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necessary with respect to Iraq, there is no doubt in my mind but that the effort would be undertaken with partners, as in a coalition, as you raised in your question.
I feel the same way about a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, that it would be clearly a coalition, conceivably a U.N. role, but it would require over a period of time some military forces while that country transitioned from a repressive and vicious dictatorship to something notably different from that.
On the one hand, there is broad agreement with those that have been discussing this question that Iraq should be a single country and not be broken up into pieces; second, that it should be a country that does not have weapons of mass destruction, a country that does not attempt to impose its will on its neighbors, a country that is respectful of the fact that it is ethnically diverse and is not a central government that would repress minorities in that country.
The numbers of troops that it would take in the early period I don't think it is probably useful to discuss in this forum. It is interesting to go back to the Gulf War. The Iraqi army demonstrated its attitude about Saddam Hussein when 70 or 80,000 members of the Iraqi army surrendered and changed sides almost instantaneously within a matter of days, some hundreds surrendering to single soldiers because they have no great respect for their leadership in that country.
The going to the next step and beginning to talk about democracy or things like that is a step I can't go, because it seems to me that what is important is in that transition period it would be important for the Iraqi people in Iraq and people—–Iraqis from outside Iraq who have been persecuted to participate in fashioning what would follow, and clearly it has to be something that would be not a dictatorship and would be respectful of minority rights in the country and the rule of law and respect for his neighbors.
What that template_might be is beyond my task, and clearly it is something that the President and the Secretary of State, the Department of State and other countries in the coalition would be thinking through.
But the answer to your last portion of your question as to whether or not the United States would have to make a military in the short run and a diplomatic and humanitarian and reconstruction effort in the longer term, the answer is “Yes, one would.” One doesn't change what is without recommending something better.
The difference between this and Afghanistan, however, is that this is a country that has large oil revenues. So from a financial standpoint, it is an easier problem for the international community than a country that has been devastated by decades of conflict and does not have oil revenues to help buoy it up and bolster its recovery.
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you very much.
Mr. HANSEN. I thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the comments by the Secretary and the General.
Mr. Skelton hit on a very tantalizing question there. What is going to happen if that does occur, who fills the void. It makes you wonder if there is someone in the wings there to do it like we saw
in Iran, back in that era. We have seen in other nations that somebody is waiting to do it.
The question that I would kind of be curious about is also there is always a question there is another nation that feels that we brought her to her knees and now we can take over. You know, that is a very volatile area, and there has been some very tremendous battles between Iraq and Iran before, and I would wonder how the Administration would look at a situation, wondering if the southern nation of Iran would say, "No, well, now, here is our chance," and how you would handle that?
I guess you have possibly answered part of that when you said yes, it would require a military presence at that particular point just to make sure that didn't occur.
You know, a lot of us on this committee get awfully tired of our military being in Korea for 50 years and Kosovo and Bosnia, and it just seems how do you ever get out of these places, how do you do that?
And the second thing I would be curious to know, having been to the Prince Sultan Air Base a couple of times, what would be the reaction of the Saudis? I have read a few things that they have kind of said they would be willing to let us use that base. I would kind of like to hear it from your mouth.
Secretary RUMSFELD. First, with respect to Bosnia and Kosovo, we have been pulling our forces down over the past couple of years fairly significantly. We have been doing it with our NATO partners and partnership-for-peace countries that have been participating, and the way you end something is to decide you do not want to be there permanently, and we know that we covet no other country's land. We are not looking to occupy any country. Our goal is to be helpful and then go about our business. The way you do that in the case of Kosovo and Bosnia has been to help build up the civil side, and what we are going to have to do in Afghanistan is see a lot more international support on the humanitarian side and the civil works side so that the security situation will continue to improve.
In the case of Iran, the small clique of clerics that are running that country I think have their hands full right now. They have a lot of foment in that country. People are unhappy, and women and young people are putting pressure on the leadership. And while one has to be attentive to all the things that could conceivably happen, I think that the likelihood of what you have suggested is somewhat less than modest.
Saudi Arabia speaks for itself. They have said what they have said. Every utterance publicly and privately that I have heard in the last several weeks have been increasingly—what is the word?friendly, supportive, measured. They live in the neighborhood. Saddam Hussein has a vastly more powerful army than Saudi Arabia does. He has weapons that Saudi Arabia does not have. He threatened Saudi Arabia when he was invading Kuwait, and so they have been measured, but I would characterize, in answer to your question, their public and private comments as recognizing a good number of the things that I have characterized here today.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman. The gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. Spratt.
Mr. SPRATT. Mr. Chairman, General Myers, thank you very much for your testimony. Mr. Secretary, you have described yourself as a skeptic on the efficacy of inspections. Let me make a case, though, for what inspections did achieve, at least in the first half of the 1990s, when ÜNSCOM was there. They uncovered and dismantled 40 nuclear research facilities, including three uranium enrichment facilities and a laboratory scale plutonium separation plant. That was in the mid-1990s. As late as May of 2000, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) found and destroyed an Iraqi nuclear centrifuge which was stored in Jordan, and they also removed a lot of reactor fuel, fresh and irradiated.
On the chemical weapons side, they uncovered and destroyed 38,500 munitions, 480,000 liters of chemical agents, 1.8 million liters of precursor chemicals and 426 pieces of production equipment. There is still a lot of stuff unaccounted for, but that is a pretty substantial record there. It is at least worth the effort.
As to biological weapons, the issues are more unresolved, but it is my understanding that they found about 19,000 liters of botulin, 8,400 liters of anthrax, 2,000 liters of aflatoxin. They monitored 86 sites. They dismantled one south of Baghdad. They destroyed some biological bombs and some biological missile warheads, and as to missiles, they were able to identify and account for 817 of 819 Soviet-delivered SCUDs, and they destroyed the SCUDs that they were still able to find in the inventory. They speculate that there may be anywhere from 40 and 80 additional SCŪDs that they have been able to cobble together, but that is still a pretty substantial record of success, too.
And with respect to other means of discovering these facilities, if you look at what happened in the Persian Gulf War, we launched 2,400 sorties looking for SCUD missiles. We saw 42 launched plumes. We launched eight preemptive strikes. We didn't take out a single one in the boost phase. So we actually accomplished something here with inspections that we weren't able to do with active combat means.
If inspections are robust, if they are fully backed by the Security Council, unfettered, don't you think there is still something to be accomplished? And in particular, this concerns me. We don't know for sure what they have in the way of biological agents, and we aren't sure how robust their VX—their dusty VX, persistent VX might be. Wouldn't it be worthwhile before we launch an attack and send our young men and women in harm's way if we could get into that country and ferret out and find some of these final stocks so that they won't be used against us?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, first, let me say that no one with any sense rushes into war. It is something that everyone thinks through very, very carefully. And that is why the President has not made a judgment as to precisely what he believes needs to be done. He has laid out the problem and he is looking for ways that it can be dealt with.
You are right about inspections. There is no question but that the inspectors found large numbers of chemical and biological weapons and they found significant nuclear activities. It is also true that when they finished, they came up with a list of things that were unaccounted for that they had had reason to believe ex
isted but they could not find, no matter how long they spentyears. And they tried. And it was a significant amount of chemical and biological capability they could not find.
Now, the Iraqi nuclear program which exists today proceeded at a pace while the IAEA was actually doing their job. And it is a very difficult job to do because, as I said earlier, an inspection regime is designed to work with a cooperative country that has made a decision that they want to actually confess and have the things known, and they work with them. A good deal of what the inspectors found was not because the Iraqi regime was working with them; it was because defectors came outside the country and cued them as to places they could look. And, of course, a couple of the most important defectors who came outside the country were sonsin-laws who went back into the country and were later assassinated by Saddam Hussein. So it is—no one ought to think that inspections don't have a role. And in my opening remarks I indicated I believe they could. The question is, under what circumstances, with what countries, and after what kind of a decadelong record ought one to put their faith in those?
Now, is it conceivable that someone could—of course, the goal is not inspections; the goal, as you point out, is disarmament. Is it possible that you could have a sufficiently intrusive inspection approach that would enable you to disarm that country if the same regime was in there and was determined to try to prevent you from doing that? At that point it is something other than inspectors. It is so intrusive and so powerful that it has the ability to enforce itself. And, of course, that kind of force people generally call something other than inspectors. But
Mr. SPRATT. I think it is important to note the UNSCOM inspectors not only discovered and uncovered, they did destroy what they came up with.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Exactly. No question about it. As you know, the UNSCOM inspection regime is not what exists today. What exists today in UNMOVIC is a series of backtracking off of that because Saddam Hussein says well, you can't go to—you could only inspect military installations, and that puts most of the country off base—you can't do that. And put in restrictions. You had to give notice. And furthermore, they have had another decade to— another period of years to bury under the ground. They now have massive tunneling systems. They have mobile biological capabilities. They have been developing unmanned aerial vehicles, which are worrisome. They have got all kinds of things that have happened in the period when the inspectors had been out. So the problem is greater today and the regime that exists today in the U.N. is one that has far fewer teeth than the one you were describing.
Mr. SPRATT. Thank you, sir.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you, Mr. Secretary. You did a wonderful job I think of anticipating a lot of our questions and laying it out. And I appreciate that. We know Saddam Hussein is a bad guy, a terrible guy, probably a psychopath, but I don't know that anyone has said he is stupid.
Do you have any hope at all that if there is renewed pressure by the United States and the United Nations through resolutions or
whatever, that the guy is going to say—you know, it has been my sense that his bottom line is he wants to stay in power. He knows what we can do to him. Do you have any hope at all that he will say, well, I got to take another course if I am going to stay in power, this isn't working?”
Secretary RUMSFELD. As long as he has options, he will certainly take the best options he can find. And it seems to me that it is the task—and the President put it before the international community—that the task for the international community, if we want the United Nations to be relevant and their resolutions recognized as having some specific density, then what we have to do is to dem onstrate to that regime that they don't have a lot of options other than disarming. And you know, is it possible he could wake up one morning and decide he wants to go live with Baby Doc Duvalier or Idi Amin or one of the former dictators of the world or some country of choice? Who knows? He clearly won't do that of choice.
If his next best choice is to stay there and acquiesce in everything that is requested of him, he has certainly given no indication of that in his background. And you are quite right, he is not stupid. I have met him and talked to him and spent time with him. And he is a survivor, and he is a brutal, vicious dictator.
Mr. HEFLEY. Would you comment as far as you can in an opening hearing on the strength of their military at this point? I guess have—well, Bill Clinton said the other night on the Letterman show, he thought a couple weeks of bombing, a week of ground forces, and it would be over. I don't know if we can be that optimistic.
One of the things I had concern about is that theif we attack him, he showed in the Persian Gulf War that he will send missiles to Israel—if he sends dirty bombs to Israel, we know he has them, we know he has the capability of delivery. If he does that, I don't think we restrain Israel this time and they will just back off and say, “Well, we will take it.” Maybe they will. And then what does that do to our situation there in the whole Middle East? Do we have the capability do you think of hitting him hard enough, fast enough, and in the right places to see that he is incapable of doing that kind of thing?
How strong-I understand that the Republican Guards, that he fairly recently has purged their leadership, they are not too keen on him either, so that might not be a great strength for him this time. But we hear so many things that I don't know what is true and what is not.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, we have to begin questions like that, of course, with the fact that the President has made no recommendation at this stage with respect to using military force in Iraq. He has said what he has said.
There is no question but that Saddam Hussein's military capability today is less than it was during Desert Storm, and is also no question but that the capability of the United States is considerably greater than it was during Desert Storm in terms of lethality. And there is also no question but that, as General Myers said, the United States is capable of doing those things that the country decides it would like it to do.