, you name it, insurgents. If you look at what motivates people to assist affirmatively as opposed to passively, okay, I will take your check and I will stand around and get shot at or blown up, but affirmatively assist in hunting, capturing, killing, et cetera, deterring guerillas, it could be fear for themselves, the possibility of great reward, leadership that is exceptional, religious fanaticism, or just trying to protect your religion, protect your family. I mean, there are a number of things that motivate people to do that.
Democracy, it seems to me, is a concept, the prospect of democracy is a concept that is pretty abstract for these folks. It is unlikely that the mere prospect of having that is enough. The prospect of just having a civil service job does not sound too inviting.
So have you all given any thought to how do weinstitutionally, we can do it, but that takes a long time. Is there a way to do it to shortcut this, to actually get some folks out there who are enthusiastically going after these folks and appearing to be on our side, because tactically, that is effectively what they are doing.
General KEANE. I think we have had a fair amount of success, despite the obvious violence we have had in the last number of weeks, in doing what we call local source networking, and this takes time. Because you are fundamentally working with a culture that has inherent barriers to our own, and you are trying to build up trust and confidence of a people.
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I hearken back to, you go into a drug neighborhood in America and to be effective in that neighborhood, at some point you have to get Sara to turn in Mary's son, who is the kingpin drug lord in that neighborhood and terrorizing everybody. And to be able to get Sara to do that, she has to believe in a larger construct, that by eliminating this evilness that is in the neighborhood, the neighborhood is going to be better. But that is not enough. She has to actually trust the system that begins to operate. And that trust is really important, and it takes time.
That is why the relationships that we have with the Iraqis on the street is very important, and why it is so important to have effective Iraqi police and an effective Iraqi civil defense core who can interact with these people and build the trust themselves.
We have certain cultural limitations that we are bound to have, and I recognize that, but it is taking time and I think we have made some progress. We have a long way to go in this area, because you put your finger on the most challenging aspect of what we are dealing with. The terrorists are living in the neighborhoods literally with normal people, and we have to get the average Iraqi citizen not to want that to continue, because the level of violence in that neighborhood, the fear in that neighborhood will continue as long as they are there, and they have to trust us that not only will we eliminate it, but we will make things better for them, and that is challenging.
Mr. BARAM. Counterterrorism is not my field, so I accept what you said. It makes a lot of sense. But you also moved into the area of counterinsurgency, of course. And to my mind this is not as important.
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First of all, what not to do. I think it was a mistake to bring the two battalions to fight in Fallujah, a mistake for two different reasons. That is my view, although I am sure that the intention was the best. If you bring Sunni Arabs who are born in that area to fight against their own, it does not make much sense, it will not work, not at this particular stage. If you bring Kurds and Shiites who are supporting you all the way, but you let them fight against Sunnis in Fallujah, you get good results. I am not saying you did not, you did. But in the long term, I would say, again, as an historian, I would think maybe it is not a good idea, because you create cleavages you do not want to create. So for this stage I would say, sadly enough, it has to be the Marines.
But let us talk about counterinsurgency. Already, the CPA, as far as I know, and the IGC, but mostly the CPA is doing a lot of work on the Sunni Arabs. They started a few months ago and they are trying to get them to buy into the new system. They have to be told what is there for them. If you manage to do that, then what will happen what you just mentioned, that Mary or Sara, Sara will report on Mary's son, or whatever. Exactly. That is the moment. When they realize that it is going to serve the purpose to get into the system, to integrate themselves, rather than to fight it and try to destroy it, this is counterinsurgency. That is in the Sunni Arab area, and that now is being done, and I believe Lakhdar Brahimi will contribute to that.
When it comes to the Shi'a community, who are those who are supporting this, I think it is slightly deranged, do not quote me, because he might be angry to hear that, but this guy, Mukda Dafaderi is very strange. And yet he reminds me in many, many ways of Saddam Hussein; the similarities are uncanny.
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How do you stop this guy in terms of counterinsurgence? Well, you provide people with services, with jobs, and with infrastructure. That is what you do. You show that it works, and you do not hire Americans or even Chinese to work for the reconstruction, you hire local Iraqis, as many as you can. Even if it means wasting a little bit of money, it is worth it. You need to get them to fight something, to have self-respect, which they do not have now. The only self-respect now that they have is joining this kind of gang that has also this kind of crazy messianic idea, they think the Messiah is coming, the Mahadi is coming, and they know why you are there. They know that you are there not because you know something they do not know; namely, you know the Messiah is coming, the Mahadi, and your idea is to conquer Iraq and kill him now before he becomes really influential.
So you are there for an scatological reason. This is amazing, but people, some people believe it. Those people who are very low on the social economic ladder, the lowest rung, and who have no future. So you have to target these guys, and I think you are trying to do it now.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
Thank you so much to our guests for bearing with us here. I know our hearing has extended far beyond the call of duty here. The ranking member has a comment.
Mr. SKELTON. I cannot help but close out this hearing with number 1, a thank you to each of the panel members and also with a history lesson from the State of Missouri. The general made reference to these insurgents in Iraq living with the population, obviously protected by the population, either directly or indirectly. You will recall that Frank and Jesse James in the State of Missouri, were first with the Quantrell gang and then with ''Bloody Bill'' Anderson. The War Between the States ended in 1865, and they continued bank-robbing and train-robbing all up and down the Midwest, mostly in Missouri, until 1886, protected by the local population. So we should not be too surprised with this very same thing happening over there.
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Ms. YAPHE. Tip O'Neill had it right: ''all politics is local,'' and Saddam Hussein knew that as well, and I think it is a lesson we have to learn.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
General Keane, just one last question for you. And I apologize to my colleagues and our guests for stepping out here for a little bit during the hearing.
Our military leadership, and I think, you know, one thing I am proud of about this committee, Republicans and Democrats, is almost every single one has gone to the theater, some of them several times. And we watched, and most of us went up to Kirkuk early on; I know I did on the first visit, and General Orderno went up there with the 4th and put together this city council with six Kurds, six Turks, six Syrians, six Arabs, and six independents, whoever they were. In fact, I think CNN actually ran a viewing of their, a filming of one of their first council meetings and people were shrieking and yelling at each other and the media acted like that was bad, actually it was probably good, it looked like a lot of our city council meetings in the United States.
But my point is, these military leaders who I think are great people, and I think one of the underestimations we make in this city is that somehow the guys with the bow ties, we politicians are going to do the diplomatic work and the military leaders do not know anything about politics and they are going to stick to war fighting is a big mistake, because I think many of our military leaders, including guys like you, have a lot of wisdom, you are trained in leadership, you know how to develop leadership and how to pick leadership and how to nurture it.
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So the upshot of what I am getting to is that we have created community governments in the number of, I believe, about 300, per my last briefing with the Pentagon. I would compare these to city governments, city councils like the one in Kirkuk and, in some cases, maybe county board of supervisors in other areas.
Now, we are putting together this interim government under the advice of the representative from the United Nations and, as I understand it, the trend now is to pick technocrats who are not out of the political system, but who are objective technocrats without political stake, obviously different from this governing council that is there right now, and that they are going to be the caretaker until we pick the national assembly at the beginning of the year. But we already have these little governments in place throughout Iraq.
What would be wrong with having a league of governments that exist right now, these little community governments and have them represented in some way in this interim system? That would develop them, it would utilize people who had actually been picked through a form of representative process, and would allow them to have some say in this interim government. And I think it would perhaps dampen some of what I think should be anticipated Iraqi resentment, that while we were supposed to get our government June 30 and there they go again, the United Nations has imposed a bunch of outside technocrats as the governing body. What do you think?
General KEANE. Well, I think it makes compelling sense. The more participation you are going to get in this fledgling democracy, particularly in its early stages, I think the better it will work in the long term. Although it may appear chaotic at first, it will be so much healthier for them in the long run to gain that participation.
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I also agree with you, with the capacity of our senior leaders and our junior leaders to deal with the local situation. Our American generals and our American leaders out there grew up in the greatest democracy on earth, and they have internalized all of that and they understand how it works and they are products of small neighborhoods and small politics themselves. So it is a culmination of years of being an American, having advanced degrees, and being skilled at leadership to be that effective in a foreign land.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me tell you, we walked out of General Orderno's briefing, and of course he had given a lot of them, he would probably know how to handle us, we walked out of that briefing at Kirkuk and one of our congressional delegation said, I hope he does not run against me, and we all laughed. But it was an acknowledgment of the skill with which this gentleman had been handling this setup of all of these disparate interests. And we went through at the briefing on how he had sat down with the clerics, asked them what they wanted, how he worked with the various organizations and the various groups. He even set up this land resolution office for the Kurds and the Arabs who had competing pink slips on pieces of property. And I said, now, how are you going to handle that one? He said, I didn't say I was going to resolve it, I said we set up the office to take their information. So that people could come in and give whatever piece of paper or document or deed that they had to make their claim, and at least they felt they were making a step.
But I was very impressed. I think most of us, Democrat and Republican, have been extremely impressed in this war with the extraordinary professionalism of the military leadership.
Page 221 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So these little governments, to some degree, are a product of that leadership. So my partner here, the ranking member from Missouri, Ike Skelton who has got a lot of great intellect in this area, we are going to talk about this. We would like to continue to talk to you about these prospects. I think that is a resource we should use in this interim government.
General KEANE. One of the things I have always resented is the criticism that is levied against a military in not being prepared and trained properly to fight this kind of a war; in other words, the post-regime war, and I think nothing could be further from the truth. The sophistication that our leaders have and the skill sets that they developed through the years, they are very adaptable to deal with essentially a war that is being fought in and among the people.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank you. And Doctor, thank you very much, and Dr. Baram, thank you, sir, for everything you have contributed here. We are glad we have got good intellects who can walk us through this, this very difficult and kind of a very, very complicated area right now. I think we have, there are lots of pitfalls that you have outlined, but also I think some extraordinary opportunities. So we hope to continue to hear from you and please, send us any further ideas or thoughts that you might have in this area.
With that, we have a force protection hearing coming up in about 5 minutes, so thank you very much for being with us, and the hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 5:23 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]