SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10815]
OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM: OPERATIONS AND RECONSTRUCTION
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS
JULY 10, 2003
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
One Hundred Eighth Congress
DUNCAN HUNTER, California, Chairman
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCCURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
JOHN M. MCHUGH, New York
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
HOWARD P. ''BUCK'' MCKEON, California
MAC THORNBERRY, Texas
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
HEATHER WILSON, New Mexico
KEN CALVERT, California
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
ED SCHROCK, Virginia
W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
JEFF MILLER, Florida
JOE WILSON, South Carolina
FRANK A. LOBIONDO, New Jersey
TOM COLE, Oklahoma
JEB BRADLEY, New Hampshire
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCROB BISHOP, Utah
MICHAEL TURNER, Ohio
JOHN KLINE, Minnesota
CANDICE S. MILLER, Michigan
PHIL GINGREY, Georgia
MIKE ROGERS, Alabama
TRENT FRANKS, Arizona
IKE SKELTON, Missouri
JOHN SPRATT, South Carolina
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
LANE EVANS, Illinois
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
MARTY MEEHAN, Massachusetts
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
JIM TURNER, Texas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
MIKE MCINTYRE, North Carolina
CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
ROBERT A. BRADY, Pennsylvania
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
SUSAN A. DAVIS, California
JAMES R. LANGEVIN, Rhode Island
STEVE ISRAEL, New York
RICK LARSEN, Washington
JIM COOPER, Tennessee
JIM MARSHALL, Georgia
KENDRICK B. MEEK, Florida
MADELEINE Z. BORDALLO, Guam
RODNEY ALEXANDER, Louisiana
TIM RYAN, Ohio
ROBERT S. RANGEL, Staff Director
JAMES M. LARIVIERE, Professional Staff Member
JUSTIN BERNIER, Research Assistant
C O N T E N T S
Thursday, July 10, 2003, Operation Iraqi Freedom: The Commander's Perspective
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Thursday, July 10, 2003
THURSDAY, JULY 10, 2003
OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM: THE COMMANDER'S PERSPECTIVE
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
Franks, Gen. Tommy R., Former Commander, U.S. Central Command
Hunter, Hon. Duncan
Franks, Gen. Tommy R.
Skelton, Hon. Ike
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCDOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Documents submitted 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.]
OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM: THE COMMANDER'S PERSPECTIVE
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Thursday, July 10, 2003.
The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:06 a.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Duncan Hunter (chairman of the committee) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.
Today, the committee will continue its review of the lessons learned from Operation Iraqi Freedom; and we are very fortunate to have as our witness General Tommy Franks, Former Commander, United States Central Command.
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General, on behalf of the committee, thank you for the years of distinguished service to our country and for leading our young men and women in what can only be judged as a brilliant military campaign.
It has only been a few days since your change-of-command ceremony, and I am sure you are busy preparing for your next career, so we appreciate your ability to make time for us today. We will need your perspective to help sort through the multiple reports, studies, and presentations that are going to be prepared on Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Defense analysts and special interests are already drawing the battle lines over how to interpret Operation Iraqi Freedom in the debate on military transformation. Advocates of transformation describe the war in Iraq as a validation of every transformational idea that has ever been proposed and view it as a model for all future operations. Others note that legacy forces and capabilities largely won the war and argue that the military isn't broken and doesn't need fixing.
Ultimately, Operation Iraqi Freedom will reveal many lessons about warfare that lie somewhere between the two camps. No one should deny that transformational technologies and capabilities made Operation Iraqi Freedom more decisive and less costly than it might have been. Nor should we forget that victory still required American boots on the ground, armed with the best and most survivable equipment the American people can provide.
And I might add, General, I think we saw soldiers and Marines and sailors and airmen who performed with all of the talent and courage and tenacity of any American soldiers in this century; and I think that was inspiring to all Americans.
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General FRANKS. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. The question that Michener asked in his book, the Bridges of Toko-Ri, where does America get these people, I think can still be answered in that they come from all walks of life, all parts of our country; and, to the credit of our country and to our benefit, they are still coming.
So, General, your thoughts are going to be vitally important in helping us sort through all these competing perspectives on this war.
At this time, I would like to turn to the distinguished gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Skelton, who has his own way of helping to put these things into context and who has spent a lot of time, I might say, in not only working on the issues that directly affect the warfighting, but also focusing long before the war on what he viewed to be a major issue and that was after the war, the post-war Iraq and how we would manage this hand-off to a country with benign intentions toward the United States, with a decent economy and with an enduring freedom.
So, at this point, let me ask Mr. Skelton for any remarks he might want to make.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hunter can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you very, very much for this hearing, for calling it; and a special welcome, Mr. Chairman, to our friend, General Tommy Franks.
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It is an absolute pleasure to have you. This is an opportunity to thank you for your service. General, you are remarkable, and we thank you for what you have done for our Army, for our military, and for our country. It is good of you to be with us today.
You achieved military successes in Afghanistan and in Iraq. You led the Central Command through a very extraordinary era of challenge. There is no doubt that success under your leadership is due in no small measure to the quality of our military leadership. It is my view that the victory is also a testament to the quality of our officers and the war colleges that enable them to plan under your guidance and the excellence of the caliber of young people and their training that they have had. As a result, they have enabled you to have success on both fields.
General FRANKS. Yes, sir.
Mr. SKELTON. I must draw attention, as the Chairman mentioned, to post-Saddam Hussein Iraq. We are all concerned about what is going on there. In my opinion, there appears to be a lack of planning for reconstruction; and it seems to be a day-by-day, catch-as-you-can situation. I pointed out the early need for a comprehensive post-war planning in letters I sent to the President and others in both September and March, both of which were before the conflict started.
I have a fear that the pattern that we see nowif left unchecked, we may find ourselves, General, in the throes of guerilla warfare for years. I hope that doesn't come to pass.
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I raise this because members on both sides of the aisle want to be helpful, and we want to be constructive. We cannot leave Iraq. This has to be a success. If it is not a success, the credibility of the United States of America as a leader in this free world will hit rock bottom. We cannot allow that. That is why we want to provide all we can to Ambassador Bremer and his team. We understand the nature of what we face, and no doubt many of those who are attacking us do so because of the previous regime or growing frustration for not being in control of their own future.
Reconstruction is a lengthy process, but it is one that demands planning and building, and it has to come to pass successfully. No question about that. And I think every member of this committee and every Member of Congress understands and wishes that to be so. I have urged both Secretary Wolfowitz and Ambassador Bremer to give us milestones on the ways to stability and a new government in Iraq, and I hope that they can provide that to us within the foreseeable future.
Now, with that, Mr. Chairman, I again thank the General for being with us, for his success, for being, Mr. Chairman, the role model for American's uniform. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Skelton can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. Once again, General Franks, thank you for your service to the United States. Without objection, your entire written statement will be taken into the record; and the floor is yours.
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STATEMENT OF GEN. TOMMY R. FRANKS, FORMER COMMANDER, U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND
General FRANKS. Mr. Chairman, Congressman Skelton, members, in fact, I am honored to be here to appear before the committee today. I appreciate, Mr. Chairman, that you will enter my remarks in the record. I will shorten them and provide verbally some of my thoughts on the key issues this morning.
Since we last met in this room, a great deal has happened in the Central Command area of responsibility. A brutal regime, as this committee knows, has been removed from Iraq; and, actually, the people in that country have started to build toward their own future.
Our forces have continued to help Afghanistan. Afghanistan continues to make strides toward independence, and the Afghan people continue to develop their nation while our forces, as Coalition lead, continue to seek out and destroy terrorists and their networks all across the central region.
I look forward to discussing these points as the committee may wish in the time ahead, but let me at this point bring you a message from some 280,000 American men and women who wear the uniform and serve in the central region, those I have been privileged to command; and that message, Mr. Chairman, is thank you to this committee, to this body, to the Congress. Throughout both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, our forces in the field have been blessed to serve civilian leadership who has set very clear military objectives and a leadership which has provided our men and women the tools they need to win. On their behalf, I will simply say thank you for what you do for our troops.
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As you know, earlier this week General John Abizaid took the reins of command down in Tampa. He is a principled leader, a soldier, a man I have known for a long time, tested under fire, and all of us can be very confident of the future of this very important command.
I would like to begin, Mr. Chairman, by recognizing Coalition nations whose contributions of forces, equipment, and economic support have signalled worldwide commitment to eradicate terrorism. Over the past year, the Coalition has been steadfast. As we speak today, Mr. Chairman, some 63 nations are represented at Central Command's headquarters in Tampa.
A force has been built in the central region to help our objectives in both Iraq and Afghanistan, those objectives including the denial of freedom of operation to terrorists, to deny terrorists the potential use of weapons of mass destruction, to bring terrorists to justice, to dismantle their networks.
In the process of doing that, Mr. Chairman, we have also established a joint task force that is today conducting operations and providing presence, sharing training, expertise and working with the nations in the Horn of Africa. The purpose is the same: To combat terrorism and promote stability. Work in the region is under way, but I will discuss in a bit greater detail in a minute the environment within the region remains challenging.
Securing our interests and working toward regional stability will involve risks in the future, as we have accepted risk in the past, and will also require continuing commitment of our resources.
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You remember, Mr. Chairman, that the central region is an area of about 6.4 million square miles. It runs from Egypt and Jordan to the Horn of Africa, includes the Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan down in South Asia, and up to the north through Central Asia as far north as Kazakhstan, some 25 nations, including the waters of the Red Sea, the Northern Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf, and the key maritime choke points of Suez, Bab el Mandeb and the Strait of Hormuz.
The area is home to about a half a billion people. They represent all of the world's major religions and almost 20 major ethnic groups. National economies in this region vary greatly from annual per capita incomes as low as a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. The area includes dictatorships, absolute monarchies, failed states, democracies, and governments in transition toward democracy. Humanitarian crises, resource depletion, overuse, environmental issues, religious and ethnic conflict, demographic challenges, and military power imbalances in the region create social, economic, and military volatility. These factors are particularly significant given the geographical and economic importance of the region where natural resources provide extraordinary economic opportunities.
However, these same resources also give rise to a range of problems and rivalry. Some states have compensated by the industry of their people. Other states have not.
In the past two years, Central Command (CENTCOM) has been at the leading edge of the Global War On Terrorism. The Command is engaged with U.S. and Coalition forces in Afghanistan and in Iraq today, and our commitment remains as strong today as it was when we started. Our troops are working to bring security to the region, and they will continue to do so.
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Sir, on the ground today in Iraq our troops are conducting ongoing offensive operations, combining civil military work with direct military action to seek out and bring to justice the leaders of this fallen regime. Our priorities include forming and training police forces, security forces, a new Iraqi army; improving the infrastructure of that country; supporting the establishment of both local and national government; and providing emergency medical care and other humanitarian assistance with which the committee would be familiar.
Much dangerous work remains to be done. The media reminds us of that fact every day. But, you know, millions of Iraqis have freedoms today which they only dreamed of a year ago, and the regime of Saddam Hussein is no longer in power.
As you mentioned, Mr. Chairman, our troops work daily very closely with Ambassador Jerry Bremer and the entirety of the civilian team and provide direct support and the tools that he needs in order to be successful. Progress is being made; and our country is justifiably proud, as Congressman Skelton said, of what has been done by young men and women in uniform, American and the other nations of the Coalition.
Let me talk briefly about lessons learned up to this point, and then I will entertain the questions that the committee may have and go into detail as you may wish, Mr. Chairman.
Decisive combat operations in Iraq saw a maturing first of joint force operations. Some capabilities reached new performance levels, from a joint integration perspective, our experience in Operations Southern Watch and Northern Watch where, over the course of 10 years, we flew 180,000 missions over Iraq. Our troopers were shot at over 1,700 times during that 10 years and responded kinetically on more than 450 occasions. That background provided tools that enabled us to understand joint operations in this area of responsibility and should be counted as one of the major factors that led to military success in Operation Iraqi Freedom. These operations also helped improve our joint interoperability, combined interoperability, working with the Brits to be sure and working with neighbors in the gulf region.
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During this time, our command, control, computer communications and intelligence architectures were dramatically improved; and the synergy of those operations were taken to new levels of sophistication. Our forces were able to achieve their operational objectives during the military beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom by integrating ground maneuver, Special Operations forces, precision lethal fires, and nonprecision fires. We saw for the first time the integration of forces, rather than the deconfliction of forces, a very substantial point. In my experience, which spans some 38 years in uniform, I have seen the operations of services and nations deconflicted. This is the first joint and combined operations I have witnessed during my time in the service.
This integration enabled conventionalthat being air, ground, and seaforces to use and to leverage Special Operations Forces' capabilities to deal with asymmetric threats and enable precision targeting simultaneously on the same battlefield.
Likewise, Special Operations Forces were able to use conventional forces to enhance and enable special missions. Operational fire provided from the air spearheaded ground maneuver and supported Special Operations Forces. We saw jointness, we saw precision fires, command and control technologies, equipment readiness, the state of training of our troops, and Coalition support as very clear above-the-line winners in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
That said, we also identified a number of areas which require additional work today, tomorrow, and in the budgets ahead. Fratricide prevention is one area where we need work as we suffered from a lack of standardized combat identification of the systems and the people between nations and between services on the battlefield.
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Similarly, deployment planning and deployment execution were cumbersome, much more closely akin to those required during the Cold War than being relevant to forces which will be required to support this nation in the 21st century.
And Coalition information sharing also must be improved at all levels. Human intelligence and communications bandwith are also areas which will require continuing focus in the days, months, and years ahead.
Mr. Chairman, let me talk for just a minute about the current status of operations in Iraq. Although security continues to improve, portions of Iraq are now and will remain for some time dangerous.
You want to flip that map over for me.
A quick look at this map of Iraq describes what we think we see today. The brown part of the map in the center represents what we call the Sunni triangle. It is the place where the Ba'ath party was the most seriously invested in that country, and it represents where we see more than 90 percent of the difficulties that we see reflected every day in our ongoing operations in Iraq.
The lightly shaded areas that appear to be yellow from where I am sitting represent areas where we see less difficulty but where we also see difficulty, be it from Fedayeen Saddam residual elements, be it from Ba'athist residual elements, or from cells of terrorists which came into Iraq during the course of this conflict. But, Mr. Chairman, this is what we look at today.
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I think it is very important for us to all remember and continue to remind ourselves that the term stability operations, which is what we are doing right now, does not imply that combat operations have ended. It does imply that major combat operations against enemy formations have ended. Military forces are still required to set conditions that will enable the evolution of Iraq, as Congressman Skelton just described it.
Factors that will influence our force mix in the days aheadthat is, how many Americans to be invested in Iraq, for how longwill be subject to conditions that we see on the ground. One of those conditions will be Coalition force contributions. How much international interest are we able to generate? What types and how many of international forces will we be able to invest in this country? How quickly will we bring along Iraqi police forces and security forces to guard key infrastructure in that country? And how long will it take us to move forward and to establish a new Iraqi army? All these issues are under way as we speak.
Ambassador Jerry Bremer is working very, very hard to balance three key points: One is the establishment of governance. That is, to put an Iraqi face on what we see in Iraq. Another is to move the economy forward. And the third is to improve security in the areas that I have indicated on this map graphic.
Sir, integration of Coalition forces is a major near term effort. The United Kingdom and Poland are already committed to lead the vision in Southern Iraq; and many partner nations, many of them from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), have offered forces to fill those units. Deployment of those forces has already begun. We continue discussions today with India and Pakistan.
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At this moment, 19 Coalition partners are on the ground in support of military operations in Iraq, 19 additional countries are preparing forces to be deployed to Iraq, and an additional 11 nations are conducting military-to-military discussions here in Washington and at my headquarters in Tampa.
At this point, about 35,000 Iraqi police have been raised, and that is about 55 or so percent of an anticipated Iraqi police requirement of about 61,000 nationwide. Throughout the country, many of these law enforcement officers are currently conducting joint patrols with U.S. military forces, and we will ultimately transition responsibility for security and stability to the Iraqis.
The CHAIRMAN. General Franks.
General FRANKS. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. About how much longer do you have within your opening statement?
General FRANKS. Sir, maybe two minutes.
The CHAIRMAN. I will tell you what. We have got, I think, about five minutes left in this vote. I think it is very important that the committee have an opportunity to hear your entire statement. Believe me, other witnesses, the committee is eager to leave early, but in this case I think they want to hear everything you have said. Let us take a break right now. We will vote; we will be back in a few minutes, and we will keep on trucking.
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General FRANKS. All right, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. General, we just went over and voted on approving the Journal; and I insisted that every Member read it before they vote. So thank you for interrupting your statement, and please proceed.
General FRANKS. Mr. Chairman, thank you.
Sir, with respect to what we see in Iraq today, I was describing what I believed to be a building of momentum. The creation of the new Iraqi army is, in fact, also moving forward. We will begin creating it in the next few days. The plan envisions placing three divisions initiallyone in Mosul, one in Baghdad, and one down in the south in Basrah in order to provide territorial defense and to help conduct stability operations. During the first year, which is beginning now, we believe that we will field approximately nine battalions of the Iraqi army. The new Iraqi army and these forces will work initially to help secure infrastructure, to help protect fixed sites, and on border control. As it develops, the force will also be working with Coalition forces in order to make the Iraqi contribution to security of their own country.
Underlying all security functions is the need to continue to conduct humanitarian assistance and the conduct of civil-military operations which we have been doing and will continue to do in order to improve the quality of life of the Iraqi people. It is possible to say that there will be no growth in the economy and that the Iraqi people will not improve until their condition, until security improves. It is also possible to say that until the Iraqi people are able to see some tangible benefit of their liberation that the security will not improve. So what we recognize is that we must move forward together in order to put an Iraqi face on the building of governance in Iraq in order to stimulate and grow the economy so that the average Iraqi can see the benefit of his or her liberation and continue to work with Iraqis and within the Coalition in order to improve security.
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Mr. Chairman, let me conclude by saying our part in the global war on terrorism continues. It is ongoing. The precision, the determination, the expertise of our young men and women who wear the uniform and of our Coalition partners has brought about the liberation of Afghanistan. It has brought about the liberation of Iraq, both in lightening speed in the sweep of history, with minimum bloodshed. These two nations have taken only their first steps, however, in moving toward freedom, liberty; and our country and our Coalition partners must be there to support the whole journey.
As Congressman Skelton said, there is no option. We will be there to support the journey, and these missions will succeed. We have accomplished a lot, but the potential for terrorist acts, for setbacks, for continued difficulty remain very real.
Afghanistan has a new government, a new army, and with Coalition support the nation is making strides toward long-term stability.
In Iraq, Saddam Hussein's regime is gone. His supporters are being rooted out. It will take time. Our forces and Jerry Bremer will stay after it. Our focus in Iraq has, in fact, changed from one of military destruction of a regime to one of providing security and humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people while helping establish a representative form of government. Decisive combat operations have been completed, but much work remains.
I am, and as well as you are, very proud of each and every one of the men and women who have continued to serve selflessly and tirelessly in the execution of our mission in the central region, from Egypt to Kazakhstan, from the Suez Canal to Pakistan, regardless of the uniform of service these people wear or the nation they represent. Mr. Chairman, I thank the Congress, this body and this committee as well as the American people, those who wave the flag while many in uniform salute the flag, for your tremendous support, the support you have given and will continue to give.
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Mr. Chairman I would be pleased to take your questions.
The CHAIRMAN. General, thank you and thanks for a very complete statement.
[The prepared statement of General Franks can be viewed in the hard copy.]
The CHAIRMAN. Let me start off by asking you for your thoughts about where your service, the U.S. Army, should go.
We have heard lots of talk about transformation, about being able to get places quicker with more lethality, and we have seen the discussion and proposals for new systems, and in many cases that involves getting rid of old systems. And yet, we saw in the operation where you drove the tip of that armored spear at extreme speeds, taking a lot of key points, bridges, oil fields, et cetera, before they could be blown by the enemywe saw a validation in some of what I would call some of the old; that is, heavy armor.
We also saw validation with respect to some of the newprecision munitions that paved the way, that knocked out armor when you forced it to mass with your ground forces, to oppose the ground forces. In fact, we saw, I think, an integration of the old; that is, the armored forces with the new, the new technologies of precision in a very effective way that produced a lot of lethality.
So amid this hubbub of discussion as to wherehow the Army should transform, what are your thoughts with respect to the major components of this important warfighting force and where we should go from here?
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General FRANKS. Mr. Chairman, with respect to just the Army, I probably won't give you as complete an answer as you want. Let me, if you will, talk about it from a joint
The CHAIRMAN. That is a better question. Thank you.
General FRANKS. There is no question that America's military of the future will have certain defining characteristics. The force needs to be lethal so that our country can remain credible, backed by credible military force. So, lethality for the future 20 years to 50 years will remain terribly important.
Light will become ever more important. We see a move toward lightness in the U.S. Army now. The desire is to maintain the ability in our platforms for ground systems to protect the people inside and to be very lethal while at the same time being light enough to be transported much more quickly than we are able to transport them now. So the mark on the wall for the future will be light, good force protection, and it will remain lethal.
Sir, we have learned in both Afghanistan and Iraq that precision munitions will also be a part of the transformed military force in the years ahead. One can say that more precision is better, and I believe each of the services is moving in that direction.
I remember some of the early reports that we took out of Afghanistan. Whereas during the first Gulf War in 1991 we saw that it took several aircraft delivering dumb munitions in order to destroy each target, we saw in Afghanistan and we saw later in Iraq that we had in fact flipped that and it was taking one air frame to destroy several targets. That appears to all of us as being a very desirable characteristic of future force.
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Mobility will also be a need for the future force. The ability to get the sorts of platforms, combat platforms we want and move them long distances in a hurry, whether it is in the air or whether it is at sea, will be also something that we are going to want to see in the future force. Our ability to connect with allies, command, control, computers, communications, will also be a part of the transformational mix.
Mr. Chairman, I thinkin the future, I think what we do not yet know is what the force footprint, what the size of the various services should be, and I will not tread there. I will leave that to each of the services. Because when one decides given precision, given speed, given lethality, how much of the force structure request be traded off, sir, I am not in a position to be able to offer an opinion.
Now, let me, sir, connect perhaps the present to the future. What I tried to describe is what I think the future force would want to look like. But in reality we have today the force we have today. We have some precision, we have some mobility, we have some force protection in our armor systems. We have lethality. We do not, however, match all the desired transformational characteristics that I described. And so, sir, the work that must be done in the Department and in each of the services is to figure the bridge from where we get with the systems we have today to where we want to be 10 years, 20 years, or 50 years into the future.
Sir, that is the issue, in my view, with legacy systems. We found that the armor punch that we were able to deliver in Iraq was very, very powerful. We also found that, even absent armor, the use of Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan leveraging air power and precision was also a very, very powerful use of legacy capability, legacy forces and legacy equipment.
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So exactly how much we trade off of which type force in order to move, sir, from where we are today to the force we desire in the future is going to be work that I think the Secretary characterizes as transformation; and it is within that construct of transformation that the retention of legacy systems is going to have to be addressed.
I am sorry, sir, for the long answer, but that is the best I can do.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, General.
Mr. SKELTON. General, thank you again for your testimony and for your service.
It appears to me that we find that America is quite good thanks to the reasons I mentioned earlier, winning on the battlefield, and that we have a lot to learn to bring stability to a dangerous country. Am I correct?
General FRANKS. Yes, sir. You are correct.
Mr. SKELTON. A few moments agoI hope I wrote this correctlyyou said the conditions now remain dangerous in Iraq, is that right?
General FRANKS. That is correct.
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Mr. SKELTON. Major General Retired Bob Scales likened the conditions in Iraq today as thuggery as opposed to guerilla warfare; and, however you term it, there were still nine serious attacks yesterday, am I correct?
General FRANKS. Sir, on a given dayI didn't look at yesterday, but on a given day there will be somewhere between 10 and 25 violent incidents in the area that I have indicated on this map.
Mr. SKELTON. General, were you surprised at the end of our initial victorymilitary victory over the forces of Iraq, were you surprised at the continued military opposition that our troops are receiving?
General FRANKS. Congressman Skelton, I was not surprised because I had not developed an expectation that hope could become a method. I had hoped that we would see the total collapse of all resistance and that there would be no fractious behavior, but I had never believed that that hope could be a reality. And, Congressman Skelton, that is why our troops train so vigorously at 29 Palms out in California, at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Louisiana, at the National Training Center at Fort Erwin, California, to be able to operate in this sort of a stability environment.
Mr. SKELTON. Now, we have, as I understand it, around 150,000 American troops in Iraq, is that right?
General FRANKS. 148, sir. That is correct.
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Mr. SKELTON. According to the news media andwhich quotes the Department of Defense request for congressional appropriations and states that the Department of Defense now assumes the ground naval force in theater today will likely remain at that level through the end of fiscal 2003 and begin to demobilize in fiscal 2004. Do you anticipate that to come to pass?
General FRANKS. Sir, I thinkanticipateyes, I do, sir. I do anticipate that that will come to pass. No hedge on my comment, but I will give the following caveats:
Since the height of our footprint in the region for Operation Iraqi Freedom, we have already removed 141,000 people. That includes some 47,000 Marines. The remaining footprint at 148 is what I believe General John Abizaid and I and probably our subordinate commanders would say represents the desirable footprint for the near term.
The caveat is to my answer to your question, sirso I don't know if that is through the end of December or whether that is January or February; and, sir, here is why: We need to not develop an expectation that all of the difficulties we see identified on this map will go away within one month or two months or three months, because there are too many variables.
One of the variables is, how many Coalition forces will we wind up putting in? And you know, sir, that we intend to have perhaps 30,000 or so Coalition forces in Iraq by the end of summer.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Also, we don't know what our contractinghow good our contracting is going to be for Iraqi security forces to provide security to infrastructure and fixed sites. We are not exactly sure how long it will take us to generate and vet and be satisfied with all of the Iraqi police forces.
And so, sir, with that long answer I will stop; but I do generally agree with the proposition that we may see next year a reduction in forces. What we see right now for the foreseeable future is that the footprint appears to be okay, but there is a lot of uncertainty.
Mr. SKELTON. My last question. Do you have a judgment as to how long American forces will be in Iraq to help stabilize that country before the Iraqis will be able to assume their own leadership?
General FRANKS. Congressman, I honestly do not. My view is that we want to be there as long as it takes, an expression the President has used and an expression that my boss has used. We want to be there for as long as it takes to have the Iraqis being able to operate with a form of governance that respects human rights as well as neighbors, but we don't want to be there a day longer than that. And so, sir, I anticipate that we will be involved in Iraq in the future. And, sir, I don't know whether that means two years or four years. I just don't know.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank the gentleman.
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The gentleman from Colorado, Mr. Hefley.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you for being here, General Franks; and thank you for the marvelous way that you led our efforts here. We are very, very proud of you.
From the map you indicate that triangle is kind of the problem area. My sense is, from what I have been told, is that most of the country and most of the people are very supportive of us. I would like for you to speak to that.
Also, I get some reports that much of the attacks on us are being committed bythey are actually terrorist attacks being committed by people who may have come in from other countries to keep this thing going.
Are these two things true?
Second, how long and how much effort do you think is going to be necessary to put this down? If this is the last gasp of the Ba'ath party, that is one thing. If it is outside terrorists, it is another; and we have to deal with it differently.
General FRANKS. Congressman, two good questions.
The first on the view of the Iraqi people. If one looks across the population in Iraq, in Baghdad or in Tikrit, Mosul or down in Basrah today, one can find Iraqis in two groups. One group that is either very pro-Coalition or is neutral. That means they are waiting to see, does economic benefit derive from everything that has happened? The other group is disenfranchised Ba'athists; it is jihadists which, sir, I include the terrorists you mentioned in this category. And, sir, I will tell you that, in my view, the population of the first group is factors larger than the population of the second group, which stirs up all the violence.
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Sir, there is another reason that we see constant violence, as I mentioned to Congressman Skelton, between 10 and 25 incidents a day; and part of the reason for that is we go out looking for it. We are, as I mentioned in my statement, conducting offensive operations. We have our people every day not sitting in base camps but rather out looking to find the Ba'athists, looking to find the jihadies, looking to find these people across the border from Syria who are hell bent on creating difficulty.
With respect to the overall view of the Iraqi people, it is hard to put percentages on it, but I captured a fact that I think is rather interesting last night. Right now, there are about 200 radio broadcast outlets in Iraq, about 200, run by Iraqis and broadcasting to 100 percent of the Iraqi population. These people are much more inclined to listen to radioand they do it 24 hours a daythan they are to watch television. We talk about some of the Arab media Al Jazeera and so forth and the impact that they have in the region, but most Iraqis are, in fact, influenced by what they hear on the radio more than they are by what they see on a television.
There are about 200 outlets. Out of the 200 outlets, pro-Coalition and neutral broadcasts comprise 81 percent of what we monitor on these 200 stations. So what the Iraqi people are hearing is either neutral or pro-Coalition 81 percent of the time; 19 percent is anti-Coalition.
Just a second on Jerry Bremer. Ambassador Jerry Bremer, who has done a wonderful job, in fact does have a plan, in fact is working very hard on the three points that I mentioned earlier: governance, economy and security. His work is being favorably received by the Iraqi people.
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And so, sir, my view is that we will continue to see violence until our operations root out the Ba'athists, the Jihadies, that that rooting out will continue; and if we are able to bring the economy and governance along in parallel fashion, that the outcome will be sooner rather than later very positive. If the reverse happens, that we are not able to bring along governance and economy quickly, it will take longer, but, sir, the outcome will be the same. Because the Iraqi people are waiting to see the benefit, and that is why I retain a very positive attitude about Iraq.
Mr. HEFLEY. What is your best guess about Saddam? Did we kill him? Is he still alive? And would that be an enormous help to quelling the unrest if we actually knew we had gotten him one way or another?
General FRANKS. Sir, no doubt about it. I do not know. I have thought in the quietude of, you know, my own office that he is alive or he is not alive or whatever. And actually we don't know whether he and the sons are alive or not, but I can comment to your question.
There is no doubt that confirmation of killing or capturing Saddam will have a very positive effect on operations and stability inside Iraq. Sir, there is no question of that. And for that reason we have an organization that is devoted to that task, very sophisticated. It is an interagency group. We call it Task Force 20, and it is doing very good work. Witness the fact that, out of the top, I guess 52 or 55, the number now stands at about 35 either captured or dead. So our forces in fact are doing a good job; and, sir, it is a matter of time.
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The CHAIRMAN. Thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. Spratt.
Mr. SPRATT. General Franks, congratulations on a masterful performance by yourself as the commander and also by all of the forces under your command.
Based on the intelligence that you had going into this, what sort of surprises did you encounter? I recall one of your ground commanders, a general officer, said this is not the Iraqi troops that we were told we would be fighting at a point in time when they were fighting harder. Did you expect, for example, to find them equipped in the field with chemical weapons and therefore that you expected a chemical weapon counterattack?
General FRANKS. Congressman Spratt, I did expect to see them equipped on the battlefield with chemical weapons based on human intelligence, based on the verbal commitment that we had had over the course of some ten years by the regime to use or to pursue weapons of mass destruction and the view that that regime has of our country and, in fact, of the West. The intelligence indicated to all of us that we should be prepared for the use of weapons of mass destruction against our troops. And I don't know that I would characterize it as surprise that it was not used. Perhaps, rather, I viewed it as a blessing that it was not used. But we were fully prepared and the troops on the ground were fully prepared forto have to fight in a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) environment.
Mr. SPRATT. How do you account for the fact that they weren't used? Is this an intelligence lapse or is this an unexplained element of their tactical planning?
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General FRANKS. Sir, another good question. I actuallyI believe that of some almost 1,000 sites where we thought, based on intelligence, we might find weapons, we had an expectation that we would go into all 1,000 of those sites. That work is not completed. So I believe that we will either find the weapons or we will find evidence of the weapons of mass destruction; and I believe, sir, that will vindicate the intelligence that we received. Intelligence was not perfect. It never will be. But I believe that the intelligence was worked hard, it was worked honestly, and our troops believed, as I believed, that we had better be prepared for the use of WMD on this battlefield.
Mr. SPRATT. In terms of an exit strategy, what do you think needs to be accomplished before you can even start thinking about demobilizing, withdrawing troops? What are the key criteria for us before we can pull out?
General FRANKS. As Congressman Skelton said, sir, absolute success. We have to have an Iraqi face on governance in that country so that we assure ourselves that another safe harbor for terrorism and for the export of WMD is not created.
Mr. SPRATT. Does that mean you would have to have elections and elect a government like that before we could leave?
General FRANKS. Sir, that is my view, yes. I believe that the economy has to be running and there has to be security in the country, although I believe that much of that security will be provided by the Iraqis themselves, keeping in mind the media situation that I mentioned a minute ago, with 200 radio stations and the way the police are being recruited and the building of an Iraqi national army. Believe it will be coming along, but that also, sir, would be the end state before exit.
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Mr. SPRATT. We spent the morning talking about Iraq for good reason, but there is another place that is a matter of concern, and that is Afghanistan. Has it suffered from a lack of attention, a lack of emphasis during the time we put so much emphasis on Iraq?
General FRANKS. Sir, actually, it hasn't. The Coalition and U.S. commitment to Afghanistan have remained constants. I will give you a very simple reason for that, sir.
When we were doing our plan in the Defense Department for potential operations in Iraq, we believed that Afghanistan would be a strategic flank for our operations in Iraq; and so everyone from Secretaryfrom the President to Secretary Rumsfeld right through me were very sensitive to be sure that our operations moved ahead in Afghanistan in parallel with what we were doing in Iraq. Just one single metric that I used to just gauge that is the footprint, the force level. The structure level in Afghanistan has remained constant, between 9 and 10,000 now for over a year. And so, no, sir, we did not suffer as a result.
Mr. SPRATT. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Weldon.
Mr. WELDON. Thank the chairman.
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General, thank you for being here. Thank you for your outstanding service to the country.
General, you are the individual that was on the spot guaranteeing the safety of the lives of our military personnel while the armchair quarterbacks back here in our country were taking potshots, saying the plan wasn't properly thought through, it didn't anticipate what we would find. I think in the end you proved everyone wrong. You did a masterful job, and we are all proud of you. I can tell you that without a doubt.
General FRANKS. Thank you, sir.
Mr. WELDON. You had to make the ultimate decision, I guess, along with the President and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to move forward. Do you feel in hindsight now after it is over that somehow the threat was enhanced or overstated as a justification for to us take military action in Iraq?
General FRANKS. Sir, I do not believe that at all. I do not believe the threat was overstated. I think the threat was accurately stated.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, General.
General, one of my concerns before the war and after is the economic restructuring of the country and the stability that needs to be provided. There have been several Iraqi reconstruction conferences that I have spoken at, and back in March I challenged the energy sector worldwide to come up with a broad-based multinational council to assist us. I agree with you that I think Ambassador Bremer is doing a good job, but in the three items that you outlinedgovernance, economy and securityI think there is an effort that we can explore, and I want to get your assessment if you think we are moving in that direction quickly enough to allow the connection of those three.
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Even though many of us were upset that France and Germany and Russia did not immediately come on board with us and still harbor some concerns about that lack of support, the fact is that they were involved prior to the war and some of their companies have excellent expertise and have an on-site capability to work with the Iraqi people. Therefore, I think there needs to be an international role, not just a U.S. role, for the rebuilding of the country.
For instance, I have in the room todayI introduced you to the leader of the largest energy infrastructure company from Russia, Mr. Bokanovski, who is a major presence in Iraq. He is sitting over here. Meeting with me today he said, we are willing to put our own investment in. We have relationships with the Iraqi people.
Do you think it can be helpful that these companies that were in Iraq and have the ongoing presence, by getting them to come back in and putting their own private sector investment in creating new job opportunities, that they can actually assist in both the security and the governance role that we have to play to get the Iraq country back on a solid footing again? And if you agree with that, I would hope that you would continue a role beyond your military career in a very up front, positive way so that we can benefit from the experience that you have had not just in the military but in your experience in bringing us to the point where we are at in rebuilding a new Iraq.
General FRANKS. Sir, I believewithout talking specifically to the business sector, I believe that it is important to internationalize what we are seeing in Iraq in terms of reconstruction across all three of the points that Jerry Bremer talks about in governance; and I think we are seeing some evidence of that in the rebuilding of the economy, which would certainly address the point, sir, that you made as well as the internationalization of the force to provide security.
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Mr. WELDON. Just one final point, General. I don't mean to put you on the spot, I am not looking to, but there is going to be a major international energy reconstruction conference in Washington on July 24th. And you may not be available, but if you would be, I know they would love to have you as a keynote speaker. There will be leaders from 35 nations, chief executive officers (CEO) of all the major energy companies coming to this city to talk about an advisory council and assisting the U.S. in a constructive way. I know certainly on behalf of that group they would welcome your involvement. I don't expect an answer, but I want to call that to your attention.
Thank you again for your service.
Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for the great role you played during this entire conflict. You led us, the committee; and I want to say on behalf of our colleagues on both sides we appreciate the role that you played in this entire Iraqi effort.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, I thank the gentleman; and I am not retiring.
Mr. WELDON. Darn it.
The CHAIRMAN. Doggone it. But I thank my old friend.
Mr. Ortiz, the great gentleman from Texas.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman; and, General, thank you so much from one Texan to another. You have done a great job.
General FRANKS. Thank you, sir.
Mr. ORTIZ. Now, the Third Infantry Divisionthey were the first division that went into Iraq. Are they still there?
General FRANKS. Sir, they were the first division that went in; and, yes, sir, they are still there, most of them still there.
Mr. ORTIZ. We seem to be getting a lot of mail from wives, families of the Army troops that are there. They tell us the Air Force has come back, the Marines have come back, the Navy has come back, but our soldiers have not been rotated. And they see the graphic scenes on TV of the war that is going on, and they worry so much that it might be their relatives who might be killed. What measures have been put in place to achieve a better force protection for our troops now?
I see that map, and I see that it is a big country. When we move either soldiers from one area or another or we move equipment, are they protected? What measures have been taken, General?
General FRANKS. Sir, Congressman, your point is well taken.
Let me first say that I am so proud of the Third Infantry as the first Army unit and the principal axis of advance unit that moved in historically unprecedented time to isolate Baghdad and to drop the regime of Saddam Hussein. That great division, sir, the one of the brigadesthere are three brigades in that division, and one of them is beginning its redeployment now, Congressman Ortiz. The second will begin its redeployment next month, and the third and final brigade of third infantry will be out of Iraq in September.
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With respect to force protection, I think, sir, there are two ingredients that we want to be absolutely certain are in place. One is, wherever we establish our enclaves or our operating bases, we want to be sure that the force protection in the vicinity of those bases is very good, is solid security.
The second ingredient is that we want to conduct offensive operations. We do not want in Iraq to accept a defensive posture where we sit and wait. I believe that our forces are doing that.
Congressman, I will tell you, however, that we will continue to have these groups fade; and Saddam, the people, the jihadists who came in from Syria, some of the Ba'athiststhey are going to continue to seek out the vulnerabilities that we have as we move our conveys. We will have to continue to be sure that these convoys are protected and armed; and, sir, we will do that.
Mr. ORTIZ. One last question. You know, there is talk about sending our troops to Liberia now. What kind of impact is this going to have as far as being able to rotate our troops because of the many deployments that we have throughout?
General FRANKS. Congressman, I don't know, because I have not been part of any of the considerations that have gone into that. My understanding from talking to Secretary Rumsfeld yesterday was that no decision had been taken to do that. Rather, an assessment team to develop a view of what is going on in that country would be dispatched. Then all of the pros and cons would certainly be discussed and then a decision made by the President, sir. And that is the best I can do on that one.
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Mr. ORTIZ. Again, thank you for a great job.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman from Texas.
General, before going to the next question. Mr. Spratt asked you if you thought you had had bad intelligence, misinterpreted intelligence with respect to weapons of mass destruction. You put outa number of alerts were put out to our forces that advanced on Baghdad thatto the effect that communications had been intercepted indicating from the Iraqi officers themselves that they intended to use special weapon or weapons of mass destruction.
General FRANKS. Mr. Chairman, that is correct.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you describe that or just talk about that for a second? That was direct evidence that we basically heard with our electronic capability?
General FRANKS. Sir, that is absolutely correct. Intelligence from a variety of sources is available on the battlefield. One of the sources is human intelligence; and, of course, we hadand it has been well reportedwe had some elements on the ground in contact with Iraqis prior to the onset or prior to the 19th of March.
Additionally, we have technical means to be able to take communications, some of which are encrypted, others not; and the take, if you will, from communications as well as human sources in a given 24-hour period of time is enormous. It is enormous. Very large groups of analysts work this information very hard and then asI would say connect the dots. And when the dots were connected on several occasions in a way that indicated to us that we might be closing in on the use of, specifically, chemical munitions, in fact, we alerted our forces several times, Mr. Chairman, that that is correct, based on information that we received from human intelligence and from radio communications intercept.
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The CHAIRMAN. So when you told your troops to put their gas masks on and their gas suits
General FRANKS. That is correct.
The CHAIRMAN [continuing]. That was the right judgment, in your view.
General FRANKS. Absolutely. I would do the same thing again tomorrow.
The CHAIRMAN. If you looked at the same intelligence today, you would still do it.
General FRANKS. Without a doubt.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
Mr. SCHROCK. Mr.
General FRANKS. Mr. Chairman, let me add one additional thing to that. I found it especially interestingone of the blessings of technology is video teleconferencing, and beyond anything we have ever had in our military before was our ability to video teleconference at very high levels of classification with all of my commanders and with my staff, with all of their staffs on a 24-hour-a-day basis. I think perhaps more than 140 boards, bureaus, and commissions met between the continental United States, Tampa and our various headquarters in the region each 24-hour period of time during this.
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It was very interesting to me that on a number of occasions one or more of my subordinate commanders would be conducting video teleconferencing with me wearing gas masks because they had received information that would indicate to them that they should be at a very high state of alert for the use of chemicals. This was not uncommon at all. In fact, Mr. Chairman, I believe if you think back at some of the embedded reporting that went on during the course of this, there were actually reporters in several of the places where this happened; and I think it was captured for the world to see.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
Mr. SCHROCK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman; and, General, thank you and your wife for 36 really wonderful years.
General FRANKS. Thank you, sir.
Mr. SCHROCK. Kind of a follow-on to what my friend, Mr. Ortiz, mentioned. Do you think thatI would like to know your opinion on whether you think our troops are overextended? Are we in too many places in the world? Are we stretched too thin? I know you wear the uniform of the Army, but if you have an opinion on where you think we arebecause it seems like Liberia today, tomorrowI mean, what next? I am just curious what your spin is on that.
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General FRANKS. Sir, it is difficult for me in my joint position or in my previous position to do a great deal more than speculate. I believe that we have Army troops, for example, in some 370 different locations around the world right now. On the other hand, I remember on the 11th of September, 2001, the way I felt and the way America felt when we realized our own vulnerability in this country as we watched the strike on the Pentagon, the fields in Pennsylvania and the World Trade Center come down and recognized the loss of some 3,000 people as a result of our own vulnerability. And our President said at that time that a heavy load is going to reside on the shoulders of America's military. So, sir, none of us should be surprised in fact that our military forces are out and about this planet today waging a war on terrorism.
How much could we do, given our current force levels? Congressman, I can't give you, sir, a good answer to that. But I do believe that all of us recognize the obligation and the responsibility to do whatever our President calls on us to do as part of the Global War On Terrorism.
I apologize for the answer, but, sir, that is what I believe. I do believe, because I know Don Rumsfeld very well, and I believe that on the day that that the Secretary becomes convinced that our structure is not sufficient to be able to accomplish the task given him by the Commander in Chief, this committee will know about it, sir.
Mr. SCHROCK. Okay. Thank you. Let me just say that I just hope you and your wife have a wonderful rest of your life and success and happiness because, believe me, the two of you deserve it.
General FRANKS. Thank you, sir.
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Mr. SCHROCK. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman; and, General, along with every other American I want to thank you for the great job you and those forces who are on the ground with you did.
I want to follow up on what my colleague from Texas had to say. In the many briefings I had in Bosnia, the point was made very well to me that, for every troop we had in Bosnia, we were really tying up three. We are training one to go there, we had one there, then we are retaining the one that just came home from Bosnia to do his regular military occupational specialty (MOS).
General FRANKS. Yes, sir.
Mr. TAYLOR. Given that scenarioand I don't think that rule has changed much with a 480,000 man and woman Armyif you have got 150,000 in Bosnia, that would lead me believe to you are training 150,000, and at some point you are going to be retaining 150,000, which pretty well ties up your entire force.
What units have been notified and are training to go to Iraq? And at what pointgiven that at some point our Nation came to the realization that we were wearing out our Active duty forces and we had to throw the Guard and Reserve into that mix, one of the things that made that work so well was the 49th and the Marylanders and the Mississippians who were given sufficient time to train for the mission, sufficient time to get their own houses in order and actually sufficient time, I believe, to man that force with all volunteers, given that this is going to be an ongoing thing and every one of our efforts in the past 13 years has taken longer than we thought, not less time. Given that that is now the rule of thumb, what steps are in place for that?
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And let me follow up. I also notice that the men and women in the Bosnia mission, their morale shot up dramatically as their housing got better, as they went from tents to C-huts. My colleague, Mr. Abercrombie, tells me on his brief trip there we still had soldiers sleeping in trucks, we had soldiers sleeping in bombed-out buildings and bombed-out palaces. At what point do you get the contractors or the Navy construction battalions in there to build some C-huts to get these guys into some decent housing?
General FRANKS. Sir, great questions.
The former in Iraq question of 150,000 total, I am not sure today what the mix of Active Component to Reserve Component is in the 140,000. But your point is correct. It is about three for one for the reasons that you described: one committed, one regrouping, and one preparing to go.
Sir, the call for us in the future will be what the Active and Reserve Component mix will be as we continue our operations in Iraq and what the footprint will look like in six months or within a year.
When I left Central Commandto get to your first questiona number of brigades were being requested to be placed on what we call ''prepared to deploy'' in order to begin the cycling of forces, this three for one that you talked about; and there was discussion at CENTCOM headquarters of one additional division to continue the cycling. I don't know, sir, the bumper numbers of those divisions, but that is the consideration that is ongoing right now; and I know for a fact that the Secretary told me yesterday that he is meeting today or tomorrow with the military leadership, the Joint Staff as well as Central Command, to make some decisions on what those bumper numbers will look like and what the rotation will be for forces that are currently located in Iraq.
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So, sir, your point has been taken, and the Department is working it now.
Mr. TAYLOR. May I interrupt briefly? What is the designed length of the rotation?
General FRANKS. Sir, that is what he is going to decide either today or tomorrow. And let meso I don't just force that off on him, here is the issue: We, because of the way some of our forces are structuredthe differences between Army forces that include Active and Reserve, naval forces and air forces, I am not sure that the cycling of forces into Iraq will be exactly the same. In other words, it may be that you will see part of the force that cycles every four months, part of the force that cycles every six months. And that is what the Secretary is working right now with the Joint Chiefs and his staff.
Let me talk for just a second about quality of life. I wasmy last trip in Iraq was, I guess, maybe two weeks ago. And as I stood in Baghdad and talked to a lot of people, I sort of probed on the quality-of-life issue to figure out where exactly are we today in terms of quality of life for the troops that are committed on the ground in Iraq. We are not where we want to be. That is a fact. It should not take 14 to 21 days for mail to transit, for example.
General FRANKS. And so for the past two weeks people have been working mail, a nontrivial sort of a matter, as well as the establishment of e-mail links that permit families to maintain better contact with one another.
Right now, the food cycle for the troops in Iraq is one hot meal a day and two meals ready to eat (MRE) a day. Within the next number of weeks, that will change to two hot meals a day and one meal ready to eat a day. Additionally, some Harvest Falcon force provider sort of air-conditioned tentage is being taken into Iraq, all of this in recognition of the valuable point that you made. If we are going to be invested, then what we want to do is increase both the force protection as we discussed earlier and the quality of life for the people on the ground there. And, so, work to be done there, sir.
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Mr. TAYLOR. Do you have a time line?
General FRANKS. It varies. The mail I suspect will probably take about two weeks in order to make robust increases. I think e-mail will probably be much better in a period of two or three weeks.
Mr. TAYLOR. Is there a time line for getting that force of 150,000 into a C-Hut equivalent accommodation.
General FRANKS. No, sir, not that I know of. C-Hut equivalent? No, sir. Not that I know of. I suspect that our troops in Iraq will continue to be in a mixture of unair-conditioned expeditionary living conditions, air-conditioned expeditionary living conditions, and in some cases living in hard sites, and we do that in a great many places in Iraq right now. But this is going to be something that we are going to be focusing attention on probably over the next three to six months.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you.
General FRANKS. Yes, sir.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. Mr. Akin.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. AKIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The task of trying to rebuild, it seems to me there are a couple of components that maybe you are facing. First of all, you have got these organized people who are systemically trying to shoot you when you are in a convoy or whatever. And those are people that are essentially terrorists or whatever, guerillas, whatever you want to call them.
General FRANKS. Right.
Mr. AKIN. There is another component of rebuilding a civilization, it seems to me, and I am just wondering how significant this is. And that is, there are a lot of things that we in America just take for granted. When we go to a food service, we line up in a line. There is a lot of just sort of basic behavior that we have just inherited as part of our culture. Some of our Third World countries do not have some of those same kinds of ways of doing things, sanitary things and all sorts of things like that. How much is that just going to take a lot of time, and how much is that a factor, and how much is it more just the terrorist side that we are dealing with?
General FRANKS. Sir, that is a great question. If you look at Iraq historicallyand by historically I don't mean the last 30 years under this regime, but just historicallyand you consider the Kurds, you consider the rivalries between Sunni and Shia, you consider the rivalries within the Shia sect, and then you consider the rivalries between tribal elements and the general overall culture, you have described it correctly. It is not a standing in line sort of culture. And that is a part of the issue.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC On the other hand, sir, our people who work civil military operations and civil affairs and so forth will not work to install America in Iraq. And so, it actually does tie together with the business of putting an Iraqi face on this, because Iraqi policemen, Iraqis working in the Ministry of Education will have different tolerances for these sorts of behavior than Westerners would have. And one of the things one has to be careful of is while we impose our will as the Coalition Provisional Authority in that country, we do not want to alienate the society in such a way that makes it take twice as long to get rebuilt.
You mentioned cultural differences. There are also, sir, some cultural similarities. Very interesting. Jerry Bremer was telling me two or three weeks ago about sports pride with the Iraqis, soccer teams, and a true Olympic committee. And actually, the Iraqis are working now to put their sports program in shape. And, I mean, I don't think I have seen anyone report that, nor have I seen anyone report that after 30 years when orchestras, during which time orchestras were banned. We recently saw the reformation of an orchestra where men had not played their instruments in 30 years, and instruments had been placed in basements and in back rooms and had been locked. And we actually had a performance of the Iraqi National Orchestra recently.
And so there are some dissimilarities and there are some similarities.
Mr. AKIN. Thank you.
General FRANKS. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Texas, Mr. Reyes.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. REYES. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
And like my colleagues, thank you very much, General, for your service. I was doing some calculations. If my math holds up, you have been in 36 years. So you came in in about 1967?
General FRANKS. Sir, I actually have been in 38 years, because I was a private soldier for two years before I became an officer.
Mr. REYES. Well, thank you so much for your service. And pass on our best to your lovely wife, as well. We know how difficult things have been. And the calculation I made is because I wanted you to commentbeing a veteran with service in Vietnam, draw a comparison for us between what we are seeing today in Iraq and what you saw initially as an enlisted person for two years and then as an officer. But before I do that, I wanted to ask you, because this has been something that was asked of me last week when I was in my district and it all brought back or jelled in my mind yesterday when I saw this picture in the New York Times of the soldiers that had just been informed that they were going tothese are soldiers from the Third Infantry Division, and they were going to be extended in Iraq at least for the foreseeable future.
If I understood you correctly when Congressman Ortiz asked you, these soldiers, particularly of the Third Infantry Division, will all have been rotated out by September. Is that correct?
General FRANKS. By the end of September. That is correct, sir.
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Mr. REYES. And that is great news and I know will be great news to the parents, some of which talked to me in El Paso and even a couple in Phoenix, where I was at in the early part of the week. And one of them made mention that their son had said that the officers were getting rotated back much quicker than the enlisted personnel. And then in this week's Army Times, I have got an article here that is highlighted where it deals with change of command ceremonies and changing out the officer personnel. I think it would be very useful for you to comment on that for the many parents that are out there thinking that officers are coming back and enlisted personnel are remaining in theater much longer. Number one.
And, number two, if you would, kind of compare to usand the reason I am asking you to compare is because when I look at that map, General, and I think of Iraq being 25 percent larger than Vietnam, and when you factor in the fact that we were only in half of Vietnam during that era, it is twice as big a country easily as we had to deal with in Vietnam. And then you have the Sunni Triangle and then the yellow or light green areas there that you pointed out where attacks are occurring or conflicts, or however you want to call it, it brings to my mind the similarity with Vietnam. And those attacks are going on where our troops are.
And so if you would first cover the enlisted versus officer and then give us your evaluation of how this compares to Vietnam. Thank you.
General FRANKS. Yes, sir. We will not see officers rotated before enlisted, with the exception of things like you mentioned where we see a change of command, and I think those will be minimized. There for sure will be some people on an individual basis who will rotate rather than being a part of a unit rotation. But Congressman, that will be the exception rather than the rule. I think everyone recognizes the importance of maintaining unit integrity while we do these things.
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The fact is that these young people, to include the officers, have served us very, very well, and we ought to be about the business of trying to protect all of their interests as individuals, and I have a great deal of confidence that our subordinate leaders will be trying to do that. That does not minimize or does not deprecate the comment by young troops who will be quick to point out that, you know, someone left, by golly, and I am being forced to stay. And so the leaders will have that very much in mind as they go forward.
Let me talk for a second to your second notion or your second observation about rotation policy in general. In World War II, people got on the ship and they went away for duration. And some of the same ones who went away for duration were the ones who toward the end fought the Battle of the Bulge and then they all came home after three or four years worth of constant combat. In my experience in Vietnam, I went away for a year. We went away for a year at a time. Sir, we don't yet have anybody who has been in combat in Iraq for a year.
In terms of responding to a question about the similarities between Vietnam and what we see right now, actually, sir, I don't see them. I don't see it at all. This country is larger than Vietnam to be sure, but in Vietnam one was just as likely to encounter rocket propelled grenade attack at some point as he was at any other point in Vietnam. And the green part of that map that I have displayed is an area where we don't see much bad news. What we see is Iraqis working hard, turning over the Baathists to us. It is only in the yellow splotches and in that brown area where we see most of the difficulty. And as you can see, that is perhaps 10 percent, 15 percent of this country.
Now, one of the beauties about our current force structure, Congressman Reyes, is that what happens is, when we apply pressure, military offensive pressure to one part of the country, it sort of oozes and the problem will move around to a different part. And, actually, that connects to the Third Infantry Division and why the Third Infantry Division is where they are.
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When we got into an isolated Baghdad and saw the problems out to the west of Baghdad and al-Fallujah and Ar Ramadi, the Third Infantry Division wound up being told, wait a minute, we are going to go out and clear this corridor of al-Fallujah and Ar Ramadi, and it is going to cost us a month. And so, the Third Infantry Division, in fact, was retained longer than we thought we probably would want to retain them. And that can never be good from the perspective of the trooper. But what I described and what I answered in response to your question, sir, is true; that is, we have a third of that outfit getting ready to come home now, another third in August, another third in September.
We should feel good about that, but we should also recognize that those people have been on the line working very, very hard in a hard environment, now in some cases back to last November, December. And so we do feel that we have an obligation to do that. But, sir, I don't see much similarity between what we are doing in Iraq and what we saw in Vietnam.
Mr. REYES. Thank you, General.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Forbes.
Mr. FORBES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And, General, you have heard most of the members of this committee express their appreciation to you.
General FRANKS. Thank you, sir.
Mr. FORBES. But I would be remiss if I didn't thank you on behalf of all my constituents who are very appreciative. Of course, we all know you had a great deal of help and support from all the TV experts, but we certainly appreciate you staying focused and on mission.
And, General, a lot of times when we are analyzing a conflict like this, we talk a lot about the weapons systems in some of the conflicts, but I am always impressed with the logical support that is required for a major military conflict like this. I have a special place in my heart for Fort Lee and their contribution in matters like this. And my question for you is, were you pleased with the handling of the water, petroleum, and food distribution? Did you find any surprises? And did we learn any lessons from this conflict that we can perhaps adapt and apply to other situations?
General FRANKS. Congressman, surprises, actually, no. Lessons, yes, sir, we did. We learned some. The degree of being impressed with our logistics and support and sustainment architecture, my respect for that, enormous. Absolutely enormous. We have not had supply lines or lines of communication like this to support in a long, long time.
I remember as we were planning this, at one point we said, you know what? If we are going to move food, fuel, water, and sustainment stocks, we had better preposition a lot of trucks in Iraq. And so, before this operation ever started, because of the excellence of people at Fort Lee and a number of other places, we positioned 27 truck companies in Iraq in order to be able to maintain this line of communication all the way to Baghdad. Any time that you have a long line of communication and you have even very small groups of snipers that operate, enemy snipers which operate along those routes, very, very difficult.
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I have not seen the report on the maintenance company that was so badly torn up, but I read some news accounts of it, to include one this morning. And I think, sir, that that talks to the difficulty that our logisticians have when they are out on the battlefield moving everything from food, fuel, water, cooks, mechanics along these lines to be able to maintain contact and support the combat troops. So I have enormous respect for what they did.
Surprises? Actually, not. Not surprised. But the lessons that have to do with mobility, we need to take a look at the way we structure our combat service support to be sure that we have all of it located in exactly the right place.
The fuel was an enormous success in this operation. Some months before combat began, fuel lines were laid all the way across Kuwait, portable fuel lines laid all the way across Kuwait. And then once the war started, the fuel lines continued to be laid all the way up to the north of Talil by some incredible petroleum engineers and people in the logistics support side of this. They have a great deal to be proud of. They were genuine heroes. And the things that we learned, the ones that I described, mobility, positioning, structure, we will have to review those in the future, sir.
Mr. FORBES. Thank you, General.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Dr. Snyder.
Dr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for having this hearing today with General Franks.
It is good to see you again. General, a lot of us get our information from retired high ranking officers, and I hope you will be available afterwards. And maybe, Mr. Chairman, we can have General Franks come back in his retirement years and give us updates as the weeks and months go by.
General FRANKS. I would be delighted.
Dr. SNYDER. You were talking about surprises. I read parts of the transcript of yours and Secretary Rumsfeld's testimony before the Senate, and I was surprised by something that Secretary Rumsfeld said. At one point he was asked about whether he was aware of any approaches that had been made to France and Germany about helping; he said he did not know. There was apparently a vote. He came back after the break, and this was the exchange. This is Secretary Rumsfeld in this transcript:
The answer to the question as to whether or not we made a specific request to NATO to assist in Iraq. The answer is we did. Secretary Wolfowitz was sent over there in December of last year; he did make a specific request. I am sure there were other specific requests that I am not aware of either.
And Senator Levin said: None since the war?
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And this is where I was surprised, General Franks. Secretary Rumsfeld says: I have no idea. I would be happy to run around and try to find out the answer to that.
Well, I don'twho should know that? I mean, who should know whether there has been contact made between the United States Government and NATO about assisting us, or with the French or with the Germans? I mean, I agree with all the statements that have been made here about a lot of our troops want to come home, they feel like they have done their job, and their families want them to come home. And you talk about all these green areas. Those look like perfect areas to give the French a sector, to give NATO a sector and say, here, it is your sector; you are part of the action now. Whose job is it? Are you aware of any contacts that have been made since the war to try to get NATO involved in a major away or to get the French involved in a major way where they would have a sector?
General FRANKS. Sir, having been in the hearing with the other body yesterday, I am familiar with the statement that you read from. Actually, maybe I can help a little bit.
I actually agree with the comment Secretary Rumsfeld made when he said, I don't know, but I will run around and try to find out. And let me try to provide some context around that.
We have in Tampa, as I mentioned, 63 nations. Among those nations actually are Russia, Germany, and France, and they have been there with us since the very beginning. I deal with them every day. We talk to them about potential force contributions. About ten days ago, I was in London and had a session with Prime Minister Tony Blair, and we talked about the force composition in the Polish division. I have people who have been to Pakistan and are in contact with India making arrangements now to see what force structure we can provide internationally.
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And so, when the Secretary says, maybe someone has talked to them and I will try to find out, what he meant was he has Dr. Paul Wolfowitz, in fact, who works it; He has his policy shop with Doug Feith who works it. The State Department, in fact has, Secretary Powell, who has worked, I think, 70 or 80 nations. He has me working it from the tactical operational level in contact with these nations.
And so, I believe he provided an honest answer when he said, I don't know if someone has done this.
Dr. SNYDER. Well, General Franks, I am running out of time. I understand that. It just seems to me that our alliance with NATO and the French is such a strong one, the French have such peacekeeping experience that somehow I would have thought that that would have been a high priorityat least that we would have known if we had had contacts.
I wanted to ask about Afghanistan. On page ten of your written statement you say, the average Afghan now enjoys basic freedoms, a higher quality of life, and prospects for a better future. And I think everyone would agree with that. But that was a very ominous story in, I guess it was today's Washington Post, about the opium trade, and that we are at risk of having a country controlled not just by warlords but by drug money warlords, which to me sounds if a drug mafia of some kind can thrive so can terrorism again.
General FRANKS. Congressman, I absolutely agree with you. And I think the issue that all of us, the international community has to work with the Afghans, because the poppy production is tremendous and the drug trade is tremendous. But what has to be worked is, who is going to solve that problem? And obviously all of us, you, I, the American people would like to have the Afghans solve this problem for themselves. The issue for us is to judge whether they have the capacity, given their current governance, to be able to adequately address it, or whether they are going to require international help beyond what they are already receiving.
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So, sir, no disagreement. It is an issue, it is a problem, and I think internationally we are going to have to be players as we decide how to handle the problem.
Dr. SNYDER. I am out of time. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
Mr. WILSON OF SOUTH CAROLINA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And, General Franks, I want to particularly thank you and join with my colleague John Spratt from South Carolina. And this is truly bipartisan, that we feel like what you have done, what the troops have done has been a masterful performance.
General FRANKS. Thank you, sir.
Mr. WILSON. And reflects so well on our country, and is so reassuring in the war against terrorism, which is going to be a long-term conflict. And certainly things have turned around so well in Afghanistan and also in Iraq. And I particularly am appreciative of what you have done, the troops have done. Because, as I mentioned to you earlier, I am completing 30 years of service myself in the Army National Guard this month, but I am very proud that I have got three sons continuing the tradition. My oldest son, Alan, has just been promoted to captain in the field artillery Army National Guard, and my third son, Julian, is Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at Fort Lewis right now being trained. And I am even proud of my Navy son, who is an ensign in the Navy, third year in medical school. But
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General FRANKS. I am proud of him too, sir.
Mr. WILSON OF SOUTH CAROLINA. And I have a fourth one that I am going to get into it some way. But I share the concerns of Congressman Ortiz and Congressman Reyes, and that is that service families are under stress now. And they have been so supportive and it is just wonderful. And you have addressed a lot of the concerns today about quality of life, the mail, the food, the prospects of housing.
Additionally, though, about additional security for our troops, the Washington Post yesterday indicated that the attack level is increasing. And what is the additional security that you see being provided that could be reassuring to families?
General FRANKS. Sir, as I mentioned, there are two pieces of it. One is, we want leadership at every level to ensure that no complacency forms. We want to be sure that where we have enclaves of our troops that sufficient standoff is built from that, that we are outside the wire, so to speak. We want to be sure that our people are properly armed. And actually, even though in a combat zone, we want to be sure that we maintain training of people because of alert levels, avoid complacency, achieve standoff, and awareness.
And statement, sir, when we do that what we want to do beyond that is we want to continue offensive operations so that in every occasion where we have a contact, a contact with the enemyand these are small groups; one, two, three peoplethat we maintain contact until that small group is killed or captured. Our people, sir, are doing a very good job of that because it is a metric that we watch. And so we must never get complacent.
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There will be no silver bullet that will solve the security issue for us. We have to remember that we are at war, and we have to continue to be offensive in spirit.
Mr. WILSON OF SOUTH CAROLINA. And on the level of violence, this morning Congressman John Kline arranged for many of us to hear General Mike Hagee, the Commandant of the Marine Corps. And he gave an extraordinary report of the comparison of violence in comparable American cities to the level of violence in terms of population of cities in Iraq. And it was very revealing that there is a level of violence.
General FRANKS. Yes, sir.
Mr. WILSON OF SOUTH CAROLINA. But, actually, in the American cities it may even be higher. And that is not necessarily totally reassuring, but this message needs to get out that our people are in harm's way but that they could be in harm's way in other places, too.
General FRANKS. Sir, that is true.
Mr. WILSON OF SOUTH CAROLINA. And so I hope the positive side comes out as you have stated. And in particular, I think the way the oil fields have been preserved is just amazing. And, so, any comment on the level of violence?
General FRANKS. Yes, sir. You know, the regime of Saddam Hussein actually used looting as a tool for years in order to punish certain segments of the Iraqi society. And so, one of the difficulties that we see as part of the lawlessness that we see is a continuation of a pattern that has been in existence in Iraq for more than 30 years. They simply punish people by looting things.
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There are so many miles of oil infrastructure in Iraq, just to use one example. The same with power lines, the same with water aqueducting. But there are so many miles of this that those who would punish either coalition forces or punish the Iraqi people will seek to shoot holes in infrastructure and create problems. And so, once again, the way we avoid or the way we have to handle that problem is we have to go after the people who do it at the same time that we securefor example, in the case of oil infrastructure, there are 20 to 25 key sites and we have to provide security for those sites.
Now, what we want to do is we want to put an Iraqi face on this site security as quickly as we can for two reasons. One is because we would like to get our forces relieved of some of that responsibility. But, second, we would like to take some of this large number of Iraqiprevious Iraqi military who were not Baathiststhey may have been private soldiers or sergeants or whateverand bring them on board to put an Iraqi face and get them hired off of the street to be able to provide for some of their own security. And Jerry Bremer is working that very hard now, as well.
Sorry for the long answer, sir.
Mr. WILSON OF SOUTH CAROLINA. No, no. Thank you very much.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. Ms. Sanchez.
Page 62 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. SANCHEZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And thank you, General Franks, for being before us. I, too, would like to say what a great job our troops have been doing, and we are really glad to have you there leading them.
I want to talk a little bit aboutI have a lot of questions. I will submit them for the record. I have two I hope to get to.
The first one has to do with guerilla warfare. And I think, you know, terms are important. They are very important because it shapes the understanding of the facts on the ground and they shape the understanding offor soldiers who are under fire, for commanders, for staffs, all the way from the Pentagon to Baghdad, for Congress people, for presidents, for citizens, and for Iraqis. All of these people will find it harder to understand what is happening on the ground if the terms are being manipulated by the Secretary of Defense. If our understanding is cued, our policy response will be less effective.
And, second, term manipulation erodes trust. This administration is already suspected of manipulating intelligence to trump up a case for war. And now the long-term success and the popularity of this war is at risk, and so they are busy manipulating public perception of the situation in Iraq in order to sustain public commitment. But the public senses a vague dissidence between the spin and the daily reality of deaths on the ground. So I want to ask you after reading about Lieutenant General Sanchezwho by the way is no relation, but if you want to give him a fourth star I would be very happy about thatCommander of the Ground Forces in Iraq.
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General FRANKS. He may well deserve one. He is quite a guy.
Ms. SANCHEZ. He iswho recently noted that there have been an average of 13 attacks per day on U.S. forces in Iraq since 1 May, totaling more than 600 attacks and that these have resulted in 32 combat deaths and numerous wounded soldiers just as of yesterday. General Sanchez also observed that these enemy operations are increasing in frequency, in sophistication, and in coordination and that these attacks appear to be carried out by trained soldiers using the unconventional and covert methods typical of guerilla warfare as defined by the U.S. and NATO in the Joint Operational Terms and Graphics Manual, which I am sure you are well aware of.
Sounds like guerilla warfare to me, and yet Mr. Rumsfeld and General Myers and others continue to stay away from that word. I am thinking of, for example, the accurate mortar attack that we saw this past week. That would fall under trained sophistication, Army, et cetera.
Now, the Army has a long history of good men who tell us the truth. I am thinking of General Shinseki, for example, who I think history will treat very well when we get through all of this.
General FRANKS. He is a good friend. He is a good man.
Ms. SANCHEZ. You are well known and rightly praised as being a plain spoken soldier's general. Would you call this a guerilla war? And, if so, why are we playing word games when our troops are facing a determined and trained enemy every day on the ground in Iraq? And shouldn't we be more forthright with the American people about the nature and the scope of the threats to our troops who are fighting on our behalf? That would be the first question.
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General FRANKS. Thank you, ma'am. I thinkactually I think General Rick Sanchez described very clearly what we see and what he as the ground commander sees. And, actually, I think people should call it whatever they want to call it, and I suspect Secretary Rumsfeld would probably say the same thing. I mean, if people want to refer to what we see as guerilla effort, then that is okay. I personally would not refer to it that way for one very simple reason. It has two parts.
One, guerilla and insurgency operations are supported by the people, and I have demonstrated to my own satisfaction that the people of Iraq do not support the violence that we are seeing right now. So that is one reason I wouldn't do it. But it is okay for someone else to do it.
The second reason is that while we see increasing sophistication and we see the use of mortars and so forth, what I have not yet seen is the networking of these capabilities in a way where these assets are commanded and controlled, if you will. That does not mean that it does not bother me if someone refers to this as guerilla or insurgency or whatever. We have seen such things all over the world. I mean, it doesn't fit my own personal definition, if that helps.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Well, I would just say to you, General, that we see guerilla warfare in Colombia, and I am sure that if you ask the general population of Colombia, they would not say that they are backing that type of guerilla warfare.
And to your second statement, we also have historical precedence as to guerilla warfare happening that isn't necessarily nationally networked. So, you know, we can go back and look at Nicaragua and other places in Central America where we have used that term. I am just referring to the fact that the Secretary of Defense has somehow alluded to the fact that these might bethat these are criminals who were let out by Saddam the day before the war started. And I think we need to start getting serious, we need to get serious in this committee and serious in this Congress and serious in this country and understand what we are facing. And as these attacks are more coordinated and more sophisticated, and shooting and accurate mortar is not something that a criminal who has been seven years sentenced by Saddam and let out of prison a day before would be able to do.
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So, you know, I am not questioning what you said, I am just saying that we have certainly many instances of guerilla warfare. And it is about time this country called this, what is happening in Iraq, what is happening correctly. It is guerilla warfare, in my opinion, and we need to address it because you use different resources and different methods to handle that type of
General FRANKS. Ma'am, if I could offer, if I could offer. I would say if there is utility in terms of either force protection or offensive operations in defining this as guerilla, then it is worth discussing. If there are other motivations, then perhaps it isn't worth discussing. And in my personal view, we will find a combination of criminals, a combination of Jihadists, a combination of Baath remnants. And none of us yet see any sense of coordinated activity between those groups that Rick Sanchez is facing on the battlefield every day.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Well, I think we do need to have that discussion. I would love to be in that discussion group, because, as I said, I think youwe have a whole different set of problems on our hands than publicly we are acknowledging. And I see that my time is up, unfortunately. I had another good question though, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, General.
General FRANKS. Sure.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay. If the gentlelady has a follow-up on that question, go ahead, if you didn't get all your questions in.
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Ms. SANCHEZ. You will allow me that?
The CHAIRMAN. Sure. If you make a quick one.
Ms. SANCHEZ. God. You love me today. I love it. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Okay. My second one, General, has to do with I did not vote to go to war because I believe that this whole issue with Iraq would really give us two things, a short-term operational success which you have proven me correct on that. But the second problem I had was the long-term strategic disaster of doing what we did in Iraq. And, unfortunately, I am seeing my worst fears beginning to happen.
You know, the policy questions for a Congressperson, I believe, with respect to this whole issue of Iraq should always have been and continues to be, did this war materially enhance our security, the United States' security, at an acceptable cost? As a combatant commander and a frontline leader in the Global War On Terror, you have been in a select group of strategic leaders in our response to the events of 9/11. Let me ask you to offer your thoughts on one of the broader questions of the national priorities in the future war on terror and on our strategic goal of securing America from terrorist attack. I ask this because I sit not only on this committee but also on Homeland Security.
Yesterday Mr. Rumsfeld testified that the cost of the military operation in Iraq is currently $3.9 billion a month, and the cost for Afghanistan is nearly $1 billion monthly. My concern is that the war on Iraq has cost us and is costing us a disproportionate share of resources as we continue to fight the Global War On Terror and we seek to protect our homeland.
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The CHAIRMAN. Does the gentlelady have a question?
Ms. SANCHEZ. Yes. It is coming.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay.
For example, the current federal budget allocation for first responders provides only $5.5 billion annually, or less than half a billion dollars a month. The ratio, I believe, from $5 billion a month for Iraq and Afghanistan versus half a billion here on the homeland is out of whack. A recent Council of Foreign Relations study, Warren Rudman, General Vesey, Admiral Cole, all these others, concluded that our responders here are drastically underfunded and dangerously unprepared.
What could you tell us about bringing down the cost of what is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan? Is there any way, and can you talk to specifically if we can get in international troops to help us with that? Because I don't believe that we can sustain for a long time our needs on homeland, which are not adequatelywhich are just underfunded, and the amount of monies that we are seeing being spent overseas on defense.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you get that question, General?
General FRANKS. I did, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Okay.
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General FRANKS. Sir, and ma'am, I would say, with 19 nations currently committed, 19 more prepared to be committed by the end of summer, and ongoing negotiations with 11 more, we are moving in the direction of internationalizing the force. Whether that gives us a fiscala bit of fiscal relief or not I am not sure, because in some cases where we deploy international forces we also provide some support, financial support to those forces. And so the specific dollar issue is difficult for me, ma'am, to talk to you about in terms of the overall cost of 3.9 per month in Iraq. And I think it was 900 million per month in Afghanistan. But I will offer a personal view just because you have given me license to do it. And that is that in the case of the Global War on Terrorism, my personal view is that offense is the best defense. I believe that fortress America will not be in and of itself sufficient to protect the American people.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentlelady.
And Mr. Hayes.
Mr. HAYES. General Franks, let me add my thanks to those of others here. And my question is going to be to you about if and when you think the United Nations (U.N.) will enter into this picture. The U.N. chose to take themselves out of the picture early on, which was regrettable.
To frame the question, I had a humanitarian observer who was in Iraq from the very beginning and just left a week ago. And I think the public and the record should show that this non-government organization (NGO) person said that what the military did in terms of avoiding civilian targets, avoiding civilian casualties was incredible. This person was extremely complimentary of the precision with which the military carried this out, and people need to know that.
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Having said that, a point that this person made was that a major U.N. presence in terms of manpower would be a very stabilizing factor. Can that happen? Will that happen? Is there anything we as Members of Congress can do to help that happen?
General FRANKS. Sir, on the U.N., I actually don't know because I don't know what the status of discussions between Colin Powell's people, the State Department's people in New York with the United Nations and what the level of interest in work in Afghanistan in New York, in the U.N. is right now. I know that it is going to remain terribly important for United Nations and the persons, men and women such as the one you alluded to, to be in Iraq and continuing to work.
In terms of force contribution and so forth, sir, that
isI would pass that one off as one that is so far above my pay grade that I actually don't have a view.
I do believe, sir, that it is important to internationalize the work that we are trying to do in Iraq. I think that that is terribly important, because ultimately the Iraqi people themselves have to be in charge of this. The road between here and there needs to be more internationalized with more interest and more activity by the international community. I think we appreciate very much the nations involved now, the nations that will be involved. But, sir, I can't talk about the United Nations. I just don't know.
Mr. HAYES. To comment on your pay grade, I can't imagine anybody's pay grade higher than yours when it comes to experience in Iraq. So don't sell yourself short.
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You made the point that this person was making: A different face. America is there as liberators. There is no question about that. But there is still a cultural clash that exists and says there is some question about this. The point she was making is that if you internationalize moreand we appreciate the alliesthis is something that can help avoid and to eliminate some of the problems again.
General FRANKS. Sir, if you are correct and if you look at several things that are important to us. One is having the regime family at the top, having certain knowledge, killed or captured, that is very important. And getting an international face more involved in the country is also very important. Neither of those are as important as getting an Iraqi face involved on what the Iraqi people are doing in the country. But, sir, I think you would agree that every day progress is being made on those fronts. Internationalization is going up. More Iraqis with the Baghdad Council that I think started working hard last week. I think that Ambassador Bremer will be moving in the direction of a constitutional convention here in the very near term. And so I think there is positive momentum in each case.
Mr. HAYES. I totally agree. And there is progress being made, and I appreciate the service that you and the men and women that are there making that progress today and beyond are doing. Thank you, sir.
General FRANKS. Thank you, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. I thank him for all the time that he spends working with his constituents in the United States Army and the rest of the services.
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The gentlelady from California, Ms. Tauscher.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Franks, to you and your family, thank you for nearly four decades of exemplary service and sacrifice.
General FRANKS. Thank you.
Ms. TAUSCHER. And I really appreciate all you have done. I notice that you and I are an age where we wear glasses because our arms have gotten too short to be able to read. Mine, however, are not as rose colored as it appears that some people's are. I really am deeply disturbed by the kind of happy face that we are trying to put on this situation and the kind of terminology that we are using these days, things that what you said about an hour ago about vindicating intelligence. I don't think that there is enough time in the day or enough energy that we could spend vindicating some of the intelligence.
You yourself said just about an hour ago that there are a thousand sites that we were about to look into to find weapons of mass destruction. Are these sites that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had visited in the weeks prior to our attack on March 19th?
General FRANKS. A very few of them. Yes, ma'am.
Page 72 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. TAUSCHER. So are these sites that we knew about that we didn't know divulged to the international community or the U.N. inspectors?
General FRANKS. I think the information that was given to the U.N. inspectors was in accordance with what they requested because of the priorities in which they intended to visit sites. And they simply did not have the time, the manpower, and the energy to get to all the sites.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Well, of course not, because we decided that diplomacy had ended and we decided we were going to use force. But the truth of the matter is, is what you are telling us now, General Franks, is that we held back information from the international community.
General FRANKS. Oh, not at all, ma'am. No, ma'am. That is not at all what I am telling you.
Ms. TAUSCHER. But you are saying that we knew of sites that we didn't tell them.
General FRANKS. No, ma'am. I am not saying that at all. I am saying that of the sites that they put on their list to look at, there were a great many of this group of 1,000 in international intelligence that they did not get around to and now we must get around to them.
Ms. TAUSCHER. So the sites that you are talking about were well known to the international community?
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General FRANKS. Oh, yes, ma'am.
Ms. TAUSCHER. But had they been visited prior to the 1998 cessation of inspections?
General FRANKS. Ma'am, I am sure that some of them have. But you will recall that there were four years between 1998 and 2002 when there were no United Nations inspectors visiting this regime.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Yes. That is why I thought it was important for us to go back and get a new U.N. resolution to begin inspections again.
I am interested in your comments about the fact that the terminology of guerilla war is or is not appropriate for this. What I find fascinating is the map that you brought that shows the Sunni Triangle, and these little spots that have all the problems represent 70 percent of the Iraqi population.
General FRANKS. Yes, ma'am. There are 18 governances in the country and 27 high population centers. Yes, ma'am, that is correct.
Ms. TAUSCHER. So the places that you are showing us that are the places where we have the most danger for our fighting men and women representing over 70 percent of the population are the places in fact where we are having all of these attacks, anywhere from 10 to 25 a day?
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General FRANKS. Yes, ma'am. That is correct.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Now, what would lead me to believe that the Iraqi people are not supporting these attacks, since 70 percent of the population lives in those places and that is where those attacks are happening?
General FRANKS. Yes, ma'am. Because
Ms. TAUSCHER. Do you see Iraqis coming after the people?
General FRANKS. I am sorry?
Ms. TAUSCHER. The people that are attacking us, are Iraqis actually going after them like we are going after them?
General FRANKS. Yes, ma'am. As a matter of fact, they are. For each one of the number you cited, there will be some number between 10 and 50 sites that are turned over to the Americans by the Iraqis which we simply go and site exploit, remove large weapons caches, pick up hundreds of grenades, rocket propelled grenade launchers, AK-47s and weapons. In fact, the Iraqi people are helping a great deal. But I know you know that this regime oppressed its people, 25 million of them, for a period of time that made them as we see them in much reporting, terrified, terrified of the regime, wanting to get on with the rest of their lives, not being a part of these attacks against Americans, and that is what I think we see in these population centers.
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Ms. TAUSCHER. Well, General, I would like to know what we would actually call what we are doing right now. If we can't call it a guerilla war, and the President said on May 1st that the war, is over
General FRANKS. No, ma'am. The President did not say on May 1st that the war was over. And you know it as well as I do. I believe the President said major combat operations were over.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Well, I will tell you what the American people believe. The American people that I represent believe that we are in a war still.
General FRANKS. Yes, ma'am. We are in a war, without a doubt. It is not a major war against tanks, airplanes, Scud missiles, and so forth.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Well, then what I think we are about to do and need to do is to have a conversation with the American people as to exactly what their expectations need to be.
General FRANKS. Yes, ma'am. I think that is a great value of having testimony such as this today, so we can communicate with the American people.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Well, I agree, and that is why I wish Secretary Rumsfeld had been here today, because I have many questions for him, as I think many people do, as to exactly what we are going to do, how long it is going to take, and how much it is going to cost.
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Thank you, General.
General FRANKS. Yes, ma'am. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentlelady.
Dr. GINGREY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Franks, thank you. I won't belabor that. But one of my colleagues on this front row suggested that you not only have the courage of a great soldier, but also the patience of a saint, particularly with some of the line of questioning that you have handled here just before me.
I have a good friend, General, that is an OB/GYN physician who actually is from Iraq, and I talked to him just in the last couple of days, and he asked me to ask somebody this question. His father and most of his immediate family are still living in Iraq in the area around Baghdad. But his question that he received from his dadand he asked his dad, you know, what really was the situation and how were things going. And his dad felt that we are not being tough enough on some of these Baathists that are responsible. And of course I was going to ask you that question about, you know, who are these folks. And I think you have already answered that; it is a combination of local thugs and Baathists and et cetera, outside forces.
Page 77 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But his question was, why are we not tough enough, tougher, on these as we proceed with Sidewinder and Scorpion and these other operations? And why are we not pulling more of the Iraqis who are loyal and want us to succeed? Why are we not utilizing them quicker?
Now, that is one question. And then I had a couple of quickies.
This question of weapons of mass destruction continues to occur, and I think it will continue to occur. Why do you think Saddam Hussein didn't use weapons of mass destruction?
I wanted to ask you also, the use of indigenous forces in Afghanistan compared to the Kurdish people in the north and the utilization of them.
So if you can answer those quick three questions for me. Thank you.
General FRANKS. Yes, sir. I think to people, to Iraqis on the ground, the good onesand there are so many of them. A great many of them would say, well, why don't you treat them rough? I mean, why aren't you rougher on the problems, the Baathists and the Jihadists and the criminals and so forth. I think we are treating them pretty rough, but certainly not to the level that people who would just like to get on with the rest of their lives would like to see.
A fact that is not published quite as well in our media in this country as the wounding of Coalition soldiers or the death of Coalition soldiers are the woundings, the deaths, and the detentions of Jihadists or the Baathists. Those numbers actually, sir, are enormous. I think right nowmy numbers may not be exactly correct, but I believe being retained right now, somewhere around 3,500 Iraqis who come in these categories of terrorists, Jihadists, Baath residuals, troublemakers, and criminals just as a result of these operations that you mentioned, Sidewinder and so forth.
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I think that what we have to do is we have to continue offensive operations, but at the same time I think we want to balance that with the needed support from the Iraqi people, and I think our troops will continue to do that.
I think the second of your question is about why not use more Iraqis. I think that is a very good question, and we are doing that now. I mean, we are and have been foryou will recall when we started recruiting Iraqi police and so forth. We actually can gain and train control of numbers of Iraqi policemen. One of the issues that the whole international community is working with right now is getting them transportation, cars, radios, and so forth to be able to get themselves constituted as law enforcement officers and able to investigate criminal conduct and so forth. And, sir, actually that is just going to take time. That is moving correctly, but it is just going to take time for us to be able to do that.
Which one of your questions did I miss?
Dr. GINGREY. The question of, assuming that Saddam did have weapons of mass destruction and why he chose not to use them.
General FRANKS. Sir, I think any operator would like to tell you his weapons were not used because our operations achieved both tactical and operational surprise. You know, an operator would like to say that. I don't know. And the reason I don't know why he didn't use them is because we have, I think it has been reported, found munitions that were capable of being filled with chemicals and so forth, but we have not found the chemicals that would go in such munitions and so it is very difficult to say why he didn't use them. He had a number of years in order to be able to hide the capability, in some cases probably destroy the capability.
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But, sir, there is something to be said for why do you find WMD documents buried under rose bushes? Why does one find potential stocks of seed assets hidden in people's homes? And so how much of this capability was weaponized? We don't know yet. And we sure don't know why he didn't put it together and use it, unless it was because the degree of surprise our forces achieved took the option away from him.
Dr. GINGREY. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman from Georgia.
And the ranking member had a question he wanted to ask before we go to Ms. Davis.
Mr. SKELTON. To follow on that, can you explain the traffic that you heard early in the conflict relating to weapons of mass destruction?
General FRANKS. Sir, we really can't.
Mr. SKELTON. Which you did not find?
General FRANKS. Congressman Skelton, we really can't yet explain it. I remember one specific occasion where I was visiting a unit. And I got a call from my intelligence officer who said, we have just received information that sounds like an execute order that said: Blood, blood. That was one of the events described by the chairman which caused us to alert the whole, alert the forces, because we thought that this might be talking about the use of blood agents. Well, we did not see the use of blood agents, but the force, once again, was prepared for that use. And in the days, weeks and months ahead, Congressman Skelton, I believe that the pieces of this will be put together in a way that describes much more fully why we didn't see it used, and what had been done, what were the characteristics of the WMD program at the time that the attack was undertaken.
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The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
And against that backdrop, we have the pictures of the dead Kurdish mothers holding their babies in northern Iraq where they were gassed to death by Saddam Hussein with poison.
General FRANKS. Thousands of them, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Thousands of them. And so we have seen him use the poison gas on his people, and you probably took that into consideration when you intercepted these messages.
General FRANKS. As well as against Iranians.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman for his question. My colleague from San Diego, Ms. Davis.
Mrs. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you, General Franks, as well. I want to thank you for your extraordinary service and your leadership.
I think we all appreciate the difficult questions and the difficult issues that you had to face, the difficult decisions that needed to be made. And having perhaps some distance from them as well will be very helpful to us in the months and the years ahead.
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I wonder if you could perhaps give us a little bit more background into the issue of burden sharing and the fact that we haven't internationalized the forces in Iraq to the extent that the American public feels that this is not wholly our burden any longer. Could you give us a little more sense? Do you think it would have been more desirable, or were there obstacles in fact? Are there reasons, challenges why that would not have been a good idea in just the preceding weeks?
General FRANKS. Ma'am, I do it in rather prospective rather than retrospective. I think we are, what, 70 days since the 1st of May? And I believe with 19 nations committed on the ground and 19 more to be committed within the next couple of months that that is a substantial contribution by the international community. And I can't judge whether that is ample. You know, I think all of us want more. I mean, we want more internationalization.
The Coalition is a very powerful coalition. Some funding, some troops, and so forth. And I predict in the days ahead that it will be even more powerful. And that probably is the best that I can give you right now.
Mrs. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. I might suggest that perhaps that is a story that hasn't been told very well then, because I think the perception is that we could have used their help earlier.
The other issue that I hear from San Diego and my base and the people who have spouses and loved ones serving is a frustration that they have not been trained well for this effort. Very well trained for the war, but not so much trained for the peace. Have we been able to transform the forces there now in more of a peacekeeping way? What can we learn from that? Should we have been more prepared in terms of our National Guard? What is it that in a way, had you had more sense of that earlier we would have done differently?
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General FRANKS. Ma'am, I actually think our forces are very well trained for peacekeeping and peacemaking, having gone to so many training sites, and many members of this committee have done the same thing, and have visited where we train peacekeeping and peacemaking sorts of forces.
The issue that I think we will have for a long time will be that it is really hard. Peacemaking and peacekeeping in an uncertain environment and in a lethal environment such as the one we see in Iraq or in Afghanistan is just really, really hard. And I think all of us will ask ourselves every day, are we doing enough? Is the training good enough? And I am sure that from Afghanistan and from lessons that we take from Iraq there will be enhancements. We will in the future probably train better and more completely for these kinds of operations. But that does not mean in my view that our people are not competent and trained and capable and well-equipped, because I believe they are.
Mrs. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. I actually had an opportunity to go to an urban warfare training site, and so I think in terms of the mobility of troops, in terms of the ability to be ready for an unexpected event, I could see that. I think the issue perhaps of the cultural training is one that we might find that we could do better.
General FRANKS. Yes, ma'am. That may well be a lesson.
Mrs. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. And I guess the other issue is, if you could perhaps just pinpoint for us in terms of our role and trying to look into the future and what the needs of the military may be, was there an area in which you saw actually a lack, perhaps? I think linguistically. You know, is that something that we must put far greater efforts into, the ability not just of our using reserves perhaps or indigenous forces in terms of language but even in terms of our own forces? Are there other areas? Or how could you respond?
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General FRANKS. Yes, ma'am. For sureand I think we will be pretty transparent with lessons we have learned. I won't say positive and negative, but in terms of things we think worked really well and in terms of things where we think we are going to be looking at adjustments. I think there is some study ongoing right now to try to decide, are we balanced inside the Armya service I know best. Are we balanced inside the Army in terms of the skills that are in the Active Component compared to the skills that are in the Reserve Component? Do we have the right skills in the active force, or do we have to call up the reserves too early? I believe that that will be part of a transformational study, and I think it is ongoing now and I think it is needed.
Another thing that I think will be studied will be, do we have the right language skills in the right places in our services? I think that that will be studied. It deserves to be studied.
Another that we will need to study is, do we have the rightare people in uniform performing functions that could better be performed by civilians? In other words, could manpower be saved and put to the task of military police or some other function that is a high-demand function for peacemaking, peacekeeping, and stability operations? Can we save that force structure by civilianization in some other areas?
And so, yes, ma'am, I think there will be several. I think that we are, again, 70 days since the 1st of May. I think we are a bit too close right now to know what the enduring lessons are that we want to take. And so, in each case I think that we are going to have to do some study to be sure that we don't knee-jerk the taxpayer, and that the changes we make in fact have high payoff.
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Mrs. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentlelady.
Mr. FRANKS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Franks, I have to echo the gestures of honor to you today, to the words of appreciation, just the way that you have in such a humble and unpretentious way shown us all what it really means to be a faithful soldier.
General FRANKS. Thank you, sir.
Mr. FRANKS. And, of course, with a name like yours, I would have personally expected excellence. But you have transcended all of that. And I would say to you, too, in light of some of the voices of dissent, that ultimately there are a lot of us that contend that the counsels of history will deem your life and your efforts a very noble contribution to humanity's best interest.
General FRANKS. Thank you, sir.
Mr. FRANKS. Having said that, one of the members of this body has put forth kind of the comparative illustration of Eric Rudolph when it comes to trying to find a certain individual. You know, one of the greatest investigative bodies in the world took five years to find a man that was in a five-by-six mile area without a lot of resources afforded to him. And when one juxtaposes that toward trying to find a man who has the attending resources of being the nation's former leader in a country the size of California, with all of the support mechanisms there, I think it does illustrate the challenge that the forces of our side in Iraq have faced.
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General FRANKS. Sir, I agree.
Mr. FRANKS. And having said that, the second attempt on the rocket attack which was hoped to take out Hussein and his sons, I know that there has probably been some retroactive study of the information there. And is your reaction one of neutrality? Is it one of those things where you just simply have no indication one way or the other? Or is there some indication that that was not successful?
General FRANKS. Sir, I do not yet have an indication that it was not successful. And here is what I mean when I say that. During the case in Afghanistan as well as Iraq, I have known for a certain fact that people have been killed in strikes, and subsequently received reports from others who claimed to have seen them subsequent to the strikes where I know they were killed. And so what I have learned is not to be too quick to either react to someone who says, I saw him and he was killed, or someone who says no, no, I saw him two days later.
So, no, sir. I do not have anything that convinceswe do not have anything that convinces us right now tangibly that these leaders are alive or dead. For that reason, I believe we are best served by believing that they are alive, and recognizing that it will serve us well when we can conclude that they are captured or dead. And so, as I said earlier, sir, considerable resources are put to that task.
Mr. FRANKS. Thank you. General, given your placement and just your years of service, if you had to put one thing before this committee or this body that by way of policy or something that we might do on behalf of the Armed Services of this country to make it a more capable or a better or more well-served service, what would that be? I know that is kind of an open-ended etherial question, but if you have something that you could throw at us here.
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General FRANKS. Sir, it would not be something that I would put to you and the chairman and Representative Skelton. It would be something that I would put to the Armed Forces of our country, and that would be the efficacy, the utility, the power of joint operations. As we move forward in the future, the things which cause our Armed Forces, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Active Component, Reserve Component, Special Operations Forces, to be together more, to work as combined and joint task forces more, to train more in that mode, sir, that is the challenge that I think we have before us. And as we work this business of jointness, which perhaps was the most powerful aspect of this operation in Iraq, we need to become more and more attuned to a future where we will likely never do anything alone.
Mr. FRANKS. Yes, sir.
General FRANKS. We will likely work with other nations, and our ability to share information and work together also needs to be honed, worked, schooled, drilled, and resourced.
Mr. FRANKS. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. General, I just wish the world had more leaders like you, and thank you for spending your life for the cause of freedom.
General FRANKS. Thank you, sir. It has been an honor and a pleasure to do it.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. Mr. Hill.
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Mr. HILL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And, General, I join my colleagues in wishing you well as you enter retirement.
General FRANKS. Thank you, sir.
Mr. HILL. I have a series of questions. I hope I can get them all in, and I hope that you can answer them as briefly as possible.
The first question is, what percentage of the country has electricity?
General FRANKS. 70 percent.
Mr. HILL. Is there adequate food and water for the Iraqi people?
General FRANKS. Yes, sir. 100 percent food, 100 percent water.
Mr. HILL. A typical Iraqi person, when they wake up in the morning they go to their jobs, I am assuming. What jobs are there?
General FRANKS. Sir, I can't answer the sort of writ large. I can tell you that the sense that I get from Senator Levin and Chairman Warner, based on a recent delegation trip to several places, north, center, and south Iraq, that the markets are up, the people who farm are farming, and the people who are operating businesses in the population centers are up and running.
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Mr. HILL. When I read the Washington Post, I get the impression that chaos exists in Iraq and that the morale of the Iraqi people is pretty low. They are scared, they think Saddam Hussein is still alive, he is going to be coming back. Do you think that is accurate?
General FRANKS. Sir, I think the people in Iraq are scared, and that is why I say it will serve us well when we can confirm the death or capture of Saddam Hussein. I do not believe that Iraq is in chaos.
Mr. HILL. Okay. Do we have enough troops?
General FRANKS. Sir, I believe today we have enough troops. I believe it would be possible to talk toin one of these yellow areas on any given day, I believe you could talk to one of our tactical commanders who could very easily say I could use a few more. And the reason that I do not overreact to that is because on that same day there may well be in other places in Iraq an overstructure, where we have more troops than we need. So, sir, what I am saying is, I believe that as we move forward I am satisfied today with the number of people that we have in Iraq. I think that the locations of those people over time, next week, next month, perhaps three weeks from now, may well change. But I am satisfied with the structure we see there now.
Mr. HILL. Is that the reason why we have not engaged the NATO or the U.N. In helping us to keep the peace?
Page 89 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General FRANKS. Sir, I don't think so, because we all recognize that there can potentially be a fiscal saving and there can certainly be a personnel tempo (PERSTEMPO) or an operations tempo (OPTEMPO) saving by internationalizing the force, and I think we all agree that that is good and we want to do that.
Mr. HILL. Thank you for that answer.
You spoke of the two key components as governance and rebuilding the economy and rebuilding the country of Iraq. I don't know about the other members of this committee; maybe they know about a plan, a written plan to do that. But I don't know of any written plan in order to accomplish this. It seems to me like this is a huge undertaking.
General FRANKS. Sir, it is huge.
Mr. HILL. Is there a written plan in place to do this?
General FRANKS. Sir, there is. I believe that the Coalition Provisional Authority that Jerry Bremer has in the first case is a very clear and very deliberate charter for what he is to do. And I forget the number of points on that charter. I believe the Department of Defense could probably provide it to you and probably would. And I believe that Ambassador Bremer has likely worked each of the points in that charter and has put together a plan along with milestones. Yes, sir, I do believe so.
Mr. HILL. Mr. Chairman, have you seen this plan?
Page 90 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. Which plan is the gentleman referring to?
Mr. HILL. Well, I asked the question of the General that he thought the two key components of rebuilding Iraq was governance and rebuilding the economy.
General FRANKS. Actually, three, sir. Security would be the third.
Mr. HILL. And security. And I asked the General if there was an actually written plan to do this.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, here is what Ambassador Bremer gave us when we took our delegation to Iraq. We went to Baghdad and received a very thorough briefing from the Ambassador, that Mr. Abercrombie commented on as being very thorough, and he reviewed the progress at that pointthis was about three weeks agoof the hooking up of the megawattage that would bring the country up, first, to the level that existed during Saddam Hussein's reign, and second, to the level that they actually need, which is considerably more than that. And then he reviewed the program to bring up the water supply, potable water up and the contractors that were doing that and the position that they were in at that point.
Now, we have inquired here a couple of days agoin fact I have got a summary sheet back I will give the gentleman that shows the progress that has been made to date on that plan to bring it up. And as I recall, it manifested some, I think, 2,000 projects, some very small, that have expended upwards of $1 billion to basically start the wheels turning. So I will be happy to share that with the gentleman. That is what I have in terms of an update.
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Mr. HILL. I see my time has run out.
General FRANKS. And, sir, if I could provide just a bit more.
The CHAIRMAN. Go right ahead, General. Take as much time as you need.
General FRANKS. This, Mr. Chairman, is just companion to the comments you just made. I think Ambassador Bremer also works in the establishment of local governance and what his time line looks like for that, what the Iraqi currency will be, and how many bills of what type will be minted on a time line, and how those will be distributed. And so, as I said, I actually believe that there is a plan, and the ministries which work for Ambassador Bremer, in fact, work and track each of those, as the chairman described is the case in the examples that he used.
The CHAIRMAN. And Mr. Hill, let me just amplify, because I recall a few more facts from the information we received this morning, is that in excess of 90 percent of the schools are now up and running, and, as I recall, 24 of the 28 major hospitals are now up and running. That was as of this morning.
Mr. HILL. Okay. Well, I appreciate that information. My time has run out. But I think this is critically important that members of this committee, who are probably in the future going to be appropriating more money for this effort in Iraq, know that there is some kind of road map in place to democratize this country and how they are going to do it. I think it is critically important that we have that information, and it also is to be shared with the American people.
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General FRANKS. Yes, sir. Thank you.
Mr. HILL. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
And the gentleman from Oklahoma, with whom I stood at Fort Sill and watched a lot of his people stage here a couple of months ago to move out to Iraq, Mr. Cole.
Mr. COLE. I will begin by reminding all these Texans where you really are from, General.
General FRANKS. It is all true, Congressman.
Mr. COLE. And we are all proud of it.
If I may, I have got a series of questions with a couple of comments first. First, again, I would be remiss not to thank you and the wonderful men and women you led with just such tremendous distinction for the enormous service you rendered our country, and am very deeply grateful for that.
General FRANKS. Thank you.
Mr. COLE. And, frankly, I thank you for the candor and the clarity that you communicate with and, frankly, for your enormous patience, not just at this committee, but really throughout the period that you have been in the public eye, so to speak. I think it is so extraordinarily important that the American people understand the stakes, the nature, the conflict, that they have confidence in the people that are communicating with them. And I think they have a high degree of confidence in you. And, frankly, it is important for our friends and our adversaries, I think, to understand who we are and what our values are and how we intend to conduct ourselves in the struggle that we face. And, again, you communicate that extraordinarily well, too. So thank you again for that.
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General FRANKS. Thank you, sir.
Mr. COLE. Believe me, my honor.
It seems to me, so much of this conflict that we are in is a question ofit is both a question of will and calculation by the various people that are participating. And, you know, I would argue that the people that were behind September the 11th didn't really understand the American people and what the response would be, and I would argue Saddam Hussein didn't really understand the American people.
General FRANKS. I agree with that, too, sir.
Mr. COLE. And what the response would be. So given that fact, what kind of progress do you think we have made in giving the Iraqi people the confidence that we have the staying power and the good intent to achieve our objectives there and to communicate that very same set of circumstances to our opponents?
General FRANKS. Sir, I think in the case of the Iraqi people we have more work to do, and I would say that candidly. There is a bank of fear in the Iraqi population that things can go back to normal. I believe, sir, that they are beginning to believe that we are going to stay because we are saying we are going to stay and we have provided no evidence that we intend to do anything else.
One can see, though, in the international press attempts to create fissures in that staying power, and I think that especially the Iraqi elite see that, and they read it, and it causes them to wonder. I believe that we are in fact committed to stay the course in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and I think the more often and the louder that we profess that commitment, the better off the Iraqi people will be.
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Mr. COLE. General, do you have any indication thatobviously, as you say, we are in a war, we are meeting very serious resistance of a sort.
General FRANKS. Yes, sir.
Mr. COLE. Do you have any indication that we have a lot of governments helping us, but we have some governments that certainly aren't favorable to our objectives in this region; any indication that any foreign states are participating by either sending people, sending material, encouragement, what have you, to the forces that are against us right now?
General FRANKS. Sir, we see the states in the region all aware of what is going on in Iraq. We see some of those states taking a hand in actively trying to influence what happens in Iraq. The example that I use is Iran. We see Iranian-backed clerics participating in political dialogue in the Shiite communities in the south all the way to An Najaf. We see unarmed Badra Corps forces operating in the south, as well, in support of this Iranian influence. We see Iranian intelligence services operating in the south and so forth.
And so, yes, sir, we do. We see states trying to influence activities inside Iraq. But we do not see, up to this point, evidence of the support of anti-Coalition armed efforts against our people.
Mr. COLE. We have, of course, a great many friends in the Arab world as well as adversaries.
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General FRANKS. Yes, sir.
Mr. COLE. And would you tell us a little bit to what degree, if any, some of our friends are being helpful, because obviously they have a special credibility, given the cultural and religious relationship that we are not going to have?
General FRANKS. Sir, well, in support of a policy that says we will let each state describe its own specific contribution. If you would let me do it from a macro point.
Mr. COLE. Absolutely. I understand you.
General FRANKS. Sir, every state in that region has supported us during Operation Iraqi Freedom in a way for which I am grateful, and in a way that I think evidences continued support for the war, the Global War On Terrorism. And it is possible to pick out a country and say, well, isn't it true, for example, that if we had had access through Turkey for a large, for a larger conventional force, it could have made a difference in terms of securing infrastructure or the termination of hostilities more quickly?
Sir, it is possible to speculate about such things. But I would also say that the government of Turkey provided appropriate overflight and support for our operations. And, sir, you can take each country that is a neighbor of Iraq, and in every case I can find very, very important support that was given us in this operation. I am positive in terms of the support from the region.
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Mr. COLE. Let me ask you, I have a million questions, I know, and limited time. And the Chairman has been gracious and you have been extraordinarily gracious to stay this long. Let me ask you this just in conclusion. Clearly, the task of rebuilding and reestablishing civil society in Iraq and Afghanistan are enormous. And, focusing on Iraq for a moment, we have many, many countries who made very substantial loans to the regime of Saddam Hussein, and there is obviously a decision point I would hope for a lot of those countries as to whether or not those loans would be forgiven. Do you have any opinion as to how much that would make an enormous difference in being able to reput the country back together, so to speak, to remove that burden from what will be, we hope and expect, the next generation of Iraqi leadership?
General FRANKS. Mr. Cole, I actually don't. I am aware of the debt outstanding to a number of countries. I am also aware of the political dialogue associated with each of those countries and what each may choose to do in that respect. But I am not aware of internal U.S. Government policy discussion on what our way ahead should be. So I can't give you a good answer.
Mr. COLE. Well, again, thank you very much for what you have done for your country throughout your life. It is quite amazing.
General FRANKS. Thank you, sir.
Mr. COLE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman.
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Mr. LARSON OF CONNECTICUT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, let me start by thanking you and the ranking member for holding this hearing, and this committee has always demonstrated a certain focus and a certain mission, and I really truly appreciate General Franks, an American hero, being here this morning. I would join with some of my colleagues in expressing concern. We would have liked to have heard from Secretary Rumsfeld, and a lot of the questions that I have for the General I feel probably would be better answered by Secretary Rumsfeld.
But I also, General, would like to add along with others the great contribution you have made to your country and the debt of gratitude owed to you and your family and all the fighting men and women of our Armed Services.
General FRANKS. Thank you very much, sir.
Mr. LARSON OF CONNECTICUT. And indeed I want to compliment you and echo the words and sentiment of Mr. Spratt in saying the job that you have done on the military bases have been masterful.
My question has to deal with focus, and it has been great to glean from the questions and your testimony areas that you point out, and especially in mission. And I couldn't concur more with you in terms of lightness and lethality and a number of the issues that you enumerated here today, and yet you have kind of come up through the ranks, starting in Vietnam, and I believe, as Representative Sanchez says, have garnered both the reputation, well-deserved, as being a soldier's general and straightforward and frankno pun intendedin your delivery, though for most of your career you operated from the standpoint of a philosophy on the part of the United States of one of containment, deterrence, and diplomacy.
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With September the 11th and the introduction of the doctrine of preemption and unilateralism, things have changed. What I am concerned about, and I am hopeful that you might be able to shed some light on this: What does that mean in terms of the ongoing transformation of the role of our services? Does a policy that emanates therefore drive the way in which ultimately the military has to operate, as well? And I was struck by what you had to say in your comment about the need for coordination. It just seems to me, and I believe many others here, with respect to policy, the need to coordinate between the Department of Defense and the State Department. And it seems rather unfair to so many of our young men and women. I think a lot of the concerns that are raised here today about reservists and our men in the field is that the very mission that they were trained for is transforming, as we speak. Notwithstanding the fine training that they receiveand I am not questioning that, but I am saying, if we are going to continue down these roads of where policies by those who wave the flag force those who have to salute the flag to take on a different role, how do we deal with that in the future?
General FRANKS. Congressman, I think that, to be sure, national security policy and national strategy will affect our Armed Forces to be sure, because there is a difference: An armed force that is required for the sake of an isolationist government will not match a force structure that advocates prevention, if you will. And so, I think all of us, all of us recognize that. And I think transformation is the way you would describe it, it is what is to change. And I believe, sir, that the changes we see will certainly be influenced by our security strategy and our security policy.
And in terms of relationships within the executive branch, sir, I couldn't talk to that.
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Mr. LARSON OF CONNECTICUT. Will that require in the future that, as part of the retraining and recycling, and not necessarily of the one-third, one-third, one-third that Mr. Taylor alluded to earlier, but in terms of the role of nation building, the commitment that you have indicated that we are here in both Afghanistan and in Iraq by its very natureand hopefully we are able to have the United Nations join in with us. Hopefully, we are able to have other allies. But if we are not, those roles will fall squarely on the shoulders of American soldiers. And, is part of the new role that we are assuming under these policies that of nation builders?
General FRANKS. Actually, Congressman, I don't think so, because I believe that a nation that finds itself at the hands of a regime like Saddam Hussein or at the hands of the Taliban and finds itself in a position where it has to build a government must build its own government. And so, in my terms, in my view, the nation building in Afghanistan will be done by Afghans and in Iraq nation building will be done by the Iraqi people.
The support that we provide from our country is actually in the category of chapter five and chapter six peacekeeping and peacemaking and stability operations to create an environment within which a nation can build itself. And so, it may be a fine point, but I think, sir, what we need to do is we need to be sure that our people are prepared, as I said to the gentlewoman a minute ago, as best we can prepare them for the environments that we are likely to see in the future for peacekeeping, peacemaking, and stability operations.
Mr. LARSON OF CONNECTICUT. Well, it raises an interesting policy question for this committee in terms of the overlapping responsibilities between the State Department and the Department of Defense. And I think you said it so eloquently for those that wave the flag, and I place all elected officials.
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General FRANKS. Absolutely.
Mr. LARSON OF CONNECTICUT. As opposed to those who salute and have to carry out those specific orders.
Well, while we are all pleased to see Saddam Hussein go, there is no question about that. My concernand there is no way that you can know this, but I would be interested just from your perspective. And having been through Vietnamand I think perhaps that this might have been what Mr. Reyes was driving at in a final analysis. You have said that it will be the Iraqi people who will decide, and I think all of us believe that to be true. In the final analysis, is it conceivable that they will not choose a democratic regime, that those people will embrace something far different than we have conceived or would like to see?
General FRANKS. Sir, I think it is a fair question. And my sense, my belief, informed as it has been from Vietnam through Haiti and elsewhere, is that at the end of the day they will settle on a representative form of government.
Mr. LARSON OF CONNECTICUT. Thank you, General, and thank you for your service.
General FRANKS. Yes, sir.
Mr. LARSON OF CONNECTICUT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 101 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. And the ranking member has a few other things he would like to say.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for indulging me for a moment.
I am reading a rather interesting book entitled 19 Weeks: The Latter Part of 1939 and the Early Part of 1940, which history tells us was a very crucial time actually for the Western world. Looking at what we have today in Iraq and also in Afghanistan, and looking at the whole region and how infectious it can be for positive or for widespread trouble in the world, I think we may be going through a series of weeks and months that are crucial to the future history of freedom and stability. The determination of the British people, the Royal Airforce (RAF) and the Battle of Britain and Dunkirk success, if it was a success, probably saved not just Britain, but the Western world at that time. I am convinced that there is going to have to be a determination by the American people, military, particularly American military, quality and quantity, not just presence but capability, and a confidence in the Iraqi people that they can have a stable and representative government.
How do we ensure these elements? Because we cannot fail in this effort. How do we ensure that for the days ahead?
General FRANKS. Sir, it is interesting. In 1943, in one period of less than 48 hours we shot down more than 60 of our own aircraft over Sicily and killed 378 of our own people, in one period of less than 48 hours. We possessed the moral fiber to stay after the end of the second war in the face of that disaster, more than 60 of our airplanes, a bit more than a day. And in the course of our operations over these months in Afghanistan and Iraq, we have yet to see that casualty number, yet we are having this discussion.
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I am answering as a taxpayer. My personal belief is that it takes will; it takes, Mr. Skelton, what you provide, and that is a bipartisan-focused contribution to the support of our people who have to stay with this mission. As a matter of extreme importance to our country as well as some 50 million people in Afghanistan and Iraq, I think it is important for men and women who wear the uniform and those who represent all of us, such as yourself, to continue to make the statements, to continue to provide every evidence of support, because we, all of us, believe that the Global War On Terrorism marks a change in America. I believe, sir, that our country has changed since 9/11/01. I think our expectations have changed. I am hopeful that our values haven't.
And so, sir, I can't give you a simplistic answer to your question. We have to stay with this. It is important. And, sir, I believe your Armed Forces will do that.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. And, General Franks, thanks for your endurance.
General FRANKS. Sir, thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. And we appreciate your being with us. Let me just thank you again for your great career, and ask you just before we break here, if there are any: In this career that you have had that has spanned a very important time in American history, what particular part of this thing did you like the best?
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General FRANKS. Sir, I learned in dealing with the Congress that sometimes you can get away with answering a different question than the one that was asked, and I will try to do that right now. The thing that I have enjoyed most about this has been perhaps almost even a little bit maudlin. This is truly a great country. This is a country where people can come out of trailer houses and, as they say in the Army, be all that they can be. I think it is so remarkable that this great experiment in democracy has an armed force that operates ever under civilian control, that we have in our Armed Forces today no one drafted. Everybody in our Armed Forces is a volunteer, myself included. And so it is certainly an honor for people to describe my service of 38 years as something that is important. But I wasn't drafted. And I have enjoyed every day of my service because I have been able to work with sons and daughters of America, not unlike those mentioned by the gentleman on my left and mentioned by Mr. Skelton.
We are blessed in this country. Those of us who wear the uniform know it, and it has been an honor to serve.
Someone said to me the other day, well, it must be a bittersweet thing to move on from 38 years in uniform. Actually, it isn't. It has been an absolutely wonderful 38 years, and I truly wouldn't trade a day of it. But it is an equally exciting future, and so my wife and I are looking forward to the future and looking forward to long associations with this committee and you, Mr. Chairman, and the members of this committee. So thanks a lot, and thanks for the kindness that you have shown me here.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much. We appreciate it.
Page 104 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [Whereupon, at 1:37 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]