SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10833]
AFGHANISTAN: SECURITY AND RECONSTRUCTION
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS
APRIL 29, 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
Eric R. Sterner, Professional Staff Member
Justin Bernier, Research Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Thursday, April 29, 2004, Afghanistan: Security and Reconstruction
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Thursday, April 29, 2004
THURSDAY, APRIL 29, 2004
AFGHANISTAN: SECURITY AND RECONSTRUCTION
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
Rodman, Peter W., Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs
Sharp, Lt. Gen. Walter, United States Army, Director for Strategic Plans and Policy, The Joint Chiefs of Staff
Taylor, Ambassador William, Coordinator for Afghanistan, United States Department of State
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[The Prepared Statements can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Hunter, Hon. Duncan
Rodman, Peter W.
Sharp, Lt. Gen. Walter
Skelton, Hon. Ike
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Documents can be viewed in the hard copy.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers can be viewed in the hard copy.]
AFGHANISTAN: SECURITY AND RECONSTRUCTION
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCHouse of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Thursday, April 29, 2004.
The committee met, pursuant to call, at 9 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. Folks, we will come to order in just a second. Our guests this morning are the Honorable Peter Rodman, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, and Lieutenant General Walter Sharp, Director of Strategic Policy and Plans, Joint Staff and Ambassador William Taylor, the Coordinator for Afghanistan. Welcome to the committee, gentlemen. We look forward to your testimony and appreciate your appearance before the committee this morning.
Ambassador, we particularly appreciate your appearance so soon after returning from Afghanistan. Thank you, sir. Just two and a half years ago, U.S. and coalition military forces initiated operations to eliminate Afghanistan as a safe harbor for terrorists in general, and al Qaeda in particular. By all accounts, the United States and its allies have made monumental progress in accomplishing that mission. The Taliban regime has been deposed most of its senior officials are dead, in custody or being hunted. Many of al Qaeda's leaders are similarly dead, in custody or on the run. Most observers would agree that this particular end of the swamp that fosters global terror is in the process of being completely drained.
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That said, as the President reminds us so frequently, it is not enough to eliminate terrorist regimes. We must also lay the foundations for stable countries, whose governments reflect the will of the people, participate peacefully in global affairs and respect individual rights. We have come a long way on that front in Afghanistan over the last 30 months. Of course there is still work to do. Not every warlord has placed the interests of his nation ahead of his selfish desires, and heroin may be making a come back as Afghanistan's chief export.
But we understand these problems and are working actively to solve them in cooperation with the significant international coalition that includes Afghanistan's key neighbors, the Afghan people, and government and a host of other countries. Already Afghanistan has held an emergency Loya Jirga, a kind of national council, which brought all the major groups in Afghanistan together to peacefully establish the rules of governance. More recently participants in that process proposed a constitution compatible with representative government and respectful of individual rights and prerogatives. General elections are scheduled for this fall.
Provincial Reconstruction Teams from several nations are focused on rebuilding the country's infrastructure and insuring the return of law and order after nearly three decades of its absence. Finally, the hunt for bin Laden and Mullah Omar continues. In other words, the foundations for a successful Afghanistan are being laid. We need to keep that big picture in mind as we move forward. Gentlemen, we look forward to your testimony and to the ensuing discussion.
The CHAIRMAN. First I want to recognize the committees' ranking Democrat, my partner, the gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Skelton, for any remarks he might want to make.
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[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
Mr. SKELTON. First, let me, Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this hearing. I think it is of utmost importance because this is the genesis of terrorism as we know it, sadly, today. So let me join you, Mr. Chairman in welcoming our witnesses, Secretary Rodman, General Sharp and Ambassador Taylor.
While this committee has had several classified briefings on Afghanistan over the two and a half years since Operation Enduring Freedom, this is our first open hearing and it is a very important hearing on this subject. I had the opportunity to travel to Afghanistan in late January, early February with Mr. Hayes of this committee as well as the Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi. And I came away with the sense that we are shortchanging our effort to establish a viable Federal Government to rebuild that country. Let me give you some thoughts. First, bin Laden and other leaders of the al Qaeda and leadership of the former Taliban remain at large.
And I think our current offensive operations are crucial and efforts to build the Afghan National Army seem to be moving quite slowly. It sounds like the deployment of those sources so far has been more successful than in Iraq. Second, the Afghanistan security continues to be threatened. Narcotics cultivation, narcotics trafficking, are dramatically on the rise as the Chairman made reference. Money generated by those activities is funding not only Taliban elements but other forces of instability.
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Warlords are well armed and well-armed militias have not yet decided whether to build their future through constitutional process or not. And starting now, over the long term, we need to ensure that a terrorist harboring regime never gains a foot hold there again. I think if we poured half as many people and resources in Afghanistan as we have into Iraq, I think we would be well on the way to recovery of that country from some 20 plus years of warfare. With few natural resources, little infrastructure and a long history of tribalism, Afghanistan still has a long way to go.
But there have been some encouraging successes, and we should point those out. Their constitutional convention worked. Completion of the new road between Kabul and Kandahar sends an important signal to the populace and will encourage commerce. This is a first. The military's Provincial Reconstruction Teams are helping to provide stability, and we have seen this.
Nevertheless, I don't think we are making progress as fast as we need to in order to make sure the Karzai government survives in the long run. Mr. Chairman, this is a very important hearing and the committee needs to understand what is happening on the ground in Afghanistan. But it will be equally important that we follow up to make sure that President Karzai's government continues to make progress. And I again thank you, Mr. Chairman, for this hearing.
The CHAIRMAN. I want to thank my colleague for his statement. And gentlemen, you are looking at an Armed Services Committee that has lots of members who have traveled the country and spent a lot of time there. We really appreciate the efforts that you have been making. So with that, all your prepared statements without objection will be taken into the record.
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And we apologize too for notwe don't have votes today and we have got lots of members who head home to work in their districts. They have got lots of issues. But you have got the cream of the crop here listening to you this morning. And so thank you, and Mr. Ambassador the floor is yours. Or excuse me. Mr. Secretary.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Skelton can be viewed in the hard copy.]
STATEMENT OF HON. PETER RODMAN, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR INTERNATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS, OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
Secretary RODMAN. Okay. Thank you. I want to commend the Chairman and the ranking member and the committee for holding this hearing. It is a sign of how seriously we as a country are taking our commitment to Afghanistan, our commitment to help this country get on its feet, and as the ranking member just said, to make sure that it is never again a haven for terrorism. You have my prepared statement but there are a few things I wanted to highlight, if I may, briefly.
The first time I visited Afghanistan was about 30 years ago, and it was then one of the poorest countries in the world, a noble people but a poor country. And that was before it was ravaged by a communist coup, a Soviet invasion, and a long war of liberation against the Soviets and then a decade of Taliban rule. So, by that standard, the last two and a half years have been remarkably positive. This is a long-term undertaking to help this country get on its feet, and it will require a continued commitment by this country, by the international community to help the Afghans. And again, I think by that standard, what has been achieved in the last two and a half years is significant and it is worth investing in to keep that success going and to deal with the problems that we all acknowledge still exist.
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We report regularly to the Congress on the strategic plan that we have. That is mandated in the legislation. But I wanted to highlight just four elements of our strategy at the present time. One is what we call the acceleration plan, or the acceleration strategy. The President made a decision last year that we needed to accelerate what was going on, and for example, to accelerate the rate of training of the Afghan army. Instead of 6,000 troops a year, it should be 10,000 troops a year. And so we are doing that.
And we are doing a number of other things to speed up what we had originally undertaken. We think by the way, we are on schedule to have 10,000 troops in the Afghan National Army by the middle of this year, as we have hoped. Another element in the strategy is a political, a political strategy to support President Karzai's effort to strengthen his national authority. We know that the Bonn agreement of December 2001 was a kind of bargain among all the different political forces in the country. It included people that we sometimes call warlords. They were part of the deal. But the aspiration of every Afghan was to have something better than this, to restore national institutions to enable a national government to assert its authority over the whole country.
And President Karzai has, over the past 12 months, been moving out methodically, systematically, and I think successfully, to strengthen national control. It began with Customs revenues which are now flowing into the central government. He has been replacing governors that he thinks are not performing. He has been, again, adjustinghe has been dealing with these other political figures, giving them jobs in Kabul, but basically again, trying to strengthen the national authority over the country. And he has consulted with us and we have given him our support.
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A third element is the Provincial Reconstruction Teams. This is an ingenious device, I think that, we came up with a couple of years ago to accomplish a number of purposes. These teams, as you know, are interagency. They include State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), other U.S. agencies as well as military people and they are a way of expanding the sense of security in different regions of the country. They are a way of asserting national authority because Afghan government people are part of the teams.
And it also is turning out to be an additional vehicle for internationalizing the effort, because some allied countries and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) itself have now agreed to take on some of these, head some of these Personal Rapid Transit (PRT)s, and this is a very successful instrument of policy.
And finally, we have come up with what we call the South and Southeast strategy, which is a focus on one of the sensitive parts of the country, Pashtun areas along the Pakistan border, where clearly a lot of the remnants of the old regime are and where a lot of the military problem still is. And this is a strategy to address it by not only military means but by accelerating political efforts and humanitarian assistance to concentrate efforts in this area which is maybe the pivotal area in the coming period.
So this is what we have been doing lately, and we think it is, we think we are on the right track. And again, you have my statement. And I just want to wind up by saying that we all have no illusions about the difficult problems that exist, the narcotics problem that you have both mentioned. But we believe we do have a strategy. We have programs, plans, ideas how to address these problems. And we are doing our best. We think the support from Congress has been superb. And as I said at the beginning, it is a reflection of a national commitment that we have made, a very important American national interest. And if we continue to work together with you we hope we can do the job. Thank you very much.
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[The prepared statement of Secretary Rodham can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. General Sharp, did you want to go next or Ambassador Taylor? We have General Sharp. Why don't you go ahead and talk to us. And one thing, of course that we are very interested in,
General, is a stand up of the Afghan National Army. And I know when we werethe last time I was there and I know my seat mate from San Diego, Ms. Davis and Mr. Reyes and a couple of others, we were watching the incipient stand up of that army with a special forces team and they had a few weapons. In fact, I think a couple of the crude weapons had nails for triggers. We were trying to get some better weapon systems in there. But they were just then bringing thatbring in the recruits. They looked pretty ragged at that point. Tell us what has happened so far.
And I know you have other things you want to talk about, but I think that is a very important aspect of this progress is the stand up of the military. So if you could include that in your remarks, we would appreciate it. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF LT. GEN. WALTER SHARP, UNITED STATES ARMY, DIRECTOR FOR STRATEGIC PLANS AND POLICY, THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF
General SHARP. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, Congressman Skelton, members of this committee, I also would like to thank you for the opportunity to speak to you here today to provide you an update on the progress that we are making in our operations in Afghanistan and to acknowledge that continued commitment of the men and women of the coalition, both uniformed and civilian. As you said, sir, I have also submitted my full statement for the record. But I would like to take a couple of minutes to highlight some of the subject I discuss in that statement.
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And I will discuss the Afghan National Army as part of that also, sir. Two weeks ago, I accompanied General Myers, the Chairman to Afghanistan and I can strongly echo what the Deputy Secretary of Defense and the Chairman told you last week. Your unhesitating response to our requirements and unequivocal moral support are vital to our continued progress. For all the challenges we face in Afghanistan, it is a success story in very many ways.
From the great achievements of our international coalitions, both in Operations Enduring Freedom and NATO's International Security Assistance Force, (ISAF), to the deployment of the Afghan National Army to many locations around the country, to the international efforts to field a professional police force, to the adoption of the constitution that you mentioned earlier, to ensure that we are able to enshrine democratic principles within that country, and finally to mandating that Presidential and parliamentary elections will take place in September of this year. We are greatly encouraged also with the success of the cooperation that Pakistan has given in the counterterrorism operations along the border.
As you mentioned, while there are several areas of substantial achievement, challenges also remain, specifically in the area of counternarcotics, Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration (DDR), and also on the ability to get NATO to expand according to the plan that they have laid out for the expansion of their area of responsibility as part of the ISAF expansion. And specifically in the area of the Afghan National Army.
As you know, sir, we currently have approximately 8,300 soldiers from the Afghan National Army, about half of which are deployed in different areas around the country today in concert with what we are doing for operations, but also in some of the more difficult areas that have been laid out that we have had troubles with in the recent weeks in Iraq, and then up in the north, and then most recently down in the Kandahar area. We are in the process, we have in training right now about 2,500 soldiers. It takes nine weeks to train these cohorts as they go through, so we have a goal of about 10,000 to 2000 per year in order to be able to train the force. Currently there are 17 battalions that are trained and out in the field in many cases doing operations.
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We have worked very hard to make sure that this training is what they need for the operations that they are doing. We are working also to make sure that their equipment is up to speed and that they have also what they need from a force protection perspective. I think, sir, probably, when you were over there last we were having some of the retention and recruiting problems that happened last fall. A lot of those have been corrected. The retention rates are all the way down to only a two percent loss, between two and three percent loss, and we actually have more recruits standing by than are actually in the training program right now.
We worked very hard to make sure that their pay was taken care of, especially when they went into hazardous areas so their families would be taken care of if they were killed or hurt, and then also tried to work that their facilities were up to what they needed.
So a lot of that, I think, has helped along those lines in order to be able to get the Afghan National Army up and operational, because we clearly realize they, along with the police, are what is going to make this country stable in the long run, and we are committed to making sure that that gets done as quickly as possible. It cannot be said too often that after 24 years of war and oppression the Afghan people are entering the 21st century with a tremendous sense of optimism and determination. They are building national institutions virtually from scratch, reconstructing their homes, business and local infrastructure. Increasing numbers of their children are going back to school. And Afghan women are returning to the professional and political arenas.
While there are challenges that remain, the people of Afghanistan, the United States, NATO and the international community are steadily achieving their aim of preserving sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity, national unity of Afghanistan and winning the war on terrorism.
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Mr. Chairman, and to the committee, I can tell you the U.S. military is committed to winning this war in Afghanistan. Your troops that are over there to include over 2,500 National Guard troops are over there committed, and we will win this, along with our coalition and allied partners. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, General.
[The prepared statement of General Sharp can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. And Ambassador Taylor, thank you for being with us, sir.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM TAYLOR, AMBASSADOR, COORDINATOR FOR AFGHANISTAN, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Ambassador TAYLOR. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Skelton and members of the committee, I am real glad to be here. I did just get back. Several of us have been there recently. And we are making progress. There are some challenges out there that both Mr. Rodman and General Sharp have described and we should not shrink from those challenges. But we are making progress. We can succeed. It is not going to be a short-term success as we are all describing. This is a long-term process to succeed in Afghanistan, to bring about a successful Islamic democracy. And this would be a great thing for the world to be able to come up, to be able to demonstrate that this is possible, it can be done.
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Let me just say a little bit about the economic work and the political work that we are doing that is made possible by the security work that Mr. Rodman and General Sharp have just mentioned. The international community has come together to support Afghanistan in an amazing way. Just three weeks ago in Berlin, the most recent donors conference international conference took place. 60 delegations, 60 countries came, pledged $4.5 billion just for this year, $8.2 billion for the next three years in a remarkable show of support for Afghanistan. Afghanistan, as all three of us are saying, has the ability to draw in that kind of support from the international community and it has done so.
It is not just the international community. We are investing in success as Mr. Rodman just said. I think that is a demonstration of the success that we can achieve in Afghanistan. Politically, again many people have mentioned already this morning the Constitution being adopted in January, and elections that are now scheduled for September. The people of Afghanistan are very much looking forward to this. I've heard people ask whether or not democracy, if we are forcing things on the Afghan people. Not so.
When you talk to the Afghan people, and many of you have been there to talk to them, you feel their sense of urgency. You feel their hunger to be able to choose their own leaders, and they have an opportunity to do that this September. Two quick examples, Mr. Chairman, of the kind of work that is going on. Just last week I was at one of the Provincial Reconstruction Teams, one of the PRTs down at Ghazni. And the reason I wanted to go to Ghazni was that I drove to Ghazni when I was stationed there, on the road before there was one meter of asphalt laid on that road, all the way from Kabul to Kandahar, and it was a miserable road to go down there.
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It took about five and a half, six hours to get down there. When I was there a year ago, a year and a half ago, and this time last week it took two and a half hours to get down there. That road that Mr. Rodman mentioned is a major contribution, not just to the economy of that region. It is also a contribution to the security of that region. People along that road will tell you how easy it is now to get to hospitals.
So it improves health. The road from Kabul to Kandahar also connects essentially the north and the south. The Pashtun area centered in Kandahar is now connected to the capitol of the country, which wasn't before. This is a major contribution. The PRT in Ghazni demonstrates one of the innovations that General Barno and U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and the joint staff have put forward, and that is to have the areas of operation for one of the maneuver battalions coincide with the provincial reconstruction team, the PRT.
So when I showed up in Ghazni, there were two colonels there. One was the commander of the battalion. The other was the commander of the PRT and they reinforce each other. And we can go into more detail on that, Mr. Chairman, if that would be interesting. The second example of how the security work is going and contributing to the rest of the development is the security provided to the constitutional Loya Jirga, which you mentioned happened in three weeks at the end of December and the beginning of January. There were threats by the Taliban and other insurgents, against that Loya Jirga. The threats were that they were going to disrupt it. They didn't want to see this constitution adopted. And they failed and they failed because the security provided to that constitution, the Loya Jirga was a joint team effort. It started in the tent. The Loya Jirga, of course, took place in a big tent in Kabul, you asked about the Afghan National Army (ANA).
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The Afghan National Army, performed well in the tent and outside the tent. The police were there. The ISAF forces were in the next concentric circle. And then there was a military operation going on to put the Taliban, al Qaeda, HIG on the defensive. They didn't disrupt that. We had to do the same thing, even harder, a harder task we have to do the same thing for the elections. The security for the elections is going to be a major challenge. 4,600 polling stations around the country are going to have to be somehow secured.
So this will be a major challenge, but there is a plan as General Sharp indicated, Mr. Rodman indicated, we are moving in the right direction I believe. It is not going to be easy. The challenges are out there. But we have the opportunity to succeed and this will be an example not just for the region but for the world. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Ambassador, a very good concise statement. I am going to pass on my questions until we get down the end of the line here. Let me turn to Mr. Saxton, the yesterday from New Jersey and see if he has got any questions.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My questions have to do with the section of the country, I guess it is referred to as the southeast border section. I think it was Secretary Rodman who indicated, or perhaps it was General Sharp, that there was some level of cooperation from the Pakistani military forces. And this is something that I have been watching over time. And I guess the question is in as much as Pakistan, in that region provides some type of a safe haven for people who are out to make trouble in Afghanistan, what is the contribution that Pakistani forces are making to help our forces who are on the Afghan side of the border?
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And is there communication between the U.S. forces and the Pakistani forces? Do the Pakistani forces ask us for any type of assistance from time to time? And I guess generally, how would you gauge the success of the Pakistani forces in that region of Pakistan?
General SHARP. Sir, let me start with, as you know, Pakistan has gone a long way to start addressing the problems of al Qaeda and the terrorist organizations on their side of the border, especially in the area of Waziristan, where they have recently deployed an additional about 30,000 troops, have done four or five major operations in that part of the border. So they are actively moving out to go against terrorists in their border area, in areas to be quite honestly that the Pakistan military has never been before until recently. Before it had been completely controlled by tribal entities up in that area.
What we are doing to try to help them and to share intelligence is a long several lines. First off there is a tripartite commission that meets at least monthly with General Barno, the commander of the U.S. forces there and his Afghanistan military counterpart and then also his Pakistan military counterpart. They get at exactly what you are saying, is to be able to figure out how to best share intelligence across the border that we are able to gain and that they are able to gain so that we are able to operate best to share on each others' information.
We are also able to back up their forces, because a lot of times we will have their forces attack with the Taliban or the terrorist forces then trying to escape into Afghanistan. And because of the sharing that we have been able to start working out both at the higher levels and at the unit levels, we are able to see those operations, and as they come across the border, the terrorists come across the border then we are able to deal with it on the Afghanistan side. At the same time, we are also working hard to increase the capability of the Pakistan forces by providing through Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and other sources such items as night vision equipment, communications gear, helicopter parts, and hopefully very shortly, also some helicopters in order to be able to help them to have the maneuverability that they need on the other side of the border.
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So I would characterize it there is a greatly increased amount of information and cooperation that we are sharing between our military coalition forces there on the Afghanistan side and on the Pakistan side.
Mr. SAXTON. And from your inference, I assume that the U.S. forces are staying on the Afghanistan side of the border.
General SHARP. Absolutely. Absolutely.
Mr. SAXTON. Secretary, Ambassador Taylor, are you aware of any communication with the government in Pakistan, with the Musharraf government that would lead to a higher level of cooperation, particularly on the Pakistani side of the border?
Ambassador TAYLOR. Sir, as General Sharp said, we have noticed we have observed the Pakistani Army in places where even the British, when they were the power in that region didn't go. So we have been very pleased with that movement and with those operations. We have expressed that appreciation. We have encouraged it. And as General Sharp says, we have supported it in both intelligence and in equipment. So we have been very supportive of that kind of work.
Mr. SAXTON. Can you shed any light on this question? First let me say it seems to me that if we had the ability, whenever there is a border and we are in hot pursuit of somebody, our forces are in hot pursuit of somebody, and the border situation occurs, where they scoot back across the border, it would seem to me it would be advantageous to our level of success to be able to pursue those people across the border, or even go after someone who may be near but on the other side of the border. And my understanding is that the government to government policy is that we strictly stay on the Afghanistan side of the border. Are there any diplomatic efforts that you're aware of underway to give us more flexibility with regard to this subject?
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Ambassador TAYLOR. Mr. Saxton, as you know, as you indicated, that is a very sensitive issue. You stated our policy exactly right, is to stay on this side. I am not aware of conversations that we are having to pursue any particular efforts on their side.
Mr. SAXTON. Okay. Well, thank you. My time is up and I just think that we have had other experiences with safe havens in the past, and given that the Pakistani forces are more cooperative than they were, it is my read that that may not be sufficient, and it just seems to me that we might want to pursue a policy of a little more flexibility with regard to the subject and that is, of course, just me sitting here as a member of this committee, having had observations that lead me to that conclusion, and perhaps our administration will come to that conclusion as well Mr. Chairman. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. The gentleman distinguished gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Skelton. And I want to apologize for not going to you first, Ike. Take that off my score.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you so much. In light of the fact we have so many others that wish to ask questions and the importance of this hearing, I will just ask one question. However, let me make a couple of observations if I may. When Congressman Hayes and Congresswoman Pelosi and I were visiting with President Karzai, his one concern, will America stay the course. And of course we did our best, both to him and in a subsequent news conference, to assure him as well as the Afghan people that America was there for the long haul.
Another interesting observation was the poverty that we saw, particularly up in Mazar-e-Sharif, where we were driving through a market area and we thought it was the outlying area and someone in the delegation asked what does downtown look like and they said this is downtown. And third is the news reports indicate that there are more narcotics being produced than under the Taliban, which is a great deal of concern.
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But my question, and I will just ask one at this time to Ambassador Taylor, if I may, regarding the various warlords who are struggling for power and struggling for positions in the central government, how is our campaign to enlist their aid and assistance in stabilizing the country coming along, please?
Ambassador TAYLOR. Mr. Skelton you are exactly right. The issue of what we call warlords, Secretary Rodman indicates some object to that label. But this is an important part of our work in Afghanistan. I said ''Our.'' it is principally the government of Afghanistan's job to deal with the internal. But we support them. We support them very strongly. President Karzai has taken steps as several people have indicated, to replace, remove, change, move around 20 or more of the governors out there. Some of whom one might call warlords. There are a couple of senior military commanders, not governors, who are also giving us difficulty, giving President Karzai difficulty.
What we have done is indicate to all of the commanders, and all of the officials that irrespective of the work that we may have done together in the battle against the fight, in the war, against the Taliban and al Qaeda, in 2001, that the time now is to support the central government. And the time now is to support the redevelopment, the reconstruction of this country and if you, officials, commanders, local strongmen, if you are part of that solution, if you are part of this reconstruction then you will have no trouble with us. If, however, you don't, if you don't support President Karzai, if you are not willing to support the constitution as passed by the Loya Jirga, if you are not willing to support the work to reconstruct the country in a comprehensive way, in a democratic way, then you are going to have difficulties with us.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary Armitage was out there and he addressed this exact question. He said if you support President Karzai, you have no trouble with us. If you don't, you are in for a rocky road he told them. This is the message we are sending, the president, in his way, it is an Afghan way of dealing with the warlords. It would be good to deal with them in ways that don't come to fighting. It would be very good. And that is what President Karzai is attempting to do, again, with our support.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. The gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. Hayes.
Mr. HAYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And let me echo what my friend Congressman Skelton said about the very impressive nature and results of the work that our folks, particularly coalition forces are doing. I understand they are not warlords now. They are regional commanders. Got it. Okay. Can you expand a little bit. One of the most encouraging things I saw, not only was the morale and the attitude of our folks over there, but the people that we saw and interacted with, were, to me very clearly glad to have us there and appreciative of the results of what was happening. What is the progress that we are making now with the regional concept of NATO being more involved expanding that coalition. Sounded like some good things were happening. They have got a lot of equipment and soldiers in uniform that would be participating. Sounded like that was happening. Could you update us on that, anyone, Honorable Rodman, Ambassador Taylor.
Secretary RODMAN. Well, let me start, and my colleagues can elaborate. We have not only individual allies taking over PRTs as was discussed, I mean New Zealand, U.K., Germany. But NATO has, of course, taken over ISAF. This is the ISAF that started out assisting with security in Kabul and not only did NATO take over, which means we don't have to go looking for some country every six months to do it. But NATO is also thinking of expanding ISAF around the country. So this, these are important parts of our strategy for which we have international, you know, very solid international support and that is in addition to the coalition.
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I mean, Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), out in the remote parts of hunting down the bad guys, is also a coalition effort. So, the donors, the economic support we get from these periodic donors meeting as Ambassador Taylor talked about the Berlin meeting where I would think we send up with more than we had expected.
So the international part of this is very important. I mean, there are lots of countries that have the capability to help and it should not be only an American burden, because the international community has a huge take in making sure that Afghanistan is never again a terrorist base. But perhaps General Sharp can talk, say some more about the NATO, expanding NATO role.
General SHARP. Yes, sir. As you know, there are 19 countries that are contributing right now to OEF and a total of 35 countries contributing forces to part of ISAF. The NATO's ISAF, a total of 42 countries that are in there, coalition forces right now, all doing very difficult, very tough work in there. NATO, as Mr. Rodman just said, has stepped up to the plate to take on responsibilities beyond what they initially had in Kabul itself with ISAF and have expanded already to establish a PRT, provisional reconstruction team up in Konduz up in the north with the Germans. Additionally, we have 13 total PRTs that are up and operational right now, ten from the U.S., one from the UK, one from New Zealand and then the German one I just mentioned.
So that coalition, to be able to help the people of Afghanistan is making great progress. I will say though that NATO expansion as Mr. Rodman said there, is a real goal to get ISAF to expand further along the north and along the west, and eventually hopefully to be able to, once we have dealt with the terrorist organizations in the Iraqi security force, I keep saying Iraqi, the Afghanistan security forces, the Army and the police are up and operational that ISAF and NATO could take over the full operation as the Secretary of Defense has laid out.
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That is a lofty goal though because as you know, in all honesty, we are having trouble right now. NATO is having trouble right now getting enough forces to be able to fill what they authorized for the ISAF expansion. So when we go and talk to other countries, both on the military side and I am sure on your side also, to continue to push the importance of Afghanistan and getting coalition partners to sign up for what NATO has agreed to do, I think is the important element of success here.
Mr. HAYES. Thank you, gentlemen.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. The gentleman from Texas, Mr. Reyes.
Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And gentlemen welcome and thank you for being here today. I was curious to get your opinion on the difference that it is making in Afghanistan, versus Iraq to have somebody like the former king that was involved in facilitating or helping set up the Loya Jirga and how you might think that continues to influence either positively or negatively what is going on in Afghanistan versus what we are facing in Iraq?
Secretary RODMAN. Bill is more an expert on Afghanistan.
Ambassador TAYLOR. I can take a shot on the Afghan side. The former king, who actually was in the palace for some over 30 years, almost 40 years, continues to play a symbolic role in Afghanistan. He is very old. He is very well respected. He does provide a legitimacy, somehow a symbol of the nation. He is known as the father of the nation, and performs a unifying role. Even more important I would say though is President Karzai's role. President Karzai, also has wide support, even though that country has ethnic divisions and historical divisions between the north and the south. President Karzai is able to span those divisions.
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And this is something that is a great strength of Afghanistan. And I will leave it to others to make the comparison to Iraq. But you are exactly right. Both of these men, the father of the nation, the ex king and the President, President Karzai are able to pull that country together so that it is a nation.
Secretary RODMAN. Iraq as you know was once a monarchy. But I think in the new situation, there didn't seem to be sufficient consensus to turn to that as a solution to, you know, to unify the country. I mean we are in a new period and we are looking for a new basis for the unity of the country through normal political means and the Presidential kind of system or federal system in sort of normal processes. And the monarchyit is interesting in some of the former communist countries of central Europe, there was thought about that too, you know, maybe the monarch, constitutional monarchy would be a way of unifying the country. But it is something for the people of the country to decide, and it just didn't seem to work.
Mr. REYES. Okay. On an operational level, General Sharp, we recently recommended some changes in our overall way that we handle operational intelligence. And I am concerned about and I would want you to comment on the role that intelligence is playing in Afghanistan, for many different reasons. One of them, which is it, in my mind, it has to be an important aspect of being able to track the former Taliban and specifically Osama bin Laden and the tough region that they are reported to be in. Second, there are concerns, I know, in talking to a soldier that was supporting I think at the time the 10th mountain and now the 25th infantry division. He was commenting to me that although they are able to process a lot of intelligence and make a difference that way, it appears the system is somewhat antiquated. And he was at least concerned that they would be able to, on a real-time basis have the information, the troops out in the field, have the information necessary to react to a specific bit of intelligence that might be either helpful in rounding up the Taliban, Osama bin Laden and all that group, or keep soldiers out of harm's way. Can you explain to us the system that is in place, if it is automated, the whole concept, because I know that that was a concern. And this is a soldier that dealt with this every day.
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General SHARP. Yes, sir. Thank you. Excellent question. We often say in the military, intelligence drives operations. And you are exactly right. What we are able to do on the ground is based upon the intelligence that we are able to get to know where the enemy is so we can precisely strike him. We really get at intelligence from the bottom level up, starting with the troops that are out on patrol, collecting that information, also including special operating forces, human intelligence-type operatives (HUMINT) that are out in the area collecting and getting to know the people out in the area. That has helped from several different things that we have done most recently.
Every time you get a PRT out into a different city out there in the country, they are able to establish relationships with the people to be able to gain intelligence on people that shouldn't be there, on problems that they are having there, and that intelligence is very important. With the Afghan National Army now deploying more and more throughout the country, again, Afghans are being able to talk to other Afghans to gain intelligence and be able to collect and pull that back up.
And then with the joint patrols that we are doing again with those Afghan National Army forces, we are also able to make sure that that is fused and brought back in together.
The system, as you know, is the intelligence starts from that location, gets passed up through the chain of command, and there are intelligence fusion centers at different levels starting. Really where we do a lot of fusion is down at the battalion level, brigade level one, and then finally bused back at Bagram, where the headquarters of Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) 180 is. In a lot of sense, there are some very automated links, especially if you are taking look at Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) feeds and other type of live feeds where we see forces on the ground, those are all automatically being able to be brought back, in some cases then automatically sent out to aircraft, if that is how we are going to engage the force or other type of operations to be able to get that specifically out there.
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At the same time, we are also working to make sure that the lessons we are learning out of both Iraq and Afghanistan are shared between each other. The intelligence that we gathered in order that that was necessary to get Saddam Hussein, there was extensive drill down by the Secretary of Defense and by the Army as far as how we were able to do that to make sure that the people in Afghanistan understood that very successful process. And those are being shared back and forth.
In fact, every Saturday the Chief of Staff of the Army, his desk ops, General Cody has a Video Teleconferencing (VTC) with both Afghanistan and Iraq and other parts, other deployed soldiers on that going through, and this is always one of the subjects, what is the intelligence that you are getting and how are you getting it so that those lessons learned can be shared among the different elements. That is not to say it is perfect, not to say that it is completely automated all the way up.
I mean, a lot of it really does depend upon some great work of young soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that have to take that raw intelligence, fuse it, try to determine, make it a predictive nature rather than just history, in order to be able to drive those operations. But we are gaining more and more success in being able to do that to a large part because the type of operations that we are doing, not only in Afghanistan, but have been doing for years in Bosnia and Kosovo and making sure that those lessons learned are applied and the technology is also applied to the different theaters.
Mr. REYES. If you could either, for the record, answer this last question because I know my time is up. Are you suffering any because of what is going on in Iraq? Are you getting the resources, the automation, all the things that are necessary to make sure that we carry out a good campaign in Afghanistan in lieu of the challenge we are facing in Iraq?
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General SHARP. When the chairman was there two weeks ago, the very first question he asked General Barno was the exact one that you just asked, and General Barno says that he has the troops that he needs in order to be able to accomplish the mission. There are actually more troops in Afghanistan today, U.S. troops in Afghanistan today than there were when we started the ground campaign in the war in Iraq. And as you know, we have surged some additional forces in, the 22 Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), in order to be able to deal with what we are doing in the south and southeast campaign. We are right now doing an overlap between tenth mountain and 25th Infantry Division (ID) as one transitions in and the other one transitions out. We are working very hard to make sure that as I said all of the, not only the lessons learned, but also the equipment fixes, the additional type of gear that we are moving into Iraq is also going into Afghanistan as needed. So from the command to the ground, he has what he needs, sir.
Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. The gentleman from Georgia, Dr. Gingrey.
Dr. GINGREY. Thank you Mr. Chairman. You caught me off guard a little bit. Down here on the first row, I am not used to being called on that early, but thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. These are the rewards of arriving early.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Dr. GINGREY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. A couple of questions. You mentioned earlier in response to another members question, in regard to Pakistan and how we were working with them and supporting them and standing behind some of their operations. And then I think General Sharp, you mentioned that actually, sharing some equipment. I think you even mentioned helicopters and other things. And I can't help but think about the fact that we probably did a lot of that when the Afghans were fighting Russia over a long period of time, and I think we probably supplied them with a lot of the weapons that some of these regional commanders, i.e., warlords use now to harm our own troops. And I am wondering about in the long term, big picture, what potential threat could that be eventually to our friend and the only one of a few democracies in that part of the world, India, as they continue to have to be concerned about Pakistan. It worries me a little bit. And if you can respond to that.
The other question is, someone mentioned earlier about the road, I think Ambassador Taylor, you talked about the road from Kabul to Kandahar and how it looked pretty bad at first, and now it is a lot better. But, you know, to use a euphemism maybe it is, the whole thing over there is a road too far. And I worry a lot about this business about poppy and narcotics trade and that sort of thing. And these people, as I understand it in Afghanistan, that is pretty much what they live off of. They are not used to being run by anybody, as good a job as President Karzai is doing. And I wanted to ask this as a question, too.
The king, the father of the country, is he and Karzai actually working out of the same hymnal? Do they agree with one another. And do these people, do they really, ultimately at the end of the day, what have we got to offer them other than what they have had all these many years, the drug trade that being the major source of income? And, you know, we get rid of the Taliban and their harboring of al Qaeda and terror respects and that is good.
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But you know I am still concerned at the end of the day, what are we doing to restore their economy, to give them some other way of life and means of income, the farmers, other than raising poppies and selling drugs and having to pay kickbacks to the warlords and their militia and the same old-same old that has been going on for all these years. So I know that is a broad range of things that I have thrown at you. But if you can answer some of those questions, I would appreciate it.
Secretary RODMAN. Let me try the first question about Pakistan and India, if I may. The kinds of equipment we are talking about are directly related to the vital role we want Pakistan to continue to play in the border areas. So it is directly related to one of our overwhelming military priorities, the war against the Taliban and al Qaeda, and it is directly relevant to those missions.
As far as the bigger picture is concerned, we have a strategy with respect to both India and Pakistan, which is deepening our relations with both, including in the defense field. We have an extraordinary new relationship with India, including military cooperation. And with Pakistan, President Bush last year announced the long-term aid package, security assistance, economic assistance. And the hope is it ties us more tightly to each and gives us influence with each, gives us influence that contributes to their own cooperation between the two of them.
For many years we had a policy of sanctions, both which turned out not to give us influence. So the strategy we are pursuing is working with Pakistan, areas where the cooperation is pretty important. And, in fact, President Musharraf represents a moderate course, which even the Indians have a stake in. So we feel we are managing our relationship with Pakistan in a way that serves a broader interest.
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Ambassador TAYLOR. If I could address a couple of your questions as well, one very easily. You asked if the King and President Karzai are operating from the same hymnal. They are operating out of the same palace. One has one half and the other one has the other half, and they work well together.
On your questions about the road and alternative livelihoods for farmers, they are related. I asked a person who had done counternarcotics work around the world if he could do one thing in Afghanistan, what would that be, and his immediate response was build roads. And the reason he said that was that the marketing of opium poppy is very easy if you are a farmer. You raise it and get these little bags of opium, and someone shows up at your doorstep on your motorcycle, having driven across bad roads or no roads on a motorcycle, picks the stuff up, gives you the money or the credit, and then leaves. If, on the other hand, you are a farmer trying to raise wheat or almonds or apricots, you have to do the marketing, and part of that marketing is getting your crop or product to the places where you can sell it, to the markets. And for that you need roads.
So the road that we are talking about here is the ring road. That is kind of the main big highway. As important are the farm to market to ring road connections that we are also doing. And it also provides people jobs. But part of the counternarcotics work is an equal part two of the law enforcement, eradication work we are doing to knock down the poppy fields of the warlords and the smugglers, but undoubtedly we are going to hit some of the small farmers as well. Alternative livelihoods is an important part of the counternarcotic work.
General SHARP. Congressman, if I may just add that your question as far as the long-term future, why we believe that the PRTs are so important, that is exactly why they are out there in order to be able to facilitate the local population in order to be able to do the types of things that Ambassador Taylor laid out, to be able to establish good agriculture, to have an area, especially after the roads are completed, transit between different countries, and to be able to establish an economy that is up and running. That is why we continue to push for more provisional reconstruction teams and why we need to continue to push other coalition countries to help in that important endeavor.
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Dr. GINGREY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Washington, Mr. Larsen.
Mr. LARSEN OF WASHINGTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Couple of comments. Seems that some generations may have their forgotten war. Korea has the moniker of a forgotten war of a previous generation and seems, at least perhaps in the minds of the American people, what is going on in Afghanistan is not on the forefront, and we need to be sure that we push that to the forefront because the stakes are at least as high, if not higher, as they are in Iraq.
And for every Karzai, there is a Siopha Fahim, and for every one ANA, there are 10 militia members. And for ever one Pakistani President who is an ally on the war on terrorism, there is a Pakistani President who has slapped the wrist of a serial nuclear proliferator. And for every dollar of disbursed aide, there is a dollar plus produced in the drug trade in Afghanistan. So it is sort of a this and that kind of story in Afghanistan.
There is a lot of work left to do, and we need to be sure that we push the hard work that is left to do out in the minds of the American people, because you need our support, and you need and the American people need to know there is a lot of work left to do there as well.
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I want to ask a few questions about some of that work. Perhaps to General Sharp. We are expecting to accelerate the training of the ANA to 10,000 by the end of this year. Our goal is 70,000, if I am not mistaken. I am quickly doing the math. Does that mean we are going to take seven years to stand up a full national Afghan Army, and what does that mean to our U.S. Troop presence in Afghanistan?
Perhaps for Ambassador Taylor, we have a note in our notes about 1.8 million people registered so far. There is about 20 million people in the country. I am assuming about half are eligible to vote. So 14 to 15 percent of eligible people are registered to vote. Can we realistically get the numbers we need registered by September and get them registered in various areas rather than just in Kabul or Kandahar in order to create a legitimate election with widespread voting in that country? Can that happen by September?
And perhaps for Mr. Rodman, the Washington Post if you saw the Post this morning, the front page is all about Iraq. And if you go to the back, there is a little story about Afghanistan that said there are 40 Chinese-made rockets confiscated in one of the cities, perhaps it was Kabul, and it happened yesterday or the day before. Where are those coming from? How bad is the weapons smuggling in Afghanistan? How big a problem is that combined with the other issues we are dealing with?
Those are the three main questions, and perhaps give us some direction as to the kind of work we need to continue to do to support your efforts in Afghanistan. And start the first question with General Sharp.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General SHARP. Let me start off with your overarching premise. Afghanistan is important. We do have to keep it in front of the minds of the American people. I will tell you it has not lost any focus inside the Pentagon. I attend every single day with the Chairman a briefing he goes through as far as intelligence and operations, and every single day that is briefed to the Chairman and to the Secretary of Defense. As I said also, there are many, many different VTCs with General Barno and the other forces over there. From a military perspective, it is forefront, and we have not lost any priority as far as that goes.
On the Afghan National Army specifically, as you said, right now there are about 8,000 soldiers that are out there more or less, and we are going between the goal between 10- and 12,000 per year. That plan to get us to 70,000 will take us to 2011. We are continuing to assess other ways to improve or accelerate this process as it goes through, and then also concentrating very much on to making sure not only do we have quantity, but we have quality also.
And I think we have seen that in Iraq how important that is not to make shortcuts and make sure that they are properly equipped when they are deployed out there to be able to do that. General Barno is continually assessing whether or not we can speed this up in order to be able to get more forces out there on the field.
Mr. LARSEN OF WASHINGTON. U.S. troop presence implications means
General SHARP. I think the plan that we have right now for forces, as you know, we are at a high of about 17,000 right now partially because of the additional MEU that is in there, and also because of the transition between 10th Mountain and 25th. We will be down into the ballpark of 13, 14,000 by the end of this summer. We will then continuously assess, just like we do in other places around the world, what is needed. It will be a combination of how much we are able to kill the Taliban and the al Qaeda, how much we are able to get both the police, which are critical parts of security there, and the Afghan National Army, get those programs to continue to produce security out in the area, get through the elections in September, and to be able to continue to move this country forward. So it is not, as you know, just a direct equation, more Afghan National Army, less U.S. coalition forces, but that is continuously assessed as we go along many, many times throughout the year.
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Ambassador TAYLOR. Your question on the registration of the voters, your math is about right. We think there is somewhere between nine and ten million eligible voters in Afghanistan, and about 1.9 million now, it has been a little bit forward, have been registered. That is actually on target for the plan. The plan had been to go to eight main cities. And you indicated that it is easier to do it in the cities. And during the winter, the transportation, the logistics of getting to voters in large cities is doable, is feasible. Now that the snows have gone and the passes are open. The U.N. is actually doing the registration and doing a pretty good job. We would like it to be a little faster, but now that they are able to get their teams out into the rural areas, on May 1, on Saturday, is the start of phase two, which would accelerate these teams out into the rural areas, and they expect to be able to over the next, very intense month of May, but they are willing to extend it into June. I believe they are on track for eight, nine, as many as ten million registered voters by the middle of summer.
Secretary RODMAN. Weapons smuggling. I don't have statistics, but this is a country where weapons are plentiful even if new stuff isn't coming in. The gun control is not going to work very well. Our strategy is to defeat military challenges and disarm militias and deal with it strategically. I wouldn't expect to be able to prevent stuff coming in. And the press report I saw is disturbing, and I don't have the details.
Mr. LARSEN OF WASHINGTON. You know a little bit more than me, and that is all I read. Thank you very much.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Minnesota, Mr. Kline.
Mr. KLINE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And thank you very much, gentlemen, for being here. I appreciate your answers.
I want to identify myself with the concerns of my colleagues about the drug trade in Afghanistan, and I applaud any efforts that we are taking to alleviate that problem.
Interesting answer, Ambassador Taylor, about the roads. I hadn't thought of it that way, but it is important that we do what we can do to get rid of that plague.
I just have one question, and I am going to address it to General Sharp. Afghanistan has got this tremendously difficult terrain, high mountains. It is tough to fly in, tough to fight in, tough to move in. And we have learned those lessons over some pretty tough, grinding efforts there. To move around there, we need aviation assets, helicopters. We in the original operation, Enduring Freedom, we used a lot of attack aircraft to great success. How are we configured now to deal with those demands, assets that we are using? Where are they coming from? How long are they there?
And, of course, I have a personal parochial interest. My son is an Army helicopter pilot, and one of these upcoming months, he will be heading that way, at least that is the Army rumor.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Where are we basing these assets, and do we have enough, and what kind of mix are we using? If you could address the overall aviation support for the operation, I would appreciate it.
General SHARP. Yes, sir. You are exactly right, difficult terrain and varying terrain depending on what part of the country you are in. The 25th, of course, and the tenth Mountain were able to bring a lot of their helicopters with them. Right now we are moving in the test force Falcon Aviation Battalion that have approximately 2,200 troops that are part of that brigade that in order to be able to provide both the CH47 attack helicopters and also the UH60 helicopters in order to be able to move forces around.
We also, of course, have air forces in the area also between C130's that are able to do a lot of good things to be able to move forces around, because we are able to build, as you have seen in the paper, some runways out in some pretty desolate areas because of the great capabilities of C130's and C17s that we now have in our force.
We have also, not directly related, have not been directly moving forces around, but also been able to take advantage of the technology of UAVs. Instead of having to move people before, now we can move aircraft, and not only do we gain intelligence, but we are able to do exact strike operations because of that.
The other thing that we are working very hard on is to make sure that we have the forces properly positioned so that we don't have to do as much moving as we have had to do in the past. So although we have headquarters at Bagram, we have a lot of the brigades out in the eastern section, and they are broken down into different sectors with a little bit different command and control than they have had in the past to be able to lay that out.
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So a combination of all of those, according to General Barno, is giving him the ability to be able to get out in the different areas to be able to react as quickly as possible to be able to move through.
I will say that, again, to keep beating my coalition drum, that is one of the deficits that NATO and ISAF has right now is helicopters in country to be able to provide quick reaction, especially up the Konduz where the ISAF PRT is, and try to continue to push, because we are doing some sharing of that responsibility for quick reaction force in medivac right now. Trying to push coalition partners to be able to help out along those lines would also be helpful.
Mr. KLINE. There is a concern that we are stretched too thin as we provide support everywhere. And I am also concerned because of the type of flying is so demanding, we need to make sure we have a program in place that is allowing our air crews to be able to get the training that they need. It is hard to find a more demanding environment to fly in than those kinds of altitudes.
I see my time has expired. Thank you much, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Texas Mr. Turner.
Mr. TURNER OF TEXAS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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Ambassador Taylor, I am going to start with you, and maybe I will call on Secretary Rodman and General Sharp, but I have a great deal of concern about our inability to get our NATO partners involved. You know, we hear this discussion on Iraq, and we all understand the factors involved there, but we are in a position in both Iraq and Afghanistan where we are carrying a larger share of the load than we have seen in recent times.
I remember distinctly when we were about to engage in Kosovo, and on my side of the aisle when you propose something and it ends up in the law, you don't forget it. I remember proposing that our forces be limited to 15 percent of the total operation in Kosovo, and that made it into law, and that is the way it worked. Here we are looking at numbers that are just the opposite. And right after September 11, NATO took an unprecedented action invoking a provision of the charter that said that an attack against one is an attack against all. And I think it is at least clear to me that Operation Enduring Freedom should have been and could have been a NATO operation. But here we are at this late date, we are still trying to persuade our NATO partners to participate.
So it seems that, you know, we are in a position where we think all understand winning this war against terrorism is going to take everybody participating. And clearly, terrorism has proven to be a threat to a large number of our allies as well. So I am struggling, you know.
You mentioned the donors conference; $4.5 billion was committed to Afghanistan for this year, $8.2 billion for three years thereafter. Who are the two largest donors in that group that have committed?
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Ambassador TAYLOR . Clearly we are the first largest. United States.
Mr. TURNER OF TEXAS. How much was our commitment out of the $4.5 billion?
Ambassador TAYLOR. About $2.2 billion.
Mr. TURNER OF TEXAS. Who is the second?
Ambassador TAYLOR. The Asian Development Bank for about a billion.
Mr. TURNER OF TEXAS. So we committed $2.2 billion; Asian Development Bank, $3.2 billion. So that leaves about $1.3 billion for everybody else. What is it going to take to get us where we have a greater participation from our NATO allies? I mean, we have 17,000 troops there today in Afghanistan. General Sharp says it is going to be down to 13,000. We have a tremendous job there.
I heard General Sharp say that Iraq hasn't taken our focus and priority off of Afghanistan. That may be true in terms of the thinking at the Pentagon, but the reality is we have 130,000 troops in Iraq that I suspect had they not been there, they would have been in Afghanistan helping the 17,000 that are there. We clearly have a difficult challenge ahead of us. And what is it going to take to get greater participation?
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Ambassador TAYLOR. Congressman, I would say that it is going to take continued U.S. leadership. When we show the international community that we care about a problem, as we have shown in Afghanistan, both because of our troop deployments, and General Sharp can, as you say, address that aspect on the kind of burden sharing question that you are asking but in particular on the economic side, on the assistance, we have shown by putting our money, your money, your taxpayers' money into Afghanistan, we have shown we care a lot about it. We have shown leadership on this. It is a big commitment.
The Secretary of State spent two days at this donors conference, and that drew other ministers of foreign affairs to that conference. That was the leadership that the United States demonstrated that attracted other support. If other nations see that we care and that we are willing to put our money and our people and our troops in it, then they will come forward. They will come forward in greater numbers than they would otherwise do, which is the measure. If we say we have done enough, and we are going to start phasing down, and you need to do more, then they will say, the problem must not be as serious as it was; they, the Americans, are not putting the same amount of focus on it and attention and resources, and therefore we, the rest of the world, shouldn't either. My strong view is we need to continue to show that leadership in order to get others to continue to follow and continue to put funds, troops and resources in.
Mr. TURNER OF TEXAS. I certainly agree with you we have to continue showing leadership. I am not sure that the sole definition of that leadership is our continued commitment of troops and dollars, because I think that is pretty self evident to the world. I think there must be something else that we need to be doing. I am going to ask a question
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General SHARP. If I can give you one specific as to what we are trying to do. We, on the military side, are trying to work very hard, as you said, to get coalition partners to come in both in Iraq and Afghanistan. We just recently completed with the Polish and Warsaw coalition conference for their sector within Iraq where we brought in all the countries that are thinking about contributing. This week there is another one we are participating in in the United Kingdom. Next week, I am hosting a conference here of my counterparts that we are going to have approximately 60 countries that are going to come and we are going to look at both Afghanistan and Iraq. A two-day conference here at the National Defense University, which is going to lay out for them what we are doing on the ground now, what we kind of see as the future as far as the layout, and what we need for coalition partners for their capabilities to be able to do that.
Those are concrete things the State Department, Ambassador Taylor and his folks hold on a weekly basis for Iraq, bring in all the ambassadors and the defense attaches, brief them on what is going on and what the needs are there. And they do it twice a month for Afghanistan along the same lines.
You are right. We need to continue to push coalition in order to be able to get them to take part of this. The exact numbers are about 17,000 U.S. and 8,000 coalition. So you are about right, two-thirds or one-third, U.S. versus coalition. I think we need to remember, though, that there are other lead countries in Afghanistan doing things out there. It leaves the lead of the judicial reform, Japan, DDR, United Kingdom (U.K.), counternarcotics; Germany with the U.S., the police, different sectors. And then there are other interests that are also in Afghanistan.
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I am not trying to minimize what you are saying, but I do think coalition partners in some sense are stepping up, but we all need to continue to push the global war on terrorism. The President has said you can't opt out of this if you are a country, and everybody has to participate.
Mr. TURNER OF TEXAS. Thank you, General.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from South Carolina Mr. Wilson.
Mr. WILSON OF SOUTH CAROLINA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and Secretary Rodman, and General Sharp and Ambassador Taylor. Thank you very much for your service to out country, and I appreciate being brought up to date on the activities in Afghanistan.
We from South Carolina are very proud that General David Barno, his last command was Fort Jackson. He is well thought of as a West Point graduate in our community. And I just knew he was the right person to serve in Afghanistan, and we are very proud of his service and his troops.
Additionally, I have had the extraordinary opportunity to visit the coalition bases in Uzbekistan and in Kyrgyzstan. It is a dream come true to me to visit former Soviet air basis which are now coalition air bases with C130's and MIG 29s. It just is really a dream come true to see the progress that has been made in Central Asia, and I want to thank you for all that you have done.
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I have another appreciation, too. You were talking about various partners. I am very grateful to serve as the cochair of the Bulgaria Caucus, and I am very proud indeed that the new member of NATO, Bulgaria, has a presence in Afghanistan as they do in Iraq. This is a wonderful step forward to a country that is just 15 years from Communist totalitarianism itself.
I serve as cochair of the India Caucus, and a concern that I need to address, and I need input from all three of you, is how do I reassure our new Indian allies, because we do have a strategic partnership the President announced in January, that in working with Pakistan now as a non-NATO ally, that we, indeed, are serious that when we talk about protection of the borders, we are talking about the borders with Afghanistan; also to stop cross-terrorist activities against India and to include possibly Kashmir. And so, in meeting with my members of the Parliament in India, how can I assure them we are working for a balanced policy to indeed work for a mutually beneficial stable Pakistan and stable India?
Secretary RODMAN. We don't see it as a zero-sum game. We do have improving relations with both India and Pakistan, including in the defense field, and each one is a little bit nervous about what we are doing with the other, but they can judge us by what we are doing with that influence that we are gaining. I think the payoff I mean, it is not the result of our policy, but you see them right now in an extraordinary period. And maybe it is not a coincidence. And we obviously encourage that. We have gained influence with both because our relations with each have been improving. We do our best to make sure that we are not encouraging in any way, including by military relations, a threat that each would pose to the other. We manage it as we see it.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And as I said before, we think President Musharraf represents a moderate course in Pakistan that the Indians have a stake in. If he succeeds, he is pushing back the radical forces in the country. He has made commitments, which he certainly must comply with, to put a stop to the terrorist activity in Kashmir. That is part of his commitment to India and to us, and we want to hold him to that. So we are hoping it is not a zero-sum game and we can manage our relations with both to a constructive end.
Ambassador TAYLOR. Congressman, I would agree. I think that is exactly the policy that we are pursuing and should pursue. It is good relations with both. One does not preclude the other.
General SHARP. I think the only thing I could add, speaking of the relationship, we on the joint staff have joint staff with our equivalents in both Pakistan and India. And the Chairman dialogues quite often with his counterparts to make sure that that balance is there. And when it comes to deciding what goes as far as formal military sales or other equipment, that is all taken into account to make sure that those relationships are there.
Mr. WILSON OF SOUTH CAROLINA. I appreciate every effort because I am very appreciative that India is the world's largest democracy, and America is the old democracy. Just in the last year, the joint military exercises in the United States and India, our air, land and sea, has seen an extraordinary advance. And I hope it can be an advance as you have indicated with India and Pakistan and reassuring to both. And as both of them economically develop at a startling rate, this should be encouraging. And I just want to thank you for what you have done and wish you well in reassuring both of these now allies of the United States. Thank you.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Yield the balance of my time.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Arkansas Dr. Snyder.
Dr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing.
Ambassador Taylor, I will address my questions to you. In terms of the Afghan Army, what is the desertion rate, and how is that going, the retention of the Afghan Army, and what do we pay? What are the members of the Afghan Army being paid? How does that compare to money they might get paid if they were to work for one of the regional commanders?
Ambassador TAYLOR. I will be happy to give you my opinion, and General Sharp will give you the details on that. But addressing your last point, most of these local commanders don't pay very well, if they pay at all. So the pay that General Sharp describes and his people on the ground provide to the Afghan National Army soldiers is regular. It is not extravagant. I think it is $70 a month. It is about that. And when they enter the training center in Kabul, they get one level. It is $50. And when they graduate from that, they get about $70 a month. That is probably a little above average the normal. It is a very poor country, so a lot of people are living on $30 a month, a dollar a day. So this is okay, but not extravagant pay.
Dr. SNYDER. The desertion rate.
General SHARP. The other thing on the pay, because it is related to the desertion rate, when we had a high desertion rate of nine or ten percent back in August of last year, one of the things that we link that toward was the ability for the soldiers to get their pay back to their home city. And we worked very hard to be able to have that mechanism now in place so soldiers can go back and provide for their family, because they have often been moved to get the training and all of that.
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Specifically on the attrition, nine percent in August of 2003. In the time period between January and April of this year, we are down to two to three percent attrition rate. Substantial improvement. And it is both because of pay, and it is because of the conditions that we have been able to put them in as far as better barracks and training to be able to do that. And I think also it is partially because the people in Afghanistan are starting to really accept the Afghan National Army now, and they are being held in pretty high esteem. We continue to get reports from around the country that they are professional and well-liked and accepted by the people of Afghanistan itself. So that in and of itself, I think, is helping the attrition side.
Dr. SNYDER. Going back to the question of funding. I think everybody in the Congress realizes how absolutely it is important for you to succeed. If you, as the man on the ground, had more funding available; there is talk about a supplemental for our activities in Iraq, if you had more money available either for development needs or security needs, could you use the money in a productive way that would hasten the day when we declare our mission there accomplished?
Ambassador TAYLOR. Yes, sir. The demands there are enormous. As several people have indicated, when they visit, they are struck with the lack of infrastructure, with the destruction of the primitive infrastructure that was already there. I mentioned the roads.
Dr. SNYDER. I understand, but I don't want to interrupt you. I want to be sure; are you saying that if you were to get additional supplemental money within this calendar year, that you would be able to put that money to good use in a timely way that would hasten our time when we could declare our mission as accomplished there?
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Ambassador TAYLOR. The more resources and the more reconstruction we can do over the next five years will reduce the overall amount of time it will take to develop the country.
Dr. SNYDER. I wanted to ask, Mr. Ambassador, in terms of your staff, how are you doing with; I mean, obviously, this would be considered a hardship post; How are you doing with your recruitment, with your ability to have the people on the ground that have the kinds of language skills and skills that you need, and with your security?
Ambassador TAYLOR. Let me answer that, but also clarify, our bilateral ambassador in Kabul is Ambassador Khalilzad. He is there now. I am back here. I was on the ground for about 9 months coordinating the assistance that goes in there.
But let me answer your question about attracting people to Afghanistan. It is difficult. It is difficult to get the people willing to go for a year. It is dangerous. You are living on the compound. The U.S. Government employees don't live on the economy. They all live inside the walls of the embassy. We live in shipping containers. I had a half of a shipping container for nine months. Several other people had similar shipping containers. The ambassador, the bilateral ambassador, Ambassador Khalilzad, he is living in a shipping container. It is actually a triple shipping container. He is in a luxurious one.
These are difficult conditions. It is difficult to attract people there. We have very dedicated people serving.
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC You mentioned the language is very important in order to do the job. And to be able to speak to the people, you have to have one of two of the languages spoken there, Dari and Pashto. It is difficult. We have a lot of room for people to fill in there, so we are looking for additional folks to come.
Dr. SNYDER. Mr. Chairman, I don't see any lights. I don't know if I am green, red or yellow right now.
One more question if I might. Mr. Ambassador, if I were an American business person that saw potential opportunities to make money down the line in Afghanistan, and I were to call and say how safe is it for me to drive up and down the streets and go out in the rural areas, me and one of my partners, just to look for venture opportunities, is that a safe thing for them to do? What would you recommend for an American business person that wants to go there and look for possibilities of investment in the future of the Afghan people?
Ambassador TAYLOR. We have to be very honest with people going there. There are dangers there. Our embassy puts out regularly warnings about the threats that they might face. When U.S. Government officials travel outside the city, we go with armed guards. Almost always, we are in armored vehicles of some kind.
So in most of the country, security is pretty good. In the south and southeast where we have the threats that General Sharp and Secretary Rodman have been talking about, there are dangers. This road that we talked about going from Kabul to Kandahar was built in the most difficult part of the country, in the south and southeast, and we had people captured, kidnapped, held. We had guards that we hired also killed.
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This remains a relatively dangerous part of the world, and so we have to be careful about encouraging businessmen to come. They need to come with their eyes open. That having been said, $40 million investment from Hyatt just went in and ground was just broken for a large five star hotel right across from the American Embassy. We will still be in the shipping containers, but there will be a five star hotel for people to come. But I think people have to go there with their eyes open on the security situation.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Connecticut Mr. Simmons.
Mr. SIMMONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. A couple of questions for the panel.
General, you made the statement on page 14 that the Afghan people are enduring the 21st century with a tremendous sense of optimism and determination, and I think the testimony today goes to that point. It looks like our policies in that country have been very successful. Perhaps that is why the coverage is on the back pages of the Washington Post, not the front pages. As somebody who has spent over 25 years in and out of Washington, D.C., I always think it is best to be on the back pages and not the front pages.
How do you account for that optimism and determination? What is it that is different? Is it because the Afghan people in a previous time allowed women to be professionals although they were poor in the 1960's and 1970's when my aunt and uncle were over there with USAID, but nonetheless they were relatively free. They have some recollection of a prior life, or is it something altogether new? And how can we bottle it and ship it around?
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Secretary RODMAN. Let me try my hand at that. This is a country that has come out of a 25 year nightmare, and the last couple of years have seen something brand new, a political process that is moving them in the direction of a normal government, huge amount of international support. I mean, these are intangibles, and I am not an Afghan, and maybe some people are telling us what we want to hear, but they have come out of a nightmare, and there is something positive going.
And I look at the political process as an indicator. The extreme is to try to derail that political process, but they are failing to derail. They are failing to stop the road building that Ambassador Taylor talked about.
So there is something happening, and I suspect Afghans can see something new happening. And sure, there are bad guys trying to block it and obstruct it, but there is momentum including constructing new institutions, political institutions, economic institutions and an army. If I were an Afghan, I would see something very positive happening.
Mr. SIMMONS. I would then say, Mr. Chairman, it seems to me that the commitment that we are making and the leadership that we are showing is paying off, and I think that is very gratifying.
I have a second question, and it can go to any of the panel. I am a Vietnam veteran, and one of the things that was said about the war; I actually served there for over 3 years; one of the things that was said about the war; and our involvement in Vietnam was we did not spend 12 years in Vietnam; we spent one year in Vietnam 12 times. And the idea was that Americans, both military and civilian, they would go over there, do their tour, and come back and go on to other things. And there were no feedback groups or opportunities to learn from those who had been there for that year, so there was no accumulation of knowledge in any substantial way.
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I recently had the opportunity to meet some folks and faculty from the Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, and I asked them what effort is the Army War College making to capture the experiences of our returning military and civilian personnel? And the answer was there was nothing really of an organized fashion going on.
We are now having large numbers of fairly experienced folks rotating back from Afghanistan and from Iraq. What effort is being made to capture those experiences? What feedback loops are there in place so that we can accumulate our knowledge and our understanding of what works and what is successful and discard what doesn't work and what is not successful?
General SHARP. I can start with that. To begin with, as far as the lessons learned from when you rotate from one unit to another, we have learned over time that that takes time in order to be able to do that. From experiences we gained in Haiti, Bosnia and Kosovo, there is a very set and deliberate transition plan of all soldiers that have been there for a while, and these are coming in at a unit level, company or battalion level, and it takes two or three weeks of overlap to be able to do that. And we call that left seat, right seat ride, where the new folks will come in and they will watch for a period of 5 days to a week the old hands to be able to do the job. They will then, if you will, switch seats and do the job themselves with the old folks critiquing them.
We are also, prior to a unit deploying, doing mission readiness exercises, many of them being done in Louisiana at our Joint Readiness Training Center, where we bring in experts who have been in the country, and in some cases we bring in forces and notables from that country in order to go through about a two week training cycle of all the people that are about to deploy. Before I went to Bosnia, for example, we were actually able to bring in some of the leadership from the Bosnian forces, from the U.N. Forces that were there, and to be able to find out exactly what is going on on the ground.
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I think the other thing that has really helped since the Vietnam time is technology itself and our ability to be able to get out to the new troops coming in well before they get there as units instead of individuals, which has also helped to be able to get out the intelligence as to what is really going on on the ground. So the training they do during their workup is much more related and very focused on what they are going to face when they first get in country over there.
General Cote holds his weekly secure video teleconference, which is designed in large part to make sure those lessons learned between theaters are also able to be captured. And then finally, there is a lot of lessons learned from Army lessons learned that are pulling all these back together that both the combatant commanders, General Abizaid in this case, are able to work up to his integrated priority list of materials that he needs in order to be able to work in that process.
So we work very hard. I am little bit surprised at the answer you got from the Army War College, because we work very hard in the military to be able to get those lessons learned not only collected, but properly disseminated to the troops for them to be able to use them.
Mr. SIMMONS. I thank you for that answer. You may want to include them in the loop.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Very informative and encouraging hearing.
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The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Indiana Mr. Hill.
Mr. HILL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Sharp, you mentioned the American troops that are there now is 17,000, and at some point we want to reduce them to 13,000. This past Sunday I was at a send off picnic for about 650 troops that were going to be sent off to Afghanistan. Are they in rotation? And why are they being sent there; do you know?
General SHARP. We are in the middle of a rotation now with the main units, 10th Mountain is deploying out. They have about 40 percent of their troops have already left, and 25th ID with the combat service and combat service support are moving in. I do not have the specifics about where the troops you are referring to, but they are going in, I am sure, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom that will be under the command of General Barno and the 25th ID.
Mr. HILL. I want to go back to Dr. Gingrey's question on the narcotics. Do you believe there is more of a narcotic problem in Afghanistan today than it was when we first invaded?
Ambassador TAYLOR. The numbers would say yes, sir. At the moment, as we speak today, the Taliban still has the record for the largest number of acres under cultivation for opium poppy. However, this year they might lose that record. People will remember that the Taliban did crack down on opium cultivation in ways that democracies don't do, but they did crack down, and they shot people who violated the poppy ban. Some people think it was a cynical effort drive up the price of their stockpiles. But they did succeed with very harsh measures which they are famous for in driving the cultivation down, and it has come up since then.
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Mr. HILL. What is causing that?
Ambassador TAYLOR. I think probably two things. One is the institutions for law enforcement, not the harsh kind of enforcement that we are talking about under the Taliban, but the law enforcement by police, by courts, by criminal justice, are not there. We are in the process. We, the international community, we together with the Afghan Government are putting those institutions into place, but as we have indicated, we are now training police. We are now working on the court system, on the justice system. That is coming. President Karzai has passed both decrees and has made speeches to his people that this is against both his policy and against their religion. But when there is not an alternative, or when they see this enormous disparity between the number of dollars of Afghanis, the number of their currency that they can get by growing poppy compared to what they can get for growing wheat, and they are poor, this is the second poorest country in the world, they are driven in that way.
Mr. HILL. Let me ask another question. We have been told that a lot of this narcotics problem and the profiteering in it is going to fund the terrorists around the world. And it seems to me that there should be a military solution to fighting this narcotics problem that we are having in Afghanistan if they are funding the terrorists. Is the military involved in trying to stop a lot of the narcotics trade?
General SHARP. I can talk to the military. Yes, we are involved. We have, and General Barno and General Abizaid have, given orders to the troops that as you come across caches of drugs, that you will destroy them and report them to authorities.
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HILL. You said something interesting to me though, General. You said as they come across. It seems to me that there is not a strategy or mission of any kind to destroy the narcotics trade in Afghanistan by the military.
General SHARP. The U.S. military, the coalition responsibilities are to do just as I said as they come across. We are not into going out and hunting down to find drugs. There are other programs that Ambassador Taylor can talk about in a minute that are in the process of doing that and linking it to the other parts of the society, because just destroying them is not, as you know, the total solution.
Having said that, we are able to and have destroyed several drug labs, several large caches and amounts of opium and other drugs over the last several months. And so that is what we are doing from a military perspective and from the other perspective.
Ambassador TAYLOR. From the other perspective, it is a multipronged effort. One is right now as we speak, there is an effort to knock down poppy fields. Governors of provinces are responsible in the first phase of this. They have been working on this for a month. We are now standing up, as of Saturday, we will have an eradication force in place out in fields in three provinces, the worst three provinces, again destroying fields. That is number one.
The second, as several people have indicated, General Sharp indicated, the United Kingdom, the British, are leading the effort to support the Government of Afghanistan in this counternarcotics work, and they have set up an interdiction force, well-trained Afghans whose job it is to identify both the traffic routes, the labs and the movements across the borders and within Afghanistan to the borders. And they have had also success, just as General Sharp just indicated.
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And the last piece of it is the work on alternative livelihoods, to get them out, to get the farmers out of growing poppy into growing legitimate crops, but that needs to happen in response to it at the same time the law is enforced. Right now the law isn't in force. There is almost no risk to a farmer for growing poppy, because he is not going to be hauled into court. Those institutions aren't there. So we need to have both. We need to have both the alternative livelihoods and the law enforcement. The law enforcement is coming, and there is support from these paramilitary forces that I just described.
Mr. HILL. Mr. Chairman, my red light is on.
If, in fact, it is true that this narcotics market is funding the terrorists, and the narcotics problem is worse today than it was when we invaded, it seems to me that we need to be doing a better job of somehow coming up with some kind of direct strategy to eliminate this narcotics trade in Afghanistan.
Mr. SAXTON [presiding]. We are going to go to Mr. Ryan next.
Let me follow up on this question because I think it is very important. Apparently the effort, as you mentioned Ambassador Taylor, is being led by the UK. Not long ago some of us were in the UK, and we were talking to our counterparts in the House of Commons on the Defense Committee as well as some intelligence types, and they suggested that perhaps the U.S. could play a bigger role in this part of the Afghan mission. Could you respond to that and tell us what we are doing and what you think about their suggestion?
Page 61 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ambassador TAYLOR. Yes, sir. This year we are putting about $123 million into direct counternarcotics work; several $100 million in addition to that for the work on alternative livelihoods, on agricultural development. On direct counternarcotics work, both the eradication force that I mentioned as well as working on intelligence, working on border patrols, working on communications between these various forces that I described both on UK and ours, that is a significant effort that we have moved up just this year.
Mr. SAXTON. So maybe we are following what they have suggested. We are playing a larger role than perhaps we were six months or a year ago?
Secretary RODMAN. The 2004 supplemental gave the Department of Defense some of the things that Ambassador Taylor mentioned, communications, strengthening border patrol, specialized training for some of the Afghans. So we have a small part of this as well, which is a new element.
Mr. SAXTON. Ambassador, if you will get that information to me, I would love to pass it on to the folks with whom I had this conversation.
Mr. RYAN. Mr. Hill, I think, was very articulate, and I think we do need to be a little more proactive. I think it is silly to have our military there and say, well, if you run across it, I think we need to be proactive in this. And one of the things I read, and I don't know if it is true or not, that there is a German military post in Konduz, and that that garrison has orders not to interfere with any kind of drug trafficking. Is that true?
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General SHARP. There is a German provincial reconstruction team in Konduz, and that team is mainly responsible for in that area working on all the reconstruction projects and security. I find it hard to believe that they have specific orders not to get involved in drug trade.
Mr. RYAN. Could you check that and get back to us?
General SHARP. I will do that.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. RYAN. The UK is overseeing this whole program, I guess, and the Germans are doing some training, and the Italians are organizing the judicial system, Mr. Ambassador, as you said. If that is the number one impediment, that we don't have the proper judicial system, the proper system in place, wouldn't that be something that maybe the Americans would want to take over and set up because we are confident in our own competency to do that?
Ambassador TAYLOR. We are helping the Italians. This lead nation approach, this kind of burden-sharing question that we talked about this morning, is an efficient use of resources in country, but it doesn't mean that other nations don't work on those areas. We have indicated how even though the UK is on the lead in counternarcotics, we are putting $73 million from the Pentagon and another $50 million from the State Department.
Mr. RYAN. I understand that, but if it is not getting done, if this is the major impediment, why are we saying we want the Italians to do it? Why don't we say we want to do it? We will take this over and maybe give them something else that they are better at. We have the best court system in the world. Why don't we set it up?
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Ambassador TAYLOR. It is not a matter of comparing the qualities of the court systems in any country. It is a matter of focusing our resources. It is an international effort, as we have indicated. But you are right. We could move into any or all of these other areas, and judicial reform is an important one. It is also a long term one and going to take some time to develop that institution wherever we go. But we could spread ourselves across all of these areas. We are doing some things.
I would encourage and support our continuing to focus our limited resources. They are large, but nonetheless they are limited on areas right now. We need to help, encourage and push the Italians, and are doing so. But I believe it is a good system to have them in the lead and us encouraging them.
General SHARP. One area that we have expanded is in the police training. Germany has the lead with their programs and moving forward. But most recently through a State Department initiative, because of seeing the need to get more police out on the ground more quickly, we stood up seven regional training centers that have greatly increased the capacity to be able to get police out at that part of the security requirement.
Mr. RYAN. One of the things I read as far as focusing more on the counternarcotics programs is that some of that focus would take away from some of the primary U.S. mission, and, one, is that true; and if it is, isn't the primary U.S. mission to try to defund these terrorists?
And I will ask one more question. Also if we would focus on these labs in Afghanistan that there is a fear that we would drive the labs into Pakistan in which they would continue production there. If that is true, doesn't that signal to us that maybe we don't have enough troops there if this kind of business would easily transfer over into Pakistan?
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Secretary RODMAN. I had not heard the second point. I had not heard that argument being made. The real issue, the other question is what we were discussing just a moment ago. Our military mission is as General Sharp described it. We have not up to now given our military the mission of proactively chasing down the drug trade. Their primary mission has been counterterrorism.
Secretary RODMAN. I think we have expanded, and guidance has being given, as General Sharp discussed, to broaden that a little bit. It is a fact that we have not yet given our military the mission to do what you are discussing.
Mr. RYAN. Why? I am new to this committee. I am new to this kind of analysis here. But it seems to me if terrorists are getting the majority of their money, $25 billion a year, it is a third of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from narcotics, it would seem to me that that would be the first block you would want to remove. I know we are doing that in this country for different fronts, nonprofit fronts, to try to defund the terrorists; and it seems like we are just ignoring this. Like Mr. Hill said, we need to be proactive on this, and maybe it should be part of our mission. I guess the question is, why isn't it?
Secretary RODMAN. Well, a lot of other means that we resorted to in the first instance, including police, you know, training Afghans, doing the other alternative development. I mean, it is a combination of things that we are doing. I mean, any kind of counternarcotics strategy has to include a multitude of approaches; and we have been trying, doing all these other things.
Page 65 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I said the British were given the lead, and over the recent period we have stepped up to supplement what they are doing in the ways we have described.
Mr. RYAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General, if you could get us that information.
General SHARP. Yes, sir.
Mr. RYAN. Thank you.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. SAXTON. I appreciate Mr. Hill's question, and when Ambassador Taylor and the General get us that information, let's get together and look at it and see if in fact we are moving in the direction that you suggest. It sounds like we may be. Would you agree with that, Ambassador?
Ambassador TAYLOR. Yes, sir. We are devoting more resources to the counternarcotics. We are devoting a lot of resources on the law enforcement side, on police, as was indicated; and there is support going into the Italian-led effort on judicial reform. But we have maintained those other nations in leading coordinating roles.
Mr. SAXTON. Thanks.
Page 66 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. RYAN. You know, 80 to 90 percent of the heroin in Europe is coming from Afghanistan right now, so this something I think we should also talk to our allies about.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Taylor.
Mr. TAYLOR OF MISSISSIPPI. Thank you, gentlemen, for sticking around so long, and thank you for your service to your country.
I was looking at the briefing paper where it says that the Afghans have produced 4,000 metric tons of opium this year. I recently had a conversation with a very high-ranking Marine officer who says on his most recent trip to Afghanistan that he flew for substantial periods of time over poppy fields.
I have noticed something and I would like a clarification from you gentlemen who have studied this situation. I thought I had read that toward of end of their rule the Taliban had cut down on opium production and that they had actually tried to make some substantial efforts to limit it. And then surmising, and this is where I need your help, the actions in a fairly lawless place, where you do have old-time warlords, whatever you choose to call them, and often the rule of a gun, that quite possibly some of these warlords sided with us to get rid of the Taliban so they could go back in the drug business. We do know that one of the less fortunate outcomes of the removal of the Taliban has been skyrocketing opium production.
So with that premise, which I will certainly give you every opportunity to refute, since I don't claim to be an expert, just someone guessing, I would ask, what is your opinion, what would be the reaction of these warlords if we made a serious effort to curtail drug production? Would they turn on us the way they turned on, I presume, the Taliban?
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Ambassador TAYLOR. Congressman Taylor, one of the concerns that we have is the reaction of people to the eradication program that I said has begun, led by the governors that will begin on Saturday, on May 1st. We have asked the government of Afghanistan, we have asked the minister of interior, who is leading that effort, for his evaluation of the response, not only the response of those people who own those lands, those fields, but also, more broadly, the Afghan people. What would be their response?
He said, as long as we are going after, with our eradication programs we are going after those big growers, if you will, and a lot of these are the warlords, are warlords, then the people will support it.
This will not be a political problem for President Karzai. We are in a political campaign right now, campaign time in Afghanistan. So his concern is that we do focusas you indicate, we do focus our eradication efforts on warlords, on drug traffickers who lease land, on corrupt government officials, of which they are some who are also in the business. And if we are able to focus on the senior officials and local commanders, then we will both have an effect on those fields, because that is where it is, but also we have support among the people. So there will not be a general instability caused by this eradication program.
Mr. TAYLOR OF MISSISSIPPI. Well, and I heard every word you said, Ambassador, then why haven't we as a nation that spends billions of dollars in Latin America fighting drugs, then why haven't we have been doing that in Afghanistan? In the next couple of weeks and next week, as a matter of fact, there will be votes in this house as to whether or not to send more American troops to Colombia. And the next thrust is drugs. So if we are going to be asked to send, in addition to the billions we have already sent to Colombia, to send young more Americans quite possibly to be put in harm's way in Colombia to fight drugs, then why have we taken such a look-the-other-way attitude in Afghanistan?
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Ambassador TAYLOR. Congressman, I don't think it is accurate to say
Mr. TAYLOR OF MISSISSIPPI. The world's a big place, but the drugs end up in the veins of the same human beings.
Ambassador TAYLOR. It is a terrible threat. It is a terrible threat to the user countries, if you will. But it is also a terrible threat to everything we are trying to do in Afghanistan that we have been talking about all morning. It could undermine, if not successfully fought and not pushed down, it could undermine the economic work that we are doing, the progress on the constitution, on the elections.
So I don't think it is accurate to say we are looking the other way. We recognize this is a big problem. The British recognize it as a big problem. We are working with them and other nations as well, because, as you say, most of that, most of the opium goes to Europe and to the UK. We are focused on it in a very big way.
Mr. TAYLOR OF MISSISSIPPI. Mr. Ambassador, I have had, and he may deny it, a very heated conversation with the Speaker of the House about this when he said the exact same thing, those drugs go to Europe. I am sure our NATO partners would love to hear that those drugs are okay because they go to Europe. Please don't make that mistake in front of me. If we give a flip about our NATO partners, then we don't want their kids poisoned anymore than we want our kids poisoned.
Page 69 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ambassador TAYLOR. Congressman Taylor, I think I said and what I meant to say was that all using nations face this threat; and that is using nations in Europe and other parts of the world, too.
I agree with you. This is a world problem, this is a global problem, and these drugs are threatening all user nations wherever they are. And they are threatening Afghanistan. There is not much use in Afghanistan. There is not much opium use in Afghanistan yet. There could be, but so far there is not. But it undermines the work that we are doing in other ways, and that is why we are focused on it very, very clearly.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. Taylor.
Mr. TAYLOR OF MISSISSIPPI. Mr. Chairman, will you, one more minute.
Mr. SAXTON. Sure.
Mr. TAYLOR OF MISSISSIPPI. General Sharp, one of the things that seem to make the Bosnia mission a bit more bearable was toward the end the predictability for the troops that were going. They were given a substantial amount of time to get their household matters in place and also the predictability of when they were getting back. Obviously, you can't have absolute assurance but at least, should things go okay, predictability of when they would get back to their families. What units have been notified as far as being the next units to go to Afghanistan?
Page 70 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General SHARP. Right now, the Secretary of Defense is working very hard to determine the next rotation, which will go into place about a year from now, next spring. We have worked that in coordination also with the forces going into Iraq. Because what is very important, obviously, is we want to make sure that forces don't go from one theater to another theater.
We have worked that very hard on the National Guard and Reserve side also because, as I said, there is about 2,500 National Guard and Reserve troops that are there right now.
To answer your question specifically, what we are going to do, what we continue to do for the rotations is to try to look two rotations out as far as basically two years out to be able to give them enough notice to be able to do that.
Mr. TAYLOR OF MISSISSIPPI. Can you tell me what units have been notified?
General SHARP. Sir, I do not have that with me right now, but I will get that back to you.
Mr. TAYLOR OF MISSISSIPPI. Do you anticipate a level amount of effort? Do you anticipate having approximately 17,000 Americans there for the foreseeable future?
General SHARP. No, sir, I do not. And as I said
Page 71 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. TAYLOR OF MISSISSIPPI. What do you anticipate?
General SHARP. What we anticipate is, when we get through the surge that we are in right now and get through the rotation where we have overlap between the 10th Mountain and 25th Infantry Division, that by the late summer, early fall time period we will be down into the 13 to 14,000 steady state, which is what we were at before the surge started; and that is what is being planned for future rotations.
Mr. TAYLOR OF MISSISSIPPI. Last question, and I do appreciate you sticking around, on equipment. I noticed with interest the huge swapping out of equipment that took place in late winter, early spring in Iraq. As things wore out, we brought them home to be refurbished. What has been the policy in Afghanistan regarding equipment, the Humvees, the tanks, the helicopters, things that you are obviously putting a lot of hours on?
General SHARP. Sir, we are continuing to focus on the exact maintenance requirements there. We are working very hard to get the up armored Humvees that are required both in Iraq but in Afghanistan, also, so that they could have that later technology with a goalI believe General Schoomaker briefed this committee last nightof about August to be able to get all the requirements for those up armored Humvees into theater.
The maintenance is obviously very difficult in that terrain and to a large degree thanks to the efforts of Reserve and National Guard folks who work a lot of our combat service support requirements that are in theater they are able to keep that up and operational.
Mr. TAYLOR OF MISSISSIPPI. So it is done in theater.
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General SHARP. I am sorry, sir. Say it again.
Mr. TAYLOR OF MISSISSIPPI. You are planning on keeping the equipment that is there in theater and just trying to maintain it in theater rather than swapping it out.
General SHARP. Sir, we do a little bit of both. It depends on what type. We keep a lot of the Humvees there, especially when we get the up armored Humvees. We keep them there and are able to maintain them there.
When you get into some of the command control vehicles, some of the helicopters, because of both maintenance and then familiarity of what you need with your own system especially with the command and control systems, those usually rotate in and out with the units that come in and out.
Mr. TAYLOR OF MISSISSIPPI. Okay. Thank you again.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Mr. COOPER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, gentlemen, for your service to the country.
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I would like to try to understand the hearts and minds of Afghan people. What keeps their young people in particular from using these drugs, if they are widely available and free?
Ambassador TAYLOR. They are not free.
Mr. COOPER. If you grow it on your own farm, it is not free?
Ambassador TAYLOR. What you are doing is you are growing a commodity that is of value, so there is a cost to not handing it to the guy that shows up on the motorcycle to take it to market.
But what keeps them from doing it? One is that is very clearly against their religion. Islam forbids the use of alcohol as well as narcotics. And that is there.
Now, I am told Islam forbids the growing of narcotics, and that is obviously violated. I asked a group of elders, village elders, in part of the southeast that I was traveling through this question, you know. Actually, it was more than elders. It was religious leaders.
I asked them exactly the question you did. Why are you growing it if it is against Islam? And their response was one of them said, ''Well, I will tell you. Eating pork is also against our religion. But we will do it if that is what it takes to feed our children.''
Page 74 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So it is one thingpoverty is one thing that allowsthat encourages them to grow it.
Now I don't fully buy that answer because there are people who are also growing other crops. So there are alternative crops. But they don't provide them the same income that the growing opium poppy does. But so far we have not seen a growth in use of this, and it is a cultural prohibition, I believe.
Mr. COOPER. Apart from religion, is family discipline a factor?
Ambassador TAYLOR. Family discipline is certainly a factor. Tribal discipline is certainly a factor.
On that same patrol that I worked with one of the PRTs in the southeast part of the country, it was about a year ago now, and we were going through a lot of poppy fields, frankly. You could see a lot of poppy growing. It was in bloom at the time. But then we moved into another part of that area and noticed that there were no poppy fields.
We picked up a member of the Mongol tribe, he was taking us to a meeting of the tribal elders. So we traveled through the tribal areas, tribal lands, we kept looking around. There were no poppy fields in the Mongol tribal areas, and we asked him why was this. And he said exactly, he said, ''Because we don't want our children to go into this.''
Mr. COOPER. Tell me about the education of young people there. The madrassas are the primary form.
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Ambassador TAYLOR. No, sir. This is a real success, one of the successes that we are proud of in Afghanistan, and that is the government schools have been able to bring back in large numbers, three million last year, four and a half million this year, students into the government schools, government curriculum. We have supported them with schoolbooks, with equipment, with school buildings. We have farther to go. Four and a half billion is not the full student population. We have farther to go. Over a third of that four and a half billion, four and a half million is female. So the girls are going back as well.
Mr. COOPER. But they are not receiving a Taliban-type education.
Ambassador TAYLOR. They are not.
Mr. COOPER. There is no Islamic extremism in these schools.
Ambassador TAYLOR. There is no Islamic extremism in those schools. I am sure that there is Islamic extremism in nearby tribal areas across the border. I wouldn't be surprised if there were some on the Afghan side of the border. However, the schools are one of the successes.
Mr. COOPER. Tell me about Pakistan. Are they really cooperating with us to the extent that we need their cooperation?
Secretary RODMAN. Well, let me start. The answer is yes, and it is improving.
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The obstacles have been, first of all, terrain, which is horrendous for any military to operate in; and, second, the political obstacles. These are tribal areas where no government has had a military presence until recently. And we have seen the Pakistani government extend its authority as well as conducting military operations. So think it is better than it was before, even though there are still some problems.
Mr. COOPER. Pervez Musharraf was nearly killed with a large bomb attack some months ago. Is the Pakistani intelligence service really pro-western and pro-American and reliable?
Secretary RODMAN. I would say that the leadership of all the military institutions, including intelligence right now, it is people that he has chosen, that he trusts.
We think, again, it is improving. There may be elements in these institutions that are still wedded to an old policy, and we see some signs of that. But I think what President Musharraf and his colleagues are doing is to impose on these institutions the policy that we see.
Mr. COOPER. Would General Sharp view their military action taken against the supposed Zawahiri group to the south as sufficient and adequate?
General SHARP. They have greatly increased their capability. We are continuing to try to help them with both intelligence sharing through border collaboration mechanisms we have and also to be able to help with foreign military sales and foreign military help on equipment for helicopters, for communications and for night vision goggles.
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As Mr. Rodman said, they are in areas that they have never been before and have conducted some successful operations, and we just need to continue to push them in order to be able to do that in the future.
Mr. COOPER. I see my time has expired. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Mr. Skelton, our great ranking member has some final questions.
Mr. SKELTON. Following up on Mr. Cooper's questions, where is bin Laden?
Secretary RODMAN. General Sharp knows.
Mr. SKELTON. You know, that is the reason we went there, to stop the terrorism that he initiated. How close are we to getting him? And, besides that, the Taliban is also resisting our efforts there. They have their own armed forces. How are we doing on this line?
General SHARP. Sir, we continue to work very hard to get Osama bin Laden, and what Pakistan has done recently I think has assisted in that process. We are continuing to focus very closely on being able to do that.
Page 78 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The TalibanI think we have made great inroads into being able to destroy them and continue to do that as we focus on our south and southeast strategy down there. We are making great progress in that in cooperation with not only Pakistan but with Afghan national forces that we have trained and also have employed out there.
Mr. SKELTON. I think it would be very helpful to tell the American people of the successes and the efforts that are ongoing. Iraq is dominating the news. But if we are doing that well, General, it would certainly help for us to know that there are successes in that area.
How close are you getting to bin Laden? And, hopefully, he is in a vice between the Pakistani forces and our forces. How close are you?
General SHARP. Sir, it is tough to say how close we are.
Mr. SKELTON. How close are you to getting his forces?
General SHARP. Sir, we are continuing to be able to destroy both from the Pakistan side and from our side forces of the Taliban and then Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda forces.
Mr. SKELTON. Do they work together, the Taliban forces and the bin Laden forces?
General SHARP. Sir, we have not seen that sharing. I mean, obviously, there has been some information I am sure that has been traded back and forth, but we do not see coordinated attacks by those two elements working together.
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Mr. SKELTON. Are you optimistic about overcoming both of them?
General SHARP. Absolutely, sir. And we are committed to doing that.
Mr. SKELTON. Do you have any timetable for us?
General SHARP. Sir, we will stay as long as it is required in order to be able to win the war on terrorism in Afghanistan and to be able to be successful in the mission that you have given the military over there to be able to destroy the terrorist threat in Afghanistan, both Taliban and al Qaeda.
Mr. SKELTON. General, that is why we are there; and the American people should knowif we are having successes there, I think the American people should know more about it.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Gingrey has some final questions and the gentleman from Georgia.
Dr. GINGREY. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much; and General Sharp, Secretary Rodman, Ambassador Taylor, thank you very much for giving us 3 hours of your time and allowing me to ask one final question. It has been a great hearing. I think I have learned a lot, and I think my colleague have as well.
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I want to kind of reassociate myself with this concern that was expressed by me earlier and then from a number of members from the other side of the aisle; Mr. Taylor, Mr. Hill, Representative Ryan, concerning this issue once again of the drug situation. I think if the Taliban did anything good, it was that they shut that down. And I think one of you mentioned that we as a country, were not willing to take the same tactics that they have taken in regard to somebody was breaking their ban on growing poppy and drug trade, they just shot them. So they didn't have too many people willing to take that risk, and so they were successful in doing that.
Now I am not suggesting we do that. But it was kind of interesting to me, in reading through the material in preparation for this hearing, that we have decided to give the control of the drug situation, counterdrug operation, turn that over to the British; and I guess by virtue of that they would be in control of the $123 million we have committed to that effort. We give that control to the British; I guess the strongest drug that they have had to deal with is extra strong tea, and yet we turn the creation of the judicial system over to the Italians.
And I am old enough to remember the television series The Untouchables and what is the one that is on now? It would seem to me that the Italians might have a little bit more expertise in regard to counterdrug activities, without being disparaging to them, and certainly the British system, their judicial system is probably the greatest system in the world. Why didn't we turn the creation of the judiciary over to the Brits and the counterdrug activities over to the Italians?
Secretary RODMAN. Well, I was going to say, just summing up this whole discussion of counternarcotics, that I would turn the discussion around. At the beginning, we turned to these other countries, capable countries to take the lead in counternarcotics, police training, judicial reform. Since then, we have stepped in in all of these areas, the United States, the State Department and some limited role for the DOD in the counternarcotics. Since the beginning, we have stepped in for the reasons that we are all discussing to supplement what others are doing, to take over the pieces of it ourselves because we have resources and capabilities to supplement what others were doing. So that is where we are. That is the direction in which things have moved, precisely because we have had concerns about the results.
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Ambassador TAYLOR. I would echo that exactly. We talked about how we have put additional resources into the counternarcotics work, where those resources don't go to the Brits but they are coordinated with British efforts. So we have parallel efforts.
Indeed, this eradication program to try to knock down 25 percent of the fields that are growing poppy in Afghanistan today, the British have put funds in, and they are funding an effort run by the governors. We are putting funds in to stand up a central eradication force that will be there this year and will be there again next year. In other words, we are building an institution that can fight that. But those are parallel efforts, not handing it over to the British to do that. Similarly on the police that General Sharp mentioned earlier.
Dr. GINGREY. Mr. Chairman, if I may just make one final statement. I know my times expired, and I appreciate your indulgence.
But I just think that, as was alluded to by some of my other colleagues, maybe we are just not doing quitewe are not being quite as sufficient as we need to be. And we need toI realize the concern about winning the heart and soul and minds of the people and all of that, but we need to stop this.
And you know, the roads are good. That is great. I am glad to hear about that. That was a good explanation, Ambassador Taylor, that you gave us about that. So they can get their other crops to market and gain a greater rate of return. But know, in the meantime, in the interim you know maybe we need to be kind of like an agricultural program in this country where we for years paid farmers not to grow a certain crop, grow crops that were hurting the market. I mean, you know, maybe we just need to give them more incentive as we get to the point where they can sustain themselves.
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You talk about pork and that sort of thing. I mean, you know, they have got to eat. I think our attitude toward this may be a little bit too soft.
And that is all, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much, Mr. Gingrey.
Mr. Secretary, Ambassador Taylor, General Sharp, thank you for the significant amount of time that you have spent with us this morning and for your candor and frankness in answering our questions. Some of the expressions of concern that you heard from the members comes as a direct result of the intense interest and desire to be successful, for you to be successful that we have, and so we look forward to working with you on the issues that you have helped us outline here today. In particular, we look forward to the details on the counterdrug, counternarcotics program that you explained to us in general generalities.
So thank you. We appreciate it.
The hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 11:30 a.m., the committee was adjourned.]