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intelligence component to them or that they institute espionage. Well, so what? That is the whole point. And, it is my experience that these inspections can be used very successfully for diplomatic purposes for intelligence purposes and, indeed, as a preamble to military operations.
So, I certainly encourage the U.N. to pursue that and the United States to support that.
That being said, I have been concerned that the war on terrorism, as I understand it, is a clandestine war. It is an intelligence war, it is a war where liaison relationships with Arab and Middle Eastern countries and other countries around the world is critically important. It is a war where internal security forces play a larger role now than military forces.
And, for us to be successful and to continue to be successful with those 60 or so countries around the world that are involved, we need their cooperation and support.
And so, my first question goes to the issue, what impact will a conventional, or what I call a conventional war against Iraq, a decapitation war against Iraq, have on this other clandestine war on terrorism? And, that is the first point.
Second, I would be interested in your comments on what difference it makes that in 1991 we were involved in removing an aggressor from an invaded country, as opposed to today, or in the future, we might be dealing with a nation state on its own sacred soil with an intent to decapitate its government for whatever reason. What difference do you see politically and from the standpoint of the support or lack of support from the world community?
Dr. COHEN. If I could just respond real quickly, I have worn MOPP gear, too, and I agree with you it is unpleasant and it is particularly difficult if it is hot out, and that has implications.
Second, inspections certainly could be useful. The UNSCOM inspections were quite useful. But two things: First, even UNSCOM fizzled out at the end, and the UNSCOM inspectors will tell us that. The other thing is that UNSCOM was not the United Nations Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC). UNSCOM had a really tight intelligence loop with our community and other communities. UNMOVIČ is a U.N. organization with international civil servants, and that type of loop does not exist. So, I would bet that UNMOVIC would be a lot less effective than UNSCOM, and even UNSCOM was stymied.
On the war on terrorism, I suspect actually most of the cooperation would continue uninterrupted for two reasons. First, there are a lot of mutual interests involved. Second, there are a lot of countries which are very good at saying one thing in public and doing another thing in private. And, the French take this to the point of an art form, where we have had very good cooperation with them, certainly military to military, but, I think even beyond that, when their foreign minister is most loudly denouncing us in various fora.
Finally, this may be excessively cynical. I don't think the fact that Kuwait was a pretty clear-cut case of aggression made a difference in terms of number of countries who were willing to openly sign up with us. At the end of the day, I think the difference is not quite as large as it appears. Of course, for the Iraqis, Kuwait was Iraqi territory, and, of course, we went into Iraq proper, and that
does not seem to have affected them. And, the other thing is, particularly in that part of the world, people respond to success. So, if the campaign is a fairly successful one, I think the amount of support that we will get, or at least really pretty benign acquiescence, is going to be substantial.
Dr. O’HANLON. I generally agree with Eliot Cohen, but a couple of additional points. I do think that there is the possibility for some skepticism about intelligence sharing, I am certain, with people in certain situations, if they feel the United States is really not conducting itself properly. I was struck by the fact the Swede said, just let this alleged hijacker who tried to take a plane a few weeks ago, let him out of jail. They still think he is guilty, but they are going to go by their old-fashioned burden-of-proof rules, and so that person is out on the street and hopefully does not flee the country.
That sort of thing I can imagine happening, to the extent that people either want to file their own domestic legislation or they are just not quite as convinced as we are about the severity of the threat or the potential of any individual to conduct an act of terrorism. I do think for that reason that the administration has to worry about its credibility and style and argument matter. Even if in the end countries will largely come along with us on the big stuff, you want them to be of the opinion that you are giving them straight talk and you are working with them. And that is why I will keep harping on this.
As good as the President's September 12th speech was, I really do have qualms about the way the Vice President and the Secretary of Defense were making their case for overthrow in the summertime. It scared most countries. I talked to some senior diplomats from European countries, people I know well, who are very pro-American, and they said to me, simply, it is different this time. This particular march to war is different.
Part of it is what you said. It is the invasion issue versus the fact that this time the case is murkier. But, also, they feel that this administration has its own agenda.
And, I think President Bush's speech of September 12th balanced the agenda, and it was a leadership speech that said this is a problem that we have to solve, and if I were not here demanding that it be solved, it would not be solved. That is the United States at its best. That is President Bush at his best.
But, at the same time, you have got to be a leader that people want to follow. And, I think that requires some straight talk and an open mind about when you are going to war and under what circumstances. So, the ultimatum strategy is exactly right, and I applaud the President for sticking with it.
Mr. WELDON. I thank my colleague and yield the five-minutes time to our distinguished friend from North Carolina, Mr. McIntyre.
Mr. MCINTYRE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for an enlightening and lively discussion. You were talking about uniformed military leaders. I have talked to several, and they are concerned about the overdeployment of troops and stretching thin our troops. There has been a concern about “Is this it? We are in Afghanistan, we go to Iraq. But do not come back to us and say now we have to go to Iran or Syria or somewhere else,” you name the country.
Is this it? I mean, if something flares up somewhere else, are we going to be in a tough situation? And, what is your comment about the stretching of the troops and the deployment?
Dr. COHEN. I guess I think it is a serious concern. The thing actually I am immediately most concerned by are the reserve call-ups and what are going to be some of the long-term consequences for our reservists and national guard folks who are being stretched pretty thin. I do think that the long-term force structure issuebut I also don't think—it makes sense to certainly not to make an issue of this magnitude. This decision that is before you right now hinges on a sense that we are overstretched. We are overstretched, but this is well within the limits of feasibility.
Dr. O'HANLON. I agree with that point by Eliot, but I am not sure this is quite your question. But, if I go through different parts of the world where I think we might have to fight, I would tend to assess the probability as pretty low in most places. I feel somewhat more reassured in that sense. Even though I am not a big proponent of overthrow of Saddam unless absolutely necessary, and I have been the most skeptical voice in this hearing, I still think now is the time to force the issue because I do not see anything else likely to be a competing demand on our forces in the near future.
I can go through the litany, but in Korea I believe the North Koreans in their own unique way are trying to gradually engage. It is still a ruthless regime, it is still not a good regime, but it seems to recognize that war is not its future.
Going down southward, the China-Taiwan situation, I still worry about the dynamics there and the probability of a conflict. But, I think both sides recognize the undesirability of that war happening, and I think they will do what is needed ultimately to avoid it, although I am nervous.
Indo-Pakistani problems would probably not involve us, although there are some scenarios where I could imagine an international stabilization force trying to keep order in Kashmir as an alternative to nuclear war. But, that is a separate hearing, I suppose. I think the odds of that kind of U.S. deployment are relatively small.
If we ever attacked Iran, I don't think it would be for regime change. Personally, I think what is a much more likely scenario is the preemptive action again its nuclear reactors five, seven, ten years from now.
By the way, if we are going to do that, the less we talk about it, the better between now and then. So I will stop myself. But that is not going to be a regime change operation.
And, Syria has already made a decision to gradually disentangle itself from the worst kinds of terrorism. It still does way too much, and we would want to see much better behavior out of Syria and Libya and Sudan than we have seen. But, those three countries are moving toward getting out of the terrorism business, I believe, and they are not linked with al Qaeda any way that I know. Therefore I don't think we are going to have to target them.
So, in the end, I think that we can have the Iraq debate, knowing that this will be, in all likelihood, the only big operation we might undertake in the next few years. Obviously, you have to be
nervous when you make that kind of a prediction, but I feel relatively confident.
Mr. MCINTYRE. Thank you. And the question on Arab cooperation. Many of us who recently have been over to Central Asia have heard the concerns. I know you have discussed several of them today. Do you gentlemen feel like we are getting the cooperation we need from our friends and allies in other Arab countries in the region?
It has been said previously by testimony from that very table that-by Secretary Rumsfeld a couple of weeks ago, that they will be with us at the proper time, and that a lot of them don't want to say much right now. Is that your sense, that we will have the help we need for fly-over rights, for air bases, for use of ports, and the other support facilities and measures?
Dr. COHEN. I guess I tend to think so. I mean, I think if—it all really hinges on whether or not they think we are going to do this no matter what. If they think that we are going to do it, they will not want to be left out at odds with us. I think that is just the way that part of the world works.
They are not going to be taking stands on principle. They will be concerned about their domestic population, so you may not see the kind of visible, overt support that we got in 1991. But we didn't need-frankly, we didn't need all of that support back then, and we certainly don't need it now.
Dr. O'HANLON. I generally agree, Congressman, but I still think the Saudis are the big issue here that we need to think about, because if we went to war tomorrow based on-let's just say, we have had enough of this diplomacy, we have enough trying the inspections route, we are going to war, I am not sure that the Saudis would provide bases and facilities, and going to war without the Saudi infrastructure, I think, would be very regrettable.
In the end, if it is necessary, so be it, but if you just do a simple calculation, for example, on airfields, let's say we need to use 1,000 combat aircraft. There was a very good study just done by Chris Buoy published by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments that basically said you can put about fifty combat jets on a given airfield in wartime. So, if you have 1,000 airplanes, we need 20 airfields.
Now, if you add up all of the airfields in Turkey and in Kuwait, and Qatar, and in Bahrain, and in the United Arab Emirates you are probably up around 14, 12, somewhere in that general vicinity. And, if you throw in aircraft carriers, okay, we are starting to get into the ballpark. But, that is at a maximum, if everybody else says yes; we can just barely get up to the general vicinity of where we want to be. And, some of those airfields are not that well developed. And, moreover, to send Army forces in through just the one port in Kuwait City is going to basically mean you are going to have ten ships in line waiting to unload. You are going to be unloading about one ship a day, and you have got to unload somewhere between, conservatively speaking, 30 and 50 ships to really be ready for that kind of a war. So, you are talking just a month and a half of unloading a ship a day in Kuwait City harbor.
We don't want to do that. We want the Saudis, and we want not just their airspace, which is almost necessary, but we want their
ports and their airfields. And, without them, I am very nervous about this.
So, that is one more reason why I support the President's ultimatum and U.N. strategy, because I think it has a much better chance to get the Saudis aboard.
Dr. COHEN. If I can just add to that. I agree, but I also try to think about it from the point of the Saudi prince. If I thought the Americans were going to do this anyhow, and as Michael, I think, has correctly pointed out, they can sort of pull it off without us, how would I feel about a world in which there is now a pro-American regime in Iraq, and my name is mud with the United States, and I tried to thwart them? Would I be happy about living in that kind of world with this large American client sitting to my north and a deeply hostile American regime? I don't think so.
So, I think there will be some accommodation, which may not be everything that we want, but it will be a lot of what we want.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you. I would now defer to the distinguished ranking member for any additional questions that he would have.
Mr. SKELTON. One last question. And let's revisit the United Nations. I feel that we have to have support of the United Nations. And, the resolution negotiated with the White House supports the President's efforts at the United Nations, but doesn't require additional action by Congress if the U.N. chooses not to authorize force.
So, where do we go from here? What is the appropriate way of linking United States action to the United Nations?
Dr. COHEN. I would say we—there are two ways. First, I think you can argue, if you look at—we don't have the time to go through the text of the various U.N. resolutions since 1990, 1991. There is authorization there for the use of force. So, you know, I think from a narrow technical point of view, and I think this was really the gist of the President's September 12th speech, the authorization is there.
But I agree that it would be a good thing. I do not feel it is an absolutely essential thing to have, say, the support of the Security Council in doing this, and I think it is possible that we won't get the support of the Security Council.
But, again, very much along the lines of my response about Saudi Arabia, if people think it is going to happen no matter what, the tendency will be to try to find a way to negotiate language which we can live with, and that they can live with, not out of being gracious to us, but as a way of hoping to exercise some control over us. In other words, it will be in their interest, too, to come up with an agreement. So, ironically, the more determined we look, I think the more likely—the more determined we look to do it even alone, the more likely we are to get the support that we want.
Dr. O'HANLON. On the bottom line, Congressman, I do agree with Eliot. I think that Congress should not insist on a separate second debate in the event that U.N. support is unsuccessful and not forthcoming, because I think we want to send a message to the U.N. right now: This country will do what is necessary to deal with the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.
But, at the same time, the Congress needs to keep pushing the administration, because we know the administration is divided in