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DoD News Briefing - Secretary Rumsfeld and Gen. Myers

Presenter: Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
March 11, 2003 1:30 PM EDT

(Also participating was Gen. Richard B. Myers, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.)

Rumsfeld: Good afternoon.

The president made clear that he is determined to confront the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and that if he does not disarm, he will be disarmed by a coalition of willing countries. And I believe that if such a decision were to be made, it would prove to be a large coalition. We hope to see the United Nations act. The credibility of the U.N. is important to the world. But if the Security Council fails this test of resolve, a coalition will be ready to act nonetheless.

The question before the United Nations is clear: Is Saddam Hussein taking this final opportunity that was offered by Resolution 1441 to disarm or not? And the answer to the question, it strikes me, is increasingly obvious. He makes a show of destroying a handful of missiles; missiles which he claimed in his declaration did not violate U.N. restrictions, but now admits that they do violate U.N. restrictions. Yet even as he destroys those missiles, he's ordered the continued production of the very same types of missiles. He claims to have no chemical or biological weapons, yet we know he continues to hide biological and chemical weapons, moving them to different locations as often as every 12 to 24 hours, and placing them in residential neighborhoods.

He is an accomplished deceiver, or else why would so many in the world community continue to be deceived so long? If it becomes necessary to use military force, we know he will stop at nothing to deceive the world by spreading lies. We are taking extraordinary measures to prevent innocent casualties. Hussein, by contrast, will seek to maximize civilian deaths and create the false impression that coalition forces target innocent Iraqis, which of course is not the case.

Before any conflict begins, we should look back and recall his history of deception: What he said and what he did during the Gulf War conflict. During that war, the Iraqi regime went to great lengths to convince the world that coalition forces had targeted innocent civilians and Muslim holy sites.

For example, on February 13th, 1991, coalition forces fired precision guided bombs at the Amiriyah bunker in Baghdad. The bunker had originally been constructed as an air raid shelter during the Iran-Iraq war. But when -- the latter was converted into a military command and control center.

Unbeknownst to coalition forces, the Iraqi regime had told civilians that it was an air raid shelter, and admitted them to the top floors in the evening. Right beneath them was a military command and control center that was being used by senior Iraqi officials for military communications. We later learned that Saddam Hussein had decreed that all Iraqi military bunkers would also house civilians.

Another example. During the gulf war on February 11th, 1991 the Iraqi regime deliberately removed the dome of the al-Bushra mosque and dismantled it in an attempt to make it appear that coalition forces had deliberately struck a mosque. Which was not the case. Satellite photos later revealed that while the dome was gone, there was no damage to the minaret, the courtyard buildings, or the dome foundation, which would have been the case had coalition forces struck the building.

There are many other examples. But the point is this: he does not tell the truth, he lied during the Gulf war, and if there is to be another war, he will lie again. Indeed, he already is. The only question is whether he will be believed despite his record.

We know from recent intelligence that he has ordered uniforms that are virtually identical to those of U.S. and British forces for his Fedayeen Saddam troops, who would theoretically wear them while committing atrocities against innocent Iraqis. His regime may be planning to use weapons of mass destruction against its own citizens, and then blame coalition forces. When his regime begins claiming once again that coalition forces have targeted innocent Iraqi civilians, if that's to be the case, we need to keep his record in mind.

General Myers.

Myers: Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

We are continuing to flow troops into the Iraqi theater of operations. Our numbers now exceed 225,000 troops. If the President makes the decision to do so, they stand ready to disarm Iraq.

Our presence continues to support the diplomatic efforts of the President, and in order to keep the pressure on the Iraqi regime to disarm we have stepped up Southern Watch operations. We are now flying several hundred sorties a day, with 200 or 300 over the Southern no-fly zone. During these operations we responded twice yesterday to repeated firings on coalition aircraft.

Next, I'd like to show you a slide . You'll see three little bursts down here -- I'll talk about the Easternmost two first.

FA-18s and F-16s dropped precision- guided weapons against the cable repeater sites as marked, the Easternmost ones on the map. These sites are part of the air defense communications network and system in Iraq. Concerning the Westernmost mark out there where it says H-3 Airfield, in an earlier response, F-15Es dropped munitions against a Flat Face air defense radar near that airfield in western Iraq, and we have a video of that.

So if you'd roll the video , please.

Looks like it might have started a little bit late, there. But we can rewind it. We'll roll it again.

Q: Earlier this week --

Myers: I'm sorry?

Q: Earlier this week, not today?

Staff: Yesterday.

Q: Were those secondary explosions, General?

Myers: No. And you would not expect them with that kind of target.

That's it. You can see the revetment that it was sitting in.

And finally, in Afghanistan, a four-man team -- three Afghans and one U.S. soldier -- were in a vehicle that struck a mine about 60 miles north of Asadabad. Early reports indicate the vehicle flipped over, killing one of the Afghan personnel; one Afghan was injured, and a third Afghan national, plus the U.S. soldier, were treated and then released.

And with that, well take your questions.

Q: What day was that?

Myers: That was yesterday. It was just early this morning.

Rumsfeld: Charlie?

Q: Mr. Secretary, you cited earlier saving civilian lives, and you also mentioned the uniform charge again. In this war of words with Iraq, ahead of what appears to be a looming war, you keep citing intelligence sources. For instance, Defense officials are saying today that the Iraqi regime is warning civilians in southern Iraq that they'll either have to kill U.S. paratroopers that land there or that their families will be killed after the war, and if they cooperate with U.S. forces, their families would be murdered.

Could you tell us, number one, the source of that, and how you get such intelligence information? How are these charges credible if you don't say how you're getting them?

Rumsfeld: I suppose it would be clearly not in our interest to describe the sources and methods of intelligence gathering. It would dry up intelligence. So we're not going to do it. Whether or not you consider them credible is your choice. In the event ground truth is gleaned at some point in the future, you'll find they were accurate.

Q: Is in fact the regime threatening Iraqis in the south and warning them not --

Rumsfeld: The regime is one of the most repressive regimes on the face of the earth. They threaten all of their people every day. That's how they live in that country, under threat of the government.

Q: Are they directly telling civilians in the south to kill U.S. troops when they land, or face possible death themselves?

Rumsfeld: I do not have in my possession a piece of intelligence that says that, but it may very well be true. And I have seen other similar things that involved different circumstances in different parts of the country that I did see the intelligence on. I just happen not have that.

Q: Mr. Secretary, the Air Force --

Q: Could you tell us about what you can tell us about the circumstances of the aborted U-2 missions today in Iraq; what the circumstances were and under what conditions you would recommend they would be resumed?

Rumsfeld: Well, we want them resumed because UNMOVIC wants them resumed, and Mr. Blix has asked us to do that. I don't really know precisely. We've asked that it be run down. We believe that we had clearance through the Department of State that deals with UNMOVIC. So DOD talks to State, State talks to UNMOVIC, UNMOVIC talks to the Iraqis. Where the breakdown occurred is not clear to me, but we don't believe it was between DOD and State. It may have been between State and UNMOVIC or UNMOVIC or the Iraqis, or it may have been us. I just don't happen to know. We're trying to sort it through.

In any event, the Iraqis asked UNMOVIC -- UNMOVIC asked us for the flights, for the U-2 flight. We supplied the aircraft and were ready, and at some moment the Iraqis asked the UNMOVIC to cancel them because there were two instead of one or something. If you go back to 1441, the Iraqis' requirement was to be cooperative what whatever it was that UNMOVIC wanted and to cooperate fully in disarming. And clearly, by advising UNMOVIC that they wanted those flights cancelled, it's not -- I wouldn't put that on the cooperation side of the ledger for Iraq.

Q: Were they directly threatened in the air?

Rumsfeld: No.

Q: Mr. Secretary, the Air Force --

Q: This morning, sir, the Turkish ambassador to the United States, among other things, said that the United States has not yet -- General Myers, you may know this as well, sir -- the United States has not yet acquired permission to over fly Turkey in the event of conflict with Iraq. This is a separate issue, of course, of basing troops, ground troops, in Turkey. My question -- my broader question is, what progress is the United States making to secure those rights? And he specifically said also the planes now at Incirlik, in the northern no- fly zone, could not be used in an offensive capacity should there be a war with Iraq.

My question is, what steps are being taken to secure those over flight permissions? And if indeed it's not granted, how does that complicate, if it does, any war with Iraq.

Rumsfeld: Well, first, my understanding of the situation is it's not in any way inconsistent with what you said the ambassador said. My recollection is that Turkey and all NATO countries, I believe, provided over flight rights for Operation Enduring Freedom, which is separate.

Q: Yes.

Rumsfeld: Second, needless to say, as you point out, we have Northern no-fly zone aircraft there that are performing that function. All of the requests for -- from Turkey -- of us, of Turkey, in -- whether it's ground or air or over flight, are all wrapped up in parliamentary approval, as I understand that.

Q: If I may, sir, he explained to us that they are -- could be distinctive requests, in other words, that the legislation that was not approved last weekend on ground troops did not specifically or does not have to specifically include over flights. Is it possible to go for the over flights and not the ground troops?

Rumsfeld: The Department of State's working these things with the Turkish government, and General Myers and I talk to them, and other officials from the White House do. How -- what model will end up being appropriate for Turkey remains to be seen, and I don't know that trying to overanalyze every day's events makes an awful lot of sense. At least it doesn't serve any purpose we have.

Q: Mr. Secretary, the Air Force --

Myers: Can I make one comment on that?

Rumsfeld: You bet.

Myers: The other part, on --

Q: The complications.

Myers: -- complications, the fact is that we will have a northern option, whether or not we -- Turkey fully supports all our requests. And I'm --

Q: Mr. Secretary --

Myers: I'm not going to talk about the operational ways of doing it, but just be assured there will be a Northern option.

Q: Mr. Secretary, a question for either you or General Myers or both, whichever you prefer. The Air Force is testing today the biggest bomb in the U.S. arsenal, a 21,000-pound behemoth which has 18,000 pounds of high explosives. And really two issues here -- one, collateral damage and how you're going to use it against bunkers or troops. And if you want to show the devastation of this weapon to the troops -- I understand the test is being videotaped -- would you like to do that, under Psychological Operations, PsyOps? And if so, how would you do that? (Scattered and very subdued laughter.)

Is that the Rumsfeld smile? I mean, Al-Jazeera -- (off mike).

Rumsfeld: We have weapon tests all the time.

Q: But this is a monster.

Rumsfeld: This is not small. (Laughter.)

Yes?

Q: Sir, support for a possible war is shrinking rapidly in Great Britain. Would the -- two questions. Would the United States go to war without Great Britain? And two, would the role of the British in an initial assault be scaled back?

Rumsfeld: This is a matter that most of the senior officials in the government discuss with the U.K. on a daily or every- other-day basis. And I had a good visit with the Minister of Defense of the U.K. about an hour ago. Their situation is distinctive to their country, and they have a government that deals with a parliament in their way, distinctive way. And what will ultimately be decided is unclear as to their role; that is to say, their role in the event that a decision is made to use force. There's the second issue of their role in a post- Saddam Hussein reconstruction process or stabilization process, which would be a different matter. And I think until we know what the resolution is, we won't know the answer as to what their role will be and to the extent they're able to participate in the event the President decides to use force, that would obviously be welcomed. To the extent they're not, there are workarounds and they would not be involved, at least in that phase of it.

Q: We would consider going to war without our closest ally, then?

Rumsfeld: That is an issue that the President will be addressing in the days ahead, one would assume.

Yes?

Q: Mr. Secretary, you haven't had an opportunity to address this, and neither has General Myers. I wonder what your reaction is to the reports of alleged sexual abuse at the Air Force Academy and the response to it so far?

Rumsfeld: The -- any time there are allegations of that kind, it is, needless to say, just enormously disappointing to anyone connected with the Department. I personally believe that Secretary Roche and Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Jumper are dealing with it aggressively and are attentive to the issues and doing a good job. And one would hope that as they proceed, why, we'll be able to have Service Academies where charges like that are not made.

Q: Secretary Rumsfeld?

Q: Do you have anything to add to that, General Myers?

Myers: Nothing to add from that. I think it's a service issue and I think the Air Force is handling it well.

Rumsfeld: Yes?

Q: I have a question on the Boeing tanker lease deal. You were briefed on that yesterday, and I'm wondering if you can tell us your thoughts about both the IDA analysis that the per unit cost was too high, as well as when you anticipate making a decision?

Rumsfeld: I did get briefed. And my conclusion from the briefing is that it is not surprising that it has taken so long for the folks working on this to work their way through it. It is complex and they don't agree. We had people of one mind and people of another mind, and then as you properly point out, the IDA has still a third approach. And General Myers and I both listened attentively, and I've asked for some more information. And it's something that I guess I'll decide when I decide. But I don't need to set arbitrary deadlines as to when that might be.

Q: Mr. Secretary, how is the diplomatic wrangling at the U.N. delaying any decisions or preparations for the U.S. military to engage in any possible war with Iraq?

Rumsfeld: I mean, what it's doing to the President's decision process is something he'd have to answer. But from our standpoint, it's expected once the decision was made by the President to go to the United Nations -- first to the Congress and then the United Nations -- that that path was clear. And anyone knows that in that body it takes some time to have these discussions. And Secretary Powell and the President are both working the telephones and having meetings and looking at various aspects of resolutions as to how this might be sorted out in the days immediately ahead. But I wouldn't think that it would make an enormous difference to this Department in terms of what they're doing up there.

Q: Because any possible delay would only be a short delay, or because the preparations for possible war continue apace?

Rumsfeld: Well, obviously, we're continuing to flow forces and support the diplomacy and demonstrate to the Iraqi people the seriousness of purpose that the president has -- and other countries, I mean, other countries are flowing forces as well, it's not just the United States.

Q: Mr. Secretary, according to UNMOVIC, the Iraqis expressed surprise and concern about this second U-2 flight and said that they would consider it hostile and provocative and couldn't assure its safe passage. Do you see this as another material breach? And what's your perception of this?

Rumsfeld: Oh, I don't -- until I find out what the facts are, I wouldn't want to rush to judgment on it. I just don't know whether the Iraqis were actually told there would be two flights or not. And if they weren't, then their response might be considered not unreasonable. On the other hand, if they were or if it was -- there was never any understanding that there would only be one, you know, if UNMOVIC wants flights and they're looking at certain areas and targets and they request them, I do not know if there ever was any understanding that there should only be one at a time.

So it would be, you know, not like me to jump in and be critical unfairly. (Laughter.)

Q: If I could follow up, why do you think that it's so hard for the U.S. to get nine votes in the U.N. Security Council, despite what has been proposed, what has been laid out by the Secretary of State and yourself? Why do you think it has been so difficult?

Rumsfeld: Oh, I think that the other countries didn't experience September 11th as our country did. I think that these are difficult, tough issues and they take thinking about and understanding. And third, most countries don't have the intelligence capabilities that we do. And it takes some time to get people looking at the same set of facts. To the extent people are working off different understandings of what the facts are, it's not surprising they might come to somewhat different conclusions. But I guess we'll see whether we get nine or not.

Q: Mr. Secretary, just going back to the question of the MOAB, the Massive Ordnance Air Blast weapon --

Rumsfeld: Is that what that stands for? (Light laughter.)

Q: -- test this week, perhaps as early as today. Now, taking at face value your statement that the U.S. has weapons tests all the time, that said, if you're a member of the Iraqi military, what lesson would you draw and what insight might you take from the fact that the U.S. has this kind of capability and may demonstrate it as early as this week?

Rumsfeld: General Myers has the answer. (Laughter.) It's transformational.

Myers: The message is we're just -- we're going to continue to try to improve our conventional weapons capability. And as to the issue that Ivan brought up on how you handle the collateral damage, you handle it the same way for that weapon as you do for a 500-pound bomb or a thousand-pound bomb or two thousand-pound bomb. It's the same basic equation with the same basic parameters and the same thresholds for who gets to approve the use of what. So it doesn't -- it doesn't change --

Q: For instance, in Afghanistan, when the so-called Daisy Cutter bomb was dropped, it was acknowledged here that -- it was also dropped for psychological reasons, not just to kill as many al Qaeda and Taliban, but also to send a psychological message. Is there a psychological component to this massive new bomb?

Rumsfeld: There is a psychological component to all aspects of warfare. The goal is to not have a war. The goal is to have the pressure be so great that Saddam Hussein cooperates. Short of that, an unwillingness to cooperate, the goal is to have the capabilities of the coalition so clear and so obvious that there is an enormous disincentive for the Iraqi military to fight against the coalition, and there's an enormous incentive for Saddam Hussein to leave and spare the world a conflict.

The question of tipping, when things actually tip, is a function of to what extent are people persuaded that there is an inevitability to it. As long as there is a conviction that Saddam Hussein's going to be there six, eight, 10, 12 months from now, people behave one way; he'll kill them if they behave some other way. And he'll attack his neighbors if they behave in some way. Conversely, once they decide that he's not going to be there, then their behavior begins to change, and there's not a lot of love between the Iraqi people and their -- even the Iraqi military and that regime. It's a vicious regime.

Q: General Myers, I think beating around the bush, around this bomb, I think the question is if it shows up today that it's --

Rumsfeld: I don't think I would characterize it as "beating around the bush". Would --

Myers: I thought -- no, it's pretty forthright. No.

(Cross talk.)

Q: (Inaudible due to cross talk) -- available. How probable -- how probable would it be -- how probable would it be that it could be deployed to the theater if, in fact, this test goes off as planned today? Is this like a one-of-a-kind, or do you have two or three in the pipeline you could theoretically deploy over there if it shows its capability today? That's the question I think --

Myers: I don't think we should probably get specific about actual weapons employment. But obviously, anything we have in the arsenal, anything that's in almost any stage of development could be used. We did that in Desert Storm, as you know, with JointSTARS. We could do that with the capabilities here. We're certainly not going to deploy something that is not ready yet and that is not operationally suitable and effective and reliable and all those other issues that you have to go through, and supportable in the field. So.

Rumsfeld: Yes?

Q: Mr. Secretary, the Marines Harrier jet over its many years of use has had, I think, something like 45 pilots die. And that's the beginning of a vertical lift capability. Is there anything that you've learned or are seeking to learn in that context that would cause you to reevaluate the use of that jet, or are you satisfied with the way it's been used and with the effort to go toward a vertical lift capacity for the Marines?

Rumsfeld: Are you thinking about the V-22, the next step?

Q: Yes.

Rumsfeld: You're right. I mean, there have been some crashes with respect to the Harrier and there have been some crashes with respect to the V-22. The V-22 is currently in a test program. They just had a grounding, as I recall, for a hydraulic line or tube of some sort, which no one that I've talked to believes is serious or systemic. And the testing program, once those are changed out, I suspect, will go forward.

I think everyone who's been involved with those programs has to be cognizant of what the histories have been, and that's why this additional test period for the V-22 is in place.

Yes?

Q: The Turkish ambassador also spoke this morning about Turkey's intention to send troops across the border preemptively to stop refugees from flowing into southern Turkey. And he also talked about having troops there to look after some security interests if need be. My first question is, do you all have any concerns about that, or is that something -- a presence that you would welcome as being a stabilizing influence, or would it be opposite? And do you feel that, even with your Plan B, whatever that may be, for northern Iraq, you'll have enough of a presence, perhaps a heavy presence, in order to make sure that that situation doesn't get out of hand? Obviously, there could be some renewed fighting between Kurds and --

Rumsfeld: Well, let me start on that, and then, Dick, you can elaborate. But I didn't -- I suffer from not having heard the Ambassador's remarks, so I don't know precisely what he said. There has been discussion from time to time about the concerns of the Turkish government about refugees coming across their border, and as a result, there have been discussions from time to time by them about the possibility that they would at some moment, if they thought that was a problem, put some forces in a short distance from their border to try to avoid refugee infiltration of their country in some way.

The historic differences between the Turkish government and the Kurds and among Kurds, and between Kurds and the Saddam Hussein regime is just a fact. And our interests would be to make sure we had sufficient forces in the north, as General Myers indicated, to dissuade people from doing anything that would involve conflict between or among those groups.

Our interest, needless to say, is to see that Iraq remains a single country. That is also the interest of Turkey. That is to say they do not want to see a breakaway state, nor do we, nor do the people of Iraq, to my knowledge. And the -- all elements of our government have been engaged in discussion and declaratory policy as to what we believe ought to be done in the event of conflict to conduct ourselves, and what the red lines are, the things that we feel should not happen. We just don't want to see any kind of inter-ethnic or inter-communal conflict and the loss of life because people miscalculate and think that we would not have sufficient forces in the North, if force were to be used, to restore the kind of order that we would, and we would intend to be able to do that.

(To General Myers) Do you want to comment on that?

Myers: The only thing I would say, Pam, in addition is that we have, on the military-to-military side, worked very hard with the Turkish general staff to work out the modalities, if there were conflict, on how the U.S. and Turkey would coordinate any actions. And so there's fairly detailed work that has already gone on.

As the Secretary said, we've been working with the Turkish government, both the military and the political side, on this whole issue. And while I haven't heard the Turkish Ambassador's remarks, I know it's an issue that we worked very hard with them. And I would only end by saying that the parliamentary vote that denied the U.S. to bring its forces across Turkey was a vote that also prohibited Turkish forces from going outside of Turkey.

Q: Mr. Secretary?

Rumsfeld: Way in the back.

Q: We had a briefing this morning on planning for post-Saddam Iraq. And I was wondering, what role do you see for the Iraqi --

Rumsfeld: Who had that meeting?

Q: In this room we had --

Rumsfeld: Oh, did they?

Q: -- a senior official, right. What role do you see for the Iraqi military or the Army in a post- Saddam Iraq? And how do you plan to preserve elements of it, so that it can play that role?

Rumsfeld: There's no question in my mind but that there are elements of the Iraqi Army that will end up in a -- an Army of Iraq at some point, in the event that the Saddam Hussein regime is gone. Whether it would be the same size it is today, I think, is a question. And what elements would be most appropriate or least appropriate is something that a vetting process that would take place would determine.

Q: How could the Iraqi military or elements of it that do not wish to support Saddam -- how could they signal it to you, so that they will still be around when the dust settles?

Rumsfeld: They are being communicated with privately at the present time. They are being -- will be communicated with in a more public way. And they will receive instructions so that they're -- they can behave in a way that will be seen and understood as being non-threatening. And they will be not considered combatants, and they will be handled in a way that they are no longer part of the problem.

Q: These officials --

Myers: I would -- let me just, if I can, just add on a little bit to that. Clearly any involvement by the Iraqi military in any form of biological or chemical or nuclear/radiological weapons -- they will not be part of any new Iraqi military, if it comes to that.

Rumsfeld: That's the understatement of the afternoon. (Scattered laughter.)

Myers: There will be another process they'll be involved in. Any -- (laughter) -- any other war crimes, things that would be listed under war crimes -- we'll take a hard look at all of that. There -- as the Secretary said, there will be a very thorough vetting process.

But you know, harming civilians in this conflict, using civilians as shields, using human shields as shields, any of those things that we've talked about before, those -- that will all be cataloged, and the vetting process will reveal those who participated in war crimes and those who didn't.

Rumsfeld: Yeah.

Q: These officials also described a process where they seemed to indicate, after a rapid vetting period, that the U.S. would pay the Iraqi -- the remnants of the Iraqi Army to stay in uniform, to stay in their units. Can you describe how that would work and what the benefits of a process like that would be?

Rumsfeld: Sure, I'll try. And I'll do it imperfectly because there's still some pieces of it that are evolving. I don't have the benefit of knowing what the briefer said and I don't want to contradict him. So let me qualify what I'm going to say by saying I have not met with those folks for the last -- at that level -- for the last couple of days, and I may not be as current as I could be.

But, that being said, it is likely that you're going to have a number of people -- Iraqi people -- who are doing things. They either are pensioniers who are living off some pension from the Iraqi government, or they're Iraqi military that are not combatants and not problems for the coalition, or they may be government officials running ministries that provide water, and food and things for people. And a judgment will have to be made at some point as to what portions of those people ought to be kept in place; not just what portions, but which people, as well, ought to be kept in place and led by somewhat different people. And the way to keep them in place rather than having them all suddenly be without their government stipend would be to find some way to see that they are given enough to live while they are staying in place and performing what would have to be characterized as a useful service in a manner that is consistent with the coalition's goals and hopes and aspirations for that country.

Now, what money would be used? You suggested U.S. dollars. I think probably not. My impression is that the -- there are a number of billions of dollars of frozen assets, there's a large number -- double-digit number -- of billions of dollars of funds in the U.N. that are oil-for-food related and there are certainly activities in Iraq that would qualify, one would think, for access to some of those funds.

Second, there will certainly be a humanitarian effort worldwide; the donors' conference that would be held and other countries would be asked to participate. And if the past is a prelude, why, clearly other countries would participate, just as they have been in Afghanistan. There isn't a day that goes by that another country doesn't offer up something for Afghanistan, whether it's money or a hospital or assistance of one type or another. So there would be that. I think the --

Q: Wouldn't front end money be U.S., in all probability, because we would be the primary players in a conflict if there were a conflict?

Rumsfeld: I suppose what you'd have to do is ask yourself: What's the front end? I would think having Saddam Hussein not be there would be the front end. And I would think that the existing assets that belong to the Iraqi people would be the logical funds that would be used to support the Iraqi people. There's one other source, and that's oil revenue. So there's the frozen assets, there's the billions of dollars -- I think it's 10, 11, 12 billion dollars that the U.N. has --

(To General Myers.) Is that roughly the number?

Myers: Yes, sir.

Rumsfeld: -- plus their oil revenues. And so, it's not as though the country is destitute.

I think we will conclude with that question. Thank you very much.

Q: Do you know the frozen asset number offhand?

Rumsfeld: I don't. And I -- it's much less than the other, it's down in the -- (off mike) -- the last time I checked.

Q: Would you give a tape to Al-Jazeera, Mr. Secretary, of that test? Would that be useful?

Rumsfeld: Would I do what?

Q: Give a tape to Al-Jazeera about the test out at --

Rumsfeld: Oh, that would be saber rattling.

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