|Senate Armed Services Committee Holds a Hearing on NATO Enlargement and Post-Conflict Iraq (1)|
Senate Armed Services Committee Holds a Hearing on NATO Enlargement and Post-Conflict Iraq (1)
Political Transcripts by Federal Document Clearing House (Copyright 2003 by Federal Document Clearing House, Inc.) April 10, 2003. Washington D.C. Source: US Senate. (Part 2)
- U.S. Senator John Warner (R-VA) Chairman
- U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
- U.S. Senator James M. Inhofe (R-OK)
- U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS)
- U.S. Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO)
- U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
- U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)
- U.S. Senator John Ensign (R-NV)
- U.S. Senator Jim Talent (R-MO)
- U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
- U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-NC)
- U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)
- U.S. Senator Carl Levin Levin (D-MI) Ranking Member
- U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA)
- U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV)
- U.S. Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (D-CT)
- U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)
- U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
- U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)
- U.S. Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE)
- U.S. Senator Mark Dayton (D-MN)
- U.S. Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN)
- U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY)
- U.S. Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR)
- Honorable Paul D. Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense
- General Peter Pace, USMC, Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
- General James L. Jones, USMC, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe
Senator John Warner: The committee meets today to receive the testimony on two important subjects: NATO enlargement and the post-conflict Iraq.
We welcome our witnesses, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz; General Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs; General Jones, the supreme allied commander Europe and commander of the U.S.-European Command.
We commend you, General Jones, for the award you received last night from a very prestigious organization, the Eisenhower Award. Very well deserved. We thank you for making the trip back to join this committee and give us your views on these extremely important subjects.
On March 27, the committee received testimony from Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman and Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith on the future of NATO. The information received at that hearing will provide a basis for our discussions today.
On March 26, 2003 representatives of the NATO-member countries signed the protocols of accession, that once ratified, would permit Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia to join NATO. The Senate will soon be asked to fulfill its constitutional duty to provide advice and consent to these protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty. Today's hearing on the military implications of NATO enlargement is a key element of this committee's contribution to the upcoming Senate consideration of these protocols.
NATO is first and foremost a military alliance. It's enlargement by seven additional nations, the largest enlargement in alliance history, would have dramatic implications for NATO's ability to function as an effective military organization.
During today's hearing, the committee will examine a number of key questions, including will these seven nations enhance the military's effectiveness of the alliance; how would their entry into NATO effect the capabilities gap that is a current challenge to NATO, example being the airlift; should NATO consider changing its operating procedures so that it is not, in all cases, bound to act by consensus; is there anything along the lines of a security council decision-making body within NATO, somewhat like they operate in the United Nations; does NATO need a suspension mechanism for nations that fail to uphold NATO's basic charter principles; what organizational military changes, if any, will NATO consider in order to continue to be an effective alliance?
The committee looks forward to hearing the views of witnesses in all these matters and any other issues you consider relevant to the military implications of this proposed round of NATO enlargement.
With respect to post-conflict Iraq in January of this year, President Bush designated the Department of Defense as the agency of the U.S. government to coordinate the interagency and international activities during the post-conflict phase of our involvement in Iraq. Therefore, it is appropriate that this committee conduct an oversight hearing on the responsibilities and authorities of this Department of Defense.
From the very initiation of consideration of this conflict and throughout its operation, President Bush has said it is an operation to liberate, to free the people of Iraq from the regime of Saddam Hussein. Clearly, securing the peace is as important as prevailing in the conflict phase of the ongoing war in Iraq. There has been much discussion in recent days about the desire of some to, quote, "internationalize" the post-conflict phase by giving the United Nations a central role. Clearly, the U.N. should be involved. The U.N. can play a significant role in these humanitarian and reconstruction activities where it has substantial expertise, such as the oil-for-food program, provision of food aid through the World Food Program and the resettlement of refugees and other displaced persons.
But as Secretary Powell said, the United Nations would be partner. And I respectfully add that not a managing partner, for that role of the management most properly falls to the coalition of the willing that conducted these operations. This coalition bravely fought the war. They're in the process now of liberating Iraq. They've borne the sacrifices and also have extensively planned and organized themselves for the stabilization and reconstruction phases that lie ahead. The coalition partners can and will manage the near-term activities until a functioning interim representative Iraqi authority can assume responsibilities. We look forward to receiving your testimony on who will be conducting the principal U.S. official responsibilities in Iraq for post-conflict activates, what will be the chain of command, how this effort will evolve during this period of time and what will be the requirements placed on U.S. military forces, both in terms of quantity and duration in post-conflict Iraq.
Finally, this appearance serves as General Jones' first posture hearing as commander of U.S.-European Command. We welcome your insight, General Jones, on developments in your area of responsibility, as well as your assessment of the '04 defense budget request.
General Jones, you graciously accepted the invitation to visit with Senator Levin and myself, Senator Roberts and Senator Rockefeller when we came through London on the way home from the AOR of CENTCOM. You shared with us some ideas about possible changes in the size and structure of U.S. forces in Europe, perhaps you can add that as a part of your testimony today.
We welcome our witnesses and we look forward participating with you in successes thus far that we've achieved in the Iraqi campaign and with NATO enlargements.
Senator Carl Levin: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Let me, first, join you in welcoming our witnesses, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz; vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace; and NATO's Supreme Allied Commander of Europe, General Jim Jones. He's here, I think, for the first time in his new capacity. We give him a special welcome.
The enlargement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a major development with great military and political implications. A significant aspect of any enlargement for the United States, of course, is that it will represent a commitment by us to treat an armed attack on any of the seven additional nations, like the existing nations, as an attack on the United States.
In 1997, at the time of the Senate's consideration of the enlargement of NATO to include Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, it was decided that the security of those Central European nations was important enough to make such a commitment. We're faced with a similar decision today relative to the candidates for admission into NATO.
One topic of discussion in 1997 was the reaction of Russia to the enlargement of NATO to include former members of the Warsaw Pact. Such enlargement was not intended to be threatening and, appropriately, it was not perceived as a threat by Russia, which wanted to establish a constructive relationship with the United States and the other members of NATO. As a matter of fact, Russia's decision on that matter was so clear that its position relative to NATO membership for the former Soviet Republic's Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia is not even an issue today in looking at these new candidates for membership.
Our task now is made easier by NATO's decision in April 1999 to launch the membership action plan to assist countries that wish to join the alliance in the preparations for membership. The membership action plan, which covers political, economic, defense, resource, security and legal aspects of NATO membership enabled the applicant nations, as well as the existing members of the alliance, to track their progress, including, most importantly, the future members' commitment to the fundamental principles of the NATO alliance; democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law. We are assisted in that regard by a report from the president containing an analysis of the progress of each aspirant nation.
Our hearing on March 27, which the chairman referred to, on the future of NATO with the undersecretaries of state and defense was a valuable backdrop to today's hearing. As a result of that hearing, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, Marc Grossman, has raised, with the U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Nick Burns, two issues that I've consistently raised and raised again at that hearing; namely, whether given the continuing growth of the alliance, there is an increasing need for a process to suspend the membership of a nation that was no longer committed to the fundamental values of the alliance and whether, in the aftermath of the dispute over whether to plan for the defense of Turkey, the requirement for consensus needed to be reconsidered. Secretary Grossman has subsequently advised us that Ambassador Burns has agreed to raise that issue at the North Atlantic Council.
Senator Carl Levin: The second issue of this morning's hearing has to do with post-conflict Iraq. There is no doubt in the mind of this committee about the outcome of the military campaign against Saddam Hussein. The coalition of American, British and Australian service men and women has performed with extraordinary courage, valor and professionalism, as we knew that they would. There are military challenges ahead of us still in Iraq, but military history has clearly been made already and has been made dramatically.
Relative to the post-Saddam reconstruction challenge, President Bush and Prime Minister Blair said the following in a joint statement last Tuesday:
"As the coalition proceeds with the reconstruction of Iraq, it will work with its allies, other bilateral donors, and with the United Nations and other international institutions. The United Nations has a vital role to play in the reconstruction of Iraq. We welcome the efforts of U.N. agencies and nongovernmental organizations in providing immediate assistance to the people of Iraq."
And they went on to say the following last Tuesday:
"As we stated in the Azores, we plan to seek the adoption of new United Nations Security Council resolutions that would affirm Iraq's territorial integrity, ensure rapid delivery of humanitarian relief, and endorse an appropriate post-conflict administration for Iraq."
The joint statement also included the following statement, quote,
"The Iraqi interim authority will be broad-based and fully representative, with members from all of Iraq's ethnic groups, regions and Diaspora. The interim authority will be established first and foremost by the Iraqi people, with the help of the members of the coalition and working with the secretary general of the United Nations."
I welcome President Bush and Prime Minister Blair's statement that they will seek U.N. Security Council endorsement of an appropriate post-conflict administration for Iraq. Such involvement of the world community in the selection of the interim Iraqi government is important, to demonstrate, particularly to Muslim nations, that the interim government will be selected by the Iraqi people and will not be just picked by the coalition that was engaged in removing Iraq's tyrant.
The involvement of the world community, acting through the United Nations, will add significant credibility to and confidence in the interim Iraqi government and give the lie to those who propagandize that the removal of Saddam was motivated by a desire to dominate Iraq or control its resources.
I look forward to the testimony of our witnesses.
Thank you very much.
Senator John Warner: Thank you, Senator Levin.
Today's record, we will admit to such communications as we may receive from Ambassador Burns regarding the points raised during the course of this hearing.
Secretary Wolfowitz, we welcome you.
Paul Wolfowitz: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I will give an abbreviated version of my statement and submit the entire statement for the record.
Senator John Warner: The statements of all the witnesses in their entirety will be placed in the record.
Paul Wolfowitz: I think it's particularly fitting at a crucial stage in another war to defend freedom that we are here to take stock of an alliance that has been integral to the preservation of peace and the protection of democracy for more than half a century now. I can personally claim to have had some involvement in U.S. NATO affairs for 30 of those 50 years. And as I think back on that history, I am struck that at almost every point in NATO's history there have been doubters and naysayers, some who say that NATO has outlived its usefulness, some have suggested it isn't even useful at all.
I remember in the summer of 1990, being privileged to attend what was NATO's first post-Cold War summit. It was held in London. And the host was Prime Minister Thatcher. And she opened the meeting with remarks that were clearly intended to be ironic, saying that Europe stands at the dawn of a new era, as promising in its own way as 1919 or 1945. She clearly meant that promise can sometimes encounter harsh reality, but I doubt if even the prime minister thought that just a month later, we would be confronting an Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
The world is a world full of promise, but it is also a dangerous and uncertain place, and I am struck at how regularly NATO has gainsayed the doubters, whether we go back to the mid-1970s when some people in this country said we shouldn't have any troops in Europe any longer, we stuck it out, NATO stuck it out, I think it contributed substantially to the peaceful end of the Soviet Empire.
In the early 1980s, when people said NATO wouldn't be able to stand up to the test of deploying intermediate-range nuclear forces in Europe or if it did stand up to the test, it wouldn't be capable of then negotiating an arms control arrangement with the Soviet Union. NATO was able to do both. When the Berlin Wall came down, I remember President George Herbert Walker Bush being asked at a press conference, why did we need NATO any longer now that the threat had done away? And his answer was there is still a threat and it's called uncertainty. And some people thought that wasn't a very threatening threat. But I think, in fact, the history of the 1990s demonstrated once again that there are dangers in Europe and NATO has been an extraordinarily successful instrument for addressing those dangers, most significantly in the Balkans. And, indeed, I think NATO demonstrated impressively its capability in the Balkans.
And I recall in many of those debates some echoes that one hears more strongly today that American leadership in NATO was heavy-handed, that we were pushing and bullying the Europeans, and we would be fracturing the alliance, or, alternatively, from the other end, that we would be following NATO into some kind of Balkan quagmire where thousands of Americans would be killed.
I think neither of those great fears have been realized. And instead I think we can point proudly to a NATO mission that has saved lives and helped to stabilize an important part of the newly free Europe.
If I could just take a couple more examples or one more example, which was the enlargement that you referred to, the first round of enlargement, when Poland and the Czech Republic and Hungary were brought into NATO and some people feared -- and I think not without some reason -- that this would be building a wall down the center of Europe that would be excluding Russia. I think experience has demonstrated that instead of building a wall, we built a bridge across Europe, a bridge on which Russia has been able to move closer to Europe, both in security terms but also in political terms.
Now at the beginning of the 21st century, NATO continues to be the central instrument for solidifying peace in Europe and drawing nations on both sides of the Atlantic closer together. In response to the extraordinary new threat posed by international terrorism, NATO, for the first time in its history, invoked Article V, calling on all members to defend the country that was attacked, and the country was the United States. No one would have predicted that.
Paul Wolfowitz: NATO sent NATO AWACS aircraft here to this country to help defend America's skies, and NATO is supporting the deployment of German and Dutch forces in their newly assumed leadership role in the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Few would have predicted that NATO or NATO countries would be doing anything in a country as far away and as remote as Afghanistan, but it is.
It's against that background that I think we address this issue of a second round of enlargement; against the background of certain fundamental constants, that NATO is and will remain the anchor of the U.S. security relationship with Europe, that NATO is and will remain the central framework not only for trans-Atlantic military cooperation, but also for the west's mobilization of its comprehensive collective power to defend our common interests. And of course, Europe remains essential to the forward presence of American forces. It is with those constants in mind that President Bush has forcefully supported a round of NATO enlargement, one that will extend NATO from the Baltic to the Black Sea.
As I mentioned, the last round of enlargement did not, as some naysayers feared, build a new wall down the middle of Europe. Instead, NATO has built bridges across the continent, providing incentives for countries to reform their political systems, to strengthen their relationships with their neighbors and to bring their military forces under civilian control. An historically significant political development of this past decade is the bridge that has been extended to Russia, encouraging democratic Russia to have a closer relationship with NATO and, indeed, with all of Europe. The enlargement of NATO continues the vision of a Europe that is secure, undivided and free, and work is underway to enlarge the alliance further.
By colleague at the State Department under Secretary Marc Grossman noted in his testimony here a couple of weeks ago that the addition of these seven countries is about the future of NATO. I couldn't agree more.
As we look to the future of NATO, we might see its further enlargement in terms of two imperatives: moral and strategic. The moral imperative calls us to help new democracies formally subjected to the yoke of tyranny to consolidate and secure their freedom and sovereignty. The strategic imperative suggests that a united Europe of common values will help avoid the major wars that continent experienced in the 19th and 20th centuries. A united Europe will be a better partner to the United States in dealing with world affairs. A united Europe will provide a context of security that can encourage reform in Ukraine and Russia. A Europe so united is revitalized by nations who have recently thrown off the yoke of authoritarianism and who have a fresh commitment to freedom and democracy through NATO's responsibilities.
And further, enlargement of NATO remains based on sound reform of any aspiring nation, including military reform and national strategy, secure communication systems, upgrading facilities to NATO standards, improved training logistical support and personnel and military spending at a minimum level of 2 percent of gross domestic products.
Mr. Chairman, you also asked us to address in this hearing the future of post-Saddam Iraq, and I think this is the appropriate place to pay tribute to the extraordinary young men and women and, indeed, a few older men and women who are their commanders, for a heroic, professional, humane, and truly brilliant performance, and also to pay credit to their predecessors who have stood on the lonely lines in Germany in the Cold War, who shed blood in Korea and in Vietnam, who helped to bring about the peaceful end of the Soviet Empire, who have contributed so much to securing and advancing that freedom which we know the greatest generation fought to restore in World War II. The debt that this country owes to its fighting men and women, the gratitude we owe to them and their families is really immeasurable, and this is a day to comment on it particularly.
Senator John Warner: We thank you for those remarks, Mr. Secretary. We very much share your sentiments.
Paul Wolfowitz: It's great to be surrounded by Marines.
I'd like to quote two paragraphs from the statement Secretary Rumsfeld made yesterday in commenting on those spectacular scenes of the toppling statues of another tyrant. The secretary said, "The scenes of free Iraqis celebrating in the streets riding American tanks, tearing down the statues of Saddam Hussein in the center of Baghdad are breathtaking. Watching them, I cannot help but think of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Iron Curtain. We are seeing history unfold events that will shape the course of a country, the fate of a people and potentially the future of a region.
Saddam Hussein is now taking his rightful place alongside Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, and Ceausescu in the pantheon of failed, brutal dictators, and the Iraqi people are on their way to freedom."
The secretary went on to say, "The general who led our war of liberation, George Washington, once said..." -- and I am now quoting General Washington, 'my anxious recollection, my sympathetic feeling and my best wishes are irresistibly excited wheresoever in any country I see an oppressed nation unfurl the banners of freedom.'"
As we watch Iraqis today unfurl the banners of freedom, all Americans share in their joy and celebrate with them.
That quote from Washington, Mr. Chairman, made me think that if someone has asked George Washington on the eve of the Battle of Yorktown or the even after the end of it, what his plans were for post-King George America, he probably would have been guessing in the dark. I think it's worth emphasizing that, by definition, a democratic process is not one that can be done according to a blueprint; it is not one that can be dictated by outsiders.
Our goal in Iraq is a democratic Iraq that truly represents the wishes of the people of Iraq with leaders who are chosen not by us or by any outsiders, but by the Iraqi people. And that means, we can set up some parameters for a process, but we cannot write a blueprint. I think, considering all of that, we have come pretty far in laying out some of those key building blocks, and I'd like to just sketch them for you here this morning.
Paul Wolfowitz: Let me start with the responsibilities of the international community, including the United States and our coalition partners.
To help Iraq take its place among peace-seeking nations, the international community has a responsibility to ensure that that democratic vision becomes a reality, and the coalition is committed to working with international institutions, including most importantly the United Nations. We welcome support from U.N. agencies and from nongovernmental organizations in providing immediate humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people. The larger role of the U.N. will be determined in coordination with the Iraqi people themselves, with other members of the coalition, with the secretary general and other members of the United Nations.
Based on the lessons of previous conflicts, we have learned that post-war reconstruction requires a close coordination of military and civilian efforts. Progress toward rebuilding -- in this case to some extent building, because there was a lot of palaces, but not much else that this tyrant built -- naturally promotes security. But if local business people and foreign investors do not feel secure, economic reconstruction will be hindered. A secure environment is key to enabling a democratic-political process to proceed. So establishing security through law and order is a fundamental necessity.
For the first time in decades the wealth of Iraq will be devoted to the welfare of its people, not to palaces or armies or instruments of repression. Economic development will require the protection of Iraq's natural resources and infrastructure. Much has been achieved already by what I would call a brilliant military plan, but additional efforts are underway to protect Iraq's oil fields in the north and to persevere all of them as a national asset and to restore oil production as quickly as possible to provide the Iraqi people with their primary source of revenue.
But let me emphasize decisions regarding the long-term development of Iraq's oil resources and its economy will be the responsibility of a stable Iraqi government. The United States is dedicated to ensuring that Iraq's oil resources will remain under Iraqi control for the use of the Iraqi people. All of Iraq's resources belong to Iraq's people.
One of the greatest responsibilities of the coalition will be to help Iraqis create a new government -- if I could paraphrase Abraham Lincoln -- government of the Iraqi people, by the Iraqi people and for the Iraqi people. As part of that effort, let me say, we have three elements in achieving that effort. As part of it, there is the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance. The purpose of this office in the first phase as coalition forces gain control over all of Iraq will be to oversee the delivery of humanitarian assistance and initial efforts to resume the provision of essential services to the Iraqi people. That office will be the key, for example, to meeting basic needs like medical care, water, electrical services and making sure that the Iraqi civil servants who administer those programs get paid.
The ORHA, if I could use an acronym, is not a provisional government for Iraq. Let me repeat, it is not a government for Iraq. The ORHA is a multinational, coalition effort, including representatives from a range of U.S. government agencies, including the Defense Department, the State Department, the Justice Department, USAID and advisers from outside the government, including some very distinguished former government servants. J. Garner, who will head ORHA, will report to General Tommy Franks. He will receive his instructions from the president through the secretary of defense and General Franks.
As soon as basic services are running once again, the administration would be turned over, as soon as feasible, to the Iraqi interim authority, which I will describe in just a minute. And over time, ORHA will assume increasingly an advisory role.
I'd like to make one note about J. Garner, whom I first met in a helicopter flying over northern Iraq in July of 1991, the same time I first get General Jones, who was commanding a Marine battalion in the north at the time. General Garner has many remarkable qualifications for this task but, perhps, none as important as the leading role that he played in Operation Provide Comfort in 1991, in assisting the people of northern Iraq to establish a governing authority in the territory under their control. That process enabled coalition forces to withdraw completely -- I underscore completely -- without any peacekeepers left behind, six months after Operation Provide Comfort had created a sanctuary in the north for free Iraqis.
Paul Wolfowitz: It is, in my opinion, one of the more remarkable achievements of the use of our military to advance a political and economic agenda for people.
Senator John Warner: Mr. Secretary, it would be helpful if you would place in the record subsequent to the hearing a very detailed biographical sketch of the general, what he has done since he left active duty until he was asked to come on to this role. A number of us tried to reach him before he departed and we were not able to do so. My colleague and I reviewed the possibility of going over there to see him, but at this point in time, it just was not convenient for either my colleague or myself and other members of this committee and the general.
Paul Wolfowitz: We'll provide that for the record, Mr. Chairman.
The second element of a post-Saddam Iraq will be something to be called the Iraqi interim authority. That authority should assume increasingly greater responsibility over time for the administration of Iraq. The Iraqi interim authority will draw from all of Iraq's religious and ethnic groups, to include both Iraqis currently outside the country and those inside. It will provide a way for Iraqis to begin immediately to direct the political and economic reconstruction of their country.
The authority will include not only members of the free Iraqi groups that have fought Saddam's tyranny and the independents among the expatriate community, but will also draw from local leaders who have already begun to participate with the coalition in the liberation of Iraq. As people throughout the country become free to express their views -- and it's happening, obviously, at a spectacular pace --more and more people will emerge from within Iraq who can become a part of that leadership.
The interim authority's most important responsibility will be to set in motion a process leading to the creation of a new Iraqi government, for example, by setting up local elections or drafting a new constitution. This is a process that foreigners cannot direct. It must be a process owned by Iraqis. Our task is to create the conditions, including the security conditions, in which Iraqis can formulate a process and pick their leaders freely. An interim authority would be a bridge from the initial administration of basic services by the coalition to an eventual government that represents the Iraqi people.
In the final phase, an Iraqi government would assume sovereignty on the basis of elections in accordance with a new constitution. Our intention is to leave Iraq in the hands of Iraqis themselves as soon as we can. As President Bush has said, the United States intends to stay in Iraq as long as necessary, but not one day more. That the people of Iraq want a voice in their own government, there can be no doubt.
The Ayatollah Ali Sistani who was under house arrest since 1988, who is now free from Saddam's tyranny, recently issued what is perhaps history's first pro-American fatwa. He advised believers, quote, "...not to hinder the forces of liberation and help bring this war against the tyrant to a successful end for the Iraqi people." Sistani, referring to recent events, was reported to have quoted the Prophet Mohammed saying "there is good in what happens," and added himself, "Our people need freedom even more than air. Iraq has suffered and it deserves better government."
Mr. Chairman, this administration -- I know this -- our whole country -- is committed to helping Iraqis achieve that better government, the government that represents all ethnic and religious groups. We look forward to working with you and members of the Congress to meet both the challenges that face the trans-Atlantic community and the people of Iraq.
Senator John Warner: Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary.
General Peter Pace: Mr. Chairman, thank you.
Sir, in the interest of saving as much time as possible for your questions, in addition to my written testimony, I would simply like to offer a very sincere thank you to you and all the members of this committee from all of us in uniform for the strong, sustained and bipartisan support that has enabled us to recruit, to train and equip the magnificent young men and women who are doing our country's missions right now in Afghanistan and Iraq. And this committee and the Senate has had enormous sway and influence on the quality of that force, sir, and we thank you.
Senator John Warner: We thank you, General. And for the leadership that General Myers, yourself, other members of the Joint Staff and right on down to the General Franks' Central Command and his staff for their extraordinary planning and execution of what appears to be an operation that will succeed in the goals as laid down by the president, the prime minister of Great Britain and other coalition partners.
Thank you, sir.
General James Jones: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
It's a great honor and a pleasure to be here at this witness table with the deputy secretary and my lifelong friend in the United States Marine Corps and now the vice chairman, General Peter Pace.
Senator John Warner: That's a remarkable coincidence that both positions are filled by Marines. But being a former Marine, I take due note of that.
(UNKNOWN): I think it's divine intervention, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Carl Levin: And I would observe that I'm flanked by two Marines, too.
Senator John Warner: General Jones?
General James Jones: Thank you, sir.
General James Jones: Mr. Chairman, as you pointed out, I have the privilege of wearing two unique but complementary hats, first as the allied commander in Europe and secondly as the commander of U.S. Forces in Europe. I'd like to just make a few comments about each one of those.
It seems to me that the most recent gathering of our world's leaders to discuss NATO at Prague revealed solid political support for the viability of this most important organization, indeed a very unique organization on the face of the planet today. This political support was expressed by having the members unanimously agree to expand by seven new nations, growing from 19 to 26 countries. It also signalled political support for the vitality and the contribution that NATO can make in the 21st century, all the while recognizing the tremendous record of achievement that it made in the 20th century.
NATO is going from being a defensive alliance arrayed against a very clearly defined enemy, an enemy that's becoming a friend and has become a friend, to a more focused alliance hinged on the military capability of engagement, both in a regional context and, to witness the current discussions going on in Brussels, perhaps even in a global context, ranging from the Balkans all the way to Afghanistan.
From a military perspective, it is an alliance that is in transition as it changes from being defensive in nature to adopting a more flexible, more useful, more capable, and, yes, more credible and more efficient force, and the instrument of that military transformation in NATO in my judgment is called the NATO response force.
The NATO response force in its full potential is generating a lot of excitement in not only the military circles in Europe, but also the political leadership circles. And I believe that it is quite possible that within a very short period of time that the NATO response force will become a transformational capability that will finally take the Cold War force that NATO is and has been, composed of 2.3 million people under arms with a vast array of legacy systems that are in dire need of transformation and modernization, to become a more capable force that will be more useful to respond to the array of asymmetric threats that not only face the United States, but face all freedom-loving people who comprise the alliance.
I should also signal, although he's not represented here at the table, the role of Admiral Giambastian, the impending commander of Allied Command for Transformation, which is the new title replacing the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic. As the operational commander, I will shortly assume the responsibility for the SACLANT's previous operational commitments. And in his role as the Allied Commander for Transformation, he will be the engine for transformation of military cultures and concepts that will take us into the 21st century.
So in my opinion, this is an exciting time to be in NATO, as NATO redefines itself, as it expands, as it becomes more useful in terms of being able to respond to those challenges it faces, whether it be in the Balkans, in Afghanistan, in the Mediterranean with the highly successful operation involving outstanding Naval Forces Mediterranean. The deployment of NATO AWACS, theater missile defense, and NBC capabilities recently to the defense of Turkey are all indications of the vast array of challenges and capabilities that NATO must have in the future. It is truly an exciting place to be assigned.
With regard to the European Command, the United Command Plan of 2002 added 16 percent more land mass and 28 percent more sea space to the responsibilities of the European commander. It is an active area of responsibility, comprised of 93 countries, 46 million square miles of land and water. It, too, has seen its success in the history of the 20th century in bringing about, with our allies, the demise of the Soviet Union and the transformation of the European land mass. And now, we are looking at how we can support the alliance by looking at our basing strategy, which sees 84 percent of our bases centered in three different countries, to see how best we can support the new responsibilities and the new focus of attention that we must bring to bear on areas of our theater that are causing increasing concerns and will be of increased concern to our nation and to our alliance in the future.
New threats to the region are manifest by the asymmetric threats portrayed by extreme fundamentalism, crime, narco-trafficking, terrorism, creeping instabilities, and increased concern not only to the east and to our south, but to the south, and notably the increasing threats that we face from the Mahgreb (ph) and sub-Saharan Africa.
We will need to have new basing models. As you know, Mr. Chairman, the Armed Forces of the United States were reduced between 35 and 40 percent following Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and we used the energy that we cultivated from that reduction to project into the very capable and awesome force that we're able to bring to bear not only on the field of battle, but on the field of engagement, which is equally important during the intervening years between wars.
The new basing models of the U.S. European Command will be flexible and agile and they will be able to do more with the same amount that we have. They will recognize the new realities of the NATO alliance itself, as it expands and acquires new members, and it will be based on not only permanently based forces, but also rotational forces that can come into our area and make an immediate impact.
As an example of this, I would submit that the U.S. forces currently stationed in Bosnia-Herzegovina are 100 percent National Guard forces based in the United States, and they are doing a truly remarkable job in their rotation. And as they depart, they will be replaced by another such force. So in sum, Mr. Chairman, the relationship between the U.S. European Command and NATO is as strong as it ever was. We will re-evaluate our footprints; we will re-evaluate how we do things; we will take advantage of the transformational aspects that have been so successfully implemented over the past few years to provide this nation with the reassurance and the security that it deserves, and the guidance and the help and the needed leadership in the alliance that we're privileged to enjoy in what is, in my opinion, the most important military alliance that the world has ever seen.
It's a great honor for me to be here representing the men and women of the U.S. European Command and also to be appearing before you as the allied commander of Europe.
General James Jones: Thank you, sir.
Senator John Warner: Thank you, General Jones. It's an excellent statement. I know your profound respect for your predecessor, General Ralston, but I wish to commend you on some initiatives that you have stated in this statement today, and other times about how you wish to leave your own imprimatur on this important post to which the president has assigned you.
General James Jones: Thank you, sir.
Senator John Warner: This hearing today as we open it, we have very much in mind the families who have lost loved ones in this conflict, the families who must care for the wounded, the sick. And most particularly those families who are still concerned about those that could be prisoners of war. The Senate expressed its sentiments yesterday with regard to the prisoners of war, Mr. Secretary. And I take note of that.
Furthermore, as we are conducting this hearing on post-Iraq, by no means do we not take into consideration the messages that have been sent by -- not only the president but Secretary Rumsfeld and yourself, as well as the CENTCOM commander, this fight is still underway.
And as we're holding this hearing, members of the coalition forces are enduring risks as they bravely carry out the mission. Now, Mr. Secretary, we've learned here shortly in the last few hours that Russia, France, and Germany --the heads of state -- are going to meet.
Did you have any consultation with regard to this meeting taking place? What can you tell us about that meeting?
Thus far, it's been my observation. I think a correct one that our president and prime minister of Great Britain have not made any references of recriminations for those nations that did not join us at times when we were hopeful that the Security Council could have taken an action that could have avoided the use of force, but that didn't take place for reasons we all know.
And also the very tragic chapter in the history of NATO, when members objected to NATO provided the security that a member nation, Turkey, felt was necessary. So with that background, what can you tell us about this meeting?
General James Jones: To make the record clear, ultimately, there was only one member that objected and we went to a mechanism that we used a great deal in the 1980s and early 1990s. I think of the decision in...
(Unknown): Can you draw that mike up a little closer.
General James Jones: ...and we did get the assistance to Turkey. I think the discussions with those countries about whatever their plans are in Moscow are obviously being conducted by the State Department and I think the only comment I would like to make is I hope that they will think about how they can contribute to helping the Iraqi people get on their feet and build a better country.
And there is a great deal they can do. I hope, for example, they will think about the very large debts that come from money that was lent to the dictator to buy weapons and to build palaces and to building instruments of repression. I think they ought to consider whether it might not be appropriate to forgive some or all of that debt so the new Iraqi government isn't burdened with it. There's a great deal that they can do and I know we would welcome their help, and I imagine the Iraqi people would welcome their help. This is a time to think about the future.
Senator John Warner: I looked over your written statement and listened carefully to your oral delivery. With respect to the United Nations, you said the precise role of U.N. will be determined to coordination with the Iraqi people themselves, coalition members, and U.N. officials.
Secretary of state said that they would be a partner, but it would be my hope, just speaking from myself, that, again, the overall management -- the partners would manage the early stages of post-conflict would be those of the coalition nations -- primarily, the United States and Great Britain.
Am I not correct in that?
General James Jones: I think you're absolutely correct in that and I think what we are trying to avoid is a situation that we have seen in other places in the world, where Iraq might become a sort of permanent ward of the international community. There is no reason for that to happen. This is a country that has every capability of administering itself, of handling basic functions and, I believe, creating a viable government.
The more quickly that happens the better. And in the early stages, when things like food and water and medicine and basic services have to be delivered, the coalition has a responsibility to make sure that that happens efficiently.
So your description is exactly right. But we see the U.N. as a very important partner in that exercise.
Senator John Warner: And it's the coalition that will have to provide the basic security, indeed, for a period of time, the essential of a police force in small towns as well as large cities. And that could not be provided by the U.N. in any way. General James Jones: Certainly, it can't be overseen by the U.N.. I mean, I would say if the U.N. can help in places where it might be useful to...
Senator John Warner: You've recounted those places.
General James Jones: Pardon?
Senator John Warner: You've stated those places very clearly, where they can be. And they will be a partner in that context.
General James Jones: I -- no, Mr. Chairman, we are hearing from the British that already some of the police are coming back to work in Basra and seem to be acceptable to the local populace. If that were to prove true, for example, that's the best kind of way to proceed.
Senator John Warner: I think the employment of the clerics, the religious establishment to help has been an interesting chapter.
Turning to the NATO -- speaking again for myself.
Senator John Warner: I had some misgivings about the last round, this time I'm very supportive. And one of the reasons that I've become a supporter is the doctrine, the Niche Doctrine, whereby these new nations each have some recognized capability that is needed by NATO right now and they cannot be expected to provide -- and I've heard it described as a 360 degree military; that is, air, land, sea forces --rather that they should take and draw upon such expertise as they now have and have an interest in developing to contribute to NATO.
Can you expound on that?
Paul Wolfowitz: Absolutely. And I think General Jones alluded to the fact that we're not any longer dealing in a world where the main requirement is for large tank formations in the central plains of Europe to counter massive Soviet invasion. We're talking about much more, generally, much more agile and flexible and deployable forces.
And I was interested to learn that, for example, not only do the Romanians, for example, have some very capable special forces who deploy to Afghanistan, but apparently the Romanians were able to deploy them themselves, which was an interesting point.
We see a great need for, unfortunately, chemical-biological protection capabilities. The Czechs are one of the countries that have got a very real capability in that regard. And I would note that the Czech Republic is one of our coalition partners that's actually participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom. So there are specific capabilities where small countries can make a big difference.
Senator John Warner: I thank you.
General Jones, you and I've talked privately on this subject. And it's quite clear that the concept that NATO could provide, should we say, some security forces in the Iraq situation, post-conflict, is one that deserves consideration. They would have to be extensive political consultations between the NATO-member countries.
But in the event that the political consultations resulted in an expression of interest, you as the overall commander, could you give us today your opinion as to the capability of NATO to undertake such a mission if called upon by the NAC?
General James Jones: If tasked with the proper political guidance, as the allied commander, my immediate challenge would be to respond very quickly with a number of -- a range of options, which is a traditional way of the modalities of NATO. Clearly, one of the advantages in the geographical context is the location of the conflict on the borders of NATO itself, presuming the willing partnership of all of the nations to include that of Turkey, you certainly have an appropriate route of advance into the region that we're talking about.
NATO has a lot of capability that can bring to bear, ranging from peacekeeping to humanitarian relief operations to stability operations. There could be any number of things that, with given the proper legal and international support of the alliance, that we could do militarily.
I am in the process of -- I have submitted, in response to political guidance, a range of options for the possible employment of NATO forces in Afghanistan, as an example. So, clearly, the membership of the alliance is thinking in regional goals, in regional terms and in global terms, as well.
Senator John Warner: I thank you, General. I think internationalism in both the Afghanistan AOR, as well as the post-conflict Iraq is a very worthy goal to achieve. And I think should NATO decide to do it, it would provide a very valuable addition to internationalize that situation.
Senator Carl Levin: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Jones, can you tell us whether or not the strains that exist at the civilian leadership level of NATO are felt at all in the military leadership?
General James Jones: Generally not, Senator Levin. The relationships among the member-nations militaries have been extraordinarily strong and consistent throughout -- certainly throughout my brief period there. And in consultation with General Ralston and my turnover with him, he also expressed the fact that, even in difficult times where diplomatically or politically there's disagreement, the communications and dialogue between the member-nations of NATO at the military level remain very strong.
Senator Carl Levin: Secretary Wolfowitz, President Bush and Prime Minister Blair have made a statement, now twice, that they plan to seek United Nations Security Council support of a post-conflict administration for Iraq. I think there's great wisdom in that commitment, both in terms of creating worldwide confidence in such an interim government and also in sharing the burdens that the post-conflict reconstruction will place on all of us.
Yet, we continue to hear reports that the Department of Defense is somehow or other more reluctant than the State Department to provide that central role for the United Nations.
Senator Carl Levin: Is there any accuracy in those reports?
Paul Wolfowitz: I would add that they're a large pile of inaccurate reports, Senator. I mean, we agree very strongly that we need the U.N., we need the U.N. functional agencies that have historically played a very large role in things like refugee assistance, humanitarian relief. In fact, the World Food Programme is already engaged.
I think, what you alluded to is one of the most important functions, which is helping to mobilize international support for the Iraqi people. There are a great many countries who've indicated a willingness and desire to contribute. And of that, a number have said it will either be necessary or at least desirable if it is part of U.N. effort. The World Bank and the IMF, I think, can play important roles. And, again, for them it's important that it have U.N. endorsement.
Senator Carl Levin: You include in your comments, U.N. endorsement of the interim government. Would you include that?
Paul Wolfowitz: Certainly that would be a desirable thing, yes.
Senator Carl Levin: Mr. Secretary, can you tell us how the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance is structured and how it will include Iraqi leaders?
Paul Wolfowitz: It's structured really in parallel with the various Iraqi ministries. And it is set up to provide coalition advisers, and not just Americans. We're talking to the British and the Australians and the Pols about contributing advisers, as well, who would help in the initial oversight of the ministries, help to figure out what changes need to be made.
Our hope is that in some of the more basic ministries, like health or electricity, that the issue of Baathist influence is not going to be a major issue and hopefully they can be treated in a fairly technical way and be allowed to function and continue providing basic services to the Iraqi people.
Our goal is to have as much of an Iraqi administration continue to function as is consistent with creating an atmosphere that is free and where people clearly understand that the terror apparatus of the old regime is gone. Obviously, there are certain ministries that probably, not simply, but have to be dismantled completely, but that's going to be the exception. Senator Carl Levin: On each parallel office that we have, will any of those offices that are parallel to an Iraqi ministry be headed by an Iraqi?
Paul Wolfowitz: It might be headed by an Iraqi-American. I mean, our notion is that over time as it develops increasing competence and increasing legitimacy, the Iraqi interim authority could have Iraqis appointed to head ministries. And that over time, eventually you would have all of the ministries reporting directly to the Iraqi interim authority and run by Iraqis, but I think it's going to be a hand-off kind of procedure.
Senator Carl Levin: General Jones...
Paul Wolfowitz: And I guess I should emphasize that's our notion at the moment. When we get on the ground, we'll probably change.
Senator Carl Levin: General Jones, as I noted in my opening statement, you and I have talked about this on a number of occasions. I've been concerned for a long time about the lack of a mechanism to suspend the membership of a NATO nation that somehow or the other turns bad and no longer is committed to fundamental principles or values in the U.N. charter -- democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law.
We hope that that will never happen. And this is in no way relates to the particular candidates for accession at the moment. But as this gets larger and larger, and gets to 26 nations, which we hope it will, the possibility that that could someday happen increases, just statistically.
And so the question is whether or not there shouldn't at least be consideration for suspension of that member so that we avoid such a member having a veto over NATO operations. And this question also relates to the question of consensus; we saw that problem relative to the defense of Turkey in recent months.
That one of those 26, assuming we approve the enlargement, which, again, I think is likely and desirable, that consensus is going to be more and more difficult to achieve with a larger number of nations in NATO.
Can you comment on whether or not it might be desirable to have some discussions about that increasing statistical probability?
General James Jones: Well, the decision to embark on that kind of dialogue, of course, will be a political decision made by the leadership of the member nations.
And as the allied commander, it would be probably inappropriate for me to make a recommendation on that score, except to say tat, obviously, as memberships expand and historical times change, it is useful, like the military is trying is to do in support of NATO, to re-examine the basic foundations of the ingoing agreements to the way the alliance works.
We are transforming the military capability of NATO.
Paul Wolfowitz: There is no question about the fact that it has to be done. And there's a certain eagerness to do that.
At the political level our leaders will have to come to those kinds of decisions on their own, for their own reasons, in order to make sure that a very, very important institution has the functioning framework necessary to be successful in the 21st century.
The penalty for any institution, military or civilian, not taking into account its relevance to the environment and the time that it's in is that it's subjected to the possibility of new alliances and new coalitions circumventing the framework for which the original institution was created.
And that would be regrettable.