SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 1089]
UNITED STATES GLOBAL DEFENSE POSTURE
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS
NOVEMBER 5, 2003
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
One Hundred Eighth Congress
DUNCAN HUNTER, California, Chairman
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCCURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
HOWARD P. ''BUCK'' McKEON, California
MAC THORNBERRY, Texas
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
HEATHER WILSON, New Mexico
KEN CALVERT, California
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
ED SCHROCK, Virginia
W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
JEFF MILLER, Florida
JOE WILSON, South Carolina
FRANK A. LoBIONDO, New Jersey
TOM COLE, Oklahoma
JEB BRADLEY, New Hampshire
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCROB BISHOP, Utah
MICHAEL TURNER, Ohio
JOHN KLINE, Minnesota
CANDICE S. MILLER, Michigan
PHIL GINGREY, Georgia
MIKE ROGERS, Alabama
TRENT FRANKS, Arizona
IKE SKELTON, Missouri
JOHN SPRATT, South Carolina
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
LANE EVANS, Illinois
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
MARTY MEEHAN, Massachusetts
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
JIM TURNER, Texas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
ROBERT A. BRADY, Pennsylvania
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
SUSAN A. DAVIS, California
JAMES R. LANGEVIN, Rhode Island
STEVE ISRAEL, New York
RICK LARSEN, Washington
JIM COOPER, Tennessee
JIM MARSHALL, Georgia
KENDRICK B. MEEK, Florida
MADELEINE Z. BORDALLO, Guam
RODNEY ALEXANDER, Louisiana
TIM RYAN, Ohio
Robert S. Rangel, Staff Director
James M. Lariviere, Professional Staff Member
Justin Bernier, Research Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Wednesday, November 5, 2003, Sustaining Global Commitments: Implications for U.S. Forces
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Wednesday, November 5, 2003
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2003
SUSTAINING GLOBAL COMMITMENTS: IMPLICATIONS FOR U.S. FORCES
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Hunter, Hon. Duncan, a Representative from California, Chairman, Committee on Armed Services
Skelton, Hon. Ike, a Representative from Missouri, Ranking Member, Committee on Armed Services
Chu, Hon. David, Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness, U.S. Department of Defense
Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, Congressional Budget Office, Accompanied by Mike Gilmore, Assistant Director for National Security, Congressional Budget Office; and Lt. Gen. Theodore G. Stroup, Jr., U.S. Army Retired, Vice President for Education, Association of the United States Army
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Pace, Gen. Peter, USMC, Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
[The Prepared Statements can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Chu, Hon. David
Hunter, Hon. Duncan
Skelton, Hon. Ike
Stroup, Lt. Gen. Theodore
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Documents can be viewed in the hard copy.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers can be viewed in the hard copy.]
SUSTAINING GLOBAL COMMITMENTS: IMPLICATIONS FOR U.S. FORCES
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCHouse of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Washington, DC, Wednesday, November 5, 2003.
The committee met, pursuant to call, at 11 a.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Joel Hefley presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JOEL HEFLEY, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM COLORADO
Mr. HEFLEY. The committee will come to order.
The United States has over 100,000 troops in Iraq engaged in reconstruction and stability operations against a terrorist enemy. U.S. forces are also fighting the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan and are deployed in Central Asia and the Horn of Africa to support the Global War on Terror.
We are conducting peacekeeping operations in Bosnia, Kosovo and the Sinai, and additional troops are deployed in Europe, Japan and South Korea to honor security guarantees we made during the Cold War.
Arguably, today's military is deployed on a scale we haven't seen since the Second World War.
Unfortunately, we are engaged in all of these activities with a military that is smaller than that of 1990. The Army has fallen from 18 to 10 Active divisions. The Air Force has dropped from 24 Active and 11 Reserve fighter wings to 13 Active and 9 Reserve wings. The Navy has shrunk from roughly 546 ships to under 300.
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That creates problems. Active duty units must deploy more frequently than desired, leaving less time for training and increasing wear and tear on their people and equipment. Reserve units are called up more frequently, disrupting more lives than our Reserve system was intended to. Arguably, our ability to deal with contingencies may be at risk because our strategic reserve will shrink.
Finally, according to some, retention rates will suffer, raising the specter of a return to the hollow Army of the late 1970s.
We are not powerless in the face of these challenges. The administration is working on more flexible deployment cycles and basing arrangements while beginning to reconsider Active and Reserve force mix. We are examining ways of reducing the demands on our forces by encouraging allies to step up to the task of providing for their own security.
Finally, the administration has begun the process of reassessing the best means of meeting our security requirements. These are all appropriate and helpful steps, but they may not be adequate, and some of them may not work. Since September 11th, we have been a nation at war, yet we are fighting that war with a military largely sized for a post-Cold War peace.
It is a tribute to the quality of the people serving in uniform that we are defeating our enemies, but ultimately winning the war on terror will require a military sized to the task. We owe it to the men and women going in harm's way to make sure that there are enough of them to do the job. Ultimately, that may mean expanding the force structure. The committee has already weighed in supporting that option, and the administration will hear more from us on that score in the coming months.
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But we still need a better handle on this problem.
This hearing marks the third time the Armed Services Committee has reviewed these issues. The full committee held a hearing with Dr. Wolfowitz and General Pace back in June, while the Readiness Subcommittee looked at resetting the force in October. We are paying close attention because this is a vital subject; we cannot afford to get the answers wrong.
With that in mind, we have scheduled a two-panel hearing today. Our first set of witnesses includes Dr. David Chu, who is Under Secretary of Defense, and General Peter Pace of the U.S. Marine Corps, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Gentlemen, thank you for appearing before the committee this morning. Later this afternoon we will hear from a panel of outside witnesses who may not be familiar with the administration's plans, but do have some insight into the strains that a high operational tempo places on the U.S. military.
Let me now recognize whoever is going to deliverJohn, Mr. SprattMr. Skelton's remarks.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hunter can be viewed in the hard copy.]
STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN SPRATT, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM SOUTH CAROLINA
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SPRATT. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much, and let me thank you and Chairman Hunter for calling this hearing, because the topic is extremely relevant. And also to all our witnesses who are here today, I would like to say thank you for participating and to welcome you to the hearing.
Mr. Chairman, the hearing today is not about Iraq. Let me back up and say, I am acting as Ike's surrogate because Mr. Skelton is at Arlington Cemetery for the burial of a constituent who was killed in Iraq; and I am reading, with a few editorial comments of my own, the statement that Ike Skelton would make if he were here.
Mr. Chairman, the hearing today is not about Iraq, but it occurs against that backdrop. In terms of America's troops killed and injured, this week has been extremely costly, one of the costliest weeks in many months. The attacks of last week, the rising level of violence, the increasing sophistication all call attention to the continuing danger in which our troops find themselves in Iraq and the long-term nature of the commitment we have made.
Our forces were stretched thin before Iraq, and the engagement there has only exacerbated that trend. The administration has come forward with a plan for force rotation in Iraq that relies upon several assumptions' fix. First, it assumes one-year deployments of more U.S. troops, Active, Reserve and Guard. Second, it assumes the influx of more multinational forces to relieve some of the pressure on American forces, at least during 2004. And third, it assumes the rapid training of Iraqi security forces of all kinds and the eventual turnover of many security missions to these Iraqi forces.
It is unclear whether the last two of these three assumptions will come to pass. We continue to train Iraqi police and army forces, but it is unclear what missions they will be able to take on and handle capably and just when.
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Other nations have not committed forces in substantial numbers, unfortunately, and some that have, such as Turkey, have met with difficulties that make their deployment at this point doubtful. All of this raises serious questions as to how the United States can sustain our many global commitments next year and beyond.
Iraq is just one of the places where American forces are deployed. American troops remain throughout Europe and Asia in defense of our long-standing alliances. They are dispatched throughout the world from Afghanistan to the Philippines to Georgia and elsewhere in our Global War on Terrorism. And they are, at peacekeeping missions in the Balkans and in many places, training other nations' forces. We have to look at our commitments carefully, but we also have to recognize that we have global interests, and global interests mean global commitments.
Many of our forces are worn out already, including, in particular, our Guard and Reserve. Some specialties are being deployed almost constantly, and both the troops and their families are feeling the difficulties that this brings. We worry that we will soon see the effects in recruitment and retention if we do not soon find some way to ease the burden on these troops.
I look forward to hearing the witnesses today and their views on what we can do to improve the situation. In my view, however, one part of the solutionI am speaking here for Ike Skeltonone part of the solution must be an increase in Active duty end strength. This committee heard testimony back to 1995 about the undermanning of the Army, and since that time we have only added missions and exacerbated the problem.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Congress, acting through this committee, has taken modest action to increase end strength, but I believe much more needs to be done. This is one piece, just one piece, but it is a crucial one in the overall plan to ensure that the United States can meet its global force commitments over the long-term.
Mr. Chairman, that ends the statement of Mr. Skelton, in which I concur heartily. Thank you very much for the opportunity to make it.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Skelton can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you very much, Mr. Spratt. The entirety of our witnesses' statements will be put into the record.
And Dr. Chu, we will turn it over to you.
STATEMENT OF THE HON. DAVID S.C. CHU, UNDER SECRETARY FOR PERSONNEL AND READINESS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Dr. CHU. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Spratt. General Pace and I very much appreciate the opportunity to testify this morning about how the United States is using its military forces in the Global War on Terrorism.
At the outset, let me emphasize I thinkas members of this committee, I know, agreethe Nation can indeed be proud of the service of its citizens in military uniform today, the service especially of its young people. They can be proud of the support that their families are giving them and that their communities are providing; and in the case of the Reserve Components, the superb support coming from their employers.
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The foundation, of course, of our military today is the all-volunteer concept that the Nation adopted just 30 years ago this summer. Indeed, we held a conference to review the lessons learned from that 30-year history, at which Secretary Laird, who testified before this committee in support of the voluntary force concept, recounted how it came to pass and how he had made the case to the Congress for this significant, indeed transformational, change in how the Nation structures its Armed Forces. And I would argue that the success of the volunteer force over the last three decades is very much a tribute to the partnership between the legislative and executive branches of the American Government.
That force, as we all know, has done extraordinary things in the last two years. If I could at least have the first of these chartsthere should be at each of your places a copy of these charts, because they are a little hard to read at this distancewhat this chart portrays is the deployments of our uniformed military through the area of operations, or AOR, of the Central Command, or CENTCOM, since September 11th, 2001, including both the Active forces, which are in the blue color on the chart, and the Reserve Component forces, which are in red. As you can see, right after September 11th with the deployments in support of operations in Afghanistan, the force levels in the area of operations roughly doubled. And, of course, then again earlier this year, these force levels built up to over 350,000 troops with preparations for action in Iraq.
I should emphasize, these force numbers have come down significantlyover 100,000since the peak was reached in early May, and those have affected both the Active and Reserve Components.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The second point I would make is that the Reserve Components, as I think you all appreciate, are an integral part of the success of this total force. If I could have the next chart, please, there was a buildup in these Reserve forces, again right after September 11th, 2001, to a peak of just under 80,000. As those operations ended, we brought individuals off Active duty. There was a new buildup of those forces to a peak of just under 225,000 in early May of this year with operations in Iraq, and again, the Reserve Component total has come down since that peak by about 60,000 to the present day.
I should emphasize that as we change out forces in Iraq over the next six months or so, you will see a temporary increase in Reserve Component mobilizations, because those being prepared for deployment will be brought to Active duty for training in other actions, while those already on Active duty are continuing in their service. But then again, you will see a decline once that period has passed.
We have had a series of challenges in terms of the management of the Reserves. In some areas we have done well; in other areas we acknowledge we need to do better. One issue that is raised is adequacy of notice to our Reserve personnel. We seek to give at least 30 days' notice. We acknowledge we have not met that standard in many cases, and we need to do better; and I think in the next round of Reserve mobilizations, we indeed will do much better.
A second issue has been raised, and that is, we have called on the same people repeatedly. In that regard, I think the actual record is quite good. If you look at the metric the Secretary employed in his memorandum of July 9th, which is to limit Reserve mobilizations to no more than one year in every seven, since 1996and the mobilizations that have occurred over that period of time on an involuntary basisonly three percent of the personnel in the Reserves today have been called up more than once on an involuntary basis for some combination of those earlier mobilizations and the present operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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There are certain individuals that will be called more than once for the current operations, and that number is about five percent of the total. That figure does include people who volunteer for one or both of the current operations.
The third challenge we face is the issue raised in the opening comments of both Mr. Hefley and Mr. Spratt about the balance in our forcego to the next chart, pleaseand that is to say, do we have the right set of units in our military establishment and the right set of skills?
As you can see from this chart, we have called up, roughly speaking, a third of our Reserve Component inventory in the mobilizations to date, but if you look across the broad functional areas into which that force is divided, as you can see from the chart, there is a significant variation in terms of how much of that force has been used. One of the issues on which the Department is focused is, should we rebalance both the individual skills and the unit structure of our Reserve and Active forces so that we are more even-handed in terms of the burdens we impose on our people?
This was an issue that indeed the Department was considering even before current operations. The issue was raised in the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) that the Congress has mandated by statute, and indeed, we published in December of last year the formal results of that review entitled Reserve Component Contributions to National Defense, and I know many of you are familiar with this document.
The fourth issue that we havethe fourth challenge that we have to meet is how we set and meet the expectations of our Reserve personnel regarding what term of service they will have and how long they will specifically serve in a forward theater. And I should acknowledge that we did change those expectations this summer for very important military reasons.
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In the beginning of these operations, post-September 11, 2001, we typically set the expectation for Active service at one year. In the course of this summer, as the Department listened to the requests from General Abizaid, he emphasized the need for continuity of the forces in Iraq, and a decision was reached that units serving in Iraq would serve on the ground for one year. That is a change for many Reserve personnel from the expectations set at the point of mobilization, because, of course, it automatically implies that the total Active federal service would be greater than one year. We are trying to limit the degree to which it is greater to one year, and we will try to limit the degree to which it is greater than one year in the period going forward; but it is a change in the expectations of our personnel.
Let me say just a word, if I might, about the results of the application of this force over the course of the last two years. I think we would all agree that the performance of our units and our people has indeed been magnificent, and one of the interesting aspects is that their self-report on the degree to which they felt well prepared, both as individuals and as units for what they are called on to do, is indeed quite good.
Their willingness to join and to stay with us, of course, is one of those bottom-line indicators that everyone will watch attentively and properly right now and in the months and years ahead.
I am happy to report that our recruiting results and retention results have held up nicely, despite the stress level force as a whole. Indeed, as we survey our military personnel, which we do about once every four months, both Active and Reserve, they typically report a higher level of satisfaction with military life today than they did just three or four years ago.
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Intentions to stay remain strong, and we want to acknowledge that one of the reasons for the strength of those responses is the splendid support that this committee and its members have given to the set of programs that eventually undergird the willingness of Americans to assume the uniform of their country.
We did make in our transmission to you earlier this year a set of budgetary proposals for how we could strengthen those programs. It came as a transformation package. We are very pleased with the support this committee gave us to a number of those proposals, especially for a national security personnel system that would advantage our use of civilian personnel in the years ahead. We hope next year that this committee would be willing to entertain a renewed debate on those proposals that are not adopted in this year's authorization bill.
Mr. Chairman, it is a great privilege to appear this morning and to be able to answer the questions that I know you and your colleagues might have. But if I may, if I could first turn to General Pace and invite him to add any comments he wishes to offer.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Chu can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. HEFLEY. General Pace.
STATEMENT OF GEN. PETER PACE, USMC, VICE CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General PACE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to leave the time remaining to answer your questions, but I would be remiss if I did not say thank you to this committee for the strong bipartisan support that you have always given to the Armed Forces. We deeply appreciate it, and especially to thank those Members of the Congress who have been able to break away from very demanding duties and visit the troops overseas. It makes a difference to them when Members of Congress come.
And last, if I may say thank you to the families of all the men and women that are overseas, their sacrifice is very much appreciated. Theyhusbands and sons and daughtersare doing wonderful work and we appreciate it.
With that, sir, I would like to stop for questions.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you, General Pace.
Mr. SPRATT. Just getting straight to the basic issue, do you think that the extended employments of our Guard and Reserve Components, in particular, are going to create problems in recruitment and retention for you down the road and be a costly consequence of the situation we now find ourselves in?
Dr. CHU. We obviously are always concerned with this issue, sir. As I think members of this committee are aware, each year, quite regardless of current operations, about one-fifth to one-quarter of the Reserve Component force turns over. That is our normal attrition in that force.
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We are very pleased that all the Reserve Components met their end strength this last year, fiscal 2003, which is a combination of both recruiting and retention actions. There is obviously a trade-off to the retention; you don't have to recruit quite as many people. We will be paying more careful attention to ensuring there is the right package of incentives out there and the right treatment of our people so that indeed that good track record continues.
Mr. SPRATT. Have we learned a lesson in Iraq that it helps to have allies and not just token allies in some motley coalition, but allies who can pull an oar, NATO allies, for example, Norwegians, if not the French?
I have noticed conspicuously absent from a lot of the force preparation documents you have given us, like the QDR, any new role and mission for new alliances, new security arrangements and, in particular, new allies throughout the world to augment what is obviously evenI think your presentation is excellent, but nevertheless I think you would agree we are pushing the envelope, we are using our troops pretty close to their maximum utility. And Dr. Holtz-Eakin can lay that out even more graphically when he presents his study of just how many troops are available to be committed in the next rotation for Iraq.
Are we ready to acknowledge that the next time we do something like this, we need, at the front end, allies who will be with us, who will share the burdens, who will bear the costs as they did in 1990?
Dr. CHU. Well, as you know, sir, from historical record, the United States has always operated with allies; and I might particularly point out, from the very beginning in Afghanistan there were important ally contributions. I mentioned the Jordanian hospital, for example, in that theater. I think it is notable that NATO has taken a substantial role in terms of ongoing operations in Afghanistan. There are significant numbers of coalition forces operating in Iraq.
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Obviously, it is a different situation than we had in the Cold War, where we had a set-piece scenario against which we could plan in great detail in advance. So there is a need, and I think the Department and its allied partners, in my judgment at least, have shown great ingenuity in putting these pieces together on the short notice that current operations demand. We do not have the kind of long-term advance planning that the NATO framework gave us during the Cold War. That is the reality of the current world, and I think the track record here is indeed extraordinary.
General Pace may want to add something.
General PACE. I would simply add that you cannot have too many friends and allies on a battlefield.
Mr. SPRATT. Well, we are the world's only superpower. We keep saying that, but we find that the world is a large and unwieldy place, and even when you are the single remaining superpower, it can be a very lonely place when you don't have friends and allies to back you up, augment your efforts.
Let me ask you also about the administration's plans for transformation. Transformation assumed that we would have in place at the same time, more or less, three different forces, in a sense: a legacy force to handle problems in the here and now, a transitional force and eventually an objectional force. And that involves some overlaying and some layering and raises some questions of whether or not we had adequate resources to do all three of those things at the same time.
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Are we finding that the legacy force is going to be more demanding, more expensive than we anticipated, and therefore it is going to siphon off some costs that we otherwise would commit to transitional and transformation force?
Dr. CHU. I think, sir, you are speaking to an intellectual construct that the Army used in its initial phases of thinking about how it would change itself. What I would emphasize is that transition is ultimately about changing how we perform, how we do our job of fighting and winning the Nation's wars.
And let me give one example of the flexibility of thought that I think that requires to be successful in the end, and that is the Stryker brigades. The original Stryker brigade was viewed as sort of an interim force, as you described, sir. I think as the Army has worked with that concept, it has realized the opportunities to use that sort of unit more promptly and more aggressively than originally have been thought.
So I think the neat typology of legacy interim objective is not perhaps the right way to think about the force structure challenges in front of us. If we are successful in transformation, if we indeed have good ideas that merit application, they ought to be put in place promptly, even if it is not the perfect version of the ultimate idea we wish to pursue.
Mr. SPRATT. Thank you very much. I believe my time is up.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Saxton.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. Thank you. Let me just follow up on the conversation that you were having with Mr. Spratt and justthe subject of transformation is often talked about in conjunction with the subject of jointness, and it is often talked about, as you just did, Mr. Secretary, with the concept of flexibility.
It seems to me that we have seen some real success stories in the last couple of years. One good example that comes to my mind is the jointness that occurred and the flexibility that occurred in Afghanistan through the use of Special Forces teamed with air power. A very small number of special operators teamed up with the Mujaheedin to bring down a very big force in a very difficult situation, and it worked beautifullyflexibility, jointness and not necessarily the size of our force.
Another example of a difficult problem that we perhaps have not come to grips with as well is to be able to fight the type of warfare that we are currently engaged in in Iraq. Again, the flexibility that is necessary, not necessarily the size of the force.
And so, I guess these two examples lead me to wonder if, in fact, our traditional lay-down of forces, our traditional organization of forces, is the right organizational structure to carry out the joint type of warfare that is necessary, the flexibility that is necessary; and I am interested just to have you respond to that in terms of where we are going with transition.
General PACE. Sir, I think you have put your finger on a very important topic. As you know, Mr. Saxton, transformation is very much a continuum, and I think arguably that the intent of Goldwater-Nichols in how the Congress envisioned the Armed Forces of the United States would fight joint and combined on the battlefield was demonstrated in spades in Iraq with the exact examples that you used of services not being deconflicted, but being interoperable on the battlefield and, in fact, working off of each other's strengths and filling in each other's weaknesses so that you had, for example, Special Operations Forces in northern Iraq, where a Marine Expeditionary Unit came in off of the Mediterranean, married up with that force, and were underneath the command of the Special Operations commander.
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We had tanks moved around the battlefield by the Army in support of Special Operations. So all of the stovepipe organizations that cause us to be much less efficient than we might have otherwise been in the past have been included together very, very well.
What we have also is a whole body now of lessons learned from both Afghanistan and Iraq, because we have had members of the Armed Forces traveling with the units literally taking notes as they went along. And we have done a great deal of homework in the subsequent months critiquing ourselves on what pieces worked and why did they work and do we project that they will work in the future. What pieces didn't; why not? What do we need to change in the future?
That includes not only weapons systems, but more importantly, mind-set. And that goes to the kinds of command and control arrangement that you are talking about, sir, and that we are looking at. But speed, precision, joint and combined operations, flexibility, all are huge factors on that battlefield.
Mr. SAXTON. If I may just follow up, Mr. Chairman, I still todayand tell me if I am wrongbut still today it seems to me that the Army, in particularand well, the Marine Corps, too, but the Army in particularis configured much as it was when we developed the current configuration during the Cold War to face a much different kind of a fight; and I am wondering if there are some basic changes that are needed in organizational structure in order to carry out the objectives that we face in the future.
General PACE. Sir, I have talked to General Pete Schoomaker, who would tell you categorically, yes, there are changes to be made. He and his leaders are going about figuring out what those changes should be. He is looking at smaller global brigades as opposed to divisions and corps. He is taking the legacy units that just won this war, marrying up the interim units like the Stryker brigade and taking the lessons learned from both of those and projecting out to what is his objective force.
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So the Army clearly gets it. They understand the need to change the Active Component-Reserve Component mix, and they understand the need to change the size of their force and the footprint of their force so they can be flexible and employed in days instead of in weeks.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Chairman, if you will just permit me to ask one final question.
There is a lot of talk going on about whether or not we should increase end strength. Along with the discussion about increasing end strength, shouldn't we be talking about this subject in terms of how many people we really need to do the job, whether it is a brigade structure or a divisional structure, and couldn't this take a lot of heat off the operating tempo (OPTEMPO) of the individual soldiers and units?
General PACE. Sir, you are absolutely correct, and that is exactly what we are going about doing. Before we come to the Congress of the United States and ask you to spend more money on more people, which I personally would have no problem doing if I ever got that conviction, we need to make sure that we are properly using the assets that you have given us.
As one example, there are about 100,000 Active duty and Reserve positions that the Army has identified thatin cumulative numbers about 100,000that some of those being Active forces that should be morphed over into the Reserves and some of the Reserves that should be moved over into the Active force, so that the mix of capabilities is better and more balanced between the Active and the Reserve. That is one way to do it.
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Number two, we have a lot of individuals who we believe are performing jobs that could, in fact, be done by civilians, freeing up a soldier, so to speak, to go back to another unit. There are the efficiencies of the battlefield. When one bomb will hit a target 95 percent of the time, the logistics that go along with fighting battles is substantially reduced. When you can move quickly around a battlefield and have the synergy of all the units working together, you can do things more quickly with much smaller, more lethal forces.
So it is not mass numbers, and it is not simply speed, but it is a combination of precision weapons, speed of movement, command and control that allow you to bring to the battlefield overmatching, overwhelming power in the place you want it without having to have hundreds and thousands of people standing by just in case you need to apply them someplace else.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, General.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Taylor.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, General Pace and Dr. Chu, for being here.
Dr. Chu, I have only a hunch based on what I saw after the previous Gulf War, and I am really pleased to see the high numbers of reenlistments while people are deployed. But based on a number of people that I knew were Guardsmen or Reservists after the previous Gulf War, those who did not reenlist while they were overseas get home, find a house that needs painting, a broken dishwasher, a car with the transmission leaking, and a spouse who is saying, unh-unh, not again. And I have a hunch we are going to see that again for those who do not reenlist during this deployment.
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I say that towards the point ofsince we are asking so much more of our Guardsmen and Reservists, I am curious what you envision that we as a nation will do to further entice them to enlist and to stay in the force. I would start with retirement benefits.
As you know, the Reserve Officers Association has been pushing for a substantially reduced retirement age from the present system. I am not so sure that we could fully fulfill their requests, but I am asking if you would take a look at a system that rewards those people who stay beyond 20 years of service with a reduced retirement age, reward those Guardsmen and Reservists who have done either voluntary or involuntary extended Active duty with reduced retirement age.
And the third thing is, although I am pleased that apparently our conference report, if we ever get to see it, would do something about TRICARE for our Guardsmen and Reservists, the simple fact of the matter is, I don't think a Guardsmen or Reservist, particularly in this environment where they are likely to be called up, and in this environment where we know we have had problems getting people deployed because ofdental problems, in particular, held a number of people up from being deployed. I don't see why Guardsmen and Reservists ought to be digging into their pockets at all for health care under this environment, and I would very much welcome your thoughts on that.
I guess my third question would be, since as theto quote the Secretary of Defense, we are in for a ''long slog,'' I think we need to be looking past this March's replacements and start talking about a year from March. What are you doing for a year from March to tell those Guard and Reserve units that you anticipate we are going to have to call up; what kind of warning are you giving them? Because one of the things we learned from the Bosnia experience is that the more time we could give those units to get their businesses in order, to get their family affairs in order, it certainly made their deployment a lot easier on them and their families and the businesses they left behind?
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Dr. CHU. Sir, we could not agree with you more that more warning is better for the reservists; and we are in the process, I think, of improving that track record. Indeed, with more warning to the units involved, you could do more of the training, including health preparations at home station, and that reduces the total time away from home that the individual member of the Reserve Component must spend.
To the issues that you raised about compensation for reservists, indeed we are looking at all those kinds of questions. We are monitoring very carefully what actual results are, because that counts. The intentions are a good indicator of problems we may face, but that is not signing on the dotted line, so to speak.
I would say as a general strategyand I think that is the spirit of some of the comments, some of the options you identifiedthat we are going to be careful to put any additional incentives where they are really going to have the most decisive effect.
As you look at the Reservist's career, and we have been doing a series of portrayals of how the compensation package arrives to the reservists, the irony as a result of actions we collectively have taken over the last 20 years, a good deal of it comes after you serve. It is in the retirement annuity, it is in TRICARE For Life and so on and so forth. And I think as we look forward to exactly the issue you are raising, the retention of those now serving, we need to be careful to be sure we put those incentives a bit more up front perhaps, where they will affect the immediate decision, ''Am I willing to continue this service to the Nation?''
Mr. TAYLOR. To the point of reducing the retirement age of those people who serve more than 20 years, since we have paid a heck of a lot of money to train them, or rewarding those who have done periods of extensive Active duty, I would hope that you would give some thought to addressing that in your next year's budget request. I think it would be a very fair thing, particularly for the Reserves, but also for the taxpayer. These are people who have gone above and beyond what we have asked them to do, and I think they ought to be rewarded for it.
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General PACE. Sir, I sat through a briefing yesterday with the Secretary of Defense and the Deputy Secretary of Defense. Dr. Chu was giving the briefing, and it was addressing just the topics you are talking about. I would say that I took away from that initial brief and its draft in many, many ways, but I took away from that initial brief a very sincere intent to ensure that those who serve more benefit more in a timely way.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you very much.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Bartlett.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much.
Dr. Chu, in spite of very good reports on high morale in our military services, clearly the increased deployment tempo, and especially so for Guard and Reserve, are presenting us with recruitment and retention challenges. There is another consideration that may be relevant here.
Approximately two-thirds of our military personnel are now married, and on the show today, Imus in the Morning, a Pentagon reporter noted that manyand I have no idea what that meansthat many women have returned pregnant from Iraq. Considering that our military is today roughly two-thirds married, that could have significant morale implications for those spouses back home and could be a relevant factor in recruitment and retention.
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Do you have the statistics on what ''many'' means, and would you comment on this issue?
Dr. CHU. I have not seen the news report that you describe, sir, and therefore let me take that for the record, if I could, as to what ''many'' might mean in terms of pregnancy rates.
[The information referred to can be found in the hard copy.]
Dr. CHU. It is certainly true, as I think your broaderthe broader frame of your question emphasizes, and I know that many military colleagues like to summarize this in a nice affirmism, that the decision to re-up is made around the family dinner table or kitchen table, as the case might be. But it is certainly true that family support is critical to decisions by military personnel to continue their service to the Nation.
And so we have actually, I would argue, placed even greater emphasis over the last several yearsand I am very grateful for the support of this committee and your colleagues on the Appropriations Committee for those initiatives. We have been trying to expand child care, for example. We have done a lot to improve family housing, both the actual stock of family housing and the allowance, brought down the out-of-pocket expense to the last eight percent or so that is left; and my hope is that in the 2005 budget request, we will ask that you close the remaining gap in that regard.
We are also paying close attention to what I think are the two most critical issues for families these days, given the earlier achievements in which this committee has played such a significant role; and that isthose two issues are spousal employment, careers really for spouses and what we can do to advantage themnot all of which is under the control of this department, I should acknowledge.
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It includes issues as to how spouses are treated for unemployment compensation purposes. Not all states will agree that when a spouse moves involuntarily with the military sponsor, that the loss of a job is unemployment. In fact, many states say, no, it is not, you made a voluntary decision to move.
But the other big issue, I think, is education. Quality of education for the family's children is one ofas with all American families, one of the preeminent desires of our military families, as well; and I think we need to partneragain, this is not solely a federal responsibility. We need a stronger partnership between this department and local school districts in order to improve those situations where they are not now strong, and there are too many, quite candidly, where they are not now strong.
Mr. BARTLETT. I have no idea what this reporter meant by ''many,'' and you said that you would provide that for the record. If ''many'' is really many, would it be appropriate, perhaps, to look at how we are using our personnel so that we might reduce this number?
Dr. CHU. We will certainly be glad to look at the issue, sir.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you.
Thank you very much and thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HEFLEY. Dr. Snyder.
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Mr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you, gentlemen, for being here.
Dr. Chu, I just want to ask one question, if I could do it for the record. You don't need to say anything about it today, and it may be that I am off base a little bit here, but you mentioned ways of supporting the Guard and Reserve forces, and you talkedI think you gave five themes, one being ensuring adequate support to the reservists; that is, family, the employer, those kind of things.
But for the record, I would like your comments on, are we doing everything we ought to be doing to maintain contact between the unit and where they came from? Because thosethe adjutant general and those folks are responsible ultimately for helping with training, restoring of equipment, maintaining support. And I understood there was scuttlebutt around the Pentagon and so on that there are quite severe restrictions on the ability of the home unit to come and visit and to see what is going on; and that may be something, since they are going to be away from 14 or 15 months, away from their home unit, that we may want to look at as part of maintaining support.
I wanted to ask you about what you refer to as the self-reporting of being well prepared. My guess is, if we poll every Member of Congress, were you well prepared for coming here, we would report to you, by gosh, yes, we were; and the Republic is great to have me.
But two points. First of all, the one out of eight reporting that they were not well prepared, that concerns me. I would not want to go into a hospital where one of the eight people serving there said, I am not well prepared today to take care of patients; or a frontline infantry unit where one out of eight said, I am not well prepared to handle the particular weaponry I am dealing with.
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I don't think we should be dismissive of those one out of eight that are reporting that they are not well prepared.
A specific example: I ran into a Guardsman back home who had enlisted seven or eight years ago, trained as a medic for the next seven years until being activated. Her monthly weekends were spent helping with annual physicals, and then she found herself in the midst of a busy emergency room in a combat zone during the Iraqi operation, totally overwhelmed by what she saw, and did not feel well prepared.
Well, that would be concerning to me both as a person who might be that medic, but also, I think, she was concerned about the patients she saw. So the second part of it is, is there a way of assessing this without just self-reporting?
Dr. CHU. Yes, sir, there is.
Mr. SNYDER. If I am a 19- or 24-year-old young person, I am going to say, yeah, I am well prepared to be doing what I am doing. But are you looking at that other than just self-reporting? So those are my two questions with regard to that area.
Dr. CHU. Absolutely, sir, and I am glad that General Pace commented on the more formal systems of the Department. I cited those numbers because I think they are an important indicator of the self-confidence of our people.
Second, I should emphasize why I call it self-reporting. It is just that. It is an individual filling out a survey. It is not the commander saying, do you have the skill that I would like to see you have?
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I should also emphasize that the numbers in the testimony are for those who checked either ''very well prepared'' or ''well prepared.'' There is a neutral box as well so that you can't just subtract that number and say the rest were not well prepared. That is not quite accurate as an indication of their preparation.
And as you know, sir, with surveys, the real question is how do these numbers trend over time, and this is a question we only recently started asking, so I don't have a report on that front.
But, yes, we do evaluate readiness with a much more formal system that is in the military. General Pace.
General PACE. Sir, I would say it is probably more important to self-critique after you have been successful than it is perhapsor maybe it is more difficult to self-critique after you have been successful, but it is equally important to do that.
And the fact that from an overall standpoint we were delighted with the performance of the Reserve and the Guard forces, that does not mean that we did not do things wrong in bringing them on Active duty nor that we could not do things better. We can do a much better job of making sure they know when they are going to be called to Active duty, of being efficient with the time that we use when they are on Active duty, but still inside the United States and then being very specific and informative about how long they are going to be deployed when they are deployed.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Additionally, we should take a look at the comments of the one in eight, because there are nuggets of gold in there that could inform us on how to do better. And it might just be that three in eight we would agree with, or five in eight we might agree with if they knew what the one-in-eight guy said. So we should do that, sir, and we are.
Mr. SNYDER. Dr. Chu, I wanted to ask you, there is a lot of question, of course, about end strength, but I want to talk specifically about one job assignment, and this is the areain the area of civil affairs which almostI think almost all of the folks that are involved in civil affairs in the Iraqi operation are Reserve forces; and I have talked to former Secretary of Defense Bill Perry about it and had some other discussions.
He just threw out a number that just said this needs to be a function that goes into the Active forces, that we shouldn't kid ourselves by sayingthis is not what he said, but we shouldn't kid ourselves and say this is something that we can just call up when we need it, that we need civil affairs as an ongoing function all the time. And he threw out a number of 10,000 that we need, to just rapidly move to having 10,000 in the Active military involved in civil affairs.
Is that something you all are looking at as a direction we should be going?
Dr. CHU. We are. I should also offer a caution.
Againand I think it is part of the earlier point that Mr. Saxton made about jointness and how we see this as a total force. I think we don't want to see this as a great wall between the reservists and the Active force, and much more as we try to portray the continuum service in which a Reserve person may come to Active duty. As Mr. Taylor is pointing out, some people may be much more than others and they are perhaps rewarded differently for that service.
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And one of the reasons I think that is important in specifically the civil affairs context is that many of the talents you want in a civil affairs specialist are best developed in the civil sector. The person who knows how to run a municipal waterworks best, of course, is someone who actually does that all the time; or as the excellent example of the colonel who was tracking down the looted Iraqi art objects who combines the abilities of a big-city prosecutor, one who is specialized in art theft, with his own background in classical antiquities.
So it may well be that the civil community in some areas possesses such a reservoir of experience, that what we really need to do is find a way to persuade some of those, quote, ''Reservists'' to spend a longer period of time on Active duty when we need them.
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mrs. Wilson.
Mrs. WILSON OF NEW MEXICO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I, like my colleagues, am very concerned about whether we have enough forces on Active duty in the Active and Reserve mix, and I was looking at your charts, Dr. Chu, and they don't start before September 2001, but I would guess that it continues on back at a fairly low level before then, and I don't think any of us anticipate that we are going to get back down to those levels anytime soon.
I have heard, General Pace, you were talking about the switches of people in the Active going to Reserve and slots in the Reserve going to Active. Are these plans to adjust those slots going to be incorporated in the fiscal year 2005 budget submission that is now being prepared?
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Dr. CHU. Many of them will be. All those that involve resource changes, of course, need to be. If we want to make them in the 2004-2005 period of time.
I do think this is a long-term issue, as I think some of the other questions indicated, what is the right structure, the right way to build American forces in the future, as Mr. Saxton indicated. Some of our classic measures heredivisions, wings, et ceteramay increasingly be off the mark in terms of describing what we actually have or what we need to have in terms of capabilities for the future. It is a capabilities-oriented force that Ias I watch the Department's deliberations, we are really trying to build.
General PACE. We have tried to war game ourselves out another 10 or 15 years in this regard, saying differently we expect the war on terrorism to last 10 or 15 more years, and therefore we are trying to figure out what is a spike and what is a new plateau with respect to the previous question, a new plateau as a requirement for more civil affairs personnel on Active duty. We have proven for the last two-plus years that we need civil affairs. We have been using those civil affairs in the Guard and Reserves, and therefore we need to change some of the mix between Active and Reserve from that standpoint.
On the other hand, we have got seven divisions in Iraq. We are down to four. Now we are going to three in the next rotation. And the projections are that as our forces come down, or said differently, as the Iraqi forces come up, which would add zero when we were at 160,000; and today we are at 130,000, and the Iraqi forces are at 115,000, and next May, when we are down to about three divisions, they will be up about 171,000. So as we look at projections for security requirements in Iraq and total capabilities of non-Iraqi coalition, Iraqi coalition and U.S., we think that the spike and need for ground troops will, in fact, continue to go down; that it is not a new plateau.
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So we will work through each of those. We are trying to make sure that we change ourselves and rebalance ourselves in a way that addresses a new plateau and allows us to surge for the spikes, but doesn't build excess capacity if we don't think we are going to need it.
If we do think we will need it, we will come ask.
Mrs. WILSON OF NEW MEXICO. Sometimes I feel in this job, it is not Washington, D.C., but we are in the Emerald City, and everybody is hoping that Toto doesn't go over and pull back the curtain.
But I have to tell you, you know, I look at these plansyour plans show a multinational division replacing the 101st Airborne in March or April. The 2nd Brigade of the 82nd Airborne and the 173rd Airbornethe 2nd Brigade, you are deploying out in January 2004, and the 173rd again redeploying sometimeI think it is the middle of next year.
I don't see the security situation in Iraq changing fast enough, with the Iraqis being trained fast enough, or the likelihood of a multinational division being available in March of 2004 to replace the 101st.
What is your backup plan?
General PACE. I am not sure what you are looking at there, ma'am.
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mrs. WILSON OF NEW MEXICO. I am looking at your slides that were provided here to the committee that say ''United States Army'' on them. I understand you are a Marine and maybe you are
General PACE. No, no, I am responsible, I will take it. We have two
Mrs. WILSON OF NEW MEXICO. Replace the 101st Airborne in March or April with the a multinational division. Is that still your expectation?
General PACE. The expectation, matching unit to unit is not correct. That may or may not be true. The numbers-wise may be correct, but may not be exactly what happens on the ground. The expectation is this: There are two coalition divisions there now and that those two coalition divisions will be replaced. That is the expectation and we believe that we have, through our State Department commitments from the countries, that that will in fact happen.
The other expectation is that our four divisions that are currently there will be replaced by three divisions and that will be sufficient, based on the buildup of Iraqi security forces, to make up the difference in size.
Mrs. WILSON OF NEW MEXICO. Well, we have had the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) look at your plans and I have looked at these and I do not see a whole lot of wiggle room. And I think all of us are concerned that by early to mid-next year we are going to see back-to-back combat deployments for American military personnel and you cannot sustain that for very long without acknowledging forthrightly that we need to increase the end strength of our Active duty people in order to meet the needs of our continuing war on terrorism. In the 1990s we went from 18 Active divisions down to 10. You all know that and know that better than I do.
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We have not adjusted that active duty force since we started the war on terrorism and we have to be able to sustain this for the long-haul. There are all kinds of innovative things that we can do and I am glad you are doing this. Looking at what kind of things you can shift around, what kinds of logistic bombs going on the target and you need fewer to be shipped, that is all well and good, but I don't think that is enough.
And I hope in this fiscal year 2005 budget proposal that we see a clearer plan for the long-term that is more than smoke and mirrors.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General PACE. There is certainly some judgment that we need to apply on that. That the belief is thatcorrection, right now with the forces going over, the force is aboutthe active force is coming home for about one year and going back for about one year. And that over a period of ten years that would not be what we would want to do, but between now and 2005, we believe that that requirement will get back more to the norm of one year out and two years back, or one year out and three years back. The question is and the judgment call is, and this is what we keep struggling with, is that a peak or a plateau? It takes about two years to recruit, train and build one Army division. If I sit here and say, I believe that by 2006 I will not need that division, then I should not ask you to give it to me. If I think I will need it, then I should ask you to give it to me.
All of the war games that we have done tell us that we will not need that extra division based on all the other factors that we have talked about. But it is clearly a judgment about current status, future needs, and the ability to transform inside the size force that we currently have.
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Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Schrock. Mr. Larsen, I am sorry; I will get to you, Mr. Schrock, in a second.
Mr. LARSEN OF WASHINGTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate you calling this hearing today, and my questions really build off of my colleague from New Mexico's questions. First thing I wanted to point out is that you mentioned, General Pace, you mentioned that total Iraqi security forces number about 115,000 right now, and our information from a slide in there from the Joint Chiefs dated October 21st has that total number on October 21st, about 85,000. There is a 29,500 difference. That is two weeks ago. If you could explain that discrepancy, how we get 30,000 additional. I want to walk through some other numbers, but keep that in mind.
But I cannot help but think that this discussion that we are having today is academic if we cannot disengage our troops from Iraq. And I am concerned that we are training to a number of security forces in Iraq, as opposed to a capability of those security forces. Let me walk through the numbers that at least I have.
By August of next year, our plan is to have around 170,000 total Iraqi security forces trained, according to information that we have. I think this goal right now is overly ambitious and nearly impossible to meet. The plan is a standup of a 40,000-person Iraqi army by then and there are 700 trained now. There is a goal of 22,000 in the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps and only 4,700 trained now. And there is actually a report, I think it was yesterday or today, of moving Iraqis from the Facility Protection Service into the Civilian Defense Corps, which means that we need to replace those in the Facility Protection Service. If we remove the numbers of total police trained, which is 55,000, and we have a goal of 75,000, we are actually right now at about 32 percent of the security forces needed to directly address the threat of foreign terrorists and Baath Party loyalists that our troops are facing right now, 32 percent of the total security forces that we need.
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Given this tremendous challenge of training the Iraqi security forces, their current capabilities, which I am sure fall short of the capabilities of our own women and men in the military who are there, and the increasing sophistication of the attacks that are taking place in Iraq, is it really realistic to believe that we can stand up a capable Iraqi security force by August of 2004, next year? And if we cannot, is it realistic to expect that we are going to be able to draw down our own women and men in the military in Iraq so that we can have the freedom to do what we need to do militarily around the world?
That is the biggest concern that I hear from folks that I represent and one of the concerns that I have, that if we do not find a way to disengage from Iraq we are stuck in Iraq.
Can you address those issues starting with answering the specifics question about the discrepancy?
Finally, if I could make one last note and I will get off of my soap box. The report this morning that Ambassador Bremer is allowing former Iraqi military to be trained to be part of the new military, I think is disappointing to me. But I think that it is the only choice left and it is the worst choice possible that we have left in Iraq. And these bad choices keep adding up in Iraq, which I think long-term is going to be a detriment to our policy in Iraq.
General PACE. I will take them as best I can. If I forget, you will remind me.
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Starting from the back. They had an army; the Iraqis had an army of about 400,000. Surely the senior leadership, those who were card-carrying Baathist Party members who are really bad guys have no business coming back. But there are arguably 300,000 of that 400,000-man army who were sergeants and below who were trained to a certain degree who are serving in their army like we serve in ours and they are not ideologically defined one way or another. So we ought not to ignore that vast population of eligible males just because they happened to be in the previous army that did things that we did not like.
Second, the discrepancies in numbersI will tell you that the 115,000 number that I told you today will change tomorrow, may change this afternoon, because as we go about trying to keep score, as we go into the ministries, for example, that are run by Iraqis, we find out that they have hired a thousand guys to protect this thing or that thing. So as we roll up the numbers of individuals who are being paid to do security of some type in theater, we have found that our original understanding of what that number was was too low.
Regardless of that number, what you said is very important, which is capability is important, not specifically numbers. So I would also add to that the environment inside of which they will be working. If the environment was the same in August of 2004 as said now, then the lesser capability of those forces would not be what you would want to replace coalition forces. On the other hand, if we are pushing forward not only on addressing the five types of security forces, but also pushing forward on self governance and making sure that the Iraqi people understand that they are in fact going to take over their own country, that they are going to be able to elect their own representatives and the like, then the environment inside of which we are working will become more stable.
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Our projections are not based on hope. Our projections are based on worst case. If we are not able to have a better environment, if we are not able to have increased numbers of Iraqis providing for their own security, then we will replace our own people with our own people. And that is how we are planning 2005.
But we believe that we will not have to execute that, because I do believe that the money that you all just allocated in the supplemental, a huge chunk goes to helping to rebuild Iraq. And the environment will change because of that, and the training, we will be able to accelerate training in all five areas and we will be able to produce a much more capablenot an army like ours, but a much more capable security force adequate to the environment in which they are going to have to operate.
Mr. LARSEN OF WASHINGTON. I appreciate the answer. I hope you are right. I really do. That is why I voted for the $87 billion because of the reconstruction dollars, a critical part of the security element. But it is something that I hope as a committee we continue to watch very closely. The future deployments depend on it.
General PACE. And we will watch it with you and for you. And we will not base our military planning on hope, but on worst case factors so we are ready for the worst case. Pleased if the worst case does not happen.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Schrock.
Mr. SCHROCK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you, Mr. Secretary and General, for being here. I think for the first time since I have been here, I agree with all the comments that have been said by every member on both sides of the aisle. I know that may seem like a cop-out, but we all share those same concerns. I am very concerned about the Reserve Components. I think the notice to Reserves has probably been improved since we began this process. We do have to worry about how we are going to keep them, because if we are going to keep them there a year or so and we told them six months, that is going to be a big problem.
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That came home to me on an NBC piecea couple from Ohiohe is going to be there 14 months. He thought it was going to be six. They own two businesses that are going to have to go on the auction block and they will lose their home, and we should not be doing that to our people. And I am sure they are not the only family in America that is facing that, and I worry about that.
General Schoomaker in his confirmation hearings said he intuitively believed the Army needs more people. And in the September 2003 CBO report, ''An Analysis of the U.S. Military's Ability to Sustain an Occupation in Iraq,'' it says, and I quote: ''The active Army would be unable to sustain an occupation force of the present size in Iraq beyond about March 2004 if it chose not to keep individual units deployed to Iraq for longer than one year without relief.'' And we just simply cannot do that.
That being said, given that the war on terror is going to be a multiyear protracted conflict, that we seem to be utilizing both our active duty force and our Reserves near the edge of their capability, by not increasing the end strength in either body, it seems we are betting that there will not be another incident that is going to require a surge that will upset our planning and extend our force beyond acceptable levels.
Can we afford to not increase the end strength to provide more flexibility? Is a redistribution of the skills adequate? When I was in IraqI have been there twice and I am going againwe heard over and over again from the generals in the field that they do not need more people, but they need more intelligence folks and special operation forces. I thought we needed hundreds of thousands of troops, like General Shinseki said. I came back not believing that. I am bothered by that. This war on terror is so incredibly unpredictable, the way it is today may not be the way it is next week. There is such a jumble of information that is coming to us. I wonder what is the right mix to send there and how we are going to solve this thing.
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Dr. CHU. Could I say a word on the unpredictability issue. I think it goes to the larger personnel policies this committee has helped the Department sustain the last 10, 15 years. I think one of the greatest assets this Department has in dealing with the unpredictability is the quality of the people in our ranks, both enlisted and officer. That costs money. It is an expensive force in that regard, setting high standards both in terms of the people we recruit as well as how we train them, and that again requires resources.
But I think we have seen the payoff in the ability of these high quality, well prepared individuals to take the skills they already have, take the knowledge they have and deal effectively with the situation in hand, even if it is not quite the situation that we anticipated going in. And it will never be exactly the situation we anticipate going in.
So a larger question that you raised that is very much at the forefront of the Department's planning, as I think General Pace and I both emphasized, we are looking rebalancing the skill mix within the Department. You can see that in the chart I showed earlier that some communities we called up a high proportion from the Reserve. Other communities we have not needed a lot. Maybe we need to take some of those individuals and invite them to retrain in the skills that are more in demand. We have begun that process right now. The Army has started a process of creating a series of provisional military police (MP) companies, as I think you are aware, and that is one of the first steps in that process.
Mr. SCHROCK. I think I, too, was concerned. Mr. Larsen of Washington mentioned that the Ambassador had mentioned that they are going to try to find some of the former Iraqi army people and there was a cringe in my stomach thinking, is this a last ditch effort? Do we have so many problems that we have to do that? And I don't know the answer to that. I worry about that. We are burning these people up and we simply cannot do that.
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General PACE. Sir, I couldn't hear everything you said, but I think I heard most of it and I certainly agree that we need to pay very close attention to those resources that we use frequently, of which we have very few. And we are working diligently to identify those, and they are self evident, and also to get after them. Human intelligence, for example: we need to do work there. Special operations capabilities. We have learned how very, very beneficial those kinds of things are.
I should point out just in case there are folks around the world who may not understand as well as you do, Mr. Schrock, that this Nation has a portion of its military right now apportioned to overseas commitments right now. But we have, as you would expect, war gamed out potential adversaries around the world who might miscalculate, and they need to knowI know you do, but they need to know that we have maximum capacity left to handle anything that comes our way. That is separate from the issue you raised, but I would not want anyone to misunderstand the vast capacity of this Nation to do its military business.
Mr. SCHROCK. I agree. We recruit men and women to come into the uniform, but we reenlist their families and the strain is starting to get there. So I am very concerned about that.
Thank you very much both of you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BARTLETT [presiding]. Mr. Cooper.
Mr. COOPER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am very glad, General Pace, you made that preceding point. I was worried about that implication being misunderstood by our Nation's adversaries.
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Dr. Chu, you mentioned earlier in your testimony that on a quarterly basis the Pentagon surveyed active duty and other Reserve and Guard personnel.
Dr. CHU. Roughly every four months actually.
Mr. COOPER. Could the committee have access to those surveys?
Dr. CHU. Delighted to, sir. We publish a nice volume. Glad to get those out to you. There is typically a several month delay between the survey date itself and the compilation of the results.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. COOPER. It is my understanding talking with staff that none of those have been made available so far. If you could do that on a prompt basis, that would be very helpful. Why the delay?
Dr. CHU. Between survey administration and tabulation? It just takes time to pull all the results together to make sure that you have a clean set of data and so you know what you are looking at. One of the things that you have to watch out for constantly is that you cannot use raw, unweighted results; you need to weight the various cells by the proportion that those respondents represent in the large population. That takes a while simply to compute. We have sped it up. It used to take a year or so to process these results. We have gotten it down to a few months.
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Mr. COOPER. As you know, many of these people on this committee are expert in polling, and it does not take many months to get the data back and cleaned up from a commercial poll.
Dr. CHU. That is generally a different kind of poll, sir. As you know, this is usually a yes-or-no question: Do you support Candidate A or Candidate B? This is a more complex issue here.
Mr. COOPER. Many political polls are quite sophisticated and they are not just yes-or-no answers.
Dr. CHU. They also generally serve 1,000 respondents. We are talking about 50,000 respondents.
Mr. COOPER. Another question, could you provide this committee with a list of the military units that are currently performing civilian type functions that perhaps should be performed by civilians?
Dr. CHU. We have actually provided those data to the committee staff earlier, but glad to do it again. It is actually not by unit, sir. It is by skill area, so that you can get down to understanding which positions might be either converted to civil or contractor function.
Mr. COOPER. But surely the Pentagon understands it on a unit basis. Do you not have a plan to convert numbers of these jobs to civilian work and do you not know by unit which of those units would have their responsibilities transferred?
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Dr. CHU. You could put it back together that way, yes, sir. What I am emphasizing is the detailed database that you are interested in which we have provided to the committee staff is by basically position. So it is much more fine grained.
Mr. COOPER. On TV this morning they had a picture of a specialist. She and her husband has been called up to serve in Iraq. Apparently they have five or more children in Colorado. She was faced with the terrible dilemma of being returned to duty or, following a court order, to be there to take care of the kids. I think that is probability an extreme example of the stress that families are being put under when both husband and wife are serving in Iraq and there are multiple children back home. This lady told a nationwide TV audience that she was being forced by the judge to be absent without leave (AWOL) from the military because she chose to stay with her children over returning to duty in Iraq. I don't know the facts of the particular case. All I saw was on TV, but that is an example of the personal stress that families can be subjected to when both husband and wife are called up.
There is a Tennessee guard artillery unit that has just been told they need to convert to MP duties. They are about to train in Ft. Leavenwood, Missouri. It is my understanding from talking to one of the officers who processed the paperwork that even though we are the Volunteer State in Tennessee, these troops were not enthusiastic about the forced conversion. They did not sign up to be MPs. They signed up to be artillerymen and women. And that, I think, is another example of the stress that our troops are being subjected to. They did not sign up forthey did not anticipate and they will be patriotic; they will do their duty. But it is one reason I am enthusiastic about my colleague Mrs. Wilson's letter to have more active duty personnel, who are in fact serving the duties that they signed up to perform.
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About how many units are expected to be converted to MP duties across the country? Converted from artillery or other skills to MPs?
Dr. CHU. My understanding, sir, which I will be glad to check for the record is that the Army intends to stand up 19 MP companies.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. COOPER. Finally, I talked with a pediatric heart surgeon who was commanded to operate on an adult heart on active duty even though he told the commander that he had not seen an adult heart from the inside in many years.
Do we know precisely how many health care skills are beingwe are short of those health care skills and we do not have the personnel to, for example, operate on adult hearts?
Dr. CHU. I am surprised by the report, sir, and actually by some of the other examples you offered. Glad to look into some of those examples. On the surgeons specifically, we have excellent capacity between the combination of our in-house uniformed service and our TRICARE network. So it would not be appropriate to have a surgeon conduct an operation for which he or she was not properly prepared, but glad to look into it. I do not know anything about the facts of this case or whether the facts are accurate.
To your lady, both called up, I am impressed by the degree to which the military departments take compassionate need into account when that situation occurs. It does sound like you have a struggle between two different branches of the government going on, State, Judiciary and Federal responsibility.
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Mr. COOPER. Again, she would not be AWOL?
Dr. CHU. I don't know, sir. I am not familiar with the facts of these cases, so I shouldn't speak to them.
Mr. COOPER. I thank the Chair.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you. Mr. Wilson.
Mr. WILSON OF SOUTH CAROLINA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you both for being here today. And Secretary Chu, I appreciate your concern for our troops serving and for their families, and I can tell you firsthand, just completing 31 years with the Army National Guard, where my job was to provide premobilization military counseling, that the military does an extraordinary job of looking out for families, looking out for the troops. And I have a personal interest. I have two sons in the Army National Guard and another son who is active duty in college in the Navy. So I am covering everybody, General, but the Marines and Air Force.
Again, I am really very pleased. In my service, I know I have never seen the morale higher, the spirit higher among Guard members and family members for their service. And it is just an extraordinary time in history. And they know that they are fulfilling a significant role in the war on terror and that the war on terror is today to fight the war overseas and do all that we can to avoid the war coming to theor returning to the United States. This is not a war we sought.
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And Secretary Chu, in particular, you mentioned about volunteerism as a critical element and you point out that can include persons such as me and my three-month career as a veteran. It includes veterans, former persons who have served. And I want to bring to your attention that I have introduced a bill, the State Defense Force Improvement Act of 2003, which promotes the enhancement of State Guards.
In South Carolina we have a State Guard. These are persons who are retired military. Many have no military background, but they backfill at armories. They provide assistance during natural emergencies such as hurricanes. And I would urge your consideration of that bill, because there is a reservoirand I run into it, we all doof thousands of persons who would participate. And I urge you to look into this bill. I think it would immediately bring in across the United States tens of thousands of persons who are very patriotic and civically minded.
A question that I have for both of you, because it concerns me, particularly General Pacethe criticism that we hear that this is another Vietnam. Would you please from your perspectiveand this is really applicable to both of youfrom a military perspective, from a personnel perspective, how would you differentiate what we are doing today in Iraq from Vietnam?
General PACE. Sir, I would categorically tell you that this is not another Vietnam and I will follow up. I would be remiss if I did not thank you for your comments about the tremendous job that the Guard and Reserves are doing and thanks to you and your family for serving.
But this is not a Vietnam, sir. I served in Vietnam as a rifle platoon leader, and I fought against Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese regular army. There is no regular army. There is no Viet Cong that we are fighting again. We do have former regime loyalists and some terrorists home grown and imported that we are fighting against, and we will handle that militarily. And there will be days where we will do well and there will be days where we are not happy about the results, but we will press this fight militarily.
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We need to provide the environment inside of which self governance can come into being to where the Iraqi government can stand on its own two feet and start to provide the services that governments provide to their citizens.
We still have, understandably, a large portion of Iraqi people who are afraid that we are going to leave before the job is done, and they are afraid to stand up and be counted because they are afraid they will be left at the wrong time. That will change over time and the way to help change that is to work on the governance piece and to make it apparent to everybody, as it is to us, that we will stay until this job is done and the Iraqi people have their own country back.
Mr. WILSON OF SOUTH CAROLINA. And Secretary Chu, you would like to comment?
Dr. CHU. Sir, let me just echo the thanks of General Pace for your long service and underscore the point that you made that volunteerism does come in all shapes and sizes and forms, and we would like to advantage the Nation of all those who would like to serve in whatever capacity they may be able to do.
Mr. WILSON OF SOUTH CAROLINA. Thank you very much, and I yield the balance of my time.
Mr. BARTLETT. I would like to recognize our ranking member.
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SKELTON. Following up on Mr. Cooper's inquiry, Doctor, Harry Truman is probably turning over in his grave, because Battery D, 129th Field Artillery, Missouri National Guard, is being activated as an MP unit when it was historically an artillery unit. The entire brigade, plus its sister brigade, 128th Field Artillery, is being activated, as well. All of them become MPs.
My question is, after this Iraqi situation ends, will those twoI said brigades, battalions, pardon mewill those two battalions revert to artillery or will they remain military police?
Dr. CHU. I don't know. I would emphasize that the 19 provisional companies I identify are called provisional for just that reason. This is seen as something for the next several years, not necessarily the long-term answer.
I think coming back to what General Pace testified to earlier, the Department as a whole, and General Schoomaker specifically for the Army, is rethinking how we structure the military best for the long term. And that, I think, is really the heart of transformation. Some of the classic formations, while historically important, may no longer be the best
Mr. SKELTON. In other words, you have not gotten there yet?
Dr. CHU. That is absolutely correct.
Mr. SKELTON. But for the immediate future, they will be activated shortly, go through MP training and go to their duty stations?
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Dr. CHU. Absolutely right.
Mr. SKELTON. And from that point you do not know whether they will remain MPs or not?
Dr. CHU. I do not know, sir.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you. Thank you for letting me interrupt.
Mr. BARTLETT. Mr. Bishop.
Mr. BISHOP. Thank you. Dr. Chu, several questions I had about retention capabilities have been adequately queried by my senior members back here. I do have a question that deals, if I might, with another area of your responsibility if I could.
Actually I would like to ask you about a recent decision that has come forth to my attention about the ability of closing 19 defense commissaries domestically and internationally. We have a memo dated August 29 by your Chief Deputy, Charles Able, directing the Defense Commissary Agency Board, as it says, ''based on the number of active duty personnel assigned and the proximity of a larger commissary, please submit plans to close the following commissaries in 2004.'' There are 19 places, including Dugway Proving Ground in Utah.
As you can figure out, I represent Dugway Proving Ground, which has the opportunity of upsetting the local community there, 1,000 to 1,200 citizens who are living in that particular area significantly. Dugway has often been treated in my opinion, even though this is my first year going back, in a unique and sometimes shabby way. Three times it has been placed on the BRAC list and each time the Army comes back and says it has made a mistake, that Dugway is the only place that the military can still do critical chemical and biological testing, and that situation has not changed since 1995 and perhaps has become more critical since 9/11 and recent events.
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Dr. Chu, I understand that you have never had the chance of being out to that remote desert location in Utah, and I am under the assumption that Mr. Able has never been to Dugway Proving Ground personally, as well. Am I wrong?
Dr. CHU. I don't know. I have not been.
Mr. BISHOP. It is a unique opportunity. I would urge you, if you do go, to go during the summer and in the daytime. Going there over Johnson Pass in the winter can be a dicey opportunity and at night, unless you have a good deer detector.
The memo that was sent out implies the commissary should be closed because of the proximity of another commissary. My office has placed a call to Mr. Able, but we have not received a response yet. To my knowledge, the nearest commissary is at Hill Air Force base 120 miles away, 2 hours drive from any direction. Do you know of any other commissary to which the reference was made in making this particular description that it would be closer?
Dr. CHU. Let me, if I may, invite us all to step back from the specifics and answer what I think is your implicit question, which is why are we doing this? First of all, we have not decided to do this. The memorandum to which you refer is a step in the process which we go through every year, which we look at the stores least compliant with the policy criteria we use for deciding whether a store should be open in the first place. And those ultimately are founded in direction from the Congress and the statutes that give us the authority to operate these places.
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC One of the criteria, and the criterion that Dugway is specifically at risk on, is the number of active duty personnel supported, which is 100. In other words, the trigger is 100 or more. Or adversely
Mr. BISHOP. Dr. Chu, I do not mean to be rudeI am being rude herebut as I understand, the criteria you established in the year 2001 said 100 personnel or fewer and also a 30-mile radius to the closest commissary. The problem I have though is that there are double that number of military personnel at Dugway, and the radius is 120 miles. It is 60 miles to the nearest store, 120 miles. So none of those criteria are met.
I guess what I am asking without necessarily having you defend the decision, is if you would help me to look into this matter and put this one to rest. As I understand it, this proving ground does not meet the criteria for closing on these remote locations. It is significantly above that criteria to which you were just speaking.
Dr. CHU. I think we do disagree on a key number, which is how many active personnel there are. We could certainly look at that. The criteria are a rank order that does not all have to apply. But as I want to emphasize, I started to respond, what you are referring to is a memorandum that is the next step in the process. We send it back to each military department. Basically, the challenge to the military department where a store would not otherwise merit being retained is to make the case, which you have eloquently tried to outline, of why nonetheless we should do so and provide necessary subsidy to do so. Or the alternative is to provide some other solution. But we do understand Dugway is an unusual spot with unusual needs and we are not going to leave people in the lurch.
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BISHOP. I would appreciate it. These are the e-mails I have received so far.
Dr. CHU. I am sure it has created a great deal of anxiety and it was not intended to do so, I should emphasize.
Mr. BISHOP. I cannot emphasize how much anxiety it has created out there, and I would appreciate it if you would look into that as well and if you could remedy this as soon as possible, as it would make my life a whole lot happier.
Dr. CHU. Will do that.
Mr. BISHOP. Thank you, sir.
Mr. BARTLETT. Ms. Bordallo.
Ms. BORDALLO. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. My first question is to you, Dr. Chu. Our troops are truly doing an outstanding job in Iraq, and while they are on the job our responsibility is to provide for the welfare of the troops and their families back home. In the short trip that I took out to Iraq with my colleagues, we were presented with a host of facts and figures. The one which caught my attention was that there have been 13 suicides of soldiers deployed in Iraq. The number of attempted suicides was not disclosed. The figure was not available when I asked that question.
I think that the number is one data point we should keep in mind when we discuss sustaining our global commitments, and I would like for to you comment on this.
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Dr. CHU. Delighted to. First, let me emphasize that we are watching this issue very carefully, not only in Iraq, but elsewhere across the entire force. For Iraq specifically, the Army sent a team to Iraq just in September. I am awaiting its report on its finding.
I should note that any suicide is a tragedy, particularly among young people. And it is a nationwide issue, as you know, especially true on our college campuses. People are very worried about that.
I would observe that the suicide rate in the American military on average is about the same as the national rate, ageadjusted and genderadjusted. It is higher in one service than the others. That is one of the concerns that we have. Why is that true?
Back to our survey data, I am actually pleased that in terms of personal stress there is noquite strikinglyno big difference between deployed and nondeployed personnel, at least most recent ones we have. Bottom line: we are watching that very carefully. We are eager to hear what the Army investigational team, which includes appropriate mental health specialists, will report and we will act accordingly.
Ms. BORDALLO. Thank you, Dr. Chu.
My other question is in returning to my home of Guam recently, we are beginning to deploy our Reservists and National Guard members. We have a very large group of National Guard and Reservists in Guam. I spoke to the families about how important that it is they communicate and that their conversations always be upbeat because there is nothing worse than to air out family problems when the soldier is out in the field and there is nothing he can do.
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But I did hear that the communication sometimes is not there, and I was just wondering, do you have a program set upI know we have the National Guard Family Association, but do you have something in particular for Iraqi Freedom that you have set up for the Guardsmen and the Reservists?
Dr. CHU. We have expanded our effort for family support to all troops, both Active and Reserve Component. Let me look specifically to be sure we have done the right thing in Guam, since it is a different location.
Ms. BORDALLO. This would be a different type of organization than dealing the war on terrorism, and up to this point it is just an organization that is there, organized. They take care of family gatherings and things like that. But this is a different field now, and I really feel that we should do something in that respect.
I have one further question, Mr. Chairman, if I could. I understand you have jurisdiction over PXs and commissaries. Is that correct, Dr. Chu?
Dr. CHU. Yes, ma'am.
Ms. BORDALLO. While in Iraq, I noted numerous employees in the PX were from Bangladesh, and I realize the security situation was an issue in the beginning. But is there now a move to try to employ Iraqis in these positions, particularly since there is over 50 percent unemployment there? And I think to me, when I was in Iraq, I noticed the tension among people and whenever there is unemployment that high, you know that there will be unrest until we are able to deal with that.
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So I was wondering are we putting Iraqis into positions rather than employing outsiders?
Dr. CHU. The United States is employing or providing economic support to a large number of Iraqis. I don't know the specific exchange situation you are describing, but glad to look into it.
Ms. BORDALLO. I understand that the private sector is now taking over, but maybe some mention should be made that they should make an effort to try to employ the Iraqis so that this unemployment number goes down.
Thank you, Dr. Chu.
Mr. BARTLETT. The Chair will now recognize members in the order of their appearance on the committee after gavel fall.
Mrs. Davis of California.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Dr. Chu and General Pace, for being here, as well.
I wonder if you could just go back to a few of the issues that we addressed earlier in terms of the Reserve units and the active duty officers. And one of the statements that you made in your remarks is that the attrition rates remain at the lowest levels in recent history for the Reserve Component officer and enlisted personnel. But you did mention that the high demand units and high use units and specialties have experienced higher than normal attrition and those are in those areas that we obviously need people inin public affairs, civil affairs, psychological operations, and security forces.
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You mentioned that in rebalancing the force, you need to figure out ways to relieve stress. Can you expand on that? Because if those are the areas we are suggesting we need many more people in, I am wondering how we are planning to do that. What kind of real motivationwhat is it that we are going to be doing to create, I guess, a desire, really, on the part of people to be in that area, because people perceive that as really quite a risky area today?
And I think in conjunction with that question, when I visited Iraq, one of the things that was clear to me at that particular time at the end of September is that we did not have people in place in a number of communities, including Kirkuk and other major communities where we had a presence of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), and so the military in many ways was providing a kind of key liaison position with the CPA.
And so, part of that was because we did not have individuals from the State Department who were taking on that role. I understand now that they have staffed up for that, but that is only for a three-month period of time. And the kind of stability that is really required for that position, I think, will be lost on people who are only there for a short period of time.
Can you address this? It seems to me this is the area that we need people and we need well-trained people, and I am getting a sense that it is tough to find them and that we are not keeping them very well.
Dr. CHU. Let me not try to comment on the State Department situation since I am not really knowledgeable about that, but let me respond to your broad question, if I may, which is the willingness of young people or even not so young people to volunteer for these various assignments.
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First, as you appreciate, there are a variety of motivations for why people volunteer. Some volunteer because they want to be part of something important. That is a critical element of volunteerism for military service and other responsibilities. So in some cases, all we need to do is ask. Some of the fault is our own in having structured too few units or too few people in the skill areas of need.
We also, thanks to this committee and your colleagues, have a variety of incentives we can offer people to choose those areas where we need more individuals. Those can be monetary in charactersome of them are nonmonetary in character. We are prepared to use those incentives and have used them historically generally successfully. Some of it is inviting people who are trained in one skill area to train in another skill area. Sometimes that is popular and sometimes it is not. If you do not like it and your obligation in the service is finished, that is fine. Let's find someone else who does like it and get him or her to volunteer.
That is what we are all about. That has been the great success of the all-volunteer force of getting all of those parts to work together to produce the intended result here.
I am not worried about our ability to produce more people in these various areas. I am not surprised in the areas that we stress more that we would have higher attrition. That is normal. In part, it will be solved if we indeed produce more people with the skills necessary so that the burden on those in those skill areas is reduced. So the very act of acknowledging we need more structure, acting to provide that structure or those skilled individuals will by itself help, I believe, attrition in those areas.
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Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. Do you think that requires a major initiative to do that?
Dr. CHU. It requires constant attention and vigilance on our part. Whether you want to call it a major initiative or not on that, I leave to the beholder.
General PACE. If I could add, ma'am, on the retention side of the house, we have to be careful what we derive from the snapshot in time we have right now. And we know that our retentions and enlistments are stable and in good shape. We also historically know how we have gotten in trouble in the past and we need to stay on top of those issues rather than wait for them to come at us before we are ready for them.
Examples: Individuals want to know that they have got a really important mission in life. And I would say that that block is checked. These folks are doing great work and they are proud of what they are doing, and we are proud of them.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. I would agree with you.
General PACE. Two, we need to make sure that we treat them the way they should be treated and we get mostly good marks here, but in some places not good marks. We have not done a good enough job in the past of informing our Reserves and Guard when they will get called, giving them enough time to get their family lives in order, and then telling them how long they are going to be gone and not changing in the middle of their tour how much longer they will be on.
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Those things impact a person's, a family's decision later on whether or not to stay in. What the Congress does for benefits and pay makes a huge difference. But, again, we need to be careful, because if you look at reenlistment rates in Iraq right now, they are going to be relatively high compared to the rest of the Armed Services. A part of that is because folks there understand exactly what they are doing for their country. Another part is the tax break they get because they are there. We need to look at the data and not let today's good data lull us into believing that we are okay. On the other hand, we need to be careful not to believe the wrong parts of the data.
Ms. DAVIS OF CALIFORNIA. I think part of my question, too, is in the changing mission. And whether you think that the outreach changes with what I might call, you all might call as nation building as opposed to other military activities that we acknowledge. Is there a difference?
General PACE. I think there is a difference for who volunteers for what type of mission. Different kind of guys volunteer for the Marines, some folks volunteer to be Army, Air Force, Navy. The individual volunteers for the organization that they think they best want to be like or fit in. When you then start changing how that organization is functioning, you will have an impact on whether or not the individuals who are currently in it want to stay and you will have an impact on who thinks about volunteering to become part of it in the future. So we have to be careful how we do that.
Mr. SIMMONS [presiding]. Mr. Meehan.
Page 66 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. MEEHAN. General Pace, today's Washington Post says that Ambassador Bremer is planning on using former members of Saddam Hussein's security services to help collect intelligence, conduct raids, and provide other assistance in the stabilization operations.
I think we made a mistake demobilizing the Iraqi army, but the question now is, how can we make sure that the people we use to help secure the country will not create a whole new set of human rights problems, the issue of whether or not there is a basic problem of asking the same people who helped Saddam Hussein keep tabs on his opposition help the U.S. military?
I assume there is some system set up for vetting these people, but the question is, how we can make sure that this does not at least create the perceptionthe perception being 90 percent of thisthat is we have put the bad guys back in charge?
General PACE. I cannot speak to the validity of the Washington Post article. I had the opportunity to sit down with Ambassador Bremer Monday and Tuesday. He and General Abizaid were in town talking to the Secretary and others. This issue was very much a discussion point. Your concern was very much a discussion point.
Clearly, we do not have files on every Iraqi, so we do not know what their real past is. We have the ability to vet some of these individuals with Iraqis who we trust from the same local community. We certainly intend on watching very carefully how they are doing their jobs and, more importantly, how they are received by the people in local communities. We had in one of the southern cities a particular mayor come forward and turned out that the people very quickly told coalition forces that this person was somebody who should not be in that kind of a position and he was removed.
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I think you are going to have some trial and error, based on the best system that you can set up right now, based on the knowledge you have, and then watching it very carefully and seeing the people's reaction. They know who the bad guys are in their hometowns. So when you stand up a Civil Defense Corps in Najaf, the people in Najaf are going to very quickly react to who they see on the street and we will be able to monitor that, as well.
Mr. MEEHAN. General, a story in the New York Time Magazine this weekend, and I did not hear the Imus program this morning, but I happened to look at this piece this weekend. It was entitled ''Blueprint for a Mess,'' which basically lays out what I think is a disturbing account on the prewar plans for Iraq reconstruction that the administration laid out.
The article says what I think many of us have observed, that while the Department of Defense (DOD) meticulously planned out phases one through three of Operation Iraqi Freedom, which is the various stages for the invasion itselfand I think all of us would agree it was a masterful plan implemented masterfully with seamless integration of the servicesbasically, the argument goes that it did not adequately prepare for phase four, the so-called stability and support operations.
The piece cites a report prepared for the Department of Defense by the Joint Chiefs of Staff entitled Operation Iraqi Freedom: Strategic Lessons Learned, which acknowledges that late formation of the Department of Defense phase four organization had limited time for the development of detailed plans and the lack of predeployment coordination.
I am wondering what are the Department of Defense and the CPA doing to try to incorporate lessons learned from this report into the planning that is ongoing now? And how can we incorporate lessons learned into our strategy for handling stabilization reconstruction efforts in the future?
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I think all of us would agree that analyzing the first Gulf War and then when Operation Iraqi Freedom commenced, it was just extraordinary how much we learned from the first Gulf War and how we implemented what we learned in the invasion of Iraq. How do we incorporate the same lessons learned into reconstruction and stabilization efforts?
General PACE. Sir, you have got me just a little bit out of my lane, so I will try to answer you with the uniform I have on and within my responsibilities. I wish we had a policy person here to help with the rest of that question. I will give you my best answer. I will just do that.
First of all, we had in the workup to the war, throughout the war, and after the war, critiquers, lessons learned people in Tampa, in Washington, D.C., in the theater who were helping us learn as we went. So, arguably, many of the things that changed in General Tom Franks' war plan changed because he war gamed himself in front of the lessons learned people who helped him see things that maybe he himself had not seen and were able to correct before we did them.
During the execution on the ground, lessons were learned that were responded to very quickly, and we have done a very healthyI believe very healthy self-appraisal right now on lessons learned.
There was a point in time where my memory tells me that we did not want to be planning for a post-war in Iraq before we were sure we were going to go to war in Iraq. We did not want to have a plan for the post-war make the war inevitable. And as I recall, it was around January of this year that it became evident that it was very likely that we would be going to war than not and that is when, as I recall, the Office For Reconstruction was stood up and the policy folks inside the building and others in the government began starting to pull together some of the item ideas that would be needed to run post-war Iraq.
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I am sure that there were many, many lessons there to be learned, and it does not surprise me that our own military board points out that had we known in October for sure that we were going to be at war in March, no doubt in my mind we would have stood up the Office of Reconstruction in October. But in October there was still every expectation and hope that the international community would be able to revolve this without combat.
Mr. MEEHAN. Just by way of comment, I don't know how we could have planned military conflict without having a plan for reconstruction. Many of us said the difficulty in this challenge in Iraq was not necessarily whether or not we could complete a military victory, but what do we do with what we have left? And that is exactly what has played out. And I don't know how wein terms of lessons learned, we ought not to get involved in military conflict unless we have a plan to determine what we do with what is left there. That was always, it seems to me, the big challenge. That was one of the reasons why, to the extent that we could get a U.N. Security Council resolution, it would have made a big difference in terms of how we were perceived, whether we were perceived as occupiers or not. I suppose we did not anticipate that Saddam Hussein was going to let 100,000 criminals go. But there are reports, it seems to me, that indicated we could have anticipated much of what has happened, and I am not looking to blame anyone. I am just looking to find out how do we make sure that in the future we do adequately plan for what is going to happen when we leave.
I think this committee and all of us as a country, we need to do a better job to plan for after war in the future. And I cannot believeat least in this piece this weekend, there are some who say that there were plans on the table and there was differences of agreement between DOD and State people who are left out of the discussions. I just think it is important that we as a country learn after going through an experience like this.
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Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. MEEHAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SKELTON. Would the gentleman yield on that point?
Mr. SIMMONS. The gentleman's time is expired, but the Chair will certainly yield to the distinguished ranking member.
Mr. SKELTON. I would just remind my friend from Massachusetts, September the 4th last year and again on March 18 this year, I sent a letter to the President spelling out potential problems in the aftermath after the major conflict had ended, and seven of my predictions have come to pass. Thank you.
Mr. SIMMONS. We thank the gentleman.
The next member on the list is Representative Simmons from Connecticut, and he is now occupying the Chair. If the ranking member has no objection, he would like to take his time at this point. And hearing none
I think we have heard quite a bit about end strength. I signed the letter that Representative Wilson circulated some weeks ago. I signed another letter that she circulated this week to the President. I think end strength is a huge issue that we need to address aggressively and head on.
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My question goes, however, more to the issue of force mix. Like some of the other members, I served in the Reserves for many years as a military intelligence officer. I did go to Iraq a couple of weeks ago, and it seems to me the force mix in civil affairs, military intelligence and military police is inadequate to the task. We are relying increasingly on reservists to fill those slots, and it seems to me at the very least that the Active Component should be aggressively soliciting military personnel to be trained in those specialties, with the idea that, especially in the area of military police, that is what we need on the ground in Iraq in the unconventional situation that we now face and that indeed, yes, they must be equipped with up-armored Humvees and with body armor as they are trained and deployed.
My first question goes to the issue of what emergency measures have been instituted to provide for emergency training in those military occupational specialties (MOS) that we now need on the ground, and how is that playing out in the Active Component so as to relieve the Guard and Reserve personnel who are currently occupying those slots in those MOSs?
Then my second question goes to a very specific case, well drillers, engineer units that specialize in well drilling. I believe there are 11 Guard units or Reserve units across the country that have that specialty, none on active duty, several deployed in Iraq, no longer drilling wells because of equipment failureswells are now being drilled by civilians; civilian contractors are now drilling those wells, replacing the military in that activity. Yet, those well drillers who were deployed for that purpose are now being allocated to other duties such as escort duty for convoys. They are not being brought back now that their mission is over.
Page 72 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So my question to you is, to what extent have you attempted to identify units that are deployed for a certain purpose, are no longer engaged in that purpose, but are continuing to be held in Iraq to do other functions that are not in their primary MOS? Is there any opportunity to bring some of those soldiers back sooner rather than later?
Dr. CHU. Let me start with your second question, which is units whose original mission has been completed or changed. I would emphasize that is a subject of continuous review between the Joint Staff and the CENTCOM commander, although General Pace will speak to that.
I do think it is important to remember these are military units, and the unit can be applied as the commander's judgment thinks best in the instant military situation that is indeed the strength of the military unit and why we give everyone a certain amount of basic training, why I know the Marines view it that everyone is ultimately infantrymen in the end, if necessary.
To your question of retraining, in fact, active units are being remissioned also in theater in some cases; in other words, ordered to a new mission. It is, again, the subject that is under the commander's control. This is ultimately General Abizaid's call as to how he wants the units at his disposal to be deployed, what the best use of those units is. Our job is going forwardwe are changing, as we discussed already today, the mission of some units so that they are more appropriate. I think the Army agrees with you on the need for more military police specifically. I think we broadly agree with you, as our testimony this morning has underscored, on the need for stronger civil affairs and intelligence capabilities, as well.
Page 73 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Did you want to add anything, General?
General PACE. Sir, I do know that the commanders on the ground have stripped out units that are no longer needed. If you couldif I can get from your staff the specific unit you are talking about, I would be happy to track that to ground for you and get you a more detailed answer. I don't have specifics in my head about that. I do know that, as we are looking to replace units in the January through May time frame, that we have changed the composition of the footprint of those units to be more up-armored Humvees and the like and less heavy armor requiring different kinds of maintenance and sustainment skills. So the commanders are looking at that.
It is certainly possible that a unit or units have gotten lost in the crack. The commanders on the ground would know what they are doing there, and they would be deploying them. I just don't have visibility on individual units, and I will be happy to search one out for you.
Mr. SIMMONS. I thank the witnesses for their response.
Obviously, people are attracted to an engineering unit that does well drilling or, in this case, academics from the University of Connecticut, scientists, geologists. Their equipment is outdated, doesn't work. So they are doing escort duty, which is essentially an infantry assignment. And, yes, we all understand that you are first and foremost a soldier, but in this case the units have been pulled out of their local communities, their Guard or Reserve units, and it seems to me this transition needs to be addressed, because this goes to the future as to whether we are going to be able to track these people into these assignments.
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Dr. CHU. We understand, sir.
Mr. SIMMONS. I thank you both for your responses.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you, gentlemen, for being here today.
I think this committee is struggling with the whole issue of whyhow long are we really in Iraq, how long is this war going to go on in Afghanistan, do we have the right troop strength there, are we really configured correctly in order to sustain a long-term situation thereand, of course, none of us know whether it is a long term. A lot of us have a guess that it is long-term, and that is why we are so concerned about this whole issue of end strength and getting the right mix done.
But I want to ask a question with respect to the international troops. Because, as the gentlewoman from New Mexico noted with respect to your rotation plans, in light of the Turkish ambassador's comments yesterday that Turkey would not deploy any troops to Iraq unless the Iraqi councilGoverning Council would want themand of course we know there is the problem of the Kurds and the Turks. Despite the fact that we have this U.N. resolution with respect to multinational force, the fact of the matter is we have seen no troops since that resolution being committed, international troops being committed to Iraq.
Page 75 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So my question is, if we have what is really a diplomatic failure here, does that mean that you are looking at increasing our National Guard strength, our forces to sustain the troop rotation that we are talking about for the next year, and have you looked at any other alternatives? Have we looked atbecause the Army has been taking the brunt of the situation that is occurring. So my question is, what is your plan considering there really are no international troops on the horizon coming to save us?
Secondly, if it is not Armyor if it is not National Guard and reservists and it is not the Army, are we looking at Marines? Are we looking at maybe taking National Guard brigades and putting them in places like Korea or a contingency to Korea so we can free up more of our soldiers? I mean, what is the real plan if we have no international troops? That would be my first question.
General PACE. Ma'am, as you know, we havein Afghanistan, we have about 10,000 U.S. and about 7,000 international. In Iraq, we have about 131,000 U.S. and about 24,000 international. We have been told by our State Department that, in fact, the 24,000 level, the two divisions, one led by the Poles and one led by the United Kingdom (UK), will continue their missions there and will rotate and be replaced by the countries that have allocated resources to those.
We are going to announce this afternoona correction. We will be talking with Congress this afternoon about issuing orders tonight and having press briefings tomorrow on the next rotation of forces; and that will give you a very specific laydown answer to your questions, ma'am. It does include the call-up of Reserves. It does include the use of Marine forces. It does include Navy and Air Force where they are able with their capabilities to participate.
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So I think you will see a very broad look at the capabilities that are required and a joint solution to those problems. Although, clearly, the United States Army, the United States Marine Corps' capabilities are more needed right now on the ground than even the Air Force.
Ms. SANCHEZ. General, you know, we keep citing these 130,000 troops or what have you in Iraq, but I think there was a good article yesterdayI think it was the New York Timesabout the real issue that maybe, given breaks and time off, et cetera, maybe we have 28,000 troop strength in the sense of really in combat or security forces in Iraq, that a lot of this other is support staff and other issues.
I guess the question I have is, you cite maybe bringing in the Air Force or Navy, what have you. The fact of the matter is the Army is taking the brunt of this, and how do youhow do we really make Iraq stable from a security standpoint, which is the number one thing? We know the number one thing a government needs to do is to give people confidence that they are safe. There will be no capital that flows into Iraq. There will be no reconstruction that really goes on, because, you know, capital is coward. I am a businesswoman. We don't invest until we think the political arena and the security arena is safe enough for us.
So, you know, give me your indication of how many troops really, with respect to security, we need if in fact right now this 130,000 that we have there really amount maybe down to about 30,000. I mean, how are you going to get that done? How are we going to secure Iraq, I guess is my question.
Page 77 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General PACE. First, you are absolutely right. The United States Army deserves tremendous credit and thanks from all of us for the amount of work that they are doing for our Nation, not only in Iraq and in Afghanistan but also in the Army National Guard in places like Kosovo and in Bosnia, great soldiers doing great work.
Second, you are right that there are other forces like the Marines who can participate, who have and willhave in the past and will in the future.
Third, the way you help provide stability is to kill the bad guys and to get out there and aggressively patrol and take the fight to them and don't
Ms. SANCHEZ. But those are the 28 or 30,000 that we are really talking about.
General PACE. Ma'am, I
Ms. SANCHEZ. It is not the support staff.
General PACE. Everybody in that environment is carrying a rifle for a reason, ma'am; and everybody in that environment is being used for the capabilities that are required to sustain that force. General Abizaid and Rick SanchezLieutenant General Sanchez just as recently as last week came back in and briefed the Secretary on their plans for continuing operations in Iraq.
I talk to John Abizaid almost every day. I talked to him yesterday, got an e-mail from him this morning. He lays out hiswhat he is going to do tactically; and I would be happy to have a private conversation, but not a public one, with you about the tactics that we are changing, how we are going to go about doing that, but they are going to aggressively go after these folks.
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Ms. SANCHEZ. I would welcome that conversation. I think some of the members on this committee would like to have that private conversation with you.
I will just leave the thought in your mind, because I see that my time is up, Mr. Chairman.
President Bush said last week that if commanders requested more force level, he would certainly put them in. In light of the recent escalations of attacks by insurgent forces both in Iraq and Afghanistan, I hope that you are planning and you have a plan and you can discuss it with us in private about troop deployment to one or both countries if in fact your commanders in the field turn around and say, hey, we need more.
General PACE. Ma'am, if the field commanders say they need more, I can guarantee you they will get them; and, in fact, you will appreciate what I just said soon.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Well, we will have that private conversation. If others on the committee want to hear, then I think we should have a pretty good discussion.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, gentlemen.
Mr. SIMMONS. We thank the lady, and the Chair recognizes Mr. Langevin of Rhode Island.
Page 79 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. LANGEVIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman; and, gentlemen, thank you for being here today.
I wanted to just address three areas, if I could; and I would like to get to what you were just speaking to a minute ago with respect to foreign troops now in Iraq. Originally, I know it wasthe aim was to have at least one division made up of our troops and the Secretary of Defense has told me, and now you are saying, that there are two divisions made up of foreign troops. I just wanted to know, again, where those troops are coming from and are we still actively seeking more foreign troops to support us in our effort? And can you make a distinction between foreign troops that have been pledged and those that are now in theater?
The second question I hadwell, actually not a question but more of a comment. With respect to the decision to rethink the original decision to dismiss the 400,000 Iraqi soldiers, I, like maybe some of my colleagues, thought that was a bad decision from the beginning to dismiss those troops. I agree with you, General, in what you had stated, that of the 400,000 there may be 100,000 of the top echelon which we don't want back.
But I think we should at least entertain the possibility that rank and file soldiers were following orders and that if in fact they can be retrained and be brought into the new army it is far better to do that than to have these soldiers out there running out, potentially causing trouble. Especially in light of the fact that we had, as I understand it, broadcast and told those soldiers prior to the actual war being executed that if you stay in your barracks or you go home, lay down your weapons, don't take up arms against U.S. soldiers, that you will be well treated after the war is over, and then to have them dismissed after the fact I don't think was a wise move. I am glad to hear that we are rethinking that decision now. I know there is a lot of work to do in terms of monitoring who the good guys and who the bad guys are of the former army, but I am hopeful that that can be done effectively.
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The third and final thing that I wanted to addressand I would like you to address this question first. I would like you to describe for me the tracking, communications system that we have for wounded personnel from the time that they are wounded to the time that they actually come home. And I raise this point and I ask this question for a specific reason. There are two situations that have arisen in my home State, and I want to be very clear I am not happy with the way these things transpired and what happened.
We had one soldier who was given a Purple Heart, and certainly that is a tremendous honor for a soldier and obviously something that was earned and deserved. This soldier, though, happened to be at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, happened to be there on a day that the Vice President came out; and with no notification to him or his family or to the Guard he was given the Purple Heart while he was there. That speaks to me to be a situation of poor communication.
And the secondand, by the way, I had been out to Walter Reed several times. The first question that I will ask when I am there, are there any Rhode Islanders there? Certainly I, as their representative, want to visit with them. I was told, no, that there was noat that time the Army had him listed as a soldier from Wisconsin.
The second situation was one of our wounded soldierswe had lost two of our National Guard soldiers in an armored Humvee attack, the light-skinned vehicles. Two of the soldiers were killed. There was a third that was wounded. This soldier just returned home, and there was no notification. He actually called his family. The family called the National Guard; and, with 20 minutes' notice, the National Guard called the congressional offices.
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When I heard about both of these instances, the soldier who was awarded the Purple Heart and then this latest incident, this latest soldier that just returned home, I called our adjutant general. I was not happy, and I let him clearly know that I was upset with the lack of communication that was going on.
It is not so much that Members need to be notified, but think about the message that that sends to the soldiers and their families, that they are not being adequately notified, that we can't give this soldier a proper homecoming, a welcome home. You know the message that that sends to the soldier and the family? I am not happy about that situation, and I would like you to describe how we track and communicate with the soldiers and their families about homecomings or Purple Heart awards.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
General PACE. Sir, I would like to give you a very complete answer on that. You deserve a very thorough answer. Therefore, I would like to take the process for the record so we can explain to you how we think we do this, and then either take before or after us giving you that information the individuals who obviously did not get treated the way we would intend that they be treated so we can track back exactly what happened to them.
I happened to have the privilege of going to Walter Reed Hospital the day that the Vice President was there. They thought I was showing up, and we did that for security reasons for the Vice President of the United States. The Vice President showed up, and understandably, perhaps disappointingly for some of the families who were not able to be there, but certainly I thought in a very, very good leadership way took time to thank the troops and award them their Purple Hearts.
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It is unfortunate that the families were not able to be there, but I think the opportunity for the Vice President to go, opportunity for him to thank the troops and to give them the awards which they have ably deserved was a very, very gracious act of his. I was proud to be standing there that day; and those troops, although they did not have family with them, had their hospital family with them. On each side of those troops were doctors and nurses who were taking care of them.
It is also possible that if families wanted to be present for the awarding of those awards, we can award the Purple Heart in the hometown, as well. So the Vice President's gracious gesture can still be complemented by a ceremony in the hometown that allows everyone who would like to be there be there and have it publicly recognized in the way that it should.
With regards to the coalition troops, we have now and have had for several months two coalition divisions totaling 24,000 troops, one commanded by the UK, the other commanded by the Poles. Embedded in those two divisions are troops from about 34 countries. Our State Department tells us that when those troops get done with their rotations that they have commitments from those same countries and others to replace those forces. So we will continue to have two coalition divisions in Iraq with us.
I agree with you that a large portion of the former Iraqi army is a good recruiting ground for security forces for the future Iraq if we do our vetting proper.
Mr. LANGEVIN. Thank you.
Page 83 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SIMMONS. The Chair recognizes the distinguished gentleman and ranking member for some wrap-up comments to theoh, I beg your pardon. Mr. Cole of Oklahoma is recognized. I beg your pardon.
Mr. COLE. It is all right. We always bring up the rear, except when it comes to football.
If I may, a couple of things. First of all, gentlemen, thank you for your patience in being here today. It is a long day I know for you. It is very, very helpful.
Frankly, many of my questions have been anticipated, but there are two areas that I wanted to focus on. One in particular was the number of Iraqis that are helping us and, frankly, helping themselves, doing great work undoubtedly, in terms of providing security locally.
I will tell you it has been one of themy disappointment in this area that 3 or 4 weeks ago, the number 50,000, then 65, then 85, then this weekend for the first time over a hundred. Now this morning for the first time, 115. So I have got severe concerns as to whether or not we really have a handle on what the number is. Because I find it very difficult to believe, literally in a matter of three weeks, that the number has more than doubled.
So you addressed this, General Pace, in response to an earlier question, but I would certainly like to have a clear response on why we are having a hard time getting a handle on the number of people in the field that are assisting our forces.
Page 84 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General PACE. Part of it is what I said, sir, which is that we did not have visibility on all that was happening inside those institutions, which are currently being run by Iraqis and they have gone out and hired some people. So we had to check payrolls to find out.
Part of it is because we have been pushing real hard for about the last month, maybe a little bit longer, to accelerate the speed with which we train up the police force, the civil defense corps, the border guards, the fixed-site folks and the new Iraqi army, especially the Iraqi civil defense corps, which is similar to a national guard or a local joint armory.
Each unit, each local battalion has been going out and recruiting individuals to work with them to be trained up by the local U.S. brigade or the local U.S. division. So those numbers have increased rapidly, and that is another reason why the number has changed. But I can get you more specificity on that.
Mr. COLE. I would appreciate it. If the numbers really have increased that dramatically and we have 115,000 peopleand in fact, we have the number of challenging incidents we have had in the last several weekswouldn't that give you pause to whether or not we could really drawdown as quickly as you suggested in your earlier comments?
General PACE. I think what I need to clarifyand I appreciate the opportunityis that the 115,000 are on duty, not fully trained. We are counting them as we begin to pay them and train them up, but we have many, many individuals who have begun the training process and will not be fully effective for a while.
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So thank you for the opportunity to clarify that.
Mr. COLE. Thank you.
Let me switch to another subject quickly while I have just a couple of moments left, because it is one of great concern to me. Frankly, I share Representative Wilson's concern thatlet me put it diplomaticallythat your short-term efficiency and flexibility may undermine your long-term sustainability in terms of numbers. So I am very concerned about the overall size of the American military, given the number of challenges that we have given you gentlemen to handle.
In particularand I don't want to play got-you with the question, so let me put it to you this way: When I was in Iraq recently and had an opportunity to meet with a number of people, without going into names, every single person that I put this question to in a position of authoritynot do you have enough people there but is the military large enough to sustain the rotation that you needeither basically said, no, but they were very careful or said that is not something I can comment on but did it in a way, frankly, that sort of validated the assumption of the question.
So, you know, I would ask you to revisit that issue. I mean, I am not convinced that we can sustain this level of activity without asking just really extraordinary sacrifices of the young men and women you lead. And I know they will do it. They are just absolutely magnificent. But, you know, if you are wrong in estimating what our end strengthwhat the situation is going to be two years from nowas you say, it takes two years to stand up a divisionthen that is two years we lost in terms of time and preparation and two years in which we will have pushed people very hard under very difficult circumstances.
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So I would just ask you, are there any prospects for revisiting that question in terms, particularly where the Army is concerned, of end strength?
Dr. CHU. Well let me preface it by sayingand I think this is germane to the witness you are going to hear from the Congressional Budget Officethat the responses that you will get when you ask people in the field that questionassume typically, leave everything else the same, leave all other business practices and how we deploy forces elsewhere in the world, how we use those forces and so on and so forth, and the first way in which we are responding to your question with a whole long list that the Secretary has assigned us to review is why can we not change some of those practices, why can't we use these forces differently, why can we not end those tasks that no longer have real relevance in the Global War on Terrorism and that is going to produce, in some sense, quote, ''more end strength.''
If I take positions that a civilian can perform, but I have encumbered it with aencumbered a military position of responsibility and I give it back to a civilian or give it to a civilian for the first time in the Department's history, I have given back to the uniform service an end strength to use, and that is happening in realtime.
I will give you a very pedestrian example of that, and that is how we run the Defense Finance Accounting Service. For a long time, for whatever reason, we had a significant military content. We have basically concluded that that is not necessary. We are down now to debating whether the last handful of supervisory officers need to be uniformed officers or not. And one of the by-products I might
Page 87 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. COLE. Be careful there, Mr. Secretary. We have a Defense Accounting
Dr. CHU. I know. But the second point is exactly that problem. One of the things you find in that is people are willing to reconsider how they actually perform the function and this in the process I think it has become more effective.
So that reviewin the broader sense you are asking the question is constantly ongoing. I think some of the announcements that the General basically alluded to in terms of what we will be alerting the Congress of on tomorrowyou will see the first results from that effort in some of the kinds of things we will do for this next rotation.
Mr. COLE. My time is about up. Let me make one comment in response to that. Again, I don't presume to, frankly, trump either of your opinion of a distinguished soldier and a distinguished servant of the country, and I know you are working on these things and fully focused, but I would suggest as you think this through that we have never had a war where the military was the same size at the end of it that it was at the beginning, even though it was always more efficient at the end than it had been at the beginning. I think you will reach a point here, partly because you have a remarkable force as it is, where there will be an end to the efficiencies that you can achieve, and you will
You know, we as Congress will have to confront the tough question of size. That is an expensive question, and I am sure it is one the administration doesn't want to raise. Don't blame them. We would prefer not to do that ourselves. But at the end of the day I don't want the great casualtyI don't think anybody on this committee and you don'tof this conflict to be the American military, becauseparticularly the Army, because we ground it up and used it up rather than gave thembecause, frankly, every time we asked them to do something, they did it magnificently, efficiently.
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But at the end of the day you can wear any instrument out. You can overstretch it. I know many of my colleagues on this committee have that concern, and I certainly do, as well. So I would ask you to take particular care in that regard and frankly to be forthright. Because my view from dealing with the people in Iraq
And, again, I will just tell you, Dr. Chu, I think their view is fundamentally different, and I think that is true with other people that I deal with in other parts of the country, as well. So that is not to put them in a difficult spot or to mean that they question anybody's leadership, but this is a real, to me, you know, fundamentally serious point and one in which I think we will probably be revisiting the issue many, many times in this committee in the months ahead.
So thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SIMMONS. The Chair recognizes Mr. Skelton.
Mr. SKELTON. General, on what date did the planning for the aftermath of the conflict begin?
General PACE. Sometime in January was the first discussion I was personally aware of for the civilian organizational stand-up for running the civil side of the society, sir.
Mr. SKELTON. Sometime in January. Did you hear any discussion prior to that time?
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General PACE. Prior to that, all the discussions I recall were primarily to do with the military aftermath and the discussions of once we were sure we were going to go to war we needed to start working on the aftermath, and we did not want to do anything that would prejudge or somehow preordain that there was definitely going to be a war.
Mr. SKELTON. So this was sometime in January, all of the above? To all of the above, the military, civilian planning for aftermath, it was sometime in January?
General PACE. No, sir. The military timingGeneral Tom Franks' planning had been going on for months, and he
Mr. SKELTON. But the civilian end of it was not, is that correct?
General PACE. To my knowledge, the office was stood up in January, sir.
Mr. SKELTON. When did Tommy Franks' planning begin?
General PACE. When did his planning begin?
Mr. SKELTON. Yes, for the aftermath.
General PACE. I would have to check the record, sir. I believe he started planning the possibility of going to war in early 2002 as a possibility. I think that is true. And as he developed his plans, he was around September, October to the point where he thought he had an executable plan that he was comfortable with.
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Mr. SKELTON. War plan?
General PACE. Yes, sir. I believe that is about when he thought about the military piece of the aftermath, but I would have to check with CENTCOM.
Mr. SKELTON. I would appreciate that. Thank you.
Mr. SIMMONS. Thank you, gentlemen, for your testimony.
Our second panel today will help us understand some of the challenges the administration faces as it deals with increased demands being made on our military forces.
The witnesses are Dr. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Director of the Congressional Budget Office; Dr. Mike Gilmore, Assistant Director for National Security of the Congressional Budget Office; and Lieutenant General Theodore G. Stroup, Jr., U.S. Army retired, Vice President for Education of the Association of the United States Army.
Welcome, gentlemen. I will give you a moment or two to get settled, and then we will proceed with Dr. Holtz-Eakin.
STATEMENTS OF DOUGLAS HOLTZ-EAKIN, DIRECTOR, CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE, ACCOMPANIED BY MIKE GILMORE, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR NATIONAL SECURITY, CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE; AND LT. GEN. THEODORE G. STROUP, JR., U.S. ARMY RETIRED, VICE PRESIDENT FOR EDUCATION, ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY
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Mr. SIMMONS. Dr. Holtz-Eakin, the microphone is yours.
Mr. HOLTZ-EAKIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Skelton, members of the committee, for the chance to be here today to present to you some of the results of an analysis that CBO has done regarding the sustainability of the occupation in Iraq.
We have submitted our testimony for the record. What I would like to do in my few moments now would be to briefly walk through the key pieces of that analysis, showing the committee members how we built up the variety of scenarios that we present in our report, and then we would be happy to answer any questions that you might have.
Our report focuses on the levels of forces that could be sustained in Iraq over indefinite periods, and it is important to stress that the nature of the analysis is one where we are trying to parametrize the number of troops that could be in Iraq while fulfilling other commitments, maintaining a deployment tempo that doesn't jeopardize readiness and the training and quality of an all-volunteer force, and so within those parameters how many troops could be kept there over an indefinite amount of time.
In our analysis we focused on the ground forces in the Iraqi theater. Army forces comprise over 90 percent of those ground forces; and in our analysis we will focus on those Army forces which have received the greatest strain, both the active and the Reserve Components as well as some of the Marine forces. What we try to show in our analysis is the kinds of options for sustaining occupation using either only Army forces or by adding existing ground forces in the Active or Reserve Components and expanding forces to include additional Army divisions.
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Now, the starting point for the analysis is the July, 2003 Army plan for using unit rotation to occupy Iraq. We have got some slides and hopefully members of the committee have in front of you copies of these, which will be easier to see. This summarizes the movement from what is currently 15 combat brigades and about 150,000 personnel involved in the occupation, and that includes about 8,500 Air Force personnel. That is the current level, but that significantly exceeds, as we will talk about in a moment, DOD's ability to sustain this for an indefinite period.
Now, built into this plan are some objectives. DOD does not want tours to last more than one year, wants to have units that have returned within the past year not to deploy again and wants to limit the use of Army National Guard and other Reserve Components.
Under the Army plans provided in July that are consistent with those constraints, we have moved in the next slide to talk a little bit about what would look to be force levels in the Iraqi theater during the fiscal year.
Now, there are some wild cards involved in thinking about how this might play out, and the wild cards involve the degree to which there are multinational brigades available to the occupation forces. If additional multinational forces were to become available, the current 15 brigade or 150,000 forces could fall to about 8 brigades or 85,000 forces, Army and Marine, by April, 2004; and this lies at the upper-end of the range that CBO has gauged to be a sustainable level of occupation forces.
On the other hand, to the extent that these multinational divisions do not become available, we will requirethe DOD plan suggests that we will require up to four additional Army National Guard-enhanced separate brigades to fill the gap. As a result, the level of forces in the theater will be not 8, but 12 brigades and constitute a force of about 120,000 individuals.
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Now, given the interest of members of this committee, it is worth noting that Reserves would compose about 40 to 50 percent of these forces in the theater and that the range of mobilization needs would be from about 55 to 90,000 Reserve forces without multinational support.
Now, in moving from that position, the 2004 level of forces, which is not sustainable past sometime in the early spring, to these sustainable forces in an indefinite period, the key issue is the constant unit rotation. The long-term deployment that is envisioned would involve the unit rotation, in which entire units are moved into the theater and replace those who are brought back home for training and readiness and to preserve their quality of life.
Now, as we show in the slide, this is normally perceived to be a cycle in which there is a deployment of troops into the theater and then a return, some training and then a preparedness to deploy, and this unit rotation and assumptions made about the unit rotation are key feature in trying to determine the degree to which forces can be kept in Iraq on a sustained basis.
Now, in deciding the unit rotations that we used in our analysis, we had to make some judgments about the potential range of operations tempo that would be involved. We used a range which has as an up or down unit rotation ratio of three-to-one which would involve three brigades total for each brigade that is actually deployed in Iraq and at the lower end of the range a ratio of four-to-one.
I would note that the three-to-one ratio is a bit more aggressive than would be indicated by standard peacetime operation, and Iin listening to the comments of General Pace and the panel before us, he indicated that the current unit rotation ratio is about two-to-one, and he envisions that moving to something like four-to-one over the next couple of years. Our analysis focuses on a range between three-to-one and four-to-one where thethe three-to-one is a bit faster and demanding in peacetime; and four-to-one and five-to-one is something that would be reflected as peacetime planning, for example, in the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review. So, those are the parameters that we used for the bulk of our analysis. We do explore some even more aggressive and less demanding ratios, as well, if we want to explore those.
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Now for the Reserve forces, our unit rotation ratios are in a range between seven and a half-to-one and nine-to-one, and this reflects assumptions that are about 3 months of train-up for Reserve forces and then either 6 months or 12 months in theater for those Reserve forces, depending on the degree to which we wish to examine pressures on them.
Having done all of that, if we turn to slide five, we have the base case for analysis, and the basic concept here is to take preexisting commitments of Army forces, a known desire to keep rapid reaction forces, obligations in Korea and elsewhere. Having set aside those commitments, looking at our assumptions about the ability to deploy troops using different unit rotation ratios, we come to the conclusion that as a base case, using strictly Army forces, one can keep about three and a half to five and two-thirds combat brigades in Iraq. This constitutes something in the range of 40 to 65,000 troops; and of those troops, something in the range of 25 to 35,000 roughly would be Reserve Component forces. This would leave available for other commitments as a readiness matter somewhere between 18 and 23 and a half brigades.
We know, just for comparison, that it is conventionally thought that somewhere in the order of 20 to 21 brigades are necessary to fight a major engagement. Iraq was done with 12 U.S. brigades and three British brigades.
The cost of this is somewhere in the range of $8 to $12 billion, and that serves as a base case for the remainder of the scenarios that we deliver in our report.
Given this starting point, one can imagine moving from what is currently 150,000 down to 38 to 65. That is a big gap. We don't know the exact pace at which any movement from the current deployment to a sustainable deployment might take place, but we do explore options for raising the indefinite deployment sustainability through a variety of measures, measures that involve using forces that were previously taken off the table, using forces that are otherwise committed to peacekeeping in Bosnia or other engagements or actually expanding the size of the Army by standing up two Army divisions as possibilities.
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The remainder of the slides do that. Let me briefly show you some of the results and talk about those.
On slide six we focus on the options that are available if one uses other existing forces. If one begins with the base case in the top line through any combination of maintaining no rapid reaction forces, employing Army National Guard units, employing the Army Special Forces, employing active Marine Corps units or employing the Marine Corps Reserve, one can combine those to get to a bottom line that moves the total military personnel in Iraq from somewhere between 38 and 64,000 up to a range of 67,000 to a little over 100,000. At the same time, the number of Reserve personnel rises to somewhere between 50 and 70,000, and the availability of brigades for other missions gets diminished somewhat and falls in the range of 13 to 20 brigades. So one set of options summarized by this slide is to use existing forces to sustain an occupation in Iraq.
A second set of options would be to expand the size of the U.S. Army, and CBO estimates that one could complete one new division in about three years, although we have heard that estimate as low as two years even today and that a second division might be ready in five years. This is based on historical evidence from the 1980s and our examination of the last time that the military actually stood up two new divisions.
If these two new divisions were deployed in this way, they would raise the capability of total military personnel to between 85 and 130,000 troops in Iraq. Again, the Reserve Components would be substantial. We would have on the order of 8 to 12 combat brigades in Iraq at that time.
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Now, the final possibility that we quantify in our analysis is the possibility that we could sustain a larger occupation force in Iraq at the expense of other commitments around the globe. In the slide that you see here and that is in front of you, we, again, start from a base case where we use all of our existing forces and then imagine using those forces which are now committed in the Sinai, in Bosnia, in Kosovo, in Okinawa, and moving those in the Iraqi theater and in that way again raising the number of troops that one could leave in Iraq on a sustained basis.
In closing our report, we did note that there have been some discussions recently of changing the current basing of all forces overseas and that this could affect the kind of long-run analysis that we have done in ways as well. If, for example, one were to move to a situation where some of the forces currently in Germany were supported on a unit rotation basis in smaller areas in southern or eastern Europe, that would actually have fewer troops available to support a unit rotation in Iraq and diminish the ability for a sustained occupation there, as well.
We thank the committee for the chance to present this brief summary of what is in the report. We have submitted the report for the record, and we would be happy to go through all the details that are underneath the large number of scenarios that we presented to you today. Thank you.
Mr. SCHROCK [presiding]. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Holtz-Eakin can be viewed in the hard copy.]
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Mr. SCHROCK. Dr. Gilmore, welcome. You are here as backup, I gather.
Mr. GILMORE. Yes, I am.
Mr. SCHROCK. Great. Thank you.
General STROUP. Mr. Chairman, thank you again for your leadership and thank you for inviting me back to testify on this vital subject of the size of the Army end strength. Today I am going to submit for the record already that I have prepared, but I do want to share some short feelings with you that may give you a basis for additional questions.
As I have thought about how much the Army, in particular, but all the land forces have been stretched and strained since we came out of the strategic pause into this Global War on Terrorism, I am of the personal and professional opinion that the Nation needs strategic flexibility in the size of its land forces, in particular the Army.
Now, what do I mean by strategic flexibility? We do know todayyou have heard from earlier testimonythat recruiting and retention is up. However, I don't believe that the Army is currently sized to meet its mission requirements with its end strength today. That is not an accusation or a damnation of the military or civilian leadership that is in existence, but it is sort of a historical fact of how we started down the downhill slope of making the Army smaller, of which I participated in and at the time did it in good faith with civilian leadership and, of course, congressional guidance.
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I am not anti-administration or anti-party one way or the other. I just feel very strongly that unless you have an adequately sized Armyand I will give you a number in a minutethat you lose your strategic flexibility as the world continues to change, and we have certainly seen the world changing since we moved out of this break from the strategic pause.
You need that strategic flexibility in terms of end strength from the standpoint of having a balance and a capability to meet expectations of the requirements, sometimes unknown, of the forces for the future. You also need it from the standpoint of readiness, also from the standpoint of what I call force structure, agility and from the standpoint of current requirements probably to rebalance and redistribute the force structure and design as it exists today, which I would point out not from the fault of leadership, but just from the standpoint of time, resources made available is somewhat Cold War-based, for example. That is another discussion.
But today we are existing on the success of the past. We have got quality soldiers. We have got probably the best training framework, capability and facilities that we have ever had. We have got leader development for the career course. We clearly have values and training based for the junior force that comes in. We have got unit stability, more so than we have ever had before, regardless of the pressures that we are now seeing from both Afghanistan and Iraq.
We need to have a bench of trained forces, adequately sized to replace those that might become battle worn or battle tired wherever the battle might be.
Page 99 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Your active duty leaders have to deal with the reality of the federal budget given to them. They have to deal with practical leadership of executing day-to-day missions while attempting to plan for the future, and in some cases they have to deal with political agendas brought about by the different political parties in and out.
I think we have to accept the fact realistically that the cost of doing business for an adequately sized land force, in particular the Army, is that it is sized to, perhaps today I would say the requirement of about 520,000my association has gone on record for a range of 40 to 50,000 in end strengththat it is adequately resourced both from the standpoint of not only compensation and the other quality-of-life issues, but that it is adequately resourced for the operational issues of not only remodernizing or modernizing, but those funds to operate the bases, to train the forces and to move the forces adequately.
The forces here are not only that active Army end strength, but it is also the proper sizing and balancing of the Reserve Components to include the right number of full-time advisers if we continue to structure that way for training and Reserve Components. We have got a good Army. We have got a great Army. I am proud of my particular relationship with it and this association to be associated with.
I would say, in closing, sometimes in spite of the wisdom of military leadership and incumbent political leadership, historically it has been the responsibility and the duty of the Congress to tell us how to get it right; and perhaps your committee in this session or the next session might have to do that for us. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SCHROCK. Thank you, General.
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[The prepared statement of General Stroup can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. SCHROCK. We do have a wonderful Army. We have got a magnificent new Chief of Staff. I was privileged to hear him this morning, and he has me energized. No nonsense, no political agenda. He says it like he sees it, and he is a most welcome addition.
Mr. SKELTON. When is the first time, General, that you advocated before this committee an increase in end strength?
General STROUP. I was asked my personal opinion in 1995, I believe.
Mr. SKELTON. And what was your answer then?
General STROUP. My answer then was 520,000, sir.
Mr. SKELTON. Which would have been an increase of, what, 40,000? Am I correct?
General STROUP. Yes, sir.
Page 101 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SKELTON. Has your opinion changed?
General STROUP. My opinion hasn't changed; and as I do my back-of-the-envelope calculations, the number is still about 520,000 based on an Army of 480,000 today. I would say the way the Army got smaller was the Army had to pay for its modernization and operations program as we went from one administration to another. Carl Bono, Gordon Sullivan, Benny Reimer, successive chiefs have given up end strength to use that end strength money to pay for modernization programs or just operational programs.
Mr. SKELTON. For a long time, General, you and I, following your leadership and advice, have been the sole voices for increasing the end strength, and I think that it is gathering some momentum as we speak. I hope that comes to pass, because I think you are just wearing out some of these young people and that the exodus will not just be in the National Guard and the Reserve. I think it may also go into your active duty, which I hope I am wrong, but I don't think I am.
There has been a discussion and I think the administration discusses transferring a number of military slots into civilian slots. Are you familiar with that?
General STROUP. Yes, sir.
Mr. SKELTON. Can that be done?
General STROUP. Sir, successive administrations have conducted countless management studies of converting military slots into civilian slots or into contractor slots. It can be done practically, but the studies seem to go on forever, even when I ran them. It costs money; and, as the CBO has pointed out, it cannot happen overnight. You cannot instantly say we need an additional 10,000 soldiers by either increasing the end strength or by conversion. It takes time to do that, as they have said accurately in this report, how long it takes to build a division, structuring, training, battle training.
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Mr. SKELTON. If contractors were to take the place of civilian soldiers, there would be nothing to keep them on the job other than payment.
General STROUP. Yes, sir, and the payment normally has come out of the Army stop line instead of being top-loaded by the appropriations process.
Mr. SKELTON. In light of all this, you still think we need 40,000 additional troops?
General STROUP. Yes, sir.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you.
Mr. SCHROCK. Thank you.
Mr. COLE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I guess the last shall be first. This is very nice.
Mr. SCHROCK. I didn't want any more of those Oklahoma comments.
Mr. COLE. I will be very careful. In this business, humility is only a week away.
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If I may, Dr. Holtz-Eakin, you mentioned your discussion and your various scenarios of the Reserve Component that would be called upon, and I may be asking you, frankly, to make a judgment beyond the basis of your report, but my instinct in talking to the people in the Reserve and Guard units in my district is that most of them see themselves as war fighters called upon in a moment of supreme crisis and are delighted to do that. They don't see themselves as long-term occupation forces.
Given that attitude, what do you think that level of Reserve and Guard commitment and occupation force would ultimately do to retention and recruitment?
Mr. HOLTZ-EAKIN. Well, I think we know that, just on the facts, this level of Reserve mobilization, utilization is the largest since the Korean War. It is in great demand, and we heard eminent testimony from the reservists themselves. The CBO began to do some work at the request of Members in the Senate on the strain it places on employers, particularly small businesses who are asked to give up their employees for sustained periods of time.
One can suspect that in the usual calculus of making decisions there are many benefits of being reservists, and they include the desire to contribute to national goals, and there are some transparent costs which include time away, longer time than was first expected, no longer 6, now 12 months. Any time that the benefits remain the same and the costs go up, one suspects that fewer people make a decision of that type; and we will see how that plays out.
Mr. COLE. But we have nodo you have any early indications on how that is beginning to play out?
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Mr. HOLTZ-EAKIN. No, we do not.
Mr. COLE. Let me in the time I have left, General Stroup, ask yougo back to your professional judgment. One of the challenges this committee, I think, always has, certainly has nowI shouldn't say always; I haven't been here that longin addressing this issue of end strength is, frankly, an honest dialogue between the military and the committee. It is easier to be for something that you are asked to be for. One of the great challenges I think we have is that, at least to my knowledge, we get a lot of outside experts whom we respect to come and tell us that. We certainly get indications, but we don't get very much out of either the administration or directly out of the military leadership on this issue. Do you think we are getting an honest dialogue orI don't mean deliberately deceptive, but do you think we are getting a really brutal and candid assessment of what end strength needs are?
General STROUP. I believe that whoever is in the administration, whether it is a Democratic administration, a Republican administration, they have a lot of pressures on them. And since the Department of Defense has the largest share of the federal budget pie and, currently, you have a large deficit that is pending, I believe there is tremendous pressure on the Department of the Defense, both the civilian leadership and the military leadership, to hold down the cost.
An additional 10,000 soldiers, from my experience in calculations, is about a billion dollars. CBO has two different levels of features. And so what you find yourself on active duty testifying is that you are being very loyal and adherent to budget guidance that you have to build for your budget and, therefore, adhering to guidance from your civilian leadership.
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Mr. COLE. Do you think there is a danger, because of those pressures, that we may literally getthat this committee may not receive the best professional advice that is available?
General STROUP. I believe you will get honest advice from your military leaders. I believe that you have to ask for personal opinions. And that is how Congressman Ike got me in 1995, asking me for my personal opinion, when I had finished testifying both on the authorizing and the appropriations side for a 480,000 Army.
Mr. COLE. Let me ask you another related question.
We certainly sustained a very large all-voluntary military before in the early 1990s. If this Congress made the decision, or subsequent Congresses, that we needed to upsize our military, do you have any concern that we would have any difficulty attracting the quality that is necessary to sustain a first-class force, particularly if we did so in the context of ongoing, difficult duty in places like Iraq?
General STROUP. I believe it is tied to the economy. I believe that if the correct amount of resources are put into not only compensation and quality of life, but also the equipping and the training issues, that you can attract young Americans for all the services to come in.
I have a two-hour lecture I give as a visiting professor on the SPIDER web of personnel management and how you tie in resources to the economy and everything that goes in with it. And I would be happy to offer that in a few minutes, but it is a very fragile system when you start building a volunteer force.
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You did not ask the question, but I would not want to go back to a draft force.
Mr. COLE. Nor would I, and I didn't mean to suggest that.
I see my time has expired, but I would love, if I may, to have that lecture in some form or another at your convenience.
Mr. Chairman, I yield back.
Mr. SHROCK. Thank you, Mr. Cole.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, gentlemen, for being here.
My first question is to the Congressional Budget Office. Given the force that exists today and the anticipation that that force will be, at the very least, kept in place, what is your estimate for the current annual operating expense of American forces, military forces in Iraq?
Mr. HOLTZ-EAKIN. Our estimate to date of something on the order of 188,000 troops in Iraq for a year would be on the order of $36 to $41 billion, our most recent estimate. That is sensitive to the mix of Active and Reserve Components, and we have done our best to try to gauge what the likelihood would be.
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Mr. TAYLOR. In your report, you touch on the possibility or are at least anticipating the possibilities that if something else happens in the world, that requires a large contingent of Americans. Should something happen in the Far East, how long will it take to have a force of 100,000 Americans in place, either for the defense of Taiwan or for the defense of those Americans serving in South Korea?
Mr. GILMORE. A guess would be two to three months to do the whole deployment.
Mr. HOLTZ-EAKIN. Two to three months, would be our guess. We have not done a study of the tactics or deployment. We are looking at the availability of troops.
Mr. TAYLOR. Okay. You talk about the different ratios, you talk about the ideal four-to-one ratio, the old school three-to-one ratio, but from the testimony I heard from the first panel, when they are talking about units coming out in March should plan on being back a year from March, that is sounding more like a two-to-one ratio.
I did not notice where your study contemplated that as far as the cost on individuals, as far as their morale, as far as their equipment, as far as their ability to reconstitute a force. I would like to hear your thoughts on that.
Mr. HOLTZ-EAKIN. We chose a range, as I mentioned in my opening remarks, of three-to-one to four-to-one. That range was meant to reflect the needs of having a volunteer force that was trained up, rested, and consistent with the requirements of being sustainable. And I believe that two-to-one is roughly where we are now. I don't believe that either within the Defense Department or at CBO anyone believes that two-to-one is a sustainable tempo for this kind of an operation, and that a range between three-to-one, which is still more aggressive than a peacetime of four-to-one, is a better metric to use for planning.
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Mr. TAYLOR. Correct me, but I thought Secretary Chu said that, in effect, the two-to-one ratiohe never used the words two-to-one, but the anticipated replacement of the soldiers that come out in March with that same unit going back a year from March, I thought I heard him to say that was sustainable; and I would welcome your thoughts on that.
Mr. HOLTZ-EAKIN. We can check the record on what we heard. What I thought I heard General Pace say was that it was currently two-to-one, and I think we would roughly concur with that. I think we know that in the long-run, this sort ofthe nature of the exercise we did, which is an indefinite occupation, what can be sustained, that is not on the table. And there are, as a result, many paths from where we are now to the indefinite. And what happens in 2004, how long that gets stretched, is really very difficult to predict. It depends on the degree to which these enhanced separate brigades are used and a variety of other things that we really don't know.
Mr. TAYLOR. You use buzz words in Washington like ''sustainable.'' in terms that the citizens who pay our salaries can understand, the unit that comes out this coming March goes back a year from March.
Based on the interviews with people in the various services that you spoke to, what are the repercussions as far as recruiting, repercussions as far as retention, as far as the ability for that unit to adequately continue to be a fighting force?
Mr. HOLTZ-EAKIN. First of all, that is two-for-one. We believe it would be bad for readiness, bad for morale; and we can go into the details of that.
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Mr. GILMORE. Yes, two-to-one means that half your force is in Iraq and half your force has returned from Iraq within the last year or six months. I don't think anybody in DOD thinks that that is sustainable over the long-run, and I have seen some studies that DOD has done internally that would indicate they definitely don't think that would be sustainable over the long run.
Three-to-one gets you to a situation where you have at least one unitwhere you have a unit deployed, you have a unit that has just come back, and you have a unit that has had an opportunity to rest and train. So that is another way of thinking about it without perhaps using buzz words that would indicate that three-to-one is probably the most aggressive rotation that you could sustain and still be able to do training and have some time at home.
It is a good deal more aggressive, as one of our back-up charts indicates, than the experience of the all-in-one force prior to September 11, where the rotations were done at a much, much slower pace. So two-to-one is not something that anything that we have looked at, anyone with whom we have spoken, including people in the Army, think is sustainable; three-to-one, some people think, is probably too aggressive, but for the reasons I just described is at the high end of what we thought would be sustainable.
Mr. TAYLOR. So what percentage of the Guard and Reserve would have to be called up in order to maintain a three-to-one ratio?
Mr. GILMORE. There, we were able to stay withingenerally speaking, we were able to stay within the one-mobilization-every-six-years rule that the Pentagon is trying to adhere to and still provide the support units. And most of the support, or a good deal of the support, is in the Reserve units that are needed to be there to have the active units operate.
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So, at the levels we were talking about, the overall levels of forces that would be in Iraq, in all of the charts we showed, we were able to adhere to that one-to-six rule with one exception; and that is that there isn't enough support, there never has been program support that would be needed for the enhanced separate brigades. So if you try to start deploying them at one-to-six, along with all of the other active units, all of the other existing forces, then you would actually have to deploy them without all of the support that is needed; which is why you will see on our charts some of the enhanced separate brigade deployment personnel numbers are lower than the active brigade deployment numbers. So that is one little detail of the analysis you need to pay attention to.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SHROCK. Dr. Snyder.
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Gentlemen, sorry I wasn't here for your presentation.
First of all, I want to thank you all from the CBO for doing this study. I think when a lot of members first saw it, it is not the kind of thing we usually see coming from the CBO, but I think it has been a helpful contribution to this discussion that is going to go on for years and years. And I guess you will have chances to revisit this and retest your analysis and your assumptions.
General Stroup, I wanted to ask you a couple of questions, if I might. I don't know if you were here earlier for the first couple of hours of this, but I brought up this issue. We all have our pet issues here, but this issue of the civil affairs component, which has been really important, is almost all entirely in the Reserve function and in the Reserve forces, and I think there are some pretty credible people saying they are doing a great job; it is just that they have lives that they want to get back to, and this is really something we probably need to really beef up to the tune, as I think Secretary Perryformer Secretary of Defense Perry had suggested to me that he thinks 10,000 would be a very reasonable number, given what is going on around the world.
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Do you have any thoughts on that issue?
General STROUP. Yes, sir, I can give you a few thoughts.
First off, as General Pace portrayed it, and also Dr. Chu, the valuable contributions that the civil affairs individuals make when they are committed into a theater, most of that skill and talent is derivative from a related civilian job that they currently hold. The United States military, in particular the Army, has a tradition going back to pre-World War II, but post-World War I, that they were going to rely heavily on civilian-acquired skills for people to run civil-military government in a post-conflict situation.
As we built our forces for the Cold War and we structured our forces for the Cold War, there was a conscious decision made by successive administrations and endorsed by the Congress that the civil affairs function of these very talented Americans, who can run communities and run administration and legal systems and all of that, would most likely come from citizen volunteers who would belong to civil affairs units.
That structure was kept through the downsizing, it was kept during the strategic pause that we are no longer in, and now we find ourselves confronted nationally with a need for these talented Americans. They are in the Reserve Components by far, particularly in the Army, and now they are becoming stretched and strained and somewhat worn. It is probably through their patriotism and selfless service that we still have them over there.
So the real question for the congressional leadership and the civil leadership and the military leadership today is, what is the right balance for that critical skill in the Active force today and tomorrow versus what we have now. I don't have a solution.
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Mr. SNYDER. But you do agree, it is time to revisit that in view of Bosnia and Haiti and Kosovo and Iraq and Afghanistan?
General STROUP. It would be worthwhile to go back and reexamine it. But every time you make a change from one element of the force structure, then there could be a follow-on situation internationally in terms of national security to prove somebody wrong for going one way or the other. It is very difficult to find the correct balance.
Mr. SNYDER. I don't think that is a reason not to do different things, but I understand what you are saying.
I want to ask you also, General Stroup, and you may have talked about this when I wasn't here, but I think in part of your written statement you talk aboutyour phrase is ''rebalancing within a component.'' I am not sure I know exactly what that means, but I am going to venture. Is that related to this issue that I think Congressman Meehan brought up orI don't remember who it wasabout the fact that of the, I guess, 1.2 million people we have in the Armed Forces, about 60,000 or so, or around that, are actually trained to carry rifles in the streets and patrol and to be infantry folks?
It is a fairly small number, and some people argue there is a need for those numbers to be increased, that that is where the need is in terms of those numbers. Is that what you mean by ''rebalancing within a component,'' or what do you mean by that?
General STROUP. No, sir. When I am talking about rebalancing within the component, I am talking about, within the Army, the characterization is that you have the Active Component and the Reserve Component.
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Mr. SNYDER. Okay.
General STROUP. And the judgment is, what is the right balance in the structure. Do you have enough civil affairs to do today's and tomorrow's missions in the Active Component without wearing out the Reserve Components?
Mr. SNYDER. Do you have any comments about the issue that I think was discussed in the press in the last week or two about the numbers of infantry for furlough?
General STROUP. I read the article. It just so happened, the day I read the article was the day after it was published and I was being interviewed on Public TV. The article was not accurate in the way the individual authored the article, from the standpoint of the numbers. Public TV asked me for a short answer, and my answer was hogwash. And I will stand behind that because of the inaccuracy of the mathematics, the way that article was written by the individual.
Mr. SNYDER. All right. That doesn't deal with the underlying issue though.
Ignore the article. A lot of Members have now made trips to Iraq, and the commanding officers were very clear that they are taking tankers and putting them on the streets with rifles and they are doing different jobs. It is being doneI don't know what the word isthis ''reconfiguration'' or ''reassignment'' is being done; it is just not being done formally in a way that gives them proper training.
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So we will call the article hogwash, but in terms of its concept, is that something we ought to be looking at?
General STROUP. I would tell you that from my personal experience as a commander, growing up as a combat engineer in the Army, my troops that I commanded were perfectly capable, with a short amount of additional training, to switch over to perform an infantry role. I believe firmly that today's artillerymen, while they may not be happy in that they are not riding the war on their mounted howitzers, with short additional training can perform that mission.
Soldiers are soldiers. And they may not like the current mission they are doing, by taking them out of their comfortable structure, but I will have to fall back, not second guess, but support commanders on the ground from the standpoint of both the numbers and the redirection of some of the current basic combat missions of, say, the artillery folks into walking foot patrols.
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SHROCK. Mr. Larsen.
Mr. LARSEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
My first question is for General Stroup. Your testimony says it is not time for recriminations for who did and did not do what to allow the imbalance and the strain on the forces to occur. I appreciate that comment, and I agree with that comment.
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I do have a question, though, and that is, how did we get here to this point today to ask these questions today as opposed to earlier? Because it seems to me that with a new national security policy of preemptive strike doctrine as our foremost national security policy, it is really actually a use of our military policy as opposed to a national security policy.
Because what we are finding is, we can do the preemptive strike, but after we are done doing it, we have the leftovers we have to take care of; and we are doing that now in Iraq. And we didn't consider what we would do with the leftovers before we considered having a preemptive strike policy.
So I think that one of the lessons, perhaps, learned is that if we change national security policy, we need to think from A to Z as opposed to maybe from A to I, if you will, when we think about these things in the future.
And I wanted to just ask whyin your personal opinion, why would there be an adoption of a new policy like this without sort of this full consideration from A to Z? It just seems to me, maybe we could have seen this happening, these constraints on our military happening as a result of the adoption of this policy. Any thoughts there?
General STROUP. I do. To your first question, how did we get here, my immediate reactionand I will give you my statementis basically it started, the reshaping, the downsizing of the militaryActive, Guard, Reserve, Army, Navy, Air Forcewhen the Berlin Wall came down. There was exuberance from the standpoint of picking up the peace dividend. And the peace dividend grew in size, and the Department of Defense, your military services, paid the price.
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As you went down the slope of decreasing the total set of services by 33 percent in end strength and in the different structures, as was laid out from the standpoint of aircraft wings and number of ships and Army divisions, what occurred was that as the resources came down and the strength came down, it takes time to change military structure to focus on new missions. You then, since the Berlin Wall came down, had three to four different administrations. Reagan I was different than Reagan II; Clinton I was different than Clinton II.
So as you have new national security policies being designed, followed by new national military policies being designed, what does happen, through a fault of the system, is you never catch up in time from the standpoint of matching strategy and resources. It takes time to change the strategy, and you need adequate resources to go in and rebalance the forces.
And in the case that you have talked about, specifically, why is it thatas was described in the New York Times article, why is it that phase four wasn't right, I will never second-guess or judge anybody. But it is a time management thing.
Mr. LARSEN. That is our job.
General STROUP. Time management and looking forward, and do you have the time and the resources.
Mr. LARSEN. If it is a fault of the system, who or what is accountable then, and what are the questions we should be asking to fix it?
Page 117 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General STROUP. It is very difficult because you have changing leadership both in the Congress and in the administration, and that is why your participation not only through hearings, but through the authorizing language keeps the point sharp and the focus very clear on what is to be done.
On the 16th of September and the 17th of September, if some members in this committee today had not forced through Goldwater-Nichols in 1986, we would not be where we are today. We probably would have won the war adroitly, as we did in Iraq, and succeeded as we did in Afghanistan, but we would not have moved to the degree of needed jointness that we have now, nor would the officer leadership in all the services be as well prepared as they are now.
So sometimes you need that congressional nudge just from the standpoint of saying, Look, it's clear as a bell; now why don't you guys do it?
Mr. LARSEN. Mr. Chairman, can I ask just one more question of Dr. Holtz-Eakin?
With regard to your report, in looking at sustainability commitments in Iraq, did you at all look at the number of Iraqi security forces broken down by the number of the army and the defense corps and so on, and how that might impact commitments at all?
Mr. HOLTZ-EAKIN. No, we wouldn't take that into consideration. I would have focused on U.S. forces.
Mr. LARSEN. Is there a way to measure that and a way to measure their capabilities to even replace our military?
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Mr. HOLTZ-EAKIN. It really goes beyond the scope of the study to talk at all about the tactics on the ground, capabilities and those objectives. The object of the study is for a given set of objectives for troop strength, how can you get there?
That would require a whole different set of considerations.
Mr. LARSEN. I appreciate that. It is just one of the things I am struggling with, but I appreciate your answer on that.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SHROCK. Mr. Cooper.
Mr. COOPER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the quality of the CBO work. I wish that we didn't have to ask CBO for such information, but it is not forthcoming from the Pentagon, so I appreciate your ability and willingness to fill that gap.
I think the two most shocking pieces of information that Americans learn when they ask about our military situation is that, first, we have U.S. troops in, what, 120 countries; and second, that we are currently embarked on our fifth nation-building effort in a Muslim country in just the last ten yearsfifth in the last ten years, and we don't seem to have gotten much better at it. We are superb at warfighting, but when it comes to civil affairs officers, even in peace, things like that, we have to do unusual things to fulfill those objectives.
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I think the vast majority of members on this committee on both sides of the aisle are for increasing our end strength substantially, by about 40,000 people, that you, General Stroup, asked for years ago. But the Pentagon, including in today's hearing, seems as reluctant as ever to even consider that. You, General Stroup, gave us a couple of reasons why traditionally people have opposed that; they do not want to take away from the top-line budget as an Army commander. We are all concerned about the deficit, but I am concerned there may be other questions.
Budget restraints have not stopped this administration from asking for other things that they wanted. I know that Secretary Rumsfeld cares greatly about transformation. Do you think he is worried about increasing the size of the service that he views as probably the most retrograde of the services in terms of transformation? Is that a concern?
General STROUP. I don't believe he is. I think that more recently Secretary Rumsfeld has been very complimentary about the direction that the Army has been going on transformation. In a lot of General Shinseki and General Schoomaker's welcomed remarks, recently he has come out and said that the Army is moving in parallel with his ten tenets of transformation that he had laid out.
I think the Secretary, like every other Secretary in the executive department, has to wrestle with the top line that he was given by OMB or by the leadership itself; and being a good leader, he is going to be able to execute. I am sure that he would like to have more resources, if it were practical.
Page 120 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. COOPER. General, correct me if I am wrong, but didn't Pete Schoomaker get pulled out of retirement, and it is almost a statement that no current general officer in the Army was fit for that position? He had to pull General Schoomaker out of retirement, and the pending Secretary of the Army comes from the Air Force?
Those are not reassuring signs that he has full faith in the traditional Army command to meet the needs of transformation. In fact, it is almost a pretty clear vote of no confidence in traditional Army command, isn't it?
General STROUP. I don't believe so. I basically participated in growing the bench of serving three stars and four stars and some of the recently retired. Civilian leadership can select whomever they want. I think it is on public record that both the Secretary and Dr. Wolfowitz would like to have had General Keane as a Chief of Staff, and because of family and health reasons, General Keane elected not to serve.
I believe in the search forlooking for a new leader for the Army, because of the close working relationships that General Schoomaker had done on advisory boards and that, that he clearly met the qualifications, notwithstanding the other serving generals. And so maybe you can say I am cloistering around my general officer fraternity, but I believe strongly that the Army had a good bench, and it is not the first time that the administration or a SecDef or Secretary of War has reached out and pulled somebody out of retirement.
So I would say it is probably more press speculation, looking for a good fight between military leadership and civilian leadership, than really the ground truth.
Page 121 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. COOPER. My time is short. If I could shift gears a minute, what would you say if we increased end strength by 40,000 and focused particularly on civil affairs officers, MPs, functions like that, that the Army has not necessarily made a top priority over the years, but services which do seem to be increasing in demand if our current spate of nation-building is any indication?
General STROUP. I would commend you, if you would give the Army additional end strength, that you give them the resources to do it and you give them a measured time line so it doesn't happen overnight.
Now, with respect to the balance and the mix of the force structure, I think you have to take a long-run look at national security trends today and tomorrow and rely on uniformed leadership as to what is it you really need.
Mr. COOPER. Final question: The number one complaint my Guard officers have in Tennessee is dental unpreparedness. Are things like this being taken into account in our estimates? Because I would have thought these men would have known more the quality of their troops and their specific health needs. And this comes up time and again as the number one problem when it comes to call-up.
General STROUP. We have come miles since the last Gulf War. We have come miles because of policy changes and direction and guidance from the Congress. There is still a ways to go. But again, it boils down, when you deal with the Active duty leadership, do you have the resources to have the medical and dental force structure in the Active and in the Reserve Components to execute the needed predeployment dental work that has to be done?
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It can be a combination of policy change and additional resources and guidance of either doing it inside or outside the medical structure.
Mr. COOPER. So this wasn't as much a lack of information issue as a resource issue? Our generals knew that these dental problems existed?
General STROUP. From my perspective on Active duty and my closeness now to the Guard and Reserve, it is a combination of all of the above.
Mr. COOPER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SHROCK. The gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Skelton.
Mr. SKELTON. Let me thank you gentlemen from the CBO. I appreciate your excellent work. I know it is difficult at times to do it.
I will not lengthen this, but General, let me just ask you one question and then we will close out our hearing. Given that the Army in the foreseeable future will stay basically at this same sizeyou may not like that, but basically assume that it willdo you worry about the imbalance between the added number of civil affairs and MPs on the one hand versus combat troops on the other?
General STROUP. I don't lose sleep over it, Mr. Skelton. I think that the balance right now seems to be the issue of the moment. I think in the long run, the way General Schoomaker is positioning the Army for restructuring within the resources he has been given, he will probably reach a timely solution for that.
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I think that the direction he is taking the Army, following on the successes of Shinseki, is going to meet the current requirements and position the Army for the long-term requirements of the current national security strategy and perhaps one that might change in the future with this administration or another one.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you so much.
Mr. SHROCK. Thank you, Mr. Skelton.
Thank you all for being here today. I, too, am worried. Somebody mentioned they are going to be battle-worn and battle-tired. I am afraid we are wearing out not only the active duty troops, but we are wearing out the reservists.
And to repeat what I said earlier, when the Chief of Staff of the Army in his testimony at his confirmation said he intuitively believed the Army needed more people, and in our CBO report it said the active Army would be unable to sustain an occupation force of the present size in Iraq beyond March 2004 if it chose not to keep individual units deployed to Iraq for longer than one year without relief, I think that bothers every single one of us here.
Let me ask one final question. There was a controversy when General Shinseki came here and said he thought it would take a couple hundred thousand troops to maintain the peace in Iraq, and the Pentagon went ballistic on that. I was one of those who believed we needed a lot of troops until I went to Iraq and the commanders over there said they did not. But I understand that is the party line. Now I am starting to question that.
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I would like to know what the thoughts are of the three of you, if you think we need that large number of troops in there.
Mr. HOLTZ-EAKIN. We have not done a particular study on the capabilities needed on the ground in Iraq, so I don't want to present anything on that. But we do have some summaries of other studies that would be of interest.
Mr. GILMORE. There are studies by RAND, in particular by Jim Quinlivan, and he points out that initially in Bosnia there were about 20 troops per 1,000 people they were trying to control, and they were able to draw that down over 5 years to about 6 per 1,000, and we went into Iraq at about 6 per 1,000.
Now, most occupations or peacekeeping activities have been conducted at the lower end, around 6 per 1,000, but initially they started out higher. So to the extent there is any data that might shed light on this question, it is probably in those studies.
Mr. SHROCK. General
General STROUP. General Shinseki gave his answer, I believe, based on his personal experience when he had the four-star job in Europe wearing multiple multinational hats. He gave that as a personal opinion, I think, viewed from the standpoint of what he anticipated was going to be at the end of the period of conflict in Iraq.
I can't do any better. I have told staff that I am not going to second-judge the commanders on the ground, sir. So, respectfully, I will not be able to answer your question.
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Mr. SHROCK. All right.
Well, again, thank you all for being here. We appreciate your testimony and your answers to the questions. We thank you for staying here so long. Thank you very much.
This hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 2:35 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]