« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, I would say this. We have already been advised that in the event that this country decides to—it is necessary to do something, by a number of countries, that they will cooperate in a variety of different ways.
Mr. GRAHAM. Absent U.N. approval?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Oh, sure, yes. There are other countries that are—that we would like to have cooperating in ways, and they have not made judgment. So the worst thing that the General could do would be to answer your question and say we don't need any more help, because the more help you get, the easier it is.
Mr. GRAHAM. I understand. God bless, and good luck.
Mr. Secretary and General Myers, thank you very much for your commitment to our country and for the obvious time you have spent in going into great detail to help us in making our assessment.
You keep referring to a number of countries that would help us. Can you tell us how many countries and who?
Secretary RUMSFELD. I could, but I shouldn't. A lot of these countries are frightened of Saddam Hussein. A number of other countries are attempting to work with us in the United Nations to fashion a resolution, and it is not for me to do. It is for them to announce what they decide. I don't make it my business to go around and say that this country or that country has told us publicly or privately that they will do this, that or the other thing.
Mr. MCINTYRE. And I respect that, and I appreciate your confidence, though, that we have other countries. Can you give us a ballpark? Are we talking about two or three? Are we talking about half a dozen? Are we talking about 15 or 20?
Secretary RUMSFELD. I guess it depends on what you mean by help. If you are talking about
Mr. MCINTYRE. They would be committed to this effort to change this regime.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Overflight rights to help us do it or various types of port access or base access or money or troops?
General MYERS. Fuel supplies.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Fuel supplies. It varies. It is all across the spectrum. In some cases, it will be totally public. In some cases, it will be totally private. But, no, I would not be inclined to try to come up with a number in a public session.
Mr. MCINTYRE. All right. Would you address a couple other issues that have been raised today?
What would be the potential number of American troops needed for such a military campaign against Iraq?
Secretary RUMSFELD. I am not inclined to talk about plans that conceivably could exist as to what one would do. I can say this, and the General can comment. We would not be short of troops.
The numbers that would be needed—obviously, everyone likes belts and suspenders. So you don't know about how long something is going to last or what it will require. You can't know that, because the first thing that goes by the board is a plan in a conflict. But we would not have problems with numbers of people.
Mr. MCINTYRE. All right. Well —
General MYERS. I absolutely agree with that. The only thing I would say is it is very difficult if we were to sit here and talk about specific numbers. That would be, I think, of immense help to any potential adversary, so we have got to be careful of how we handle that.
Mr. MCINTYRE. All right. Well, within that realm, what percentage—I have two quick follow-ups. What percentage do you think would have to be Reserve and Guard? Do you have a percentage idea? Because we talk about how important they are. You have mentioned that today.
Secretary RUMSFELD. We already have 70,000 Guard and Reserve activated, and we have got 20,000 stop-holds on people not getting out, and we would need some more.
Mr. MCINTYRE. Some more would have to be called up. All right. And from being from an area in southeastern North Carolina and eastern North Carolina, which, of course, is home to Fort Bragg, Camp Lejeune, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Cherry Point, the list goes on, that are in our area that Congressman Jones, Congressman Hayes and I all share in in terms of representing or representing their families, there is a concern about overdeployment of troops.
Recently, I went to Afghanistan about 3 weeks ago with a CODEL of 11 Members of Congress on a bipartisan basis. Those troops are doing a great job; and I commend you, General Myers and Secretary Rumsfeld, for being about the mission and seeing the great success of our work in central Asia.
The next question, though, is what about the overdeployment of these troops? General Myers, you have admirably said that our country would be willing and absolutely, as you said, be able to follow any command that our Commander in Chief may give with regard to what our mission might need to be, but what about overdeployment? I mean, do we wear our troops out? Yeah, they can do it, but then what else suffers? We are concerned about readiness, you know, making sure they have everything at their disposal to do their job top notch, because we want to support our troops. But, in turn, how does that affect the human factor?
General MYERS. Let me take a stab at that.
The human factor, obviously, is very important. I think the one thing that is—you know, as we used to discuss this topic before September 11th, it was how do we in peacetime ensure that our troops are—that their tempo or their operational tempo, the impact on the families, the impact on the employers of our reserve component forces that are called up from time to time, what steps can we take to mitigate that? And we put in lots of measures, and we looked at that very, very carefully of
Obviously, now we are at war. We are at a global war, where the personnel tempo, the operational tempo, the impact on our famifies—we have, as the Secretary said, 70,000 plus Reserve component forces called up, which is tougher on their families, because they are generally geographically separated in most cases. Then, on top of that, you have the employers who lose the valid employees.
I would only say that from the Secretary's viewpoint and the senior leadership in the Pentagon, from the Secretary's level, from the
Joint Chiefs of Staff level, we are doing everything we can possibly do to mitigate the turbulence in these times. However, this threat is so serious to this country-9/11 is a great example, and the Secretary has talked, I think, eloquently about the potential with weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists. The potential for destruction to freedom-loving people anywhere, that this threat is so serious, that I think
And you probably found this in Afghanistan. I bet I could ask you, did you find anybody that said, "Gee, when am I going to go home? When is this mission over?” More likely, the question you got is, “What more can we do?” Because I think our military men and women understand exactly what this threat is to their families, to the folks back home and to their friends and allies.
So we have got to try to mitigate the impact on our forces, and we have taken many steps since 9/11. I mean, we started out, if you will, as if this were going to be a sprint. We understand this is going to be a marathon, and I think we have taken steps to try to mitigate the impact on our families. That will always be uppermost in our mind.
At the same time, that must be balanced against the risk to our country and our allies and friends; and we are trying to do that. I think we have to expect our armed forces, much like they did in World War II, steel themselves for the long haul. This will not be an easy short victory against terrorism, and I think our armed forces are up to that task.
Mr. MCINTYRE. In light of that, just in closing and not being able to give numbers or say how many troops you think would be involved, but yet being confident we can do this, do either of you expect this would lead to a reinstitution of the draft?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Not a chance.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Because we are currently at, what, a country of 281 million people, and we have got less than 2 million people in uniform. We are successful in attracting and retaining the force we need without using compulsion and without paying people 40 or 50 percent of what they would make in the civilian manpower market. Unless someone decides that there is some overall social good that is to be achieved by reinstituting the draft, it certainly would not be reinstituted for the purpose of attracting and retaining the people we need, because we are doing that.
Mr. MCINTYRE. Thank you very much.
Secretary RUMSFELD. I must say I have a bias on this subject. I was one of the original authors of the all-volunteer service back in the 1960s when I was in Congress.
Mr. MCINTYRE. Thank you very much.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman; and the gentleman from Illinois, Mr. Kirk.
Mr. KIRK. Mr. Secretary, thank you for that answer. You grew up in my district, and we on the North Shore are terribly, terribly proud of you. I thank you also for your—the answer you just gave. I think the mothers and fathers of 19-year-old American boys are a little nervous about this, and you have categorically
said there will be no draft, and I think people are tremendously heartened to hear that.
You talked about what would happen with the military action against Iraq, and we know that Israel was hit the last time. We have developed Arrow antimissile systems with the government of Israel. I really have to commend you for taking the leadership to provide early warning data to Israel which she did not have to make their defense more effective. What else can we do to make sure that Israel has done everything possible to handle the threat of Iraqi missiles?
Secretary RUMSFELD. There are other things that we are contemplating in the event that they become necessary, not just for Israel but for some other neighboring countries, as well as forced concentrations in the region.
Mr. KIRK. I hope we can do everything possible. I know that in providing the early warning data that it takes some technical effort, and I would hope that we would accelerate that.
Aren't we already at war with Iraq? The American people think that we are at peace with Iraq, but the Iraqi military sees U.S. and British armed forces bombing them about every week. Is that not right?
Secretary RUMSFELD. I don't know that I would characterize it quite that way, but you are quite right. We are currently in a conflict with Iraq, and we have been in a diplomatic battle, we have been in an economic battle and we have been in a military battle. We have Operation Northern Watch and Southern Watch going on for any number of years.
Coming over in the car, Dick Myers, I forget how many times you say our planes have been fired at in the last month or two.
We are not over there bombing willy-nilly. What we are doing is enforcing U.N. resolutions, and our men and women are flying aircraft over the northern and the southern zones for specific purposes, to keep the Iraqi government from punishing the Shi'a in the south or the Kurds in the north, to be aware of what is taking place in terms of the no-fly zones. And when we do it, which they agreed it is not like this is—it is all part of the whole —the resolutions, they shoot at our aircraft. It is the one place on the face of the earth where American men and women in uniform are getting fired at with impunity, day after day after day.
General Myers, how many times have we been fired at-
Mr. KIRK. Mr. Secretary, we have been offered unconditional entry of U.N. inspectors in Iraq
Secretary RUMSFELD. No, we haven't.
Mr. KIRK. But at least it was on paper from the Iraqi government.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Come on.
Mr. KIRK. But let me ask you this question. Since that letter arrived two days ago, have Americans been fired at by Iraq in Northern Watch?
Secretary RUMSFELD. I just would have to go back and check to the exact time the letter was handed over in the United Nations or wherever it went and
Mr. KIRK. It would be very interesting —
Secretary RUMSFELD. That is an interesting point.
Mr. KIRK. I see your staff saying no, and I know that sometimes we have quiet days. I would hope that you would let us know the moment U.S. armed forces, who are enforcing a U.N. resolution are fired on by Iraq, even after the delivery of this letter. It is an important point.
Secretary RUMSFELD. That is a good one.
Mr. KIRK. My last question is let me just say something, because my old squadron is in Incirlik right now, and obviously
their mothers and fathers worry about them and they look at the news. When you get back home from a mission, you are pretty much glued to CNN. What would you say to the men and women in the armed forces right now about any potential operation?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, there is no question but that these folks, as you point out, voluntarily put their lives at risk, and they do it day after day as a way of our country's contribution to peace and stability in the world, and it is a dangerous world. It is an untidy world, and the role they are playing is just enormously important, and they do it selflessly.
I have been around, as Dick Myers has, visiting bases in this country and bases around the world, and in that part of the world, and I can say that these folks are ready to do that which this country decides is appropriate to do and necessary to do to defend the American people.
General MYERS. I might just add that being in Incirlik, it is a long way from home, and sometimes it is difficult for the folks there to feel the appreciation of the American people. It is easier here in Washington. Last week going through the anniversary events of September 11th and then traveling throughout the country, as we both do universally, the American people very much appreciate what our Armed Forces do for them. And I think being a long way from home sometime that is hard to see, but if we could say one thing to them I would say that.
Mr. KIRK. Mr. Secretary, the United States Navy is born in my district, the only boot camp, and I would say that I have never seen the Secretary held in such admiration by the men and women in uniform, and I thank you for your service.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank the gentleman.
Mr. ANDREWS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Secretary, General, for your very clear, very persuasive efforts this morning. I reflect something Mr. Hostettler said, that there is nothing we do around here more grave than the decision we are asked to engage in this morning, the decision you are engaging in, but I don't think gravity should obscure clarity, and there are two arguments that I hear around the country and frankly here this morning that I think need to be disclaimed, as you have very effectively this morning.
The first is that any effort to effect a regime change in Iraq is distinctive from the war against terrorism. I think they are part of the same thing.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Exactly right.
Mr. ANDREWS. You have said that so persuasively, but if I could offer some advice, I think that is something that has to be said to