SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
Page 1 TOP OF DOC83011
[H.A.S.C. No. 10746]
UNITED STATES POLICY TOWARD IRAQ
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS
SEPTEMBER 26, 2002
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
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
Thursday, September 26, 2002, U.S. Policy Toward Iraq
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Thursday, September 26, 2002
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 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
Clark, Gen. Wesley K., U.S. Army (Retired)
Perle, Richard, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCClark Gen. Wesley K.
Hunter, Hon. Duncan
Perle, Richard, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
Skelton, Hon. Ike
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[There were no Documents submitted.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[There were no Questions submitted.]
U.S. POLICY TOWARD IRAQ
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Thursday, September 26, 2002.
The committee met, pursuant to call, at 9:40 a.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Duncan Hunter presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. DUNCAN HUNTER, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM CALIFORNIA
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
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 the fourth in 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 resolutions, its illicit development of weapons of mass destruction and the threat that Saddam Hussein poses to the United States, the Middle East, and the international community.
The committee has received a classified briefing from the intelligence community in each of the last three weeks, which we also opened to all members of the House in the last several weeks. We also heard from former United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) inspectors about Iraq's weapons programs and Saddam Hussein's persistent efforts to thwart United Nations (U.N.) inspections, and we heard from an Iraqi defector who was a leader in Saddam's nuclear weapons program. He told us how the Iraqis built and sustained their weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs through the acquisition of western technology, and how the United States' own export control system may have contributed to the problems we are now facing with Iraq. And I thought, most interestingly, he told about how even as our inspectors were on the ground in 1993, a few miles away, they were moving the weapons program with great efficiency.
Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld appeared before the committee last week to discuss and defend the administration's policy toward Iraq. And yesterday morning, the committee met behind closed doors with several retired generals to hear their views on this critical issue with a special focus on military options.
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The committee is planning on holding another hearing next week, next Wednesday, on the topic of U.S. policy toward Iraq. Today, however, we will hear from two well-known gentlemen who have distinguished themselves in the world of foreign and defense policy: The honorable Richard Perle, who is a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and Chairman of the Defense Policy Board; and General Wesley Clark, United States Army, Retired, and Managing Director, Merchant Banking, of the Stephens Group, Incorporated, and a former Commander in Chief of the United States European Command.
And, gentlemen, we greatly appreciate you being with us this morning and sharing your wisdom and your viewpoints. We want to thank you for being with us. And, I also want to inform the full committee that this very robust schedule of hearings, both public hearings and classified hearings, are being done at the direction of the chairman of the full committee, Bob Stump. It was his feeling that we needed to educate not only members of the committee, but as many members of the House that it possibly could on this issue, so they can make an informed judgment when it comes time to vote.
And, I might let folks know that I think we have had about 120 non-committee members appear and listen in on the classified briefings that we have been holding. So, we are going to continue with these hearings and our goal is to see to it that every single member of the House who desires to have a classified briefing on this issue before this vote has an opportunity to do it, as well, of course, to attend our public hearings.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hunter can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Before we begin, I want to turn to my good friend the gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Skelton, the Ranking Member and offer any comments he might have.
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
STATEMENT OF HON. IKE SKELTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MISSOURI, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. I welcome Mr. Perle, General Clark. We look forward to your testimony. And, Mr. Chairman, to shorten the hearing just a bit, I ask that my prepared statement be entered in the record
Mr. HUNTER. Without objection.
Mr. SKELTON [continuing]. And state this is a very crucial and critical time for us in this country regarding proposed action against Iraq. The President has made it clear to Congress and the United Nations and the American people that he has the determination to remove Saddam Hussein from power. And, there are a number of questions that need to be answered, in my opinion, such as what can still be done before we must compel Iraq with use of force; what is the threshold beyond which the United States can no longer wait for Iraqi compliance with Security Council resolutions? To me, the aftermathand all of us know and understand and appreciate the high capability of the American fighting forcewhat do we do in the aftermath that in my opinion looms as the Damocles sword over whatever might be successful de-weaponization of the Iraqi regime?
So, where do we go from here? And, I hope our witnesses can give us the benefit of their wisdom on these and the other issues that come forth surrounding this very, very important issue that we in America face. Thank you.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
[The prepared statement of Mr. Skelton can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman. And Mr. Perle, great to see you. I am glad that Washington traffic, while it held you up, didn't totally block you from getting into the city. Thank you for being with us. You have been with us many times, and I know all the members have appreciated your wisdom and insight. The floor is yours sir.
STATEMENT OF HON. RICHARD PERLE, RESIDENT FELLOW, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE
Mr. PERLE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for including me in today's hearing. As we confront issues of war and peace, our country is strongest when the Congress and the executive branch act in concert. In all the talk of the need for a coalition to confront Saddam Hussein, the coalition that matters most is to be found here in Washington at opposite ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. The President, Secretary Powell, Secretary Rumsfeld and, most recently, British Prime Minister Blair have all spoken in recent days about the urgency of dealing with the threat posed to the American people and others by Saddam Hussein.
In what may well be the most important speech of his presidency, President Bush has argued eloquently and, in my view, persuasively to the United Nations in New York that Saddam's open defiance of the United Nations and his scornful refusal to heed its many injunctions is a challenge to the credibility of the United Nations itself. And, he has rightly asked the United Nations to approve a Security Council resolution that would force Saddam to choose between full compliance with the many resolutions he has scorned and violated and action to remove his regime from power.
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Saddam's responsecalculating, deceitful, and disingenuousmoves only slightly in the direction of U.N. inspections of Iraqi territory and not at all to the disarmament, toward what really matters.
The statement issued in his name that he will accept inspections unconditionally is anything but unconditional. It is hedged as to the allowable types of inspection and the rules under which inspections will be conducted. As I understand it, Saddam is demanding an inspection regime in which advance notification is required and in which certain places are off limits to the inspectors, who would be limited in number, mobility, and armament. Even from a government whose cooperation we could count on, these conditions would be unacceptable; but, from Saddam Hussein, who has gone to enormous lengths to conceal his weapons program from previous international inspectors and continues to lie about them now, the sort of inspection regime that Kofi Annan has negotiated with Saddam would be a farce; not simply inadequate, Mr. Chairman, a farce.
What would a robust inspection regime look like? It would at a minimum include tens of thousands of inspectors with Americans in key leadership and decision-making roles distributed throughout Iraq possessing an independent capability to move anywhere from dispersed bases to any site in the country without prior notification or approval, the right to interview any Iraqi or Iraqi resident together with his family at a safe location outside Iraq, appropriate self-defense capabilities for the inspectors so they can overcome efforts to impede them, and the like.
And, let me just observe in passing that the inspection team that is being readied has significantly downgraded the presence and the role of Americans. The senior-most American, as I understand it, is in charge of training. The critical function of activity evaluationthat is to say, what to make of the bits and pieces of evidence that may fall into the hands of the inspectoris in the hands of a Chinese official. So one has, I think, good reason to worry about whether an inspection arrangement, even if it is put in place, will in itself have the capability and the integrity that one would associate with a robust inspection arrangement.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Iraq is a very large country. My own view, and I am speaking personally throughout, but especially in this, my own view is even with a large and intrusive force, it is simply not possible to devise an inspection regime on territory controlled by Saddam Hussein that could be effective in locating, much less eliminating, his weapons of mass destruction.
In any case, the inspection regime known as the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) doesn't even come close. Its size, organization, and management and resources are all hopelessly inadequate for the daunting task of inspecting a country the size of France against Saddam's determined program of concealment, deception, and lying. The simple truth is that the inspectors will never find anything, the location of which has not been discovered through intelligence operations. Unless we can obtain information from defectors or by technical means that point the inspectors to specific sites, we are most unlikely to find what we are looking for.
We know, Mr. Chairman, that Saddam lies about his program to acquire nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. We know that he has used the years during which no inspectors were in Iraq to move everything of interest, with the result that the database he once possessed, inadequate though it was, has been destroyed. We know all this, yet, I sometimes think there are those at the United Nations who treat the issue not as a matter of life and death, but rather more like a game like pin the tail on the donkey or an Easter egg hunt on a Sunday afternoon.
The bottom line is this: Saddam is better at hiding than we are at finding, and this is not a game. If he eludes us and continues to refine, perfect, and expand his arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, the danger to us, which is already great, will only grow. If he achieves his holy grail and acquires one or more nuclear weapons, there is no way of knowing what predatory policies he will pursue.
Page 13 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Let us suppose that in the end, a robust inspection arrangement is put in place, and after a year or two it has found nothing. Could we conclude from the failure to unearth illegal activity that none existed? Of course not. All we would know is that we had failed to find what we were looking for, not that it was not there to be found. And, where would that leave us? Would we be safer or even more gravely imperiled? There would be a predictable clamor to end the inspection regime, and if they were still in place, to lift the sanctions. Saddam would claim not only that he was in compliance with the U.N. resolutions concerning inspections, but that he had been truthful all along. There are those who would believe him.
Given what we now know about Saddam's weaponry, his lies, his concealment, we would be fools to accept inspections, even an inspection regime far more ambitious than anything the U.N. contemplates, as a substitute for disarmament.
That is why, Mr. Chairman, the President is right to demand that the United Nations promptly resolve that Saddam comply with the full range of United Nations resolutions concerning Iraq or face an American-led enforcement action.
I returned last night from Europe where the issues before you were being widely discussed. Perhaps the most frequently asked question put to me by various Europeans is, ''Why now? What is it about the current situation that has made action to deal with Saddam urgent? He has been there for a decade.
My answer is that we are already perilously late. We should have acted long ago, and we should certainly have acted when Saddam expelled the inspectors in 1998. Our myopic forbearance has given him four years to expand his arsenal without interference, four years to hide things and make them mobile, four years to render the international community feckless, and its principal institution, the United Nations, all but irrelevant.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We can, of course, choose to defer action. Some counsel that. To wait and hope for the best. That is what Tony Blair's predecessors did in the 1930s. That is what we did with respect to Osama bin Laden. We waited. We watched. We knew about the training camps, the fanatical incitement and the history of acts of terror. We knew about the Cole and the embassies in Africa. We waited too long and 3,000 innocent civilians were murdered.
If we wait, if we play hide-and-seek with Saddam Hussein, there is every reason to expect that he will expand his arsenal further, that he will cross the nuclear divide and become a nuclear power.
I urge this committee, Mr. Chairman, to support the President's determination to act before it is too late. Thank you.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Mr. Perle. I appreciate your statement.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Perle can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. HUNTER. And General Clark, you have been a very well-respected leader of the U.S. military through some difficult times for the United States, and we appreciate your service and thank you very much for being with us on this very challenging issue. The floor is yours, sir.
STATEMENT OF GEN. WESLEY K. CLARK, U.S. ARMY (RETIRED)
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
General CLARK. Thank you very much Mr. Chairman, Representative Skelton, and distinguished members of the committee. Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today.
This is a committee that has been very strongly supportive of the men and women in uniform, and I want to thank you personally for the support that so many of you have given to me during some very, very tough times when I was in uniform. And, on behalf of all the men and women and their families, we really appreciate this committee, your commitment, your willingness to give up your own time to come out and visit with the troops, your determination to work interests on behalf of the troops and families when there is nothing but your duty as representatives of the people on the line. And, we recognize it and we appreciate it and we are grateful for it.
I want to tell you also I am very honored to be here, because I believe that in our democracy, discussions of critical strategic issuesand this is certainly oneat an historic time strengthen the United States, they don't weaken us.
Public information, public dialogue, and public discussion is what this country is all about. And, certainly when we are considering a course as fraught with uncertainty as that which appears to be unfolding before us, we need the wholehearted understanding and resolution of the American people. And, I am particularly honored, Mr. Chairman, that you would ask me as a retired military officer to come back and appear before you and that you would consider my opinions and concerns relevant to the issue at hand, even though I have left the United States Army and I am now engaged in another profession, which is under questioninvestment banking. And so, I am delighted to be with you, sir. I have submitted a written statement, but I would like to summarize
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. HUNTER. Welcome back, General.
General CLARK. I would like to summarize a few points from it.
Mr. HUNTER. Without objection, your statement will be taken into the record.
General CLARK. There is no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat. I was in the Joint Staff in October of 1994. I think the date was the 8th of October, Thursday morning. The intelligence officer walked in and said, ''Sir, you are not going to believe this. Here are the pictures. You can't believe that this is the Republican Guard. They are right back in the same attack positions that they occupied four years ago before they invaded Kuwait. And here are the two divisions, and there are signs of mobilization and concerns north, and we can't understand it.''
And, General Peay was the commander of Central Command (CENTCOM). Shalikashvili, I think, was visiting Haiti at the time with Secretary of Defense Perry, and we rushed together and we put together a program. General Peay deployed some 15,000 American troops and aircraft over to block it. And, after a few days Saddam Hussein recognized what a difficult position he had put himself in and withdrew the troops. But, we had not expected it. It was an unanticipated move. It made no sense from our point of view for Saddam Hussein to do this, but he did it. It was a signal warning that Saddam Hussein is not only malevolent and violent, but he is also to some large degree unpredictable, at least to us. I am sure he has a rationale for what he is doing, but we don't always know it.
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
He does retain his chemical and biological capabilities to some extent. And he is, as far as we know, actively pursuing nuclear capabilities, though he doesn't have nuclear warheads yet. If he were to acquire nuclear weapons, I think our friends in the region would face greatly increased risk, as would we. Saddam might use these weapons as a deterrent while launching attacks against Israel or his other neighbors. He might threaten American forces in the region. He might determine that he was the messenger of Allah and simply strike directly at Israel; or Israel, weighing the possibilities of blackmail or aggression, might feel compelled to strike Iraq first.
Now, Saddam has been pursuing nuclear weapons and we have been living with this risk for over 20 years. He does not have the weapons now as best we can determine. He might have the weapons in a year or two if the control for the highly enriched uranium and other materials broke down. I think his best opportunity would have been to go to his friend Slobodon Milosevic and ask for those materials during the Kosovo campaign, since there was active collusion between the Serbs and the Iraqis; but apparently, if he asked for them, he didn't get them, because the Serbs have turned them over for us. If he can't get the highly enriched uranium, then it might take him five years or more to go through a centrifuge process or gaseous diffusion process to enrich the uranium.
But, the situation is not stable. The U.N. weapons inspectors, however ineffective they might have beenand there is some degree of difference of opinion on thatnevertheless provided assistance in impeding his development programs. They have been absent for four years. And, the sanction regime designed to restrict his weapons materials and resources has been continuously eroded and therefore the situation is not stable.
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The problem of Iraq is not a problem that can be postponed indefinitely. And of course, Saddam's current efforts themselves are violations of international law as expressed in U.N. resolutions.
Our President has emphasized the urgency of eliminating these weapons and weapons programs. I strongly support his efforts to encourage the United Nations to act on this problem. And, in taking this to the United Nations the President's clear determination to act if the United Nations can't, provides strong leverage for undergirding ongoing diplomatic efforts.
But, the problem of Iraq is only one element of the broader security challenges facing our country. We have an unfinished worldwide war against al Qaeda, a war that has to be won in conjunction with friends and allies, and that ultimately will be won as much by persuasion as by the use of force. We have got to turn off the al Qaeda recruiting machine. Now some 3,000 deaths on September 11 testified to the real danger from al Qaeda. And, I think everyone acknowledges that al Qaeda has not yet been defeated.
As far as I know, I haven't seen any substantial evidence linking Saddam's regime to the al Qaeda network, though such evidence may emerge. But nevertheless, winning the war against al Qaeda and taking actions against the weapons program in Iraq, those are two different problems that may require two different sets of solutions. In other words, to put it back in the military parlance, Iraqthey are an operational-level problem. We have got other operational-level problems in the Middle East, like the ongoing conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Al Qaeda and the foundation of radical extremist fundamentalist Islam, that is the strategic problem. We have got to make sure that in addressing the operational problem, we are effective in going after the larger strategic problem.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
So, the critical issue facing the United States right now is how to force action against Saddam Hussein and his weapons programs without detracting from our focus on al Qaeda or our efforts to deal with other immediate and maybe long-term security problems.
I would like to offer the following observations by way of how we could proceed. First of all, I do believe United States diplomacy in the United Nations will be strengthened if the Congress can adopt a resolution expressing U.S. determination to act if the United Nations cannot act. The use of force must remain a U.S. option under active consideration. Such congressional resolution need not at this point authorize the use of force. The more focused the resolution on Iraq, the more focused it is on the problem of weapons of mass destruction, the greater its utility in the United Nations, the more nearly unanimous the resolution, the greater its utility is, the greater its impact is on the diplomatic efforts underway.
The President and his national security team have got to deploy imagination, leverage, and patience in working through the United Nations. In the near term, time is on our side and we should endeavor to use the United Nations if at all possible. This may require a period of time for inspections or the development of a more intrusive inspection regime such as Richard Perle has mentioned, if necessary, backed by force. It may involve cracking down on the eroding sanctions regime and countries like Syria who are helping Iraq illegally export oil, and enabling Saddam Hussein to divert resources to his own purposes.
We have to work this problem in a way to gain worldwide legitimacy and understanding for the concerns that we rightly feel and for our leadership. This is what U.S. leadership in the world must be. We must bring others to share our views and not be too quick to rush to try to impose them, even if we have the power to do so.
Page 20 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
I agree that there is a risk that the inspections would fail to provide evidence of the weapons program. They might fail. But, I think we can deal with this problem as we move along. And, I think the difficulties of dealing with this outcome are more than offset by the opportunities to gain allies, support, and legitimacy in the campaign against Saddam Hussein.
If the efforts to resolve the problem by using the United Nations fail either initially or ultimately, then we need to form the broadest coalition, including our North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies in the North Atlantic Council, if we are going to have to bring forces to bear.
We should not be using force until the personnel, the organizations, the plans that will be required for post-conflict Iraq are prepared and readied. This includes dealing with requirements for humanitarian assistance, police and judicial capabilities, emergency medical and reconstruction assistance in preparations for a transitional governing body and eventual elections, perhaps even including a new constitution.
Ideally, the international and multinational organizations will participate in the readying of such post-conflict operations: the United Nations, NATO, other regional and other organizations, Islamic organizations. But, we have no idea how long this campaign could last. And, if it were to go like the campaign against the Afghans, against the Taliban in which suddenly the Taliban collapsed and there we were, we need to be ready; because, if suddenly Saddam Hussein's government collapses and we don't have everything ready to go, we are going to have chaos in that region. We may not get control of all the weapons of mass destruction, technicians, plans, capabilities. In fact, what may happen is we will remove a repressive regime and have it replaced with a fundamentalist regime which contributes to the strategic problem rather than to helping to solve it.
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
So, all that having been said, the option to use force must remain on the table. It should be used as the last resort after all diplomatic means have been exhausted, unless there is information that indicates that a further delay would represent an immediate risk to the assembled forces and organizations. And, I want to underscore that the United States should not categorize this action as preemptive. Preemptiveand that doctrine has nothing whatsoever to do with this problem. As Richard Perle so eloquently pointed out, this is a problem that is longstanding, it has been a decade in the making and needs to be dealt with and the clock is ticking on this.
Obviously, once initiated, a military operation should aim for the most respected accomplishment of its operational aims and prompt turnover to follow-on organizations and agencies.
And, I think if we proceed as outlined above, we may be able to minimize the disruption to the ongoing campaign against al Qaeda. We could reduce the impact on friendly governments in the region and even contribute to the resolution of other regional issues, perhaps such as the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Iranian efforts to develop nuclear capabilities, and Saudi funding for terrorism.
But, there are no guarantees. The war is unpredictable. It could be difficult and costly. And, what is at risk in the aftermath is an open-ended American ground commitment in Iraq and an even deeper sense of humiliation in the Arab world, which could intensify our problems in the region and elsewhere.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The yellow light is flashing. We have a problem. We have got to muster the best judgment in this country. We have to muster the will of the American people. And, we've got to be prepared to deal with this problem. But, time is on our side in the near term and we should use it. Thank you.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you General Clark.
[The prepared statement of General Clark can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. HUNTER. General Clark, when we went into Desert Storm, our best estimate and the United Nations' best estimate was that Saddam Hussein was three to five years away from having a nuclear system. That information to some degree was the basis upon which very distinguished Americans like Sam Nunn said what you just said today, which is time is on our side, and they offered a policy that involved sanctions over a long period of time.
When we arrived we found that he was, according to the United Nations and inspectors who testified before this committee, six months away from having a nuclear weapon, meaning that the judgment that time was on our side argument was one that was greatly in error. And, had we taken it, we would have perhaps suffered disastrous consequences.
Now we have had inspectors appear before this committee who said that they were turned away when they were close to things they thought were important. They were held off in parking lots. They were ushered into a lot of empty rooms. They never met with the weapons community. And, out of the 200 and some-odd inspections that they made, almost none of them were a surprise. The upshot of their testimony was that if Saddam Hussein wants to keep us from seeing his chemical, biological, and nuclear complexand he denies that he has a chemical or biological complexhe will succeed.
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We then followed that testimony with the testimony of an Iraqi nuclear engineer who was very much at the forefront of Saddam Hussein's programs, who said essentially, ''While you Americans were inspecting in 1993, we were continuing to move aggressively, not far away, with a weapons program right under your noses, basically''.
Now, everything that you have told us with respect to the time-is-on-our-side argument is based on the presumption that these inspections can be successful. What can you offer us in terms of how we could have more effective inspections and how we could, against the will of Saddam Hussein, actually walk into a room and have a large piece of evidence of a nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons program in front of us on the table when our inspectors arrive? Please tell us how we can do that what we haven't been able to before.
General CLARK. First of all, I am not making my case on the presumption that inspections won't necessarily be effective. That is not the case. I think an inspection program will provide some impedance and interference with Saddam's efforts. I think it can undercut the legitimacy and authorities of his regime at home. I think it can provide warning of further developments. I think it can establish a trigger. I think it can build legitimacy for the United States. Ultimately, it is going to be inadequate in the main. But as far as the intelligence is concerned and the time available, I don't know how to make sense of the intelligence. And, we have heard six months from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). We have heard the latest British estimate of a couple of years. We heard other people say a year. We heard Iraqi defectors saying it is ready; all he has to do is machine the plutonium if he can get his hands on it.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The honest truth is that the absence of intelligence is not an adequate reason to go forward to war in and of itself. So what we have to do is, we have to build a program that encourages other nations to share our perspective. We can do it relatively quickly. We should not discard inspections. They have done some measure of good; otherwise, Saddam wouldn't object to them so strongly.
Mr. HUNTER. But, General Clark, if we embark on these inspections and we accept inspections as the answer, as the end, and we embark on these inspectionsand we must presume that Saddam Hussein is as successful as he has been in the past at hiding the evidence from the inspection teams, evidence that we knew existedhow are weyou mentioned if we do these inspections, we are somehow going to galvanize the community of nations on our side. Now, if we do inspections and we don't find that which we know is there, but Saddam Hussein has allowed us to come into the country and absorb the inspectors successfully, how does that galvanize a community of nations to rally behind the United States?
General CLARK. I think you have to have an echelon series of inspections. I think you start small and I think you expand the intrusiveness, the scope and scale of the inspections. And, I think you do that until you are either satisfied, and the nation which brings the complaint to the United Nations, i.e. The United States, is satisfied; or you cross- and triple-red-line, which Saddam says no, and then you move to the next stage.
But, I am not presuming that inspections will be successful. What I am asking you to consider is the United States' overall leadership responsibilities in the world and how we move ahead collectively with our allies and friends around the world to deal with this problem. What inspections are useful in doing, they are useful in highlighting the nature of the Iraqi regime, and we may deter him, impede him, undercut him, get warning, establish a trigger, and build our legitimacy from this. And, this is one way of proceeding.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. HUNTER. Would you recommend very aggressive, very intrusive inspections, which would be accompanied by forces which could, in cases where inspectors are denied entry, literally force their way into Iraqi facilities?
General CLARK. I would like to see a program like that established, but it may not be the initial program.
Mr. HUNTER. What if the United Nations does not end up ordering those inspections, but nonethelessbut instead orders inspections which to some degree replicate those that were in the past, those that were not successful in removing this program. What would you recommend at that point?
General CLARK. I think we need to give the President the strongest possible leverage to get the right program put in place at the United Nations.
Mr. HUNTER. That is going to require consensus from other members of the United Nations. That is not a unilateral instrument for the United States.
General CLARK. That is correct.
Mr. HUNTER. Let me finish my question. Don't you think that it is not reasonable to expect that the United Nations is going to produce an extremely aggressive backed-by-force inspection regime?
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General CLARK. I think that the President's determination has given us strong leverage to get the kind of commitment from the United Nations that we need. But, every country has its own domestic problems and this requires the energy and imagination of our diplomats to work through this. I don't consider this case lost at this point. I think it is very much up in the air. I think the actions of this body are very important to determining the outcome.
But, I will say this: The administration has not proceeded heretofore in a way that would encourage its friends and allies to support it. One of the problems we have is the overhang from a number of decisions taken by the administration, which have undercut its friends and allies around the world and given the impression that the United States doesn't respect the opinions of others. So, we are swimming a little bit upstream on this. But, I think a strong resolution from this body, set up promptly, with broad support and narrowed focus on the problems of weapons of mass destruction, would give additional leverage. And, I would urge that it be adopted.
Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Skelton.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank, both of you, for your excellent testimony. We do appreciate it.
As I see it, there are four basic elements to this whole issue. Number one is diplomacy, which you have discussed; the United Nations exhausting that all the way, if at all possible. Number two, establishing a real goal, and that goal in my opinion is the disarmament of that country, and I am convinced along with that, the Saddam Hussein regime will fold. Third is how we fight and get it done should that happen. And, fourth is the one that personally troubles me the most, because that is what we have to live with.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
General in your prepared statement, you said that force should not be used until the personnel and organizations to be involved in post-conflict Iraq are identified and ready to assume their responsibilities. And, I couldn't agree with you more. You further say this includes requirements for humanitarian assistance, police and judicial capabilities, emergency medical and reconstruction assistance, preparation for a transitional governing body, eventual elections, perhaps even including a new constitution.
Suppose everything works out smoothly, including the military actionand we do have a first rate military, we all agree on that. Tell us more than what you have here of the potential dangers that are out there. The Kurds are sitting up there in the north. Iranians are not going to be idle bystanders. The country is made up of 60 percent Shiite and we know the Ba'ath Party and Saddam Hussein are Sunnis.
What chances are there for anarchy? What do you do with the henchmen that would be on the secondary tier of the regime that have carried out the unspeakable orders of Saddam Hussein and his people, scientists and engineers? Or, is there a possibility of a true, peaceful transition to a responsible state in addition thereto?
What about the other countries like Syria, and I mentioned Iran and their influence on this whole post-conflict Iraq? And, I would also ask the same question of Mr. Perle.
General CLARK. This is a very important question and particularly because we are trying to not only eliminate the weapons of mass destruction, but end up with a situation in which we are net better off than we are today. We have to look at this question very seriously. I think much depends on the circumstances of the military operation itself as to what the impact will be, how long it will take. The broader the coalition, the stronger the preparations in advance, the smoother the operation is likely to be, the more rapid Saddam's army will collapse, and the less humanitarian hardship is likely to be imposed.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
That having been said, once we move into the area, what we can expect is a complete breakdown of governmental authority. It is not only Saddam Hussein, but it is the people who, as you suggested, the henchmen and all the people who are complicit in that regime, who have illegally confiscated land, carried out his orders for executions and torture, and forced name changes and identity changes. Revenge will be exacted. We have already seen this in what happened in 1991 with the Shia rebellion in southern Iraq, when they thought we were coming to help them liberate Iraq. So we have to imagine a complete breakdown of order.
That will be accompanied no doubt by a breakdown in the distribution of services, water, food. It is possible that Saddam Hussein may use biological weapons. If so, it is very possible he will use it against his own people. In an effort to impede our advance, he may try to solve the problem of the Shias in the south through the use of biological weapons.
So, we really don't know what we are going to face. So, in the immediate aftermath, there is going to be the possibility of a chaotic environment that is going to require a substantial American presence as well as a vast humanitarian governmental structure to meet the needs of the 23 million Iraqi people.
Then we are dealing with the longer midtermor the midterm problems: Will Iraq be able to establish a government that holds it together or will it fragment? There are strong fractionary forces at work in Iraq, and they will continue to be exacerbated by regional tensions in the area. The Shia in the south will be pulled by the Iranians. The Kurds want their own organization. The Kurds will be hemmed in by the Turks. The Iraqis also. The Iranians also are nervous of the Kurds. But nevertheless, the Kurds have a certain mass and momentum that they built up. They will have to work to establish their participation in the government or their own identity.
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
There is a question of the nature of a successor regime. If it is a strong man, will it be any better? Will we get rid of weapons of mass destruction or will someone emerge in this chaos who says, ''Look, I have overthrown Saddam. You Americans can deal with me. I am the guy in charge right now. Here, you can have your weapons of mass destruction; we are not interested''.
Then how do we really know we really got all the weapons of mass destruction out of there? Or, he isknowing this is the Middle Easthe is dealing with an Iranian neighbor who has weapons of mass destruction. He is dealing with Syria, who has weapons of mass destruction. Does he decide to hang onto a nuclear and chemical last-resort capability as a trump card?
So you have the question of the successor regime. And, then you have the problem of the long-term presence of the American forces in the region. And one of the things we have seen is that when you put American forces into a region, we tend to be a lightning rod. In the case of Kosovo, we are the strongest element there, and the Albanians looked to us for protection. In the case of Iraq, we are going to be infidels in a Muslim land. And one of the things that is going to happen when you break the authority of Saddam Hussein is that you are going to have a resurgence of support for Muslims in the region by the radical elements of both Wahabi and Shia, and they will be in there and they will be preaching anti-Americanism.
And, as we take the necessary actions with our force in the occupation, or, some have termed it, the liberation of Iraq, we are going to put Americans in a position where they are going to have to exercise authority. We are not going to enforce Islamic law. There are a number of issues that are troublesome in the long run. We need to put the right people together to think through these issues and be ready to deal with them, because you could look at a potential requirement to implement this plan less than two weeks after the initiation of hostilities. Thank you.
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. PERLE. Did you want my comment on that?
Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Perle.
Mr. PERLE. Let me first observe that when it comes to inspections that are so obviously flawed, my friend and colleague is wildly optimistic. When it comes to dealing with problems that we are quite right to anticipate, he is wholly pessimistic. And, I think the only conclusion you can draw is that he has come down on the side of waiting, of resorting to the dream that inspections will solve this problem.
It is absolutely right to be concerned about what follows the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime from power. On this, I am rather more optimistic than General Clark, first of all, because Iraqunlike Afghanistan, for example, or some other countries in the regionhas a highly educated and sophisticated population that has suffered horribly under Saddam Hussein, that is in my view desperate to be liberated from Saddam Hussein, and that has begun to show quite remarkable unity among the opponents of Saddam Hussein as the prospect of action to remove him has become more real.
Sure, there are lots of potential divisions. I was in London the other day and dropped in on a meeting of some of the Iraqi opposition, and around that table in serious discussions were representatives of all the groups that General Clark referred to as in conflict with one another. That doesn't guarantee that there won't be some confusion. It doesn't guarantee that individual groups will not depart from what they now say they pledged themselves to. But, I have been impressed with the ability of the Iraqi National Congress to bring together around the table representatives of the Shia in the south, the Kurds in the north, even the Sunnis in the center of the country.
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
I think nearly 30 years of Saddam Hussein's rule will inspire in the Iraqi people a desire for a decent, humane government. And, with help from us, I see no reason to assume a priori that that can't be done. I think it can be done. And, I think the chances of success in that regard are infinitely greater than the likelihood that we will find the weapons of mass destruction that even a good inspection regime would be incompetent to unearth.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman. Mr. Saxton.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Perle, General Clark indicated a few minutes ago he wasn't sureI am sorry, I don't want to mischaracterize what General Clark said, but something to the effect that we don't have information that al Qaeda and the Iraqi regime are connected. Is that a fair characterization, General Clark?
General CLARK. I am saying there hasn't been any substantiation of the linkage of the Iraqi regime to the events of 9/11 or the fact that they are giving weapons of mass destruction capability to al Qaeda.
Mr. SAXTON. That has been a widely held view, at least in some quarters, and I suspect that one of the difficulties that we have had in addressing this subject comes because of the difficulty of collecting intelligence in that region of the world, for all the reasons that we know. However, yesterday, the President's National Security Adviser began to talk about this subject in a different light. She said we clearly know that there were in the past and have been contacts between senior Iraqi officials and members of al Qaeda going back for a long time. We know, too, that several of the al Qaeda detainees, in particular, some high-ranking detainees, have said that Iraq provided some training to al Qaeda in chemical weapons development. Now, I suspect that it would be difficult for someone to say that if they didn't have information to back it up. And, she also suggested that the details of the contacts would be released at a later date, and from my knowledge of intelligence workwhich is sketchy, but from what I knowit is difficult sometimes to disclose details because you endanger sources.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And, so I think this is a subject that certainly there are beginning to be indications that there areas a matter of fact, other bad guys have gone to Iraq. Abu Nidal died there recently. And, when you couple all this with the notion that Saddam has been very determined to act out against his neighbors in the West, and seems to stop at nothing, to draw the conclusion based on evidence that is beginning to emerge that there is no contact and no general theme of cooperation between Saddam and officials of al Qaeda is a stretch and, I think, a dangerous conclusion to come to.
Mr. Perle, would you give us your opinion?
Mr. PERLE. I think you have identified an important issue and a serious problem. It is true it is difficult to collect intelligence in these areas. But, the bigger problem in my view has been a stunning lack of competence among our own intelligence agencies. They simply proved incompetent in this area and I have testified on this theme several times over the last 10 or 15 years.
What we are now beginning to see is evidence that was there all along. It simply wasn't properly assessed. And the reason why it wasn't assessed, in my view, is that a point of view dominated the intelligence community, the CIA in particular, and that point of view held that a secular Ba'athist regime like that of Saddam Hussein would not cooperate with religious fanatics like al Qaeda. This was a theory. There was nothing to support it except the speculation of the intelligence officials who held that view. And as a result, they simply didn't look for evidence that there might be a connection. Now that we are aware of the strange ways in which terrorists cooperate all over the world, we are beginning to find significant evidence.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
You know, there is no logical basis for the Irish Republican Army (IRA) cooperating with terrorists in Colombia, and yet we have caught them red-handed doing it. There is a kind of professional trade craft involved in which people engaged in the business of terrorism work with one another for mutual convenience, sometimes for exchanges of money and the like. So, there is in fact evidence of relations between Saddam and al Qaeda. And, I believe that the more intensively we scrutinize databases of information available to us in the past, the more evidence of that we are going to find.
General CLARK. Representative Saxton, if I could just tag along on that, I think there is no question that even though we may not have the evidence, as Richard says, that there have been such contacts, it is normal, it is natural. These are a lot of bad actors in the same region together. They are going to bump into each other. They are going to exchange information. They are going to feel each other out and see if there are opportunities to cooperate. That is inevitable in this region.
And, I think it is clear that, regardless of whether or not such evidence is produced of these connections, that Saddam Hussein is a threat. So, I think the key issue is how we move from here and what do we need to do to deal with this threat? But, I think what is also clear is the way you deal with the threat from Iraq is different than the way you deal with the threat from al Qaeda. My contention is we need to look at different means for dealing with these threats. We need to take advantage of all the resources at our disposal, not just the military.
If I could just say with respect to the inspections issue, as well, and the comments of my friend and colleague Richard Perle, I am not either optimistic or pessimistic. I practiced weapons inspection. I have been involved in diplomacy at the United Nations and I have been involved in setting up the plans for a number of post-conflict situations, including Bosnia, Haiti and Kosovo, so I am only giving you the best judgment from my own perspective. I don't label it.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
So Richard, if I can just in a friendly way say if you won't label me, I won't label you.
Mr. PERLE. What I was labeling was the unavoidable conclusion that you think inspections can work, and I think the overwhelming evidence is that they can't.
General CLARK. I have been very clear. I don't have any expectation, ultimately, that the inspections will work in the sense of finding and eliminating every weapons of mass destruction program. What I am suggesting is that the inspections are useful in pursuing America's security concerns, and we should be endeavoring to pursue those concerns with every means at our disposal, one of which is inspections.
Mr. PERLE. If I may say so, if the inspections fail to achieve their purpose, that is, finding Saddam's weapons, then I think they are not only helpful, they are quite damaging; because, the failure to find those weapons will make it very difficult to sustain the inspections regime itself beyond a certain point to keep sanctions in place and to take action that might actually be effective in removing those weapons of mass destruction.
Mr. SAXTON. If I may reclaim my time for 30 seconds.
Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Saxton, if you want back into this conversation, you go right ahead.
Mr. SAXTON. I wanted to thank General Clark for clarifying his position. I thought you had said there had been no contacts. And, now you do know, as we do, that there have been contacts between Saddam and al Qaeda. So, thank you.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
General CLARK. I say no substantiation of it. It has to be going on. It has to be.
Mr. SAXTON. I am glad you and Condoleezza Rice are on the same track. I was worried there for a while but, General Clark, maybe you could respond to that last point in your interchange, which was if we findif the inspectors find a bunch of empty rooms or are shown a bunch of empty rooms in this next inspection regime, how does that rally the world then to the United States' goal of disarming Iraq?
General CLARK. I think this goes into the design and inspections program itself. And, as I indicated earlier, I have not sketched this out in great detail. I could present something in writing to the committee if you would like, but there can be an inspection program set up which is echeloned in the sense of starting narrow and going broader and broader and more intrusive, until the concerns of the state which brings forward this requirement, i.e. The United States, are satisfied. And in the process, we are either going to push this far enough that we gain some other ends or we are going to hit a red line in which we will get the trigger. What I want to make clear is the difference I think between
Mr. SAXTON. Maybe you could explain how you get the trigger if they absorb us and they allow enough inspections to find empty rooms but nothing else, and at that point you want to see a galvanized world community behind the United States. Why would they galvanize behind an America which has gotten inspections, been absorbed by Iraq, and found nothing?
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General CLARK. I think we need to look carefully at the composition of the inspection team, its authorities and information sources it uses, and that is why I say it is echeloned. It may start narrow and go broader.
Second, I think the experience of the inspection team is as they begin to work, they do find some levels of information. And, as we put people in there more and more on the ground, they will eventually find things.
But, I think the fundamental question is this: Is the purpose of the inspection team, is the value of it only in finding the weapons of mass instruction, or does it not also have value in impeding Saddam's weapons of mass destruction program, undercutting his authority, providing warning, establishing a trigger, and I think it has these broader impacts.
So, I think we should not be driven by excessive fear at this point that the inspections may come up dry from trying to work an inspection program that meets the broader purposes that serve the United States and our goals.
Mr. SAXTON. The stated goal is none of the above. It is to disarm Iraq, at least according to the administration.
General CLARK. This is one of the difficulties, and we are in open session and I don't mean to be anything other than direct and straightforward, but I think we know that programs like inspections have consequences that are beyond their stated purpose. And, certainly Saddam Hussein recognizes this and this is why he didn't want the inspectors there. Not that he couldn't fool them, but he couldn't be sure he could fool them all the time, with enough energy left over to pursue his aims and still do everything else.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Even though the inspections may have been of not full usefulness in terms of stopping his program, they provided other benefits, and we should pursue those benefits within the time available as a way of building legitimacy for the United States and our concerns.
Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Allen.
Mr. ALLEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you both for being here. We have had a lot of conversation about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program and where we are going. I am concerned about what we are doing right now as a country, and I wanted to focus on a couple of things. If our goal is to win allies for dealing with Saddam Hussein, both here at home and abroad, it seems to me we have made some mistakes.
And, let me call attention to a couple of things. First of all, it seems to me that we can deal with Iraq without making into doctrines applicable to other countries and other times, you know, whatever it is we plan to do here. Example number one, regime change. It hasn't been enough for this administration to say we need to replace Saddam Hussein; we have to create a doctrine of regime change that for what are now calledthe phrases keep changing, but they are now called terrorist stateswe have the right to change those regimes.
The second component is preemptive strikes. It is not enough to deal with the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, which is real. It may not be immediate, but it is not that far in the future. It is very serious. But instead, we have a new doctrine put down on paper that says we claim the right to strike preemptively at other countries. We have developed a theory, I thinkthe administration has a theory of unilateralism as a fundamental approach to the world. All of this, I can tell you back home just in my district, creates unnecessary anxiety and hostility to what the administration is trying to do, and that is nothing compared to the reaction overseas.
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And, I think that the question you posed, General Clark, about how do we move from here in a way that takes into account not only the military challenges, but the political challenges, is important. And, I want to begin with Mr. Perle and then have you respond, too.
Mr. Perle, on September 10, there was an article in the Boston Globe, and basically there was the suggestion thatwe are used to the hawks-and-the-doves kind of language now, but there was a suggestion in the piece that according to the hawks in the administration, Iraq is just the first piece of the puzzle. And I quote: ''After an ouster of Hussein, they say, the United States will have more leverage to act against Syria and Iran, and we will be in a better position to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian, conflict and we will be able to rely less on Saudi oil''.
And, then there was another comment in here that among the more extreme version was a view elaborated in a briefing in July by a RAND Corporation researcher to the Defense Policy Board which you chair, Mr. Perle. That briefing urged the United States to deliver an ultimatum to the Saudi Government to cut its ties to militant Islam or risk seizure of its oil fields and overseas assets. It called Iraq the ''tactical pivot'', and Saudi Arabia the ''strategic pivot''.
My question to you, Mr. Perle, first if you could comment both on the doctrines of preemption and regime change and then on the briefing that either you or your policy board heard. And, with respect to that component, I would be interested in whether you think that kind of threat against Saudi Arabia is the way the administration ought to move. And then I would like General Clark to respond.
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. PERLE. Well, thank you, Mr. Allen. First, on the question of doctrines, I think we sometimes do ourselves a disservice by discussing in doctrinal terms the specifics of a situation that may be unique. And, indeed in these matters there are almost never two situations that are exactly alike. So, I am not in favor of developing a doctrine of regime change. I am in favor of removing Saddam Hussein from power. And, I can imagine others posing a similar threat where one would also wish to see them removed. But, I don't think that doctrine is necessarily helpful, and I agree with you on that.
With respect to preemptive strikes, again, I don't think it makes much sense to develop this into a doctrine, although I think it is important to point out that waiting until one is struck first is not always the best way to protect ourselves. And in this instance, I happen to think that idea applies. And as for the theory of unilateralism, I haven't heard that advocated as such. I have never known any official of this or any other administration that would not much prefer to have broad support internationally for anything that we attempt to do.
What I think is an issue here is the question of how prepared we should be to act alone when, for whatever reason, we are unable to gather the support of other countries. And, I think what you are seeing here is a reaction to some years in the previous administration where there was a great emphasis placed on multilateral activity, on negotiating multilateral agreements, and acting in a multilateral context, and I think there is a sense that we went too far in that direction and maybe we need to assert the particularism that that is appropriate for a country that is unique and perhaps uniquely a target and therefore is bound to differ from time to time with other countries.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But, I certainly share your thought we shouldn't make things more difficult for ourselves by elevating specific contingencies to broad general principles. With respect to the briefing on Saudi Arabia, let me say, first, that the Defense Policy Board is an unusual institution. It is a group of people who come together from time to time, receive briefings, discuss the context of those briefings, and eventually, discuss their reflections with the Secretary of Defense. This usually takes place over two days.
We have encouraged a very broad approach in the sense that we want all points of view. And, there is no censorship. Nobody examines the briefer beforehand what he is going to say. An expert who is working hard to understand the complex issue that the board is trying to understand may well be invited to come and present to us. And, that particular briefing was a very interesting briefing. It was not as portrayed in the press. Whoever thought it was a good idea to turn over the slides from that briefing and the speakers notes, I think, was probably not present when the briefing was given, and therefore, assumed that everything in the speaking notes was said in the meeting.
That isn't the case. And, some of the more inflammatory quotations from the speaker's notes were, in fact, never presented. Different members of the board had different reactions to that, butto that briefing. But, I don't know anyone who stood up and said, now we have found an appropriate policy for dealing with Saudi Arabia. But, it was a provocative briefing and produced an interesting discussion among members of the board.
My own view is that we are quite right to say to the Saudi government, ''The substantial amount of money that you have been distributing through extremist organizations is producing around the world a number of people, often young people, who are being driven to hatred of the United States and the West in general, and they pose a threat to us. They are the breeding grounds for the recruitment of al Qaeda and other terrorists, and we would be very grateful if you would stop that. We would not foment that sort of attitude against you, and we would be grateful if you wouldn't foment it against us.''
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
In my view, we can deal with the Saudi government, government to government. We have a mixed relationship with them. There are some positive elements. There is a negative element, and I think we ought to be discussing it with them and not threatening them in the way that it was wrongly reported that briefing proposed that we do.
General CLARK. I think your questions about doctrine are very important questions. But, as you observe, and I agree, there is no requirement to have any doctrine here. I mean this is simply a longstanding right of the United States and other nations to take the actions they deem necessary in their self-defense. Every president has deployed forces as necessary to take action. He has done so without multi lateral support, if necessary. He has done so in advance of conflict, if necessary.
In my experience, I was the commander of the European forces in NATO when we took action in Kosovo. We did not have the United Nations' approval to do this, and we did so in a way that was designed to preempt Serb ethnic cleansing and regional destabilization there. There were some people who didn't agree with that decision. The United Nations was not able to agree to support it with the resolution.
Nevertheless, we did go to the United Nations and, as Ambassador Holbrook so well explained in an op-ed piece I think three weeks ago, going to the United Nations was a very important part of building legitimacy for the action that we ultimately had to take. But, the responsibility to deploy forces is ultimately the responsibility for the United States and its leaders alone, for no one else.
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So, I think in this case that the doctrines of preemption and regime change have been actually counterproductive in trying to make the case against Saddam Hussein, because they tend to be misinterpreted. We have always talked within the military circles about the possibility of preemption. We have always worried about it. We worried about how you would get the specific information you needed. We worried about whether the action could be effective or not. We worried about what the consequences of that would be. But, it was discussed behind closed doors in a number of cases, I am sure.
And, nevertheless, we never felt a reason to publish a doctrine on it because the doctrine itself become as fact and an element in international relations. We saw the headlines in The Washington Post a few days ago that said the United States replaces deterrence with domination. And, I immediately began to get phone calls from European journalists who say what is an American domination.
This is what we have been worried about. And so, in that sense, I think it is we are much better off if we will focus on the problem at hand, which is the war against al Qaeda and the problem of Iraq itself and deal with those as specific problems which we must deal with.
With respect to the case of Saudi Arabia and a strategy in the area, I think it is very important that we have a strategy in this region. And, one of the things that is perplexing is that we have not seen an articulation of a strategy other than the occasional leakages like The Boston Globe article that you gave reference to. So, we don't really know if there is strategy or what we are specifically pointing to. I would simply observe that in 1973, a few years after you and I were out of college, I was in the Pentagon for a summer as an intern and I wrote a paper on the possibility of some day deploying U.S. forces to the Persian Gulf. And, I was warned by an old colonel at the time. He said, Captain, if you write a paper like that, that Senator Fulbright's going to have you over testifying before the Congress, and us too, and we are all going to get fired. And there were no U.S. forces in that region in 1973.
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Since then we have encouraged Saddam Hussein and supported him as he attacked against Iran in an effort to prevent Iranian destabilization of the Gulf. That came back and bit us when Saddam Hussein then moved against Kuwait. We encouraged the Saudis and the Pakistanis to work with the Afghans and build an Army of God, the Mujahedin, to oppose the Soviets in Afghanistan. Now we have released tens of thousands of these holy warriors, some of whom have turned against us and formed al Qaeda.
My French friends constantly remind me that these are problems that we had a hand in creating. So when it comes to creating another strategy which is built around the intrusion into the region by U.S. forces, all the warning signs should be flashing. There are unintended consequences when force is used. Use it as a last resort. Use it multilaterally if you can. Use it unilaterally only if you must.
Mr. ALLEN. Thank you.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank the gentleman.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. General Clark, it seems to me the crux of the judgments you make is that time is on our side in the near term. I mean, that is really a bottom line. And, with a calculated risk. You went through the six months and so you are willing, I guess, to take the risk that time in the short-term may not be on our side in exchange for the benefit that comes from having more international support. I guess my bottom-line question is how long would you mess around with that? How long is time on our side? What is the near-term during which time is on our side?
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
General CLARK. That is a very important question, Congressman. And there is not a black and white answer to it. It depends on our sense of momentum and the progress that we are making. There are two contending forces at work here. One is that the longer we take, and the more momentum we build, and the greater coalition we build, the greater the likelihood that the Saddam regime and his repression will disintegrate, either at the first tap or even before we use force, simply because the will and determination of his subordinates can be eroded.
So, in that sense, the slower inevitable buildup works against him and works in our favor. On the other hand, the more certain he is that we are likely to use force against him, and sees no alternative, then the more likely it is that he is going to seek a means of deterrence and defense against us. So, if he wasn't working with al Qaeda before, if he can find anyone left in al Qaeda to work with, he may well be talking to them right now.
He may well be trying to figure out how to use what capabilities he has against us. And, this will become particularly urgent as we build up forces in the region, because as the forces go into the region, then we are going to have to be very aware of the fact that Saddam is somewhat unpredictable, and he may well decide to try to strike first against them or someone else.
So it is a trade-off. It is something that is going to be evaluated on a week-by-week, day-by-day basis by the administration, our military and political leaders. And, I thinkI think the only thing you can say right now is that from this perspective, from the information that I have at hand, that the balance comes down on taking the time now in the next days and weeks, before the forces get there, to try to build the international coalition. The situation may look different in December or January.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. THORNBERRY. Okay. Mr. Perle, if you want to comment on that, that would be great. But, I want to ask you to comment on another issue. We have heard from a number of witnesses. Thisone of them described this week that the biggest foreign policy problem we are going to have in the future is managing resentment. And, so the argument that if we go in generally on our own, that we will so inflame people all around the world to hate us, that much more that the ranks of al Qaeda and other terrorist groups are going to grow. And, so we are creating a bigger problem in a way than we are solving.
You know, one of the answers in the literature is that, well, actually what people respect more is force. And, so it is the weakness that encourages this sort of attack against us. Can you give us your perspective on this argument about how acting in Iraq will inflame others to attack us and build this resentment which is ain a way a bigger problem over the long-run, it is argued?
Mr. PERLE. I think a great deal depends on what happens in Iraq and how the American action and the American motives are perceived. If we were to go into Iraq, conquer it, seize its resources, appropriate them for ourselves and suppress a hostile population, I think that could certainly build resentment. I don't know anyone who is proposing that we do that. What I would like to see us do is go into Iraq, together with the opponents of the Saddam Hussein regime, liberate the people of Iraq from the scourge of that nightmare regime, assist the Iraqis in developing a decent and humane government, make sure that their resources are devoted to the rebuilding of that country.
And, I think under those circumstances, the world will see that the United States has acted not simply in its own behalf, but to the benefit of the people of Iraq. And, I have no doubt that once Iraq is liberated, we will learn what a brutal, brutal without precedent regime, the regime of Saddam Hussein has been. We will hear the stories from the survivors, from the sons and daughters and sisters and brothers and mothers and fathers about the murders, about the surgical mutilation of people who have crossed Saddam Hussein, about the use of rape as an instrument of policy and the like. And, I think, in those circumstances, things will change.
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We faced this when we went into Grenada in the Reagan administration. And as it happens, the American forces were treated as liberators in Grenada. We saw much of the same thing in Afghanistan, which is a more complicated situation. But, a great many people were relieved to see the end of the Taliban regime. So, I think everything depends on our purpose and our steadiness of purpose. And, on the way in which that action is received by the people who are affected by it most directly.
Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Snyder.
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you, gentlemen, for being here. Mr. Perle, if you don't mind, I am going to direct my questions to General Clark, since he is one of my constituents and I feel some obligation to report to his wonderful wife, Gert, how he does here today. And, I am sure he will feel an obligation to do the same with me.
General, if you don't mind, I am going to just summarize kind of where my thinking is on this, and you and I have talked privately before and I have found it the most, I guess, visceral issue in my six years here in terms of its potential impact on not only a lot of people's lives, but on our foreign policy. And a lot of what you have written and spoken about has shaped my thinking because you talk about military forces being the last resort.
In fact, you had a London Times piece at the end of August, ''Why war should be America's last resort,'' which is another way of saying, we have got to exhaust diplomatic resources before we pursue the war. I have looked on a way of saying to a balancing of risks, comparing the risks now, versus what risk we might incur by going ahead A, with a particularly unilateral military action against Iraq.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And, as I look at the reasons that people have outlined for why we should move ahead, even if we have to move ahead alone, we heard the term ''drain the swamp,'' meaning drain the swamp of terrorists after September 11. General Boyd had the comment in The New York Times of last week that he talks about if we go alone, that the near certainty of creating legions of new terrorists. I am not a military historian. I don't know what a legion is, but I think it means a lot of people. And, yet we look at how much energy was put into finding just one small cell we think in New York, and yet we are talking about potentially creating legions.
In your London Times piece, you also say attacking Iraq would detract from our primary mission against al Qaeda, supercharging anti-American sentiment in the Arab street, boosting al Qaeda's recruiting and causing difficulty for modern Arab regimes. You go on to say our overriding priority must be to bring greater international resolve and cooperation into the war on al Qaeda to cut the support for Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, and to harmonize intelligence sharing and law enforcement in Europe and North America. This will take months and years of sustained effort.
The President is quoted today in the Post as saying the war on terror, you can't distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror. They are both equally as bad, and equally as evil and equally as destructive. I think I agree on the degree of evilness, but in terms of the prioritization, I have come down on your side; that the priority ought to be al Qaeda. The other arguments we have heard that this is a guy who has attacked his own neighbors. And, yet, as you have discussed, one potential sequel of a unilateral attack would be to motivate him to attack Israel.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We have heard the argument he has attacked his own people, which has been unfortunately terribly true. But a military attack, if it is not absolutely necessary, may unnecessarily motivate him to attack the Kurds and avoid a Northern Alliance type situation that occurred in Afghanistan. And then, of course, our overriding goal and the overriding goal of every American is to protect Americans and reduce the risks of damage and of harm to Americans. I have been meeting with, you know, retired military people. And, this is not from any classified briefing, but I just throw out a term.
Well, if things don't go quite as smoothly as we think, could we incur as much as 10,000 U.S. casualties? And I get the head nod, yeah that could happen if we had them, as General Boyd says congregated in a staging area and a chemical weapons attack. And then, I have heard terms of numbers of 70 to 80 to 100,000 troops that may haveU.S., that may have to be stationed in Iraq for up to 10 years, I would think at high risk at some point after being there for that length of time.
And then theyour comment about time. You very clearly stated we cannot postpone indefinitely, but on the other hand, that in the near term, time is on our side. And Ithat is what comes down to me is, or why it comes down to me is that if time is on our side in this range, in the near term as Mack was asking about, this should be the time when we exhaust the diplomatic efforts and be sure that we don't incur the risks of going to war before we have done everything we can to avoid them. And, one other factor in this in my thinking is to me the number one strategic priority in the Middle East is dealing with Israel and Palestine.
And, you know, I had a conversation with Condoleezza Rice, I think in the second or third month of the administration, you know, please be more involved in this. And, I think now if we had all these resources and even the potential commitment of troops to enforce an Israeli Palestinian agreement what that might do and how it might change. And if we avoid going to war for 6 months or 1 year or 18 months, who knows what may happen for the good. And there certainly could be things for the bad. But, that boy may drop dead.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
I mean, we just don't know what may happen. The one question I wanted to ask from your written statement. You havethere has been a lot of effort put in on the resolution and the language. You state this one sentence; the resolution need not, at this point, authorize the use of force, but simply agree on the intent to authorize the use of force if other measures fail. And this, to me, is a key question because, you know, I want our President to feel like he has got all the support of the American people he needs to work this out dealing with the international community. But, I am not, I don't think, willing to vote at this time to say, and here you have got my card to go to war six months, eight months down the line if in your mind it hasn't worked out well. I think that is a decision the American people want the Congress to make. What do you mean by that language?
General CLARK. I think that what you have to do isfirst, the card has been laid on the table about the intent of the United States to take unilateral action. So, we have moved past the point we were at in mid-August, when there was a discussion and the President was saying he hadn't made up his mind what to do, and so forth. So the President, our commander-in-chief, has committed himself. I think it is wise to narrow the resolution that was submitted. I think it will be more effective and more useful, and I think it is more in keeping with the checks and balances that are the hallmark of the American government if that resolution is narrowed.
And on the other hand, I think you have to narrow it in such a way that you don't remove the resort to force as a last option consideration in this case. So, not giving a blank check, but expressing an intent to sign the check when all other alternatives are exhausted.
Page 50 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I think, in dealing with men like Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein, that diplomacy has to be leveraged by discussions, the threat, or in the last instance, the use of force. I think it is not time yet to use force against Iraq, but it is certainly time to put that card on the table, to turn it face up and to wave it. And the President is doing that, and I think that the United States Congress has to indicate after due consideration and consulting our people and building our resolve, that yes, this is a significant security problem for the United States of America, and all options are on the table, including the use of force as necessary to solve this problem. I think that is what is required to leverage any hope of solving this problem short of war.
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you both.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank the gentleman.
Mr. SCHROCK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Obviously, General, your-time-is-on-our-side comment has certainly generated a lot of interest
Mr. HUNTER. And I might mention, Mr. Schrock, we are going to try to keep this hearing going because General Clark has to leave at what time General 11:30?
General CLARK. 11:30. 20 to 12. It is really hard to get out of here, Mr. Chairman. This is a very interesting hearing.
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Perle says it is hard to get in. Okay. Go ahead, Mr. Schrock.
Mr. SCHROCK. To my knowledge you are the first person I have heard in the hearings that I have attended that says that time is on our side. But, then I heard you say a little bit later the clock is ticking, which means less and less time is on our side as we go along. And, I am still trying to understand what elements in this situation would indicate that time-is-on-our-side, and of course, I would like to hear Mr. Perle's comment on it, as well.
And, a second subject is what should we do if the regime suddenly collapses. You know, what should the scenario include. In any good military plan you have an exit-in and an exit-out. And, the exit-out is probably more important than the exit-in, because we probably know what the exit in is going to be. I, too, am concerned that the absence of intelligence created a situation last year that nobody ever thought would occur. And, I worry about the inspections. I just don't understand how new inspections would be any different than the past ones we have had.
He has deceived us all along, and I think he has had several years to develop capabilities of putting things underground or putting them on wheels and moving them around so he could do whatever he wanted. And, if inspections will not work, then, are weit is less time on our side that we could have been taking action on against this guy. And I agree with you, deterrence not domination. I don't want that. And, use force as a last resort. Where is that drop dead date or time certain when this occurs.
I am just baffled by a lot of that. I threw a lot at you. I don't know if you can sort through that.
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
General CLARK. Well, if I could answer and talk about why time is on our side in the near-term. First, because we have the preponderance of force in this region. There is no question what the outcome of a conflict would be. Saddam Hussein, so far as we know, does not have nuclear weapons. Even if there was a catastrophic breakdown in the sanctions regime and somehow he got nuclear materials right now, he wouldn't have nuclear weapons in any sizable quantity for, at best a year, maybe two years. Yes, he has chemical and biological weapons. He has had those for a long time. But, the United States right now is on a very much different defensive posture than we were before September 11 of 2001. So people are alert here.
Our homeland security is certainly not perfect, but we have, I think, taken some very significant steps. We are much more observant than we had been before. So, we have the time to build up the force, work the diplomacy, achieve the leverage before he can come up with any military alternative that is significant enough ultimately to block us. And so that is why I say time is on our side in the near-term. In the long-term, no. But, we don't know what the long-term is. Maybe it is five years, maybe it is four years, maybe it is eight years, we don't know. We know the situation can't be permitted.
And beyond that, we don't want to live in a world where the United Nations is increasingly enfeebled. This is an important opportunity that the President has seized to strengthen the United Nations but to strengthen it we have got to have the patience to work with it, and we have got to twist some arms and bend some elbows and do all the kinds of things in international politics that, I guess, domestic political leaders do in their home constituencies and in their races.
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I mean, this is about leadership. It is not just about a threat. So, that is why I say time is on our side. Your second question was about the exit strategy. And, what I try to portray is if you are going to have an exit strategy and you are going to have a turnover, you have to anticipate some of the worst things that might happen. You hope they won't happen and they may not.
It may be, just as Richard Perle has suggested, it may be a laydown. This thing may turn out they do have an educated population. They are one of the most Western-oriented countries in the region. There has also been a lot of psychological trauma inflicted on them. So, you don't know. But, you have to prepare for the worst. I hope that we are starting to do that in a very, very serious way.
But, there are a number of steps that have to be taken first, like engaging international organizations in the U.N., and trying to build a framework, because we don't want to put the United States armed forces if it takes, I don't know how many, 50,000, 70,000 initially. We don't want a bunch of young men in battle dress uniforms out there indefinitely trying to perform humanitarian assistance. That is not our job. We are not very good at it. We are also not any good at police work. Now, we are doing a lot of it in places like Kosovo and Bosnia, and we have and it has been unfortunate. So, we should try to do better in this case.
Mr. HUNTER. Let me tell the gentleman we have one minute left on this vote. I think they are going to hold it for a little bit. But, I am inclined, if you want to pursue the last of this question, the chair is going to run over and make this vote. I am going to come back in five minutes.
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. SCHROCK. So am I.
Mr. HUNTER. And, Ed will be back, too, so let's take a five, ten minute break. We will be right back. And Ms. Davis, too. Excuse me.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Folks, we will resume here. And, we may get a few more members back in a couple of minutes.
General CLARK. I had one more question that was about new inspections. Can I answer, Mr. Chairman, for the record?
Mr. HUNTER. Sure. Absolutely.
General CLARK. From the gentleman who asked me the question, the third part of it when we broke was about why do the inspections, and what if they don't work? I think the answer is that we have to set up an inspection regime, and that is what should be going on here in the course of the discussions at the United Nations, which has enough trip wires and bells and whistles on it that we can intensify it to accomplish our broader purposes, even if the inspection comes up dry. And, maybe it will find something. And, as one person reminded me at the break, if you find one warhead and one weapon, you have accomplished something more and taken one more asset away from him that could be used against us or our friends. So I think that we do have time and we should use that time to promote and exhaust all of the non-force of arms remedies.
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. HUNTER. Let me just follow up on that question, General. If you thought that theif you had evidence that Saddam Hussein was going to have a nuclear device in four months, would you recommend taking American action to destroy that capability.
General CLARK. Yes, I would.
Mr. HUNTER. How do you know that you don't have four months?
General CLARK. You don't.
Mr. HUNTER. Then how can you say with any certainty that time is on your side?
General CLARK. You can say that in the near-term, based on the information available, that we should exhaust all diplomatic means because you don't have the hard information if he has a single nuclear device.
Mr. HUNTER. But my point is, my question to you is, let me get back to the question. You said and you went through all of the different estimates as to when he is going to have one. You also concur, I take it, with the fact that when we went in in 1991, our projection was that he was three to five years away. And we found out he was six months away. So we were wrong, weren't we, at that time?
General CLARK. You know, I have never seen all of the details on which that projection was based. I think it assumed that if he had fissionable material, he could have a crude nuclear device, not a nuclear weapon, but something like a dirty bomb in six months.
Page 56 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. But, I would hope you would accept the facts that have come before this committee over the last numerous hearings that that is what basically is stated in opening testimony that we said it was three to five years, and in fact, six months is accurate. And, that is what we do know because we went in and we found and we did deprive him then of his facilities, or some of his facilities when we went in. Now, if that is so, and you have said there are estimates all over the lot, and nobody is sure what he has, how can you then say that you know. You didn't say, ''Maybe that time is on our side.'' You said, ''Time is on our side.'' How do you know, how can you say with certainty ''Time is on our side'' if the basic facts underlying that statement are, in your words, uncertain?
General CLARK. Well, I don't want to answer this in an epistemological sense. I want to answer it just in a sense of practical statesmanship.
Mr. HUNTER. That is the way I am trying to ask it.
General CLARK. I think you have to balance risks. And, I think that in balancing the risks, it is better to take the time now to line up a strong-as-possible diplomatic support and a military coalition before you have to take what looks like will probably be inevitable action, rather than rushing into something on the presumption that your intelligence is faulty and you don't have the time to prepare it because in the last course, if we had the information that you are suggesting that he was going to have a nuclear device, presumably we would have some idea of where it was. And, we have the means to strike Saddam Hussein literally on a moment's notice today. We could do so if we were under threat. We should take the time. It is a matter of practical statesmanship.
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. HUNTER. Well, but the evidence that we had then, after we went in, was that he was six months away. The proposals that were made by Senator Nunn and others that we embark on a long-range sanctions program would certainly have fallen outside, because they were programs that would go on for years presumably, would certainly have fallen outside that six-month period. So in retrospect, was that, then, not a mistake? Or would that not have been a mistake to have waited for several years at that point.
General CLARK. I think these areI understand what you are asking. These are hypothetical questions. You know, I think with the value of hindsight, what you realize is that there are many, you know, ''ifs,'' ''would haves'' and ''buts'' in situations like this. The question before the United States of America is whether we think our intelligence system is so faulty and our lack of information so gross that we would feel the need to rush to a military solution before we have taken the time to adequately build up the diplomatic and full military support capabilities that will assure we get a more favorable outcome.
And you know, it is a question of where the weight of the evidence is. I no longer have access to the information this committee has. You may have information I have not seen. But, based on the evidence submitted publicly, and my experience over many years of looking at classified information, I would say the balance comes down on time is on our side in the near time. We don't know precisely how long that is and we don't know exactly where we will draw the line on that risk. As long as we are achieving momentum in building support for our case and building legitimacy, as long as we have all of the sensors and all of the intelligence capabilities of the United States focused on Iraq, we have no specific indicators of any breakthrough, leakage or sudden development, then press on. Time is on our side in a practical sense.
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Perle.
General CLARK. Mr. Chairman, with your permission, sir, I hate to do this, but I have to depart. I have got to get a plane at Reagan Airport to make previous commitments that I can't get out of. I beg your indulgence.
Mr. HUNTER. Well, General, you have stuck around for a long time and it is sometimes hard to get out of this city, and feel free to leave. And Mr. Perle, you may want to answer that particular question. But I tell you what, before you take off here, General, just one other question for you. You said that we don't want to recruit a bunch of new al Qaeda members by doing something that disturbs the extremist world. Our last military operations have been ones in which we have saved Muslims by the hundreds of thousands and the millions, whether it is Kuwait or Kosovo. And yet, we seem to have had an attack on the United States by some extremists. How would you explain that? What else do you think we could have done in terms of opening our arms, in fact, shedding our blood for components of the Muslim world that we didn't do?
General CLARK. Well, I think it takes a number of measures. But I
Mr. HUNTER. Beyond all the major operations that we undertook on their behalf. How much more do you think we could have done?
General CLARK. I think we did a great job taking care of Muslims. But, we weren't taking care of them because they were Muslim. We were taking care of them because it was right to do so and we could make a difference in the end.
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. HUNTER. But, that is not my point. The fact is we did. And yet, we seem to have had a rather dramatic attack on the United States that certainly, in your world, where we build up this rapport and we do good things for the Muslim world, which hopefully we would do and we gain their trust and respect by waiting on Saddam Hussein, we have done remarkable things, real things, things of substance, not words, but deeds, and yet we had an attack on the United States. Where were we lacking? How much more did we need to give that we didn't give?
General CLARK. I think we didn't fully appreciate the danger of al Qaeda. And you know, I start from the 11 of September of 2001 and work backwards and say not only the intelligence communities, but, you know, in the military, as you well know, we have a tendency to look up the chain of command and down the chain of command and we work it from top to bottom and we askwe do an after action review after every operation. We ask what happened, why did it happen and how can we fix it. That after action review, sir, has not been done and those who were accountable have not been held accountable.
Mr. HUNTER. And, you also think that we should always think things out very clearly before we do them? Now, that would apply hopefully to inspections as well as military operations. You have never yet really fully answered this question. If the inspection regime is a product of a commission, a committee, a group, some members of which are not totally pro-American and don't believe that our intention of divesting Saddam Hussein of weapons of mass destruction is totally their goal, and we have an inspection regime which ends up with our people looking at a bunch of empty rooms, how does thathow does that allow us to take the next step, and you are a person who thinks we should always look at the next step, of galvanizing world opinion as we stand in the empty room and we say ''Now, will the world be on our side in taking military action,'' how do we do that?
Page 60 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
General CLARK. Well, I think the first thing is you have a very strong determination that is out in public and supported by this body that says if we don't get the assistance we need from the United Nations as a last resort, we will use force and we will solve this problem ourselves.
Mr. HUNTER. So you wouldso if the United Nations doesn't give us a strong aggressive inspection regime, we should reject a weaker inspection regime and take military action?
General CLARK. I am not suggesting that.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Now what if they give us a weakerI think we can
General CLARK. You are leading the witness, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. I know. But this is a question that has to be answered. We know that the United Nations is not inclined to give us the kind of a rigorous enforced by armed troops inspection regime that all of our experts tell us you have to have to have a real inspection of Iraq.
General CLARK. We have to build up the leverage that our diplomats need. We have one of the greatest Secretaries of State we have ever had, General Colin Powell, up there. We have got to give him the backing he needs, the leverage he needs and the President has got to have what he needs to make it very clear what the consequences for the United Nations and our allies are if we don't move ahead. And, then we have got to roll up our sleeves, and we have got to do the dirty work and it is difficult work. It is hard work. It is work that lots of people find very cumbersome. We have got to deal with our allies. We have got to persuade them.
Page 61 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. HUNTER. And, then what if they say a mild inspection regime similar to the last one that turned up a lot of empty rooms and smiling Iraqi bureaucrats. Would you then say we take military action.
General CLARK. I would say it would depend on whether we have exhausted all other possibilities. And, it is difficult. I don't want to draw a line and say, you know, ''This kind of inspection, if it is 100 inspectors, that is enough.'' I think we have got to have done everything we can do, given the time that is available to us before we ask the men and women in uniform who you know so well
Mr. HUNTER. You have gone over the generalities, but you have got to get down to the details. As I understand it, your position is if weif you analyze this and looked at the requirement in terms of people, thoroughness and backing by force of a real inspection of Iraq, and the United Nations did not give that to us, you would then, rather than acquiesce to something that was a strategy for defeat, you would then take military action or you would not.
General CLARK. Well, as I have said, I don't think you can achieve a diplomatic resolution of this without the ultimate, without putting force on the table as the last resort, and it has got to be really on the table. And, I think, you know, I feel very comfortable, I think I have proved to this body that I am willing to use personally, that I have been able, when the time comes to pull the trigger, to pull the trigger. So you don't put that option on the table unless you really mean it. But youI personally really mean that you have got to exhaust all the options first. You are giving me a hypothetical and I can't answer.
Page 62 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. HUNTER. I am giving you a real scenario that is probably going to be voted on in the United Nations at some point, which is what is the size and make-up and what is the standard for the inspection team. And, we all know, and you know and I know that we are going to have people in the United Nations who are going to vote to have a much weaker standard than we want. And, we probably know that we are going to get a watered down inspection. And so, we are going to have, since you are the guy that says you have got think through everything, I am asking you, let's think it through. You get the watered-down inspection. And you know it is going to end up with us being in a lot of empty rooms in Iraq with smiling Iraqi bureaucrats. Would you then go for force?
General CLARK. I would go for force if that is the last resort and there is no other way to do it, and we have done everything we can do to strengthen the case of the United States in terms of its
Mr. HUNTER. Let's assume that.
General CLARK. If you, if we are assuming we have done everything by your definition and by my definition, and there is no other option but the use of force, yes, we are going to use force because this is a national security problem affecting the welfare of the American people. But, if we are going to use force effectively, we have got to convey to the American people and, hopefully, to people all over the world why this is a problem. And Mr. Chairman, if I could just say in conclusion I have been all over this country in the last month talking to people, and nobody wants war and most people don't understand this problem. I happen, I think I do understand it because I have lived with it for a decade. Most people don't and they say, they don't see the connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. They are worried about what the consequences will be and they do feel the United States issomehow we have accelerated the tempo here and we have left our public behind.
Page 63 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
That is why hearings like this and this public dialogue is so very important. We have got to have the support. Having that resolution is theand from the American people, and this body, is one of the strongest reinforcements we can give to our President and our diplomats in New York to get the resolution we need. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HUNTER. And thank you, General. Thank you for your testimony. And have a good, safe flight. Oh. Susan Davis, Susan Davis has waited here for a long time, General. I know you have got to take off, but can Susan have a shot at you before you leave? Susan, go ahead.
Mrs. SUSAN DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Thank you very much for staying. And quickly, I think you mentioned preemption. You mentioned the fact that this is not preemption. But, I wonder if you could, you and certainly Mr. Perle, as well, this issue of perception and whether or not in, in the minds of some, would be setting some precedents, perhaps some dangerous precedents. India, Pakistan, what message does this send?
General CLARK. I think that as a doctrine it is a very difficult doctrine. It is probably a flawed doctrine as expressed doctrinally. And unfortunately, it is out there in public. I heard the West Point speech. I was concerned when I heard the speech. We have talked about this for years behind closed doors. We have always imagined we might send in a hit team in to take out a chemical weapons factory. Suddenly, preemption becomes taking out a government and going to a regime change. It is a hugely different concept; now it is more like preventive war. And, the notion of starting a war to prevent one is a very difficult notion to sign up to in the abstract.
Page 64 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
So you really have to see the particulars and when you put it out there in the abstract as a sort of operating principle, it is subject to misinterpretation, misunderstanding and replication by other states, and it is not in our interest for them to do that. So, I am concerned about this doctrine.
Nevertheless, I will tell you that having read the doctrine itself, or bits and pieces of it, there is much of it in there that is very standard and very much in line with what we have always done. But, we are dealing here with the problem of perceptions. And leadership. This is a country with global responsibilities. People look to us all over the world to set the standard. Not only to be the strongest country, but to adhere to international law and support the institutions that we created in our own image. And so, I think when weas my colleague said, there was some feeling over the last decade that somehow we had given away too much to multinational institutions.
Personally, I don't think that feeling was justified. I think there was a misunderstanding and it wasn't communicated correctly. But, whatever it is, we built those multinational institutions for our own selfish American interests. In 1945, as President Truman said when he opened the United Nations, we have to change from our aggressor's motto, or our enemy's motto, of ''might makes right'' and use the United Nations so that ''right makes might''.
But, to work in those institutions, it is not them, it is us. We are in there. We are part of that institution and we have to lead it. We have a unique opportunity in the post-Cold War world to do so. We have a unique opportunity on this issue to do so, and I regret the fact that there have been some perceptions out there which have undercut our ability to do it. But, I hope that on this issue, that with General Powell up there and many others, that we will achieve the leadership we seek.
Page 65 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mrs. SUSAN DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Do you think that
Mr. HUNTER. And I hate to cut the gentlelady off, but I have been reminded by Mr. Snyder that the General is going to miss his plane.
Mrs. SUSAN DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Okay. I don't want to hold him up. Mr. Perle, could you respond.
Mr. HUNTER. General, we wantI know Ike Skelton wants to say good-bye before you leave.
Mr. SKELTON. I just want to say thanks so very, very much. Thank you.
General CLARK. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you.
Mr. HUNTER. And, we will have some staff folks help make sure the General gets his car and is able to
General CLARK. Taxi, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. Get that limousine and make sure we get him to the airport. Mr. Perle, you want to respond to Ms. Davis' question.
Page 66 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. PERLE. Sure. General, as you leave, I just want you to know, I think your testimony is hopelessly confused and I want to explain why. But, I didn't want him to think I waited till he left the room before saying that.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. General, we will see you later, and Mr. Perle has got a few kind remarks about your testimony. Go ahead, Mr. Perle.
Mr. PERLE. I think the question about the precedent-setting nature of an action intended to preempt an even worse action that might take place. And, here I think we are talking about unique circumstances. Not to be too legalistic about it, the current state of relations between the United States and Iraq, and indeed between the international community and Iraq is that a ceasefire is in place. That ceasefire is contingent upon Iraq observing a number of United Nations resolutions, all of which have been violated. Under international law and common practice and common sense, a ceasefire predicated on the compliance where there is noncompliance ceases itself to exist. And I, therefore, believe that we would not be preempting as we would if we chose some innocent target in another set of circumstances and decided to attack. We would simply be responding to the breakdown of the ceasefire.
Mrs. SUSAN DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Mr. Perle, would itcan you talk about other countries, as well then? Do you see any concern that that could be leveraged by other countries to justify actions down the line and should we be worried about that?
Mr. PERLE. Actually, I don't. I don't partly because of the unique circumstances. There is nonone of the other instances that are often referred to in this context involve blatant violation of U.N. resolutions in the context of a ceasefire. But, I also think that countries on important matters like war and peace pay close attention to their interests. And, the arguments they may advance are not the motivating factor. So, I think it is important to distinguish between what drives an India or a Pakistan or any other country to take military action and the argument that they may erect to support that. I don't think the decision-making is affected by precedents of the kind that you are concerned about.
Page 67 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mrs. SUSAN DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Okay. Thank you.
Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Schrock, you didn't have a chance to finish your last question because we had to go to the vote with a minute left. If you want to take a little more time, go right ahead, sir.
Mr. SCHROCK. Sure. I would love to know Mr. Perle's, you know, the General said time is on our side. My guess is you do not believe that.
Mr. PERLE. No, I don't believe it. And I, frankly, I don't think he made a very convincing case in support of that cliche. But, it was one of many cliches. At the end of the day, when you sought to elicit from him a reconciliation of the view that time is on our side, with what he acknowledged to be our ignorance of how far along Saddam Hussein is, he had no explanation.
Mr. PERLE. He seems to be preoccupiedand I am quoting nowwith building legitimacy, with exhausting all diplomatic remedies as though we hadn't been in diplomacy in the last decade, relegating the use of force as a last resort, to building the biggest coalition; in short, a variety of very amorphous ephemeral concerns alongside which there is a stark reality, and that is that every day that goes by, Saddam Hussein is busy perfecting those weapons of mass destruction he already has, improving their capabilities, improving the means with which to deliver them and readying himself for a future conflict.
So, I don't believe that time is on our side, and I don't believe thatthis fuzzy notion that the most important thing is building legitimacy as if we lack legitimacy now. After all the U.N. resolutions that he is in blatant violation of, I don't think that should be the decisive consideration.
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
So, I think General Clark doesn't want to see us use military force, and he has thrown out as many reasons as he can to develop for that, but the bottom line is he just doesn't want to take action. He wants to wait.
Mr. SCHROCK. In an ideal world it would be nice if we didn't have to use military action. I used the analogy when I was in the Navy, and the ship got underway at 0800, I would rather be at the ship at 0600 that 0801. And, I think that makes a big difference. And I would rather be preemptive than reactive because 9/11/01and we certainly don't want that again.
Mr. PERLE. If I could just say a word on this, I doubt that in any of the hearings that you have had on this subject someone at some time or another has not said that force must always be a last resort. What does that mean? Does it mean that force can only be used in such desperate circumstances that even implausible alternatives to force have been attempted? Even implausible alternatives to force have actually made it more difficult to accomplish the result by force.
I think it is one of the dumber cliches, frankly, to say that force must always be a last resort. Our purpose must always be to protect this country in the most effective way while seeking to minimize the loss of life not only on our own side, but for those with whom we find ourselves in combat. And, sometimes waiting makes it worse. Sometimes pretending that sanctions can solve the problem makes it worse. Look at the last decade of sanctions against Iraq since the end of the Gulf War. In many ways those sanctions have made it more difficult for us to take action today.
Page 69 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
So, I don't believe that it is automatic that waiting is always better. You can wait to the point where you then do resort to force, you do so under highly adverse circumstances, and that is exactly what we face today. If we wait long enough on the theory that because force is a last resort, we can't use it now, we may well find ourselves taking more casualties with a less certain outcome when we ultimately do resort to the use of force.
So, the standard here is the effective protection of our country and our interests, and it is not some theoretical view that force can only be used after you have tried even implausible alternatives. And, what is wrong with General Clark's analysis is that the alternative he is proposing is wildly ineffective, and I think he knows that, because when you tried to press him on what we do when the inspectors show up in the empty room, you got a lot of very fuzzy stuff about building legitimacy.
Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Larson.
Mr. LARSON. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Perle. Like many others in the committee, I associate myself with the remarks of Mr. Snyder earlier. I have come to the position that what distinguishes us from terrorists, of course, is the rule of law in that logically, from my perspective, going to the United Nations makes a great deal of sense. The President, I thought, was brilliant both in his speech and in his comments embracing the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), pledged to work on the Palestinian-Israeli situation, Secretary Powell talking about paying the money in arrears that we owe the United Nations. Clearly, I think a strong moveand the President, I think, squarely, as you said in your opening remarks, put the onus on the United Nations and also on Saddam Hussein in terms of keeping the peace.
Page 70 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
What is perplexing to me is that by the same token, we have heard testimony over the last several weeks where most people from the administration say, ''But you know what, that can't work.'' Inspectors won't work; nothing short of force will work.
So, I guess my question is, why don't we justwhy doesn't the administration come forward and say, well, let us declare war. If, in fact, Condaleeza Rice says, you know, we have proof now that there is this direct linkage in connection with al Qaeda, then clearly as has been outlined and also already authorized by this Congress, then why aren't we moving down this line? Ifto play the devil's advocate, if time is the issue, and there is a feeling that we are letting time slip by, and the case has already been made, why not force? That would be my first question.
Second would be, along the lines of the resolution in 1998, there, also to create regime change, was discussion of a military tribunal, to bring this guy before a military tribunal and try him as a war criminal. There hasn't been much talk about that, and I would like to know if that is a course that the administration would pursue.
And, my last question deals with resources, and you focused on that, as well. It would seem to me that at the end of the day, when you peel away the veneer on this thing, it all boils down to oil. I am not saying that in a grand conspiratorial context, but from the standpoint that that is the resource that enables Saddam Hussein to purchase his weapons of mass destruction. And, if that is the resource, and if we said from the outset, dating back from September 11, that we are going to do everything to prevent terrorism including shrinking up their resources if there has been an exchange, if there is this community or collegiality amongst terrorists, clearly that is the method, that is the mode in which it can happen. But, what are the plans once we take Iraq to deal with oil and hopefully, from my perspective, to turn that resource into a humanitarian Marshall Plan for the very people that he has vanquished?
Page 71 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. PERLE. If I could start with that first, the oil of Iraq belongs to the people of Iraq, and I would assume because we have never seized the natural resources of another country, our purpose would be to make sure that that oil was used for the benefit of the people of Iraq. For the moment it is used for the benefit of some of the people of Iraq, Saddam and his cronies in particular. So, that money would be used to rebuild the country and to settle Iraq's various legitimate obligations.
I would be delighted to see Saddam Hussein tried as a war criminal. Having used poison gas against civilians, the case seems to me open and shut that he is a war criminal. The problem is getting our hands on him. But, that if we do get our hands on him, that would be an entirely appropriate next step.
Mr. LARSON OF CONNECTICUT. You asked the question, why not simply use force.
Mr. PERLE. The President has made the decision, and I think overall it was the right decision, to go to the United Nations, to challenge the United Nations to live up to its responsibilities and achieve Saddam's compliance with its resolutions. I think it is very clear that they had no intention of doing that until the President put that demand in front of them, that they would have gone on cheerfully, as they have for many years, allowing Saddam to scorn and flaunt U.N. resolutions, and they would have continued to behave like the old League of Nations.
If we are talking about last chances, I suppose this is a last chance for the United Nations to acquit itself and to do the right thing. I am not sure I would have been willing to extend the last chance given the dismal record of the past, but he has embarked on that, so we need to see what they are prepared to do. But let me suggest this: If the best the United Nations can do is come up with an inspection regime that any sensible person knows will not succeed in uncovering Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, we will have accepted the appearance of a policy for the reality. There will be no policy, no effective policy, behind any such inspection regime. And, an inspection regime that has 220 inspectors for a country the size of Iraq, that puts the key decision-making official as to whether a violation has occurred or not in the hands of a Chinese official that operates under limits on where they can go, that is without sufficient mobility to go anywhere by surprise, that is not a serious inspection regime. And, if we settle for that, we will have made the decision not to confront Saddam Hussein.
Page 72 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. LARSON. I agree. I think it should be robust, but I also think that if the President has yet to make up his mind with respect to the use of force, why should Congress make up its mind with respect to the use of force? Why shouldn't Congress go down the same line and follow the President and adhere to him along the lines of his resolve with the United Nations, and if that fails, as I am sure the President will watch closely, come back to the Congress, who, I believe, will also embrace him wholeheartedly, having gone through those processes, or if it turns into a sham, as you have pointed out?
Mr. PERLE. I think the Presidentand here I am only guessing, I have no inside informationI think the President has made up his mind. He has concluded that unless the U.N. takes action to enforce a number of resolutions to which he referred in that very impressive speech to the United Nations, the United States and others who are willing to join with us will take action, and I think he is asking for a congressional endorsement of that policy. And, I hope that the Congress gives him that support. I think it will be very helpful to him at the United Nations in getting their support and their cooperation.
But, I have grave misgivings about the pretense that inspections can solve the problem. I simply don't believe they can. It is a practical judgment. Can 220 inspectors in the country of size of Iraq
Mr. LARSON. Secretary Rumsfeld was very clear that it is not inspections, it is disarmament, and I think that should be the stated, goal as well. But, it is equallyI mean, I can't believe with the sophistication that the country has and with our ability to get in there and the initial success that Mr. Spratt outlined at one of the hearings we had, the initial success that UNSCOM had when they went in there, I can't believe given all the information that we have as it relates to biological and chemical weapons, that we are not going to be able to discover anything. I find that equally as incomprehensible.
Page 73 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. PERLE. It is conceivable we could discover something, but we will discover that everything is inconceivable.
If I may add this point, General Clark referred on a number of occasions to creating a trigger, the idea being that once weinspections can establish a trigger, was the phrase he used, the idea being that once we go in, if we find either that Saddam denies usdenies the inspectors access to a site, or they actually find something at that site, that that somehow provides a trigger.
I am not quite sure what that means, and he is not now here to explain it. Does it mean if inspectors are prevented from visiting a site, that we immediately go to war? Does it mean we go back to the United Nations for a resolution? Does it mean that we negotiate access to that site at a time which agreement can be achieved? What happens if the inspectors set out for us a specific site because intelligence has become available that there is something to be found at that site, and three miles down the road on the only road leading to the site a tractor trailer has crashed. There is an accident, and the whole area is cordoned off, and the highway police, the Iraqi police, say, ''You can't pass here,'' there has been an accident. Does that mean war?
The trigger that the general refers to is not automatic. It isn't black and white. And if I had to guess, I would guess that the inspections are more likely to produce a safety catch than a trigger, because the situations are almost certain to be ambiguous. And, where they are not inherently ambiguous, Saddam can make them ambiguous. So, the idea that we will be better off with an inspection regime than acting on the basis of the knowledge we already possess seems to me quite misplaced.
Page 74 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. SAXTON [presiding]. Mr. Skelton would like to ask a question and make a comment.
Mr. SKELTON. I am seeking back in my recollection, 1991, was there not an earlier resolution by Congress that preceded the one that authorized the one to use force? There were two resolutions, as I remember.
Mr. PERLE. The resolution, I recall, the one that was voted rather closely in both houses, but more closely in the Senate, was the resolution authorizing the use of force. I don't recall one prior to that.
Mr. SKELTON. That is my recollectionokay, thank you.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Perle, let meI keep wanting to call you Doctor. I am not sure why.
Mr. PERLE. I never finished the dissertation.
Mr. SAXTON. You must look like a very scholarly person, I guess.
Let me just make an observation and see what your response might be. In the international community, there seemed to beand perhaps this is an oversimplificationtwo views of how to proceed in these kinds of situations. I just spent the last two days taking part in a Russian-American forum, and frankly, I think that we have a lot to learn from the Russians because of their experience in matters that are very similar to the matters that we are discussing, particularly with regard to Chechnya. And, they have observed over the last several years, I guess, that their activities in fighting terrorism often beget more terrorism.
Page 75 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
They used the example of apprehending, I guess, and killing Katov, which generated a spate of more terrorism, and others that they have captured over the years that have generated a spurt of more terrorism. So, they caution us as much as General Clark would to try other things first.
And then, on the other hand, I have been quite a student of the Israeli experience over the last number of decades, and I observed for many years that the Israelis looked at opportunities to combat terrorism as saying, if you committed an act of terror, be ready for what follows. And, for many years it worked. And then, the Israeli experience seemed to soften some, and episodes of terrorism grew.
So, there is this notion somehow that being tolerant to a point with terrorists will somehow get us to the point where we can deal with it in some other way, and I haven't been able to identify that other way.
So, I guess my question is this: The rationale that being tough with terrorists begets more terrorism is one point of view that is definitely out there as the Russians that were here think today, and on the other hand, we can look at experiences that we have had where we have stood up against terrorists and over time have been successful, and I just would like to get your impressions.
Mr. PERLE. It is a very interesting question. In the Russian case, particularly with respect to Chechnya, I think the Russians have done a great deal of damage to the civilian population of Chechnya and, by the careless way in which they have used force, have killed a great many civilians who were not terrorists. Now, you have seen your family destroyed. You are the sole survivor. You weren't engaged in any act of terrorism. The attack against your family was without any obvious justification. Might you become a terrorist? Might you become so embittered that you will take up arms against the people who did this?
Page 76 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
It is entirely possible, but the context is very important. Everything depends on why the terrorists are motivated to become terrorists in the first place. And, I don't believe that the terrorists we now face, particularly the al Qaeda type of terrorism, is a product of anything we have done. It is a product of who we are and what we are and what obstacle we put into place of the ambition of these terrorists. And, in that sense we are not producing terrorists by the action we take. We are producing terrorists because we exist, and I know of no way that we can accommodate terrorists on that issue except by suicide. So the right policy, it seems to me, is to oppose terrorism with the full range of instruments available to us.
I had the privilege of meeting not long ago with Le Kwan Yu from Singapore, a very wise man, and he said on this occasion, he said, ''What did we ever do to justify acts of terror against us by al Qaeda-associated groups?'' What that rhetorical question drove home for me was the absence of a connection between any action or provocation by us and the terrorists who were arrayed against us. Singapore had done nothing that could be used as a basis for a plot to destroy Singapore, and yet the Singapore authorities uncovered a plot to do grave damage in that country.
So, I think we have to use the means that are at our disposal. To say if we fight terrorism, we will breed more terrorists is to throw up our hands and accept defeat in the face of terrorism, and that clearly is not sensible or an acceptable outcome.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much. And, thank you for being here. You have been very generous with your time this morning. We have been here for three hours, and I know that I can speak for other Members of Congress in wanting to thank you and General Clark for helping us to gain a better perspective of these issues. And hopefully, through the media, you will have helped the American people do the same thing.
Page 77 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. SKELTON. Let me add my special thanks. It is good to see you again, and thank you for your excellent testimony.
[Whereupon, at 12:25 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]