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East, for our interests throughout the world, and, indeed, for the international order.
Each of our witnesses today knows well, personally, the awesome responsibility of committing our forces to combat, and so we look forward to their testimony.
First I'll call on Senator Allard. After I call on him for an opening comment, we would then ask our witnesses if they have opening comments that they would like to make. Then after that I would recognize each of us in the early bird order for a 6-minute first round of questions.
Senator ALLARD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am going to give Senator Warner's statement on his behalf. He's not going to be here at the start of the hearing. My understanding is he's going to show up a little bit later, but I'd like to make it plain that I associate my thoughts very closely with what he's going to have to say in this opening statement.
So I'd like to thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I join you in welcoming these four distinguished former military officers before our committee. All four of these gentlemen served our Nation with great distinction. I applaud all of you for your contributions you are making to this important Iraq debate and for the service you continue to provide our Nation as knowledgeable observers of our national security challenges and needs.
Over the past several weeks, our President has courageously focused world attention on the defiant, illegal conduct of this brutal, ruthless dictator, Saddam Hussein. On April 6, 1991, after having been expelled from Kuwait and decisively defeated, Saddam Hussein accepted U.N. terms for the suspension of military terms and promised he would comply with all relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions, including disarming Iraq of weapons of mass destruction and submitting to intrusive inspections to verify this disarmament.
Eleven-and-a-half years later, we're still waiting for Saddam Hussein to comply with international mandates, as reflected in 16 United Nations Security Council resolutions. We have over a decade of experience with his deceit and defiance.
The main thing Saddam Hussain has proved to the world in the past 12 years is that he cannot be trusted under any circumstances. I think General Clark had a very similar experience with a dictator in Serbia who is now rightfully behind bars.
Anytime the use of force is contemplated, those of us with a role to play in making the decision to use force must proceed with caution. Resorting to the use of force should be the last step, but it is the step we must be willing to take, if necessary. It is also a step those who threaten us must understand that we are willing to take.
As we contemplate our vulnerabilities and those of our allies in the post-September 11 war, it is clear that things have changed. The concept of deterrence that served us well in the 20th century has changed. Terrorists and terrorist states that hide behind surrogates who are not deterred by our overwhelming power, those who would commit suicide in their assaults on the free world, are not rational and are not deterred by rational concepts of deterrence. We are left with no choice but to hunt down such threats to our national security and destroy them.
The threat posed to the United States, the region, and the entire world by Saddam Hussein is clear. We know he has weapons of mass destruction. He is manufacturing and attempting to acquire more. We know he has used these weapons before. We know he will use them again. We should not wait for a future attack before responding to this clear and growing danger. Saddam Hussein has defeated the international community long enough. He must be stopped.
Again, thank you for your participation in this process as we develop a body of fact for an informed debate in the Senate and for an informed public debate on U.S. policy toward Iraq.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Shalikashvili, let us start with you. Again, thank you so much, not just for being here today, but-and this applies to all of you—for decades of service, patriotism, loyalty, dedication, and contributions to this Nation. General Shalikashvili. STATEMENT OF GEN. JOHN M. SHALIKASHVILI, USA (RET.),
FORMER CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF General SHALIKASHVILI. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Senator Allard, and distinguished members of the committee. Thank you very much for the opportunity to appear here before you today and for the opportunity to make a few opening comments.
First, I must say that I'm not a stranger to war, for, I guess, in some sense, I am a child of war. Before I was 10 years old, I had lived through the brutal occupation of the country of my birth, the total destruction of my home town during the 1944 Warsaw uprising, and, together with my family, I joined the millions of refugees fleeing westward ahead of the advancing Soviet armies.
Years later, like so many other young Americans, I participated in a very different kind of war in the rice paddies in the jungles of Vietnam.
I participated again still later, when, at the end of Operation Desert Storm, Saddam Hussein, with unbelievable brutality, once again turned on his own people, the Kurds, killing thousands and chasing the rest into the mountains of Northern Iraq and Eastern Turkey. Without food, without water, without medication, without shelter, the very young and the very old were dying by the hundreds.
To stop this misery and the dying, I was asked by General Powell and then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney to organize a military operation to rush emergency airdrops to the Kurds, to remove Iraqi forces, if by force, when necessary, from the most northern part of Iraq, and to establish a safe zone there so some 700,000 Kurds could be returned to what was left of their destroyed villages and homes. They had to protect them with a no-fly zone, which, by the way, is still doing its job today.
Since then, as NATO Supreme Allied Commander and as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in one form or another, I have been involved in military operations in the Balkans, Haiti, Central
Africa, and many other places. So I know something about war, and I have seen firsthand Saddam Hussein's brutality. That background has certainly shaped my views about war.
We must be very careful about going to war, and do so only when all other attempts to resolve the threat to us have failed, and do so only with the support of the U.S. Congress and the American people. But if, in the end, war is the only way to deal with the threat, then we must to go into it united and with all necessary resolve.
In the case of Iraq, there are, for me, three first-order questions. First, do weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Saddam Hussein pose a grave danger to us and to our friends and allies, particularly those in the Middle East, but also in Europe? To me, the answer is clearly yes.
Second, if, in the end, we are unable to eliminate these weapons of mass destruction and any and all means to produce more, if we are unable to do so through tough, unfettered inspections or other non-military means, would use of force to accomplish this be the right thing to do? Again, my answer is yes.
Third, in my mind, has to do with timing. Since the threat posed by these weapons in the hands of Saddam Hussein has existed for some time, what has changed to create this new sense of urgency? Here, I believe that Secretary Rumsfeld has it right. What has changed is September 11 and our new realization of just how vulnerable we are to terrorist attacks and the catastrophic damage terrorists with weapons of mass destruction could inflict on the United States.
Now, since I believe that the urgency to move against Iraq is justified, it is essential that the United States continue the full-court press at the United Nations to get the kind of resolution that would set up proper inspections and would authorize the use of force to destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and its means to produce them if inspections continue to be frustrated by Iraq or if they prove unsuccessful in leading to the disarmament of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
While the President must always retain the right to protect the Nation with or without a United Nations Security Council resolution, we must recognize that having the U.N. with us would be a very powerful message to Iraq and to our friends and allies and would make it much easier for a good number of them to be able to join us. For that reason, we must continue to persuade the other members of the Security Council of the correctness of our position. We must not be too quick to take no for an answer.
Now, clearly there are a number of issues and risks, large and small, with using force against Iraq, and you have discussed many of those here in previous hearings. But that is always the case when it comes to war. There are always issues. There are always risks. The question, therefore, is not whether we have eliminated all those—that is seldom, if ever, possible. Rather, the question is whether we have done the detailed planning, political and military, to find work-arounds for some, to minimize the effects of others, and to ensure that our plan is flexible enough to handle the unexpected that invariably is part of all combat operations.
But should, in the end, the President decide that the right thing to do is to use force against Iraq, we must, as I said, go united and with all the necessary resolve. I am confident that our forces will be fully ready to do whatever will be asked of them. But to assure that, we must not try to do this on the cheap. We must not put our hope in some silver bullet or hesitate to do the politically tough things, like, for instance, calling up Reserves. Rather, we must be prepared for the unexpected, and so we must go in with sufficient combat power to ensure that under all circumstances, ours is the decisive force. Or, as former Secretary of Defense Perry used to say in hearings when we were debating the dispatch of forces, “We must ensure that we are always the biggest dog on the block.” Our troops deserve that.
By the way, they deserve a straightforward mission, uncomplicated chain of command, and robust rules of engagement that will allow them to get the job done and to protect themselves at all times.
Wth that, let me stop. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for letting me make these comments. I'm ready to answer any questions you might have.
Chairman LEVIN. Thank you so much, General. We appreciate your testimony.
STATEMENT OF GEN. WESLEY K. CLARK, USA (RET.), FORMER
SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER, EUROPE General CLARK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Senator Allard, distinguished members of the committee. I'm very happy to have this opportunity to testify here, and I would like to associate myself with remarks made by General Shalikashvili.
As NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe in 1998, we saw the beginning of a fourth war taking form in the Balkans. It was the repression to be waged by Slobodan Milosevic against his own people. We knew that, if we allowed this to go unchecked and unchallenged, it would create a threat to regional stability, it would undercut the progress we had made in settling the war in Bosnia, and it was liable to ignite new conflicts elsewhere. So we attempted to use diplomacy with Milosevic, as we had over a number of years previously.
But we recognized that with Milosevic there was something more that was needed. It was leverage. So we began to use diplomacy backed by force. First there was the discussion of a threat. Then there was the issuance of a threat. After the threat was issued, Milosevic blinked, but his generals came back and said, “the West, NATO, perhaps the United States, really doesn't have the stomach for this. Anyway, we can defeat American air power because our friends have told us how to do this.” So after the failures at Rambouillet, we eventually did turn to the use of force.
The use of force was successful. But what we found was that the combination of international law, diplomacy, and American and NATO air power gave us strategically decisive results without, in the end, ultimately having to use overwhelming military force. This was modern war.
Saddam Hussein does constitute a danger. He's calculating. He's stubborn. We watched him from Europe. I watched him when I was working on the Joint Staff. In 1994, he brought his forces back to re-invade Kuwait. We blocked that. In 1997–1998, he resisted the actions of the U.N. arms inspectors. The United States was unable to muster the kind of majority and weight of opinion in the United Nations to change the equation on the ground in Iraq. Saddam Hussein has an irrational streak in addition to his cunning and stubbornness, and he is probably not ultimately deterrable, not with confidence.
The embargo that's left against him is crumbling step by step. We watched it. It served well, as well as could have been expected during that period, but it has ultimately crumbled. So it's easy to see that, after September 11, there is much greater concern about Saddam Hussein and a desire to bring to a conclusion his violation of the U.N. Security Council resolutions and international law, which he, himself, accepted-namely, to give up his weapons of mass destruction.
I think that the move toward the United Nations is the appropriate step. I think the President's strong statement and the statements of members of the administration have provided the leverage on which we should be able to build a coalition and possibly even achieve a new resolution in the United Nations. I think we're proceeding on a path of diplomacy backed by force. I think it is the appropriate path.
But as we move ahead, I think we have to be very conscious of the risks as well as the opportunities that are presented at this point. So I think we need to be certain that we really are working through the United Nations in an effort to strengthen that institu
tion in this process and not simply to check a block. I think we · have to do everything we can to build the largest, strongest pos
sible coalition. While we ultimately might have to go with only a few allies, it will be much better and much more effective if we have a much broader and stronger coalition.
I think we need to be assured that we have done everything we can do for what happens after our military success before we begin that military operation, and that means planning for post-conflict Iraq and all of the ramifications of that, including the humanitarian assistance, the government, the economic development, and so forth.
Then, with a military plan in hand, with allies, with unified support, if there is no other recourse, then we would use force as a last resort, ideally with the full blessing of the United Nations, ideally in conjunction with a large coalition. But we will have done everything we can at that point to solve this problem in the way that's most conducive to the world that we want to live in.
So I think it's not only the ultimate action that's important here, it's how we get to that action.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.