SENATOR WARNER: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. The committee meets this morning to receive testimony on U.S. global military commitments and ongoing military operations. We welcome our witnesses this morning: Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Ambassador Marc Grossman, and General Richard Dean Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. We also are privileged to have with us a special guest here this morning, General Mattis. If you'd stand, please? General Mattis is commander of the Marines in-country in Iraq. I had the privilege of visiting with my CODEL and others, and at some point in time we're liable to have you come forward, General. Thank you.
We meet today just two days before the second anniversary of September 11th attacks on this nation, terrorist attacks which took the lives of over 3,000 innocent victims and forever changed our sense of security, forever changed the manner in which we in this great nation will conduct our lives for ourselves, our families, and indeed our nation's defense posture.
As we reflect this morning on the request by the president, $87 billion, we should keep in mind apart from the tragic loss of life what was the cost of 9/11? What is the cost to do everything we can as a nation to prevent a recurrence of any incident similar to that or others?
Since that fateful day two years ago, U.S. military forces working side by side with coalition partners from around the world have been engaged in an all-out global war on terrorism in an effort to prevent future terrorists from reaching our shores.
As the president stated so eloquently on Sunday evening, and I quote him, "And for America there will be no going back to the era before September 11th, 2001, to false comfort in a dangerous world. We have learned that terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength; they are invited by the perception of weakness. And the surest way to avoid attacks on our own people is to engage the enemy where he lives and where he plans and where he trains. We are fighting the enemy in Iraq, Afghanistan, so that we do not meet him again on our streets, in our cities, in our towns, in our villages."
What has been accomplished over the past two years in the war on terror? That's the question before us today. What is the future tactics, plans and costs? That is before us today. I think, myself, we have accomplished a great deal. The Taliban regime, which provided a safe operating base for Al Qaida in Afghanistan, no longer controls that nation and has been driven into the hills. Do they appear? Yes, occasionally, but certainly not with the force they once had.
They've been replaced by an emerging democratic government. Al Qaida's training camps in Afghanistan have been destroyed. Many of its top leaders and operatives are dead or in custody. And the remnants, again, are scattered. Over the past two years, thousands of terrorists around the world would have been captured and many terrorists operations have been disruptive. That's progress.
In Iraq, Saddam Hussein's reign of terror has ended, never to return. The threat he posed to his people, his neighbors and indeed to the world has been removed, and Iraq is in the early stages of establishing a democratic form of government representative of the needs of all the Iraqis, not just selected portions of that population as Saddam Hussein doled out the largess to a few and most of all himself.
While much remains to be done in both Iraq and Afghanistan to consolidate our military victory -- and we as a nation are committed to seeing it through to the end, let there be no doubt -- we must not lose sight of the many achievements over the past two years. I believe, I think most Americans believe the world is a safer place because we, and a coalition of partners, acted promptly, acted decisively.
And Afghanistan and Iraq are a tribute to the professionalism and dedication of the men and women in the United States armed forces and their families. We're proud to have with us today the distinguished chairman, other military officers as symbols of those achievements by our professional military.
Both operations achieved their basic goals in record time, the military goals, their primary military objectives: removing regimes from power that were a threat to the security of the United States and indeed the world. They were led by a team: Secretary of State Colin Powell, Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld, their deputies, one of whom, Secretary Wolfowitz, is here before us today, and on the military side, General Myers, indeed General Franks, General Abizaid.
I personally am very proud of that team to have had the opportunity to work with them. While we've had our differences, I respect them. I commend their leadership. And we're going to stick together to get this job done.
We've required extensive, post-conflict stability operations that are ongoing and requiring significant manpower, resources, time and commitment to fully secure the peace. Has everything gone as envisioned? We all know that's not correct. But when in history has an operation of this magnitude gone exactly as planned?
But now is not the time, in my judgment, to try and assess what went right and what went wrong and who may be at fault for faulty vision. What we should do now is resolve to remain strong behind this president and this team, to do everything we can to cut back on the tragic casualties we are taking -- not only loss of life, but loss of limb -- and to care for those families and to press on as quickly as we can to establish this nation in a security framework so they can take their nation back, the Iraqis themselves, and to run it.
As we meet this morning, we're ever mindful that the U.S. and coalition forces continue to be exposed to significant personal risks through this ongoing phase of operations.
On Sunday, the president went before the American people to forthrightly give his views and ask for their continuing support. As part of that thoughtful address to the nation, the president clearly stated, and I quote him, "We will do what is necessary," end quote, and asked Congress for $87 billion to fund the ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. I'm confident that Congress will support him.
It's imperative that the Congress -- we, the representatives of the people -- provide the president and the men and women in the armed forces and those engaged in the stability operations in the reconstruction the resources they need to fight this war on terrorism.
Ultimate victory is this global effort depends on our continuing support. It is a war we will win. It is a war that I am confident the American people will continue to support, provided we continue to give strong leadership.
I heard this morning that this maybe a division of opinions about this $87 billion; strong support for that portion that goes for the troops, but a question mark on that portion that goes to for the reconstruction and the political reconciliation, so that the Iraqi people can take over their own government.
I'm open to listen to those who've got ideas, but bear in mind, in my judgment, the reconstruction is a direct corollary to the casualties we've taken. The sooner the electricity is on, the sooner the water is running, the sooner that we have that nation with a quality of life over and above what Saddam Hussein allowed of his people, in my judgment, the sooner the Iraqi people will, in greater numbers, turn to support the coalition and finish the job. So look at the timetable those who want to try and change course on exactly who, how, why and when we do this reconstruction.
Over the past several months, approximately half of the members of this committee made the opportunity to join our forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and, indeed, Liberia and other locations around the world. I want to thank them. And I urge others to avail themselves of the opportunity, because the on-scene presence not only says to the troops, "We're with you," but much can be learned and brought back to bear on the decisions that this committee and other committees in the Congress have to make.
We've all come away from these visits with our own impressions; I share my own.
First and foremost, as Americans we can take pride in the magnificent performance and the professionalism of our troops. Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines I met with are doing their jobs and doing them well, often in the harshest of conditions on land and afloat. It is very clear that our troops understand the importance and the necessity of performing their duty and the enormity of the task and they appreciate the support of the American people. Morale is strong and they are fully committed to getting the job done.
All America appreciates the sacrifice they have made together with their families. But we commend them for the strength that they have shown in the fact of the strongest of adversity.
In Iraq, I was encouraged by the level of involvement of other nations. And I fully support the administration's renewed efforts to obtain a new U.N. mandate, which will hopefully result in additional troops from other nations to share the burdens in Iraq.
Twenty-nine countries currently have forces on the ground in Iraq, and others have committed to the effort. A Polish division, composed of troops from many nations, has recently taken over a sector in central Iraq. Significant numbers of Dutch and Italian forces have joined the British division in the south.
Clearly, the significant commitment of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Liberia, will have an impact on the ability of the U.S. to meet other military commitments.
Discussion has begun about the nature of our future force presence abroad. Last week, General Myers was quoted as saying, quote: "We're still in Bosnia, we're still in Kosovo. Should we be there? Should the Europeans pick up more of that? We're in many places in numbers of perhaps we don't need to be in. Given the new security environment, it cannot be business as usual in the rest of the world," end quote.
I commend you for that insight, General.
And we're greeted this morning by the news that the extension of some of our Guard and Reserve units and others, in terms of their period of service in Iraq. All of this ties together to focus on the attention of our overall size of the forces, and there is a legitimate debate as to whether the in-country force level meets requirements of the commanders. We expect to hear discussions on that today.
In my opinion, the framework of national security and foreign policy issue before the administration is the most complex since World War II. We're fortunate to have this Defense-State team before us today in public service addressing these challenges.
I welcome our witnesses.
LEVIN: Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I join you in welcoming our witnesses today.
As we meet, Iraq is anything but secure. Attacks on Americans continue. Just within the last month, the Jordanian embassy was bombed, the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad was bombed, the Shiite mosque in Najaf was bombed, the Sunni mosque in Baghdad was attacked by a gunman last Friday, and there are reports that Al Qaida and sympathetic foreign fighters are infiltrating Iraq to attack U.S. and coalition personnel.
Our military forces are stretched thin. Over 180,000 are fighting the war in Iraq or supporting it from Kuwait and other Persian Gulf states. Another 10,000 are conducting combat and stability operations in Afghanistan, at the same time that we're helping to maintain the peace in Liberia and Bosnia and Kosovo.
And, of course, we have thousands of troops deployed in South Korea dedicated in war plans to the defense of that nation in a region that is becoming ever more volatile with the North Korean drive to obtain and develop nuclear weapons.
We read in the paper this morning that thousands of National Guard and Reserve troops in Iraq and the Gulf area are going to have their tours of duty extended, and that is indeed, it seems to me, very troubling news to people back in all of our states.
Sunday night, the president finally came forward with the amount that he will ask in a supplemental appropriation request for fiscal year 2004 for military operations and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan: $87 billion.
This huge sum is a bitter pill for the American people to swallow in a year when the president's budget falls billions short in funding the education programs in the No Child Left Behind Act, proposes to cut highway funding by $2.5 billion from current levels, when the administration proposes to cut after-school programs by $400 million, or 40 percent from this year's level, and when it proposes new costs on veterans' health care programs that will be a real hardship for those who have served our country in uniform in the past, and proposes huge cuts in funding for programs to help small and middle-sized manufacturing firms at a time when we're losing tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs in this country every month.
This $84 billion comes on top of the $79 billion appropriated for those purposes in this fiscal year. It is ironic to note that administration officials denounced Mr. Lindsey's estimate that the cost of the war before it was launched would be in the range of $100 billion to $200 billion. We're already in the upper reaches of that estimate for the first two years of a long commitment.
And, Mr. Wolfowitz, you told Congress in March that, quote, "We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon," close quote. Talk about rosy scenarios.
Before this committee, when senior military leaders tried to give us realistic estimates that Iraq will require substantial numbers of U.S. troops for the foreseeable future, they were contradicted, and at times ridiculed, by the civilian leadership of the Defense Department.
It has been clear from the beginning that the United States cannot do all of this alone. The U.S. needs the support of the international community in Iraq, including the troops of Muslim nations, not only to share the burden but also to change the perception of many Iraqis from that of a Western occupation to that of an international effort to stabilize and rebuild their country.
The administration was long overdue in recognizing the need for the increased involvement of the world community through the United Nations in Iraq. The administration only belatedly and begrudgingly now has gone back to the United Nations for an explicit mandate, a mandate that many countries, such as Pakistan, Turkey and India, have said for months that they needed if they were going to send troops to Iraq.
The administration's task is now more difficult because it delayed so long. Their go-it-alone chickens are coming home to roost.
Ninety percent of the troops in Iraq are American troops. And probably a larger percentage of reconstruction funds are going to be American if the administration's proposal is adopted unless we change the context, unless we change the dynamic in Iraq to one of an international community effort with the support of the United Nations.
But if the administration is going to win international support, it's going to have to be willing to provide a substantial and meaningful U.N. role in the political development of a new Iraqi government and in the reconstruction of Iraq.
And the issue, by the way, isn't whether there will be a unified military command under a U.S. commander. There must be and there will be. We have the dominant share of the troops. There is no doubt about that issue.
But based upon my visit to U.N. headquarters in New York yesterday, my meetings with our U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Negroponte, and with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, I don't believe that we will receive a substantial contribution of troops and resources from other nations unless the administration is willing to give the United Nations a substantial and meaningful role in the civilian side of the reconstruction effort.
It is imperative that we do so, that we will be clearly giving the lie to the propaganda that the jihaddists use to attract soldiers for their army of terror, that the West intends to dominate a Muslim country.
Congress will provide the funding to give our troops what they need; let there be no doubt about that. But before providing reconstruction funds, partly to assure that those funds can be effectively spent in an effort that will be successful, we must assure ourselves that the administration is willing to give more than lip service to enlisting the support of key additional nations in providing troops and resources for the long struggle that lays ahead in Iraq.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
WARNER: Thank you very much. Several members have asked for time for opening statement, but I had to make the judgment call that we would proceed directly to our witnesses. But in that context, I will extend the time for a questioning period to enable members to add some observations prior to their questions.
WOLFOWITZ: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee. I submitted a fairly long statement that I'll put in the record, but I'll try to give you a reasonably short summary.
WARNER: Thank you, Mr. Secretary. The full text of all statements will be incorporated in the record.
WOLFOWITZ: One of the things that is most important for our troops facing danger on the front lines is the knowledge that their dedication and sacrifice is appreciated by the people of America. On behalf of the men and women who serve our country so safely and so well, let me begin by expressing thanks to the Congress for the bipartisan support that you give our armed forces.
Just two years removed from the most brutal attack on our nation's soil since Pearl Harbor, we remain a nation at war. We fight a threat posed by an enemy that hides in the shadows and is burrowed into scores of countries around the globe. And with the help of a coalition of some 90 nations, we've gone after that adversary of freedom wherever he may be found using every resource at our command, including our instruments of diplomacy, intelligence, law enforcement, financial influence and, of course, every necessary weapon of war to defeat the global terror network.
It might be worth mentioning, Mr. Chairman, that I just got an unclassified summary from the CIA of where we stand in that larger war, and let me just read two sentences from it.
"Two years after the September 11th attacks, Al Qaida's central leadership is reeling from the impact of the counter-terrorist successes of the U.S. and our allies. The central leadership of Al Qaida is at growing risk of breaking apart as our blows against the group create a level of disarray and confusion throughout the organization that we have not seen since the collapse of the Taliban in late 2001."
I think that is a good news story. I guess one should also remember that in war, good news can be followed by bad news, but I think the point is that we are moving to victory.
Like World War II and the Cold War, this war is being fought on a global stage. And like those previous conflicts, the stakes are enormous and our very freedom is threatened.
However, we also need to realize that this war is different from any previous war. If we react based on experiences from past conflicts or from prior peacekeeping experiences, we are likely to act wrong in many cases. We face a new situation, and we need to constantly think anew about it.
At the Pentagon, just one year removed from sealing the horrible gash that the terrorist made in our outer wall, the memory of our lost comrades remains strong.
Our military and civilian forces have not forgotten whom we are fighting and what we are fighting for. They above all know what's at stake. It's a big job, it's going to take patience and time and determination. And it will take more than killing and capturing terrorists and dismantling terrorists networks, as important as that is.
It also requires winning on what I would call the second front of the war on terror; what the president called in his State of the Union message, building a just and peaceful world beyond the war on terror and particularly in the Muslim world.
We don't start a job that we can't finish and when we do start a job, we give it our best; that's the American way.
As the president said on Sunday night, "Our strategy in Iraq has three objectives: destroying the terrorists, enlisting the support of other nations for a free Iraq, and helping Iraqis assume responsibility for their own defense and their own future.
"First," he said, "We're taking direct action against terrorist in the Iraqi theater, which is the surest way to prevent future attacks on coalition forces and Iraqi people.
"Second, we are committed to expanding the international cooperation in the reconstruction and security of Iraq, just as we are in Afghanistan.
"And third, we are encouraging the orderly transfer of sovereignty and authority to the Iraqi people. Our coalition came to Iraq as liberators," the president said, "and we will depart as liberators."
I'd like to focus in these brief opening remarks on three critical areas where we seek the support of the Congress, and particularly, of this committee: first, specific issue of obtaining the resources and the authority to train and equip and field foreign military forces fighting alongside our own; second, to give us the flexibility that we've asked for to reduce the stress on active duty end-strength by making it easier to convert military jobs to civilian jobs; and most important, most demanding, to support the president's request, expressed so forcefully Sunday night, for the resources needed to wage and win this war. We need resources for our military.
We also need resources to win that second battle front, both in Afghanistan and Iraq, to help those people build new and free countries that will remain free of instability and terrorism, and to send a message to the world, especially to our enemies, that we have the staying power to finish the job.
Concerning the first point, General Abizaid and his commanders have said repeatedly that they not only don't need more troops, they don't want more American troops. What they do want are more international troops to share the burden of providing stability forces. But most of all what they want are more Iraqi troops, because it is their country that we have liberated, and it is they who need to take over the main security tasks.
In July when I visited the Marines in southern Iraq, the commander of the 1st Marine division, Major General Jim Mattis, who, as the chairman noted, is here with us today, told me how he'd sent some of his 15,000 troops home already because he had enough of them to do the job, and he didn't want what he called the reverberations of a heavy footprint that a large army requires. He said that is you want more people on your side, don't bring in more Americans.
General Abizaid mentioned in his briefings here last week that what we really need are more Iraqis fighting with us. We've begun recruiting and retraining Iraqis for an Iraqi civilian defense force to take over tasks such as guarding fixed sites and power lines.
It's the same with former New York City police chief Bernie Kerik, who just volunteered for four months helping Iraqis rebuild their police force. He favors empowering Iraqis over sending more American troops. He said if you triple the number of coalition forces, quote, "You'll probably triple the attacks on the troops."
The future is not in the military but in getting control back in the hands of the Iraqi people, and we are making rapid progress in that area.
We've gone from no Iraqis fighting with us when Baghdad fell to currently more than 55,000 -- 55,000, Mr. Chairman, serving with us and providing security for their country. And that makes Iraqis the single largest member of the coalition after the United States. And they are taking on the hard missions. They are fighting and taking casualties with us. Just a few days ago, one of them was killed by a suicide bomber attempting to attack our troops.
Those numbers are predominantly Iraqi police, some 40,000. But we've started two new formations, the Iraqi facilities protective service and the Iraqi civil defense corps. By January, we plan to have 15,000 members of the civil defense corps and 20,000 members of the facility protection service. And those numbers, as well as the police numbers, can be increased more rapidly with the resources that the president is asking the Congress to provide.
We should not, however, find that we are held back by a shortage of money or authority to give those willing and able to fight on our side the proper training and equipment to get the job done.
On converting military jobs to civilian jobs, we ask the Congress to give us the flexibility to make it easier to do that because it would help relieve some of the current stress on the active duty force. Right now, the complexities of putting civilians in the thousands of jobs that don't need to be performed by men and women in uniform puts unnecessary strain on our uniformed personnel.
And I could also add, Mr. Chairman, from personal experience, it makes it more difficult to recruit the great talent pool that we have out in this country among Iraqi-Americans and Afghan-Americans who are ready and willing to serve, either as civilians or as military.
In the current situation, bringing more troops on-line by increasing our end-strength will not provide a short-term answer.
It takes time to recruit and train people. And any increase we put into effect now would have no appreciable effect for some time to come.
And if the current strain on our military forces reflect a temporary spike from an increase in wartime operations tempo, then it would be better to resist increasing forces for the long term, because doing so will impose a sizable personnel cost in the out-years that will inevitably come at the expense of other things that our armed forces need.
What can deliver results more quickly are the things we're looking at to reduce the stress on our current end-strength. That includes an examination of our entire global footprint, as you just suggested in your remarks, Mr. Chairman. It means looking at how to make adjustments in the active/reserve mix, so that particular portions of our force, and particularly specific portions of our reserve force, are not inordinately strained. And it means looking at how we can shift some jobs performed by people in uniform to civilians who can do them just as well or perhaps better.
We're asking you now to help us with our proposed National Security Personnel System. The fact that we're fighting a tough and sustained war on terrorism only makes the need to take that step even more pressing.
But finally and most important, Mr. Chairman, we're asking you to provide substantial means to fight and win this war. The bulk of the president's request, some $66 billion, will be dedicated to ensuring that our men and women in uniform have the resources they need to complete their mission in the war on terror. The rest, $21 billion, will help build safe, stable and self-governing societies in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In recent weeks, many of you have said that even if this is a formidable venture, even if it costs substantial resources, it is important enough to our country, to our security, to our national interest to merit Congress' full support.
The costs are large, but it is a battle that we can win and a battle that we must win, because victory in this battle will be a major victory in the war on terrorism and a major defeat for the global terrorist networks.
As large as these costs are, they are still small compared to just the economic price that the attacks of September 11th inflicted, to say nothing of the terrible loss of human life. And even those costs are small in comparison to what future, more terrible terrorist attacks could inflict.
By those actions and by what Congress says, you can help us send the message to the world, and particularly to our enemies, that America is behind our troops, that America has the staying power to fight this war on terrorism to victory.
The Baathist bitter-enders and their foreign terrorist allies believe if they can inflict casualties on us, like Beirut and Somalia, we will give up and go home. We know that Osama bin Laden saw Somalia as an example of how Americans can be driven out by inflicting casualties. We know that Saddam Hussein told Ambassador April Glaspie in 1990 that he could take massive casualties and we couldn't stand even a few.
The sooner these terrorists and Baathists understand clearly that our will can't be broken and that the Iraq people, despite hardship and difficulty, will persevere in building their new society, the sooner we will win.
That is why it is so urgent that Congress pass the supplemental request, and I would encourage speedy action when the request is formally submitted. Because just as the speedy action of Congress after September 11th sent a strong message to friends and enemies alike, and to our troops, so too a message now will send that same message, and particularly to the troops who are giving us 100 percent. They need to know that we're behind them 100 percent.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to join you in expressing my thanks and the thanks of our troops for the special efforts that members of this committee, and the Congress more generally, have made to visit Iraq. Your visits have been important not only for the morale of our men and women, they've also given you an opportunity to get a much clearer picture of the situation on the ground.
The common experience of almost every one I've talked to who goes to Iraq seems to be that while we all see the problems that are so frequently reported in the press, we also see a great deal of good news. And in the case of Iraq, where the only news for 35 years was horrible news, the remarkable amount of good news is indeed a story.
It's impossible to generalize about Iraq, Mr. Chairman. I'm afraid when a bomb goes off in one place, people get an impression that the whole country is about to come apart. The truth is -- and I suppose when I say knock on wood, one doesn't know what tomorrow will bring -- but the truth is that so far the predominantly Shia south has been remarkably stable and I would say far more stable than most pre- war predictions would have given you. And the mixed ethnic Arab, Turkish, Kurdish north has also been remarkably stable, again, contrary to fears that many of us had that we might face large-scale ethnic conflict.
Our problems, and they're real, have largely been concentrated in the Baathist areas in central Iraq and parts of Baghdad.
I've tried in my statement at some length to give some feel for that wide variation. I'm not going to take you through it now, but I would like to mention southern Iraq and Najaf in particular, partly because it was in the news and partly because General Mattis is here, and if you wish to hear more from him, he can tell you much more than I can.
But it's interesting, I think, what stunning successes the Marines achieved in those two cities, Najaf and Karbala, the holiest cities of Shia Islam. It's a success that can be perceived, I think, even despite the recent tragic bombings in Najaf. That event, of course, was a terrible tragedy and has contributed to unease and fear in Iraq and that's precisely what the people who did it intended. And as far as we know, they were probably outsiders.
It doesn't take many people to plan a car or a truck bomb. They've done that here in the United States. To me, the real news is the remarkable calm and restraint that Iraqi Shia have shown in the wake of that horrible provocation. Some hundreds of thousands of people came out to witness the funeral procession of Ayatollah Hakim as it passed, with no major violence reported.
Fears have been expressed that this horrendous act could lead to attacks by Shia on Sunni. But so far at least, that hasn't happened.
Last week, General Abizaid told reporters that after being in the United States a week and a half, and reading those reports on conditions in Iraq, it could lead him to think that, perhaps, he should, "Go back to Iraq," he said, "and find someone to surrender to."
And yet, when he talks to our troops, well-informed by firsthand knowledge, he said they are so confident and so positive that, "It takes me only about 30 minutes," the general said, "to understand that we've got this under control."
Of course, there's still many challenges remaining for our troops. And as our commanders consider military operations in Iraq, there are at least two things they tell us they would like more of. Number one is Iraqis fighting to secure their own liberty, as I mentioned earlier. And the number two critical item is forces of other countries, and we're making progress there as well.
So far, close to 30 nations have sent close to 23,000 personnel to Iraq. Over 40 nations have pledged more than $3 billion in assistance. In southern Iraq, Polish forces have assumed command of an international division and we're hoping to add another division above and beyond that.
The president's request will provide some $800 million to support the troops of our coalition partners who need that help to provide support.
And in the wake of the bombing in the U.N., we have a new opportunity to get a more extensive resolution from the U.N. that will make it easier for those countries that are contributing to continue to do so, and hopefully, easier for new countries to enter as well.
I'd like to conclude by mentioning something that General Mattis said to me when I visited Iraq in July. He said the people that presented the fiercest opposition to them as they drove north in that phase of major combat operations were the Fedayeen Saddam, group of thugs with a kind of cult-like dedication to Saddam Hussein, who, though their numbers are reduced, are still a problem, and foreign terrorists. And I asked him, "How did you know that foreigners were fighting?" And he said, "Well we found a lot of foreign passports on the battlefield," and he was good enough to bring a few of these that he found back with him.
This is one: a foreigner who came into Iraq on March 24th through Syria -- not a Syrian, but through Syria. The entry permit on his passport said he came to, quote, "volunteer for jihad." Here's another one, came into Iraq through Syria -- same crossing point. The entry permit said, "to join the Arab volunteers." And here's a third one that came in on April 7th.
In other words, from the very early stages of the war foreign terrorists were coming into Iraq, obviously with the full knowledge and cooperation of the Iraqi government, and sent to the front lines to fight Americans.
They're still there. Others are coming. Getting better border controls is one of our important objectives. But I think it is a strong illustration of the major threat that we face today. As the intelligence briefings put it, it's the combination of former regime loyalists and foreign terrorists. The level of cooperation between them is something that's hard to determine. There is some we know. There's probably a lot more that we don't know.
And the foreign terrorists, Mr. Chairman, who go to Iraq to kill Americans understand this. If killing Americans leads to defeat and the restoration of the old regime or any kind of new tyranny, they would score an enormous strategic victory for terrorism and for the forces of repression and intolerance, rage and despair, hatred and revenge.
As the president told members of the American Legion recently, terrorists know that a democratic Iraq in the heart of the Middle East would be a further defeat for their ideology of terror.
And Iraqis understand this. Alongside us, they are working hard to fight the forces of anger and helplessness and to seize this historic opportunity to move their country forward.
When I met with General Abizaid when we were both in Iraq in July, he put the battle in Iraq into a larger perspective that I think is worth quoting. And Id's remind everyone too, as most of you know, that he's not only a distinguished general, he is a real Middle East expert, a fluent Arabic speaker who spent many years in that part of the world.
The general said, "The whole difficulty in the global war on terrorism is that this is a phenomenon without borders. And the heart of the problem is in this particular region. And the heart of the region happens to be Iraq. If we can't be successful here, we won't be successful in the global war on terrorism.
"Success in Iraq," the general said, "offers a chance, when you combine it with initiatives in the Arab-Israeli theater and initiatives elsewhere, to make life better, to bring peace to an area where people are very, very talented and resources are abundant, especially here in Iraq."
Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, America's troops and those of our coalition partners...
GROSSMAN: "... both for America's foreign policy and military policy. And it says that the primary aim of the United States is to not just make the world more secure, but also to make the world better. And in order to bring about, as Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz said, political, economic freedom, peaceful relations with other states, and respect for human dignity, the president has designated a number of tasks.
I hope you had a chance to see Secretary Powell's speech at George Washington University last Friday, in which he laid out what we are doing, together with our military colleagues, to meet these tasks: including strengthening alliances to defeat global terrorism; building cooperative partnerships with other major powers, including Europe, Japan, Russia, China, India; working with other nations to defuse regional conflicts; and preventing our enemies from threatening us, our allies, our friends with weapons of mass destruction.
And luckily, as a number of you have said, we are not alone. The Untied States is not alone in this effort to make a better world. And so at the president's direction, we seek partners and allies, because it enables us to achieve better our national objectives.
Mr. Chairman, Mr. Levin, you asked in your letter about cooperation with individual countries, with NATO, with the United Nations and other multinational organizations. All NATO countries contribute to the global war on terrorism. Indeed, as we have discussed at this committee, Afghanistan represents a historic first out-of-area operation for the alliance as a whole.
We're also working with the United Nations in Iraq. We have said from the very beginning, our president has said that the United Nations has a vital role to play in the reconstruction of that country and the criminal bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, only further shows the importance of galvanizing international support for Iraq's reconstruction.
The president announced to the nation on Sunday, and Senator Levin talked about it yesterday in his meetings in New York, the United States is seeking a new U.N. Security Council resolution to build on those we already have in 1483 and 1500, and that resolution would try to accomplish three things.
First, it would invite the Iraqi Governing Council to submit a plan and a timetable for them -- not anybody else, but for them -- to write a constitution, develop political institutions, conduct free elections leading to the Iraqi people's resumption of sovereignty over their own country.
Second, as Senator Levin mentioned, it would authorize the United Nations' multinational force under a U.S. commander.
And third, afford the United Nations a more comprehensive and active role in the transition back to Iraqi sovereignty.
We're also working, as members of this committee know, for successful donors' conferences -- both for Afghanistan and Iraq -- so that we can galvanize the financial support, not just of other countries and other multilateral institutions, but also the international financial institutions.
Mr. Chairman, in my statement, I've tried to describe how the State Department and the Defense Department and the combatant commanders work together to try to develop these needs. And so, I hope that people will take a look at that. I won't go through all of that, but it's a very important area of cooperation between the military services, the Department of Defense and the State Department.
I'd say one other thing about the work of the department, in that we have two other dimensions that are key and fully integrated with what we do with our defense and military colleagues. And those are to work with allies and partners to help them to solve regional conflicts and working with partners to address the internal security problems that can lead to terrorism and other transnational threats.
Mr. Chairman, in your letter, you asked me to highlight what we were doing to get other countries to be involved in Iraq, Afghanistan and in Liberia.
WARNER: Guilty as charged.
GROSSMAN: And if I could, sir, ask that these charts that we have -- which I think we have distributed to each one of you -- be part of the record. And I won't go through every single one, but I think that they show graphically what it is that we are trying to accomplish with this coalition.
Forty-nine nations publicly declared their support to become part of the coalition for the immediate disarmament of Iraq. Forty-five countries provided access, basing, overflight rights. And 24 countries contributed military assets in one form or another to operations in Iraq.
Additional countries have joined the stabilization efforts. As you have noted, and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz has noted, a total of 29 countries have now deployed approximately 23,000 troops for stability and humanitarian operations. And you can see in the next two columns our plans for the future.
We followed a clear strategy, and that is we've tried to take the needs presented to us by the combatant commanders and the Coalition Provisional Authority and tried to go out and get other countries to help us meet those needs.
If I could do the same, sir, for Afghanistan. The international community, again, working together in Afghanistan; 70 countries joined the coalition, Operation Enduring Freedom.
Thirty-four countries have contributed forces to Operation Enduring Freedom and to the international stabilization force for Afghanistan. And as I said, very important to me in a milestone for NATO, NATO as an organization has recently taken over the lead role in ISAF after supporting NATO members Germany and the Netherlands in their cooperation of the force.
Fifteen NATO countries make up ISAF, contributing some 5,800 troops on the ground. And you can see the main contributors to this force include Canada with 900 soldiers, France 500, U.K. with 400 soldiers. And so, I think this idea that we are working with other countries is also extremely important.
And finally, a slide on countries contributing troops in Afghanistan, and you'll see the total down at the far right: 5,830. And that has been a very important job that the department has done, I believe, in support of our military operations.
In my statement, Mr. Chairman, I've talked about the importance of the Afghan national army, the importance of provisional reconstruction teams where our officers and military officers work together in Afghanistan. And we're proud of that. And that is part of my written statement as well.
Mr. Chairman, you had, I think, a very important visit to Liberia. And I know you also visited our embassy there and our people there. And they were very pleased and proud that you had a chance to visit them as well. And they also are doing an important job in Liberia.
WARNER: Could I just interrupt to say, yes, I did have that privilege? Ambassador Blaney told me a very interesting story. He said in the height of the struggle, he had his simply Marine detachment, eight or 10, himself and maybe one or two others. And the embassy was being bombarded. The embassy was being riddled with bullets.
Today, the ambassador lives in room on the third floor with a bathroom adjoining. And that's all, his office and everything else. Then, there are 50-caliber machine guns hanging out of the windows protecting the embassy.
This is a great credit to the foreign service. The president said, sent him a message, "You can bring down the flag. It's your call."
He decided, together with his Marine contingent, to let the flag stay. And as a result, and with the intervention of our forces, the main threats have been quelled and we see ECOWAS, ECOMIL and eventually the United Nations bringing about stability in that region.
Thank you for mentioning Ambassador Blaney. A great credit is owing to him and his team.
GROSSMAN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. And I appreciate that, and I know that they will be pleased to hear that not just here, but of course you said that when you were there.
I think it also goes to the point that Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz made and that the president has made so well, which is that if we are to win this global war on terrorism it's going to take all of the aspects of our nation's power: diplomatic power, intelligence power, military power working together.
Mr. Chairman, you've essentially taken my section on Liberia. We are working very hard to support the West African peacekeeping troops there. On August 1st, the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 1497. The West Africans, as you have seen, stepped up to this challenge, and led by Nigeria, over 3,000 troops from Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Togo, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Benin are deploying to the region with U.S. assistance and will likely be subsumed into the U.N. mission. And we're looking to try to get that, the U.N. mission up and running by the 1st of October.
To date, as you know, Mr. Chairman, we've committed over $15 million to this effort, and we're in the process of identifying additional resources to ensure that the ECOWAS force is able to fulfill its mission until the UNPKO is in place.
WARNER: That is needed and it is needed urgently. I think the correct decision was made by our administration to help the Africans solve their own problem. That we did.
GROSSMAN: Thank you, sir. I'll let Chairman Myers talk a little bit about Bosnia and Kosovo, but very important. As you have, we went there. We have done a job. Our troops -- the numbers are reducing, but we still have important work there to do.
One final point about resources -- and I join Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz in asking for your early and positive consideration of the president's request when it comes formally. And I'd also welcome your support for the State Department's foreign operations budget request, which has passed the House; waiting for action in the Senate.
Mr. Chairman, I can only conclude, as Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz did, that the world is a dangerous place. The president has made it clear that all of us will do what it takes to make it safer and better by working to be rid of terrorists and tyrants who threaten the United States, their neighbors and their own people. By fostering democracy and the rule of law, building coalitions with allies and friends and pursuing regional stability and funding military aid programs and training, we are actively pursuing the president's national security strategy.
And together with our colleagues at the Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, we're committed to these goals and we'll continue to work unceasingly to obtain them.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
WARNER: Thank you, Mr. Secretary. General Myers?
MYERS: Chairman Warner and Senator Levin, I thank you for the opportunity to address the committee. And thank you, Mr. Chairman, for agreeing to put my written statement into the record.
I'd like to first thank you for your continuing and, for that matter, tremendous support of our men and women in uniform. Very, very important, given the situation that we're in today.
When I came before you in July with General Pace, I made some points that are still true today. The first one of those is that we are totally committed to running this war on terrorism and the stakes could not be higher. Defeat means the destruction of our way of life, that we forged over two and a quarter centuries. Victory will restore the sense of security that was shattered on September 11th, 2001.
I also said that I'm positive we're making great progress in the war on terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq and elsewhere around the world. And I have visited Iraq and Afghanistan recently, as some of you have. And every time I talk to a commander or, perhaps more importantly, to the captains and the corporals, they were all very confident about being able to accomplish the mission and the task they were given and about ultimate victory.
And the third point I made back in July, that is still true, obviously, is that our service men and women are doing a fantastic job. This is their moment in history to ensure peace and freedom triumph over tyranny and terror. Let me focus briefly on some of the accomplishments of the last few months.
As you know, the coalition division led by the Polish military and consisting of more than 11,000 troops from 17 countries is now in place in Iraq and they're well under way in establishing their presence in that country.
As Ambassador Grossman and Secretary Wolfowitz have said, 29 countries have troops deployed to Iraq. Many of them have very recently had to struggle for their own freedom, and they all understand fully what's at stake.
As you know, it's vitally important that we have a broad, international coalition in Iraq. And why? Because it's in the interest of the world community for Iraq, now liberated from a brutal dictatorship, to emerge as a legitimate member of the world community.
Also when I last spoke to you I mentioned the large number of Iraqi police that have been trained. I think in July we were saying 31,000. Those numbers have since grown. There are now more than 41,000 Iraqi police, and thousands more Iraqis recruited for duty with the new Iraqi army, the civil defense corps, the facilities protection service and the Iraqi border guards. I think the total number today is over 55,000 that are on duty; more in training. And the numbers continue to grow and will grow.
These numbers highlight that the Iraqi people are eager to play a leading role in their own peaceful future. Iraqi police, among others, are already making significant contributions to preventing attacks. And some of these Iraqis have given their lives in the service of the new, free Iraq.
The recent acts of terrorism, such as the bombing of the U.N. headquarters and the mosque in Najaf, show a couple of things. First, that Iraq is still a dangerous place. They also show, I think, the desperation -- the desperation of the adversaries that we face. We're actively engaged in rooting out this threat with more and more Iraqis coming forward with information and a willingness to help us.
I'm equally positive about our progress in Afghanistan. Remnants of the Taliban have made desperate attempts to regain control over sections of the country, but continued pressure from the coalition operations is thwarting their efforts.
I believe that we're fully capable of meeting today's commitments while preparing for future threats. And we're working hard to improve our war-fighting capability, including focusing on transformation initiatives, re-evaluating, as Secretary Wolfowitz said, the mix of capabilities that we have in our active and our reserve force, refining our deployment and mobilization processes, and many, many more activities.
Before I close, I'd like to reiterate the importance, as Ambassador Grossman said, of the cooperative efforts in this war on terrorism.
General Abizaid has said, and I think General Sanchez has said recently, that the forces that we are fighting in Iraq couldn't defeat a single company of our infantry. I believe they are right. But this isn't just a military fight alone. It requires the close cooperation between the Department of Defense and other government agencies, between U.S. departments and agencies and those agencies of our allies and our friends, and between the coalition that's in Iraq right now and the people of Iraq, and of Afghanistan, who want to be free of violence and repression.
I think we need to take a moment and pause and just think about what this is all about. We are a nation at war. We've been a nation at war for almost two years. The stakes could not be higher. The stakes could not be higher. Certainly in my 38 years of service, the stakes have never been higher. You may have to go back to the Civil War to find a time when the values that we hold dear have been threatened like they've been threatened today.
Osama bin Laden said some years ago that what he wanted to do was reduce the United States to a former shadow of itself and, by implication, the rest of the free world.
So what's it going to take to win this war? The first is it's going to take patience. And every time I've come in front of this committee, every time anybody senior in this administration has talked about it, we've talked about the patience required.
Why? It's a different enemy. It's a difficult enemy. It's not just military might, as we just talked about. It's hard work. It is hard slogging. And we have made tremendous progress. And we're winning.
To continue to win, we need three things in my mind. And one was patience.
The second is commitment. I can speak for the armed forces. I can't speak for others. I have tremendous admiration for the foreign service and other government agencies that have been alongside us in this from the start. But I can tell you about our armed forces. We have never been more focused or more committed to winning this war. Failure is not an option; we've got to win.
Other countries understand that. I just hosted my counterpart from Macedonia last week. Here was a country that a year ago, two years ago for sure, you could say was on the brink of chaos and a failure of their political system. But they've come out of that. And they also understand the value of freedom. And that's why they have troops in Afghanistan and why they have troops in Iraq.
Are they a lot of troops? No. In Iraq, they have -- I think it's 28 individuals, special forces. But they're not a large country. And they're not a large armed force. And they have an internal problem they're trying to work.
But they understand the value of freedom and they're with us. And as Secretary Grossman showed you on his charts over there, there are many others that are with us as well.
Most importantly, and the third point -- besides patience and commitment -- the third point is, we've got to have the will to win. This is a battle of wills. Boil it down to what it essentially is, it's a battle of wills. The terrorists have said, and think, they're going to win. They're absolutely wrong about that, they can't win. We can't let them win, and we won't. We're not going to win as long as we have the continuing will of the American people, and for that matter, freedom-loving people every where.
If you need inspiration for patience and for commitment and for will, if you need inspiration, you can look many places, but being a military person, I can tell you you need look no further than the men and women of our armed forces. In the last two years, they have made tremendous sacrifices: personal sacrifices, family sacrifices, employer sacrifices for those reserve component individuals that have been called to duty.
One final thought: Those that have been killed in action, wounded in action and their families have sacrificed, of course, more than all the rest, and they are truly America's heroes. They have to be considered America's heroes because they understand what this is all about, they've been out there and they've sacrificed.
Some of you, I know, have visited wounded around the country, you've seen them up here at Walter Reed and Bethesda Medical Center, and you know the inspiration we gain from them and their devotion to duty and their understanding of the mission. They've got it and they understand.
So with that, I thank your for the opportunity to be here today. We thank you for the support we've gotten from Congress. All of this would not have been possible if we hadn't had your support. And we look forward to your questions.
WARNER: General, that message is not just for the Senate. The American people, it goes worldwide, and your troops wherever they are under your command and your subordinate commanders -- whether it's Iraq or Afghanistan, Liberia or the Far East -- they're very proud of the leadership at the top that you displayed today and have displayed. Thank you.
MYERS: Thank you, Chairman.
WARNER: I will be very brief, colleagues, in three quick questions, because you've been generous in your time for me, and then each senator will proceed for about seven and a half minutes.
First, I want to reflect on this issue of the United Nations. I personally support it, even though I don't fully understand precisely what is expected and what can be achieved.
Secretary Grossman, these charts are impressive. There is a factual record of participation in Iraq and Afghanistan. Can you tell us what you, as a professional of long standing in this department, what you would hope that the U.N. can bring which is not presently being done?
And dwell on the issue which concerns me; that is, while we would welcome in large U.N. participation, we cannot afford to lose the momentum that Ambassador Bremer and others now have under way, whether it's electricity or water or the like. Because in my opinion, there's a direct correlation to that and the casualties we're taking and the attitude of the people.
So what is it that you would hope, in a very short response, that the U.N. will bring which is not present today?
GROSSMAN: Yes, sir, thank you very much. And I'll answer all three -- your question three ways. First, if we are successful in getting a U.N. Security Council resolution along the lines that we have proposed, I think three things will happen.
First, that there are countries for their constitutional reasons, for their legal reasons, for other reasons, who do not wish yet to send troops to help the coalition effort in Iraq. And if we get a resolution that authorizes a multinational force under unified command, more countries, perhaps typically Turkey, India, Pakistan, will feel that they can send their troops in a way that they cannot today.
Second, Mr. Chairman, is the United Nations brings to the political effort skills that we'd like to have as part of the effort.
The president has talked about a vital role for the United Nations, and, of course, the great U.N. special representative Sergio de Mello died in a building trying to bring that vital effort to life. And so the United Nations can help us in elections, in helping constitution writing, in bringing a census, for example.
All of those things are in the resolution, listed as the kinds of things that could help us and help the coalition in Iraq.
I want to be clear to your last point that the resolution specifically talks about the United Nations working with Ambassador Bremer and with the coalition. We think, actually, that if a resolution was to pass quickly, more troops were to come, focus U.N. effort, that we would actually increase momentum, rather than decrease it.
Finally, one more point, and that is the philosophy here, and that is this U.N. resolution is not about transferring authority from the United States to the United Nations. It's about getting as much authority as possible, as quickly as possible to the Iraqi people. And I think as we go through the debate over the next week or so on this resolution, that's an important point to keep in mind, sir.
WARNER: And you have said (ph), Secretary Wolfowitz, the comment what is the U.N. will bring that we don't presently have, and he's covered the resolution could give various nations the basis on which to bring troops and I hope contribute financially to this. Do you have a supplementary comment?
WOLFOWITZ: Absolutely. All three of those things: help on the troop's front, help on the political front and help on the economic front.
And I think it's important to stress that with respect, particularly to the political front, that we got enormous help from the U.N. and by Sergio de Mello personally. It is not only a tragedy, it's enormous loss to efforts to in Iraq that he was killed.
He played a crucial role with Ambassador Bremer in standing up the Iraqi Governing Council. And it wasn't just advice and counsel, it was active work.
We have no desire to own this problem or to control it. Our only desire is what will get things fixed most rapidly. And you have to look at these pragmatically, case by case. More resources are great. Too many hands on the steering wheel, and especially in the military area, is not great, but I think we've reached a very good understanding with the secretary general.
WARNER: You're prepared to make sharing of the responsibility on the authority in the direction on that side? Is that -- do I understand that?
WOLFOWITZ: It's completely pragmatic in whatever works best, we will do.
WARNER: Fine. Now, General, we talk about the unified command. A few days ago, when Secretary Wolfowitz and General Abizaid was here, that question was put to General Abizaid, and he specifically said that he felt U.N. officers could be integrated -- although there's a unified command, they could be integrated into the framework in some manner.
Can you expand on what the U.N. can bring to the current command and control to maintain unified, but at the same time they feel they have a share of the responsibility, the accountability and the direction?
MYERS: Certainly, Chairman Warner. And we've looked at this many different ways. And first, let me just say that it will not be a problem to maintain this unified command.
As I think was said earlier, generally under U.N. operations, the countries with the preponderance of force have the leadership roles, and that will continue to be the United States, at least for the foreseeable future.
But in our Combined Joint Task Force Seven in Baghdad, that some of you have seen with General Sanchez, he's got a headquarters now that is populated with people from the U.K. and those countries that make up the U.K. division, people from Poland and those countries that make up the Polish division. If there were other divisions that came in under -- with the help of the U.N. resolution, those countries would also have roles on that joint task force, where they participate then with General Sanchez and General Abizaid, for that matter, in their support of the Coalition Provisional Authority. This really shouldn't be an issue.
WARNER: Fine. Thank you. General Mattis, I want, if I might, invite you to come up for purposes of the questioning. We thank you for your service and your leadership in that area. Those of us that visited had the opportunity to be briefed by you right on the field where your troops are operating.
A question that, I think, is a very legitimate question. As a matter of fact, it was in that very spot, that very seat, that the former chief of staff of the Army was asked the question by this committee about troop levels. His response provoked a good deal of controversy. That controversy is legitimate, it continues to this day. It's a question that has to be reviewed from time to time by this committee.
I think you're in a position to give firsthand impression and your own personal, professional, military opinion about force levels now in Iraq, and what you, as a former commander and now your successor and his other colleagues in command of Army divisions and the like, what is your opinion on the force level?
What is needed for the future?
GENERAL MATTIS: Mr. Chairman, I speak as a division commander in the south central area. And I'd prefer to speak just in that area because I'm not really familiar with some of the other areas.
But it was my decision and my decision alone to send home 15,000 of my 23,000 troops back at the end of May. We had come out of Baghdad. I did not think I needed a heavy footprint down south after sizing up the situation.
I've had three months to live with that decision. And I think if any point I had needed more troops, I could have asked for them. But I have not needed them.
The enemy over there, once we get the intelligence on them -- and 95 percent of that comes from the Iraqi people to us -- once we get it, they are remarkably easy to destroy. It's mostly a fight for intelligence. They are a dangerous enemy, but it's nothing that a Marine platoon cannot handle.
So to bring in more troops and have that more oppressive footprint, the number of supply convoys that would have added, my way of thinking was if we needed more people on our side, enlist more Iraqis. And we continued to do that all the way through. And with 95 percent of our intelligence coming from them, sir, it's worked pretty well.
WARNER: Senator Levin?
LEVIN: Secretary Grossman, you've outlined some of the advantages of going back to the U.N., getting a key additional mandate from the U.N. And I surely agree with what you've indicated.
We've known for months that a number of countries such as Pakistan and Turkey, India would not consider sending troops unless they had a clear U.N. mandate urging them to do so. Why have we delayed for months in going to the U.N.?
During this period, we've see a huge amount of violence. We've seen the jihaddists pour into Iraq, responding to an argument that this is some kind of a Western effort to dominate a Muslim country. The way to give the lie to that propaganda is for the U.N. to give the kind of mandate which we're now apparently seeking, very belatedly, tragically belatedly.
But why the delay here? Why not months ago respond to the statements of those countries, such as Pakistan and Turkey and India, who could give us large numbers of troops relatively, that they need that U.N. mandate?
GROSSMAN: Senator Levin, I would say a couple of things. First, I don't think we ought to underestimate the achievement of 23,000 troops from 29 other countries.
And although I think we, all of us, would have liked to have had more troops earlier from a Pakistan, from a Turkey, from an India, I think we've done extremely well in getting the 29 nations and the 23,000 troops that we have.
Second point, and that is is that, of course, as this committee knows, there's always a disagreement about what constitutes a mandate. And if you'd have asked me the day after we passed -- I'm sorry -- the Security Council passed Resolution 1483, I would have said and I believe that Resolution 1483 is a sufficient mandate for countries to participate.
LEVIN: The key countries told us it was not a sufficient mandate.
GROSSMAN: I understand, sir, but I'm just giving you -- that's my perspective and that is, is that 1483 we believed, and I still believe, was a sufficient mandate. That turned out not to be true for a number of countries, and so the president gave the secretary the opportunity, with the full support of our colleagues, to go forward and get another Security Council resolution, and that's exactly what we're trying to do.
LEVIN: Thank you. General Myers, could you tell us about the -- what we now have read that the Guard and Reserve units serving in Iraq are going to have their tours on active duty extended so that they'll serve a full year in Iraq, which is on top of the time required for mobilization and training and demobilization? This comes as a real disappointment, I know, to them, their families, their employers who were told that the total activation would be a year on active duty.
What is going on in this area?
MYERS: Senator, as we've talked about before, in terms of the United States Army, a lot of their support, a lot of their combat support, combat service support, well over the majority of it is in the reserve component. And as long as we have active duty Army engaged as we do around the world, and in your question particularly, on Iraq, then the Reserves are going to have to play a role.
And this is a -- it's a fact of life that we need the combat support -- combat service support that these reserve components provide. We are looking for work-arounds to do exactly as you said, and I think as all the Joint Chiefs and the leadership in the department believe, and that is we've got to put predictability in the lives of our reserve component; for that matter, active component.
But we also have to realize we are a nation at war, and we have to do what it takes, in this case, to win. So that is what's happening. We need that combat support, combat service support to be with our active forces as long as they're in Iraq. And they will be extended to meet our policy goal of up to 12 months in Iraq, and given their mobilization and demobilization time frames on top of that they'll serve over one year.
LEVIN: Thank you. Secretary Wolfowitz, we've been asked now for a significant commitment for reconstruction. What specific commitments have we asked of other nations for the reconstruction effort, financially?
WOLFOWITZ: I believe that so far we have on the order of some $2 billion, I think, that's been pledged by a variety of countries. That is still the product of just an initial effort.
Secretary Powell is going to be going to a donors' conference in October in Madrid looking for more. And obviously, in the context of what the president's talking about asking the Congress for, we're going to be making maximum effort to get other countries to contribute.
And you raised the issue, Senator, about, I think your phrase was giving up control or giving up ownership...
LEVIN: I didn't say giving up. I said sharing.
WOLFOWITZ: Fine, sharing.
LEVIN: A significant word.
WOLFOWITZ: And I think, you know, the more other countries are prepared to contribute, the more they're absolutely entitled to share and control over how resources are used.
At the same time -- we've seen this in Afghanistan, for example -- if the system of share and control gets too complicated, a lot of things that need to move quickly take too long. The road construction project in Afghanistan is an example.
In Iraq today, we've been wrestling with how to stand up the Iraqi civil defense force more quickly. There are very legitimate concerns on the CPA side, there are obviously huge military equities on the CENTCOM side. Because of the way we're organized, we can resolve those differences and those issues in a quick and efficient manner, and given the stakes on the security side, that's the kind of sharing of control, I think, we want to be careful about.
But when countries are giving money, they are certainly entitled to a say in how that money is spent.
LEVIN: Thank you. General, last week, we read a report that there was an internal joint staff document on Iraqi Freedom strategic lessons learned, and it purportedly shows that President Bush approved the overall war strategy in August of last year, eight months before the war was launched, but that planners were not given enough time to adequately plan phase four, which is the reconstruction phase. Will you make that document available to this committee?
MYERS: A couple of points there, Senator Levin. One is that the work is not finished. There was several levels of lessons learned that we try to capture for this effort. The first one, which I think is scheduled to be briefed to you by Admiral Giambastiani -- I think it's next week -- is the operation levels lessons learned, what happened in-theater from General Franks' level down.
We also wanted to capture, if you will, the strategic lessons learned; what we learned in the joint staff, on the OSD staff, in our interagency coordination. That worked the piece that -- the classified briefing that was leaked to one of the newspapers here in town reflected work that is not yet complete. That work is -- we're probably about halfway through it. And I'm sure when we finish that work, it'll be up to the secretary of defense, but -- make that available to the committee.
LEVIN: Well, will it be shared with us, before it gets to the secretary of defense or will it be shared with us after? Either way, will we get a copy of that document, so that we know what the views are of the joint staff, unvarnished by the civilian leadership?
MYERS: Well, it's not a question of unvarnished. It's a question of having the facts straight and that's why it's -- this whole effort has been a joint, as you would imagine, inside the building, Department of Defense effort. It's both the OSD civilian staff, the joint staff and, for that matter, the combatant commands led to this, as well. And it needs to -- for it to be useful, I think, you need to have everybody's perspective in there.
t -- by the way, and I just want to just tag on for a second, what a lot of people probably don't understand and why -- and you do, I know this committee does -- you know why we have the finest armed forces in the world and there are lots of reasons for it.
One of the reasons is, is that we criticize ourselves harder than anybody else. We only have one standard in the U.S. military and that is perfect. And whether it's a fight debriefing that I used to participate in or any other debriefings or any exercises, the only standard we have is how could we have done this perfectly.
And some of what you see reflected in these reports, of course is being very, very critical of ourselves. It doesn't mean we weren't good or that we got a -- we could have gotten an A on the paper. But if A-plus was possible, then we didn't achieve a good paper and that's how we critique ourselves.
WARNER: Thank you. Thank you, very much. Senator McCain?
MCCAIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to say, before the questioning, that I believe that we carried out this operation for good reason, that the United States of America, the world and the people of Iraq are better off for having been liberated. And I think history will show that when the masquerades continue to be uncovered and the brutalities of the Saddam Hussein regime are more fully revealed, that it was a wise and humane decision on the part of the United States.
MCCAIN: However, I think it's important for us to remember my hero, President Reagan's old adage, "Facts are stubborn things."
The facts as I see them, Mr. Chairman, are clearly that we underestimated the size of the challenge that we would face after the "military operations," unquote, were completed -- the Baathist resistance, the former military people melting into the population, et cetera.
The decay of the infrastructure is truly staggering. You have to see the second largest city in Iraq, which is a total and complete slum, to appreciate the depth and expense involved.
Ambassador Bremer was correct when he said, "I believe, that it will require tens of billions of dollars." That was not anticipated before we went in. Extending the guard and reservists, which -- and according to a Washington Post story this morning, some officials have expressed concern that this could break the Guard and Reserve system -- is another fact that we did not take in consideration. No one believed that we would have to go to the United Nations in the degree that we have today. And let me point out, Ambassador Grossman, you know, we like to have full facts. There are 29 nations that are contributing 23,000 troops. There are 28 nations that are contributing 9,000. One nation that's contributing 14,000. That gives a little bit different perspective of the 29-nation coalition.
We've made great progress in the north and in the south, but there remains significant problems. The British made a tough decision in the last few days to increase the size of their commitment, not to call up Guard and Reserve, but to increase the size of their commitment. In the same area that the general was talking about, the Marines have decided to extend their commitment in Najaf, rather than give it to the multinational Polish division, which has neither the charter nor the capability to do the job that our Marines can do.
And by the way facts: The Pentagon had planned that there would be some 60,000 troops in Iraq today as a result of the progress that was foreseen.
So, if I may quote the Weekly Standard, "What we are witnessing today is neither prudent multi-lateralism nor the normal, gradual process of turning power over to Iraqis that we all expected to occur over time. On both the international and Iraqi fronts, the administration's actions are being driven by the realization that there are too few American troops in Iraq." I think that that is an accurate statement.
When we have to extend Guard and reservists on active duty, when we have to ask for international forces, when we have to do the things that we are doing, it's clear to me that we need additional troops and we need of certain specialities -- intelligence, civil affairs, special forces, marines -- not just more tanks. And that opinion is shared by a large body of opinion, not just my own.
It's been mentioned a couple of times, Secretary Wolfowitz said it, there may be more casualties if we send in additional American troops. And the general just referred to supply convoys that would be open to attack. Is that an accurate depiction of what you said?
WOLFOWITZ: Depending on what you send them for, I think that's right, Senator.
MCCAIN: So we're going to send in -- we're going to ask for international troops to come in -- in all due respect, General -- who will also need supply convoys, and we'll tell them they'll take the causalities, Americans won't take the casualties. I don't get the logic there.
WOLFOWITZ: Senator, the kind of thing -- if I may?
MCCAIN: Go ahead, please.
WOLFOWITZ: The kind of thing I meant as a vivid example, we had three Americans killed and one very badly wounded when someone threw a bomb or a hand grenade out of the top floor of a hospital they were guarding. We're training Iraqis to guard hospitals. We're not talking about bringing in international troops to do that either. I mean, there are a lot of dangers...
MCCAIN: What are we asking the international troops to do?
WOLFOWITZ: Well, the truth is, on the whole, with, I say, the exception of the British in Basra, the international troops are going into areas that are relatively stable.
WOLFOWITZ: And the delay in Najaf is not a permanent one or it's not an expression of lack of confidence in the troops that are coming in there, which I believe are Spanish in that particular part of the Polish division. But rather that they're brand new troops, and they came in in the middle of a particularly delicate situation, so we extended the overlap period. But General Mattis can speak to it better than I, but there's a lot of confidence that that Polish division can handle that region precisely because it's not as dangerous as other parts of the country.
MCCAIN: People I talk to say it's extremely dangerous. Secretary Grossman, when do you expect this -- international troops. When would you expect the first contingent of international troops to arrive in Iraq?
GROSSMAN: Senator, it depends on how quickly we pass this U.N. Security Council resolution. And our objective...
MCCAIN: That's true....
MCCAIN: ... one month, two months, six months, two years, five years?
GROSSMAN: Well, Secretary Powell is going on Saturday to a meeting of the permanent five foreign ministers. We hope that that will make clear, sort of, what people think about the resolution we have proposed. And I think as Secretary Powell has said over the past few days, we want to get this done sometime before the United Nations General Assembly, which is the 23rd and 24th of September. So if that's done...
MCCAIN: I would repeat: Do you have any idea as to when we could expect the first international troops to arrive in Iraq?
GROSSMAN: No, sir.
MCCAIN: You have no idea?
GROSSMAN: Well, sir...
MCCAIN: Thank you.
GROSSMAN: ... I only have no idea because it would depend upon the Security Council resolution. And I can only say to you, sir...
MCCAIN: So we cannot count on an immediate infusion of international forces into Iraq; is that correct?
GROSSMAN: I think I can't tell you of the three or four countries that are waiting for a Security Council resolution precisely what day that they will come.
MCCAIN: Thank you. I'm not asking for precisely what day. I'm asking of a matter -- could you tell me, years?
GROSSMAN: If the Security Council resolution passes, sir, in the next few weeks. I can't imagine that it would be years.
MCCAIN: That precision is not really satisfying. General Myers, finally, could I ask you a question?
MYERS: Can I comment on that question?
MCCAIN: You can in context of an answer to this question. You personally traveled to Texas to lobby the president on the need for additional international forces in Iraq. According to a Post report, you did so after visiting Iraq and hearing directly from General Abizaid that he urgently needed additional military forces from other nations.
MCCAIN: Isn't your support for the deployment of forces an acknowledgement we need more boots on the ground in Iraq?
MYERS: No, Senator, it is not. I'll stand by General Mattis’s comments.
MCCAIN: Let me just point out before we rely on the general too much, I have never heard of a commander in the field who requested more additional help. I don't know of occasion. And so to put a Marine general who's in charge of a specific area of Iraq to discuss these issues which are made by our civilian policymakers, I think, is not helpful to this hearing.
MYERS: OK. Some facts. First of all, The Washington Post article was not factual in tone or content. I did not go to Crawford, Texas, to lobby the president for anything. I went as part of the secretary of defense's delegation to talk about a variety of national security issues.
Of the four and a half hours, the four hours, we spent with the president, that might have taken 15 seconds to cover that piece. So the article is not correct.
I do believe we need to internationalize the effort. It's extremely important to do so. Why? And I made it in my opening remarks.
This is an international problem. International terrorism is an international problem. And every time an Iraqi turns around, if they just can't see a U.S. servicemember, it's because they don't want foreigners in their country. And particularly there's some allergy, from time to time, against the U.S. And so we need to internationalize it.
At the same time that we're saying we don't need more troops; what's happening? We've got 55,000 Iraqis under arms. As Secretary Wolfowitz said, the largest part of this coalition right now, besides us, are the Iraqis. And more of those are going to come on every day. And I'm not going to swear to this number, but roughly in summer of '05, we'll have at least 184,000 Iraqis under arms to do this mission -- 184,000.
And so that's part of the answer. And this is something the Iraqis have to take responsibility for themselves. We cannot do it for them. We could put every sailor, soldier, airman, Marine, Coast Guardsman we have in Iraq and it would not make this problem better.
In fact, it could work just to the opposite. The more Americans in Iraq, the less Iraqis might feel prompted to come forward and furnish us that intelligence which is what we need so badly to deal with this threat.
And I don't know -- I talk to Abizaid daily, several times a day. He talks to the secretary daily, or more frequently at times. This is not an issue of Secretary Rumsfeld, Secretary Wolfowitz or any of the leadership in the Department of Defense saying, "General, you can't have more troops," or any pressure in that way. If they want more troops, they will get more troops. We are a nation at war. We have the capacity. We have the capability.
And I would just finally say, on the reserve component piece, if we're a nation at war, if the stakes are very high, then we're doing exactly as we want to do, as we're designed.
MYERS: We're using our reserves. By the way, they performed magnificently, and we have to be -- we have to worry about the danger of what harm we might do long-term to our reserve structure, because it's absolutely essential to the way we do our work in this country. I'm happy you said that.
MCCAIN: Mr. Chairman, I'm very interested that the reason why we need international troops is because it's an international problem, not because we need more military assistance there. General Myers, do you intend to ask -- to recommend to the president that we increase the size of our military forces in light of having to extend Guard and Reserve personnel?
MYERS: What we are going to recommend, Senator McCain, is that we look at this mix between the active -- I mean, we're only extending the reserve component because that's where the capabilities exist today. And the question we're asking ourselves is -- and some of this may be reflected in the '05 budget you'll see in January -- the questions we're asking is, do we have the right mix? We have so much of this capability we need today, so many of our military police, so many of our civil affairs. I think every battalion except one is in the -- I may have it mixed up, it may be brigades -- but is in the reserve component. We do need perhaps, and that's what's being looked at.
So those are the kind of things we'll take to the president. I think we're a ways off for saying that we need more troops.
WARNER: Thank you, General.
MCCAIN: Mr. Chairman, my time is expired. I do agree with General Myers, the stakes could not be higher. My question is is whether if the stakes are as high as General Myers maintains, and I'm in total agreement, of whether we are doing everything necessary. And I thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I thank the witnesses.
WARNER: Thank you very much. Ambassador Grossman, had you finished your observation on this very important colloquy? If you have, we can move on to the next questions.
GROSSMAN: I was going to answer in the context, and if I may have just 30 seconds.
WARNER: All right.
GROSSMAN: In the discussions that we are having -- and I say we; it's everybody at this table, State Department, Department of Defense -- having with our friends and allies, these will be -- decisions made to commit troops to Iraq will be made by sovereign nations, so you can never predict their processes or how quickly.
But I would anticipate that by the end of the year we ought to have more contributors to this effort.
WARNER: Thank you. Senator Kennedy?
KENNEDY: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
And I would hope that General Myers and the others that represent the armed forces would again let our service men and women know how much we appreciate their courageous work and the skill in which they are trying to deal with an extremely complex situation.
There is obvious diversity on this committee as -- where you just heard from Senator McCain. I believe this is the -- it's the wrong war at the wrong time. It was a go-it-alone policy. And we had a policy in order to win the war, but it's quite clear we didn't have a policy to protect our troops after the war is over.
And all during this period of time, we have a deterioration of our situation in Afghanistan. We have North Korea, with all of its dangers, in terms of nuclear weapons. We have the development of Iran, in terms of its nuclear power. We have an absolutely deterioration, in terms of the Middle East, with violence spiraling out of control. And we are asked now to provide $87 billion more, in order to try to deal with the problems in Iraq and also in Afghanistan.
Now, General Myers, no one questions whether our troops possess the patience and the commitment and the will to win. We all assume that. The only question is whether the administration has a policy to stabilize Iraq. That's the issue.
Minimize the burden on our troops and deliver on the promise of democracy, that's the issue that's before the committee; not about the will, the patriotism, the determination of the troops, we know that and you know it. And the parents in my state know it, as well, with the number of more than seven young men have lost their lives. So we know about that.
Now in the address to the nation on Sunday, I had hoped to hear acknowledgement from the president about our failures in Iraq, the war on terrorism and the administration's concrete plans for setting the course right with our allies and through the United Nations, the administration's made a U-turn in its policy, but it doesn't know which direction its going in. I don't believe.
The president's asked us for the $87 billion next year for our occupation of Iraq, but essentially a blank check -- blank check.
The American people deserve to know the answers to the following questions. As Senator McCain has pointed out, what is the number of additional troops we needed to prevent the sabotage impeding the U.S. reconstruction effort?
What's the estimate of the duration of the U.S. military occupation and the likely levels of U.S. and foreign troop strength that'll be required in the occupation?
What's the estimate of the total cost of the occupation, the reconstruction, including the likely amount of international contributions?
And what is the schedule for restoring electricity and water and basic services to the Iraqi people? What's the scheduled for the deployment of the Iraqi police and the Iraqi armed forces?
And when will we know we have succeeded? When will we know we've succeeded and no longer need to support Iraq financially and militarily? American families want to know that.
And American families want to know what is the long-term schedule for the withdrawal of foreign and American forces? They want to know that, as well.
And I believe we need to have the answers to those questions, before we provide the additional kinds of funding, at least, in the areas of reconstruction. We're going to support the service men and women.
But when you're asking for the tens of billions of dollars in reconstruction, we're entitled to the answers to those questions.
Now, Mr. Wolfowitz, it's clear, as I mentioned, that the Bush administration was not ready for what took place after the Iraqi regime collapsed. As I said, we won in the war -- which we knew we would -- but we didn't have an adequate plan to win the peace.
Today, we learned that before our war in Iraq even started, intelligence experts had warned the administration to expect major armed resistance to our occupation. These experts in our government warned that the postwar period would be more problematic than the war itself.
You and other officials in the administration responsible for this war were warned, yet you put tens of thousands of American troops in harm's way without adequate planning. I'm going to be interested in how that could have happened and who's accountable.
But isn't it unforgivable that we forgot the most important planning of all, and that's the safety of our troops, the safety of our troops? What planning was done to provide for the safety of our troops, which is so inadequate at the present time?
I'm not interested in your answer about how we prepared for food, how we prepared for massive refugee movements; I've heard all of that before. I've heard all of that before.
But I want to know, given the warning that the Defense Department was given in terms of the protection for troops, what was the planning. And how do you possible explain the inadequacy of that planning and who's going to pay the price for the inadequacy of that planning?
WOLFOWITZ: Senator, it would take, I think, some 20 sessions to brief all the plans that exist that are being executed today. And you're not interested, I guess, in plans for agriculture, plans for health, plans for security alone...
KENNEDY: What about the troops? That's what I'm most interested in.
WOLFOWITZ: Let me get to that. The plans for security alone are absolutely crucial here and we've gone from no Iraqis on our side when Baghdad fell to 55,000 out on the streets today, out guarding facilities, out getting wounded and killed and we're growing that number rapidly.
You say we didn't plan for when the war was over. The problem is that the war isn't over. The problem is that the Baathist regime...
KENNEDY: You mean, in spite of the president's statement out on that aircraft carrier, when he made his statement, you're saying now the war...
WOLFOWITZ: Go back and read the statement, Senator...
KENNEDY: I listened to it. I heard the statement.
WOLFOWITZ: He said...
KENNEDY: I saw that banner that was there.
WOLFOWITZ: He said it was the end of major combat operations, which indeed it was.
KENNEDY: OK. Now you distinguish between the end of major combat and the war isn't over. That's very interesting for service men and women that are out there, very interesting.
KENNEDY: Go ahead.
WOLFOWITZ: Senator, they know that they're fighting, they know that they're fighting terrorists and they know that they're fighting the Baathist allies of those terrorists, and they know that victory in this fight is crucial to winning the war on terrorism.
Senator McCain, and I absolutely agree with him, the president agrees with him, that this battle in Iraq today is the central battle in the war on terror, and these people fight -- as General Mattis told me early, during the major combat phase it was those fanatic Baathists and the foreign terrorists who were our main opposition. They're our main opposition today.
But they are losing, they're on the losing end of history here, because, unlike other wars in the past where people talk about resistance, this resistance does not enjoy the support of the Iraqi people.
That is a fundamental point. They are universally detested in the Shia south, which represents, I believe, some 60 percent of the population. They're almost equally detested in the north, which is a mixture -- let me emphasize this -- of not just Turks and Kurds, but Sunni Arabs.
The chief of police that we have found, who's done a fantastic job in Baghdad, is a Sunni Arab. He hates the Baathists. He spent a year in prison because he actually denounced Saddam Hussein. I told him, "Were you crazy to denounce Saddam Hussein?" He said, "Well, I only said it to my best friend."
This is a regime that terrorized everybody and there are still some thousands of them -- not hundreds of thousands, but thousands are enough to cause a problem out there, threatening people, killing people, warning people not to cooperate with us.
But every time we get intelligence -- and we're getting more and more intelligence, as I believe the general said -- every time we get intelligence, all it takes is a platoon to go out there and clean them up.
And we're making real progress in that regard. Getting Uday and Qusay was not only in itself a huge step forward, but it has encouraged a lot of other Iraqis to come forward with more and better information.
And we're on the winning side here. We've got -- I don't know how to measure the numbers. I would make a guess. I'd better not make guesses. You'll tell me later I guessed wrong.
We do know that there are some thousands of Fedayeen Saddam. Those were the absolute killers. We do know that there were some thousands of the special security organization. That's like the old Nazi version of the Gestapo. We know that there were some tens of thousands of members of the Special Republican Guards. That's, again, like the Nazi version of the SS.
And these people are killers. And apparently, they've decided to go on killing. And we will capture them and kill them. We've been doing it in large numbers.
But, you know, at the end of World War II, when we'd had four years to plan for the aftermath, we found that we had to keep going after more and more Nazis. And by the end of 1945, I am reading, there were some 80,000 under detention.
We're not looking to have 80,000 former Baathists. We believe the number is smaller. We can deal with it in a smaller way.
But let's be clear to the American people. The overwhelming majority of Iraqis in the south are with us. The overwhelming majority of Iraqis in the north are with us. And we believe that most of the Iraqis in the so-called Sunni heartland certainly don't want Saddam Hussein back and, to some extent, are being terrorized by his elements that are left over.
So we have the winning assets on our side. And the most important winning asset are the Iraqi people and the willingness of the Iraqis to go out and guard posts where it's dangerous and fight and die and keep that regime from coming back and to wipe it out.
KENNEDY: Mr. Wolfowitz, my time is up. But it's apparent to me that we were unprepared, totally unprepared, for what's happened out there in Iraq, in terms of giving the adequate protection for American troops.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
WOLFOWITZ: And if I can just say, we were prepared for many, things, some of which didn't happen, some of which didn't happen because we were prepared to prevent them.
There was an enormous amount of preparation, and there's a stunning list of successes that our military and their civilian counterparts have accomplished.
You know, confidence is part of winning. We need to project confidence. And we have every reason to project confidence, because we've done a fantastic job. We've liberated a country from a horrible dictator. We are cleaning up the remnants of that regime. We have the people with us. We'll get the electricity fixed.
MYERS: Chairman Warner?
MYERS: The safety of the troops issue, as you might imagine, is something that I think about and worry about quite a bit. My view is, we did plan adequately for the safety and security of our forces, given that they had a lot of work to do after major combat operations were over. And that is why one of the biggest things you can do for troops engaged in this kind of conflict is to ensure they have the proper rules of engagement.
Now, the rules of engagement that we used on March 19th when we went across the line from Kuwait to Iraq are the same rules of engagement that they use today.
The other things you can do to ensure their safety or make sure they're properly led, trained and equipped, we have done our best in that area. That does not mean there are shortfalls in some equipment. But I can tell you, thanks to you and our supplemental in '03 and our budgets these last few years, there are not many, and we're able to fill the holes very quickly when they occur.
I think we have done the planning, Senator Kennedy, for our troops. I couldn't sit here if I didn't believe we have done everything we can do, everything that General Franks wanted us to do, everything that General Abizaid wanted us to do.
We have a very collaborative system at work where we talk very frankly, because we are dealing with our most precious treasure, and that's the blood of our sons and daughters. And we don't want to lose one more than we have to lose.
And so, I think we have considered safety.
KENNEDY: My time is up, Mr. Chairman, but when the statements of Mr. Wolfowitz, in the past said that contrary to our expectations no Iraqi army units came over to our side, the Iraqi police turned out to require a massive overhaul, telling us that the plans that were based on the assumptions that Iraqi police and soldiers, previous loyalists to Saddam Hussein, would be responsible for the safety of our troops, just doesn't make any sense.
KENNEDY: Someone ought to be accountable for it. Someone ought to be accountable for it.
WARNER: Senator, we will get to that. I urge that we concentrate as a nation now on reducing these casualties and turning this situation over to the Iraqi people, and I think we're making progress. Senator Inhofe?
INHOFE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Let me, first of all, respond to a couple of statements that have been made by two of the senators up here. Senator Levin talked about go-it-alone -- the go-it-alone chickens have come home to roost. And the senior senator from Massachusetts stated that similarly that we were going it alone.
Let me just give another perspective on that, because during this time I became very impatient because I felt we were getting beyond the point where something had to be done. I would suggest to all of those who might entertain the idea that the president was going it alone, listen to what he had said.
On September 12th, he addressed the U.N.. He said -- he listed the decade of U.N. resolutions that Iraq has defied. He said, quote, "All the world now faces a test and the United Nations, a difficult and defining moment. Are Security Council resolution is to be honored and enforced or cast aside without consequences. Will the United Nations serve the purpose of its founding or will it be irrelevant?"
He said -- the United States president offered to work with other nations. He was begging them, begging these other nations and the United Nations to meet our common challenge. He said, "The purpose of the United States should not be doubted. The Security Council resolutions will be enforced. The just demands of peace and security will be met, or action will be unavoidable."
Two months later, in November, November 8th, he again approached the U.N. Security Council and they, by a vote of 15-0-0, adopted a resolution giving them one more chance. You know, "By December 8 you have to do something."
I was one of them who was writing the president, Mr. Chairman, and saying, "You've waited too long. This is going to have to be done. People are being murdered every day. People are being raped every day. People are being tortured to death every day."
And finally, he had to do it. But he did everything within his power to get the United Nations to go along with him.
First of all, let me just comment on some things that have not been said. You listen to the media, and a lot of the media don't want this to be successful, they'd like to think the president's not doing a good job, they don't agree with him philosophically, they don't like anybody sitting at the table before us, and so they talk about the terrorists and the killing and the things like that that are going on.
What they fail to say is the great strides that have been made over there since the major hostilities stopped.
INHOFE: Every hospital and clinic in Baghdad is now open. Schools are being reopened with textbooks, school supplies and eager Iraqi students eager to learn, never having had the opportunity. Today, there is more electricity in Iraq than there was before the liberation, the water systems are operating at 70 percent, the Iraqis are participating at rebuilding water canals. Baghdad has its first ever city-wide garbage collection.
I think you could argue that the condition of the infrastructure and the treatment of the people in Iraq is better today than it was before the liberation.
Now having said that, I do see some things that I think are significant. First of all, we need to talk about the troop morale. And I have to say to my very good friend, the senior senator from Massachusetts, if you're really concerned about what you brought up on troop security here or troop protection, I suggest you make a trip to Iraq -- which I understand he has not done and I have. You talk to the troops and they say the protection is good; they're doing everything they can.
The troop morale is high and the question that I get from the troops who come up to me and seek me out is, "Tell the people back home that handful of troops that complained about the cause and about the president and about the treatment, that they are wrong, that just maybe five or six people out of 140,000." And that's the message that I get.
General Myers, you said, "To have the will to win." Those kids have the will to win. I've never seen anything like it.
I do have a concern, though. It's one that I have voiced many, many times. I take your word for it if you say -- and I think a good argument can be made and you've made that good argument -- that we don't need more American troops on the ground; that our footprint is big enough. It might have a detrimental effect by having more of us and not enough of the other countries involved. That may be true.
But what I want to get to is the question that was brought up, and it was brought up by the senator from Michigan, and that is the condition of our Guard and Reserve. And I've been talking about this for a long, long time.
It's true that we can maintain the current level and maybe not go any higher. But to do this, we have to continue to over work, in my opinion, the Guard and Reserves.
And I've spent a lot of time talking to them, they're dedicated, they're doing great work. But when this new policy was announced -- I had the occasion to talk to a few people -- the fact that these deployments will be 12 months, and I understand now, in addition to that there will be a training period.
And so, I would like to ask each one of you in the remainder of the time that I have to, number one, tell me if you disagree with the fact that we're going to have to do something about Guard and Reserve in order to keep the force end-strength that we have right now.
I thought, when I chaired the Readiness Subcommittee of this committee during the 1990s, we cut back too far, going from 18 down to 10 divisions, going from 38 fighter wings to 20, going from the ships roughly 600 to 300. I thought that was too much.
But I think, right now, we realize, in order to meet the contingencies that might be out there that we haven't met yet and to sustain the force that we have for a period of time, that we're going to have to do something to increase participation to give some relief to Guard and Reserves.
Now, I understand that there are three ways of doing this that at least I am aware of. I think it was the senator from West Virginia that ordered a CBO study that just came into my possession this morning, dated September 3rd.
INHOFE: One of the ideas was to increase our divisions from 10 to 12. They said the size of a sustainable occupation force could be increased. And looking at their idea of increasing by two divisions, they said, "recruiting, training and equipping two additional divisions would entail up-front costs of as much as $18 billion to $19 billion and would take five years to accomplish." So I've, kind of, taken that off the table to meet the current serious problem.
I see three ways that this could be done and I'd like to get comments from you. Maybe there's a fourth way I hadn't thought of.
One would be, as you've pointed out, Secretary Wolfowitz, to train foreign troops. I understand now that the Iraqi troops getting up to 55,000. That's a good number and I appreciate hearing that.
MYERS: That includes police, just to be clear.
INHOFE: Yes, I understand that. Second, would be to move some of the military functions to civilians. I'd, kind of, like to quantify how that might create, in order to allow us to -- to give some relief to the Guard and Reserve.
And then lastly, in the same CBO report that is ordered by the senator from West Virginia, it said, "CBO also examined several other policy choices, including ending U.S. participation in peacekeeping operations in Bosnia, Kosovo, in the Sinai Peninsula and withdrawing Marines from Okinawa." With that being the case, that could open up for about approximately 12,000 to -- approximately one more division.
So from those three sources, I'd like to hear from anyone who would like to respond and if not here, then do so for the record, what other choices there are and about how many troops this could release to give relief to our Guard and Reserve.
Let's start with maybe General Myers.
MYERS: Senator Inhofe, excuse me, the peak reserve component mobilized for the operation in Iraq was 223 -- well, not just -- the total we had mobilized during the operation in Iraq was 223,000 -- 223,000 reservists. Today we have 173,000 reservists that are mobilized. And as I've already said, the way it is, the facts are that we have a lot of our combats support, combat service support in the reserve component.
As to the CBO study, I do not -- we don't quarrel -- I wouldn't quarrel with the study. I think that the study that was done and I'm not the expert on the financial piece of it. But in terms of what the Army could sustain steady state anywhere in the world, not necessarily Iraq, is probably OK.
But what you have to realize about the CBO study is that one is it was using, basically, the peacetime parameters for operations tempo and personnel tempo. And I think we have to ask the question, given the situation we're in right now, are those the right parameters to use? And I would say, no, they are not; that we are a nation at war and that we expect more, at least temporarily, from our reserve component.
INHOFE: Yes, OK. Let me just ask this, to shorten this a little bit. Are you saying that our OPTEMPO for our Guard and Reserve is at an acceptable level today?
MYERS: I'm not saying that. What I'm saying is, because I understand the sacrifices they're making and it's something that I -- as you know, I have a Guard and Reserve adviser, two-star level, that report directly to me on the joint staff and to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. And my main task to them is, "Tell us how we can put predictability in the lives and reduce the commitment of our reserve component," because I think that's very, very important.
"And tell me if you see any signs that recruiting or retention of this very competent force is slipping in any way."
To date, we haven't seen that. But I'm not comfortable in that because there's always tomorrow, and we're going to work them very hard.
INHOFE: I'd like to give some others an opportunity to respond to that. I will only say that this is sustained a long period of time. And I am prejudiced by the fact that I've talked to them, the Guard and the Reserve members, and the ones who are losing their jobs, the ones who've had more deployments than they can handle. Any other comments on this?
WOLFOWITZ: I guess, I'd just say two things. One -- and I'd be happy to submit more detail for the record -- but I think that -- well, it's a broader version of the examination of the global footprint that you mention. I think there is some great relief for the overall strain on personnel that can be achieved in that regard.
And specifically with respect to your question about conversion, there are some 300,000-plus positions that have been talked about as potentially being done by civilians; services have very specifically identified 47,000. So far it's been approached with a, kind of, peacetime mentality, and I don't mean that critically. But just as electricity in Iraq has got to be approached on a wartime basis, I think we need to look at the issue you're raising on a wartime basis and...
INHOFE: OK, and I appreciate that. I've gone over my time, but if I can get responses for the record, keeping in mind that assuming we keep the same footprint in Iraq -- and I think you've given a very persuasive argument to do that -- the rest of the world isn't standing still. There are still other contingencies out there that we would have to respond to. And so, I have always been a stickler that end-strength -- we may have enough for that particular contingency, but we need to expand our end- strength, and I'd like to have your comments. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
WARNER: Thank you, Senator. Senator Byrd?
BYRD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Secretary, General Myers, Secretary Grossman.
I didn't believe that we should be an invader of a country that couldn't lift a plane in the war. I didn't believe that Iraq or Saddam Hussein constituted an imminent threat to the security of this country.
This is the war we should not have fought. It's a war to carry out the preemptive strike doctrine. That's what it really began with.
And so now we're in Iraq. We're having real problems that we did not foresee. And we're trying to wrap the Iraq problems around the 9/11 disaster that hit this country. We're trying to view everything now in the context of the war on terrorism which began under the preemptive strike doctrine. That's why we're in Iraq.
I was opposed to it. I thought we could achieve everything we were seeking to achieve just by using a little more patience, the word, General, that you used.
Hans Blix said that it would take months but that the job could be done. I think with a little more patience we would have achieved much of what we have achieved with tremendous cost in blood and in treasure.
The U.N. inspectors were doing their job. They were finding weapons. They were destroying weapons. And I think if we had exercised that patience for a while longer, we would have achieved our objective of disarming Hussein.
No weapons of mass destruction have been found as of this date. They may be at some point. There's no question that Hussein once had weapons of mass destruction.
But I say it was a war we should not have fought. And I say, again, that it was a part of the preemptive strike doctrine.
And I haven't forgotten January the 19th. I believe it was January 19, 2001, when Karl Rove, before the members of the National Republican Committee, stated that, "We could make this war on terrorism or the homeland security -- in essence, we could that the strategic center of our election effort."
BYRD: I still see that statement -- it was made and I see much of what has been done in leading us into this war in the context of that statement.
Now, Mr. Chairman, Congress is willing to do what is needed to protect our troops from the dangers of postwar Iraq. I will support whatever funds are needed for the safety of our troops. That does not mean that we should be willing to accept every spending proposal that can be wrapped in the United States flag.
I am increasingly uncomfortable with this administration's posturing and pontificating on its policies in Iraq. The administration has adopted a strategy that to date has, A, alienated many of our allies, and called into question America's motivation for its drive to war.
Now the president's plans to ask Congress to provide $87 billion for Iraq. This funding will be in addition to the $104.3 billion that Congress has already provided to the Pentagon for Iraq, Afghanistan and the response to 9/11. And I, for one, will not simply rubber stamp this request.
Congress has serious questions; the American people have serious questions. And we ought to have answers. I have questions about how these funds will be used. I have very serious questions about deploying our National Guard to Iraq for 12 months at a stretch, keeping those troops from performing important homeland security missions.
In addition, the policy of reconstruction has never been debated; it has never been thoroughly considered. And yet, the administration wants Congress once again to hand over billions of dollars with little oversight or discussion.
Congress is not an ATM. We have to be able to explain this new enormous bill to the American people and the first responsible step for dealing with this request is to hold hearings on this huge Iraq spending bill.
When the president spoke on May 1, he said, "Our coalition will stay until our work is done and then we will leave, and we will leave behind a free Iraq."
Mr. Secretary, many Americans, no doubt Iraqis, took this to mean that our troops would not have an endless mission in the region. But in recent days, some of the president's senior advisers have begun to talk about a generational commitment to transform the Middle East into a region of peace and democracy.
BYRD: One cannot help but wonder if this means that generations of soldiers will serve in this volatile part of the world, or generations of Americans will be paying untold billions of dollars in new foreign aid.
So what does it mean to say that the administration wants to make a generational commitment to democratizing the Middle East? Does this mean a permanent military presence of tens of thousands of troops in the Middle East just as we maintained in Western Europe during the Cold War? Does this generational commitment bind us to seeking regime change in more Middle Eastern countries?
The president also spoke about Iraq being the central front, quote, "central front" of fighting terrorism. If we really want to solve the problem, shouldn't our central front be ending the violence between Israel and the Palestinians? How did Iraq suddenly become more important than peace in the Middle East? Isn't this putting the cart before the horse?
Specifically, General Myers, you stated that there will be 184,000 Iraqis under arms by the summer of 2005. My question: How much will it cost the American taxpayer to build a new Iraqi army, a new Iraqi police force, a new Iraq border guard agency and all of those other types of institutions?
And I might give a follow-on question, if you can foresee 184,000 Iraqis under arms two years from now, how many American troops will be there in Iraq at that time? If you can answer those two questions, General Myers.
MYERS: On to the last part, first -- how many American troops, I think whatever happens in Iraq is going to be event-driven, and so we're going to have to see how we come along in a security way, how we come along politically with Iraqi governance and how the economy comes along. That will dictate to a large extent how many U.S. forces are in Iraq.
And right now, General Abizaid, as he looks forward, he's willing to predict until, as I think he told members of this committee when he was over here briefing the full Senate up in Senate Room 407, that he's willing to look out until March of next year. But beyond that, given the number of variables involved, he's not willing to estimate the number of troops.
I think you can draw the conclusion, though, that if the estimated -- and it is an estimate -- of 184,000 Iraqi police and infrastructure protection services and civil defense corps and new Iraqi army, if the planning comes true and we have 184,000 on board, that there would be, obviously, a lesser need for U.S. troops.
But the exact numbers, General Abizaid is the one I'd rely on to give us those numbers, and he says, "I'm going to go to next March and that's as far as I want to predict right now."
In terms of the cost of building this force, clearly there have been a lot of U.S. resources that have been used in the formation of the over 55,000 Iraqis that we have essentially in some kind of uniform armed and trained to support freedom and democracy in Iraq. And I'd have to get for you for the record the exact amount of how much we figure this is going to be a U.S. burden and how much is going to be shared by the rest of the international community.
I think Secretary Grossman has talked about, to some degree, that we expect to have donor conferences and so forth that are hopefully going to help with this financial burden. This is an international situation, an international crisis of terrorism. And I would expect international community to step forward and help with funding this.
BYRD: Well, that doesn't answer my question, of course, how much -- sure, there must be some estimates in the Defense Department, in the State Department. How much would it cost the American taxpayer to build this new Iraqi army? How much are we spending now? How much are we paying now to the Iraqis? How much would it cost to build this new Iraqi police force? How much would it cost to formulate the new Iraqi border guard agency? We must have some estimates floating around downtown. Don't you have any of those estimates with you, Secretary Wolfowitz?
WOLFOWITZ: Senator, we have estimates and we can get you more detail for the record.
My basic recollection is that in the total estimate of Iraqi reconstruction -- reconstruction, the loose use of the English language since, in most cases, we're talking about a country that was fundamentally neglected, rather than reconstructing something that was destroyed in the war -- that roughly $5 billion goes to the combination of security institutions.
And recognizing that when we're talking about what is a basically internal security problem, we need not only police and security forces, you need courts and you need prisons. And that complex of things, I believe, runs on the order of an estimate of $5 billion over some period of time, not necessarily one year. And we can give you the detail on which that estimate is based. And it is only an estimate at the end of the day.
But if I could also refer, I mean, to your question about a generational commitment, the fact is -- and this is what the statement from General Abizaid that I quoted at some length in my testimony -- the fact is that we're engaged in a global war on terrorism. As he said, it's a phenomenon without borders. And the heart of the problem is in the Middle East. And we've got to deal with the heart of the problem in the Middle East.
And you're absolutely right: Dealing with the Arab-Israeli conflict is a major part of dealing with it. But you can't, as Abizaid would say, look at it through a soda straw. That's part of the problem. Iraq has now become part of the solution, in my view.
It's striking to me that the grandson of the Ayatollah Khomeini, that tyrant who took Iran back to the Dark Ages, his grandson is now in Najaf in American-liberated Iraq talking about the liberation of Iraq as inspiration for the...
BYRD: Mr. Chairman, this is eating up my...
WOLFOWITZ: I'm sorry.
BYRD: ... little bit of time. Let me ask you a question perhaps you can answer. With $20 billion being requested for the reconstruction cost of Iraq, how much of that money will be awarded to companies such as Halliburton with ties to the administration and that don't have to compete for government contracts?
BYRD: Who are going to charge in approving these reconstruction contracts?
WOLFOWITZ: This is obviously -- let me make a point. I think this is the first time I know of when we had talked about a supplemental before we came into the Congress with a specific proposal. We want to consult the view, Senator, with your colleagues, about details. But I am quite certain the basic principle's got to be competitive bidding.
And as I think Senator Levin raised the issue earlier, if we want foreigners involved in this process, then we also have to consider how those processes are open fairly and to everybody.
But, you know, we did some things before the war that had to be done in secret on a classified basis. We're obviously out of that era and the most open transparent bidding process is, presumably, that the goal at the same time, in particular, is like electricity. We've also got to make sure that we do things rapidly because getting electricity up and fixed quickly is, I think, part of creating the conditions in which are troops can draw down and our troops can be safer.
WARNER: Thank you, Senator Byrd.
BYRD: Obviously, they're going to get a lot of questions. This is the first time that we've had an opportunity to have a hearing on a supplemental. This is the Armed Services Committee. And we've always had this rush, rush, rush, when these appropriations requests come to the Congress. I hope you'll have hearings in this case. The American people are entitled to it.
WARNER: We are having them. I thank you, Senator Byrd. I think this hearing would be a foundation for the follow-on work by the Appropriations Committee, where you're the senior member of the -- yes, General, you wish to make a comment?
MYERS: Chairman Warner, I would like to make just one response to Senator Byrd.
Of the $87 billion, $66 billion is essentially for U.S. forces. We spend today in Iraq about $4 billion a month. We spend in Afghanistan about -- and the rest of the war on terrorism -- about $1 billion a month. So the majority of the supplemental goes to U.S. forces.
As Secretary Wolfowitz said, of the $21 billion that's been characterized for Iraq reconstruction, Afghan reconstruction and so forth, about $5.5 billion are for the security forces you asked me about earlier.
And I would only end by saying that we think you get great payoff for those dollars. It is -- I think it's going to turn out in the end a lot cheaper to have the Iraqis defending their country and providing security in their country, than it is for us to have our forces deployed there to do it.
WARNER: Thank you. Senator Roberts?
ROBERTS: Mr. Chairman, I don't mean to be obstreperous, but my colleague to my left has a watch and has timed people, as we have come through this, which means he'll probably kick me at seven and a half minutes.
ROBERTS: But I note that those on the other side of the aisle have averaged about 12, 13, 14, in this particular case 17, 20 minutes. I thought this was seven and a half minutes a piece. And I'm not trying to find fault with the chairman, but I think that we all ought to try to do a little better in regards to the timing and the witnesses.
I want to start off by saying this: Churchill said, upon hearing about the attack on Pearl Harbor -- I'm talking about Sir Winston -- "Silly people, that was the description many gave in discounting the force of the United States. Some said that they were soft; others, they would never be united, that they would never come to grips, they would never stand blood-letting, that their system of government and democracy would paralyze the war effort." Let me repeat that: "That their system of government and democracy would paralyze the war effort."
Sir Winston said, "Some said that now we will see the weakness of this numerous but remote and wealthy and talkative people. But I have studied the American Civil War fought out to the last desperate inch. American blood flowed in my veins. And I thought of a remark made to me years before: The United States is like a gigantic boiler, once the fire of freedom is lighted, under it there is no limit to the power it can generate. It is a matter of resolve."
Mr. Chairman, I think we have a leaky boiler.
And my question is to the secretary, or to any of the panel, do you have the sense that the Iraqis, be they former regime members or ordinary citizens, are watching closely at what we do and say hear today in Washington in regard to their future, not to mention some rather harsh criticism?
In the future of our efforts there, could the Baathists and the foreign jihaddists and the Fedayeen and the common criminals and the Sunni extremists gain currency with Arab nations and their leadership from the ideal that we have a lack of resolve and a reduced commitment by us and or our allies? What are the stakes?
WOLFOWITZ: Well, the stakes are enormous and they do have a lot of access to what goes on here. I think it's very important that we be able to -- we're a democracy; that's our strength as well as produces this kind of lively debate.
I do think it is important -- I said it earlier -- that we be able to project confidence, and there's an enormous amount to project confidence about. We succeeded in the major combat phase of this war with a speed that astonished everyone, I'd say including ourselves, with casualties that were miraculously low. We avoided the catastrophe of an oil well disaster that would have been environmental impact for decades. We avoided a humanitarian crisis, and the hundreds of thousands of people that we planned on feeding and providing tents for; didn't need it. We avoided a huge refugee crisis. We avoided Turkey and Iran intervening in Iraq. We avoided the kind of thing the intelligence community warned us about at great length, of a possible major city fight in Baghdad or some other city.
The list goes on of the things that we have succeeded in doing. And the young men and women out there today doing it, this job, are just magnificent, and they bring American ingenuity and American courage. We should be confident.
ROBERTS: Mr. Secretary, I appreciate that, and I apologize for interrupting you, but I want to know what the government leaders of Kuwait and Qatar and Jordan and Egypt and others and Saudi Arabia and others, who time and time again when I have met with them as member of a congressional delegation, as has the chairman, as with others, a question of resolve. And that's the thing I'm trying to get at.
I want to also announce, as the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, the staff is carefully scrutinizing past testimony regarding post-combat predictions and also analysis. Not so much to affix any 20/20 hindsight blame, but to assess how the intelligence community can achieve the analytical product and the warnings that will enable us to meet the necessity of conducting and winning what I consider to be an anti-guerrilla warfare operations.
Now we can involve the U.N., that paragon of virtue in regards to action from a military standpoint, they do fine things from a humanitarian standpoint; I understand that. We could get more international troops. I know that we have 1,400 Marines in Karbala, who are doing everything from repairing bridges to fixing schools to providing security, to be replaced by 450 Bulgarians. I'm not trying to perjure the effort of Bulgarians, but it seems to me that you have to have troops that can actually do the job, other than just saying we need international troops.
And we can certainly recruit and train more Iraqi police and military and defense corps, but we've got to have better intelligence to enable us to detect and deter and, yes preempt all these growing hostilities.
Could you tell whether the $5.6 billion is going to be allotted to the intelligence community? And we intend to find out in the Intelligence Committee, is this a matter of policy, is it a matter of resources or is it a matter of ability? How can we do this better? Because all this relies on better intelligence.
WOLFOWITZ: Senator, could not agree more on the importance of intelligence. General Abizaid would say -- I don't know if he'd rank them exactly, but his two top priorities are intelligence and more Iraqis. And to some extent, more Iraqis means more intelligence.
We need better intelligence on the terrorists and the Baathists who are fighting us. We are looking at how we can improve our methods today. I think we've made great strides in just the last couple of months, but we need to go further and faster. And I would encourage you to look at that.
I must say that our experience since the beginning of the Afghan war is that General Franks, and now General Abizaid are stitched together very, very tightly with their intelligence counterparts. There is terrific communication there, they've had terrific support. And in my experience, they've put enormous planning efforts into everything the intelligence people have warned them about.
ROBERTS: Let me just say, in terms of the warning that was alleged earlier, in terms of the policymakers, by the intelligence community, that we knew that this was going to be a lot tougher, that story starts out, says, "Although general in nature." And we're quoting one congressional aide, one congressional source, a senior administration official, one administration official. There's a paragraph here, "There's not universal agreement about the clarity of prewar intelligence that was ordered by the CIA and its counterpart agencies at the Pentagon and the State Department. Some administration officials said that the intelligence was murkier than others now depict it."
You can't get the whole jigsaw puzzle. You can't connect all the dots. Different things happen. It seems to me -- my time has expired. Thank you very much.
WARNER: I think it was important, colleague. I respect your views. But Senator Byrd does have a key role regard to this $87 billion and I had visited with him prior to the hearing -- all of us do -- but he has a heavy responsibility and his support will be needed...
ROBERTS: If I might, Mr. Chairman, it isn't that so much as the average of 12 minutes on the other side and about seven and a half on this side is why I raised the issue. I'm not trying to perjure or point fingers at anybody else...
WARNER: I don't intend to run but a fair hearing. I believe Senator McCain had a minute or two, but anyway we shall move on.
ROBERTS: I understand that. I think we all have heavy burdens. I'm the chairman of the Emerging Threats Subcommittee and the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and I would like to wax on for about another 10 or 15 minutes; I have a lot on my mind. But I have yielded back my time like the chairman has indicated. Thank you.
WARNER: I note that I'm the freshman member of your Intel Committee and you lash at me very fairly. (LAUGHTER) Senator Reed?
REED: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. General Myers, it's your opinion, as a uniformed military officer, in consultation with your commanders, that there's no military requirement for additional troops in Iraq?
MYERS: Senator Reed, that's correct. And it is in consultation. I mean, I rely on General Abizaid and he relies on General Sanchez and he relies on his division commanders on the ground and their subordinates as they try to come up with the troops they need.
REED: So the request for international troops is to achieve a very important and laudable political objective exclusively.
MYERS: I wouldn't say exclusively. They're going to be doing real work, and I don't think we want to denigrate the work that they're going to do at all.
REED: No, General, I think, if I may -- we get into this, sort of, minuet about, "Well, it's not, it's not just political, they'll do real work." If that real work has to be done, then that implies to me that there's a requirement for troops to do that work. Now, whether they're international troops or U.S. troops, there's still that requirement.
Now, you've just said there's no requirement; that if we don't get these international troops, then it'll be OK militarily. Politically...
MYERS: Maybe I misunderstood your question. The troops I thought we were talking about in the first part of that was U.S. troops.
REED: I said troops, OK.
MYERS: Then I answered incorrectly. We are looking for a third multinational division, for the reasons that we've already discussed here at length, and I won't go into those, but to include sharing the burden of the effort in Iraq. And it will help us, in the long term.
REED: Let me be clear, General, because we've talked around this issue. Your view is there is a military requirement for additional troops. Your hope is that they're international troops, but there is requirement for additional troops.
MYERS: That's not correct. The number of troops that we've had -- that we will keep in Iraq is going to stay at approximately about the same level. Today we have around 152,000. If we get a third multinational division -- I mean, this will go up and down. It goes up and down with deployments and so forth. It went up a little bit over the forecast when General Mattis and folks decided to leave a couple of Marine battalions in there.
But generally speaking, the number of troops is going to stay about level. The composition of the troops will change.
REED: So that if we don't get international troops, we will still maintain roughly 130,000-plus American forces in...
MYERS: If the situation in that time frame, when those international troops would come in, if the situation demands it, and -- yes, is the answer.
REED: Well, I read, as we all do, that we have inadequately guarded ammo dumps. I receive messages from our Rhode Island National Guardsmen about what they perceive as inadequate air cover over their convoys. And we had casualties in a convoy about two weeks ago. You hear about oil pipelines being blown up today. Which would suggest to me that additional forces in country could be used effectively.
MYERS: And I agree with that point, and some of those forces -- it's a matter of priority for General Sanchez and his folks where he puts his protective forces, the air cover and so forth.
It's also true on infrastructure protection that that is ideally suited for Iraqis themselves. I mean, who better to protect their pipelines and their power lines than the Iraqis themselves? And that...
REED: That's -- I agree in principle, but it seems that today there was just another -- or yesterday, reported another major pipeline in the north blown up by, presumably, guarded or not guarded by Iraqis or someone else.
Let me ask another question, which is, if we assume that the level of forces is, in your view, adequate, the composition of forces today, is it appropriate to this mission? We have combat brigades in there, very few MP brigades.
MYERS: That is something that the United States Army is looking very closely at, and I think as you look at the force rotation that has been planned, after next, for instance as the 1st Cavalry Division goes in, one of the things, I think you know, you'll see with it is enhanced separate brigade from the Army National Guard.
And the reason is to give them more infantry, because they don't want to be based in their M1 tanks, because that's not the mission at this point. What they want to have are a lot of infantry that can go out and do the kind of missions that they need to do.
So, the Army's looking very hard at that and trying to structure their divisions. MPs are always going to be in big need.
REED: Well, General Myers, at the end of the year that you've extended the National Guard troops -- and I have two MP companies and MP headquarters battalion in there -- when they come back to Rhode Island, where are you going to get MPs to replace them?
They're not in the active force structure. And they've already been used in the National Guard (inaudible).
MYERS: Right, I'm very well aware of that issue because we've had -- at Fort Myer we've had, from time to time, reserve component military police, normally National Guard, that do that mission.
WOLFOWITZ: I talk about their deployment schedules and so forth. That is one of those areas when we talk about reserve-active mix, it's not just the mix. It's do we have enough of things like military police, civil affairs in our armed forces to carry on the missions we think we might have in the future. And I think for some of those career fields, we probably will come to the conclusion we don't.
REED: Mr. Secretary, my recollection is hostilities began -- active offensive operations -- on or about March 19th. Is that correct in your recollection?
WOLFOWITZ: My recollection is March 20th.
REED: March 20th. Those passports you indicated, the first date was March 24th.
REED: Do you have any evidence of significant terrorist presence in Baghdad before those dates, since the secretary maintained he had bullet-proof evidence of the terrorist link in Baghdad prior to initiation of hostilities?
WOLFOWITZ: Well, yes, we do. I mean there are some things that are publicly known from before. They are things that Director Tenet described in his unclassified letter to this committee back in October, I believe. There is the well-known fact that for some 10 years the one bomber from the 1993 World Trade Center that was still at large was harbored in Iraq. There is the evidence that Secretary Powell discussed...
REED: These are Al Qaida elements or...
WOLFOWITZ: Well, you know, who did the 1993 World Trade Center bombing is a -- using intelligence community's word -- a murky question, but it was masterminded by the nephew of the same man who masterminded 9/11, and we went after the same target.
REED: But you had -- subsequent to our operations in Iraq, you have no further evidence other than that was revealed?
WOLFOWITZ: If you let me finish. Secretary Powell talked in his presentation to the U.N. Security Council at some length about a senior Al Qaida, or some people say he's not quite Al Qaida, he's affiliated -- he's clearly in the same world -- named Abu Musab Zarqawi, who has connections both to the poison lab that was operating in northern Iraq and to some plots that were broken up in London and Paris and in Italy. I'm not familiar with everything we've learned since we got to Baghdad, but I can say this, that what we have learned only deepens the conclusions that were there on an unclassified basis before.
REED: So you would disagree with the opinion...
WOLFOWITZ: And in fact -- one last thing, if I might: The group that Zarqawi is associated with, Ansar al-Islam, was established in Iraq in 2001. And it is, I think, in the judgment of the military and the intelligence people, the single most serious terrorist threat we face today.
REED: And they were aided and abetted by the Saddam Hussein regime?
WOLFOWITZ: You know, these people went to very great lengths to bury and hide the links that they had with one another. So you have to recognize, we'll probably see only the tip of the iceberg, but we certainly see links.
REED: So you would disagree with the statement by Vincent Cannistraro, the former director of counterterrorism operations and analysis, the CIA today, who said, "There was no substantive intelligence information linking Saddam to international terrorism before the war. Now we've created the conditions that have made Iraq the place to come to attack Americans."
WOLFOWITZ: I think Director Tenet's statement last year disagrees with it. I think Secretary Powell's statement to the U.N. disagree with it. I think the Palestinian terrorists that we've captured in Iraq disagree with it. I think the money that Saddam offered for Palestinian homicide bombers disagree with it. I don't know the statement you're quoting, but it doesn't stand with what I've been told from the intelligence world.
REED: Mr. Chairman, if I may for a moment, my colleagues had an opportunity to opine, and I'd like to do it too. This was a war of choice, and we'll debate the wisdom of that choice for generations. But I think it's obvious now that the choice we've made is more expensive than we thought, more time consuming, more dangerous and more difficult. And I think also that we've put ourselves in the position where we have everything to lose and, becoming increasing apparent, very little to gain.
Certainly, this operation has not transformed the Middle East peace process. It hasn't allowed us to effectively suppress and lethally preempt bin Laden and Al Qaida. And I think despite -- General Myers, who I respect immensely -- the notion that these apocalyptic terrorists are going to give up their jihad, whether we prevail in Iraq is, I think, naive.
And I think we've made a questionable strategic choice. We have everything to lose, and I certainly will support all efforts to win; we have no choice. But I think we've put ourselves in a position where we've made a choice where everything is to lose and very little to gain.
WARNER: Thank you. Senator Allard?
ALLARD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I have a statement I'd like to have submitted into the record if I might.
WARNER: Without objection. And I wonder if you'd indulge the chair. Senator Levin and I are of the view that this hearing will continue until such time as each senator has had an opportunity to address questions to our witnesses. And at the concluding of that, we do not intend to have a second round. Thank you very much.
ALLARD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I've heard members on this committee refer to 9/11 as a disaster. And 9/11 was an attack on the mainland of America. And it's been my view that if we had ignored what happened on 9/11, that terrorists would have become even -- we would have been facing even greater attacks, larger attacks, and they would have been more brazen.
And on a daily basis, I think, thank God that we've had a strong leader in the presidency. And I want to compliment many of you for your support in working to resolve this problem. It's not easy.
And I agree with General Myers that this is a problem that American people have to show patience for. They have to remain committed. And they have to show a will to win. And it's something we simply can't back away from.
And I think that our fighting men and women are doing a tremendous job. And I think that we need to pause and reflect on the good decisions of people who have gone before us and getting them prepared to face the unforeseen issues and problems that we're facing today. I'm just thankful that we're in a position to be able to face them.
And I just want to talk a little bit about the budget. I know it's been brought up by my colleagues too. And since I serve on the Budget Committee, I think there's a point or two that needs to be made because I think there are statements that are being made that are misleading.
The assumption that this is an unforeseen expense is wrong. If you look in the budget that we passed in this body for the 2004 year, we assumed that there would be a supplemental that would be requested along the lines of what the president just requested this past weekend of $87 billion.
Now we put $79 billion in there for supplemental, including a factor for inflation. So we're somewhere around an $80.5 billion supplemental in that request for the budget. So this argument that all of a sudden we're adding $87 billion to the deficit is simply not right.
Now there's $5 billion that we will probably have to make up. Now we've got a $1.8 trillion, and it seems to me that we can find $5 billion in there to make that up in a $1.8 trillion budget.
So, though the Budget Committee, particularly the chairman of the Budget Committee -- and I can say we passed our budget this year, which is more than we can say for last year. We didn't pass a budget last year. We passed a budget for this year in this Congress for 2004. And the figures that we were looking to budget was based on some plans that we were looking at. And we were trying to figure out what those unforeseen contingencies were.
So, you know, there's been a lot of planning. There's been a lot of thought. But the fact is that we're dealing with terrorists.
ALLARD: And terrorists, the factor that they count on is surprise and doing what's unexpected.
And when I look at what's been presented to this congress and where we are in the budget, I'm amazed that we're as close to the figures as we are. And we're still pretty much on a deficit estimate of $480 billion for fiscal year 2004, because we've already factored that in, in the budget.
But while I'm talking about the request and what not of money, I do have a question on the armored Humvees and body armor for our troops. And the question is -- and it was in the president's supplemental request. How long will it take to get these much-needed vehicles and protective devices to the soldiers in the theater?
And maybe, General Myers, that's a question for you.
MYERS: Senator Allard, I've got -- I'm going to look through here. I've got that information -- I know we have a little over 600 that are on their way to theater today and exactly -- and the first ones get there -- if you'll just give me a second, I may have it in all these papers here -- because it is something that we're actually looking for.
They will all get over this year -- in just a second -- 301 of the 654 that are being shipped right now have arrived in Kuwait and are being processed for distribution. The remaining 353 of that 654 that are going to get there this year are being prepared for shipment to Kuwait.
In addition, the Army is looking at the other armored Humvees that it has to see if they can be taken from other deployments and other events, including extended maintenance, and if we can push them toward Iraq, as well.
ALLARD: Well I thank you for that response. In August, I just finished some town meetings in Colorado. I had 20 of them or so. And one of issues that has been brought up was the protective devices for soldiers in the theater. And so I'm glad to hear that, you know, you've heard that call for that need and that need -- heard the need that there's a need there...
ALLARD: ... and in responding, so I appreciate that. The Washington Post today had an article outlining the fact that our intelligence agencies had provided a fairly accurate description of postwar resistance in Iraq. What more can you tell us about the intelligence reports, Mr. Secretary, in this open session? Any?
WOLFOWITZ: It's hard to do much in open session, but I mean I would say one of the reports I saw was intelligence reports told at some length about possibilities for unpleasantness. That is certainly true, in fact, can make a very long list of things that we were concerned about that didn't happen or things that we were concerned about that we presented, and there were some things that weren't predicted that certainly weren't predicted loudly.
But -- and what I can say, I said it earlier: Every single thing that the intelligence community raised as a serious problem was addressed seriously by General Franks by the secretary and by the president himself.
And I mean, I was a little puzzled a few minutes ago when it was said that these were expenses that were unforeseen in the extent of deployment that's unforeseen. No one tried to predict the future. No one we would know anything other than this could be very bloody, it could be very long. And by implication, it could be very expensive.
I mean, even a much simpler thing, much, much simpler thing, like Bosnia, was predicted to be only a year and here it is -- what? -- eight years later and we're still there, but we were there in much smaller numbers and we're dealing with that.
And Bosnia doesn't go to the heart of our interests. As you said, this is about the war on terrorism. The attack on the World Trade Center was certainly unforeseen and the expenses are staggering.
And I believe the fact that foreign terrorists are coming to fight us in Iraq, during the war and today, the fact that there are Al Qaida groups that are Iraqi that have been working against us now and were working against us before, and the fact that they have at least tacit and maybe explicit allies in the criminal gangs that man the old regime, they know what's at stake here. And I think we need to understand what's at stake here and the troops certainly do and they need to project the confidence, because it's absolutely warranted that we're going to win.
WOLFOWITZ: We have much, much more on our side, much more going for us, but what we have at stake is enormous.
ALLARD: Mr. Secretary, thank you. And, Mr. Chairman, my time's expired here, but, you know, I have received a number of plans on my desk, and I've been attending briefings about your plans for Iraq and Afghanistan and dealing with terrorism since 9/11, and I don't understand why anybody can complain that somehow this administration and each of you haven't done your best to try to plan for unforeseen circumstances that -- from the terrorists that we're facing.
And I wish like everybody else that this would go away, but the fact is that it's not going to go away, and I think terrorism is going to be with us for a while, and we need to be prepared for that.
And we have been preparing for it in the budget, the dollars are there, and as best we possibly can. And in many cases we've already swallowed the poison pill, in that fact that we've already accounted for that in the budget we passed for 2004. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
WARNER: Thank you, Senator. Senator Akaka?
AKAKA: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. General Myers, in a recent interview, you mentioned analysis DOD has been conducting into worldwide force commitments, and stated that in some areas, such as the Balkans, the Europeans should be assuming a greater share of the burden. However, some of our allies have been reducing their commitments in order to provide additional troops to ongoing operations in Iraq. I have three questions on this.
What is your assessment of how likely it is that other forces will take on additional global responsibilities outside of Iraq, when we are also pressing them to increase commitments in that theater as well?
And I'd like to ask Mr. Grossman if you have any thoughts on this they would be welcome as well.
And, General Myers, in your best military judgment, what are the risks associated with the declining international presence in Bosnia, and how does the United States plan to address these risks?
And, General Myers, did you examine the level of forces committed to Operation Noble Eagle? And can you give your assessment of the military value and effectiveness of that mission?
MYERS: You bet, Senator Akaka, I can. I'll take all three of those questions and try to run down them here quickly.
We have gotten what I think is very good response in terms of support in other parts of the world besides Iraq. We talked a little bit about this earlier, but in Afghanistan, in particular, the fact that NATO is leading the International Security Assistance Force around Kabul is truly an amazing and astonishing fact. That they are enthusiastic about that mission, that they planned for it long term, that they are looking to taking the mission, examining, taking that mission outside Kabul to some of the provinces, is also amazing.
In our recent operation over there, where we successfully engaged Taliban fighters -- relatively large numbers of Taliban fighters, with the help of the governor of Kandahar, Engineer Pashtun and his militia that's under him, with Afghan national army, with U.S. forces.
It's interesting to note that some of the blocking positions were by special forces from Lithuania, Romania and France. I think this, the understanding of what needs to happen in Afghanistan, and in other parts of the world, is going to get good international cooperation. So that's the answer, at least the first part of that question.
And regarding the Balkans, clearly in Bosnia, and for that matter for the most part in Kosovo, the military mission is essentially complete, if you will. And what we're waiting for is the civil implementation to take hold: the right number of police force, the judicial system to be fully stood up, prisons manned and so forth, and the local governance to be stood up. And the political accommodations, particularly in, well, both places -- political accommodations on the various factions, so they agree to get along.
So I think there is a security risk there. Nobody wants to go back to the Bosnia or the Balkans that we had eight years ago, or more recently in Kosovo during Allied Force, and before that, where we interrupted the genocide that was going on by the Serbian forces.
But a lot of that world has changed. If you look at Macedonia, as I mentioned earlier, there's a country that was almost in chaos, and now it is trying very hard to make itself ready for NATO membership.
Serbia has made overtures that it, too, would like to be part of the process that eventually gets them to NATO membership. Albania. So that whole region, it seems to me, is becoming more stable and more secure, and we ought to really look at what contribution forces make there.
In relation to Operation Noble Eagle, yes, we reviewed that. That is -- we've talked about this in terms of the Department of Defense, in terms of military contribution to the war on terrorism as it being both offense and defense.
MYERS: Part of the defense is Operation Noble Eagle. That's the operation here at home -- and, for that matter, in Hawaii, in Alaska, which is part of the homeland but not to be forgotten because quite a ways off shore, in your case, Senator -- to protect our people.
And it's not only Operation Noble Eagle, but it's the standing up of U.S. Northern Command and the way they work with the federal and state and local governments to bring the resources of the Department of Defense to bear when it's appropriate that we do so.
And we have a substantial part of our reserve forces that are called up that I mentioned earlier, 173,000. They're not all in Iraq. They're not all in Afghanistan. A large number of them are here for Operation Noble Eagle. So that's a big part of our commitment as well.
But that is essential to our country's defense.
AKAKA: Mr. Grossman, would you offer any thoughts on that first question on additional global responsibilities outside of Iraq?
GROSSMAN: Yes, sir. Thank you very much. First of all, let me say I associate myself completely with the points that General Myers made, especially about the Balkans. No one would want to return to the Balkans that we had eight or 10 years ago. And I think, in fact, that the commitment of the United States and our allies have been a great success there.
I generally don't travel anywhere now without a chart that shows the declining U.S. strength, both in Bosnia and Kosovo. With the chairman's permission, I think we ought to put this as part of the record.
WARNER: Without objection.
GROSSMAN: It shows that we went there with a plan. We have reduced our forces over time. But we have still created something very important, I believe.
And finally, I also believe that, with General Myers, we ought to take a look at what more people can do outside of the U.S. forces, especially in the Balkans, Bosnia and Kosovo.
One very important point: And as we move forward there, there are still some jobs to do in the Balkans. And I want to make sure that on the record is our continuing commitment to apprehending some of the war criminals out there, especially Mr. Mladic and Mr. Karazdic.
AKAKA: On March 20 of this year, Secretary Rumsfeld issued a memo outlining his plan for the development of an overseas basing strategy to support current and future U.S. defense requirements. According to the memo of the Joint Chiefs if Staffs, in conjunction with the undersecretary of defense for policy, would develop the comprehensive and integrated presence and basing strategy looking out 10 years based on input received from the combatant commanders in cooperation with the military departments.
The report was due to Secretary Rumsfeld by July 1st, 2003.
General Myers, what is the current status of the overseas basing strategy? And have you submitted your overall recommendations the secretary has stated in the March 20 memo?
MYERS: Well, this was a process that we also involved the combatant commanders in Europe, in the Pacific, the Southern Command and Central Command, to look at how we're postured, as you said, Senator Akaka, around the world.
And the reason we think this is important is that in many respects our posture around the world has been, through the Cold War -- Korea is a terrific example. Many of the camps, posts and stations are exactly where they were when the armistice was signed. I mean, they weren't designed to be that way; it just, kind of, happened to be where they are.
Where we stand is that that work is ongoing. The combatant commanders have brought in recommendations. We've been working with the undersecretary of defense for policy, and folks from the joint staff have been working with the secretary of defense, to go through each of those to try to put our best thinking on that problem to say, "What are we going to need for the future?"
WOLFOWITZ: There have been no decisions or conclusions drawn. It's a work in progress, if you will. Clearly, it's going to involve more than just the Department of Defense. This is going to have to be a U.S. government effort in the end, because there are going to be a lot of political and military questions that will be raised and have to be answered.
AKAKA: Thank you very much for your response. Mr. Chairman, my time has expired.
WARNER: Thank you. Senator Sessions?
SESSIONS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would first just like to reiterate a comment made by Senator Allard. I, too, serve on the Budget Committee and the memorandum from the chief budget staff person says that, "The CBO budget deficit already assumes that we'll have a significant supplemental for this year and assumes a $79 billion supplement." So this idea that it's driving up our deficit unexpectedly is really -- to the extent that really is about $80 billion -- with interest about $80 billion or so. There's $5 billion to 7 billion more than we assumed.
But fundamentally, this Budget Committee and our Congress has assumed that we would have this challenge to meet and I think everybody's going to be ready to meet it. I'm convinced of that.
I just want to note that I believe that most Americans understand that we are at war, we've not forgotten September 11th and we're committed. We voted, over three-fourths of the members of this body and the House, to support the effort in Iraq. We're not going to waffle now. We're not going to quit.
We are -- at this hearing, Mr. Chairman, I think it's wonderful that we need to focus on what we can do to help us be more successful. But this is not a hearing to talk about abandoning a policy that we overwhelmingly adopted in the Congress of the United States, the president took to the American people and the president and the Defense Department has so brilliantly led.
And I would just note that I think the war has gone, in many ways, exceedingly well. We had all the concerns.
And I didn't dismiss them out of hand that we'd have house-to- house fighting and thousands and thousands of American casualties. I didn't dismiss humanitarian disasters out of hand that did not occur. I didn't dismiss all kinds of humanitarian problems that could have occurred.
We didn't have ethnic bloodbaths, as some have suggested. So I think in terms of the hostilities themselves, it went brilliantly.
And I think the civilian Defense Department leadership, Secretary Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, worked with General Tommy Franks to develop a brilliant innovative plan for decisive and swift victory in this war. Not only did they allow him to be bold and innovative and courageous, they encouraged it. And as a partnership, together we had great success. And I think we need to remember that.
And I think the greatest heroes are soldiers who fought this battle. And it was tough duty and it was risky. And many of them are alive today because of bullet-proof vests and the kind of armor that we had and we need more and better of it. But it was a tough battle, but they moved with courage and decisiveness in the finest traditions of the American military.
Now they're not prepared to cut and run either, because I've been there and I've talked to them. I've had with Alabama units that are apart from any bias from any high officials. They told me that they thought we were making progress.
And I know that we've got some challenges, and I just want to get to those and ask about them and provide some suggestions. And would first would like to share a few things about what's happening there.
I met with an engineering unit from Alabama in the north in Mosul. They were preparing to -- they restored four schools that were devastated. The article by Tom Gordon of the Birmingham News, who was embedded with them, just September 6th, talks about it.
One of the things that they said was -- that Tom Gordon wrote about Ribn Abdul Waab (ph), 15 spoke English. He was their a chief interpreter, as they rebuilt the school and went out and helped them buy supplies at better prices.
And it said this in his article: "Alpha Company is working to get the youth to America to finish high school and college. If their effort succeeds, his home for part of his stay will be with Sergeant Virgil Simpson (ph) in Booneville, Mississippi, a member of that unit. And that's the kind of thing that's occurring.
Goes on to note, "In the aftermath of the ceremony, groups of beret-wearing girls held hands with soldiers, while more boisterous boys high-fived the soldiers."
SESSIONS: I saw one American soldier on the street of Baghdad talking to half a dozen Iraqi citizens on more than one occasion. I met with the Alabama MPs who -- had dinner with them. We talked about what was really going. And they patrol -- or go to the police precinct with Iraqi policemen that have been brought on board, and they patrol the streets of Baghdad together. One said, "We've bonded together." "Intelligence is increasing," they told me. Apart from any -- no high-ranking officials were there, it was their statement to me about what they perceived to be occurring.
I asked, "Do you think you could leave today and the Iraqi police could succeed?" They said they did not think so. They thought that we needed to stay there for some longer period of time.
General Myers, I think you're exactly correct, and Secretary Wolfowitz, that we need to strengthen the local police forces. As a former prosecutor myself, I know a society can't function where there's disorder. And a lot of this disorder is pure criminal theft or pure robbers, burglars and thieves.
And so, I guess, I was very encouraged to see, General Myers, that you have a goal of 184,000. Because to me, we don't need more troops there. We need more intelligence. We need a stronger local police, a stronger local army. And we need to start getting our troops down, not putting more in.
You've got a goal of 184,000. Does this supplemental give you enough money to do that? I think you need every dollar you're entitled to for that project.
MYERS: Senator Sessions, my understanding is the supplemental does do that through fiscal year '04. It has, as I said, I think about $5.5 billion that goes specifically to training those forces.
SESSIONS: I would just say, I visited their training camp and met with their trainers and met with the chief of the Baghdad police force, who I saw later had been a subject of an assassination attempt. But he was personally leading police officers on nightly raids and had been wounded, shot in the leg the week before I got there, and was back to work before he should have been, according to the doctors, leading this unit. If we have that kind of support, we'll be successful.
And a patrolling soldier who cannot speak the language, Mr. Chairman, is just not going to be as effective as an Iraqi police officer in getting intelligence and leading raids.
Secretary Wolfowitz, also I have a strong belief that electricity is a big problem. I understand that, because of neglect by Saddam Hussein's government, that the demand is 30 percent greater than generating capacity. Will this supplemental allow you to spend such sums as you need to immediately take steps to restore electricity?
And I think with an increased police department and increased electricity and continuous supply of electricity, I believe that will help us be able to reduce our forces.
WOLFOWITZ: Yes, it does. Actually, electricity is the largest single item in that part of the supplemental. And we're approaching the whole electricity issues with the sense of urgency that it requires.
I mean, we had a very good plan, AID did, as part of the CPA, to build up electricity in a sensible, methodical way. But when you realize how it effects the overall security environment, you're spending $4 billion a month on forces to deal with that security environment, and Americans are getting killed and wounded in that environment, electricity's got to be approached with an urgency that you wouldn't normally do if you were just looking at efficiency.
And we're doing that already with the resources that are available. But this money that's in the supplemental will allow us to finish the job, and I believe do it rapidly.
SESSIONS: And I would just note in conclusion, Mr. Chairman, that the cost of an Iraqi police officer is about $100 a month. We can probably have 30 -- just on salary basis perhaps 30 Iraqis hired. Each one of them, therefore would have a stake in the new government and would also be able to feed their family for each soldier we put there. So the goal of transforming this to Iraqi leadership is just the right thing.
And I'm glad to see Secretary Rumsfeld speak out on that and you, too, General Myers. This is the right direction to go.
MYERS: Thank you, Senator.
WARNER: Thank you, Senator. Our staff, Senator, has just handed me a memorandum of a breakdown of the $20.3 billion. You were asked about the electricity or the energy: energy infrastructure $8.1 billion, that's the largest piece. You mentioned public security: $5.1 billion -- at 100 bucks, that'll buy a lot of policemen. Thank you. Senator Dayton?
DAYTON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. General Myers, I respect enormously what you've outlines, in terms of the requirements for victory.
DAYTON: I just want to assure you that the will to win does not differ from one side of this aisle to the other. And my recollection is all my colleagues have accepted the president and Ambassador Bremer and others's description of what constitutes the elements of victory, so that we can get our troops out after winning that victory and with a lasting victory that will endure and make it worth the enormous sacrifices that have been made.
In terms of commitment, I think that everything the president and the secretary of defense, the Joint Chiefs have requested has been approved by the Senate and by the Congress in an overwhelming bipartisan support.
And if there's any message to come out of today's events, they ought to be that, as the news media reported, I think accurately, earlier today, this latest request will be approved with overwhelming support.
I will certainly support whatever the president demonstrates is necessary to achieve this victory.
But with regard to patience, sir, the sense of urgency that I bring toward my assessment of this situation actually came from my time in Iraq about six weeks ago now.
General Sanchez briefed us there, as did Ambassador Bremer and others, and they all basically said the same thing: that the next 60 to 90 days would be crucial to show progress toward achieving the conditions necessary for bringing this to a successful conclusion as quickly as possible.
And they said, furthermore, a direct quote, "Time is not on our side," and the failure to show progress sufficiently would be likely to have very serious consequences.
So what were those elements of victory as they outlined?
One was getting Saddam Hussein and his two sons permanently eliminated from the country and preferably the planet, which you've achieved two-thirds of -- and that's just one short of perfection, and hopefully will be realized very soon.
The second was to install a successor Iraqi government as soon as possible. Now, when we met with Ambassador Bremer six weeks ago, my recollection was that he said that the goal was to have that government established and elected by the Iraqi people within six months, by the end of the year. Now, it's being said that it will be a year, practically, from a short while ago.
So in terms of patience, again, if that's a precursor to our being able to extract our troops successfully, then we're talking about an extension there for reasons that, I must say, I don't understand.
Third was the domestic law and order. And I can't assess the overall circumstances in the country. What I do know is U.S. casualties were evidently up 35 percent in August compared to the month before.
That was information gleaned by going into a top secret briefing last week and looking at a sheet marked Top Secret and seeing the information that had been reported the day before in The Washington Post -- which I guess means I'm better off reading the newspapers than I am to go to those briefings.
If that information is not made available or intended to make available it's very hard for someone like myself, much less the American people, to make a realistic evaluation. And I would urge that the facts be allowed to speak for themselves, whether they're good facts or not good. No one expects us to go easily. But I think we have a right as Congress, and more importantly the American people, to know what the real situation is.
And the fourth condition for victory was that the social and economic rehabilitation under way. That's, again, an area where I guess there are differing reports. One of my colleagues said earlier that they're talking about improvements in basic services, but that's contrary to what I've been told in other settings.
And The Wall Street Journal says today continued sabotage against oil pipelines and power stations has plagued Iraq. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently did a helicopter survey of Iraq's high- voltage distribution wires. Over about 700 miles they found 623 destroyed towers, up from fewer than 20 just after the war.
Obviously that's an act of sabotage and retaliation, whatever, but it's still of concern, when it means that American troops have to be stationed there longer.
And I believe their figure now of 140,000 or 138,000 contrasts to what was expected at one point of the planning process of being only about 60,000 U.S. troops needed at this stage. So those, as you well know -- and I know you feel just more responsibility for them than anyone else, the lives of our constituents' sons and daughters.
DAYTON: And they're over there with their lives on the line, and we going to figure out how to get them back as quickly as possibly but after achieving that success.
So I hope there's no misunderstanding about the shared resolve. And I think we would be derelict in our responsibilities if we didn't try to explore what needs to happen and how it's going and what, if anything, needs to be done to make it more successful as soon as possible.
Along those lines, I just say that the "Today Show" this morning -- I try to watch the TV and to read the papers -- they reported that the intent of the administration is to provide combat pay for soldiers in Iraq but not in other places, such as Afghanistan or other, I would call them, combat areas. Is that information correct or not?
WOLFOWITZ: The supplemental assumes both Iraqi and Afghanistan, Senator.
DAYTON: In those two areas?
DAYTON: Thank you. Maybe this goes better to you, Mr. Secretary. Regarding the president's assertion the other night that it was a terrorist attack against the U.N. headquarters that caused the attack, has that been definitively established?
WOLFOWITZ: Well, obviously, it's terrorism and suicide terrorism. It's deliberately killing innocent civilians. I don't think the president meant to say that we know where it came from precisely. There is some belief that it was Baathists, some belief it could be terrorists; they could be working together. I know of more evidence, actually, in the case of Najaf than in the case of the U.N. bombing, but the FBI is working on both of these.
DAYTON: OK. So, when the president said the other night, "Terrorists in Iraq have attacked representatives of the civilized world and opposing them must be the cause of the civilized world," he's referring to terrorists who could be foreign terrorists or who could be Iraqi -- remnants of Saddam Hussein's army or whatever.
DAYTON: OK. Thank you. And just one last, because my time is up here. With regard to Afghanistan, I note the reconstruction budget for Iraq is expected to cost $20 billion to $30 billion of expenditures next year. The supplemental request for Afghanistan, however, is $1.2 billion, I think, combined, but $800 million additional, and then $400 million from unspent funds previously. That's a fraction, 5 percent, of what -- less than that -- of what is being undertaken for Iraq. And Afghanistan, by many accounts, is in far worse, more backward condition -- and we're two years into that after winning that military victory -- and we don't even have a road completed from Kabul to Kandahar. And it seems that we have underfunded that effort. And the international community bears that responsibility.
But is your assessment, sir, that we're going to approach a sufficient effort there to show some positive results?
WOLFOWITZ: Well, actually, you've put your finger on something that is a problem and is a concern in any of these operations. The road network in Afghanistan is not, in our view, being stood up fast enough. And it is an international community responsibility, which means it tends to get diffused and there's a lack of what the military would call unity of command, to put it charitably.
We are, in this proposal, putting some money so that we can push that effort along faster. It's a bit like the electricity in Iraq: When you think of it as a purely economic development project, time isn't that critical.
WOLFOWITZ: But your point doesn't contradict the chairman's point about patience. We need a sense of urgency about those things that can be fixed that will relieve the strain on our troops and make them safer. And roads on Afghanistan are one of those things; electricity in Iraq is another.
The disparity you point out is an interesting one and I think a lot of it stems from the fact that the one country is just much more advanced than the other, so the requirements become bigger.
DAYTON: Well, electrical capacity, I was wondering if his lack about putting full force behind this basic -- I think we're missing a terribly important opportunity.
WOLFOWITZ: I would agree with you on that. In fact, looking at the two numbers side by side the other night, we said, "Let's take another look at whether we got the balance right."
MYERS: Chairman Warner, can I -- just 30 seconds, if you don't mind?
WARNER: You bet.
MYERS: On the point of the bipartisan support, clearly, it's the reason we've been successful to date, and we appreciate that. And I think I made that very clear I think in my opening remarks. And it's really apparent at the troop level; they know that. And I think that's why we're successful.
On patience, I was referring not specifically to Iraq, but the broader war on terrorism. There are some things, as Secretary Wolfowitz said, we ought to have a terrible sense of urgency about because it does help our security. And I don't disagree with what Ambassador Bremer and other have said about the urgency of getting the infrastructure stood up and in governance and so forth. That's exactly right on track.
And the last point, if there's ever anything in a briefing that -- if you don't think we're being forthcoming, then we have failed. Because we have made a very large effort to try to bring everything we have. And just like the embedded reporters, we knew there would be the good, the bad and the ugly, but that's what the American people expect, that's what you deserve on this committee.
I don't have the specifics on that case. If you can show it to me, I'd be happy to search it down.
DAYTON: I will. Thank you. And I also would point out again, that reading in the paper this morning about extending the tour of duty for reservists and guardsmen and women, those are folks back home we hear from. We appreciate also, being a member of this committee, given that information directly.
MYERS: You bet.
DAYTON: Thank you, sir.
MYERS: You deserve it.
WARNER: Did I...
GROSSMAN: If I could just get one sentence, Senator, and that is, Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz was exactly right about the challenges to building the whole road network.
But I think it would be fair to say on behalf of all of us, that the people who are involved in the sector that we have from Kabul to Kandahar have done a magnificent job. It will be done by the 31st of December. They've been attacked here the last few days, and they've really kept at this.
And so while I completely agree with what Paul says, the people who are out there on our side doing what we promised to do, I think they deserve a lot of credit, sir.
WOLFOWITZ: Thank you for the amendment.
WARNER: Senator Talent, thank you for being patient. I think it's important that witnesses be given the opportunity to fully respond to these important questions, and that has run us over occasionally. But I appreciate your patience.
TALENT: Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. Appreciate the hearing.
We've all been called on, I guess. I'm a little surprised by the thinking of our opinion of the strategic imperative according to which we want to war, and I'll do it briefly, speaking for myself.
I mean, two years ago this Thursday, we were attacked. And I don't think you win wars by staying on the defensive. You take the fight to the enemy and the enemy's friends. You use your power and the power of your allies decisively to remove your enemies and to create more friends. And you do that diplomatically as well, as we've tried to do it in the Mideast peace process. That's the context in which I see this engagement in Iraq.
TALENT: I think it's not only fully justified, it's necessary. We're going to win, we are winning.
The only thing that concerns me is that you don't win wars if quitting becomes an option every time things get tough.
And things are tough. I don't know if they're tougher than everybody expected. You know, there are uncertainties in war, there's a spectrum of potential responses and difficulties. And some things in this war have been easier than I thought they were going to be, and some things have been probably on the far side of the bell curve of difficulty, but you just keep going. And I have full confidence in this country and I know what's going to happen if we persevere, and I think the world's going to be a better place when we're done.
Now, I've two comments -- actually one is a comment that I'd like you all to comment on, and then one is a question.
As I understand the goal, I mean, the tactical goal, or the immediate goal in Iraq was to remove Saddam because he was a threat to us and to the peace, and then also create in Iraq, with the cooperation of the Iraqi people, a stable ally in the war against terrorism.
I mean, number one, is that a proper way, or a thumbnail way of summing up the goal?
The second part of this is, I'm going to give you my sense of where we are, and you tell me the extent to which I may be wrong. And this, again, is a lay person's way of describing this, but if that's the goal, in the north and the southern part of the country, we have made substantial progress toward achieving that goal, in stabilizing it, standing up local governments, the whole thing.
In the central part of the country, what we need to do is get the lights turned on, create -- continue creating an indigenous police force so that they can do the day-to-day guard-the-banks kind of thing, so that our guys can go and beat the tar out of the terrorists like they're doing in Afghanistan. And that is a difficult thing, and we are persevering in it, and that's in the central part of the country.
OK, is that overall an accurate description, I grant you it's not detailed, of why we -- what our goal is and how far we are in progress toward achieving it?
WOLFOWITZ: I think it's an excellent, succinct description: to remove Saddam, to create a stable ally and, of course, the terrorists and the Saddamists want to keep us from having a stable ally. Most Iraqi people, I think, are ready to be a stable ally.
And I think it is correct what you described, that the main problems we face are in the center of the country.
Put a slight qualifier: We want to get the lights on in the whole country, we don't want to presume that -- take for granted the success we've had in the north and the south, because we can't afford to lose there, and we need to keep the will -- the good will of the people.
But the people who are really out there killing Americans are located principally in what they call the Baathist triangle, between Baghdad and Tikrit and Baqaba. And we're making real progress, and we have a lot of Iraqis in that Sunni area who are on our side who are Sunnis.
It's not a Sunni versus Shia issue. It's the old regime and their terrorist allies against the whole country.
TALENT: OK, I would certainly not expect -- if this is as important a goal to us in winning the war, as I think it is, I certainly would not expect the enemy to just sit there and let us accomplish it.
In fact, it's, in a sense, an affirmation of how important it is that they are pushing the chips on the table, if you will, and going on.
WOLFOWITZ: If you read the Al Qaida web sites, they very clearly get it. They view democracy as a real threat, and democracy in Iraq as a particularly big threat.
TALENT: And I thought -- and this is a digression, but we've all digressed today -- Prime Minister Blair, I thought, said that about as well as it could be said in is speech to the Congress; that for them this is, and for us, therefore, it has to be a battle on a larger plain about what the world should look like, what this emerging post- Cold War international order should look like. And these -- the enemy doesn't want it to look like what it will like if we and our allies are able to exercise influence over it. I mean, that's just what it comes down to.
Now, I have a -- to switch gears, and then this is my last question and comment for you, Mr. Secretary, and you, General Myers. And this is an issue I have shared with you all in other hearings, and shared privately with you.
And it has to do -- it's not to do with whether we ought to put more troops in now in Iraq, or in the future or not. It's whether our overall end-strength, particularly for the Army, is adequate for this war and our other military responsibilities, OK?
We have 485,000 troops in the active Army, 350,000 National Guard, a little over 200,000 in the Reserve. We now have about a 130,000 in Iraq, and several tens of thousands in-theater, and they're going to be there for a while, and we hope to be able to get them down, but we still have to make this commitment, and then we've got the rest of the war to fight.
And I would like the two of you to share with me how the developments of the last six months or so have affected your view on whether the end number for the Army is adequate, whether it should be greater, if not necessarily structurally in more divisions, but just maybe rounding out some of the forces we now have; maybe more MPs, more civil affairs people.
Have you had time to stop and think about what the configuration and the size of the Army ought to be in light of what we're experiencing in-theater now, as well as our other responsibilities?
WOLFOWITZ: I will do that, but if I could also just pick up something you said early on, we were attacked two years ago by people who've made it clear that they'll go anywhere in the world where they can to defeat us and fight us.
And that fight is now in Iraq. The people who are fighting, though, are part of a worldwide problem, and it's a worldwide problem that is centered in the Middle East. I mean, if people say this wasn't the right war, that we should have left Saddam Hussein in power, we should have left his killing machines running, we should have left his weapons of mass destruction programs running, we should have left him free to finance terrorism, then I think they need to say, "Well, what was the other course?" I'm not clear what it is at all.
And to simply have waited many more months with our troops sweltering in Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Arabia buckling possibly under the strain of supporting politically that kind of American presence, is a -- I dread to think of what that would have been like.
On the simpler questions, but very important ones, size of the armed forces, I think it's just way too early to make a very expensive decision to increase the size of the armed forces to deal with what we expect is not going to be a long-term issue.
Do I know that? I don't know that, and six months, a year from now, depending on the situation in Iraq, we may have to come to different conclusions. But we think, as I said, that the problem there is finite, and we're making progress against it.
And if that's the case, then you actually think about a situation later where many of our requirements are reduced.
I mean, we have spent billions of dollars and enormous numbers of people deployed to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries and Turkey over the last 12 years to contain Saddam. We don't need to do that anymore. Those Air Forces have gone home, the bases, we just took the last person out of Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia. That's not only a cost saving and a reduced personnel strain, it's a huge reduced strain on the Saudis who are much freer now to go after terrorists.
So things change. And I would say in that respect, when to build up our forces and bring in a new capability three to five years from now, that by then we won't need it all, it would be a mistake.
But on the specific strains you mentioned, I think it's absolutely clear that we have to relook at the mix, and that we can't put all of certain elements in the Reserves, and particularly limited numbers of Reserves, so that people keep getting called back over and over again.
We are looking at that set of issues, we're looking at it with some real urgency, and those, I think, there are near-term fixes for, I'm hopeful.
TALENT: But you view this as a practical question. I mean, this is not -- on which your mind is open.
TALENT: This is not -- I don't want the department to think of the issue of end-strength as linked to the transformation issue, so that if you increase end-strength it's a confession transformation has failed.
I mean, you can be transforming and end-strength going up or down, depending on what the missions are and the rest of it, and that you're assuring me that...
WOLFOWITZ: Absolutely right, absolutely, and we're -- you've got to look at things from the point of view of the strategic context we're in. And we're a nation at war, as has been said over again, over and over again, but it's not a war like World War II.
Let me also say, because it's worth saying, there is no doctrinal view of how many troops we should have in Iraq.
WOLFOWITZ: If the commanders want more, can't say they'll get whatever they ask for, but I'm pretty sure they will get what they ask for.
And I recall, in fact, when we were in Afghanistan and I was one of those people who wondered whether General Franks was asking for enough troops. And we had -- General Myers will remember -- a fairly heated discussion among the three of us. And he convinced me that maybe he'd need more later, but he sure didn't want to ask for them now because he didn't want to go down the road that the Soviets went down.
And he was right. And General Abizaid is adamant for much the same reasons, that he doesn't want to flood Iraq with American troops. And I think he's right.
But we have an enormous sense of urgency about getting Iraqis out on the front lines.
TALENT: And I'm done, Mr. Chairman, maybe General Myers wants to comment or not.
MYERS: Just a couple of comments and just to piggyback on what Secretary Wolfowitz said, in terms of the mix, it's mixed between Guard and active. It's also, as we've talked about, total numbers. And for our new security environment, do we have enough civil affairs for what we foresee in the future, enough MPs? Or do we have the wrong kind of forces, perhaps, in the Guard and Reserve that we could change into the kind of forces we need?
That's something that's being evaluated right now. And you may see some of those results possibly in the '05 budget, because we need to make those changes. I think if we're going to make some and agree to that, we need to make them fairly quickly.
The second part is that we continually run war games, for lack of a better term, to determine -- and this is not just the joint staff, we bring in the combatant commanders, the folks from the secretary's staff as well to look at -- can we fulfill our military commitments around the world? And we have consistently found that, yes, we can. And where it means there's more risk, how long is that risk, what kind of risk is it? And we try to capture that. And we're in the process of doing that right now with this heavy commitment that we have in Iraq.
Iraq is -- in our new defense strategy, is a win decisively. We're involved in a win decisive campaign. And we have to have enough forces left for us to fully defeat the efforts of, and other lesser contingencies and so forth, and homeland defense and so forth. And we look at that regularly to make sure we can fulfill our commitments.
WOLFOWITZ: And by the way, the services estimate we could get some 10,000 uniformed people into military jobs if we had -- just in this coming fiscal year alone -- if we had the authority we're asking for from the Congress.
WARNER: Thank you very much, Senator. I just observe, I recognize that our time hasn't been firm. But I want very much to give each of these witnesses a full opportunity to respond, Senator Talent. And as you know, the responses to your question did run over, but I think those responses are very important for the record. Senator Bill Nelson?
BILL NELSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Gentlemen, thank you for your testimony. I come to you as a friend, as we have discussed many times, not only in front of this committee, but in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, these matters. I bring to you items for your consideration from 17 million Floridians, of which, as we were home with 25 town hall meetings, I've had an opportunity to hear from, and I want you to hear from them.
I believe that our Florida National Guard is the most professional in the country. They're well-equipped. They're well- trained. They are now stretched to the breaking point.
Over half of our Florida National Guard have been activated. We are now in the middle of something known as hurricane season. And you can recall the time, 1992, Hurricane Andrew, not only did it call out the Florida Guard, but we had to bring Guard from all over the country into Florida.
Now, the flip side of this is that we should not be handing a commander unacceptable or avoidable risk with a rotation plan that leaves gaps in his required mission areas. And so as you devise this rotation policy in the plan, it should appear fair.
And that's what I want to talk about, because Florida's National Guard stepped up and we stepped up immediately. And it was back in December that so many of our units were activated. And I directly participated in those. I would go to them and speak to them as they were activated and sent off, mostly for their initial staging at Fort Stewart.
And the families of those that are now still fighting have waited patiently, but that patience is beginning to break. And, of course, I am hearing a good bit about it.
BILL NELSON: The Guard leadership is now being overwhelmed by the calls from the families for the soldiers to come home. And the Army's rotation policy announcement yesterday establishes a 12-months, boots-on-the-ground rotation policy for Iraq, unless the combatant commander determines that the unit is no longer needed.
Now it was, interestingly -- and this is one of the little quirks that I wanted to bring to your attention. It was reported to me and has been confirmed this morning that the Army has withdrawn its alert notification to the brigades in the Arkansas National Guard. And it was reported to me, and I have not confirmed -- reported to me this morning -- the same thing, that it has withdrawn its alert notification to the brigade in North Carolina.
They had been alerted on the 25th of July. Had they been quickly mobilized, as were the Florida battalions last December, they would probably be very nearly ready to relieve the units in Iraq now.
Florida's nine infantry companies have been attached, detached and reattached no longer than 40 times to different units in the theater, some of which have already been redeployed. Soldiers of Company C, the 2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry, may be eligible to wear up to five different combat patches, given what units they've fought with over the months.
And although the 12 months in-theater may be the right policy for you all to determine, for units on their way to Iraq, I believe that it's a stretch for the units that are there now and that have already been through major combat.
I don't have to tell you, but I'm going to, because I'm reflecting my folks, livelihoods and civilian careers are inherently at risk for deployed Guard and Reserve. And despite the protections that we've put into the law for them, the conditions are never exactly the same when they get home after extended deployments. The longer they're gone, the higher the risk for them back home.
But at the same time, I know that the Florida National Guard is as patriotic, as equipped, as trained, as ready to serve as anyone. And they stepped up instantly with only a five-day notice on deployment after basic. Normally the policy is 30 days. And I'm reflecting some of their frustration.
So, Mr. Secretary, can you paint for us a picture of the decision process to review and approve the recommendations of the services relative to rotation policies and plans and how you also will ensure the near and longer-term rotation plans will meet the military requirements, not only in Iraq and Afghanistan?
And, General, then if you would comment on the challenges of an Iraq-Afghan rotation policy, begging a broader question of the adequacy of the armed forces, as currently sized and structured?
WOLFOWITZ: Senator, you've asked a lot of questions, which need some work. I've been -- I ran into a Tennessee Air National Guard unit that had a history not unlike what you're describing about the Florida Army National Guard.
BILL NELSON: I flew into Baghdad with Texas and Tennessee Guard units on the C-130s. And, of course, they were considerably concerned about when they were going to get home, too.
WOLFOWITZ: And that...
BILL NELSON: And they were concerned, by the way, that sometimes they would fly those C-130s absolutely empty.
WOLFOWITZ: Well, and they're concerned, I think, about -- they're incredibly willing to serve. I didn't encounter an attitude of complaining at all, remarkably. But a question of fairness, which I think is underlying your question, is a burden. But is it distributed fairly, is it shared equally? And I will try to get back to you with answers on the decision- making process.
WOLFOWITZ: I'll also to try to get back to you with answers on whether the specific question you raised about whether the 12-month policy should apply across the board or whether for those already there it should be different.
It is, to get to the larger question -- and I'll ask General Myers to help me on this -- I think what you describe may be extreme in the case of the Florida National Guard but it is, unfortunately, reflective of stresses throughout the Reserve and National Guard system. And that's why we are, on an urgent basis, addressing this question of active/reserve mix.
It's also why -- I guess I'll say it for the third or fourth time, now, and I'm sorry to do it -- but we really believe that a lot of these things that guardsmen are doing could be done today by active duty personnel who are tied up doing administrative and information technology and other kinds of tasks that are just very obviously good candidates for civilians.
And as we look at how to reduce the dependence on the Guard and Reserve for some of these functions and move them into the active force, the only way we're going to be able to do it is if we can shift some of those functions from the active force into the civilian work force.
It can be done. The numbers start at 10,000 up to 50,000 possibly in the first fiscal year, and at some point you could get into, I think, six figures. So again, I appeal for help on that.
BILL NELSON: General Myers, do you want to add anything?
MYERS: Well, the only thing I would add, Senator Nelson, is that I personally host a Guard and Reserve conference every year just so we can talk about issues like that.
I'm not sure those issues emerged from this conference just concluded in the last month or so, but they're important points, because predictability in the lives of all our armed forces is very important. If it's more important to any component, it's probably in the Reserve component, because they've got, in many cases, employers they have to make arrangements with as well.
So we understand that. The secretary understands that. Secretary Rumsfeld understands that. And we need to look into this issue of fairness in Florida as a -- we'll look at all the units, and we'll see how they're being done.
We have taken a look, and why we established the rotation policy we did was to find some -- if you will, some goals for rotation that will enable us to not just do Iraq and Afghanistan, but also the other things that we're committed to do around the world.
And part of that is based on, and part of the rotation policy is based on the fact that in Iraq we want to bring on as quickly as possible Iraqis taking care of their own security. And we've talked a little bit about that. So that's a piece of it, of course.
We would like to make this as multi-national around the world as we can. In Afghanistan, we've already talked about the numbers there, but they're huge -- international participation in Afghanistan, which is extremely important to us; Iraq as well. Other places around the world where we need support.
Part of it is wrapped up in the global force presence policy and where we have forces stationed in the world today. And perhaps you could free some of those up to do other things. And we've talked about that in terms of Korea. And it's not just Korea, but other places as well.
And so those are the kind of deliberations that we're in the middle of to try to do exactly what you want to do, is make sure that we're postured for the long term, for the long run.
Because, going back to Senator Dayton, the overall war on terrorism's going to require patience, and probably a substantial commitment for some time to come.
WARNER: Thank you very much, Senator. Senator Cornyn?
CORNYN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you to the witnesses for hanging in there with us during this hearing -- this very important hearing. I remember, it's 42 years ago when I was very young, President Kennedy said something that I heard President Bush echo last Sunday night. President Kennedy said, "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty."
And I was pleased to hear Senator Dayton mention the broad, bipartisan support that your efforts enjoy in this body for your efforts here as our troops bear the burden that we've -- that they volunteered for, and which they are currently bearing now in Iraq, so that liberty may succeed for the Iraqi people and also for the American people.
But, of course, the decision in the Congress to go to war in Iraq was not universal -- universally shared that commitment. And there are those who, in my view, seek some vindication of their lack of agreement for the nation's policy to -- for regime change in the subsequent hardships that our military forces have endured. And that's unfortunate.
I apologize for not having been here at the very beginning of this hearing, but I was chairing another hearing which I think is indicative of where we are in the post-9/11 environment, and that was a hearing on the continuity of Congress in the event of a catastrophic event, perhaps a terrorist attack on this very Capitol, which, indeed, was narrowly averted on 9/11 due, in large part, to the heroic efforts of civilians on the plane that were able to divert it to a Pennsylvania field.
The very fact we're having a hearing about the continuity of government is a solemn reminder -- additional reminder of the serious threats that we face.
I just want to come out and say that I commend President Bush and the administration for the resolute leadership that's been demonstrated in the war on terror, both in Iraq and around the globe. I believe that everyone whose engaged in fighting this war, from the most junior recruit to the commander in chief, are doing a remarkable job under extraordinarily difficult circumstances.
Of course, we understand -- the American people understand that this -- we are engaged already in a presidential election and that there are those who criticize the president's handling of the war in Iraq in order to gain political advantage.
And the American people, as I say, understand that.
But again, speaking only for myself, I find something unsavory about comments of those who seek political advantage in questioning our commitment to our troops and our commitment to winning the war on terror.
I believe that there's a lot to be very proud of, in terms of what we have been able to accomplish, in terms of making sure that the Iraqi people will enjoy the blessings of liberty that we enjoy in this country.
For me, the fundamental question is, are Iraqis better off today than they were during Saddam's regime? The answer is unequivocally yes. Is America a safer place today than it was before Saddam was toppled? And I think the answer to that is, likewise, unequivocally yes.
I had the privilege of traveling to Iraq with the chairman and the ranking member and other members of this committee at the end of June and the beginning of July. I was shocked, as they were, to see samples of mass graves of some 300,000 individuals who Saddam had simply killed during his reign of terror. I've been shocked as well to learn of some 1.5 million people who are simply missing, and we don't really know where they are, whether they're dead or alive, in Iraq or out of Iraq or elsewhere.
And, of course, we know today that there are those who enjoy religious who did not enjoy religious freedom under Saddam's regime. Women now have basic rights. The Iraqi people have hope for the future that they did not have just a few short months ago.
But I'd like to ask both -- perhaps, Secretary Wolfowitz, for you to comment on this issue, and that is, I know it's been -- because of the sabotage that we've seen on the electrical grid, the transmission lines in Iraq, it's been very difficult for us to get the message of all of our accomplishments out to the Iraqi people.
Indeed that was one of the things I came away with on our trip; that the American people are seeing the drip, drip, drip of criticism of the arm-chair generals and the pundits who want to criticize everything that happens that does not happen in a perfect or desirable way. And I really worry that we are not doing everything we might do to get the positive message out to the Iraqi people.
And I wonder if you would just speak to that issue and the challenges you have and, perhaps, some of the successes that you've seen.
WOLFOWITZ: I'd like to do that, but if I could also comment on what you said earlier, because I agree with you very strongly, we have an awful lot to be proud of, in terms of what we've done for the Iraqi people, in terms of what we've done to make the whole Middle East safer -- they're a long way from safe -- and what we've done to make our children and grandchildren safer, although still a long way from safe.
And I think it's very important, as I said earlier, that we be open to criticism, that we learn the lessons we need to learn. But not to send out a message to our enemies that we're weak, or that we're lacking in resolve, or that we don't recognize what we've accomplished and how strong we are, because, believe me, they do know we're strong.
We need to show that we believe it.
It was said earlier, I think by Senator Reed, that the costs of this conflict were underestimated. I don't know which estimates he's referring to, but it seems to me that, in fact, if you look at the various things that we feared could happen, and quite legitimately feared -- in fact, got a list here that Secretary Rumsfeld drew up -- and it was secret at the time; I don't know if it is still secret -- of 29 different terrible things that could happen with the war on Iraq, and he kept -- he started this list. He kept adding to it and adding to it and asking us to think about what kind of things needed to be done to prevent it.
But there's a note at the bottom that says, "It is possible, of course, to prepare a similar or lesser (ph) list of all the potential problems that need to be considered if there's no regime change in Iraq."
I think it was the right decision.
I do think it's important to note that there are people who opposed the war, but who now understand the importance of winning it. And I appreciate that support very much. I think that has to be said.
But let me say that none of who believed it was the right thing to do, thought it would be easy. Anyone who knows anything about war should not ever think the war would be easy.
But we didn't start this war. We were attacked on September 11th. We are defending ourselves, not simply by setting behind walls and barriers, but by going after the enemy where they are.
And I'll say it over again, Senator McCain has said it, the president has said it, General Abizaid said it, today the essential battle on the war on terrorism is the struggle to build a secure and free Iraq. And the terrorists know it. I think most of our people know it. Certainly, our men and women who are out there fighting know it. And we have to win it.
Part of winning it now, to get to your specific question is, indeed, the information campaign. General Abizaid has five Is: better intelligence, more Iraqis, more internationalization, better infrastructure, and better information, meaning, in the sense of media and getting the message out.
And we're at a number of disadvantages. One is there's a lot of poison out there, very sophisticated, from the local media in that part of the world. It's pretty hard to fight that; we've got to fight it.
We had some severe physical infrastructure problems which I think are largely corrected. We now cover most of the country.
The big challenge now is getting the right kind of programing. And it is a better challenge there, because we're dealing with people, if you do surveys -- I don't know the percentages exactly -- but most Iraqis rely for their information on rumor, because in their history rumor's been much more reliable than anything you heard on state television.
We have to get the kind of programming in Arabic. We may be good at media here, but we're not naturally skilled in Arabic media. But Ambassador Bremer has brought a new man out there, Gary Thatcher (ph), to be -- to do for the media what Bernie Kerik has done for the police, if I could put it that way. Somebody, I think of real star quality, who has some -- a very ambitious strategy put together.
And just as we are looking at how we can accelerate fixing electricity by putting money against a good program, I think we have a good program now on the media side that deserves money against it. And that is, indeed, part of what we're asking for out of the supplemental. It's -- the importance of it can't be exaggerated.
But let me make one last comment on this subject, because I saw it in connection with the Najaf bombing. We're at a fundamental disadvantage -- it's what they call asymmetric warfare -- because we don't believe in putting out untruths. Our enemies will put out untruths the minute something happens.
We have people alleging that Americans bombed a mosque in Fallujah. We know it was wrong. It took us three days just to find out the facts, though. Until we had the facts, the best media network in the world couldn't counter the lies.
WOLFOWITZ: And one of the things we were talking about is just within our system, among the intelligence people, the military people, who know facts, is to appreciate the importance of getting that information not just to a tactical level but to a level where it can be used in an effective media campaign also.
CORNYN: Thank you. Let me just say, in wrapping up, that I was very pleased to see that the Arab League recognized the delegate, the foreign minister from the Iraqi Governing Council, as the legitimate representative of the Iraqi government, and see that as a important milestone.
WOLFOWITZ: A huge breakthrough, and it's real teamwork between Ambassador Bremer and our State Department colleagues.
CORNYN: It was very good news. But I think in conclusion let me just say, Mr. Chairman, I think we all know that there are obstacles to overcome and there'll be setbacks along the way. But I hope that the politics of the moment don't drive criticism that will only serve to undermine the war on terror, and tend to undermine American resolve.
I wonder what people must be thinking at this point. Certainly not that we should cut and run, or that we should leave the Iraqi people with only half of our promise fulfilled; the promise we made to them that they would enjoy the blessings of liberty. And certainly I know we will all agree that we owe our men and women in uniform our unequivocal support.
Our troops, I'm convinced, have the will to win. I hope our politicians have that will to win as well. Thank you very much.
WOLFOWITZ: Thank you, Senator.
WARNER: Senator, I thank you. Excellent statement on which to end this very important session of the Armed Services Committee. I'm pleased to note, together with my ranking member, that 22 senators participated in this hearing today.
We had extensive colloquies between the senators and our distinguished panel of witnesses. And I wish to commend each of you. You presented a strong message and you responded I think very thoroughly to the questions of the Senate.
General, I particularly want to thank you. I had an opportunity to visit at length with you yesterday, and we talked about your experience which goes back to Vietnam, which was another troubled era in the history of our country.
WARNER: But I think today was an example of how in a responsible way the executive branch is informing the legislative branch, and hopefully -- and I think, I'm optimistic -- the legislative branch is going to respond to the request of our president with regard to the support that we need to fulfill the missions and to do everything we can to protect the men and the women of the armed forces as they undergo the continuing burdens, together with their families, of these conflicts. And that includes Liberia where, again, as 2,300 Marines under the command of an Army two-star general, is a wonderful example of jointness, General Myers.
MYERS: Yes, sir.
WARNER: These are very significant moments in the history of this country. And I think our government, collectively, the two branches, are working in a responsible way to bring about fulfillment.
And as was said several times by many, what we do in these two conflicts to establish the direction of the world, in terms of its ability to deal with terrorism, not just for years, but for generations to come. So I thank you.
Mr. Chairman, if I may just thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your excellent conducting of this hearing, and say I would prefer your wisdom and discretion over any stopwatch any day of the week. Thank you.
WARNER: Well, I think in some instances I recognize my good friends on the right; don't worry about that. But time and time again, at the conclusion of a senator's period there were important responses that our witnesses brought information which was essential to complete the colloquy. And particularly, General Myers, if I ran over, by golly, it was your fault, but I'll take the heat.
MYERS: Thank you, sir. You bet. It's my fault.
WARNER: I'll take the heat.
MYERS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
WARNER: Thank you, Senator Dayton. And thank you, Senator Levin.
LEVIN: Just one quick comment, and let me thank our witnesses.
I think what you've heard, I surely feel is that there are differences as to how best we can succeed in defeating terrorism around the world and here at home. There are healthy differences as to how best to succeed. There are no differences as to whether we must succeed. That goal is shared by all that I know of in this Senate and, I think, by all Americans.
The constructive criticism which has been forthcoming, I hope is viewed as exactly that, as a healthy earmark in a democracy of what we're all about. And I hope that everyone watches this around will say, "Hallelujah, these folks here are trying to succeed in the war on terrorism, but they are more than willing to speak out as to how best to achieve that."
And that is what this body has always been about, I hope always will be about. And I think that you've expressed your understanding of that, all of you, this morning, that that is how you have taken comments from this panel this morning.
And finally, on the information side, let me just quickly say -- and I think all of us -- I don't think Senator Talent perhaps was there, but the rest of us who took that one trip together, remember very vividly that getting information to the people of Iraq about what is going on on the positive side is absolutely critical. We made that point on the ground in Iraq two months ago. We made that point when we got back here. We actually have asked for those tapes to see what is going forward to the people of Iraq on the television channel that we control.
We can't control Al-Jazeera. We can control our own television channel. And we've urged the administration to put Iraqi people speaking in Arabic, who have positive things to say about our trying to get water systems back, our trying to get electricity systems back, getting schools back and going again; and how it's the enemies, their enemies, who are attacking those progressive efforts on our part.
We've urged the administration to get those messages out not from our people speaking, not talking heads of Americans on our channel, but Iraqis talking to Iraqis about what we are trying to do, what our soldiers and our Marines and everyone else is trying to do in Iraq. It's essential that message get out. We've been pleading...
WOLFOWITZ: We're with you completely, Senator.
MYERS: Absolutely agree.
LEVIN: And I know you do. And we've been trying to get the actual tapes from the Defense Department for two months so that we can use our oversight responsibilities to say, "What is going out on that channel?"
LEVIN: We've been unable to get all of those tapes. Yet we're hoping that they'll be forthcoming. We're going to get them translated from Arabic because, frankly -- I think we're all in agreement on this, by the way. This is really something where we were all in agreement.
When Iraqis see Iraqis saying, "It was the terrorists, Iraqi terrorists or foreign terrorists who bombed those masques, who attacked our people in prayer; Americans are trying the religious freedom in Iraq," that message has got to be coming from Iraqis to Iraqis on our channel.
And it's there. The material is there if we will be using it. And you indicated there is someone now who is in charge of doing exactly that.
But again, I hope you would comply with the request that we get these tapes over the last three, four months as to what's been going out on television so we can satisfy ourselves that, in fact, the positive message is getting out to the people of Iraq.
MYERS: It can also stimulate us to get our people to perform better too. So I'm glad to work with you on that.
LEVIN: Thank you.
WARNER: Well, you mentioned the other day, when General Abizaid was here, and it's the follow-on, because Senator Cornyn, on that trip to Iraq, brought up this subject as you did today. And you indicated in our discussions here a week ago that you needed to do more in that area. And you've agreed today to do just that.
(UNKNOWN) Mr. Chairman?
(UNKNOWN) Over here.
TALENT: I didn't want the hearing to close leaving uncontested, on the record, Senator Nelson's comment that the Florida National Guard was the best in the country. (LAUGHTER) I saw a few eyebrows raised around the table. And as good as the Florida National Guard is, I don't want to leave the record showing that I agree with that comment.
LEVIN: As a matter of fact, I'm glad Senator Talent mentioned that because in that one regard, I think there is total disagreement on this panel. (LAUGHTER)
WARNER: Thank you very much.