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them all, but it is really—I am trying to get at where the administration is with respect to weapons of mass destruction. I grant you it is a reach to assume that there is a change in position of the current Iraqi regime, but if there were, would that be enough?
Secretary RUMSFELD. That, of course, is a judgment not for the Secretary of Defense of the United States. It is a judgment for the President and the Congress.
Mr. ALLEN. Let me ask one follow-up, then. If Saddam Hussein believes that we are determined to take him out no matter what he does, what reason does he have to cooperate in any measure?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, he always has the opportunity to flee. He always has the opportunity, as he has tried to, to persuade people that he is a changed leader. And he tries and he fails because he isn't a changed leader. I guess you know the answer to that as well as I do. He can do what he will, and he does.
What reason does he have to cooperate? Well, if I were he, I would have plenty of reasons to cooperate. I wouldn't want to be threatening my neighbors. I wouldn't want to be developing these weapons to threaten the world. I wouldn't want to be dealing with terrorist states. So he would have plenty of reasons for cooperating. But you are suggesting that I am supposed to answer for somebody who thinks so fundamentally different than you or I. It is hard. Mr. ALLEN. I grant you. Can I ask you
one unrelated quick questionMr. HUNTER. Let me just tell the gentleman, we have got about 45 minutes left with the Secretary, and we have about 15 members yet who have questions, so if the gentleman could make it very quick.
Mr. ALLEN (continuing). Very quick, because I think I know the answer. Has the administration given any thought of how to pay for the war? Larry Lindsey said it might be $100 to $200 billion. Have you had any conversations about how to pay for it?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Sure, we have.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, needless to say, what one would do is—it is not knowable what a war or a conflict like that would cost. You don't know if it is going to last two days or two weeks or two months. It certainly isn't going to last two years, but it is going to cost money. And the cost compared to 9/11 is so insignificant compared to the loss of lives, compared to the billions of dollars that were lost in material things and in market values and in disruptions in people's lives and not being able to fly or go places or do things, in the concerns of families. And it would be modest, to be sure.
Mr. ALLEN. Thank you very much.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Other countries undoubtedly would contribute, just as other countries are contributing currently to the global war on terrorism.
Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Chambliss, the gentleman from Georgia.
Mr. Secretary and General Myers, unlike our earlier guests, I am not undecided. I know that you gentlemen care deeply about the men and women that serve under you, and you are not about to put those men and women in harm's way unless it is absolutely
necessary, unless there is a security interest of the United States at risk. I thank you for the great job you have done, the great job you are doing today; and I hope you will pass that on to all your troops out there, General.
General MYERS. We will do that.
Mr. CHAMBLISS. Mr. Secretary, you alluded earlier to the fact that there are other nations that we know to be terrorist-sponsoring nations who have manufactured and stockpiled weapons of mass destruction. You referred to the other two countries in the axis of evil, Iran and North Korea. You also mentioned Syria and Libya. Is there ongoing conversation that we know of between those countries and Iraq with respect to weapons of mass destruction?
Second, what would be your thought on citizens or nationals of those terrorist-sponsoring countries who have weapons of mass destruction participating as members of an inspection team going into Iraq looking for weapons of mass destruction?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, there is no question but that Iraq has relationships with countries that are on the terrorist list. They also have relations with terrorist networks. They also have al Qaeda currently in the country, among others. Abu Nidal—they say he committed suicide with four or five slugs to his head. That is a hard thing to do, but he was in Iraq. So there is no question about those relationships.
As far as those people—the current so-called U.N. Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Regime (UNMOVIC), as I understand it and looked at it last time, does not have any people who are representatives of their own countries. It is currently to be—which is unlike UNSCOM, which did have people who were representing their countries serving on those teams. The people that are, I believe, on the inspection team that is currently in place are all U.N. employees from a host of different countries, and we would have no control whatsoever over what countries they happen to be from, because they are U.N. employees. That would be something that would be decided by the UN, not a happy prospect.
Mr. CHAMBLISS. Does that give you cause for concern?
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman; and thank you both for being here, not only for all your service the last couple years, but just for sitting through this ordeal. The committee keeps growing each year, and it just makes your ordeal longer each year.
I just want to make one comment first about your goal of disarmament. I think that that is the correct way to phrase it.
When Dr. Kay was here the other day, he made the comment that in his first few years he wished he had the authority to issue green cards, that it would have made his work a lot easier. That may be something we need to consider now, perhaps even with military, that if a scientist and his family can get safely out of that country, not only will they not be contributing to that program, but they may have information to give. Because the reality is, if this U.N. thing should work, and I realize it is a long shot, disar
mament, their industrial base will be intact, and it can easily be converted, and getting the scientists out may be every bit as important as destroying the armaments.
I want to ask specifically, Mr. Secretary, about the issue of the congressional resolution coming up-well, I guess it is coming up. For
months now the White House and Mr. Wolfowitz and then you yourself today have stated that the President has not yet made a decision regarding military force. One could make the argument that if the President has not yet decided regarding making military force, that the American people would be better served if their Congress is not asked to pass a resolution authorizing military force as the best route to go until the Commander in Chief has made that choice.
I know for some members the issue of whether the United States essentially goes alone versus goes as part of a U.N. force with the broad support of the international community is perhaps the key issue, and yet if we are asked to decide that the next week or two before this U.N. process and all its convolutions and how it moves so slowly, if it is not yet resolved a lot of members are not going to have that information. Help me understand why it is necessary to have the Congress pass a resolution, when the Commander in Chief has not yet made that decision, knowing that we could come back even after adjournment–if the Commander in Chief says come back, we will come back.
Secretary RUMSFELD. The President has said time is not on our side. He said the one option we have
do not have is to do nothing. He has been very clear.
Personally, I cannot imagine that we could consider the key issue for the United States as to how it is going to provide for the security of the American people to be dependent, hinged on, rooted in what the United Nations and the coalition forces may or may not do. I just think that we have an obligation as Americans to look at our circumstance clearly, to try to get international support, which we are doing up at the UN, but to believe that, absent that, absent some particularized U.N. resolution, we should do nothing, I think clearly goes fundamentally against what the President said. Because he believes the one option we don't have is to do nothing. So I don't think that that
You could reverse it. Why wouldn't the U.N. say, the world say, Gee, until the Congress does something, why should we do any. thing? And then you have got this Alphonse and Gaston.
My view of the world is that what leadership does is it decides what it believes to be the circumstance, it states the case, it provides a direction, and it goes out and tries to persuade Members of Congress and nations of the world as to what we believe is the right thing. Mr. SNYDER. I understand that
Secretary RUMSFELD. There will be no doubt that there will be other countries assisting the United States of America in the event that the United States of America decides that that is the only course available.
Mr. SNYDER. I understand your comments about leadership. My question was motivated by the fact that you again today stated
very clearly the President has not yet made up his mind about military force, and yet we are being asked to.
I would say—I know the President made this comment the other day, too, about why would any Member of Congress up for re-election defer to the UN, but it is a more complicated issue than that. As General Clark has pointed out in some of his writings recently, General Wesley Clark, the potential impact of the United States going alone, if we had to go alone, if we chose that route, on international cooperation on our war against al Qaeda-So, I is a balancing of risks and looking at factors.
I think for certain Members of Congress, I think probably a fair number and fair number of constituents back home, the issue of whether we go alone or not, it is more than just us going along and being a part of the UN. It is its impact on the international cooperation on the war on al Qaeda. As you stated earlier, we all get in trouble by oversimplifying.
Thank you again for your service. Secretary RUMSFELD. Thank you. You know, the coalition we have on the global war on terrorism of 90 countries I believe is the largest coalition in human history. That problem is real. Iraq is part of that problem, and the connection between weapons of mass destruction and a global terrorist connection that works is the nexus that causes the problem. So I do not think that it would have in any way an adverse effect, nor do I believe for a second that in the event a decision is made to go forward that the United States would be alone. We already know for a fact that is not true. There are any number of countries who have already announced their support.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman.
Mr. Secretary, I do appreciate you being here. I know you have I wouldn't want to sit there and have to answer all these questions, but that is the hand you have been dealt, and you are doing well. But I am going to ask you some very specific questions.
Do you view a regime change as a net of self-defense, a regime change in Iraq as an act of self-defense of this country?
Secretary RUMSFELD. I have wrestled with what is self-defense; and when we are dealing with terrorism and the fact that they can attack at any time at any place against any technique and you want defend it every time and every place against every technique, the only way you can defend yourself is by going after the terrorist. In this case, it seems to me that when you use the phrase “regime change,” if one believes that it is possible to leave the regime and eliminate the threat, then clearly you don't need to change the regime. But self-defense does require, I believe, the ability to prevent a terrible attack on our country.
Mr. GRAHAM. You do view the Iraqi regime, obviously, as a threat. But that is a big question to me. If it is a matter of selfdefense, you don't need the U.N. to sanction
Secretary RUMSFELD. Of course not. The U.N. charter provides for every country to provide for their own defense.
Mr. GRAHAM. Well, why don't we just be honest with people? Everybody in the administration has been telling us that Saddam
Hussein has to go. That is what the gentleman's question was about. No matter what we do with inspections—we had two weapons inspectors in here said that it is really a joke. You will never find what you need to find. They are masters at deception.
We just need to level with people here in this country and in the world. Post 9/11, we view Saddam Hussein as a threat to this country, period. And if that is the case, when we go consult our allies and consult the U.N. we should tell them that is our view. I think there are some mixed messages going on here, and I think we need to be very clear with the American public and with our allies.
In that regard, General Myers, you said early on that you could do whatever was asked of you by the President and the Congress. Do you need any allies that we don't have today to accomplish a regime change by force if you were directed to do so?
General MYERS. I think clearly for lots of reasons, but from a military standpoint, it is preferable to have those allies and friends that want to be with you. As the Secretary said, we have people that we know today would be with us if we were asked to do that.
Mr. GRAHAM. So the answer is, if you were directed by the appropriate authorities in this country to implement by force a regime change, you could do that?
General MYERS. In that hypothetical case, absolutely.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Let me say just one word about this mixed message. I personally don't think so. I think the President's speech was very straightforward.
Mr. GRAHAM. Well, I understand, but here is the mixed message part of it. If we do believe it to be an act of self-defense, as I do, then the whole idea of going to the U.N. to get approval and pass a resolution to defend yourself is not necessary, legally or morally.
Secretary RUMSFELD. It is not necessary, and the President in fact said that.
Mr. GRAHAM. The fact that he is doing it I don't object to, but we are going to find ourselves in a situation here soon where the letter received from Iraq is going to create greet confusion over there. What I would like to hear from you, if possible, is that you will promise the American people we will not let U.N. politics prevent us from defending ourselves as we see fit.
Secretary RUMSFELD. I think the President in his speech made very clear that the one choice we have do not have is to do nothing. I would say that I agree completely that having other countries aboard is a help and it is desirable and it is worth trying to get them, and we are trying and we are being successful.
Mr. GRAHAM. But make sure I have got this right, and I will shut up. There is no ally presently unavailable to us to accomplish the mission of regime change if directed by the President or the appropriate authority. Is that still the case, General Myers?
General MYERS. I will just stick with my statement. We are—the United States military armed forces is ready to respond to whatever the
Mr. GRAHAM. You don't know of anybody that we need waiting on the U.N. to bless this deal?
General MYERS. I will just defer to the Secretary on the U.N. piece of that.