SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10828]
OPERATIONS AND RECONSTRUCTION EFFORTS IN IRAQ
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS
JUNE 17, 2004
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
One Hundred Eighth Congress
DUNCAN HUNTER, California, Chairman
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCCURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
HOWARD P. ''BUCK'' McKEON, California
MAC THORNBERRY, Texas
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
HEATHER WILSON, New Mexico
KEN CALVERT, California
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
ED SCHROCK, Virginia
W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
JEFF MILLER, Florida
JOE WILSON, South Carolina
FRANK A. LoBIONDO, New Jersey
TOM COLE, Oklahoma
JEB BRADLEY, New Hampshire
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCROB BISHOP, Utah
MICHAEL TURNER, Ohio
JOHN KLINE, Minnesota
CANDICE S. MILLER, Michigan
PHIL GINGREY, Georgia
MIKE ROGERS, Alabama
TRENT FRANKS, Arizona
IKE SKELTON, Missouri
JOHN SPRATT, South Carolina
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
LANE EVANS, Illinois
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
MARTY MEEHAN, Massachusetts
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
JIM TURNER, Texas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
ROBERT A. BRADY, Pennsylvania
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
SUSAN A. DAVIS, California
JAMES R. LANGEVIN, Rhode Island
STEVE ISRAEL, New York
RICK LARSEN, Washington
JIM COOPER, Tennessee
JIM MARSHALL, Georgia
KENDRICK B. MEEK, Florida
MADELEINE Z. BORDALLO, Guam
RODNEY ALEXANDER, Louisiana
TIM RYAN, Ohio
Robert S. Rangel, Staff Director
James M. Lariviere, Professional Staff Member
Justin Bernier, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Thursday, June 17, 2004, Training of Iraqi Security Forces
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Thursday, June 17, 2004
THURSDAY, JUNE 17, 2004
TRAINING OF IRAQI SECURITY FORCES
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
Petraeus, Lt. Gen. David H., [Delivered Via Teleconference], Commander, Office of Security Transition
[The Prepared Statements can be viewed in the hard copy.]
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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.]
TRAINING OF IRAQI SECURITY FORCES
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Thursday, June 17, 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. General Petraeus, good morning.
General PETRAEUS. Good morning, Mr. Chairman. Good to see you.
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The CHAIRMAN. We will go ahead and fire up here and talk for just a second here, and then we will ask the Ranking Member, the gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Skelton to say a few words, and then we look forward to your statement. But thanks for being with us.
This morning, the committee continues its examination of Operation Iraqi Freedom by focusing on an issue of great interest to the committee and the American public in general, the training of Iraqi security forces. In less than two weeks, the Iraqi people will assume responsibility for their government. While they no longer suffer from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, there is yet much work to be done to achieve democracy and prosperity. Securing Iraq is a first step on this path.
Today Iraq has over 225,000 security forces personnel on duty and in training, just some 35,000 short of its requirement. This number includes Iraqi police, border enforcers, a civil defense corps, facilities protection services and a small armed forces.
So far the results are positive. The Iraqi Civil Defense Corps (ICDC) is conducting joint patrols in Iraq with other coalition forces and Iraqi police forces. Soon the ICDC will be equipped with additional vehicles, body armor, uniforms, radios, weapons, ammunition, night vision and binoculars. Through this on-the-job training and upgrades, Iraqis will be able to assume more and more security responsibilities on the ground.
Tangible results may already be in the making. For instance, the Department of Defense tells us that Fallujah has remained quiet with no violations of the cease-fire since May 3, and the confrontations with al-Sadr's militia have declined recently.
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To give greater detail about the training of Iraq's security forces, our witnesses this morning are from Iraq via teleconference, Lieutenant General David H. Petraeus, Commander, Office of Security Transition; and before us, Brigadier General Kevin J. Bergner, Deputy Director For Political Military Affairs in the Middle East from the Joint Staff.
Due to technical limitations, we only have the video teleconference link for one hour, and we are going to try to make the best of that.
Welcome to the committee, gentlemen. We look forward to your testimony and appreciate your appearance, virtual and real, before the committee this morning. And before we fire up here, General Petraeus, let me ask my partner, the committee's Ranking Democrat Mr. Skelton for any remarks he would like to make.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hunter can be viewed in the hard copy.]
STATEMENT OF HON. IKE SKELTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MISSOURI, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you, and special thanks for having this very important hearing for us. By the way, General Petraeus, that third star sure looks good on you. Well deserved, and we are very, very pleased.
General PETRAEUS. Thank you very much, sir, and I remember your visit to us back up in Mosul very fondly, and great to see you again, even virtually.
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Mr. SKELTON. We opened up that refinery together, didn't we?
General PETRAEUS. We did, and since then the asphalt refinery is also producing. So we need to get you back here and let you see 200 tons of asphalt being produced everyday.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, in light of the time constraint, let me welcome General Petraeus, General Bergner. I ask that my statement be put into the record as is. I am concerned about the potential Iraqi Armed Forces, particularly those that refuse to fight in Fallujah. And I ask unanimous consent that my statement be put in the record.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Skelton can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. And, General Petraeus, we will let you get right to it. Thanks for being with us. Obviously the success of this operation is going to be dependent upon on great, talented leadership in our military. And, General Petraeus, we have a lot of great and talented leaders, and I think it is clear that your talents have been appreciated. You have done some great stuff over there, and we are looking for you to do a lot more stuff, and starting up this Iraqi military is a very key element to the hand-off.
So have at it, sir. And if our video goes on the fritz, General Bergner stands ready and able to stand in for you. He is a good warm body in front of us right now. And we know we got that communication link down, so thanks for being with us, and tell us how it is going over there.
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STATEMENT OF LT. GEN. DAVID H. PETRAEUS [DELIVERED VIA TELECONFERENCE], CHIEF, OFFICE OF SECURITY TRANSITION
General PETRAEUS. Thanks, Mr. Chairman and Ranking Member Skelton. It really is a pleasure to be here.
Sir, overall the roller coaster that is Iraq is ascending, although there are clearly bumps on the tracks on a daily basis as the daily sensational attacks seem to take place. I have been back here about two weeks now. Took over the day after I got back.
The security transition piece in Iraq with the Ministry of Defense, and the Ministry of Interior, and the Army, and the police and all the other elements that you mentioned is a hugely complex task with no easy solution, but the investments that have been made and the efforts that have been put in are now starting to show, and I believe that they will do so over the coming year.
Just today, in fact, I was out at the Kurkush military training base northeast of Baghdad and the Taji base north of Baghdad. Great activities out there. Some 400 new Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO)s were graduated today at the military training base. Over in Jordan today, some 800 officers graduated from the Jordanian Air Force Military Academy, and that provides us the remaining officers out of that academy, for example, for the rest of the Army divisions.
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In general, sir, I think you could say that the investments and the efforts over the past year, particularly in recent months, are about to reach a critical mass where we are very hopeful there will be a chain reaction where we will see the acceleration in the development of Iraqi security forces that we have all been looking forward to. As I mentioned, the training bases have now been well established. The infrastructure is generally built. And we will be working very hard over the coming months to start setting up the forces that will be deployed for success. The initial of those will be the initial battalion of the Iraqi National Task Force, a division within the Army that is established, trained and equipped for urban counterinsurgency operations. And Prime Minister Allawi and the Minister of Defense in one of their earlier decisions in the security arena directed the deployment of that element to southeast Baghdad at the end of this month when it completes its training.
There are also, as you already mentioned, Mr. Chairman, numerous ICDC units, police units, border police and others, who are doing good jobs, but as you also noted, there are a number of areas where we have got to improve and that we clearly took a lot of lessons out of the experiences in early April where there were some forces that refused to fight and others that did not do well, even as in the north in Basra and Hilla and other places. They did indeed equip themselves quite well.
Sir, this is playing out in an environment that is producing guarded optimism fostered by the new the interim Iraqi Government leaders who are very much demonstrating leadership already. I heard guidance from Prime Minister Allawi yesterday. In fact, we have to go back to him tomorrow with a coordinated U.S. rather coalition-Iraqi recommendation to him on how to incorporate these ICDC battalions, these 45 battalions that have been organized, equipped and trained by the divisions of the coalition forces; how to connect them to the emerging Iraqi National Command Authority in the form of the Ministry of Defense and the joint headquarters.
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The commander of the army was with me today when we visited those two bases, as was the four-star senior advisor to the Minister of Defense. The commander of the Armed Forces is a former military officer, a Sunni who never joined the Baath Party. The Minister of Defense and Minister of the Interior have been in their jobs about two days longer than I have. They are growing into their jobs, getting a handle on the complexity of their respective positions. They are already making decisions, the Minister of Defense's decision with the Prime Minister to commit the initial elements of the Iraq National Task Force to southeast Baghdad. In addition to that, they are also directing the deployment of Iraq Civil Defense Corps units in Baghdad to help the 1st Calvary Division secure the road to the airport. They are courageous individuals, and in many cases their safety is in jeopardy, but they are not flinching even as there are nearly daily attacks by those who don't want the new Iraq to succeed.
As I mentioned to you on the phone the other day, we have a plan to obligate approximately $3 billion of the Development Fund Iraq (DFI) money; that was about a billion dollars, and then of the $2.5 or so additional billion that was in the supplemental. So in other words, we will commit the billion of DFI and about $2- of the $2.5 billion of the supplemental Iraqi reconstruction funds by the end of June. A lot of this has already been obligated. Virtually all the rest has been committed.
The contracting process here now, which you will recall when Congressman Skelton visited the north that we were hoping would get in high gear, is very much into high gear. In fact, it is in overdrive. Brigadier General Steve Reeves of the Army contracting community and a great team had really helped that process, and it is working very, very well.
Page 13 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I do think it is important in these days, sir, and even as the daily sensational attack goes off, to keep our eyes on the horizon and to remain, if you will, determined and steadfast, because as I mentioned, we are climbing. The roller coaster is ascending. This is like a supertanker, and what we are trying to do is gather momentum. And we now have, as I mentioned, the Iraqi Interim Government. And that is just tweaking the course, but generally continuing to play, although again, Prime Minister Allawi has some very good ideas about how to connect the ICDC battalions and incorporate them into the army by retraining headquarter structures. But we owe him options on that tomorrow, and it would be premature to go into too much more on that.
I just got back from Taji and Kurkush, again 463 Iraqi NCOs. That is the fourth class to graduate from the NCO Academy there. That is also a terrific piece of infrastructure that has been built over the last year. We have 843 officers graduating in Jordan. Those are company grade officers, lieutenants and captains, and also field grade staff officers, and also future battalion brigade commanders. We had 54 Iraqis just graduate from the Dignitary Protection Service training that is going on, 50 more in class, 300 more by the end of the summer, likely growing to the number of 900.
A lot of great things going on in the major subordinate commands where the ICDC concept was changed as a result of the experiences in April at a conference on 4 May when I was back here doing an assessment for General Abizaid. Regional training academies have been instituted; standardized programs of instruction and close relationship between the coalition forces and the ICDC units. And we saw that the other day. And we saw that in Saddam's former hometown, Tikrit, where we watched a Primary Leader Development Class (PLDC), of sergeants, 240 of them graduated. And again, we had the leadership of the Iraqi Armed Forces with us.
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We do have on the police side, the international police trainers and the international police advisors, a number of them on station now, 287 police advisors in Iraq. That will go to 500 this summer. There are 63 police trainers in Iraq. That will grow to over 200. And there are some 326 police trainers in Jordan from 15 different countries where they are running the police academy that, together with the police academy from Baghdad, as they are expanded by the midfall, will be producing some 5,000 trained police officers every 10 weeks.
To give you a very quick snapshot on the military side, the Iraq National Task Force, the initial battalion of that will be ready by the end of June. It will be deployed into Baghdad. All three battalions will be ready by the end of July. The commander of the army and I met with the leadership of these organizations today and have been in training for months. And we met with the advisor support teams that are with their coalition members, and they believe that they will be ready.
We will obviously do all that we can to set them up for success in terms of training, preparation, equipping and so forth. We are hardening their vehicles just as we hardened coalition vehicles, putting armed machine gun mounts in the back. And we will do a cold walk-run approach with them when they enter their area of responsibility at the direction of the Prime Minister.
Iraq Armed Forces, there will be 2 divisions, 6 brigades, 18 battalions. We will see the first battalion of that by July. All the rest of the 18 will be done by about February of next year. We slid the final two to make way for a new initiative by the Minister of Interior, which we think is very important, and that is creating a high-end element in the police in what is called a Civil Intervention Force. And I will talk a bit about that in a moment.
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Sir, there is also a small Iraqi Special Operations Force that is already operating now with our Special Forces that we are going to add to that a Ranger-like or commando like battalion, perhaps built on the 36th ICDC battalion, which, you will recall, did fight in Fallujah where it lost 2 of its soldiers and had 16 wounded, including its deputy commander.
On the ICDC, it is our expectation that the 45 battalions that are in the field right now are organized; some going through initial training, and a number of others already operating at full strength and very effectively, as you mentioned. In our old area, in the 101st, as Congressman Skelton saw when he was up there, they took over from us, for example, the security of the five ammo dumps. The border police had already taken over the security of the border in that particular area, and that is something we need to do for the whole country.
I believe the ICDC may expand somewhat and may go as high as 51 battalions. That is what the major subordinate commands would like, and I think that that will be the direction we are heading. And we owe Prime Minister Allawi a coordinated U.S.-Iraqi position on how to link these battalions that have been built at the bottom to the structure that is being built at the top, so that as it comes down, there is, in fact, a command-and-control linkage that is effective and under Iraqis.
Sir, switching to the police, as you mentioned, a large number of them on duty. The truth is there are too many of them on duty. They are about 90,000. They have about 120,000 on the payroll. Obviously need to trim this, and we are in fact going to do that. Prime Minister Allawi supports the use of Development Fund Iraq money for that, from $60 million most likely as a severance pay concept, and also probably going a bit farther than that to create the head room for the additional police officers that are coming out of the academies now.
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The Civil Intervention Force, high-end police going to form two battalions of public order, and three battalions for riot control growing to nine over time. We are going to actually use military bases to train these because we have the infrastructure there now. We have large military bases that are either completed or nearing completion throughout the country that provide us the flexibility in the training arena, and that will help in that regard.
Border police is an area of concern. There are about 18,000 in the border enforcement. We are taking a hard look at this function, the same way we did at the ICDC. We need to look hard at the strategy and do simple things like firming up the border and then getting technology into the official border crossings so we can X-ray vehicles, smell gunpowder, and identify fraudulent documents, having watch lists and so forth, and have connectivity between the border crossing locations and the provinces and in Baghdad.
The Facility Protection Security Force is another large organization, some 70,000 of them. They do not include oil infrastructure police or the electrical police, but we did learn some lessons there in early April. We need to keep province-level brigade commanders with a small headquarters training base, and they essentially need to have us. The corporate headquarters for these ministry activities have hired these guards from them, and although the ministry paid the salaries, we need these brigade commanders to just be constantly going around their location all day everyday, essentially spinning plates, as we call it, ensuring standards are in force, and ensuring there is adequate force protection and so forth.
We are working hard in terms of literally building Iraqi security institutions. A lot of what I have talked about has been done at the bottom, been done by either the major subordinate commands of the coalition force or by coalition trainers and now recently by Iraqis. What we have to do now is assist also with the establishment of the institutions that will control these forces. The Ministry of Defense is now in its headquarters. It was refurbished right inside the edge of the Green Zone. There is a joint headquarters that is forming. As I mentioned, there is a commander of that force. The staff is getting in place and building operation centers and so forth. And we are also going to assist, along with a number of civilian members of the organization here, in the process of their developing a national security strategy, joint U.S.-U.K, a coalition effort. That will also help as they come to grips with the roles and missions of the various elements of the Iraqi security forces, and, of considerable importance, determine how the coordinating mechanisms and chains of command of the relative forces should be established and should function.
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The equipment is flowing. It is not flowing fast enough yet, but it is starting to come in. We are already, for example, able in the case of Najaf last week, when it was clear that we needed to shore them up somewhat, although they are actuallywe see that as a successful endeavor right now. We sent 41 vehicles, 24,000 rounds of ammunition, 2,900 batons, 545 holsters, hundreds of uniforms. And then the 1st Armored Division added heavy machine guns and Rocket Powered Grenades, (RPG)s. We are working very hard to ensure that the security forces do have the equipment they need, and that they are not outgunned by the bad guys.
Sir, we are also working hard, frankly, to identify emerging requirements. There are some of these coming along. The militia integration announcement the other day identified some areas that we may well need some additional resources. The divisional brigade headquarters for the ICDC is not something in the original plan. I mentioned the Director of Border Enforcement. There are probably some additional infrastructure issues that are going to come out of it desired by Prime Minister Allawi and the Minister of Defense to be able to move their forces around.
All of these forces you would love, frankly, your committee, because you have never seen an army or a police force with a higher tooth-to-tail ratio. These are all folks with rifles and bayonets in their hand for the most part. It is only now that we are building the headquarters and the support structures and the so-called combat multipliers, and as we do that, as that process carries on, we are identifying some additional requirements.
We are also working hard with the Iraqis to determine their ability to fund their own budget beyond salaries. That is an effort between the two ministries to which we give the most attention in the Ministry of Defense. Right now it looks half of the money alone is going to go to salaries, and so we will have to see what they are able to do in terms of capital investment as we go along.
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Let me sum up by saying again, this is an enormously complex endeavor. It is a supertanker, not a speedboat. We think it is about to get the course charted that the new government buys into and, in fact, has had considerable input on, as I mentioned. Prime Minister Allawi laid out a clearly articulated and concise statement of strategic desires in the security force arena yesterday when he met with Department Secretary Wolfowitz, Mr. Tibbits from the U.K., the Polish representative and others.
We are working hard to try to protect Iraqi leaders. That is a very, very tall order beyond the immediate principals. There is undoubtedly going to be continued violence and a continuation of sensational attacks, but paradoxically right now, at least in recent weeks, the number of attacks on coalition forces has decreased noticeably. Again, sir, we have to keep our eye on the horizon and keep our shoulder to the wheel and keep pushing, because it is a long, hard slug, but we are about to see the chain reaction begin, and that is going to help with the development of Iraqi security forces in the coming months.
Sir, that concludes the opening comments and now welcome the opportunity to address any questions that you will have.
The CHAIRMAN. General Petraeus, thank you for an excellent overview, and let me just ask one brief question and then move to Mr. Skelton. The cornerstone of this new Iraqi military is going to be leadership capabilities of your NCO and your officer corps. You mentioned the graduations that are taking place, some today and some in the near future, in the academies for both officers and enlisted personnel. Are you personally satisfied with the quality of the training for the NCOs and for the officers? Could you comment on that?
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General Bergner, this may be your opportunity. Are you personally satisfied with the quality of our training?
General BERGNER. I was making sure his mike wasn't going to come back on.
General PETRAEUS. Can you hear me now, Mr. Chairman?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
General PETRAEUS. We are back on, sir?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
General PETRAEUS. The answer to your question is yes. We obviously are not conducting as lengthy and as comprehensive training as we would in the United States. What we are doing is trying to do as much as we can and yet still get security forces to the field as quick as we can. So there are these two tensions. There is one that is pulling us to accelerate, and there is another that says don't rush to failure, and we are trying to find the right approach in there, and think we have that.
And one of the techniques we use is when we do, in fact, put forces in the field, to employ them in the situations where they can get operations under their belt, really develop confidence, experience and competence before they have to go into something that is really high end.
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Were you able to hear that, sir?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. Thank you very much.
And Mr. Skelton.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, let me pass at this moment, and I will come back at a later time and ask my questions.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Arkansas Dr. Snyder.
Dr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you, General Petraeus, for being with us this morning. I was struck by the poll results that came out a few days ago, and the question that was asked to Iraqis was, ''do you think it is likely that the Iraqi police and Army will maintain security without the presence of coalition forces?'' And the answer on this poll was that 62 percent said very likely, and 29 percent said somewhat likely. And so if my math is right, about 87 percent of the Iraqi people believe that the Iraqi police and Army will be able to maintain security without the presence of coalition forces.
What seems like a great opportunity, as you are describing it, and I was struck by what you just said in response to the Chairman's question, that you want to be very careful about, in your words, a rush to failure, because this public opinion, when it comes to security, could change pretty rapidly. Do you have any comments on this kind of opportunity? I know you were quoted the other day as saying it is not important that Iraqis love America.
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General PETRAEUS. Sir, that is right. Iraqis do have an enormous national feeling of pride in their army, the institution of the army, as it existed, which they see as having saved them during the Iran-Iraq war, which suffered terrible casualties during that particular war. The police, again, source of pride for the Iraqi people. And there certainly is a sense of national pride that frankly surprised all of us when we came here back in the very beginning.
As you recall, when I was up in the north, for example, I was surprised how proud they were of their country despite the fact that they had endured 35 years of Saddam Hussein and in a sense that they had put up with this. They also do believe that they ought to be the Middle Eastern version of Japan. They are keenly aware of the incredible resources they have not only in oil, but also in water and sulfur and, frankly, even in human capital. So there is an optimism in Iraq, although there is a tremendous impatience in their culture that is also at play.
I do think, Dr. Snyder, that it is an opportunity. It is one that we have to make the most of. And again, we have to balance these conflicting desires between getting out there right away; there is enormous enthusiasm for doing something right now, but the capability to do additional somethings is a bit limited. And so what we have got to do again is do what we can with those forces that we have, employ the additional forces as they come on line, strengthen those that are out there.
To give an example, as we saw with the Najaf police the other night, keep the police advisors, keep the very close links with the coalition, but also, frankly, sir, increasing the deferring to the Iraqis because they are actually taking charge. Make no mistake about it.
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The other thing, you know, sir, I never thought it would be a light switch. It certainly is not. You know, again, in various places of the country, with transition, various security tasks; the fact that the 101st Airborne Division was replaced by a force less than one-third its size just meant that Iraqi security forces had to pick up the slack, and some 20,000 of them up there that were trained by our forces indeed did just that.
So we are aware of this public support for them, sort of this optimism about what Iraqis can do. And again, what we need to do is play on it and build on it, but set the Iraqis up for success as much as we can. And we think the increasing flow of equipment that is starting to come in now is going to help us do just that.
Dr. SNYDER. General, I wanted to ask two specific questions, and one of them is with regard to equipment. This committee has been frustrated over the last year with hearing from constituents that have troops overseas and their difficulty in both Active and Reserve components getting the equipment they need. And it is a bit discouraging to hear that you are still having problems as of this date of getting the kinds of equipment that you need for putting these Iraqi troops and police in the field.
My specific question is what went wrong? I suspect that must be frustrating to you that you are dealing with this flow of equipment. My specific question is what went wrong, and is there anything the Congress needs to do to help you correct it?
My second question is I think we have one of my Arkansas constituents, Lieutenant General Crocker, I think, is involved in training as a contractor. What role are contractors playing in this training? And how are you maintaining accountability over their work product and the amount of money going to contractors? He is a great man. Thank you, General.
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General PETRAEUS. Let me start off with the great George Crocker, because I was a brigade commander for him in the 82nd Airborne Division when he was All American 6, the Commander of that great organization. In fact, I was just out at the base where is or was, because he is about to leave, and that is a sign of the times. The Grinnell Corporation, which he headed the element of here, did a tremendous amount to set up the Kurkush military training base, to establish the infrastructure, literally the training ranges, the courses, the programs of instruction and all the rest of that, and they have just handed it off. They are going down right now, and I think he leaves in another day to two.
We have contracting officer representatives and the usual oversight mechanisms for them, sir. By all accounts they did a great job out there and under pretty austere circumstances last year when they were out there. It was a very, very long, hot summer for General Crocker and his comrades.
Sir, let me go back to the equipment. We were all frustrated about that. Of course, we were sitting up in the north. Thank you for providing the funds you did when you did, because those are the critical bridge to us. Remember the Commanders' Emergency Reconstruction Program money that allowed commanders to fund things on the spot. There were good mechanisms and doublechecks, but that helped enormously. And that is how we equipped the Iraqi security forces early on, and still in large measure in the case of the ICDC, and to a lesser degree the police.
I honestly don't know what went wrong, Congressman, other than that the capacity of the contracting operation here certainly was not what it needed to be. As I mentioned during the opening statement, though, that is absolutely an idea right now. And again, the Secretary of the Army deserves a great deal of credit for essentially volunteering to take that commission on. He took an existing organization and essentially threw it at the mission. And their professional, Brigadier General Steve Reeves is working round the clock for his team, and they are obligating money at an incredible rate right now. Really, in the last several months, by the end of June, we have obligated nearly 3 billion for Iraqi security force training, equipment and infrastructure. And I think that probably answers that, sir.
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The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Colorado Mr. Hefley.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you very much, and thank you, General, for being with us.
The training, the equipment, all, of course, is very crucial and very important to the Iraqi security forces, but it appears to me that even a bigger problem is a cultural change that you must bring about in them. The police and maybe to a lesser extent the Army, I would think, have been instruments of suppression and instruments of Saddam Hussein's control of the country. Do you find this in the officer corps and in the noncommissioned officers and those that you are training in leadership positions, that they still have some of that old negative culture, or are you able to teach them that they need to have the proper attitudes toward their role and toward the people; that their job is not to suppress; that they are servants of those people, and their job is to keep them safe and secure? Can you speak to that at all?
General PETRAEUS. I can. And I can say when we came up, when we were up in the north and tried to stand the police back up, it was a real revelation the day that we realized that these individuals were not in the past conducting Western policing, if you will; that they played a very minor role. The heavy lifting was done by thugs, the Baath militia, Fedayeen, the secret police and so forth, and there was a tremendous amount of corruption because the pay was miniscule, and they augmented it in a variety of different ways.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC To be honest, some of this is going to take generational change, although the idea by Prime Minister Allawi to thank the number of police that are serving now particularly in the upper ranks for their service, to give them a severance arrangement and offer them the opportunity to return home will help in that regard while retaining some. There are leaders like that out there. It took us three tries, but we got one up in the north. A police chief has now survived about eight assassination attempts. He took three rounds to the leg, lost two of his bodyguards, and his aide was wounded. I personally presented a Purple Heart to him. It was the first man in the province to receive it.
Since then we returned there a couple of times for memorial services, at which the real martyrs in Iraq, and those are the security forces who were dying for the country, not the people blowing themselves up, the real martyrs were honored. In our area, I can't speak to the rest of the country, but in our area up in the north, I can tell you that in the final few months that we were up there prior to mid-February, that the police and Iraqi security forces were taking more casualties than we were. They were out front, they were getting shot at and were shooting back.
Nonetheless, there is a culture, as you know, Congressman, that has to be changed. It is why we are putting so much emphasis on the academies, on finding the good leadership. It is not easy, and it is something we have to keep our nose to the grindstone on and continue to pursue. The police advisors do help a great deal, especially now since the security environment generally allows them to get to the stations, which was not the case in a number of places in the country in the early April to probably early May time frame.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you very much.
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The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Mississippi Mr. Taylor.
Mr. TAYLOR. Good morning, General. Thank you very much for your valuable time and for what you do for our country.
I have been concerned for some time about the enemy's use of improvised explosive devices and, unfortunately, their success at using those devices. Again, I am sitting here in Washington, D.C. Our information is pretty well learned to what I read in the press. How are we doing on our efforts to implement more electronic jammers and countermeasures to take away some of the success our enemies have had with that?
General PETRAEUS. Sir, there is a huge effort ongoing in that regard.
Great to see you again, sir, as well, and thank you for your visit to our soldiers.
Sir, in fact, our solders and the coalition forces, through a combination of better force protection at base camps, through better use of technology, although still a way to go in that regard, and sadly, the enemy has a hook in this as well. So as we get jammers, he goes back to using wires or something else, or now increasingly, as you have seen, just blowing himself up. Through force protection, also training, our soldiers are finding a good number of the IEDs, and they are still getting intelligence from the population, and that varies by place to place, and that is good.
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The challenge right now is these suicide bombers who are blowing themselves up on the street. As you may have heard, there was an explosion today outside the Baghdad recruiting station for the Army. It was a place that was hit some months back with horrific results, blowing up close to 100 recruits. It is one of the worst bombing episodes during the time we have been here.
Huge force protection measures were instituted since then. In fact, today I believe, although I don't have all the details, I believe none of the recruits were actually there unless there were folks just trying to get in. And I think sadly that it hit just as the bus is passing or something, but there was between 30 and 40 Iraqis killed in that particular episode.
That is a very, very challenging enemy action to prevent. It involves, as you well know, starting by gaining control of the borders, which is why I mentioned earlier the urgent need to have a better border strategy that is much more comprehensive, and working the lines by which these suicide bombers are able to come into the country to bring explosives into the country, money, and sometimes expertise to find the safe houses, of course, that is very heavily intelligence driven, and then to get them to disrupt them as quickly as we can before they can carry out such attacks.
There has been varying levels of success with that. You may recall at various times we have done operations in Mosul. One time we did 35 sites simultaneously at 2 o'clock in the morning with only one shot fired, but that depends, again, on building these intelligence networks. It dies down after something like that. But gradually then they will build it back, because there are some extraordinarily determined enemies who do not want the new Iraq to succeed. It is not just about the coalition failing, it is about the new Iraq not succeeding. The former regular elements don't want the new Iraq to succeed. The extremists do not want it to succeed because they have a different conception of what the country should be. And then the element that has always been there, the criminals that were let out of jail by Saddam, murderers already showing a willingness to kill people, they remain willing guns for hire because they frankly need the money and don't have jobs.
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So it is a very volatile combination, and it is going to take a comprehensive strategy to reduce it and disrupt it and eventually eliminate it.
Mr. TAYLOR. General, in yesterday's paper there were reports that the interim Iraqi Government is asking to reoccupy the Green Zone; that they would like that to govern from. My first reaction is that is probably a good idea, but I would like to hear your thoughts on that. I realize that is going to create some logistical problems. But, again, if the purpose of all of this is to hand the government back to the Iraqis, I think that might be a great symbolic move. But I would like to hear your thoughts on what kind of problems that might present.
General PETRAEUS. Sir, I see you are asking my professional opinion, but this is not an area that I am in. I fully recognize for having been here well over a year the psychological impact over us staying in these palaces. And I can tell you that there are efforts ongoing in a variety of places in the country to indeed build base camps away from those locations.
The challenge is, though, that for some of the really big headquarters and the really big organizations like the U.S. Embassy-to-be and some of the other outfits, to achieve the standoff that you want that so you are not getting RPG'd on a regular basis or mortared on a regular basis or very accurate rocket fire, these complexes that are the palaces are extraordinarily useful. I think everybody has taken a hard look, and I know General Sanchez mentioned it to the staff yesterday morning, because they did, in fact, hear President Sheikh Ghazi raise it, and others have raised it as well, and clearly over time we are going to have to figure out how we can relocate to someplace that can still provide the force protection and the standoff that has taken months to achieve here.
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Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, General.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from New Jersey Mr. Saxton.
Mr. SAXTON. General, good to see you. It has been 6 months or so since we had the opportunity to spend time together in Mosul. And I would like to point out I see a new set of stars on your collar, so congratulations.
General PETRAEUS. Thanks very much.
Mr. SAXTON. General, we are doing something that we have not done before, and that is to stand up a new government in a Middle Eastern country where the culture is different, and it is proving to be a difficult task. And so for the successes that we have had, we should make note of them and congratulate yourselves for the successes we have had.
The American people and Members of Congress are now contemplating how U.S. forces will, how coalition forces, I should say, will hand off the job of providing security to the forces that you are now standing up. Can you give us a look into your crystal ball and tell us how you see this process going? How will the American and coalition forces move out of perhaps their current positions and move the Iraqi forces in? How long will this take, and what will the process look like?
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General PETRAEUS. Congressman, good to see you as well, and thank you as well for visiting our soldiers.
We have seen the process. The process has been ongoing in the country, and what we will do is to continue that process. Again, it is not a light switch, it is a sliding bar.
But there has been transfer of security responsibilities for a variety of tasks in the country. Again, I point to Nineveh Province, which, again, not just Kurds; it was a Sunni majority with a Kurdish minority and really laid on the ethnic fault lines. Whereas you recall up here, you saw the Iraq Civil Defense Corps soldiers. We were right in the process of transitioning, literally we did formal ceremonies, transferred authority for security for each of the ammo dumps in that area up there. They now secure those dumps. In fact, the force that replaced us, as I mentioned, less than one-third our size, could not have done that without Iraqis doing it. The border police, several battalions out there also trained; again, formal transfer of authority ceremony for them to take over responsibility for that border on either side of the official crossing near Rabiyah up in the northwest quadrant. In some other cases, frankly, we transitioned responsibility, and it backfired, and that is where we have to learn lessons and do it better next time.
But that is what I see is the process, Congressman, a conditions-base process. There is, in fact, a time line. We do know where we want to go. We know that we want to have 29 battalions of the Army by the early part of next year. We want to reduce the number in the police, but increase the quality. We are keenly aware that it is quality not quantity when it comes to police, and it is people, not technology, although we would like to have as many really good people we can, enabled by the best technology we can.
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But as conditions are met, as we bring forces on line, we will literally transition authority for certain tasks and certain areas to them. And that really, again, has happened throughout the country in countless cases, and it is going to continue to happen. The challenge is in a place like Baghdad where the security threats remain very substantial and where the impact of these sensational attacks psychologically is very, very important, that we are going to have to continue to focus a big effort here, and that is going to take some time before Iraqi security forces can be truly trained, and equipped, and enabled, and operating successfully to try to deal with that.
There is another element that is related to all of this, Congressman, that I didn't talk about in the opening statement, and probably two or three other elements. One is the intelligence structure. The Iraqi National Intelligence Service is very much an early work in progress. As I mentioned earlier, the way that we have to get at the suicide bombers and the terrorists is to get at the safe houses and at the rat lines and get at the individuals who are ferrying in the explosives, the suicide bombers and so forth. It is all intelligence based, and we have a lot of work to do there. That is being done largely right now by the multinational Force Iraq G2 section and by other governmental agencies, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). And that is going to take a considerable amount of effort in the country where there is so much distrust, and they have to build trust in one another if they are going to build an intel service.
There are also other security forces that are outside the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Defense that are critically important to the country. Among these are the security oil infrastructure, much of which is contracted out, and that is the way that has been handed off, and there is going to have to be some review of that. Because it involved the north and the south, there have been serious attacks in the past week or so. And then the Electrical Police Security Service as well as with the Railway Police Service, again, is going to need some bolstering, and it may be we have to get into that arena and assist them substantially, too.
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Mr. SAXTON. Just one quick follow up. As you pointed out, the transition started many months ago as we began to stand up Iraqi security forces. So when we get to June the 30th, so that nobody is disappointed, this process that has been gradual was started at least six months ago, and that we are well into. That process we can expect to see continue, but we won't see any radical change for quite some time; is that a fair statement?
General PETRAEUS. It is, indeed. It is a very, very accurate depiction of the situation that we expect to see in early July and, frankly, through the early fall or midfall. We very much have our eye on the time frame at the end of the year when the first step in the election process will be held. That is a very important event, and we do want to have as many capable Iraqi security forces as we can have on duty at that time. It may be the next really volatile period once we are through the transition process. And again, we are pointing toward that very directly.
But you are absolutely right that on 1 July you are not going to see a switch flip that will transition from coalition to Iraqi security forces throughout the country.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, General. And congratulations on a great job.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
And the gentleman from Texas Mr. Reyes.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And, General, good to see you again, and congratulations as well.
I have just a couple of areas that I wanted to ask questions about. The first one is after June 30, how do you envision the Iraqi Survey Group and their work to be affected by the transition? That is number one. And number two, what kind of work is being done on the ground to ensure that in this transition, as the Iraqis assume more control or more responsibility for their security and operations, and the U.S. forces, as we have been told, are more in a backup mode, what kind of discussions have gone on to settle things like potential conflicts in terms of operational disagreements? In other words, should there be disagreements between the commander of the Iraqi forces versus the commander of the U.S. forces acting in a backup mode? What kind of resolution will be in place?
And then another important thing is we have been paying the civilian community for any damages that have been inadvertently caused as a result of our operations. Are those restitutions going to continue, and is it still going to continue to be our responsibility? And I will just hear your response.
And, again, thank you for your service, General, and I hope to see you there in a couple of weeks. Thanks.
General PETRAEUS. Good to see you again, Congressman Reyes.
On the Iraqi Survey Group (ISG), I honestly don't know. That was beyond me, and I am not in that arena right now, and I need to defer that one, I am afraid.
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On the decision making process, that is an area, in fact, that is getting a lot of attention right now, as you might imagine. There is a structure that has been created, if you will, at the top level and includes the Prime Minister, right now Ambassador Bremer, presumably it will be the U.K. Ambassador and others, and the Multinational Force Iraq Commander. And then there are other structures that are being established that will stretch all the way down to the province level, both for the Iraqis and in a sense to connect activities of coalition forces at each level.
The truth is that at the province level, that already functions pretty well. In fact, in some places the province governments have been in position well over a year, and they are quite well established and have close relationships with coalition forces, as do typically the province police chiefs, the ICDC brigade commanders, the border police and the Facility Protection Security Forces (FPSF) chiefs.
General PETRAEUS. The issue is, in a sense, having to connect them again to Baghdad on the Iraqi side in the same way that we have with the very good chain of command on the coalition side.
Again, that process, that determining process, if you will, is actually ongoing right now to determine what should be specifically below what is called the ministerial level body at the top, the deputy's committee that is below that, and then there is a commander's council, what is below the commander's council and so forth.
On the restitution, sir, I can really only tell you, I guess, again I will give my professional opinion because I am not right out there in the field right now, I do know that, again, Commander Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has been used for a lot of that because there is typically not a great deal of money and there is a legal basis for that that our lawyers found a way of doing that. I am certain that that is going to continue because commanders will feel an obligation to do that. And I would if I were still out there commanding the 101st in northern Iraq.
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The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. The gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Weldon.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General, let me add my thanks to you for your work and the work of all of our troops. The bulk of this committee has been over to Iraq and Afghanistan on at least one occasion over the past several months. And I would say to you, and I know I speak for all of my colleagues, when it is appropriate for you we will bring other delegations over and pay our personal, not just thanks to our troops but the new Iraqi military and police that you are standing up. But we won't do it in a way that disrupts your very important activities, but when you are prepared you let Chairman Hunter know and Ike Skelton, and I know they will put together a bipartisan delegation, and a lot of us will join with that.
A lot of us are concerned about Iran's involvement in fermenting unrest in Iraq. I personally think that Hamani and the Iranians are a large part of what is funding everyone from Sadr to the local groups that are taking hostages. As a part of the overall comprehensive strategy, we are pressing the State Department. In fact, I met with Ambassador Negroponte this morning about the issue of having a strategy to deal with Iran's involvement, which complements the other areas that you focused on.
My questions to you refer to two areas. One is our concern about having clear and well defined rules of engagement so that our troops do not get caught without having the ability to defend themselves and their fellow troops. So if you could give us an understanding of the rules of engagement that are being developed and that will be in place when we transition control within the next several weeks.
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The second issue is we have been trying to give you the best technology that we can to assist in dealing with these terrorist attacks. And some of that technology is very sophisticated and involves unmanned aerial vehicles and other kinds of technologies. Will the new Iraq military have access to some of those technologies that we are giving to our military so that they have the same capability to understand the threat environment? In particular, will we be transitioning technologies like Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)s to the new Iraq military?
General PETRAEUS. Congressman, we do look forward to seeing you, and it actually would be very important to be able to introduce the Iraq Ministry of Defense and military leadership to you. When we have had those visits and been able to introduce our members, the Province Governor was always, frankly, quite grateful to talk to those from Washington.
Sir, on the Iranian influence, this is one of those areas again that has to be part of the border strategy. There has been some attention given to that; certainly some border crossing sites, for example, are closed. There are some good procedures. The truth is that I think we have got to check very hard on whether or not the procedures are being enforced or not.
This is very complicated because of the religious tourism issue. As you know, the most holy shrines for the Shiá; which is the predominant sect in Iran, are in Najaf and Karbala. There are literally waves of religious tourists that go and visit. It is very important for the economies of Najaf and Karbala. Najaf in particular was very downtrodden under Saddam. It received absolutely no help whatsoever from 92 or 93 when he put down a revolt down there and eventually eve, as you recall, drained the marshes farther southeast and so forth. So this, say, realagain, another one of those where there are conflicting tensions and we have got to get the right procedures and then enforce those procedures.
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Sir, on the Rules of Engagement (ROE) issue, I can assure you that we will never put American soldiers in a position where they are not allowed to protect themselves. As you know, even peacetime rules of engagement allow you to do that. So I would not be concerned in that regard. And I am not personallyI am not on the multinational force side or multinational corps, but I am not aware of any substantial revisions to the rules of engagement as part of the transition.
On the issue of technology, we are trying to get reasonable technology for the Iraqi armed forces. In fact, today I saw the display of the package that in fact you all have funded for the Iraq Army, and it does in fact include PVS7 night vision goggles. There are two seeker aircraft. It is a small; not a UAV, but a piloted reconnaissance aircraft that will come on line in early July. It was just funded.
This is very important because we believe it can help run the lines up in the vicinity of Kirkuk. That line has been attacked repeatedly. It clearly has some very tough enemy help there that continue to blow up that very critical line that leads from the Kirkuk oil fields to the massive refinery in Baiji.
As to the more advanced stuff, sir, the $3 billion is a heck of a lot of money, but as you know better than anybody else, to go really high end starts to add up considerably. Just a simple topic or simple piece of equipment like shifting from the AK47 or that family of weaponry to the M16, for example, the cost would go up by several orders of magnitude. And that is something that they would sort of like to do because there is a symbolism to the AK-47; it is just something that they can tackle right now given the resources available to them.
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Mr. WELDON. Thank you. Do you have enough in the way of resources or do we need to look at providing you additional monies?
General PETRAEUS. Sir, we are going through the process of determining that right now. As I mentioned in the opening statement there are emergent requirements that are a result of either new initiatives that are very commendable by the Iraqis; for example, the civil intervention course. I think we are going to be able to fund that with the existing monies. But some of the additional base camp structure that may have to go into place, there is a list that we are developing and then we are going to try and scrunch it down as much as we can and see if we can fit it in the existing resources. But at some point we owe, in fact, to the Department a report on that.
The unknown that we are grappling with, sir, as well is that the Iraqis themselves are really struggling with this, as you might imagine. They have just stood up the Ministry of Defense. There is not an elaborate Program Analysis and Evaluation (PA&E) structure there by any means. They are literally about one deep. Everybody goes to the minister for everything right now.
The only thing that we are really confident that they have probably budgeted for with the Ministry of Finance we think is personnel. We have really got to get a handle on how much will be allowed to them for operation maintenance costs. And to be fair to the Ministry of Finance, their challenge is trying to develop realistic assumptions about how much they are going to get out of the export of oil, most particularly, and as you know, I forget how many tens of billions of dollars a day, or tens of millions of dollars a day go out through the southern oil terminal when it is operating.
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So, again, it both highlights the importance of keeping that line open and also, again, of getting the Ministry of Finance to identify how much they are going to fund above and beyond salaries for the Defense and the Interior Ministries.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. The gentleman from Washington, Mr. Larsen.
Mr. LARSEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you, General, for taking some time with us this morning, for us I guess later in the day for you. I was pleased to certainly hear that you are tryingyou recognize the problem of connecting the command and control at the top with all the developments taking place already that has been put forth by U.S. and the coalition forces to develop security forces for Iraq. Just going down the list of what we have developed here, a police force, a border force, the ICDC, the Iraqi Army, the Facility Protection Service (FPS). Today you mentioned the Iraqi National Task Force, a new civil intervention force. You also let us know that the FPS doesn't include oil security or electricity police. That is separate. That is outside. You certainly have an organizational challenge on your hands. I have some questions related to that.
First question is generally, how do you propose to get a handle on all these various elements and make them connect? But more in particular, exactly what is the Civil Intervention Force (CIF)? How does it differ from the police? What is it its exact role? I think you said either the Prime Minister or the President has proposed this. What is the Iraqi vision for the CIF, and also what is the difference between the ICDC and the Iraqi National Task Force?
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And where are we recruiting for the Iraqi National Task Force and why was it created, as opposed to maintaining the current focus with ICDC and the army?
And then you haven't mentioned yet, with regards to security, the militias. And the Prime Minister I think announced a ban on all militias. How can we expect that ban to be any more successful than the previous announcement that the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) made about a ban on militias? And what role does the Peshmerga play in security arrangements in Iraq in the future? Is it considered a militia that would be banned, or is it in fact going to be operating in the north as a part of security forces?
That is a lot of questions, but hopefully I have organized them in an order where you can get them answered. Thank you.
General PETRAEUS. Sir, that is a good number of questions here. I think I got them. You left out the air force, the Coastal Defense Force, and the police, Congressman. By the way, the Coastal Defense Force we actually turned over to them. It just went on and was not remarked on too much, but we formally turned over to them five patrol boats last week. Big ceremony. The first seahort of the United Kingdom was in for that. And they are down in Basra at a very good base; yet another piece of infrastructure that has been built. They should be operational fully by the mid fall. They are doing a good job.
The Air Force as well. We actually have Air Force officers in the Iraq armed forces that are training in Jordan on an early model C130 and on Hueys, helicopters. And then I already mentioned the purchase of the two seeker reconnaissance aircraft.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The police are being trained down in the Basra area. They also are doing a good job. The U.K. Is training them with Royal Marine commandoes. The truth is that on the Ministry of Interior side, the connectivity is not too bad. The structure at least exists, although, candidly, they can't always get a phone call through or get somebody to answer it. And so we are going through a process.
We also have a substantial command and control program that you all funded that is part of this $3 billion that will enable them to connect from an operation center in Baghdad to the joint coordination centers that are established in each province, or being established, and then on down to the precincts or the subordinate cities, if you will. That is pretty straightforward on the Ministry of the Interior side.
The Civil Intervention Force probably will be controlled out of Baghdad. Again, it is a new initiative for which we are just hosting the recruiting conference this Friday to discuss how to recruit. Again, it will be two battalions of a Gendarme Marie type force craft, lightly armored vehicles. We believe we can fund this, by the way, sir, again with that $3 billion. And then it will be about three battalions initially, growing to nine battalions, that will be trained and equipped in riot control. Their purpose is to take over where the police don't have the capacity to retake a police station, for example, if for example the enemy throws the police out or something like that.
Sir, the Iraq Civil Defense Corps was generally regionally recruited and trained and performs regional security functions that are not performed by the police. So they often are outside cities, again, guarding infrastructure, conducting convoy security, performing checkpoint duties and the like, and also conducting offensive operations along with coalition forces.
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The Iraq National Task Force, on the other hand, was developed after early April as an Iraqi initiative, their desire to have an army division that was explicitly recruited, equipped, and trained; and the emphasis on recruited; to conduct urban counterinsurgency operations.
As you may recall, there was the failure in April when a battalion was to be sent down to Fallujah, and essentially it is a little bit more complex than has been depicted. They actually did start. They got ambushed. They had a firefight. They had to pull back up to Taji. And then that is where the discussion ensued where they reminded people that they had been hired, which was correct, with the idea that the army was to do what it used to do: defend the country from external invaders.
The Iraqi leadership said, fine; we will explicitly recruit. They generally recruited from existing Army units, took good people out of those, signed on the dotted line that they were ready to fight fellow Iraqis. It is those forces that are now coming on line. The recruiting was done by the Iraqi generals. In fact, the Commander of the Army himself went out and talked to each battalion and to others.
Sir, as to the militias, I do think that this one will be more successful than previous endeavors, because first of all, in general, there is buy in by the political leadership of these militias. Second, the armed forces, the security services, are in fact able to absorb a reasonable number of them. And in fact we have had recently, for example, various Peshmerga Days, Iraqi Communist Party Day, Iraqi Islamic Party Day, at various recruiting stations throughout the country. So they are getting their opportunity to sign up for the army and for other security services.
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So the Peshmerga have for a long time been being incorporated into Iraq civil defense corps units. We have had a number of them in units up in the north. There were some that were in the Iraqi Kurdish areas that were predominantly Kurdish, and then others that were in the Ninawa Province, for example, tended to be minorities within units that were typically majority Sunni Arab in that particular area, although they also included Turkmen, Christians, and others.
The transitional administrative law allows the Iraqi Kurdish area to retain internal security forces. So in addition to those Peshmerga that are absorbed into the army, absorbed into the ICDC, the police, and the other security services, writ large Iraqi-wide, they will also be able to retain internal security forces that can absorb a number of these former Peshmerga. And they are envisioning, for example, mountain battalions. We had already built water police battalions out there up in our area when we were there because we had all three of the Kurdish provinces in the 101st Airborne area.
They have forestry police and a couple of other varieties of security services. And, in fact, that is a another emergent task that jumped out at us after we started doing the mission analysis, if you will, after that militia agreement was announced, that we may indeed have to assist them in some of the organizing, training, and equipping of those internal security forces, just as we are for all of Iraq's security forces.
Mr. LARSEN. Thank you, General. That is a very complete answer to my long question. I appreciate it. I thank you very much. Mr. Chairman.
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. The gentleman from Nevada, Mr. Gibbons.
Mr. GIBBONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And General Petraeus, thank you for your service to our country. We are very proud of you and the service that you and your fellow soldiers have done for us over there.
I guess my question is one which deals with the issue of intelligence. If you are talking about security and establishing a security force, the number one issue would be intelligence. What are we doing to establish an intelligence agency in Iraq that is going to be effective, be controllable, be able to process intelligence, share it both ways, both pre- and post June 30th? And then finally, if you get through that, give us a brief update on what Moqtada Sadr is up to today and what do we know about him?
General PETRAEUS. Sir, I am not the expert on the intelligence services. That is something that we are clearly going to have to get into. But since getting back, I have been focusing on the security forces that are essentially overseen by the Office of Security Transition.
The CIA and the G2 multinational force in Iraq have been working with the the Iraqi National Intelligence Service (INIS). It has, in fact, developed some pretty good intelligence. When I was here before, we used a fair amount of that. But there is still an enormous amount of work that has to go forward, frankly, to achieve the level of sophistication that you are talking about.
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There still are barriers that have to be broken down. There is still trust that has to be developed among individuals from different backgrounds. And, again, some of this is going to take quite some time, I think.
There is an issue that we are grappling with with the sharing of intelligence. We are working hard to be able to get the right classification that allows us to share with our Iraqi partners right now. It is literally about the ''for official use only.'' that is not as big a deal as you might think, because we are already sharing with a pretty broad variety of coalition partners. In truth, the office or the organization that I had, which was really a command; we are well over 2,000 in terms of advisers, contract trainers, police trainers, the people in uniform, the support teams and all the rest of that, and it is really a multinational security transition and command. We have seven or eight different countries represented. So we are grappling with some of that.
But, again, as we get into the more sensitive intelligence, we are going to have to really work hard to speed that process of, if you will, laundering intelligence from the very sensitive compartmented arena into something that can be handed with a tear line, if you will, to our Iraqi partners.
Sir, on Moqtada al Sadr, the latest signs are encouraging, that he has given direction to his militia members to withdraw from Najaf and Karbala, unless that is where they live. The police chief in Najaf and the Governor there have been gaining confidence over recent weeks considerably. There was a patrol that was done jointly by the 1st Armored Division Forces and the 2nd Armored Calvary Regiment Forces under 1st Armored Division. And by the way, sir, you talk about folks that have done a magnificent job; that is the 1st Armored Division element that was on the verge of going home, then was told they had to stay on longer into the long hot summer.
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And as you are thanking individuals, I know that sometimes it is tough to get into theater. It might not be as tough to get into Germany, when they are back there, to thank Major General Marty Dempsey and his tremendous team. Because the way they have shouldered the additional burden and putting that rucksack back on and went back to it is really admirable. There is nothing harder than telling soldiers they will have to stay longer, unless it is telling their families. The leadership of that organization, the officers and noncommissioned officers and troopers, has all done magnificently.
As to the long run with Sadr, there is also a lot of Iraqi work going on. As you know, an Iraqi issue was brought against him, so there is a legal issue there. Again, that is going to be one that the new Iraqi Interim Government is going to deal with. I think it is one they already are dealing with, frankly, to figure out in a sense if they can bring some of those people at least into the legitimate political process.
Others, General Corelli, working in Sadr City where he is literally about to launch a huge avalanche of programs as this contracting process has really begun to snowball. Hopefully, we can literally employ them right out under from Sadr. Because an awful lot of this is about unemployed young men without hope. And they are very vulnerable to the kind of persuasion of someone like Sadr, and all of a sudden they are in the back of the pickup truck with the AK47s, controlling the proceeds of some of these religious shrines.
So, again, I think it will be a many pronged effort to try to both attract some of his supporters, perhaps the Iraqis will try to incorporate them into the political process. In the meantime, we want to continue to shore up the police forces, particularly in those sensitive areas of Najaf and then over east to Kirkuk and north to Karbala.
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Mr. GIBBONS. Thank you very much, General. And Godspeed to you and all your forces.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. And the gentlelady from California, Ms. Davis, is recognized.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, General Petraeus, for your extraordinary service. I wonder if we could go back for just a bit. I am sorry I had to leave the room, and perhaps my colleagues have already asked about this, but if we go back and think about it was, quote, that the army was disbanded. I know that there are many different takes on whether or not that was truly disbanded or not, but I am just wondering about the lessons learned from that now. As you look at the individuals who are engaged in leadership in the Iraqi Army or even in law enforcement, where are those people coming from? Is it coming from those ranks? Have you been able to recoup a lot of the people who had skills and were making a contribution to talent? Where is that coming from?
General PETRAEUS. Well Congresswoman, an awful lot of the new Iraq Army officers, the vast majority of them, are former soldiers. Many of them in fact are former officers and/or they are former Peshmerga. Because, remember, we are also hiring Kurds, recruiting Kurds for the Army. In fact, when we are up there today asking down the ranks, how many years did you have in the Army and so forth, a number of them had over 10 years in the Army.
So there has been a great deal of recruiting of former soldiers who wanted to be part of this professional force and also met the criteria. That is part of the challenge, is that there is a physical requirement and there is an educational requirement for some of the positions in the army. And that excludes some of those who were conscripts in the old army.
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I think that we will see Prime Minister Allawi sorting out, again, options as to how he can both engage and then perhaps use some of the former leaders at various levels. I think that this connection process that we talked about where we assist the Iraqis in the establishment of additional brigades for their ICDC, probably going from the 6-brigade structure that exists rights now to as many as 18 brigade headquarters for what may be as high as 51 battalions. It is 45 right now. So those structures are legitimate given the supervisory numbers.
And then probably a number of divisional headquarters on top of that. In fact we owe to Prime Minister Allawi tomorrow a coordinated Iraqi military, Coalition military, and Ministry set of options that he charged us with developing yesterday when he met with Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. And he gave, as I mentioned earlier, some pretty clear and concise and coherent guidance as to some of his objectives. And I think that we can in a sense help him achieve his objectives and, again, engage and even employ some of these former soldiers in a way that is very much needed right now, in fact, to create a chain of command in the ICDC and yet not do away with all the work that has been done in creating the ICDC, their infrastructure, their rebuilt training academies, and so forth. There are problems with the ICDC still. We have to address those as well.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Thank you, General Petraeus. We have to go back and forth a little differently here than usual. As you look back on that decision, what are your thoughts? Was it necessary to have a strong break or would there have been another way to have done that?
General PETRAEUS. Well, again, if you are asking my professional military advice, it would have had to start with a decision way back before probably we crossed the berm. If they could have perhaps communicated more effectively early on, and I don't know that that was possible. I know there were attempts made to do that. We were told about a number of those targeting of individual units. Frankly, they did not do what they were asked to do early on, and that necessitated fighting. The truth is by the time that decision was made, frankly by the time Baghdad fell, and in fact certainly by the time that we had pushed all the way from Baghdad to the north, there was no army, there was no infrastructure, there was no ammo dumps left, no barracks, no vehicles, no fighting systems.
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And so I guess there were people out there and they might have had AK47s at their home, but as to coherent structures, again, not that much out there.
Then the other question you have to ask is, did you want to bring that back? Did you want an extraordinarily top heavy military? In Mosul alone, there are 1,100 generals; just in Mosul, a city of 1.7 million people. I heard reports of over 10,000 in Iraq at large. And so you get into all of those kinds of issues, is that what you want to bring back?
And, again, there is a variety of different things that certainly folks I think look back on and perhaps say this might have run a little faster here or there. But that hindsight is awfully clear right now and I don't think it sure was at the time.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Thank you. Just one additional question. Are you seeing many incidents of individuals who are being trained and then deserting and perhaps bringing that power against us? How prevalent do you think that is?
General PETRAEUS. I don't have the figures on the ICDC, which would be the one where that might be more prevalent. We clearly have to go through a rebuilding process, Congresswoman, after the early April period for a number of the ICDC battalions. The Army has been pretty stable since late April. And I think the increases in pay, essentially the hostile fire pay that they get now, as well as the equipment, the better leadership, the better facilities, literally the better food, the better treatment, and all the rest of that has made a substantial difference. We frankly tried to adopt the same approach on the ICDC side.
Page 50 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I don't know if you were in there earlier when I explained the various changes that we made in the ICDC based on the lessons learned out of early April. But those are being applied now. As I mentioned, it is really heartening to take one of the Iraqi Army generals up to Tikrit, Saddam's former hometown, where the Big Red One, the 1st Infantry Division, their ICDC regional training academy graduated 240 sergeants. They just flat look good. You just felt good about them.
So I think that there has been a lot of progress in there since early April based on some of the lessons we learned. And what we have to do is continue that progress and that focus. We are even going now to the point of we are helping them build technical vehicles, you know, pickup trucks with machine guns on the back. We are even giving really, anti-aircraft artillery weapons or at least large caliber machine guns to some of the police. So we have got to make sure that the security forces are not outgunned by the bad guys. And we are also giving them RPGs and other weapons as well.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentlelady. The gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. Wilson.
Mr. WILSON OF SOUTH CAROLINA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And, General, thank you very much for your leadership. I had the opportunity to visit with you last September in Mosul. I was so impressed by what you were doing. I was so impressed by our troops. It just was so heart-warming. In particular while we were there, you were making an emphasis on the civil action projects. I only regret that indeed these are not given media coverage. This means so much to individual citizens of Iraq, and I know it means a lot to the American and coalition troops that are working to build a civil society.
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Additionally I have a perspective too. I appreciate your leadership, General Sanchez. I have a son serving in Iraq, as the Chairman has a son serving in Iraq. In fact, I have been in touch with him twice today by Blackberry. And so as a parent, it is very reassuring to know the qualities of the leadership. And these young people are in touch with us around the clock, and it means a lot.
Additionally, I am grateful to hear of your close working relationship with Prime Minister Allawi. I was very honored last Thursday in a bipartisan delegation to meet with Iraqi President Ghazi al Yawar. And President al Yawar, who is a graduate of George Washington University, was very clear in his optimism for the future of Iraq. Obviously, with extraordinary difficulties, but his optimism was just infectious. And I am really so pleased with so much that is being done.
And then, specifically, in April I had the opportunity to visit the police academy in Ammam, Jordan. We met with some of the recruits there. They had been, in fact, part of the Iraqi Army and they were selected at random, very spontaneously, but indicated a dedication to building a civil society.
I also had the opportunity to helicopter up in April to Kirkush and meet with some of the 30th Infantry Division troops there who told of working with the Iraqi security forces. A sad testimonial as to the success of the security forces is that they are under such attack. The attack today on the recruits, the attack on the stations, is an indication of the effectiveness of what you are putting together. I want to thank you.
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC A concern I have, though, is in October 2002 Saddam Hussein released all the persons from prisons in Iraq. And obviously many of us were happy; these were political prisoners, but at least half were violent criminals. And I know that the Iraqi Survey Group has made tremendous progress in recreating the arrest records. But what is being done to pick up violent criminals? I know in any American community, if all the violent criminals were back on the street, it would just be catastrophic. And so what is being done about the violent criminals?
General PETRAEUS. First off, Congressman, it is good to see you again as well. I don't know if you were in there earlier when I mentioned that the asphalt refinery that I think I told you about, which hadn't operated for 18 years down in Qayyarah, south of Mosul, despite having a workforce of 450 Iraqis during that entire time, is now producing 200 tons of asphalt a day and may be the biggest in the region at some point.
The young recruits are indeed impressive. That underscores once again the importance of using some of the DFI money that Prime Minister Allawi approved to, in fact, thank some of the very, very senior police and to offer early retirement schemes for some of them.
As you noted, sir, in fact the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), have been the targets of an awful lot of attacks. It is not just because they are in a sense softer targets, and it is because they are, in fact, making a difference. Those that don't want the new Iraq to succeed are certainly going to go after the Iraqi Security Forces, just as they went after us and still go after us.
Sir, the criminals are a very, very big element. I don't know if you were in there earlier there when I mentioned there are three large categories of bad guys: The former Baathists obviously don't want the real regime insiders to have money, to have expertise; some of it still stashed away outside the country. They certainly don't want the new Iraq to succeed, or they are finally out in the cold. The extremists, some inside the country, some from outside the country, that did not want this new Iraq, as conceived, to succeed because it threatens their conception of what it should be. And then finally these violent criminals. They are the ready guns for hire in the communities. They were an enormous source of problem to us in Mosul and the same is true throughout the country.
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I can tell you that what we are doing. I don't know what is being done about them nationwide. In fact, frankly, sir, I wrote a note down here that that is one to discuss with the Iraqi leaders, and perhaps their approach might be refined a bit when they take over. We were in fact trying. We had recreated the records in Mosul. The judges had found records. They knew who some of these criminals were, quite a few of them. There was an attempt to arrest them on new charges where that was possible because there had been an amnesty actually.
So again I made a note there that is a great one to jog us on. That could make a big difference actually if some of these could be picked up in great numbers. Thank you, sir.
Mr. WILSON OF SOUTH CAROLINA. Thank you very much for your service. And God bless our troops and we will remember September the 11th. I yield the balance of my time.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. The gentleman from Florida, Mr. Meek.
Mr. MEEK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Petraeus, thank you for your service, sir. I know that you have a very difficult job in training the new security forces there in Iraq. There was a report earlier this morning that six insurgents who tried to fire upon U.S. troops were actually Iraqi Security Forces, and I know that there are ongoing investigations of trying to locate and weed out these individuals.
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And I just wanted to ask, is there a new vetting process of trying to figure out who are the bad guys and who are the good people?
And two, has there been an assessment of the quality of recruitment? I heard you say earlier that you had at least 100 individuals that walk through the recruitment station every day. I know that this is a very difficult thing to do, but I think at the same time, the integrity of what we are doing is at stake.
So could you explain to us that process, number one, assessing the recruitment quality; and also what is going on as it relates to some of these individuals that are caught with either uniforms stuffed in the car, because they were able to get into certain areas because they were security forces, or Infantry Division (ID), what is actually happening with those individuals now?
General PETRAEUS. Congressman, I don't have the details back from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force that took place out in Ramadi, I believe, and in fact I just heard about that in the morning update this morning. We are trying to get the details on that. It is not the first time it happened though, and sadly it likely will not be the last. That has been a challenge all along.
We have always tried hard to construct a variety of lists from various old records and so forth. But in fact, you have put your finger on something that Prime Minister Allawi raised yesterday; frankly, the same concern, that there is a apparently a CPA contract or CPA effort to provide to him the form of a database that they can then take over and really do it themselves. Because, obviously, they can vet a lot better than we can. They understand the culture, the way that the namesjust a whole host of other nuances that are tougher for those of our side of the counterintelligence world doing the vetting.
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There are a couple pieces to the recruitment quality issue that you raised, Congressman. One of them is just basic requirements. They actually do have a medical exam, a physical exam, that are tougher, frankly, than they used to be, clearly, because quite a few former soldiers regrettably don't meet those requirements, and an education requirement. And then there is a vetting process that does go through again a challenge, because again if they are not in some record from the past, we are not going to pick them up. And an awful lot of these folks are young people without a track record, that were not in something, and somehow or other either took the uniform from someone else or just flat turned and took an action against the coalition.
Mr. MEEK. Like I said earlier, I know that is a very difficult thing to do right now when you don't have the kind of information that you need to be able to figure out who is doing what.
General, do you know what is actually happening with these individuals that we have trained that are firing upon U.S. troops? I know that is a small number, but are the Iraqis dealing with it in a way as we are dealing with our court, martials, dealing with the criminal aspect of that to deter other individuals that may think about firing upon U.S. troops, that there is a level of punishment in a very public way to try to deter that? What kind of efforts are taking place in that area; or do we, for those individuals that are still alive, do we take those individuals within our system and do we have them detained at this time? And I guess eventually they will be turned over to the Iraqis for prosecution.
General PETRAEUS. Sir, as a general rule, the first thing is that they shoot at us, we are going to try and shoot back and kill them or capture them. But if they in fact surrender, if they are captured, typically they are going into the coalition incarceration system, if you will, vice the civil system.
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There are some people who commit criminal acts that are not directed again the coalition, that our soldiers might catch someone doing, particularly when we have larger numbers of MPs out there, for example, doing joint patrols with the police in a variety of locations, who would then be put into the civil system.
And a great deal of work has gone into standing back up the judicial system. Before we had Mosul I might, had we had a very, very big effort there to try to stand up that province judicial system. All the courthouses were rebuilt. The main judicial center which had, I think, five or seven courtrooms, it was that large a number; of other facilities was rebuilt. They had a 43 percent conviction rate up there, Congressman, which I think actually is pretty reasonable by our terms as well.
But those that attack our soldiers first of all, again, are in jeopardy of being shot back, and then certainly captured and put into our detention facilities.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. And we have got four more colleagues who need to ask questions, and hopefully we can get this in before we lose our air time.
The gentleman from Oklahoma, Mr. Cole.
Mr. COLE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And, General Petraeus, thank you as well. I was one of the many people that had the opportunity to visit with you when you were in Mosul last October, and came away enormously impressed with your professionalism and the quality of the people that you led and their dedication to task. And the fact that you have been willing to go back again is something that is a real testament to your commitment to our country and to the mission. So thank you quite profoundly for what you do and the people that are associated with what you are doing.
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I am interested in coming at your task from a little bit different direction. You told us a great deal about the challenges you have in assembling security forces and the progress that we have made in that regard. Can you tell me a little bit about what the attitude of the civilian population is toward the security forces that you are beginning to assemble? In the end, those forces aren't going to be successful unless they have a civilian population that believes in them, believes in their mission, and frankly is willing to cooperate with them, probably to a degree beyond what they have been willing to cooperate with coalition forces that are from other countries.
So could you give us some insight into how that relationship between the forces you are developing and the civilian population they are serving is going?
General PETRAEUS. Yes, sir. First of all, I don't know if you were in there earlier when it was mentioned, the poll that was conducted in Iraq indicated a considerable degree of optimism that Iraqi Security Forces could in fact secure Iraq at some point. And we have found that very true over here as well.
I did mention earlier as well, the enormous national pride that has existed by Iraqis in their army. We do gradually see that pride coming back. We think it will increase as they are in fact deployed from these training bases, where as I mentioned, again, the initial battalion will depart from its training base at the end of this month and move down into Baghdad, and then two more after that in the month of July, and then it will start to snowball a bit.
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The Iraq Civil Defense Corps, sir, they are to actually to change the name, of all things. I think somewhere along the line we probably didn't have the cultural recognition that the name does not translate well, and by the time it was named and enough people realized that, I think we were probably were stuck with it. I think, again, Prime Minister Allawi will change the name. It comes from the fact that they have also civil defense organizations which are essentially fire department emergency services, emergency divers, and that kind of element in their cities in particular. And so the name means a lot. And, again, I think that he will do something about that. And also in terms of connecting them into the army by the creation of these headquarters between these battalions and now the six brigades that exist and the headquarters, the joint headquarters in Baghdad.
The police are uneven, sir. There is respect in certain areas, considerable respect in other areas. And then there are some where it is sort of shifting. And, frankly, Najaf is an area where we have seen it shift. We have a lot to do with that. We have to give them the equipment. We have to give them every advantage that we can give to them, and every backing that we can give to them; and then also over time, make sure that they are seen not as agents of the coalition but as, obviously, Iraqi police. And, again, this severance payment endeavor that will take some 30,000 at least of the older members of the police force and allow them to go into retirement, we think is going to make a big difference. And really we are very eager to see how that plays out. As I mentioned, Prime Minister Allawi supports that strongly.
Mr. COLE. Thank you, General. I understand we have a hard drop at 11. I have a lot of questions but there are other members that haven't got to ask any. Mr. Chairman, I yield back.
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman; appreciate his courtesy. The gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. Spratt.
Mr. SPRATT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Petraeus, we met in September with a Congressional Delegation (CODEL) and everyone in our CODEL was impressed with what you were doing. We are deeply grateful for your service to our country. I don't think we could have chosen a better person for this follow on assignment to train the Iraqi Army. I want to ask you a few questions about that.
First of all, I have seen various numbers as the target size, at least the initial size of the Iraqi Army, ranking from 35,000 to 50,000. Could you tell us what size force you have in mind, at least for the near future?
General PETRAEUS. Sir, I think it will be closer to 35,000 than 50,000. Because as I mentioned earlier, we really have to develop these options for Prime Minister Allawi with his Iraqi defense leadership to develop the structure that is not in the plan right now and doesn't exist right now, particularly with respect to the ICDC. I can tell you that I think that the end result will be certainly the two divisions that are envisioned, the Iraq National Task Force division (INTF); the small coastal defense force that does exist in the commando battalions are being trained now; the small air force; and then between 45 and 51 battalions of ICDC, with perhaps as many as 18 brigade headquarters on top of those, with a larger number of combat multipliers.
Again, as I mentioned earlier, these are the ultimate tooth-to-tail ratio organizations that are very, very, very heavy on instruments, with boots on the ground, but rely for all their; not all their logistics, but a large amount of their logistics, for contracted food, contracted living arrangements, if you will, and a variety of other support. It is not a bad approach, but over time we have to give them more self-sufficiency so that the Iraqi National Command Authority can more easily move these forces around without having to do some shell game where they have infrastructure already built in a lot of places in the country, although we do need to do some of that.
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Again on top of these 18 brigades, I didn't mention that perhaps, I am not sure exactly, it is up to the Prime Minister, but perhaps as many as six divisional headquarters. So that again, sir, is going to take us certainly above that 35,000 number that is the original plan, but I am just not sure how much, again, until the Iraqis make the decisions because, frankly, it is their Army now, their armed forces. It is up to us to help their general staff officers and defense officials to come up with these options that satisfy the objectives that he articulated yesterday.
Mr. SPRATT. I have seen various numbers also as to the number of trained troops already available to you and what is the beginning core of this army. The numbers I have seen from the Department of Defense range from 3,500 trained troops available right now to about 9,500.
First question is, about how many trained troops would you say you have that are qualified and eligible at this point in time, and why has training of the Army lagged behind the other security forces?
General PETRAEUS. Sir, let me take on the last part first. That is because, frankly because of the model that was adopted, where first infrastructure had to be built for the training base, individuals are brought in, many of them contractors, to help with that training to reduce the burden on U.S. soldiers and coalition soldiers, and then there was a very deliberate process whereby the noncommissioned officers (NCO)s and the officers were trained first and then they started the recruit training, and you have a process where once the recruits are trained, the NCOs and the officers all join up together for the general collective training of the companies and battalions, and done at battalion level.
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The high number you used is probably about the number, a little bit more than the number that are actually in uniform in the military right now. And, frankly, there are a variety of training levels, all the way from probably over 1,000, certainly thousands, I would think actually, as we think about the various training courses that are ongoing, everything from basic training to leader training, although we just did complete, as I mentioned earlier, the second and last large officer training exercise out of the Jordanian Armed Forces Military Academy where some 800 officers graduated today. And that is the end of that, other than some speciality training for officers in other than just strictly infantry company-level battalion staff brigade staff and battalion brigade commanders.
General PETRAEUS. And then at the collective training there are sill several battalions right now that are in various stages of training. Two of those, well, one is certainly conducting operations right now out at the training base at Takagi, north of Baghdad. And that is the battalion that is going to then deploy down into southeast Baghdad. It is sort of a graduation exercise, which over here we can do real live operations in a relatively quiet environment up there but still very much real operations. And then there is another battalion right behind them that is completing its training in military operations in urban terrain, that was an add-on that we wanted to provide to these battalions of the Iraqi National Task Force so they are prepared when they go into urban environment.
Here is another one a little bit behind that. At the end of July we will have three Iraq National Task Force battalions. That will give us probably 2,500 or so soldiers actually deployed and on operations and through all stages of training.
Page 62 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SPRATT. One final question. When you get a force of 35,000 to 40,000 trained and stood up, will this be sufficient for the mission for internal security in Iraq, or will this require other forces and coalition forces for some time to come as augmenting forces?
General PETRAEUS. Sir, there are really a lot of factors that will go into that determination, and one of them is one we don't have an enormous control over, and that is the enemy still has a vote in this. A lot will depend on what does happen to the enemy after 1 July once the Iraqi authorities are in charge; will that reduce some of those that might see themselves as nationalist figures who just want to get rid of the coalition? On the other hand, it will not necessarily reduce thethose that want to see the new Iraq fail.
So, again, a lot is going to depend on how resilient that opposition is. Other factors include how well the ICDC and their new concept do and as they are connected, again, to the Ministry and the joint headquarters through the creation of these additional brigade and divisional headquarters, again a decision that is up to Prime Minister Allawi but one that we are developing options for.
Beyond that, I think very important on a related note, not in the Ministry of Defense but in the Ministry of Interior, certainly the border police, we will have to go to more border police. That is based on nothing more than on the ground experience and gut feel. But I can do the math and I know the number of kilometers of border here and I know the number of border police forces, border guards, and I just don't see them able to do that mission, certainly not until we can firm the whole border up and eventually make it more robust, the way many of the international borders in this part of the country are, such as that between, for example, Kuwait and Iraq.
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Beyond that, obviously, the police, if we can increase the professionalization of the police, 90,000, which should be their end strength, and that will be achieved after we offer early retirements. Some of those are already serving now because the payroll is close to 120,000. They are critically important. They are in the first line of defense, obviously. And if we can improve their performance substantially, that again also will have a big impact.
And so those are the factors, Congressman. And again, it is real good to see you again, sir.
Mr. SPRATT. Thank you, sir
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. The gentleman from Georgia, Doctor Gingrey.
Dr. GINGREY. General Petraeus, I was at a meeting earlier today and Ambassador Negroponte spoke with us, and of course he will soon be standing up the embassy there in Baghdad. And he emphasized the fact that as the baton is passed over on July 1, that really he would have very little to do with the civilian control and the government they set up. That will be clearly in the hands of the Iraqi people.
And I wonder in regard to the military, and maybe you answered this question earlier, but it seems that in light of the unanimous U.N. Security Council Resolution, that emphasized that the Iraqi Minister of Defense should ultimately make the decisions for security operations in Iraq, I guess about the same time, July 1, it does concern me; this is sort of a follow-on to what Congressman Spratt, his line of questioningare they ready for that? And who will make the ultimate decisions? And it seems to me it is going to be a long time before they are going to be capable of doing that, and what authority will we have militarily after the handover occurs?
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General PETRAEUS. Sir, first of all, again, the real final mechanisms, if you will, are still being polished, I guess, or refined, although they have, again, the senior consultive bodies established and they have already been meeting, in fact, to determine answers to a variety of questions.
And I point out again, sir, you know the Iraqis have already made decisions in the security realm. I mentioned a couple of big ones right off the bat. One of them was to create the Civil Intervention Force in the Ministry of Interior on the police side. That is a substantial decision, and one that there is enough money for what was budgeted for the Ministry of Interior. The deployment of the Iraq National Task Force, that is a decision by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense and it is one that, frankly, is a great decision.
And I can tell you that all of us and Pete Corelli, Commander of the 1st Calvary Division is going to do his very utmost to get them established. That is his area of responsibility right now, to get them established to work out the liaison and coordination mechanisms that are so essential. Where forces of different countries are working side by side. Again, he will have advisory and support teams with them. These elements will help with that a great deal.
But, again, that was an Iraqi decision. And there are other decisions that they are making about, frankly, the deployment of forces that, again, we are working to help them make happen.
The bigger decisions, Prime Minister Allawi, again as I mentioned earlier, we and our Iraqi partners owe him some options on some of the structures that he might build. Again, those are going to be his decisions. The other thing, sir, I have been working now with these various Iraqi leaders on virtually a daily basis, certainly on the side of the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Defense. They are great leaders; reasonable, rational men who have enormous enthusiasm and also recognize the limitations and the capabilities. They very much want to take charge, they are taking charge, but we can work with them, sir. And that is what we need to do, have to do, and will do. And I have told them on a number of occasions, as we used to tell our Iraqi partners in the north, their success is our success. And we mean that.
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Dr. GINGREY. Thank you, General. Thank you for your service. And, Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. And, General Petraeus, thank you for hanging in there with us, and we are just about done.
And we have the distinguished Ranking Member, the gentleman from Missouri. Mr. Skelton had just a few wrap-up questions here and then we will let you go back to work.
Mr. SKELTON. First let me thank you for being with us today, and we are very, very proud of the service you have given, and you are the right person for this very tough job. So thank you again, and we wish you all the best.
I have two concerns that we can wrap up into one. June 14, USA Today article, headlines: ''Fallujah Brigade Tries U.S. Patience. Experiment Falling Short, Colonel Says. A top Marine officer here says the compromise that gave control of Fallujah to an Iraqi brigade in exchange for the withdrawal of Marines may be a failure.''
And, General, in addition to that, we of course saw some Iraqi soldiers 2that did not fight well and even some of them turned on us. What lessons do we take away from these two efforts, the one earlier and the one more recently, the Fallujah Iraqi brigade?
General PETRAEUS. Sir, first of all let me just start by thanking you one more time for all you have done to make the U.S. military, professional military education system the best in the world. I think General Galvin, an old friend of yours, used to say you knew more about that system than we did, and it has evolved wonderfully, in large measure because of the attention you have given to it.
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Sir, on the Fallujah brigade, I think everybody recognizes that that was in a sense a one-off deal. There were an awful lot of factors that went into the; to that particular, the evolution of that particular organization. There are certainly limitations to it that are being recognized, and it is certainly not a long run solution for security in that area. But on the other hand, the longer run solution has got to be developed before our organization is offered opportunities to either be incorporated in Iraqi security forces, or, given separate circumstances, who knows what.
That was a very, very specific context out there, I think extraordinarily complex, and an awful lot of interest in assistance, if you will, from Iraqi political figures. And frankly, they will be very heavily involved. It is very clear in what the eventual outcome is there, and they will work closely with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in the days and weeks ahead. There are have been discussions and negotiations out there to get others incorporated in various processes and see if they can move ahead in that regard.
Sir, I mentioned earlier, we did take an awful lot of lessons after what happened in early April. We really revamped the ICDC concept. One of the factors that we identified as being present in those ICDC units that did well and fought and shot back when they were shot at and took casualties was, for example, a close relation with the coalition forces in their area; very, very close.
As you may recall, I think you saw, sir, up in Mosul, the ICDC lived with us, lived in our mess hall, worked out in our gym there, such as it was, and in fact in the guard towers, we actually had one ICDC soldier, one American soldier, one interpreter, and it worked out fine.
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There was a huge change in the sense that the ICDC soldiers have to be soldiers and not day workers, day laborers, or day guards. There were places in which they were walking to work in the morning, doing their job during the day, and then walking home at night. Obviously, that opens the possibility of them not showing up for work on the day that you really want them; intimidation at home and all the rest of that. So the decision then was made that they would live on base camps three weeks on and one week off. And again that has already helped.
FPS concept, lessons learned there that there needed to be attention of some additional central command and control at the province level and also established at the national level. That has since been established. And they are going to be established at the province level after the big huddle we are going to have tomorrow, in fact nationwide, with all the various FPS leaders to ensure that that is established and that those leaderscompounds, communications, machine guns on the backs of vehicles. And, again, they spend all day, every day, going around spinning plates and ensuring that their guards are doing the job that they need to do for their ministry activities for which they are serving.
Lessons learned in regard to the police, big one there having to do with certainly, equipping, training, and again the relationship with coalition forces. We can never allow them to think that they might not be backed up if they get in a tough spot. And that may have been the case in a couple of places where some other forces were located. And again, the footprint of coalition forces now, we think, will make that less likely.
So those kinds of lessons were definitely learned, Congressman. And in addition to the earlier ones that were mentioned about training leaders, we have also done a variety of police leader courses since then. Again, these are never as long as we would like them to be. They are never comparable in length or comprehensive as to what is done in the United States, but they are an attempt, again, to both make some progress in that area and yet not take so long in doing it that we remain a work in progress forever.
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Thank you, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. And, General Petraeus, congratulations on your endurance. We have had a good 2 hours with you, and I think it has been a very productive hearing.
Oh, excuse me, I almost missed the distinguished gentleman from Maryland, the Chairman of Projection Forces Subcommittee, Mr. Bartlett. He has some questions.
Mr. BARTLETT. I have just one question, sir. Thank you very much for your service.
In our country, to assure civil stability and support we have developed through the years a number of different organizations like the National Guard, the sheriff, the local police, state police, firefighters, emergency medical. And as they developed, as we grew, they determined kind of by joint agreement, areas of responsibility and jurisdictional boundaries and lines of authority.
My question is here in Iraq, you have a number of different organizations that you are standing up and training. And you know, we are going to just impose these on an already established mature society. And I am concerned about how you are going to assure that they understand what their areas of responsibility are and their jurisdictional boundaries and their lines of authority so that they are all working very efficiently and cooperatively together.
Page 69 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General PETRAEUS. Yes, sir, Congressman Bartlett. In most cases, first of all, by the way, they do in fact have very comparable numbers of emergency and security services to what we have in the United States. And in most cases these did exist before. The only one that I am aware of that did not exist in the past is the Iraq Civil Defense Corps, and that was done as a short term measure by the divisions in the field with the support of Ambassador Bremer, and certainly the Iraqis, to get some Iraqi security forces out right away, even as this model for the Army and the training of the police began to gather some momentum.
The structure established is all the joint coordinating commission, (JCC)s and there are varying levels of maturity. But again, frankly, we were very fortunate, as I mentioned, to have it up in Mosul. And it is basically a large conference room with maps, with all the radios that allow them, and liaison officers, allow them to connect to each of their precincts and their civil defense, which to them in that case means fire department and emergency medical services, combat divers and some others. The ICDC brigade is represented in there; the facility projection, security forces and also liaison with coalition forces.
Again, in this buildup structure, it is reasonably good in many of the provinces, and in those where it is still being established there is a great deal of emphasis on doing just that. In some cases, where there are larger cities that are not the capital of a province, there are additional joint coordination committees, and they are out there, again, to do the same thing in these other large metropolitan areas.
The Iraqis themselves are looking at the establishment of more regional organizations as well. That is really up to them at this point, sir. In some cases, there are regional police establishments, but they are not mirrored by all of the others and, again, they are going to have to come to grips with that.
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At a national level, there really is an effort that has to be undertaken to build in each of the ministries, particularly in the Ministry of Defense, which really did not exist until just recently; and, of course, the new Minister has been on the job for a couple of weeks; but to create in there their version of our national military command center, and then the communications links that allow them to actually command and control their armed forces.
Same on the Ministry of the Interior side, their overall center is a work in progress. It is coming along. We have to enable them with the command and control architecture that will again enable them to connect with each of the province joint coordination centers, and in the interior side with the province police chiefs, and then on so on down the line. The money is there, we believe, for just about all of that. Contracts are already let for a great deal of that as well.
The overall national emergency system is also designed and we are now even getting into the area of frequency spectrum management which gives you some idea that people are gripping this issue in trying to resolve this.
Those are the mechanisms. But as I mentioned, there is still some work going on at the top to work below these top level organizations. One additional coordinating mechanism will exist, but I think those are all going to be viable in short order.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you, sir, for a good job and for your patience and for your very thoughtful answers to my questions. Thank you and God bless.
Page 71 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General PETRAEUS. Thank you, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. General Petraeus, thank you for the two and a half hours you have given us. I think your testimony has been very instructive. It has helped us to know what we have to do to give you the tools to get the job done. And I think we are going to be successful in this very challenging endeavor because of the great talent and courage of the men in uniform who wear the uniform of the United States. You and your team is a great representative of that.
Thanks. We will let you get back to work. This hearing is adjourned.
General PETRAEUS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. And before we go, incidentally, I want to thank your backup quarterback, General Bergner, who was waiting for any questions he might have to take if our video communications broke down. He has done a great job waiting on the sidelines and we haven't had to send him in.
General Bergner, thank you for being with us this morning.
[Whereupon, at 11:20 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]