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next? Like the proverbial dog chasing the car, what will we do when we catch it?
I am reminded of Carl von Clausewitz's maxim in On War: that in strategy it is “imperative...not to take the first step without considering the last.” We must think through carefully and NOW—before we authorize military force—how the United States would manage Iraq after Saddam fell. Planning for the occupation of Germany and Japan took years before the end of World War II. In today's dynamic battlefield, we don't have the luxury of years to prepare. How can we build a stable and democratic Iraq that takes all major groups—Shi’a, Sunni, and Kurd—into account? How will we handle members of the Baath party and those scientists and engineers that designed Iraq's WMD programs? What military commitment will be required from the United States at the time of our victory and in the years to come?
Any decision to act against Iraq must begin with answers to these questions about the strategy for achieving victory and long-term responsibilities that come with doing so. To my mind, any resolution authorizing the use of force must require these answers. I thank both witnesses for being with us today, for sharing their expertise and hopefully for providing answers to the questions I have outlined. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEPTEMBER 26, 2002
I wish to thank you for including me in today's hearing. As we confront issues of war and peace, our country is strongest when the Congress and the executive branch act in concert. In all the talk of the need for a coalition to confront Saddam Hussein, the coalition that matters most is to be found here in Washington, at opposite ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.
The President, Secretary Powell, Secretary Rumsfeld and British Prime Minister Blair have all spoken in recent days about the urgency of dealing with the threat posed to the American people, and others, by Saddam Hussein. In what may well be the most important speech of his presidency, President Bush has argued eloquently and persuasively to the United Nations in New York that Saddam's open defiance of the United Nations, and his scornful refusal to heed its many injunctions, is a challenge to the credibility of the U.N itself. And he has rightly asked the United Nations to approve a Security Council Resolution that would force Saddam to choose between full compliance with the many resolutions he has scorned and violated and action to remove his regime from power.
Saddam's, response-calculating, deceitful and disingenuous-moves only slightly in the direction of U.N. inspections of Iraqi territory-and not at all toward the disarmament that is what really matters. The statement issued in his name that he will accept inspections unconditionally is anything but unconditional: it is hedged as to the allowable types of inspection and the rules under which inspections would be conducted. As I understand it, Saddam is demanding an inspection regime in which advance notification is required and in which certain places are off limits to the inspectors, who would be limited in number, mobility and armament.
Even from a government whose cooperation we could count on, these conditions would be unacceptable. But from Saddam Hussein, who has gone to enormous lengths to conceal his weapons program from previous international inspectors and continues to lie about them now, the sort of inspection regime that Kofi Annan has negotiated with Saddam would be a farce.
What would a robust inspection regime look like? It would, at a minimum, include tens of thousand inspectors with Americans in key leadership and decision-making roles distributed throughout Iraq, possessing an independent capability to move anywhere from dispersed bases to any site in the country without prior notification or approval, the right to interview any Iraqi or Iraqi resident together with his family at safe locations outside Iraq, appropriate
self-defense capabilities for the inspectors so they could overcome efforts to impede them, and the like.
But Iraq is a very large country. My own view is that even with a large and intrusive force it is simply not possible to devise an inspection regime on territory controlled by Saddam Hussein that could be effective in locating, much less eliminating, his weapons of massdestruction. In any case, the inspection regime known as Unmovic doesn't even come close: Its size, organization, management and resources are all hopelessly inadequate for the daunting task of inspecting a country the size of France against Saddam's determined program of concealment, deception and lying. The simple truth is that the inspectors will never find anything the location of which has not been discovered through intelligence operations. Unless we can obtain information, from defectors or by technical means, that points the inspectors to specific sites, we are most unlikely to find what we are looking for.
We know, Mr. Chairman, that Saddam lies about his program to acquire nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. We know that he has used the years during which no inspectors were in Iraq to move everything of Interest, with the result that the database we once possessed, inadequate though it was, has been destroyed. We know all of this yet I sometimes think there are those at the United Nations who treat the issue not as a matter of life and death, but rather more like a game of pin the tail on the donkey or an Easter egg hunt on a sunny Sunday.
The bottom line is this: Saddam is better at hiding than we are at finding. And this is not a game. If he eludes us and continues to refine, perfect and expand his arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, the danger to us, already great, will only grow. If he achieves his holy grail and acquires one or more nuclear weapons there is no way of knowing what predatory policies he will pursue.
Let us suppose that in the end a robust inspection arrangement is put in place and after a year or two it has found nothing. Could we conclude from the failure to unearth illegal activity that none existed? Of course not. All we would know is that we had failed to find what we were looking for, not that it was not there to be found. And where would that leave us? Would we be safer-or even more gravely imperiled? There would be a predictable clamor to end the inspection regime and, if they were still in place, to lift the sanctions, Saddam would claim not only that he was in compliance with the U.N. resolutions concerning inspections, but that he had been truthful all along. There are those who would believe him.
Given what we now know about Saddam's weaponry, his lies, his concealment, we would be fools to accept inspections, even an inspection regime far more ambition than anything the U.N. contemplates, as a substitute for disarmament.
That is why, Mr. Chairman, the President is right to demand that the United Nations promptly resolve that Saddam comply with the full range of United Nations resolutions concerning Iraq or face an American led enforcement action.
I have returned last night from Europe where the issues before you are being widely discussed. Perhaps the most frequently asked question put to me by various Europeans is, "why now?" What is it about the current situation that has made action to deal with Saddam urgent? My answer is that we are already perilously late. We should have acted long ago-and we should certainly have acted when Saddam expelled the inspectors in 1998. Our myopic forbearance has given him four years to expand his arsenal without
interference, four years to hide things and make them mobile, four years to render the international community feckless and its principal institution, the United Nations, irrelevant.
We can, of course, choose to defer action, to wait-and hope for the best. That is what Tony Blair's predecessors did in the 1930's. That is what we did with respect to Osama Bin Laden. We waited. We watched. We knew about the training camps, the fanatical incitement, and the history of acts of terror. We knew about the Cole and the embassies in Africa. We waited too long and 3,000 innocent civilians were murdered. If we wait, if we play hide-and-seek with Saddam Hussein, there is every reason to expect that he will expand his arsenal further, that he will cross the nuclear divide and become a nuclear power
I urge this committee, Mr. Chairman, to support the President's determination to act before it is too late.
SEPTEMBER 26, 2002
Mr. Chairman, Representative Skelton, Distinguished Members of this Committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. This is a committee that has been strongly supportive of the men and women in uniform, and I want to thank you personally for the assistance and support that you gave me, and have given so many others.
In October 1994, Saddam Hussein moved several Republican Guards divisions back into the attack positions just north of the Kuwaiti border, the same attack positions that had been occupied just prior to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. It was a foolish and to our minds unexpected and threatening move. We quickly deployed additional military forces to the region, preparing to enter a full-fledged battle against Iraq to defend Kuwait, and we also went to the United Nations. After a few tense days Saddam backed off, the divisions were removed, and we acted through the United Nations to further tighten the no-fly zone and regulate Iraqi troop movements.
But it was a signal warning about Saddam Hussein: he is not only malevolent and violent, but also unpredictable. He retains his chemical and biological warfare capabilities and is actively pursuing nuclear capabilities. Were he to acquire such capabilities, we and our friends in the region would face greatly increased risks. Saddam might use such weapons as a deterrent while launching attacks against Israel or his neighbors, he might threaten American forces in the region, he might strike directly against Israel, or Israel, weighing the possibilities of nuclear blackmail or aggression, might feel compelled to strike Iraq first.
Saddam has been pursuing nuclear weapons for over twenty years. According to all estimates made available he does not now have these weapons. The best public assessment is that if he were to acquire fissionable material he might field some type of weapon within two years. If he has to enrich the uranium ore itself, then a period of perhaps five years might be required. But what makes the situation relatively more dangerous today is that the UN weapons inspectors, who provided some assistance in impeding his development programs, have been absent from Iraq for over four years. And the sanctions regime, designed to restrict his access to weapons materials and the resources needed to procure them, has continuously eroded. At some point, it may become possible for Saddam to acquire the fissionable materials or uranium ore that he needs. And therefore, Iraq is not a problem that can be indefinitely postponed.
In addition, Saddam Hussein's current retention of chemical and biological weapons and their respective delivery systems violates the UN resolutions themselves, which carry the weight of international law.