(Sounds gavel.) The committee meets this morning to receive the testimony from the secretary of Defense and General Tommy Franks, who has just stepped down as commander in chief of the forces, CENTCOM.
We also step aside from a very sobering and important hearing to congratulate the secretary on reaching his 71st year. Today is his birthday.
SEC. RUMSFELD: You didn't need to do that.
SEN. WARNER: I know that. (Laughter.)
SEC. RUMSFELD: (Laughs.)
SEN. WARNER: And you're joined, I understand, by members of your family this morning. It's wonderful.
And General Franks, we hope opportunity comes for us to meet your wonderful wife.
GEN. FRANKS: Thank you, sir. Thank you very much.
SEN. WARNER: The American public, indeed the world, are awaiting this testimony this morning. And consequently, I'm going to put my full statement into the record and make but a very few brief opening remarks, out of deference to my colleagues who are anxiously awaiting to hear the testimony and to participate in the questions, and, indeed, the public that are following the hearing.
First, we open being mindful of the loss of life, loss of limb, and the families who have suffered the consequences, as they have throughout the history of this nation and other nations in times of war. They paid a great price. And those risks continue, as we well know, each day.
They showed courage, the men and women of the coalition forces. They showed commitment. Our delegation of nine senators witnessed that just days ago when we spent time in Basra, Baghdad, Kirkuk. And we thank you, Mr. Secretary and your staff, Tommy Korologos, Steve -- Secretary Cambone and others, who made this trip very successful. So we salute all the men and women of the coalition forces and their families. The leadership that has been shown is remarkable. Our president, the secretaries of State and Defense, our military, General Franks, all those in your command.
And our hearing this morning covers not only Iraq, but Afghanistan and, indeed, the impending possible military commitment in Liberia. So I hope each of you will -- that is, you, Mr. Secretary, on Liberia, touch on that issue.
Civilian control of the military has been a part of our history. But I look upon the relationship that you, Mr. Secretary, had with General Franks as really one of partnership, and I guess that's the way it should be. The buck's finally stopped on your desk. But having watched the two of you, as partners, conducting the operations in Iraq and in Afghanistan is truly remarkable.
When Senator Levin and I on two occasions visited in Afghanistan and, I think, to an extent, in the Iraqi campaign, we were impressed by the leadership of the noncommissioned officers and indeed the junior officers, but the noncommissioned officers; how groups of 15, 20, 25 would go in on a mission at night with one officer, and that officer knowing full well that each man or woman, as the case may be, knew exactly what their missions were -- remarkable chapter in history -- and also of jointness, joint operations between the Army, the Navy, the Marines, the Air Force.
While the major field maneuvers of our troops, division-level, regimental-level, have stopped, nevertheless the fighting continues at the company level. When we visited the 4th ID, the commander went into great detail -- three operations, General Franks; I think one is still continuing -- taking to the remaining the enemy the battle, not waiting for the enemy to come, but taking it to them.
And to meet that challenge, we would like to have your views this morning on the fourth level, the adequacy, the rotation policy, and how other coalition nations are joining, Mr. Secretary. I personally felt that tremendous effort has been made, from Washington and the other capitals of the world, to bring in other troops, not only to augment our existing force structure, but hopefully to provide and facilitate for the rotation of our forces and those of Great Britain back home.
The intelligence is a matter of great interest -- your views on the adequacy of that intelligence, from a a military standpoint. Troop commanders told us, when we asked the question, they had a high degree of confidence in the intelligence that they received.
Nevertheless, Mr. Secretary, the issue of intelligence is of importance, as you well know, and how the intelligence which was utilized in the policy-making levels, at your level and with your subordinates, as you addressed the American public in open forums and as you addressed the Congress; how you utilized that intelligence in such a manner to, I certainly feel -- to remain accurate at all times.
The Task Force 20, which is performing, General Franks, the specialized mission of searching out Saddam Hussein, a bounty, quite properly now, having been put on his head, and how they are operating to not only find him and his two sons, but indeed the others that had significant roles in perpetrating the horror throughout Iraq and the threat to the world with their weapons of mass destruction.
And on weapons of mass destruction, Mr. Secretary, you brought in David Kay, a man with impeccable credentials and a long background of history in this subject, working with General Dayton, and you've given him a charter to go out and use every asset that they need to uncover the mystery of these weapons of mass destruction.
Lastly, I want to credit Ambassador Bremer. I had known him through the years, but I think he's doing an extraordinary job. And he laid down the three objectives that he has at this time to try and lessen the risk to our troops and at the same time bring about the fulfillment of our mission to provide freedom for the Iraqi people. First was to take the battle to the enemy, and that's being done to root out the last pockets of resistance. Secondly, to utilize every effort to find Saddam Hussein and the other principals. And thirdly, to form an interim government, composed initially of two parts: one, a governing council of Iraqis who will elect their own chairman of that council to supervise the several ministries, whether it's the creation of a police force, whether it's education, whether it's the preservation of artifacts, whether it's sewers, whether it's electricity; and secondly, to formulate a group of individuals that will sit down -- Iraqis -- and write a constitution, because without a constitution, we cannot expect elections to be held nationally. There's just no infrastructure on which an election can be established until that constitution is put in place and candidates can address their views with respect to the fulfillment of the provisions of that constitution.
Now, while our delegation was there, we met in Kirkuk with Iraqis who are assuming local office as mayors, assistant mayors and so forth. And Bremer's to be congratulated in pockets here and there, where possible, putting together groups of Iraqis who sort of elect themselves and take over the responsibilities of community matters. But the national elections have to await the constitution.
So on the whole, speaking for myself, I feel very positive upon my return from this inspection trip. And I once again salute those in uniform of the coalition forces, who night and day are taking the risks, and their families at home, who are sharing in those risks.
SEN. CARL LEVIN (D-MI): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I'll also shorten my statement and ask that the entire statement be made part of the record.
SEN. WARNER: Without objection.
SEN. LEVIN: First, General Franks, let me thank you for your life of commitment to this nation and your public service as a soldier. You've proven yourself time and time again during a unique period in our history. Historians will some day judge the military campaigns that you led in Afghanistan and Iraq that swiftly defeated the Taliban and the forces of Saddam Hussein as brilliantly planned and executed examples of the military art and as foreshadows of future military tactics. While you would be the first to acknowledge that most of the credit and thanks must go to all who assisted you in that effort, and especially to the fighting men and women of the U.S. armed forces who executed those campaigns, your role as their commander was indispensable.
Any inquiry into lessons learned will inevitably tend to emphasize areas of concern and will tend to spend less time on the innumerable things that were done well. It is essential that that be done, but it must not detract in any way from our appreciation for the superb performance of duty by the men and women of our armed forces, as they continue to conduct stability operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and prepare to execute other missions in support of our national military strategy.
We must succeed in this endeavor, this post-conflict stability effort of ours, and we need to understand the strategy for ensuring that success. Part of that strategy, hopefully, will be an attempt to internationalize the security and nation-building efforts. To achieve that end, I hope that we will seek NATO and United Nations support and endorsement. That will facilitate the recruitment of their member nations to our effort in terms of providing troops, resources, expertise and international legitimacy.
The whole world has a stake in the stability of Iraq. It is a mystery to me why apparently we have not reached out to NATO and to the United Nations as institutions. Their support could bring significant additional forces, such as German and French forces through NATO, and Indian and Egyptian forces through a U.N. endorsement.
We're going to be in Iraq a long time.
MORE A large number of troops are going to be needed, as the president acknowledged last week. There are a number of advantages to having a significant number of additional forces from other countries join us in the stability operations in Iraq. First, some U.S. forces, including Reserves, have seen extended combat and other exhausting duty. With U.S. forces stretched thin around the world, increasing the number of non-U.S. forces who can substitute for us in Iraq would reduce the numbers of and the burden on U.S. forces.
As of now, the number of troops of other countries present on the ground will increase from the present number of 12,000 to a total of only 20,000 by the end of the summer, an increase of a mere 8,000 troops out of about 165,000. That is difficult to sustain.
Second, I would hope that internationalization would serve to reduce the threat to U.S. forces in more ways than reducing the quantity of our forces on the ground. Up until now we have been the main target of those Ba'athists who stand to lose most when democracy is established in Iraq, because we were the ones who brought down Saddam's regime, which provided privileged status to the Ba'athist minority. It would be harder for those Saddam loyalists to sustain attacks on forces wearing NATO or U.N. patches on their shoulders, because it would be dramatized to the people of Iraq that this is not a U.S.-British occupation but is an international effort to bring stability to the nation and to the region.
Just as reaching out to the world is necessary, so is reaching in to the Iraqi people to help this effort succeed. As our chairman has indicated, that means turning over the civilian government as quickly as possible to the people of Iraq, so that they understand that they are deciding their own future.
It also means making better use of our TV capability in Iraq, so that Iraqis can be interviewed about and talk to their fellow countrymen about the thousands of projects that we are engaged in to help rebuild their nation. We are rebuilding schools. We are bringing back water. We are fixing up neighborhoods. We are supplying food, removing garbage and doing many other tasks needed to reconstruct Iraq. But we have done an inadequate job of getting that information to Iraqis. False propaganda that we blew up a mosque must be countered by Iraqis speaking about our rebuilding efforts in their communities and assuring Iraqis that we are not there for domination, but to help them rebuild.
And Mr. Secretary, we talked to Secretary Cambone about speeding up that television presence and projection to Iraq, during our trip, and I know that he's probably by now already discussed that with you. The chairman and I and all the members of the delegation had some strong feelings about the importance of speeding up that effort.
The United States has taken upon itself the daunting task of nation-building in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The administration and Congress must work together to ensure success in those endeavors. It's essential, in that regard, for our nation to understand the strategy and the milestones for achieving our objectives. And surely we need to know how we will continue over the foreseeable future to maintain a large American military presence in your former region of command, General. It's been now what, two days or one day?
GEN. FRANKS: Two days.
SEN. LEVIN: I know the -- the relaxation in your face is palpable. Just kidding. You did that with great glory. You handled it absolutely brilliantly and never even showed the stress. But we have to let the American people know how we're going to be able to execute other missions of our national military strategy as well as maintaining the large presence in the CENTCOM region.
Mr. Secretary, we very much look forward to your testimony as well as that of General Franks. We thank you for your service, your commitment. And I know you're grateful for the presence of your family here today.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you, Senator Levin.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the committee. I would ask that my complete statement be put in the record.
SEN. WARNER: Without objection, the statements of both witnesses be included in their --
SEC. RUMSFELD: And I'd like to make a brief statement.
Let me begin by saying a few words about the remarkable man seated next to me, General Tom Franks. On Monday, I was in Tampa to attend the change-of-command ceremony there. It was an occasion to reflect on General Tom Franks and what the CENTCOM leadership that he put together has accomplished during his tenure as combatant commander.
Think back to September 11th. It was a dark day for our country, to be sure, but how fortunate our country was to have General Franks and his team in command at CENTCOM. In the period since September 11th, consider what's been accomplished. In just weeks, they developed and were executing a war plan for Afghanistan that employed a range of capabilities from the most advanced (such as laser-guided weapons), to antique (40-year-old B-52s that had been updated with modern electronics), to rudimentary cavalry charges, driving the Taliban and al Qaeda from power in a matter of months. The plan they developed for Operation Iraqi Freedom was even more innovative and transformational, employing an unprecedented combination of speed, precision, surprise and flexibility.
One of the most interesting aspects of the campaign was mentioned in the opening statements about the lessons learned process. It began before the war ever began. There were something in excess of 50 to 70 people that General Franks installed a -- as a team, from Joint Forces Command, in his command, from the very start. And they did a lot more than take notes to improve our performance for the next war. They actually provided immediate feedback, allowing CENTCOM leadership to apply lessons in real time and improve coalition performance in this war. General Franks has said to me that there wasn't a day that went by that there wasn't value added.
I'll leave it to General Franks to describe the lessons he believes are most important. I've listed some in my testimony.
We're still in the early stages of studying these lessons, and the conclusions that are drawn will most certainly affect how the armed forces of the United States and the services organize, train and equip for many years to come. This will be one of General Franks' truly enduring legacies. He led the coalition forces that liberated two nations, but how he liberated those two people -- the tactics, the strategies he developed and employed -- will contribute to the freedom of our country and our people for years to come.
So while General Franks may be leaving the service, the Army, his service to our country will live on in the impact of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, that it will have on our budgets, our procedures, our training, our doctrine and our joint warfighting.
And the people he led, those who served with him in Iraq and Afghanistan, will now take those transformational experiences to their next important commands and teach them to the next generation of leaders.
So, General Franks, I salute you and thank you for your truly remarkable service to our country.
Today Iraqis do face the enormous challenge of rebuilding from decades of tyranny. Coalition forces are helping the Iraqi people get on the path to stability and democratic self-government by helping Iraqis reestablish security and commerce, restore power and basic services, reopen schools and hospitals, and establish the rule of law.
With each passing week, more services come on line. Power and water are restored in more of the country. Gas lines disappear, and more Iraqi police are on the streets. But we must not underestimate how difficult the task is before us.
Yet despite the difficulties they face, most Iraqis are far better off today than they were four months ago; let there be no doubt about that. The residents of Baghdad may not have power 24 hours a day, but they no longer wake up each morning in fear, wondering whether this will be the day that a death squad would come to cut out their tongues, chop off their ears or take their children away for "questioning," quote, unquote, never to be seen again.
It's true there are some Iraqis who are not better off today. For the most part, they comprise a small, elite segment of Iraqi society that benefited from the Saddam Hussein dictatorship, and they are understandably unhappy now that the regime that favored them, at the expense of the population, has been removed from power. Today some of them are in hiding. Others are engaging in acts of sabotage and violence.
Let me say a word about the security situation in Iraq. There seems to be a widely held impression that the regime loyalists are operating freely throughout the country, attacking coalition forces at will.
That's clearly not the case. Large portions of Iraq are stable. If one looks at this map beside me, while there have been isolated incidents in other parts of the country, most of the recent attacks have been concentrated in Baghdad and in the three corridors that reach to the west, the north and the east out of the Iraqi capital.
At this moment, coalition forces are engaged in operations to deal with the threats in these areas. Indeed, a number of recent incidents in those regions are the result of offensive operations by the coalition, cases where the coalition forces had been seeking out and engaging pockets of enemy fighters.
Mr. Chairman, the problem is real, but it's being dealt with in an orderly and forceful fashion by coalition forces. In Iraq, coalition forces drove the country's leaders from power. But unlike traditional adversaries in wars past that sign a surrender document and hand over their weapons, the remnants of the Ba'ath regime, Fedayeen death squads and the Special Republican Forces did not surrender. Some were killed or captured, but many others, and particularly in Baghdad and to the north, faded into the population and are now forming pockets of resistance against coalition forces. We're now dealing with those remnants of the regime, just as we are dealing with the remnants of the al Qaeda and the Taliban that are hiding in the border areas of Afghanistan.
In addition to the remnants of the former regime, coalition forces in Iraq are also dealing with tens of thousands of criminals -- some estimate up to 100,000 -- that were let out of the prisons into the streets prior to the beginning of the war. And they're dealing with foreign terrorists who crossed into Iraq, in many cases, from Syria, looking for an opportunity to harm the coalition and to try to shake our resolve in the war on terror. Well, they'll not succeed.
So, there are a number of sources of instability. But this much is certain: Iraq has been liberated, the Ba'athist regime has been removed from power and will not be permitted to return, but our war with terrorists -- the remnants in Iraq, the remnants in Afghanistan and terrorist networks across the globe -- continues. It will take time, but we will prevail. As President Bush made clear last week, there will be no return to tyranny in Iraq. Those who threaten the order and stability of that country will face ruin, just as surely as the regime they once served.
One of the challenges facing the coalition is finding Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, as the chairman mentioned. We're still early in that process, and the task before us is sizable and complex. Major combat operations ended less than 10 weeks ago. The Iraqi regime had 12 years to conceal its programs, to move materials, hide documents, disperse equipment, develop mobile production facilities and sanitize known WMD sites, including four years with no U.N. weapons inspectors on the ground. Needless to say, uncovering those programs will take time.
The coalition did not act in Iraq because we had discovered dramatic new evidence of Iraq's pursuit of weapons of mass murder. We acted because we saw the existing evidence in a new light, through the prism of our experience on September 11th. On that day, we saw thousands of innocent men, women and children killed by terrorists, and that experience changed our appreciation of our vulnerability and the risks the U.S. faces from terrorist states and terrorist networks armed with powerful weapons.
The United States did not choose war. Saddam Hussein did. For 12 years, he violated 17 U.N. resolutions without cost or consequence. His regime had an international obligation to destroy its weapons of mass destruction and to prove to the world that they had done so. He refused to do so.
If he had in fact disarmed, why didn't he take that final opportunity to prove that his programs were ended and his weapons were destroyed? Why did he continue to give up tens of billions of dollars in oil revenue under U.N. sanctions, when he could have had those sanctions lifted simply by demonstrating that he had disarmed? Why did he file what all agreed was a fraudulent declaration of his weapons with the United Nations? Why didn't he cooperate with the international community, as Kazakhstan, Ukraine and South Africa did?
Had he done so, war would have been avoided. If he had in fact disarmed, he had everything to gain and nothing to lose by cooperating with the United Nations. Yet, he did not cooperate. He continued to lie and obstruct U.N. inspectors. The logical conclusion is that he did so because he wanted to keep his weapons, and he believed that he could continue to outwit the international community for another 12 years, just as he had for the past 12.
The objective in the global war on terror is to prevent another attack like September 11th, or a biological, nuclear or chemical attack that would be worse, before it happens. We can say with confidence that the world is a better place today because the United States led a coalition of forces into action in Iraq and because of General Tom Franks' skilled execution of the president's orders.
Mr. Chairman, that completes my statement.
SEN. WARNER: Mr. Secretary, before we hear from the general, I think it's important that you interpret with some detail this important map. While we hear daily of the stories of attacks, my understanding of that map, based also on my trip, is the green indicates those sections of Iraq which are relatively secure, the dark center brown is where the most intense number of attacks are coming, and the lighter shade of green are between the two in terms of level of threat. Is that correct?
SEC. RUMSFELD: That is correct. And if you'll recall, when the U.S. and coalition forces moved up from the south, the -- most of the fighting occurred south of Baghdad and in Baghdad. And to the -- to a considerable extent, the forces in Baghdad and north, in the Saddam Hussein strongholds, in many cases, disappeared into the countryside and still are there. So, they still need to be dealt with.
SEN. WARNER: And those forces did not witness the maneuver of our heavy forces, which had one time anticipated, had our relations with Turkey been such, we could have inserted heavy forces in the north. Is that not correct?
SEC. RUMSFELD: It's true, we did end up -- General Franks did, of course -- with forces in the north, and there was fighting up in that area, but it was not as extensive as it was in the areas to the south.
SEN. WARNER: Good. Thank you.
GEN. FRANKS: Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. And Senator Levin, it's an honor to appear again before the committee. I would -- I'd ask that my full statement be entered into the record, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. WARNER: Without objection.
GEN. FRANKS: Since we last sat in this room, much has taken place in the Central Command area of responsibility. A brutal regime has been removed in Iraq, to be sure, and efforts are ongoing to help Iraqis build a new future. Forces have continued to help Afghanistan, and those people make strides toward independence and have continued to seek out and destroy terrorists and their networks in that country, as well as across the central region as part of the global war on terrorism. And I look forward to discussing these important subjects today with the committee.
Let me begin by bringing a message to this committee from some 280,000-plus members of our coalition, those that I have been privileged to command.
And that message for the committee is very simple. It's, "Thank you." These men and women in uniform very much appreciate the support of this body and the support of this committee and all that you have done on their behalf, Mr. Chairman. As you know, earlier this week, General John Abizaid took the reigns of Central Command, and in fact he is a principled leaders, as this committee knows, and a soldier who brings a great deal to United States Central Command. And I am proud to relinquish command to him and to consider him friend.
I'd like to begin today by recognizing coalition nations whose contributions of forces, equipment and economic support have signaled a worldwide commitment to the eradication of terrorism. Over the past year, the coalition has been steadfast, and today, there are 63 nations represented in Tampa at our headquarters, perhaps the largest coalition we have ever seen. A force has been built in the Central Command area of responsibility to continue to move forward to the complete achievement of all of our objectives in Operations Iraqi Freedom as well as in Operation Enduring Freedom: as the secretary said, to prevent recurrence of the events we saw on 9/11/01; to deny terrorists opportunities to use weapons of mass destruction on our people; to bring terrorists to justice; to dismantle their networks.
We've also established as visible and viable presence in the Horn of Africa, Mr. Chairman, since we last met, in order to continue that work. And work in the central region is underway, but as I'll discuss in a moment, the environment within Central Command's region remains challenging and volatile, as the secretary said.
Securing U.S. interests in the future and ensuring regional stability will continue to involve risk in this region and will continue to require the commitment of our resources. This area encompasses 6.4 million square miles and about a half a billion people, as the committee knows, and it runs from the Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula to Pakistan in South Asia, up to Central Asia, as far north as Kazakhstan, including the waters of the Red Sea, the Northern India Ocean, the Persian Gulf, key maritime choke points of Suez, the Bab-el-Mandeb and the Straits of Hormuz. This is -- this is an area that represents all of the world's major religions and at least 18 major ethnic groups. National economies in this region produce annual per capita incomes which vary from very little, perhaps a few hundred dollars a year, to tens of thousands of dollars. The area includes dictatorships, absolute monarchies, failed states, democracies and governments in transition toward democracy. Humanitarian crises, resource depletion and overuse, religious and ethnic conflicts, demographic challenges and military power imbalances creates social, economic and military volatility. These factors are particularly significant, given the geographical and economic importance of the region, where national resources provide extraordinary opportunities, but they also give rise to a range of socioeconomic problems.
In the past two years, Central Command has been at the leading edge of the global war on terrorism, and the context I just provided makes it perhaps understandable why the focus -- the initial focus of the war on terrorism would be in this region.
The command is engaged with U.S. and coalition forces today in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and the commitment, as the secretary said, remains strong as our leaders and our troopers continue to work to bring security across the region.
On the ground today in Iraq, our troops are conducting ongoing operations. We're combining civil-military work with direct offensive military action, which will continue to seek out and bring justice to leaders of the fallen regime and others, as mentioned, Mr. Chairman, by yourself, as well as Secretary Rumsfeld.
Priorities will continue to include forming and training police and security forces, as well as the creation of a new Iraqi army. We'll continue to work to improve the infrastructure, working with Iraqis to support the establishment of local governance, providing emergency medical care and other humanitarian assistance. Much dangerous work remains to be done, but millions of Iraqis have freedoms today which four months ago were only a dream.
Our troops continue to work closely with Ambassador Jerry Bremer and the entirety of his civilian team to provide the tools he needs to be successful. Progress is being made, and our country is justifiably proud of what's been accomplished.
As I think about lessons learned, as the secretary mentioned, I'll talk to just a few.
Decisive combat work inside Iraq saw a maturing of joint force ops, or operations, in a number of ways. Some capabilities, we saw, reached new levels of performance. From a joint integration perspective, our experience in Operations Southern Watch, Northern Watch and Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan contributed to the jointness and the culture within the headquarters of our area. These operations helped to improve our interoperability. They also helped to improve our command, control, communications, computer and intelligence networking. Our forces were able to achieve operational objectives by the integration of maneuver forces, Special Operations forces, other government agency assets, precision lethal fires and non-lethal fires.
We saw for the first time integration of forces, rather than deconfliction of forces. I believe perhaps most transformational is that particular notion -- the business of the integration of forces, rather than, as we have seen in the past, simple deconfliction of forces.
It seems to me that this integration of the conventional -- as you said, Mr. Chairman, air, ground, sea forces -- to leverage Special Operations capabilities dealt effectively with asymmetric terrorist- like threats and enabled precision targeting simultaneously in the same battle space.
Similarly, we have seen in both Afghanistan and Iraq the ability of Special Operators to use conventional forces in order to set conditions for the success of those forces. Operational fires have been used to spearhead ground maneuver, and our forces have been able to sustain the momentum of the offensive while defeating enemy formations in all kinds of terrain -- open desert terrain, complex terrain and urban terrain.
We saw jointness, precision munitions, command and control, the readiness of our equipment, the state of training of our troops and coalition support as very clear winners during Operation Enduring Freedom.
The secretary said that I would also mention some of the lessons in my remarks, and I'll do that briefly now. We also identified a number of areas where we believe we require additional work. Fratricide prevention suffered from a lack of standardized combat identification. So, fratricide prevention remains work that we're going to have to focus on in the future. Deployment planning and execution were cumbersome and were much more closely akin to those required during the Cold War than to those required for force projection by our country in the 21st century. And coalition information-sharing needs to be improved at all levels. When we operate coalition, we need the ability to reach back and forth to and with coalition members. Human intelligence and communications bandwidth also represent areas where we're going to be required, Mr. Chairman, to focus effort in the future.
A few comments on Iraq and where we stand today. As the secretary says, security continues to improve. Portions of Iraq are now, and will remain for some time, however, very dangerous. The term "stability operations" does not infer that combat operations have ended. Indeed, they have not. Our forces are engaged in offensive work, as members of this committee saw during a recent trip all over Iraq today.
As we move forward, the composition and size of the forces that we have in that country will change to match the conditions, and it will ever change to match the requirements, recognizing that the enemy we see there also has a vote. And so, we will size ourselves, as we have in the past, in order to meet the conditions that we see develop in the future.
Factors that will influence our force mix inside Iraq will have to do, as Senator Levin said, with the coalition contribution. They will have to do with what we see in the way of the enemy threat. They will have to do with what we see in the success of the Iraqi people themselves, as they field their security forces, police forces, infrastructure security forces, single-site protection capabilities, and as we assist them in fielding a new Iraqi army.
Integration of coalition forces is a major near-term effort. The United Kingdom and Poland are committed at this point to leading divisions in southern Iraq, and many partner nations have offered forces to fill those units. Deployment of those forces has already begun, Mr. Chairman. We continue discussions today with India and Pakistan. At this moment, 19 coalition partners are on the ground in support of operations in Iraq, with deployment of an additional 19 countries pending. An additional 11 nations are conducting military- to-military discussions with the secretary's staff, the joint staff and my staff in Tampa today.
At this point, we see some 35,000 policemen as having been hired -- Iraqi policemen. This represents 55, perhaps 60, percent of a total requirement around 60,000 policemen in that country. Until we see the complete standing up of that number of security forces and policemen, we will continue joint patrolling, we'll continue to train with and work with these Iraqi forces as we bring them on.
Creation of a new Iraqi army is also moving forward. The plan envisions three divisions located near Mosul, Baghdad and Basra. They will provide for territorial defense and they will conduct stability operations. Over the next year, our goal is to field approximately nine battalions in order to do that work.
And initially, those forces will focus on performing security at fixed sites, assisting in the movement of convoys and providing border control. As it develops, this force will work with coalition forces to contribute to stability and security throughout Iraq.
Underlying all security functions is the need to continue humanitarian assistance and the conduct of civil military operations to improve the quality of life for Iraqi people. It is obvious to all that in order to see Iraqi (sic) move forward into the future, security must, in fact, come along at a pace that sees the betterment of the conditions of life for the Iraqi people and the establishment of Iraqi governance, the placing of an Iraqi face on the government there. It is in our interest to move these items forward as quickly and thoughtfully as we can, and we'll continue to do that.
I can't overstate the value of coalition contribution to success we have seen up to this point. Hospitals, medical supplies, water, food, transportation, expertise in rebuilding is being provided by coalition members. The fact that there has been no humanitarian disaster in Iraq, no widespread outbreak of disease, no hunger, no refugees or massive problems with displaced persons, or any other predicted consequence of war; all of that due in large part to the contribution of our allies. The Coalition Provisional Authority, Ambassador Jerry Bremer and our forces will continue o work in concert with international and nongovernmental agencies to reverse the result of more than three decades of a brutal regime.
Mr. Chairman, let me conclude by saying the global war on terrorism is ongoing. The precision, determination, expertise of our military forces and our coalition partners has brought about the liberation of both Afghanistan and Iraq in lightning speed with minimum bloodshed. However, these two nations have only taken the first steps toward freedom. The United States and our coalition partners must be there to support the whole journey.
While we have accomplished a lot, the potential for terrorist acts and other setbacks remains a very real. Afghanistan has a new, fragile government, a new army, and with coalition support, the nation is making strides toward long-term stability. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein's regime was destroyed, and regime supporters are being rooted out. Our focus has changed from military destruction of a regime to providing security and humanitarian assistance, assisting the Iraqi people to grow a representative form of governments.
Decisive combat operations have been completed, but much work remains to be done. I, as every member of this committee, Mr. Chairman, am very proud of each and every one of the men and women who continue to serve selflessly and tirelessly in the execution of our mission, from Egypt to Kazakhstan, from Suez to Pakistan, regardless of the uniform of service they were or the nation from which they come.
I thank Congress and the American people for the tremendous support you have show and what you have done for me.
Mr. Chairman, I'd be pleased to join the Secretary in answering your questions.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you, General. All of us join the secretary in his commendation of your previous career of 36 years, I believe -- and I not correct? -- and that contribution of your family.
Excellent statement by both witnesses, very balanced, what went right and what we've got to learn to do better in the future. And we'll probe that in these questions.
We'll have a six-minute round, colleagues. We have almost full attendance of the committee. And I'll move out quickly.
Mr. Secretary, as I departed, the one thing that was foremost in my mind is how can we proceed and what steps are being taken to reduce the risk to the individual and groups of our soldiers and civilians, coalition civilians who are in support of the soldiers in the face of these repeated daily attacks and losses.
The most encouraging information that I received was from Bremer, and that is -- Ambassador Bremer -- that he hopes by this July, within weeks, to have concluded putting in place the initial steps of the interim authority with Iraqis; as I mentioned, a council and a constitutional group. Is that on schedule? And do you concur in my view that that's perhaps the strongest tool that we have to reduce these attacks; put an Iraqi face, a degree of Iraqi responsibility on this situation as we move towards securing their freedom?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Mr. Chairman, I do. I think it's a combination of political progress. And as you suggested, Ambassador Bremer is hopeful that sometime next week, or the week thereafter, there will be the governing council set up with some 30 -- 25 to 30-plus members. There are a number of city councils, as you know, that have been stood up in Baghdad and other portions of the country. I think it is, however, a mixture of the political progress where Iraqis begin to assume responsibility for some of the ministries and some of their activities; economic progress, as General Franks said, so people see their lives improving; and military security. And I don't think any one can be separated; I think all three are critical and they all have to move forward.
SEN. WARNER: I agree with that. But as soon as we can begin to hold some Iraqis responsible for these killings and constant attacks, all the better, in my judgment. And they can publicly address the need to have them stop.
Mr. Secretary, with respect to questions of augmenting the coalition forces, and specifically as my colleague, Mr. Levin said, and as I raised with Ambassador Bremer, the inclusion of elements of NATO, can you address that?
SEC. RUMSFELD: I'd be happy to. I keep hearing people say things and people write things to the effect that this is the U.S. and the U.K.; and it's not. As General Franks said, we've got 19 countries on the ground. We have commitments from another 19 countries. We are in discussions with another 11 countries. That would bring the total up to 49 nations. My understanding is that we currently have on the ground some 19,000 coalition forces with commitments for another 11,000, which would bring the total to 30 (thousand).
In addition, the work is going forward to develop an Iraqi army. Former Undersecretary of Defense Walt Slocombe is working hard to achieve that goal, and we expect to have thousands of Iraqis back in uniform, functioning in a responsible way, as well as the police evolution that you've discussed.
Now, what about the U.N. and NATO? The United Nations passed a resolution; they've assigned an individual, Mr. de Mello, who works closely with Ambassador Bremer. I believe, Senator Levin, you indicated it was a mystery why we haven't reached out to NATO. We have reached out to NATO. NATO is assisting Poland, which has agreed to take a sector, in force generation. In addition, there are discussions that have been taking place in NATO about the possibility of taking on an additional role. At the current time, as you know, they are planning to take over responsibility in Afghanistan this August, so they have a lot on their platter. But we have reached out to just about everybody I can think of, asking for assistance of various types, and it is coming in. Is it as much as we'd like as fast as we'd like? No, it isn't. But are we hopeful it will continue to increase? Yes.
SEN. WARNER: Mr. Secretary, all of us are very mindful of the need to maintain a rotation base of our forces back; recognize that probably the op tempo of our military forces of all branches are at a very high point at this time. And yet our nation and other nations are faced with a contingency operation in Africa, most notably Liberia.
I think the President, quite properly, is facing this issue, has sent teams out to make an assessment of what needs to be done, will evaluate it and then make a presidential decision.
Could you share with us this morning some of the options that are being considered, and how those options, in terms of our force structure, might impact on our troop redeployments out of Iraq or troop redeployments in other areas? In other words, can our military accept, in your professional judgment -- I know they will, but what are the consequences of accepting a presidential decision, should it be made, of a deployment force? And we bear in mind that if you deploy, say, 1,000 individuals, you've got to have 1,000 in transit, 1,000 in training. So, it's a multiple of the force that actually goes into country.
SEC. RUMSFELD: You're quite right, of course, Mr. Chairman, that when you have 1,000 troops deployed overseas, you do need a rotational base, and it ends up like a multiple of three, rather than just the 1,000.
First, let me say that it is critically important that the department manage the forces in a way that we can continue to attract and retain the people we need; that the Guard and Reserve, who have just done a superb job, are not stressed, or called up so frequently or kept there so long that it affects their commitment to serve in the Reserves. We need them badly, and we have to be attentive to that, and we intend to be.
The rotation out of Iraq is already starting. I don't know what the number is, but I think it's something like one hundred and --
SEN. WARNER: Forty --
SEC. RUMSFELD: One hundred and forty thousand have already been -- 142,000 have already been redeployed. For the most part, there are large numbers of Air Force and Navy. There also have been some Army and Marine --
SEN. WARNER: Redeployed back home -- put in home.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Redeployed back home.
SEN. WARNER: Right.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Back to their bases, wherever they were, mostly in the U.S.
The 3rd Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division is now in Kuwait. It's been taken out of Iraq and it should be back home in July. The 2nd Brigade is -- the plan is that they would return in August, having been there something like 10 months. And the 1st Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division is scheduled to return in September, and they would have -- they have been in there since about January, so that would be a total of about 9 months. And the services and the joint staff have been working with Central Command to develop a rotation plan so that we can, in fact, see that we treat these terrific young men and young women in a way that's respectful of their lives and their circumstances and the wonderful job they did.
With respect to Liberia, the President is considering the appropriate U.S. role. He has indicated to world leaders that he intends that the United States assist in some way with respect to Liberia. He has asked the Department of Defense to dispatch assessment teams in two locations: one in Liberia, and it's currently there -- several dozen people, and in addition, he is sending assessment teams to these so-called ECOWAS nations to determine the readiness of the ECOWAS forces and the extent to which they may or may not be ready to deploy, and over what period of time, with what type of equipment, having had what type of training.
The United States and Great Britain and several other countries have been in a process for many months now training ECOWAS forces. And some have been used in Sierra Leone, some are currently committed. So, until the assessment teams come back, it seems to me that we will not have a good grip on what we would propose to the president.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you. Your staff briefed this committee yesterday, and you'll be briefing, yourself, the Senate tomorrow. So, I commend you in keeping us informed on it.
General Franks, lastly, the level of conflict that continues, in your planning, did you anticipate this level? You've been very candid with us this morning. And had you put in place the preparations to deal with it? And have you considered, perhaps, while we're standing up an Iraqi army, between now and the stand-up of that army, utilizing some Iraqi soldiers that can be trusted to go along on the patrols with our own, so that we have not only the coalition helmet, but something that the citizens can clearly perceive as one of their own helmets?
GEN. FRANKS: Mr. Chairman, the latter point first, yes, as we begin to work to build with Walt Slocombe, whom the secretary mentioned a minute ago, the Iraqi army, we will, as those forces are brought on, position them, work with them in a very operational way, because as you said, that serves to put an Iraqi face on the security assets that are being used throughout the country. And so, yes, sir, that is part of the plan.
With respect to the level of violence, Mr. Chairman, I will tell you, I think in a war and in post-conflict, one never knows exactly how to gauge what may be expected in the aftermath of major combat. Was it anticipated? Mr. Chairman, I would say, yes, sir, it was. And the way I'll -- perhaps the way I'll justify that statement is to say that the footprint that we see in Iraq today is not the same footprint that was in Iraq on the day the president announced the cessation of major combat operations. In fact, the deployment orders, which had been approved by the secretary prior to the time -- I believe it was the 1st of May -- when our president said that major combat operations had ended -- the deployment orders, which had already been signed, in fact, adjusted the footprint for Iraq in terms of military policemen, in terms of civil affairs people, in terms of humanitarian assistance- type forces, in terms of engineers. The plan called for the removal of forces that are much more inclined to be used during major combat operations than during stability operations; for example, armor formations. And so, I believe, Mr. Chairman, that we did anticipate a level of violence, and I can't tell you whether we anticipated that it would be as -- at the level that we see right now.
You know, Mr. Chairman, I think that when a war begins, one can always hope for a very quick transition to peace, to see a nation begin to rebuild itself without a great deal of friction and without a great deal of messiness. But on the operational side, on the military side, we must always be prepared to handle whatever level of violence may come along.
And Mr. Chairman, I believe our forces have been and will continue to be able to handle the levels of violence that we see as this nation tries to bring itself together.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much.
SEN. CARL LEVIN (D-MI): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Secretary Rumsfeld, going back to the NATO issue just for a minute, back in April you were asked about a possible role for NATO, a formal role for NATO in the post-war effort in Iraq. And this is what you said, that -- you suggested to the secretary-general that:
"I thought that would be a good thing. If NATO wanted to do that, obviously France would be opposed, I'm told. They're opposed to a lot of things, so that shouldn't be a problem, because you can do it at 18 instead of at 19 countries, since they're not a member of the Defense Planning Committee."
Now, we have apparently not asked NATO to formally decide to raise a force for deployment in Iraq similarly to what they've done in Bosnia and in Kosovo. Why is -- why have we not made that request of NATO as NATO, not just to support Poland, for instance, as they've done as an individual country, but why have we not asked NATO to formally decide as NATO to raise that force and to give its endorsement to our action? Is it because we're afraid France might not go along, or what? Or we don't want to ask France?
SEC. RUMSFELD: No. First of all, it's not clear to me we haven't. I -- I was told this morning that the discussions taking place in NATO include a discussion about a possible NATO role in Iraq. Now, to what extent the Department of State or the United States has or has not issued a formal request, I don't know. But I know the discussions are going forward. And I know that the assistance that NATO is providing -- not individual countries in NATO, but NATO as an institution is providing to Poland -- is a NATO institutional action. It is something that's been discussed, approved and underway. I also know, as I said, that NATO is preparing to take over responsibilities in Afghanistan. So how many things like that they're going to be able to do at one time remains to be open. But we -- I have no problem, as I indicated then and I indicate now, some months later, in having NATO involved. Indeed, I think it would be a good thing.
SEN. LEVIN: NATO involved as NATO. Formally being asked and deciding as an organization to -- to raise and to deploy forces in Iraq. You have no problem with that.
SEC. RUMSFELD: I have no problem with that. And indeed, I'm very pleased that NATO has been assisting and is currently discussing assisting in additional ways.
SEN. LEVIN: But if that request to NATO had been made, wouldn't you know about it?
SEC. RUMSFELD: I -- it -- I'm -- I don't know technically what you're getting at --
SEN. LEVIN: All right.
SEC. RUMSFELD: -- but whether -- whether the Department of State has instructed the U.S. ambassador to NATO, the permanent representative, as he's called, to issue some sort of a formal request, I don't know. I know NATO has seized the issue, is discussing it. I was told that this morning after Pete Pace, General Pace has a phone call with the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, General Jones.
SEN. LEVIN: Would you support asking Germany and France to provide forces in Iraq?
SEC. RUMSFELD: I am -- I support -- our goal is to get large numbers of international forces in from lots of countries, including those two.
SEN. LEVIN: So you --
SEC. RUMSFELD: But -- but we have requests out to a large number of countries.
SEN. LEVIN: But you would specifically support requesting Germany and France to provide forces in Iraq.
SEC. RUMSFELD: We have made requests to -- I don't know what it is, something like -- the Department of State's issued requests to something like 70 or 80, 90 countries.
SEN. LEVIN: Is Germany and France on the list?
SEC. RUMSFELD: I'll have to ask. I would suspect they are.
SEN. LEVIN: But would you support it?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Why, certainly.
SEN. LEVIN: Good.
The troop level. General Franks, you've indicated that that is going to depend upon conditions that exist in the future. General Abizaid, at his confirmation hearing recently, said that he believes that we would have a large number of troops in Iraq for the foreseeable future. Do you agree?
GEN. FRANKS: I do, sir.
SEN. LEVIN: And would you -- could you give us just a range of troops? I mean, would it be from 100(,000) to 150,000 for many years? Give us some kind of a range. I'm not asking for any kind of precise figure, but what's your current best estimate?
GEN. FRANKS: Mr. Chairman, that actually is not as hard to answer as it might seem. We have about 145,000 troops in there right now. As I have talked to commanders at every level inside Iraq, one finds that -- that that footprint appears to us on the operational side to be about what that footprint needs to look like. There has been suggestion that perhaps there should be more troops. And in fact, I can tell you, in the presence of this secretary, that if more troops are necessary, this secretary's going to say yes. I mean, we have talked about this on a number of occasions. And when the tactical commanders on the ground determine that they need to raise force levels, then those forces in fact will be provided. The secretary may want to comment on that. But what we --
SEN. LEVIN: That's reassuring, though. In other words, the current footprint's your best estimate. And would that be for the foreseeable future?
GEN. FRANKS: Sir, it is for the foreseeable future.
SEN. LEVIN: All right. And just on the weapons of mass destruction issue, which is back in the press in many ways, in the media this week, Secretary Rumsfeld, as you know, earlier this week the White House acknowledged that, quote, "The reference to Iraq's attempt to acquire uranium from Africa should not have been included in the president's State of the Union speech on January the 28th."
On the 29th, you said on CNN something very similar to what the president had said the night before when you said that the Iraqi regime, quote, "Recently was discovered seeking significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
Now, Condi Rice, just a few weeks ago, said the following, that "We did not know at the time, no one knew at the time in our circles. Maybe someone knew down in the bowels of the agency, but no one in our circles knew that there were doubts and suspicions that this might be a forgery."
And I'm just curious as to whether or not you've determined, as a policymaker, how the facts of falsity of that claim of a uranium sale to Iraq from Africa remained in the bowels of the agency for nine months, after you made your statement on the 29th. Did somebody come to you, the intelligence community come to you and say, "My gosh, we got facts that show that just simply is inaccurate?" Have you determined how those accurate facts, in other words, the knowledge in the bowels of the intelligence community that it was wrong that Africa was solicited by Iraq for uranium and that those documents were forged, have you determined how it happened that that information about the forgery stayed for so long in the, quote -- to quote Condi Rice, "the bowels" of the agency?
SEC. RUMSFELD: No, I can't give you a good answer. I can try to get an answer for the record, if you'd like.
I must say that as someone who reads intelligence every day, as you do, I find that corrections are being made fairly continuously; that you review a week's worth of intel and two months later they come back and say, "Well, we said this on this date; we have new information that suggests this or that." So the fact that the facts change from time to time with respect to specifics does not surprise me or shock me at all; it's to be expected. It's part of the intelligence world that we live with, is uncertainty and less than perfect knowledge.
I must say, however, that as we've gone through this period, I think the intelligence has been quite good, and I don't think that the fact that there is an instance where something was inaccurate ought to in any way paint a broad brush on the intelligence that we get and suggest that that's a pattern or something; it's just not.
SEN. LEVIN: Would you find out for this committee, for the record? This is a significant piece of intelligence; it was relied on at the highest level, very publicly, very visibly, by the president and by you within two days of each other, right before the war; a very significant statement about seeking uranium in Africa. It was based on intelligence. At the same time, the intelligence community knew in its -- in the depths of their agency that this was not true, it seems to me is absolutely startling. And I think we would all want to know how it could possibly have stayed there in the basement of the agency while policymakers and the upper floors were making these statements. If you could do that for this committee, I think we'd all appreciate it.
SEC. RUMSFELD: I'll try to do that.
SEN. LEVIN: Thank you.
SEN. WARNER: Senator Allard.
SEN. WAYNE ALLARD (R-CO): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I'm interested, in light of the recent attack, and everything, your assessment as to what's happening with these -- are they more organized than, say they were three or four weeks ago? And if they are becoming more organized, is there any evidence of some -- how central is this organization? Is it by region or is it country-wide? I'd like to hear your assessment on that, General Franks.
GEN. FRANKS: Senator, the -- because we see more of the activity -- you know, I ask myself, are we seeing more of this violent activity in the areas that are shaded on the map that the secretary turned around a minute ago, are we seeing more of this violent activity because some of these jihadists, extremists, Ba'athists, Saddam Fedayeen are coming together, or are we seeing more violence there because we are more offensive and because we are placing more patrols in there? And so the answer that I give you I will caveat with that because I suspect that we're seeing increased violence in some of these areas because we are more present; I mean we are out looking for it because that's our charter, that's what our force is going to do.
Now, in terms of networking among these groups or between these groups, Senator, I don't -- I don't -- I'm not comfortable right now saying that I believe that there is operational control between factions operating in Tikrit, Al Ramadi, Mosul, Baiji, I'm not sure.
I recognize the same thing you recognize, which is that we see increased violence, sir. But I'm not ready yet to tell you that I see evidence that these violent acts are being coordinated. I might tell you that next week, Senator, but I do not yet see evidence of it.
SEN. ALLARD: Do you see any outside influences coming into the country? For example, Iran; is there any coalition forces from any of the neighboring countries that you can pick up, or any suggestion that there may be?
GEN. FRANKS: Sir, as you know, since the war started, we have seen infiltration of elements through Syria, and we have encountered those on a number of occasions. I believe that -- I believe that there continue to be efforts by Iran, by Tehran, to influence activities inside Iraq. We see evidence in there of the intelligence services, Iranian intelligence services. We see evidence in there of political forces. So, yes, I do see attempts by nations in the region -- I named those two -- to influence activities that are going on inside Iraq.
SEN. ALLARD: Mr. Secretary, I'm aware that Ambassador Bremer is trying to get some members on their Iraqi governing council and get this put together rather quickly, at least in the near future. Do you have any idea what we're thinking about as far as makeup of the council? Are we going to include Islamic clerics? Are we going to have former exiles and Kurdish leaders? And when do you anticipate national elections?
SEC. RUMSFELD: I saw the pool of names, and it's large and diverse, in answer to your question. It includes folks from all across the spectrum -- the Iraqis.
And elections are something that it seems to me will have to be determined as we go down the road. The goal in life is not to have one election one time, as happened when Adolf Hitler was elected, for example. The goal is to have a process and to have true representation and true respect for the various elements, diverse elements in that country.
And the steps would be something like this -- although I can't even be certain of that -- that there will be a governing council; there will be some sort of an interim authority; there will be a constitutional convention to develop a constitution. The constitution and the Iraqis who develop the constitution will make a judgment as to when and at what pace they think their country is ready to have elections in a way that would be reasonable and create a representative system for them. And that's out some way. If you think back to Afghanistan, they -- we still have a provisional government in that country, and their elections are expected next year sometime. So it's been -- it takes some time. It's not an easy transition.
SEN. ALLARD: You know, the Kurdish problem in the north I think continues to be a problem. And the question I have is, from your assessment, Mr. Secretary, do you think the Kurds in the north are more interested in rebuilding Iraq or are they more interested in forming a separate country at this particular point in time?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Oh, I think the former. Everything I've heard is that the individuals from the Kurdish section of Iraq are, in fact, participating in this process; that they've behaved in a reasonably constructive way and that they're relieved that the regime of Saddam Hussein is gone; and that they intend to play a political role in the evolution of a new Iraq.
SEN. ALLARD: Mr. Chairman, I see my time is expired. Thank you.
SEN. WARNER: We'll recognize Senator Kennedy --
SEC. RUMSFELD: Mr. Chairman, could I make a response to Senator Levin on this subject that General Franks answered on footprint? He responded for the foreseeable future a footprint about such as it is, as I recall. I would just amend that slightly by saying that -- exactly. We see no reason to think that that footprint isn't the right one for the moment. But the composition of U.S. forces can change, and we could end up with different types, as he suggested. And second, the numbers of U.S. forces could change, while the footprint stayed the same, in the event that we have greater success in bringing in additional coalition forces, in the event we have -- are able to accelerate the Iraqi army. So, the exact number of U.S. forces might change as well as the composition, even though the footprint, as General Franks said, would be roughly the same until we see evolution in the political and economic spheres.
SEN. WARNER: Two administrative announcements, colleagues. We have two votes coming circa 11:30. It's the intention of the chair to catch the end of the first vote and remain and do the second and then return and resume the hearing. Following the open hearing, we will have a closed hearing in -- I mean, the Intelligence Committee next door.
Thank you very much. Senator Kennedy?
SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D-MA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, General, we're all tremendously proud of the troops' effectiveness in Operation Iraqi Freedom. It's a great credit to you, Mr. Secretary, and to General Franks. I'm now concerned that we have the world's best-trained soldiers serving as policemen in what seems to be a shooting gallery. The president declared an end to major combat operation, but the war's not over for the men and women who are on the ground in Iraq or their families here at home, and the lack of a coherent plan is hindering our efforts at internationalization and aggravating the strain on our troops. Our troops are tired, want to return to their families who are at home coping with the absence and the loss of income. They have been gone close to a year, and this truly is a hardship. And the American people want to know what the strategy is to stabilize Iraq, bring the promise of democracy to the Iraqi people and alleviate the strain on our troops.
Now, I've heard, in response to Senator Levin's questions about the NATO forces, there are 2 million troops in NATO. Clearly, not all of them are qualified to go here. But you have the Italian Carabinieri and the French Gendarmes and the Spanish Guardia Civil that are superbly-trained troops in being able to riot control, and dealing with barriers, and fire and explosives. Have we made a specific request to try and get some of the best-trained police that exist in the NATO countries to come over and be of -- provide some relief to these American troops that are in the process of being attacked almost daily?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Yes. In fact, Italy and Spain have both made commitments.
SEN. KENNEDY: And when will they come? Can you tell us --
SEC. RUMSFELD: I can't tell you --
SEN. KENNEDY: -- what the expectation is and how many are going to be there?
SEC. RUMSFELD: I can't tell you precisely. It's up -- I've always believed that it's up to those countries to make their own announcements as to what they're going to --
SEN. KENNEDY: I'm asking about what's been requested, what you requested.
SEC. RUMSFELD: We have requested of them exactly the kinds of forces you've described, and they have made commitments to do so.
The dates generally for these forces are going to be in the latter portion of this summer and into September, and certainly by October. So I'm guessing that some will be coming in next month, and then it will be August, September and October that they would be flowing in. But I don't want to refer specifically to those countries, because I'm -- I'm speaking to the 19 countries that have made commitments.
SEN. KENNEDY: Well, they're -- that's true. But these three, certainly, among others, have some of the best trained in terms of the police function.
I was troubled just by your earlier response about the knowledge of the request of troops from NATO. It would seem that you would be the person that would be on the phone to -- to NATO to ask these troops to be available. And we just want to know, are -- is that -- are you on the phone talking to NATO, to General Robertson, to -- the NATO to request troops? Have you done that? You indicated in an earlier response "We want to reach out to everyone." Is it as much as we would like -- know, in terms of response to NATO? It's not clear that we have announced to other countries. I have no problem, if they want to provide more help and assistance. I think people -- families want to know what are we doing? If they have two million troops over there, what are we doing to bring a major chunk of those troops through NATO into -- into Iraq? Is that part of our plan now in internationalizing the military phase of it?
SEC. RUMSFELD: We have made requests of NATO. I don't know quite what you're asking. The two million troops --
SEN. KENNEDY: Well, I'm asking when have you talked? Have you picked up the phone --
SEC. RUMSFELD: The two million troops, I believe, include the United States of America.
SEN. KENNEDY: (Pause.) Right. Well, then, you got, what, a million-seven hundred thousand over there? Out of the million-seven hundred thousand over there?
SEC. RUMSFELD: And we have asked -- I believe, months ago the United States through the Department of State made a request to something like 70 or 80 countries for assistance. There have been force generation meetings that have been taking place. One took place very recently. There's another taking place, I believe, in New York --
SEN. KENNEDY: But your -- your answer, I gather, Secretary, is you're doing everything that you possibly can as a secretary of Defense --
SEC. RUMSFELD: We believe we are.
SEN. KENNEDY: -- to make every request of NATO for -- for combat troops, as well as for the kind of (guardier ?) functions, and that you're satisfied you're doing everything you can within NATO, and you have made that request yourself, or you're conscious that the administration -- or if you don't know that, you're going to find out whether they have made that.
SEC. RUMSFELD: We certainly want assistance from NATO and from NATO countries, and we have been committed -- commitments from a good, large number of NATO countries already. And NATO is already assisting.
SEN. KENNEDY: In the other area of the development of Iraq, as I understand, there are -- the U.S. government has talked about the future of Iraq, working groups. And I'm -- but I'm told on the people on the ground that there's no formal plan for reconstruction. Can you provide us with the operational plans for reconstruction, who are the people, the level of resources that are committed, how many Iraqis will be involved in the plan to build police, justice system, the media, the schools, the other institutions, and are there plans on paper, and where are those plans, and -- or are we shooting from the hip and taking a piecemeal approach when American lives are at stake in terms of the security -- broader security issues?
SEC. RUMSFELD: There certainly are plans for the reconstruction of Iraq. I would, however, say that the plans are not for the United States or the coalition to reconstruct Iraq.
Iraq's circumstance today is the result of 30 years of repression by the Saddam Hussein regime and a Stalinist-type economy and a denial of the people of that country and the infrastructure of that country the kinds of opportunities and investments that a wealthy country like Iraq is perfectly capable of doing.
Today, if one goes from the Gulf states, from Kuwait or Qatar or any of those nations, into Iraq, it's like going in the old days from Romania into West Germany. It's just stark how damaging that regime has been to that country, to say nothing of the mass graves of people that were killed by that regime.
The plans do exist, but it will be the Iraqi people that will have to build back their country and reconstruct their country.
Reference was made earlier to nation-building. I suppose it's mostly semantics, but I think it's a little heady and arrogant to think that you can build another people's nation. I think the Iraqi people are going to build their own nation back, and they're going to build it in a distinctly unique, Iraqi way. And our task is to try to create an environment -- to get rid of that repressive regime and to try to create an environment within which the Iraqi people can put themselves on a political and economic path towards a future, and not to think that we're going to go in there and send the American taxpeople (sic) -- -payers' dollars, and billions of them, trying to rebuild the country in a way that fits our image, because that's just not going to happen.
SEN. KENNEDY: Well, you're not suggesting we're not going to be spending billions of dollars of American taxpayers' --
SEC. RUMSFELD: Of course we are! Of course we will!
SEN. WARNER: Senator --
SEN. KENNEDY: My time is up.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much. I didn't mean to interrupt you, Senator, but we have -- Senator Sessions.
SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R-AL): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And General Franks, I want to express my congratulations, along with the others, for your leadership, appreciation for your career and for the great troops that you led, how much -- how they performed under extraordinarily difficulty circumstances. They perform so well.
You know, when we think about what has occurred, a lot has occurred. We could have, as a nation, stayed right here and tried to build up defenses at home, or we could have gone after the bases of terrorism that were plainly out there in the world. The president made a decision -- this Congress supported him overwhelmingly -- to eliminate those bases. We saw those in Afghanistan. You've liberated that country, and we've removed al Qaeda and the Taliban from authority there. We've now liberated the people of Iraq, and our prayer is and our hope is that we can help them establish their own nation. It certainly will be, as the secretary said, ultimately their challenge to do that.
I wanted to ask you a couple of things. One of the concerns I have is how quickly we can bring on the Iraqi indigenous army that will be as servant of the Iraqi people and of the Iraqi nation. How difficult is that? Do we need more resources? What can we do to speed along the creation of a healthy, well-trained army that serves the people of Iraq?
GEN. FRANKS: Sir, first, thank you for your -- thanks for your kind remarks.
We do want to bring -- we did want to bring the Afghan -- the -- (chuckles) -- pardon me -- (chuckles) -- the Iraqi national army on line as quickly as we can. I think the vision is for order of magnitude 12,000 or so, within the initial 12 months, if my memory serves.
We want to have as much Iraqi army as we can, but we want a professional Iraqi army when we build it. And what I mean by that is, we want the training of the troopers from the bottom up to be done in a very competent way. And we have reinforced for ourselves in Afghanistan that we know how to do that, that we can do it.
But what we also learn in Afghanistan is that we do not want to create an army that has no place to go. We want to be sure that the Iraqis themselves bring along the infrastructure for the positioning of those forces as we bring them on line.
And at the same time, we want to be sure that we work from the top down to create a Ministry of Defense and the operational level for an army that can manage them.
And so, it -- it -- I would like, Senator Sessions, to see this thing, the Iraqi army, come along as fast as we can actually control it and put it to work. And I am satisfied with the pace that Walt Slocombe intends to work on that project right now, sir.
SEN. SESSIONS: General Franks, if you would just briefly share with us the status of our commitment to containing Saddam Hussein before this war started, that -- resources that we've been committing for over a decade, to keep him in a box, including patrolling the Persian Gulf, air flights in Northern Watch and Southern Watch, did -- you know, we think about the cost of the operation and the effort to help Iraq rebuild. But tell us about the costs we were incurring annually.
GEN. FRANKS: Sir, if you think about Operation Northern Watch, Operation Southern Watch, and the maritime intercept operations that were ongoing between 1992 and 2002, they -- I can't give you the -- I can't give you with precision the math associated with that. The number that I would give you would probably be just Northern Watch/Southern Watch, one to two billion dollars a year, depending on the year. And that does not factor what it cost coalition members like the state of Kuwait, for example, who paid in assistance in kind perhaps another $200 million to $250 million a year during the course of containment.
Sir, I make -- I attempt to justify nothing with respect to containment, and I make no comment about whether that was good or bad. That is from an operational perspective. Now, our job was to control the skies over Iraq and to ensure the -- as best we could in doing that the sanctity, if you will, of 786, 787, and Security Council resolutions, some 17 of them, that the secretary mentioned earlier. That was the policy. That's what our forces worked to do for that period of time. I will offer the operational fact, sir, that at this time those operations are no longer necessary and, in fact, there are no longer jets shooting -- and air defense systems shooting at American men and women and then returning to the sanctity of bases belonging to the regime.
SEN. SESSIONS: Well, I think that's an important thing for us to consider. And I always felt that, in fact, the gulf war never ended, that there was sort a(n) agreed-upon peace that was not holding. And to me, something had to be done, and I think those actions have been taken.
Would you just share -- go ahead.
GEN. FRANKS: Sir, if I -- sir, if I could insert one thing in response to a comment Senator Kennedy made a minute ago about troops having been committed a year, and in many cases being very tired, I believe, having been there, sir, that troops are tired at two levels. One is a tactical level, where one becomes tired. And the other is a level where people do not believe in what they're doing. I believe members of this committee who recently visited our troops on the ground in Iraq found none of the latter. And it's my job and our job to be sure that we provide the tactical relief, rest and quality of life for our troops as best we can. But my comment is that I believe that our young men and women who are deployed in Iraq, working in a very dangerous circumstance, believe in their responsibilities and are doing them remarkably well.
I'm sorry, sir. Please.
SEN. WARNER: Thanks very much.
SEN. SESSIONS: Well, thank you.
SEN. WARNER: Senator Reed.
SEN. JACK REED (D-RI): Well, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
First, General Franks, let me add my commendation for an extraordinary career in the Army and service to the nation. And I think you know that we're all sincerely appreciative, but I think you also know that the appreciation of the soldiers that you've served with, their respect is much more, I think, gratifying to you, and it should be. Thank you, sir.
Mr. Secretary, I had the privilege to go with Chairman Warner and Senator Levin to Iraq, and I had a chance to meet lots of soldiers. And I would agree with General Franks, they are proud of what they're doing, they will do it as long as we ask them to do it. But they had one question of me I couldn't answer, particularly the troops of my home state, the 115th Military Police Company, the 119th Military Police Company, the 118th Military Police Battalion: When are we coming home?
The answer to that question relies upon having troops available to replace these troops, because as you've both indicated, our footprint in Iraq will be significant. This burden falls particularly with impact upon the Army. Today, the Army has 370,000 troops in 120 countries. In Iraq, the footprint has the 3rd ID, the 4th ID, the 1st Armored Division, the 101st Airborne, the 173rd Airborne Brigade, the 2nd Brigade of the 82nd, the 2nd Light Cavalry Squadron and the 3rd Armored Cavalry Squadron; in addition, five National Guard enhanced battalions in Iraq and two in Kuwait. That's a significant footprint. In Afghanistan, shortly, we'll have almost two full brigades of the 10th Mountain Division to take the mission. In the Balkans, we have the 34th National Guard Division from Kansas. In Kosovo, we have the 1st Infantry Division, which will be replaced by the 28th Pennsylvania National Guard Division. We have forces in Korea, the 2nd ID. We have contingency force in the United States and there are other areas in the world that are dangerous.
In addition to that, the normal doctrine years ago when I was serving was for every deployed unit, you had to have a three-to-one ratio. That, I think, has changed to five to one now, because we also have preparation exercise phases, training center missions, reintegration and then the actual mission. We are dangerously stretched thin in the Army and other services, also.
I know the answer to this will be multinational forces will take the place of these troops in Iraq, but so far, we've been unsuccessful in arranging those forces. And it seems to me that we have to be prepared to increase our Army, the number of brigades in our Army, or to activate National Guard divisions, and we have to make that decision soon, because of the training of these troops we'll need before they deploy.
So Mr. Secretary, are you planning or prepared to increase the size of the Army to meet these commitments?
SEC. RUMSFELD: The -- first, I would say that I talked to General Abizaid this morning. And he is sensitive to the importance of troops knowing what the rotation plan will be, so they have some degree of certainty in their lives. And he's sensitive to the importance of the quality of their lives, whether they get mail and those types of things, and is determined to continue the fine work that General Franks has done, and now that we've completed major combat operation in Iraq, begin to get greater clarity as to exactly how that rotation will take place.
It would be incorrect to say that we expect that international forces will replace all of U.S. forces. We don't anticipate that. We're going to have to replace U.S. forces with U.S. forces, in large measure, and we understand that. And the joint staff and the services have been asked to make a presentation to me -- the request went back many, many weeks, and they have been working in the tank with the services, and they expect to bring that forward sometime this month, in which case they'll get clarity as to what people can expect in terms of their circumstances.
Then the question comes, do you need to increase force levels, particularly in the Army or Marines, the ground forces, I would add. And that answer -- the question (sic) to that is if we believe that's the case, obviously we would come to the Congress and make that request.
At the moment, we are attempting to bring down our force commitments in a number of countries in the world. We have proposals with respect to what's taking place in Bosnia and Kosovo, which are through NATO; in together and out together, as you're familiar. We have been working to try to reduce our force in the Sinai. We have discussions going on with Korea as to how we can have our footprint there arranged. We have discussions taking place in Europe.
We also have, I'm told by Dr. Chu -- and I don't know if we've ever gotten the exact list -- but something in the neighborhood of 300,000 men and women in uniform doing jobs that aren't for men and women in uniform. They're doing civilian functions, and they shouldn't be doing civilian functions. So we've got to continue to try to manage the department in a way that we make the best use of people who serve in the armed services.
If at some point it looks as though what you suggest might be the case, turns out to be the case, clearly, we will come to Congress and ask for an increase. But at the moment, we do not see that that's the case.
SEN. REED: Let me address the question a different way. Since September 11th, 42,000 National Guard troops have been on active duty. That's before Operation Iraqi Freedom. Doesn't that suggest to you that there is a need for increase in active forces?
SEC. RUMSFELD: The -- first, I don't have the number at my fingertip, and I regret that. But there are a very large number of Guard and Reserve that have been on duty that are volunteers. They are individuals who were not called up, they're not required; but a non-trivial fraction of the total have been individuals who were asked, "Would you like to come on and serve on active service for a period," and they have said yes. So it is -- it is -- you're right, except that within that mix of numbers of Reserve and Guard, a lot of them are there because they want to be, not because they're being forced to be.
SEN. REED: Well, you need them, Mr. Secretary --
SEC. RUMSFELD: You bet we need them.
SEN. REED: -- even though they want to. And the question goes, if you need that many National Guardsmen over an extended period of time stretching back over a year, doesn't that suggest that the active forces have to be increased?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Well, of course, we have increased the active forces. We have a provision the Congress passed, and the president has taken advantage of the 2 percent-plus. And under an emergency, even the 2 percent ceiling is not a requirement for us, and we are in some cases above the 2 percent. So the force levels have increased during this period; you're quite right.
SEN. REED: Well, Mr. Secretary, my time has expired. But I think this issue of the size of our forces is rapidly approaching a decision point. And from what I've seen, from the extended deployment of our Army, particularly, and I agree the Marine Corps also, and I suspect the Navy and the Air Force can make similar cases, is that we're reaching the point where we have to go ahead and bite the bullet and put more forces in our force structure so we can rotate those troops who are doing so well and serving so proudly out of Iraq.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you, Senator.
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Franks, let me begin my remarks by joining my colleagues in thanking you for a truly outstanding career. Our country owes you an enormous debt of gratitude. And I join my colleagues in saluting you.
Mr. Secretary, I was honored to be part of the Armed Services Committee trip to Iraq recently, and like my colleagues, I had the opportunity to talk with many of our troops.
I want to echo the impressions that Senator Reed received in his conversations. To a person, I found that our troops' morale was very high, despite the harsh conditions under which they're serving and despite the dangers to which they are exposed. But I also found a weariness among our troops. and over and over I heard, "I'm proud of our mission. I helped free the Iraqi people. But when do I get to go home?" So I think it is important that we communicate to the men and women who are serving so that they will have some expectations.
One soldier from Maine told me, "I can deal with another three months, I can deal with another six months, but I just need to know." So I would encourage you, and I know that General Abizaid is working on this, but to share that information with our men and women in uniform as quickly as it is available so there can be some certainty.
I would also ask you, Mr. Secretary, to project for us what you see as the percentage mix of American troops versus troops from other countries as part of the coalition forces by the end of the year. Obviously, we can rotate troops home more quickly if we can replace them not just with American troops but with troops from other countries. Can you give us some rough estimate of what you see as the percentages of American troops versus troops from other countries as part of the coalition forces by the end of the year?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Well, as General Franks and I have indicated, we now have about 148,000 troops there; we're hoping to get -- have the non-U.S. coalition forces up to something like -- at the moment we're looking at 30,000 sometime late summer, early fall; we intend to have the Iraqi army grow as rapidly as we can do so; and there's actually a fourth source of forces, and that's contract forces for site protection to the extent that that might make sense. And that's roughly what it looks like to me going out towards the end of the year.
SEN. COLLINS: You mentioned, Mr. Secretary, in your statement that Iraqis no longer wake up every morning in fear wondering whether this will be the day that the death squads come. And indeed, all of us feel a great pride of freeing the Iraqi people from the breathtaking brutality of Saddam Hussein and his regime. But nevertheless, what I found during the trip is that there still is very much a climate of fear in Iraq. There's a fear that the Americans and the coalition forces will go home too soon and that Saddam Hussein will return to power.
I was struck by a conversation that we had with an Iraqi who is running an oil refinery in Basra, whom, whenever we asked any question that involved Saddam Hussein, would not respond. How important is it that we capture or kill Saddam Hussein? And how high a priority is it for the coalition forces?
SEC. RUMSFELD: The president has said, and we all agree, that the United States and the coalition forces are committed to stay as long as is necessary and not a day longer. So the idea that we would leave too soon and Saddam Hussein come back is not a realistic concern that anyone ought to have. Saddam Hussein's not coming back.
How important is it that he be caught or killed, and that closure come to that? It would be helpful. There's no question but that this individual has created such fear on the part of the Iraqi people because of his brutality and the numbers of -- tens of thousands of people he's killed, and the willingness to use chemical weapons on his own people and on his neighbors, that -- that there is a fear, not just in Iraq, but in the region, that he -- that we have to be certain that he is not going to be around. I think that that'll take some time. People don't get over that fear immediately. But he's not coming back. He's through. That regime is over.
SEN. COLLINS: You and I know that. You and I know for certain that Saddam Hussein is not coming back. But I am convinced that the fear that Saddam will come back is impeding our progress in reconstructing Iraq.
Prior to this trip, I would have said that as long as he's out of power, that's sufficient. I came back with a very different feeling, a determination that unless we capture or kill Saddam, that our progress is going to be far slower.
SEC. RUMSFELD: I agree with that. And I will say, however, that, in answer to your question of what's the priority, the priority is very high -- as I'm sure you were briefed.
SEN. COLLINS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much, Senator.
SEN. DANIEL K. AKAKA (D-HI): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I want to add my pride of the troops as well as your leadership to the work here, General Franks. What you've done out there with our troops are (sic) extraordinary. And I want to say thank you, and I want to praise you all of that. I also want to commend Secretary Rumsfeld for all he has done with us, as well as with you and the troops out there during this period.
I want to continue to pursue that question of when are we coming home, because although I didn't make that trip to Iraq, I've heard it at home as well.
Mr. Secretary, you mentioned in response to Senator Warner's questions that CENTCOM is developing a rotational plan for forces in Iraq. And it appears at this point that we don't have detailed answers to that. My question to you is when do you expect that plan to be completed, and will it include troop rotations in Afghanistan as well? I would appreciate if you could brief me on that plan when completed as well. As ranking member of the Readiness subcommittee, I am deeply interested in this issue.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Senator, CENTCOM's responsibility is to communicate the force requirements that they believe they need to do the job that they've been asked to do. The Joint Staff and the services then work with them to determine what kinds of forces and what kinds of rotation schedules make the most sense. That work is currently being done. It's going to be presented to me this week. And I expect to be able to make some decisions.
The certainty question is clear to the extent we can get that work done; tell them, as we've now told the 3rd Infantry Division, what their certainty is, to the extent we can do that with the other forces there. I should add, however, we have redeployed over 140,000 troops already, and including some Army and including some Marines, some ground forces, as well as Navy and Air Forces.
SEN. AKAKA: In regard to this deployment, Mr. Secretary, I recently visited some of our fine Marines at Camp Lejeune and our great soldiers at Fort Bragg. Many of them had just returned from deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. And we spent a lot of time just talking about what they will need to reconstitute their forces after returning home. In past operations, it has sometimes taken units up to a year or more to fully regain high levels of readiness. Do you expect these timelines to be about the same after Iraqi Freedom? If not, how do you expect to accelerate them and how much additional funding will this require?
SEC. RUMSFELD: We've asked for some funds already for reconstitution, and I don't doubt for a minute that we'll have to ask for additional funds for reconstitution, and it's important that that be done. It varies from unit to unit how much time it takes and how much the cost is, but that work is all being done by the joint staff. And the other thing that happens, however, is that the combatant commanders around the world look at what took place in CENTCOM in Afghanistan and Iraq, and they begin to change their judgments about the numbers of precision weapons they would use, for example, relative to dumb bombs, and how they might conduct their campaigns. And as they evolve their contingency plans, they then alter their needs. And those kinds of things will be coming in the budget that's being prepared at the present time for presentation next year.
SEN. AKAKA: Mr. Secretary, I'm quite concerned about the problem, and I'm shifting to dirty bombs. The General Accounting Office recently completed a report for me on the availability worldwide of radioactive material that can be used to construct such a weapon. Because of this, the looting of the Iraqi nuclear sites has been a matter of great concern. I thank you for letting an International Atomic Agency survey team into Iraq. I would appreciate it if you could provide me an update, either now or for the record, as to whether or not all the missing radioactive sealed sources at the sites have been accounted for. General Franks?
GEN. FRANKS: Sir, would you repeat the last part of the question -- just the last phrase, sir? I missed the last part.
SEC. RUMSFELD: It's the percentage of materials.
SEN. AKAKA: I would appreciate it if you could update, either now or for the record, as to whether or not all the missing radioactive sealed sources at the sites have been accounted for.
GEN. FRANKS: The -- we actually are very pleased with the result of that, and having brought the IAEA in to check the work of our troops and some people who had been working that very, very hard. And Senator, I will provide for the record the exact math, but the amount of yellow cake, specifically, is what we're talking about from two different sites that was unaccounted for at the end of bringing all this together. Actually, Senator, it is infinitesimal. Virtually all of the drums and the substances -- the substance, yellow cake, was recovered. And I will give you with precision the math on it.
SEN. AKAKA: Thank you very much, General.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. WARNER: Senator Inhofe.
SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R-OK): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I -- again, let me, General Franks, echo what Senator Akaka and Senator Collins and all the rest of us have said about the great contribution you've made.
In the very beginning of this hearing, Senator Levin mentioned that weapons of mass destruction are now back in the press. And I feel compelled to share at least my feelings, and I think some others up here, that they've never been out of the press. It's so obvious that this whole notion that weapons of mass destruction they claim that are not found, therefore we should not have gone in and done what we have done is nothing but an absurd media-driven diversionary tactic, and I've never seen the likes of it before. And what these people are saying is that if we didn't find these, therefore we should not have gone in.
Well, first of all, I think that could have been -- if it hadn't been for the media, would have been put to bed way back in the beginning when they found 11 chemical rockets with the capability -- and I'm recalling this from memory now -- of 140 liters of some type of chemical. And as Richard Butler said, 140 liters of VX could kill a million people. Now, to me -- we know there are 15,000 more like that out there, but we found those. That should have put it to sleep.
And, General Franks, when you said three decades of bloody regime, that's an understatement, and we all know that. And I know that Secretary Rumsfeld has tried to articulate how bad that really has been. But what you folks have done is end this monstrous, bloody regime. And when you stop and think and envision, if we hadn't gone in, thinking about the -- in one day, 3,000 women and children tortured to death using nerve gas -- I understand that's one of the most painful ways of dying -- to envision 317 kids under 12 years old lined up and executed. And I recall right after 1991, when the war was supposed to have been over, I think two days before that, we had the first freedom flight into Kuwait. Alexander Haig was on it; there were about six of us on this flight. I recall going to the headquarters that Saddam Hussein had used, and walking through the torture chambers and seeing the body parts; running into a little boy that had his ear cut off because he had a picture of an American flag that was in his pocket -- this fear. And now, when I think about how gratifying it must be to the two of you to know that the two of you, more than anyone else, and the team that you put together, has brought this bloodiest regime since Adolf Hitler to a close, it has to be gratifying; that people can now have weddings, they can now -- women can walk the streets without worrying about being summarily dragged out and raped and tortured to death. Kids -- parents can send their kids out without fearing that they'll have their tongues cut out.
And so I just would say that, General Franks, as you cap off a career, I don't think you ever in your wildest imagination would have thought that you'd be doing such a liberation --
GEN. FRANKS: Sir.
SEN. INHOFE: -- the way that you have done it.
There are a lot of things that we'd like to talk about, and you've covered quite a few. But I would say this; before I came here in 1994, I was in the House Armed Services Committee, and all I heard all those years was: Jointness, jointness, jointness; we're going to have to get to jointness and get rid of this mentality of each one out there doing his own thing.
And we've come so far. I think that the effort in Iraq is the greatest achievement -- and I might also say Afghanistan -- in jointness. And I'd like to have your response, either one of you, to your impression as to where we can go, how much further in this effort of jointness we can go, and with the success that we enjoyed.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Well, I'll start. You're right, the pattern in the past has been to -- for the services to try to do their own thing and deconflict to -- in large measure. And what took place in Iraq was the most joint war-fighting operation, I believe, in the history of the world.
And I think the team -- General McKiernan, General Moseley, Admiral Keating, Del Dailey and General Franks and his deputies Mike DeLong and General Abizaid -- have set a pattern for the future that will dramatically leverage our capabilities for the future.
GEN. FRANKS: And, sir, the only thing that I would add to that is I think Afghanistan initially and Iraq later gave us some insight into what "joint" can be. I think that expansion of that across all our services, all our combatant commands is the future. I think that that would fall under probably what the secretary calls transformation. I mean, we -- I actually believe that the notion of this level of jointness is transformational. And I think Joint Forces Command, Admiral Ed Giambastiani, my buddy down at Norfolk, will be and has the authority and the support of the secretary to bring this level of jointness all across our uniformed services in the years ahead.
SEN. INHOFE: Well, I appreciate that very much. I -- let me put on record saying I agree with much of what Senator Reed said concerning a concern on end strength -- and you've heard me say this before. We talked to General Abidjan (sp) about the same thing, and it's something that I hope you'll keep your minds open, and I know your close communications with the Reserve component will convince you, as it's convinced me and many of the members of this panel, that there's got to be relief, and I hope that will -- will continue to stay open.
I had occasion to be in Vincenza the other day and talk to some of the others, the 173rd, about half of those were deployed up to northern Iraq. That was a contingency that we didn't know that would be there. We thought we'd be able to come down through Turkey, and it wouldn't be necessary. But they are there. One of the minor things that we had learned in this hearing -- it's supposed to be about lessons we have learned. And since my time has expired, I'm going to ask you to give this response in the record. I know that in Vincenza, when the 173rd was to deploy, they went to Aviano. And fortunately we had good weather so that the staging area, which is out in the open, could accommodate them, which it would not have if it had been rainy weather. They're now looking at some milcon projects that are going to ensure that. That's just one of many, many lessons I'm sure we have learned. I'd like to get as many of these examples so that we in this committee as we look at milcon in the future and at our activities in the future will be able to isolate these and get your impression on all of these things that now we realize maybe should have been done before, but we should address as a result of our experiences.
GEN. FRANKS: Yes, sir.
SEN. INHOFE: You want me to keep going?
SEN. WARNER: Oh, I didn't realize that you had finished.
SEN. INHOFE: Oh, I'd be glad to.
SEN. WARNER: Senator Byrd.
SEN. ROBERT C. BYRD (D-WV): What is our situation, Mr. Chairman, with respect to a vote on the floor -- votes on the floor?
SEN. WARNER: Yes. The vote has commenced. And at the conclusion of your questioning, we will adjourn --
SEN. BYRD: Would -- would you prefer to go now?
SEN. WARNER: No. I think we would like to have you complete yours, if there's --
SEN. BYRD: All right.
Mr. Secretary, what is the current monthly spend rate to support our ongoing military operations in Iraq?
SEC. RUMSFELD: I'll have to get you that for the record. It's a combination of appropriated funds, as you, sir, know better than any, plus the expenditures of funds that are taking place from Iraqi frozen assets, from Iraqi seized assets, and from U.N. Iraqi assets under the Oil for Food Program. And I can certainly have Dr. Zakheim come up and provide a very precise answer as to what's currently being spent.
SEN. BYRD: Do you have -- do you recall a figure? Can you give us an estimate? I've heard the figure of $1.5 billion a month.
SEC. RUMSFELD: I would not want to venture a guess and be wrong, sir.
SEN. BYRD: Well, somebody ought to know.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Well, they do know; be happy to brief you on it.
SEN. BYRD: Well, I'd like to know now. (Laughter.)
SEC. RUMSFELD: Well, we'd have to adjourn and I'd have to get on the phone with Dov Zakheim.
SEN. BYRD: Well, okay, we'll wait till -- we'll be back, won't we, Mr. Chairman?
SEN. WARNER: Yes, we will, Senator.
SEN. BYRD: And along with that, what is the -- how much are we spending a month to support U.S. military forces in Iraq?
SEC. RUMSFELD: The expenditures for Iraq are in a variety of categories. You might include the salaries of the people that are serving there. Those salaries would be paid whether they're serving there or they're back in Germany or back in the United States. It might include funds, as I indicated, that are coming from other sources. It might include funds for reconstitution that are currently being spent but we're spending on rebuilding stocks of bombs, for example, and weapons that were used during the conflict. So it is not a question that can be posed and then answered with a single number. I wish I were able to do that. But it falls into a variety of different baskets under our appropriated funds.
SEN. BYRD: We understand that, Mr. Chairman. But I've been around here 51 -- going on 51 years. And I'm on the Appropriations Committee, and we want to fund our military, certainly, and meet the needs. But there must be some figure, some amount that we can cite as an amount that we're spending monthly in Afghanistan, and the same with respect to Iraq.
SEC. RUMSFELD: I'm sure there is, and we'll get it for you.
SEN. BYRD: Very well. That will be another figure we'll hope to have after -- when we return, Mr. Chairman, I would hope.
SEN. WARNER: Well, in that case --
SEC. RUMSFELD: Not likely. That fast.
SEN. BYRD: Well, you like to have figures fast when it comes to appropriation money.
SEC. RUMSFELD: That's for sure.
SEN. BYRD: And I would like to know, on behalf of the Appropriations Committee and the Congress, how much we're spending.
SEC. RUMSFELD: We'll try and get it for you.
SEN. BYRD: I hear and I read that it's something like 3 (billion dollars) to $3.5 billion a month to support U.S. military forces in Iraq. Now, where are these figures coming from that we read about and that we in the Appropriations Committee are told from time to time?
Well anyhow, so much for that for the present.
SEN. WARNER: Mr. Byrd, the warning for seven minutes has stopped. We'll recess now, and when we come back, you'll be immediately recognized to finish those questions.
SEN. BYRD: Very well. Thank you.
SEN. WARNER: We're recessed.
SEN. WARNER: We will continue the hearing. Senator Byrd will be recognized, if here, following Senator Roberts. Senator Roberts.
SEN. PAT ROBERTS (R-KS): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Franks, from a Kansas Aggie to an Oklahoma Aggie, you've done pretty darn well.
GEN. FRANKS: Thank you, sir.
SEC. RUMSFELD (?): (Laughs.)
SEN. ROBERTS: And we truly appreciate your service, and I echo all the comments of my colleagues in that regard.
Mr. Secretary and General Franks, I want to tell you two accounts from the chairman's codel over to Iraq, of which I was privileged to be a member, and in which I was trying to determine the intelligence capabilities, since I am the chairman of the Intelligence Committee.
One is in regards to a massive grave site near Hilla, where there is a site about the size of a football field. It's my understanding there are about a hundred of these grave sites around the country and that we have, I think, been involved with this task force justice on the accountability and the forensic job that remains in about 14 or -- and that will go up to about 32. So it's a massive job.
And it was with anguish and despair that our delegation stood on a mound of sand and overlooked this pit that -- half of which has been smoothed over, that contained 15,000 Iraqis. They brought them in by truck, three a day, and in this pit would disgorge these people, and they would rape them, they would torture them, they would shoot them. If somebody from the neighboring villages would try to rescue the kids, why, they were simply buried alive.
Three thousand were excavated when Saddam fell. One thousand were identified, and then finally one of the clerics simply declared the whole ground holy ground.
I don't -- I stood there and wondered about man's inhumanity against man. Saddam Hussein was -- is a Hitler, a Pol Pot, a Stalin. And it gets back to Senator Collins' comment in regards to the palpable fear on the part of Iraqis. I underestimated that. I know that you have made the statement that he's not coming back; we have made the statement he's not coming back, and by damn, he's not coming back. But I don't think the Iraqis fully comprehend that or fully grasp it or fully believe it. And that is why I think having been through that, and having learned that he basically executed at least 300,000, probably closer to a million-two of his own people, and things as graphic as I have described, that we must capture or kill him; must capture or kill him. I know Task Force 20, that you can't really talk about much, if at all, has that duty, has that mission. You say it is a priority. I would urge you, sir, to say that it is the highest level priority, because I don't think that we're going to get the cooperation that we need and the full partnership and have Iraqis enjoy liberty and democracy until we kill or capture Saddam Hussein and his two sons.
That really doesn't cause -- or I'm not asking you to comment on that. You've already responded to it. But I feel very strongly about that.
The next account that I'd like to bring to your attention is that there is a Colonel A.J. Kessel who is operating out of the Saddam palace, our headquarters there. He is working with the Ministry of Culture, who is an Italian. And Colonel Kessel got the bright idea that there might be an opportunity to reconstitute the Iraqi symphony, of all things -- and after 30 years, there had been no symphony -- and was able to do so by relocating and locating people who played in the symphony and, obviously, some replacements, because it's been 30 years. They were in evening dress that was provided. Some of the members of the symphony found all of their own -- found their instruments that had been hidden for 30 years. And those that did not have them were provided, and they had this symphony. It was a packed house. Tom Korologos was at that performance. And Tom did a magnificent job over there in Iraq.
The last piece they played, Mr. Secretary, was the Iraqi national anthem prior to Saddam Hussein. And when they did that, the crowd stood, applauded and cried tears of joy. There is Iraqi nationalism right below the surface that can flourish, and there is hope for Iraq.
Now, I've not asked you a question; those are just two observations that I would make; one, anguish and despair on what that man did to brutalize his country, and the need to bring him -- either killed or captured -- and his two sons to justice so that we can cooperate with Iraqis because they have graffiti -- you've heard the tapes, you've heard the pamphlets, anybody that is cooperating lives in fear that he could come back. And then, on the other hand, here we have a symphony, of all things, that is going to be a regular performance, by the way, from now on. God bless Colonel Kessel, who, by the way, goes by the name of "Buttons." So Buttons did his job. And that is one of the projects, 1,500-wide, that we are conducting in that country, that is the untold story because the media doesn't cover it.
I wish that symphony had been on CNN. Or, for that matter, any other network. It was very impressive. If you have any comment, I'd be happy to have you comment.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Well, Senator Roberts, I agree with you fully on the importance of capturing and bringing to justice the -- Saddam Hussein, his sons, and the senior al Qaeda -- correction, the senior Iraqi leadership, the -- just as we've been working to try to bring the senior al Qaeda and Taliban leadership. We will continue to do it. We recognize the problem it poses. And you story you've just recounted on the symphony is an important one, and I thank you for doing it.
SEN. ROBERTS: One hour and 28 minutes ago it was announced over Associated Press we have now captured number 23 on the U.S. most wanted list and number 29. The high ranking member of the Ba'ath Party regional command and the former Interior minister were taken into custody. So the noose draws tighter. And that's good news.
My time has expired, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. WARNER: Yes.
Mr. Secretary, do you wish to respond?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Mr. Chairman, I was asked repeatedly by Senator Levin and others, including members of the press, about whether or not the United States has made an explicit, specific detailed request to NATO for NATO's participation. I did not know the answer as to what precisely had been done. It turns out that my deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, did travel to Brussels in December of '02, and at least in that one instance they -- he made a specific request of the North Atlantic Council to consider contributions to -- that the alliance could make to post-war stability in Iraq. And that's the answer to the question. There may have been other requests, which I suspect there have been, through the Department of State.
GEN. FRANKS: And, Mr. Chairman, if I could --
SEN. WARNER: Yes.
GEN. FRANKS: -- just add just a bit to what the secretary said also, I know the committee, and Mr. Chairman, I know you're aware, certainly, that since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan we have had a French delegation with us in our coalition, which, as I mentioned earlier, now stands at 63 nations. And that delegation has been with us throughout the entirety of both operations in Afghanistan as well as the operation in Iraq.
SEN. WARNER: General, when Senator Levin and I, Rockefeller and Roberts were in-country there, we met with the French officers who were actively participating in the training command there in Afghanistan. And as a follow-up, Senator Levin, the secretary addressed your NATO question. And I would simply add, Mr. Secretary, that I feel that such additional information -- you said there could well have been other contacts -- I would hope you'd provide that for the record.
But Senator, you may wish to initiate -- and then we go to Senator Byrd.
SEN. LEVIN: Senator Byrd is next.
SEN. WARNER: Senator Byrd.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Let me just repeat it so that Senator Levin is aware of it.
The answer to the question as to whether or not we've made a specific request to NATO to assist in Iraq, the answer is we did. Secretary Wolfowitz was sent over there in December of last year. He did make a specific request. I'm sure there were other specific requests that I'm not aware of, either.
SEN. LEVIN: None since the war.
SEC. RUMSFELD: I have no idea. I'd be happy to run around and try to find out the answer to that. But I do know there was this one specific one. There may have been some before, there may have been some since.
SEN. LEVIN: If we could get a complete list if there's more than one, it'd be helpful.
SEN. WARNER: Senator Byrd.
SEN. BYRD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Now, if we may continue with my questions concerning the amounts of spend-out monies that we're expending in Afghanistan and in Iraq monthly. Mr. Secretary?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Senator Byrd, I've been given a number by Dov Zakheim that says that in the fiscal year '03 supplemental there is -- our funds for the United States government, appropriated funds to spend in connection with Iraq, that between January of '03 and projected through September of '03 will average something in the neighborhood of $3.9 billion spend rate per month.
SEN. BYRD: In Iraq?
SEC. RUMSFELD: In Iraq.
SEN. BYRD: 3.9.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Right.
SEN. BYRD: Okay. Now, what has the spend-out rate been for Afghanistan?
SEC. RUMSFELD: The estimate that I was given is that it's something in the neighborhood of $700 million per month.
SEN. BYRD: Seven hundred million. That doesn't square with the press reports that I've read, which, as I indicated earlier, amounted to about 1.5.
SEC. RUMSFELD: The 1.5 number that I've seen is a number that people used, oh, four or five months ago as the projected figure for Operation Enduring Freedom, the non-Iraq portion of the global war on terror. I don't know what you saw in the press, but I have seen that same number in that connection.
SEN. BYRD: But you say that the amount that you're stating before this committee today is around 700 million.
SEC. RUMSFELD: For Afghanistan.
SEN. BYRD: For Afghanistan per month.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Yes, sir. And the numbers that I've been given by Dr. Zakheim of other funds is they anticipate $1.7 billion from frozen assets to be expended by the end of this fiscal year, and $800 million in seized assets to be expended by the end of this fiscal year. And then there are some additional contributions from various other countries that are going in, and the last time I saw that, it was a number of something like $2.3 billion committed by other nations to assist with the work that's going on in Iraq.
SEN. BYRD: Now it would seem, then, that we're spending about five times as much per month, or a little over five times as much per month in Iraq as we're spending in Afghanistan; 700 million as against 3.9 billion. You might say five and a half times. That the numbers there are 10,000 --- we have 10,000 men, I believe, in Afghanistan, and something like 150,000 in Iraq. Fifteen times as many men in Iraq, where we're only spending five times as much money.
But anyhow, do you believe that the spending rate for Iraq and Afghanistan will continue to remain at the current rate for the next year?
SEC. RUMSFELD: I don't know what the administration intends to propose to the Congress by way of funding for that. And that's something that is funded out of a whole host of different portions of your Appropriations Committee, as you know: AID, Department of State, Department of State and others. And what OMB and the president will recommend at some point in the future, I just don't know, sir.
SEN. BYRD: All right. I see my time is up. But let me ask this follow-up question which my line of questions leads me to. When do you expect to see another supplemental submitted to Congress? And how large a supplemental should we expect it to be?
SEC. RUMSFELD: I am under the impression that the Office of Management and Budget is looking at a supplemental, but I do not know when they would decide to submit it or what the amounts would be, either from our department or from other departments, because they've not made any recommendations to the president on that, to my knowledge.
SEN. BYRD: But you'll have some recommendations to make to OMB.
SEN. BYRD: You have any idea how much that's going to be?
SEC. RUMSFELD: I don't. I'm sure that Dr. Zakheim has some preliminary work that he's done with the services in terms of reconstitution, and we can try to provide some of that to you personally, if you wish. But I don't have anything at my fingertips.
SEN. BYRD: Well, I'll be pursuing this as a member of the Appropriations Committee.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much, Senator Byrd.
SEN. MARK DAYTON (D-MN): Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I might say, Mr. Secretary, if you need reinforcements, having been on this trip with the chairman and the ranking member, I don't know if their ages are classified, but they are in extraordinary shape and energy and enthusiasm. It was a privilege to be on the trip with you -- both of them.
SEN. WARNER: We were glad to have you with us, Senator. Thank you.
SEN. DAYTON: And Mr. Secretary, General Franks, I salute both of you for your extraordinary success and the military victory in Iraq. Mr. Secretary, you were very complimentary to the general and all those who worked with him, but from the published reports I've read, you were integrally involved, as well, and I think you really should share in that strategy that you developed and the success which -- I remember saying beforehand that the optimistic but realistic scenario would be to be three weeks, but that was very optimistic. And I believe it was three weeks exactly from the day that you crossed the border to the day that you occupied Baghdad. So, I think that's extraordinary -- a success. And I salute both of you for it.
And I guess I'm not qualified to draw lessons -- I'm not that experienced in the military affairs, but it would seem to me that at least a similarity in both Afghanistan and Iraq is the dispersal of opposing forces, rather than a surrender. I don't believe in either case where there was a formal surrender. And as General Sanchez told us in our meeting in Iraq, there was -- basically, he said the Iraqi forces dissolved near the end of the advance because of the extraordinary lethality and precision of our fire power and the overwhelming force, which suggests to me that the follow-through and the continuation of that after, you know -- there was a risk of prematurely declaring that the victory has been won and hostilities are over, when in fact, this continuation of a need to track down people -- the principals, as well as those who have not really, in their own minds, surrendered, but are, you know, just running away to live to fight another day; that that, in fact, leaves our troops even more exposed, often, than perhaps during the formal or initial stage of the combat. And that's sort of what seems is occurring now, which is coming as a surprise to the American public, who thought that this matter had been declared over, and in fact, was.
And it leads me again, Mr. Secretary, to my concern about the follow-through in terms of winning the country after winning the war. And the progress that you cite, and we witnessed some of that with the economic development of the country, the social rehabilitation, which I totally agree with you, sir, is not ultimately the responsibility of the American taxpayer or anyone else in the world, but the Iraqi citizens themselves. But at this point in time, it seems that there is a direct correlation between the progress that's being made in the nonmilitary areas of -- let's call it social and economic rehabilitation and the feelings of the populace toward the American forces and the number of attacks on them.
So, I guess in my view, there was not -- and I don't think this is necessarily the Department of Defense, but there doesn't seem to be and we were not briefed, and maybe we didn't see -- obviously, we didn't see everything -- but I'm not aware of the same magnitude of nonmilitary projects and initiatives being undertaken that would be -- are going to make any kind of difference in the standard of living in that society. And I fear that without that kind of parallel effort of the military, that our forces are going to be in a holding pattern, trying to preserve this military victory, but not able to be extricated, because this unrest is going to continue.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Well, Senator, I agree completely that it takes progress on all three fronts: the political, the security and the economic. And no one is likely to get very far out in front of the other. It -- in the last analysis, the -- either people will be willing to vote with their dollars -- and I don't mean U.S. dollars, but dinars or whatever -- and invest in that country, and people will come back to that country, because they have confidence in it and because it has a well-educated population -- It's got a population that has energy. It has resources in oil, and it's not a poor country like Afghanistan. It has wealth, and it -- there isn't any reason it can't be as prosperous and successful as its neighbors in the Gulf states.
So I think that it's going to take some time, it's going to take some effort, and that in the end it will happen. It will improve and will see progress.
SEN. DAYTON: I would assert that -- and the question's about when are our troops going to be able to come home -- that the extent -- or the speed with which we show some visible signs of improvement across the country, socially and economically -- and obviously we're not going to see those through to completion; those take decades -- but to get things started is going to be a major determinant in how quickly our troops are going to be able to come home. And I don't see and we were not informed, to my recollection, of a magnitude of effort and initiative, which I think is going to have to be U.S.-started, anyway, or it's not going to happen in the near term, to get the people to start to have faith in the future and also look at us more favorably.
I would commend the report in The New York Times of this morning which talks about a city, Abu Ghraib, if I'm pronouncing it correctly, and talks about the absence of power there for -- and the head of the council there that's been elected said, "Conditions have never been worse. We never have been through such a long bad period."
And I'm sure, from our experience, too, there are parts of the country where there is more progress being made. There's part where progress is not being made. But I would just again say that I don't see the -- didn't see an -- organized and well-financed and priority non-military initiatives to parallel the -- and, I think, build upon the success that was accomplished militarily.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Senator, I believe you said that the war was declared over. No one I know in any position of responsibility declared the war over. What the president said was that major combat operations are completed, and now we have to go after the remnants of the regime and that it will take a good deal of time.
SEN. DAYTON: I stand corrected. That's a better description than what was said.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Second, the war started on September -- on March 19th. Major combat was announced as having ended on May 1st, and today's July 9th. That's four -- less than four months. Think what took place in Germany after World War II in four years. Think what took place in Japan in years. I mean, I think we have to get some perspective on this and put this in context and think back in history. This is tough stuff. This is hard work. This takes time.
SEN. DAYTON: So then how much --
SEC. RUMSFELD: As Senator Roberts said, fear is a powerful thing, and those people were repressed and fearful. Thirty years of a Stalinist-type regime suffocating the creativity and energy and brilliance of so many of those Iraqi people has been a devastating thing on that country.
SEN. DAYTON: I would agree --
SEC. RUMSFELD: We need to have some patience.
SEN. DAYTON: All right, I would agree with you. And how much patience do the American people, whose sons and daughters are over there now, how much patience do they need to have? Do they need to realistically expect that those forces are going to need to be there for two years, three years?
SEN. WARNER: Senator, we have to move on to other senators. A number are waiting. If you want to make a quick response to --
SEN. DAYTON: The time is up, but I -- could I have an answer to that question?
SEN. WARNER: Yes. Yes, I was about to say, if you wish --
SEN. DAYTON: I've stopped.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Well, we responded to that question earlier. The answer is that the people who are over there now will be coming home. They will be rotated home. The ones that are there are not going to stay there for four or five years.
SEN. DAYTON: The question, sir, was, will American forces have to be there for two years or three years?
SEC. RUMSFELD: And the answer to that question is we don't know. Nobody knows the answer to that question, how long it will take. It will take some time. And I think we -- we all believe that it's important that it be done, that it's important we get other countries to participate in it. We intend to see it through and it's going to take some patience. And when it's done, it's going to have been darn well worth having done.
SEN. DAYTON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you, Senator. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ): General Franks, I want to add my appreciation for your dedicated service and sacrifice for this nation, and your outstanding leadership. I'll reserve any praise for Secretary Rumsfeld until he retires. And I thank you for --
SEC. RUMSFELD: (Laughs.)
SEN. MCCAIN: But please accept the thanks of all America on behalf of your outstanding leadership.
Mr. Secretary, here's what you're hearing today from the committee. A survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press show that 23 percent of respondents think the U.S. military effort in Iraq is going, quote, "very well," far fewer than the 61 to 66 percent that expressed that view during the conflict. And yet at the same time, a large percentage of Americans -- in my view, very appropriately -- think that the decision to go to war was the right thing, as you state.
The problem here is that Americans are unsure about the future of our involvement in Iraq. So, what you need to do, in my view, is give, not just this committee, but the American people -- who hold you in the highest regard and esteem and have the greatest confidence in the president of the United States and his leadership in this conflict -- a concrete plan as much as you can. In other words, how much is it going to cost, roughly; and how long we expect to be there, even if it's a pessimistic scenario; and how many troops are probably going to be required, given that there are certain variables?
In other words, this whole issue of how long are they going to be there, the uncertainty, the seeing the pictures of the wounded or dead American soldiers, are leading to this unease. And I emphasize that's the word, "unease" -- not disaffection, not anger, but unease -- on the part of the American people. And I am convinced without a doubt that when Americans are told what the plan is for postwar Iraq, then I think you will receive overwhelming support on the part of the American people.
I say, in all respect and appreciation for your leadership, everywhere I go, Americans want to know that. And so I suggest that you have probably been doing that, but probably not in a fashion that the American people either are hearing or understanding what our future is.
But again I want to emphasize, the overwhelming majority of American people think we did the right thing.
Whether weapons of mass destruction are found or not, the overwhelming majority of Americans support this president and your leadership and that of General Franks, but they need to be told; that's all they need. And I think by the tenor of the questions that you have gotten here today, the other senators are reflecting what they're hearing from their constituents. I hope you take that as a constructive comment --
SEC. RUMSFELD: I do.
SEN. MCCAIN: -- which it is intended to be.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Thank you.
SEN. MCCAIN: Thank you.
Now, I'd like to just move quickly to Iran. There's reports today that there's a newly found nuclear site, there's accumulating evidence about Iran. I'd like to know your assessment of the threat, the situation, whether there's any North Korean involvement and, you know -- I guess we need to be -- I'd like to hear a little more information about how you view this situation in this very bad neighborhood.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Senator, the -- as the president has indicated, the situation in Iran is roughly as follows: that the U.S. intelligence community has assessed that they do have a nuclear weapon program. The IAEA has had uneven success in dealing with them. The United States, over successive administrations, has had discussions with Russia, encouraging them to not participate in a cooperative program with them with respect to anything involving a nuclear power plant. It's estimated that the nuclear facility that they're saying they need for energy would produce less energy than the amount of gas that they burn off on an annual basis.
SEN. MCCAIN: Have you seen this report this morning?
SEC. RUMSFELD: I don't know what report you're referring to.
SEN. MCCAIN: "Iranian exiles describe newly found nuclear site." It was carried in a number of newspapers --
SEC. RUMSFELD: I didn't. I have not seen anything in the press this morning. I apologize.
SEN. MCCAIN: You see any North Korean connection?
SEC. RUMSFELD: There has been interaction between North Korea and Iran over a sustained period of time.
I would say one other thing: there are reports, recent reports, of Iranians moving some of their border posts along about a 25- kilometer stretch several kilometers inside of Iraq, obviously not being respectful of Iraq's sovereignty. And certainly, that is behavior that's not acceptable, and they should be staying on their own side of the border.
SEN. MCCAIN: And what action do you think that we should be taking, Mr. Secretary?
SEC. RUMSFELD: I think that the president and the Department of State have been engaged in a variety of diplomatic efforts to try to persuade companies to not participate with Iran in developing their nuclear capabilities. And it takes time to understand the success or lack of success of those efforts.
SEN. MCCAIN: Well, it seems to me we may have to contemplate significantly more, but I hope not, but it's certainly disturbing news.
I thank you, Mr. Secretary. Thank you again, General. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you, Senator McCain.
Senator Bill Nelson.
SEN. BILL NELSON (D-FL): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General, we're looking forward to having you as a part of our Tampa civilian community. And a thank you added to all of the accolades here.
I would like very briefly to report to both of you what I observed since I just returned from Iraq last night.
First of all, I think you have a good appointment in General Sanchez, and the secretary's and your appointment of General Dayton, specifically to go after the weapons of mass destruction and trying to find out the fate of Captain Scott Speicher, which was one of the main reasons for my trip there. And I am convinced that, in fact, he does have him as a priority along with the WMD.
I went to the Hakmiyah prison. I can only describe it as a hellhole. I wanted to go there because of the cell that has the initials carved into the wall "MSS", which is the same as Michael Scott Speicher. We have no proof that that was the case. I observed the torture chamber and the refrigerated containers outside where they would put the corpses. And it all the more underscored the brutality of this regime.
Happily, I noted on the way in this highly protected convoy that went to the prison that economic life was returning on the streets. There were crates of refrigerators and boxes of ovens that you could see along with the fruit and vegetables, the return on the street of economic activity.
I was also very heartened to find that new evidence has been produced, which I have just shared at length with Senator Roberts -- the two of us have been joined at the hip on this matter of Captain Speicher -- new evidence that is classified, but that gives me reason to be optimistic for the first time in several weeks that I have been pessimistic. That doesn't say that he's alive, but that says that we're beginning to get evidence that, in fact, we might be able to find out. So I wanted to give you that report.
At the same time, some of the frustration that you have heard here, I don't think that there's any reason for us to shrink from the fact that most of the leadership that briefed me while I was there thinks that we're going to be there for a long time. Clearly, I hope we're going to be there for a long time, because we've got to be successful. It is very important in this senator's opinion that we have economic and political stability. And I think that's going to require us being there with a lot of effort for a lot of time. In addition to Senator Byrd, I have just mentioned to you, maybe we can confirm, that in addition to the 150,000 that are there, that in the region there are another 80,000 that are basically supporting the 150,000. And I think that we ought to realize that when leadership there was telling me that we're likely to be there five years, I think it may be longer. Indeed, I can't imagine us being out of Afghanistan just in five years. And the experience that we had in Bosnia, now we're in the eighth year. So I don't necessarily see that as a negative. But it's, I think, what we ought to get on the table and understand that over the long haul we're committed for that being a successful liberation of those people.
Now, it gets a lot easier if we find Saddam Hussein, dead or alive, because then a lot of this assassination that's going on right now -- and that's what it is; it's premeditated. It was probably planned before the war. And, unfortunately, one of the victims was a Florida National Guardsman Sunday night, doing guard duty at the university, of which someone slipped up behind him, shot him in the head, and then slipped off into the crowd. And that has happened five or six times, along with what you see, the tactic (of) finding where our convoys are going, putting a mine, having a remote device, detonating it on a HUMVEE. And that happened and is chronicled in this morning's newspaper again.
So I think we just have to screw up our courage, our determination.
And finally, I might say that, Mr. Secretary, you and I have talked about the question of the morale of the troops, the question of the replacement of the troops. I have specifically raised the issue of the National Guard and the Reservists, and whether or not a policy change ought to be made upping the active-duty roster because, indeed, most every soldier I talked to -- and I talked to a lot of them from Florida, both at the noon hour and then later in the evening -- they are pretty well under the impression that they've got to stay there for a year. And that's not only the full-time Army, but that's also the activated National Guard and the Reservists. And, of course, that brings enormous disruption into their lives, in their employers' lives, in their families' lives that they did not necessarily think of that.
So I bring this issue up merely as a policy issue that will have to be considered here, as well as by you, on the question of should we be doing this with these wonderfully trained and specially skilled Reservists and National Guardsmen -- men and women, or should we not be doing those kind of tasks that are going to have to be done for the long haul in Iraq, as well as Afghanistan, with the active duty roster.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you, Senator.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Senator, very briefly, as I indicated earlier, we absolutely have to manage the force in a way that's respectful of what the obligations are and what the expectations are. One of the things that the department has been working on since the beginning of this conflict is how we can rebalance what we have in the Reserve and the Guard relative to what we have on active duty. We ought to have on active duty the kinds of people that are going to be needed for longer-term chores, or tasks which are going to frequently come up. We can't keep calling the same people up four, five, six times. It's just not right.
And the way the force was organized over the past two decades has been the way it is today; and the way it is today is that we don't have the right people in the active force, enough of the right people in the active force to do those kinds of things. We will be coming forward with proposals in a relatively short period of time to see if we can't get the people portion of this right.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
And again, General Franks, not only to do I want to congratulate you on your very long and distinguished career, but I believe that your leadership in both Afghanistan and Iraq will likely be studied by military historians for years to come. And I thank you for your service to our nation.
This is a session on lessons learned, and I have two areas in particular that I am interested in. The first goes back to Senator Levin's early questions, Mr. Secretary, about the intelligence. And he focused in particular on the forged documents out of Niger that served as the unfortunate reference in both comments by you and the president, as well as the prime minister in England and other officials. And Senator Levin's question basically came down to: How could it not have been known?
In response -- and I appreciate your willingness to provide specific details to respond to Senator Levin -- you made a statement that the intelligence has been quite good. I would hope, Mr. Secretary, that as part of the lessons learned and the after-action review that I'm sure both the civilian and the military leadership are conducting, that you will certainly go deeply into the question of intelligence, because it's not just with respect to the incident concerning the alleged efforts by Iraq to obtain enriched uranium from sources in Africa.
During his confirmation hearing, General Abizaid said, and I quote: "We had indications from intelligence that they were getting ready to distribute chemical weapons to forward Republican Guard artillery units. That's what we thought, and so we really targeted those artillery units in particular, very, very hard."
And then he goes on to say, "So the answer to the question is, I am perplexed as to what happened, and I can't offer a reasonable explanation with regard to what has happened."
Now obviously we're all grateful it didn't happen. I know the chairman and I on several occasions shared our concerns about what would happen if they were deployed.
But the fact is that in this new threat environment in which we find ourselves, we are increasingly reliant on intelligence. We just heard Senator McCain refer to a report from Iranian exiles concerning some potential new nuclear site in Iran.
Therefore, I think that of the lessons to be learned that I hope we have learned, the thorough scrubbing and very careful analysis of intelligence has to be at the top of the list. You know, it may very well be that the American people and certainly the majority in this Congress believe we did the right thing, given what we found there and given the end of the Saddam Hussein regime. But I don't think that's the answer to the question about the quality, the accuracy and the use of intelligence.
So I would join in the concerns that Senator Levin and others have expressed that not only in closed meetings but also in public venues, insofar as possible, that particularly the Department of Defense but also other agencies within our government really make it clear what our standards for intelligence are and how we can best understand them, because in a democracy that's critical -- this flow of information.
Now, turning to another area of lessons, General Franks, in both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraq Freedom, the military we used was fundamentally different than the military that fought and won the first Gulf War. Indeed, we saw the fruits of a decade's worth of investment in our military. The increased use of Special Forces, precision-guided munitions, unmanned reconnaissance and combat air vehicles benefited from the last decade's investment.
As we look ahead to transforming our military, it seems clear that UAVs, Special Forces, precision-guided munitions that we invested in during the '90s will continue to play an expanded role. Yet I think it's also important to look at the legacy systems, like the M-1 Abrams tank, the A-10 Warthog ground support plane, that also played a critical role in this campaign.
Now, in this committee, we've debated which weapons systems are necessary in the 21st century. As a man of enormous expertise and experience in this area, what lessons have you drawn from both the Afghanistan and Iraqi campaigns about the role of legacy weapons like the M-1 tank, the A-10 Warthog and others in the transformed military that we are going to be building?
GEN. FRANKS: Yes, ma'am. I think that at about any point in the history of our country, when we take a look, we're going to find the need for legacy systems. In this case, ma'am, you mentioned two of them, the A-10 Warthog, the M-1/A-2 Abrams tank, and there are a number of others. And we will find ourselves being trained and ready at any point in our history to use those legacy systems. And whatever we do tomorrow, we have to be prepared to bridge good legacy systems to tomorrow.
I think the thing that we're seeing now and the expectation that I have for the next two years, for the next four years, the next six years, is a tremendous effort in the area of transformation that will seek to maybe skip some steps in there. We -- I think our young people, men and women in uniform have done, Senator, a remarkable job of using very good systems, and we've -- and in this -- in Afghanistan and Iraq, we also used some systems that came about, as you said, over the past 10 years: unmanned aerial systems, to be sure; precision munitions -- very, very powerful. I think what -- I think the transformation that our armed services is looking -- this is out of my lane, but it's my view, it's my personal opinion -- the transformation that armed services are looking at now seeks to figure out what are we losing by not putting more money into technologies. What are we losing by perhaps overcapitalizing legacy systems at the expense of what we may want in the future? And I think I'm glad that bright people like some subordinates of Secretary Rumsfeld work such things. But I think it will be a little bit different in the next three to 10 years than it perhaps has been for us in the past 10 years, if that makes sense to you.
Thank you, ma'am.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Senator, can I make a brief comment?
SEN. WARNER: Yes. Yes, of course.
SEN. CLINTON: Thank you.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Two things. First, I want to give a different number than I gave earlier. I'm told now that the $700 million a month burn rate on Afghanistan is low; that it's actually probably $900 to $950. I suppose if we wait another hour, we might get a still different number, but that's the trouble with trying to do things in real time.
Senator Clinton, I agree completely on the importance of intelligence. I was asked at my confirmation hearing what was the thing that worried me most, and I said intelligence information. It's such a big, complicated world, and there is so many areas that need to be looked at today, unlike the Cold War period, where you could focus on the Soviet Union and develop a good deal of conviction about it. We're dealing with closed societies, we're dealing with countries that very skillfully use our advanced technologies, where they're trading those technologies; they're, indeed, trading denial and deception techniques among rogue -- so-called rogue states. So, it is something that we're focused on, we think is enormously important, and I share your concern about it.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
SEN. MARK PRYOR (D-AR): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Secretary Rumsfeld, I only have six minutes here, so I'm going to try to keep my questions very short, and I'd appreciate you if you could try to keep your answers fairly concise, if you could.
Let me first start with one of Senator Levin's questions earlier in the day, where he talked about the breakdown in communications here, maybe between the intelligence community and the Oval Office, and exactly how President Bush was allowed to, in the State of the Union, talk about -- the Iranian statement. But I'd love to get an answer from you on that, and I hope you will follow up with Senator Levin and with the committee.
But my questions are slightly different than that. And that is, when did YOU know, Secretary Rumsfeld, when did YOU know that the reports about uranium coming out of Africa were bogus?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Oh, within recent days, since the information started becoming available.
SEN. PRYOR: So in other words, you didn't -- right after the speech, you didn't know that, or even before the speech you had no knowledge of that?
SEC. RUMSFELD: I've just answered the question.
SEN. PRYOR: You're trying to say that in no briefing, in no documents that you had or that you were exposed to, that was never communicated to you in any way?
SEC. RUMSFELD: I didn't say that. I see hundreds and hundreds of pieces of paper a day. And is it conceivable that something was in a document? It's conceivable. Do I recall hearing anything or reading anything like that? The answer is as I've given it. No.
SEN. PRYOR: The next question is on the lessons-learned front. We find ourselves in Iraq right now, post-war Iraq, if we can call it that. Based on your experience there and your wide-ranging experience during your career, is there something that we need to do, starting now and into the future, to provide our troops with more training or different kinds of equipment for circumstances like Iraq, where they come in there and they're an occupying force, hopefully for not very long, but still at this point an occupying force? Do we need to do things differently? Do we need to do things better?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Well, we think of ourselves as a liberating force, not an occupying force. We think of the role there as not permanent.
And General Franks, maybe you'd be the best one to respond to the question.
GEN. FRANKS: Sir, I think -- I think about the National Training Center, I think -- at Fort Irwin, California; I think about Twenty- Nine Palms, the Marine training center; I think about Red Flag and Green Flag Air Force training centers; and I think about what has been done during the period of time Senator Clinton mentioned a minute ago, perhaps over the last 10 years, in fact in this case, perhaps, over the last 15 years, the evolution of things rather than sudden discovery.
Senator, I'll give you an answer that is precisely to that same point. For the last 10 to 15 years, because of our experiences in other places where we were conducting security and stability operations, tremendous energy has gone into the preparation of United States Marines, the United States Army troopers, airmen and sailors, especially SEALs, for example, and sailors, to be able to work in an environment of security and stability operations.
But Senator, the point that I would make is, no amount of training and no amount of preparation is going to make it very likely that within a period of two months or four months or eight months, we're going to move our troops into a population of 25 million people who have been abused to the extent that the Iraqis have been abused, over more than three decades, and cause there to be no fractious behavior and cause these groups that we're having all the difficulties with to go away.
And so sir, if I could, I would say again I believe our troops are both trained and ready and very capable, and doing, by the way, an excellent job in this very tough environment. Sorry for the long answer.
SEN. PRYOR: No, I don't disagree with anything you're saying. In fact, I agree with everything. I just hope that as we look at Iraq and understand our mission there, that we continue to improve down the road. And that's really my main point.
One thing on intelligence. And I don't want to dwell on weapons of mass destruction, but there was a number, if I recall, a number of news reports and statements made by the administration and others that Iraq was in possession of several dozen, if I remember the numbers right, Scud missiles before went into Iraq.
And the last I've heard -- and you correct me if I'm wrong, Secretary Rumsfeld, but the last I've heard, to date there have been zero found. Am I right in that?
SEC. RUMSFELD: My recollection I'm sure is imperfect, but I recall that there were 10 or 12 Scud missiles that were unaccounted for.
(To General Franks) Is that -- ?
GEN. FRANKS: Up to two dozen.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Up to two dozen --
SEN. PRYOR: Two -- two dozen unaccounted for.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Fair enough.
SEN. PRYOR: And they've not been found yet, then. Is that -- is that what you mean by that --
SEC. RUMSFELD: No, they've been unfound.
SEN. PRYOR: Okay. Another thing, Secretary Rumsfeld, if I may. In March on ABC News you indicated that you felt like you knew where Iraq's weapons of mass destruction were, and you gave a specific general area, if that's a correct phrase, that they are generally around Tikrit and Baghdad, and some to the east, west, south and north. Knowing what you know now, do you think that was an accurate statement at the time?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Well, of course it was an accurate statement at the time. It's what I believed. And -- and --
SEN. PRYOR: I -- I understand you believed it at the time. But, I mean, knowing what you know now, do you think it was -- do you think your belief was accurate?
SEC. RUMSFELD: I have no reason to believe it's inaccurate. What we said was -- I was asked, at a time when our forces were south of Baghdad in the war, in conflict, I was asked why we hadn't found any weapons of mass destruction yet, while the war was still going on. And I allowed as how that the area from Baghdad to the north and the west and --
SEN. PRYOR: Part of that orange or brown area on that map over there.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Probably, mm-hmm -- was -- was an area that probably was more likely to have the locations of these so-called suspect WMD sites.
(To General Franks.) How many hundreds were there?
GEN. FRANKS: I think just short of a thousand, Mr. Secretary.
SEC. RUMSFELD: And -- and they were all suspect, and -- and there was plenty of time for people to know that they were suspect. And as I recall, a large majority of them were in the area that I've just described.
(To General Franks.) Is that right, general?
GEN. FRANKS: Sir, that's right. And there's one additional piece to it, and that -- that is confirming the negative.
SEN. PRYOR: Yes.
GEN. FRANKS: Whether we're talking about up to two dozen Scuds that the secretary mentioned a minute ago, if we -- if we know that coming out of the 1991 gulf war there are up to two dozen of these systems that have not been found, and we know that the United Nations teams have spent 11, 12 years looking for them and have not been able to confirm that the Iraqis don't have them, then we go look for them --
SEN. PRYOR: Right. I understand. Right.
GEN. FRANKS: -- just as you -- you know, as America would expect us to do. We got to go look for them. And sir, that is the case with this nearly 1,000 sites that the secretary mentioned. We must believe that we -- that the problems are there until we confirm the negative, that they're not there. And so that's the process that has been ongoing.
SEN. PRYOR: And I understand the difficulty in that. And I'm out of time, but I would like to have just one last question, and that is, there's been some confusion in the press reports, et cetera, about who actually is in charge of searching for the weapons of mass destruction. And Secretary Rumsfeld, I'd like to hear, who is in charge of searching for those weapons?
SEC. RUMSFELD: The -- there is no confusion about it that I know of. The facts are these.
The capabilities on the ground in Iraq essentially are in the Department of Defense: large numbers -- helicopters, the ability to move people around and do things.
So the Department of Defense was asked to form an Iraqi Survey Group, which we did. General Dayton is in charge of it. It was pretty clear to me that the Department of Defense did not have the same level of skill that the intelligence community did, and the Central Intelligence Agency. So I sat down with George Tenet, the director of CIA, and we discussed the importance not of running around using helicopters and people on the ground to look for weapons of mass destruction, but the importance of gathering intelligence through interrogations; figuring out who might know what, who could we offer amnesty to, who could we offer a reward to, and go through that process that is quite a different thing than looking under every tree for WMD.
And so he assigned a man named David Kay to work with General Dayton. And the judgment portion of it is being made by David Kay and his cell back in the United States that is a multi-agency cell. And the actual physically doing of things, looking for people, looking for sites, is being done under the authority of General Dayton. General Dayton reports to me. George Tenet and I are as close as you can be on this subject. The people on the ground are as close as you can be on this subject. And my impression is that the people that have been put in charge are doing a good job and handling it well.
SEN. PRYOR: Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
SEN. WARNER: Mr. Secretary, I'm sure my colleague, Senator Levin, would join me. We met with Mr. Kay. He was part of the team Ambassador Bremer assembled to brief us. And seated right there was General Dayton. And we got clearly the understanding that the chain of command was as you describe. And therefore, there is clarity, in my judgment, as to that reporting chain through Bremer and Kay up to you, with parallel to Central Intelligence Agency.
Thank you for that.
Senator Ben Nelson.
SEN. BEN NELSON (D-NE): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And I know, General, you're never going to get tired of the accolades, even though they keep getting heaped on. So I want to certainly add mine to those of my colleagues, and to extend my appreciation to the secretary as well for not only taking our questions today, but for sticking with this very important task that's before us; and that is, of course, working with the issue about end strength with rotation, with deployment, and the obvious questions that we're going to be facing in the future dealing with retention, as well as recruitment, because that's going to be extremely important to the future of our military. And I think you need to do it as you are, in the whole area of transformation because, obviously, the force of tomorrow will only maybe slightly resemble the force of today. So this is all before you, and I commend you in advance for your work on this.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Thank you.
SEN. BEN NELSON: Regarding the postwar planning, earlier this year I discussed with former Army Secretary White the concerns that I had regarding the number of military police and the number of Reservists who had been called up to active duty as a result. And while I recognize that this is a liberating force, there's no question but for a period of time it will be looked at and probably serve as an occupying force until stability is established.
In Iraq, I was told by a group of elected officials in Kirkuk, just recently appointed, elected group, that they thought that the looting had really undercut the effort toward democracy in certain parts of Iraq, and that while folks who had not had any experience with democracy were wondering if this is what democracy was going to be about. They don't have outside experiences, no other experience to call upon. And so their first taste of democracy may not have been as sweet as we had hoped, ultimately as sweet as we hoped that it will be.
What I'm leading up to is, as we look toward other efforts in the world today that we may be called upon to restore peace, to establish -- to help establish democracy, are we thinking about the force that will obviously involve immediately upon the end of combat operations, the installation of peacekeeping that consists of law and order, military police far more than our own military forces? Are we thinking about that in terms of transformation? Because it appears that with the lack of staffing that we may have had in that area, that it may have gotten away from us in Iraq, but we may be faced with that in the next effort that may be just down the road. Are we building toward that, and will that be part of transformation?
I guess it's unfair to ask you, General Franks, on the way out, but do you have any thoughts on it? And then, of course, Secretary Rumsfeld, I'd love to have your thoughts, too.
GEN. FRANKS: Sir, your comment about the looting I think is right. Unfortunately, looting actually was a tool used by the regime --
SEN. BEN NELSON: Of course.
GEN. FRANKS: -- before we ever undertook this. So some of these criminal elements -- and I'm not sure what the number is. I think the secretary mentioned a number earlier in testimony --
SEN. BEN NELSON: It's 100,000, I've heard.
GEN. FRANKS: Perhaps a hundred thousand people let out of jail. And so the looting by those people, as well as other disgruntled people, for sure affect the taste that the Iraqis have in their mouths.
In terms of expectation, sir, I'm not at all sure that I believe that the planning or execution of the post -- of the initial 60 days or so -- and that's how long we've been looking at this, the initial 60 days or so of post-major combat operations, can be characterized as well, you weren't quite with it.
Actually, what we'll do, I suspect -- and the secretary will comment on this -- is as the services think through what the structure needs to be for our armed forces over the next 10, 20 years -- as part of transformation, I believe that sort of study will be undertaken to decide, do we have the balance about right? Are we about right in active component, Reserve component? Are we about right in the numbers of armor troopers, you know, and the numbers of military policemen?
So, sir, that's the best that I can do.
SEN. BEN NELSON: Thank you.
SEC. RUMSFELD: There's nothing I can add. It clearly is important that as soon as possible at the end of a conflict that you have the ability to assert control over an area. It is also impossible to do. You cannot go from a warfighting circumstance in one minute and have a whole lot of forces decide not to fight you, as they did from Baghdad north, and blend into the countryside and think that you have the ability to shift in one hour from a powerful warfighting force into a stabilization force capable of guarding every hospital, every school, every museum, every weapon site, suspect weapon site, in a country the size of California. You can't do it.
SEN. BEN NELSON: But is there a -- is there a period of time that in the planning process you could isolate it down to, to say that it's something that you should be aiming for within two weeks, seven days? Is there a time frame that you can narrow it down to?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Absolutely. And -- and they did that.
GEN. FRANKS: Sir, the comment that I would make is that when -- when you plan a war or an operation with a mission that says remove a regime, you recognize that -- in fact, the secretary includes in his statement some half-dozen or so things that can go wrong. Well, as a planner, what one does is take a look at the things that can go wrong and try to figure out, try to scope -- put some scope around, how long will this operation take, because if we can figure out about how long it's going to take and about what size force in terms of the numbers of tanks and aircraft and so forth we need, then we can figure out how long we have in order to get the sort of force, Senator, that you're mentioning loaded and get it on the ground so that it's Johnny-on-the- spot and ready to do some work.
SEN. BEN NELSON: That's exactly why I was asking Secretary White if he thought we had the skill sets necessary to be able to -- sufficient staffing and support to move in and be able to do that in advance of the occurrence.
GEN. FRANKS: And sir, actually, in this case, we couldn't do that. And I make no defensive comment about this. We'll let history reflect whatever it chooses to reflect. But I can tell you that there is a direct trade-off between the size force built and the amount of deception and surprise one achieves. And one more day, one more week, one more hour, one more month to build additional forces, which we would all applaud now, would have resulted in a totally different war than the one we saw. And that's my opinion.
SEN. BEN NELSON: The problem with -- the problem with trying to deal with lessons learned is that there's always an element of criticism that's a part of it when it's not intentional to be critical. If you're not critical, you don't learn the lesson.
GEN. FRANKS: Sir, I agree with that.
SEN. BEN NELSON: Yeah. Thank you. Thank you very much, gentlemen.
SEN. WARNER: Senator, I indicated to the general that as this committee continues to complete its reports on the operations in both Afghanistan and Iraq -- and by no means, in my judgment, are either operation at that point where we do an after-action report because action's taking place -- the general has offered to return in his civilian capacity to take further questions.
So we will now -- yes, Mr. Secretary.
SEC. RUMSFELD: I'm going to have to excuse myself. This has gone considerably longer than I expected --
SEN. WARNER: I -- I recognize that. And what I would like to ask of you, if you can provide just a brief few minutes in closed session in S-219 next door, we want to have one or two questions on the WMD program, and then you'll be free to go.
We thank you. This has almost been a four-hour public, open discussion of all issues relating to these important deployment of our troops. Thank you very much.
I'd like to put in today's record at the end a Washington Post article, April 2 '03, by a former Marine colonel, Gary Anderson (sp). I was hoping to address it; time doesn't permit.
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