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1993. Iraq may have concealed as much as 660 tons of chemical agents, including the nerve gases VX and Sarin, and mustard gas, a blister agent. At one time, Iraq had a robust biological weapons stockpile which included botulinum, aflatoxin, ricin, and anthrax.
Assuming that the U.S. is forced to fight house-to-house in Baghdad, and assuming the Iraqi use of chemical weapons, are U.S. forces sufficiently equipped and trained to prevail under these conditions?
General MYERS. Yes. Improvements in chemical protective masks, chemical protective suits, advanced forced entry munitions, body armor and night vision devices have greatly enhanced our forces' ability to fight in urban and chemical environments. With regard to level of training, urban and chemical warfare is routinely integrated into field training and simulated exercises. I am confident that our level of training is superior to the Iraqi Republican Guard and Special Republican Guard units, and as the most highly trained and equipped military in the world, we are well prepared to accomplish any and all missions assigned.
41. Senator SANTORUM. General Myers, since U.S. medical personnel haven't treated battlefield chemical casualties since 1917, how skilled are U.S. medical personnel in delivering aid to military personnel exposed to chemical or biological agents?
General MYERS. The Department of Defense employs the most technically proficient, professionally capable medical force ever fielded in the history of warfare. Our ability to recognize and treat battlefield casualties exposed to chemical or biological agents is unsurpassed worldwide. The sophistication of our overall medical capabilities in the weapons of mass destruction arena has been significantly enhanced by training programs specifically designed by our lead agents in the medical aspects of chemical and biological defense—the U.S. Army's Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRIID) and the Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (USAMRICD)—to improve the clinical acumen of our healthcare providers. These programs, offered globally through satellite feed or on-site, have provided our medical force with the necessary skill sets to effectively deal with casualty streams exposed to chemical or biological agents.
42. Senator SANTORUM. General Myers, what advances in training and/or technology have benefited U.S. forces in urban fighting since 1993?
General MYERS. We will avoid fighting within urban areas whenever possible. However, if forced to fight in urban areas, we will leverage advances in information operations and situational awareness that will enable us forces to mass overwhelming combat power against Iraqi forces.
Lightweight body armor will better protect U.S. forces as they operate in an urban environment. This armor will allow greater freedom of movement and enhanced protection from direct fire, shrapnel, and falling debris.
Improved command and control systems will provide greater situational awareness for U.S. forces at all levels. This will enable commanders to mass overwhelming combat power against enemies in an urban environment.
Advances in night vision devices allow U.S. forces to better operate during limited visibility. This will allow U.S. forces to operate more freely at night and reduce exposure to enemy fires.
Additionally, use of enabling technologies such as unmanned robotic vehicles will allow U.S. forces to minimize risk in urban areas.
STRATEGY AGAINST IRAQ 43. Senator SANTORUM. Secretary Rumsfeld, military scholars note that Saddam's power is built on direct control of his Armed Forces and on minimizing the freedom of his regional commanders to maneuver. How might our military operations benefit from Saddam Hussein's tight central control in his self-appointed role as field marshal, and where innovation and initiative are often discouraged?
Secretary RUMSFELD. By not establishing a system of decentralized execution, the Iraqi military is susceptible to the lack of initiative that is necessary for effectiveness and efficiency. Decentralized execution is essential because no one commander can control the detailed actions of a large number of units.
44. Senator SANTORUM. Secretary Rumsfeld, what type of U.S. military strategy is best to counter such a command and control arrangement?
Secretary RUMSFELD. In the Gulf War, we were able to sever the commander's communications with the troops.
45. Senator SANTORUM. Secretary Rumsfeld, if Iraqi military leaders fail to capitulate to U.S. forces and are destroyed, are there indigenous forces that could be utilized to maintain the territorial integrity of Iraq?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Indigenous forces would not be able to organize themselves on a nation-wide basis quickly enough to maintain the territorial integrity of Iraq if the current Iraqi military were to be destroyed. Coalition forces would have to be prepared to provide this security until the establishment of an Iraqi Government that renounces WMD, poses no threat to its own people or to its neighbors, and does not engage in activities that pose a threat to international stability.
KURDISH AND TURKISH RELATIONS
46. Senator SANTORUM. Secretary Rumsfeld, Turkey, a critical ally that recently suppressed a long and bloody independence movement by its own Kurdish community, has warned repeatedly that it will not tolerate any move toward an independent Kurdish state on its border if Saddam's regime falls. Turkey fears that establishment of a Kurdish state with oil assets on its southeastern border would incite Turkish Kurds to seek secession from Ankara. Turkish fears have been rekindled by the Kurdistan Democratic Party's (KDP) moves to adopt its own flag and create an independent army, courts, and ministries. How can the U.S. leverage the assets of Iraqi Kurds in the north, but not anger the Turkish Government?
Secretary RUMSFELD. The United States and Turkey have consulted closely regarding events in northern Iraq. The United States remains very cognizant and respectful of Turkish “redlines.” The Turkish Government fully understands that the U.S. Government does not support Kurdish independence nor ethnic-based federalism. The U.S. will conduct its relations with Kurdish groups in a manner consistent with these principles and with the goal of a unified, democratic Iraq.
47. Senator SANTORUM. Secretary Rumsfeld, can we be partners with both the Government of Turkey and the Iraqi Kurdish forces, or are these mutually exclusive groups?
Secretary RUMSFELD. The United States has long worked with both Iraqi Kurdish political parties and the Turkish Government. Indeed, both the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the KDP maintain offices in Turkey. The United States recognizes the security and political concerns of both Turkey and the PUK and KDP. Our Turkish and Iraqi Kurdish interests are not mutually exclusive.
48. Senator SANTORUM. Secretary Rumsfeld, will Iraqi Kurdish groups support U.S. efforts to move against Saddam if the U.S. opposes an independent Kurdish state?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Neither the PUK nor the KDP now seeks independence. After suffering extraordinarily at the hands of Saddam Hussein, Iraqi Kurds seek a democratic, parliamentary Iraq with checks and balances to protect Iraq's minorities and ensure that minorities enjoy rights the same as all Iraqis. The territorial integrity of Iraq is a key principle of U.S. policy.
INDIGENOUS FORCES 49. Senator SANTORUM. General Myers, one of the lessons learned from Afghanistan is that highly-skilled U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) personnel were able to leverage indigenous fighters to increase military power against enemy forces. Can we apply this or other lessons learned in the military operations in Afghanistan to the situation in Iraq?
General MYERS. Yes, the use of SOF in Afghanistan was a textbook case of unconventional warfare. Our SOF personnel were able to quickly establish relationships and create alliances that focused varied ethnic and cultural groups on the removal of a regime that was hostile to our country and aided and abetted an evil force that planned and implemented harm against the United States. We will definitely use this same strategy when appropriate against all national and transnational elements in our global war on terrorism.
50. Senator SANTORUM. General Myers, is there a viable indigenous force that, in concert with U.S. SOF, can be leveraged to defeat Saddam's military forces, control Iraq, and secure Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities?
General MYERS. Yes, there are several indigenous groups with which we can work. There are enough individuals that, with protection, training, resourcing and other forms of support, can be organized into an effective opposition force. The opposition force could potentially assist in U.S. efforts to defeat Iraq's military forces and could form the basis for either an Iraqi Government in Exile or an interim provisional government that could be inserted to stabilize the country of Iraq after a regime change.
51. Senator SANTORUM. General Myers, how do the political objectives of these indigenous forces complicate U.S. efforts to achieve a change in regime, while at the same time maintaining Iraq's territorial integrity?
General MYERS. It is our goal to maintain the territorial integrity of Iraq. While there are various factions in Iraq, as you have noted, all reports indicate that these factions are united in their desire to see the Iraqi regime go. We feel this
is excellent common ground upon which indigenous forces can build consensus. The U.S. Government has been and will continue to be supportive of Iraqi groups who oppose the current Iraqi regime. It is our expectation that these groups will be key participants in building a representative government worthy of the Iraqi people.
52. Senator SANTORUM. Secretary Rumsfeld, it is reported that the U.S. is going to take elaborate measures to safeguard our access to oil reserves in the event of a military conflict in the Middle East. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve, with 578 million barrels of oil, could be tapped in the event of a war or a national emergency, Recent news accounts note that oil shipments into the Reserve have reached record levels, about 150,000 barrels a day. With the U.S. importing 800,000 to 1 million barrels of oil a day from Iraq, do you believe that military conflict with Iraq will cause a disruption in our energy consumption endangering our economic security?
Secretary RUMSFELD. The Secretary of Energy and the heads of other relevant agencies are in a better position to answer your question. However, it is my understanding that with the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and the reserves of other nations, plus the willingness of foreign producers to replace any lost supply, the United States can weather any foreseeable disruption of supply emanating from a conflict with Iraq without any significant effect on our economy.
53. Senator SANTORUM. Secretary Rumsfeld, would a comprehensive "national energy policy” provide better insurance against a disruption in our importation of foreign oil?
Secretary RUMSFELD. This question should be directed to the Secretary of Energy or anyone else involved in formulating U.S. energy policy.
[Whereupon, at 5:50 p.m., the committee adjourned.]
CONTINUE TO RECEIVE TESTIMONY ON U.S.
POLICY ON IRAQ
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2002
Washington, DC. The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:36 p.m. in room SH216, Senate Hart Office Building, Senator Carl Levin (chairman) presiding
Committee members present: Senators Levin, Kennedy, Cleland, Reed, Akaka, Bill Nelson, E. Benjamin Nelson, Dayton, Warner, Smith, Allard, Sessions, and Bunning.
Committee staff members present: David S. Lyles, staff director, and June M. Borawski, printing and documents clerk.
Majority staff members present: Richard D. DeBobes, counsel; Evelyn N. Farkas, professional staff member; and Richard W. Fieldhouse, professional staff member.
Minority staff members present: Judith A. Ansley, Republican staff director; Charles W. Alsup, professional staff member; Edward H. Edens IV, professional staff member; Carolyn M. Hanna, professional staff member; Mary Alice A. Hayward, professional staff member; Patricia L. Lewis, professional staff member; Thomas L. MacKenzie, professional staff member; Joseph T. Sixeas, professional staff member; Carmen Leslie Stone, special assistant; and Scott W. Stucky, minority counsel.
Staff assistants present: Leah C. Brewer, Thomas C. Moore, and Nicholas W. West.
Committee members' assistants present: Brady King, assistant to Senator Kennedy; Frederick M. Downey, assistant to Senator Lieberman; Andrew Vanlandingham, assistant to Senator Cleland; Elizabeth King, assistant to Senator Reed; Davelyn Noelani Kalipi, assistant to Senator Akaka; Richard Kessler and Eric Pierce, assistants to Senator Ben Nelson; Benjamin L. Cassidy, assistant to Senator Warner; Ryan Carey, assistant to Senator Smith; John A. Bonsell, assistant to Senator Inhofe; George M. Bernier III, assistant to Senator Santorum; Robert Alan McCurry, assistant to Senator Roberts; Douglas Flanders, assistant to Senator Allard; James P. Dohoney, Jr., assistant to Senator Hutchinson; Arch Galloway II, assistant to Senator Sessions; Kristine Fauser, assistant to Senator Collins; and Derek Maurer, assistant to Senator Bunning. OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR CARL LEVIN, CHAIRMAN
Chairman LEVIN. Good afternoon, everybody. The Armed Services Committee meets this afternoon to continue our hearings on U.S. policy toward Iraq. Last week we received testimony from the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Acting Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Today we will hear from former senior military commanders, all of whom have significant experience planning and conducting military operations. Then this Wednesday we will hear from former national security officials.
We welcome back to the committee this afternoon General John Shalikashvili, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; General Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe; General Joseph Hoar, former Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command; and Lieutenant General Thomas G. McInerney, former Assistant Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force.
As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and before that, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, General Shalikashvili provided advice and exercised responsibility related to operations in the Balkans, Northern Iraq, and elsewhere. He also served as commander of Operation Provide Comfort in Northern Iraq in 1991.
General Clark led the NATO-led Kosovo operation in 1999 as Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, and in his capacity as Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command, he oversaw Operation Northern Watch in Iraq.
General Hoar, as Commander in Chief of Central Command, was responsible for military-to-military relationships with a range of states that comprise the Middle East and North Africa and for operations conducted in Somalia and Rwanda.
Lieutenant General McInerney served as Assistant Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force and has considerable operational experience planning and executing missions in the European and Asian theaters of operation.
As I stated last week, we begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the Middle East. It is clear that the international community must act to prevent his efforts to build and possess weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.
The question before this Nation now is, what response is likely to be most effective in achieving the goal of bringing Iraq into compliance with United Nations (U.N.) mandates, particularly destruction of its weapons of mass destruction, and what response on our part is likely to entail the least risk to U.S. national interests?
We look to our witnesses today to share with us their thoughts on the administration's policy and to offer their assessment of the risks associated with an attack on Iraq, whether we attack with a U.N. mandate and with our friends and allies, whether we attack alone, whether we attack now or after we've exhausted other avenues for dealing with Saddam, including inspections; if we attack, the most effective way for our military forces to carry out their mission; and, after the successful conclusion of a military mission, how long U.S. forces will be required to remain in Iraq to ensure stability in the region.
How and under what circumstances we commit our Armed Forces to an attack on Iraq could have far-reaching consequences for future peace and stability in the Persian Gulf and the Middle