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STATEMENT OF GEN. JOSEPH P. HOAR, USMC (RET.), FORMER COMMANDER IN CHIEF, UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND
General HOAR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Senator Allard, distinguished members, for this opportunity to address the committee.
First, I should say that I'm in favor of a regime change in Iraq. What is at issue is the means and the timing. My view is that we should slow down and be cautious and be sure we get it right. This is not a time for hyperbole or a time to attack people who have honest disagreements with the manner in which we are going forward.
When I was a young officer, our government attempted to define the nature of the upheaval that was going on in Southeast Asia. Our government failed to define correctly the nature of the Vietnam War, and we all know the result.
Today we are faced with a new war. It has been described as a war on terrorism. Unfortunately, the use of that term obscures the underlying problems that we face going forward.
War on terrorism is perhaps a useful slogan, but terrorism is not an ideology or a political movement or a sovereign country; it is a technique used to achieve either a political or military result, not unlike strategic bombing. While I am in no way condoning the activities of al Qaeda and the terrorist attacks perpetrated against Americans over the last 5 years by this group, it is still important to look beyond this activity to find what are the causative factors, because the term “terrorism,” as a means of achieving political and military ends, is merely a tactic. Fighting terrorism is, in fact, our number-one priority, but it's only a portion of what needs to be done if we are to emerge from this experience successfully.
The reality is that there are perhaps only 5,000 al Qaeda members worldwide. I have just read recently that only about 200 are in the inner circle. Beyond that there are perhaps 10,000 to 20,000 supporters that materially, financially, or in some way could be described as a support group for al Qaeda terrorists.
What is at stake are the minds and hearts of the one billion Muslims throughout the world. We know from attitudinal surveys that they like Americans, American society, and American culture. In fact, many of them would prefer to emigrate to the United States.
Their quarrel with the United States is that they do not trust our government. The reason for this is a pattern of behavior perpetrated by the U.S. Government in South Asia and the Middle East over the last 20 years. They believe the U.S. Government has acted unilaterally, sometimes as a bully, and has sometimes used other nations for its own interests and abandoned them when the objective has been achieved. Most importantly, they believe the U.S. has unjustly supported Israel over the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people.
At the end of the day, the war on terrorism will be won only when we convince one billion Muslims that we are, in fact, a just society, that we support peace, justice, equality for all people, that, in fact, we really are the "Citty-on-the-Hille."
We will, in due course, defeat al Qaeda. We will do it through a coordinated effort of a military action supported by integrated intelligence, from our friends, international law-enforcement operations, worldwide coordination to shut down financial support that flows to the terrorists. But, at the end of the day, it will be members of the worldwide Muslim community that drive a stake in the heart of al Qaeda so that it does not rise again.
There are three interrelated crises that need to be addressed as we look to the future. The first is the operation against al Qaeda. It seems, as we came up on the anniversary of September 11, 2001, with ground-to-air missiles ringing the Capitol and uncertainty about where and when we might be attacked again by terrorists, that we need to continue, as our primary effort, to defeat al Qaeda. This will require broad support from our European allies and from our friends in the Arab world. This is not the time to risk the loss of support from so many countries shocked by the attacks of September 11 last year who have offered to help us and, indeed, provide it on a daily basis. We have seen, recently, the results of that support in success against al Qaeda in Morocco, Yemen, and Pakistan, as well as Europe.
Second, as a matter of justice, but also as a means of public diplomacy to ease the concern in the Muslim world, we must step up to the Israeli-Palestinian problem and put pressure on both sides to move to a peaceful solution.
Finally, there is the campaign against Iraq. To my knowledge, and from the quotations attributed to people in and out of government whom I greatly respect, there has not been a case made to connect Iraq and al Qaeda. While we have known for many years about the capabilities of the Iraqi government with respect to chemical and biological weapons, there is still no proof that a weaponized nuclear device has been produced, and there is certainly no information, to my knowledge, that one has been tested.
Last week, the President, at the United Nations, took a step forward in speaking about the need for a new United Nations Security Council resolution. This had an immediate positive effect around the world, notably with the French government and the government of Saudi Arabia. I believe that we must move, with the approval of the United Nations, to take the time to do the tough diplomatic work to gain support in the Security Council for disarmament, and, failing disarmament, then military action.
Allow me to speak briefly about my concerns regarding the conduct of a military campaign against Iraq. There are people in this city who believe that the military campaign against Iraq will not be difficult, especially because of the enormous advances of technology and the willingness of some groups in Iraq to revolt once the campaign has begun. I am not as certain that a campaign of this nature will take that course. I certainly hope so.
One thing I am certain of is that there is a nightmare scenario that needs to be planned for, and it's basically this. The absolute lesson to be learned from the 1990–1991 Gulf War was you do not take on the United States Armed Forces in the open desert and expect to win. A joint force of Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Special Operations Forces is unstoppable in that environment, because of our technological advantages and our inherent mobility. The nightmare scenario is that six Iraqi Republic Guard divisions and six heavy divisions reinforced with several thousand anti-aircraft artillery pieces defend the city of Baghdad. The result would
be high casualties on both sides, as well as in the civilian community. U.S. forces would certainly prevail, but at what cost, and at what cost as the rest of the world watches while we bomb and have artillery rounds exploding in densely populated Iraqi neighborhoods?
The risk of a military campaign against Iraq can be measured in the lives of American men and women serving in uniform. It is imperative that adequate preparations are made so that regardless of what action the Iraqi government takes, we can amass the appropriate forces to win decisively, regardless of the circumstances, with minimum loss of American lives and to the civilian population of Iraq.
Eleven years ago, the U.S. Government clearly defined a military mission against Iraq. It was to liberate the state of Kuwait from the occupation by Iraqi forces. What was overlooked was the necessity for a companion political and economic plan, generally described as war termination, that would have allowed to move forward and create a situation where the Ba'athist regime in Iraq would be overthrown. Failure to complete the political and economic portion of the coalition's strategy has resulted in our requirement to revisit this issue today.
I am reminded of the statement Shimon Peres made to me several years ago. He said military victories do not bring peace. You have to work twice as hard to achieve a peaceful settlement.
There has been scant discussion about what will take place after a successful military campaign against Iraq. The term “regime change” does not adequately describe the concept of what
we expect to achieve as a result of a military campaign in Iraq. One would ask the question, “Are we willing to spend the time and treasure to rebuild Iraq and its institution after fighting if we go it alone during a military campaign? Who will provide the troops, the policemen, the economists, the politicians, the judicial advisors to start Iraq on the road to democracy? Or are we going to turn the country over to another thug who swears fealty to the United States?”
We have heard the financial figures, that a war against Iraq will cost $100 to $200 billion and that oil will rise to something above $30 a barrel for some unknown period of time. These figures seem to me to have an almost certain downward-spiraling effect on our economy. The Gulf War cost $60 billion, in 1991 dollars. The cost of that war was paid, for the most part, by our friends, notably the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Japan. Who will help us defray the cost of a military action and the nation-building in Iraq?
In summary, I urge you to continue the dialogue, to encourage the administration to do the hard, diplomatic work to gain broad support for a just solution to the Iraqi problem. I urge you to examine, in open and closed session, the consequences of this contemplated action to be sure that the cost in blood and treasure is consistent with the expected outcomes and those unintended consequences that inevitably flow from an undertaking of this magnitude.
I thank you, sir.
STATEMENT OF LT. GEN. THOMAS G. MCINERNEY, USAF (RET.),
FORMER ASSISTANT VICE CHIEF OF STAFF, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE
General MCINERNEY. Mr. Chairman and members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, thank you for this special opportunity to discuss a war of liberation to remove Saddam's regime from Iraq.
I will not dwell on the reasons why he should be removed. Suffice it to say the President is correct, we must remove threats such as those posed by Saddam Hussein, al Qaeda, and other terrorist groups. We face an enemy that makes its principal strategy the targeting of civilians and non-military assets. We should not wait to be attacked with weapons of mass destruction. We have not only the right, but the obligation to defend ourselves by removing these threats. Íraq is part of the war on terrorism and should be treated as such.
I will now focus on the way to do it very expeditiously with minimum loss of life to both the coalition forces and the Iraqi military and people themselves, and at the same time maintaining a relatively small footprint in the region. Access is an important issue, and we want to minimize the political impact on our allies adjacent to Iraq that are supporting the coalition forces.
Our immediate objective will be the following: Help the Iraqi people liberate Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein and his regime; eliminate weapons of mass destruction and production facilities; complete military operations as soon as possible; protect economic and infrastructure targets; identify and terminate terrorism connections; and establish an interim government as soon as possible.
Our longer-term objectives will be to bring a democratic government to Iraq using our post-World War II experiences with Germany, Japan, and Italy that will influence the region significantly.
Now I would like to broadly discuss the combined campaign to achieve these objectives, using what I will call “blitz warfare,” to simplify the discussion. Blitz warfare is an intensive 24–7 precision air-centric campaign supported by fast-moving ground forces composed of a mixture of heavy, light, airborne, amphibious, special, covert operations working with opposition forces that will all use effect-based operations for their target set and correlate their timing forces for a devastating, violent impact.
This precision air campaign is characterized by many precision weapons, over 90 percent, using our latest command and control, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets, Joint STARS, Global Hawk, Predator, human intelligence, signals intelligence, et cetera, in a network-centric configuration to achieve less than 10 minutes for time-critical targeting using the global-strike task force and naval strike forces composed of over 1,000 land- and sea-based aircraft, plus a wide array of air- and sea-launched cruise missiles. This will be the most massive precision air campaign in history, achieving rapid dominance in the first 72 hours of combat, focused on regime-change targets. These are defined as targets critical to Saddam's control-for example, his command and control and intelligence, integrated air defense system, weapons of mass destruction, palaces, and locations that harbor his leadership, plus those military units that resist or fight our coalition forces.
All the military forces will be told, through the opposition forces and their information operations campaign, that they have two choices—either help us change the regime leadership and build a democracy, or be destroyed.
In addition, commanders and men in weapons of mass destruction units will be told that they will be tried as war criminals if they use their weapons against coalition forces and other nations.
In a multidirectional campaign, coalition forces will seize Basra, Mosul, and most of the oil fields, neutralize selected cores of Iraqi armies, and destroy the integrated air defense zone, command and control, weapons of mass destruction, and Iraqi air forces using stealth, SAM suppression, and air superiority assets. This will enable coalition forces to achieve 24-7 air dominance quickly-I believe within 24 hours—which is critical to our success. Expansion of our beach heads in the north, south, east, and west regions and the air heads seized with alarming speed, will allow the opposition forces to play a very significant role and decisively important role with our special covert operations and the Iraqi army air force.
To determine the status, whether friend or foe, or if they disarm themselves politically, that is their decision. The opposition forces will communicate with the military intensively to neutralize them, and also the Iraqi people, letting them know that they are liberating them from 22 years of oppression, and they are now controlling large amounts of territory. Humanitarian missions will be accomplished simultaneously with leaflet drops, et cetera: “U.S. and other coalition forces are helping us to liberate and change the regime. You, the Iraqi people, must help us to do this quickly with minimum loss of life.
This information operations campaign must be well planned and executed working closely with the opposition forces. This means that the administration must move very quickly now to solidify the opposition forces and set up a shadow government with aggressive assistance and leadership from the United States. I cannot overemphasize that this is about liberating the Iraqi people. This is not an invasion by U.S. and coalition forces. It is an enabling force.
In summary, the Iraqi forces we are facing are about 30 percent of those we saw in Operation Desert Storm, with no modernization. Most of the army does not want to fight for Saddam, and the people want a regime change. We are already seeing increasing desertions from the regular army as well as the Republican Guard. Let's help them to make this change and liberate Iraq from this oppres
President Bush has accurately said, "Inaction is not an option." I am in support of this position. I also support an international coalition to include the United Nations, if they will be part of the efforts to remove this regime and his weapons of mass destruction. However, realistically, I have no confidence in Iraq allowing U.N. weapons inspectors to operate there in a satisfactory manner.
Time is not on our side. Consequently, I urge Congress to approve the President's draft resolution that was submitted last week as soon as possible.
Mr. Chairman and members, again, my thanks. I await your questions.
Chairman LEVIN. General McInerney, thank you very much.