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and parents and so on. So we owe it to one of our own now that there is a suspicion that he might be alive.
Senator BILL NELSON. Thank you.
Chairman LEVIN. Thank you. Let's just take 2 minutes each on this next round. We're going to have a 2-minute round, if that's agreeable with my ranking member, just for the second round here.
If we put a major effort, as a number of you have suggested, at the U.N. to get a resolution which sets out an ultimatum, deadlines for unconditional inspections and disarmament backed up by an authorization by the U.N. to its member nations to use force to implement that resolution if that is not complied with, assuming that major effort is made and we get that kind of a resolution, is it your judgment that that would provide the best chance, although it may not be a great chance, but the best chance of obtaining Saddam's capitulation or compliance with unconditional inspections? Better than our going in unilaterally, for instance, with the military mission of regime change?
Let me start with General Clark or General Shalikashvili. General CLARK. I think if we put that major effort in at the United Nations, that's the important next step. We still have the option of going in unilaterally after that for some reason. But I think what we want to create is an all around pressure on Saddam Hussein so he knows he has no alternative.
I would follow up that kind of a U.N. resolution with an intrusive inspection process with a force that was stationed there ready to intervene with specific redlines and so forth to be able to put the complete pressure on. Ultimately it may take a U.S. force going in, but how we do it is as important as the fact of our doing it.
General SHALIKASHVILI. I feel very strongly that a properly worded United Nations Security Council resolution would be a powerful tool to help us do what we want to do, which is to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. So I think, yes, I do also believe that a properly worded resolution coming from this body is a very important tool to help us get the job done at the United Nations.
Chairman LEVIN. Thank you. My time is up. I'm not going to ask the other two. We're going to stick to the 2-minute rule. We have a vote coming in a few minutes.
I do think that the resolution that we passed needs to be strong and give the President substantial power to comprehensively deal with this problem. If we constrain the resolution, that will constrain his ability to negotiate with the U.N., who are going to also negotiate a resolution, wouldn't you say, General Clark?
General CLARK. I would say that if you constrain it the wrong way, you undercut the President and our purpose there, yes. I think you need a strong resolution. I think you need a prompt resolution. I think you need a resolution that gets the very highest number of votes from this body.
That having been said, I think you want a resolution also that makes it unambiguous what our purpose is and that doesn't invite other objections that are extraneous to our purpose. So I think you have to get the balance right.
Senator SESSIONS. Well, I agree. I think this resolution would do that. I'm willing to listen to debate on it and see if we can improve it, but I am not unhappy with the resolution, as it's presently being proposed.
I would agree with you—all of you—on your concern about a new Iraq. General McInerney, I think a liberation of Iraq is exactly what we're doing. The French helped us liberate against Great Britain-England at the time. So I think it's a legitimate moral thing for us to do, and we do have an obligation to try to do what we can to help put together a government, which it seems we have been really very successful in doing in Afghanistan. It's an extraordinarily difficult country, would you not agree?
There has been some discussion about this, I know, with the Defense Department. Assistant Secretary Wolfowitz was quoted in The New York Times magazine this weekend in a feature on him, on how important he thought it was.
I see great potential for good, not just for the children of Iraq who will no longer be facing an embargo that makes life difficult for them, but for the entire region. Would you comment on the positives that could come out of a liberated Iraq?
General MCINERNEY. I think they're enormous. I think it is the linchpin of our whole strategy in the Middle East. A year after that, Iran will get rid of the mullahs. They're trying to do that now. This signal that we send, and the jubilation that you see in Baghdad, similar to Kabul, will change the whole tenor of the world. The sum of all your fears will disappear. I assure you. I get this from the Iraqi people that I'm talking to.
Now, there are some that will say, well, some are good, some are bad. The fact is, at least there's a communication. I'm tremendously impressed with the Iraqi people. I have not seen any country that doesn't flourish in a democracy. There's something about freedom, when they know that they flourish. I think that, as difficult as Bosnia was, the positives of that are there. So I'm very optimistic, and then I think that the signal goes out very clearly that this Nation is going to combat terrorists wherever they are. I think you'll see things in Palestine change very quickly.
Senator SESSIONS. Well, I hope the U.N. will get with us. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman LEVIN. Thank you so much.
Senator CLELAND. Thank you very much. May I just say that one of the people that I have learned a great deal from-he's now deceased-is Colonel Harry Summers, who was the leading analyst of the Vietnam War. He wrote an excellent book on strategy of the Vietnam War in context. He looked at all the basic principles of war that Clausewitz articulated in the 19th century. Colonel Summers said, “The first principle of war is the principle of the objective. It is the first principle because all else flows from it.”
That's my question of you. What is the objective? Is the objective a regime of inspections that leads to disarmament, at which point we probably have a chance to get more of our allies onboard, probably have a good chance to get a Security Council resolution that stiffens our hand in that objective? Or is the objective regime change against a regime defender, a regime survivor that possesses biological and chemical weapons, and, when his regime is threatened, may, indeed, use them on us, may, indeed, fire a SCUD or two on Israel, and now we know Israel will attack? Does that unleash the dogs of war in the Middle East? Who knows? What is the objective here?
We know today that the Third Infantry Division down at Fort Stewart, Georgia, with thousands of young families, is going to be the point coming out of Kuwait into Southern Iraq in terms of the attack. What am I going to tell those young families is the objective of the use of force in Iraq?
General SHALIKASHVILI. Well, the fact that you ask the question, I think, is an indication that, at least to your satisfaction, the administration has not been clear on that. Whether that, in their own minds, is clear or not, I don't know.
To me, almost from the beginning the objective has been to eliminate weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the ability of Iraq to produce more of those. Unfortunately, we've had as many people talk on Iraq and what our objective is and what it isn't as there are people who like to talk. So the issue became confused.
But I say this in all due respect to the administration. The administration doesn't control all the voices that speak on that. So it is very likely that those administration officials who come and testify before you are very clear on what the objective is. I can only tell you what I believe the objective ought to be and what I think, from the very beginning, it was.
Senator CLELAND. Thank you, sir.
General CLARK. I think the objective is the enforcement of the U.N. resolutions and the disarmament, or at least his giving up the weapons and the capabilities for mass destruction.
On the other hand, I think there is a problem that the administration and some of its proponents bring up, and that is as long as he attempts to acquire weapons of mass destruction—even if the inspections showed he had none—he would still be a threat of acquiring them.
So I think we're put in a difficult position. So it's not going to be possible to cut a deal and say, “If you pass an inspection, we'll forget about you as a problem.” So I think what we're committing ourselves to by going after the weapons of mass destruction and by saying that we want intrusive inspections to do this, is an indefinite regime of intrusive inspections, with the burden of proof on Saddam Hussein to prove a change of intent, rather than a simple, “We'll check. If we don't see anything, okay, you're free to continue
So I think it's a very high standard, but I think it is ultimately a disarmament.
Senator CLELAND. Thank you, General Clark.
General HOAR. Yes, sir. I think that the Secretary of State had it right when he described disarmament as the objective. However, unless I've misunderstood, I believe that the Vice President of the United States said regime change. So I think that there is disconnect.
But I would say that in my experience, when I was on active duty and immediately thereafter, since the Gulf War, regime change has always been the objective. In my judgment, we were always prepared to move the goal posts if we had to. When some colleagues and I, working with the Israeli government, were looking for a way to bring Iraq into the multinational track on the peace process, we were given a wave-off by people in the government and told to stop.
Senator CLELAND. Do you have any idea why President Bush, in 1991, didn't pursue a regime change?
General HOAR. I'd rather not speculate on that. I would say that adequate plans were not developed to make sure that it happened.
General McINERNEY. Sir, I think the objectives are regime change and to liberate the people of Iraq and eliminate the weapons of mass destruction.
Senator CLELAND. Thank you all.
Senator WARNER. I say to my good friend from Georgia, if you would look at the 1991 resolution, it gives authorization to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to the United Nations Security Council resolution. That resolution wasn't explicit in the authority. That's why I do not want to see the resolution that's before Congress by the President today weakened.
General Clark, you and I are good friends. We can always debate a little bit. When you said, “I'd want as many votes as possible," with all due respect, sir, I don't want to see us reach the lowest common denominator and present a resolution that doesn't have all the teeth that are in this one. I'd rather have, again, a five-vote margin with a strong resolution that this Congress will fall in behind as we march forward to the U.N. under the McInerney doctrine. That was fairly clear.
My question is as follows to each of you. I sit here and listen to this, “Well, let's get the U.N. to have an intrusive inspection regime." I don't know what scrap of evidence is before us that Saddam Hussein is going to accept it, and, indeed, he made pronouncements to the contrary of recent. But then “backed up by force.” Question, specifically, what is the composition of that force? Who puts it together? Who leads it? Is NATO a candidate, General Clark?
Second, when they start kicking down doors and finding the very evidence which confirms the indictment of the world against him, is Saddam Hussein going to sit there twiddling his thumbs, and the Republican Guards with their hand in their pocket while this force roams around and finds the hidden weapons of mass destruction?
What's the composition of the force? What nations are represented? Who leads it?
General Shalikashvili, would you lead off on this?
General SHALIKASHVILI. You put me in a tough spot, because I never advocated
Senator WARNER. That's the second time today I've done it.
General SHALIKASHVILI. Yes. Because I never advocated that step that you are now addressing about being "backed up by force.”
Senator WARNER. Well, it's talked about in all of the—you've read about it a good deal.
General SHALIKASHVILI. My view is we need to have a strong resolution that permits unfettered inspections. If those inspections do not produce the results that we want, which most likely they will not, it has to authorize the use of force to achieve the aim, which, in my judgment, is the disarmament of Iraq.
Senator WARNER. General Clark.
General CLARK. The purpose of going through the inspections up front is to build legitimacy that way for what you want to do. The force that would enforce it is the same force that's going to go in there and disarm him and do worse. I would hope that NATO would be involved in that.
But, we've been talking all afternoon about how to muster the diplomatic leverage to be able to get the job done with the greatest power and the greatest coalition and reduce the ancillary risks, and so I think that there is a step beyond simply sending Hans Blix back in there with a hundred inspectors to drive around that the United Nations could authorize up front that would give us greater coercive leverage against Saddam Hussein.
The closer we get to the use of force, the greater the likelihood that we're going to see movement on the part of Iraq, even though it's a very small likelihood. The more we build up the inspections idea, the greater the legitimacy of the United States' effort in the eyes of the world. So unless there's information that we're not being presented that says we have to take this action right now to go in and disrupt Saddam Hussein—we can't wait a week, we can't wait four weeks, or whatever—then it seems to me that we should use the time available to build up our legitimacy. That's why I'm advocating intrusive inspections.
Senator WARNER. Thank you.
General HOAR. Sir, I agree with my colleagues. I would just point out that your questions about who's going to lead this force and how big they are and what they're going to do, I think, has an obvious answer. When you think through that, with a country that may not have the greatest armed forces in the world, but they're certainly capable of dealing a difficult blow to a relatively small force, I think the purpose of the coalition, of going through the U.N., going through the steps, is that, at the end of the day, we will have a coalition that agrees that we have exhausted all possibilities and it's time to take action.
Senator WARNER. Nothing in my question suggested that we should do other than what we're doing now—the President has gone to the U.N., followed up by the Secretary of State trying to get it—but that there's this fabrication out there that we're going to go in there with a new type of inspection regime with teeth in it. Well, who are the teeth? I'm not sure that there's a clear distinction between the teeth that they would have to exercise and the follow-on, which could only take place after there's a failure of the inspections, when the member nations may use such force as they deem necessary to protect their security rights.