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of $250 billion. You then identified the Dark Winter exercise, where within two months a million Americans could be killed, and this would be spread out all over the United States.
Did that report indicate the economic catastrophe that would be caused by such havoc?
Secretary RUMSFELD. I don't believe it did. I think it was more done from a medical standpoint.
Mr. WILSON. And the reason I bring that up is I was elected to Congress nine months ago today. My role was a real estate attorney prior to coming here, and I don't think people realize that aside from the loss of life, the economic consequence of, say, the collapse of the insurance industry, and then you wouldn't be able to have loan closings everywhere in the United States, not just where the attack occurred.
Mr. WILSON. And I really do appreciate the comments of my colleague from New Jersey that he raised the situation of possibly a ploy. But this is just so far-reaching. And, again, I appreciate your recognition that the challenge we have is action or inaction.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Thank you very much for your very generous comments. After serving on active duty as a Navy pilot, I also served in the Reserves for a number of years, and I quite agree with your assessment.
I was just passed another note that from the National Command Center that Coalition aircraft were fired on today in Operation Northern Watch at 4:31, 4:33, and 4:40 eastern time on September 18th.
Mr. HUNTER. Another exclamation point on their commitment to abide by the U.N. resolution.
Mr. WILSON. There is a new Hitler that needs to be addressed. Thank you. No further questions.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman.
Mr. LANGEVIN. I too want to join my colleagues in thanking you for being here and for your testimony and the job that you are doing. It is outstanding and today's hearing I think was very helpful in allowing us to better understand your thinking and where we are headed and what we are proceeding to do.
Not so much a question but really a comment if I could, an observation: I, as many of my colleagues, withhold judgment as to whether we are going to support a resolution to authorize force, and of course it would depend on what that resolution would look like and such. But I would just say from my standpoint, I have observed-and I speak for many of my colleagues, I believe, as wellthat we have seen a marked difference in the debate both before the President went to the U.N. and after the President went to the U.N.
And clearly, he is building a stronger case against Iraq and doing it in the context of bringing the international community into the debate and into any proposed action that would be taken, and I think that it is important for us to keep our moral authority in the world as the world's sole remaining superpower.
And I would just urge you and your colleagues to continue to urge the President to continue down that path. I think it is the
right thing to do and ultimately we will have a better outcome and will be most effective. I thank you again for the job that you do.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Thank you very much. I am sure the President agrees with the comments you have made.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary, and thank you for having the endurance you have had, you and General Myers, to go throughout the entire committee. I think this has been worthwhile to listen to you and discuss this with you.
Let me throw out one thing that is of concern. We are going to have a hearing tomorrow on the technological capability of Iraq and how it has been enhanced by illegal and in some cases, legal means by technology transfer from the West, including sadly, in some cases from the United States.
Do you have any thoughts on how we—and this is a situation that recurs throughout the world, not just Iraq—but how we as the leaders of the Western World should attempt to stem this flow of technology which at some point may be used to kill our own uniformed people on the battlefield?
Secretary RUMSFELD. History suggests that it is a very difficult thing to do, that people—immediately after a tragedy, people step forth in other countries and agree to a set of sanctions, that let's prevent this hostile nation from having these capabilities. And so they end up with counterproliferation activities and consultations and meetings and a list of things that should be prohibited.
But over time as things relax, we find that someone wants to cut a corner and someone wants to sell something they should not be selling. You are exactly right. You are going to have a very full hearing tomorrow because there is a great many things that are moving into that country that are increasing Iraq's military capability every day. They are buying dump trucks, taking the tops off and putting artillery pieces on them. They are buying transporters that are too narrow for a tank and then expanding them 6, 8, 10, 12 inches so that they are perfectly capable of carrying a tank.
It is a reality that for a period, the capability of Iraq after Desert Storm dropped, and it is also a reality that some recent years because of dual use technologies, because of general relaxation of tensions, that they are able to go forward and have these capabilities.
One thing that it seems to me is important is that in the event that a decision is made to use force with respect to Iraq, the United States will want to know from other countries what it is they have been selling Iraq that can be used militarily so we can know some of the kinds of technological capabilities that they may have that we may not know. And I know for a fact that before Desert Storm, some consultations were made by the United States to other countries to try to determine if they had sold things to Iraq that could impose a dangerous threat that the United States was not aware of, and the answer was “yes,” and they were able to find out that information and save lives because of that information.
So you can be certain we will be interested to know what countries have been doing with Iraq.
Mr. HUNTER. And Mr. Secretary, with respect to the Export Administration Act, which is often discussed and which we may see very shortly in terms of coming to the House floor, this committee has always stood very firmly on the side of having intensive review
and monitoring by your shop, by DOD, on the basis that the people that know what military potential is with respect to certain items is the military, not necessarily people in the Department of Com
And I would hope that you would stand with us in ensuring that we have in our—in any Éxport Administration Act that is passed, that we have a strong DOD monitoring of American products and American technology. I hope you would stand with us on that point.
Secretary RUMSFELD. I would have to see what proposals are made. I just do not know. But there is no question but that what a DOD role tends to be helpful in those deliberations.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you. General Myers?
General MYERS. Mr. Chairman, if I may, can I go back a couple of hours to a comment, maybe it was an hour and a half ago, that Mr. Ortiz made? It had to do with the eagerness or reluctance of using force. And I would just like to say I don't think there is anyone that considers the use of force seriously that is not reluctant to use force for the simple reason that Mr. Wilson said, “It puts our sons and our daughters at risk. On the other hand, if our Nation's freedom is at stake, which I think in this war on terrorism it clearly is, then I don't think any of the folks that we are serving today are the least bit reluctant to risk their lives for our freedom.”
And I just-it is not a question of being eager. I think everybody is reluctant for the reasons I said. But the threat here is very, very serious.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you very much, General. I think that the committee would concur with that.
And so thank you, again, Mr. Secretary, General Myers, for a very thorough analysis and discussion of this problem that is foremost in the Nation's mind today. Appreciate it. And you know one thing the President said, we have talked about the President sending messages. Kofi Annan said that President Bush's speech galvanized the world community to focus on Iraq and to bring some force to bear, and I think that is a good description of the American leadership that not only he has shown but that you have shown in the last several weeks. So we appreciate that, and we look forward to working with you.
And this hearing is adjourned.