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very clearly the President has not yet made up his mind about military force, and yet we are being asked to.
I would say—I know the President made this comment the other day, too, about why would any Member of Congress up for re-election defer to the UN, but it is a more complicated issue than that. As General Clark has pointed out in some of his writings recently, General Wesley Clark, the potential impact of the United States going alone, if we had to go alone, if we chose that route, on international cooperation on our war against al Qaeda—so, I mean, it is a balancing of risks and looking at factors.
I think for certain Members of Congress, I think probably a fair number and fair number of constituents back home, the issue of whether we go alone or not, it is more than just us going along and being a part of the UN. It is its impact on the international cooperation on the war on al Qaeda. As you stated earlier, we all get in trouble by oversimplifying.
Thank you again for your service.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman.
Mr. Secretary, I do appreciate you being here. I know you have
Do you view a regime change as a net of self-defense, a regime change in Iraq as an act of self-defense of this country?
Secretary RUMSFELD. I have wrestled with what is self-defense; and when we are dealing with terrorism and the fact that they can attack at any time at any place against any technique and you want defend it every time and every place against every technique, the only way you can defend yourself is by going after the terrorist. In this case, it seems to me that when you use the phrase “regime change,” if one believes that it is possible to leave the regime and eliminate the threat, then clearly you don't need to change the regime. But self-defense does require, I believe, the ability to prevent a terrible attack on our country.
Mr. GRAHAM. You do view the Iraqi regime, obviously, as a threat. But that is a big question to me. If it is a matter of selfdefense, you don't need the U.N. to sanction
Secretary RUMSFELD. Of course not. The U.N. charter provides for every country to provide for their own defense.
Mr. GRAHAM. Well, why don't we just be honest with people? Everybody in the administration has been telling us that Saddam
Hussein has to go. That is what the gentleman's question was about. No matter what we do with inspections—we had two weapons inspectors in here said that it is really a joke. You will never find what you need to find. They are masters at deception.
We just need to level with people here in this country and in the world. Post 9/11, we view Saddam Hussein as a threat to this country, period. And if that is the case, when we go consult our allies and consult the U.N. we should tell them that is our view. I think there are some mixed messages going on here, and I think we need to be very clear with the American public and with our allies.
In that regard, General Myers, you said early on that you could do whatever was asked of you by the President and the Congress. Do you need any allies that we don't have today to accomplish a regime change by force if you were directed to do so?
General MYERS. I think clearly for lots of reasons, but from a military standpoint, it is preferable to have those allies and friends that want to be with you. As the Secretary said, we have people that we know today would be with us if we were asked to do that.
Mr. GRAHAM. So the answer is, if you were directed by the appropriate authorities in this country to implement by force a regime change, you could do that?
General MYERS. In that hypothetical case, absolutely.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Let me say just one word about this mixed message. I personally don't think so. I think the President's speech was very straightforward.
Mr. GRAHAM. Well, I understand, but here is the mixed message part of it. If we do believe it to be an act of self-defense, as I do, then the whole idea of going to the U.N. to get approval and pass a resolution to defend yourself is not necessary, legally or morally.
Secretary RUMSFELD. It is not necessary, and the President in fact said that.
Mr. GRAHAM. The fact that he is doing it I don't object to, but we are going to find ourselves in a situation here soon where the letter received from Iraq is going to create greet confusion over there. What I would like to hear from you, if possible, is that you will promise the American people we will not let U.N. politics prevent us from defending ourselves as we see fit.
Secretary RUMSFELD. I think the President in his speech made very clear that the one choice we have do not have is to do nothing. I would say that I agree completely that having other countries aboard is a help and it is desirable and it is worth trying to get them, and we are trying and we are being successful.
Mr. GRAHAM. But make sure I have got this right, and I will shut up. There is no ally presently unavailable to us to accomplish the mission of regime change if directed by the President or the appropriate authority. Is that still the case, General Myers?
General MYERS. I will just stick with my statement. We are—the United States military armed forces is ready to respond to whatever the
Mr. GRAHAM. You don't know of anybody that we need waiting on the U.N. to bless this deal?
General MYERS. I will just defer to the Secretary on the U.N. piece of that.
U.S. POLICY TOWARD IRAQ
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES, Washington, DC, Wednesday, September 18, 2002. The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:05 a.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Duncan Hunter presiding. OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. DUNCAN HUNTER, A
REPRESENTATIVE FROM CALIFORNIA Mr. HUNTER. The committee will come to order. Today the Committee on Armed Services continues its review of United States policy toward Iraq. This morning's hearing marks a second of a number of planned public sessions designed to educate and inform the committee and the American people on the various issues surrounding Iraq's continued violation of numerous United Nations (U.N.) resolutions, its illicit development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and the threat that Saddam Hussein poses to the United States, the Middle East and the international community.
And I might let my colleagues know that this hearing in this series of hearings we have been having and will continue to have are being put forth at the direction of our chairman, Bob Stump. I talked to Bob just a little bit ago and Bob is doing well. He is still under the weather and undergoing some tests, but he gives his best to every member of the committee and every Member of the House and to you, Mr. Secretary, and wishes he could be with us.
Last week the committee received a classified briefing from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). In fact, we just concluded another briefing I think some 86 Members of the House attended just a few minutes ago. We also heard from former senior U.N. Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) inspectors, about Iraq's illicit weapons programs and Saddam Hussein's persistent efforts to thwart the efforts of the UN inspectors so that he might persevere and advance his weapons of mass destruction programs.
Tomorrow the Armed Services Committee will hear how the Iraqis built and sustained their weapons of mass destructions programs through the legal and illegal acquisition of Western technology, and how the United States's own export control system may have contributed to the problems we are now facing with Iraq. We also continue to plan further hearings for the coming weeks that will examine in greater detail the various aspects of the policy options before us.
Today, however, we are honored to have Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld before the committee to discuss U.S. policy toward Iraq. He is the first cabinet-level official to appear on the Hill regarding Iraq, so we are all anxious to discuss these matters with him today.
Secretary Rumsfeld is joined by General Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Welcome, gentlemen. Thank you for being with us.
Mr. Secretary, before we ask you for your opening remarks, I want to invite Mr. Skelton, the distinguished gentleman from Missouri, the ranking Democrat on the committee, to offer any comments he might have.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hunter can be found in the Appendix on page 137.)
STATEMENT OF HON. IKE SKELTON, A REPRESENTATIVE
FROM MISSOURI, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Mr. SKELTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and Mr. Secretary, general, we welcome you, and we look forward to your testimony today. This is certainly a critical time for us to be considering American action against Iraq. President Bush has made clear to Congress, to the United Nations and the American people his determination to remove Saddam Hussein from power and to neutralize the threat posed by the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and I applaud his realization that the threat posed by Saddam Hussein is one that faces the United Nations as a whole, and I think all agree that Saddam Hussein is a despot who has violated the Security Council's resolutions for years.
But having recognized the central role of the United Nations, we must take seriously its collective judgment about how to enforce these resolutions. I am not suggesting that Congress will or should only consider an option fully supported by the United Nations, but the administration must be able to answer fundamental questions about any decision to use force. Why must action be taken now? What is the threshold beyond which the United States can no longer wait for Iraqi compliance with Security Council resolutions or for UN action in the face of Iraqi defiance? The decision to act with or without the United Nations. I have wrestled with a series of questions which, I have shared with the President. Exercising our constitutional responsibilities requires Congress to take into account not only these near-term considerations of how to act, but also the long-term implication for American security interests globally of using military force against Iraq.
Some of these questions have to do with waging the broader war on terrorism. How will the United States ensure that we continue to have international support for our efforts against al Qaeda? Even if the Administration seeks military action without Security Council approval, do we have the forces, fiscal resources, munitions and other military capabilities to wage both campaigns effectively? How is the United States preparing to deal with likely Iraqi efforts to draw Israel into the conflict by launching missiles, possibly with chemical or biological warheads? What type of planning is going into succeeding in sustaining an urban operation or operations on the battlefield made toxic by chemical weapons?