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mament in Iraq. Uniting the world, it seems to me, has great pluses, both in terms of more quickly achieving our goals militarily, should they be necessary, and also avoiding some of the risks which are incumbent if we're either proceeding unilaterally or being perceived as proceeding unilaterally.
There may be some additional comments or questions that we would like from you for the record, in which case we will get to you within the next 48 hours.
Again, our thanks to all of you, and we will stand adjourned. [Whereupon, at 5:42 p.m., the committee adjourned.]
U.S. POLICY ON IRAQ
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2002
Washington, DC. The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:44 a.m. in room SH216, Hart Senate Office Building, Senator Carl Levin (chairman) presiding.
Committee members present: Senators Levin, Kennedy, Lieberman, Cleland, Akaka, Bill Nelson, E. Benjamin Nelson, Warner, Inhofe, Allard, Hutchinson, Sessions, and Collins.
Committee staff member present: David S. Lyles, staff director.
Majority staff members present: Richard D. DeBobes, counsel; Evelyn N. Farkas, professional staff member; Richard W. Fieldhouse, professional staff member; Maren Leed, professional staff member; and Peter K. Levine, general counsel.
Minority staff members present: Judith A. Ansley, Republican staff director; Charles W. Alsup, professional staff member; L. David Cherington, minority counsel; Edward H. Edens IV, professional staff member; Brian R. Green, professional staff member; Carolyn M. Hanna, professional staff member; Patricia L. Lewis, professional staff member; Thomas L. MacKenzie, professional staff member; Joseph T. Sixeas, professional staff member; and Scott W. Stucky, minority counsel.
Staff assistants present: Leah C. Brewer, Daniel K. Goldsmith, and Andrew Kent.
Committee members' assistants present: Brady King, assistant to Senator Kennedy; Marshall A. Hevron, assistant to Senator Landrieu; Elizabeth King, assistant to Senator Reed; Davelyn Noelani Kalipi and Richard Kessler, assistants to Senator Akaka; Peter A. Contostavlos and Eric Pierce, assistants to Senator Ben Nelson; William Todd Houchins, assistant to Senator Dayton; Benjamin L. Cassidy, assistant to Senator Warner; John A. Bonsell, assistant to Senator Inhofe; 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. Senator Warner is a few minutes away, but his staff says that he has no objection to our beginning.
The Armed Services Committee meets this morning for the fourth of our series of hearings on U.S. policy toward Iraq. We welcome back to the committee Dr. James Schlesinger, former Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Energy, and Director of Central Intelligence; and Samuel Berger, former Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.
In their previous positions, our witnesses provided advice to the presidents that they served regarding the use of military force to further U.S. national security interests. They helped shape a national security strategy based on these interests and advised the presidents on its implementation. Over the years, Dr. Schlesinger and Mr. Berger have also provided advice to this committee on Iraq and on many other issues.
Two days ago, three of the four former senior military commanders who testified before the committee offered a strong endorsement of the need for a multilateral approach to dealing with Iraq. They stressed that working with the U.N. to achieve a resolution regarding inspections and disarmament backed up by the threat of the use of force by member states to compel compliance would bring great political and military advantages.
General John Shalikashvili, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the committee that, "a U.N. resolution authorizing the use of force would,” in his words, “be a very powerful tool.” He went on to say that, "we need to impress upon Saddam Hussein that he's not just facing the United States, but that he's facing the will of the majority of the world. We must also ensure that we have made it possible for as many of our friends and allies to join us, some of whom believe very deeply that you should go to war only unless you are directly attacked or with the sanction of the United Nations.” He added, "every time we undermine the credibility of the United Nations we are probably hurting ourselves more than anybody else."
The general told us that, "we must, under no circumstances, ever create the impression that the United States is not free to go to war, but that is very different than not trying to achieve the kind of resolution that, in this case, we want. It would make our job easier, it would help us in the future, and it would surely have an impact on how Saddam Hussein reacts to the current resolutions.”
General Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, commented that the President had made the right move by going to the U.N., stating that, “the President's strong statement provides leverage to build a new coalition for proceeding on a path of diplomacy backed by force. I think it's the appropriate path.” Then he added, “we need to be certain that we are really working through the United Nations in an effort to strengthen the institution in this process, and not simply 'check a block.”” He advocated taking the necessary time to build the strongest coalition possible to plan for a post-conflict Iraq, and then, if necessary, taking military actions with our allies and with the blessing of the United Nations.
General Joseph Hoar, former Commander in Chief of the U.S. Central Command, testified that we should, “take the time to do the tough diplomatic work to gain support in the Security Council for disarmament, and, failing disarmament, then military action.” General Hoar cautioned us to get the timing and the means of going to war right, to consider the military risks, and to plan for what comes next in Iraq after war.
I, too, believe that we should focus on mobilizing the world community to give Saddam Hussein a clear ultimatum to disarm and comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions or face military action by a multinational U.N.-authorized coalition of member states to compel compliance.
I also believe that we should not announce to the world at this time that we will follow a unilateral go-it-alone policy if the U.N. does not act. Telling friends and potential allies at the time that we're seeking their support, but that it's "our way or the highway," will divide the world, not unite it. This doesn't mean giving the U.N. a veto over our actions. No one I know of is willing to do that. But what the multilateral approach does is keep the pressure on the U.N. to act and not let them off the hook by signaling that we want to be the world's police force.
We look to our witnesses today to share with us their views on the administration's policy and to offer their advice on what would be the best possible strategy for dealing with the threat posed by Iraq.
Senator Warner, I know, is going to be here at any minute. I think what I'll do, however, is call on the witnesses at this point because we're going to have some votes in 45 minutes. Then when Senator Warner comes, I would offer him the opportunity of making his opening statement at some point where it's not disruptive of the witnesses' presentation.
After the opening remarks by our witnesses and by Senator Warner, we would then have a 6-minute round of questions following the normal early bird procedure.
Mr. Berger. STATEMENT OF HON. SAMUEL R. BERGER, FORMER ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS
Mr. BERGER. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I welcome this opportunity to discuss with you the critical issues of Iraq faced by the United States and the international community. I believe the Iraqi regime does pose a serious potential threat to the stability of a combustible and vital region of the world, and, therefore, to the United States. Doing nothing, in my judgement, is not an acceptable option. The challenge is to do the right thing in the right way, enhancing, not undermining, the stability of the region and the overall security of the United States.
It is important for us to be as sharply focused as we can in an uncertain world about the nature of the threat. We have focused a great deal on Saddam Hussein's capabilities, and properly so, but capability is not the same as threat. That also involves questions of intention and urgency. It is not just the "what,” but also the “why" and the “when.” Threat is only half the equation for war. It must be balanced against the "how," the cost and risks of proceeding.
First, a few words about the "what” and the "why.” We know Saddam Hussein possesses chemical weapons. He has for nearly 20 years, as we know only so well from his use of them against his