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THE FUTURE OF IRAQ
February 11, 2003
SEN. RICHARD LUGAR (R-IN): The hearing of the Foreign Relations Committee will come to order. Last Thursday this committee heard testimony from Secretary of State Colin Powell who joined us one day after he presented powerful evidence of Iraq's non-compliance with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441. He detailed in a statement before the United Nations Security Council a compelling document which was a great service to our nation and to the world community.
Today for the third time this year, the Foreign Relations Committee turns its attention again to Iraq. We pose the question, "What must we do to help ensure that Iraq becomes a secure and responsible member of the world community following any potential military action?" When asking this question, we must avoid any tendency to view military operations in Iraq as separate from reconstruction of Iraq.
In fact, our ability to secure allies for any necessary military action will be greatly enhanced if we have laid out a clear vision of how the United States will work with the international community to feed and to shelter Iraq's people, to help establish responsible governance and to eliminate weapons of mass destruction. We must not assume that our commitment of armed forces will end if and when Saddam Hussein is to slide from power. Even under the best post-Saddam scenarios, Iraq will remain an enormous security challenge that's likely to require substantial American and allied troops.
Since Secretary Powell's appearance last week, the debate over Iraq has taken additional twists and turns. This past weekend, Germany, Russia and France proposed doubling or perhaps tripling international inspectors in Iraq with the support of peacekeepers to enforce what some have termed coercive inspections. Unfortunately, this proposal as its predecessors will fail in the absence of Iraqi compliance and cooperation.
Hans Blix put it best when he said, and I quote, "the principal problem is not the number of inspectors, rather the active cooperation of the Iraqi side." End of quote. Absent Iraqi cooperation is unclear what impact if any U2 overflights and the law against weapons of mass destruction will have with regard to compliance with U.N. resolution 1441.
Saddam Hussein has not complied with past U.N. resolutions. He has not opened his weapons programs to independent auditors, the United Nations and the IAEA. He continues defiant rhetoric and refuses to disarm. Today, fully 12 years after Operation Desert Storm, the world continues to face threats posed by Iraq and its ruler.
We have full confidence in the United States military which is moving into the region with its allies in a comprehensive manner. Tens of thousands of our reserves have been called up, including one from our own midst, Commander Patrick Harvey (ph), who will leave my staff next week to join the effort. As well, over 100,000 troops already in theater and perhaps as many more on the way. Our men and women in uniform and the technology and fire power they control will have every advantage. There is still hope that military action can be averted.
Nevertheless success in Iraq requires that the administration, the Congress and the American people now think beyond current military preparations and move toward the enunciation of a clear post-conflict plan for Iraq and the region. We must articulate a plan that commences with a sober analysis of the costs that squarely addresses how Iraq would be secured and governed and precisely what commitment the United States must undertake. Several groups of scholars and experts have produced blueprints for our post-conflict policy discussions. We will use those reports as a framework and I thank the Council on Foreign Relations, the Center for Strategic International Studies, the International Rescue Commission, the Brookings Institution and others who have wrestled with these issues.
In the same vein, the Washington Post posed several questions last Sunday that have been the subject of much examination by this committee. They are: who will rule Iraq and how? Who will provide security? How long might U.S. troops conceivably remain? Will the United Nations have a role? And who will manage Iraq's oil resources?
Unless the administration can answer these questions in detail, the anxiety of Arab and European governments as well as that of many in the American public over our staying power will only grow. And we want to work with the administration to formulate a clear post- conflict plan. Such a plan must be embedded in a broader vision of how political liberalization and economic development can be fostered in the aftermath of potential military conflict.
Today, we will lay out the overarching problems ahead and focus on the security aspects. Forthcoming hearings will examine humanitarian assistance, reconstruction, public governance, economic development and other critical issues. We will have before us two distinguished panelists.
The first panel at the table now immediately before us will be Undersecretary of State, Marc Grossman and Undersecretary of Defense, Doug Feith, who will outline the administration's planning with respect to the future of Iraq. The second panel of defense security experts will attempt to paint a picture of the security challenges that the coalition will face should the current regime be displaced by whatever means. We look forward to the insights to be provided by General Anthony Zinni, Colonel Scott Feil and Professor Anthony Cordesman.
I look forward to consulting closely with the members of this committee and with the administration on thoughtful preparations for Iraq. Our security, our alliances and our credibility will depend on undertaking a vigorous effort to move Iraq into the family of nations. I now call upon the distinguished ranking member of our committee, Senator Biden.
R. BIDEN, JR.
SEN. JOSEPH R. BIDEN (D-DE): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for having this hearing. I think in a sense you and I have been like a broken record since last spring attempting to focus on this subject.
All the members sitting here before you now are from a generation so-called Vietnam generation that -- we may have had different views during the conduct of that war and we may have different views as to the consequences of that war. I suspect, without talking to any of my colleagues, we'd all agree on one thing, that the one lesson universally learned from Vietnam is that a foreign policy no matter how well or poorly articulated cannot be sustained without the informed consent of the American people.
There is no informed consent today. The American people have no notion what we are about to undertake. They have focused on, in my experience, in my state, in my region and other parts of the country, they have focused on the war in Iraq in terms of and from the perspective of the last war in Iraq.
I believe and I don't know what the polls would say but I can tell you what my anecdotal evidence is and I suspect my colleagues don't have a very different view -- I think most of our constituents think, if we go to war, the war will be swift and successful, as close to bloodless as they've become accustomed to in Kosovo and the last Gulf War and that Johnny and Jane are going to come marching home again quickly. There has been an overwhelming reluctance on the part of the administration to speak to, even acknowledging the witnesses we had in the summer, of the necessity to have a significant concentration of American forces in place in Iraq for some period of time.
We are going to hear from Colonel Feil and Mr. Cordesman and General Zinni, who we have heard from in the past. I believe they were here about five months ago, six months ago, telling us, "Get ready" not "Don't do it, not do it but get ready." We are about to undertake an enormous, an enormous responsibility. Not only for our own safety sake but for the region's. That is not a reason not to proceed against Saddam Hussein but it is a compelling reason to discuss in as much detail as possible what we are about to ask of the American people.
I think they are fully prepared to do whatever is asked of them, if it's rational. But I am very concerned and I will say this although I do not speak for the military, Mr. Feith at Defense, but I had the opportunity to speak with a couple of hundred of generals assembled in the Gulf not long ago. They all asked privately and some publicly -- not publicly, it was a closed meeting -- they wanted to know whether or not the senator from Nebraska and I, were we going to be there when it's over, when the guns go silent, where are we going to when it came down to deciding we had to put another 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 billion dollars -- and the estimates vary greatly, it will depend on how the fighting takes place if it occurs -- are we going to make sure we don't do what we've done in Afghanistan. We have now safely committed the fate of Afghanistan, a large part, to the warlords.
I'm told when I speak to members of the administration things are all right in western Afghanistan, Ishmael Kahn is in charge. I find that very reassuring. We now have essentially Ameri-Kabul, a guy named Karzai, and a struggle between what we have in Afghanistan and the warlords for control of Afghanistan.
As far back as last spring, speaking to the French, and I'm speaking for myself, speaking to the French foreign ministers and defense ministers, the Germans, everyone else, the one thing that was most often raised with me was, all right, we think he should go, but when he goes what are you going to do? Are you going to do what you're doing in Afghanistan? We appropriated -- we authorized $200 million for Afghanistan. We didn't appropriate any of it. We're told we don't need any more in Afghanistan.
To state the obvious, Iraq is a heck of a lot more complicated, a heck of a lot more sophisticated, and they live in a neighborhood that is very, very, very complex. And so I don't think we're talking about the day after, I don't think we're talking about post-conflict policy in terms of weeks, I think we're talking about the decade after. That's just my view, I hope I can be dissuaded that that's the extent of the commitment.
Mr. Chairman, maintaining a secure environment after a possible war in Iraq is going to be the sine qua non for any positive change we wish to bring to Iraq. I suspect we'll discover the definition of security will take on a very broad dimension. Patrolling cities and borders, mediating between rival groups, helping refugees return peacefully, remaking a new Iraqi army, helping those discharged find employment and arbitrating the most mundane of local disputes.
I predict to you that Kirkuk is going to make Mitrovica look like a picnic. When the Senator -- and I'll conclude with this, Mr. Chairman -- when the Senator and I had our little seven, eight hour car ride through the mountains of northern Iraq in the middle of the night to meet with the Kurds, they went way out of the way to demonstrate to us how much progress they had made, and it was obvious they had, in their semi state of autonomy up there, since the no fly zone has been imposed.
And they went out of their way, and I don't speak, for I don't -- no one speaks for Senator Hagel, but I suspect, because we talked so much about it, we also were impressed by how much out of the way they went to tell us that the Barzani and Talabani clans were together, and they were united and they were resolved. But then they'd say, as we were leaving, but by the way, Kirkuk, we've been ethnically expelled from Kirkuk for the past 20 years, methodically replacing Indo- European Kurd with Sunni, with an Arab Sunni. We're going home. The oil is a national asset, they quickly add, but Kirkuk is ours. You're going to guarantee that for us, aren't you?
So, I just think whatever we do we have to understand we're about to make some significant commitment, and I hope we will not do the kinds of things we have done over the 30 years I've been here. And that is decide to leave the women and men, the warriors, after they do the fighting without a long term commitment. We're going to give them whatever they need, even if it means reducing the tax cut, not having healthcare, not increasing money for education, not moving to fix our highways, not doing anything else. That is the single, solitary, first, fundamental commitment we make.
And I quite frankly expect the president to keep the commitment he made publicly -- privately to a bunch of us, and to me personally, that he will tell the American people that's the deal. That's the deal. And so I ask unanimous consent that the remainder of my statement be placed in the record, I can think of no more important hearing than this at the moment, and I know you're going to follow through on not just this generic look at this, but we're going to go down the line to try to flesh this out. We don't expect all the answers, but we do expect an acknowledgement that this is a gigantic undertaking in what the word that we don't like to hear, nation building. Nation building. Thank you.
SEN. LUGAR: I thank the distinguished ranking member, and I assure him his statement will be published in full, and furthermore as we've indicated, this will be the first of our hearings about the future of Iraq, with the other situations that you have described certainly up front as we proceed. I'm wanting to call now upon our witnesses for their statements and then we will have a round of questioning by all senators. It's a pleasure to have both of you here and I call first on Secretary Grossman.
MR. MARC I. GROSSMAN: Mr. Chairman, thank you very much, members of the committee it's an honor to be here today and I join Undersecretary Feith in thanking you for inviting us to be at this hearing, to participate in this conversation and to make this presentation to you. I would ask, Mr. Chairman, in the interests of time if I could just submit a statement for the record and perhaps summarize it if that is acceptable to you.
SEN. LUGAR: It will be published in full and please summarize.
MR. GROSSMAN: May I also first of all say that it's my first opportunity to testify in my committee before the 108th Congress and I thank you for that opportunity. Senator Lugar, we congratulate you on your chairmanship, and, Senator Biden, we wanted to thank you very much for your leadership of this committee over the past several years.
I also want to endorse, to second, to come behind what Secretary Powell said here on Thursday, and thank you for your strong support of the men and women at the State Department, we appreciate that.
Mr. Chairman, you and the ranking member have talked about what this hearing is about today, and Doug and I were talking before and in fact, although it is all set up as testimony, in a way what we are doing here is a consultation, because many of the policies that Undersecretary Feith and I will describe to you, as you and the ranking member have said, are not finished yet, they're not decided yet. And so in a sense this is a very important hearing, because we look forward to the chance to work with you, to hear your views, and as Senator Biden said, to help with the informed consent of the people of the United States. President Bush, as you know, has not made final decisions about if and when to use military force to disarm Iraq and very importantly for us today, he's also not made final decisions about how exactly the United States will proceed with respect to Iraq after a conflict if one is required.
But I want to tell you that we are not without guidance in this regard, even if the president has not yet made final decisions, and that's because on the 20th of January, President Bush directed all relevant agencies of the United States government to focus their attention on post-war planning. Undersecretary Feith in his statement will describe to you the office that has been set up for this planning at the Pentagon. But let me tell you that the president's direction to us is clear. If it becomes necessary for the United States to lead a military coalition to liberate Iraq, the United States will want to be in a position to help meet the humanitarian, reconstruction and administrative challenges facing the country in the aftermath of combat operations. And I think, Senator Lugar, that that tracks exactly with the kinds of concerns that you had in your opening statement.
Before I offer some thoughts on our plan and where we stand, I'd like to offer this base since I think it's an important part of the debate today. If we have to act, and that is what the president directs be done, I want to assure you that we've been working to make sure that we are going to have allies in this regard. As Deputy Secretary Armitage reported to you last week, 26 countries are providing us with access basing or over flight rights or some combination of those three, another 18 countries have granted us access basing or over flight rights or have come forward voluntarily to offer them if we need them, and 19 countries are involved now in direct military planning for military assets. So, if this has to be done I think it's important for you and for people to recognize there will be people with us.
Mr. Chairman, just to go down the issues that you listed, let me highlight five subjects, all of them that you and the ranking member talked about. First, I think it's important that we quickly go through the guiding principles that we are working on as we move forward in thinking about the future of Iraq. Second, to stress as you did the importance of ridding Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. Third, I want to report to you on where we stand in planning on the humanitarian issues. Fourth, some words on planning on reconstruction. And then fifth, as you said, to talk a little bit about where we think politically we are headed in a future of Iraq. Mr. Chairman, if it is necessary for the United States to take military action, here are the principles that will guide our thinking.
First, we will demonstrate to the Iraqi people and to the world that the United States wants to liberate Iraq, not to occupy Iraq or control Iraqis or their economic resources. Second, we must eliminate Iraq's chemical and biological weapons, its nuclear program, it's related delivery systems, get at, as you said, weapons of mass destruction. Third, we must also eliminate Iraq's terrorist infrastructure and its ties to terrorism. Fourth, key to support and safeguard the territorial integrity of Iraq, which goes to the point that Senator Biden was making, United States does not support Iraq's disintegration.
And firth, to begin the process of economic and political reconstruction, working to put Iraq on a path to become prosperous and free, and as you said, Mr. Chairman, part again of the international community and to Senator Biden I say that this job will take a sustained commitment, and we are committed, as the president has said, as the secretary has said, to stay as long as is necessary in Iraq, but I should also say not one day more.
First weapons of mass destruction. Mr. Chairman, it is clear that our job one today during conflict and in post-conflict Iraq, if there is one, will be to locate, secure and dispose of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities. That will be the most urgent priorities. And we'll focus on weapons, delivery systems, agents, related infrastructure, dual-use infrastructure and Iraq's technical and scientific expertise, and Undersecretary Feith will have a little more to say on this.
But what I want to tell you is that there's a very active interagency effort going on now chaired by the National Security Council to make sure that we are working to decrease the possibility of the Iraqi regime using WMD before or during any military action, and we are in discussions with a large number of countries to establish a program to eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program after a regime change in Baghdad. I also find it heartening that a number of countries are working with us in this area including to help on a response to the possibility that Saddam Hussein might use or provoke the use of these weapons. As I say, Undersecretary Feith will have more to say on this issue.
Next issue, meeting Iraq's humanitarian needs. You have both raised this question. What are we doing? In the event of a military conflict, our immediate objective will obviously be to provide humanitarian assistance to civilians. Those who flee their homes in fear will have to be cared for. Essential supply lines for food, for water, for medicine, fuel, will also have to be restored. And, Mr. Chairman, I can report to you that all of the relevant U.S. government agencies are engaged in some very detailed planning to meet Iraq's humanitarian needs and we are emphasizing the absolutely necessary cooperation between civilian and military elements of our government.
This effort is being led by the National Security Council and the Office of Management and Budget. I can tell you that the State Department and USAID are engaged in this and are also engaged in a very large program of outreach with non-governmental organizations and international organizations who will be key partners in addressing Iraq's humanitarian needs. We are working hard to make sure that civilian and military elements in this planning are consulting and coordinating.
President Bush has authorized $15 million to support this planning process and an additional $35 million has already been made available for existing accounts to make sure we can get the wherewithal pre-positioned and respond to the United Nations' requests for preparedness. These areas are in food, are in shelter items, water, and a substantial amount of work has been done on meeting the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people and more will be done.
I understand that members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff received a briefing at the end of the last week which goes into this in some considerable detail. I'm glad to talk about those issues in Qs & As if that is useful to you.
Let me turn now, Mr. Chairman, to what comes after humanitarian assistance and that is reconstruction. Iraq's will face the task of reconstructing a country that has been subjected to decades of neglect and mismanagement, and here again I can report to you that there is a very large interagency effort underway, again chaired by the National Security Council and the Office of Management and Budget to think through our reconstruction needs and our reconstructive -- I'm sorry, our reconstruction objectives. This effort is focused on a number of priority areas, education, health, water and sanitation, electricity, shelter, transportation, rule of law, agriculture, communications and economic and financial policies.
And I hope you won't be surprised to find that that list of priorities of course tracks with the work we're doing in the program on the future of Iraq. I hope you also won't be surprised that we are working in these areas to set for ourselves very clear benchmarks, very clear timelines and very clear ways to see if this is necessary, if we are succeeding. With regard to the oil sector, Undersecretary Feith will talk about this in some detail, but our guiding principle is that Iraq's oil belongs to the Iraqi people, and we are committed to ensuring that any action taken in this area is for the benefit of the Iraqi people. Should military action be required, the United States will take steps to protect and preserve's Iraq's oil sector and we will support the efforts of Iraq's to restore production.
Mr. Chairman, you talked a bit and Senator Biden talked some about what kind of political future is it that we want to work with Iraqis.
If we are going to rebuild this country or participate in rebuilding this country physically, it is also important that we do so politically. As you all know, last March the Bush administration announced and has stepped out on what we call a future of Iraq project. In consultations with Iraqis in the United States, Iraqis in Europe, Iraqis outside of Iraq, we developed 17 working groups and all 17 are listed in my statement. I won't go through them here. But the purpose of these groups is to begin practical planning for what might happen in Iraq after regime change.
And as I say, these groups run everywhere from transitional justice, to public outreach, to defense policy, to foreign policy, and each of the groups has brought together a number of Iraqi experts and those interested in these issues, not to have an academic discussion but to consider thoughts and plans for what can be done immediately. I give you two examples.
In the legal field, Iraqi lawyers and the transitional justice working group have drafted 600 pages in Arabic of proposed reforms in the criminal code, the criminal procedure code, the civil code, nationality laws and military procedures and more so that there is a functioning body of law if there is regime change. The economy and infrastructure group has focused on public finance, water, agriculture, the environment, and also how to transition from the U.N.'s Oil for Food Program into something run by and for Iraqis.
I want to make one other point is this area, though. I think it's important. We are meeting with these Iraqis on a regular basis, on an intensive basis. But we also make the point, and they make the point as well, that Iraqis on the outside will not control the decisions that will ultimately have to be made by all Iraqis. And the people we are working with are a great, great resource, but they know, and we all know, that all Iraqis in the end must be able to talk freely and work together to build a free and democratic Iraq.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, let me conclude with a short observation about how we get to this future for Iraq, again recognizing that no decisions have been made on structure or timing. I report to you that the administration at the most senior levels is still considering these issues and discussing these ideas with free Iraqis, political opposition technocrats, people like your second panel and others, and we're consulting also with our close allies and with you.
Conceptually, getting to this future of Iraq there could be three stages. First, stabilization, where an interim coalition military administration will focus on security, stability and order, laying the groundwork for what I might call stage two, which would be transition, where authority is progressively given to Iraq institutions as part of the development of a democratic Iraq. And finally transformation after Iraqis have drafted, debated, approved a new democratic constitution and held free and fair elections, which I think you would agree is the way for any future Iraqi government to be truly legitimate.
SEN. BIDEN: Mr. Secretary, would you categorize the -- mention the three stages again --
MR. GROSSMAN: Yes, sir. In my words, stabilization, where an interim coalition military administration will focus on security, stability and order, which we hope would then lay the groundwork for stage two, which might be called, if you accept my phrase here, transition, where authority is progressively given to Iraqi institutions as part of the development of a democratic Iraq. And then third, transformation. After Iraqis have defined their democracy, got a constitution, had an election, that they would regain their sovereignty and they would again become a normal country.
SEN. BIDEN: Thank you.
MR. GROSSMAN: Mr. Chairman, I know that my testimony today has only been a start in this effort to answer your questions about the future of Iraq. As Senator Biden said, there are many uncertainties here. But what I am certain about is that we seek an Iraq that is democratic, that is unified, that is multiethnic, which has no weapons of mass destruction, which has cut its links to terrorists and is at peace with its neighbors, and Mr. Chairman, I commit to you that we will stay in the closest possible consultation with you in the weeks ahead as we make further decisions in this regard. I thank you, sir.
SEN. LUGAR: We thank you very much for the testimony and those important assurances to the committee.
Secretary Feith, would you give us your testimony?
MR. DOUGLAS J. FEITH: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good morning to you and to the members of the committee. I'm pleased to have this opportunity to talk with you today about the efforts underway in the Defense Department and in the U.S. government generally to plan for Iraq in the post-conflict period, should war become necessary. With your permission, I'd like to submit my statement for the record and just provide you now with a summary of it.
SEN. LUGAR: It will be published in full and please proceed with the summary.
MR. FEITH: Thank you. If U.S. and other coalition forces take military action in Iraq, they will, after victory, have contributions to make to the country's temporary administration and to the welfare of the Iraqi people. It will be necessary to provide humanitarian relief, organize basic services and work to establish security for the liberated Iraqis.
Our work will aim to achieve the objectives outlined by my colleague, Undersecretary of State Grossman. I will not repeat those initial five objectives that he mentioned, but they are very important and I will just summarize them in a few words, that we aspire to liberate, not occupy the country, that we're going to eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and likewise eliminate the terrorist infrastructure, safeguard Iraq's territorial integrity and begin the process of economic and political reconstruction.
If there's a war, the United States would approach its post-war work with a two-part resolve, a commitment to stay and a commitment to leave. That is a commitment to stay as long as required to achieve the objectives that we've just listed. The coalition cannot take military action in Iraq to eliminate weapons of mass destruction and the Iraqi tyranny's threats to the world as an aggressor or as a state support of terrorism and then leave a mess behind for the Iraqi people to clean up without a helping hand. That would ill serve the Iraqis, the United States and the world.
But it's important to stress also that the United States would have a commitment to leave as soon as possible for Iraq belongs to the Iraqi people. Iraq does not and will not belong to the United States, the coalition or to anyone else. As Iraqi officials are in a position to shoulder their country's responsibilities and they have in place the necessary political and other structures to provide food, security and other necessities. The United States and its coalition partners will want them to run their own affairs.
U.S. post-war responsibilities will not be easy to fulfill and the United States by no means wishes to tackle them alone, will encourage contributions and participation from coalition partners, from non-governmental organizations, the U.N., other international organizations and others. And our goal is to transfer as much authority as possible, as quickly as possible, to the Iraqis themselves. But the United States will not try to foist onto those who are not in a position to carry them, burdens that can't be managed.
The faster all the necessary reconstruction tasks are accomplished, the sooner the coalition will be able to withdraw its forces from Iraq and the sooner the Iraqis will assume complete control of their country. Accordingly, the coalition officials responsible for post-conflict administration in Iraq, whether military or civilian, from the various agencies of the government will report to the president through General Tom Franks, the commander of the U.S. Central Command, and the secretary of Defense.
To prepare for all this, as Secretary Grossman mentioned, President Bush directed on January 20th the creation of a post-war planning office. Although the office is located within the policy organization in the Department of Defense, it's staffed by officials detailed from departments and agencies throughout the government. Its job is planning and implementation.
The intention is not to theorize but to do practical work. In the event of war, most of the people in the office will deploy to Iraq. We have named it the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance and we describe it as an expeditionary office.
It is charged with establishing links with the United Nations specialized agencies and with non-governmental organizations that will play a role in post-war Iraq. It will reach out also to counterpart offices in the governments of coalition countries and to the various free Iraqi groups. The immediate responsibility for administering post-war Iraq will fall on the commander of the U.S. Central Command as the commander of U.S. and coalition forces in the field.
Various parts of our government have done a great deal of work on aspects of post-war planning for months now. Some of this was outlined by Undersecretary Grossman. He mentioned the interagency working group that's been doing contingency planning for humanitarian relief. That group is linked to the U.S. Central Command and has established links with the U.N. specialized agencies and the NGOs involved in humanitarian relief efforts. It's developed a concept of operations that would facilitate U.N. and non-government organization provision of aid. It would establish civil military operations centers by means of which U.S. forces would coordinate the provision of relief and restart the U.N. ration distribution system using U.S. supplies until the U.N. supplies and the NGO supplies can arrive.
There are other interagency groups planning for reconstruction of post-Saddam Iraq, also planning for the vetting of current Iraqi officials to determine with whom we should work, and working on post- war elimination of Iraq weapons of mass destruction. The new planning office's function is to integrate all of these efforts and make them operational. It is building on the work done, not reinventing it.
I'd like to spend a moment, if I can, stressing in particular the crucial task of eliminating weapons of mass destruction. We have begun detailed planning for this task, which includes securing, assessing and dismantling Iraq's WMD capabilities, its facilities and stockpiles. This will be a huge undertaking. The point that Senator Biden made about the magnitude of the task is very well taken. This is one of a number of tasks whose magnitude is very large.
The Defense Department is building the necessary capabilities for this WMD elimination effort. We will have to first locate Iraq's widespread WMD sites and then be prepared to secure the relevant weapons or facilities or rapidly and safely disable them so they're no longer a threat to coalition forces. This will have to be done in many places and as quickly as possible.
The mission, though, doesn't end there. After hostilities we will have to dismantle, destroy and dispose of nuclear, chemical, biological and missile capabilities and infrastructure. Equally important will be plans to redirect some of Iraq's dual-use capability and its scientific and managerial talent to legitimate civilian activities in a New Iraq.
Clearly this will not be a mission that falls entirely on the U.S. military forces. Other U.S. government personnel can contribute, coalition partners can play an important role, and the U.N., IAEA and other international organizations should be in a position to contribute valuably. Of course the new Iraqi government will also have a key responsibility here. Eliminating all nuclear, chemical and biological stockpiles, facilities and infrastructure will take time, and we can't now even venture a sensible guess as to the amount of time. Now, on the subject of oil infrastructure. The U.S. and its coalition allies may face the necessity of repairing Iraq's oil infrastructure if Saddam Hussein decides to damage it as he put the torch to Iraq's -- to Kuwait's oil fields in 1991. Indeed, as I'm sure you know, we have reason to believe that Saddam's regime is planning to sabotage Iraq's oil fields.
Detailed planning is underway for resumption of oil production as quickly as possible to help meet the Iraqi people's basic needs. The oil sector is Iraq's primary source of funding. As noted by Undersecretary Grossman, the United States is committed to preserving Iraq's territorial integrity, so we're intent on ensuring that Iraq's oil resources remain under national Iraqi control with the proceeds made available to support Iraqis in all parts of the country. As Senator Biden noted, the -- there is an awareness even inside Iraq of the importance of preserving those oil assets as national assets. No one ethnic or religious group will be allowed to claim exclusive rights to any part of the oil resources or infrastructure, in other words, all of Iraq's oil belongs to all of the people of Iraq.
The administration has decided that in the event of war, the U.S. led coalition would protect Iraq's oil fields from acts of sabotage, and preserve them as a national asset of the Iraqi people and rapidly start reconstruction and operation of the sector so that its proceeds, together with humanitarian aid from the United States and others can help support the Iraqi people's needs. Just as we have warned Iraqis in a position to control the release of weapons of mass destruction that they should not obey orders to use WMD, we are warning them not to commit an atrocity in the form of the destruction of Iraq's oil infrastructure. Now, again, as Undersecretary Grossman stressed, we are working in an area now, and we are discussing here today work where important decisions have yet to be finalized within the administration. This is a good opportunity to have a real consultation and we are eager for your input into all of these matters.
We haven't yet decided on the organizational mechanisms, for example, to do this work regarding the oil infrastructure. We'll be consulting on this, in addition to our consultations here with you and with other members of Congress, we'll be consulting with parties in various countries including Iraqi experts and groups. Now, I think this may be a good point at which to address head on the accusation that in this confrontation with the Iraqi regime, the administration's motive is to steal or control Iraq's oil. The accusation is common, reflected in the slogan, No war for oil, but it's false and malign. If there's a war the world will see that the United States will fulfill its administrative responsibilities, including regarding oil, transparently and honestly, respecting the property and other rights of the Iraqi state and people. The record of the United States in military conflicts is open to the world and well known. The United States became a major world power in World War II.
In that war and since, the United States has demonstrated repeatedly and consistently that we covet no other country's property. The United States doesn't steal from other nations. We didn't pillage Germany or Japan, on the contrary, we helped rebuild them after World War II. After Desert Storm we didn't use our military power to take or establish control over the oil resources of Iraq or any other country in the Gulf region. The United States pays for whatever we want to import, rather than exploit its power to beggar its neighbors, the United States, as probably no group of people more than this committee knows, has been a source of large amounts of financial aid and other types of assistance for many countries for decades. If U.S. motives were in essence financial or commercial, we wouldn't be confronting Saddam Hussein over his weapons of mass destruction. If our motives were cold cash, we would instead downplay the Iraqi regime's weapons of mass destruction and pander to Saddam in hopes of winning contracts for U.S. companies.
The major costs of any confrontation with the Iraqi regime would of course be the human ones, but the financial ones would not be small either. This confrontation is not and cannot possibly be a money maker for the United States. Only someone ignorant of the easy to ascertain realities could think that the United States would profit from such a war, even if we were willing to steal Iraq's oil, which we emphatically are not going to do. Now, returning to the new Pentagon Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, I'd just like to give you a few comments about how it's organized. There are three substantive operations within the office, each under a civilian coordinator. Humanitarian relief, reconstruction and civil administration. A fourth coordinator is responsible for communications, logistics and budgetary support. These operations are under the overall leadership of Jay Garner, a retired Lieutenant General who held a senior military position in the 1991 humanitarian relief operation in northern Iraq.
He's responsible for integrating the work of the three substantive operations and ensuring that the office can travel to the region when necessary and plug in smoothly to CENTCOM's operations. The office has only just begun the task of estimating the cost of post-war work. It's clear that the overall Iraq reconstruction and relief budget would require a fiscal year 2003 supplemental appropriation. Timing of a supplemental is important, delays would hinder relief and reconstruction programs.
Because the commander of the U.S. Central Command will have a key role in the administration in Iraq, many have thought that our plans are based on what the allies did in Germany after World War II, but that's not the case. Our intention in case of war would be, as we've said, to liberate not occupy Iraq. Our administration would involve Iraqis as soon as possible, and we would transfer responsibility to Iraqi entities as soon as we could.
The following are examples, just notions of the ways in which Iraqis might play a progressively greater role in administering the country, even in the immediate aftermath of a conflict. An Iraqi consultative council could be formed to advise U.S. coalition authorities -- U.S. and coalition authorities. A judicial council could undertake to advise the authorities on the necessary revisions to Iraq's legal structure and statutes, to institute the rule of law and protect individual rights. As my colleague noted, a great deal of thinking has already been done under the State Department leadership with various Iraqis on the issue of judicial reform. A constitutional commission could be created to draft the new constitution and submit it to the Iraqi people for ratification. Major Iraqi governmental institutions such as the central government ministries could remain in place and perform the key functions of government after the vetting of top personnel to remove any who might be tainted with the crimes and excesses of the current regime.
Also town and district elections could be held soon after liberation to involve Iraqis in governing at the local level. In conclusion, regarding post-war planning much preparatory work has been done, but much more remains. The Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance will serve as the U.S. government nerve center for this effort going forward. We look forward to consulting with this committee and the Congress generally as we develop our ideas and plans for post-conflict Iraq reconstruction. War is not inevitable but failing to make contingency plans for its aftermath would be inexcusable.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you very much, Secretary Feith.
Let me mention, we have once again great attendance by the committee and I'll ask unanimous consent that we have a five-minute rule and with 12 members visible, that is at least an hour from now if members respect the five minutes roughly and we have a distinguished panel and another round following that. And so I will start and please start the clock on me.
Secretaries, let me just mention specifically that in the New York Times this morning, there was criticism that NGOs, non governmental organizations, are not able to get answers, support, what have you. I'm pleased to know the office was set up three weeks ago and General Franks cannot do everything at one time but at the same time clearly a great deal of the money, the international support particularly in the initial feeding, shelter, humane situation will come from our NGOs in our country and other countries. This is a very important part of the budget even as the budget is being formulated. So I would just encourage parenthetically some look the New York Times article this morning for details of the criticism.
Likewise the New York Times also has a story about recruitment of a leader who might take part in the government of Iraq later on but also states that our government has come to conclusion we will not support the idea of a government in exile to begin with to be foisted upon the Iraqis. Clearly another London meeting may occur. Various contentious groups have come together. We like as a committee to have some briefing from time to time on what is going on with regard to the murky shadows of exile Iraqis and their aspirations and what Iraqis on the ground now might feel about all this and this is the transition period. But we want to make sure the transition period is that period as opposed to some pre-transition or pre-military or what have you as you described it.
The oil question that you've raised, Secretary Feith, is very important and the papers also have polls which at least tangentially that show large majorities of people in other countries believe our sole objective in all of this is oil. That is wrong. You've stated that categorically. But the issue will not be cleared away without there being a policy as to how the oilfields are to be administered, how are the people of Iraq to receive benefit from this, in fact, how much of this operation you're describing is to be paid for in fact through oil revenues. There is a distinct flow. If oil wells are destroyed, revenues don't come in.
That makes a different budget situation which the Iraqi people are to understand on the ground now, as well as Russians, French, all the people that likewise in a murky way we discuss as potential members of the coalition of the willing or the Security Council but who are discussing publicly oil. And it really cannot be hidden behind the bushes, not to the extent that there is a distinct plan on our part to be, as you suggest, transparent, totally above board, thinking in terms of the humane treatment of the Iraqi people and their future. That can be said and that can be organized and I think that's the part, as you say, you can't do everything but it's still out there and needs to be finalized in a hurry because that is in the nub of many of the consultations diplomatically at the U.N. now. And I'm hopeful that everybody is mindful of that.
Let me just ask as my question, with this organization clearly in the Department of Defense, but as you say not exclusively that -- you have detailed people from many departments and that is important and it's sort of a chain of command, General Franks and/or others who are there on the ground and do they try to administer the country, at least keep the territorial integrity, get to the weapons of mass destruction, leave the military authority to do both of those probably? How do you begin the transition? In other words, how do you begin to identify? Does General Franks identify political leadership? Are there other persons in his administration who are detailed to sort of scout the horizons for a president Karzai or for whoever may arise or for a group of such promising people?
In other words, the audacious aspect of what we are attempting in Iraq is not just weapons of mass destruction arising from our September 11th genuine fear of weapons that may come and be proliferated, but likewise that there will be a changed state in Iraq that will be different, that will offer some hope to all the states and the surrounding territory, that will be so good it exists and it continues as opposed to an experiment that fails and becomes a vacuum like the former Afghanistan. How does this transition start? Who is responsible for it?
MR. GROSSMAN: Mr. Chairman, let me start with a couple of answers and then I'll be glad obviously for Doug's assistance here. Let me start if I could talk a little bit about the non governmental organizations since, as you raised, they are extremely, extremely important. In fact, we believe as you look through all of the effort that has been made on the humanitarian and reconstruction areas, without NGOs this would not be possible. It will not be possible to accomplish this task. We have been focused on our relations with NGOs. There's now weekly meeting, civil, military where we have about 30 NGOs represented. So that coordination I think is happening in a much more successful way.
No doubt, it was slow in getting NGOs the licenses they need to go into Iraq and the reason this got slowed down, as both Undersecretary Feith and I learned, is of course the NGOs wanted to import or to take things into Northern Iraq or into Iraq that of course were sanctioned, that were under the Oil for Food program, that were under OFAC licenses and it took us some time to work our way through that. I can report to you now that with good work between the State Department, the Treasury Department, the Defense Department, we've now cleared away a very large amount of that backlog for our own people to work in Iraq, some NGOs to work in Iraq and we're down, at the State Department anyway, to a backlog of two NGOs as opposed to 25 a week or so ago. So we're working on this. There's still more work to do but I just want to emphasize the importance of non governmental organizations.
Second, just to pick up the point that you made about where we stand.
We actually have come to the conclusion that now is not the time to have a provisional government or a government in exile because, as I tried to say in my testimony, yes, we're working with some extremely good, counted on wonderful people outside of Iraq. But we have to also take into account the views of people inside of Iraq and I think, as Secretary Rumsfeld has said and I know Secretary Powell has said, a lot of this has to come from the bottom up and that's a very important answer to the question about how it will be maintained and how it will go on for more than six or eight or 10 months or even a year.
And finally, that leaves me to say that how exactly this transition will take place is as you say perhaps opaque at the moment but we're planning for, as with the future of Iraq project, with our efforts to publicize our campaign inside of Iraq, with the fact that I hope that Iraqis will consider this if there has to be a military operation as liberation that there will be people who will come up and want to participate in the future of their government. That is what we expect, that is what we hope and that is what we will be planning to achieve.
MR. FEITH: Mr. Chairman, I think that much of the issue that you've raised about how a transition would occur is not known precisely right now but what we have been working on through the various groups that Undersecretary Grossman is talking about is developing principles and guidelines, how we would approach the question of encouraging, cultivating and permitting to function new Iraqi leadership after a conflict. It is not our thinking that we are going to be able to impose particular people or even a particular governmental system on the Iraqis. I think that we recognize that it would not be a right thing to do and it would not probably even be something that we could pull off if we attempted it.
The governmental structures that exist right now may be, as I mentioned in my testimony, may be usable to some extent within a reconfigured Iraq that -- where the technocratic aspects would be perhaps salvageable to some extent, even though the fundamental politics of the country would no longer be tyrannical and would, on the contrary we hope, build democratic institutions for the benefit of the people of Iraq. The point that you made about oil, Mr. Chairman, is obviously at the fore of everybody's mind. We have given a great deal of thought to the importance of securing, and if necessary repairing and producing the oil. We do not have final decisions within the administration on exactly how we would organize the mechanism to produce and market the oil for the benefit of the people of Iraq.
Obviously it would be beneficial to have that done to the maximum extent possible by Iraqis, by a mechanism that would be international in nature and show the world the points that I made in my opening statement, that our intention is to be completely honest, transparent and respectful of the rights, the property rights in particular, of the Iraqi state and people. And this is something where the actual decisions will be made through a consultative process with lots of parties. We've begun our thinking, we've laid down some principles, we're beginning the consultative process, but the final decisions have not yet been made.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you. I would just encourage acceleration.
SEN. BIDEN: Mr. Chairman, I have been -- first of all I want to thank both witnesses for being here. And, Secretary Feith, I think your explanation of a response to we're going to oil needs to be repeated and repeated and repeated. I was recently on French television when I was at the World Economic Forum, and a group of French journalists asked me this about oil, I said yes, and they said, ah, and America admits it. I said, it's about French oil, it's about French oil because they're the ones with significant investment, they're the ones with the significant opportunity, they're the ones along with the Russians who have phenomenal opportunity, they think, under Saddam to be able to benefit. So I think that should be repeated, and again I thank you both for being here, and you are not the ones to whom I am directing this.
I have been publicly and privately, I think, as supportive as I can be to this administration. I must tell you, I think it's been close to irresponsible that we do not have an office that you're talking about now set up until three weeks ago. I think it's irresponsible. I think the comments of the secretary of Defense, as recently as this summer with us, where he said to us, and I'm paraphrasing, that he did not think there would be a need for any large commitment of U.S. forces after victory because this is a country rich with oil and well trained people. Secretary Weinberger, as Mr. Feith will remember, testifying when he testified, told us he didn't think this was just a red herring to keep from going in, the people who raised this issue were people who really didn't want to deal with Saddam Hussein. And it does disturb me that although you say that how this transition is going to place is not knowable, you have guidelines, certain things aren't knowable. At least you should know them by now, with all due respect.
You should know whether or not this is going to be the transition, even though you may find this bevy of incredibly neutral technocrats and bureaucrats who'll be accepted by the Kurds, the Shi'a and the Sunni, who are not part of the security apparatus, to keep the water running, the lights on, the traffic flowing et cetera. They have to answer to somebody, somebody. Who's that going to be? Is that going to be an American general? Is that going to be like we have in Bosnia, the EU and some European? Is it going to be the United Nations? Those decisions I can't fathom, when we're three weeks away from war or five weeks away from war possibly, you don't know the answer to yet. You haven't made a decision yet.
They are monumental. The debate is still going on in the press at least, as to whether or not the model is going to be a MacArthur model in Japan, or a -- for lack of a better phrase as often used -- a Kosovo model, where you have someone else taking the responsibility day to day. Somebody's going to have to make the judgment. Somebody's going to be sitting in the chair and it won't be a technocrat, who when you have 2,000 Kurds standing on the outskirts of Kirkuk saying we want our house back, we want our property back. Somebody's going to have to negotiate that. Somebody's going to be standing there, as my friend, the former governor of Ohio knows from all his work he and I did in the Balkans. Somebody. And you all haven't figured out whether that's going to be a U.N. official backed by American forces and others, that's going to be a EU official, that's going to be a NATO official, that's going to be an American.
So my question is this. Rather than tell me you've done more than generically respond, but generically what the guidelines are, what are the missions that you believe the military and the civilian side are going to have to be fulfilled in the first six months after the shooting stops? By missions I mean securing the borders -- I'm not telling you what the missions should be, but just giving you -- illustrative. What are the missions that you must know by now, must be undertaken by some entity other than an Iraqi entity at the front end of this? What are the missions? Not even who's going to do them, what are the missions? Preventing ethnic conflict? Securing the borders? You mentioned one clearly we focused on correctly is securing the oil fields or getting them back up and running. What are the missions that you have decided, not you personally, but the administration's decided must be fulfilled and can only be fulfilled by some outside entity or group of people overseeing -- outside entity overseeing an indigenous group of Iraqis that must be fulfilled to prevent this country from splitting apart like a gyroscope out of kilter.
I thank you for listening to me and I'm anxious to hear your answer.
MR. GROSSMAN: Mr. Biden, let me try to answer all that I can, and I know Doug will have some views as well --
SEN. BIDEN: All you have to do is answer the mission part, you can respond to my comments.
MR. GROSSMAN: I'd like to respond to the question of the decision of who runs that section two, the middle section, if you will, of --
SEN. BIDEN: I'm worried about section one.
MR. GROSSMAN: No, but I think it's related unimportant, if you don't mind, sir.
SEN. BIDEN: Sure.
MR. GROSSMAN: One of the reasons that we have not made this decision, or I should properly say the president hasn't made this decision is, if you list, as you did, the possible groups that could take on that mission, who do you list? The United Nations, the European Union, the United States.
I think you will understand that from our perspective, and perhaps we're doing this too slow, but from our perspective I can't answer the question yet of whether I want to have a United Nations transitional authority until I know what the United Nations is or is not going to do if there has to be military conflict. For example, if we go through as the president said last week, and he now welcomes and supports a second resolution, and we are successful in getting a second resolution and 15 to nothing or something less than 15 to nothing the United Nations says, yes, Saddam Hussein hasn't met his obligations under 1441, let's go, then the United Nation's role, possibly, in a transition or in the first six or eight weeks could be a big one.
SEN. BIDEN: Marc, you're the single best negotiator I've observed in my last 10 years here. You know darn well the way you should be talking with the United Nations and say, look, if you guys are in on the deal here's what we'd like you to do. What they wonder about is whether or not you want them in on the deal, and if that doesn't work you should be talking to the EU. You can walk and chew gum at the same time. You don't have to wait to see what they're going to do. One of the problems is they're worried that you all don't have a plan. Every European leader I've met with the last year is worried you don't have any plan, because they've heard all this rhetoric about no nation building, heard all this rhetoric about we're warriors, we're going to fight the war and we're going to leave. They've heard all this rhetoric. And guess what? They believe our rhetoric. Fortunately, we don't.
MR. GROSSMAN: Just let me come back. Let's say that the --
SEN. BIDEN: I apologize for --
MR. GROSSMAN: No, you make a fair point. But in terms of a negotiation right now, the United Nations -- this issue is to the United Nations, it's to the Security Council. The Security Council has a decision to make about whether it's going to back its 15 to nothing vote under 1441. And I will speak truly for myself here, and again I say no decisions have been made, but you can see a completely different path, Mr. Biden, if the United Nations Security Council votes again 15 to nothing for a new resolution, then it seems to me we might consider a role or some role for the United Nations. I say no decision has been made, that is my view.
But if the United Nations does not meet its responsibilities, then it's very much harder I think for us to come and argue in front of all of you that in part of phase one or part of phase two that we would turn this over to some international body. I don't know the answer to that question but I just wanted to let you know that it's not for lack of thinking about it, it's the fact that you've got -- from our perspective you've got to get the sequence right, and I believe the same thing would apply to the European Union.
I would guess that if you went to an EU meeting today and you made a proposition to them, the first thing they would say is, when's there going to -- is there going to be another U.N. Security Council resolution, and we would say we sure hope there is, that's what the --
SEN. BIDEN: Ten second interruption. We have no trouble saying all along, look, we want the U.N. to go with this, we want a U.N. resolution. If we don't get that resolution we'll go ourselves. You could easily have been saying, we want you all to participate in this, we want this to be a joint operation, we want this to be a joint occupation, we want this to be run by the U.N. if in fact you say that. But, by the way, if you don't, then we may have to do it ourselves. You all haven't done that. And I've talked to all those foreign ministers, I've talked to all those heads of state. Unless they're not telling me something you're telling them, I don't think you've told them any of that.
MR. GROSSMAN: Well, part of -- I don't mean to get in a colloquy here, but part of the challenge of course is that we are here today to talk to you about our plans for humanitarian reconstruction, for political reconstruction, and I think it's right that we would be consulting with the United States Senate before we do much more with a lot of people outside of the United States. So we're here --
SEN. BIDEN: You're good, pal. You're good.
MR. GROSSMAN: No, we're here to do a consultation and that's what we're trying to do.
SEN. BIDEN: Okay.
MR. GROSSMAN: So I think people should be in no doubt about our plan. Let me try to answer the question that you proposed about every six months -- for the first six months, excuse me. You hit I think the important one, security. As we both emphasized, weapons of mass destruction, trying to bring basic human services to Iraqis. And one of the things that I think is very impressive, and we're glad to consult further on this or provide further information, USAID, for example, has laid out a very detailed plan for their operations in the first month, months one to three, three to six, in areas of water sanitation, public health, humanitarian, seaports, airports, establishing food distribution, emergency electricity.
So as I said in my introduction, we now have a stack of these plans that aren't just ideas, that actually lay out one, three and six month timetables, and I'd be glad to put them into the record and I think you'd be interested in them, take a look at and see the mile markers and you can see our goal is to make real progress.
SEN. BIDEN: That's two functions. Are they the only two functions? In other words, what two -- you said humanitarian. Are we going to secure the borders? Are we going to secure the borders of Iraq, is that a mission?
MR. FEITH: Yes.
SEN. BIDEN: Okay. Is that going to require troops and on the Iranian border? Is it going to require -- I mean, what is the mission? What are you anticipating?
MR. FEITH: Senator, it's hard to answer a lot of these what ifs because a lot depends on, you know, future events that we don't know. As Secretary Rumsfeld likes to say, he says he doesn't know whether if there is a war it's going to be four days, four months -- four weeks, four months. A lot depends on, if there's a war, what the nature of the war is, how much destruction there is, how much cooperation one gets, how many Iraqi units defect. There are enormous uncertainties. And the most you can do in planning is develop concepts on how you would proceed, not rigid plans based on some, you know, inflexible assumptions about how future events are going to unfold. That's our problem. You know that as well as we do.
So what we have done is we've been thinking this through as precisely as we can in light of the uncertainties. Now, on one question that you posed, just so that there's no lack of clarity on that, if there is a war and if U.S.-led coalition forces come into control of Iraq, then the responsibility for administering the country in the immediate aftermath of the war -- and administration is the entire range of missions that you can imagine that any responsible authority would need to perform for the benefit of the people of the country -- that entire range of responsibilities falls to the military commander. It would fall to General Franks.
And the goal then would be when he has those responsibilities in his hand to do the things that I outlined and that Undersecretary Grossman outlined in our opening statements, which is make as much use of international contributions as we can so that we spread the responsibilities and burdens, and help get as much international involvement and legitimacy into our work there, to work as quickly as we can to find Iraqis to whom we could transfer responsibilities so it's clear that we are liberating and not occupying the country. I mean, those are the kinds of missions that we would perform.
There would be no question about who ultimately would be responsible if we wind up leading a coalition that takes control of the country. It would be the military commander. There would be no vacuum of authority, but there would be a process that would begin immediately to try to bring us sector by sector into the transition phase that Undersecretary Grossman talked about.
SEN. BIDEN: Thank you.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you very much, Senator Biden.
Thank you, gentlemen.
SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R-NE): Mr. Chairman, thank you.
Gentlemen, thank you for coming before us this morning and we are grateful for your leadership and your efforts. These are not simple tasks as you have laid out. There are no specific answers to any of these questions. But as I have listened to the exchange here, it seems to me, and using, Secretary Feith, your last comment about international legitimacy, that if you're making the case, and this is what I'm understanding that's the case that you both are making, that the great uncertainties of a post-Saddam Hussein rest to a considerable extent on our coalition partners who will be with us, their role in whatever we have to do, U.N., NATO, IEA. In fact, you mentioned in your testimony, Secretary Feith, although you didn't read it it's in here, a reference to those organizations.
Then aren't we wiser to bring our coalition partners along here rather than laying down a timeline as we've heard the last couple of weeks, either you do it our way or we'll do it? I think your arguments, at least this morning what I've heard, argue very strenuously and I think correctly to working our way along with our coalition partners.
I might read a Newsweek piece that came off the wire yesterday, and it quotes a State Department official, not by name. I know that's strange in this town. (Laughter.) But let me read it to you because, Secretary Grossman, you might know about this. And this Newsweek story that appeared on the wire yesterday says, "Administration officials are keenly wary of a long-term occupation in the heart of the Arab world, where anxieties about Western invaders date back to the Crusades." Quote, "Every day you get past three months, you've got to expect peacekeepers to have a bull's-eye on their head," one State Department official tells Newsweek.
As you have laid out the framework for the office that we intend to set up, again I go back to your original points, much of this as I'm certain, but you can you tell this committee which nations specifically have committed specific resources to a post-Saddam Iraq? Surely you must have some budgetary numbers, you mentioned a supplemental. Surely you must have some numbers of people it would take, uncertain, I know that. But as much time and precision that you put into this, obviously you're proud of it and it's impressive. To disconnect that from any budget numbers or timeframe or people seems to me not to be very realistic. So I'd appreciate hearing from both of you on those questions.
MR. FEITH: Senator, the United States has been talking with friends around the world on this subject for a long time. I hope that Senator Biden's remarks don't lead anybody to think that we have not been engaging our various potential coalition partners in discussions on this subject. I mean, I can understand that --
SEN. HAGEL: Who?
MR. FEITH: I'm reluctant to get into the who because of the political realities and diplomatic realities with which you are all familiar.
SEN. HAGEL: Excuse me, Mr. Secretary, if you have a problem now getting into it, what the hell do you think you're going to have a problem when we get in there?
MR. FEITH: Well, Senator, what happened --
SEN. HAGEL: With real men and women on the ground and in a war and trying to rebuild Iraq, and if you can't define any of this now --
MR. FEITH: Let me suggest the following way to think about it, which is the way we've been thinking about it within the administration. We have been talking with scores of countries about this whole issue of potential contributions to a coalition effort in Iraq for many months now. As we have these discussions, the countries in effect fall into different baskets. There are some countries that say, "We are with you in very specific ways no matter what." There are other countries that say, "We will be with you in certain ways." And the ways range from what we were talking about before, contributions of combat personnel, access basing and overflight rights or in some cases, some countries have specifically said, "We're not interested in being involved in the war but we would be interested in being involved in stability operations afterward."
But there's a great sensitivity that many countries are not interested in having their role publicized because it depends on -- they're not interested in making public commitments until other things happened, whether the U.N. acts in a certain way or whether there is another U.N. meeting or whether there is a second resolution or whether the second resolution says some particular formula or not. So we are not in a position, although we've had extensive consultations and we have ideas about who is willing to contribute what, it would not be good coalition management for us to be publishing lists of what countries have told us they are interested in doing under what circumstances. And that's why we have to be a little guarded in how we talk about this. It is not that we have failed to talk to people and it's not that we have not pinned down possible contributions to the extent that countries are willing to be pinned down at this point.
SEN. HAGEL: Thank you.
MR. GROSSMAN: Senator Hagel, with Doug's permission, perhaps if there was some way, Mr. Chairman, that we could transmit that information to you in a classified way, we'd be glad to do it. It's all laid out --
SEN. LUGAR: We'd appreciate that very much. I think it's important.
MR. GROSSMAN: We're not trying to duck your question here but I think you can understand the difference between saying it or giving a list in public but we are very glad to give you an update on exactly where we stand in all of these consultations.
SEN. HAGEL: If I might make one more point, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for your indulgence. I go back to where I started and you gentlemen understand this better than most of us because you have the responsibility of putting this together. You keep using the term coalition or coalition partners. Again, I say, doesn't that say something about the point of trying to bring our coalition partners along with us, NATO, U.N., Security Council because we're going to need them after this and you said that. In fact, we can't get to much below what you've presented today because you do not know. Thank you.
MR. FEITH: Senator Hagel, I was, with the chairman's permission, going to respond to exactly that point. Again, possibly different in perspective but I think if you go back to the debate in this country in July and August of last year, when the debate was about what's the United States going to do. Is the United States going to act alone? Will the president of the United States involve the international community in this? And then look at what the president said on the 12th of September, which was I thought a very effective speech at the United Nations and essentially turned this debate around. I think it was the beginning, sir, of a very public effort to bring our partners along and then we spent all of us seven or eight weeks -- I can't remember which one -- negotiating resolution 1441 which was a way to bring partners along. And you'll remember when we started that negotiation, what would you have of all that, that it is going to be 15 to nothing. Not much.
But 15 to nothing was the outcome. And I thought that brought a large number of people along. And I think the fact that President Bush has said last week that he welcomes and would support another resolution of the United Nations would do more of that. And if you look at NATO, which is, as you and I have talked about a number of times, a very important part of this, we took a lot of criticism for not involving NATO in Afghanistan. Like it or not, but Paul Wolfowitz went to NATO on the 2nd of December of last year, or 3rd of December of last year, and laid out a whole series of things that NATO might be able to do in Iraq.
And I think it's terrible what's happened these last few days at NATO but I must say, sir, from my perspective anyway, it is not for the lack of us trying to bring people along.
I think there is some reluctance to be brought along in some of this. But if you look at the statement of the Vilnius 10 , if you look at the statement of the eight other countries in Europe, if you look at the fact that 16 of 19 allies are prepared to move along with George Robertson, who I think has done a wonderful job in this, we are trying to do this. Are we 100 percent successful? No, sir. But I think our object is to meet your objective, which is to bring along as many people as we possibly can.
SEN. LUGAR: We thank you for the response. I will say on behalf of both of my colleagues, Senator Biden and Senator Hagel, we are all of one mind that a lot of people have to be brought along. Senator Biden just shared with me a Washington Post survey this morning which indicates that two-thirds of Americans are prepared to support military action if necessary but a huge number are not with us on what we are talking about today. In other words, they haven't even come to the table of understanding. That's our fault here in the Congress. It's your fault in the administration. We're playing catch-up ball and the same, Senator Hagel has said, with our allies who have publics likewise even if their leaders are upfront affirming to the Vilnius letter and others their support.
SEN. BIDEN: Fifty-six percent of the people in that poll say if we have to stay for two years and spend $15 million a year, which is the lowest estimate I've heard, they're against doing that. Forty-six percent of the Republicans polled who support going to war in Iraq oppose staying for two years at $15 billion a year. You've got a lot of work to do.
SEN. LUGAR: Senator Feingold.
SEN. RUSSELL FEINGOLD (D-WI): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I think both of you gentlemen -- and I know you're getting some pretty tough questioning and these are the basic questions. I guess what I'm still confused by is why do we give the president a blank check to go ahead with this before we had the answers to these questions. How can we expect our allies to join us when we don't have the answers to these questions? That's what's going on here. We gave the president the authority to go ahead and do this before we knew what we were really getting into. So I frankly have sympathy for your task here that we're trying to make this up as we go along. This is the fundamental question. What happens after, the day after or the 10 years after? And I agree with you that it is a wonderful vision to liberate the Iraqi people from Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi people need to be liberated from Saddam Hussein. How that exactly can happen or that legitimately happens and at what cost are important questions. But that has to happen.
Just yesterday, the president asserted that the Iraqi government is placing troops in civilian areas to create human shields for its military. In light of this information and various informed scenarios focusing on the likelihood of urban warfare in Iraq, U.S. may well be drawn into fighting that results in fact in heavy civilian casualties if we go to war with Iraq. Then under your scenario we're going to turn to the same people who lost loved ones and were injured in the conflict and the same people who had been told over and over again the lie that U.S. sanctions are the cause of all their hardships in recent years and we're going to tell these people that the U.S. military will be governing Iraq and look out for their welfare. I know that many Iraqis will be delighted to see Saddam Hussein go but I'm also concerned that under these circumstances, the United States may well find itself asserting authority over what may well be a substantially hostile people.
So let me ask you, what kind of stability can be consolidated in such an antagonistic situation? And if you then factor in the many, many actors who will be incensed by the notion of a U.S. occupation of a Middle Eastern country, I have to ask, what kind of conditions will U.S. soldiers be facing for months on end? Grossman?
MR. GROSSMAN: Senator, thank you, and I appreciate the fact that you recognize where we are in all of this. If I could make one general point, which is that when you say that we need to do a better job in putting out answers, I say that is absolutely true and I want to report to you and to the chairman that Doug and I, yesterday, asked that many, many, many of the slides and the briefings on all of these things be declassified so that we might be able to come to you and show you the work that's been done on the humanitarian and reconstruction. That is a challenge for us at the moment but I hope we'll break through that over the next couple of weeks so that you can see that there are answers we'd like to give you in public, and I apologize, we just can't do that right now.
In terms of what the challenge we face, all of those have revolved around two things, it seems to me. One, the commitment that both Doug and I made to you that our objective here is to stay in Iraq as long as it takes but not one day longer, and that will be a judgment that we'll have to make as we go there if there's military action. Second, that if the United States is the authority in Iraq, it will be the job of that authority, of all of us, to make sure that Iraq, for the very first time in a very, very long time, is run for the benefit of the Iraqi people. And I believe that is a case than can be made. And if it's a case that can be made in the humanitarian area, in the reconstruction area and in the oil area, I think we will allow ourselves some space to transit quickly to Iraqi authority. For example, 60 percent of Iraq's people today get their food through the Oil-for-Food Program through government handout. The economy doesn't work.
There is infrastructure there that has been decaying the last 10 or 15 years. And what we learned in Afghanistan was that if we could quickly do things that show people that there's a tangible benefit to this change, then we're able to bring people along. I don't say to you for a second that this is an easy thing, but I think it is a doable thing.
SEN. FEINGOLD: Well, let me ask you this. I mean, obviously you're operating with different scenarios.
MR. GROSSMAN: Yes, sir.
SEN. FEINGOLD: Can you give me some sense of how long this might take under different scenarios? What are the different scenarios you're working with in terms of turning over the occupation from the American forces to Iraqi people? Just -- you know, you must have some kind of a timeframe in mind, I don't mind if it's several different ones, but some sense of what we're talking about here.
MR. GROSSMAN: Let me sort of give you an insight into how our thinking has evolved on this. I think when Doug and I first started on this six or eight or 10 months ago, we saw this as a very -- as a rigid thing. We would do phase one for x number of months, phase two for x number of months, phase three for x number of months. But as we've learned more about this, and as we have made more proposals to our bosses, what we have come to conclude is that you could have this transition take place at different rates in different places. For example, let's say that you went into the Ministry of Health, and after getting rid of the top x layers and dug down and found, as you said, or Senator Biden said, that there are very competent people working in the Ministry of Health, that you might be able to transition the Ministry of Health back to Iraqi control quite rapidly.
But if you went over to the ministry of weapons of mass destruction that might take a very long time.
SEN. FEINGOLD: Give me one scenario where that's all done, how much time does it take? Give me one estimate of how long you think the entire process of turning all those over takes.
MR. GROSSMAN: Two years.
SEN. FEINGOLD: Two years?
MR. GROSSMAN: Yes, sir.
SEN. FEINGOLD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you, Senator Feingold.
SEN. LINCOLN CHAFEE (R-RI): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think some of the feelings on both sides of the aisle here are that there's a kind of disconnect between the rhetoric we're hearing and all the rosy scenarios and a strong feeling of what might be another scenario, and why aren't we hearing some more about a worse case, and what are we prepared for in that instance? And it seems to me a worse case would be that this isn't viewed as or interpreted as a liberation, it's interpreted by many people not only in Iraq but around the region as a war on Islam.
And then we see all around the region, whether it's Jordan or Saudi Arabia, governments toppled, and, I mean, this is the worse case scenario. And how are we prepared for that, not only as we saw, years ago looking back in history when Chiang Kai-Shek and Mao get together to fight the Japanese, will the Sunnis and the Kurds get together to fight the invaders? What happens then? Do we have an exit strategy, or do you have plans?
Are you being forthcoming? Then is it on into Syria, if we have problems there? Is it on into Saudi Arabia if there are problems there? I think that's our -- those are our questions.
MR. FEITH: Senator, I -- it may be useful to take a step back from this issue of post-war planning and just remind ourselves for a moment of why we're talking about any of this at all. On September 11th, 2001, we got hit and it was a big surprise for the country and the world. And it helped highlight that we live in a world that doesn't unfold like a script written in advance. We're living in a world full of uncertainties. And some of those uncertainties which -- I mean, I know that Senator Lugar was a pioneer in helping call attention to some of the kinds of dangers that weapons of mass destruction pose to us over a very long period of time. What September 11th helped focus us on is that as bad as that problem of weapons of mass destruction proliferation was, when you link it to the terrorist problem, it exists in aggravated form, because the whole concept of, for example, deterring proliferant countries needs to be reassessed if it turns out that those dangerous rogue states can use weapons of mass destruction through terrorist organizations in a way that doesn't leave any fingerprints and doesn't have a return address, you can't deter such a country.
So we're dealing with very serious threats and great uncertainties. There's no question about it. And I think that many of the questions here reflect the frustrations that we cannot provide a greater certainty, talking about the future. But we can't, and it's an essential part of our national security thinking and in particular our defense thinking. Embodied in the documents that we use within the Pentagon for planning, it's an essential part of our thinking that there are enormous uncertainties, and you can't answer a lot of those questions precisely, but you can think about them as carefully as possible. And when we consider what it is that is at stake, and we think about the risks to us, we -- the president has decided that the risks are such that we have to insist that Iraq disarm. And he has said it's either going to disarm cooperatively or we're going to lead a coalition of the willing to disarm it by force.
We have been thinking for a long time about what happens in the post-war period if we do have to disarm Iraq by force. But the same kinds of uncertainties that you have when you're talking about military threats apply to the post-war period. What we are planning for is we are planning to ensure that we can fulfill our responsibilities. We are looking to fulfill them in a way that takes into account the -- all of the considerations that have been raised here, all of which are enormously important, we do not --
SEN. CHAFEE: I see the yellow light on, do you have a plan, either an exit strategy or some kind of planning, if this turns into a debacle, that --
MR. FEITH: We are planning, yes, we are planning --
SEN. CHAFEE: -- if everybody's against us on this.
MR. FEITH: The short answer is, yes, we are planning for worst case eventualities. And what I'd like to assure the committee is that every one of the --
SEN. CHAFEE: When will you share those plans with us?
MR. FEITH: Well, we're in the process today, and we'll be happy to talk further, both publicly or in closed session, I mean, some obviously involve classified information but some don't and the process of -- this is the first hearing you've had on the subject, and we're here and we'll be happy to pursue the conversation with you. What I do want to say, though, is that all of the anxieties and the questions and the worst case projections that you've made, I think are well grounded. I mean, these are all things worth worrying about and these are all things that we have in fact been worrying about.
SEN. CHAFEE: All right, I know my red light is up and I'll just say that in both of your testimonies it was all so rosy. It was democratization without the understanding that, supposing we democratize and an anti-American government's elected, it's a real possibility but it wasn't a threat of either of your testimonies and that's what I found surprising.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you, Senator Chafee.
SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D-CA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I agree very strongly with Senator Feingold. The questions that we're asking today should have been asked and answered before the president was given unilateral authority to go into Iraq. Now it's four months later after he's got that authority, and you're sitting here doing the best you can and you're not giving us much. I agree with Senator Chafee's point, you've given us a rosy scenario and the American people are smart, I think Senator Biden said this from day one, they want to know the truth. So if I go home and I'm asked, you know, what's the worst case scenario, what's going to happen to our men and women over there, what's going to happen, I can't give them an answer.
It's not enough for me to say, well, they're going to tell me next week I have to go to 407 to the private room there and find out. They need to know that. And, you know, I have to say maybe you can't have one plan, I agree with that, but you've got to have four or five or six or 10 or three for every problem that we face. And I have to say, Mr. Feith, you're being very honest with us. You're saying there are enormous uncertainties. You've used the word uncertainties more than you've used any other word, and it's honest, but it's very disconcerting. I can tell you my people at home are anxious. And if they are watching this they're going to be more anxious.
I don't know if they're more anxious about being told they've got to get duct tape and plastic to cover their windows at home in case there's a terrorism attack here, you know, or listening to you say gee, we just don't know. The things we do know are that there are enormous uncertainties here and we don't have answers. Now, I've read reports produced by this committee, both sides, that say some reports are that 500,000 Iraqis might be killed. Might. We pray to God if this goes that way we don't have to kill anybody. We pray to God they throw down their arms and we all sing Kumbaya together. We hope that. That would be the most wonderful thing, you know, to have peace without fighting.
But if it goes wrong and we do kill so many people, as Senator Feingold says, as we try to run this country, how are they going to look at our men and women in uniform? Will they see them as liberators? Will we explain, gee, we had to do it. Saddam Hussein wouldn't disarm so we had to kill 500,000 people. We don't -- and will we be alone? And I remember the first Gulf War, how proud President Bush was, and rightly so, President Bush I.
These are the people who are helping us, these are how many troops they're going in with. They're going to be by our side. Here's how much money they're giving us, and in the end, Mr. Chairman, 88 percent of the costs were picked up by our friends. I can't tell my people at home, you know, what's going to happen. So do we know if Saddam's going to use his weapons of mass destruction? CIA says yes. I don't know what your contingency calls for, how we clean that up, whether he puts his oilfields on fire, what's the eco-damage there, what happens next.
And I just use this opportunity to say that our allies are trying hard to resolve this another way. And speaking for myself, someone who believes Saddam must be disarmed, he said he would be disarmed, he must act to disarm. I don't think that we should be showing a lack of respect to our allies who today came out together and one of them is a man of whom President Bush said, "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. I was able to get a sense of his soul. He's an honest, straightforward man." That's President Bush about Mr. Putin.
Well, Mr. Putin is standing today with several of our allies, and as I understand it from today's news, 11 of the 15 Security Council members say the same thing, give inspections a chance.
Now, as for me, we'll see the next report by Mr. Blix on Valentine's Day, and it's going to be very important to see what happens from there.
But as we look here at post-war Iraq, I have a gnawing feeling that we're already agreeing that, even though the president said he hasn't decided to go to war, that we're going to go to war without a lot of our allies. And I have to use this opportunity to say that as I think of the burdens that will be laid out, that will be on the shoulders of our men and women there without who knows as your answer as to how much help we get money wise or with people, our friends helping us in the field, I say that there's a lot more work that I hope you will do with us in hearing us. As it is, this would be a precedent setting attack, the first time a preemptive strike.
I know the president feels he has everything going for him to substantiate that attack, but as I look at all the scenarios I think the best one is that we can avoid war. That's the best scenario. And that we can work with the people of Iraq to form democracy, and I still come back to that and I may be in a minority here but I wanted to say that. Thank you.
MR. FEITH: Thank you, Senator. If I may, I'd like to make a distinction between plans and predictions. When -- we have been asked here this morning in a number of respects to give our assessment in the nature of a prediction of what is going to happen, how long an occupation may take, how easily one might transition politically and the like. And it is in that regard that I stressed uncertainty because we're not in the predicting business, it's -- that's what I was referring to when I was talking about uncertainties.
On the other hand, planning we have to do. And I think that Senator Chafee's point is a good one when he talks about plans have to take into account a full range of possibilities from good case to really bad case. I can -- I do want to assure the committee that when we talk about all of the key functions that are going to need to be performed in post-war Iraq, we have thought about them across the range from worst case to very good case. In the case of oil, for example, if Saddam utterly destroys Iraq's oil infrastructure, that is the worst case and that has been taken into account. That makes for a horrific problem for reconstruction, it's enormously expensive to repair it and you don't have the oil revenues in the interim to repair it, but we're planning with that in mind. We've also planned for --
SEN. BOXER: How much will it cost to repair it?
MR. FEITH: I think the estimates are in the neighborhood of -- I don't have them precisely. I think they're in the neighborhood of something like 8 to $10 billion if they're --
SEN. BOXER: And who's going to pay for it?
MR. FEITH: Well, that's a question.
SEN. BOXER: Thank you. This uncertainty --
MR. FEITH: I'm not suggesting that -- there are all kinds of ways of handling that issue and we're studying the various ways of handling the issue of oil and what kind of support there might be in the world markets for investing in Iraqi oil after a conflict. But oil is one example. Humanitarian relief, we've thought through from best case to worst case the question of whether the U.N. and other humanitarian relief agencies can get in quickly with the large flow of food that they've been providing for years, but we've also planned for a worst case where they stay out or they're not in a position to provide food aid.
I don't want to belabor it by going through the long list of functions that we're talking about, but I do want to assure you that your point is very well taken on the importance of doing one's planning, not on the basis of a specific prediction but on the basis of having to deal with the range of possibilities from good to bad.
SEN. LUGAR: Mr. Grossman.
MR. GROSSMAN: Just two points quickly. One is just to emphasize the point that Doug just made and we've perhaps made not very well today, is that in all the areas, Senator, that you've talked about, weapons of mass destruction, oil, humanitarian reconstruction, there are very, very detailed plans that as Doug say, run from worst case to best case. And as I was describing to Senator Feingold, I pick one out on aid, water and sanitation running from immediate post-conflict to 18 months. So those are all available to you, we're glad to provide them and we're glad to brief them in detail because there are just stacks of these and I think we'll try to do this seriously.
Second, I just wanted to say that when you say that we would like to disarm Saddam Hussein peacefully, that is of course our position as well.
SEN. BOXER: Good.
MR. GROSSMAN: And I don't believe, Senator, that is any disrespect to our allies that we have a disagreement about how to do that in the sense that we believe that the reason there are inspectors in Iraq today is because the Security Council voted 15 to nothing for Resolution 1441. And we believe that there would be disarmament of Saddam Hussein if --
SEN. BOXER: Mr. Grossman, my time's up but can I say you say there's no disrespect, listen to what they say. Because I may treat you in a way that I think is fair, and you say, you know, the senator didn't respect me at all. And I just think when you have friends you've got to think about how they feel, okay --
MR. GROSSMAN: No, I --
SEN. BOXER: -- even if you disagree. Maybe you call them old Europe, maybe it hurts their feelings, you know.
MR. GROSSMAN: I accept that, but there's one other group here that deserves our respect, and that is in my view the U.N. Security Council. And we have a 15 to nothing vote in 1441 and we want to try to get a second resolution. And so I think part of the respect that we are trying to give to the Security Council is respect that is deserved from others as well, if I could put it that way.
SEN. BOXER: Thank you. Thank you very much.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you, Senator Boxer.
SEN. GEORGE ALLEN (R-VA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank both these gentlemen for your testimony here and your answering of questions.
In looking at this issue of military action, everyone wants all sorts of certainty in what's going to happen afterwards. It's absolutely impossible to give an accurate projection or prediction as to what will happen. This is akin to say you're diagramming every play of a rugby game. You don't know how it's going to come out, where it's going to fumble, where you're going to have to pitch it out and move forth.
I think that this uncertainty though should not paralyze us, should not paralyze us from going forward with what our goal is, and that is the disarmament of Saddam Hussein from these weapons of mass destruction and the other aspects of it, the delivery systems, the ties to terrorism and all the rest. War and its aftereffects are always situation dependent.
I am one who likes to be guided by principles, and I think that the principles that Secretary Grossman went forward with with these guiding principles, this is a war to liberate the people of Iraq, that we want to obviously eliminate their chemical, biological weapons of mass destruction, nuclear program delivery systems, we want to eliminate the terrorist infrastructure in Iraq, we want to of course safeguard the territorial unity of the country and so forth. Now, you get into all the details but I think these are very important points to make to our allies and those who may not be with us, but are democracies. To understand, here are our motives, here are our goals.
The other thing that I would also mention, and this is frustrating, is that in this reconstruction if a war, military action is needed, I know that our military planners like to avoid as much as possible collateral damage or civilian damages. This is very frustrating, the president mentioned it yesterday, in that Saddam Hussein looks at the Iraqi people as shields.
But I know that our country puts the value of human life very high and we'll try to avoid that.
The cost, the logistics. Clearly we're going to have everyone who's with us whenever these decisions are made by the Security Council or others in the event that military action is necessary, those countries that are with us certainly will participate. I'm hopefully that those who do not see right now or may not see the need for military action in the future will join in and recognize the importance of security and rebuilding in Iraq if a war is necessary. They do have valuable resources in the oil.
The bottom line is no matter how uncertain or how difficult this period may be, we do need to move forward. The people of Iraq, and hopefully many of them will survive any sort of military action as is necessary will see the benefit of removing this oppressive, tyrannical regime. And I feel that inaction or being paralyzed or worrying endlessly and coming up with every excuse not to act, the world and the neighbors of Iraq will be much safer if that regime is disarmed from these chemical and biological weapons and means of delivery. And so as we go forward, there are a lot of these questions, but they should not be questions or because you can't answer and predict everything perfectly should be a reason for us not to act.
Let me follow up on a few of these issues that have arisen, generally from Senator Hagel and to some extent Senator Biden. The nations -- and I know you don't want to list the nations for diplomatic reasons. Do you believe, though, that the nations that let's say may decide against participating in any military action to disarm Saddam Hussein will offer assistance in transitioning or rebuilding Saddam Hussein? And I'd put it in several categories. Say those that are in Europe and those that are neighbors, Arab countries. And I know you can't mention that -- I'd love to have the listing, but could you give us a sense, do you think, that they would help in rebuilding, even if they decide they're opposed to military action?
MR. GROSSMAN: Yes, Senator Allen, I do. When we went to seek assistance from the 51 countries that we identified as possible partners in this, we asked for assistance in three categories. One of those categories was in post-conflict support and we got quite a number of positive responses. And as I said to the chairman and Senator Hagel, we are glad to provide that to the committee.
SEN. ALLEN: Would that also apply for Arab countries that are nearby as well?
MR. GROSSMAN: Yes, sir.
SEN. ALLEN: That's good. Have you had any talks -- this has to do with within Iraq -- talks with any of the opposition leaders, and if so -- I don't want to breach any diplomacy or efforts, but if you've had those talks, how would you characterize those talks, because those individuals, opposition leaders can be very important in a post-Saddam Iraq?
MR. GROSSMAN: Did I take your question to be opposition leaders inside of Iraq?
SEN. ALLEN: Well, opposition leaders -- well, you're not going to have many inside of Iraq who are alive.
MR. GROSSMAN: Right.
SEN. ALLEN: I'm talking about opposition leaders externally.
MR. GROSSMAN: Yes, sir. We've had extensive conversations with them. In fact, last August Doug and I had the first meeting with a group of eight -- six, a group of six opposition leaders which we thought was very successful, and we've continued on through the president's special envoy, Zal Khalilzad, who's actually in the area now talking to opposition leaders. And as Doug very rightly reminds me, of course we do have conversations with people who are opposed to Saddam Hussein in Northern Iraq because of the great work that our people do and that they do in terms of what's going on there.
SEN. ALLEN: If I may follow up, in these discussions, whether they're external or the three major groups in Iraq, do they -- are they in agreement with the guiding principles that you have annunciated in your testimony this morning?
MR. GROSSMAN: Yes, I think they are.
SEN. ALLEN: Thank you. Thank you, gentlemen.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you very much, Senator Allen.
SEN. BILL NELSON (D-FL): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Anticipating this post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, I ventured to Afghanistan a couple of times last year, went to Bosnia to see what I could learn. And I was struck first of all that it always takes longer in the occupation. We thought maybe we would be in Bosnia for a year and we're now in the seventh year. I was also struck in Bosnia that even though we were there in a rather substantial military presence, there are war criminals on the loose, one we think in Bosnia, the other one perhaps in Serbia, the two most notorious. And I'm just curious as to your thoughts of how that might be different in a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq.
MR. GROSSMAN: Well, we hope it would be different because we hope that we wouldn't x number of years later have these people running around. As with everything else we have reported to you today, there is a group of lawyers and law enforcement people working on a plan to consider how to deal with Saddam Hussein, his top lieutenants, family, how to bring them to justice. And that is something that I know is very high on the priority list of our military forces, should military force be required. And these are decisions that also are headed toward our president, but I believe you would find, Senator, if we had a chance to brief you on them that the planning for this has been extremely well done and is very well thought out.
SEN. ALLEN: Well, if that planning is well done and well thought out and would be executed and be successful, perhaps you ought to apply that planning to Bosnia.
MR. GROSSMAN: Absolutely. But as you did, sir, we've tried to learn in each area. I mean, when you say that we went to Bosnia for what we thought was going to be a short amount of time, I remember talking to Senators Lugar and Biden, I mean, this was a collective mistake, if I might say, on all of our parts in trying to set a date instead of trying to lay out a series of goals and objectives. And I appreciate what Senator Allen said about these particular goals and objectives, so, although I guessed for Senator Feingold how long this might take, what we're going to do is be there until we've achieved these objectives. Further, sir, I think it's fair to say, and I know we've shown this slide before in this committee, it's also important to know, again, the radical slide down of American forces in KFOR in Bosnia.
I think we've been quite successful there in doing what people wish us to do, which is achieve certain objectives, but not maintain large numbers of troops if we don't have to. So I hope we've learned some lessons, I take your point exactly and we'd like to do a better job.
SEN. NELSON: And I hope for you the same. But I'll tell you I'm highly skeptical that if we pulled out of Bosnia right now, if there wouldn't be the continuation of the slaughter that there was seven years ago there.
MR. GROSSMAN: Well, of course we're not pulling out of Bosnia, we have said in together --
SEN. NELSON: But we're drawing down.
MR. GROSSMAN: Absolutely.
SEN. NELSON: That's what you said.
MR. GROSSMAN: And we're very proud of that because we've been able to draw down, and with all due respect, although Bosnia, Kosovo are not perfect, it has not returned to what it was seven years ago --
SEN. NELSON: The long and short of it is, it's going to be a long time. And I'm not arguing that, I'm just stating what is become -- hitting me in the face as a hard reality of life in a post-war occupation.
MR. GROSSMAN: Absolutely.
SEN. NELSON: In last September, the CBO said that the U.S. occupation force would likely require 75,000 to 200,000 at a cost -- and this staggered me -- a cost of $1 billion to $4 billion per month. That's what CBO said. What do you think?
MR. GROSSMAN: Senator, I'm not -- I'm just not in a position to predict that, and I'm not -- I don't have at my fingertips even the work that's been done within DOD on the subject, let alone the CBO project. But it's something that I'll be happy to get you our best thinking on for the record.
SEN. NELSON: Well I would assume that the chairman, that that would be one of the things that he would absolutely be insisting on. And let me just finally ask, today the New York Times is talking about that General Franks said in an interview that the government was coordinating with the international relief organizations to prevent a civilian crisis in the event of war. Can you detail for us what -- who are the organizations you've been working with and how will that work?
MR. GROSSMAN: Yes, Senator. Let me take for the record the exact number of NGOs, but what we are doing and have from the very beginning is try to make sure that the NGO community and the international relief organizations, some of them, the United Nations for example, are very tightly tied together with General Franks and with SENCOM and with all of us. As I said previously, there's a meeting each week among 30 non-governmental organizations that both the Pentagon and the State Department are representing. We're trying our very best to solve their problems, they have been involved in the planning, in our planning from the beginning. President Bush, in releasing $11 million to keep the planning going has been for precisely that effort. As I said in answer to another Senator, these NGOs are absolutely key to our ability to get this job done.
We learned that in northern Iraq, General Zinni and I, in 1991, without the help of the non-governmental organizations and the international organizations like the World Food Program, we can't accomplish this task. This is a huge priority for us and as I said to Senator Boxer, I think if you went through all of the aid ideas, for example, on the areas that are in their responsibility you would find NGO, NGO, NGO, international community. So we're trying to get latched up -- be latched up as successfully as possible. But I will provide for the record an exact list of who attends this meeting and what organizations they are.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you, Senator Nelson.
SEN. SAM BROWNBACK (R-KS): Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you gentlemen for being here and sharing the nitty-gritties of this, which is really difficult process. I was looking at this, comparing it to Afghanistan, and the thing about Afghanistan that is different -- and there were a number of things different, but there was a process, a local process, that loya jirga process that everybody kind of agreed to as a way that you can come at some sort of government and it's in Afghanistan. We had this local communities elect representatives and send them to a national kind of convention at a long standing system and setup and agreement and buy in by the population in Afghanistan, and you can arrive at a system of governance. They're -- Afghanistan has a number of other great problems, but there was a system that people could agree to.
Iraq, I haven't been able to identify one and I'm gathering really it's tough for people to identify. And I've worked with the Iraqi opposition for a long period of time now, with the INC, Iraqi National Congress, they've had their difficulties, though I was in London meeting with them in December, I know both of you gentlemen have met with them, and they were really setting their differences aside and doing a very nice job, I thought, together. And of a broad set of opposition groups, and these are exterior oppositions, they are working with people interior, primarily in the north, some in the south, but I was quite impressed at how far forward they had gone, how much they were cooperating and working together and really pulling together. I appreciate you're working with them, with the INC and with other groups. Although I do note, as the chairman did when he first started your questioning which must seem to you guys like hours ago, it's like coming up and being in a dentist's chair for hours to get us to press on you. But there was a New York Times article today, continuing to have this question of working with the INC versus recruiting some additional new leadership.
And to me this is the real nuts and bolts -- one of the real nuts and bolts tough problems in the transition period that you've talked about. You've got a post-Saddam period and then within that you've got to have some leadership arise, Iraqi leadership arise to run Iraq, because we don't want to run Iraq, we're not going to run Iraq, it'll be Iraqis that do this. Are you -- is there still this level of debate within the administration on whether to engage the INC or somebody else of leadership to come forward from Iraq interior? Can you, if you can, disclose any of the thinking that's going on about that very specific yet critically important problem?
MR. GROSSMAN: Let me try and ask Doug for some help. The answer to the question about whether there's still a big debate going on in the administration about all this is no, sir. Doug and I last July kind of looked up from our pencils and paper and said, you know, why are we spending all this time fighting with each other over what Iraqi opposition, we ought to do this together. And so you'll recall perhaps that last August we invited the six major groups, very much including the INC to meet with both of us together. And we tried to show them that we had a unified front and we were hoping to encourage them, therefore, to have a unified front. And I don't say it has anything to do with us, but, like you we see a lot of positives there.
And so we are continuing to work with all of these groups, and I know that you know, Senator, since it is money that you all have authorized, we continue to provide the INC with a considerable sum of money and I'm glad for the record to break that down over the last few months. So the debate in this administration --
SEN. NELSON: Secretary, could I, on that point -- I don't mean to interrupt you, but I just want to make sure I get this before my time's up, the TV liberty that they were operating is not operating now, and they're saying that there are lack of funds for being able to operate that television and radio, which I think would be a critical communication component, I hope that can be resolved --
MR. GROSSMAN: We'd like to get started with that TV and radio right away again, we have money set aside for it. As I understand it, and I'd be glad to give you a further answer, what we need is a clean request for TV and radio and then it can be funded, but we'll work on that. If I might just say one word about Afghanistan, Iraq and the question of governance, absolutely right, you are faced, in a sense, with mirrors here. In Afghanistan you had no bureaucracy to speak of and you had no money to speak of but there was a loya jirga process so we could see our way forward. In Iraq of course there is a talented bureaucracy -- a bureaucracy that we hope we can kind of take the top off of and then use, and of course there's money, there's oil. And yet the way forward, as you described it through an established loya jirga-like system isn't there, but it's one of the reasons that we have spent so much time and so much effort on these future of Iraq projects, so that we have a way forward, we have an idea for a constitution, we have an idea for laws. And exactly, as you say, those things then need to be legitimated in some way by the people inside of Iraq. But we're not going to show up there and then try to figure out what to do.
SEN. BROWNBACK: I hope you will continue to work with these outside oppositions along with inside oppositions and I agree we shouldn't show up and say, "Okay, here is the new leader of Iraq" but that we should use all of this talent that's been very dedicated for a period of years to confront Saddam Hussein and to remove Saddam Hussein and to liberate the Iraqi people. I think one thing we lose sight of here is how much they are and have suffered, the Iraqi people. Their worst nightmare is what they've been living. And I hope we can identify and see and work with them very closely as we move on forward.
MR. FEITH: Senator, when you ask about the INC, it reminded me that Senator Allen had raised the question, whether the principles that we've laid out in general for the kind of government we would like to see arise in Iraq are shared by Iraqi opposition groups.
One of the principal accomplishments of the INC was organizing conferences of multiple groups over the last 10 years or so where they themselves promulgated principles that all of the major Iraqi opposition groups now subscribe to that are principles that we support.
Now I take Senator Chafee's point that you shouldn't look at that through rose-colored glasses. We do not in any way underestimate how difficult the problems are going to be of getting these people to actually work together and develop a kind of smooth cooperation in a country that does not have a history of a democratic political culture and the kind of cooperation that we would like to foster. It's going to be very difficult and we don't to be overly, you know, rosy in projections about it. But nevertheless we shouldn't be blind to the good news that at least there have been accomplishments at the level of principle. And the Iraqi opposition deserves some credit for lining up behind the, I think, very admirable principles.
MR. GROSSMAN: Just one other thing, Senator, and that is that Zal Khalilzad has been out for a couple of weeks talking to Iraqi oppositions and why don't we just offer either to members of staff as you wish a briefing when he returns? I think it would be helpful to put all this into perspective.
SEN. BROWNBACK: I think that would be helpful and I would note those principles are democracy, human rights, an open economy. I mean, they are the basic things that we stand for is what this opposition is pushing aggressively and these basic principles are ones that will truly liberate the Iraqi people when they're implemented.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you, Senator Brownback. That would be helpful to alert the gentlemen on that briefing. I think this would be of benefit to us. I would just mention parenthetically the committee tomorrow at 9.30 will talk about Afghanistan, governance of Afghanistan and the work along our way there.
SEN. PAUL SARBANES (D-MD): Mr. Chairman, first let me in anticipation commend you for holding that hearing tomorrow morning on Afghanistan. I think it's extremely important and I don't think we're focusing sufficiently on that matter and that an operation which was initially largely successful may be slipping away from us from lack of focus and lack of commitment of resources and support. I think it's a very important hearing.
Secretary Grossman, I have two sort of off this subject questions I want to put to you just very quickly. How many U.S. did we have in Europe that we sustained there over a very long period of time? The figure of about 300,000 seems to stick in my mind that we had in the region year in, year out as part of the containment strategy of the Soviet Union. Is that correct that figure?
MR. GROSSMAN: I think if you go back some years, it's in the 300,000 range. I think it's considerably --
SEN. SARBANES: I know it's down now. I know it's about 100,000 now I think. But for quite a sustained period of time, when the tensions were up, it was at about 300,000, isn't it?
MR. GROSSMAN: That's my recollection.
SEN. SARBANES: Okay. And the other question I wanted to put to you -- I've been following the NATO thing right now dealing with Turkey and I see that Turkey has just formally made a request, I think a day or two ago, is that right?
MR. GROSSMAN: Yes, sir, they requested consultations under Article 4 of the charter yesterday.
SEN. SARBANES: Yeah. Oh, yesterday?
MR. GROSSMAN: Yes, sir.
SEN. SARBANES: Now, prior to this, had the request for this NATO support come from Turkey?
MR. GROSSMAN: No, sir, it came from the United States. You recall --
SEN. SARBANES: The United States, in effect, was then making a request on Turkey's behalf or substituting for Turkey or what?
MR. GROSSMAN: No. When Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz went to the North Atlantic Council on the 2nd or 3rd of December -- I apologize, I can't remember which day -- he wanted to lay out for NATO and the council the kinds of things that NATO might be able to provide if we had to fight in Iraq, not just about Turkey but generally. But two or three of the things that he proposed did have to do with the defense of Turkey, air defense, for example, chem-bio defense and we were hoping that we would start some planning in the NATO military councils for that effort.
SEN. SARBANES: Well, under Article 4, mustn't the country itself make the request?
MR. GROSSMAN: The country itself must make the request under Article 4. We were hoping, Senator, that it would not come to Turkey actually having to make an Article 4 request. We were hoping that the alliance would recognize (a) that it had a job -- could do a job in Afghanistan if it so wished and secondly, that Turkey, being on that front line had some needs. We were absolutely hoping that they wouldn't have to pull out their NATO handbook and read Article 4.
SEN. SARBANES: Right. William Nordhaus, a very distinguished economist at Yale, in December wrote a long article in the New York Review of Books, Iraq: The Economic Consequences of War. In that, he says -- he points out that the CBO estimate that the occupation of Iraq will cost between 17 billion and 45 billion per year. He says this may be too low if the post-combat environment in Iraq is hostile and its dangers resemble those on the West Bank more than those on the Balkans. What is your figure?
I put it to both of you on the costs of the occupation per year.
MR. GROSSMAN: The single most unsatisfactory thing we're going to be able to do here today is not give you a figure. Secretary Powell and Secretary Rumsfeld have both said that it's not a knowable figure. Secretary Powell said the other day he didn't know the answer to that question and if he didn't know it, I don't know. I apologize that we're stuck.
SEN. SARBANES: You have no idea? You have no ballpark estimate?
MR. GROSSMAN: So much of it, Senator, as the person you just quoted, depends upon what happens. As Secretary Rumsfeld has said, I hope I get this right, you know, is it four days, four weeks, five weeks how much destruction is done by Saddam Hussein --
SEN. SARBANES: Surely, there must be some scenarios downtown. How long is that war going to last under your estimate, Secretary Feith?
MR. FEITH: The quotation from Secretary Rumsfeld that Marc Grossman was just referring to, he said, "I have no idea whether it's going to last four days, four weeks or four months." And we don't know.
MR. GROSSMAN: Can I just say though that there is a lot -- as Doug said before, inherent distinction between prediction and planning. We have tasked a huge amount of planning and that planning, we are glad to show you, comes with a price tag. We have an idea, for example, if we have to feed Iraqis for a certain number of weeks, how much that will cost, how much to restore the water system. But that is not a total set of figures which is why at this time, at this day, we can't argue one way or another with an article here at CBO or in the New York Review of Books.
SEN. SARBANES: What's your estimate on how long the occupation would last?
MR. GROSSMAN: Again, it depends on a number of things. It depends on how long the war lasts, how much destruction is done. I tried, probably not very well, to answer Senator Feingold. When we started to think about this, Senator, we -- I think both of us -- felt that there would be a start date, a stop date, a start date, a stop date for the various phases. I don't think that anymore.
I think for example, as I answered before, that, let's say, that you could go into the Ministry of Health and the bureaucracy there, except for the very top, has not been perverted by this particular regime, you might be able to turn over efforts of the Ministry of Health to Iraqis before you might be able to turn over the Ministry for Weapons of Mass Destruction for example.
So we've -- as I said in my opening statement, we're trying to think through this not so much in this day/that day now, but transitioning authority as quickly as possible to Iraqis wherever possible.
SEN. SARBANES: Well, my time is up. I invite you to give us your rosy scenario. Why don't you just give us your rosy scenario of how the war will go and how the occupation will go and what it will cost us.
MR. GROSSMAN: We've actually been accused all day here of doing nothing but giving rosy scenarios. I'll repeat what I said to Senator Feingold. He asked me my personal opinion one scenario. One scenario only he asked me: how long will it take? I told him 2 years. But that 2 years is no better or worse than any other estimate, sir, but I give it to you because I'd like to answer your question.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you very much, Senator Sarbanes.
SEN. NORM COLEMAN (R-MN): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. You have a difficult task before you and (off mike) --
SEN. LUGAR: Hit your button.
SEN. COLEMAN: Just a quick observation. I went to law school. In law school we had a class called Torts and the function of that class was to look at everything that could go wrong, and it impacted lawyers. When I had a chance to lead a city I had to kind of hold my lawyers at bay at times. There are many, many worse case scenarios but you'd never lead a city, and we were able to lead my city into better times, if all we looked at was the worst case scenario. You couldn't lead a country if all you did was look at worst case scenarios. I think it would be very clear to say that a post-Saddam Iraq is going to be a better place, fair guess, than Saddam in control of weapons of mass destruction, in control of biological agents. Just as I know there's been a lot of discussion about Afghanistan, but a post-Taliban Afghanistan is a better place today. I think few would argue that. There are uncertainties out there, but they're a better place.
My question goes: understanding the uncertainty and the difficulty you face, but you know the kind of answers that we're trying to get here so the American public can feel more comfortable, I always believed I had to have a path. I could look at a path with different variations on how to lead my city to a better place. And so my question then is as you look at the possibility of a better Iraq, perhaps not democracy as we know it but understanding that you have the Kurdish situation, understanding that you have the Sunni-Shiite cleavages that are out there, in your planning and in scenario and however you've done this have you laid out various paths, various visions to say, yeah, we can pull those pieces together so that there will be a brighter future?
You're not giving money and you're not giving us time right now, but I need to know have you kind of played it out and say, yeah, you know, if A, B and C happens we can create, we can have in place an Iraqi ruled regime in which there's a place for the Kurds and there's peace with the Sunnis and Shiites. And, by the way, if Saddam hasn't destroyed the oil -- and I really appreciate the comment that you made that the warnings are being sent out destruction of oil will be treated like release of weapons of mass destruction. And if you've still got that educated bureaucracy and you've still got the infrastructure, tell me or let me know is that vision out there and can you talk a little bit about it?
MR. FEITH: Senator, the short answer to the question of whether we've -- whether we have some idea of how the different institutions of the government might come together is that that -- is yes, that that is the subject matter of the work that Marc Grossman talked about in the Future of Iraq project where -- one of the issues here is we understand that if there is a war and we come into control of Iraq, that we have major responsibilities. And there is a certain American trait, an engineering instinct: there's a problem, we go out, we solve it.
But at the same time that we have this thought in our head that there are these problems and we may have ways of solving them, we have in mind points that a number of the senators here have made that this country belongs to the Iraqis, it doesn't belong to us. Even if we wind up coming in control of it, it's their country. We have to concern ourselves with legitimacy, international legitimacy and legitimacy within Iraq. We have to approach our task with a sense of responsibility but a sense of modesty.
And that's perhaps -- the requirement to balance constantly between taking into account what the Iraqis think and what will work in Iraq and what will really be organic and function well there, given the history and culture of that country and the fact that we're trying to put it up to a level that it's never achieved in the realm of good government with broad based responsible government that takes into account all of the different groups, as you were highlighting, in the country from the Kurds to the Sunni Arabs to the Shiite Arabs and the Turkmens and the Syrians. I mean, there are all kinds of groups there.
What we have done is we have worked with various Iraqi groups. We've introduced our own thinking, we've brought thinking in from other quarters about what kinds of judicial reform, what kinds of constitutional arrangements, what kinds of administrative arrangements could be successful in keeping the country together as a unified country and providing both freedom and economic prosperity to people based on the development of democratic institutions that might work.
It is very hard to tell you precisely what we plan to do because so much, as we've talked about all morning, depends on how events unfold. But I could tell you that a great deal of thought has been given to the kinds of considerations that I think you rightfully highlight as crucial to the success of our policy and the possibility of happiness for Iraq in the future.
SEN. COLEMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you very much, Senator Coleman.
SEN. CHRISTOPHER DODD (D-CT): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I apologize for arriving late. We had Alan Greenspan appearing before the Banking Committee, so some of us who are on that committee were unnecessarily -- or necessarily away. Mr. Chairman, let me -- this may be -- of all the hearings we're holding on Iraq, I think this is the most significant one because it's -- I think most of us accept the notion that the military conflict, while we hope it will go well, will prevail in this. It's the after costs and effects here that really do require some thought.
I wasn't here for all of the hearing, but I'm told anyway that there is -- the reluctance of the administration to get into much detail about cost and time. And certainly all of us here understand the inability or the -- to get too definitive about this. But I must also tell you, at least expressing my disappointment as we try and lay this out, within some parameters I think the American public have a right to know what we're getting into here. And even if their scenarios don't turn out to be quite right, it gives them at least some sense of it. And I'm disappointed that we can't at least have some broader outlines of what the time may be beyond what's included in the testimony.
So I'd like to raise just a couple of questions because, Mr. Feith, in your testimony here on page two when you talk about the commitment, you talk about the length, that is a commitment to stay as long as required to achieve the objectives you've just listed. And if you go over the five objectives that you listed there, the idea that you're going to get these done in a couple of years seems to be awfully nave. I mean, part of what may be worthwhile here, and I don't know if we've done this at all, but to talk a little about the history of Iraq. And maybe many people don't know the history but the history of one of sort of a cobbled together nation at the end of World War I by the European powers, principally England. So you've taken over the last 80 years basically tribal relationships and created a nation state. And for the last 40 of it, half that time, under a dictator.
When I read item number four here, that is, "To safeguard the territorial unity of Iraq. The United States does not support Iraq's disintegration or dismemberment." Now, that looks to me like you're going to be a little longer there than 24 months, when you consider the factions that are going to emerge. And I wonder if you might address that point. And in conjunction with that, there's been some troubling news that's come out that some of the exiled groups in Iraq are forging a relationship of very conservative religious elements in Iraq. And I'm very interested in knowing whether or not the secular state of Iraq may be forfeited to something along the more conservative religious lines that Iran is under today in the aftermath of our efforts there.
So I want you to go into the history a little bit and tell me why you think that nation building here and holding this together is something that can be achieved in, using your response to Senator Feingold, two years.
MR. FEITH: First of all, Senator, the two years was my esteemed colleague Undersecretary Grossman.
SEN. DODD: You're passing the buck already.
MR. FEITH: (Laughs.) And I don't think I want to venture into the prediction business. The question that you ask about keeping Iraq together is a serious question. You're correct that Iraq is a country that was manufactured, as it were, by the victorious allies after World War I. It didn't exist as a country before that. But there are many countries around the world that didn't exist before World War I and that have developed a sense of national identity and unity.
It is our policy that we favor preserving the territorial integrity of Iraq, and we think that that's important for the stability of the region. And there are many countries in the area that have a strong interest in that and we share that interest. At the same time, we don't --
SEN. DODD: This is even after the weapons of mass destruction and so forth? Let's assume we've eliminated those. We're going to stay around then and try and build this nation?
MR. FEITH: Well, as we've been discussing, we understand that we have a responsibility to -- if there's a war and if we lead a coalition that comes into control of Iraq, we have a responsibility to do the kinds of things that you alluded to and that both Marc Grossman and I talked about in our testimony.
SEN. DODD: Even if it's not their will to do so? Maybe some would prefer not to have -- necessarily be under a nation state of Iraq, but might seek some other alternative political structure.
MR. FEITH: There is a country of Iraq. It is our position that its territorial integrity is -- the preservation of its territorial integrity is in our interests. And we have been told by the various groups that we've talked about across the spectrum of Iraqi politics, to the extent that we can tap into it, that there is unanimity in favor of preserving Iraq's territorial integrity among the major groups. So I don't think that we have anybody that is arguing with us in principle that Iraq should be broken apart.
SEN. DODD: Could you touch on this comment just quickly on the Iranian religious to the extent is that report accurate? Are there communications, contacts, some relationship developing between the Iraqi exiled community and religious conservatives of Iran?
MR. FEITH: There are.
SEN. DODD: Yeah.
MR. FEITH: There are. You know, Iran is right next door and Iran has a large number of Iraqi refugees in it, and those refugees are connected with Iraqi refugees and exiles in other countries. So those kinds of contacts exist.
SEN. DODD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. LUGAR: Secretary Grossman, you --
MR. GROSSMAN: Senator Dodd, I feel the slight need to defend myself against the charge of naivet here. Senator Feingold asked me if I could name one date in one plan, and I said two years. And the reason I did that is a number of the plans, for example from AID about the humanitarian issues, run from the end of conflict to 18 months to 24 months. I think as we answered Senator Nelson, though, and as I said to Senator Lugar and Senator Biden, I think it would be a big mistake for us to set some kind of a date. And that's why we set these principles and these are principles that are hard to achieve.
SEN. DODD: No, I agree. I don't disagree with that. I just think when you start even using your two years, and I don't want to play catch here with the two year, but I think we're talking about a much longer time here.
MR. GROSSMAN: Yes, sir.
SEN. DODD: And I think it's very important to be very level with the American public about this, and that it's going to be very costly and it's going to take a long, long time. It is better to say that upfront in a way, than to sort of delude people into believing somehow that this is going to be a short term deal at relatively low cost, particularly if we spend the bill or have to pay the bill ourselves. It's going to be very expensive, it's going to take a long, long time and we're going to be there for years in pulling this together. Particularly if we're doing it alone. And it's going to be very difficult. It's not easy to do it. I think it's better to lay that out than to sort of create this illusion somehow that this is going to be a relatively painless, short term deal. And my sense is while you're not actually saying that, that's the impression that gets left and I think that's a mistake. I think it's dangerous.
MR. GROSSMAN: Sir, that is the impression we've left. It is going to be hard and it is going to take long, and in both of our testimonies the phrase we used was we would stay there as long as it took.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you very much.
SEN. GEORGE VOINOVICH (R-OH): Mr. Chairman, I have a statement that I'd like to (off mike.)
SEN. LUGAR: It will be made a part of the record.
SEN. VOINOVICH: As we continue to confront the challenges presented by Saddam Hussein in his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, it's -- as you have, give due consideration to what will be required in the aftermath in regard to our efforts to disarm him. And I think we have to make it clear that he has to be disarmed. But I think that we've tried to emphasize today that the world will judge the success of any U.S. led initiative not by what happens to secure a military victory over Saddam Hussein should the use of force be required, but instead by what is done to secure a new lease on life for the people of Iraq and, I think very important, for Iraq's neighbors who have had to live with the threat of Saddam Hussein for a long period of time.
I think that it's also important, and I'd be interested in your comments, on the impact that our efforts will have to achieve a peaceful settlement in the Middle East and the role that Iraq has played in destabilizing. One of the real questions among the Arab nations is: is this nation committed to a Palestinian state? And until the terrorism is lessened, and we know that Iraq is one of the prime movers in that terrorism, we're not going to have an environment where we can move on and affirm the state of Israel and create a Palestinian state. And I think what should be talked about is that this is an important step in the right direction in terms of achieving that goal that we are committed to.
I think it also should be made clear that, as others have said, this is going to involve considerable resources, financial and otherwise. It's going to require not only the long term commitment of the United States but our partners in the U.N. and other allies, and that we need to tell the American people forthrightly about what the cost would be. I think that we ought not to hide it. I agree with some of the other senators here. We need to let everyone know that we are committed to stay there as long as need be, and I think we ought to talk about realistic numbers not two years, three years.
How long have we been in Bosnia? '92, '93. Kosovo, we've been there since, what, '99 and we've seen that if we don't have the kind of commitment that we need to have -- for example, my opinion is if we'd done our job better in Kosovo we wouldn't have had the destabilization in Macedonia.
You've got the Iranians on the border there. Who knows that they're going to do. You've got the Kurds securing the borders. That's very, very important here and I think it's really important to our Arab friends and I think to our allied friends that we lay it out. We're going to be there, we're going to get the job done. We hope that you join with us. If you don't join with us, we're going to have to run the books. And, you know, that's not bad sometimes because too often when we've kind of divided up the responsibility how something gets done, it doesn't go the way we'd like it to go.
Now, you're talking about -- and I want to congratulate you and I hope that some of the senators that spoke to you today at least read -- if they weren't here to hear your testimony, I hope they read your testimony. I think you've done a fine job of laying out all of the things that are needed to be done. But I do believe that you need to talk more about how long you're going to be there and be forthright, okay? I mean, we need to do that. We need to level with the American people. We need to let them know that if we go forward with this, this is going to be a sacrifice and there's things in this country that we're not going to be able to do because of our commitment there, but because we think it's important to secure the safety and well being of people in our country.
SEN. : Bingo.
MR. GROSSMAN: Senator, on behalf of Doug, I just thank you very much for your comments on our testimony. We did the very best we could. And I've said this is really a consultation rather than perhaps a different style of hearing. I think we both also would completely agree with the point that you make on the Middle East. If we could bring down levels of terrorism, which Iraq is certainly a partner in this of terrorism, we would all be a lot better off and we would do much quicker the job toward getting toward President Bush's vision of a Palestinian state and an Israeli state living side by side in peace.
Might I also say to you, Senator, and to the chairman and the ranking member, we both have taken clearly the request and the admonition that we start being able to talk about numbers in open, and we will both take that back. And, as I said, we're trying to declassify lots of this planning to propose it to you and I recognize the question of numbers. And, finally, I think it is very important that we be as straight as possible with people about the enormity of this task. That is why we both said we would stay there as long as it takes and why, Senator, I think it's important, as you said, that we set goals for ourselves and not dates. And our job is to get this job done that we want to in Iraq. And as long as it takes, that's what it will take.
MR. FEITH: Senator, on your point about the effect on U.S. policy toward the Arab-Israeli conflict of a possible war in Iraq, I think there are a number of connections. One is the one that you highlighted, that the Saddam Hussein regime has been a supporter of Palestinian terrorism. And in particular some months ago Saddam Hussein offered payments to the families of suicide bombers to encourage suicide bombing. And there are other connections that they have in support that Iraq has over the years and currently provides to Palestinian terrorist groups who are blocking any hope for progress toward Arab-Israeli peace.
There is an additional point also and that is if it is possible to realize some of the plans that we've discussed here today to encourage the creation of democratic institutions in Iraq, one effect of that, if we are successful, would be I think to encourage, to inspire Palestinians to create for themselves democratic institutions that would help create the kind of interlocutor for the Israelis that could make serious progress toward peace much more realistic. And I think that was an essential point in President Bush's June 24 speech of last year, when he talked about finding a way forward for Arab- Israeli peace diplomacy through the creation of a new leadership and better institutions on the Palestinian side so that the Israelis have a proper interlocutor.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you very much, gentlemen. I want to recognize the distinguished ranking member for a final thought.
SEN. BIDEN: I want to read a quote to you that was in a joint session of Congress: "We of today shall be judged in the future by the manner in which we meet the unprecedented responsibilities that rest upon us. Not alone in winning the war, but in making certain that the opportunities for future peace and security shall not be lost." That was Cordell Hull. That is from a report that I'm sure, knowing you both and as competent and bright as you are, you have already read, the New York Council on Foreign Relations Post-Conflict.
What I was talking about, Marc, was not what exactly we're going to do, but I was looking for the kind of chart that exists in the back of this report that lists out specifically key economic objectives, key security objectives. I know you've done that and if you haven't done that, you should all be fired. But I know you've done that. We have a right to know what that is. We have a right to know what that is.
And the last point I'll make, I remember, Marc, being with you and then going down and seeing the president and the president said, "What do we do about Iraq?" And I said, "Mr. President, you have not laid out for our European friends your vision of a post-Saddam Iraq. What is your vision of a post-Saddam Iraq? Lay it out in detail. What is your vision? And I think the more you flesh this out publicly for the American people and, quite frankly, to our allies, who you've shared some of this with, the better chance we have of avoiding a war because the better chance we have of getting them. And if there is a war so we don't leave General Zinni's successors high and dry two years from now, sitting in Baghdad wondering why in the hell we are putting money into a tax cut or into Medicare instead of giving them all the money they need."
SEN. LUGAR: Let me just thank both of you for the generous contribution of your time and thought to this. I would just comment that much has been made likewise of Bosnia and Afghanistan and the learning experiences. And, likewise, the problem of public opinion with regard to both of those situations and this one. My view is that we really have to outline, and you have helped us enormously and hopefully will continue to do so, what the stakes are for our country and the totality of the responsibilities that entails.
And I would just say that at least most of us around this table are among the vanguard of the faithful who whether President Clinton was threatened or President Bush was threatened with a congressional vote, suddenly a people who are exasperated with having anyone left in Bosnia, in Kosovo, in Afghanistan. These motions arise suddenly, they are impulsive, they are emotional and they come from the people of the United States who retired, who didn't understand why we were there to begin with and what we are doing. Now, we know that. We know that Iraq is a very, very large undertaking involving billions of dollars and many years and if there is not a build up of public consensus now, maybe those of us around the table and the two of you will be arguing strenuously that we have let down the Iraqis, the world, the United States and so forth and people will run right over us.
And that is why it is so important, and you're doing this on behalf of your principals and the president, to share with us as much as you an as quickly as possible. That's the reason the committee has had four significant meetings in one week and a half, another one tomorrow. We're pushing our members to the floor to get opportunities like this one. Now, 13 members have questioned you today, much more extensively than the five minutes they were allotted, and your answers likewise have been extensive, as they should have been. So we are almost at the three hour mark in the hearing and we still have a distinguished panel ahead of us. But we thank you very, very much. I ask for you to stay closely in touch.
MR. : Thank you very much.
MR. : Thank you.
SEN. LUGAR: And now it's a privilege to call before the committee Colonel Scott Feil, executive director of the Role of American Military Power, Arlington, Virginia; General Anthony Zinni, retired former commander in chief of U.S. Central Command, Washington, D.C.; and Professor Anthony H. Cordesman, the Arleigh A. Burke Chair for Strategy Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.
Gentlemen, I'm going to ask you to testify in the order in which you finally have been seated, or reseated.
And have accommodated staff there very diplomatically. I'll ask first of all for General Zinni's testimony, then for Colonel Feil and then for Professor Cordesman. Let me just say at the outset in the event you wish to submit your statements in total for the record, all will be published so you need not make that request but proceed as you wish with your testimony.
GEN. ANTHONY ZINNI: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, the approach I'm going to take in my comments really goes back to about 1998 when we actually looked at this situation. I was a commander in chief -- I guess now combatant commander, I can't say commander in chief. I was the combatant commander of U.S. Central Command and we had just gone through a string of confrontations with Saddam Hussein. We mobilized troops and brought them to Kuwait under Vigilant Warrior and a set of other exercises, and we had bombed after the UNSCOM inspectors were forced to leave.
And at that time what concerned me was that if we had to execute our war plan, I was confident in the first parts of it, the military parts. I did not have the same degree of confidence in the phases following, the post-conflict environment. I had personally served in Somalia three tours. I was in northern Iraq with the Kurds. I was in the former Soviet Union when we tried to do some reconstruction work there and I did the planning in Bosnia when I was on the European Command staff. And I knew what could be involved in everything from basic humanitarian operations to full reconstruction or nation building.
I worried about another scenario that was not addressed in any of the war plans, and it was the implosion of Iraq, not the explosion. We always assumed that the war would kick off by Saddam invading or reinvading Kuwait or doing something unacceptable that caused our response. But we saw and our friends in the region saw fissures and cracks, admittedly small at the time, that could lead to a collapse. And I thought that a collapsed state of Iraq would present the same problems as a post-conflict state of Iraq.
And I asked the interagency to come together to work a plan. I was interested in what we were going to do and, frankly, there were reasons for this. Not only to identify the problems or what had to be done, but I didn't want the military to be stuck with this problem, as is always the case. We did that. I must say with mixed results. I can't say I had enthusiastic support from all agencies, but I did from some and it helped us identify some of the problems. I would point to the Council on Foreign Relations studies and many other studies, studies done by Tony Cordesman and others, that have listed what has to be done. But few studies tell you how to do it and that was my concern.
And I want to make one other point before I sort of get into what I discovered in doing this. The combatant commander doesn't go home. The idea that there's an exit strategy or we leave is nave. You stay. The Gulf War may have ended in 1991, but CENTCOM for 12 years after was in Iraq, flew it over, no-fly zones, no-drive zones, maritime intercept operations, occasional bombings, an average presence of 23,000 troops from all services. The war never ended. We aren't going to go home from whatever we do in Iraq. There's things in this part of the world that are too important for us to think that this is a go in, do the job as best we can and pull out.
I want to address the issue of anything is better than what you have. Senator Coleman, I would say that we threw the Soviets out of Afghanistan with the idea that Soviets out has got to be better than anything can follow and we left them with the Taliban eventually. So anyone that has to live in this region and has to stay there and protect our interests year in, year out doesn't look at this in sort of finite terms, as a start and an end, as an exit strategy, as a 2 year or 10 year. As long as you're going to have U.S. Central Command you're going to be out there and have to deal with whatever you put down on the ground.
And what I felt the first question I would ask if we went in, which was sort of addressed by Marc Grossman: what is it you envision as an end state? Is it a transitioned Iraq, a magnificent democracy? Or is it something less than that? I mean, is it truly this transformed Iraq that we've heard about or are we just going to get rid of Saddam Hussein and hope for the best with some decent law and order, territorial integrity basically put in place, maybe a federation of states that operates on their own? What is it that you want? If you don't have the vision going in, then the military and all the other agencies of government and the international agencies don't know where to go.
I saw the problem in four areas. The first area was security, and I would just give you an example of the kinds of things -- this is certainly not all inclusive -- that I saw we had to do on the ground. We had to under the security dimension maintain law and order, provide for a force protection, be prepared to do peacekeeping missions, protect threatened groups, deal with civil unrest and acts of retribution, counter external threats and develop local security capabilities, and that's just a few. I mean, this list could go on and on.
The second part was the political part, and that would require such things as establishing an interim or transitional government, laying the foundation for a final form of governance, ensuring coordination of all these activities, the political element will have to be the lead. Developing the principles and procedures for establishing civil functions, dealing with procedures for accountability and coordinating the regional and international involvement that we might have.
The third area was the economic area and here I felt this would involve dealing with issues such as energy production, employment restructuring. Just by the way, about 40 percent of the paychecks come from the government in this country and if the government goes down and sneakers up, where are the paychecks coming from? In addition to that, we saw that regional economic impacts would have to be taken into account. This isn't only going to affect Iraq, it's going to affect Jordan, it's going to affect Kuwait, it's going to affect countries around the country and in the region economically too.
We have to deal with the status of foreign debt and war reparations. Everybody is talking about pumping oil and we'll do this to reconstruct the country. What about the foreign debt and the war reparations that are still owed? There are others out there that have claims to the money and the production. Who will sort that out? We have to restructure the economic base. I think that's been addressed by the previous panel about how it is not the kind of economic base that will allow for a country that's solid in any way economically for the future. And we're going to have to solicit and manage donor contributions.
The fourth area I titled recovery and reconstruction, and this begins with the immediate and long term humanitarian needs. And, again, that's been described here and you can imagine what this could be based on what kind of catastrophe the war causes and Saddam generates. We're going to have to be involved in infrastructure repair and replacement, consequence management, WMD accountability and the reestablishment of services throughout the country.
Now, I wrote myself 10 little lessons learned if I ever had to do this, and I'd just like to go through these in conclusion. The first thing I said to myself was each of these four areas needs a separate structure. You can't saddle the military with all these functions and you can't address these functions without an organization to deal with them. It doesn't mean that some parts of the security organization, for example, like the military might not help out in recovery or humanitarian needs, but you need a separate, distinct organization that's running this on the ground.
The second point is everything has to be coordinated. I've seen the disasters in Somalia and elsewhere when coordination mechanisms fail. Those mechanisms for coordination have to be solid, they have to be established from the lowest remote points on the ground to the highest decisions that may be made back here or in New York or Brussels or wherever.
The third point is that the resources and the organizations required must be identified, provided and efficiently and effectively managed. The military can't be stuck with this problem. We don't do economics and we don't do political business very well. We'll do the security piece and we hope we can train and pass that off eventually, but it's going to be tough. These efforts must be planned for and the structures and resources established before the military action begins. The effort does not start after military action but runs parallel to it. There can't be any gaps. If we think we're going to win the war, stop the shooting, then start this process, we're in for a disaster. It's going to start concurrently and run parallel and run long after the fighting stops or subsides.
We should do everything under international institutions if at all possible, and I think the reasons for that have been laid out and I won't go into them. Our motives will always be suspect in this endeavor and it will be difficult to get partners in a messy day after business. But the cover of international organizations will make this easier. International organizations, private volunteer agencies, non- governmental agencies are critical to success. They have to be empowered, encouraged to do the necessary work and they have to work in close coordination with whatever we do on the ground.
My other point is you need somebody in charge. The disaster of Somalia -- when I got on the ground in Somalia I saw five separate military chains of command, not to mention the differences in the humanitarian and the political end of the business going on on the ground and the reconstruction. Somebody has got to be in charge. That doesn't mean that somebody commands forces and agencies, but has the coordinating authority. And whatever agency or individual that is going to take charge of this thing has to appoint somebody on the ground that runs the show.
Remember, the commander in chief, who we've now identified as I heard in this previous discussion as the leader here, has a region to run that just happens to have a few other problems in it too. I don't want to speak for General Franks. He does an outstanding job in my view and he was a successor that I recommended. But he has more things to do than just run a post-conflict Iraq. International order -- or, excuse me, internal order will be the most critical factor in keeping positive momentum and progressing toward full reconstruction.
Number one task is keeping order in this country. The tribal retributions, the revenge killings, the opposition groups and others that will be jockeying for position, opposition groups that will scream across the border. All sorts of things can disrupt this. There are things in this country that we're going to have to deal with that no one has really talked about. There's a major Iranian opposition group in here, the MEK. What do you want me to do with that if I'm the commander in chief? Do I lock them up? Do I send them back across the border to be slaughtered? Exactly what happens to them? And there are millions of little issues like this that aren't talked about, that are going to be major problems when you're on the ground and whoever goes in is going to have to have the guidance.
My eighth point is that images in this region are everything. Particularly in the early stages of the mission we're going to need intelligent and active information operations that will make or break the mission from the very beginning. What appears on Al Jazeera TV and everything else in the region is going to determine success, maybe even more so than the actions on the ground. And all the explanations afterwards won't counter those first images.
The regional nations and agencies should be a part of this effort if possible. We need Islamic agencies, Arab agencies involved in this process. At the same time, regional involvement that works counter to the objective has to be prevented and we're going to have to pick and sort through those pretty carefully. There may be a lot of regional powers and interests that rush in there that don't have the same objective as we do.
The final point is that the decision on the scope of this vision has to be made right away. Do you want to transform the rock or do you want simply a transition of the rock. Everybody in the region, not to mention the world, will be watching what we leave in this particular situation. And we had not better disappoint the region as we did when we pulled out after the Soviets were expelled from Afghanistan. And we have a situation in Afghanistan where it's on the edge now and people are watching that. Old friends like Pakistan who felt disappointed and betrayed -- not necessarily they were, they feel that way, and certainly Afghans that feel that way. Reconstruction of a nation is a tough job and I would just make one pitch for my brothers that are still in uniform: don't stick them with this mission solely. Thank you.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you very much, General Zinni.
Without knowing what is going to happen with our next two starring witnesses, I just thought that was a boffo performance. I'm prepared to send you on the road -- (laughter) -- and I it appreciate very, very much and we've all made notes.
Now, Colonel Feil. We've had you before. We appreciate once again your insights at that time and please proceed today.
SCOTT R. FEIL (RET.)
COL. SCOTT R. FEIL (Ret): Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I'll try to -- I don't have a cane or a straw hat but I'll try to do as good a job as General Zinni.
Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you and members of the committee, sir. The tremendous challenges that would face the United States and its partners in Iraq can be organized into our analytical categories that we used in my project of security, economic and social well-being, justice and reconciliation, and governance and participation. While those groupings are useful for analysis and for organization and for the application of resources, it's imperative that any approach to Iraq in a post-conflict situation begins with a presumption that only a comprehensive plan executed through integrated yet decentralized actions will be successful.
While security is the foundation for post-conflict reconstruction efforts, progress in those other three areas have direct impact on the long term internal and external security capabilities and the situation of Iraq. The general security tasks that need to be accomplished after a conflict in Iraq have been addressed and are fairly straightforward but they're larger in scale in resources required than anything we have seen in the recent past. First the regime must be deposed. The leadership must be found and, if alive, detained for purposes of either standing trial as international war criminals or participating in whatever justice mechanism the Iraqi people determine meet their needs.
Second, the security services must be dismantled and reorganized. All of Saddam's special security organizations, organized for the protection of the regime such as the Military Intelligence Service, the Military Security Service, the Special Security Service, the General Intelligence Directorate, the General Security Services and the special protection apparatus -- as you can see he has a lot of organizations devoted to his protection -- have to be disbanded and their members detained and vetted. That may number up to 50,000 people right there.
Those internal security forces performing the day-to-day enforcement of civil and bona fide criminal law as opposed to political oppression must have their leadership changed but the bulk of the rank and file will be essential to the preservation of order. The National Police Force and the Frontier Guard, totally perhaps an additional 70,000 men, must have their leadership reorganized. The level down to which commanders are removed will vary based on their record and the overall policy. The leadership of the National Police and the Border Guard should be constrained by thorough monitoring and joint operations with international civilian police deployed throughout the country. The process of recruiting, training and organizing those civilian police and police monitors, numbering about 4,000 to 5,000 in my estimate, must begin now.
The Ba'ath Party needs to be completely disbanded and its leadership detained and put through a vetting process. Within the context of dismantling the regime, the bureaucracy must be reorganized. Those elements that were used as instruments of repression and to protect the regime must either be disbanded or redirected. One of the first ministries to be thoroughly revamped must be the Ministry of Information. Those involved in technical work or the provision of services must be vetted, retained and used by the military and civil administration to provide essential services to the population.
To date there have been discussions and planning but the most glaring gap in the above areas has been the hesitance to organize civilian police and police monitors to integrate with the coalition military to provide a seamless security structure.
The Iraqi Army must be reorganized. The Special Republican Guards and Republican Guards will have to be dismantled. The default assumption must be that the members of these organizations are not qualified to continue to serve in a reformed Iraqi Army unless proven otherwise. The national Army will need new leadership, but once again the rank and file should be amenable to retraining and reorientation.
This is easier said than done and will require significant investment of coalition forces in time and labor to conduct the disarmament and demobilization of hundreds of thousands of soldiers. The reduction in security manpower means that up to 300,000 to 400,000 men will be released into the economy. During the reorganization process, many of the soldiers in the Iraqi Army, excluding the Republican Guard and Special Republican Guard, may be used in supervised public works projects or closely monitored and supervised security tasks.
Concurrent with the removal of the regime and the reorientation of security forces, coalition forces must continue to effort to seize and control the Iraqi WMD program in its entirety. This objective will be a primary effort during the military campaign and it must continue at the same level regardless of the progress made in any conventional combat that discovers those elements of the WMD program.
Just from the public record of what Iraq has been unable to account for since 1998, this is a massive undertaking. In addition to controlling the weapons and the delivery systems themselves, facilities and records will need to be secure. It is expected that almost 70 presidential compounds alone may have evidence of WMD programs. Securing and searching those compounds will be labor intensive and require significant ground forces to ensure entry and control.
Finally, finding, detaining and debriefing personnel involved in the WMD programs will be essential. It has taken four months of inspections to speak to a handful of the 1,000 scientists and engineers believed to be engaged in WMD programs. Integrated military and civilian teams will have to fan out and work in the cities, the countryside and along the borders to ensure that no weapons, documents or personnel leak out of the country.
Security for the population is the third high priority task. Here much depends on the course of the fighting that results in the removal of the regime and the seizure of the WMD program elements. Clearly the potential for humanitarian crisis is large. There are several factors that contribute to this situation. Due to conditions imposed by a number of the U.N. Security Council resolutions, humanitarian aid agencies do not have the infrastructure established within Iraq comparable to what they had in the Balkans and Afghanistan. Therefore the immediate administration of humanitarian assistance will fall to the government agencies, either military or civilian, that arrive during the course of combat operations.
Should Saddam's forces withdraw into the cities and conduct urban warfare, there will be increased civilian casualties which will put additional burdens on military and civilian medical assets. A qualitatively different problem is very possible with the spread of biological or chemical contamination. This could come about as the result of overt employment by Saddam or his military leaders. There is also the risk of inadvertent released based on action by coalition forces given that we will not have perfect and complete intelligence on the location of Iraq's WMD and may destroy facilities containing stocks of chemical or biological weapons.
In either case, military assets for chemical and biological reconnaissance and decontamination are limited and will be primarily occupied with supporting coalition forces. There are no significant assets other than coalition military units that have a capability to assist a contaminated civilian population. NGOs are not prepared to provide services in a contaminated environment, multiplying the humanitarian problem should that condition exist.
The fourth major priority is to prevent factional violence and prevent armed groups from seizing assets, territory or population as Saddam's forces loosen their grip. The biggest threat to coalition long term objectives will arise if a security vacuum exists between the time Saddam's forces withdraw or cease activity and the arrival of American and coalition forces. Inherent in preventing factional and ethnic fighting and reprisals is the ability to provide local policing within a framework of non-arbitrary legal code with objective judges and a humane correctional system. Policing and establishing the rule of law is a fundamental lynchpin connecting the security issue to social, economic and governance issues in Iraq.
National codes are enforced and respect for law takes root at the local level. Recent history has provided evidence of a false dichotomy between military security that focuses on heavy weapons, organized groups and overtly political resistance, and personal or human security that's a function of local knowledge, competent policing, a functioning criminal and civil justice system and community involvement.
This comprehensive approach to providing security for the population requires significant interagency, NGO and international governmental organization involvement if the military is not to be swamped. A deployable justice package must be organized now and the personnel identified, organized and trained. An inability to provide a seamless security situation for the population of Iraq as a state will produce conditions that will lead to crime, corruption, alternative sources of political and economic power and rule making and will undermine the eventual successor Iraqi administration.
Finally, and most important for the long term viability of Iraq and the legacy of the coalition effort, Iraq's oil resources must be retained and developed for the benefit of the people. Facilities must be secured including the fields and the associated infrastructure. Possession of these untapped resources could confer extraordinary economic and political power to various groups. Although military action in Iraq does not constitute a war for oil, the peace achieved and the type of governance attained will owe much to the way the oil sector and Iraq's external debt and reconstruction costs are managed.
Finally, the borders must be protected. Obviously that's an integral task that goes along with preserving the territorial integrity and also these other operations to get to the WMD programs, prevent any leakage and also detain the personnel that we think need to be detained. Given the enormity of these tasks, I still believe that a force of about 75,000 American military personnel will be required for up to one year as the minimum force to stabilize the situation, accomplish those tasks outlined above and establish the conditions for a sustainable and a capable Iraqi state. This force can be reduced as the situation stabilizes. The rate of transformation, which is what the Iraqis accomplish, and the rate of transition, which is what we do, will determine our coalition withdrawal and the type of forces that can be withdrawn first.
Much has been done to address these issues but much more operational movement must take place. The government has attempted to pull together the requisite expertise to define the conditions and the requirements for success, however the effort to implement procedures and organize resources is still fragmented and there has been more activity than movement. From an American perspective what is needed is a clear articulation of American goals for Iraq, the delineation of the tasks America expects to accomplish, what America will assist with and what is expected of coalition and Iraqi partners and the subsequent dedication of resources, i.e. people, equipment and funds to the effort.
Finally, the United States must articulate its transition strategy. The criteria that will govern the transition from military agency to civilian agency and from outsider to insider in the execution of the post-conflict reconstruction tasks must be developed, promulgated and integrated into the supporting plans. The United States must articulate the balance between American responsibility as outsiders setting parameters and assisting the process and the local ownership of that process. America must not let responsibility for the outcome become an open ended commitment on our part or let our presence create unnecessary dependencies. Conversely, local ownership cannot become a rationale or a buzzword for meager support and abandonment.
Once the process begins dynamic assessments are required based on measurable and previously established criteria. Substitution of timelines for measurable progress in achieving the goals of reconstruction has led the United States and the international community to unsuccessful half-measures and minimalism in other situations. Timelines are not an issue as long as the timeframe is tied to some measure of performance and progress and is a real part of the process. We can be successful with this if success is adequately defined and if the resources match the intent.
However, my estimation is that at this stage the planning process in this area has not kept pace with the military preparations for the campaign and the agencies who can resolve the outstanding issues are running out of time to do so.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you very much, Col. Feil.
MR. ANTHONY H. CORDESMAN: Thank you, Senator.
As I have listened to the testimony this morning, it has struck me that one of the issues we have not really talked about is how any kind of nation building effort in Iraq will affect the broader issues of regional security and I think, unfortunately, that is a serious mistake. The reality is that, regardless of what happens in Iraq, the broad problem of proliferation in the region will continue. There are six other countries that will be actively involved. We can have the best plan in the world to disarm Iraq and execute it but the intellectual capital and skills to make weapons of mass destruction will remain regardless of how many documents we find or seize.
Iraq will have the dual use facilities to rapidly return to the production of chemical and biological weapons. It will probably rapidly acquire the technology, if it wants it, for long range UAVs. You cannot disarm a sophisticated state. It is an oxymoron, and if you do not think beyond that, you really do not understand this region.
We will also have to free the new Iraqi government, at some point, from sanctions and when we do so, existing arms control agreements, many of which have not been agreed to in depth by other countries in the region, will be an issue. I have never heard anyone who advocates this war, and I have to say in general I do, explain to me why one major regional problem in this area of the Middle East will not be at least as intense after this war as it is today. I see no one who has ever explained for any country in the Arab world or around Iraq, in even the crudest way, a single scenario as to how our creating a new regime inside Iraq changes a single neighboring state, overcomes its internal problems, leads to any broader implications.
And to me, I think it is inevitable that the moment this war is over, we will suddenly look at the new civil war in Iran, at the problems of the second Intifada, at whatever the situation is in Islamic extremism, and all of those problems will come to the surface. Moreover, we need to remember our span of control. History goes on long after peace processes, and in some period, two, three or five years from now, Iraq will no longer be significantly under our influence.
Let me add to that some other complications. We talk about a coalition of the willing. Well, we have one real ally here -- or at least the government has one real ally, that is Britain. We have two regional allies which share our security objectives, Israel and Kuwait. We have no regional ally which shares our values, which has our culture, or which seeks for democracy as we want it. And broadly speaking in public opinion throughout this region, we will be a coalition of the unwilling. Even in Kuwait there are no public opinion polls which show a broad support for this war.
Moreover, what happened this morning comes far too late. We had a failed public diplomacy under Clinton. We have had a failed public diplomacy under Bush. And there are only two public figures in the United States whose voices matter on this issue: the president and the secretary of State. Until they say what has been said here this morning, what was said here will have almost no influence throughout this region.
Now, having said that, we also have to accept the fact that on the day we go in, not when we win but on the day we go in, we will have the Arab world and every bit of the media in the Arab world blaming us for everything wrong in Iraq. There won't be any tolerance. It won't be an intellectual argument. We inherit the wind, 30 years of mismanagement by a ruthless dictator. We also have to face the fact that in this region people believe in conspiracy theories. That public opinion poll after public opinion poll shows only one polarizing issue in foreign policy: the second Intifada and some 70 percent of the Arabs in this region blame us in large part for the outcome.
I hope we can change some of the perceptions, but we really need to understand what we are doing. And that is why in my formal testimony I talked about peace making and nation building as potentially a self-inflicted wound. But let me go on to the particular areas I was asked to address, the military and the security services.
I disagree a little with Colonel Feil on details but these are not forces we fully understand. I won't go through the list of security services. I've outlined and described them in the paper that I hope will be included for the record. I think the problem is they're are more subtle, that we need to parse them out more carefully, there are some closer to Saddam than others, and one of the problems, as we saw in Russia, is that very often some of the best, most educated people have become associated with these tools of the regime just as was true in the KGB.
I think one of the problems we also face is with the regular army. The regular army has had no rearmament, no modernization in 10 years. It has been through 10 wars. It will go through whatever the fighting is. And finding a way of rebuilding that force will be an immediate task. Not simply winnowing through it, but figuring out how you convince the Iraqis that you have actually given them a new balance of security.
There are other deeper issues within the Iraqi civilization, or civil society, that I think we need to address. I do firmly that the Ministry of Information is a problem, but so is everything else. Throughout this structure there are clan and family ties, people who are part of the Iraqi security apparatus, people who are tools of the regime. There is no ministry, no government, no community free of these people. We have no legal profession in the classic sense. You can only study law if you take an oath of loyalty to Saddam. There's no rule of law and what there was has been confused by a shift to tribal courts, manipulated for the regime's power.
There is the problem of tribe and clan which cuts across religious and ethnic divisions and these require us to look very carefully at tribal origins and patterns almost throughout the Iraqi government. People don't remember this, but you cannot be an academic operating inside Iraq without having met the regime's litmus test. And for people in engineering and the sciences, the ties to weapons of mass destruction are a critical issue. So you are talking about reviewing the academic structure, at least the higher education of Iraq as well.
I don't know how we are going to do this, but I would make a few quick suggestions. One, there is a predilection in the United States for talking about war crimes trials. I think it is part of the problem, not part of the solution. If we do this, the threshold must be extremely high.
Decent men have been caught up in 30 years of dictatorship. How much you punish them is something that all of us have to ask ourselves about: what would we have done in these regimes? If there is a model it may be the South African Truth Commission, a way of getting out into the open very unpleasant issues without punishing everyone in sight. Ultimately too this must be done by Iraqis. I cannot think of a worse model than having American jurists and American legal advisers trying to show the Iraqis how to do this, or people from within NGOs. That to me is a recipe for discrediting what needs to be done.
Now, in terms of Iraqi military forces a caution. There seems to be the strange assumption that these forces will exist in a friendly region. They won't. They're not going to be the friends of the Turks, who will have moved in to northern Iraq. They're not going to be the friends of the Iranians. Anyone who lives and works in Iraq is not going to be the friend of Israel and any member of the opposition who for political reasons pretends to be a supporter of Israel in the face of the second Intifada today may find it remarkably opportune to change that position the moment they acquire any kind of meaningful power. We seem to forget this. It is a dangerous thing to forget.
We are also talking about a country whose history has five branches of government: the ones we recognize, the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. The other two are the military and the security services, and the military have considerably more prestige historically than do the legislature and does the judiciary. We have to somehow work with this structure and transform it. My guess is that whatever we do, we will be only partially successful.
I think finally a few comments about disarmament. First, there's civil disarmament. Where are 350,000 people going to go? The men in these services plus perhaps another 12,000 to 50,000 in the security services? Remember the Weimar Republic. If they don't have income or jobs or some destination, sooner or later they will reemerge and they will not be on our side. How do we at the same time give the officer corps a balance of Kurds and Shiites? How do we deal with the fact the Army is a reflection of power and ethnic and religious divisions? I have not heard anyone describe how this is going to be done and, as General Zinni pointed out, the issue here is the practical.
And, finally, if we do disarm Iraq, what do we do then? If we don't have some kind of guarantee of extended deterrence, why will Iraq exist alone without weapons of mass destruction, or at least the programs to suddenly create them among all of the nations in this region? If we leave them without some mix of containment, arms control and new security partnerships, why does this bring stability?
And if the basic tensions of the second Intifada and the India- Pakistan conflict are not dealt with in the years that follow this, why on Earth will having done this have brought any meaningful regional stability or change the map or structure of history? If I had heard even a few words about these issues, I would be a little more confident. But what I hear is a mixture of pious hope and the belief that the default setting on the civilization of the Middle East is somewhere in the American Midwest and if we only push the right switch, the entire area would become clones of Americans.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you very much. I will ignore momentarily (laughter) the sub rosa comment of my colleague. Midwest, we'll leave it there.
SEN. : I said it's in Indiana.
MR. CORDESMAN: As a Chicagoan, Senator, I plead guilty.
SEN. LUGAR: Let me begin another five minute round of questioning with our colleagues. I'm struck by the difference in the testimony of the two panels. Now, let me just say without being defensive with regard to the undersecretaries of State and Defense, they come here obviously at our request because we think this is very important. Senator Biden and I and other senators who are here have thought it was important for a long time, have really pressed the issue in public comments that we needed to have outlines or some ideas of the plans that we felt that needed to be extensive, who was going to be doing it or who would be doing it, who we work with. And, in fairness, the administration has responded with these two excellent public servants.
But after they have completed their testimony and been questioned by 13 senators, we hear from three of you. Now it seems that we're getting somewhere. I would say that starting with the 10 points that you made, General Zinni, without necessarily agreeing wholeheartedly -- and you would rate them in some way -- they are important considerations. And clearly we do not have many answers to those 10 points which are raised not really as questions but as considerations if you happen to have success.
I hope that I'm in error with regard to that, but the thought that we have set up an office in the Department of Defense three weeks ago, pulling together interdepartmental people, is clearly not on the same pace that all of you have pointed out with regard to our military movements into the area. And to the extent that there is any correlation at all, it becomes apparent that whatever is occurring in terms of the planning for what happens after military action, this is way, way behind the curve. And as a matter of fact, many of the questions that you have asked, the three of you, are still not being asked publicly or answered publicly.
So, you know, one of the values of the hearing was to introduce you to our first panel, or vice versa, so that somewhere in the United States where there is some collected wisdom and some sense of history, which some of you have had.
And I appreciate especially, General Zinni, you've mentioned you've been there before. You've trawled through these things in 1998. This is not the first time our country or those responsible for CENTCOM have been there. You were. So there's real value in having said that and others who are coming up there now, at least consulting with you, taking your list and working it through as we're attempting to do in our amateur fashion as legislators, as oversight committee. So my first hope is that we can help in the coordination in our own government by indicating to the administration, as I do publicly, that what we have heard is not good enough. We are simply way, way behind and this will accelerated intellectual work and planning.
Now, even after we've done that some of the historical questions Professor Cordesman raises with regard to all the countries around, what is to happen to those countries? How is Iraq itself to be defended? Even the audacious suggestion finally that if we are unsuccessful with regard to weapons of mass destruction in the surrounding territory, what do we do about poor Iraq left behind as a country that now we feel exemplifies democracy and freedom but isn't really up to par.
Now, there are other countries have solved that problem in the past in a way. We've had a Japanese-American alliance in the Far East for a long time. And even, as this committee examined last week, North Korea. One of the questions that comes up: what if North Korea has weapons and today has built a stream of them? Let's say they don't plan to use them, but that's a small consolation to the Japanese or even the South Koreans or others in the area, in the same way as terminating Iraq's weapons of mass destruction will be.
And these are very important questions that -- as you pointed out, there are tribes and dissident sectors in the politics of Iraq now that we really haven't gotten to because none of us have been that comprehensive in this committee -- some of you have in your scholarship -- as to know how many things an administrator will have to do. And, finally, the thought that General Franks cannot do just Iraq. General Franks, CENTCOM, whoever commands that, has a lot of responsibilities.
So the question is who is in charge? Who is going to be designated either in a command chain from the president to the secretary of Defense to General Franks to there, or what will be the chain of command. Even our own government. Is this something the president nominates? And then several nominations, assistant secretaries or whoever, in this immediate period to handle all of these civil functions, including law and order is fundamental. The boundary integrity. All of the problems of adjudication and a legal system that doesn't exist, and yet it must because of personal security as well as country security.
So I have taken my five minutes of questions really simply to make editorial comments. But I am excited about the hearing, about the process at least that still exists in the Congress of raising these questions and having able Americans who are offering us some very substantial answers. And you have stimulated this committee, and I hope the American people who listen to this hearing. And I turn now to my partner Joe Biden.
SEN. BIDEN: Thank you very much. As they say in this business up here, I'd like to associate myself with the remarks of the chairman. Fellas, I find myself perplexed. Over the last year roughly, almost year and a half, the president has been generous with his time, he has been patient with me and I suspect -- I know with others. He's had us down, he's had me down alone, he's had the senator down alone, he's had us down together, and he genuinely is exploring, I believe.
And I've been saying publicly, not making me the most popular person in the Democratic caucus, that I believe he has an open mind, I believe he's trying to find the right answers, I believe his instincts are basically good. I don't mean basically. His instincts are good. He's obviously a good person. I mean his instincts on what to do in these very difficult decisions he has to make.
And I would away and every -- I shouldn't say everything. The thrust of everything you three have said with less articulation and less of a base of knowledge, when the president has asked me I have said. And I'm sure I'm not the only one who has sat with him alone in the Oval -- well, not alone. With Dr. Rice or the vice president and gone into these things in some detail. I know -- I've witnessed it with Senator Lugar.
I know I'm not the only one that has raised these issues. And I walk away wondering not did he listen, but this is obviously a group of very bright women and men. Secretary Rumsfeld is an incredibly bright, erudite fella. And he really is, I'm not being solicitous.
The vice president is a very bright, hardnosed guy. Dr. Rice, the secretary of State, the two people we heard here today, the number two people -- number three and four, I should say.
And I walk away and I want to know why has none of this been done? Colonel Feil, in any other administration you were in, if you were in the administration -- in the Defense -- not in administration, in the Defense Department, I know every commander, General, has to know that these are the questions that have to be answered, whether the same 10, there maybe two, there may be 14. But there's clearly -- this isn't rocket science knowing what the problem is. Why has it not been done? And I think it's because, and I'd like you to -- if you feel free to -- I mean, if you wish to comment, fine. If you don't, I understand.
One of you said -- I think it was you, General -- is it transition or transformation? What's the goal? I think there's a fundamental debate that still exists in this administration, whether it is transition or it is transformation we're committing to. Because if that debate is settled, then we clearly have, with all the bright people in this administration, a much clearer -- to use the phrase used by our newest member on this comment -- a roadmap.
You know, we'd know what road we were going down because these questions are so obvious and the fact that they haven't been addressed contemporaneously with the military planning -- General, I was with your old boys as I was with the -- as Senator Hagel and I were. He's a military man, Senator Hagel. I don't -- I think we were both incredibly impressed, incredibly impressed, with the detail of the planning and the various contingencies about how to conduct this war.
Now, we're smart enough to do that. The idea, Professor, we haven't addressed these other things, is beyond my comprehension and the only answer I can come up with is not that there's not people that know what they're doing. There are people who haven't decided on transition or transformation. My sneaking suspicion is Cheney, Rumsfeld and company, it is transition. State and the president's occasional comments talk transformation.
And I'll conclude by saying the only reason why for the president to ask me I'm inclined to give, quote, "more time" to our U.N. interlocutors has nothing to do with inspections. Has nothing to do whether or not we put 50 times as many inspectors in and whether they're going to find these weapons of mass destruction. It has to do with we ain't ready yet. We have all the forces there that we need so I'm told, General. You would know better than any of us. We're fully capable of executing the first phase of this operation. How much or how little blood shed, how much damage we -- politically as well as militarily -- have to take is a question.
But the reason why if I were the president I would be ropadoping a little bit here and slowing up my deployment and making sure that I talked more with the French about whether there's more inspectors or whether there's -- knowing it's malarkey, is that every one of you said, directly or implied, if this is not contemporaneously undertaken, if the moment the gun goes off, General, and the first missile, plane, troop flies, we don't know darn well what those things, Colonel, you talked about and, Professor, you talked about -- which I won't go into detail because my time is up. Unless they are decided upon at the front end, it seems to me this is a prescription for losing, losing overall. Having our interest overall a year from now being more in jeopardy in the world and the region than they are now, even though he may be gone.
Because I always ask the rhetorical question when the president says -- and, God love him, he makes these speeches and some of them are really good and some of them I walk away scratching my head. When he makes these speeches, and others do as well, that somehow this is going to answer or make us any safer, taking down Saddam in the near term, from Al-Qaeda, from terrorist attacks. If the Lord Almighty came and sat right down where the photographers are sitting and said, "Look, folks, guarantee you this will all be done, done quickly and done fine," are we not going to still be on Orange Alert in this country?
And, by the way, if the rationale, as Mr. Feith offered -- in part, in fairness to him -- was, look, this guy you have to understand has been helping these Palestinians erode the peace -- in terms of the extreme Palestinian movement, erode the peace that rests in getting rid of this guy. Let me tell you, the Iranians make him look like an amateur. The Syrians make him look like a bumbler. What trouble he has caused with Israel and the Middle East is infinitesimal in my view -- and he does cause trouble -- is infinitesimal compared to the trouble that the Iranians and the Syrians and others in the region have caused. So is the prescription meaning once we do that, now we've got to do Syria and Iran?
I just think that we're not ready right now. We're not ready right now and it worries the devil out of me. Unless, unless, the administration knows something none of you know, I can tell by your testimony because I've heard you guys before, and something we don't know. That they do have a plan, they are ready to go. And I didn't get any real sense of -- I didn't get any real warm feeling from the two who testified before, who are fine men on limited -- on short leashes who are trying to declassify. And so I can't thank you enough for your testimony. Hopefully it will be sobering enough to wake some people up and figure out we've got to get these decisions made contemporaneous -- contemporaneous with the execution of force. I've used up my more than five minutes, again not with a question but --
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you, Senator Biden.
SEN. HAGEL: Mr. Chairman, thank you.
And I too add my thanks to the three of you. I think both the chairman and our former chairman spoke directly to the value of having the three of you up here and the presentations that you made. I wish all senior members of this administration could have, and maybe they did, listen to what you had to say. And I know we will have a record of your testimony. But everything that Senators Lugar and Biden said in regard to your testimony I agree with. It is not and never has been a question of whether Saddam Hussein can be rehabilitated. He is a threat. He is a problem.
But it is more to the point of each of your testimony, not only as to -- as you said, General Zinni, the end state and Senator Biden spoke to that just a few minutes ago. What it is that we wish to accomplish? How do we wish to accomplish, with whom? All of the questions that you've laid out. And I would make one additional comment before I ask each of you to respond to a question.
As I listened to the three of you and Senators Biden and Lugar, I was struck once again with -- as we went around the horseshoe here the last three hours with 13 senators asking these two very dedicated, bright public servants to explain the administration's policy, I was struck with how many times when the question was asked where references should have been used to what is the purpose? What is the point of attacking Iraq or replacing Saddam Hussein? Very few times was there any reference to force Saddam Hussein to comply with 17 U.N. resolutions that he has been guilty violating since 1991.
Now, on the one hand that is a stated objective publicly by the administration as to what we are about here. But as we went around the horseshoe, we had variations as to what the point is. As Senator Biden pointed out, Secretary Feith talked about essentially some believe that the Middle East peace process is through Baghdad, and there were other variations of this. I don't happen to believe that.
But nonetheless, what it says and what it reflects very clearly on is what Professor Cordesman talked about as well: public diplomacy, explaining our purpose, explaining our intent, explaining our use of power. And we have not not only answered the tough questions that you three have put forward. But I think we're still rather murky in explaining to America and the world what we're about to do and why it's important.
Now, you've all laid out the questions, the concerns. I would ask the three of you to give this committee your thoughts on how we should proceed from here, assuming that the three of you agree that Saddam is in violation of 17 U.N. resolutions and assuming the three of you agree that he needs to be dealt with some way. Maybe that's a leap of assumptions here, but I think understand where the three of you are. But it would be helpful if the three of you would give us your process, how you think we should move forward to deal with Saddam Hussein.
SEN. LUGAR: Good question.
GEN. ZINNI: Well, Senator Hagel, I think obviously we're going down this path. The first thing I would say, which has been said before, we need the international community and preferably we need to work under international agencies and institutions in much of what's described here because the military peace and the security peace isn't going to be the important part of all this. It's necessary but not the most important.
What would worry me is I can look at Tommy Franks and his mustering of all the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and I think everybody, including the two senators who went out there, have complete confidence in that aspect of this. I would hope you did. But where is the counterpart economic, political, humanitarian and recovery? If it's just a small group in the Pentagon -- by the way, led by a very able individual in Jay Garner. I have the greatest respect for him. We were together in northern Iraq. But a planning cell -- an interagency planning cell at the Pentagon.
Now, my career is deficient in that I never served a tour there, but it doesn't do anything for me on the ground. Where is the CENTCOM counterpart to a political organization that's going to command? I think the two secretaries this morning talked about political committees, judicial committees. They're necessary. In the early days of Somalia with Ambassador Bob Oakley and others when we had a degree of success, these had to be in place. But you need manpower and organization and structure and authority and resources to make this work if you're going to go in and assume responsibility.
I'll just take a small thing, a small item, but it may point out how significant something could be. This morning these two secretaries mentioned that 60 percent of the Iraqi people eat off the oil of food -- the Oil For Food program. There are 40,000 feeding stations there. Now, option one, best case, all those -- and Saddam's government runs these feeding stations. They stay in place. Nothing happens to them, the warehouses are sound and they continue to pump food. Good news. Path one.
Path two, no. That half of them run away, some of the warehouses are destroyed. And then you could eventually get yourself to path three where 40,000 feeding stations are abandoned, destroyed, disrupted and you've got to create 40,000 feeding stations from nothing. Who does that? We talked about NGOs. These NGOs are a disparate collection of people that operate on their own with different charters, different motivations. Who pulls them together? Is there a humanitarian operations center under somebody from the U.N. or somewhere that's going to coordinate their efforts? Are we going to find them all in the Shi'a area and none in the Sunni area? And then who fills in the blanks?
We need structure, we need organization, we need lines of authority. The tasks are out there. I mean, all the books that we can pick up, the work that people like Tony Cordesman have done, the CFR have identified what has to be done. I don't doubt that the problem has been scoped. There's a bracket. There's the two year plan, which I doubt seriously, and there's the 10 year plan which I would tell you is more realistic. But the task to be performed there and the "it depends" answer is whether the 40,000 feeding stations are up and running or they're totally destroyed or something in between, that can all be mapped out, to use the phrase that Senator Coleman mentioned.
But the problem is who's going to do it? Where are they? You know, if you have hundreds of thousands of troops on the ground formed up into divisions and wings and task forces at sea, where is the counterpart on these other sides? It isn't going to be a handful of people that drive out of the Pentagon, catch a plane and fly in after the military peace to try to pull this together. I mean, that's what I think the next step is.
SEN. HAGEL: Thank you.
May I ask the other two to respond as well, Mr. Chairman, to my question if I could?
SEN. LUGAR: Of course. Briefly, if you can.
COL. FEIL: Let me take a slightly different tack than General Zinni and talk about some operational things. And I think that the previous panel got into the area where everything is all connected, and so therefore when one thing is solved and then everything else will tumble and we'll be able to connect everything up. I think there is a different way to separate some of these issues that flow from a central decision about what the goal is that could be separated into things that are unknown and we're waiting for a decision, and those things we have to set aside. Things that we know we're going to have to do and those things we can get on with right now.
And I would hearken back to the first panel, the issue of justice. They have a committee that has rewritten or is in the business of rewriting a justice code in Arabic, 600 pages. You can run the numbers that are based on previous historical experience about how many -- the population, the size of the police force and how many police monitors you need, if they have a code.
We should be out working with the international community right now to recruit, organize and train the police monitors that will help provide the local security and the community security that will alleviate the military of the burden of having to escort schoolchildren, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Those sorts of things are more in the science of this business than the art of it. Those things I think can be -- many of those things can be approached now. The other ones may have to be put in a box that flows from having a resolution to the central decision.
MR. CORDESMAN: Let me say very briefly I don't believe that we are going to transform Iraq. We may start that process. There is no chance in hell that we will finish it. It takes too long to change a society and a country of 22 million people.
What you can do is give them the opportunity to sustain change. I think some of the things were touched on this morning, but the first thing you have to do if you want to have nation building is to provide security throughout the country. And that means going into the major cities, to the various regions with some kind of teams which will maintain order right away. We saw in Afghanistan what happens when you don't do that, and you will probably pay for it with failure ultimately in terms of efforts to create a stable Afghanistan.
You need food and you need to deal with currency, you need to provide immediate crude economic stability. And the monetary and banking system rank with food, water and security. There are 23 ministries, six are problem ministries, some 18 provinces and about 30 major regional areas. I hope we have civil and military teams to go into each one very, very quickly. The minute you do, you are going to have to make them govern while you screen. You don't screen first, reorganize and change.
I can't think of anything more disastrous than a bunch of American political scientists wandering in to a different country who don't speak the language expect in somebody else's theories, and attempting basically to change Iraq. It's a little like trying to sculpture an iceberg with the prow of the Titanic. It just isn't going to work.
So the question is how do you get as many Iraqis helping us as quickly as possible? Whether it's an assembly or constitutional convention, you need to have something to allow the Iraqis to work out how they can create a federal system for power sharing, dealing with problems like revenues and getting to be more pluralistic a republic.
I always hate this word democracy. Gentlemen, we don't live in a democracy. None of our founding fathers would have made that mistake and the first 10 amendments to the Constitution of the United States are so fundamentally anti-democratic as to oppose the principle in every way. We have a sharing of power, responsibility, political parties, checks and balances, not a democracy. What we do in Iraq has to be that on their terms, not a democracy, which has never been a successful form of government anywhere in the world.
I think finally there are issues like debt and reparations forgiveness. We cannot burden this new government with what is in excess of several hundred billion dollars worth of current and potential obligations. Again, remember the Weimar Republic. To have any money to deal with social needs and change, that must be one of our highest priorities and to have that forgiven.
Finally, to have any cash flow, we have to go in and deal with the oil fields and oil revenues and oil exports immediately.
The lowest figure I've seen to fix that is $7 billion. The Iraqis, incidentally, for 3.5 of sustained billion -- or million barrels per day have talked $36 billion.
Now, here, Senator Biden, let me just make a point. Until we go in this country and survey what is actually the problem there, understand we won't know what we're doing. Nobody in Iraq knows. The plan will be the first casualty of engagement with reality. It's important to have people who can go in and deal with that, but let's also remember there have been no Americans we can put in there who have been in Iraq in 12 years.
There are very few who ever were in Iraq. There are no NGOs which have really worked with this scale of problem, and most of them are tied up in other parts of the world and their issue and focus is humanitarian. There's nothing in the United Nations structure which says we can make this international. Oil For Food really doesn't run anything. The allocation is done by computer by the Iraqis and that's the only substantive part of the U.N. that prepares us. So I think the last answer to this question is either we do it and assume the responsibility with limited international aid, or it simply does not get done.
SEN. LUGAR: Senator Chafee.
SEN. CHAFEE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I know the hour is ticking on. It's one -- I think Professor Cordesman said the issue here is the practical and, to use a clich, you do have to do a cost benefit analysis where we're going. And it seems to me that, yes, Saddam Hussein is a murderous tyrant, but we have those around the world, Charles Taylor in Liberia. But the difference you might say is that Saddam Hussein is a threat to us and I, for one, haven't been convinced of that and therefore have questions about the direction we're going in. And I'd like to hear you comment on a cost benefit analysis considering everything we've heard here this morning. Is Saddam Hussein a threat to us?
MR. CORDESMAN: Let me if I may say I believe he is. I've found -- or I've watched Iraq, I first was there in 1973, change from a country with immense potential to one which under Saddam Hussein fought a really bloody, murderous war with the Kurds after the Algiers Accords in 1975. It was one of the most unpleasantly ruthless campaigns imaginable. He purged the country in 1979 --
SEN. CHAFEE: I know that time is ticking down. To us, to Americans?
MR. CORDESMAN: Ultimately there is 60 percent of the world's oil reserves in this area. You have a revenge-oriented dictator who will not stop proliferating. The most you will ever get out of U.N. inspection, frankly, is a delay or a pause before this man reasserts himself and tries to take revenge.
SEN. CHAFEE: Thank you, Professor.
GEN. ZINNI: Senator, I don't believe he's an imminent threat to us. I think he is a threat. He threatens to destabilize the region. Left unchecked -- but he is very well checked -- he could develop the kinds of threats that could directly affect us. My problem is not in dealing with him militarily, my problem is in timing. Everything we're talking about here: use of the military, the cost and the resources, potential destabilization of the region, distraction from other priorities, this is in my view the worst time to take this on and I don't feel it needs to be done now. I do feel he needs to be dealt with.
SEN. CHAFEE: Thank you, general.
COL. FEIL: Sir, I would agree more with Professor Cordesman. I think in the medium term I think he is a threat. I think that General Zinni's point and back to the planning issue. In my discussions with NGOs and government agencies, the lack of planning for Iraq has caused some of the problems that we've got in Afghanistan, simply because organizations behave organizationally, they withhold resources until they know what the downstream requirements are and Afghanistan just continues to trundle along. With an answer to the question that would apply resources to Iraq they'd have a better idea about what they could devote to Afghanistan. But I think that Saddam's a medium term threat I think.
SEN. CHAFEE: Thank you, Colonel.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you very much, Senator Chafee.
SEN. NELSON: Mr. Chairman, because of the lateness of the hour I will just ask quickly -- I would just like to follow up what General Zinni had said and with his stature as being in the middle of the Middle East peace negotiations. So is this a fair characterization of your opinion: Saddam Hussein is a problem, he's got to be dealt with, but one of the aspects right now of your concern in doing it now is the spill-over into the volatility of the Middle East.
GEN. ZINNI: Yes, sir, one of them. There are many others.
SEN. NELSON: Do we expect that Iran, in a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, would try to exert influence through the Shi'ite population?
GEN. ZINNI: Yes. I believe Iran is going to see itself surrounded. We have relationships in the Caspian, military to military, we have troops in Afghanistan, we have Naval forces in the Gulf and in the Indian Ocean. We are now about ready to put troops in Iraq. It looks like you're surrounded if you're an Iranian hardliner.
SEN. NELSON: So it would not be surprising then to see Iran try to stir up trouble in an occupied Iraq through the Shi'ites?
GEN. ZINNI: Iran gets a two-for here. One, they get rid of Iraq as a major threat by us getting in there and they can deal with us by ensuring that we have a lot of trouble and problems that discredits us in the region if they can generate that in there. So they deal with Iraq and they deal with us if they can generate those kinds of problems. And they could generate them, not directly in just Iraq, but what they do to support terrorist groups that are operating in the Palestinian territories and Israel to try to draw them in.
The worst image -- my worst nightmare would be on Al-Jazeera TV the picture of American troops in combat, fighting Iraqis at the same time the IDF is in the West Bank and in Gaza in insurgence as a reaction to some sort of suicide bombing or worse and the images show Israelis and Americans killing Arabs. That, if I were an Iranian or an Al-Qaeda or Hamas or Jihad, I would be wanting to generate that at the moment that we go in. And the effect in the region can be disastrous.
SEN. NELSON: And if the Iranians really wanted to give us fits, that's what they'd do is stir up those groups such as Hezbollah so that the Americans would have it on two fronts.
GEN. ZINNI: Well, the Iranian hardliners are in trouble internally. They are seeing their own internal revolution come about. They need to do something to stop that momentum and to distract it. Nothing better than a common enemy. And to mobilize it -- what Tony Cordesman mentioned -- the natural feelings in terms of the Arab- Israeli and U.S. involvement. And this is a chance for them to regain the initiative of the revolution.
What Tony said was a very important point and which caused me to disagree with what Secretary Feith said today. By changing the government in Iraq you don't change the attitude on these issues with the people. You know, you're not, and no one could succeed in governance by having this sort of pro-American, pro-Israeli or reasonable approach to the Israelis in this environment today. So we would doom anybody that comes in with side. They may pander to us and say they have it, they won't last long in a leadership position with that attitude because that's not the mood of the region right now.
MR. CORDESMAN: Could I just make one comment? Everything General Zinni said is true. There is one ameliorating factor. The Shi'ites of Iran are not Shi'ites first. They are Arabs, they are deeply divided, there are mixed tribes and clans within the area. Many of them are secular. They have a long history of internal divisions along class and economic and community lines. They differ with the Iranians on a number of aspects of religious practices. So Iran's leverage, in parts at least, of the Shi'ite areas, probably even the majority, is more limited than it may appear. But that doesn't mean it isn't a threat, as General Zinni pointed out.
SEN. NELSON: And an additional threat, Mr. Chairman, perhaps that some of these groups that would be stirred up by Iran are also resident in the United States in some substantial numbers. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you very much, Senator Nelson.
Let me just make a summary comment that we've demonstrated again how many problems the United States has if you're a foreign policy person or the president of the United States. These may not have been obvious prior to September 11th, perhaps this triggered awareness on the part of the Senate, people, everybody, that there are a lot of problems out in the world and a good number have been moving on for quite a long while. We may have been oblivious. Now that we think of public diplomacy of hundreds of millions of people in the Near East or the Middle East, but we are aware of them now.
My only hope would be that the fact that there are many problems would not deter Americans from trying to solve any of them. Some of the logic that I hear in the debates is to suggest, when people mention Iraq is a problem, to have a poll question as to whether North Korea, Al-Qaeda, whatever else somebody thinks of -- perhaps the Israeli-Palestinian thing is more of a problem. You can get a real division of opinion and finally come to the conclusion that they are all problems and all insoluble and that, as Americans, we really find unacceptable.
So I appreciate the spirit of your testimony today although you have different viewpoints about the urgency of dealing with Saddam Hussein or Iraq, none of you have argued that we ought to be oblivious to this and, furthermore, you have offered at least some guidelines that if it is finally the will of our government to proceed either with the United Nations, with a coalition of the willing, that there are some things we need to do very swiftly if we are to have some measure of success and some modesty with regard to how much is achievable in this process. So I thank you for the wisdom and thoughtfulness with which you have approached that as well as your lifetimes' service to our country.
I thank all members for their constancy and all who have witnessed four hours and ten minutes of hearing on the future of Iraq. The hearing is adjourned.
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