HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS
FEBRUARY 25, 1998
Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York, Chairman
WILLIAM GOODLING, Pennsylvania
JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
CHRISTOPHER SMITH, New Jersey
DAN BURTON, Indiana
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
DANA ROHRABACHER, California
DONALD A. MANZULLO, Illinois
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
PETER T. KING, New York
JAY KIM, California
STEVEN J. CHABOT, Ohio
MARSHALL ''MARK'' SANFORD, South Carolina
MATT SALMON, Arizona
AMO HOUGHTON, New York
TOM CAMPBELL, California
JON FOX, Pennsylvania
JOHN McHUGH, New York
LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina
ROY BLUNT, Missouri
KEVIN BRADY, Texas
LEE HAMILTON, Indiana
SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut
TOM LANTOS, California
HOWARD BERMAN, California
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American Samoa
MATTHEW G. MARTINEZ, California
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
ROBERT ANDREWS, New Jersey
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
ALCEE L. HASTINGS, Florida
PAT DANNER, Missouri
EARL HILLIARD, Alabama
BRAD SHERMAN, California
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
STEVE ROTHMAN, New Jersey
BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
BILL LUTHER, Minnesota
JIM DAVIS, Florida
RICHARD J. GARON, Chief of Staff
MICHAEL H. VAN DUSEN, Democratic Chief of Staff
FRANK RECORD, Profrssional Staff Member
KIMBERLY ROBERTS, Staff Associate
C O N T E N T S
Dr. Richard Haass, Director of Foreign Policy Studies, the Brookings Institute
Dr. David Kay, Vice-President of Science Applications International Corporation and Director of the Center for Counterterrorism Technology and Analysis
Dr. Eliot Cohen, Professor of Strategic Studies, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
The Honorable Benjamin A. Gilman, a Representative in Congress from New York, and Chairman, Committee on International Relations
The Honorable Dana Rohrabacher, a Representative in Congress from California
The Honorable Robert Menendez, a Representative in Congress from New Jersey
Dr. Paul Wolfowitz
Dr. Richard Haass
Dr. David Kay, plus attachment
Dr. Eliot Cohen
Additional material submitted for the appendix:
Letter dated 2/25/98 submitted by Congressman Lee Hamilton, plus attachment
U.S. OPTIONS IN CONFRONTING IRAQ
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 1998
House of Representatives,
Committee on International Relations,
The Committee met, pursuant to notice, in room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Honorable Benjamin A. Gilman (chairman of the Committee) presiding.
Chairman GILMAN. [presiding] The Committee will come to order; Members will take their seats.
The subject of today's hearing is U.S. options in confronting Iraq. When we planned this hearing initially, we thought we'd spend most of our time today exploring the risks and rewards associated with military action against Iraq, but the agreement reached in Iraq 2 days ago by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan has changed that equation. Military action remains a distinct possibility down the road, but for the time being, President Clinton has committed our Nation to seek in good faith to implement the agreement negotiated by the Secretary General.
Many of us are skeptical of that agreement. Saddam Hussein has broken his word to the United Nations many times before. Perhaps this time he means to honor his commitments, but we tend to have some skepticism about all of that.
There are several provisions within the agreement that are deeply troubling. It obligates U.N. weapons inspectors to, and I quote, ''respect the legitimate concerns of Iraq relating to national security, sovereignty, and dignity.'' That sounds an awful lot like Saddam Hussein's description of what the dispute was all about in the first place.
The agreement changes the composition and the structure of the U.N. inspection agency in ways that may reduce its effectiveness. The agreement then goes on to direct the reconstituted inspection agency to carry out its work in accordance with, and I quote, ''specific detailed procedures which will be developed, given the special nature of the Presidential sites.''
We don't know just what these specific detailed procedures will be, but if they are designed to respect the legitimate concerns of Iraq relating to national security, to sovereignty, and to dignity, as defined by Saddam Hussein, there's bound to be some problem up ahead.
In that connection, we should recall that during Congress' 1991 debate over whether to authorize President Bush to use military force to expel the Iraqi army from Kuwait, a significant minority of this institution held the sanctions regime in such high regard that they urged us to rely on it to the exclusion of military force as a means most likely to restore freedom to Kuwait.
It would, indeed, be tragic if the net result of the saber-rattling we witnessed over the last several weeks was to speed up the lifting of international sanctions on Saddam Hussein. For all these reasons, many of us were surprised when President Clinton rushed to embrace the agreement negotiated by the Secretary General. Some suggest that the Administration may have developed second thoughts about the military course to which it had been committed previously. Whether that course was a wise one is a subject we hope to explore today.
For example, was the confrontational course adopted by the Administration warranted by changes in Iraqi behavior over the last several months or was Iraq simply behaving as it has since the war ended in 1991? Was the Administration strategy of using air power to coerce Iraq into complying with the Security Council resolutions likely to succeed or would it have isolated us internationally without advancing our objectives in Iraq?
And, finally, I think we all agree that our Nation needs a more comprehensive strategy to deal with the real problem in Iraq, Saddam Hussein's continued grip on power. What are the necessary elements for such a strategy? Does the Secretary General's agreement with Iraq make it easier or harder for us to carry out such a strategy? These are topics that I hope our witnesses will be able to address for us this morning.
Mr. HAMILTON. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I'm very pleased that you're having the hearing, and I look forward to hearing our distinguished witnesses this morning, and welcome each of them to the Committee for that purpose.
I guess all of us have a lot of questions about the agreement that was negotiated, and we clearly are headed for a period of testing to see whether in this instance Saddam Hussein lives up to his word or not. Quite clearly, as your statement reflected, all of us are skeptical, and I think we have a right to be skeptical, about Saddam Hussein's promises and agreements.
We'll all be looking very carefully, of course, in the next few days on the implementation. Words are one thing, and implementation and deeds are quite another, and the key, of course, will be in the implementation. I think our bottom line, which is to have unfettered access to all of the sites, is the right one, and we must continue to insist upon it, as we move along here.
But we have with us today genuine experts on these matters, and I look forward to their testimony.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Hamilton.
Any other Members seeking recognition? Mr. Clement.
Mr. CLEMENT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I'm pleased also with these hearings. I'm also pleased that we have peace rather than bombing or the missiles flying at this particular time. I think that a lot of people around the country were very concerned that we were going to have a military attack. I just think our timing was wrong-a lot of unrest in the world. The economy in the United States is very strong, as a lot of us know, but in other countries they're experiencing high unemployment, high inflation. And because of all this, and knowing that the bombing itself would not necessarily get Saddam Hussein out of power, and knowing also that by destroying much of Iraq's infrastructure, maybe their electrical system, maybe their sewer system, bring about more refugees in the world, and also the fact, what about if we happen to hit one of those chemical/biological agents and 2 to 3 million people in Iraq were killed? What would be the potential for more conflicts in the world and more international terrorism, where the United States is looked upon as the bully or the country that is trying to dominate other nations?
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Clement. Mr. Leach.
Mr. LEACH. Well, maybe this is a good week to discuss a little bit about perspective. And of the perspectives that I think are not inappropriate, one relates to the fact that we institute in a policy in almost a domino way of decisionmaking without, in my judgment, a very clear understanding of what the end result would be. The fact that the U.N. Secretary General stepped in with an agreement is something all of us ought to bear in mind as we think about whether or not we can afford a dollar a year per citizen to support the United Nations in our annual dues. I personally think that the institution of the United Nations, which the Secretary General symbolizes, saved us many, many, many more dollars in 1 week that we would be expending for our annual dues.
Second, as a former foreign service officer, I was part of the delegation that negotiated the Biological Weapons Convention of 1972, and I would stress that I do not believe that this Administration thought very well through the distinction between biological and chemical weapons. As Mr. Clement noted, the possibility of hitting a site with awesome effects is not trivial. Those numbers are inconceivable with a chemical weapon circumstance.
The thing about biological weapons that everyone in the field has understood for many years is that these are agents that are living organisms, and they have no bound. You don't know if they're going to be contained in Iraq or if they're going to spread around the world. So I think this potential strategy is something that was not very deeply thought through, and people are obligated to do it.
There is a second aspect that I think Baghdad ought to give a lot of thought to, and that relates to Richard Nixon. In 1969, President Nixon unilaterally determined that the United States would stop experimenting with biological agents, and he made that determination after a major scientific study in the United States in which it was determined that in the most sophisticated, scientific country in the world that it was too dangerous to even experiment with these agents in careful laboratory conditions; that they were too apt to get out. That is one of the reasons that in a unilateral decision we determined not to go forward with the biological capacity, and I think that that judgment is something that all countries in the world ought to be thinking through.
Finally, let me just say that everybody in international relations knows that a professor of Harvard named Samuel Huntington has fleshed out a thesis that's been around for many decades in international affairs: the whole notion that maybe the world is moving toward a clash of civilizations rather than nation states. My own view is, as we think through the reaction in this country of the Muslim community, as well as look at the reaction in the Arab world, it's not inconceivable that this kind of act that we were very close to contemplating could have been the first circumstance in world affairs where that clash could well have been precipitated. And I just think that all of us ought to give pause to think through what almost occurred and breathe a sigh of relief that it didn't.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Leach. Mr. Lantos.
Mr. LANTOS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, we all know that peace is fragile any place, and it's particularly fragile in the Middle East, and only time will tell whether the agreement negotiated by the Secretary General will hold. The best guarantee of its holding, of course, is the presence of a robust U.S./British military force on the ground and in the air and in the seas. It is much too early at this stage to pass definitive judgment on the outcome of these discussions Mr. Kofi Annan had in Baghdad.
There is one thing, however, which I do not believe is debatable. We are better off today than we were several days ago, and the extraordinary diplomatic skill of this extraordinary international public servant needs and deserves recognition. I am asking my colleagues to join me in nominating Kofi Annan for the Nobel Peace Prize, which he so richly deserves. Other recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize have seen subsequent events snatch away from them the peace they had sought, and that might well be the case with Kofi Annan, but I think all of us, and indeed the entire world, owe him a profound sense of gratitude. A man of impeccable integrity, extraordinary intelligence, and a profound commitment to the finest values of a civilized society has achieved, with the presence of U.S. military force in the region, a remarkable victory, and I hope all of my colleagues across the aisle will join me in nominating him for the Nobel Peace Prize.
I thank the Chair.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Lantos. Mr. Bereuter.
Mr. BEREUTER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I do appreciate the fact that you have scheduled these hearings today, and I look forward to our witnesses, but this is one of those rare opportunities to say a few things about this situation with our colleagues.
One, they had a right to expect that the U.S. Administration-which would be leading such a strike-had thought through all of the potential consequences of the strike and was prepared to deal with those consequences. That was not clear to many Members of Congress; it was not clear to me.
Two, I said I thought they had a right to expect that our government would better inform our citizens and their governments better inform their citizens about the consequences of biological and chemical weaponry. That had not been done, really still has not been done. It was surprising to me to find that, so far, the best spokesman about the incredible dangers of these forms of weapons of mass destruction was Prime Minister Tony Blair when he was here at a news conference.
Three, I said that if we were asking for their support for such a military strike, they had a right to expect, as I think Members of Congress do, that planning was underway at least for removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, because that is ultimately the only solution to this problem. If anyone here believes that he intends to keep his promises or intends not to stall in the inspection process and do everything possible to thwart that inspection process, they have not looked at the record; they don't understand this man. That's what the American people were saying: If you're going to do something in the way of a military strike, let's make sure we're not required to do this, in effect, every several months.
One of my colleagues and I, Howard Berman, visited Israel after that meeting, and there was understandable nervousness and concern on the part of the Israeli people and other people living in Israel at that time-but not panic. After all, they remember that Saddam Hussein lobbed those scud missiles into Israel during the last conflict, even though they did nothing to precipitate it. And so the Jerusalem Post and other newspapers were full of stories about the preparations for protecting themselves against a chemical and biological attack, because we've known now, after looking at what happened in Iraq, that Saddam Hussein had weaponized missiles to deliver chemical and biological weapons even some years ago.
I urge my colleagues to think long and hard about not being lulled into a sense of complacency about this problem. This problem, even if Kofi Annan has pulled off a remarkable feat, is not going to go away.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Bereuter. I'm going to urge my Members to be brief, so we can get on with our witnesses. Mr. Fox.
Mr. FOX. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Certainly, Mr. Chairman, these are bipartisan issues. The Secretary General's agreement is a breakthrough. However, the proof will be in the execution of the agreement and not the signing.
For many of us, two questions remain. One, if the sites of the weapons of mass destruction are inspected freely and with no time limits, in accordance with this new agreement, what about the weapons that have been moved out of Iraq? What about the disclosure regarding those and the inspection and their elimination? And, two, if sanctions have not worked with Saddam Hussein in the past, then what will?
Thank you very much.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Fox.
Dr. Richard Haass is director of foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution. He also has served in government, most notably, as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs for President Bush during the Gulf War.
Dr. David Kay is vice president of Science Applications International Corporation and director of the Center for Counterterrorism Technology and Analysis. He has served as the U.N.'s chief weapons inspector in Iraq, and led numerous weapons inspection teams in Iraq following the Gulf War.
Our final witness, Dr. Eliot Cohen, who I understand will be arriving shortly, is a professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Among other achievements, he directed and edited ''The Gulf War Air Power Survey,'' which was the Air Force official review of the contributions of air power to our 1991 victory over Saddam Hussein.
Gentlemen, we thank you for taking the time to join us this morning. Dr. Wolfowitz, do you have a short summary of your testimony, or if you prefer, we'll put the entire testimony in the record. Please proceed.
STATEMENT OF PAUL WOLFOWITZ, FORMER AMBASSADOR TO INDONESIA, AND DEAN, PAUL NITZE SCHOOL OF ADVANCED INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY
Mr. WOLFOWITZ. If you don't mind, I'll put the whole statement in the record, and I'll just concentrate in these remarks on a portion of it.
Chairman GILMAN. Without objection.
But I'm not going to go into a lot of detail about it because David Kay is the real expert on UNSCOM. He served on UNSCOM, and he will have a lot more to say.
I think the important thing that I want to emphasize is that, even if this is the best possible agreement, even if it allows free, unfettered access to all the sites in Iraq, which is the best possible outcome, and remember that that comes after 4 1/2 months of plenty of time to hide and move stuff, so we're not starting back at square one. The inspectors are starting back at square minus seventeen at best.
But the best possible outcome is that eventually the inspectors get lucky; they get another high-level defector, or somehow they get on the trail again, and eventually they start to find the stuff, and then they're going to be blocked again. I don't think anyone has any doubt, though we may want to say we keep open minds, about what Saddam Hussein is up to here, and if the inspections are successful, they will be blocked again. And then we'll be back in the same position that we were this week, of having to choose between a bad agreement and worse military options. I want to say briefly why I think the military options that we were considering were awful, and then I want to talk about what I think the right options should be.
I think they were awful because they promised to accomplish next to nothing, at the cost of American lives, at the cost of probably large numbers of Iraqi civilian lives, at enormous political cost to anyone who's associated with us in the Arab world because this was already creating a firestorm even before the bombs fell. And all of those costs, you may say, are worth bearing, or in Mr. Berger's words, worth fighting for, if you are achieving something, but I submit that substantially reducing his threat of weapons of mass destruction, which is the goal the Administration finally settled on, is not that objective.
And I think the relevant question is the question that that old veteran asked at Columbus, Ohio, and I'm quoting from him, so the profanity is his and not mine. ''If push comes to shove, and Saddam will not back down, will not allow or keep his word, are we ready and willing to send the troops and finish this job, or are we going to do it half-ass, the way we did it before?''
I think it is the right question. I think the answers that he got are not very impressive answers. If I can read from page 4 at the bottom of my prepared testimony, Secretary Cohen answered him that, ''What we are seeking to do is not to topple Saddam Hussein, but to do what the United Nations has said in its declarations.'' But on other occasions, he has emphasized that this goes beyond anything the United Nations may or may not recognize in its declarations. The President has said correctly this is about the future of the 21st century. I don't think that we should be limited by what may or may not be in U.N. resolutions, if in fact the fundamental security of this country-and, indeed, the peace of the world-is at stake.
Saddam Hussein has demonstrated that he will cheat and try to build weapons of mass destruction as long as he remains in power. He has demonstrated, and I'd like to emphasize this because I continue to be astonished at how many people still are not aware that he tried to assassinate former President George Bush, early in the term of a new American Administration, with whom he had every reason to try to get on good behavior. This is a man who's bent on vengeance; he demonstrated when he burned Kuwait's oil fields as his army left that country, and he continues to be bent on vengeance against anyone who opposed him. This is like a super-mafia godfather, and he doesn't forget; he doesn't forgive. His power is based on his ability to punish.
As President Clinton said, the issue of weapons of mass destruction is one that concerns the future of the 21st century, and as Mr. Berger said in Columbus, it is an issue ''worth fighting for.'' Why is it worth fighting for ineffectively with air power and not worth fighting for effectively with means that will work? Instead of deciding what means it is willing to use and then tailoring the goals to fit them, the Clinton Administration should decide what it takes to do the job, and ask the country to support it.
However-and I think this is very important-the estimates that it would take a major invasion with U.S. ground forces seriously overestimates Saddam Hussein. We did the same thing for much too long in Bosnia, where we painted a brutal mob of aggressors as mighty giants, when in fact they turned out to be military pygmies.
There was some excuse for overestimating the capability of the fourth largest army in the world, as we called it-it was, on paper anyway-prior to the Gulf War, when all we had to go on was their performance against Iran in the long, brutal war in the 1980's. There is no reason to be doing so today, when their weakness was exposed in 1991 and when the Iraqi army of today is even further demoralized and weaker than the one that we faced then.
The key to getting at Saddam Hussein is also the basis of his power. Saddam has been compared often to Hitler, people say too often. Let me offer you maybe a more appropriate comparison. I think he's better compared to Stalin. Hitler ruled by many means; terror was only one of them. For Stalin, terror was the beginning and the end, and for Saddam terror is the beginning and the end. Many of the calculations that we find irrational are calculations meant to terrorize people, including his closest associates. He trusts no one around him, and for very good reason.
I think it is a measure of where we have come now that throughout Iraq and throughout large portions of the Arab world it is now believed that if Saddam Hussein is still in power 7 years after this war, it must be because it's convenient for the United States to have him there, and then they construct a bunch of reasons, which I'm not endorsing by mentioning them, but they construct a fabric of sort of plausibility-that we like having an excuse to have our troops in the region; we like having an opportunity to contain Iraq; we like having an opportunity to beat up on Iraq from time to time.
The fact is, of course, as you all know, the American people would like nothing more than to see Saddam out of power. President Clinton will be a hero if he's the President that can accomplish that aim. He's not there because we want him there, but he is there, I think, because we haven't really tried hard enough to get rid of him.
And I just want to conclude with three points, Mr. Chairman. First of all, in spite of claims from the Administration and, to be fair, from prior Administrations, we have not, in my view, ever really tried serious support for the Iraqi opposition. And, again in fairness, I think the best opportunity to overthrow Saddam was, unfortunately, lost in the month right after the war. I think in fairness also, George Bush did an incredible job in getting the Iraqi army out of Kuwait. He didn't exactly have a unified country behind him. He certainly didn't have a country urging him to do more. There were a lot of reasons to be a bit slow in figuring out what happened.
But, in fact, I think the Clinton Administration, which promised more when it came in, has delivered less, and the real low point for me was in the fall of 1996, when the very people that we had promised to support were rolled up in the north while we bombed a few useless radars in the south and declared that the north was of no strategic importance. That is not serious. That is not how you get people to die for a cause. That's how you get people to feel that dying is going to be absolutely useless.
Second, I don't believe that it's as hard as it is made to sound. Maybe it's not as simple as it sometimes sounds, but it's certainly not as hard as Sandy Berger makes it sound when he talks about a major land invasion of Iraq.
I know there are differences between Iraq and Afghanistan, but I think it is relevant to point out that we overthrew the Soviet-backed government in Afghanistan without a single American ground troop; matter of fact, without a single American pilot. But we would never have done it without a single American weapon, and that is, in effect, what we were trying to do in Iraq. For all the talk about opposing Saddam, for all the talk about supporting the opposition, the United States has yet to deliver a single rifle to the Iraqi opposition, much less the kind of anti-tank weaponry, for example, that could be a real equalizer for them.
I know there are differences with Afghanistan. In fact, I would hope that Iraq might someday have a fate that's better than Afghanistan's, but I don't believe all those differences argue for why this should be more difficult. After all, the beaten Iraqi army is not the red army of the Soviet Union. Having the American Air Force literally 20 miles away is not quite the same thing as what the Mujahedin faced in Afghanistan. The Mujahedin may have been tough customers, but I believe Saddam Hussein is not 10 feet tall.
And in one famous incident involving Operation Provide Comfort, a colonel named Richard Knapp, with his Kurdish interpreter and a jeep and an M-16, faced an Iraqi brigade moving north, and told them to turn around and go back. And the Iraqi commander said, ''This is my country. Who are you to order me around?''
And Colonel Knapp took his M-16 and pointed at him and said, ''This is who I am. Turn around.'' And they turned around.
I'm not saying that it's necessarily that easy, but I do believe that, if anything, Afghanistan was much more difficult. Saddam Hussein is far weaker than these statements about major ground invasions imply, and again, I would remind you of Bosnia.
And the third point I would like to make is, while getting rid of Saddam is what will change the situation, curbing his power, liberating even portions of his country, will make a difference, and the goal is liberation. We should get away from thinking about planning coup attempts in downtown, in Baghdad. It is not quite a certainty-nothing in life is certain-but it is nearly a certainty, given the penalties that you pay in Iraq, and that your children pay, if you fail to report conspiracies, that any conspiracy will be discovered and penetrated fairly soon, and as we've experienced in the past, hundreds of people will then be rolled up and executed.
It's a mistake to ask, as I've heard senior Administration officials ask, ''What do we do when an Iraqi division commander announces that he's heading for the Presidential palace; he's about to seize power, and he wants our support?'' My answer is, you sent out the wrong message if that's what he's doing, because he's heading in the wrong direction. The message to any Iraqi commander that wants to defect is it's perfectly safe; we have a secure zone for you in the south. We have a democratic opposition that is organizing a provisional government of free Iraq. Come join them; you'll be safe, and we'll turn the Iraqi army around.
I think the agreement that Kofi Annan has just signed-and that David Kay will say more about, can best be said, it buys some time for us. If at the end of that time we're left in the same blind alley with lousy military options and bad agreements to choose between, then we will not have used that time well.
I think it's important to start using that time right now, and I think the Congress has a role. On this note, I'd like to conclude. I think there are two things I would stress as particularly important. The most urgent thing is to deal with the issue of Saddam's legitimacy. One of the great setbacks in this agreement is that Saddam Hussein has now concluded an agreement with the Secretary General of the United Nations, and I was appalled to hear the Secretary General say, ''This is a man we can do business with.'' That is a phrase Margaret Thatcher used about Michel Gorbachev, but Michel Gorbachev was no Saddam Hussein. I believe it is important to emphasize that this is a man we cannot do business with, and I believe the effort by a number in this House and a number in the Senate to press the issue of war crimes indictment is a very important issue.
And don't let people tell you it's meaningless because we'll never get Saddam; we'll never bring him to trial. It is important, even if you don't. It is important as a clear statement that the United States does not plan to deal with this man in the future. That is important in emboldening opposition to him. It is important in the efforts of a new government of Iraq in a provisional state to be able to secure access to things like Iraqi assets. It is very important.
Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Wolfowitz appears in the appendix.]
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Wolfowitz.
Dr. Richard Haass, director of foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institute, and one of the most widely quoted experts on contemporary foreign policy. Dr. Haass. Again, you may put your entire statement in the record and summarize, or however you wish to proceed.
STATEMENT OF RICHARD HAASS, DIRECTOR, FOREIGN POLICY STUDIES PROGRAM, THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTE
Mr. HAASS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. That's actually how I'd like to proceed-put the written statement in the record, and I'll just make a few points.
Chairman GILMAN. Without objection.
Mr. HAASS. Thank you, sir.
I won't spend a lot of time this morning assessing the deal that the Secretary General signed with the Iraqis. To be blunt, it is not ideal, but also it is a done deal. And sometimes one has to take yes, or a near yes, for an answer, and I would think that this is one of those times.
The reason is simply that we would be too isolated in opposition to this agreement. And, also, we should keep in mind three things. We are talking about U.N. resolutions, U.N. inspectors, and the fact that from the outset the United States has said that this is not a struggle between the United States and Iraq, but between Iraq and the international community. Well, now the Secretary General, who as much as anyone represents the international community, has negotiated this arrangement. Again, there are problems with it, but more important than any problems in the text will be the need, as both you and Mr. Hamilton have pointed out, to test Saddam through implementation. So that the next phase for American foreign policy and for this entire issue ought to be less to put this agreement under a microscope and more to test it.
And the reason we should do this now is that we have the largest accumulation of American military force in the region since Desert Storm, something that gives us enormous leverage. So if there is any repeated frustration by Saddam Hussein of the inspectors, the fact that we have 300-plus aircraft in the region gives us an immediate option. We don't have to once again go through the entire process of trying to gather our forces and watch the diplomatic sense of urgency dissipate.
So, again, I would take advantage of that presence. Hopefully, that will be enough to persuade Saddam to live up to this agreement. If not, then we ought to hit hard against the Republican Guards, and, slightly different from what the Administration had planned to do, I would not simply hit hard in a punitive manner, to punish. I would hit hard in a coercive manner and continue hitting until we could get unconditional, unfettered access for those inspectors. The purpose of any use of military force in the first instance ought to be coercive and ought to be linked to the question at hand, which is Iraqi compliance with this set of obligations.
This said, it's quite possible that these inspectors will find little or nothing. Saddam has had 4 months to dig some very deep holes, and it's quite possible that his willingness to sign this agreement offering access is a reflection of his confidence that they will find nothing.
In that case, the question for American foreign policy becomes how to deal with a Saddam Hussein who continues to possess weapons of mass destruction, even if the inspectors can't find them. And I think there are two broad policy choices facing the country. To summarize, one is rollback, and the other is containment. Let me say something about the various forms of rollback, which I do not support, and let me then say something about containment, which I do, and you will see some of the differences in means between Ambassador Wolfowitz and myself.
There are three approaches that I can imagine. The first would be assassination, but there you run into problems of legality. We have an Executive Order on the book. You run into problems of difficulty. It's hard to find and kill individuals. And also we run into problems of politics and the cost-benefit ratio of doing it.
Even if we were to succeed-and it would be difficult-we have to ask about the diplomatic fallout. Also we, as a society, are extremely vulnerable to assassination. And we as a society and as a country have to think twice before we start making assassination a tool of foreign policy.
A second approach, at the other extreme of rollback, would be to occupy the country. This would be akin to what we did after World War II with Germany and Japan, and on a much more limited basis more recently, it's what we did in Panama and Haiti. I think, though, it would prove extraordinarily costly in terms of lives and money, and it would also prove extremely controversial in the region. I just do not think in 1998 you have support in the Arab world for a policy of occupation of an Arab and Islamic country by the United States. I would simply put this in the too-hard-to-do category.
The third approach, and it's the one that Ambassador Wolfowitz mentioned, is essentially the Afghan approach. It's the idea of trying to oust Saddam Hussein through both indirect and direct means of supporting the Iraqi opposition. Let me just quickly state my problems with that idea.
First is that there is no Iraqi opposition in the singular. There are, however, Iraqi oppositions in the plural. It is an extremely divided group of individuals.
Second, this approach would take many years, at least, and even then, it would be doubtful whether it would succeed. But in those many years, it would offer you no solution to the problems at hand.
In all of this, in a so-called Afghan policy for Iraq, there would be a lack of local partners. The reason is not hard to figure out. There simply is not a lot of confidence in the real goals of the various elements of the Iraqi opposition. In particular, in Turkey there is real concern that the goals are not a united, all-Iraqi effort, but rather continue to be somewhat in favor of separatism for the Kurds.
Indeed, the fact that people are talking about setting up different zones in the north and the south would reinforce this. My hunch is one of the ironic results of this sort of a policy would be, once again, to reinforce support for Saddam from his Sunni Muslim corps, from the people who make up the heart of his security services. So an active effort to support opposition groups, which would be largely geographically and ethnically based, could well turn out to be counterproductive.
Last, the entire effort could result at a minimum, in an Iraqi civil war, more likely in a regional war, in which Iraq would become a latter-day Lebanon. You would not only have a civil war in which various Iraqi elements were fighting, but it would become a magnet for the invading forces of Syria, Iran, Turkey, and perhaps others. As a result, it is simply a scenario that I have trouble having confidence in.
The real alternative, and the best policy for the United States, is containment. The idea of a containment policy of Iraq would be to limit the threat and to promote compliance with U.N. resolutions. To do this would be extremely difficult. None of these options, either the one I favor or the ones I'm critical of, are easy or simple. It would take an enormous effort to shore-up the international coalition that would be at the heart of any successful containment policy. This, in turn, would require a number of elements. Let me just quickly mention them.
And, second, the United States is blamed for having a double standard, for not pushing the Middle East peace process with anything like the degree of enthusiasm or determination that it pushes its policy toward Saddam Hussein. If we are going to maintain Arab support for any policy toward Saddam, we are going to have to address both of these issues.
On the sanctions front, we have in place an expanded food-for-oil program under Resolution 986. I think this is acceptable. The real question is, what happens should Saddam comply with Resolution 687 (which the United States voted for) and meet the requirements of paragraph 22, which essentially says, once it has been certified by U.N. officials that Saddam Hussein is in compliance with all of his obligations as regards weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein at that point is supposed to regain his ability to export.
And the question is, would the United States agree to that? As a declaratory policy, are we prepared to say that now? I think we should. I think we should because I do believe it would help us shore-up the coalition. If we do this, we can make sure that money that would be earned by Saddam Hussein would not go directly into his government coffers. We could set up an escrow account; much has been done under Resolution 986.
This sort of a selective approach toward sanctions, in the event of 100-percent Iraqi compliance with their weapons of mass destruction obligations, could make it possible for us to maintain the bulk of sanctions, and keep in place a permanent ban on the import of any weapons of any sort and on any dual-use technology of any sort, and also open-ended inspections. That would have to be the bargain.
Third, with other members of the coalition, with the Europeans, the French in particular and Russia, we have to think about some of their foreign policy priorities. In particular, there is a case for revisiting some of the secondary sanctions that the United States has introduced under both the Helms-Burton and the ILSA pieces of legislation.
There is also reason to revisit our Iran policy. I can think of no better way of presenting Saddam with a degree of isolation and encirclement than to at least explore the possibility of closer U.S. relations with Iran.
Two last things: If there were to be any use of military force, as I suggested, it ought to be intense; it ought to be coercive; and it ought to target those sources of domestic political support in Iraq that Saddam cares most about, the Republican Guards.
Last, we ought to introduce a much more formal declaratory policy about weapons of mass destruction. It ought to become the declaratory policy of the United States that any use of weapons of mass destruction of any sort by the Iraqi Government would lead to a change to U.S. policy, which would then specifically seek the ouster of the regime; that that sort of a deterrent strategy might also make whatever weapons of mass destruction that escape the weapons inspectors' efforts less likely to ever be used.
Let me just say two final things, and then I'll stop, Mr. Chairman. The bonus of this containment policy is that it actually has the potential to do more. In the case of the Soviet Union, we saw that a policy of containment applied over the course of many decades not only contained the reach of communism and the Soviet Union, but ultimately created a context in which the demise of the Soviet Union became a reality.
One of the possibilities of a successful containment policy of Saddam Hussein and of Iraq could be that it creates a box in which people in Iraq who have access to power in Iraq will then act. We know of reports of unsuccessful coup attempts. My guess is, if there is any successful overthrow of the regime, it's not going to come from the periphery; it's going to come from in close, from those members of the security forces who have access and who have means. The best way that we can continue to prompt them to take that risk is by creating a box around Iraq, so that they see the real price that they pay for Saddam Hussein, and in addition, they see the real benefits that would accrue to them were they to have an alternative leadership.
Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Haass appears in the appendix.]
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Dr. Haass, for your eloquent statement.
Our next witness is David Kay, vice president of Science Applications International Corporation, director of the Center for Counterterrorism Technology Analysis. Dr. Kay.
STATEMENT OF DAVID KAY, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR COUNTERTERRORISM, SCIENCE APPLICATION INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION
Mr. KAY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. With your permission, I have a more extended statement that I'll enter in the record. I'd like to just briefly address the issues of this agreement.
Chairman GILMAN. Without objection. Thank you. You may proceed.
Mr. KAY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I fundamentally think, as we look at this agreement, we ought to have more concern than I have heard expressed at least today, and let me start with not the details of the agreement, but with the atmospherics. Certainly, as you know, the atmospherics around any agreement often tell you more than a shear analysis, legal analysis of the text.
We heard yesterday the Secretary General describe Saddam Hussein as a man who you can do business with, as reasonable and knowledgeable. At the same time, and far more disturbing in many ways to me, on his trip back he denigrated UNSCOM and the inspectors that have been serving in Iraq. He has reported to have told various members of the press that he believed the inspectors needed closer diplomatic supervision because they were cowboys-and examples of cowboyish behavior is they were seizing and sealing buildings, boorish behavior, and holding Saddam up to ridicule by his own people.
That we had held Saddam up to ridicule by his own population, I think that is probably true. The smallest team I led into Iraq had seven individuals. That is the team that had shots fired over its head and had gained the first photographic proof of a clandestine nuclear weapons program that put Saddam within 6 months of a nuclear weapon; he had spent $10 billion on and had 15,000 people working on, and seven individuals could do that, no doubt did hold him up to ridicule.
I had another team that spent 4 days as hostages in a Baghdad parking lot. After seizing the records of his nuclear weapons program and the sources of his supply, they refused to give those records back to the Iraqi Security Force and instead encamped themselves in a Baghdad parking lot, and we got out with the documents. I suspect-and, quite frankly, I rather hope-that was a source of ridicule of holding Saddam up to by his own population.
I am worried that, in fact, we now have entered into an agreement in which Iraq is seen as an equal member of the international community; the invasion of Kuwait, the massive oil fires which I flew through, and quite frankly, will never forget the first month after the war flying through those oil fires, the use of chemical weapons on his own population and on those of neighbors. And we are now entreating with someone who we can do business with who is rational?
Now let me get to the agreement and how I think this music actually affects what we're about to see. I will pause and say I certainly agree with Richard Haass that I believe we should test this agreement through implementation, but I think if you look at the provisions of the agreement, you're going to find that is not going to be as easy as it was in the past.
But, yet, while he is the bailsbondsman and stands good for Saddam Hussein in this agreement, the Secretary General, by the very terms of this agreement, is to appoint a new inspection force, a special inspection force for the eight Presidential palaces, which is to operate independent of UNSCOM. It does not take a rocket scientist or even a former inspector to tell you what will happen.
The Iraqis have had 4 1/2 months in which we focused on those eight Presidential palaces. I have yet to see the inspector who believes that there will be anything left in those Presidential palaces after we get there. I've seen the Iraqis do tremendous feats of moving material.
The two sites that were struck during the war that were biological weapons facilities were empty at the time. Why? One week before the war they moved a complete biological weapons facility and got it back into operation. These individuals are terribly creative at deception, cheating, and deceit.
So you have a good team that is a team composed of individuals chosen by the Secretary General who will go to the eight Presidential palaces, and lo and behold, they will have no problems. They're gained access; they go in; they find nothing. In the meantime, the UNSCOM team, the traditional team, will go to the other 50 sensitive sites that they have been denied access to, and actually are far more threatening, and what will happen? They will be denied entry; entry will be delayed; they will be pointed out as a source of problems. ''Why don't you behave like the good team?''
Second, it is proposed that the team should be accompanied by diplomatic nannies, diplomats from the five permanent members of the Security Council, who are to go along to ensure the good behavior of the inspectors. Let me stop here and tell you, I carried a diplomat along on an inspection mission, and I'm really torn at this point. I would like to wish it on some diplomats, with no disrespect to Congressman Leach, who was a former Foreign Service officer, as, indeed, I was earlier in my career. The life of an inspector is really not something that most diplomats are used to, but let me tell you what will happen, and what actually happened to me.
I carried out an inspection of a hospital for amputees and a women's dorm in Baghdad, where the Iraqis had moved material from their uranium enrichment program. The Iraqis protested mightily to me for going in such a facility, and believe me, it was not a thing of comfort that I did. The diplomat becomes an individual they can appeal to. ''Why are the inspectors being unreasonable?'' ''Why do they want to go in private homes?'' ''Why do they want to go in a hospital for amputees?'' And, of course, you induce delay. Let me tell you, if you induce delay in inspections in Iraq, you have no chance of finding anything. Surprise is the only friend of the inspectors.
It is quite common for chief inspectors not to tell their whole team where they're going. This is for security. Every hotel room is bugged. It's a very active surveillance program, and if you lose surprise again by someone making a misstatement, you simply will not find anything.
Can you imagine when you tell five diplomats, ''Show up the next morning at 5 a.m. in the hotel room; we're going on an inspection.''? First of all, they will pause; ''What is this 5 a.m. bit?''
''Well, where are we going?''
''Well, I'm sorry, I can't really tell you. Trust me, I know where we're-''
''Well, why can't you tell me?''
''I can't tell you because I don't want the Iraqis to find out where we're going.''
Team unity, quite frankly, goes down the tubes at that point.
I think this is unworkable. It will be difficult. It will impose burdens, and will make exactly the type of aggressive inspection that Richard Haass calls for, and that I agree is very difficult.
Third, there is an escape clause in this agreement which I would hold up, and I assume law schools will start teaching to every real estate attorney in this country. The inspections should be carried out with due respect for the national security, sovereignty, and dignity of Iraq. I've heard those words. When I tried to enter a ministerial building to obtain documents on the Iraqi nuclear program, I was told I should not go in that building because it was a ministerial site. Well, pardon me. Saddam Hussein, when he lost the war, agreed to give up his weapons of mass destruction, and I was charged by Resolution 687 to find, destroy, remove, or render harmless those weapons wherever they were.
And, indeed, what does national security mean? Legitimately, he may well say, ''I don't want you to seize my weapons of mass destruction. It threatens my national security.'' Indeed, it does, and that's what the inspection process is about.
So what do you have here? Again, delay. You appeal to the diplomats because an inspection will threaten the national security, dignity, or sovereignty of Iraq. You induce weeks of delay; the weapons are gone; the information is gone. You never find anything; that proves there is nothing there. I think that is an escape clause that we should be most concerned about.
Inspectors have had only one objective: Uproot the program of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, not the reconstruction of Iraq, not civil society in Iraq, no other mission. This contrasts, for example, with the International Atomic Energy Agency, which every day carries out nuclear safeguard inspections under a dual mandate: Promote nuclear energy, but, in fact, try also to avoid nuclear proliferation. As we've known from our own domestic experience, none of you would be happy to have a regulatory agency which both promotes and regulates the same industry. We have far too long a history domestically in showing what that leads us to. UNSCOM-escape that.
Second-and this in many ways, I think, is the most important. UNSCOM, unlike any other U.N. operation reported from the very beginning not to the Secretary General, but to the Security Council-from little things, like the first time we ordered cyber-lots, secure telephones, I was told you couldn't have a secure telephone; it showed distrust of the country you were operating in. Yes, indeed, I had some distrust. And I shouldn't have locks on my file cabinets because that meant I didn't trust the other international civil servants who were operating in the building. You've got it; that's right, I didn't.
But the Security Council was united behind it. Once you impose the Secretary General-and I certainly do not mean this pejoratively; my grandmother taught me too well not to teach her how to suck eggs-once you put someone in a political role in charge of this, they have a multitude of responsibilities, and you lose focus. I, in fact, think the most serious aspect of this agreement is we have now put Kofi on it, and let me emphasize this is not because I doubt his integrity or honor. You've put him in an impossible role. Vouch-saving for Saddam's behavior and running an inspection organization, where if they find anything, and they find particularly noncompliance by Iraq, it shows you can't do business with this man; you can't trust him; he's not telling the truth. That is an incompatibility at the core.
We should not freeze political change by saying, tonight is different from all other nights because tonight Saddam has changed his stripes, and we can do business with him. Mr. Chairman, I think that is the problem with this agreement.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Kay appears in the appendix.]
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Dr. Kay, for your very eloquent statement.
Our next witness is Dr. Eliot Cohen, a professor of strategic studies at Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University, and the founding director of the Center for Strategic Education. Dr. Cohen.
STATEMENT OF ELIOT COHEN, PROFESSOR OF STRATEGIC STUDIES, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY
Mr. COHEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'd like to read a brief statement, if I might.
Chairman GILMAN. Without objection.
Mr. COHEN. I should begin by apologizing for being late. I teach a class Wednesday morning, and in his capacity as Dean Wolfowitz-I'm sure Ambassador Wolfowitz can vouch for the importance--
Mr. COHEN. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for this opportunity to appear before the House International Relations Committee, and to participate in your deliberations concerning the situation in the Persian Gulf. Like many Americans, I do not believe that Secretary General Annan's agreement will conclude the long-term conflict between Saddam Hussein's Iraq and the United States.
The Iraqi regime's record of duplicity and deceit, of cruelty and ambition, makes me think that any accommodation between Saddam Hussein and the United Nations will prove temporary. It is, I think, virtually a certainty that we will within a year or two, and perhaps in less time, find ourselves confronting the kinds of choices that the Administration has faced for the last 4 months, to include the use of military force on a large scale.
I directed the Air Force's Gulf War Air Power Survey, an 11-volume study of every aspect of air and space operations in the Gulf War, to include those of all the American Armed Services and our allies. I believe that the lessons of that war, both knowledge of the real lessons and awareness of some of the false lessons have some real utility as we think through the problems of today and tomorrow in dealing with Iraq.
Let me begin with some of the real lessons. First and foremost, American military power, and air power in particular, can be enormously effective against a wide range of important targets in Iraq. After the Gulf War there has been a tendency to debunk the achievements of American forces, some of which have been exaggerated or simply misperceived at the time. I know this well because the survey that I directed had some unwelcome things to say, for example, about our attacks on Iraqi mobile missiles, which were not very successful. But the bottom line remains that air power was enormously effective against selected targets such as the Iraqi air defense system, most of the Iraqi ground forces, the electrical power grid, and Iraqi logistics in Kuwait.
Where barely 8 percent of the bombs dropped in the Gulf had precision guidance, I would expect nearly all of them in a new war to be so-called ''smart'' bombs, and even though smart bombs do not always hit their targets, they do so at rates that are unprecedented in military history.
We know much more about the enemy because of the U.N. inspections, because of a steady flow of high-level deflectors from the inner circles of Saddam's regime, and because of the sustained focus on Iraq by our intelligence agencies for these past 7 years. And we understand the geographic, and even the meteorological peculiarities of this theater of operations far better than we did before Saddam invaded Kuwait. Air power is a potent weapon against Iraq.
Second, despite these improvements, no operation from the air can eliminate 100 percent of certain targets, including weapons of mass destruction. And at the same time, sustained air operations are guaranteed to cause substantial civilian loss of life.
The Gulf War taught us a great deal about Iraqi ingenuity and persistence in dispersing, hiding, or moving vital assets. It also taught us how difficult it can be to eliminate, once and for all, targets that can move or be easily hidden.
What is, to my mind, far worse, the war taught Saddam Hussein that the best way to restrain American use of military power is by taking not other countries' citizens, but his own citizens hostage. On the night of February 13, 1991, the U.S. Air Force struck a military communications facility in Baghdad, the so-called Al Firdos bunker. It was a bona fide military target; there is no doubt about that. We've confirmed that since the end of the war, and we knew it at the time. What our forces did not know is that one level of that bunker doubled as a shelter for family members of the Iraqi leadership, many of whom were killed or wounded in the attack. Now this accident of war caused the temporary suspension of all bombing in downtown Baghdad. Its resumption at the very end of the war was limited to only five relatively large and isolated targets in the city. In any kind of large military clash, there can be no doubt that Saddam will deliberately put civilians in harm's way and that he will exploit the ensuing carnage for his purposes, making use of all the resources that modern international television puts at his disposal.
Similarly, the commitment of the U.S. Governments inspired Gulf states to support vigorous American use of military force, and not the other way around. The resolve shown by our government was absolutely critical in all aspects of the crisis. This is true today, and it will be true in the future. We cannot expect resolution on the part of the American people or America's allies if the U.S. Government, and above all, the President, does not lead the way.
If there are positive lessons to be learned, so too are there false lessons of which we must be wary. Let me conclude by mentioning two of these.
The first is that it is not possible to undermine or overthrow the Iraqi regime except by a costly, large-scale invasion with ground forces. The Gulf War does not prove this. In many respects, just the contrary is true. At the end of the war there is substantial evidence that the regime was shaken to its roots. There were popular uprisings in the north and south of the country, and even on the streets of Baghdad citizens voiced their opposition to the government.
Saddam's regime is now even more fragile, more hated, more despised than it was then. It rests on relatively small numbers of military personnel, secret police, and Ba'ath Party officials. Above all, it rests on Saddam Hussein's ability to maintain constant and effective communication with them. This, it was shown in the Gulf War, can be disrupted.
Let me add here as well that, contrary to what many think, the attack on so-called leadership targets in the Gulf War was relatively limited and of short duration. It did not benefit from the kind of focused intelligence collection that has been possible over the last 7 years. It was, rather, a rushed and ad hoc effort that was not sustained in the course of the war. I would not promise that Saddam could be overthrown by a massive air campaign and subversion of the kind described and advocated by Ambassador Wolfowitz, but I would not rule it out as a possibility, either.
The war ended as it did because of the way military commanders defined their mandate, because many in the Administration believed that the war's objectives had, indeed, been achieved-and I think this is an important point-that Saddam Hussein would soon fall of his own weight. In hindsight, of course, this last prediction, although understandable at the time, proved to be incorrect. Saddam Hussein will not fall from power; he will have to be pushed. The only questions are when he will be pushed, who will do the pushing, and what the price will be for either precipitating or delaying that event.
No one predicted in 1991 that 7 years after the Gulf War Saddam Hussein would remain a source of danger to the peace of this vital region. What I think one can safely predict, however, is that another such 7 years will yield an even more serious threat to that peace and to American national interests there and globally.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Cohen appears in the appendix.]
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you.
I think Dr. Kay has an 11:40 appointment.
Mr. KAY. I can stay another 10 minutes.
Chairman GILMAN. I'm going to ask our Members, if we want to direct any questions to Dr. Kay, to do that at this point, and I have a question of Dr. Kay.
Mr. KAY. Mr. Chairman, I regret to say I did not understand the policy the Administration was committed to with regard to the use of arms. To the extent that I thought I understood it, I did not think it was either an appropriate use of military power or the aims that were articulated justified it. I think it would have neither seriously diminished the Iraqi weapons program, as I understood the attack to be planned, nor do I think it would have gotten the inspectors back on firm, more aggressive inspection. In fact, I join Ambassador Wolfowitz in saying I actually think it was a bullet well dodged that we did not have to execute that. My concern is that we will not use this interim to think through our policy, both militarily-and I would emphasize equally politically-with dealing with Iraq.
Iraqi policy, for the last 5 years really, has been on vacation in this town. People have not thought very much about it, in or outside the Administration.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Dr. Kay.
Now I'm going to reserve my time, but I'm going to allow any Members that want to address any question to Dr. Kay before he has to leave. Mr. Hamilton.
Mr. HAMILTON. Dr. Kay, thank you for your testimony. I had your New York Times piece in front of me here, and I gather from that that you really have doubts, grave doubts, about whether any inspection system will work; is that right? I mean, you say it could well be that no inspection system has much chance of working, and then you have a similar sentence later in the piece. Have you given up on the inspection system here?
In fact, the U.N. Resolution 687 was premised on, and most people have forgotten, although the President did call our attention to it, notably, is that the Iraqis promised to declare all of their weapons within 15 days after the war, and the inspectors were to go in, confirm that, and get rid of them. Uprooting a protected weapons system in a country that is genuinely not defeated, that you don't occupy, I think is, quite frankly, beyond us.
Mr. HAMILTON. What strikes me here-you know, we heard so much from the President and from others about what's been accomplished by the inspectors on the positive side.
Mr. KAY. Yes.
Mr. HAMILTON.--and it does seem to me that you're kind of challenging the whole premise in this situation. I mean, why should we bother with all of this effort to get inspectors back in if-and that's really been the whole focus of our effort here-if they're not going to be able to find out what we want to find out anyway?
Mr. KAY. I'm not challenging, sir, what they have accomplished. I think it is, indeed, true that the inspection process, which I'm happy to have said I was a part of, destroyed more than was destroyed--
Mr. HAMILTON. And we give you great credit for that.
Mr. KAY. But when you address the question of whether any inspection system can finally uproot completely a weapons program in a country as large as Iraq-and most times we have only 200 U.N. inspectors in the whole country-if the Iraqi regime is determined to protect it, I say, indeed, you cannot hope that inspection, just like I do not think you can hope that air power, can do it, and that is why I put such great emphasis on a political strategy that is designed not to do business with Saddam, but to remove Saddam from power.
Chairman GILMAN. Any other Member addressing Dr. Kay? Mr. Fox.
Mr. FOX. Dr. Kay, we appreciate your poignant testimony this morning. Take, if you will, that you were in charge of the Administration tomorrow and this policy, where you're President and you're in charge of the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State. What would you recommend that the United States do next in order to ultimately protect this country and the world?
Mr. KAY. Sir, I'm a simple Texan, and that's a hard jump to make. I think the Administration has correctly said that weapons of mass destruction are the premiere post-cold war national security challenge. I think our obligation, if that is true-and I believe it is true-is to have a multi-layered approach which makes it difficult for countries that have not yet obtained those weapons to obtain them; makes it, if they manage to obtain it, in spite of that, makes their use not in their interest. And I applaud what Richard Haass said about doing that, so that the Iraqis get no comfort from having those weapons.
And, finally, what protects our own citizens here at home, in fact, if those weapons are used, and that's preparedness. I think there is no silver bullet. There is a series of steps.
With regard to Iraq, I would focus far more of our effort on not looking for silver bullets, but shaping the political battlefield in Iraq, so that Saddam Hussein passes from the scene.
Mr. FOX. Is there anything to do internally with regard to covert operations, so that Saddam Hussein is no longer this leader who's a madman controlling weapons of mass destruction that puts his own people in fear, as well as the United States?
Mr. KAY. I, quite frankly, found great agreement in two points made by the witnesses here. I agree with Paul Wolfowitz that, in fact, we ought to strengthen the hands of those who domestically in Iraq are opposing them and are standing inside Iraq. I also think Richard Haass is quite right; if we take military action, in view of a breach of an agreement, we should focus it not on the weapons themselves, but on those domestic structures that allow Saddam to maintain through terror his political control. The Special Republican Guard, the internal security forces, the audio and visual monitoring regime, and the transport system-those are targets worthy of military action, and they do not raise great damage of collateral release of biological weapons.
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Rothman.
Mr. ROTHMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Here's a question for the panel, if I might.
Chairman GILMAN. No, we're addressing them to Dr. Kay because he has to leave in a few minutes.
Mr. ROTHMAN. I'll be happy to wait, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman GILMAN. Any other questions for Dr. Kay?
If not, Dr. Kay, we thank you for being with us, and we thank you for your testimony.
And now I reserve my time.
Mr. Wolfowitz, you and many of your colleagues have distributed a letter calling for greatly stepped-up aid to the Iraqi opposition. You even mentioned that today. What is your assessment of the amount of influence the opposition would have right now in Iraq, and do they have a chance of taking some power in Iraq? And how do your proposals differ from what's already been tried and failed by both the Bush and Clinton Administrations?
Mr. WOLFOWITZ. Well, I think, for one thing, it's hard to know, to measure how much support the opposition has in a situation where the United States gives no serious support to the opposition. I mean, opposition in Iraq is something that is punished very quickly and brutally, not just by your own death, but the death of your extended family. So it's not a risk that people take on lightly.
I think, in spite of that, we have a situation where the opposition is largely in control in northern Iraq, a very divided opposition, admittedly-in fact, disastrously divided between the two major Kurdish factions, and in spite of that division, it's not exactly friendly territory for Saddam. I believe that division, in fact, came about when the United States proved to be-let me use the word-feckless in its support for those people.
In the Shiite south, as I quoted in my testimony, from Daniel Williams, reporting in The Washington Post from Amman, ''Diplomats, Jordanian officials and travelers say that the south is dangerous territory for Saddam Hussein's army and police. 'By day, things seem calm enough, but at night the police and soldiers retreat into their shelters. They are not safe,' said a recent arrival from Iraq. 'There is lots of hit-and-run activity on Saddam's security forces. The nighttime belongs to the opposition','' a Western diplomat added.
And I emphasize now we're talking about the Sunnis, the Shiite south, which is roughly 50 percent of the population of that country.
Richard has brought up the argument, and I've heard it before, that if we support the Shiite in the south and the Kurds in the north, the Sunni will all rally around Saddam Hussein. I don't think that's true. I think of King Hussein's willingness a couple of years ago to go way out on a limb in opposing Saddam Hussein, and King Hussein is, after all, a Sunni, he is a close relative of the last Hastimide king of Iraq, who was murdered in 1958. He's still got many, many connections in the Sunni officer corps, and he is reported to have said there is a lot of opposition.
You cannot judge the opposition of Saddam in the absence of a serious American effort to support it, and I don't see how you can say we've been serious when we have essentially failed to do two things. We have failed, as I said, to supply a single rifle to the opposition, and we have failed in any way to use the considerable air forces that we have on both sides.
If I might add just two points, Mr. Chairman-I know for Turkey it is a serious concern that the strategy of supporting armed opposition to Saddam could lead to a separation of northern Iraq into some kind of separate Kurdish entity. The fact is that is pretty much what we have today. Anyone who kids themselves that Iraq is a unified country under Saddam does not know what's going on. In fact, one of the problems with containment is that it is a running sore for Turkey, and it will likely continue to remain so. I believe one of the advantages of developing an opposition in the south is that you could then begin to develop a national opposition, and not a purely Kurdish one.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you. Thank you, Ambassador Wolfowitz.
One question to the entire panel. In the wake of this agreement, the Russian Foreign Ministry has again expressed hope that the sanctions ultimately would be lifted, but Ambassador Richardson, in his remarks yesterday, indicated the lifting of sanctions was even more of a remote possibility now than it was before the Secretary General's trip to Iraq. With the agreement in mind, are sanctions likely to be lifted in the foreseeable future? I address the whole panel.
Mr. WOLFOWITZ. I'll go first. I think you have statement of the deep division that's going to grow over time. I think for any reasonable American official it's going to be harder to justify lifting of sanctions in any reasonable time since it's going to take a very long time just to get back to where we were when this crisis began.
On the other hand, it's very clear that a lot of people have promised Saddam Hussein, if you go along with this deal-there's even language in the agreement that has a hint of lifting of sanctions. And I think that if they are as effective in disarming the inspectors as David Kay suggests they will be, it's going to be harder and harder for the United States to justify exercising its veto. I think you will see more and more weakening around the edges.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you. Dr. Haass.
Mr. HAASS. Let me say one thing about it. I think Paul essentially has it right, that we can expect that's going to become the next diplomatic battleground. If for the last few months we've been focusing on inspectors, my hunch is it is going to turn pretty quickly to New York and French and Russians calls for sanctions relief. Our position there ought to be pretty clear. We ought to insist that no sanctions get lifted until we believe inspections have been adequate and we believe they've demonstrated a satisfactory level of compliance.
We no longer have a baseline. We have now got to, first of all, recover the integrity of what may have happened over the last 4 months, and not simply look at the sites that were off limits. We now have to inspect a good deal of the rest of the country. David Kay is probably right, the least likely place weapons of mass destruction are being hidden are in some of those sites that have been ostensibly at the center of this crisis.
Also, it's very important that we barter any willingness on our part to lift sanctions under paragraph 22 for an adequate control mechanism. I would think it is essential that if Saddam is allowed to export oil again-right now, as you know, Mr. Chairman, he's only allowed to export limited amounts-but if he's allowed to export unlimited amounts of oil, it is essential that the money earned, the revenue, not go directly into his pocket. Because if it goes directly into a pocket, you know and I know it's going to be used for all sorts of purposes that we're not going to want, including for illegal purposes, such as the purchase of arms. So it is important that the money goes into a central, internationally controlled escrow account, and that money is parceled out-so much for compensation for war damages, so much to pay for ongoing inspection efforts, so much for food and medicine and other needs of the Iraqi people, and so forth. It cannot simply become revenue controlled by the government. And I would ultimately trade our willingness to support the lifting of sanctions, once there is complete compliance that we're satisfied with, in exchange for this type of a new control mechanism over any money.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Dr. Haass. Dr. Cohen.
Mr. COHEN. It seems to me that the logic over time is for the sanctions to gradually melt away, and I think we're already seeing that. We've had violations of the sanctions regime-oil going out through Iran. We've seen the Secretary General, interestingly enough, pushing a lifting of quotas on Iraqi oil exports, and his rise to the center of U.N. dealings with Iraq will reinforce that. We've had humanitarian and political pressure from the French and the Russians. I think there will increasingly be economic pressure, as companies get particularly eager to bring Iraq back online. There was an interesting piece in The Wall Street Journal just a couple of days ago on this very point.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, and I thank our panelists.
I'm now going to call our Members in the order in which they appeared. Mr. Davis.
Mr. DAVIS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I want to direct this question to Dr. Haass and Dr. Cohen, and that is that if the agreement we've talked about is not consummated or if there's an immediate breach, what would your recommendation be for us with respect to our next step, specifically with regard to any use of military action?
Mr. HAASS. I would say two things, sir. First, I'm not sure what sort of formal action the United Nations is now going to take in terms of taking this agreement and making it formal U.N. policy. Whether there's a new resolution or statement by the President, the Security Council, or simply statements made by individual countries, we ought to put on the record what our expectations are and what we're prepared to do.
One of them would be, at the first sign of Iraqi noncompliance with what is guaranteed in this agreement, that we are at that point going to use force. So we ought to make clear there is no warning if this accord is violated; that we would go directly from that violation to a use of force.
Second-and we've talked about this this morning-any use of force should be large. In my view, the Administration set the bar too low. It should not simply be punitive. I would be willing to use force now to implement this agreement as well as 687, which is the basic agreement, the post-Gulf War agreement, and I would, as David Kay suggested, go after the sources of Saddam's control, the things that he cares about most, which are his security forces, his ability to communicate, and so forth. But I would go directly to that step, and I would put everybody on notice that we are now there; no more warnings; no more delay; noncompliance-we move to that.
Mr. HAASS. You have next to me probably the country's leading expert on this. So let me be very short. I would not limit it to missile attack. We have to talk about manned aircraft, and we have to go after the sort of target set I just mentioned. But I don't know any way of doing this with cruise missiles alone or even with carrier-based air alone. We are going to need access to land-based aircraft.
Mr. COHEN. I agree with Dr. Haass; you have to target the regime. It has to be massive. One of the unfortunate things that happened from some of our limited missile attacks is that they acted as kind of an inoculation, if you will.
The one thing that I would add to that is that it's very important that we be psychologically prepared for the fact that, when we do that, we can be certain that we're going to kill civilians. Unfortunately, that's an acceptable price to pay, but we have to be prepared for that going into such a use of force. But in all other respects, I agree with Dr. Haass.
Mr. WOLFOWITZ. With all respect, I think I don't agree, because I have great concern that you're committing yourself to a sustained campaign in which, if you don't break his will or you break his regime, you're ultimately going to pay a huge price for it. I would much more favor a policy that says, until we can get inspectors in and get at his sites, we're going to punish him in ways that help the Iraqi people, and there are a lot of ways to do this. I would start in the south, where there are millions of Shiites who are dying to be liberated from Saddam. One thing you could do that would be a marvelous target would be to bomb those dikes that he used in order to dry up the marshes in which the marsh Arabs used to live, because it was a source of resistance. As I think was mentioned, it's one of the greatest environmental crimes that's ever been committed. It also was an act of repression against his people.
But I really think to get ourselves in a sustained bombing campaign whose object is to break his will, it's great if it works-well, it isn't that great. It gets the inspectors back in if it works. If it really works, it brings him down. But if it breaks our will instead, it's a disaster. I'm not sure I'm that confident who would give in first.
Mr. DAVIS. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Fox.
Mr. FOX. Do you believe that the United States has a long-term strategic approach toward Iraq, and what are the best nonmilitary options we have to incur change of regime in Iraq?
Mr. WOLFOWITZ. Do you want me to start?
Mr. FOX. Thank you.
Mr. WOLFOWITZ. I don't think there's any option that is exclusively military. You can't overthrow a regime that is based on force as much as this one unless you provide people at some point with the means to deal with force. But I do think there are very important things that can be done first and that make the eventual application of support for armed opposition, much more likely to be affected. I would put them in the political category-actions that in the first place say to the Iraqi and to that part of the world: We're in this for keeps; we're not going to deal with Saddam. I also, by the way, would say to the Russians and the French, ''You're not going to deal with Saddam.'' A lot of the problem we have with those two particular coalition partners is that they're expecting to make a bonanza from Iraqi oil when Saddam starts to sell it. If you make a clear statement, Saddam is not going to sell it, but the people of free Iraq will sell it, and if you want contracts, you should sign up them, I think it's an enormous weightiness.
And very importantly, it's another reason why northern and southern Iraq are important, is most of the oil of the country is in Kurdish territory or Shiite territory. You could, in fact, liberate a relatively small portion of Iraq and begin to, in fact, provide enormous economic resources for a provisional government, and I believe money is power in that part of the world and money talks with respect to a number of the partners that we're having difficulty with. If we could begin to show that the people who are fighting against Saddam are going to get their hands on the real resources, you could do something.
We've done exactly the opposite. For 7 years now, the U.N. embargo has applied to every square inch of Iraqi territory, at least in principle. It's been much more effective on those areas controlled by the opposition in the north, where they get squeezed between the U.N. embargo from the north and Saddam's from the south. So I think there are a lot of steps you can take, but ultimately you've got to be prepared to arm and help them.
Mr. HAASS. Mr. Fox, I have a slightly different answer. I would say the problem with U.S. policy is that we have too many policies and not enough commitment behind them. At various times our policy has been one of containment. At various times our policy has been one of exploring rollback. But in every instance, it has been episodic and it has been incomplete. We haven't really committed ourselves to either, and we've fallen off our support for the opposition-we have only toyed with that-and our commitment to containment has never really been adequate for such a demanding strategy. And it is not surprising that the coalition is in weak shape and Saddam is in the fairly decent shape that he's in.
Mr. COHEN. And I think I have yet a different answer, and that is that all of the possibilities are unappetizing and fraught with risks. If we continue down the path that we've taken, which is largely a peaceful path with very limited uses of military force, as I suggested earlier, the logic of the situation is that gradually Saddam slips out from underneath the sanctions regime and, as David Kay said, from the inspections regime as well. And it's clear what some of the down sides are there as well.
Mr. FOX. I thank you all.
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Berman.
Mr. BERMAN. Unfortunately, the bells do not allow me to get an answer to my questions. Let me just ask the questions and then maybe call you to hear your answers or at some other time get the answers.
I guess, Ambassador Wolfowitz, I'm not sure King Hussein's view-I don't know what Dr. Haass would say. You gave a little bit of a critique of his scenario, the problem with your rollback strategy, one of them being the potential for the civil war, the fear of the Sunnis, if the Shiites took positions of power, they would then suffer even more than they now suffer, and some of the other countries, what Iran might do, what Turkey might do. I'm not sure that King Hussein's reaction is necessarily a mirror of how the Sunnis in Iraq would react. He has some protections that they don't have.
But I'm also interested in your reaction, Dr. Haass' belief that this double-standard argument, which the Administration at some point used and then withdraw quickly, as to their difficulty in putting together the coalition on the peace process-to what extent you really think that is relevant.
And to Dr. Haass, I'm curious, what does that mean. I just spent, Congressman Bereuter mentioned, a week in Israel and in Jordan, and my sense is the Administration is focused on the peace process. What more, then, are you suggesting in your feeling that there is something wrong here? Is it they should be pressuring Israel to make certain specific concessions, what kinds of concessions? I mean, the peace process is a priority for the Administration. They've put a lot of time into it at all different levels of the Administration, and I think it still remains that. So I think there's something more there that you didn't spell out, and is that, in fact, a serious problem or just an excuse for the inability to get together a coalition for a set purpose?
Mr. BERMAN. We have to vote.
Chairman GILMAN. We have a vote on, and I'm going to recess our hearing. There will only be one more Member who wants to question. It will be very brief. So if you would be kind enough to stand by, we'll continue in another few minutes.
The Committee stands in recess.
Mr. FOX. [presiding] The Committee on International Relations will reconvene.
I recognize the gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Rothman, for questioning.
Mr. ROTHMAN. Thank you.
Very distinguished panel, I really enjoyed your comments, and I read them as well as listened to them.
I have taken a public position that said that, if diplomat efforts failed, I would support an air strike to try to reduce the effectiveness or longevity of Saddam Hussein, with no expectation or belief that it would topple him or get 100 percent of the weapons of mass destruction destroyed. Having said that, folks have asked me a fundamental question; I'd like to ask it of you.
They say other countries have stockpiles of nuclear/biological/chemical weapons-these countries also oppress their people. Seven years ago, Iraq invaded Kuwait. We, rightfully, pushed him back. He has not invaded his neighbors since. There is no mention that he now intends-our own people don't tell us that he intends-to invade his neighbors. We've cost him a billion dollars over the last 7 years.
What is the U.S. national interest there? Does he threaten to invade his neighbors? Does he threaten to use his weapons against his neighbors? Does he affect the world's or region's oil supplies? Has he threatened to spread or do we believe he will spread weapons of mass destruction to his neighbors? Is there imminent threat that would defend or justify an air attack, even if he didn't let the inspections go through? Because some had said, OK, if the guy keeps this stuff in his basement but he never uses it, granted he was convicted once and punished once, if it's in his basement and he never uses it, and we don't think he's going to use it against his neighbors; just he punishes his own people-does that reach the level of U.S. national interest? Your comments?
I guess let me also say, the effect would be perceived very differently in that part of the world, and it's important to us how it's perceived. If we go and just do an air strike, it is going to be seen as just the United States bombing another Arab country, and for no reason that they can understand. If we take action to help the Iraqi people liberate themselves, then at least a very large percentage-I don't know if it's a majority, but millions of people-will say, ''I don't like American force. I don't like America playing this role, but I understand that they're doing something that's worth doing.''-because Saddam Hussein is quite universally reviled.
Now I guess the shortest answer I would give to your question is I think this man is dangerous as long as he's in power, and I think the best analogy is to think about a super-mafia godfather. We are in a position, essentially, of having gone to the local neighborhood and gotten a whole bunch of businessmen or shopkeepers to say they'll witness against the head of the mafia in the area because we've promised to send him up for life, and they'll never see him again and they'll be safe. And 8 years later, the guy is on parole; they are being threatened, and we're coming back and saying, well, how about witnessing; this time we're going to get a 5-year sentence. I mean, it really does not compute.
What a lot of people on our side of this fence are interested in is ending this because they realize that, once you've crossed Saddam Hussein, it is a lifelong grudge. If you have any doubt about it-this is why I think it's important to think about the significance of what happened in May 1993. When George Bush visited Kuwait, Saddam Hussein planned an assassination effort focused on car bombs, although there was also supposed to be a suicide bomber in it, to murder--
Mr. WOLFOWITZ. What I'm saying is this is a man who's out to settle scores, all right. He's so interested in settling scores that he would try to kill the former President of the United States when there was no reason, we would think, to try to do it. If he's that intent on settling scores with us, he's going to settle scores with the King of Saudia Arabia, with the Emir of Kuwait. This is a war for him, and isn't over. It isn't over until he's beaten his enemies, and that makes him, I think, incredibly dangerous.
Mr. ROTHMAN. If those countries are so concerned about being deposed and losing their leaders, why don't they support us? Or is it just the subgrowth of--
Mr. WOLFOWITZ. Because what we're proposing is totally ineffective.
Mr. ROTHMAN. OK.
Mr. WOLFOWITZ. It's like asking them to testify for-I mean, I believe that some of them are telling us, if you will support an effort to overthrow him, we will help you, as scared as we are, but if you're going to just go and blow up some more buildings and make him mad at us again, thank you, we'll try to cut a deal, if we can.
Mr. COHEN. Let me put it a little bit differently. I think Saddam Hussein really is unique. There are other difficult or dictatorial leaders in the world-on a much smaller scale, thank goodness, and on a smaller stage. This is the kind of pathological, political leader who could, if he was in charge of a larger country, be ranked with a Stalin or a Hitler or a Mao. You're talking about that kind of behavior.
The rules for dealing with somebody like that are quite different from the rules for dealing with other kinds of regimes which are difficult, maybe cruel, but don't have quite the same sort of megalomania, willingness to go to all extremes. The example we have of a country attempting to assassinate a former President of the United States, the use of chemical weapons, just simply the scale of the torture that's used in Iraq is something truly extraordinary.
I think, finally, there's an issue of precedent. Saddam's survival has been quite an unsettling precedent, and it's quite important for us to set the precedent that when we confront somebody of this kind, when we demonize him, quite properly, in my view, as much as we did during the time of the Gulf War and since, that we make it clear that the outcome of this sort of confrontation with the United States is that you fall from power.
Mr. ROTHMAN. Thank you. I guess an analogy might be that this is a murderer who served some time, was punished, but let out on parole, and then tried to kill his parole officer or the judge who sentenced him, George Bush, and he's violated his parole, and we want to get him.
Mr. WOLFOWITZ. He's not a reformed character. He's given us a lot of proof of that. I mean, I suppose, you know, if he had suddenly said, ''Oh, I made a terrible mistake. I'll live up to all the U.N. resolutions. I'll be nice to my neighbors,'' it might be hard to make this case, although I agree with Mr. Cohen; he is unbelievably brutal in the way he rules his own people. That should be a clue. Maybe that's, in fact, why he behaves in this way. I think if he gives up on terror, there's nothing left.
Mr. COHEN. Let me just remind you, this is a man who periodically likes to beat people to death with his own fists.
Mr. FOX. Thank you, Congressman Rothman. Congressman Payne.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you.
Second, I was surprised at how all four of your opinions of the Kofi Annan agreement wasn't even a feat; it was just a little piece of paper; it probably wasn't even worth our time to read it. I thought that Kofi Annan did a great job because it stopped our imposition to strike, to go bomb; you know, they're ready to go. And it seemed like an agreement was made, but no one there-all four of you just said, well, he's like a bailsbondsman, I guess, and very cavalier about a piece of diplomacy that I thought, at least at the present time, until we see whether it works or not-and if I made an agreement, I would not make an agreement expecting it to fail tomorrow, but the attitude that all four of you seem to take was that that won't even last until next week. So I was a little shocked at each of you trivializing this accord, this agreement.
The other thing that's very clear-and I hear people talk about bomb, not bomb, bomb a lot, bomb this-not only is there not very much support with the people in the region even, but there's not that much support in the United States of America either. I hear people talk about let's go in; let's wipe out the red guard or whatever his elite fighting people are-of course, they are all people my age-because they're not going in.
But if the will in this country is not to go in even bombing massively at the present time, not overwhelmingly, and if then some are saying that we've just got to go in and finish him because he's bad, and we start having tremendous casualties, not only on their side only, but on our side, I'm just perplexed at how we move a policy along.
I guess my question-well, not a question even-it's: Do either one of you feel that we will be able to avoid a conflict? Do either one of you think that there's a possibility that the inspections can be worked out? Because listening to the earlier comments, no one seemed to think that that was going to happen.
Mr. WOLFOWITZ. Let me go first. Let me repeat-maybe you weren't here when I said it-I think Kofi Annan saved us from a much worse course of action, which was a military strike that we were planning, and I don't trivialize that. I think that the price of getting that agreement were the concessions that David Kay described. I mean, I think that explains part of the reason why Saddam may go along with it. I think whether those concessions turn out to be very serious concessions that weaken the inspections regime fatally or not is still somewhat up in the air.
I think there are still things that can be done. I think particularly who is appointed as the Commissioner is going to be a very critical issue. If it's not somebody from UNSCOM, then I think we have a very serious problem. If it is someone from UNSCOM, then, arguably, we haven't changed the regime very much.
I'm prepared to give a reasonable chance for this restored inspection regime to work, but I have, I'm sorry to say, Congressman, absolutely no belief that Saddam Hussein has given up on his effort to acquire weapons of mass destruction. He's shown too much of a determination, too much of a willingness to sacrifice even things that he cares about, and certainly things his people care about. He's clearly, it seems to me, intent on getting these things.
Mr. COHEN. I guess I wouldn't want to repeat David Kay's statement, which was extremely powerful and convincing, but his basic point seems to be exactly the right one. The inspection regime has accomplished an awful lot. In particular, I would point out that it's really the inspection regime that destroyed Saddam's nuclear program, and actually not our air operations during the war. Our conclusion was that, unfortunately, most of the air operations simply inconvenienced the Iraqi nuclear program. It was the inspection regime that really rooted it out. And that has been built up over a long period of time. It's fairly intricate, and I think he's quite right to say that this agreement undermines it in some very important respects.
For me, though, the most important reason to be skeptical of this agreement is simply that Saddam has not kept any other agreement that he's made, and so I see no reason to think that he's going to keep another one. This goes back to my earlier conversation. In the Middle East you have somebody like Syria's President who is a tough, brutal dictator, but he keeps his agreements. Saddam's record is a guy who just doesn't keep his agreements.
On U.S. public opinion, the only thing I would say you would have had a similar reading before the Gulf War, and that's why I stressed in my statement the importance of the leadership shown by the U.S. Government, and particularly the President, in articulating why we're doing something and how we expect military force to achieve it. Without wishing to be partisan, I don't think we have that in this last series of events, and I think it is essential, if we ever do contemplate the use of military power against Iraq again.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you. Don't you think, though, the last time, because there was aggression, because people went across the border, and the public opinion saw it that a bigger country invaded a smaller country, and President Bush said, we're not going to allow that to happen any longer, that then the American people built up support for it. They don't see-like you said, he's being contained and they don't see that, and I think that action that happened before-and that's why we're able to get 27 other countries to join us in the alliance, and why we have next-door neighbors like Saudia Arabia not jumping forth to be a part of it, made a difference not only in how the American people have seen this big leap out, and maybe that probably is a difference of the fact that they did build up support after the Persian Gulf War and actually began, anyway.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you.
Mr. FOX. I ask unanimous consent that all Members be able to insert statements in the record before this hearing.
I'd ask one last question. Under what circumstances, gentlemen, should the United States threaten and actually carry out airstrikes against Iraq? What are the lessons learned from the previous air campaign against Iraq in 1991?
Mr. COHEN. Let me start with that. I can imagine a number of circumstances under which it is reasonable to threaten airstrikes against the Iraqis, starting with simply failure to live up to this agreement, depending, to be sure, on the scale of the violations. But it certainly seems to me to be prudent to say that next time there will be no warning; there won't be this period of runup and preparation. We won't deny ourselves the advantages of surprise.
The kind of decision that you make for the use of force is a very complicated one. It's going to depend very much on the circumstances at the time, the politics of the situation. I'm very reluctant to give you a checklist because I don't think Presidents work that way.
If we do use air power, the thing that I would stress most would be the importance of making it intense, and if necessary, prolonged. The thing that has done us quite a bit of damage has been resorting to these very limited strikes, which simply make Saddam look good, which cause collateral damage without corresponding benefits on our part, which do cause turmoil in the region, and don't yield any results.
Mr. WOLFOWITZ. I don't have much to add to that, except to say one thing, and that is, generally speaking, air power is more effective when it is in some way in support of people acting on the ground. Air power by itself has limitations as an instrument, but we saw in the Gulf War very, very clearly that U.S. air power could completely tip the balance between a very large ground force and a very small one, and I think that is a reason why we should get some people fighting on the ground inside Iraq, not Americans, but Iraqis, who I think are ready to do the job and help them with our air force.
Mr. FOX. On behalf of Chairman Gilman and Ranking Member Hamilton, I want to thank our outstanding witnesses for coming before the International Relations Committee today on the U.S. options confronting Iraq. Thank you very much for your attendance and your participation.
The meeting is now adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 12:40 p.m., the Committee adjourned subject to the call of the Chair.]
A P P E N D I X
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