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ed was calculated, and it was something less than 50. It was something less than one for each state. And it was based not on historical state lines, but it was based on population centers and geography and the ability to move these things around where needed.
The counter to that was that some people said, well, every state ought to have one. And they did not have a similar study that said that the additional cost would provide a benefit that merited that cost. And when one is looking at the difference between shipbuilding and the difference between chemical-biological units and antiterrorists and force protection and all of those things, they tend to make calculations about where those funds can be best invested.
Now, that is not to say that any state can't have one themselves, if they want one themselves. They can do it. But at the moment, in terms of priorities, the plan, the study that went forward, I am advised, reflected the best judgment of the people who understand these things as to how the coverage of our country could be best employed.
Second, with respect to Reserve forces and the National Guard, you are quite right, they represent an enormous fraction of our total capability. And you are also quite right that they were activated in large numbers in the Gulf War.
Clearly, all the discussion about the President coming to the Congress and seeking a resolution, the President going to the United Nations, helping them understand the circumstance, security circumstance we are in takes away any strategic surprise for Saddam Hussein. He is going to be watching what happens and making his calculations and his judgments. That does not mean that you have lost all tactical surprise, but you certainly have lost a strategic surprise, so to speak.
I disagree completely that there should be a complete activation prior to a vote in the Congress. I mean, we already have 70,000 reservists activated and we already have 20,000-plus people on stop losses who are not leaving the service. And we have got a very sizable force. And there is no question but that we would have to activate the Reserves for various functions and the National Guard, depending on what decisions are made. But I think it would be a fundamental mistake to think that it had to precede some kind of a vote.
Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Secretary, if I could, you made allusion to the Dark Winter scenario study done by Senator Nunn and others. One of the things it talked about was simultaneous biological attacks on a number of cities. One of the things that my friend from New Jersey has pointed out as recently as September 11th of last year, when the attacks occurred in New York and his home State of New Jersey asked for one of those weapons of mass destruction teams from other states to participate, the answer from the Governors was “No, we are going to take care of our own.”
As you so correctly pointed out, do we have to wait to be burned before we address this? Even if we started to, those teams aren't ramped up for at least 18 months to 2 years. But a journey of 61,000 miles starts with a single step. We have to start now.
If you really believe that the Iraqis possess these weapons of mass destruction and have the intention to use them, why do we delay a single day in ramping up these teams so that every state has some degree of protection and every state has some degree of training and we know that the responders don't themselves die when they go to find out what happened? At least they have the equipment. Because I think it is safe to say that if there were only 18 chemical-biological suits in the city of New Orleans, I doubt there are 18 chemical-biological suits in the entire State of Mississippi.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Correct me if I am wrong, but is this a Department of Defense-controlled matter or is it Homeland Security?
General MYERS. I think there are pieces in both places. If I—the only thing I recall for first responders I think is, as Governor Ridge has said, first responders should be the civilians, and then we fold in where they cannot handle the task. And I think that is the policy.
Mr. TAYLOR. General, with all due respect, this is an attack on the American people. It is not a flood, it is not a tornado.
Second thing is, the cities are not equipped for this. The city of New Orleans has over 1 million people. They have got 18 hazardous material suits and the people who know how to respond to this, 18 out of 1 million. And they are better prepared than most cities in the South. This is a national defense priority. I would certainly hope that you all would make it a national defense priority. And let's not wait to be burned before we respond to it.
General MYERS. I think, Congressman, one of the things that the Department has done that is going to be really important in this area is to stand up the new Northern Command, because that is exactly one of the things they have got to address, is the planning and the training and so forth. So those requirements could change over time, no question about that.
Mr. TAYLOR. I ask that you keep an open mind on this, Mr. Secretary.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman. I know this is an important issue and would have to—maybe a follow-up briefing for Mr. Taylor on this. But Mr. McHugh has been waiting to ask his question. We have a few minutes left before the vote.
Secretary RUMSFELD. I will get back to you on that.
Mr. McHUGH. Thank you, gentlemen. Mr. Secretary, welcome; and General Myers, thank you for your service. As has been mentioned here a number of times, it is very difficult to talk about this issue in the open session. All of us have had the opportunity for briefings and I would hope all of us, or certainly most of us, have taken those.
But I get a bit concerned when I hear about, as you noted, Mr. Secretary, the fact that somehow the public record does not in any way justify, legitimatize, or give cause for what we all hope never comes about, and that is military intervention. And I just want to say to those in the audience—and I hope the two active participants in the hearing, in an informal nature earlier, as well take the chance to read your written testimony, Mr. Secretary; because in a very clear way, as you can do so well, it spells out things not off the record-not that we have to make conclusions about or guesses—but the things this regime has done, particularly vis-a-vis the United Nations, that really gives. I think a rational person tttle reason to think that we have many options left.
My father had a couple of sayings. One was, "Fool me once, shame on me; fool me twice, shame on you." That is a popular one. I am not sure what the hell -Fool me 16 times” means, and I hope we don't find out what "Fool me 17 times” means.
The other saying he had—and he would use it towards Saddam Hussein if he were still with us people like that have a motto: “Play ball with me, and I will stick the bat up your nose." He wouldn't say "Nose," but I will clean that up.
It just seems to me that, as I mentioned, the options are becoming less. But let me get off the editorial comment and go to a question. I would be interested, either Mr. Secretary or General Mevers to the extent you can tell us—in Afghanistan, obviously, we had a very active surrogate army in the Northern Alliance involved there. There has been a lot of discussion about the dissident groups, whether they get along or do not get along; the Kurds, the Shiites, et cetera, in Iraq. To what extent would our military action, if it comes about, be predicated upon their involvement, relied upon, their advancement as it was in Afghanistan?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Well, let me start by saying that the Iraqi people are repressed and are being subjugated by that regime. There is no doubt in my mind that the overwhelming majority are anxious to be liberated and be free of that regime. There are Iraqis inside that country by the thousands who feel that way. There are Iraqis outside that country by the thousands who feel that way. There are people in Iraq today who clearly would be helpful, not as well organized in many instances as in the case in Afghanistan, and there are people outside the country who are anxious to be helpful.
I would prefer not to get into numbers, and it would be a notably different situation than Afghanistan, but there is no question but that there would be Iraqis who would be helping to liberate their own country.
Mr. McHUGH. Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Abercrombie.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Just a follow-up. General Meyers, I want to make sure that I understand, because this is for the record, are you actually contending that this Northern Command is going to take over the responsibility for the Nation with respect to terrorist attacks in local communities and first response?
General MYERS. No, absolutely not. That is not what I intended at all. I just said that the roles of the Department of Defense do not change with the stand-up of Northern Command. But for once we will have a command with a commander that will worry about the planning and training for support to lead federal agencies or civil agencies or state agencies in responding to disasters, be they natural or be they terrorist disasters. That is all I said. We will have a command to help find the balance that Congressman Taylor was talking about.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. How is that going to be any different from what is required by the Joint Forces Command right now, other than the fact that you are going to spend $300 million to put it together, just to get it started, so it can start worrying?
General MYERS. I think it is having one person in charge of it. Right now in the Department of Defense you have several people in charge of this. I think putting one person that says, that is my job, to protect the American people.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. You are answering my question by saying that person is going to be in charge. Are they or are they not? The question here is the practical realities involved. Is the Department of Defense going to participate in some way other than consulting? Is the Northern Command supposed to consult with the 50 States? We are already on our way to doing this. The President has already said, or is in the process or has vetoed the supplemental bill that we put forward to try and fund some of these things. Now you have got to make a decision. I don't think you need this Northern Command. I would like to see the $300 million go into financing what Representative Taylor was talking about, so responders can do this under the National Guard all across the country. How is the setup of the Northern Command supposed to aid and assist in one iota what Representative Taylor was putting forward?
General MYERS. I will go back to my original comments, Congressman. Right now in the Department of Defense there are several entities that are responsible for whatever it is the Department of Defense is going to be asked to do to respond to either, as I said, natural disasters or chemical or biological or nuclear attack. What we want to doand we have one entity, then, that is responsible for their defense.
What we want to do is put that responsibility under one command. We think the situation has changed sufficiently; the strategic environment has changed sufficiently not just since September 11th. This is an issue that goes back, as you remember,
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Are the local forces to be in charge, General, or is the Northern Command supposed to be in charge of I guess, national civil defense?
General MYERS. As I said, the roles of the Department of Defense will not change; in most cases will be in support of lead Federal agencies or other civil agencies, be they State or even more local.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. So the Department of Defense does not intend to fund in any way, shape, or form all of these requirements at the local level.
General MYERS. I don't know what requirements you are talking about.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Okay. You know, the requirements we are talking about is to be able to respond to a terrorist attack, which you contend has to have a Northern Command in order to respond.
General MYERS. The Department is certainly going to fund the parts of that that are the responsibility of the Department and
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. It will fund the Northern Command so that you will have this gigantic new bureaucracy set up initially, drawing on apparently overstaffed other commands, because that is where you are getting the people from. So all the commands now must be overstaffed, because you are able to bring in apparently hundreds of people
General MYERS. Congressman, when we stand this new Northern Command up-I may have to correct this record-my recollection
is it will be the smallest command that we have in the United States Armed Forces. It will be the smallest. As you said, we are not adding people to this. We are taking people from other staff reductions that have been mandated by Congress. By the way, that 15 percent cut-we are going to take the manpower from those positions and put some of those, not all of them, of course, but some of those in this new Northern Command headquarters.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. What are they going to do?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Let me leap in here, if I may, Mr. Congressman.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. By all means, Mr. Secretary.
Secretary RUMSFELD. The Unified Command Plan allocates responsibilities throughout the world. Heretofore, we have not had certain portions of the world covered by a unified or specified commander. They included Russia, the United States, Mexico, Canada, and some other portions, water portions of the world. As we proceeded, we decided that given the changes in the world, we should allocate every portion of the globe to a commander and a command.
The cost for this command is going to come out of other commands. And the idea that it is going to be $300 million and a bunch of people milling around wasting money is just not going to be the case.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Despite the fact-excuse me, Mr. Secretarythat is the way it is proposed right now in the Joint Forces Command budget.
Secretary RUMSFELD. What I said is correct. The change the role of the Department of Defense will not change with respect to the United States of America in this important sense: We are not asking that posse comitatus be changed. We are not suggesting that we go into a role where we are the principal, and other states—state, federal, local agencies support us. We would be functioning as we have in the past, in a supporting role.
The general was exactly correct when he said that at the present time we have got NORAD that functions in a supporting role to some extent. We have got DOMS. The Army manages a whole host of things. We had 5- or 6,000 people at Salt Lake City for the Olympics.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. All of which exists, Mr. Secretary, without a Northern Command, and apparently functioned very well; unless you are saying they have not done a good job to this point.
See, what I am trying to say, Mr. Secretary, is actually we are doing a good job. I can tell you, Hawaii is only one part of the 50State picture which is doing an excellent job of preparing for this, and they have excellent relationships, like with General Smith and the 25th out in Hawaii. The Department of Defense is very well represented and the coordination is already there. What they need is support. And they don't need another command to come in on top of this.
And the question has yet to be answered whether this Northern Command will in any way, shape, or form support what is already being accomplished in all 50 states. How is it to support it other than by standing there nodding its head?