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may apply to other nations than Iraq, some of whom were not named as part of the axis of evil, but have a vested interest in the demise of the West; and we may be desiring to send them a message with a strike against Iraq, but if I can offer a somewhat different rationale for, once again, you to possibly comment on.
In your statement you tal about what hink may be a case for military action against any foreign country that attempts to undermine the most prominent political institutions of another country, and that is, as you pointed out in April of 1993, there was what we believe an assassination attempt of a former head of state of the United States of America by Iraq. I think it is undermining of our fundamental political arrangement in this country for other countries to believe that they may frighten the United States as a whole, and officeholders specifically, into particular behavior once they leave office if they have not done something which a foreign power believes is in that foreign power's best interest. If we would like to send a message to any potential enemy that we will not abide by this type of attack against our most fundamental institutions of government, I can actually see a reason to do that; and I was puzzled why in 1993 we didn't send that message more profoundly than we did.
So if you could address those three issues: the issues of the declaration of war, why some nations may not feel as threatened as they have in the past and then, finally, the idea of a different rationale for changing the regime in a country that has undermined our political institutions.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Congressman, thank you so much.
With respect to the declaration of war, I am trying to refresh my memory, but I don't believe we have had a declaration of war in this country since World War II; and we have been through Korea, Vietnam, Haiti, you know, Panama, one thing and another, a whole series of things. There are a lot of—I am no lawyer, and there are a lot of legal implications to a declaration of war and considerations that need to be taken into account. Clearly, over decades, the changes in our world circumstance have been such that successive Presidents of both political parties and successive Congresses have made a judgment that a declaration of war was either not necessary or inappropriate or both; and I am most certainly not the best person to go into the reasons for all those. My recollection is that the reasons were different in different circumstances. So, I would just leave it there.
With respect to Israel, thank goodness they did go in and take out the Iraqi nuclear capability when they did. Intelligence communities of the world were flat wrong as to how advanced their capabilities were, and were dumbfounded when they got on the ground after Desert Storm and found out that their estimates were wrong by a great deal. Instead of multiples of years, it was less than one or less than two years before they would have had that capability.
I don't know quite how to respond to your-oh, I should say, also, the neighbors are frightened of Saddam Hussein today. Let there be no doubt. And if one privately sat down with the leading Israelis, they would—they are concerned about the weapon of mass destruction capabilities of Iran, which are being developed as we sit here; of Iraq; of Syria, that is engaged in testing chemical weapons on almost a quarterly basis; of Libya; and they are attentive-the neighbors in that region are attentive and deeply concerned, let there be no doubt.
You are right. There is something about an assassination attempt that—or accomplished—that goes so fundamentally to a country's structure and the way it governs itself that it is something that should be taken quite seriously. Thank you.
Mr. HUNTER. The gentleman from Maine, Mr. Allen.
Mr. ALLEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman; and thank you, Mr. Secretary and General Myers, for being here today.
Mr. Secretary, I agree with you that the disarmament is the goal and that inspections are just a means to that goal. But I want to explore a little bit further the issue that Mr. Meehan was raising about—which is really ultimately comes down to whether the administration's goal is to eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction or to replace Saddam Hussein; and let us test it this way.
If you assume that a new, robust inspections regime is able to satisfy the administration that Iraq has effectively dismantled, given up its weapons of mass destruction, I don't think that would happen without a change in position in the Iraqi-a change in position in the Iraqi regime, but let us assume you get there. Would that satisfy the administration's goals in Iraq?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Assuming you get where?
Mr. ALLEN. Assume you get to a place where you are satisfied that, through a combination of Iraqi cooperation and a robust inspections regime, that you get to a place where you are satisfied as an administration that Iraq has effectively dismantled and disarmed its weapons of mass destruction, but Saddam Hussein is still in power, would that
Secretary RUMSFELD. Boy, that is a reach.
Mr. ALLEN. It is a reach, I know. I grant you this is a hypothetical, but sometimes we get places by asking hypotheticals.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Sure.
Mr. ALLEN. If that happens, would that satisfy the administration's goals?
Secretary RUMSFELD. The Congress, of course, has adopted a policy for the United States of America for regime change, and I don't know that—are you suggesting that if there was the certainty of disarmament because of a regime that was so incredibly intrusive, that notwithstanding a regime that was against disarmament you were able to achieve disarmament, would Congress then want to change the law and back away from a regime change?
Well, the problems with the regime are, as you point out, weapons of mass destruction and the fact that they won't disarm. There is also a repression of their own people. They are also threatening their own neighbors and those other things that I suppose led the Congress to pass a statute favoring regime change.
Mr. ALLEN. If I could make two points. My question was not about what Congress might or might not do. I grant you that is hard to determine. My question was really about the administration and what the administration's policies would be.
There are lots of dictators that we have allowed to continue in operation around the globe. We haven't set a policy of replacing them all, but it is really—I am trying to get at where the administration is with respect to weapons of mass destruction. I grant you it is a reach to assume that there is a change in position of the current Iraqi regime, but if there were, would that be enough?
Secretary RUMSFELD. That, of course, is a judgment not for the Secretary of Defense of the United States. It is a judgment for the President and the Congress.
Mr. ALLEN. Let me ask one follow-up, then. If Saddam Hussein believes that we are determined to take him out no matter what he does, what reason does he have to cooperate in any measure?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, he always has the opportunity to flee. He always has the opportunity, as he has tried to, to persuade people that he is a changed leader. And he tries and he fails because he isn't a changed leader. I guess you know the answer to that as well as I do. He can do what he will, and he does.
What reason does he have to cooperate? Well, if I were he, I would have plenty of reasons to cooperate. I wouldn't want to be threatening my neighbors. I wouldn't want to be developing these weapons to threaten the world. I wouldn't want to be dealing with terrorist states. So he would have plenty of reasons for cooperating. But you are suggesting that I am supposed to answer for somebody who thinks so fundamentally different than you or I. It is hard.
Mr. ALLEN. I grant you. Can I ask you one unrelated quick questionMr. HUNTER. Let me just tell the gentleman, we have got about 45 minutes left with the Secretary, and we have about 15 members yet who have questions, so if the gentleman could make it very quick.
Mr. ALLEN [continuing). Very quick, because I think I know the answer. Has the administration given any thought of how to pay for the war? Larry Lindsey said it might be $100 to $200 billion. Have you had any conversations about how to pay for it?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Sure, we have.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, needless to say, what one would do is—it is not knowable what a war or a conflict like that would cost. You don't know if it is going to last two days or two weeks or two months. It certainly isn't going to last two years, but it is going to cost money. And the cost compared to 9/11 is so insignificant compared to the loss of lives, compared to the billions of dollars that were lost in material things and in market values and in disruptions in people's lives and not being able to fly or go places or do things, in the concerns of families. And it would be modest, to be
Mr. ALLEN. Thank you very much.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Other countries undoubtedly would contribute, just as other countries are contributing currently to the global war on terrorism.
Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Chambliss, the gentleman from Georgia.
Mr. Secretary and General Myers, unlike our earlier guests, I am not undecided. I know that you gentlemen care deeply about the men and women that serve under you, and you are not about to put those men and women in harm's way unless it is absolutely
necessary, unless there is a security interest of the United States at risk. I thank you for the great job you have done, the great job you are doing today; and I hope you will pass that on to all your troops out there, General.
General MYERS. We will do that.
Mr. CHAMBLISS. Mr. Secretary, you alluded earlier to the fact that there are other nations that we know to be terrorist-sponsoring nations who have manufactured and stockpiled weapons of mass destruction. You referred to the other two countries in the axis of evil, Iran and North Korea. You also mentioned Syria and Libya. Is there ongoing conversation that we know of between those countries and Iraq with respect to weapons of mass destruction?
Second, what would be your thought on citizens or nationals of those terrorist-sponsoring countries who have weapons of mass destruction participating as members of an inspection team going into Iraq looking for weapons of mass destruction?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, there is no question but that Iraq has relationships with countries that are on the terrorist list. They also have relations with terrorist networks. They also have al Qaeda currently in the country, among others. Abu Nidal—they say he committed suicide with four or five slugs to his head. That is a hard thing to do, but he was in Iraq. So there is no question about those relationships.
As far as those people—the current so-called U.N. Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Regime (UNMOVIC), as I understand it and looked at it last time, does not have any people who are representatives of their own countries. It is currently to be which is unlike UNSCOM, which did have people who were representing their countries serving on those teams. The people that are, I believe, on the inspection team that is currently in place are all U.N. employees from a host of different countries, and we would have no control whatsoever over what countries they happen to be from, because they are U.N. employees. That would be something that would be decided by the UN, not a happy prospect.
Mr. CHAMBLISS. Does that give you cause for concern?
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman; and thank you both for being here, not only for all your service the last couple years, but just for sitting through this ordeal. The committee keeps growing each year, and it just makes your ordeal longer each year.
I just want to make one comment first about your goal of disarmament. I think that that is the correct way to phrase it.
When Dr. Kay was here the other day, he made the comment that in his first few years he wished he had the authority to issue green cards, that it would have made his work a lot easier. That may be something we need to consider now, perhaps even with military, that if a scientist and his family can get safely out of that country, not only will they not be contributing to that program, but they may have information to give. Because the reality is, if this U.N. thing should work, and I realize it is a long shot, disar
mament, their industrial base will be intact, and it can easily be converted, and getting the scientists out may be every bit as important as destroying the armaments.
I want to ask specifically, Mr. Secretary, about the issue of the congressional resolution coming up—well, I guess it is coming up. For months now the White House and Mr. Wolfowitz and then you yourself today have stated that the President has not yet made a decision regarding military force. One could make the argument that if the President has not yet decided regarding making military force, that the American people would be better served if their Congress is not asked to pass a resolution authorizing military force as the best route to go until the Commander in Chief has made that choice.
I know for some members the issue of whether the United States essentially goes alone versus goes as part of a U.N. force with the broad support of the international community is perhaps the key issue, and yet if we are asked to decide that the next week or two before this U.N. process and all its convolutions and how it moves so slowly, if it is not yet resolved a lot of members are not going to have that information. Help me understand why it is necessary to have the Congress pass a resolution, when the Commander in Chief has not yet made that decision, knowing that we could come back even after adjournment-if the Commander in Chief says come back, we will come back.
Secretary RUMSFELD. The President has said time is not on our side. He said the one option we have—do not have is to do nothing. He has been very clear.
Personally, I cannot imagine that we could consider the key issue for the United States as to how it is going to provide for the security of the American people to be dependent, hinged on, rooted in what the United Nations and the coalition forces may or may not do. I just think that we have an obligation as Americans to look at our circumstance clearly, to try to get international support, which we are doing up at the UN, but to believe that, absent that, absent some particularized U.N. resolution, we should do nothing, I think clearly goes fundamentally against what the President said. Because he believes the one option we don't have is to do nothing. So I don't think that that
You could reverse it. Why wouldn't the U.N. say, the world say, Gee, until the Congress does something, why should we do anything? And then you have got this Alphonse and Gaston.
My view of the world is that what leadership does is it decides what it believes to be the circumstance, it states the case, it provides a direction, and it goes out and tries to persuade Members of Congress and nations of the world as to what we believe is the right thing. Mr. SNYDER. I understand that
Secretary RUMSFELD. There will be no doubt that there will be other countries assisting the United States of America in the event that the United States of America decides that that is the only course available.
Mr. SNYDER. I understand your comments about leadership. My question was motivated by the fact that you again today stated