Page 1       TOP OF DOC






SEPTEMBER 29, 2004

Serial No. 108–150

Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations

Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.house.gov/internationalrelations

 Page 2       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois, Chairman

  Vice Chairman
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
ROY BLUNT, Missouri
NICK SMITH, Michigan
JOSEPH R. PITTS, Pennsylvania
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
MARK GREEN, Wisconsin
 Page 3       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

TOM LANTOS, California
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
BRAD SHERMAN, California
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
BARBARA LEE, California
JOSEPH M. HOEFFEL, Pennsylvania
ADAM B. SCHIFF, California
DIANE E. WATSON, California
 Page 4       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
ADAM SMITH, Washington

THOMAS E. MOONEY, SR., Staff Director/General Counsel
ROBERT R. KING, Democratic Staff Director
LARA ALAMEH, Professional Staff Member
LIBERTY DUNN, Staff Associate
BEVERLY HALLOCK, Staff Associate



    The Honorable Richard L. Armitage, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of State


    The Honorable Richard L. Armitage: Prepared statement


    The Honorable Nick Smith, a Representative in Congress from the State of Michigan: Prepared statement
 Page 5       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    The Honorable Andrew S. Natsios, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development: Prepared statement

    Responses from the Honorable Richard L. Armitage to Questions Submitted for the Record by the Honorable Shelley Berkley, a Representative in Congress from the State of Nevada

    Letter and enclosures addressed to the Honorable Henry J. Hyde, a Representative in Congress from the State of Illinois, and Chairman, Committee on International Relations: Regarding documents requested to be inserted into the record by the Honorable Richard L. Armitage in response to questions asked by Members during the hearing



House of Representatives,
Committee on International Relations,
Washington, DC.

    The Committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:32 a.m. in room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Henry J. Hyde (Chairman of the Committee) presiding.

    Chairman HYDE. The Committee will come to order.
 Page 6       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    The purpose of today's hearing is to examine the Administration's strategy to support the political and economic reconstruction of Afghanistan as that country approaches Presidential and parliamentary elections. Last week, this Committee heard from Administration officials about the security challenges surrounding the upcoming elections and what the United States is doing to step up efforts to protect the electoral process in Afghanistan.

    Today we will hear from a distinguished panel about what we are doing in the political and economic assistance areas to empower the evolving democratic process and to provide support to the people of Afghanistan on the eve of national elections.

    First, I want to reiterate my comments that I communicated to the Administration regarding the relationship between warlords and the drug trade. Waiting to take on the drug lords will not make the situation any better. For now, the drug lords are getting stronger, faster than the Afghan authorities are being built up. In other words, we are falling further and further behind. I expect that significant attention will be given to this issue.

    Despite serious challenges in the security area, Afghanistan has made great strides in the political realm. In 2003, a constitution was drafted, debated, and approved. In addition, an overall successful voter registration process has recently ended with over 10 million registered voters, approximately 42 percent of whom are women. Next week, eligible Afghans will enter the final phase of the political roadmap outlined in Bonn in 2001, when they will have the opportunity to express themselves through Presidential elections.

    The people of Afghanistan remain optimistic about their future and are eager for a new way of life that is characterized by the rule of law and not by the rule of the gun. Successful national elections will bring much needed legitimacy to a central government that has encountered numerous challenges to its authority throughout the country.
 Page 7       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    However, the United States and the international community need to ensure that effective and coordinated support is given to the democratically elected government, as it transforms, so that it has the ability to deliver real change to the people of Afghanistan. Afghans may have unrealistic expectations about how one Presidential election can change their lives. Regardless, visible, positive consequences must be realized through improved security and accelerated reconstruction, or else we risk the chance of the Afghans becoming disenchanted with the democratic process as a means to secure their livelihoods. We cannot afford to lose the hard won confidence of the Afghan people. Otherwise, Afghanistan could revert to an environment characterized by chaos, on which terrorists thrive.

    We must be careful to avoid any perceptions that the United States has been more concerned with the outcome of the upcoming Presidential election in Afghanistan, than it has been with supporting a meaningful electoral process for the Afghan people. United States goals for a stable and independent Afghanistan could be undermined if there are perceptions that the United States has played a heavy hand in Afghan's domestic political decisionmaking process.

    There should be a major acceleration of civic education before parliamentary elections this spring, so that Afghans are empowered to make their own judgments and have confidence in the integrity of the elections.

    As for next week's Presidential elections, it remains to be seen how fair and credible they may be. Voter registration has achieved some notable successes, which I applaud. However, with only 100 to 200 observers to be spread out among 5,000 polling sites and with threats of extortion and intimidation being voiced by local warlords and their private militias, I remain concerned about the monitoring of the elections and look forward to hearing testimony on this subject.
 Page 8       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    As I said, we have a distinguished panel representing the Administration today. I look forward to hearing from the Deputy Secretary about our country's long-term commitment to an independent and democratic Afghanistan.

    Last week we heard from Defense and State Departments, and I hope to hear from you today, Mr. Armitage, about the struggle with narcotics and the warlords. From your particular perspective, I hope we will hear about the status of high-level decisions within the Administration regarding what we will be doing to put the drug traffickers and warlords out of business—and who will be doing it. Additionally, I hope you will take a moment either in your presentation, or later, to discuss the activities of Afghanistan's neighbors, in particular Iran and Pakistan, and their impact on Afghanistan's stability. Also, it would be appreciated if you could relay some information on the discussions that are ongoing with other major states, such as NATO and the EU and their members, and any further contributions we can expect from them.

    I now yield to my friend and colleague, the Ranking Democratic Member, Tom Lantos, for any opening remarks he may wish to make.

    Without objection any Member may place his or her opening statement in the record of today's proceedings. Mr. Lantos.

    Mr. LANTOS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and I want to join you in welcoming our friend, Secretary Armitage. It is good to have you come before our Committee again, sir. As always, I look forward to a candid and open discussion with you.

 Page 9       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    I want to put my opening comments in context, Mr. Chairman. There is a very high degree of bipartisan unity in this country with respect to Afghanistan and there is nominal support from NATO. I underscore the word ''nominal,'' because in Afghanistan we do not have the divisiveness that has characterized actions and developments in Iraq, and it is this relatively high degree of consensus which shows up the freeloading and sheer hypocrisy of some of our European allies and of some of our friends in the Middle East. They are simply not carrying their load in Afghanistan anywhere near to their capabilities, and that is what I would like to focus on.

    Mr. Chairman, at the end of next week, the people of Afghanistan will hold their first national election for a President. This historic event will be partial fulfillment of what America went to war against the Taliban to accomplish. I remember it wasn't so long ago that you and I managed the resolution on the Floor denouncing the Taliban for their monstrous, murderous treatment of women, for their destruction of religious statues, and for their barbaric behavior.

    It is indeed a victory for United States' foreign policy that we are here discussing Presidential elections in Afghanistan and the demise of the Taliban. But I fear, Mr. Chairman, that the appalling absence of security in Afghanistan not only imperils the upcoming Presidential election, but next year's critically important legislative elections as well. Without a sufficient number of well-trained troops from NATO and our other friends to guard the polling places, protect candidates, protect voters from violent attacks, and to prevent voter intimidation, Afghanistan's elections could mark yet another tragic chapter in the history of that war-damaged, war-savaged nation. Given the importance of a free and stable Afghanistan to international security, I simply fail to understand, Mr. Chairman, how our allies—such as France, Germany, Belgium and Turkey, and friendly countries in the Middle East, such as Egypt—have failed the moral test of sending adequate numbers of troops, in some cases no troops, to help nurture a democracy and sustain Afghanistan in its time of desperate need.
 Page 10       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. Secretary, when I asked your colleagues at the State and Defense Departments last week why our allies refuse to dispatch more troops to Afghanistan, I was shocked by their response. One official said, ''I can't really explain it.'' I hope, Mr. Secretary, you will make an effort to explain it. Another of your colleagues proceeded to pay tribute to the contributions made by the pitifully small NATO contingent in Afghanistan. Mr. Secretary, where is the Administration's outrage over the fact that NATO and key allies in the Middle East have not only refused to help in Iraq, which is a controversial and separate issue, but turned their backs on Afghanistan as well?

    Mr. Secretary, in my judgment, your Administration should be strongly and publicly requesting that the Egyptians send troops to Afghanistan, as I did when I was in Egypt a few weeks ago. But when I made this point to your colleagues last week, I was informed that the United States is looking for troop contributions only from countries, in his words, ''that had a certain level of capability.'' In light of the fact that the United States has given the Egyptian military more than $30 billion—I repeat, more than $30 billion—in military aid over recent years, how is it that they do not have troops capable of assisting in Afghanistan? In fact, of course, the Egyptians do have the troops. They just refuse to send them to defend regional security.

    Mr. Secretary, I told the Egyptian leadership during my visit a few weeks ago that I will not relent in my effort to transfer a good portion of our current military aid into Egypt's educational and health care systems. Unless Egypt is prepared to be a responsible actor on the international scene, my colleagues and I will continue to offer my initiative to reduce our aid commitments to the Egyptian military and increase our commitments to the Egyptian people in the fields of health and education.
 Page 11       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. Secretary, our friends in Europe, including France, Belgium, Germany and Spain, have also shown appalling judgment in failing to dispatch troops to secure the upcoming elections in Afghanistan. Our European allies are basically freeloading when it comes to shouldering their share of global security responsibilities, both in Afghanistan and in Iraq. The Administration must be prepared to publicly condemn them for their failure to act.

    In the region, we contribute 512 troops per million Americans of our population. Germany's contribution is not 512, but 23 troops per every million German citizens, while France's contribution is a pathetic 9 troops per one million French citizens. The performance of these European nations in Iraq, in terms of providing election security, is equally pathetic. While NATO has now committed to send some 300 officers to train Iraqi security forces, a pittance from an alliance with over a million non-U.S. troops under arms, it is an absurdity and an outrage that these four wealthy countries—on which we spent tens of billions of dollars in the Marshall Plan and tens of billions more protecting them from the Soviet Union over two generations—now make a point of arrogantly refusing to contribute one single officer, or even one Euro, to fulfill NATO's commitment to train Iraq security forces so they can provide for an election climate which is plausible.

    Mr. Secretary, you are familiar with my longstanding respect for NATO. But lately it has become ever clearer to me that NATO risks losing all of its credibility, even among its staunchest supporters. NATO is apparently unable to summon European troops to Afghanistan to protect polling places and ensure that candidates are not assassinated. NATO has failed to extend its mandate to provide security along major highways, to end banditry, to end human rights abuses, opium production and trafficking. NATO member, Turkey, which was supposed to send some 12,000 troops to Iraq, should be sending at least that many to ensure regional security in Afghanistan.
 Page 12       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. Secretary, despite the freeloading ways of our allies in Europe and the Middle East, I remain convinced that Afghanistan can emerge as a stable and prosperous nation in the years ahead. It is, however, imperative that we understand that we have made a long-term commitment to that nation, which will continue long after the upcoming November elections. It remains equally critical that those now prosperous nations, that were freed from both Nazi tyranny and protected from Soviet domination, understand that they have a profound moral obligation to help win the freedom and prosperity of other nations around the globe.

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Chairman HYDE. Thank you, Mr. Lantos.

    I would like to welcome Richard Armitage.

    Mrs. DAVIS. Mr. Chairman?

    Chairman HYDE. Yes?

    Mrs. DAVIS. Could I say something in response to the Ranking Member for the record?

    Chairman HYDE. Very well.

    Mrs. DAVIS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I won't take but a second.
 Page 13       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. Lantos did bring up some points that I think are critical that we correct for the record. I must say that I do agree with him on a lot of what he says about our European allies and Turkey, for instance, that they could do more. They have a meager 200 troops in Afghanistan.

    Our allies are making efforts that I think the record needs to reflect. There are 7,000 European troops in Afghanistan. Eurocorps, led by Germany and France, is the leading ISAF mission. Also, there are 18,000 European troops in Iraq. The EU is taking over the NATO peacekeeping mission in Bosnia and getting ready to deploy 7,000 troops to Bosnia with another 5,000 to Kosovo. Spain and Italy have just agreed to send upwards of 2,000 more troops to Afghanistan for the elections and France has sent 5,000 troops to Haiti at our request. I just wanted the record to reflect what they are doing.

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. LANTOS. If I may respond to my friend for just a moment, Mr. Chairman.

    Chairman HYDE. Of course.

    Mr. LANTOS. One of our problems, Ms. Davis, has been that over the years, increasingly we have been busting our gut to put a favorable face on a dismal performance and your comments, while technically accurate, only contribute to this very serious mistake.
 Page 14       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    We liberated Europe. We kept Europe free from Soviet takeover for two generations. We had hundreds of thousands of troops in Europe protecting Europe. We succeeded in large measure in making Europe prosperous and Europe has simply opted out, with the exception of the Brits and a few others, from their global responsibilities. It is a fact of life. We should no longer delude ourselves by saying that Turkey has 200 troops in Afghanistan, while the Turkish military, as I recall, has about 600,000 troops. To have 200 troops in Afghanistan is a pitiful absurdity.

    While you may be correct in the figures you have cited, the fundamental message you are sending to our European friends is that it is all right for them to continue freeloading, to continue insisting that the United States carry the bulk of the load physically and financially in the trouble spots of the world. I don't think we are doing ourselves any favor by underscoring the minimal contributions they are making and remaining silent on their profound failure.

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Chairman HYDE. Thank you. I would like to welcome Richard Armitage. Prior to becoming the Deputy Secretary of State in 2001, he was President of Armitage Associates.

    Previously he achieved the personal rank of Ambassador for his public service, which includes an appointment as the Coordinator for Emergency Humanitarian Assistance and key diplomatic positions, such as Special Emissary to Jordan's King Hussein, during the 1991 Gulf War.
 Page 15       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. Armitage has also held senior positions in the Departments of State and Defense, as well as in Congress, including service as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs from 1983 to 1989.

    He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and subsequently completed three combat tours of duty with advisory forces in Vietnam.

    Welcome, Mr. Armitage. We are honored to have you appear before our Committee today. Please proceed with a liberally construed 5-minute summary of your statement, your full statement will be made a part of the record.



    Mr. ARMITAGE. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Lantos and Members of the Committee, thank you very much. The honor is mine. I am delighted to be before you again.

    I know what the deal is here. Your job is to ask questions. Mine is to try to answer them. I am going to let you get about your job, and I will try to do my best to fulfill mine.

    I just would like to make a one- or two-sentence statement. It is a pleasure for me to be before this Committee, as this is the Committee that originated the Afghanistan Freedom Support Act. I think in large measure it gave the people of Afghanistan the confidence and gave us the credibility that we were in this for, as Mr. Lantos suggests, the long haul. I will let you do your job, sir and I will try to do mine.
 Page 16       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    [The prepared statement of Mr. Armitage follows:]


    Mr. Chairman, distinguished Members of the Committee, I appreciate this opportunity to discuss with you today our efforts to help the nation of Afghanistan become a secure, thriving democracy. Indeed, this Committee has been instrumental in the success we have seen to date, so I also appreciate this opportunity to thank you for all of your support, including the Afghanistan Freedom Support Act of 2002.

    Three years ago, the United States embarked on a campaign in Afghanistan to defend our country. Today, our goal remains to defeat terrorism, and specifically to deny terrorists any safe haven in Afghanistan. We have seen many victories in this campaign, but I believe all Americans understand that the key to long-term success is to help Afghanistan become a stable country. Indeed, the international community stands with the people of Afghanistan in this noble endeavor. In turn, the Afghan people and their government have welcomed the support of the United States and the international community.

    The elements of lasting stability in Afghanistan are to elect a sovereign government, improve the security situation, and reconstruct a nation wrecked by a quarter-century of war and tyranny. As we pursue these objectives, the outcome we want to see is a self-governing Afghanistan, where all the people, men and women alike, enjoy human rights and freedom of conscience. We also want to maintain our partnership in the global war on terrorism.
 Page 17       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    In the quest for stability, elections are the most immediate challenge. In ten days, Afghanistan will hold Presidential elections, followed by Parliamentary and local elections next spring. Mr. Chairman, you expressed some concerns about the elections to the Department of State's then Coordinator for Afghanistan, Ambassador Bill Taylor, in a hearing four months ago. At the time, nobody was sure of the ultimate response to your questions. Today, however, I am able to offer you some encouraging answers.

    Mr. Chairman, you asked whether registered voters would be representative of the Afghan population as a whole. By and large, the answer is yes. I am pleased to report that more than ten million Afghans have registered to vote—far more than the Afghan Government and the international community anticipated. More than 40 percent of those who have registered are women—a percentage considerably greater than we expected. Overall, voter registration in all but two provinces has exceeded 68 percent of the estimated voter-age population, and is much higher in some parts of the country. Afghan refugees in Iran and Pakistan will also have the opportunity to vote. We believe that the results of the October 9th election will indeed represent the will of a broad cross-section of the population.

    Four months ago, Mr. Chairman, you also asked whether security issues would derail the election. Certainly, we know that the Taliban and other insurgents will continue to try to disrupt the process, perhaps even by attempting a large-scale attack on Election Day itself. We are prepared for that possibility: forces from 41 countries, plus the Afghan National Army and police, will be on the ground, ready to defend the integrity of the election process and the right of the Afghan people to vote.

 Page 18       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Finally, Mr. Chairman, you asked whether the regional warlords who control their own militias would hijack the election to consolidate their own hold on power. Here, I think, we have seen one of the most encouraging signs of progress in the past couple of months. Showing political courage and determination, President Karzai has succeeded in reducing the influence of several of the most prominent militia leaders. Some have even agreed to join the national government or opted to run for political office themselves, becoming part of the political process. Some have also acquiesced to putting their militias under the command of officers in the Afghan National Army. It may well be that these factional leaders are starting to accept that their future lies within the framework of the Afghan constitution.

    Afghan and United Nations election managers tell us that vote counting will last for several weeks. If no candidate wins a majority, there will be a run-off two weeks after the results of the first round are officially announced. Election workers and security forces will be ready to gear up again if a run-off is necessary. We believe that the result will command respect from the Afghan people and the international community. A successful Presidential election will be the first step in developing a tradition of democratic elections in Afghanistan, a tradition that can carry over into next spring to make Parliamentary and local elections a success, as well.

    This is, of course, very encouraging, but even a democratically-elected government will need a better security situation in order to govern successfully. For the time being, that will mean ongoing international assistance. Operation Enduring Freedom, with 20 countries contributing soldiers, continues the fight against the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and other insurgent elements. Thirty-six countries have contributed troops to the International Security Assistance Force, which is under the control of NATO. Seventeen Provincial Reconstruction Teams—13 under U.S. management—also provide security across the country.
 Page 19       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    At the same time, the United States is helping Afghanistan to develop the security forces the country will need to defend itself. This security assistance is multi-faceted: we have already trained more than 25,000 members of the national police force, as well as some 11,800 soldiers of the Afghan National Army, who are now deployed in 16 provinces. These troops have succeeded in stemming recent violence in western Afghanistan and elsewhere. Finally, the process of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration is progressing, albeit slowly, with all heavy weapons now cantoned in Kabul.

    As you are all aware, terrorist elements are not the only security challenge the fledgling government will face. There is also a serious and growing narcotics trafficking problem. One year ago, this was considered a secondary concern, but today, President Karzai and other Afghan officials say that the drug trade and the associated corruption may be the most significant threats to a secure and democratic Afghanistan. Indeed, there is a direct link between drug trafficking and the militants and recalcitrant warlords who seek to undermine the central government.

    We know from past experience in other parts of the world what it will take to run a successful counternarcotics campaign in Afghanistan. First, the government must recognize and acknowledge the extent of the problem. Then the government needs the political will, the resources, and the programs to deal with the problem. As I noted, there is a consensus among a cross-section of Afghan officials that drug trafficking presents perhaps the most serious challenge to the state. We believe that regardless of the outcome of the October 9th elections, there will be a firm commitment to meeting this challenge head on. As for the resources, international donors, chiefly the United Kingdom and United States, are providing expertise and financial aid needed to thwart this problem. Finally, we are coordinating closely with our partners in the British and Afghan governments to develop a detailed counternarcotics plan. The plan is to build on and add to what have been modest efforts to date, by improving eradication, interdiction, law enforcement, public information, and the development of alternative livelihoods.
 Page 20       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Drug trafficking was not the only criminal enterprise that flourished in the absence of the rule of law in Afghanistan; a lucrative trade in women and children also developed. People are trafficked from and through Afghanistan to Pakistan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia for begging, labor and prostitution, as well as internally for forced marriage, labor, and sexual exploitation. To counter this deplorable practice, the Government of Afghanistan is now taking important steps, including providing victim assistance and calling for criminal prosecution of the perpetrators. Given the limited resources available to Afghanistan, the nascent state of the central government, and the multitude of other challenges that the government faces, these anti-trafficking efforts are commendable. The United States directly supports those efforts through financial and technical assistance, including training of police and border security forces.

    Shutting down the criminal networks that sustain trafficking in people and drugs is crucial to the security of Afghanistan. At the same time, long-term stability will depend on a healthy economy as much as it will depend on security. To that end, the United States is leading an international effort to rebuild Afghanistan piece-by-piece, as Members of this Committee are well aware. We are constructing highways and provincial roads; we have, for example, completed reconstruction and the first layer of pavement on more than 240 miles of the Kabul-to-Kandahar highway. Hundreds of schools and clinics are under construction nationwide, as well as several industrial parks. We have distributed 13 million textbooks. We are sending advisors to train judges and lawyers. We are providing food, water, medicine, and power, and we are revitalizing government institutions.

    The United States has funded much of the reconstruction effort, providing $4.5 billion to date. Thirty-five other countries, the EU, and other international organizations, have pledged more than $10 billion. In addition, we continue to seek further assistance from our friends around the world.
 Page 21       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. Chairman, Afghanistan has come a long way in the short space of one year. Moreover, it is entirely reasonable to expect that a year from now, the Afghan people will have a duly-elected president, a parliament made up of local and national representatives, and the institutions they need to defend and protect their sovereignty and integrity against religious extremism, terrorism, and narcotics trafficking. From my travels to the region, I can tell you that the Afghan people and government appreciate our support in reaching that vision, and they also value close and lasting ties to the United States. In turn, the United States has made a long-term commitment to Afghanistan.

    Mr. Chairman, we thank Congress for its past support for Afghanistan. With your future support, we believe this is a strategic partnership that will continue to benefit both our nations for many years to come.

    Chairman HYDE. Mr. Lantos, do you have any questions?

    Mr. LANTOS. Yes. First, I want to commend you for your statement of extraordinary brevity, which took our breath away and only further enhanced our admiration and respect for you.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. That was the whole idea, sir.

    Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Secretary, I would like you to address as candidly as you can the issues I raised. I think we are dealing with a fundamental dilemma of our age.
 Page 22       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Peace has arrived in Europe. The Balkan Wars were probably the last military confrontation we will have seen on the European continent and no one is more delighted to see this than I am, as one who was born in Europe. It is high time that a continent, which was soaked in the blood of its young men—and at that time it was only men—has finally reached a stage of peace. Germany and France were engaged in three bloody wars in three-quarters of a century: The 1870 Franco-Prussian War, the First World War, and the Second World War. As you, I have visited many of those battlefields and the endless military cemeteries and the millions of soldiers who were never buried. So we are thrilled that Europe has achieved this goal, which has eluded mankind for so long. But I think it is important to underscore that in a place like Afghanistan, where there is verbal agreement between Europe and ourselves and where there is a formal NATO commitment, we all know that the presence of NATO troops in Afghanistan is a tiny fraction of what is needed to create a stable environment in that country.

    For a long time, it was only Kabul where we had any significant forces. There are now tiny military units scattered in a few parts of the country. But you, sir, know better than we do how inadequate the military presence is in Afghanistan to guarantee free elections and to prevent the intimidation and assassination of both candidates and people who just want to vote.

    What is your formula for increasing, significantly, contributions from Europe and from other places? When I visited Egypt a short while ago and pointed out that, with the huge Egyptian military and with our $30 billion of military aid in recent years, the least they should do is to provide some security forces, or minimally police forces, to ensure safer elections in Afghanistan, and they, of course, felt very confident in responding to me that the Administration is not going to ask them for anything. All they have in Afghanistan is a field hospital, with 62 Egyptian citizens. For a country of Egypt's size and of our aid to Egypt, and the size of Egypt's military, they ought to do better than that.
 Page 23       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    For a long time at the outbreak of the Iraq war, as you well know, there were very serious discussion by your Department to have 10- to 12,000 Turkish troops deployed in Iraq. For a whole set of complex reasons—that we don't need to go into now—this never happened. Those troops are available to Turkey. They are sorely needed now in Afghanistan. Why isn't the Administration making a strong effort to have Turkey deploy significant numbers of troops in Afghanistan? Because this experiment in Afghanistan may yet fail, as you know better than I do.

    I think we will deeply regret our unwillingness to tell the Europeans, the Turks, the Egyptians, and others that they have a responsibility. Pretending that these nominal contributions are adequate totally undermines our case.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Mr. Lantos, you started with a philosophical approach. I will address that, then I will get to the specifics, if I may.

    It is a fact of life. We have learned it in Washington, and I think we have learned it in our lives, that gratitude doesn't travel. Notwithstanding all the things that our Nation was responsible for in the main, historically, I don't think gratitude travels, and that is just a fact of life. It is not a pleasant one.

    Second, also in the philosophical vein, there doesn't seem to be much outrage anywhere in the world anymore, except in the United States. You are focusing correctly on Afghanistan and Iraq. I would extend that lack of outrage to Sudan and Haiti, where we are the only ones outraged.
 Page 24       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    This leads me to something that you have probably said and your colleagues have said. We don't want to be the policeman of the world, but as Secretary Powell would point out, every time someone dials 911, there is a certain accent they want from the person who answers the phone, and that is an American accent.

    I think our Nation is, by nature, probably best described as ''reluctant internationalists.'' We realize we haven't a choice, because if no one else does it, we have to do it, because that is our moral character and our national character. That is kind of a chapeau. That is how I see things going forward.

    On your specifics on Egypt and Turkey: I have to check one thing for the record, but I think our discussions with the transitional Government of Afghanistan have revealed that it has been a little reluctant, with both Egypt and Turkey, but I need to check that for the record.

    With Turkey, I will be glad to go back to them myself, as they did step up, and they did a good job with their 200 people. If you can do it with 200, you can do it with 2,000 or more.

    With the Egyptians, I have a strong view that we have spent most of our time with them trying to keep them in the game. They came willingly with Gaza and the training of police, et cetera, as well as the offer for training Iraqi policemen.

    Maybe what they said to you about ''no one has asked us'' is indicative of the fact that we haven't pushed them hard enough. I want a little asterisk, if I may, because I think something in the back of my mind tells me that we had a slight difference of opinion with the Government of Afghanistan, but I have to check that.
 Page 25       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. LANTOS. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

    Chairman HYDE. Ms. Davis.

    Mrs. DAVIS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and thank you, Mr. Secretary for being here.

    Over the last couple of years I have asked a question with regards to the poppy crop in Afghanistan in the Government Reform Committee, Arms Services Committee, and in this Committee. Without fault, every time I ask the question, the response was basically that it was the UK's problem, because the narcotics from Afghanistan didn't come into the United States. They went to Europe.

    Do we still have that feeling?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I certainly don't agree with the latter part of that, that since it doesn't come directly into the United States and goes to Europe, primarily by way of Russia, that it is not our problem. I look at drugs as I look at oil. It is a fungible commodity and beyond that, as members of the human race, if anybody suffers I think we all suffer.

    Having said that, the UK is the lead country, but Assistant Secretary Charles, who was up here in front of the Committee last week, has developed a new strategy. It makes us a lot more robust and, of course, it means more money, but there is a recognition that the poppy crop is up to record levels. Certainly way above 2003. It funds everything from terrorism to fueling corruption, and we have to do more and the British have to do more.
 Page 26       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    I showed Chairman Jerry Lewis the other day, at his request, part of our strategy, which is still secret and classified. I would be more than happy to have Mr. Charles come up and show you.

    The burden of it is that we have to be a lot more robust with eradication ourselves, along with the Afghans. There has to be some sort of alternative cropping, but those two alone won't work unless you have some punishment phase for those who grow and transit the opium. The fourth leg of that, if I may, Ms. Davis, is that we have to make sure that the Afghan SWAT team, and the term that we use for it, is up to speed to take down these labs and is well equipped enough to take down warlords, or the subsets of warlords, who run these drugs.

    With your permission, I will have Mr. Charles get in touch with you after this hearing.

    Mrs. DAVIS. I would certainly appreciate it. How does President Karzai feel about——

    Mr. ARMITAGE. President Karzai, about 8 months ago, started ringing the bell and banging the drum on this. He is as outraged, because he realizes this is a direct threat to him and his nation. He had come to us originally with an understanding that he had to get on top of it, that even the tentacles of it had reached into the transitional Government. He is not naive about it at all, and I take that as a pretty good sign.

    I don't know the outcome of the election. He is the most popular politician in the country. If that is a sign, he may be elected. If he is elected, I have no doubt that he is going to continue pushing us and pushing the UK in the prosecution of this, alongside his own forces.
 Page 27       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mrs. DAVIS. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. I would certainly appreciate a briefing on it.

    Chairman HYDE. Mr. Blumenauer.

    Mr. BLUMENAUER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We appreciate having this issue brought before us.

    Mr. Secretary, I appreciate your direct, succinct presentation. Perhaps it will inspire us likewise. I will try and do my part to just offer one observation, one question.

    I do agree with the point Mr. Lantos has been making about some of our friends who have been the recipient of billions of dollars, lots of attention and interest, who appear as though they could be doing more in Afghanistan. I want to identify myself with the concerns about Turkey, which may be a little different beast, but particularly Egypt. I am hopeful that there is a time when we can provide a little more pressure and a little more direct engagement, because I think we ought to be getting more for this massive investment that we have made.

    I am concerned that the world could be confused about our priorities and our commitments. Afghanistan, as you well know, is a larger country than Iraq. It is a poorer country than Iraq and it has been desperately damaged by the ravages of war over the last quarter century, at least. Yet, it appears as though we are investing on an order of magnitude about 20 times more in Iraq as we are in Afghanistan. I appreciate the security footprint is smaller in that larger damaged country, but that in turn restricts what we can do, what the NGOs can do, and the problems there continue to linger.
 Page 28       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    I feel that this is where we were united. Our Chairman is correct, I think there was great consensus on this Committee and in Congress to move forward to deal with the Taliban, deal with the al-Qaeda, deal with Osama bin Laden, and to try and do something to stabilize that troubled country.

    I would appreciate your observations, putting aside for a moment whether we should be investing more or less in Iraq. It appears to me that by any measure, we are under-investing in Afghanistan.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. On the philosophical part, when Mr. Lantos asked me the question and I answered that gratitude didn't travel, I should have added, I think to be fair, that we didn't do any of this to get gratitude. We did it because we felt it was in our national interest, and I think we are doing most of our foreign aid as a cold calculation—of one sort or another—of our national security.

    Specifically, on Afghanistan, sir, the rates of development and the rates of literacy, et cetera, between Iraq and Afghanistan are significantly different. My view is that with the low base that Afghanistan started with, a little bit of money goes a lot farther than it does in Iraq.

    Second, I think historically in Afghanistan, now that their relationship with Pakistan is better and the two-way trade is higher, there are not natural enemies of Afghanistan sitting on their border. This gives them confidence that they are going to have the time to develop themselves.
 Page 29       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Third, obviously as a landlocked country, Afghanistan lacks what it really needs, and that is support and access to the sea, et cetera. Where it sits makes it a natural transit point for everything from commerce to natural gas. We have the bridge started with Tajikistan, we have the roads around Kabul, Kandahar, and soon to Herat. Therefore, you are going to find, I think, commerce picking up at a rather astronomical pace.

    I think a little bit goes a long way. Now that is not to say that there aren't needs. We only have about, by my calculations, half the schools repaired that need to be and we don't have all the clinics that we wanted, because we wanted everyone to be within 4 hours of health care.

    Mr. BLUMENAUER. That is not what I am hearing from the NGOs who are there on the ground. In terms of the ability to have a security footprint where they can move forward, and the notion—the disparity of education for example, notwithstanding—the information I have been given is there is a lot that we can, in fact, do because a dollar goes further, that, in fact, we could have more progress. They may be more secure vis-a-vis the Government of Pakistan, but we have both warlords and dangerous elements that are there in that border region.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. If I may, I think which NGOs you talk to will determine to some extent the answer you get. Doctors Without Borders left, and the reason they left is they were unhappy with the fact that a security footprint was provided contemporaneously with humanitarian assistance. They felt that this politicized their particular NGO activities. I disagree mightily with them. I happen to agree that those small security footprints, which provide enough security to get something in, are much more effective.
 Page 30       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    I think you get a different answer, depending on which NGO you talk to. I know Médecins Sans Frontiérs would give you the answer I just did. It is not a very pleasant one, from my point of view.

    Chairman HYDE. Mr. Leach.

    Mr. LEACH. Thank you for coming, Mr. Secretary.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Thank you for having me, sir.

    Mr. LEACH. We appreciate your service. I would like to just ask a perspective question and get your response. There is a sense, following on the last question, that we have lost our sense of priorities. That Afghanistan, after all, was the place where the plotting for 9/11 occurred and that the United States has given disproportionate attention to Iraq, rather than Afghanistan. There is also a sense that some of the sympathy for the United States after 9/11 has dissipated, based on our policy in Iraq and that that may have an element of rationale for others being less supportive of our policy in Afghanistan.

    Would you comment on those two possibilities? Do you think there is any truth to that perspective or would you differ?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I think that the perception of that is a very real problem that we have to face, and face almost on a daily basis. Shortly after the invasion of Iraq, the President asked me to go to Afghanistan to speak with Mr. Karzai about these matters and to make it crystal clear to him that, at least from the Administration's point of view, we weren't going to turn away. Other Members, particularly of this body, Mr. Kolbe and others, have gone time and time again, and I think have indicated that from their point of view, the U.S. Congress wasn't going to lose interest. But the perception of it is there—that we are too tied up, too heavily involved in Iraq to spend attention to Afghanistan.
 Page 31       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    I don't think that President Karzai or his colleagues have that view, because we spent a large amount of time with him. He was in New York with the President again, and the President has made it clear that we are going to stay in this.

    I think that the good news is that there doesn't seem to be the electricity surrounding Afghanistan that there is around Iraq, for a lot of different reasons. There seems to be good support for a dependable amount of money. We have almost a billion dollars in the 2005 budget, which you are contemplating right now, which seems pretty predictable. We also have the feeling that, slow and as unsatisfactory as it is in some cases, both the security and aid that most of our European friends are providing means they are still in it. They are not going to shy away. They are not quitting. They are just not going fast enough as far as we are concerned. I think that it is a mixed picture, but it is much more perception than it is reality, Mr. Leach.

    Mr. LEACH. Let me just follow up with one other observation.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Go ahead.

    Mr. LEACH. It appears that even though we have a democratic election and don't want to say we are for a candidate or against a candidate, that the United States has been extremely fortunate in having leadership emerge in this very splintered country at the national level, that is quite impressive and that, in some ways, we are kind of vulnerable because of that.

 Page 32       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    That is, if something were to happen to some of this leadership, it would be a disaster for our foreign policy, more importantly, for the Afghan people. It would seem that that alone is a reason to enhance the priority status of Afghanistan. That is, if we have the bad luck of bad leadership, we might not want to be committing as much. If we have the good luck of good leadership, we would want to really be doing everything conceivable we can for the country.

    Would you care to comment on that?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Sir, you didn't get where you are by luck and depending on luck, and I don't think any Members or anybody does. It is a bad policy.

    I think we have done a little better than that. We could get bad leadership. It is possible. There are 18 candidates for President. It is interesting to note that the second most popular candidate, according to opinion polls, is a woman, which says something about the status of Afghanistan these days, especially after 23 years of war and the Taliban.

    I take some hope from two things: I thought the number of people who registered to vote was phenomenal and staggering. The reason I say that is because I went out and visited the election registrars about mid-campaign, and they were nowhere near this number. It just started to spread like wildfire. I thought that was a good sign.

    The second thing is, I have a poll here—which I would like to put in the record—which is not a U.S. Government poll, but shows that 85 percent of the Afghan people think they are on the right track.

 Page 33       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    These two things give us a good basis that whatever happens, the people of Afghanistan are deciding that they want to change from the way business has been done, or business as usual, over the past almost quarter century.

    Mr. LEACH. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

    Chairman HYDE. Mr. Ackerman.

    Mr. ACKERMAN. Thank you very much.

    Welcome, Mr. Secretary.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.

    Mr. ACKERMAN. I am not sure how you do polls in Afghanistan. I think throughout history, 85 percent of the Afghan people always thought they were on the right track. How is the election going?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. They have been campaigning for several weeks. I noted that yesterday, President Karzai was campaigning with one of his putative rivals, Mr. Dostum, also a warlord. Mr. Dostum made the point—and the point has also been made by those responsible for cantonments—that a majority of his weapons are in cantonment, and most of his men have taken part in the DDR process.

    I think the election is going pretty well. People are getting out. There are rallies. Even rivals are standing together and at least what they are saying, rhetorically, is that we have to have an Afghanistan that represents all people. That is the good news.
 Page 34       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    It is going to be tough. We have 4,800 voting places, with a total of 25,000 stations. Men will vote separately from women, because we think that makes women more comfortable. We have about 2,000 people thus far signed up to be election volunteers. Security is obviously a tough call. We have 35,000 police. Afghan police and military will be the first ring. We have the ISAF with a battalion from Spain, a battalion from Italy, a company of ours, which will be a second ring with a battalion in reserve. Third, we have our general coalition forces out there.

    As the Chairman indicated in his opening remarks, 4,800 is a lot of polling places to try to protect, but they don't all have to be protected, because they are not all in areas that are heavily infested or infected.

    Finally, if I may——

    Mr. ACKERMAN. Let me ask you——

    Mr. ARMITAGE [continuing]. I think all of us expects the Taliban to try to ratchet things up to disrupt this election. I do. I think most observers do. But they have not been able to do it. There are a number of incidents that have averaged two to three per day over the past several weeks and last night we had three with no U.S. wounded. They want it and——

    Mr. ACKERMAN. Have we been pressuring candidates to get out of the race?
 Page 35       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Have we been addressing candidates?

    Mr. ACKERMAN. Pressuring. Pressuring candidates to get out of the race. Warlords, et cetera.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. When asked questions by President Karzai, we have made our opinion known, particularly about those who are known throughout Afghanistan to be heavily involved in the drug trade. Beyond that, I know of no pressuring.

    Mr. ACKERMAN. Let me ask a different question. While you were in Europe a couple of weeks ago, the press reports that you had stated, and I am paraphrasing it, that terrorists were trying to affect the United States elections to the disadvantage of President Bush. Is that correct?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Yes, it is correct.

    Mr. ACKERMAN. Why would you call most of the democratically elected leadership, prime ministers and Presidents of our European allies terrorists?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. No. If I may, I had been asked that question at about six different press conferences and I had always answered it the six previous times that the Iraqi insurgents are trying to disrupt our elections.

    Leaving the Warsaw press conference, a guy asked me something, and I carelessly answered. It is one of those I wish I had back.
 Page 36       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. ACKERMAN. Was that just your personal opinion, a flippant opinion or——

    Mr. ARMITAGE. About disrupting our elections?

    Mr. ACKERMAN. Yes.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. No.

    Mr. ACKERMAN. No. If it wasn't your personal opinion or flippant, it is part of an Administration or Department belief? What evidence do you have that they are trying to disrupt our elections?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. There is plenty of intelligence that shows that they want to ratchet up violence before our elections.

    Mr. ACKERMAN. No. Please understand this very, very specific and pointed question, because we have heard it in briefings before by people who then have not reported back and other people who had to back away from it and say actually there is no evidence of it.

    The statement you made was not to disrupt our elections, but the statement you made was that they favor John Kerry, basically, and not President Bush. The terrorists are friends of the Democrats and the Republicans are the enemy of the terrorists.
 Page 37       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. ARMITAGE. No. You are incorrect in what I said.

    Mr. ACKERMAN. It is Ralph Nader they want to see President?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. You are incorrect in what I said. What I said was, and it was a careless remark, they are trying to influence the election of George Bush. They asked then, Do you think that they are with John Kerry? And I said, Of course not.

    As I said to you, I had answered the same question about six times and I was careless.

    Mr. ACKERMAN. Yes. But you are not answering the question. You said that they were trying to influence it. The quote that is in the papers, ''are trying to influence the election against President Bush.''

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I answered the question.

    Mr. ACKERMAN. If there are only two other candidates——

    Mr. ARMITAGE. It was a careless comment.

    Mr. ACKERMAN [continuing]. That I know about, then maybe it is Ralph Nader or maybe it is not. What evidence is there that they are trying to influence the election on behalf of a particular candidate or is this part of some kind of strategy within the Administration to make it took like terrorists are Democrats and favor John Kerry, and the Administration is just the American patriots trying to protect the American people?
 Page 38       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. ARMITAGE. As I said, I know——

    Mr. ACKERMAN. Is this a lot of hokum or is there evidence as to this?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I will try to answer, Mr. Ackerman. I don't know of any evidence about that. I said it was a careless remark that I made, and I have explained it.

    Mr. ACKERMAN. So there is no evidence to that effect?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. No. There is evidence that they are trying to disrupt our elections. Period.

    Mr. ACKERMAN. Yes. But not——

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Period.

    Mr. ACKERMAN. But not to favor a particular candidate?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Not in favor of either.

    Mr. ACKERMAN. Thank you.

    Chairman HYDE. Mr. Chris Smith of New Jersey.
 Page 39       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. SMITH OF NEW JERSEY. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

    Secretary Armitage, thank you for your leadership on so many issues. One of the issues I know you are very deeply, personally committed to, and I did read your submitted statement——

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I put it in there for you, Mr. Smith.

    Mr. SMITH OF NEW JERSEY. It is excellent. You do make the point, and I think it is very important to emphasize, that drug trafficking was not the only criminal enterprise that flourished in the absence of the rule of law in Afghanistan. A lucrative trade in women and children also developed, as you know—you were there at the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) office when it was inaugurated. You have been a great supporter of every effort to mitigate and end this modern day slavery and for that I personally, and I know on behalf of my colleagues, we are deeply grateful.

    Afghanistan is a tier II country. It does lack resources. The TIP report on Afghanistan makes it very clear that they don't have the resources. You point out that they are making some strides toward protecting the victims and doing some very good things there and I am very happy to hear that. One thing I asked Robert Charles the other day, and you might want to amplify on it as well, in the police training and in the military training, we have trained 25,000 national police and 11,800 members of the Afghan National Army. Are we integrating a policy and a program of training there, vis-a-vis trafficking?

 Page 40       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    General Leon LaPorte, Commander of U.S. forces in Korea, has done an extraordinary job there. We had him testify before a joint hearing of the OSCE, the Helsinki Commission, which I chair, and Duncan Hunter's Armed Service's Committee. The information he has conveyed, and the work that the Department of Defense has done in trying to train our military as part of George Bush's zero tolerance policy, with regards to trafficking, gets no notice. I look over at the press table and I have yet to really see anybody focus on this extraordinary policy. It is 2 years now that the President decreed, through a Presidential Directive, that there is a zero tolerance policy in our military when it comes to trafficking and we are leading the world.

    NATO now has followed, as you know. Nicholas Burns has done a good job as our Ambassador to NATO to get us there, and the Norwegians have co-sponsored an effort at NATO. NATO now has a zero tolerance policy. The U.N. is working in that direction as well so that military deployments, wherever they are, are less likely to be engaged in that nefarious enterprise and that horrific exploitation of women.

    But about the trainers—Mr. Charles did indicate that there was some training going on. You might want to amplify on it.

    Again, I gave General LaPorte's training manual to the Attorney General of Uganda the other day. He also heads up the military side and he went through the manual. It is something that is applicable to all military. Again, we are leading the effort in this area and certainly training the Afghan military and police.

    Secondly, very briefly, the OSCE observation mission is not going to happen, it is my understanding. There will be a smaller mission of 25 to 30 because of security concerns. If you could comment on whether or not the OSCE is right or wrong in not deploying a larger election observer force.
 Page 41       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Thank you, Mr. Smith. I added that to my statement, specifically for you, and I reviewed the hearing record of my colleagues who were up here last week.

    Since you and I cut the ribbon on the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (G/TIP) at the State Department, we have come a long way. So much so, that it is kind of part and parcel of what we do day-in and day-out in the Bureau. There is still some reluctance in some areas to name names, but I think we are past that pretty much.

    Specifically about training of police; the answer is yes. What Bobby Charles told you last week was correct. It is a difficult issue in Afghanistan, because of the literacy rate. It is a lot easier in using and training in Iraq for police. By the way, we do also train in Iraq to look for trafficking, though we don't have any data to show about Iraq yet. Because of the literacy rate, we sometimes have to use almost talking books to teach about everything from respect for human beings to respect for human rights. In particular, how to recognize the victims, particularly children.

    I think it is that training—and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) helps us a lot in this—that has allowed the police to stop over 1,000, at least the figures we have, 1,000 children who were going to be trafficked to Iran. They are able to recognize potential victims.

    This is a cultural problem that we work hard on. The old saying in Afghanistan was, ''It is better to be a mule than a woman in Afghanistan.'' That takes a little time to work through, and we are working through it. I think the fact that almost 42 percent of the women in Afghanistan have registered to vote has said—at least as far as they are concerned—they are not interested in that saying being applicable anymore.
 Page 42       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    The most interesting thing, finally, is that those women who are registering to vote are registering at higher percentages in the countryside, rather than in the cities of Kabul and Kandahar. This was much to my surprise. But they clearly have said, We can't take it anymore.

    On the question of OSCE, I thought the numbers were going to be about 50. It is insufficient. We and others are going to have to make up the difference, and we will do it. We are also training several thousand Afghanistan monitors to look for irregularities.

    Mr. SMITH OF NEW JERSEY. I appreciate that. Thank you very much for your fine service.

    Chairman HYDE. Thank you, Mr. Smith.

    Mr. Menendez.

    Mr. MENENDEZ. Thank you.

    Mr. Secretary, on page two of your written testimony, that you chose not to give orally, it says,

''Certainly we know that the Taliban and other insurgents will continue to try to disrupt the process, perhaps even by attempting a large scale attack on election day itself.''

 Page 43       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
Could you describe for the Committee, and you mentioned in response to another question that the Taliban is performing two or three incidents a day, could you describe the nature of the incidents to the Committee?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I can be very specific. As of last night, there was one rocket attack, one rocket propelled grenade (RPG) and one sniper attack against U.S. forces who are out patrolling all over, to no effect I might add. This morning I also had the occasion to be on a secure conference call with General Abizaid, who reported to the President and others just what I said.

    We expect an uptick of violence, but thus far they haven't been able to get it together. One of the reasons, according to General Abizaid and certainly from my experience, is that the Pakistanis have been so muscular in Waziristan that we are even seeing signs that al-Qaeda families are starting to leave.

    I hope I am correct in this. I am not making a prediction, but I think temporarily they are on the back foot, and we need to keep them there.

    Mr. MENENDEZ. I see. You also mention on page three about the countries that are continuing to fight against the Taliban, al-Qaeda and other insurgent elements.

    When you mention insurgent elements on page two, is al-Qaeda one of them?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. It is.

 Page 44       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. MENENDEZ. Yes. What I fail to understand, based upon your testimony, is how the President of the United States this week could, in Ohio, say, ''And the Taliban, I guess, just didn't believe me. And as a result of the United States' military, Taliban no longer is in existence''?

    Did you fail to give the President a briefing that the Taliban——

    Mr. ARMITAGE. No. I think that is——

    Mr. MENENDEZ [continuing]. Is still in existence and still very much active in Afghanistan?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. The President is acutely aware of the activities of the Taliban. He is also acutely aware that 28 million people have been freed.

    Mr. MENENDEZ. So did he mislead that audience in Ohio when he said the Taliban is no longer in existence?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I wasn't there, but I am sure the audience in Ohio——

    Mr. MENENDEZ. This is from——

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I wasn't there. I am sure the audience certainly understood that what he meant is the Taliban is not shackling 28 million people.
 Page 45       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. MENENDEZ. This is directly from the President's Web site and it says and I quote: ''And as a result of the United States' military, the Taliban is no longer in existence.'' Clearly from your testimony the Taliban is very much in existence. It is very much seeking to disrupt the elections in Afghanistan. It is very much seeking to affect the stability of that country. It is very much seeking to intimidate women.

    I think we have to stop sugarcoating the realities of what is happening in Afghanistan and in our other conflicts and be honest with the American people. In that regard, I ask you as we look at this election, it seems to me that again we get a very sugarcoated presentation. On the eve of the elections, the fear of violence keeps candidates from the campaign trail. President Karzai had to cancel a planned campaign rally 2 weeks ago, because a rocket or rocket propelled grenade was fired at his helicopter. He survived an assassination attempt on September 5.

    Some Afghans have been intimidated by the Taliban, including women. That is the Taliban that no longer exists, according to the President. Given the security situation and what President Karzai himself has said in the context of suggesting that there are many cases of double registration, is this a set of circumstances in which we want an election at any cost or where we want an election that is secure, that is free and fair and is transparent?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I will answer that question, but you might have also gone on to say that the Taliban is very much running from hidey hole to hidey hole. That they are very much on their back foot.

 Page 46       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Specifically on the question of the elections, it seems to me we want an election that is judged free and fair by the Afghan people. That is what we desire. President Karzai has said, of course, that there are some double registrations, and that is why we have training at the polls and the method of having people present either an ID card or their fingerprints—both are applicable. Some of the women didn't want their picture on an ID card, and they are allowed to do this with the fingerprint. There will be indelible ink used on people's hands. All the normal things that are used in elections, particularly in initial elections, in countries which have been troubled.

    We are going to apply all of those, but I think the important thing is not what I think, but what the Afghan people think. If they judge it to be free and fair, then we are a lot farther ahead than we might have been.

    Mr. LEACH. Thank you very much.

    Mr. Rohrabacher.

    Mr. ROHRABACHER. Thank you very much. Let me just note that nitpicking the President of the United States' words is not really constructive in this type of situation. No. I will finish my statement. Thank you.

    Let me note that the President may or may not have been precise in his wording about the Taliban, but this President—under his leadership and with the courage and dedication of our own military and our alliance with moderate Muslim forces in Afghanistan—has driven the Taliban from power, as compared to the President's Democratic predecessor, when, during the Democratic Administration that preceded this Administration, there was covert support for the Taliban for years. That is not nitpicking at wording. That is talking about solid policy and I will stick with the President of the United States that drove the Taliban from power rather than supported them covertly. Thank you. I am sorry that I haven't had time to sugarcoat my words this morning so that it would please everyone.
 Page 47       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    About the President and about how we have driven the Taliban from power: We drove the Taliban from power with the help of various people like Ismael Khan and General Dostum and others.

    Could we have been successful without their help?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. It would have been a lot harder, is the best I can say. I think once we embarked on a course, we were not going to finish until we were successful. There is no question that Ata and Dostum and Ismael Khan were helpful at the time.

    Mr. ROHRABACHER. Right. They played a major role in driving out the Taliban.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Some more than others. Yes, sir.

    Mr. ROHRABACHER. Why are we so intent now? I mean you said that gratitude doesn't travel. In politics, sometimes we say that the fastest drying liquid known to man are tears of gratitude.

    Why is it now that we have embarked so heavily on trying to, let us say, ''weaken'' those people who are so responsible for helping us win the victory, when the Taliban are still a factor in terms of the national security of Afghanistan?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Mr. Rohrabacher, I think that particularly the warlords to which you refer have more or less willingly come along with DDR. Dostum, as I indicated, much more. Ismael Khan, much less. But over the year and a half or so that we have been getting to the point we are now, Ismael Khan had every opportunity to provide more revenues to the central Government. He was doing quite well. Only after urging by Karzai's Government and the United States did he begin to put some of the revenues gained by customs into the central Government for the benefit of all Afghans.
 Page 48       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    He had the opportunity to participate in the DDR process, and he chose not to. Now the new Governor is indeed participating in the DDR process, and I will note there hasn't been any violence since the initial violence weeks ago.

    Mr. ROHRABACHER. Let us hope that the strategy works. I would suggest that a recognition that there are various ethnic groups in various regions of Afghanistan who would indicate that we should have the Federal system there in which people are elected, rather than appointed, might be the path to go down, but we will wait and see.

    One of the biggest problems we face in Afghanistan, or have not faced in Afghanistan, I should say, is the production of opium and heroin. There are apparently 540 tons of heroin being produced in Afghanistan this year, which is almost double what it was when the Taliban were driven from power.

    Do you expect that next year we are going to have something better to say? Better to present on this issue?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I think the best way I can answer that, Mr. Rohrabacher, is if we don't have something better to say about it, we might be in the position where the operation was successful, but the patient is not doing very well.

    Mr. ROHRABACHER. Right.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. You can't continue on this path.
 Page 49       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. ROHRABACHER. Correct.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. That is the burden of——

    Mr. ROHRABACHER. What is the total budget that we provide Karzai and the Afghan government?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Total from the U.S.?

    Mr. ROHRABACHER. Right.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. From the beginning, $4.5 billion approximately, sir.

    Mr. ROHRABACHER. $4.5 billion?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. From the beginning of our involvement.

    Mr. ROHRABACHER. How much per year do we give them?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Sir?

    Mr. ROHRABACHER. How much per year?

 Page 50       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. ARMITAGE. It is different every year. I can give it to you——

    Mr. ROHRABACHER. About 500 million?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. It is almost a billion in 2005.

    Mr. ROHRABACHER. Do they have about a $500 million budget for their Government?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. No. Their budget for the Government, sir, is about 4.7 billion.

    Mr. ROHRABACHER. 4.7.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Their Afghan budget.

    Mr. ROHRABACHER. $4.7 billion?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Sir?

    Mr. ROHRABACHER. How much? What is their budget?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Theirs was $4.7 billion.

 Page 51       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. ROHRABACHER. Per year?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Yes, sir.

    Mr. ROHRABACHER. That is not just what we are giving them, but that is their whole budget?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Our money is not always used for budget support.

    Mr. ROHRABACHER. Okay.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Other countries give budget support.

    Mr. ROHRABACHER. Are you including the military assistance in that?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. No. I am going to make two points. Their own budget—and they pay their salaries and they pay their military and all—is $4.7 billion, according to the information I have.

    Mr. ROHRABACHER. Okay.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Our total aid up to now, not including the 2005 bill which you are debating now, has been about 4.5, 4.6 billion.

 Page 52       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. ROHRABACHER. What do you think the value of 540 tons of heroin is?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I can't even do the math.

    Mr. ROHRABACHER. It is in the billions, right?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I would surely——

    Mr. ROHRABACHER. What we have done, by not focusing on this heroin issue, is we have provided a tremendous resource, perhaps almost as equal to the budget that the Afghan Government has itself, to those people who oppose everything that we are trying to do there, is there correct?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I think it is even greater than that. It also has even exposed people that aren't directly funding Talibs or terrorists, who are using it to corrupt the society for their own aims.

    Mr. ROHRABACHER. Okay.

    Chairman HYDE. The gentlelady from Nevada. Ms. Berkley.

    Ms. BERKLEY. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

    Thank you, Secretary Armitage. I have to mention something that Mr. Ackerman said. I also was astounded when I heard somebody of your stature say something like that and frankly, your clarification has not gotten quite the same coverage as your statement. It was astounding to me, I think you are held in such high regard that what you say matters and——
 Page 53       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I wish I had it back myself.

    Ms. BERKLEY. It would be nice if perhaps you clarified it.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I appreciate the opportunity——

    Ms. BERKLEY. That would be good.

    There are a couple of things that—I have to admit to my level of frustration being somewhat high—from the information I receive, what I have seen on television and what I see in reports, it seems that the Taliban has reemerged in Afghanistan. Weapons can be purchased for next to nothing and everybody has one. Poppy trade, as Mr. Dana Rohrabacher has spoken of, is astronomical. You can't even put a figure on it. The warlords are controlling most of Afghanistan. President Karzai is known as the Mayor of Kabul. He can't leave his compound after dark. But we have Administration official after Administration official sitting right where you are painting, what I consider, a very rosy picture. It has reached a point where I don't know whether to believe you or my lying eyes.

    Somewhere there is a disconnect and I just wanted to discuss some of these disconnects with you. I mean when you say that men and women are voting separately, because the women want it that way, to me that is nonsense. The reality is the men aren't going to vote side-by-side with the women and I think that is something we ought to acknowledge. I mean, that is the culture that we are dealing with.

 Page 54       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    When we talk about troop strength, we know we have got the election October 9. President Karzai has asked for 1,100 more troops to assist in security operations from the United States. He has requested 5,300 NATO troops, or at least that is the information I have, to help provide security. Only 1,800 NATO troops have been promised or pledged and even less than that have actually showed up.

    There is a tremendous need for security. It seems that we are doing this bass ackwards. Wouldn't it be better if we made a determination of exactly how much security was needed and allocate among the nation states that have a stake in this, how much their share should be?

    When we say that there is a difference of opinion with the Afghan Government whether or not Egypt should be supplying troops or Turkey should be supplying troops, frankly it is very hard for me to go to a constituent whose child or husband is in Afghanistan providing security and say, ''You know he should be there side-by-side with the Egyptians and the Turks, but there is a slight difference of opinion, because the Afghani Government doesn't want them there.'' I would say that is somewhat irrelevant to our mission and we need to be insisting that they contribute and that they carry their fair share load. And if they are not going to provide troops, then the least they could do is provide money, of which they are not doing either. I find it absolutely astounding that we are not insisting that they do that.

    I joined Mr. Lantos when we tried to shift the money that we give to the Egyptians. The Administration fought us tooth and nail, saying how cooperative they are being, particularly in the Gaza, destroying the tunnels that the weapons are coming in for the Palestinians and that they are going to provide security training for the Palestinians to take over.
 Page 55       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    The reality is, they haven't done either and now they are also not helping us in Afghanistan. They are certainly not in Iraq.

    I am wondering what, in your opinion, is adequate troop strength? How are we going to enable, or how are we going to convince our allies that they need to be a part of this? The same thing when it comes to donor money.

    We had Assistant Secretary Robert Charles here testifying in front of this Committee talking about two things. I will have you comment on all of this if I may. The key problems in Afghanistan is lack of infrastructure to support any type of legal or judicial system. The country doesn't have laws, courts, prisons, judges, basic things you need in order to be able to establish an orderly society. What are we doing to furnish this infrastructure?

    He also said that a number of nations have pledged to support us financially. This is his quote:

''Let me start by saying we have had donor conferences, in which people have pledged to support us financially. Even if they don't have the infrastructure or force structure to provide added people, they can provide the money.''

    Chairman HYDE. The gentlelady's time has expired.

    Ms. BERKLEY. Who are the people and how much money are they pledging and do we have it and what are we using it for?
 Page 56       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Thank you, ma'am. I was under the strong impression that the reason we are having separate voting booths was responding to women in Afghanistan, who say they want to be able to do it free of intimidation. That was the point I was trying to make. Maybe I am misinformed. I don't think so.

    Ms. BERKLEY. Isn't it bizarre that we are holding a democratic election and women in Afghanistan, who are probably a majority of the population, are worried about intimidation?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Yes. It is also bizarre that women are only literate to the tune of 21 percent. This is the type of thing we are trying to fix. I think it is not bizarre to note that, as I indicated, the second most popular political figure by polls is a woman, which I think is a good sign. That a certain number by their own constitution—27 percent of the lower house and 17 percent of the upper house seats—have been set aside for women.

    We are not where we want to be and not where we are going to be, but we are on a journey with some pretty brave people.

    On the question of who is giving what, I could go down by pledge and disbursements. I could put it in the record. I could do whatever you want. By country, who does what, and who has done what so far in 2001 and 2002.

    Ms. BERKLEY. Do you think it is adequate?
 Page 57       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. ARMITAGE. That is a different question. No. I don't think it is adequate. I would like them to step up like we do, but I want to tell you what I am going to be providing for the record to see if it satisfies your need.

    For instance, Japan has pledged since 2001, $900 million. They have grants disbursed to almost $500 million, $495 million and change. They pledged another $200 million in 2004. I have that for all the donor countries, if you are interested.

    Chairman HYDE. Without objection, the exhibit will be made a part of the record.

    Mr. McCotter.

    Ms. BERKLEY. Can I have my questions answered in writing? All the other questions.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Do you want them now?

    Ms. BERKLEY. No. In writing.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Sure.

    Ms. BERKLEY. Since we don't have time right now.

 Page 58       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. ARMITAGE. Sure.

    Ms. BERKLEY. I would like to get an idea of exactly how much troop strength we need, how much money——

    Chairman HYDE. If the gentlelady would put her questions in writing, I am sure the Secretary will answer them in writing.

    Ms. BERKLEY. I would be delighted.

    Chairman HYDE. Thank you.

    Now Mr. McCotter.

    Mr. MCCOTTER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Two footnotes and a conundrum. First, on the issue of the terrorist intentions in disrupting the elections. I can understand the minority party's concerns about that, but the reality is that that doesn't necessarily mean that when we ascribe intentions to terrorists, it is somehow a reflection upon a Presidential candidate. If the terrorist's intent is to disrupt the election, theoretically to get rid of President Bush, that does not mean they are correct in their assumption that what will follow will be better from their point of view. They may have just reached the point where, as many people have, anybody—but somebody else. And whoever follows can't be worse. Because if the election is running on safer versus non-safer, a terrorist disruption of the Presidential election—I can't perceive a reason they would do that, other than to just prove the former point rather than the latter. But it must be clear that while ascribing to their intentions and motivations, that doesn't mean it is a reflection of Senator Kerry.
 Page 59       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    As for Mr. Lantos' remarks, I thought they were the most eloquent remarks I have heard in quite some time about the nature of the European alliances. I am from Wayne County. I would have used different words.

    I think the lesson that we learned in the Cold War was that they believe we are going to do it for them and that if America doesn't do it, nobody else will and what part can we play? You see some nations on the European continent playing European Union politics, in short for the bragging rights to be the world's tallest midget. I don't think we can expect a whole lot from them.

    Finally, my conundrum. We have heard that Iraq is an incubator for terrorists. That foreign terrorists are flooding into Iraq to fight the United States.

    My question is: Why haven't we heard so much about that in Afghanistan? Why haven't we seen at least reports of the scale of that happening in Afghanistan?

    My reason is, which is why it is a conundrum for me, Iraq was a secular Baathist regime that was hated and we will hear this every now and then. It was hated by the al-Qaeda and the rest. Meanwhile, they were right at home with the Taliban. The Taliban was the type of government they liked. It was a type of government that housed them. They were quite comfortable with them. If anything, why was not the deposing of an extremist religious government in Afghanistan the tipping point for an incubator for terrorism, for foreign terrorists flocking to that country?

 Page 60       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    I don't understand why the former action in Afghanistan did not have that effect, because logically it would follow that if you were inclined to be a terrorist, that if you were inclined to worry about United States intervention into a spot in the world, that that would have been a much greater concern to you. That that would have been a larger spark to create new terrorists and to attract them to fight U.S. troops there rather than getting rid of Saddam Hussein, who was a secular regime.

    I say that and I don't think that they cared that some people liked Afghanistan more than others in the international community, because my personal belief is they don't care. They will kill any Westerner infidel they can find. I am just assuming, for the sake of argument, that that is not the case. But can you explain that to me? Because I do not understand it. I think this is critical to our assessment of policy in the Middle East.

    If there is a differentiation between Iraq and our deposition of Saddam Hussein there, deposing of him, if that creates more terror than deposing the fundamentalist radical Taliban, which was housing al-Qaeda in the first place, then we need to proceed from that point.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I am not sure I can answer, but I am going to give it a go. I think that the difference right now between Iraq and Afghanistan is twofold.

    First, in Iraq we don't have neighbors, except for Turkey, who aren't intent on trying to control the border. Hence, there are several or multiple entry points for foreign terrorists. This was the case in Afghanistan, but only from one border. The Iranians weren't allowing people to flood into Afghanistan. The Turkmenistan Government was not allowing it. The Tajik Government wasn't allowing it. The Pakistan Government was aiding it at one time. That was the single focal point. The Government, under President Musharraf's direction, has changed that policy. Hence, it is a lot more difficult for foreign terrorists to flood in.
 Page 61       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Second, if I may and very briefly, I think what we did in Afghanistan surprised them in large measure. There was no surprise about the invasion of Iraq. We really, as I said in an answer to a previous question, put them on their back feet in Afghanistan.

    Mr. MCCOTTER. Can you address the creation aspect of it, that we are creating new terrorists in Iraq—whereas we have not heard that about Afghanistan—when we deposed Saddam Hussein there?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I think there is a national character that was formed in Afghanistan as a result of war for 20-some years and the Taliban for 5, that made sort of anybody but Talib, anybody but war.

    In Iraq, I think, there was a rough and very cruel equilibrium in Saddam Hussein for some people and those are the ones who are still fighting us. They have had their equilibrium upset and I am referring in this case, sir, primarily to Sunnis.

    Chairman HYDE. Mr. Chandler.

    Mr. CHANDLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. Secretary, thank you for being here today. I am going to try to be rather brief. A little bit briefer than some of the other folks have been.

    Did I understand you to say that we had spent $4.6 billion in Afghanistan?
 Page 62       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. ARMITAGE. That is right.

    Mr. CHANDLER. Is that since 9/11?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Yes, it is, sir.

    Mr. CHANDLER. How does that compare with what we have spent in Iraq?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I don't know what the military costs are, but we have had two reconstruction funds. One for roughly $2 billion and the other for $18.4 billion. Both were voted through the Congress. The $2 billion from the initial appropriations has been disbursed. We have disbursed about $1.2 billion of the $18.4 billion in the second supplemental for Iraq.

    Mr. CHANDLER. Would it be rather safe to say that we have spent a pittance on Afghanistan in comparison to what we have spent on Iraq?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Actually, we have spent much more on Afghanistan, but Congress has voted a great deal more for Iraq than Afghanistan, but it is not obligated yet.

    Mr. CHANDLER. Now you are saying we have spent more on Afghanistan to date than we have spent on Iraq?

 Page 63       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. ARMITAGE. That is correct. We have actually disbursed more.

    Mr. CHANDLER. But is it true that we have not finished the job?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Nowhere near it.

    Mr. CHANDLER. I mean in Afghanistan.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Nowhere near it.

    Mr. CHANDLER. The Taliban is still active, still operative and still apparently a danger?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I think they are.

    Mr. CHANDLER. What sort of resources do we have on the ground, just generally, in Afghanistan?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I don't know how many——

    Mr. CHANDLER. Military resources.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I think we have about 17,000 U.S. forces. We have about 9,000 ISAF, foreign contributions, of which 7,700 are from NATO countries and then we have 11,720 Afghan army trained to date.
 Page 64       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. CHANDLER. Does our Government still believe that Osama bin Laden is in Afghanistan, or do we have any idea where he is?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I don't think we know.

    Mr. CHANDLER. Is the general belief that he is in Afghanistan?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. The general belief is that he is in the Pakistan/Afghanistan area, in the mountainous region, but I don't think anybody knows.

    Mr. CHANDLER. Why aren't we spending more resources trying to capture him? It has been my understanding, unless I have missed something, that he was responsible mainly for the 9/11 attack. Shouldn't we be putting more resources into the effort to capture him in Afghanistan than we are presently doing?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. The fellows who are patrolling up there every single day are certainly putting in a big effort. I can't give you, sir, the number of troops. It is a sizable number, and they are aided and assisted by the Pakistanis on the other side of the border, with whom we are liaising. I can't give you the level——

    Mr. CHANDLER. It would be your belief that we are doing enough to try to capture him?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I am not going to be happy until we catch him, but it is my belief that the military commanders think they have what they need to catch him, and that they will eventually get him.
 Page 65       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. CHANDLER. It is safe to say that we are putting much more militarily into Iraq than we are into the capture of Osama bin Laden?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. In terms of troops, sure.

    Mr. CHANDLER. Thank you.

    Chairman HYDE. Mr. Weller.

    Mr. WELLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. Secretary, good to see you this morning.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Thank you.

    Mr. WELLER. Thank you for taking the time to be before the Committee. It is always good to see you.

    I want to follow up on the questions of Ms. Davis and Mr. Rohrabacher and their focus on the issue of narcotrafficking and particularly opium production.

    Can you walk us through—so we can just get a greater understanding of how particularly the Taliban and al-Qaeda utilized narcotrafficking for their purposes—what roles they use for narcotrafficking?
 Page 66       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. ARMITAGE. My understanding, sir, is that the Taliban cynically manipulated the market by actually storing crops, temporarily driving up the market price and then using it to move through Tajikistan and up into Russia. They were using this very much as a budget support for their activities and manipulating the market just like someone could manipulate an oil market.

    At present, the people who were involved in narcotrafficking, some warlords, some minor warlords, certainly some of this money we believe gets to the Talibs, are engaged in what they think is a land office business. Hence the number of hectares under cultivation has grown.

    Mr. WELLER. What about al-Qaeda? What is their role in narcotrafficking and how do they use it?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. My understanding is the funds that they obtained were through the Talibs, but I am not an expert on this. I would be more comfortable if I could provide that for the record.

    Mr. WELLER. It is your understanding that most of the narcotrafficking financing, the money that comes through from narcotrafficking that is used for terrorism, actually comes through the Taliban before it would get to al-Qaeda or——

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Not now. Much of it now comes through warlords and others, and, I think, as it did before. The trafficking is partially controlled by the Talibs, partially by different warlords. All of the area in which poppy is grown was not under Talib control. Some of the northern alliance had territory where they had hectares under cultivation. It is a more mixed picture.
 Page 67       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. WELLER. The production of the Taliban, for example, are they directly involved in the production or do they have other people doing that for them?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I am not expert enough to say. My impression is that they are involved in siphoning off some of the proceeds. They are not out there actually cultivating it, but I would have to defer to Bobby Charles on that.

    Mr. WELLER. Is that the same with processing and actual distribution?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Yes.

    Mr. WELLER. What is the role of neighboring nations? Our friends.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Iran actually——

    Mr. WELLER. What is the role that they are taking in addressing the trafficking? You mentioned the route. You gave an example earlier of a route of where the opium was leaving Afghanistan. Can you walk us through each of the neighboring countries and the role that each of them are taking in encountering the trafficking in narcotics?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Iran has probably been the best in this for cultural and moral governmental reasons. They are standing up, as well as for religious reasons, very strongly against trafficking.
 Page 68       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    They have had a pretty strict border control regime. Tajikistan previously had Russian border guards doing the guarding of the borders. I think most of us felt that this lent itself to a certain amount of corruption. The border guards received zip for pay each month and, of course, one run of a mule could put them well for a year.

    We thought it was ripe for some corruption. The Tajiks have taken over these border posts from the Russians. The Russians left them there, and I can't say other than they are willing to play the role, that they are being able to be very strict.

    There is also a drug problem through Pakistan, but it is one that Members of the Congress have helped the Pakistanis to address by providing some helicopters to their DEA equivalent. We are about to sell them some more. Not military, but against the narcotics. Years ago, when U.S. Navy ships used to pull into port in Pakistan, literally when the lines would be thrown over, so would opium be thrown over on the deck for sailors as it came down from Afghanistan through Karachi.

    The Pakistanis have been standing up in the last year and a lot of your colleagues, like Mr. Pitts, have been very much involved in trying to help the Pakistanis help us.

    Mr. WELLER. The majority of opium that is produced, does that go to Europe? Is that where most of it is?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. The majority is produced in Afghanistan.

 Page 69       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. WELLER. Yes. If you were to ask the Europeans to do one more thing, above what they are currently doing to help address the trafficking in opium which ends up in the hands of their citizens, what would you ask?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I would ask that our Italian friends get—this may surprise you—actually get more robust. They are the lead nation in the rule of law. We are not going to be successful in just eradicating the opium if we can't get a rule of law and people actually get punished when they traffick in these things.

    I would ask more than the Brits to get involved in helping us prosecute this with everything from air spray to manual spray. I might say the irony of this is the majority of this product goes right into Moscow and our Russian friends are absolutely ripped about this. They are willing to be helpful in this matter. Of course they have some priors in Afghanistan and they don't have quite the freedom of action.

    Chairman HYDE. The gentlelady from California.

    Mr. WELLER. Thank you.

    Chairman HYDE. Ms. Lee.

    Ms. LEE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Thank you, Mr. Secretary, for being here. A couple of things I would like to say. First of all, we have recently experienced flawed elections in our own country. Of course more recently the election of 2000, where we had thousands of votes which were either not counted or thrown out and we have a situation in America where the Supreme Court selected or appointed the President.
 Page 70       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    I guess I would ask you, with regard to Afghanistan, you mentioned it is up to the Afghan people to determine what is free and fair in terms of their own elections.

    I think given the difficulties we have had here, we need to be clear with regard to the role of international observers and monitors. I think not only have we requested them, I have requested them with some of my colleagues, for the elections this time, but I think that the State Department, USAID, should do that. Should fund monitors and observers.

    I believe you have in the past, in terms of transition elections. I would just like to ask you about that. What are the plans for the security of counting ballots? Because of course we know what has happened in our own country.

    How are we going to make sure that in Afghanistan ballots are counted? That they are secure? That they are not thrown out? How do we allow for the democratic process to move forward, understanding what some of the basic problems are, given what we know about our own country?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Thank you, Mrs. Lee. My understanding is that there are going to be ballots that are actually marked individually. No chads. None of that. Just dropped in a box, which is then sealed. They go to eight different centers. They are escorted from the 4,800 polling places, which lead to an average, if everyone showed up who is registered, of about 2,000 a day.

    Just a bit about the procedures. The polls are open from 8 to 5 and anyone in line at 1600, or 4 o'clock, will be allowed to vote. Those are the rules set up for this. There will be observers, either international- or locally-trained observers at all the posts. The international observers will be United States, Afghanistan, U.N., Asian Network for Free Elections, OSCE; but, as Mr. Smith pointed out, they are not coming in such great numbers.
 Page 71       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Once the ballots are collected at the eight polling places, it will take a couple of days to count them and the results will start being made known when 15 percent of the vote has been counted. The possibilities for fraud always exist. The way they are going to try to handle it is by either photograph or fingerprint. For people who can't write or don't want to be photographed, identification in indelible ink on someone's hands when they vote. Is it perfect? No.

    Ms. LEE. Okay. It may not be perfect, but I guess given the United States' commitment to these elections we would probably have to do everything we can do to make sure that it is close to perfect, which means making sure that the ballots are clear.

    I personally have observed elections once in Nigeria with Secretary Powell, another time in South Africa, and the types of measures that have been put in place to ensure fair and free elections—transparency also—I was amazed at in terms of the development of their process.

    I am wondering here in Afghanistan, one, you mentioned the international observers. Who are they? Where are they going to come from? Do we have the Carter Center? IRI? You know all of the traditional organizations monitoring? Do we have congressional monitors? How much money are we spending on that and what will their roles be?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I think the money is the easiest one for me to answer. We are at about $94 million. We have provided over 45 percent of the money involved in the elections. Though I don't have the numbers of observers, Ms. Lee, I think there are several thousand we are training: U.N., Free Elections, Asian Network for Free Elections, OSCE. My excellent staff here has the whole thing here. NDI is training up to 1,500 domestic observers. I will be glad to provide this to you.
 Page 72       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Ms. LEE. Thank you very much. I am glad to hear that. I think we need to look at that also in terms of our upcoming elections and see what organizations have kicked in, because it is going to be very important that ballot tampering be prevented.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Right.

    Ms. LEE. Have you seen the ballots? How clear are they? Are they ballots that people, given what you said about the literacy rates, are they ballots with pictures?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. You know I haven't seen them, but why don't I try to get one if I can and provide it to you? I haven't seen it.

    Ms. LEE. Okay. That would be very important to see, in terms of our understanding of how——

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I am interested as well.

    Ms. LEE. Thank you very much.

    Chairman HYDE. Mr. Faleomavaega.

    Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to thank you and our Ranking Member, Mr. Lantos, for calling this important hearing this afternoon.
 Page 73       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    I would like to offer, also, my personal welcome to Secretary Armitage, here before our Committee.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Thank you, sir.

    Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Mr. Secretary, I have always held your opinions very highly and respected very much your forthrightness and being up front with some of the issues that come before the Members of this Committee.

    I want to commend you also for your efforts, recently, in bringing a better public understanding of what Pakistan had done with our friend Mr. Khan in selling nuclear secrets to countries like North Korea, Iran and Libya. I appreciate that you were very forthcoming in letting Congress know this was, by no means, just a public or media aberration, if you will.

    The fact, Mr. Secretary, that the person most responsible for the 9/11 attack, Mr. Osama bin Laden, is still at large somewhere between Pakistan and Afghanistan makes democratic reforms, in my humble opinion, for Afghanistan even more difficult. I was wanting to know, due to the fact that Osama bin Laden is still alive, Do you think that this will definitely have a serious impact on the democratic reforms that we are trying to make for Afghanistan?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. My opinion is the death—which is to be ardently hoped for; or the capture, which is the second option for Osama bin Laden—though a great thing, is not going to stop the Jihadists, and it is not going to stop the Talibs.

 Page 74       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    I think the fact of the matter is, although he, the titular head still and certainly, as far as we are concerned, responsible for the horror of 9/11, has found it a lot more difficult to be in charge if he is having to hide from hole-to-hole, which we believe he is.

    Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Mr. Secretary, it is my understanding that President Karzai has made it known to the leaders of our country and perhaps to the world that democracy, as he sees it, must have the heart and soul of the Afghan people, especially with him having to work with the warlords and they have to have some sense of active participation from these leaders.

    What I am simply saying here is that through the imposition of our will or our ways or our methods, it took us over 200 years to define and refine our form of democracy. And to expect that these people are going to be practicing democracy overnight, don't you think you are being somewhat unrealistic?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I don't want to be insulting to anyone, but I noted in the hearing last week, sir, when we were talking about democracy in Iraq, that it is a first-time thing, that until the early part of the 20th century, women didn't vote in our democracy, and Mr. Payne would not have been voting until 1965. We were pretty slow about developing our own democracy, and we have to keep that in the back of our minds. Having said that, I don't think other countries have the ''luxury'' of time to wait for 165 years to develop it.

    Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. I consider myself a slow reader and a slow learner, but recently I got through reading the book written by Mr. Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack, and I want to commend you for some very choice statements of which you are quoted in the book by Mr. Woodward and most——
 Page 75       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. ARMITAGE. My mother would put soap in my mouth, and I heard from my family about this.

    Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. The most striking point, Mr. Secretary, that I got, after reading this well respected journalist's timeless efforts to interview and to do everything leading up to our President's efforts to committing war in Iraq, was the fact that we shifted our resources from Afghanistan to Iraq. One of the things that really struck me the most in reading the book was the fact that, among all the senior members of the President's cabinet—and, of course, this is the President's prerogative and his right and his privilege to choose whoever he wants to ask for opinions—but if I read the book correctly, Mr. Secretary, it was that among all the senior members of the President's cabinet, he never asked Secretary Powell for his opinion as to whether or not we should attack Iraq.

    I make the presumption that he may have asked Secretary Powell about our involvement in Afghanistan, but is it correct that the President never asked Secretary Powell?

    Here is a man, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has been in combat, knows more about war than just about anybody in the President's cabinet, and he was never asked his opinion as to whether or not we should conduct war against Iraq or Saddam Hussein?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Sir, I think that same book makes the point that the President knew very well Secretary Powell's opinion that the Secretary, as well as I, in many cases, were fully involved in the deliberations, but the advice to the President, which we gave, I will remain silent about.
 Page 76       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    There was no doubt on where everybody stood and I think that point was made by the President.

    Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. The point that the President made to Secretary Powell was, Are you with me or against me?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. We had a full hearing of all of our views. We made it, and the President made his decision and the Secretary said he was with him.

    Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

    Chairman HYDE. Mr. Payne.

    Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much.

    Sorry that I missed your testimony, but I, too, kind of like to associate myself with the remarks of my colleague, Mr. Faleomavaega.

    I too was one that was outraged. From where I live—on a hill in New Jersey—the World Trade Center was very, very clear. It was so imposing that you could almost feel like you could touch it and, for months, as I would come out of my little one-way block to the top of the hill, it was as if something was wrong. Because the World Trade Centers were right in front and it just seemed so different, and I couldn't avoid looking over there and riding up the turnpike—just continually looking from Newark Airport—and they were not there.
 Page 77       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    So many of us in the New York/New Jersey region were traumatized, but it was just so personal because it was something we saw everyday. I am totally outraged that our Government did not go after the perpetrators, go after those people that came and violated our sovereignty, that did such a dastardly act. Secretary Rumsfeld said, ''there were no good targets in Afghanistan.'' Baghdad was a good target.

    The fact that we misled Americans, and it wasn't difficult because many people have a difficult time getting the details straight. We knew it was some people that didn't like us. We don't know those countries too well. Iran sounds like Iraq. Afghanistan doesn't sound like either one, but it was, ''Let us get somebody.'' And so we went and got a bad guy and we say, ''Aren't we better off that Saddam is in jail? Sure.''

    We could take a lot of people and say we would be better off if they were in prison somewhere. Very simplistic conclusion. But if we had put all of the energy and effort into Afghanistan and left Saddam Hussein and Iraq there, since they had the no-fly zone, we knew every piece of radar they had because we took it out. They couldn't get anything in. They couldn't get anything out. A few people would be happy to walk over from Syria, but we had the Predator. We had the U2s. We knew everything. We knew where they had lunch. We knew where they had dinner. We decided, though, to let Afghanistan go and put all of our energies into Iraq when the inspectors were still there. Saddam knew he didn't have anything. We heard the change from weapons of mass destruction. We don't even hear about weapons of mass destruction.

    It was that we went there because of regime change. I have never seen history revisited. It wasn't regime change. It was weapons of mass destruction. That is what they had, they said. Biological and chemical weapons. That is why we are going there. You don't hear that anymore. Now it is regime change. We wanted to change the President. Lies that are perpetrated on people is wrong, because Osama bin Laden is still around. Iraq is a rallying call where Saddam Hussein didn't even like or vice versa, neither one liked each other. Never met each other. Osama bin Laden called Saddam Hussein an infidel, just like us. I have never seen such a misuse of our power where we could have brought down Osama bin Laden and the Taliban, who were not even welcomed in Iraq and now they are running around there asking everyone to come on in. This Jihad is here.
 Page 78       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    It is wrong that we are there. I just came back 2 weeks ago. I went to that big military hospital in Ramstein up in Germany. I am looking at our wonderful young men and women, limbs blown off, burns, deaf, blind—and that is what happens in war and we have to do war. But I think that it was wrong that we did not go after our real enemy, because Saddam Hussein would still be a good target. They still would not have had an Air Force. They still wouldn't have had any target. They would still be in the no-fly zone and they still wouldn't have any weapons of mass destruction, like they don't have now. I don't have any questions.

    Chairman HYDE. The gentleman's time has expired.

    Do you wish to comment?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. No, sir. I think Mr. Payne didn't have a question.

    Chairman HYDE. I will yield myself 5 minutes, because I usually don't ask questions at these hearings, but this has been so provocative.

    There seems to be a deep sensitivity about criticizing the critics of the war. The notion that you can call the Commander-in-Chief, in a time of war, a liar and call him that repeatedly, the notion that that doesn't help the other side—I am staying away from the word ''enemy''—is, to use a word that Mr. Payne used, simplistic.

    To think that getting rid of Saddam Hussein was unimportant or negligible surprises me. To say that this is the wrong war at the wrong time and the wrong place, to say that doesn't help the other side, I have trouble understanding that. That is a disconnect.
 Page 79       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    To think that they are not trying to influence the election is willful ignorance. To think that what they did in Spain didn't affect that election when the first thing the new socialist prime minister said was, he is taking his troops out of Iraq. To think that didn't help the other side is naive.

    The criticisms—and I know it is the political season and the election is coming—but if we prize candor, we ought to understand that calling the Commander-in-Chief a liar every hour on the hour, as we have just heard him called here, it seems to me that it does help the other side. I don't know why we are so sensitive about that, because that is what is going on. It is wrong that we are there. I am sure that is what they think, but we were victimized by September 11 and we wanted to prevent any further victimization of this country.

    The previous Administration had the identical opinions about weapons of mass destruction that every intelligence service in the Nation and in the world had and yet we say the President misled us into war. The President exercised leadership and responded to one of the worst atrocities in recorded history: September 11. You are either on one side or you are on the other and those are my personal feelings. I don't attribute them to anybody.

    You are doing a fine job, Mr. Armitage, and we admire you for it and keep it up. Is that Mr. Engel?

    Mr. ACKERMAN. Mr. Chairman?

    Chairman HYDE. Mr. Engel.
 Page 80       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. ACKERMAN. Mr. Chairman, may I respond to your comments?

    Chairman HYDE. I was responding to your comments.

    Mr. ACKERMAN. On the point of personal privilege.

    Chairman HYDE. We are even in the response time.

    Mr. ACKERMAN. Point of personal privilege.

    Chairman HYDE. I didn't mention you, Mr. Ackerman, but I——

    Mr. ACKERMAN. You referred to something I said and called it willful ignorance.

    Chairman HYDE. Yes, I will. I think you were hypersensitive about being criticized. Of course you are doing the criticism about the President, but go ahead. What is on your mind?

    Mr. ACKERMAN. What is on my mind, Mr. Chairman, is I—and a lot of us—are sick and tired of those people who would question our patriotism, when we exercise our rights and responsibilities as Americans and Members of Congress and——

 Page 81       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Chairman HYDE. Nobody questions your patriotism. It is your judgment that is under question. Your patriotism——

    Mr. ACKERMAN. You said——

    Chairman HYDE [continuing]. Is——

    Mr. ACKERMAN. You said that we are favoring——

    Chairman HYDE. Red, white and blue.

    Mr. ACKERMAN [continuing]. The other side.

    Chairman HYDE. Red, white and blue.

    Mr. ACKERMAN. You said it is helpful to the other side.

    Chairman HYDE. I think that is obvious.

    Mr. ACKERMAN. What is obvious, Mr. Chairman, is that you are a rather vicious partisan, if you are questioning the patriotism of Members of Congress who are——

    Chairman HYDE. Now you are really getting personal.

 Page 82       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. ACKERMAN. I think that willful ignorance is kind of personal also, Mr. Chairman.

    Chairman HYDE. Just remember, ignorance is salvageable but stupid is forever.

    Mr. ACKERMAN. I know that, Mr. Chairman and I am glad that you have memorized that. The real point is that we have a right as Members of this Committee to question policies without having our motives or patriotism or loyalty to the United States referred to as loyalty and being helpful to the other side—of people with whom we are at war.

    We consider ourselves—those of us who want to be helpful—supportive, and most of us on this side in this Committee were very supportive of the President going in. We have a right to be critical of what we have seen since then and what we have been presented with, both in this Committee and in this room and other rooms under other conditions, by people who have misled and deceived us and deceived the American people as to the reasons of this war. If the gentleman from New Jersey appropriately expresses his concerns, to have his patriotism questioned and demeaned by the Chairman of the Committee, I believe is an abuse of the authority that you have.

    Chairman HYDE. Mr. Ackerman——

    Mr. ACKERMAN. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but not to demean Members of this Committee. I will not tolerate that.

 Page 83       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Chairman HYDE. I don't demean anybody on this Committee, least of all you, Mr. Ackerman. But you have to stand up to the consequences of what you are saying and doing. Calling the Commander-in-Chief a liar is not, in my judgment, helpful to our side.

    Mr. ACKERMAN. Mr. Chairman, I didn't call the Commander-in-Chief a liar.

    Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Chairman, would you yield for a moment?

    Chairman HYDE. I would like, Mr. Engel——

    Mr. ACKERMAN. If you would like the record read back on that, I would be happy to sit here through all that I have said. I have never called the Commander-in-Chief a liar, Mr. Chairman, and please don't ascribe that to me. I didn't——

    Chairman HYDE. Do any responsible people in your party call him a liar?

    Mr. ACKERMAN. I don't follow around every responsible person in my party. There are quite a number of us. As a matter of fact, we represent the majority of America.

    Chairman HYDE. I think we can forego providing entertainment for the room and terminate this hearing.

 Page 84       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
    Mr. Engel, do you want some time?

    Mr. ENGEL. Yes, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. PAYNE. Mr. Engel, would you give me 20 seconds? That is all.

    Chairman HYDE. Surely.

    Mr. ENGEL. I yield to Mr. Payne 20 seconds.

    Mr. PAYNE. Mr. Chairman, I wanted to make it clear that I felt that we could handle one major operation at a time, and if we had put the assets into Afghanistan to go over and get Osama bin Laden, who said, ''I did 9/11,'' that is what we, up in the northeast, feel. Let us go after the enemy and then we can go and get the other guy. There may be six other bad people sitting in capitals, but Osama bin Laden said, ''I did 9/11. I am sitting here in Afghanistan.''

    I give credit to the great Republican former Governor of New Jersey who said there was absolutely no connection between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein. And for you to sit there and even switch my words around a bit, where I said that we should have gone after Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, and then when we completed that we could go get anyone else that we want, I think that we have put our energies into the wrong place, because Osama bin Laden is still around. He is still making tapes. He is still roaming around caves somewhere and if we had put that 250- or 300,000 troops into Afghanistan, he wouldn't even be existing anymore. And we could have sat around as the inspectors and Hans Blix were roaming around Iraq since they said, ''You can go anywhere you want to go,'' but we said, ''No, you come out, because we are going in.''
 Page 85       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    That is all I said. That we had a wrong priority, because Saddam Hussein would have still been sitting in Baghdad and we could have finished the job in Afghanistan and saved thousands of American and coalition forces lives.

    Chairman HYDE. Thank you.

    Mr. ENGEL. I am wondering if I could reclaim my time. I have a question——

    Mr. PAYNE. I think you yielded to me so you have your 5 minutes I believe.

    Mr. ENGEL. I just want to say, and then I have a question for Mr. Armitage, that obviously Members of Congress have different opinions on this and what we are hearing today is a lot of frustration.

    I just want to say that we, as elected Members of Congress and, indeed, as American citizens, have the right to express our opinion without really being accused of helping the other side. I think that that is not something that we ought to be accused of. I remember that during the Vietnam War, that was the same thing leveled at critics of the Vietnam War. That somehow we were being unpatriotic or helping the other side.

    That shouldn't be leveled at people who are critical of what the Administration is doing and has done in Iraq. I have tried to be helpful. I think that each one of us has to search our own souls, but I think that we don't have to be rocket scientists to understand that things have gone terribly wrong in Iraq, and that the rosy pictures that the Administration is trying to project are not really fact at all. Things are going badly and that it is diverting from the war against terror, which I think some of my colleagues have been saying. The war against Osama bin Laden and the war against terror is being hurt by the fact that we are bogged down in Iraq. I think that is the frustration that we are hearing.
 Page 86       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. Armitage, I would like to ask you, I am told—or we are told, that in many regions of Afghanistan, the daily life has reverted back to the ways that it had been under the Taliban. That there are warlords and they are supposedly our allies, but that they have intimidated journalists and democracy activists and aid workers and Afghan civilians. They still restrict the freedom of women.

    Is it possible for there to be long-term democracy and stability and respect for human rights in Afghanistan, if the current local and regional warlords retain their present political and military power?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. If the warlords stayed, as they were today, I think the short answer would be no, Mr. Engel. However, the warlords are not in static positions. They have steadily come down in numbers.

    Over 17,000 of the soldiers have taken part in the Afghan New Beginning Program. About half the heavy weapons have been cantoned. That is on a good path and it has picked up recently with the Japanese and the United Nations putting extra effort into the DDR project.

    The question of respect for women's rights and all of that is something that is not going to be solved immediately. I made the point that it took 150 years in our country before we finally gave women a right to vote. But we are in a situation now where at least women, by their registering to vote, seem to be saying that they have had enough of the old way. They want to try the new way, and I think our job, the international community's job, is to give them the opportunity to try the new way.
 Page 87       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. ENGEL. But the fact that we have a lack of troops in Afghanistan, I mean isn't it really true, once you get out of Kabul, that things pretty much in most of the country are the way they were under the Taliban? Isn't that really a result of the fact that we are not able to put full effort into Afghanistan because we are so bogged down in Iraq?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. I made a comment to Mr. Ackerman earlier. He derided it. I said we have some opinion polls that are not State Department opinion polls that show that 85 percent of the Afghan people think that things are going in the right direction, and that life is better now.

    So that would leave 15 percent who might be in the category that you described, if this poll was correct. But the data we are getting is that there is much more hope in the countryside that things will change after 20 years of war and 5 years of Talib rule.

    Mr. ENGEL. What is Iran doing in Afghanistan? What kind of mischief are they up to?

    Mr. ARMITAGE. They are up to less mischief than you might imagine. They signed a good neighbor agreement with the Afghan Government. They are very rigorous on the prosecution of drugs. Where they are not as helpful, is that they have been involved in some anti-American feeling in Herat.

    Mr. ENGEL. Thank you.
 Page 88       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Chairman HYDE. The time has expired happily and Mr. Armitage, we thank you for your usual excellent presentation and the Committee stands adjourned.

    Mr. ARMITAGE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    [Whereupon, at 12:32 p.m., the Committee was adjourned.]


Material Submitted for the Hearing Record


    I would like to thank Chairman Hyde for holding this hearing today on security for the Afghan elections. I would also like to thank our distinguished witness for joining us.

    Last week, Iraq's Prime Minister Ayad Allawi spoke to a Joint Session of Congress and the United Nations, and several months ago Afghan President Hamid Karzai spoke to us. We all have concerns about the future of Iraq and Afghanistan. But we should remember that these countries have taken dramatic steps forward. For the people of Afghanistan, October 9th will be another historic day. They will elect their President. Their collective choices will determine the direction of their country for years to come. So far 10.5 million people have registered to vote, approximately half the population. Forty-percent of the registered voters are women. While the future of Afghanistan is still uncertain, the symbolic and real importance of these elections cannot be overstated.
 Page 89       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    However, there are genuine reasons for concern. As usual, some security and political danger comes from warlords, especially those with links to Taliban remnants and al-Qaeda. They know that as the central government in Kabul increases its legitimacy, they lose power. If the people in their provinces express support in large numbers for President Karzai, as they are likely to do, it will strengthen Karzai's hand in dealing with them. This is both Karzai's strategy and describes how he can be defeated. While it is true that Karzai will likely win this election due to his own popularity, this election is setting the stage for the parliamentary elections in February, which could be more contentious and subject to interference for political reasons.

    It would seem Karzai must maintain a balance between giving the warlords enough power to encourage them to invest in the political process and retaining enough power to be able to expand the reach of the central government. However, warlords associated with the Taliban and al-Qaeda constantly undermine this balance. Furthermore, these warlords involved in the narcotics trade understand that the central government will be obliged to oppose and limit the narcotics trade.

    Altogether, these problems probably do not pose a fatal threat to the Presidential election. If President Karzai does not achieve a majority on the first ballot, it is extremely likely that he will in the runoff. The results will probably not be effected. Instead, the greatest risk is how the legislative elections will be impacted. If these issues are not addressed soon, they can be insurmountable for the legislative elections. The legislature will write laws and have budgetary controls. The laws and spending will have an impact on the distribution of money and power. If those elections are pre-determined by Taliban and al-Qaeda allied and poppy-funded warlords, then the elections would begin the practice of codifying a status quo that could prevent further progress. This is the real danger in this election.
 Page 90       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Mr. Chairman, again thank you for holding this hearing. I look forward to hearing from Deputy Secretary Armitage. Afghanistan has made great progress. I congratulate Deputy Secretary Armitage and Secretary Powell for their contributions to the achievements in Afghanistan so far and for their efforts for a successful future. This election and the subsequent legislative election will consolidate this progress and set the stage for all future progress. That is why it is so important to get these elections right.



    Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, thank you for this opportunity to present testimony on the subject, ''U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan on the Eve of National Elections''.

    In December 2003, a gathering of Afghan, American and international officials commemorated the just completed paving of the 300-km highway that overcame rugged terrain, 600-km supply lines, minefields, and repeated attacks by Taliban remnants.

    At one level, the Kabul to Kandahar highway was a generous development contribution by the governments of the United States, Japan and Saudi Arabia to one of the world's most desperately poor places. The newly paved roadway will allow impoverished farmers to access new markets, spare sick children and pregnant women from a bone-crunching, hours-long trip to health clinics, and facilitate school construction in isolated regions.
 Page 91       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Yet, at another level, the highway was a precision weapon in the war on terror; perhaps not as lethal as air strikes, but every bit as threatening to the terrorist enemies of President Karzai's post-Taliban government, as evidenced by their repeated attempts to disrupt its construction. Perceived as a threat to terrorist operations, the highway was carefully and routinely targeted: the roadway slashes through the heart of the former Taliban strongholds in southeastern Afghanistan and bolsters the central government's ability both to link the nation's two largest cities and to extend services to ethnic Pashtun regions. The reconstruction process in war-ravaged Afghanistan combines two bodies of theory and practice that are not usually analytically linked: international humanitarianism and the global war on terror.

    For the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Afghanistan provides unique challenges, even after fifty five years of experience in rebuilding fractured societies and more than a dozen post-conflict interventions in the post-Cold War period alone. Afghanistan provides the purest case of the U.S. government and allies marshalling humanitarian and war-fighting assets on the same ''battlefield.'' What makes Afghanistan so dramatically different from Somalia, East Timor, Ethiopia, Bosnia, and other humanitarian crises of the past several decades is the recognition that the U.S. national interest stakes are even higher. Post-9/11 high-level recognition of the direct links between what happened at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon with events in rural Afghanistan elevated humanitarian and reconstruction programs to the stature of geo-politics, and drove national security down to the level of building schools in isolated villages.

    Understanding the interplay between humanitarian and anti-terrorist programs is likely to be critical to effective U.S. foreign policy in the war against terrorism. The United States and its allies will continue to encounter amalgams of poverty and fanaticism, illiteracy and alienation, suffering and militancy as the war on terrorism continues. It is clear, as President Bush points out in his National Security Strategy: 2004, that poverty and human suffering do not, in and of themselves, spawn terrorism; the September 11 hijackers, most of whom came from middle class families, many with college degrees, were hardly the ''poorest of the poor.'' But, it is equally clear that impoverished and oppressed societies provide fertile ground for recruiting the foot soldiers that would follow the educated, but fanatical, leadership of terrorist networks. Humanitarianism, reconstruction projects, and counter-terrorism programs are likely to be co-joined frequently in the coming decade; the challenge is how to make the mixture effective.
 Page 92       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    In this brief testimony, we argue that the U.S. government reconstruction program in Afghanistan—in its humanitarian, security, political, and economic aspects—is both appropriate to the needs of the Afghan people and the complex realities of their long-suffering country, and an effective weapon against terrorism.

    This testimony summarizes the U.S. government reconstruction strategy in Afghanistan, highlighting how elements of that strategy fit together and reinforce one another. More importantly, my testimony provides examples of the complex interplay between humanitarian and counter-terrorism activities in Afghanistan and answers some of the common criticisms of our reconstruction strategy.


    By almost any measurement, Afghanistan was one of the poorest places on the face of the earth, even before the Soviet incursion provoked decades of conflict. Per capita income was, and remains, among the lowest in the world, and illiteracy rates—estimated by UNICEF to be 71 %—among the highest. Nearly one in four Afghan children will not survive disease to reach his or her fifth birthday. Afghanistan has recorded some of the highest maternal mortality rates in modern public health history. In the several years before 9/11 Afghans held the world record for the lowest per capita caloric intake in the world, perhaps with the exception of North Korea. The conflict against the Soviets, and subsequent internal power struggles culminating in the Taliban regime, lasted twenty-three years. Those years of warfare devastated Afghanistan, destroying roads, bridges, schools, and telecommunications facilities, while leaving much of the nation's farmland and byways laced with anti-personnel and anti-tank landmines.
 Page 93       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    This massive destruction of Afghanistan's infrastructure was matched by destruction of the nation's institutions as well. Afghanistan virtually ceased to exist as a nation-state, with no functioning army, police, border controls, civil service or viable ministries to support the state. Long-standing ethnic and regional tensions erupted into communal violence, punctuated with widespread human rights violations and atrocities. More than six million Afghans fled to the relative safety of bordering countries, and the Taliban enforced medieval restrictions on those who remained within the country.

    Four economies provided wealth and jobs in the country: a) the warlord economy (of weapons trade, kidnapping, and looting); b) the international aid economy; c) the drug economy, and d) traditional agricultural economy.

    In short, U.S. and other international relief officials entering Afghanistan in early 2002, after the defeat of the Taliban, encountered a substantial humanitarian, human rights, and reconstruction crisis. These officials rapidly organized assessment missions, composed of representatives of organizations like the World Bank, United Nations operational agencies, donor nation development agencies, and NGOs, in order to prioritize the international response.

    In the spring of 2002, USAID commissioned and funded a national survey of 1600 people conducted by the Feinstein Famine Center at Tufts University to determine what the Afghan people needed from the reconstruction effort, what survival challenges they faced in their families, how they coped, and what effect the years of terrible hardship had had on the social order. From these initial assessments, and ongoing contacts with representatives of the then-newly installed Afghan Transitional Authority and Afghan organizations, flowed an integrated U.S. government reconstruction strategy with the following elements:
 Page 94       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    1. Prevention of a major humanitarian catastrophe: Six months before the 9/11 attacks on the United States, USAID and NGO staff began seeing the appearance of pre-famine indicators brought on by five years of drought, collapse of the agricultural system, massive economic decline caused by Taliban mismanagement, and the destruction of the remaining Afghan coping mechanisms. USG teams were sent to Afghanistan in the summer of 2001 to organize a relief effort to prevent a famine. USAID's Food for Peace Office, working through the World Food Programme and international NGOs, rushed 400,000 metric tons of food into Afghanistan, while the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance opened emergency transport routes, provided shelter materials, and began delivering medical supplies. USAID provided grants to UNICEF and NGOs for a nationwide immunization campaign against measles and polio, which vaccinated 4.2 million children, which prevented an estimated 20,000 deaths. Overall, these interventions and a relatively mild 2001–2002 winter combined to prevent what could have been a catastrophic humanitarian disaster.

    2. Support for displaced person resettlement and refugee repatriation: Refugee and internally displaced camps, while sometimes necessary because the alternatives are so unacceptable, can mutate over time as they did in the case of the Afghan camps into breeding grounds for hopelessness, bases of operations for terrorist and criminal networks, and the destruction of traditional culture. The return of people to their home villages in Afghanistan was essential to restore some semblance of normalcy, allowing people to support themselves, plant their crops, and reconstitute their animal herds, instead of relying on international relief. The removal of the Taliban and prospects for progress in Afghanistan encouraged a massive return of Afghan refugees, primarily from Pakistan and Iran, all this supported by U.S. government contributions in excess of $330 million.
 Page 95       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    3. Establishment of a peace and reconciliation process: A conference of Afghans held in Bonn in November 2001 produced a coalition government, based not only on the Northern Alliance factions that had held out against the Taliban advance, but also included Pashtun tribes and other representatives of the Afghan populace. This ''Bonn Agreement'' specified a number of discrete steps to rebuild a political consensus in Afghanistan, including a carefully sequenced series of loya jirgas, or grand councils, and a constitutional drafting process, all leading to elections by late 2004. The Agreement also specified the creation of a Human Rights Commission, Judicial Commission, and other confidence-building institutions targeted at national reconciliation and institutional reform. These Bonn-generated processes provided the international community and U.S. reconstruction planners with a third set of tasks, which demanded sensitive negotiations; a tight, specific timeline; and daunting logistics challenges sometimes requiring the transport of thousands of delegates in Afghanistan's rudimentary transportation system.

    The flagship component of this peace and reconciliation process was the drafting of the national constitution, which demanded enormous commitment from Afghan leaders and support from donors, including the U.S. government. As the national embodiment of political consensus, the new Afghan constitution represents a very substantial step forward in knitting back together the frayed body politic after decades of deep-rooted conflict.

    4. Restoration of basic government institutions and ministries: Without a functioning national government providing public services to the population, capable of restoring law and order, and seen by the Afghans as helpful instead of corrupt, incompetent, tyrannical, or predatory, the centrifugal forces pulling at the country would grow dangerously strong. This required a deliberate strategy of government institution-building, the rebuilding of physical infrastructure that ties the country together, and the provision of centrally-supported public services that improve life for the people even in most remote areas, in order to re-kindle a competent central government in Afghanistan.
 Page 96       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    A year and a half ago at the request of the Afghan government, USAID hired, jointly with government ministers, 1000 new staff to serve in their ministries (with ministers supervising them, but paid for by USAID): 879 professional Afghans (many from the Afghan diaspora) and 128 expatriates who bring technical and managerial expertise that is allowing the ministers to introduce higher professional standards for public services, reform management structures and processes, and root out corruption.

    With colleagues from other international organizations, U.S. government agencies contributed to the resuscitation of key ministries and government facilities. Since 2001, USAID has helped rebuild 18 ministries, contributed to the UN Development Programme's initiative to restart the salary payment system for government employees, established a telecommunications system linking Kabul ministries to the provinces, and even constructed day care centers at public buildings to allow women employees to return to their jobs. Other donors have invested and taken the lead in developing the judicial institutions of Afghanistan, without which there can be no rule of law or protection of human rights.

    5. Re-creation of vital security institutions: As has been widely reported, Afghanistan's security institutions—the national army, the police system, the intelligence services, the border and customs enforcement mechanisms, the Ministry of Defense, and the Ministry of the Interior—had largely evaporated since the late 1970s, replaced either by ethnic and regional forces or, for a period, by the fanatical fundamentalism of the Taliban. Without a national army, for example, the ability to launch military operations would continue to reside with regional militias and regional military commanders, often collectively referred to as ''warlords.'' And without a professional police force, trained in human rights responsibilities and modern policing methods, human rights guarantees embedded in a new national constitution will have little practical meaning for most Afghans. Substantial progress has been made in the security field. A new national army has been formed with several battalions trained, equipped and deployed. Police training, under the leadership of the German government, has commenced with many more police officers now ''on the beat.'' And, among other reforms, the Ministry of Defense has adopted a reorganization plan to guarantee civilian control over the military establishment, multiethnic leadership, and sound management and budgetary controls.
 Page 97       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    6. Creation of a national economy and the stimulation of sustained economic growth, especially in agriculture: Long a commercial and transportation center for Central Asia, and a nation with the capacity to produce its own food needs, Afghanistan deteriorated economically during warfare and Taliban mismanagement to become, by the late 1990s, substantially dependent on international largesse to feed the population of 26 million. During the 1990s the U.S. government provided nearly a billion dollars in humanitarian aid to keep people alive, but no more. A critical component of reconstruction of Afghanistan, it followed, had to be the reestablishment of a functioning economy and the ability of average Afghans to earn a living.

    Since an estimated 85% of the population is engaged in one form or another in agriculture (as farmers, processors or transporters of agricultural products, and as suppliers to the agricultural sector), the U.S. government targeted the restoration of agriculture and rural markets as the best short-term prospect to increase production and income. Agricultural recovery itself is a daunting task, requiring substantial direct investment in de-mining in order to restore fertile land to production, investment in rebuilding market centers destroyed by fighting (USAID has built 119 such centers), investment in farm-to-market roads (USAID is constructing 1000 kilometers), and investment in the vast irrigation networks on which so much Afghan agriculture depends. USAID, State INL and USDA are working together now in Afghanistan to provide alternative livelihoods, not just in agriculture, to small scale poppy farmers in Helmand and Kandahar, and hope to expand this effort to additional provinces next year.

    In addition, economic recovery required reforms away from the farm in order to stimulate growth and investment. Such reforms include a stable national currency, development of internal sources of revenue to support the national government and public services, investment laws that promote rather than discourage private investment (indigenous investment and investment from abroad), and a functioning banking system, which had ceased to exist in Afghanistan. With technical assistance from donor governments and the World Bank, the Ministry of Finance has made dramatic progress in accomplishing these tasks.
 Page 98       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    According to data from the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization, production of wheat (the staple grain in Afghanistan) increased by 82% in one peaceful growing season in 2003, an almost unprecedented advance in such a short period, and a tribute to the industry of Afghan farmers, improved wheat seed variety-drought resistant and high yielding—provided by donor nations, and the fortunate arrival of good rains. While many problems remain on the path to economic recovery, a new Afghan national currency has been put in place, private banks are opening in Afghanistan, and a new investment law has been written to encourage private investment. Road reconstruction has begun on a substantial scale. USAID is rebuilding with smaller contributions from the Saudi and Japanese governments the famous 648-mile ''ring'' highway from Kabul to Herat (half of which is now complete). The EU and the IDBs are reconstructing the northern half of the ring road.

    The results have been impressive the Afghan economy grew 30% in 2003 and will grow an estimated 25% this year, with good prospects for a sustained rate of national growth of 15% over the next few years.

    Critical to the creation of a nation state is the sharing of common values, world view, and the creation of a national civic culture. Radio is one of the major sources of entertainment and news for Afghans: Afghanistan is a radio culture. USAID invested in a chain of 19 independent, commercially viable, radio stations, which have succeeded—through popular programming—in building a national audience. This has allowed the new government to communicate with its people, to encourage the emergence of a national culture above tribe and sect, to give voice to emerging civil society, to hold factions, ethnic groups, religious and political leaders accountable to the public for their behavior, and to tie the country together commercially and intellectually. The network is being used to provide distance learning to train teachers and health messages to women, and provide national coverage of the presidential and constitutional loya jirgas and elections, as well as international news.
 Page 99       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    7. Restoration of health, education and other public services. Unless the reconstruction effort transparently and directly improved the lives of the average person, the public would not see that the new Karzai government and its alliance with the United States and our allies made any appreciable difference in their predicament.

    U.S. government reconstruction assistance has been heavily invested in basic primary education and the restoration of health facilities, with an emphasis on small rural clinics. In the health field, working with the Afghan Ministry of Health, USAID has established the goal of opening and staffing a functioning health clinic within four-hours travel of every part of Afghanistan's scattered and often-isolated rural population. Over three years, USAID, working with the Ministry of Education, is building 502 schools, training 50,000 teachers, and printing and distributing 30 million textbooks to create a functional ministry of education and an improved school system.

    In recognition of the particularly difficult challenges faced by Afghan women, U.S. government reconstruction efforts have directly supported the newly established Ministry of Women's Affairs, the establishment of a ''women's center'' in each of the nation's 33 provinces, and accelerated educational programs for girls denied schooling during the Taliban period.

    8. Close cooperation between Operation Enduring Freedom military operations and the civilian reconstruction effort: Simultaneously with the reconstruction of roads, bridges, ministries and schools by civilian agencies of donor governments, the U.S.-led Coalition, allied forces and, increasingly, the revitalized Afghan National Army have been conducting both offensive military operations against Taliban remnants and ''stability operations'' to bring calm to all regions of Afghanistan. To a greater degree than in many previous environments, civilian reconstruction projects and military operations have been strategically linked in Afghanistan. In the most remote border areas, where the possibility of attack from Taliban remnants remains, USAID reconstruction experts and State Department colleagues share housing and assessment duties with Coalition military forces, forming civil-military ''Provincial Reconstruction Teams'' (PRTs). In other cases, military personnel provide air and ground security to major reconstruction projects, like the Kabul-Kandahar-Herat highway, or even initiate smaller reconstruction projects themselves.
 Page 100       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    In many ways the Afghanistan reconstruction experience serves as a model for future post-conflict interventions in the post-9/11 world, and taking lessons from it and a dozen other reconstruction efforts the State Department and USAID have been involved in over the past 50 years since the Marshall Plan, is useful. It has not been without criticism, however: criticism that now requires some examination.


    Among the most common of these are:

 The U.S. government has been too slow to respond or has invested insufficient resources in Afghanistan

 The U.S. government has relied too much on a bilateral approach in its reconstruction effort;

 The U.S. government has invested too much in regional leaders, and insufficiently in the central government of President Hamid Karzai; and,

 The U.S. government has relied too heavily on military forces in the reconstruction effort, or has employed those military forces inappropriately in the reconstruction process.

    To address these criticisms, we would like to respond with some general observations about the reconstruction effort.
 Page 101       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    First, though the international effort to bring progress to Afghanistan is commonly characterized as a ''reconstruction'' program, it is in fact a ''construction'' program. As noted above, low levels of socio-economic progress in Afghanistan are not simply a reflection of war-time destruction. Afghanistan ranked as one of the poorest nations in the world before Soviet troop formations arrived in the late 1970s.

    What was required in Afghanistan—and what has been undertaken by the United States and other donors—is a reconstruction program that provides short-term results, but also builds the foundation for long-term economic, social, and institutional progress. Donor nations must meet pressing immediate needs in Afghanistan while simultaneously building Afghan capacity for long-term progress. And while this two-pronged approach, with heavy investment in long-term development, takes longer to yield results—and is more subject to criticism that the reconstruction program has been slow to respond—such a strategy is precisely what is required in Afghanistan.

    Nations are not constructed in one or two years. The damage of 23 years of chaos and war can not be repaired quickly; this effort, if it is to be permanent, stable, and successful, is a slow and difficult process under even the best of circumstances, which Afghanistan, clearly does not enjoy. Al Qaeda and the Taliban are still alive, even if contained geographically, with a reduced leadership, and operating ability. The war is not over.

    While in 2002 the more modest funding levels for Afghanistan were focused on preventing famine and refugee and IDP resettlement, President Bush's aggressive effort to accelerate the reconstruction process led to USG contributions in nearly $1 billion in FY 03, climbing in FY04 to over $2.3 billion, not counting the cost of Coalition military operations. The reconstruction program in Afghanistan is the largest in dollar terms, the most comprehensive, and the most complex in which USG has been involved since the Marshall Plan, with the single exception of Iraq.
 Page 102       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Second, Afghanistan's history of regionalism and ethnicity must shape the reconstruction response. A recurring theme advanced by scholars of Afghanistan's history is the fluctuating balance between centralism and regionalism, between the struggle to create a viable nation state within the national territory, and the struggle to respect regional diversity. A desire for regional and ethnic balance contributed to the large and complex cabinet structure created during the Bonn peace process.

    These complex issues of ethnicity and regionalism continue to shape the reconstruction effort in Afghanistan today, as the United States and other international donors analyze the impact of their programs. The continued relative stability of the Afghan government and President Karzai's administration stand as a testament to the importance of balancing regional and ethnic interests as reconstruction proceeds. The high politics of national reconstruction is not an exact science; it is a series of prudently designed, carefully executed programs, which gradually knits back together the tattered social fabric at the community level; builds what will become in time a vibrant civil society; creates the national economic, legal and physical infrastructure needed to encourage private investment and a private market economy; restores essential public services; and strengthens the carefully balanced coalition of political, ethnic and regional forces needed to sustain the peace and complete reconstruction.

    Looked at from a different perspective, the reconstruction effort is part of a two-front struggle, one front against radical fundamentalists; and the other against the centrifugal forces pulling the country apart. As has been noted by many observers of Afghanistan's recent history, there are two primary internal threats to Afghanistan's economic and political viability. The first of these threats is a resurgence of the Taliban or another radical fundamentalist group that would undercut the nation's steps toward democratic capitalism. The second is that tribal elders, regional commanders and regional forces would remain strong, slowing the drive toward national cohesion.
 Page 103       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    International reconstruction efforts—especially, although not solely, those in the security arena, including efforts to rebuild the national army, police, and intelligence services—must balance these competing threats. Reconstruction programs must be designed to create a viable nation state in Afghanistan, and to overcome irregular authorities in the countryside. But, simultaneously, local ethnic/tribal leaders, which often provide a measure of regional stability, must not be dismantled before Afghan national institutions are fully functioning, thereby opening the door for a fundamentalist resurgence. This real-world requirement to balance the dual threats posed by regionalism and fundamentalism adds to the perception that the U.S. and international reconstruction program has been slow, and to the unfounded assertion that international aid has been too generous to, or insufficiently aggressive toward regional commanders/''warlords.''

    Yet, we would argue, the pace and balance of the current reconstruction effort has successfully moved us to a point in the rebuilding of Afghanistan that many would not dared dream of just two years ago: a functioning central government that is steadily extending its writ across the national territory; high rates of economic growth; the restoration of food security; the absence of any serious regional challenges to the Karzai administration; and, weakened fundamentalist forces capable of launching only the occasional terrorist strike.

    Third, the reconstruction effort is shaped by the nature of Coalition operations. As former participants in international reconstruction programs organized under a Security Council mandate, in which the military forces on the ground were UN-mandated peacekeeping troops, we continue to be astonished at the number of critics of the U.S. reconstruction efforts who fail to grasp the essentials of coalition operations. This failing directly drives criticism that the United States displays a ''go-it-alone'' approach, or has relied too heavily on military forces in the reconstruction effort.
 Page 104       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Simply put, Afghanistan is not Bosnia or El Salvador. The reconstruction program in Afghanistan takes place in an environment where sworn enemies of the United States and Western society remain actively arrayed in the field; it is not an environment where the international community has arrived to nurture the peace on which formerly competing factions have agreed.

    U.S. military forces, with Coalition allies, continue to be engaged in active combat operations in Afghanistan, in order to ensure that those Taliban and Al-Qaeda forces that planned the World Trade Center and Pentagon bombings are not in a position to launch similar attacks in the future. U.S. assets, both diplomatic and foreign aid, deployed to Afghanistan are also engaged in this battle against those who fundamentally oppose the creation of civil society, the protection of human rights and the building of democratic governance. To pretend otherwise, and to criticize U.S. reconstruction efforts for not matching those in, for example, Bosnia seriously misconstrues the nature of coalition operations on an anti-terrorist battlefield.

    Fourth, despite the extensive critiques of military involvement in reconstruction activities in Afghanistan, the international reconstruction effort remains substantially civilian. Appearances can be deceiving. When US or international military forces undertake a campaign their equipment, their weapons, their flags, and uniforms make them extraordinarily visible, easily identified with their nation state or the UN. When they rebuild a school, their presence is visible and obvious for the same reason.

    The international reconstruction institutions, such as USAID, the World Bank, UNICEF, or NGOs do not have uniforms, do much of their work through local staff and community groups, and government ministries. When they undertake a project their visible presence is light, sometimes invisible, deliberately so that Afghans can begin to take leadership. Of the total USG non-security sector reconstruction spending (approximately$3 billion underway or planned), about 2% is being directed by U.S. military forces, and 98% by U.S. civilian institutions.
 Page 105       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Some in the humanitarian community argue the operational and philosophical wall they want to maintain between coalition military presence and aid agencies has been breached with regularity, endangering the theoretical neutrality of aid workers. While Western aid agencies may see themselves as neutral in the war against terrorism, they are not seen as such by Al Qaeda or the Taliban: Western NGOs and UN agencies preach equality between men and women, the full participation by women in the life of the community, the protection of human rights, the rule of law, and democratic institution building, clearly not the cultural values of the fundamentalist zealots.

    Because of this clash, the remnants of the Taliban have increasingly targeted aid workers, a circumstance which has led to widespread criticism of donor governments not providing more security for the reconstruction effort. Our response has been the Provincial Reconstruction Team concept, which combines military security with State Department and USAID staff in the field working on reconstruction in an integrated fashion. The traditional neutrality principles advanced by international organizations in peacekeeping environments simply face a new reality in post-9/11 Afghanistan: we either provide security through military forces for the reconstruction effort or the Taliban will drive aid agencies and workers out of the regions of the country in which they maintain some strength.

    The forces of civilization will not defeat terrorists on the cheap or with quick fixes: only a sustained effort over many years will yield victory. Our soldiers, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, have shown they can defeat armed terrorists in the short-term. But eliminating the conditions that feed terrorism is a long-term struggle, requiring a different category of weapons. To win the war in places like Afghanistan, we have to be willing to fight the war by providing better schooling, better health care, better long-term economic prospects, and more hope to those who now have virtually none. The West won the Cold War because of staying power; we need the same persistence in the war on terrorism.
 Page 106       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    It may indeed be true, as the much-quoted saying has it, that it is ''hard to drain the swamp while up to your knees in alligators.'' In fact, the hunt for ''alligators,'' in the form of Taliban remnants, continues, even as the swamp draining—in the form of a new constitution, a new investment code, new currency, a new school curriculum, and a hundred other efforts—proceeds. Much progress has been made on the military front, and a good start has been made on the full reconstruction agenda. The efforts underway, while incomplete, have been informed by sound assessment and U.S. government reconstruction experience in dozens of other post-conflict situations, and address the broad range of security and structural improvements needed in Afghanistan in an integrated, holistic fashion.

    Thank you.




    President Karzai has asked for 5,300 NATO troops, only 1,800 of which have been provided. What is the adequate troop strength in Afghanistan?

 Page 107       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Over 8,500 troops currently are participating in ISAF. Military planners must determine what the adequate troop strength is for the mission at a given time. For example, based on the advice of its military planners, NATO increased the force levels available during the presidential elections. A Spanish battalion was deployed to serve as a quick response force; an Italian battalion, a component of the NATO Response Force, was deployed to serve as a strategic reserve force; and the United States made available to ISAF a company in Kabul. The commanders of ISAF PRTs made individualized decisions to augment their forces for the elections based on local conditions.


    There is clearly a tremendous need for security in Afghanistan. President Karzai's requests for American assistance are indicative of that. However, it seems as if some of our approaches are backwards. Has a determination been made of exactly how many security forces are needed? If so, what was this determination? How has this number been allocated among the international community?


    The number of security forces needed in Afghanistan depends on several variables—the region where the forces are to be stationed, the type of security forces needed, and how many Afghan National Army (ANA) troops and Afghan police have been trained and fielded. The force size for international troops also fluctuates with political developments in Afghanistan, for example, 1,000 additional ISAF troops were deployed to support Afghan forces in advance of the October presidential elections. Though Afghan forces have an increasing role in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), counter-narcotics operations, and general police work, the International Community continues to work closely with Afghan government officials to evaluate security sector needs.
 Page 108       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Currently, there are over 8,500 troops participating in ISAF, and over 17,000 troops participating in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). A total of 43 nations have contributed troops to these two operations. About 13,000 ANA troops have been trained and fielded, as have around 30,000 Afghan National Police.

    Nineteen Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) enhance security, extend the reach of the national government and facilitate reconstruction. While the US is responsible for 13 PRTs, five PRTs are operated by ISAF, under the command of the United Kingdom (2), Germany (2), and the Netherlands (1). To support OEF, New Zealand has set up a nineteenth PRT in the Bamiyan province. Several other nations, including Canada, Italy, and Norway, are considering either forming new PRTs or taking over leadership of PRTs that already exist.


    One of the key problems in Afghanistan is a lack of infrastructure to support any type of legal or judicial system. The country doesn't have laws, courts, prisons, or judges—basic things you need in order to be able to establish an orderly society. What are we doing to furnish this infrastructure? What are other nations doing? What is the anticipated timeframe?


    Italy has assumed responsibility as the lead nation for reconstruction of the Afghan judicial sector, and has placed a newly appointed justice sector coordinator in Kabul. Several other nations have volunteered to head individual justice sector programs. The United States is working alongside Germany, which has the lead for police training. We and the United Kingdom are building or rehabilitating provincial and district courthouses. The UK is the lead nation on fighting narcotics cultivation and trafficking, and the US is actively supporting the counter-narcotics program. Canada is providing support for a legal training program, and is working with Italy and the U.S. to train judges, prosecutors, court administrators, and public defenders. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is working to build law schools, a National Legal Training Center, while the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is coordinating with several nations to modernize or construct correctional facilities.
 Page 109       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    The Department of State has developed a rule of law plan for Afghanistan, centered around six pillars: courts, laws, legal professionals, law enforcement, corrections and public awareness. The plan focuses on empowering Afghan citizens with a functioning judicial infrastructure as well as giving them a thorough understanding of the judicial system and the rights each citizen is guaranteed under the new Afghan constitution.

    Various components of our judicial-reform plan are scheduled for completion at different times. Training of police, for example, is targeted for completion by late 2005, while a system of provincial and district courthouses will be constructed by late 2006. Ongoing construction of correctional facilities is set to last until early 2008; training of judges and prosecutors—also ongoing—is set to continue until mid-2010. In light of the many challenges the Government of Afghanistan and the International Community face, it will take many years for a sustainable and effective judicial sector to take root in Afghanistan.


    Assistant Secretary Robert Charles testified before the International Relations committee, and commented that a number of nations have pledged to support us financially. This is his quote, ''Let me start by saying we have had donor conferences in which people have pledged to support us financially. Even if they don't have the infrastructure or force structure to provide added people, they can provide the money.'' Who are these people and how much money are they pledging and do we have it? And what are we using the finances provided by the international community for?

 Page 110       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Based on information provided to State/INL by the international community and by the British government (the lead nation on Afghan counternarcotics efforts), the following is an overview of currently available information on the amounts of funding pledged, budgeted or appropriated by country toward counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan. Amounts are in U.S. dollars (unless stated otherwise), and purposes of funding are indicated. Some of these contributions are for multi-year projects that require continued international support and donations.


Australia: $1,460,000 for border and airport security

Austria: $333,000 for justice sector; $236,500 for border security

Belgium: $678,000 for police salaries

Canada: $1,319,000 for justice sector; $6,553,000 for police sector

China: $4.5 million for police sector

Denmark: $100,000 for police salaries

European Union: $3,750,000 for justice sector; $88,850,000 for police sector
 Page 111       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

Germany: $19,200,000 for police sector; $435,000 for justice sector employees

Iran: $1,600,000 for police border security posts

Ireland: $735,715 for police salaries

Italy: (the lead on justice sector reform) $13,120,000 and an unspecified amount to train 44 police officers in criminal procedure law and capacity building training

Japan: (the lead for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration) $12,110,000 for police sector

Liechtenstein: $35,475 for police salaries

The Netherlands: $9,450,000 for police sector

Norway: $4,814,100 for police sector

Pakistan: train 1200 police recruits and senior police officers: unspecified amount

Qatar: hosted international conference in Doha, May 2004

Russia: between $3 and $5 million for police equipment, vehicles & training

 Page 112       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
Sweden: $250,000 for justice sector

Switzerland: $379,564 for a senior administrative police advisor and $250,000 for police salaries

UK: $6,252,000 for justice sector and $897,877,150 for police sector



Canada: $6,553,000

UK: $2,786,000


UK: $3,344,000


UK: $3,715,000

Germany: unspecified amount for vocational training

 Page 113       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC
Canada: $139,000

Italy: $1.4 million

Russia: in-kind contribution for hospital


UK: $20,431,000 +

Canada: $56,731,000

Japan: $3,291,983 for equipment; $50 million + for DDR


UK: $72,598,000

Canada: $67,243 (not including contributions through UNODC)

Germany: $1,428,072

Japan: $500,000

France: $1,302,564
 Page 114       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

Russia: $740,000











 Page 115       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC












 Page 116       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC













 Page 117       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC