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vote any way they want and I will respect them and believe, in my heart, that they reached down in their souls.
Senator DAYTON. Thank you for your response. I just would say the intent of our policy was not to absorb attacks and then retaliate. It was to prevent attacks. I'll leave it with that, but I agree with you that the world is a different place and will continue to be.
Thank you both. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your indulgence. I apologize to Senator Akaka.
Chairman LEVIN. Senator Akaka.
Senator AKAKA. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I ask that my full statement be placed in the record.
Chairman LEVIN. It will be made part of the record. [The prepared statement of Senator Akaka follows:)
PREPARED STATEMENT BY SENATOR DANIEL K. AKAKA Thank you Mr. Chairman for holding this series of hearings on the possibility of war with Iraq. There is no more important constitutional responsibility for Members of Congress than the decision to declare war. The threshold for this decision has to be high. Before the lives of America's youth are risked in a war against Iraq, a compelling case has to be made as to why the threat is immediate, why American interests are at stake, and whether the outcome is peace or more instability.
The burden has to be on those advocating war to justify why America's youth need to risk their future. We do not have a draft today. Our sailors and soldiers are volunteers but they are not mercenaries. We must take extra care to ensure that we do not endanger unnecessarily the lives of those who serve today. This is especially important because we will be asking American troops to do something that the Iraqi people are unable or unwilling to do themselves: rid Iraq of Saddam Hussein.
The need to justify such a course of action is particularly critical in the case of Iraq because, first, President Bush is advocating a pre-emptive strike against a potential threat to the American homeland when, traditionally, America has never sought war by striking first nor has America sought foreign entanglements, and, second, because we will be embarking on a process of democratic nation-building in a country and region of the world with little experience in democracy.
Thomas Friedman in an article entitled “Iraq, Upside Down," in Wednesday's New York Times—and I ask unanimous consent that his article be published in the hearing record following my comments—disagrees with the argument that we should go to war with Iraq to get rid of its weapons of mass destruction. He argues instead that democracy building is a more important objective if we want to end the cycle of hatred and poverty breeding generations of terrorists.
I agree with Mr. Friedman that this is an important objective and perhaps should be our key objective, but it is an extraordinarily difficult one. If we are going to succeed at it, we will not be able to do it alone. It will require the active support and the willing commitment of the international community. An American force occupying Baghdad will not be sufficient. We have already seen in Afghanistan that the limited deployment of American troops to isolated areas has not established a permanent climate of security and stability in that country. Just as a lasting peace in Afghanistan will require a long and sustained commitment by the international community both in terms of soldiers and humanitarian assistance, a similar peace in Iraq will require an equal commitment.
For this reason, I believe that we must work to gain multilateral support for our policy in Iraq. I commend the President for going to the United Nations for a new resolution establishing firm conditions and time lines for compliance by Saddam Hussein. Just as General Myers indicates in his submitted testimony today that our joint war fighting team will act “in concert with our partners” to defeat Iraq's military, if we are going to engage in a policy of nation-building in lands far from our shores, we are going to need as well to act in concert with the international community.
I look forward to the testimony and the additional hearings that the committee intends to hold on this subject.
[The information referred to follows:]
IRAQ, UPSIDE DOWN
THE NEW YORK TIMES-SEPTEMBER 18, 2002
By Thomas L. Friedman Recently, I've had the chance to travel around the country and do some call-in radio shows, during which the question Iraq has come up often. There's what I can report from a totally unscientific sample: Don't believe the polls that a majority of Americans favor a military strike against Iraq. It's just not true.
It's also not true that the public is solidly against taking on Saddam Hussein. What is true is that most Americans are perplexed. The most oft-asked question I heard was some variation of: “How come all of a sudden we have to launch a war against Saddam? I realize that he's thumbed his nose at the U.N., and he has dangerous weapons, but he's never threatened us, and, if he does, couldn't we just vaporize him? What worries me are Osama and the terrorists still out there.”
That's where I think most Americans are at. Deep down they believe that Saddam is “deterrable.” That is, he does not threaten the U.S. and he never has, because he has been deterred the way Russia, China, and North Korea have been. He knows that if he even hints at threatening us, we will destroy him. Saddam has always been homicidal, not suicidal. Indeed, he has spent a lifetime perfecting the art of survival-because he loves life more than he hates us.
No, what worries Americans are not the deterrables like Saddam. What worries them are the “undeterrables”—the kind of young Arab-Muslim men who hit us on September 11, and are still lurking. Americans would pay virtually any price to eliminate the threat from the undeterrables—the terrorists who hate us more than they love their own lives, and therefore cannot be deterred.
I share this view, which is why I think the Iraq debate is upside down. Most strategists insist that the reason we must go into Iraq-and the only reason-is to get rid of its weapons of mass destruction, not regime change and democracy building. I disagree.
ị think the chances of Saddam being willing, or able, to use a weapon of mass destruction against us are being exaggerated. What terrifies me is the prospect of another September 11-in my mall
, in my airport, in my downtown—triggered by angry young Muslims, motivated by some pseudo-religious radicalism cooked up in a mosque in Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Pakistan. I believe that the only way to begin defusing that threat is by changing the context in which these young men grow upnamely all the Arab-Muslim states that are failing at modernity and have become an engine for producing undeterrables.
So I am for invading Iraq only if we think that doing so can bring about regime change and democratization. Because what the Arab world desperately needs is a model that works—a progressive Arab regime that by its sheer existence would create pressure and inspiration for gradual democratization and modernization around the region.
I have no illusions about how difficult it would be to democratize a fractious Iraq. It would be a huge, long, costly task-if it is doable at all, and I am not embarrassed to say that I don't know if it is. All I know is that it's the most important task worth doing and worth debating. Because only by helping the Arabs gradually change their context-a context now dominated by anti-democratic regimes and anti-modernist religious leaders and educators are we going to break the engine that is producing one generation after another of undeterrables.
These undeterrables are young men who are full of rage, because they are raised with a view of Islam as the most perfect form of monotheism, but they look around their home countries and see widespread poverty, ignorance and repression. They are humiliated by it, humiliated by the contrast with the West and how it makes them feel, and it is this humiliation—this poverty of dignity—that drives them to suicidal revenge. The quest for dignity is a powerful force in human relations.
Closing that dignity gap is a decades-long project. We can help, but it can succeed only if people there have the will. But maybe that's what we're starting to see. Look at how Palestinian legislators just voted no confidence in Arafat; look at how some courageous Arab thinkers produced an Arab Human Development Report, which declared that the Arab-Muslim world was backward because of its deficits of freedom, modern education and women's empowerment.
If we don't find some way to help these countries reverse these deficits nowwhile access to smaller and smaller nuclear weapons is still limited—their young, angry undeterrables will blow us up long before Saddam ever does.
Senator AKAKA. I want to commend Secretary Rumsfeld and General Myers for what they're doing in trying to get us through this and to come to some decision. My feeling has been that we need to work to gain multilateral support for our policy in Iraq. I want to take the time to commend the President for going to the United Nations for a new resolution establishing firm conditions and time lines for compliance by Saddam Hussein.
Just as General Myers indicates in his submitted testimony today, that our joint warfighting team will act in concert with our partners to defeat Iraq's military, we are going to engage in a policy of nation building in lands far from our shores. We are going to need, as well, to act in concert with the international community. I think we believe this and we're seeking this, and we hope it will come to this before we make our decision, or even after that.
Mr. Secretary, in the first Persian Gulf War, we did not drive our forces into Baghdad, in part because we did not want to get into conflict that could have been considered messy, of nation building in a post-Saddam Iraq. In response to Senator Nelson's question, you seemed, well, unclear as to what the administration's post-conflict strategy would be. My question to you is who is responsible in the administration for putting these plans together? To the best of your knowledge, are these being done?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Senator, with all respect, I didn't think I was unclear at all. I thought I was quite clear. The answer to the question is that the President of the United States is ultimately responsible, and he's assigned the Department of State to establish a group of people to think that issue through. What I was able to provide is the specifics that have, thus far, been reasonably well thought through, and then to acknowledge the reality of two things, two unknowns. One is that the United States undoubtedly would not be doing it alone. They'd be doing it either with the United Nations or with an international coalition, and other people would have voice in that. Second, maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I think the Iraqi people ought to have a voice in it, as well.
I'm not omniscient. I can't look down on the earth and say, well, this is how the U.N. would decide or this is how the coalition would decide, or this is how the Iraqi people would decide. I think that the lack of clarity reflects a respect for the reality that exists.
Senator AKAKA. General Myers, with the need for multilateral support, some have indicated that we need that kind of assistance. So my question is, can we defeat Iraq's military forces without any direct support from our allies?
General MYERS. Senator, obviously, depending on the type of military operation you engage in, it's usually made easier by support and help from allies, and we've had great support, so far on the war on terrorism, particularly the Afghanistan piece, but other pieces as well. In any potential conflict, it would be desirable to have certain allies and partners be with us, and they would all contribute, probably, in different ways.
I'm reminded of how the Japanese are contributing right now to our war on terrorism by providing, at my last count, 48 million gallons of fuel oil to our U.S. Navy ships that are using the Pacific to support the war on terrorism. So it might range from that to combat troops to overflight to basing to staging, anywhere we might need to prosecute this war on terrorism. Certainly help from our friends, allies, and partners is a desirable thing.
Senator AKAKA. General Myers, switching to Afghanistan, has an assessment been made concerning the impact on our troop security in Afghanistan, their ability to continue the mission of eliminating al Qaeda, and, on Afghanistan's stability if we are forced to draw troops, intelligence, assets, and weapons away from Afghanistan for a war in Iraq? If you can share this assessment, I certainly would like to have a response.
General MYERS. Sir, we've even taken a broader look than that. As important as Afghanistan is, we've looked at the defense strategy that came out of the Quadrennial Defense Review and applied force structure to the tasks that are outlined in that strategy. The conclusion was that we have adequate force structure properly equipped to carry out the defense strategy. That would certainly include our ongoing operations in Afghanistan.
It's not so much an issue of the number of troops. We have, in fact, modest numbers inside Afghanistan. I think today the numbers are around 10,000, approximately. They'll probably go up and down over time as units rotate in, as units rotate out, as the need is there, as the need diminishes.
But you're right, there are some assets that are in short supply, and I think I indicated that in my opening statement, that intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets have historically been in short supply. We've tried to fix this through our budget requests in recent years. In 2002, we've made some headway there. You'll see some more requests for those type of assets in 2003. We have to prioritize them today. We have to prioritize them in peacetime, for that matter. We have to prioritize them today when we're in the global war on terrorism, and we'll have to prioritize them if we're asked to do something else.
But our conclusion is that we have sufficient assets to do whatever it is the President asks us to do.
Senator AKAKA. Thank you very much. My time has expired.
Chairman LEVIN. We'll limit the next round to one question each, given the hour.
Mr. Secretary, in various ways here today you've really signaled that you do not believe that inspections are a possible way to achieve disarmament. You've signaled that in so many different ways. You've said you don't see how it's possible without regime change.
I asked you a question about whether or not there is any chance at all that Saddam would open Iraq to full inspections and disarmament if the alternative was that he knew he would be destroyed, and you really did not answer that. You said that's just sort of not your area, that the State Department and the President are working that question.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Which question was that?
Chairman LEVIN. When I asked you, in your judgment, if there is any chance at all that Saddam Hussein would open Iraq to full inspections and disarmament if the alternative that he knew he faced to doing that was that he would be destroyed and removed from power.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Because he opened up to inspections?
Chairman LEVIN. Any chance. Any chance.
Secretary RUMSFELD. I'm sorry. I am still having trouble with the question. You say, is there any chance that Saddam Hussein would open up to inspections if he knew that, by opening up to inspections
Chairman LEVIN. No, if he knew that the alternative to refusing to open up and disarm was that he would be destroyed.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Your guess is as good as mine.
Chairman LEVIN. But my question is, is there any chance? Is there any chance?
Secretary RUMSFELD. There's always a chance of anything. The sky could fall.
Chairman LEVIN. It's about that. It's about that level of chance, I gather.
Secretary RUMSFELD. I don't know. I honestly just don't know. I mean, looking at it rationally, although I can't climb in his head. But, looking at it rationally, there have been plenty of dictators who have just up and left when things looked bleak and they've gone to live in some nice country, taken away all the money they've stolen, and there they are.
Chairman LEVIN. Then a moment ago, you said the only certainty that we'll have relative to weapons is after an attack.
Secretary RUMSFELD. No, I don't know.
Chairman LEVIN. After he uses them against us. After he attacks.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Ah, I think what I said was that you would gain perfect certainty as to what he would do after they are used.
Chairman LEVIN. Not quite. You said the only certainty, the only way that we can have any certainty about what he has is after he uses them.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Unless you have disarmed him.
Chairman LEVIN. You see, you didn't add the “unless.” It's such an important point.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, I apologize. Maybe it's late in the day and I forgot to add it.
Chairman LEVIN. No, it's not a problem.
Secretary RUMSFELD. I forgot to add it, but obviously if you've disarmed him, then you have perfect certainty on the ground. I talked about that earlier today.
Chairman LEVIN. You do acknowledge that there's at least a possibility that he could be forced to disarm before he attacked?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Of course.
Secretary RUMSFELD. It is possible. He could wake up tomorrow morning and decide he should leave and go. It's possible he could wake up tomorrow morning and be sincere about inspections and invite everybody and change an 11-year behavior pattern.
Chairman LEVIN. So there's a lot at stake here in terms of whether we support a really good inspection regime and back it up with a threat of authorized force from the U.N.
Secretary RUMSFELD. There is a lot at stake.