SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10746]
UNITED STATES POLICY TOWARD IRAQ
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS
SEPTEMBER 18, 2002
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
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One Hundred Seventh Congress
BOB STUMP, Arizona, Chairman
DUNCAN HUNTER, California
JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah
CURT 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
J.C. WATTS, Jr., Oklahoma
MAC THORNBERRY, Texas
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
SAXBY CHAMBLISS, Georgia
VAN HILLEARY, Tennessee
WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina
LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
BOB RILEY, Alabama
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCHEATHER WILSON, New Mexico
KEN CALVERT, California
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
ANDER CRENSHAW, Florida
MARK STEVEN KIRK, Illinois
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
ED SCHROCK, Virginia
W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
RANDY FORBES, Virginia
JEFF MILLER, Florida
JOE WILSON, South Carolina
IKE SKELTON, Missouri
JOHN SPRATT, South Carolina
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
LANE EVANS, Illinois
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
MARTY MEEHAN, Massachusetts
ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD, Guam
ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH, Illinois
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
THOMAS H. ALLEN, Maine
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
JIM TURNER, Texas
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCADAM SMITH, Washington
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
JAMES H. MALONEY, Connecticut
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
ROBERT A. BRADY, Pennsylvania
ROBERT E. ANDREWS, New Jersey
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
MIKE THOMPSON, California
JOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
SUSAN A. DAVIS, California
JAMES R. LANGEVIN, Rhode Island
RICK LARSEN, Washington
Robert S. Rangel, Staff Director
Mark Esper, Professional Staff Member
Justin Bernier, Research Assistant
C O N T E N T S
Wednesday, September 18, 2002, U.S. Policy Toward Iraq
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Wednesday, September 18, 2002
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2002
U.S. POLICY TOWARD IRAQ
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Hunter, Hon. Duncan, a Representative from California
Skelton, Hon. Ike, a Representative from Missouri, Ranking Member, Committee on Armed Services
Stump, Hon. Bob, a Representative from Arizona, Chairman, Committee on Armed Services
Myers Gen. Richard B., USAF, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
Rumsfeld, Secretary Donald H., U.S. Secretary of Defense
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Myers Gen. Richard B.
Rumsfeld, Secretary, Donald H.
Hunter, Hon. Duncan
Skelton, Hon. Ike
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[There were no Documents submitted.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers can be viewed in the hard copy.]
U.S. POLICY TOWARD IRAQ
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Wednesday, September 18, 2002.
The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:05 a.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Duncan Hunter presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. DUNCAN HUNTER, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM CALIFORNIA
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Mr. HUNTER. The committee will come to order. Today the Committee on Armed Services continues its review of United States policy toward Iraq. This morning's hearing marks a second of a number of planned public sessions designed to educate and inform the committee and the American people on the various issues surrounding Iraq's continued violation of numerous United Nations (U.N.) resolutions, its illicit development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and the threat that Saddam Hussein poses to the United States, the Middle East and the international community.
And I might let my colleagues know that this hearing in this series of hearings we have been having and will continue to have are being put forth at the direction of our chairman, Bob Stump. I talked to Bob just a little bit ago and Bob is doing well. He is still under the weather and undergoing some tests, but he gives his best to every member of the committee and every Member of the House and to you, Mr. Secretary, and wishes he could be with us.
Last week the committee received a classified briefing from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). In fact, we just concluded another briefing I think some 86 Members of the House attended just a few minutes ago. We also heard from former senior U.N. Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) inspectors, about Iraq's illicit weapons programs and Saddam Hussein's persistent efforts to thwart the efforts of the UN inspectors so that he might persevere and advance his weapons of mass destruction programs.
Tomorrow the Armed Services Committee will hear how the Iraqis built and sustained their weapons of mass destructions programs through the legal and illegal acquisition of Western technology, and how the United States's own export control system may have contributed to the problems we are now facing with Iraq. We also continue to plan further hearings for the coming weeks that will examine in greater detail the various aspects of the policy options before us.
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Today, however, we are honored to have Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld before the committee to discuss U.S. policy toward Iraq. He is the first cabinet-level official to appear on the Hill regarding Iraq, so we are all anxious to discuss these matters with him today.
Secretary Rumsfeld is joined by General Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Welcome, gentlemen. Thank you for being with us.
Mr. Secretary, before we ask you for your opening remarks, I want to invite Mr. Skelton, the distinguished gentleman from Missouri, the ranking Democrat on the committee, to offer any comments he might have.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hunter can be viewed in the hard copy.]
STATEMENT OF HON. IKE SKELTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MISSOURI, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and Mr. Secretary, general, we welcome you, and we look forward to your testimony today. This is certainly a critical time for us to be considering American action against Iraq. President Bush has made clear to Congress, to the United Nations and the American people his determination to remove Saddam Hussein from power and to neutralize the threat posed by the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and I applaud his realization that the threat posed by Saddam Hussein is one that faces the United Nations as a whole, and I think all agree that Saddam Hussein is a despot who has violated the Security Council's resolutions for years.
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But having recognized the central role of the United Nations, we must take seriously its collective judgment about how to enforce these resolutions. I am not suggesting that Congress will or should only consider an option fully supported by the United Nations, but the administration must be able to answer fundamental questions about any decision to use force. Why must action be taken now? What is the threshold beyond which the United States can no longer wait for Iraqi compliance with Security Council resolutions or for UN action in the face of Iraqi defiance? The decision to act with or without the United Nations. I have wrestled with a series of questions which, I have shared with the President. Exercising our constitutional responsibilities requires Congress to take into account not only these near-term considerations of how to act, but also the long-term implication for American security interests globally of using military force against Iraq.
Some of these questions have to do with waging the broader war on terrorism. How will the United States ensure that we continue to have international support for our efforts against al Qaeda? Even if the Administration seeks military action without Security Council approval, do we have the forces, fiscal resources, munitions and other military capabilities to wage both campaigns effectively? How is the United States preparing to deal with likely Iraqi efforts to draw Israel into the conflict by launching missiles, possibly with chemical or biological warheads? What type of planning is going into succeeding in sustaining an urban operation or operations on the battlefield made toxic by chemical weapons?
As members of the Armed Services Committee, we all share the commitment to making sure that our troops can succeed on the battlefield at the lowest possible level of risk should we decide to put them in harm's way.
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In considering the long-term aspects and the question of use of force, I am reminded of Karl von Clausewitz's maxim, which is in his book, ''On War,'' that in strategy it is imperative not to take the first step without considering the last. We must think through carefully and now, before we authorize military force, how the United States would manage Iraq after Saddam fell. Planning for the occupation of Germany and Japan took years before the end of the Second World War. In today's dynamic battlefield, we don't have the luxury of years to prepare. How can we build a stable and a democratic Iraq that takes all major groups, Shia, Sunni, Kurd into account? How will we handle members of the Baath Party and those scientists and those engineers that design weapons of mass destruction for Iraq? What military commitment will be required from the United States at the time of our victory and in the years to come? Any decision to attack Iraq must begin with answers to these questions about the strategy for achieving victory and the long-term responsibilities that come with doing so.
With answers to these questions, Mr. Secretary and General, I look forward to supporting the President in helping to craft a Congressional authorization to do so.
I thank both witnesses for being with us today and for sharing your expertise and hopefully providing answers to these very difficult, but very important, questions. Thank you so much.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Skelton can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the distinguished gentleman, and Mr. Secretary, our members on this Armed Services Committee have put in a lot of hours on this question, and we look forward to working with you and hearing your testimony.
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We thank you for being with us. The floor is yours, sir.
STATEMENT OF THE HON. DONALD H. RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
Secretary RUMSFELD. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, Congressman Skelton, members of the committee. I have submitted a rather lengthy statement which I would like included in the record. It sets out
Mr. HUNTER. Without objection.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Thank you. It sets forth a number of the elements of the case that the President presented with respect to Iraq in some detail and also attempts to respond to a number of the questions that have been raised over recent days and weeks. What I would like to do is to hit some of the high points of that statement. As we all know, this is not an intelligence briefing. I understand that the committee has very recently, in fact maybe this morning, received an intelligence briefing, and it is also an open hearing. So my remarks will reflect those two facts.
Today I do want to discuss the task of preventing attacks of even greater magnitude than what was experienced on September 11th, attacks that could conceivably kill not just thousands of Americans but potentially tens of thousands of our fellow citizens.
As we meet, chemists and biologists and scientists are toiling in weapons lab and underground bunkers working to give the most dangerous dictators weapons of unprecedented power and lethality. The effect posed by those regimes is real, it is dangerous, and as the President pointed out, it is growing with each passing day. We have entered a new security environment in the 21st century, one where terrorist movements in terrorist states are developing capacities to cause unprecedented destruction.
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Today our margin of error is notably different than was the case previously, in the 20th century when we were dealing with conventional weapons for the most part. Today we are dealing with weapons of mass destruction that of course tend to be used not against combatants, but against innocent men, women and children, as well. We are in an age of little or no warning when threats can emerge suddenly to surprise us. Terrorist states are finding ways to gain access to these powerful weapons, and in word and deed, they have demonstrated a willingness to use those capabilities.
Moreover, after September 11th, they have discovered a new means of delivering those weapons: terrorist networks. To the extent that they might transfer weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groupsand we know terrorist groups are actively seeking those weaponsthey could readily conceal their responsibility for attacks on our people. So we are on notice. An attack very likely will be attempted. The only question is when and by what technique. It could be months, it could be a year, it could be years, but it will happen, and each of us needs to pause and think about that.
If the worst were to happen, not one of us here today would be able to honestly say that it was a surprise, because it will not be a surprise. We have connected the dots, as much as as is humanly possible before the fact. Only by waiting until after the event could we have proof positive, and by then, needless to say, it will be too late.
The question facing us is this: What is the responsible course of action for our country? Do we believe it is our responsibility to wait for a weapon of mass destruction 9-11, or is it the responsibility of free people to do something, to take steps to deal with such a threat before such an attack occurs?
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[Disturbance in hearing room.]
Mr. HUNTER. If we could ask the staff to see to it that our guest is escorted.
Mr. Secretary, we will be with you in a minute. Mr. Secretary, we are going to put them down as undecided.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Mr. Chairman, as I listen to those comments, it struck me what a wonderful thing free speech is, and of course the country that threw the inspectors out was not the United States. It was not the United Nations. It was Iraq that threw the inspectors out, and they have thrown them out, and they have rejected 16 resolutions of the United Nations and stipulations, but of course, people like that are not able to go into Iraq and make demonstrations like that because they don't have free speech.
I think one other point I would make before proceeding is that there is obviously a misunderstanding on the part of those who think that the goal is inspections. The goal isn't inspections. The goal is disarmament. That is what was agreed to by Iraq. That is what was understood by the United Nations. The ease with which people can migrate over and suggest that the task before the world is inspections, you can only have inspections when a country is cooperating with you. They have to agree that that isthey have the same goal as those that are attempting to validate something. So one would hope that those thoughts could be a part of this dialogue.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC There are a number of terrorist states pursuing weapons of mass destruction: Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, to name but a few. But no terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. These facts about the Saddam Hussein regime I think should be part of this record in our country's considerations.
He ordered the use of chemical weapons against his own people, in one case killing some 5,000 innocent civilians. His regime invaded two of its neighbors and launched ballistic missiles at four of its neighbors. He plays host to terrorist networks, assassinates his opponents, both in Iraq and abroad, and has attempted to assassinate a former President of the United States. He has executed members of his cabinet. He has ordered doctors to surgically remove the ears of military deserters.
His regime has committed genocide and ethnic cleansing in northern Iraq, ordering the extermination of over 50,000 people. His regime on an almost daily basis continues to fire missiles and artillery at U.S. and coalition aircraft as they fulfill the U.N. mission with respect to Operation Northern Watch and Operation Southern Watch. His regime has amassed large clandestine stocks of biological weapons, including anthrax and botulism toxin and possibly smallpox. His regime has amassed large clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons including VX and Sarin and mustard gas. His regime has an active program to acquire and develop nuclear weapons. And let there be no doubt about it, his regime has dozens of ballistic missiles and is working to extend their range in violation of U.N. restrictions.
His regime has in place an elaborate organized system of denial and deception to frustrate both inspectors and outside intelligence efforts. His regime has diverted funds from the U.N. Oil for Food Program, funds intended to help feed starving Iraqi civilians, to fund his weapons of mass destruction programs. And his regime has violated 16 U.N. resolutions, repeatedly defying the will of the international community without cost or consequence.
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As the President warned the United Nations last week, the Saddam Hussein regime is a grave and gathering danger. It is a danger we do not have the option to ignore. In his U.N. address, the President explained why we should not allow the Iraqi regime to acquire weapons of mass destruction, and he issued a challenge to the international community to enforce the numerous resolutions that the U.N. passed and that the Iraqis have defied and to show that the U.N. is determined not to become irrelevant.
President Bush has made clear that the United States wants to work with the U.N. Security Council, but he made clear the consequences of Iraq's continued defiance. He said, ''The purposes of the United States should not be doubted. The Security Council resolutions will be enforced or action will be unavoidable, and a regime that has lost its legitimacy will also lose its power.''
The President has asked Members of the House and the Senate to support actions that may be necessary to deliver on that pledge. He urged that the Congress act before the recess. He asked that you send a clear signal to the world community and to the Iraqi regime that our country is united in purpose and prepared to act. It is important that Congress send that message before the U.N. Security Council votes. Delaying a vote in Congress would send a wrong message in my view, just as we are asking the international community to take a stand and as we are cautioning the Iraqi regime to respond and consider its options.
It was Congress that changed the objective of U.S. policy from containment to regime change by the passage of the Iraqi Liberation Act in 1998. The President is now asking Congress to support that policy.
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A decision to use military force is never easy, and it is important that the issues surrounding this decision be discussed and debated. In recent weeks, a number of questions have been surfaced by Members of the Congress and others. Some of the arguments raised are truly important. And in my prepared testimony, I attempted to discuss in detail a whole series of those questions and what I believe to be appropriate responses. Let me touch on a few this morning.
Some have asked whether an attack on Iraq would disrupt and distract from the U.S. global war on terror. The answer is that Iraq is part of the global war on terror. Stopping terrorist regimes from acquiring weapons of mass destruction is a key objective of that war, and we can fight all elements of the global war on terror simultaneously. As the members of this committee know well, our strategy includes the ability to win decisively in one theater and be able to occupy a country, to near simultaneously swiftly defeat a country in another theater, to provide for homeland defense and a number of lesser contingencies such as Bosnia and Kosovo. That is what our force sizing construct is. That is what was briefed to this committee. So let there be no doubt but that we can do both at the same time.
Our principal goal of the war on terror is to stop another 9/11 or a WMD attack that could make a 9/11 seem modest by comparison, and to do it before it happens. Whether that threat comes from a terrorist regime or a terrorist network is beside the point. Our objective is to stop them regardless of the source.
Another question that has been asked is where is the smoking gun? Well, the last thing we want to see is a smoking gun. A gun smokes after it has been fired, and the goal must be to stop such an action before it happens. As the President told the United Nations, ''The first time we may be completely certain that a terrorist state has nuclear weapons is when, God forbid, they use one. And we owe it to our citizens to do everything in our power to prevent that day from coming,''.
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If someone is waiting for a so-called smoking gun, it is certain that we will have waited too long. But the question raises another issue that is usually discussed, and that is what kind of evidence ought we to consider as appropriate to act in the 21st century. In our country it has been customary to seek evidence that would prove guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. That approach of course is appropriate when the objective is to protect the rights of the accused, but in the age of weapons of mass destruction, the objective is not to protect the rights of a Saddam Hussein. It is to protect the lives of the American people and our friends and allies, and when there is that risk and we are trying to defend against closed societies and shadowy terrorist networks, expecting to find that standard of evidence before such a weapon has been used is really not realistic, and after such a weapon has been used it is too late.
I suggest that any who insist on perfect evidence really are thinking back in the 20th century in a pre-9/11 context.
On September 11th, we were awakened to the fact that America is now vulnerable to unprecedented destruction, and that awareness ought to be sufficient to change the way we think about our security and the type of certainty and evidence we consider appropriate. We will not have, we do not have and cannot know everything that is going on in the world at any time.
Over the years, despite the very best efforts of enormously expensive talented intelligence capabilities, we have repeatedly underestimated the weapons capabilities in a variety of countries of major concern to us. We have had numerous gaps of two, four, six, eight, ten and in one case more years between the time a country developed a capability and the time that the United States of America became aware of it.
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We do know that the Iraqi regime currently has chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction, and we do know they are currently pursuing nuclear weapons, that they have a proven willingness to use those weapons at their disposal and that they have a proven aspiration to seize the territory of and threaten their neighbors, proven support for and cooperation with terrorist networks and proven record of declared hostility and venomous rhetoric against the United States. Those threats should be clear to all.
Committees of Congress are interestinglythey are currently asking hundreds of questions and pouring over tens of thousands of documents, pages of documents, about September 11th, and they are asking the question, who knew what, when and why didn't we prevent that tragedy?
Well, if one were to compare the scraps of information that the government had before September 11th to the volumes of information the government has today about Iraqi's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, his use of those weapons, his record of aggression and his consistent hostility towards the United States and then factor in our country's demonstrated vulnerability after September 11th, the case the President made should be clear.
If more time passes and the attacks we are concerned about were to come to pass, we would not want to have ignored those warning signs and then be required to explain why we failed to protect our fellow citizens.
Some have argued that the nuclear threat from Iraq is not imminent, that Saddam Hussein is at least 5 to 7 years away from having nuclear weapons. I would not be so certain. Before Operation Desert Storm in 1991, the best intelligence estimates were that Iraq was about 5 to 7 years away from having nuclear weapons. The experts were flat wrong. When the U.S. got on the ground, it found that the Iraqis were probably 6 months to a year to 18 months from having a nuclear weapon, not 5 to 7 years.
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We do know that he has been actively and persistently pursuing nuclear weapons for more than 20 years, but we should be just as concerned about the immediate threat from biological weapons. Iraq has these weapons. They are simpler to deliver and even more readily transferred to terrorist networks, who could allow Iraq to deliver them without Iraq's fingerprints. If you want an idea of the devastation Iraq could wreck on our country with a biological attack, consider the recent unclassified Dark Winter exercise conducted by Johns Hopkins University. It stimulated a biological WMD attack in which terrorists released smallpox in three separate locations in the U.S. Within two months the worst-case estimate indicated up to one million people could be dead and another two million infected. Cut it in half. Cut it in a quarter. It is not a nice picture.
Some have argued that Iraq is unlikely to use weapons of mass destruction against us, because unlike terrorist networks, Saddam Hussein has a return address. That is to say, he is probably deterrable is the argument. Well, Mr. Chairman, there is no reason for confidence that if Iraq launched a WMD attack on the U.S. that it would necessarily have an obvious return address. There are ways Iraq could easily conceal responsibility for a WMD attack. For example, they could give biological weapons to terrorist networks to attack the United States from within and then deny any knowledge. Suicide bombers are not deterrable.
We still do not know with certainty who was behind the 1996 bombing of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. We don't know who is responsible for last year's anthrax attacks. Indeed our consistent failure over the past two decades to trace terrorist attacks to their ultimate source gives terrorist states the lesson that using terrorist networks is a very effective way of attacking the United States seemingly with impunity.
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Some argue that North Korea and Iran are more immediate threats than Iraq. Well, why not deal with them first, the question goes? Well, Iran and North Korea are indeed threats and problems. That is why President Bush named them specifically when he spoke about the axis of evil, and we do as a country have policies to address both, but Iraq is unique. No other living dictator matches Saddam Hussein's record of waging aggressive war against his neighbors, pursuing weapons of mass destruction, using them against his own people, launching missiles against his neighbors, brutalizing and torturing his own citizens, harboring terrorist networks, engaging in terrorist acts, including the attempted assassination of foreign officials, violating international commitments, lying and hiding his WMD programs from inspectors, deceiving and defying the express will of the United Nations over and over again.
As the President told the United Nations in one place in one regime, we find all of these dangers in their most lethal and aggressive forms. Some have asked if containment worked on the Soviet Union. Why not just contain Iraq? First, it is clear from the Iraqi regime's 11 years of defiance that containment has not led to their compliance. To the contrary, containment is breaking down.
Second, with the Soviet Union we faced an adversary that already possessed nuclear weapons, thousands of them. Our goal with Iraq is to prevent them from getting nuclear weapons.
Third, with the Soviet Union we believed that time was on our side, and indeed we were correct. Time was on our side. With Iraq the opposite is true. Time is not on our side. Every month that goes by with his weapons of mass destruction programs, they are progressing.
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Fourth, the containment worked in the long run. The Soviet Union's nuclear arsenal prevented the West from responding when theywhile containment did work in the long run, the Soviet Union's nuclear arsenal prevented the West from responding when they invaded their neighbor Afghanistan, if you think back. Does anyone really want Saddam Hussein to have the same deterrence so that he could invade his neighbors with impunity?
Some have argued that if we do go to war the U.S. should first lay out details of a truly comprehensive inspection regime, which if Iraq failed to comply would provide a casus belli.
Well, I would respond this way. If failure to comply with weapons of mass destruction inspections is a casus belli, the U.N. already has it. It is preceded over a period of many, many years. The United States, as the President indicated, is not closed to the idea of inspections as an element of an effective response, but our goal can't be inspections. It has to be disarmament. That is where the threat is. The purpose of inspections is to prove that Iraq has disarmed, which would require that Iraq would reverse its decade-long policy of pursuing those weapons, and that is certainly something that Iraq is unlikely to do.
Even the most intrusive inspection regime would have difficulty getting in all of his weapons of mass destruction. Many of his WMD capabilities are mobile. They can be hidden from inspectors no matter how intrusive. He has vast underground networks and facilities and sophisticated denial and deception techniques.
There is a place in this world for inspections. They tend to be effective if the target nation is actually willing to disarm and wants to prove to the world that they are doing so. They are looking for a way to prove to the world that they have in fact done what the world has asked them to do. They tend not to be as effective on covering deceptions and violations when the target is determined not to disarm and to try to deceive. And Iraq's record of the past decade shows that they want weapons of mass destruction and are determined to continue developing them.
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Some say that there is no international consensus behind ousting Saddam Hussein and that most of our key allies are opposed. First, the truth is to the contrary. There are a number of countries that want Saddam Hussein gone and increasing numbers are willing to say so publicly, and a quite large number are willing to say so privately, although because a number of countries live in the neighborhood and he is not a nice neighbor, it is not surprising that some of them are reluctant to say so publicly.
The coalition we have fashioned in the global war on terror includes 90 countries, literally half of the world. It was not there on September 11th. It was built one country at a time over a long period of time. During the Persian Gulf War, the coalition there eventually included 36 nations when Iraq was attacked, but they were not there on August 5th when President George Herbert Walker Bush announced to the world that Saddam Hussein's aggression would not stand. That coalition was built over many months.
With his U.N. speech, President Bush has begun the process of building international support for dealing with Iraq, and the reaction has been very positive. The President will continue to state our case, and I suspect that as he does so we will find that additional countries in increasing numbers will cooperate and participate. Certainly that has been our experience over the past days.
Some have suggested that if the U.S. were to act, it might provoke Saddam Hussein's use of weapons of mass destruction. That is a useful point, and certainly there are ways to mitigate the risk of a chemical or biological attack, but it cannot be entirely eliminated. And it is true that that could be a risk of military action, were the President to make a decision for military action. But if Saddam Hussein is that dangerous today, then I would think it would only make the case for dealing with such a threat stronger, because the longer we wait, the more deadly his regime becomes.
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Moreover, consider the consequences if the world were to allow that risk to deter us from acting. We would then have sent a message to the world about the value of having weapons of mass destruction that we would deeply regret having said. The message the world should want to send is the exact opposite: that Iraq's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction has not made it more secure but less secure, and that by pursuing those weapons they have attracted undesired attention to themselves.
But I would suggest that even Saddam Husseinthat if he were to issue such an order to use a chemical or a biological attack, that that does not necessarily mean his orders would be carried out. He might not have anything to lose, but those beneath him in the chain of command most certainly would have a great deal to lose. Wise Iraqis will not obey orders to use weapons of mass destruction.
Some have asked what has changed to warrant action now. Well, what has changed is our experience on September 11th. What has changed is our appreciation of our vulnerability and the risks that this country faces from terrorist networks, terrorist states armed with weapons of mass destruction and the nexus between terrorist networks and weapons of mass destruction. What has not changed is Iraq's drive to acquire those weapons and the fact that every approach that the United Nations has taken to stop Iraq's drive has failed.
Mr. Chairman, as the President has made clear, this is a critical moment for our country and for the world. Our resolve is being put to the test. It is a test that unfortunately, the world's free nations have failed before in recent history with unfortunate consequences. Long before the Second World War, Hitler wrote in Mein Kamph indicating what he intended to do, but the hope was that maybe he would not do what he said, and between 35 and 60 million people died because of the series of fatal miscalculations. He might have been stopped early at a minimum cost of lives had the vast majority of the world's leaders not decided at the time that the risks of acting were greater than the risks of not acting.
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Today we must decide whether the risks of acting are greater than the risks of not acting. Saddam Hussein has made his intentions clear. He has used those weapons. He has demonstrated an intention to take the territory of his neighbor. He plays host to terrorist networks. He is hostile to our country. Because we have denied him the ability he has sought to impose his will on his neighbors. He has said in no uncertain terms that he would use weapons of mass destruction against the United States. He has at this moment stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. If he demonstrates the capability to deliver those weapons to our shore, the world would be changed. Our people would be at risk. Our willingness to be engaged in the world and our willingness to project power to stop aggression and our ability to forge coalitions for multilateral actions all could be put under question, and many lives could be lost.
We need to decide as a people how we feel about that. Do the risks of taking action to stop that threat outweigh the risks of living in the world that we see, or is the risk of doing nothing greater than the risk of acting?
The question comes down to this, how will the history of this era be recorded? When we look back on previous periods of history, we see there have been many books written about threats and attacks that were not anticipated. ''At Dawn We Slept.'' ''The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor.'' ''December 7th, 1941, the Day the Admiral Slept Late.'' ''Pearl Harbor, Final Judgment.'' ''From Munich to Pearl Harbor.'' ''Why England Slept.'' ''The Cost of Failure.'' The list of such books is endless, and unfortunately, in the past year historians have added to the body of literature. And there are already books out on September 11th wondering why those attacks weren't prevented. Each is an attempt by the authors to connect the dots, to determine what happened and why it was not possible before the fact to figure out what was going to happen.
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And our job today, the President's, the Congress and the United States is to connect the dots before the fact. It is to anticipate vastly more lethal attacks before they happen and to make the right decision as to whether or not it is appropriate for this country to take action before it is too late. We are on notice, each of us. Each of us has a responsibility to do everything in our power to ensure that when the history books of this period are written, the books won't ask why we slept, but to ensure that history would instead record that on September 11th, the American people were awakened to the impending dangers and that those entrusted with the safety of the American people made the right decisions for the country.
President Bush is determined to do just that, and that is why he has come before the Congress and why he has come before the United Nations and why he has set forth his case. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Secretary Rumsfeld can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Mr. Secretary, and let me ask you, Mr. Secretary, for your perspective of the security balance in the Middle East when Saddam Hussein acquires the nuclear systems?
Oh, excuse me, General Myers, did you have a statement also?
General MYERS. I do. I have a short statement, Mr. Chairman.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. Well, why don't you go ahead and then we will lead with questions.
STATEMENT OF GEN. RICHARD B. MYERS, USAF, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF
General MYERS. Okay. Chairman Hunter and Congressman Skelton, distinguished members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. Before I start I would like to take a minute and just thank Chairman Stump for his 26 years of service to our Nation as a Member of Congress. His service here and in the United States Navy of course, is an example for all of us in uniform, and we wish him and his family well in the days ahead and hope we can work again with him here in Congress.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you very much, General.
General MYERS. It is certainly an honor to appear before you to discuss the nature of the threat that Iraq represents to America and our interest and those of our allies and friends.
Mr. Chairman, I request that my written statement be submitted for the record.
Mr. HUNTER. Without objection.
General MYERS. Thank you, sir.
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I will make some short introductory remarks, and then we will go right to questions. The first thing that I wanted to cover with you was the nature of the threat that Iraq presents to us and the capabilities of our Armed Forces today, but I don't think there is anything I can add to Secretary Rumsfeld's remarks. I agree with those, and so I will leave that point and go on to my second point, and that is to tell you that our Nation's military forces are ready and able to do whatever the President asks of them. Our Armed Forces have made dramatic strides and capabilities over the past decade, and let me just highlight a few.
As a result of support of Congress and the American public, our Armed Forces have improved intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability. These capabilities together with an enhanced command and control network give our joint warfighters a faster, more agile decision cycle than the one that we had a decade ago. For our warfighters, this means that they have updated tactical information that is minutes or hours old, not days old. We also enjoy much better power projection capability to move our joint warfighting team. The strong congressional support for programs such as the C17 and the Large-Medium Speed Roll-On/Roll-Off ships have meant that we can deploy and sustain the force much, much better than in the past.
And finally, our Nation's combat power has increased dramatically over the past decade. For example, the Joint Direct Attack Munition provides all of our bomber aircraft and a majority of our fighter aircraft a day-night, all-weather precision attack capability. Our ground forces have improved and have more accurate long-range weapons with the improved Army Tactical Missile System and a faster Multiple Launch Rocket System.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Today, we have sufficient forces to continue our ongoing operations, meet our international commitments, and continue to protect the American homeland. At the same time, of course, some key units are in high demand. Mobilization of Guard and Reserve forces have helped to reduce the stress on some of these key units, but any major combat operation will obviously require us to prioritize the tasks given to such units. While our military capabilities have improved over the past decade, the foundation of our success remains our Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen. Their superior training, discipline and leadership are the core of our effectiveness.
In my view, these qualities are the reason that our men and women in uniform enjoy the respect and high regard of other professional militaries around the world. It is also for these reasons that our military forces are so effective partners in any potential coalition.
Once again, I welcome the opportunity to be here today and make those two important points. First, Iraq remains a threat to our region, to the region, our interests and to Americans. And second, our Nation's joint force can accomplish any task that this Nation may ask them to do. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of General Myers can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, General, and Mr. Secretary and General Myers, you may wish to comment on this. I would just restate this question. How do you see the security balance in the region with respect to U.S. interests when Saddam Hussein acquires nuclear systems?
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Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, Mr. Chairman, my personal view is that a biological threat and a chemical threat is of a kind with a nuclear threat, and he has biological and chemical weapons, and he is aggressively pursuing nuclear weapons.
The region knows that. The region knows this man very, very well, and they are frightened of him. And I don't know precisely what it would do to the balance in the region for it to be demonstrated that he has a nuclear capability and the ability to deliver it, not just to his neighbors but to others. In my view, the thing that is critical in the region is the role that the coalition forces have played since Desert Storm to dissuade him from invading his neighbors. He threatens the regimes of his neighboring countries frequently, and it is the United States and the United Kingdom and the fact that the U.N. resolutions have been a constraint on him in terms of the sanctions and the like, not a successful constraint because his programs have gone forward, but probably a constraint against him invading his neighbors. My impression is that it is probably the most critical element of the balance of power in the region at the present time.
General MYERS. Mr. Chairman, let me just add that when you think about Iraq developing nuclear weapons and the fact that they have an active ballistic missile production program, that when you put those two things together, you have to be very, very worried, like the Secretary says. And I would say that it makes a very bad strategic situation. Given that he has chemical and biological weapons, it makes it a very, very bad strategic situation for his neighbors, much worse.
Secretary RUMSFELD. One thing I would add, if you postulated that he had a nuclear weapon and the ability to deliver it, for example, some distances, which he is aggressively attempting to have, imagine trying to put together a coalition like was put together for the global war on terrorism, and put together a coalition as was put together for the Gulf War. When countries know that by participating in such a coalition they and their cities and their populations could conceivably be targets, it would cause athe purpose of a terror weapon is to terrorize, and it need not even be used to still be very effective, because it alters behavior. And in the hands of the likes of Saddam Hussein, that is a significant shift in capability and power.
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Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Skelton.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Secretary, I was going to ask you about the offer by Saddam Hussein and Iraq to have so-called unfettered inspections, but I think you fully covered that in your earlier comments and your opening statement.
Mr. Secretary, you made a reference to the Second World War, what led up to it, a, regarding Pearl Harbor, b, regarding the rise of Adolf Hitler. We must look ahead in this whole effort, and I use the Second World War as an example. What happens after we remove Saddam Hussein from power, he and his regime, hopefully with a coalition? But after the decision is made and after that action is taken?
We had a plan in place regarding Japan, the occupation thereof, and it worked. We had a plan in place in the occupation of Germany, and it worked, even despite the fact that the Soviet Union thwarted it for a while, and today we have, as you know, democracies in both Japan and Germany, and a great deal of that is because of our foresight in putting together what we do after victory. And there is no question in my mind that the United States, either alone, hopefully with other coalition partners should this come to pass, could decisively defeat the Iraqi forces. But I pride myself being somewhat of a student of history and know that planning for the aftermath of a successful military action is very important. Clausewitz's maxim said that in strategy it is imperative not to take the first step without considering the last, so let me ask you thesereally there is really one question, Mr. Secretary, but I will split it into two parts.
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC What preparations are being made now for the administration of Iraq after Saddam falls and for the longer-term transition to a more permanent government? The second part of the question is what is the level of diplomatic and military commitment to be made to Iraq after Saddam falls and particularly, what is the estimate of American troops needed to ensure stability for the first year, or in the long term, or both? In other words, what does the future hold for us once victory is achieved?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Congressman Skelton, that is, of course, an exceedingly important question, and it is one that the President and the National Security Council have given a good deal of thought to. If the President were to decide that some action were necessary with respect to Iraq, there is no doubt in my mind but that the effort would be undertaken with partners, as in a coalition, as you raised in your question.
I feel the same way about a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, that it would be clearly a coalition, conceivably a U.N. role, but it would require over a period of time some military forces while that country transitioned from a repressive and vicious dictatorship to something notably different from that.
On the one hand, there is broad agreement with those that have been discussing this question that Iraq should be a single country and not be broken up into pieces; second, that it should be a country that does not have weapons of mass destruction, a country that does not attempt to impose its will on its neighbors, a country that is respectful of the fact that it is ethnically diverse and is not a central government that would repress minorities in that country.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The numbers of troops that it would take in the early period I don't think it is probably useful to discuss in this forum. It is interesting to go back to the Gulf War. The Iraqi army demonstrated its attitude about Saddam Hussein when 70 or 80,000 members of the Iraqi army surrendered and changed sides almost instantaneously within a matter of days, some hundreds surrendering to single soldiers because they have no great respect for their leadership in that country.
The going to the next step and beginning to talk about democracy or things like that is a step I can't go, because it seems to me that what is important is in that transition period it would be important for the Iraqi people in Iraq and peopleIraqis from outside Iraq who have been persecuted to participate in fashioning what would follow, and clearly it has to be something that would be not a dictatorship and would be respectful of minority rights in the country and the rule of law and respect for his neighbors.
What that template might be is beyond my task, and clearly it is something that the President and the Secretary of State, the Department of State and other countries in the coalition would be thinking through.
But the answer to your last portion of your question as to whether or not the United States would have to make a military in the short run and a diplomatic and humanitarian and reconstruction effort in the longer term, the answer is ''Yes, one would.'' One doesn't change what is without recommending something better.
The difference between this and Afghanistan, however, is that this is a country that has large oil revenues. So from a financial standpoint, it is an easier problem for the international community than a country that has been devastated by decades of conflict and does not have oil revenues to help buoy it up and bolster its recovery.
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Mr. SKELTON. Thank you very much.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman.
The distinguished gentleman from Utah, Mr. Hansen.
Mr. HANSEN. I thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the comments by the Secretary and the General.
Mr. Skelton hit on a very tantalizing question there. What is going to happen if that does occur, who fills the void. It makes you wonder if there is someone in the wings there to do it like we saw in Iran, back in that era. We have seen in other nations that somebody is waiting to do it.
The question that I would kind of be curious about is also there is always a question there is another nation that feels that we brought her to her knees and now we can take over. You know, that is a very volatile area, and there has been some very tremendous battles between Iraq and Iran before, and I would wonder how the Administration would look at a situation, wondering if the southern nation of Iran would say, ''No, well, now, here is our chance,'' and how you would handle that?
I guess you have possibly answered part of that when you said yes, it would require a military presence at that particular point just to make sure that didn't occur.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC You know, a lot of us on this committee get awfully tired of our military being in Korea for 50 years and Kosovo and Bosnia, and it just seems how do you ever get out of these places, how do you do that?
And the second thing I would be curious to know, having been to the Prince Sultan Air Base a couple of times, what would be the reaction of the Saudis? I have read a few things that they have kind of said they would be willing to let us use that base. I would kind of like to hear it from your mouth.
Secretary RUMSFELD. First, with respect to Bosnia and Kosovo, we have been pulling our forces down over the past couple of years fairly significantly. We have been doing it with our NATO partners and partnership-for-peace countries that have been participating, and the way you end something is to decide you do not want to be there permanently, and we know that we covet no other country's land. We are not looking to occupy any country. Our goal is to be helpful and then go about our business. The way you do that in the case of Kosovo and Bosnia has been to help build up the civil side, and what we are going to have to do in Afghanistan is see a lot more international support on the humanitarian side and the civil works side so that the security situation will continue to improve.
In the case of Iran, the small clique of clerics that are running that country I think have their hands full right now. They have a lot of foment in that country. People are unhappy, and women and young people are putting pressure on the leadership. And while one has to be attentive to all the things that could conceivably happen, I think that the likelihood of what you have suggested is somewhat less than modest.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Saudi Arabia speaks for itself. They have said what they have said. Every utterance publicly and privately that I have heard in the last several weeks have been increasinglywhat is the word?friendly, supportive, measured. They live in the neighborhood. Saddam Hussein has a vastly more powerful army than Saudi Arabia does. He has weapons that Saudi Arabia does not have. He threatened Saudi Arabia when he was invading Kuwait, and so they have been measured, but I would characterize, in answer to your question, their public and private comments as recognizing a good number of the things that I have characterized here today.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman. The gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. Spratt.
Mr. SPRATT. Mr. Chairman, General Myers, thank you very much for your testimony. Mr. Secretary, you have described yourself as a skeptic on the efficacy of inspections. Let me make a case, though, for what inspections did achieve, at least in the first half of the 1990s, when UNSCOM was there. They uncovered and dismantled 40 nuclear research facilities, including three uranium enrichment facilities and a laboratory scale plutonium separation plant. That was in the mid-1990s. As late as May of 2000, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) found and destroyed an Iraqi nuclear centrifuge which was stored in Jordan, and they also removed a lot of reactor fuel, fresh and irradiated.
On the chemical weapons side, they uncovered and destroyed 38,500 munitions, 480,000 liters of chemical agents, 1.8 million liters of precursor chemicals and 426 pieces of production equipment. There is still a lot of stuff unaccounted for, but that is a pretty substantial record there. It is at least worth the effort.
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As to biological weapons, the issues are more unresolved, but it is my understanding that they found about 19,000 liters of botulin, 8,400 liters of anthrax, 2,000 liters of aflatoxin. They monitored 86 sites. They dismantled one south of Baghdad. They destroyed some biological bombs and some biological missile warheads, and as to missiles, they were able to identify and account for 817 of 819 Soviet-delivered SCUDs, and they destroyed the SCUDs that they were still able to find in the inventory. They speculate that there may be anywhere from 40 and 80 additional SCUDs that they have been able to cobble together, but that is still a pretty substantial record of success, too.
And with respect to other means of discovering these facilities, if you look at what happened in the Persian Gulf War, we launched 2,400 sorties looking for SCUD missiles. We saw 42 launched plumes. We launched eight preemptive strikes. We didn't take out a single one in the boost phase. So we actually accomplished something here with inspections that we weren't able to do with active combat means.
If inspections are robust, if they are fully backed by the Security Council, unfettered, don't you think there is still something to be accomplished? And in particular, this concerns me. We don't know for sure what they have in the way of biological agents, and we aren't sure how robust their VXtheir dusty VX, persistent VX might be. Wouldn't it be worthwhile before we launch an attack and send our young men and women in harm's way if we could get into that country and ferret out and find some of these final stocks so that they won't be used against us?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, first, let me say that no one with any sense rushes into war. It is something that everyone thinks through very, very carefully. And that is why the President has not made a judgment as to precisely what he believes needs to be done. He has laid out the problem and he is looking for ways that it can be dealt with.
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You are right about inspections. There is no question but that the inspectors found large numbers of chemical and biological weapons and they found significant nuclear activities. It is also true that when they finished, they came up with a list of things that were unaccounted for that they had had reason to believe existed but they could not find, no matter how long they spentyears. And they tried. And it was a significant amount of chemical and biological capability they could not find.
Now, the Iraqi nuclear program which exists today proceeded at a pace while the IAEA was actually doing their job. And it is a very difficult job to do because, as I said earlier, an inspection regime is designed to work with a cooperative country that has made a decision that they want to actually confess and have the things known, and they work with them. A good deal of what the inspectors found was not because the Iraqi regime was working with them; it was because defectors came outside the country and cued them as to places they could look. And, of course, a couple of the most important defectors who came outside the country were sons-in-laws who went back into the country and were later assassinated by Saddam Hussein. So it isno one ought to think that inspections don't have a role. And in my opening remarks I indicated I believe they could. The question is, under what circumstances, with what countries, and after what kind of a decade-long record ought one to put their faith in those?
Now, is it conceivable that someone couldof course, the goal is not inspections; the goal, as you point out, is disarmament. Is it possible that you could have a sufficiently intrusive inspection approach that would enable you to disarm that country if the same regime was in there and was determined to try to prevent you from doing that? At that point it is something other than inspectors. It is so intrusive and so powerful that it has the ability to enforce itself. And, of course, that kind of force people generally call something other than inspectors. But
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Mr. SPRATT. I think it is important to note the UNSCOM inspectors not only discovered and uncovered, they did destroy what they came up with.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Exactly. No question about it. As you know, the UNSCOM inspection regime is not what exists today. What exists today in UNMOVIC is a series of backtracking off of that because Saddam Hussein says well, you can't go toyou could only inspect military installations, and that puts most of the country off baseyou can't do that. And put in restrictions. You had to give notice. And furthermore, they have had another decade toanother period of years to bury under the ground. They now have massive tunneling systems. They have mobile biological capabilities. They have been developing unmanned aerial vehicles, which are worrisome. They have got all kinds of things that have happened in the period when the inspectors had been out. So the problem is greater today and the regime that exists today in the U.N. is one that has far fewer teeth than the one you were describing.
Mr. SPRATT. Thank you, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank the gentleman. Mr. Hefley.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you, Mr. Secretary. You did a wonderful job I think of anticipating a lot of our questions and laying it out. And I appreciate that. We know Saddam Hussein is a bad guy, a terrible guy, probably a psychopath, but I don't know that anyone has said he is stupid.
Do you have any hope at all that if there is renewed pressure by the United States and the United Nations through resolutions or whatever, that the guy is going to sayyou know, it has been my sense that his bottom line is he wants to stay in power. He knows what we can do to him. Do you have any hope at all that he will say, well, I got to take another course if I am going to stay in power, this isn't working?''
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Secretary RUMSFELD. As long as he has options, he will certainly take the best options he can find. And it seems to me that it is the taskand the President put it before the international communitythat the task for the international community, if we want the United Nations to be relevant and their resolutions recognized as having some specific density, then what we have to do is to demonstrate to that regime that they don't have a lot of options other than disarming. And you know, is it possible he could wake up one morning and decide he wants to go live with Baby Doc Duvalier or Idi Amin or one of the former dictators of the world or some country of choice? Who knows? He clearly won't do that of choice.
If his next best choice is to stay there and acquiesce in everything that is requested of him, he has certainly given no indication of that in his background. And you are quite right, he is not stupid. I have met him and talked to him and spent time with him. And he is a survivor, and he is a brutal, vicious dictator.
Mr. HEFLEY. Would you comment as far as you can in an opening hearing on the strength of their military at this point? I guess I havewell, Bill Clinton said the other night on the Letterman show, he thought a couple weeks of bombing, a week of ground forces, and it would be over. I don't know if we can be that optimistic.
One of the things I had concern about is that theif we attack him, he showed in the Persian Gulf War that he will send missiles to Israelif he sends dirty bombs to Israel, we know he has them, we know he has the capability of delivery. If he does that, I don't think we restrain Israel this time and they will just back off and say, ''Well, we will take it.'' Maybe they will. And then what does that do to our situation there in the whole Middle East? Do we have the capability do you think of hitting him hard enough, fast enough, and in the right places to see that he is incapable of doing that kind of thing?
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How strongI understand that the Republican Guards, that he fairly recently has purged their leadership, they are not too keen on him either, so that might not be a great strength for him this time. But we hear so many things that I don't know what is true and what is not.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, we have to begin questions like that, of course, with the fact that the President has made no recommendation at this stage with respect to using military force in Iraq. He has said what he has said.
There is no question but that Saddam Hussein's military capability today is less than it was during Desert Storm, and is also no question but that the capability of the United States is considerably greater than it was during Desert Storm in terms of lethality. And there is also no question but that, as General Myers said, the United States is capable of doing those things that the country decides it would like it to do.
With respect to Israel, there is no question but that Iraq's neighbors, were there to be a conflict, would have a degree of vulnerability. And there is also no question but that would probably not last for a very long time, that they would be vulnerable. And there is also no doubt in my mind that it would be in Israel's overwhelming best interest not to get involved.
General MYERS. Let me just add a couple of things to that. His ground forces are roughly about half of what they were a decade ago. He has got 23 divisions today, of which 6 are Republican Guard. You never know for sure, but the reports are that the morale is low, particularly in the Regular Army units, higher in the Republican Guard units because the regime pays more attention to those units. He has got about 300 combat aircraft of which less than half are mission-capable on any given day, and from what we can tell from reactions to some of our reconnaissance vehicles, not very tactically adept.
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In terms of the threat that the forces there would present to Israel, clearly that would be in the missile regime. And to not address Mr. Congressman Spratt's comment on that, but to just make one little comment, I think we are much better today because of some of the things I said in my opening statement: In terms of our command and control and communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance will be much more effective in thwarting that threat to Israel today.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you very much.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you. The gentleman from Texas, Mr. Ortiz.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to welcome the Secretary and General Meyers this morning.
You know, we have huge responsibilities as we listen to all this testimony, whether it is classified or in open hearing, and as we listen to the experts, sometimes it gets to be a little confusing to try to sort out all this testimony. In my district, they quite often show me a statement that was made by General Zinni back in Florida when he was speaking to a group, when he said, ''Most of us who have either fought in a war, have worn the uniform, do not want to go to war, but those that wear the civilian clothing are eager to go to war.''
I am just wondering if there is something much deeper in today's information that we do not have, because when we get that resolution, this is going to be very serious business when we vote on it.
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And I can remember when President Reagan was here and we decided to expand the time of the troops in Lebanon, I voted for it. And then we had 245 Marines who died. I mean, this is very, very serious business; and we are trying to picture that to be sure that whatever we do, that we make the right decision.
Another thing that my constituents ask me, will this escalate? And for the first time if we do that, if we attack Iraq, are we going to begin to see suicide bombers within the United States because we don't have the right intelligence? We know that there are cells in the United States. And these are the things that we have to sort out.
I want to make the right decision. And I hope, Mr. Chairman, that we can ask the general, whom I have a lot of respect for, to come and testify before this committee because we have huge responsibilities.
Maybe, Mr. Secretary, you can elaborate a little bit on this.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Yes, sir. It is an important question. And you can find generals and admirals on every side of these issues. You can find civilians on every side of these issues. Oversimplifying it, I think, is a disservice. And it seems to me that anyone with any sense at all would approach the subject of using military force with a great deal of caution, with a great deal of care to the things that can go wrong. And there are any number of things that can happen and go wrong.
To go directly to your question, which was something like if we were to engage in a military effort in Iraq again, is it conceivable that that could stimulate terrorist attacks and suicide bombers and the like? I think we learned from September 11th that we don't have to go to war with Iraq to stimulate suicide bombers. They are already there. They attacked us. They killed over 3,000 people. And it wasn't because we went to war with Iraq. It was because they decided that that is what they wanted to do. And that there are thousands of those people that were trained in Afghanistan and other countries spread across this globe who were financed by people who think it is good to finance people to kill Americans and other people.
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So I think that it would be fundamentally wrong to assumethat there would be a cause and effect, because we have already seen the effect without the cause. And there is no question free countries are vulnerable to people who are willing to give their lives to kill innocent men women and children. That is the world we are living in. The thing that is critically different today is this nexus between terrorist states that have weapons of mass destruction and have relationships with terrorist networks. And suddenly the people who are not deterrable, the people who are suicide bombers, to use your phrase, only have not conventional capability potentially, but unconventional capability and the ability to pose enormous destruction on innocent people.
So I would like to add one comment on Mr. Spratt's question on inspections if I might take this moment. There is no question but that Iraq went to school on the inspectors, and the longer they were there, the more they found how they worked and what they did, and developed the ability to use more underground, more tunneling, burying more weapons in different locations, using many, many multiple locations, hundreds as opposed to one or two or three locations. And it is a moving target I think it is safe to say.
I should also add to Mr. Skelton: Congressman, I am reminded that the Department of State has had a Future of Iraq Project effort going forward, and they would be the Department that obviously would be able to give you a greater granularity on that.
General MYERS. Could I chime in a little bit for Congressman Spratt? I would like to tag along with what the Secretary said. I think another way of saying that is that Iraq over the last decade has become a master, a regimea master of deception. As he said, they have gone underground, they have gone mobile, they combine their biological and chemical weapons production with legitimate facilities, making it very difficult to sort out one from the other because they can convert so quickly.
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I think we found out when we had U.N. inspectors over there that very often inspectors would come to the front door, and out the back door went the evidence. We know that as well. So it is going to make this problem of discovery just very, very difficult.
Mr. SPRATT. I simply want to make two points. One is what they did accomplish shouldn't be diminished, particularly in the early part of their efforts. It is substantial. And second, they need to be backed up if they are going to be put back there. There might be some advantage to sending them back there robustly to try to ferret out, particularly the VX and the biological weapon agents that we might see thrown against us if we later invade.
Secretary RUMSFELD. That is a fair comment. I mean, those are issues one has to put on the balance. The potential advantage is that you are characterizing that they are not nothing, they are something that isn't trivial, and balance it against the attitude of the regime and the determination of the regime, which is for us to not have knowledge of what it is they are doing. If there is anything that is clear, that is it. And second, the fact that time is passing, and how much time, how many years, does one want to allow to pass given the progress that is being made with respect to their weapons programs?
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman. And, Mr. Secretary, we had the inspectors in front of us. The essence of their testimony was in the early years, when we had a virtual occupation of the country, they were acquiescent, and that is when we made the fairly major finds. But then in the later years, the only person there when they got to these facilities, the vast majority, was the piano player. There was nobody else there. And that they were met by the Iraqi bureaucracy at over 1,200 of these facilities, with nothing inside. They were virtually hollow inspections.
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Nonetheless, I think this is an area that our members are very, very interested in. And the gentleman has spent a couple hundred hours on this issue, the fine gentleman from New Jersey Mr. Saxton.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just to follow up on the Chairman's comments, Mr. Secretary, last week we hosted before the committee Dr. David Kay, who is the former United Nations chief nuclear weapons inspector in Iraq, and Dr. Richard Spertzel, who is the former head of the biology section of the inspection team. And the message was unmistakably one of frustration; of inability to get the cooperation of the Iraqis; of experiences like being made to wait in parking lots for days, and then to be turned away from a facility; and just a general notion that at least the inspection effort that was made in the nineties was unsuccessful, to the point of finally being ejected from the country.
So that is a frustration which we talked about at length with Dr. Kay and Dr. Spertzel, and then asked them what it would take to be successful in a future effort at such an inspection. And they said that without the total cooperation of the Iraqi Government, that it would be next to impossible to do; and with a team many times the size of the team that was previously in Iraq, with those two conditions, perhaps it would be successful.
Now, I heardwith everyone else, I observed the events of recent days when the Iraqi Foreign Minister wrote a letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations. And forgive me for being skeptical, but I read this letter, and I would just like to read the twowhat I think are the operative paragraphs.
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Paragraph 2 says: ''I am pleased to inform you''to the Secretary''of the decision of the Government of the Republic of Iraq to allow the return of United Nations weapon inspectors to Iraq without conditions.''
And then several paragraphs later it says: ''To this end, the Government of the Republic of Iraq is ready to discuss the practical arrangements necessary.''
I guess this is kind of symptomatic of the problem. The problem is in one paragraph we use the words ''without conditions,'' and several paragraphs later we have to talk about the ''arrangements.'' So I guess I am asking you for your take on this. Is this the same kind of thing that we ran into in the last inspection effort already in the invitation to come?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, I asked Secretary Powell about thatwho has been dealing, of course, with the United Nationsabout it, and I asked him this morning. And his view was that it is very obviously a tactical step on their part and not a straightforward without-conditions approach.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you for that. I wanted to just verify that I was reading the words and interpreting them as you did.
Let me ask another question. Going back years, we know that the Soviet Union was successful in developing a whole array of weaponized diseases known as biological weapons. They ranged from anthrax and smallpox, which are familiar terms to us, to weaponization of plague and tularemia and Marburg and many others diseases. Do we know to what extent the Iraqis have been able to borrow technology from others, perhaps including the Soviet Union or the Russians, todayor others, or former Soviet States? And to what extent is this program developed in Iraq?
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Secretary RUMSFELD. That really is a subject I would prefer to have asked of the Intelligence Community and in closed session. But I can say obviously that they have had an enormous appetite for weapons, biological weapons and chemical weapons. They have taken these capabilities and weaponized them. They are continuing to do so today. They are looking not only at a variety of biological capabilities but at a variety of ways of dispensing or weaponizing them so that they have a range of choices with respect to it.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank the gentleman. The gentleman from Mississippi, Mr. Taylor.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you for coming, Mr. Secretary and General Meyers.
Mr. Secretary, there is not a single thing that you have said today that I disagree with. In fact, I think based on history and the element of surprise that was attained first by the Israelis in 1967 and then by the Egyptians and the Arabs in 1973, I would even add the element that since we as a Nation are talking about going to warand it is obviously being carried on a daily basis on all the cable networksthat we as a Nation should not rule out a preemptive strike on the part of the Iraqis, particularly an act of terror against our citizens for all the reasons that you outlined.
To quote you, ''We should anticipate vastly more lethal attacks before they happen.'' With that in mind, there are two questions that I would like to hear you address.
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Number one, half of our forces were in the Guard Reserve for the Gulf War. One of the things President Bush, then-President Bush did, correctly, was almost a total mobilization of the Guard Reserve for the military factors that were involved, and also because in my opinion it made it clear to the American people that this is everybody's war. It is not the poor draftee from across town, like Vietnam. It is everybody's war.
And I happen tohaving served in Congress and saw the mood shift of the American people, that is when the signs went up in front of the city halls and the county courthouses, ''The following people from St. Louis, the following people from Waveland, proudly served in the Gulf War.''
I think if we are talking of war, I think there has to be a mobilization of the Guard Reserve prior to that vote, because we had best expect the Iraqis to act either prior to that vote or immediately after that vote.
Second thing, Mr. Secretary, I just had a conversation with one of the senior chiefs from the New Orleans Fire Department. New Orleans, by southern regions, is a huge city, and yet that huge city by southern standards has only 18 people trained in chemical and hazardous material. I am talking about a huge city by southern standards. One of the things that this House voted very strongly on in just the past couple of weeks was the desire to have a weapons of mass destruction civil support team in every state. We now have, I believe only 30, in the process of 30. It is my understanding that
Mr. HUNTER. If the gentleman will suspend, we will accommodate your question here. Let me just let colleagues know we have got a vote coming up, but we intend to continue the hearing through the vote. And, Mr. Hefley, if you could go vote early perhaps and come on back, we will continue to hold the hearing. We will have some continuity. I believe it is only one vote. Staff, correct me if I am wrong.
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Go ahead, Mr. Taylor.
Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Secretary, it is my understanding that the House voted almost unanimously for a weapons of mass destruction civil support team in the National Guard in every State to be the first responders, to have the training and the equipment to help out what are in many instances volunteer fire departments in thisalmost every instance, underfunded fire and police departments to respond to what we know is eventually going to happen, just as you laid out very well.
My question to you is, sir, why is your legislative shop over on the Senate side telling them that we don't need one of these in every state? And this comes from conversations that we have had with Senator Levin's staff and others.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Two comments on your questions and your statements. My understanding is that a study was made and the number of these chemical-biological elements units that were needed was calculated, and it was something less than 50. It was something less than one for each state. And it was based not on historical state lines, but it was based on population centers and geography and the ability to move these things around where needed.
The counter to that was that some people said, well, every state ought to have one. And they did not have a similar study that said that the additional cost would provide a benefit that merited that cost. And when one is looking at the difference between shipbuilding and the difference between chemical-biological units and antiterrorists and force protection and all of those things, they tend to make calculations about where those funds can be best invested.
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Now, that is not to say that any state can't have one themselves, if they want one themselves. They can do it. But at the moment, in terms of priorities, the plan, the study that went forward, I am advised, reflected the best judgment of the people who understand these things as to how the coverage of our country could be best employed.
Second, with respect to Reserve forces and the National Guard, you are quite right, they represent an enormous fraction of our total capability. And you are also quite right that they were activated in large numbers in the Gulf War.
Clearly, all the discussion about the President coming to the Congress and seeking a resolution, the President going to the United Nations, helping them understand the circumstance, security circumstance we are in takes away any strategic surprise for Saddam Hussein. He is going to be watching what happens and making his calculations and his judgments. That does not mean that you have lost all tactical surprise, but you certainly have lost a strategic surprise, so to speak.
I disagree completely that there should be a complete activation prior to a vote in the Congress. I mean, we already have 70,000 reservists activated and we already have 20,000-plus people on stop losses who are not leaving the service. And we have got a very sizable force. And there is no question but that we would have to activate the Reserves for various functions and the National Guard, depending on what decisions are made. But I think it would be a fundamental mistake to think that it had to precede some kind of a vote.
Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Secretary, if I could, you made allusion to the Dark Winter scenario study done by Senator Nunn and others. One of the things it talked about was simultaneous biological attacks on a number of cities. One of the things that my friend from New Jersey has pointed out as recently as September 11th of last year, when the attacks occurred in New York and his home State of New Jersey asked for one of those weapons of mass destruction teams from other states to participate, the answer from the Governors was ''No, we are going to take care of our own.''
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As you so correctly pointed out, do we have to wait to be burned before we address this? Even if we started to, those teams aren't ramped up for at least 18 months to 2 years. But a journey of 61,000 miles starts with a single step. We have to start now.
If you really believe that the Iraqis possess these weapons of mass destruction and have the intention to use them, why do we delay a single day in ramping up these teams so that every state has some degree of protection and every state has some degree of training and we know that the responders don't themselves die when they go to find out what happened? At least they have the equipment. Because I think it is safe to say that if there were only 18 chemical-biological suits in the city of New Orleans, I doubt there are 18 chemical-biological suits in the entire State of Mississippi.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Correct me if I am wrong, but is this a Department of Defense-controlled matter or is it Homeland Security?
General MYERS. I think there are pieces in both places. If Ithe only thing I recall for first responders I think is, as Governor Ridge has said, first responders should be the civilians, and then we fold in where they cannot handle the task. And I think that is the policy.
Mr. TAYLOR. General, with all due respect, this is an attack on the American people. It is not a flood, it is not a tornado.
Second thing is, the cities are not equipped for this. The city of New Orleans has over 1 million people. They have got 18 hazardous material suits and the people who know how to respond to this, 18 out of 1 million. And they are better prepared than most cities in the South. This is a national defense priority. I would certainly hope that you all would make it a national defense priority. And let's not wait to be burned before we respond to it.
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General MYERS. I think, Congressman, one of the things that the Department has done that is going to be really important in this area is to stand up the new Northern Command, because that is exactly one of the things they have got to address, is the planning and the training and so forth. So those requirements could change over time, no question about that.
Mr. TAYLOR. I ask that you keep an open mind on this, Mr. Secretary.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman. I know this is an important issue and would have tomaybe a follow-up briefing for Mr. Taylor on this. But Mr. McHugh has been waiting to ask his question. We have a few minutes left before the vote.
Secretary RUMSFELD. I will get back to you on that.
Mr. HUNTER. I will get back to Mr. Abercrombie.
Mr. MCHUGH. Thank you, gentlemen. Mr. Secretary, welcome; and General Myers, thank you for your service. As has been mentioned here a number of times, it is very difficult to talk about this issue in the open session. All of us have had the opportunity for briefings and I would hope all of us, or certainly most of us, have taken those.
But I get a bit concerned when I hear about, as you noted, Mr. Secretary, the fact that somehow the public record does not in any way justify, legitimatize, or give cause for what we all hope never comes about, and that is military intervention. And I just want to say to those in the audienceand I hope the two active participants in the hearing, in an informal nature earlier, as well take the chance to read your written testimony, Mr. Secretary; because in a very clear way, as you can do so well, it spells out things not off the recordnot that we have to make conclusions about or guessesbut the things this regime has done, particularly vis-a-vis the United Nations, that really gives, I think a rational person little reason to think that we have many options left.
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My father had a couple of sayings. One was, ''Fool me once, shame on me; fool me twice, shame on you.'' That is a popular one. I am not sure what the hell ''Fool me 16 times'' means, and I hope we don't find out what ''Fool me 17 times'' means.
The other saying he hadand he would use it towards Saddam Hussein if he were still with uspeople like that have a motto: ''Play ball with me, and I will stick the bat up your nose.'' He wouldn't say ''Nose,'' but I will clean that up.
It just seems to me that, as I mentioned, the options are becoming less. But let me get off the editorial comment and go to a question. I would be interested, either Mr. Secretary or General Meyers, to the extent you can tell usin Afghanistan, obviously, we had a very active surrogate army in the Northern Alliance involved there. There has been a lot of discussion about the dissident groups, whether they get along or do not get along; the Kurds, the Shiites, et cetera, in Iraq. To what extent would our military action, if it comes about, be predicated upon their involvement, relied upon, their advancement as it was in Afghanistan?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, let me start by saying that the Iraqi people are repressed and are being subjugated by that regime. There is no doubt in my mind that the overwhelming majority are anxious to be liberated and be free of that regime. There are Iraqis inside that country by the thousands who feel that way. There are Iraqis outside that country by the thousands who feel that way. There are people in Iraq today who clearly would be helpful, not as well organized in many instances as in the case in Afghanistan, and there are people outside the country who are anxious to be helpful.
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I would prefer not to get into numbers, and it would be a notably different situation than Afghanistan, but there is no question but that there would be Iraqis who would be helping to liberate their own country.
Mr. MCHUGH. Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Abercrombie.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Just a follow-up. General Meyers, I want to make sure that I understand, because this is for the record, are you actually contending that this Northern Command is going to take over the responsibility for the Nation with respect to terrorist attacks in local communities and first response?
General MYERS. No, absolutely not. That is not what I intended at all. I just said that the roles of the Department of Defense do not change with the stand-up of Northern Command. But for once we will have a command with a commander that will worry about the planning and training for support to lead federal agencies or civil agencies or state agencies in responding to disasters, be they natural or be they terrorist disasters. That is all I said. We will have a command to help find the balance that Congressman Taylor was talking about.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. How is that going to be any different from what is required by the Joint Forces Command right now, other than the fact that you are going to spend $300 million to put it together, just to get it started, so it can start worrying?
General MYERS. I think it is having one person in charge of it. Right now in the Department of Defense you have several people in charge of this. I think putting one person that says, that is my job, to protect the American people.
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Mr. ABERCROMBIE. You are answering my question by saying that person is going to be in charge. Are they or are they not? The question here is the practical realities involved. Is the Department of Defense going to participate in some way other than consulting? Is the Northern Command supposed to consult with the 50 States? We are already on our way to doing this. The President has already said, or is in the process or has vetoed the supplemental bill that we put forward to try and fund some of these things. Now you have got to make a decision. I don't think you need this Northern Command. I would like to see the $300 million go into financing what Representative Taylor was talking about, so responders can do this under the National Guard all across the country. How is the setup of the Northern Command supposed to aid and assist in one iota what Representative Taylor was putting forward?
General MYERS. I will go back to my original comments, Congressman. Right now in the Department of Defense there are several entities that are responsible for whatever it is the Department of Defense is going to be asked to do to respond to either, as I said, natural disasters or chemical or biological or nuclear attack. What we want to doand we have one entity, then, that is responsible for their defense.
What we want to do is put that responsibility under one command. We think the situation has changed sufficiently; the strategic environment has changed sufficiently not just since September 11th. This is an issue that goes back, as you remember, Congressman
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Are the local forces to be in charge, General, or is the Northern Command supposed to be in charge of I guess, national civil defense?
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General MYERS. As I said, the roles of the Department of Defense will not change; in most cases will be in support of lead Federal agencies or other civil agencies, be they State or even more local.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. So the Department of Defense does not intend to fund in any way, shape, or form all of these requirements at the local level.
General MYERS. I don't know what requirements you are talking about.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Okay. You know, the requirements we are talking about is to be able to respond to a terrorist attack, which you contend has to have a Northern Command in order to respond.
General MYERS. The Department is certainly going to fund the parts of that that are the responsibility of the Department and
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. It will fund the Northern Command so that you will have this gigantic new bureaucracy set up initially, drawing on apparently overstaffed other commands, because that is where you are getting the people from. So all the commands now must be overstaffed, because you are able to bring in apparently hundreds of people
General MYERS. Congressman, when we stand this new Northern Command upI may have to correct this recordmy recollection is it will be the smallest command that we have in the United States Armed Forces. It will be the smallest. As you said, we are not adding people to this. We are taking people from other staff reductions that have been mandated by Congress. By the way, that 15 percent cutwe are going to take the manpower from those positions and put some of those, not all of them, of course, but some of those in this new Northern Command headquarters.
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Mr. ABERCROMBIE. What are they going to do?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Let me leap in here, if I may, Mr. Congressman.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. By all means, Mr. Secretary.
Secretary RUMSFELD. The Unified Command Plan allocates responsibilities throughout the world. Heretofore, we have not had certain portions of the world covered by a unified or specified commander. They included Russia, the United States, Mexico, Canada, and some other portions, water portions of the world. As we proceeded, we decided that given the changes in the world, we should allocate every portion of the globe to a commander and a command.
The cost for this command is going to come out of other commands. And the idea that it is going to be $300 million and a bunch of people milling around wasting money is just not going to be the case.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Despite the factexcuse me, Mr. Secretarythat is the way it is proposed right now in the Joint Forces Command budget.
Secretary RUMSFELD. What I said is correct. The changethe role of the Department of Defense will not change with respect to the United States of America in this important sense: We are not asking that posse comitatus be changed. We are not suggesting that we go into a role where we are the principal, and other statesstate, federal, local agencies support us. We would be functioning as we have in the past, in a supporting role.
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The general was exactly correct when he said that at the present time we have got NORAD that functions in a supporting role to some extent. We have got DOMS. The Army manages a whole host of things. We had 5- or 6,000 people at Salt Lake City for the Olympics.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. All of which exists, Mr. Secretary, without a Northern Command, and apparently functioned very well; unless you are saying they have not done a good job to this point.
See, what I am trying to say, Mr. Secretary, is actually we are doing a good job. I can tell you, Hawaii is only one part of the 50-State picture which is doing an excellent job of preparing for this, and they have excellent relationships, like with General Smith and the 25th out in Hawaii. The Department of Defense is very well represented and the coordination is already there. What they need is support. And they don't need another command to come in on top of this.
And the question has yet to be answered whether this Northern Command will in any way, shape, or form support what is already being accomplished in all 50 states. How is it to support it other than by standing there nodding its head?
Secretary RUMSFELD. I guess I don't know what you mean when you say how it will support all the things that are already being done so well by the 50 states. Any state can do what it wants. Any city can do what it wants. They can have their fire department. They can have chemical-biological outfits.
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ABERCROMBIE. How are they going to pay for what is required of them under the kinds of scenarios that are outlined, which are likely to occur if we go to war with Iraq?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Who pays is a function of what the Congress and the executive branch decidewhether it is a federal responsibility. If so, which department or agency, which state or local governments have to do what? That is a mix the Congress and the executive branch sorts out every year as they make their decisions.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Fair enough. Thank you.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Thornberry.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Secretary, General, thank you for being here. Let me also thank you for what I consider a very clear and persuasive statement that effectively deals with a lot of the questions that are on our minds, as well as issues that are swirling around there.
As you were talking I was reminded of a story line in a television program, I don't even know if it is still on, but the main character would get a newspaper delivered to his door at the beginning of the program, and in that newspaper it would have a story of a tragedy which was going to occur two or three days later, and the character's job was to try to prevent the tragedy before the newspaper became reality. It seems to me that is kind of where we are. We know the end of the story; we note the tragedy if we do nothing. The question is how, when, we prevent it from occurring.
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I guess the primary question on my mindand General Meyers, I may direct this to youis if the President decides to take military action in Iraq, are we ready? And, in particular, are we ready to have forces in an environment where weapons of mass destruction may be used against them? Maybe not initially, but eventually if things all fall apart, as we think they will for that regime, desperate people use desperate measures. I am concerned we have not given adequate consideration to our troops dealing in that environment for the last decadenot under your watchbut I guess I would ask you, are we ready to deal with that environment and to do what the President orders you to do?
General MYERS. Congressman Thornberry, let me first say that the short answer is ''Yes''. The longer answer is over the past decade, and I would admit earlier in the decade, our capability to deal with weapons of mass destruction for our soldiers and sailors and airmen, marines, coast guardmen was uneven. But, in the last part of this decade, for the majority of it, we have made very good improvements in terms of sensors that detect attacks, in terms of being able to net those sensors together to provide area warning for collective protection, and in the kind of protective suits that our troops wear. So, we have made improvements in all those areas.
And without getting into much more detail, obviously our forces are prepared for that, they train for that, and would be ready to deal with that type of environment.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Let me ask you one other question which goes to the issue of can we do bothor the existing war on terrorism as well as this other aspect of the war on terrorism? There are reports today that the command for the existing war on terrorism may be shifting to the special operations folks. Are you able to comment on that? Is that happening and, if so, why; and what you hope to gain by it?
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Secretary RUMSFELD. You are addressing that to me?
Mr. THORNBERRY. Whoever wants to.
General MYERS. I think what is being reflected in the paperand I haven't read the article, I read the headline and maybe a couple of paragraphsis the fact that, and the realization, of course, that this is a global war on terrorism. And the combatant commanders, as they are organized today, most of them, the theater ones, are organized on a regional basis. We have some that cross regional countries: U.S. Space Command, U.S. Transportation Command, the current Strategic Command and the new Strategic Command that is proposed to stand up or that will stand up here on 1 October.
Another one of those commands that can look globally is Special Operations Command. It has a global view of things. And for some aspects of the war on terrorism it is useful to have that global view. And without getting to the operational details of that, that is I think what we are seeing. I don't know that this reflects a great change in our strategy. And there are some elementsand again I haven't read the articlebut there are some elements that have not been finally decided yet that the Secretary and the rest of the National Security Council will have to decide on. But what we are trying to do is ensure that in a global war we have the kind of viewin some cases a global view is required, because these networksI mean they don't respect any boundaries, and as we know, they are in over 60 countriesis actually a network, and it has to be addressed kind of in this total.
Secretary RUMSFELD. I skimmed the article and it is fairly typical of articles that are reporting on something that hasn't happened. It wants to be first, not right. And my guess is that when it is sorted through by the Chairman and others and by me and the National Security Council, it will look somewhat different than that article characterized it. But the general is obviously quite right; you have got global problems, and having a global view of that is useful in some instances. But the idea that there is going to be a massive change, and the Special Operations people will in every instance be the supportive CINC or combatant commander is just not the case. They are going to be both, one would think, sometimes supporting and sometimes supportive.
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Mr. HEFLEY [presiding]. Mr. Meehan.
Mr. MEEHAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Secretary, and General, for your testimony. Appreciate it very, very much.
Mr. Secretary, can you tell me what you envision a weapons inspection, or perhaps I should call it a disarmament regime in Iraq, how would you envision that? I understand, and agree totally with the notion, that weapons inspections are really not the goal. The goal really is disarmament. How would you envision that? And also, should that vision of disarmament be included in a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for such disarmament?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Those are questions that the President and the Secretary of State have been addressing in the United Nations over the past period and are ongoing, and I have really no idea how what will evolve. There have been a whole series of thoughts about what the U.N. might do, and I know that Secretary Powell is discussing those with people up there. So I guess I am really not in a position to know what either the U.N. will ultimately decide or what the President will ultimately decide with respect to what it looks like the U.N. might be marching toward.
Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Secretary, could we accomplish disarmament, in your opinion, short of declaring war on Iraq? In other words, is thereis there a disarmament strategy that could be accomplished, short of declaring war?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, sure. Saddam Hussein could decide that his future is limited and he would like to leave, and you would have a regime that decided it wished to cooperate with the United Nations with respect to those resolutions. And if you have a regime that does in fact want to disarm, which is what the stipulation is, what the U.N. has said, then obviously, you could have inspectors participate and assist in that project and an international coalition to do it.
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Another way to do it would be to persuade enough people in Iraq that the world would be a lot better world if that regime weren't there and they decided to change the regime. That is another option.
Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Secretary, how would we know we had a regime that really wants to disarm?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, you would have to have enough people from the international community physically in there, disarming them, to know. And you probably wouldn't know for a period of time. But any idea that a regime like the current one would be sufficiently intrusive, which is much less intrusive than the one that existed previously, the one that is currently up there on the drawing boards. I mean you are not going to get people to defect and give you information about where these capabilities are if their families are in Iraq, for example. How could you have a person who has a family in Iraq and relatives walk up to U.N. inspectors, with this regime sitting on top of that power, and say, ''Hey, fellows, here is where you ought to go look? I know this tunnel or that area is an area of opportunity for you.'' They are going to be killed. Their families are going to get killed. It is a tough crowd.
Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Secretary, to follow up on my friend from Texas, the comments that he made relative to the war against terrorism and the war against al Qaeda in Afghanistan. And let me first of all congratulate you and the general on the tremendous job that our men and women in uniform have done in Afghanistan. I had an opportunity to travel there to see firsthand the outstanding job that they have done, getting rid of the Taliban and putting al Qaeda on the run. At the same time, I am troubled about reports of various terrorist cells that are still active in that country.
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Indeed, earlier this month, the attempted assassination of President Karzaiterrorists have already killed two ministers. It seems that in the past two or three months, there has been a marked increase in violence, in terrorist activity within Afghanistan. And clearly this terrorism and violence is going to have to be addressed if the new government is to succeed there.
Do you see a need to increase our military presence within Afghanistan in response to this resurgent threat of violence and instability? And, if so, what sort of commitment would that be?
Secretary RUMSFELD. It is not clear to me there has been a marked increase in violence in Afghanistan in recent weeks or months. It tends to be uneven. It spurts for a while, and then it declines. Second, it tends to be geographical. There has been more of it in Kabul, where the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) is, interestingly. No correlation, but the point being that the existence of the ISAF in Kabul is not an assurance of no violence. But it has tended to be more in the northeast and southeast of Kabul where there has not been a stable set of warlords who have calmed down. There is competition, there is disagreement, it is local.
Second, it is along the Pakistan border, and that is where a lot of al Qaeda and Taliban are. They want to go over the border, and we know that. So that is the worst area, the most difficult area, although even that has been improving and we have got some good news just in the last three or four days there where we are getting tipoffs and what have you.
Page 65 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I regret to say this, butthank goodness the assassination attempt against President Karzai failedbut I don't know that in that part of the world we are going to end assassination attempts. I think they have been going on for decades. They went on before September 11th, and it is a dangerous part of the world. What has to happen over time is the security situation is going to be affected by reconstruction, and the countries of the world that promised money have got to step forward and help that country develop the kinds of infrastructure so that they can cope with the millions of displaced persons and refugees who are returning home.
I think the indication that the security situation is not bad is that the refugees are voting with their feet. They are leaving where they were, going in there, and so are the internally displaced people. They are saying, pretty good, things are better than they were. They are better than they were where I was, so I am going to go back where I belong and that is a good thing.
Now, numbers of troops. We are high right now. We are probably up over 9,000. We were averaging 46, 5, 4,600, 5,000, something like that, 5,500, 6,000. We are now in the process of transferring people in, getting people out. Some other coalition countries have been reducing some of their forces in some instances as their forces were stressed.
Secretary RUMSFELD. The ISAF, the Turkish government, fortunately stepped forward and took over for the Brits, but their period comes to an end in December, and we ought not to be looking for someone for ISAF for another six months. We ought to look for somebody for a year, a year and a half, two years, and we would be delighted to have more coalition forces in the country helping.
Page 66 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Do I think that the United States will have to make large increases? No, I don't. I think that we have got to keep chasing after the al Qaeda, the Taliban that exists in the country; we have got to make life uncomfortable for those in Iran and Pakistan who want to get back in the country; and we have got to support the Karzai government so that that reconstruction takes place and people begin to be convinced that their future is in that country and in that government and in the Loya Jirga process, rather than at the end of a rifle.
Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Hostettler is going to be the next questioner.
Mr. Secretary, I know you and General Myers have been receiving some messages from your staff. Do you want to take about a five-minute administrative break here to see if there is anything you have to do with yourhere? You all set?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Mr. Hostettler.
Mr. HOSTETTLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman; and thank you, Mr. Secretary and General, for your attendance.
Mr. Secretary, Iin following up with Mr. Ortiz's comments, I did not serve in the United States military, but I have been elected by mothers and fathers of service personnel, and service personnel themselves who trust me to make the decision that we are now deliberating upon based on an imminent threat to our national security.
Page 67 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Selfishly, however, I do have young sons and daughters that may serve our country someday in the uniform of the U.S. military, and I hope that the person who is occupying the office that I occupy today will likewise be resolved that they will decide to send them into harm's way only when they are convinced that our national security is under an imminent threat. And to be quite honest, I hope the person who is occupying the office which you occupy todaythat they will then realize their profound duty as much as I have concluded that you understand your duty, and for that, I thank you for your service.
That being said, Mr. Secretary, I would like for you to respond to three points; and I will try to make them briefly.
The first is I would hope that the administration would seek a declaration of war if it is our desire to change a regime that sits atop a government of a sovereign nation; and if the administration is so convinced and resolved, I think a declaration of war seems a constitutional fit.
Secondarily, in June of 1981, Israeli jets destroyed the Osirak nuclear power plant that was under construction, and I am not meaning by this point that we necessarily have to follow, but I just wanted to have you comment on the fact that a very threatened neighbor at that particular time in the region felt that they were under an imminent threat by a foreign power, and I am not sure that Israel today feels as threatenedgiven that time they suffered U.N. condemnation and even condemnation by us, even though I understand they were a party to a nonproliferation agreement, and there were inspectors in the country at that time, I believe.
Then, finally, as you, I believe, in comments in your opening statement pointed out, ''Chemists, biologists and nuclear scientists are toiling in weapons labs and underground bunkers, working to give the world's most dangerous dictators weapons of unprecedented power and lethality,''. And I believe that that statement may apply to other nations than Iraq, some of whom were not named as part of the axis of evil, but have a vested interest in the demise of the West; and we may be desiring to send them a message with a strike against Iraq, but if I can offer a somewhat different rationale for, once again, you to possibly comment on.
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In your statement you talk about what I think may be a case for military action against any foreign country that attempts to undermine the most prominent political institutions of another country, and that is, as you pointed out in April of 1993, there was what we believe an assassination attempt of a former head of state of the United States of America by Iraq. I think it is undermining of our fundamental political arrangement in this country for other countries to believe that they may frighten the United States as a whole, and officeholders specifically, into particular behavior once they leave office if they have not done something which a foreign power believes is in that foreign power's best interest. If we would like to send a message to any potential enemy that we will not abide by this type of attack against our most fundamental institutions of government, I can actually see a reason to do that; and I was puzzled why in 1993 we didn't send that message more profoundly than we did.
So if you could address those three issues: the issues of the declaration of war, why some nations may not feel as threatened as they have in the past and then, finally, the idea of a different rationale for changing the regime in a country that has undermined our political institutions.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Congressman, thank you so much.
With respect to the declaration of war, I am trying to refresh my memory, but I don't believe we have had a declaration of war in this country since World War II; and we have been through Korea, Vietnam, Haiti, you know, Panama, one thing and another, a whole series of things. There are a lot ofI am no lawyer, and there are a lot of legal implications to a declaration of war and considerations that need to be taken into account. Clearly, over decades, the changes in our world circumstance have been such that successive Presidents of both political parties and successive Congresses have made a judgment that a declaration of war was either not necessary or inappropriate or both; and I am most certainly not the best person to go into the reasons for all those. My recollection is that the reasons were different in different circumstances. So, I would just leave it there.
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With respect to Israel, thank goodness they did go in and take out the Iraqi nuclear capability when they did. Intelligence communities of the world were flat wrong as to how advanced their capabilities were, and were dumbfounded when they got on the ground after Desert Storm and found out that their estimates were wrong by a great deal. Instead of multiples of years, it was less than one or less than two years before they would have had that capability.
I don't know quite how to respond to youroh, I should say, also, the neighbors are frightened of Saddam Hussein today. Let there be no doubt. And if one privately sat down with the leading Israelis, they wouldthey are concerned about the weapon of mass destruction capabilities of Iran, which are being developed as we sit here; of Iraq; of Syria, that is engaged in testing chemical weapons on almost a quarterly basis; of Libya; and they are attentivethe neighbors in that region are attentive and deeply concerned, let there be no doubt.
You are right. There is something about an assassination attempt thator accomplishedthat goes so fundamentally to a country's structure and the way it governs itself that it is something that should be taken quite seriously. Thank you.
Mr. HUNTER. The gentleman from Maine, Mr. Allen.
Mr. ALLEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman; and thank you, Mr. Secretary and General Myers, for being here today.
Mr. Secretary, I agree with you that thedisarmament is the goal and that inspections are just a means to that goal. But I want to explore a little bit further the issue that Mr. Meehan was raising aboutwhich is really ultimately comes down to whether the administration's goal is to eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction or to replace Saddam Hussein; and let us test it this way.
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If you assume that a new, robust inspections regime is able to satisfy the administration that Iraq has effectively dismantled, given up its weapons of mass destruction, I don't think that would happen without a change in position in the Iraqia change in position in the Iraqi regime, but let us assume you get there. Would that satisfy the administration's goals in Iraq?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Assuming you get where?
Mr. ALLEN. Assume you get to a place where you are satisfied that, through a combination of Iraqi cooperation and a robust inspections regime, that you get to a place where you are satisfied as an administration that Iraq has effectively dismantled and disarmed its weapons of mass destruction, but Saddam Hussein is still in power, would that
Secretary RUMSFELD. Boy, that is a reach.
Mr. ALLEN. It is a reach, I know. I grant you this is a hypothetical, but sometimes we get places by asking hypotheticals.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Sure.
Mr. ALLEN. If that happens, would that satisfy the administration's goals?
Page 71 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary RUMSFELD. The Congress, of course, has adopted a policy for the United States of America for regime change, and I don't know thatare you suggesting that if there was the certainty of disarmament because of a regime that was so incredibly intrusive, that notwithstanding a regime that was against disarmament you were able to achieve disarmament, would Congress then want to change the law and back away from a regime change?
Well, the problems with the regime are, as you point out, weapons of mass destruction and the fact that they won't disarm. There is also a repression of their own people. They are also threatening their own neighbors and those other things that I suppose led the Congress to pass a statute favoring regime change.
Mr. ALLEN. If I could make two points. My question was not about what Congress might or might not do. I grant you that is hard to determine. My question was really about the administration and what the administration's policies would be.
There are lots of dictators that we have allowed to continue in operation around the globe. We haven't set a policy of replacing them all, but it is reallyI am trying to get at where the administration is with respect to weapons of mass destruction. I grant you it is a reach to assume that there is a change in position of the current Iraqi regime, but if there were, would that be enough?
Secretary RUMSFELD. That, of course, is a judgment not for the Secretary of Defense of the United States. It is a judgment for the President and the Congress.
Page 72 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ALLEN. Let me ask one follow-up, then. If Saddam Hussein believes that we are determined to take him out no matter what he does, what reason does he have to cooperate in any measure?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, he always has the opportunity to flee. He always has the opportunity, as he has tried to, to persuade people that he is a changed leader. And he tries and he fails because he isn't a changed leader. I guess you know the answer to that as well as I do. He can do what he will, and he does.
What reason does he have to cooperate? Well, if I were he, I would have plenty of reasons to cooperate. I wouldn't want to be threatening my neighbors. I wouldn't want to be developing these weapons to threaten the world. I wouldn't want to be dealing with terrorist states. So he would have plenty of reasons for cooperating. But you are suggesting that I am supposed to answer for somebody who thinks so fundamentally different than you or I. It is hard.
Mr. ALLEN. I grant you.
Can I ask you one unrelated quick question
Mr. HUNTER. Let me just tell the gentleman, we have got about 45 minutes left with the Secretary, and we have about 15 members yet who have questions, so if the gentleman could make it very quick.
Mr. ALLEN [continuing]. Very quick, because I think I know the answer. Has the administration given any thought of how to pay for the war? Larry Lindsey said it might be $100 to $200 billion. Have you had any conversations about how to pay for it?
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Secretary RUMSFELD. Sure, we have.
Mr. ALLEN. Any that you can reveal?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, needless to say, what one would do isit is not knowable what a war or a conflict like that would cost. You don't know if it is going to last two days or two weeks or two months. It certainly isn't going to last two years, but it is going to cost money. And the cost compared to 9/11 is so insignificant compared to the loss of lives, compared to the billions of dollars that were lost in material things and in market values and in disruptions in people's lives and not being able to fly or go places or do things, in the concerns of families. And it would be modest, to be sure.
Mr. ALLEN. Thank you very much.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Other countries undoubtedly would contribute, just as other countries are contributing currently to the global war on terrorism.
Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Chambliss, the gentleman from Georgia.
Mr. CHAMBLISS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary and General Myers, unlike our earlier guests, I am not undecided. I know that you gentlemen care deeply about the men and women that serve under you, and you are not about to put those men and women in harm's way unless it is absolutely necessary, unless there is a security interest of the United States at risk. I thank you for the great job you have done, the great job you are doing today; and I hope you will pass that on to all your troops out there, General.
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General MYERS. We will do that.
Mr. CHAMBLISS. Mr. Secretary, you alluded earlier to the fact that there are other nations that we know to be terrorist-sponsoring nations who have manufactured and stockpiled weapons of mass destruction. You referred to the other two countries in the axis of evil, Iran and North Korea. You also mentioned Syria and Libya. Is there ongoing conversation that we know of between those countries and Iraq with respect to weapons of mass destruction?
Second, what would be your thought on citizens or nationals of those terrorist-sponsoring countries who have weapons of mass destruction participating as members of an inspection team going into Iraq looking for weapons of mass destruction?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, there is no question but that Iraq has relationships with countries that are on the terrorist list. They also have relations with terrorist networks. They also have al Qaeda currently in the country, among others. Abu Nidalthey say he committed suicide with four or five slugs to his head. That is a hard thing to do, but he was in Iraq. So there is no question about those relationships.
As far as those peoplethe current so-called U.N. Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Regime (UNMOVIC), as I understand it and looked at it last time, does not have any people who are representatives of their own countries. It is currently to bewhich is unlike UNSCOM, which did have people who were representing their countries serving on those teams. The people that are, I believe, on the inspection team that is currently in place are all U.N. employees from a host of different countries, and we would have no control whatsoever over what countries they happen to be from, because they are U.N. employees. That would be something that would be decided by the UN, not a happy prospect.
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Mr. CHAMBLISS. Does that give you cause for concern?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Sure.
Mr. CHAMBLISS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Arkansas, Dr. Snyder.
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman; and thank you both for being here, not only for all your service the last couple years, but just for sitting through this ordeal. The committee keeps growing each year, and it just makes your ordeal longer each year.
I just want to make one comment first about your goal of disarmament. I think that that is the correct way to phrase it.
When Dr. Kay was here the other day, he made the comment that in his first few years he wished he had the authority to issue green cards, that it would have made his work a lot easier. That may be something we need to consider now, perhaps even with military, that if a scientist and his family can get safely out of that country, not only will they not be contributing to that program, but they may have information to give. Because the reality is, if this U.N. thing should work, and I realize it is a long shot, disarmament, their industrial base will be intact, and it can easily be converted, and getting the scientists out may be every bit as important as destroying the armaments.
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I want to ask specifically, Mr. Secretary, about the issue of the congressional resolution coming upwell, I guess it is coming up. For months now the White House and Mr. Wolfowitz and then you yourself today have stated that the President has not yet made a decision regarding military force. One could make the argument that if the President has not yet decided regarding making military force, that the American people would be better served if their Congress is not asked to pass a resolution authorizing military force as the best route to go until the Commander in Chief has made that choice.
I know for some members the issue of whether the United States essentially goes alone versus goes as part of a U.N. force with the broad support of the international community is perhaps the key issue, and yet if we are asked to decide that the next week or two before this U.N. process and all its convolutions and how it moves so slowly, if it is not yet resolved a lot of members are not going to have that information. Help me understand why it is necessary to have the Congress pass a resolution, when the Commander in Chief has not yet made that decision, knowing that we could come back even after adjournmentif the Commander in Chief says come back, we will come back.
Secretary RUMSFELD. The President has said time is not on our side. He said the one option we havedo not have is to do nothing. He has been very clear.
Personally, I cannot imagine that we could consider the key issue for the United States as to how it is going to provide for the security of the American people to be dependent, hinged on, rooted in what the United Nations and the coalition forces may or may not do. I just think that we have an obligation as Americans to look at our circumstance clearly, to try to get international support, which we are doing up at the UN, but to believe that, absent that, absent some particularized U.N. resolution, we should do nothing, I think clearly goes fundamentally against what the President said. Because he believes the one option we don't have is to do nothing. So I don't think that that
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You could reverse it. Why wouldn't the U.N. say, the world say, Gee, until the Congress does something, why should we do anything? And then you have got this Alphonse and Gaston.
My view of the world is that what leadership does is it decides what it believes to be the circumstance, it states the case, it provides a direction, and it goes out and tries to persuade Members of Congress and nations of the world as to what we believe is the right thing.
Mr. SNYDER. I understand that
Secretary RUMSFELD. There will be no doubt that there will be other countries assisting the United States of America in the event that the United States of America decides that that is the only course available.
Mr. SNYDER. I understand your comments about leadership. My question was motivated by the fact that you again today stated very clearly the President has not yet made up his mind about military force, and yet we are being asked to.
I would sayI know the President made this comment the other day, too, about why would any Member of Congress up for re-election defer to the UN, but it is a more complicated issue than that. As General Clark has pointed out in some of his writings recently, General Wesley Clark, the potential impact of the United States going alone, if we had to go alone, if we chose that route, on international cooperation on our war against al Qaedaso, I mean, it is a balancing of risks and looking at factors.
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I think for certain Members of Congress, I think probably a fair number and fair number of constituents back home, the issue of whether we go alone or not, it is more than just us going along and being a part of the UN. It is its impact on the international cooperation on the war on al Qaeda. As you stated earlier, we all get in trouble by oversimplifying.
Thank you again for your service.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Thank you.
You know, the coalition we have on the global war on terrorism of 90 countries I believe is the largest coalition in human history. That problem is real. Iraq is part of that problem, and the connection between weapons of mass destruction and a global terrorist connection that works is the nexus that causes the problem. So I do not think that it would have in any way an adverse effect, nor do I believe for a second that in the event a decision is made to go forward that the United States would be alone. We already know for a fact that is not true. There are any number of countries who have already announced their support.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. Graham.
Mr. GRAHAM. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 79 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Secretary, I do appreciate you being here. I know you haveI wouldn't want to sit there and have to answer all these questions, but that is the hand you have been dealt, and you are doing well. But I am going to ask you some very specific questions.
Do you view a regime change as a net of self-defense, a regime change in Iraq as an act of self-defense of this country?
Secretary RUMSFELD. I have wrestled with what is self-defense; and when we are dealing with terrorism and the fact that they can attack at any time at any place against any technique and you want defend it every time and every place against every technique, the only way you can defend yourself is by going after the terrorist. In this case, it seems to me that when you use the phrase ''regime change,'' if one believes that it is possible to leave the regime and eliminate the threat, then clearly you don't need to change the regime. But self-defense does require, I believe, the ability to prevent a terrible attack on our country.
Mr. GRAHAM. You do view the Iraqi regime, obviously, as a threat. But that is a big question to me. If it is a matter of self-defense, you don't need the U.N. to sanction
Secretary RUMSFELD. Of course not. The U.N. charter provides for every country to provide for their own defense.
Mr. GRAHAM. Well, why don't we just be honest with people? Everybody in the administration has been telling us that Saddam Hussein has to go. That is what the gentleman's question was about. No matter what we do with inspectionswe had two weapons inspectors in here said that it is really a joke. You will never find what you need to find. They are masters at deception.
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We just need to level with people here in this country and in the world. Post 9/11, we view Saddam Hussein as a threat to this country, period. And if that is the case, when we go consult our allies and consult the U.N. we should tell them that is our view. I think there are some mixed messages going on here, and I think we need to be very clear with the American public and with our allies.
In that regard, General Myers, you said early on that you could do whatever was asked of you by the President and the Congress. Do you need any allies that we don't have today to accomplish a regime change by force if you were directed to do so?
General MYERS. I think clearly for lots of reasons, but from a military standpoint, it is preferable to have those allies and friends that want to be with you. As the Secretary said, we have people that we know today would be with us if we were asked to do that.
Mr. GRAHAM. So the answer is, if you were directed by the appropriate authorities in this country to implement by force a regime change, you could do that?
General MYERS. In that hypothetical case, absolutely.
Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. Secretary
Secretary RUMSFELD. Let me say just one word about this mixed message. I personally don't think so. I think the President's speech was very straightforward.
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Mr. GRAHAM. Well, I understand, but here is the mixed message part of it. If we do believe it to be an act of self-defense, as I do, then the whole idea of going to the U.N. to get approval and pass a resolution to defend yourself is not necessary, legally or morally.
Secretary RUMSFELD. It is not necessary, and the President in fact said that.
Mr. GRAHAM. The fact that he is doing it I don't object to, but we are going to find ourselves in a situation here soon where the letter received from Iraq is going to create greet confusion over there. What I would like to hear from you, if possible, is that you will promise the American people we will not let U.N. politics prevent us from defending ourselves as we see fit.
Secretary RUMSFELD. I think the President in his speech made very clear that the one choice we havedo not have is to do nothing. I would say that I agree completely that having other countries aboard is a help and it is desirable and it is worth trying to get them, and we are trying and we are being successful.
Mr. GRAHAM. But make sure I have got this right, and I will shut up. There is no ally presently unavailable to us to accomplish the mission of regime change if directed by the President or the appropriate authority. Is that still the case, General Myers?
General MYERS. I will just stick with my statement. We arethe United States military armed forces is ready to respond to whatever the
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Mr. GRAHAM. You don't know of anybody that we need waiting on the U.N. to bless this deal?
General MYERS. I will just defer to the Secretary on the U.N. piece of that.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, I would say this. We have already been advised that in the event that this country decides toit is necessary to do something, by a number of countries, that they will cooperate in a variety of different ways.
Mr. GRAHAM. Absent U.N. approval?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Oh, sure, yes. There are other countries that arethat we would like to have cooperating in ways, and they have not made judgment. So the worst thing that the General could do would be to answer your question and say we don't need any more help, because the more help you get, the easier it is.
Mr. GRAHAM. I understand. God bless, and good luck.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. McIntyre.
Mr. MCINTYRE. Thank you.
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Mr. Secretary and General Myers, thank you very much for your commitment to our country and for the obvious time you have spent in going into great detail to help us in making our assessment.
You keep referring to a number of countries that would help us. Can you tell us how many countries and who?
Secretary RUMSFELD. I could, but I shouldn't. A lot of these countries are frightened of Saddam Hussein. A number of other countries are attempting to work with us in the United Nations to fashion a resolution, and it is not for me to do. It is for them to announce what they decide. I don't make it my business to go around and say that this country or that country has told us publicly or privately that they will do this, that or the other thing.
Mr. MCINTYRE. And I respect that, and I appreciate your confidence, though, that we have other countries. Can you give us a ballpark? Are we talking about two or three? Are we talking about half a dozen? Are we talking about 15 or 20?
Secretary RUMSFELD. I guess it depends on what you mean by help. If you are talking about
Mr. MCINTYRE. They would be committed to this effort to change this regime.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Overflight rights to help us do it or various types of port access or base access or money or troops?
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General MYERS. Fuel supplies.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Fuel supplies. It varies. It is all across the spectrum. In some cases, it will be totally public. In some cases, it will be totally private. But, no, I would not be inclined to try to come up with a number in a public session.
Mr. MCINTYRE. All right. Would you address a couple other issues that have been raised today?
What would be the potential number of American troops needed for such a military campaign against Iraq?
Secretary RUMSFELD. I am not inclined to talk about plans that conceivably could exist as to what one would do. I can say this, and the General can comment. We would not be short of troops.
The numbers that would be neededobviously, everyone likes belts and suspenders. So you don't know about how long something is going to last or what it will require. You can't know that, because the first thing that goes by the board is a plan in a conflict. But we would not have problems with numbers of people.
Mr. MCINTYRE. All right. Well
General MYERS. I absolutely agree with that. The only thing I would say is it is very difficult if we were to sit here and talk about specific numbers. That would be, I think, of immense help to any potential adversary, so we have got to be careful of how we handle that.
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Mr. MCINTYRE. All right. Well, within that realm, what percentageI have two quick follow-ups. What percentage do you think would have to be Reserve and Guard? Do you have a percentage idea? Because we talk about how important they are. You have mentioned that today.
Secretary RUMSFELD. We already have 70,000 Guard and Reserve activated, and we have got 20,000 stop-holds on people not getting out, and we would need some more.
Mr. MCINTYRE. Some more would have to be called up. All right. And from being from an area in southeastern North Carolina and eastern North Carolina, which, of course, is home to Fort Bragg, Camp Lejeune, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Cherry Point, the list goes on, that are in our area that Congressman Jones, Congressman Hayes and I all share in in terms of representing or representing their families, there is a concern about overdeployment of troops.
Recently, I went to Afghanistan about 3 weeks ago with a CODEL of 11 Members of Congress on a bipartisan basis. Those troops are doing a great job; and I commend you, General Myers and Secretary Rumsfeld, for being about the mission and seeing the great success of our work in central Asia.
The next question, though, is what about the overdeployment of these troops? General Myers, you have admirably said that our country would be willing and absolutely, as you said, be able to follow any command that our Commander in Chief may give with regard to what our mission might need to be, but what about overdeployment? I mean, do we wear our troops out? Yeah, they can do it, but then what else suffers? We are concerned about readiness, you know, making sure they have everything at their disposal to do their job top notch, because we want to support our troops. But, in turn, how does that affect the human factor?
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General MYERS. Let me take a stab at that.
The human factor, obviously, is very important. I think the one thing that isyou know, as we used to discuss this topic before September 11th, it was how do we in peacetime ensure that our troops arethat their tempo or their operational tempo, the impact on the families, the impact on the employers of our reserve component forces that are called up from time to time, what steps can we take to mitigate that? And we put in lots of measures, and we looked at that very, very carefully of
Obviously, now we are at war. We are at a global war, where the personnel tempo, the operational tempo, the impact on our familieswe have, as the Secretary said, 70,000 plus Reserve component forces called up, which is tougher on their families, because they are generally geographically separated in most cases. Then, on top of that, you have the employers who lose the valid employees.
I would only say that from the Secretary's viewpoint and the senior leadership in the Pentagon, from the Secretary's level, from the Joint Chiefs of Staff level, we are doing everything we can possibly do to mitigate the turbulence in these times. However, this threat is so serious to this country9/11 is a great example, and the Secretary has talked, I think, eloquently about the potential with weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists. The potential for destruction to freedom-loving people anywhere, that this threat is so serious, that I think
And you probably found this in Afghanistan. I bet I could ask you, did you find anybody that said, ''Gee, when am I going to go home? When is this mission over?'' More likely, the question you got is, ''What more can we do?'' Because I think our military men and women understand exactly what this threat is to their families, to the folks back home and to their friends and allies.
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So we have got to try to mitigate the impact on our forces, and we have taken many steps since 9/11. I mean, we started out, if you will, as if this were going to be a sprint. We understand this is going to be a marathon, and I think we have taken steps to try to mitigate the impact on our families. That will always be uppermost in our mind.
At the same time, that must be balanced against the risk to our country and our allies and friends; and we are trying to do that. I think we have to expect our armed forces, much like they did in World War II, steel themselves for the long haul. This will not be an easy short victory against terrorism, and I think our armed forces are up to that task.
Mr. MCINTYRE. In light of that, just in closing and not being able to give numbers or say how many troops you think would be involved, but yet being confident we can do this, do either of you expect this would lead to a reinstitution of the draft?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Not a chance.
Mr. MCINTYRE. And would you like to say why?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Because we are currently at, what, a country of 281 million people, and we have got less than 2 million people in uniform. We are successful in attracting and retaining the force we need without using compulsion and without paying people 40 or 50 percent of what they would make in the civilian manpower market. Unless someone decides that there is some overall social good that is to be achieved by reinstituting the draft, it certainly would not be reinstituted for the purpose of attracting and retaining the people we need, because we are doing that.
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Mr. MCINTYRE. Thank you very much.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Secretary RUMSFELD. I must say I have a bias on this subject. I was one of the original authors of the all-volunteer service back in the 1960s when I was in Congress.
Mr. MCINTYRE. Thank you very much.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman; and the gentleman from Illinois, Mr. Kirk.
Mr. KIRK. Mr. Secretary, thank you for that answer.
You grew up in my district, and we on the North Shore are terribly, terribly proud of you. I thank you also for yourthe answer you just gave. I think the mothers and fathers of 19-year-old American boys are a little nervous about this, and you have categorically said there will be no draft, and I think people are tremendously heartened to hear that.
You talked about what would happen with the military action against Iraq, and we know that Israel was hit the last time. We have developed Arrow antimissile systems with the government of Israel. I really have to commend you for taking the leadership to provide early warning data to Israel which she did not have to make their defense more effective. What else can we do to make sure that Israel has done everything possible to handle the threat of Iraqi missiles?
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Secretary RUMSFELD. There are other things that we are contemplating in the event that they become necessary, not just for Israel but for some other neighboring countries, as well as forced concentrations in the region.
Mr. KIRK. I hope we can do everything possible. I know that in providing the early warning data that it takes some technical effort, and I would hope that we would accelerate that.
Aren't we already at war with Iraq? The American people think that we are at peace with Iraq, but the Iraqi military sees U.S. and British armed forces bombing them about every week. Is that not right?
Secretary RUMSFELD. I don't know that I would characterize it quite that way, but you are quite right. We are currently in a conflict with Iraq, and we have been in a diplomatic battle, we have been in an economic battle and we have been in a military battle. We have Operation Northern Watch and Southern Watch going on for any number of years.
Coming over in the car, Dick Myers, I forget how many times you say our planes have been fired at in the last month or two.
We are not over there bombing willy-nilly. What we are doing is enforcing U.N. resolutions, and our men and women are flying aircraft over the northern and the southern zones for specific purposes, to keep the Iraqi government from punishing the Shi'a in the south or the Kurds in the north, to be aware of what is taking place in terms of the no-fly zones. And when we do it, which they agreed it is not like this isit is all part of the wholethe resolutions, they shoot at our aircraft. It is the one place on the face of the earth where American men and women in uniform are getting fired at with impunity, day after day after day.
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General Myers, how many times have we been fired at
General MYERS. In the last two and a half years, 2,300 times.
Mr. KIRK. Mr. Secretary, we have been offered unconditional entry of U.N. inspectors in Iraq
Secretary RUMSFELD. No, we haven't.
Mr. KIRK. But at least it was on paper from the Iraqi government.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Come on.
Mr. KIRK. But let me ask you this question. Since that letter arrived two days ago, have Americans been fired at by Iraq in Northern Watch?
Secretary RUMSFELD. I just would have to go back and check to the exact time the letter was handed over in the United Nations or wherever it went and
Mr. KIRK. It would be very interesting
Secretary RUMSFELD. That is an interesting point.
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Mr. KIRK. I see your staff saying no, and I know that sometimes we have quiet days. I would hope that you would let us know the moment U.S. armed forces, who are enforcing a U.N. resolution are fired on by Iraq, even after the delivery of this letter. It is an important point.
Secretary RUMSFELD. That is a good one.
Mr. KIRK. My last question islet me just say something, because my old squadron is in Incirlik right now, and obviously their mothers and fathers worry about them and they look at the news. When you get back home from a mission, you are pretty much glued to CNN. What would you say to the men and women in the armed forces right now about any potential operation?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, there is no question but that these folks, as you point out, voluntarily put their lives at risk, and they do it day after day as a way of our country's contribution to peace and stability in the world, and it is a dangerous world. It is an untidy world, and the role they are playing is just enormously important, and they do it selflessly.
I have been around, as Dick Myers has, visiting bases in this country and bases around the world, and in that part of the world, and I can say that these folks are ready to do that which this country decides is appropriate to do and necessary to do to defend the American people.
Page 92 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General MYERS. I might just add that being in Incirlik, it is a long way from home, and sometimes it is difficult for the folks there to feel the appreciation of the American people. It is easier here in Washington. Last week going through the anniversary events of September 11th and then traveling throughout the country, as we both do universally, the American people very much appreciate what our Armed Forces do for them. And I think being a long way from home sometime that is hard to see, but if we could say one thing to them I would say that.
Mr. KIRK. Mr. Secretary, the United States Navy is born in my district, the only boot camp, and I would say that I have never seen the Secretary held in such admiration by the men and women in uniform, and I thank you for your service.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank the gentleman.
Mr. Andrews from New Jersey and then Mrs. Wilson.
Mr. ANDREWS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Secretary, General, for your very clear, very persuasive efforts this morning. I reflect something Mr. Hostettler said, that there is nothing we do around here more grave than the decision we are asked to engage in this morning, the decision you are engaging in, but I don't think gravity should obscure clarity, and there are two arguments that I hear around the country and frankly here this morning that I think need to be disclaimed, as you have very effectively this morning.
The first is that any effort to effect a regime change in Iraq is distinctive from the war against terrorism. I think they are part of the same thing.
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Secretary RUMSFELD. Exactly right.
Mr. ANDREWS. You have said that so persuasively, but if I could offer some advice, I think that is something that has to be said to the American people repeatedly and with the clarity that you both have done this morning.
The second is this effort in the face of the record to carve out this position that somehow says that this regime in Iraq can cooperate with a robust weapons inspection and destruction program by an outside force. I find the proposition to be completely contradictory in terms when you look at a regime that by my count on 12 occasions since 1993 has made the same public promise that it made 36 hours ago and violated the promise each time. As we have heard just a few minutes ago, a regime that 2,300 times in recent years has attacked U.S. planes, that are there because they are enforcing a set of U.N. resolutions that are designed to obstruct this regime from murdering people living in its own country, I think that is indisputable record, and this idea somehow that it is logically possible to see this regime behave in a way that is consistent with the destruction of the weapons of mass destruction or facilities I find to be a non sequitur.
Having said that, I am concerned that the Iraqis, who seem to be, if nothing else, skilled at manipulating American public opinion, may be in a position to make the case that they are doing so, and go through some elaborate ritual that will show that inspections are increasing and stepping up. And let us suspend disbelief for a moment and assume that in fact there is some real progress in identifying the sites of weapons of mass destruction, destroying the weapons of mass destruction, finding the production capabilities. How long do you think it would take to complete such a program to the satisfaction of those of you entrusted with the responsibility?
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And let me tell you the reason I ask the question and then I will ask it. How much time do you think it would take the Iraqi regime to make a covert connection with the terrorist organization, convey to that terrorist organization a weapon of mass destruction, let that weapon be used against the people of the United States and disclaim responsibility for it? That would be pretty logical strategy for Saddam, wouldn't it? He would get the benefit of distracting U.S. public opinion. He would get the collateral benefit of murdering tens of thousands of United States citizens, and he would claim no responsibility for it in world affairs. Is that a scenario that you find plausible?
Secretary RUMSFELD. I find everything you have said plausible. First, you are exactly right that the United States has not nominated Saddam Hussein's regime for this attention. It nominated itself, and the Iraqi people are really in many respects hostages to that regime. I think to suggest that all the Iraqi people are complicit is just certainly not the case, and I think we have to keep that in mind, because they have a terrible circumstance. They have been dealt a bad hand with that regime.
The third point you made concerning misinspection and disinformation, you are exactly right. The Iraqi regime is enormously skillful. They make the United States and our friends and allies around the world look like rank amateurs in terms of manipulating the press. We are already seeing movements of military capabilities into close proximity of hospitals, schools, mosques to be prepared in the event that the United States were to do something so that they could then, either on the one hand hope that those targets not be hit, and if they are hit, use disinformation about the damage that has taken place. They have used human shields on any number of occasions where they take prisoners and use them in the front as shields.
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And your last point is the problem. It is that nexus between terrorist networks, sleeper cells which exist around the world today, the openness of our country and other free people and therefore our vulnerability at the hands of those kinds of weapons.
Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Secretary, you have said it as well as I have heard it said this morning, and I thank you for that service that you have done, but I think it needs to be said by a lot of us as often as possible. The notion that there needs to be Iraqi conductfurther Iraqi conduct to justify the conclusion that this is a risk with which we can no longer live is wrong. The capacity to enable such conduct by someone else is the risk that we face, and this idea somehow that the charade of governmental cooperation with weapons destruction is good enough I find to be a very dangerous misconception. I thank you for your time.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Thank you, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman.
Mrs. WILSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I did want to underscore, Mr. Secretary, something my colleague Mr. Snyder said and the need for clarity when the time comes for that clarity. I understand the collage that you and the President and the administration face of laying out now what the threat is, what the challenge is, what the evidence is, building support for addressing that, building the coalition and putting it together and the support in the Congress, but at some point there will be a time for clarity, particularly because I believe that our political objectives should drive our military strategy and our military strategy will drive our forces and so forth. And I hear differing objectives, and maybe they are all part of this, but I think that there will come a time when there will need to be that clarity of objectives, whether it is stopping Iraq from acquiring weapons of mass destruction or enforcement of the U.N. sanctions or a regime change. All of those objectives will require very different military strategies. They will have different risks and different probabilities for success, and at the appropriate point I hope we will hear exactly what the President wants, what the objective is with respect to Iraq.
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I did have some questions, probably principally for you, General, about our readiness to move forward.
We have heard reports that the Army's 10 divisions are at low levels of readiness. They have been rotating in and out of different missions over the last year. Our U.S. fighters, reconnaissance and refueling capability and command and control are also not necessarily at high rates of readiness. Could you comment on that and how long and how you are going about getting them up to speed for what may be a new operation?
General MYERS. You bet. Over the last several years, as you well understand, because Congress has been such a big part of it, there have been many resources put into the readiness equation, and that continues again in 2002. Part of that was in the 2002 supplemental. So, our forces, our Army divisions, our carrier battle groups, our wings, our Marine expeditionary forces, they are in a very high state of readiness, and they are ready foragain, for whatever they might be asked to do.
Obviously, there are some resources that we just don't have enough of, and again, some of those have been addressed by Congress. Some of our intelligence and reconnaissance capabilities. We know some issues we had with our tanker fleet. But taking all that into considerationand we do, and we have to prioritize today. We had to prioritize it at peacetime. We had to prioritize, like I said, today in our war on terrorism. We are going to have to prioritize it in any future operation. Some of those issues have been addressed by Congress. We have added more airplanes, more P3s for the Navy, EP3s. We have added more RC135s. We have added some training and simulation capability to help mitigate the impact on the operational assets, but we are still going to have to prioritize those and work those very hard.
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Having said that, I will go back to my original statement. The units in our armed forces are prepared for whatever is asked of them, and their state of readiness right now is quite good.
Mrs. WILSON. General, I get kind of that same answer of we will do what we are told to do; by God, we will go do it. At the same time I also get conflicting information about, yeah, we have done 20,000 sorties over the United States and there is a lot of flying hours but not necessarily the combat hours and the bomb-dropping hours and the hours for the guys in back of AWACS doing intercepts to keep their skills up. And I wonder if you could comment a little on that.
General MYERS. Well, those are all valid comments, and I understand those in particular because I used to do that mission. Having said that, we have forces for the defense of this country. The air defense forces. We have other forces that are committed to deploy, and, again, without getting into a lot of detail here, I think we are readywe are trying to mitigate that. That is what I talked about earlier. What we have to try to find is a rhythm that we can get into that mitigates those kind of impacts and ensures that our people are ready.
For instance, in the Balkans, most of the forces going into the Balkans in the future will be from the reserve component. So, the active duty forces will be ready for other tasks perhaps, and that is a conscious decision. As you know, we have tried to mitigate the impact on our air defense here in the United States, and again, without going into a great deal of war-level detail, we have tried to reduce the times when we ask the AWACS to be present. And we have supplemented land-based radars with other radars to try to make up for that capability. So we are trying to take steps across the spectrum to ensure that we don't run any particular aspect of our force into the ground.
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Having said that, we have some forces that are working very, very hard, absolutely.
Mrs. WILSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentlelady. The gentleman from Connecticut, Mr. Larson.
Mr. LARSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and let me add to the chorus of those who have congratulated you both for your outstanding service, and Secretary Rumsfeld and General Myers, especially for your moving and fitting tribute last week at the Pentagon, as well.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Thank you.
Mr. LARSON. My question, I think as Mo Udall said, most of what needs to be said has been said; it is just another one that has said it. But moving forward, we distinguish ourselves from other nations by the rule of law, and obviously the case that has been made by the President from in front of the United Nations I think warrants us taking Saddam Hussein to the court of law and trying him as a war criminal. I would like to know your feelings about that.
Second, General Myers, I am recently back from the Middle East as well, and having been to Incirlik and Prince Sultan and to Doha in Qatar, again, the men and women who were in the uniform in this country are outstanding, well equipped, well trained, a credit to this Nation. But one thing that came up in our discussions was the need for us to get out the humanitarian story about this Nation and all the things that we have been doing, and particularly, we talked about maybe even the need to embrace al-Jazeera and those in terms of the ongoing things that we are doing in a very positive nature. If you could comment on that.
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And my third and probably most poignant and salient question from my standpoint is this whole idea of the war on terrorism. We have been saying from the outset that we have got to dry up resources. And when you look at Saddam Hussein, it becomes clear to me that the great enabler for Saddam Hussein is oil. It becomes clear to, I think, many of us, some from different perspectives than others, that in order for us to ultimately be tactically successful, when you look at the very nations and those who have gotten around sanctions from what I have read and from what we have heard in committee, it has been that they have end-run the sanctions in their desire to get control of oil. And whether that is France, whether that is Russia, whether that is China, whether that is multinational corporations, at the end of the day it is all about oil.
My question, then, is if in fact the President deems that with the Sword of Damocles hanging over the head and creating this regime change that has been sought in 1998 and is being pressed forward today, who will and what strategieswho willonce we take over Iraq, who will control oil in Iraq?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, I will take a couple here real quickly. The subject of war crimes of course is something that has been discussed. I don't know that there has been a resolution within the administration. With respect to the situation in Iraq and the fact that sanctions haven't worked well, I think historically they tend not to work over time. They get relaxed. The borders are quite porous. There is an awful lot of military equipment that flows back and forth across Iraq's borders. And you are quite right, the money comes from oil. They have that capability.
Page 100 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The answer is that, with respect to the last part, the President has obviously not made a decision. Those issues are not fully resolved, but there is no question but that the circumstance of Iraq were the regime to be changed would be that they do have revenues from oils, and it would be managed by whatever government, temporary in the first instance and permanent thereafter, would exist. And
Mr. LARSON. Could those revenues be used to pay for the humanitarian effort in the rebuilding of Afghanistan and actually getting the money directed at the people that have been denied that money from the outset?
Secretary RUMSFELD. You would certainly think so and
Mr. LARSON. And that is the kind of thing that I think should be clarified.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Absolutely, and needless to say, they wouldn't be being spent on weapons of mass destruction and conventional capabilities to threaten their neighbors. That is where that revenue is going right now, the oil revenues. It is going for things that are in direct violation of the U.N. resolutions.
With respect to the humanitarian assistance, you might just want to comment.
General MYERS. You bet. I think first, we can do a better job of talking about what we have done in the humanitarian area. If you take Afghanistan, it was just after we started the conflict there that we had C-17s flying over the country dropping humanitarian rations. Now, these were not routine missions. We had F-15s and F-16s with them to protect them against the potential ground threat. They would slow down to a very slow air speed, making them very vulnerable to ground fire if they were to be engaged. So, I mean, it was not done without some risk, but it was thought to be so important to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe that we did that. And that is always part of any planning of any military operations. That continues in Afghanistan today, as you are well aware, with humanitarian, civil affairs projects, trying to make the life better for the Afghan people.
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Have we communicated that perfectly? Probably not, and we need to do a lot better job of that. I totally agree with you.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank the gentleman, and the gentlelady from Virginia, Mrs. Davis.
Mrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you, gentlemen, for being here. Mr. Secretary, I think we all know the war on Afghanistan, we couldn't have done it without the carriers out there, and that isI have two questions. One is when can we expect to see the public release of the Defense Science Board study on the CVNX? I think it was due last March, and as of yet I don't have any information that it has been released, and I would like the opportunity to review that.
My biggest question to you is at the beginning of your statement you said, ''Iraq is part of the war on terror.'' Then later on you said, ''Our job is to connect the dots before the fact.'' I have heard a lot of testimony about Iraq being somehow involved as terrorists or in the war on terror. Could you give me any specifics to tie them to the war on terror right now so that I can connect the dots back home?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, I don't know what you can do back home.
Mrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. With my constituents.
Page 102 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary RUMSFELD. It is not clear to me what is public. There is no question but that there arethat Iraq has been listed as a terrorist state for many years. Iraq has engaged in terrorist acts. Iraq hasis currently offering rewards to the families of children who do the suicide bombings. I think it is 20$25,000 per family. There are currently al Qaeda in Iraq. There are other terrorist groups in Iraq.
The connection it seems to me, however, ought to be looked at slightly differently. There is no question but the Intelligence Community can give you a good deal of detail if one is looking for it, and they would be happy to do so.
But I don't know that. It seems to me the critical point is the one that Mr. Andrews raised, and it is that nexus between a country that is actively developing weapons of mass destruction that is known as a terrorist state and the use of those weapons, whether by them or through a proxy terrorist network, and it is that that has changed the equation in the world in this 21st century. So even if they did not have terrorist connections, which indeed they do, the potential they have to use terrorist networks to dispense weapons of mass destruction is what is qualitatively different in our current circumstance.
General MYERS. Could I add one thing? It is probably obvious, but I think it bears repeating, and that is, as you know, in Afghanistan as we would recover documents from al Qaeda and equipment, it left no doubt of their quest for weapons of mass destruction. I mean, there is absolutely no doubt that they have tried to make them. They have manuals on how to use them, how to disperse them, and it goes back to that nexus again. And I would say for one of the threats we are facing, al Qaeda, that they clearlythere is no doubt in anybody's mind that they want weapons of mass destruction and would use them.
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Secretary RUMSFELD. I will look into the Defense Science Board for you.
Mrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Thank you, gentlemen.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Mr. Chairman, may I just make one comment to Congressman Kirk?
Mr. HUNTER. Absolutely.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Someone checked, and the answer is that today is September 18th, and this says that on September 17th, Operation Northern Watch aircraft reported receiving fire on three occasions at: 3:14, at 3:20 and at 3:30 a.m. eastern standard time on the 17th.
Mr. KIRK. So after the arrival of letter, Iraqi armed forces fired on coalition aircraft implementing a U.N. resolution?
Secretary RUMSFELD. I don't know what time the letter was delivered. I do know what time we were fired on.
Mr. KIRK. Thank you.
Page 104 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentlemen, gentlewoman. Maybe the air defense folks in Iraq were at the Dairy Queen when the letter was sent out. They never got the word.
The gentlelady from California, Mrs. Davis.
Mrs. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you, Mr. Secretary, General Myers, for being here and for spending so much time. I appreciate it.
I think the issue that you raised at the beginning of your testimony and my colleague has just mentioned it as well, I think the public is having difficulty connecting the dots with the war against terrorism, and in fact, what I hear in my district is that we haven't completed that war yet. And knowing the effort that still has to be made in Afghanistan, I guess I would ask, you know, does it surprise you that people are concerned about that, and how do you expect that we can continue to make that case if in fact you think that that is an important case to be made?
And the other issue that I wanted to raise was the question that is being asked of me is basically what will this war look like? I think that the American people are used to fairly antiseptic wars, and yet we know that given the situation that you have talked about, if in fact the weapon of mass destruction and biological and chemical weapons are mobile, that they are underground, that we have even said that the inspectors would never find them, you know, then how do we address them in a war against the weapons of mass destruction rather than the people of Iraq? Can you speak to this without obviously speaking in a classified fashion?
Page 105 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary RUMSFELD. Thank you.
Mrs. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. How can I answer my constituents on those issues?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Sure. It is interesting. I noted that the Iraqi Liberation Act passed the House in 1998 by a vote of 360 to 38, I am told, just overwhelming; you know, 10 times the support. What has taken place since that act has passed has been nothing good and all bad. My guess is that thesefirst of all, it isit ought not to be surprisingit is not surprising to meand I don't think it ought to be surprising that these are tough issues, that we are in a new security environment as a country, that it is important that the public engage these issues and think about them and discuss them and analyze them, because they are enormously important questions, and we have seen a shift in how one defends one's self and it is just plain different today. And the American people will understand that as they think about it, and I think they have understood it, and increasingly.
What would war look like? You are right. You are not going to deal from the air with weapons of mass destruction. That is to say, if the President and the Congress and the country and the world decided that something needed to be done and Iraq was uncooperative, continued to be uncooperative, the idea that you could address their weapon of mass destruction capability from the air is just factually not true. It would take deep penetrators, and it would require capabilities that would not be pleasant to have to use.
That means you would have to address the problem from the ground, and what it would look like and how long it would last is not knowable, but it is a country that has probably got military capabilities, something like 40 percent of what it had 10 years ago, and ours are much more lethal. And it has got a population that is held hostage and is not enamored of the government, and it has a military that has a pattern of recognizing that it is better off not fighting for terribly long. And yet, nonetheless, anyone who thinks it is easy or clean or antiseptic is wrong. It is a terribly difficult, dangerous business.
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Mrs. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Can you conceive of a situation where we really would not necessarily need to dismantle the underground network of weapons that they may have? Because I think the issue has been raised whether it is regime change or whether it is the disarmament, and in fact we may never be able to get to all the weapons of mass destruction.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Oh, it is doable if the regime wanted to cooperate, it is imminently doable. I mean, there are people there who know where they are. There are people who areif the regime said, look, enough of this nonsense, invading our neighbors and developing nuclear and chemical and biological weapons and threatening the regimes of neighboring states, threatening public officials of other governments, we are not going to do that anymore. We are going to cooperate. We are going to change. It is perfectly possible to go in there and get rid of all that stuff. It takes time. It takesyou have to do it from the ground, but it can be done.
Mrs. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. And Mr. Chairman, one more quick second, just whether or not we can conduct effective operations against Iraq with the help ofwithout the help of allies in the Middle East. Could we do it without their help?
General MYERS. I think we haveI mean, we have addressed that in a couple previous questions, that we expect to have some help, and I think our reluctance to talk about exactly how to characterize that is probably for good and sufficient reason, but we would expect to have some help, matter of fact.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentlelady. The gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. Wilson.
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Mr. WILSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and Mr. Secretary, General Myers, thank you very much for being here today. I think the testimony that you have provided has been very convincing, the facts that you have presented which have been in the American media over and over again, but thank you for reiterating that. But also, I really enjoyed the logic that you presented today in answering many of the questions and concerns, and I have a unique perspective. I, personally, am a very proud member of the Army National Guard currently, the only one serving in Congress. Additionally, I have three sons who are in the military in uniform, and so I have a concern and interest as a parent, but I also have faith in both of you. And I know of your devotion to those of us and our children who are in the military, and I just feel so confident with both of you in charge. It means a lot.
I also want to thank you, too, for your recognition of the role of the National Guard and Reserves. We are trained. We are committed. There will be no need for a national draft. Our personnel are very enthusiastic. I had the privilege of serving annual training at Fort Stewart in May and Fort Jackson in August, and I saw firsthand the active Guard and Reserve. There is a deep commitment.
I also appreciated the testimony about the economic consequences of September the 11th, the murder of over 3,000 American citizens in New York, in Pennsylvania, at the Pentagon, but then the economic consequence that was itemized, Mr. Secretary, of $250 billion. You then identified the Dark Winter exercise, where within two months a million Americans could be killed, and this would be spread out all over the United States.
Did that report indicate the economic catastrophe that would be caused by such havoc?
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Secretary RUMSFELD. I don't believe it did. I think it was more done from a medical standpoint.
Mr. WILSON. And the reason I bring that up is I was elected to Congress nine months ago today. My role was a real estate attorney prior to coming here, and I don't think people realize that aside from the loss of life, the economic consequence of, say, the collapse of the insurance industry, and then you wouldn't be able to have loan closings everywhere in the United States, not just where the attack occurred.
Mr. WILSON. And I really do appreciate the comments of my colleague from New Jersey that he raised the situation of possibly a ploy. But this is just so far-reaching. And, again, I appreciate your recognition that the challenge we have is action or inaction.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Thank you very much for your very generous comments. After serving on active duty as a Navy pilot, I also served in the Reserves for a number of years, and I quite agree with your assessment.
I was just passed another note that from the National Command Center that Coalition aircraft were fired on today in Operation Northern Watch at 4:31, 4:33, and 4:40 eastern time on September 18th.
Mr. HUNTER. Another exclamation point on their commitment to abide by the U.N. resolution.
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Mr. WILSON. There is a new Hitler that needs to be addressed. Thank you. No further questions.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman.
The gentleman from Rhode Island, Mr. Langevin.
Mr. LANGEVIN. I too want to join my colleagues in thanking you for being here and for your testimony and the job that you are doing. It is outstanding and today's hearing I think was very helpful in allowing us to better understand your thinking and where we are headed and what we are proceeding to do.
Not so much a question but really a comment if I could, an observation: I, as many of my colleagues, withhold judgment as to whether we are going to support a resolution to authorize force, and of course it would depend on what that resolution would look like and such. But I would just say from my standpoint, I have observedand I speak for many of my colleagues, I believe, as wellthat we have seen a marked difference in the debate both before the President went to the U.N. and after the President went to the U.N.
And clearly, he is building a stronger case against Iraq and doing it in the context of bringing the international community into the debate and into any proposed action that would be taken, and I think that it is important for us to keep our moral authority in the world as the world's sole remaining superpower.
Page 110 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And I would just urge you and your colleagues to continue to urge the President to continue down that path. I think it is the right thing to do and ultimately we will have a better outcome and will be most effective. I thank you again for the job that you do.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Thank you very much. I am sure the President agrees with the comments you have made.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary, and thank you for having the endurance you have had, you and General Myers, to go throughout the entire committee. I think this has been worthwhile to listen to you and discuss this with you.
Let me throw out one thing that is of concern. We are going to have a hearing tomorrow on the technological capability of Iraq and how it has been enhanced by illegal and in some cases, legal means by technology transfer from the West, including sadly, in some cases from the United States.
Do you have any thoughts on how weand this is a situation that recurs throughout the world, not just Iraqbut how we as the leaders of the Western World should attempt to stem this flow of technology which at some point may be used to kill our own uniformed people on the battlefield?
Secretary RUMSFELD. History suggests that it is a very difficult thing to do, that peopleimmediately after a tragedy, people step forth in other countries and agree to a set of sanctions, that let's prevent this hostile nation from having these capabilities. And so they end up with counterproliferation activities and consultations and meetings and a list of things that should be prohibited.
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But over time as things relax, we find that someone wants to cut a corner and someone wants to sell something they should not be selling. You are exactly right. You are going to have a very full hearing tomorrow because there is a great many things that are moving into that country that are increasing Iraq's military capability every day. They are buying dump trucks, taking the tops off and putting artillery pieces on them. They are buying transporters that are too narrow for a tank and then expanding them 6, 8, 10, 12 inches so that they are perfectly capable of carrying a tank.
It is a reality that for a period, the capability of Iraq after Desert Storm dropped, and it is also a reality that some recent years because of dual use technologies, because of general relaxation of tensions, that they are able to go forward and have these capabilities.
One thing that it seems to me is important is that in the event that a decision is made to use force with respect to Iraq, the United States will want to know from other countries what it is they have been selling Iraq that can be used militarily so we can know some of the kinds of technological capabilities that they may have that we may not know. And I know for a fact that before Desert Storm, some consultations were made by the United States to other countries to try to determine if they had sold things to Iraq that could impose a dangerous threat that the United States was not aware of, and the answer was ''yes,'' and they were able to find out that information and save lives because of that information.
So you can be certain we will be interested to know what countries have been doing with Iraq.
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Mr. HUNTER. And Mr. Secretary, with respect to the Export Administration Act, which is often discussed and which we may see very shortly in terms of coming to the House floor, this committee has always stood very firmly on the side of having intensive review and monitoring by your shop, by DOD, on the basis that the people that know what military potential is with respect to certain items is the military, not necessarily people in the Department of Commerce.
And I would hope that you would stand with us in ensuring that we have in ourin any Export Administration Act that is passed, that we have a strong DOD monitoring of American products and American technology. I hope you would stand with us on that point.
Secretary RUMSFELD. I would have to see what proposals are made. I just do not know. But there is no question but that what a DOD role tends to be helpful in those deliberations.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you. General Myers?
General MYERS. Mr. Chairman, if I may, can I go back a couple of hours to a comment, maybe it was an hour and a half ago, that Mr. Ortiz made? It had to do with the eagerness or reluctance of using force. And I would just like to say I don't think there is anyone that considers the use of force seriously that is not reluctant to use force for the simple reason that Mr. Wilson said, ''It puts our sons and our daughters at risk. On the other hand, if our Nation's freedom is at stake, which I think in this war on terrorism it clearly is, then I don't think any of the folks that we are serving today are the least bit reluctant to risk their lives for our freedom.''
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And I justit is not a question of being eager. I think everybody is reluctant for the reasons I said. But the threat here is very, very serious.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you very much, General. I think that the committee would concur with that.
And so thank you, again, Mr. Secretary, General Myers, for a very thorough analysis and discussion of this problem that is foremost in the Nation's mind today. Appreciate it. And you know one thing the President said, we have talked about the President sending messages. Kofi Annan said that President Bush's speech galvanized the world community to focus on Iraq and to bring some force to bear, and I think that is a good description of the American leadership that not only he has shown but that you have shown in the last several weeks. So we appreciate that, and we look forward to working with you.
And this hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 1:32 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]