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On September 11, we learned that the way America goes to war needs to be assessed continuously. It is necessary to refresh our war plans in order to respond to the threats from terrorists that we face today. Last year, we fashioned a new defense strategy and force planning construct, which requires that we have the capability to do the following: defend the homeland, undertake a major regional conflict and win decisively—including occupying a country and changing its regime, if necessary-swiftly defeat another aggressor in another theater, and simultaneously conduct a number of lesser contingencies such as Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. We are transforming our force as we fight the war on terrorism and examining our war plans to ensure that they support the strategy in the best way possible.
9. Senator LEVIN. Secretary Rumsfeld, last June you testified that one of the reasons for revising the previous administration's strategy was that it was too ambitious. You said that the "erosion in the capability of the force means that the risks we would face today and tomorrow are higher than they would have been when the two-MTW standard was established.”
What has changed in the last year to make you believe that a force that could not accomplish a two-war strategy then can be expected to do so now?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Changing conditions have led to significant changes to U.S. defense strategy. We have a broader set of challenges facing us today and, therefore, are developing broader capabilities. We also plan to fight wars differently. Our initial successes in Afghanistan, for example, were the direct result of a new style of warfare. Special Operations Forces leveraged long-range air power launched from carriers in the Arabian Sea, land bases in the region, and even the continental United States. These same forces used a combination of intelligence assets to provide persistent surveillance and indispensable human intelligence.
We are examining our plans and capabilities so as to fight innovatively in other possible contingencies. For example, we recognize that today you can have overwhelming force, conceivably, with lesser numbers because the lethality is equal to or greater than before. It has been a mistake to measure the quantity of forces required for a mission and fail to look at the effectiveness of those forces.
QUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY SENATOR MARY L. LANDRIEU
FORCE STRENGTH 10. Senator LANDRIEU. Secretary Rumsfeld and General Myers, it would seem that lessons learned from previous U.N. inspectors in Iraq would dictate that they will need military support to sustain their efforts. Do you intend to increase the number of troops in the region, even as the inspectors are performing their U.N. duties? If so, can you sustain this buildup with even more troops committed if we go to war? Would Iraq not see this buildup as an act of war?
Secretary RUMSFELD and General MYERS. The United Nations Security Council has not settled on the specific language of a new resolution on the situation in Iraq. The United States government's position is that the resolution should require immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to all areas in Iraq as a precondition of any agreement to resume weapons inspections. As was the case with United Nations Special Commission in the previous inspection commission, Iraq will also be required to ensure the safety and security of the inspectors. A failure to meet those conditions would then constitute another breach of Iraq's obligations.
The United States military continues to maintain a significant force presence in the region. That said, we do not intend to increase the number of troops in the region for the purpose of providing support to the weapons inspectors. Nonetheless, we retain the ability to change our force posture in the region to be ready to deal with future changes in the threat conditions.
11. Senator LANDRIEU. General Myers, your prepared testimony states that the U.S. is currently using 15-20 percent of our major combat units to sustain current operations. If the President directs the military to assemble a force for an invasion, it will no doubt increase this number.
If the U.S. should deploy troops with the intention of changing the regime in Iraq, will our forces be able to address any contingencies that may erupt in other parts of the world?
General MYERS. The defense strategy resulting from the Quadrennial Defense Review outlined missions that the military must be able to conduct. Our forces are structured to respond to those worldwide missions. We have an adequate force structure that is properly equipped to carry out our strategy. We have sufficient capability to conduct effective operations against Iraq while maintaining other aspects of the war on terrorism, protecting the homeland, and keeping our commitments in other regions of the world.
In any potential conflict, it is desirable to have allies and partners contributing in different ways. Their support may be in the form of combat troops, supplies, overflight rights or staging rights. We will continue to work with our partners to execute the global war on terrorism. This does require prioritizing some of our critical resources that are in short supply. But the Joint Chiefs and I are confident that we can accomplish whatever mission the President asks of our Armed Forces.
DEPLOYMENT TIME-FRAME 12. Senator LANDRIEU. General Myers, one of the lessons that we certainly learned during Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm is that it took nearly 6 months for the United States to position its forces in Saudi Arabia. In that time, a still potent Iraqi army could have crossed the border into Saudi Arabia and inflicted great damage on the assembling American force. In your testimony, you made note of the fact that the military has made great improvements in our ability to deploy fo to a theater of conflict.
If the President should give you the green light to begin assembling an invasion force for Iraq, how long would it take for the U.S. to deploy the appropriately-sized force to the region?
General MYERS. Improvements in mobility assets, deployment infrastructure and pre-positioned combat unit sets contribute significantly to our ability to deploy and execute combat missions much faster than during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Investments in strategic airlift and sealift power-projection platforms have greatly improved the deployment responsiveness and sustainment capability of our forces. Though I cannot comment on specific deployment timelines for operational security reasons, I can assure you that should the President give the authorization, our forces are prepared to deploy swiftly and will be combat ready. With regard to potential threats during the deployment phase, our planning process takes them into account. We are prepared to execute the mission if it is asked of us and are confident of victory.
IRAQI TROOP MOVEMENT
13. Senator LANDRIEU. General Myers, without getting into anything classified, what sort of preparation, build-up, or troop movements are you seeing by the Iraqis? Would you elaborate on some of the equipment they received legally under sanctions, which they have modified to become weapons transports?
General MYERS. [Deleted.]
IRAQI CAPABILITIES 14. Senator LANDRIEU. General Myers, in your prepared testimony, you list the current capabilities of the Iraqi army. You stated that Iraq currently has 2,000 tanks, 3,500 armored personnel carriers (APCs), and 300 jet aircraft. There is no doubt in my mind that 10 years of economic sanctions have had an effect on the readiness of this force, particularly in the inability of the Iraqi regime to acquire spare parts for it military.
Do you have any estimates of what portion of the Iraqi army is actually combatready and poses a threat to any American troops who may be sent over there?
General MYERS. During the last several years, Iraq has focused its efforts in acquiring spare parts through smuggling and abuse of the oil for food program to preserve its combat power. Emphasis has been placed first on maintaining the combat capability of the Republican Guard, then the Army's Armor and Mechanized formations, while his less capable infantry units were forced to make do with less. The Iraqi Air Force has also suffered, with pilots averaging less than 30 hours of flight time per year. Many airplanes have mechanical difficulties. Where the readiness of Iraq's ground forces has suffered the most is in its combat support and combat service support sectors. Shortages of everything from trucks, tires, batteries and uniforms are endemic. These shortages are a major factor in limiting Iraq's offensive capability but will not be so debilitating when Iraq is defending.
FIGHTING THE WAR
15. Senator LANDRIEU. Secretary Rumsfeld and General Myers, recently Congressman Skelton quoted Carl von Clausewitz, who said, “In developing strategy, it is imperative not to take the first step without considering the last.” Along these lines, we have not yet really concluded operations in Afghanistan and we are using our Special Operators in Yemen, East Africa, and other locations. Do we have the resources to win this war?
Secretary RUMSFELD and General MYERS. Yes, we have the resources to win the war. Although it is true that our Special Operations (SO) personnel and assets are heavily engaged worldwide, United States Special Operations Command (USSÓCOM) carefully manages their employment. ÚSSOCOM is currently able to support existing and projected requirements; however, we will have to very carefully manage SO aircraft.
16. Senator LANDRIEU. Secretary Rumsfeld and General Myers, do we anticipate a war with Iraq as being a largely urban, “door-to-door” conflict? If so, will we be spreading our Special Operators too thin? If we are forced into urban warfare, do we have enough foreign language speakers to ensure our troops have the greatest chance of survival and success at helping the people of Iraq understand our mission there and at helping develop support for a democratic government?
Secretary RUMSFELD and General MYERS. Our conflict is with Iraq's brutal and corrupt regime. It is not with the innocent people of Iraq who have been suffering horribly under his tyrannical reign. America acts not to conquer, but to liberate; we seek friendship with the Iraqi people and offer to help them build a future of stability and self-determination.
The Iraqi regime has committed gross human rights violations against Iraq's citizens, including rape, torture, and genocide. He has brutalized the Iraqi people. The regime has lost its legitimacy, not only in our eyes but also, I believe, in the eyes of most Iraqis as well.
However, should urban combat occur, the United States military is up to the challenge. We train for it, we have planned for it, and we are prepared for the possibility.
As for spreading our special operators too thin, again, the President has not made a decision to use military force against Iraq. Until such a decision has been made, discussion of troop movements and dispositions would be premature.
17. Senator LANDRIEU. Secretary Rumsfeld and General Myers, some of Afghanistan's very basic “lessons learned” demonstrate a need for better equipment, including backpacks that do not rip, more efficient and lighter radios that would take less time to set up and break down when calling in a position or an air strike, longer battery life for radios and computers that would enable ground troops to communicate longer with command centers and close air support aircraft, etc. Have we resolved these problems?
Secretary RUMSFELD and General MYERS. We continue to address and resolve problems with our equipment. First, in a general sense, we all are aware that the U.S. Armed Forces field the best equipment of any armed force in the world, however, real world operations sometimes uncover shortfalls in design or workmanship in our equipment that wasn't predicted. Our feedback process is robust and allows us to report material issues back to the procuring organizations to allow them to find solutions. Let us take the Modular Lightweight Load-bearing Equipment (MOLLE 2) backpack as an example of which you alluded to. The MOLLE 2 incorporated design changes that were a direct result of experience with the original MOLLE. The MOLLĚ 2 design is considered a more capable backpack than its predecessor, but during its use in Afghanistan some issues were acknowledged. The Marine Corps Systems Command was quick to recognize this and issued a solicitation for an improved MOLLE 2 backpack that will incorporate lessons learned from Afghanistan.
For more complex weapons systems the process to address deficiencies may require more time to resolve, but feedback mechanisms are in effect at all of our procuring organizations that allow for product shortfalls to be known. Technology insertion and spiral development help us to make the necessary changes in our equipment as we discover gaps in equipment capability.
18. Senator LANDRIEU. Secretary Rumsfeld and General Myers, what is our specific objective in Iraq? What will it cost us to achieve that objective under the best and worst case scenarios?
Secretary RUMSFELD and General MYERS. We want to see an end to:
• The threat from Iraq's weapons of mass destruction • The threat from Iraq to its neighbors and the region • The regime's sponsorship of terror
• The oppression of the Iraqi people As far as the issue of costs, we must reiterate the President has made no decision whether to use military force against Iraq. If a decision is eventually made to use military force, the costs incurred, whatever they will be, must be weighed against the cost of not acting at all-for example, against the danger that a nuclear-armed Iraq would pose to the entire Middle East or that terrorists armed with WMD could pose to the United States and our friends and allies.
19. Senator LANDRIEU. Secretary Rumsfeld and General Myers, Iraq has used chemical weapons against its own people, so it is a natural assumption that it would not hesitate to use them on U.S. troops.
Why would the threat of massive retaliation, which worked well during the Gulf War, not elicit the same fear from Iraq now? In addition, anticipating their use of these weapons, our troops will be spending much of their time in Mission Operation Protective Posture (MORP) 2 or higher, creating a difficult work environment. How do we plan to compensate for the loss of manpower and loss of dexterity to perform basic tasks while in higher MOPP levels?
Secretary RUMSFELD and General MYERS. If war occurred, we would seek by a variety of means to prevent or minimize Iraqi use of WMD against us and coalition forces, as well as against neighboring countries. We would seek to destroy Iraqi WMD and delivery systems and to employ other active and passive countermeasures. We would also, through our declaratory policy, make clear that any individual in the Iraqi chain of command involved in implementation of an order to use WMD would be held personally accountable. We believe that this would in its own way contribute to deterrence.
As you mentioned, if our soldiers will spend a significant amount of time in Mission-Oriented Protective Posture their ability to operate will be degraded. It is imperative that we employ a strategy that denies Iraq the ability to effectively employ these weapons systems. In order to mitigate the Iraqi WMD threat and protect our forces in the field, we will:
• Identify, attack, and destroy his WMD delivery systems to deny his ability to employ them against us and coalition forces.
Employ Special Operations and conventional forces to isolate chemical and biological production and storage facilities to deny their use by Iraqi forces.
Employ active and passive defensive countermeasures, i.e., theater missile defense, environmental surveillance, and individual protection to protect the force. • Through aggressive 10 operations encourage members of the Iraqi military not to employ WMD if ordered to do so. Military leaders will be held accountable under international law if they are involved in the employment of WMD.
LONG-TERM COMMITMENT TO STABILIZE IRAQ 20. Senator LANDRIEU. Secretary Rumsfeld and General Myers, in planning for the inevitability of a very complex and long undertaking of democratization in Iraq (which would logically follow a regime change), how will we unite Shi'a, Sunni, and Kurd factions to ensure a foothold of democracy in the center of the Arab world?
Secretary RUMSFELD and General MYERS. If a decision were to be made to conduct military operations in Iraq, those operations would be only one part of a unified U.S. Government and international effort. The task of rebuilding Iraq would be one that the United States committed itself to for the long-term, much like in Afghanistan. While there are various factions in Iraq, as you have noted, all reports agree that these factions are united in their desire to see the current Iraqi regime go. The U.S. Government has made progress in encouraging their cooperation. In particular, we are encouraging them to declare their agreement on fundamental principles regarding Iraq's territorial integrity, representative government, renunciation of WMD, and commitment to peace with neighboring countries.
IRAQI OPPOSITION GROUPS 21. Senator LANDRIEU. Secretary Rumsfeld and General Myers, the Iraqi National Congress (INC) gave us a glimmer of hope that Saddam Hussein would have been ousted by his people in 1992, but the coup failed. Afterwards, the INC basically collapsed in 1994-1995 due to in-fighting over the diverse goals of its member factions. Some INC leaders feel that they could be militarily successful in the future with additional resources and training. Can the opposition groups topple Saddam with our assistance and without our mounting a full invasion? If so, will we be able to provide the resources needed to sustain democracy in Iraq by utilizing the INC, the Iraqi National Accord (INA), or other factions which may emerge as opposition forces?
Secretary RUMSFELD. and General MYERS. It would be presumptuous to speak for the opposition group leaders as to their capabilities, but the scenario you have laid out is not our current reality. As President Bush stated, we are committed to seeing Iraqi regime disarmed of WMDs, by one means or another. In this effort we are also committed to cooperating with those opposition groups who are committed to this goal.
IMMUNIZATIONS 22. Senator LANDRIEU. General Myers, your prepared testimony cites our improved ability to ensure that all of our forces will be medically prepared with the proper immunizations before deploying to a theater of conflict.
What regimen of immunizations would be necessary, and how would it differ from the one given to troops deploying for Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm? If there are new drugs being administered, have they been fully screened for the side effects they might have on our troops, such as future birth defects? If there are side effects, will your average private be informed of them?
General MYERS. All Service members, even those not involved in a deployment, are vaccinated against tetanus, diphtheria, influenza (given annually), hepatitis A, measles and polio. All Service members traveling overseas are protected by immunization against an array of infectious-disease threats. All deployed personnel receive typhoid vaccine. Personnel traveling to areas of higher risk will receive anthrax vaccine to protect them against that known lethal threat. In addition, U.S. Central Command requires personnel deploying to its area of responsibility (AOR) to be current in yellow fever and meningococcal immunizations. There are additional vaccination requirements specific to individual Services and to certain military occupations (e.g., hepatitis B, varicella, pnuemococcal and rabies). For example, medical personnel are required to have hepatitis B vaccination and personnel without a spleen are required to have pneumococcal vaccination.
The Department of Defense is using vaccines to protect against the same diseases as in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, although we are now using several different products (hepatitis A vaccine, inactivated polio virus vaccine, and typhoid vaccine) that are somewhat different from the products used during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm (immune globulin, oral polio virus vaccine, and a different form of the typhoid vaccine). Along with current American public health practice, the military has switched to using inactivated polio virus vaccine to prevent polio virus infections, and now uses hepatitis A vaccine, which is much more effective and safer than immune globulin in preventing hepatitis A infection. In addition, as noted above, the Department of Defense is now immunizing troops in designated higher threat areas against the threat of anthrax with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-licensed vaccine.
The Department of Defense, along with other agencies of the Federal Government, is examining the need for smallpox vaccination in order to protect critical military capabilities.
There are a number of biological and chemical warfare threats for which no FDAlicensed countermeasure has been developed thus far. In some cases, vaccines or drugs have been developed, but not licensed. When personnel deploy to theaters where the risk of exposure to particular biological and chemical warfare agents is high and no FDA-licensed countermeasure exists, we prepare for use of medical countermeasures under what is known as an Investigational New Drug (IND) protocol. If the decision is made to use any IND, we will follow all applicable federal regulations, including only using protocols approved by FDA. Use of an IND requires the informed consent of the individual receiving the medication, unless a presidential waiver is granted. A key part of any IND protocol is education and health risk communication for those who will receive the countermeasure, even if informed consent were to be waived by the President.
It is our responsibility and our practice to inform Service members about the medical measures we use to protect them. It is our policy that all deploying personnel receive a pre-deployment health threat briefing that provides information on health threats and countermeasures, to include applicable immunizations.