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force against so few targets. So in 1991, we used selected precision weapons from F-1lls, F-117s and A-os on key targets that had to be destroyed. On the rest of the targets, we accepted a lower degree of damage. And, in 1991, our attacks required good weather between the aircraft and its target. In Afghanistan, weather was often not a major factor.
The combat power of our Army and Marine forces has improved as well. We have significantly improved the quality and quantity of Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) with wide-area and GPS aided missiles. Our Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) has significantly improved its fire rate. Our M-1 tanks continue to have the ability to identify and destroy an Iraqi T-72 tank at twice the range that it can identify and fire at our tanks. Our Bradley Fighting Vehicles, equipped with upgraded fire control systems, now have the ability to fire accurately while on the move. The addition of the LONGBOW to Apache helicopter units has given those forces the ability to destroy twice as many enemy vehicles in roughly half the time with improved survivability. Finally, some of our soldiers and Marines now have the JAVELIN fire-and-forget antitank system that adds a dramatic new weapon to their fight. Today, we have made similar improvements to virtually all aspects of our joint team. Through tough, realistic training, our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen are a ready, capable fighting force. Individually, these improvements are significant. Combined, they reflect an improved joint warfighting team. We still have much to do in regards to fully transforming our forces for the 21st Century, but there should be no doubt that, if called upon, our Armed Forces will prevail in any conflict.
Our armed forces are capable of carrying out our defense strategy. We do have sufficient capability to conduct effective operations against Iraq while maintaining other aspects of the War on Terrorism, protecting the US homeland and keeping our commitments in other regions of the world. Our on-going operations require approximately 15 to 20 percent of our major combat units, such as carriers, fighter and bomber aircraft, and heavy and light Army divisions. The chart below reflects the major combat forces currently deployed to operations or committed overseas.
Light Divisions Armored Cav Rgt
13 5 3 7
There are some unique units that are in high demand. Such capabilities
We also have sufficient resources to logistically support our combat operations. For example, our current stockpile of precision weapons has been increased in recent months, due to the solid support of Congress and the tremendous potential of our nation's industrial base. Along with the significant improvements in deployability I mentioned earlier, we continue to exploit the best of logistics information technologies to ensure we know what the combat commander in the field needs, where those supplies are located world-wide, and to track those supplies from the factory or depot to the troops at the front.
Our military planning will include operations to facilitate humanitarian assistance and civil affairs. Our efforts in Afghanistan have demonstrated that these efforts can be as important as conventional operations on the battlefield..
Our ability to accomplish our current missions is predicated on the availability
For these reasons, the Joint Chiefs and I are confident that we can accomplish whatever mission the President asks of our Armed Forces. We are prepared to operate with our coalition partners. As before, we will be prepared to operate in a chemical or biological environment. Every day, our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen have dedicated their lives and their professional skill to protect American lives and our interests worldwide. The men and women wearing the uniform of our Nation have translated the technologies I described into combat power that will allow us to protect Nation and interests. With the support of the American public and Congress, we will prevail in any conflict.
PREPARED TESTIMONY BY U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
DONALD H. RUMSFELD
SEPTEMBER 18, 2002
Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you today.
Last week, we commemorated the one-year anniversary of the most devastating attack our nation has ever experienced - more than 3,000 innocent people killed in a single day.
Today, I want to discuss the task of preventing even more devastating attacks attacks that could kill not thousands, but potentially tens of thousands of our fellow citizens.
As we meet, state sponsors of terror across the world are working to develop and acquire weapons of mass destruction. As we speak, chemists, biologists, and nuclear scientists are toiling in weapons labs and underground bunkers, working to give the world's most dangerous dictators weapons of unprecedented power and lethality.
The threat posed by those regimes is real. It is dangerous. And it is growing with each passing day. We cannot wish it away.
We have entered a new security environment, one that is dramatically different than the one we grew accustomed to over the past half-century. We have entered a world in which terrorist movements and terrorists states are developing the capacity to cause unprecedented destruction.
Today, our margin of error is notably different. In the 20th century, we were dealing, for the most part, with conventional weapons-weapons that could kill hundreds or thousands of people, generally combatants. In the 21st century, we are dealing with weapons of mass destruction that can kill potentially tens of thousands of people - innocent men, women and children.
Further, because of the nature of these new threats, we are in an age of little or no warning, when threats can emerge suddenly-at any place or time, to surprise us. Terrorist states have enormous appetite for these powerful weapons, and active programs to develop them. They are finding ways to gain access to these capabilities. This is not a possibility - it is a certainty. In word and deed, they have demonstrated a willingness to use those capabilities.
Moreover, after September 11th, they have discovered a new means of delivering these weapons-terrorist networks. To the extent that they might transfer WMD to terrorist groups, they could conceal their responsibility for attacks. And if they believe they can conceal their responsibility for an attack, then they would likely not be deterred.
We are on notice. Let there be no doubt: an attack will be attempted. The only question is when and by what technique. It could be months, a year, or several years. But it will happen. It is in our future. Each of us needs to pause, and think about that for a moment- about what it would mean for our country, for our families, and indeed for the world.
If the worst were to happen, not one of us here today will be able to honestly say it was a surprise. Because it will not be a surprise. We have connected the dots as much as it is humanly possible -- before the fact. Only by waiting until after the event could we have proof positive. The dots are there for all to see. The dots are there for all to connect. If they aren't good enough, rest assured they will only be good enough after another disaster- a disaster of still greater proportions. And by then it will be too late.
The question facing us is this: what is the responsible course of action for our country? Do you believe it is our responsibility to wait for a nuclear, chemical or biological 9/11? Or is it the responsibility of free people to do something now- to take steps to deal with the threat before we are attacked?
The President has made his position clear: the one thing that is not an option is doing nothing.
There are a number of terrorist states pursuing weapons of mass destruction-Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, to name but a few. But no terrorist state poses a greater and more immediate threat to the security of our people, and the stability of the world, than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
No living dictator has shown the murderous combination of intent and capability of aggression against his neighbors; oppression of his own people; genocide; support of terrorism; pursuit of weapons of mass destruction; the use of weapons of mass destruction; and the most threatening hostility to its neighbors and to the United States, than Saddam Hussein and his regime.
Mr. Chairman, these facts about Saddam Hussein's regime should be part of this record and of our country's considerations:
• Saddam Hussein has openly praised the attacks of September 19th.
Last week, on the anniversary of 9-11, his state-run press called the
attacks "God's punishment." • He has repeatedly threatened the U.S. and its allies with terror-once
declaring that "every Iraqi (cand become a missile." He has ordered the use of chemical weapons-Sarin, Tabun, VX, and mustard agents - against his own people, in one case killing 5,000 innocent civilians in a
In 1980, they invaded Iran, and used chemical weapons against Iranian
forces. • His regime has launched ballistic missiles at four of their neighbors - Israel, Iran,
Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. • His regime plays host to terrorist networks, and has directly ordered acts of
terror on foreign soil. • His regime assassinates its opponents, both in Iraq and abroad, and has
attempted to assassinate the former Israeli Ambassador to Great Britain, and a
former U.S. President. • He has executed members of their cabinet, including the Minister of Health,
whom he personally shot and killed. • His regime has committed genocide and ethnic cleansing in Northern Iraq,
ordering the extermination of between 50,000 and 100,000 people and the
destruction of over 4,000 villages. • His attacks on the Kurds drove 2 million refugees into Turkey, Syria and Iran. • His regime has brought the Marsh Arabs in Southern Iraq to the point of
extinction, drying up the Iraqi marsh lands in order to move against their
villages-one of the worst environmental crimes ever committed. • His regime is responsible for catastrophic environmental damage, setting fire to
over 1,100 Kuwaiti oil wells. • His regime beat and tortured American POWs during the 1991 Persian Gulf War,
and used them as "human shields." • His regime has still failed to account for hundreds of POWs, including Kuwaiti,
Saudi, Indian, Syrian, Lebanese, Iranian, Egyptian, Bahraini and Omani
nationals - and an American pilot shot down over Iraq during the Gulf War. • His regime on almost a daily basis continues to fire missiles and artillery at U.S.
and coalition aircraft patrolling the no-fly zones in Northern and Southern Iraq, and has made clear its objective of shooting down coalition pilots enforcing UN