U.S. OPTIONS IN CONFRONTING IRAQ
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
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DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska
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
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GARY ACKERMAN, New York
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
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Dr. Paul Wolfowitz, Dean, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced
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
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,
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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
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
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Most troubling of all is the question of whether this
agreement commits us to a course that will in short order render the continuation
of international sanctions on Iraq untenable. Make no mistake about it,
the sanctions regime that has been in place against Iraq since 1990 has
been one of our most effective tools in containing the threat posed by
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
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.
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But before introducing our witnesses, I'll recognize
our ranking Member, Mr. Hamilton.
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?
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I'm proud of the United States. I'm proud of what we've
accomplished in the world. I'm proud of the fact that we stand for freedom
and democracy. And I'm really looking forward to hearing all the witnesses
today to talk about what we might have avoided by not bombing at this particular
time, but I surely agree with the chairman and Mr. Hamilton that we want
Saddam Hussein to fulfill these written commitments that our Secretary
General has been able to get from the Iraqi leadership. This is very important
to us, but I think we should do everything we possibly can to keep the
peace. I think this is a good day, not a bad day, that we have peace, and
if we can keep the peace and still keep the heat and pressure on Saddam
to fulfill the commitments and open up these sites, and make sure these
inspections are done in an expeditious manner, because I know a lot of
the Iraqi people sure have suffered greatly under these economic sanctions,
because of Saddam Hussein's ruthless dictatorship, and not being concerned
about his people.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Clement.
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
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But the idea that one could bomb a biological plant
from 30,000 feet and have any hope that that would be a secure thing to
do is beyond human comprehension, and I don't think there's a single member
of the scientific community of the United States that would consider that
as a very secure option for our government.
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.
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Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Leach. Mr.
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.
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.
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This past week I led a delegation in our annual meeting
to the North Atlantic Assembly where we visited with parliamentarians from
the other 15 NATO countries. The conversation and debate inevitably turned
to Iraq, since it was expected that the military strike could be launched
soon against Iraq. After listening to our European and Canadian colleagues,
I spoke and said I thought that our colleagues here and also in our 15
NATO counterpart countries had a right to expect answers to three questions,
or three kinds of things that should happen.
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.
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And so you found discussion among parents about whether
schools were taking adequate protection to protect the children, because,
after all, children, especially small ones, cannot cope with gas masks
for any length of time. That's why our ambassador said to all of our embassy
and consulate personnel at 5 p.m. on Friday that they were free to leave
with their children. It's why the number of visas was up 40 percent. That's
why the number of people moving to Elat as far away as possible from Iran
was happening, and it's why there was so much concern about what was happening.
So they understand the incredible devastation that these weapons of mass
destruction can bring at least a little bit better than Europeans, Americans,
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
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. 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.
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And now I'm pleased to call on our witnesses. Dr. Paul
Wolfowitz is dean of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Previously, he held a number of important government positions, including
his position as Ambassador to Indonesia during the Reagan Administration
and Under Secretary for Defense for Policy during the Bush Administration.
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
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
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
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.
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Mr. WOLFOWITZ. I'm going to skip very lightly
over the first three pages, which talk about the agreement itself. Let
me say at the outset I'm not only pleased at the opportunity to testify
before this Committee; I'm delighted at the change in subject matter from
the time of the initial invitation. I thought we were going to come up
here to talk about how to bomb Iraq or whether to bomb Iraq, and instead,
we're taking about an agreement. I'm going to say some negative things
about the agreement, but I'm much happier that we're in this situation
than in a different one.
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.
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In fact, as Secretary Cohen emphasized with his five-pound
bag of sugar, you have to do a lot more than substantially reduce in order
to deal with this threat. And I think everyone really does know the only
real way to deal with this threat is, in fact, to deal with Saddam Hussein.
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
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
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He demonstrated not only in 1990, but then, surprisingly,
soon again in 1994 that he will pose a threat to Kuwait whenever he thinks
he has a chance. He has demonstrated time and time again that he will conduct
genocide and war crimes against his own people. He has gased them with
chemical weapons. He has forced them to dig mass graves and machine gun
them. He has diverted rivers to starve them and drive them out of their
homes. The one effective way to cope with the weapons of mass destruction
problem and these other problems is to help the Iraqi people remove him
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
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I think that is the asset that we have to use, and I
think, unfortunately, a measure of how we've squandered that asset or how
much it has diminished can be illustrated if I tell you a little anecdote
that I read about in a diplomatic or intelligence report about a month
after the Gulf War. It was a story about a group of U.N. inspectors, four
in a car, traveling inside Iraq—not inspectors; I believe they were AID
officials. They were stopped in an Iraqi roadblock, and one of them was
an American. When the Iraqi soldier, with his AK–47 saw the American passport,
he told the American to get out of the car, pointed with his gun to the
back, moved the American to the back of the car. By this time, the poor
American thought he was about to be shot. Instead, the Iraqi soldier looked
over both shoulders, looked behind his back, and when he was sure no one
was looking, he gave a thumbs up and he said, ''George Bush No. 1.'' That's
how the Iraqi people, 98 percent of them, felt about the United States
after that war. They thought we were going to finish the job that they
desperately wanted to see done.
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.
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But, unfortunately, the result was that, for a month
in March 1991, Saddam Hussein flew helicopters that slaughtered the people
in the south and in the north who were rising up against him, while American
fighter pilots flew overhead, desperately eager to shoot down those helicopters,
and not allowed to do so.
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
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.
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And we don't have to go to other countries or analogies
to understand this. Let me mention briefly, because I don't believe this
history is sufficiently known or appreciated, that Operation Provide Comfort,
which, to his great credit, President Bush ordered about a month after
the end of the war, when it became apparent that we, and in particular
our Turkish ally, could not tolerate the effects of Saddam's depredations
in northern Iraq—at that point, the President ordered the Iraqi army out
of the northern part of the country, and we were able to accomplish that
with a large number of lightly armed Kurdish irregulars, with eight battalions,
I believe it was, of light infantry, of which only two were American. One
was Royal Marines; the other was a fairly motley collection of troops from
Spain, the first ever deployed overseas in 50 years; Luxembourg, that great
military power; Italy. This was not what you would call a big force. But,
of course, it was backed up by the U.S. Air Force, and the Iraqi army,
for some reason, doesn't feel any more like going up against the U.S. Air
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.
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Saddam has very good security against that kind of thing.
I think it's also foolish to think that we'll somehow put a bomb in his
living room. I don't even think that's probably right, but we'll never
succeed at it.
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
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.
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And, finally, I would like to urge, Mr. Chairman, that
you consider appropriating money. This Congress appropriated $100 million
to equip and train the Bosnians at a time when the Administration still
had them under an arms embargo. When it finally turned out that we were
ready to do something, that money was the only money from the United States
that was available to provide a program that has been essential to the
success so far of the Dayton efforts. I believe you can do a similar service
here by making clear that there is military support available from the
United States for Iraqis that will take their fate in their own hands.
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
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.
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Toward that end, I think we should encourage UNSCOM,
the International Atomic Energy Agency, and this new special group that
is created by this agreement to undertake the most aggressive, sustained
series of inspections that we have seen to date. Let's find out whether
Saddam Hussein, at least for the time being, plans to live up to this agreement.
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.
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By definition, rollback, if it were to be successful,
would get rid of Saddam Hussein, which is obviously desirable, though I
would point out, not quite the panacea that many people suggest. The problems
of Iraq go beyond Saddam Hussein.
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
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Third, there's a real danger that we would once again
get these people into situations of difficulty, where if we didn't come
to their direct aid, we would have echoes of Hungary and the Bay of Pigs,
and if we did come to their direct aid, we would create logistical and
military nightmares for the United States, as trying to coordinate military
action in this sort of a context would be extremely messy. It would not
be a clear battlefield situation where we could bring our many advantages
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.
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We would need to build up our support in the Arab world,
where support for U.S. policy of containing Saddam—or, indeed, in any way
of confronting Saddam—is extremely thin. Arab support is thin largely for
two reasons. First, there is tremendous lack of sympathy for the economic
sanctions. To the extent they have had adverse humanitarian consequences,
it is Saddam's doing, but all the same, the political reality is that the
sanctions are largely blamed for that.
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
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.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
I mentioned the Middle East peace process. There I would
simply say, again, that I believe we need a much more active promotion
of the Oslo process.
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.
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But this, as I said, is a bonus. We cannot base our
policy on this. The real reason to base our policy on containment is that
it's affordable, it's doable, and it protects our core interests in Iraq
and in the larger Persian Gulf.
Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Haass appears in
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.
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Let me pause here and say, I'm a native of a State in
this Union where being a cowboy is not a pejorative comment unless Jerry
Jones' name is associated with it. I sealed the first building in Iraq.
I sealed it after 5 days of inspections in which the Iraqis systematically
moved material out of the building as we tried to gain access to it. I
did it with the full knowledge and consultation of the Chairman of UNSCOM
and after consultation with the Security Council.
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.
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First of all, at the heart of the agreement I'm afraid
is a conflict of interest. The Secretary General has put himself forward
as the bailbondsman of Saddam Hussein. ''You can trust this man; he will
live up to his word; you can do business with him.'' Bailbondsman for Saddam
Hussein, let me say, historically, is a very, very dangerous activity.
Ask the President of Egypt, who, as many of you will recall, 1 week before
the invasion of Kuwait went on record as saying, ''Saddam told me he is
not going to invade Kuwait.''
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
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?''
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So immediately you have a conflict there. You have the
Secretary General's new and special team and the old team. And, in fact,
what Richard Haass calls for, the test through implementation and aggressive
inspection, is only likely to get you to prove that the good team doesn't
have problems, and, indeed, it is the inspectors who are the source of
the problem. I find that very disturbing.
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
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
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?''
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''Well, that's when inspections begin, sir.''
''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
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.
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Let me just briefly speak about what I think we're in
danger of losing, because I think that is terribly important. First of
all, we are in danger of losing what is a revolution in the U.N. system
in terms of UNSCOM inspections. UNSCOM inspections have been quite unlike
any other arms control inspections, and really hold what I think is the
hope for avoiding military action and helping us deal with weapons of mass
destruction wherever they may appear.
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.
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And, finally, just a brief comment about what I also
think we're giving up. If you can really do business with Saddam, we're
freezing the process of political change. I don't think you've had anyone
who I know who's come before you and said—in fact, that was a criticism
many of us had of the action the Administration was contemplating—that
if you deal with a weapons, a small military strike, or even a large military
strike, aimed at the weapons but leave Saddam in power, you've done nothing
really to diminish the threat. The problem is Saddam. He is a war criminal.
He is a man who has not honored any of his obligations. He's killed, murdered,
and tortured both in his own country and in neighbors. He's committed the
largest environmental crime ever seen, and we should speak the truth about
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
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
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——
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Chairman GILMAN. Dean Wolfowitz said he'd give
you a proper excuse.
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.
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The 7 years since that time has seen dramatic improvements
in the quality of our forces. Our people are every bit as good as they
were back then. The organizations have improved considerably and our weapons
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
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.
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Third, resolute Presidential leadership makes all the
difference. Over the last few months, it has occurred to me that we have
forgotten somewhat the mood in December 1990 in this country, which was
grim. Responsible military and political leaders expected thousands of
American casualties and possibly even a stalemate in the Kuwaiti desert.
President Bush's determination carried the American people with him, and
not the other way around.
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.
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Second, it is untrue that the war ended as it did because
our Arab allies were bitterly opposed to further measures against Iraq,
including the overthrow of the regime, or because the American people were
horrified by the destruction of the defeated Iraqi forces. I have found
no evidence that Saudi leaders pleaded with the American Government to
suspend our offensive, nor is there any evidence that American public opinion
was turning against the war when it ended. Indeed, the decision to suspend
military operations was taken before, and not after, pictures of the so-called
''highway of death'' appeared on American television screens.
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
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.
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You have given the most powerful critique I've heard
of on the agreement that was negotiated earlier this week, and I have to
say that you persuaded me with a number of your thoughts, but I was wondering
about your opinion from the point of view, as a former weapons inspector
of a policy to which the Administration was committed until the agreement
was signed, would the use of air power alone have been likely to get UNSCOM
inspectors back on the track or do you think it might have had a negative
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?
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Mr. KAY. Congressman Hamilton, I have not given
up on it as worthy of maintaining pressure. What I have grave doubts about
is that any weapons system, any inspection system, can uproot a weapons
system that a country is determined to protect with deception, denial,
and cheating. We're, after all, in the biological area, talking about production
systems that are inherently very small; a 15-by-20-foot room is sort of
the standard. The weapons are inherently small in amount and can be moved
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
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.
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Mr. HAMILTON. OK, thank you.
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.
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Mr. FOX. Thank you.
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
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
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
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One thing you can understand—and it's repeated over
and over again in the history of efforts of this kind, that if you're involved
in supporting people, one of the prices of that support can be some pressure
for the basic unity of operation, and when you're absent, you can't do
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
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
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.
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And, second, I believe one of the very important reasons
to pursue this policy is it's the only one that's credible to our friends
in the region. It is the only one that is credible to millions of Arab
people who recognize that Saddam is a tyrant, and that object to our policies
because we don't do anything about it. And it's particularly, I think,
a threat to the governments who put their lives on the line, basically,
to oppose him and feel that they are at risk now.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you. Thank you, Ambassador
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.
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I wouldn't put a time on it. I'd stick with the pornography
equivalent, that we'll know it when we see it, but I do not think we ought
to get into arbitrary time limits, which Saddam would want. My own hunch
is that you're talking at least a year and probably longer, because Saddam
needs to pay a price for the past 4 months.
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.
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.
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So it seems to me the logic of the situation that we're
in now is going to be for the sanctions to be lifted, and I think it will
be very, very difficult for the Administration to resist that logic.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, and I thank our
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
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
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Mr. DAVIS. By way of elaboration on that, would
you be describing force limited to missile attack, and what would we realistically
expect to accomplish from these actions?
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
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.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
I would go after sources of the regime support, but
in the south, then, I would say I would define a zone in the south; I'd
say, from now on, any Iraqi army that operates in that part of southern
Iraq is free fire for the U.S. Air Force. I would try to drive the Iraqi
army out of a part of its country. And I would say, this is punishment
No. 1, and if you don't put the inspectors back in, we'll consider further
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.
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And that brings me to a whole series of economic measures,
starting with securing access to the frozen assets, which are currently
frozen, but in fact could be made available again to liberation forces.
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.
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If we look at confrontation, there seem to be three
different courses of action: subversion, a fairly narrow range of military
options targeting weapons of mass destruction, and a massive air campaign.
It seems to me all three of those courses, again, are also fraught with
risk. So while I would agree that we don't necessarily have a long-term
strategy for dealing with Iraq, it seems to me that the difficulty that
we confront is that none of the options look terribly good, and all of
them involve considerable risk.
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
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?
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Chairman GILMAN. Thank you.
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,
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?
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Mr. WOLFOWITZ. This is not in defense of an air
strike. I won't go back over it, but, I still have yet to see the point
of an air strike, and I don't think the—at least an air strike divorced
from some effort to liberate a portion of Iraqi territory, a significant
portion it's only in that context that I think we should use force, and
then I think force would have some effect.
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
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——
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Mr. ROTHMAN. Excuse me. I know he's a bad guy.
The question is—the analogy is good, but I wouldn't think perfect, because
the mafia would be operating in America. This is in another country. So
the question of U.S. interest.
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.
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The second point is Iraq's long-term potential. As I
said earlier in the hearing, it seems to me the logic of the situation
that we're in now is a drift toward the lifting of both the sanctions and
the inspections regime. Iraq is a very important country in the Middle
East. It has tremendous oil resources. It has a population that, on the
whole, is quite well-educated, hard-working, secular, modern. Iraq will
come back. It's very important to us that Iraq not come back with Saddam
at its head.
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.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you.
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I had a similar kind of a thought that the Congressman
from New Jersey had, but I, too, you know, am trying to grapple with this
Saddam Hussein problem. First of all, I was surprised when the policy changed
so much in the Middle East, when Iran/Iraq fought forever, and I guess
one of them invaded the other, and we almost encouraged that, since neither
one of them were countries we liked. And then, all of a sudden, though,
when Iraq went in, I think we certainly did the right thing by drawing
a line, but it kind of surprised me when we took a 100-percent different
tact when, then, Iraq went on to go to fight, invade Kuwait, maybe because
Kuwait was smaller than Iran. But they fought for 8 or 9 years. Hundreds
of thousands of people got killed, but nobody seemed to care. As a matter
of fact, we might even have said it was good, since we don't like either
one of them. Then, all of a sudden, with the policy changing so much, it
kind of caught me by surprise. Like I said, it was different.
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
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Who's going to, therefore, start to calculate the bodies,
if we're going to go in? I know that part, you don't agree with. You have
another policy of trying to maybe destabilize the country; maybe then that's
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
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.
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So if the agreement works, at some point it has to catch
him. I don't think that trivializes the agreement. I hope we have the inspectors
back in, but when we catch him, I hope we're ready to do something more
intelligent than simply the bombing campaign we had in mind. That's my
view of it.
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,
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Mr. COHEN. Well, yes, but I think there were
also differences that cut the other way. Before the Gulf War, it was assumed
that we were going to be going into a conflict with thousands and thousands
of casualties on our side, which was a source of opposition to the war.
Also, we now have 7 more years of experience with Saddam Hussein, including
the attempted assassination of an American President, the massacre of both
Kurds and Shiites, repeated violation of agreements, cheating, more and
more evidence about the truly horrifying extent of the weapons of mass
destruction program. So there are things that we know now that we didn't
know about Saddam in 1991, which I think to some extent counterbalanced
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.
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Finally, one lesson of the Gulf War is that it is possible,
if you set your mind to it, to target the regime and to target the things
that he values, and that a campaign which focuses simply on trying to root
out the weapons of mass destruction is not likely to be terribly successful,
either in the very narrow military sense or in a broader, political sense.
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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