tv C-SPAN Weekend CSPAN September 27, 2010 2:00am-5:59am EDT
hearing for john amos. and then q&a with isabel wilkerson. >> tomorrow on washington journal, the national political correspondent talks about attitudes among voters in midterm elections. someone discusses the conservative views of national defence and funding for efforts outside the united states. george mason university professor looks at the impact of school desegregation on school districts and overall education. >> next weekend on book tv, explore the reality behind science-fiction, einstein and the fundamental forces of the universe with michio kaku. he has written his latest book,
"physics of the impossible." join us with your calls, e- mail's end tweets next sunday at noon eastern on c-span3 book tv. >> now, the washington institute for near east policy post a discussion on leadership of the oilseeds of saddam hussein. documents were captured in iraq in 2003 and provided scholars with an inside view of the iraqi regime _ sought -- saddam hussein's leadership. they have archived the materials. this is about 1.5 hours.
>> good afternoon ladies and gentleman. my name is michael eisenstaedt. i am a senior fellow and director of the studies program at the washington institute of near east policy. almost three years to the day this week marks the start of the iraq war. it led to a series of events in a bloody eight year war between iran and iraq which contributed to the 1991 gulf war which in turn set up a decade of sanctions and containment of iraq followed by the 2003 invasion of iraq by the united states and its coalition partners which leads us to where we are today. one of the consequences of the invasion of iraq was that the united states government's possession of massive numbers of government documents and they enabled us to have access to
many former iraqi government decisions that have provided us with some unique insight into the function of the former regime and the attitudes of key decision makers and has enabled us to flesh out historical records to some degree on a series of events leading up to the iran-iraq war. war and what happened to the 1991 gulf war as well as the run-up to the innovation in 2003. we have here today to of our panelists who have been working to mind this trove of documents and interviewed former regime officials for their insight and who will be sharing with us their perspectives of this topic as well as a third speaker who will be commented on the presentation and who is uniquely qualified to do so. the first speaker on the left here is david palkki, deputy
director of national defence universities conflict records research center which is an archive of captured documents and audio files related to the regime in iraq as well as al qaeda. previously he worked the institute for defense analyses where i believe he created a study for the pentagon on decision making in saddam hussein's iraq and he served as a analyst for the government and will also be providing us with kind of an overview of the conflict records research center, what kind of documents are kept and research opportunities available for the researchers interested in doing research there and he will also be talking about the subject which is the subject of his ph.d. dissertation which is the deterrence of iraq with a particular focus of the 1991 gulf war. the second speaker on my right is kevin woods who serves on the research staff of the institute
for defense analysis where he is a task leader of the iraq perspectives project. he's also the lead author of several studies on saddam hussein including the leadership on operation iraqi freedom, saddam and terrorism, captured documents, the mother of all battles, sob hussain strategic plan for the persian gulf war and iraqi military prospectus on the iran iraq war and i will hold up here to of the books he has been responsible for putting out. this one is the iraqi protection's project the view of the operation iraqi freedom and the second is saddam's war and the perspective of the iran iraq war which he worked with williamson murray and thomas holliday and based in large part on extended set of interviews with general, don as many of us know was a republican guard general serving in the former
regime. to comment on the presentation we are fortunate here to welcome back amatzia baram of middle eastern history and the director of the center for iraq studies at the university israel. he is a washington institute author and presentations include building towards crisis saddam hussein's strategy for survival will be published in 1998. but all i will say although the book is more than a decade old and the active duty as a reserve i take away from one of the most valuable sources providing the context as to iraq but was before 2003. it still remains an invaluable guide. he's currently the chair visiting professor of georgetown university and is writing a book on iraqi state moscow relations since 1968. before we start i just have a couple of that administrative requests for everybody here. please turn off your cellphone
if you haven't done so already a second during the question and answer period, please use the microphones at your table and identify yourself and affiliations. that having been said, why don't you start off and kickoff the defense today? thank you. >> thank you what you read it is a pleasure to be here, a great privilege to work with these documents. i've been working with them for several years and at the center we now make digital copies of roughly a thousand of these records available to the scholars and also include english translation records for all of those people up to par and you can still benefit by research to the center. about somewhere between 70% of the documents and files for iraq origin and the other remaining 30% or so are from al qaeda and
al qaeda affiliated movements. the documents and audiophiles are also audiophiles that run the gamut and you see things from like intelligence assessment from the various intelligence agencies, diplomatic communications, audiophiles which are my favorite and i focus on am i host. we have about 145 currently audiophiles, and along with the english translation of talking with the visiting dignitaries and others. these are incredible and a lot of ways saddam hussein was like nixon. he liked to report things and we have thousands of hours of reporting. quite a remarkable resource from him talk about why he would invade kuwait or whether he would use wmd and i will be drawing very heavily on this material especially the audio tapes in the presentation today.
as is mentioned my dissertation working on is on deterrence theory and saddam hussein's iraq and i notice it's quite remarkable when you see how much of the literature on deterrence which generated from the cuban missile crisis and the ex-con meetings with kennedy and his staff it is my hope the recordings will also enable such research dealing with saddam hussein of iraq from the authoritarian regime in the middle east which i think will be remarkable resource for the scholars for years and decades to come. if people have questions about conducting research at the center feel free to us up on line on the web page or contact me and i can walk you through the procedures. we have a few restrictions in terms of what we put in the center. we are not going to put in any scientific technical data. you'll never find a help to a manual on building a biological weapon. we do include personal,
personally identifiable information. this could things like salaries or names of torture victims, that kind of thing. however, we do not include a document that are primarily the contained personal didn't identifiable information to you will see sell the reason the document or that solely deals with means of torture victim's but if something comes up in the larger context of the document dealing with national security our archive has national security related documents, no cultural artifacts or anything like that. so if a reference were made that contained personal identify all the information you would see that and we would require you to keep that sensitive and safeguard the information and i could talk with people individually about that or you could learn more by seeing the web page to read on to the presentation on why saddam didn't use it during the war of 1991. there are three general explanations for the iraqi use to read the first is the conventional wisdom is that u.s.
nuclear threats specifically secretary baker and early january 1991 to the iraqi foreign minister in geneva toward saddam from using it. the second general explanation is that it concerns the u.s. would change its goal in pursuit of the regime change should use chemical weapons or biological to turn the iraqi use and this has been put forth primarily, not primarily but most forcefully by scott at samford and others to point out secretary baker also listed a change to pursue the regime change for the weapons. the third general explanation is more of technical difficulties putting the bye yo on the warheads and launching them, on healthful conditions, the speed of colish in advance, the campaign and that kind of thing
prevented doherty toward the iraqi use. my argument is different from all three of these. i argued and find concerns about the u.s. nuclear retaliation did deter the iraqi use. however secretary baker meeting at most played a very minor role. saddam hussein have long respected the u.s. might use nuclear weapons against the country for several reasons. for instance, there is a number of recordings and other documents from around the period of the invasion in which saddam expressed concern the u.s. might hit him with nuclear weapons for invading kuwait. in late april of 1990, saddam in a meeting with yasser arafat had mentioned that the iraqi studied how we are going to react when baghdad is struck by the atomic bombs. i am saying these words because we have to be let ready for that level of fighting.
in a meeting with the revolutionary command council he once again shortly before the invasion expressed concerns and this time very specifically that the u.s. would respond with nuclear weapons for the invasion. two days after invading according to the manuscript for the iraqi transcript of the meeting between saddam and the president of yemen he noted that the u.s. would not attacked -- he predicted the u.s. would not protect the ground forces however we would send our navy, planes and hit iraqi is hard. he noted they might attack as by the atomic bombs. we are ready for that. there are other instances in which he said things along these lines meeting with the soviet on foley and others. when he says we are ready for that, he said this several times, we have to be ready for that level of fighting and we are ready for that. what he is referring to primero we are the iraqi civil defense measures efforts to evacuate baghdad, parts of baghdad were evacuated shortly after the innovation leader in december
and other cities were evacuated as well. his ideas would help prepare the iraqi and not only that but the iraqi military translated these words and these thoughts and actions. it wasn't mere rhetoric or contingency planning on the part of saddam and speculation for daydreaming the republican guard dispersed its forces for fear of attack. they conducted studies on the effect of the u.s. nuclear weapons and what it could destroy and what it couldn't and then reacted accordingly. now a lot of this is surprising to a lot of scholars. the general -- if you least to be read the account to find they were not expecting any kind of major u.s. reaction. it's safe to say that is the conventional wisdom but i think that's wrong and a lot of the scholars who argue along these lines will look back at his meeting with april glaspie, the investor about a week before invading and cite her. the iraqi transcript of the meeting has glesby as saying public opinion in the u.s.
government would have made it impossible for americans to accept 10,000 dead in a single battle as iraq did. and most scholars stop there that's not the end. he continues and says i assure you had the iranians overran the region the troops wouldn't have stopped them except by the use of nuclear weapons. there's a variety of other pieces of support on the including the paper on these lines as well. what saddam's close advisers noted in early november that the iraqi scud expert the u.s. might come with atomic weapons. he said of the u.s. hyksos after six or seven months doesn't get the desired result and the war is going to start tearing people apart. it is possible it will use nuclear bombs to strike two or three cities. for saddam the u.s. casualties of version was a casualty of the number in to u.s. casualties not out of five iraqis. and i think this is quite clear when you go back and look of the views during the i iran iraq
war. in terms of the alternate explanations, the idea that the regime change the tour dupont. i don't find that credible. now for several years. first as tom schilling, the great deterrent to strategist noted both sides of the trees that threaten a penalty and avoidance reward need to be credible. saddam had fought for decades since at least the late 70's and early 80's that the u.s. was trying to replace his regime. like a lot of labor for this that i recently submitted for publication on saddam's the use of the u.s. where we take a good hard look at this and what is amazing is the consistency with which he is suspicious of the u.s. throughout the years. threats were made replace the regime but was never offered was a credible assurance we would not replace the regime or saddam not to use wmd. in fact if you go back and read the u.s. state department transcript of the meeting there
are three or four occasions when saddam threatens regime change, not only leaking it with wmd but also in the event of any warfare in the event at any iraqi refusal to withdraw so i don't find that particularly credible. as the u.s. ambassador had noted for over 20 years he believed that the united states was hostile to saddam hussein's government and it's hard to persuade somebody of anything if they think that you are hostile. and glaspie was by no means alone. the u.s. diplomats who served in baghdad and iraq came to the same conclusion. for the next alternative explanation dealing with them and the ability to launch technical difficulty and that kind of thing i also find limited evidence and the archival record for that. we have an audio recording from about the second week of january, 1991 that i think is strong evidence these concerns do not dissuade saddam from
chongging to free use the weapons. in this meeting saddam note to the iraq would only use chemical weapons if we were obliged and there was a great necessity to put them in action. at this point, his son-in-law who oversaw the wmd programs noted we are in an excellent and prepare the situation regarding the missile warheads and fighters. they're all modified ready for launching any time the chemical. i will be able to bad weather the was the case or not it's really clear the man who oversaw the programs was telling his boss, saddam, the things were ready to go. so i take from that he doesn't take a lunch but not only that iraq spreads through the conflict and it is real and target's saudi arabia. so clearly he was able to launch and get them to the intended targets and i think it's clear that he thought he could have done the same with wmd had he
wanted to. the iraqi defectors my findings comport with various iraqi defectors who unanimously say that saddam took one threat seriously in the war and strike and comment on those lines the nuclear weapons detour the saddam. his loyal foreign minister said the same thing and in meetings he said we are not stupid. we know what the morning meant, it meant response. saddam on the other hand in his interrogations' with george perrault was a bit more vague. saddam denied the war and going back to the wmd. what's more he said iraq never even fault or discussed using chemical or biological weapons. i find plausible saddam would not have known the threat could
take iraq back to the age to wmd because when you look of the state department transcript it doesn't deal with any conflict. and that's the emphasis is in the event of any conflict we are going to seek regime change. in terms of the second comment of course saddam says they never thought about using wmd. it didn't even cross the line, that is ludicrous. i just cited the tape from the second week of january where he is talking about everything and there are others like this as well, selections from transcripts i've included in my paper. there are a variety of implications for theory and policy from this paper and this case study and i find that it succeeded saddam to be deterred from using the weapons but for a variety of reasons i don't find it a deterrent situation particularly stable. currently i touch on this paper
and i'm wrapping up another paper on saddam's views of israel, nuclear weapons and the bomb and which saddam talks about how he thought nuclear weapons would change the dynamic between iraq and israel and it turns out he says once they were to acquire the nuclear weapons that this would underbite more aggressive conventional policies against israel and it would enable the liberation of the post occupied territories, palestinian territory and quite a number of recordings probably four or five from the late 70's and early 80's and there are other records of this as well. i have to get a little bit of credit on this with so many other things i think that he had foresight looking at the public records and discerning the iraqi decision making and procedures and believes a few weeks ago i noticed that he had written the same thing about 20 years ago.
so i am thrilled personally to have him here commenting on the paper and sharing his insight with us. but the idea that the deterrence would have been stable and it wouldn't have changed much if iraq acquired nuclear weapons is like being dead wrong at least it would take the private rhetoric in these meetings with his senior leadership at part. and if that i will close. thank you. [applause] the next speaker is kevin woods and i apologize i failed to introduce three we will be learning about the nature of authoritarianism. >> thank you very much for the invite. i appreciate everybody coming. i'm going to walk for some comments based on a body of scholarship sponsored by the government organizations over the last seven years. i work at the institute of defense analysis of everything i
say i'm going to give you the caveat to read everything i say are my words, my thoughts and ideas put into this project and they do not represent the defense or even my institute. what i'm going to talk about for some people the especially the scholars of iraq certainly the professor baram or others in the audience here spend a lot of time and a lot of their lives studying iraq may sound like that's what i understood and that is generally what is understood but i can't cite enough the importance of the conflict records center in rethinking this standard ideas because unlike other times when we fell about the regime's we never come to closure for it's rare that we come to closure with what was really going on. we continue to push along the furies and the idea is based upon the collapse of the regimes, but we never get a chance to go back and look. there is a rare opportunity to think about this in the context in which all the other side of the hill view defense which is
the intent and purpose of his work. as michael already noted this comes out of several works we've been studying and we actually did a history back words here so we started with oif and most contemporary events and complete a 1991 gulf war in the 1990, 1991 war. i am finishing the two-year study on the iraq war mad based on saddam's records of the saddam hussein regime records, and david and i completed editing and should be available soon looking at the saddam in the larger context, so it is a body of work over the period of 1978 to 2003 on a sampling of the private conversations. which again the purpose is not to answer great questions as it is to expose the material to a variety of methodologies and experts and scholars but to reexamine it in light of the body of work that's gone on since saddam has been an actor on the world stage. so, i originally michael asked
me to talk about how did saddam's regime in door for 20 years and that is a broad question and the national expert on that is probably neither david nor all right. dr. baram sitting here. and i will plug another one of his works because he's going to come after me and critique his work so like david i'm going to prep this. ..
doing wrong or poorly was his external relations as we all know. if he was a genius on internal, he was a dull to external iraq. his establishing in regional relationship and neighbors and relations with his allies and opportunity wars were failures. those reflected back on his attempt to take that internal genius and export it to areas where it perhaps was not appropriate. i was taken by a quote i found about a british diplomat of stalin. his genius of is shrewdness and lack of knowledge. it's dealing with the iraq that he assumed and forcefully tried to apply it to a wider region. point of fact, in areas that you would think iraq would very long
history and very mixed culture of a lot of neighbors, it's amazing how little he understood iran. you look and it's so simplistic and wrong, fundamentally wrong, not just fact wrong. i was quite a bit sympathy of those in the town who work issues of intelligence and policy and societies that are 8,000 miles away, and saddam sharing a border and social relations with iran was amazingly in the dark about what was going on with its nearest neighbor. what i want to talk about is security services. i will not list them all. they are out there and that ground a very well covered. there was something said once about really appropriate and it didn't pay to be too popular or
too smart around saddam. there were limits. you wanted to be a player. you wanted to be successful, but there are limits to that success, and everybody controlled their condition that way, and saddam was aware of that and manipulated it. there was a character in history about a king who walked through a wheat field and was asked who was going to turn on you next, and it was thallest and you grabbed that next. it was reminders of his personal staff he understood they would betray him before he did. almost all the senior intelligence meetings he ran were like that. i want to give you examples of how that plays out. the special republican guard was not a intelligence agency, but the internal security of the rei gem, division minus force and a general order of battle thinking
about iraqi forces, this was the best with the best soldiers, the most loyal, and a lot came from the republican guard or families with republican guard history, and had the best equipment and training and deployed as platoons and companies around the capitol, but like most guards, they protected the regime from itself and they were the last line of defense against the division or one of the normal ways iraq changes governments so have a brigade commander at the right place and time. that was the final line of defense. if you look at the special republican guard, the person in charge must be a really tough character, smart, quick, and be able to manage this force which again is deployed in small units, has to react and have trust. you are thinking of a really, really tough cooky. he was panned by his peers. i'm not going to be -- when you do an interview with
somebody, you take for granted the opinions of others, but a consistent response of an individual's ability to serve, the commander was panned. i went back and asked the minister of defense, how was this individual selected if his reputation among his peers and other general officers was poor? there were three reasons. it struck me that the three reasons were so out of my experience from a military history and analyst point of view. number one, he was a close relative of saddam. i knew that, and it's important and he was. he didn't want the job and told me he was terrified of the job. you couldn't go to the bathroom by yourself without somebody watching in that position. it gave comfort being family to the regime.
he wasn't intelligent enough to put together a coo. [laughter] now, that's an interesting kind of praise of a senior military man among iraq, anded third reason he was not brave enough to participate in anybody's good ideas. [laughter] this is one of the things you think of a regime and what it does to maintain itself, and you have a senior minister tell you the three reasons they selected the individual to run the guard was cowardness and stupidity. that was just an example of the strange kind of, you know, through the looking glass kind of world you get into when you do this analysis. another example is something out of saddam's daily brief. saddam, of obviously was a work-aholic and would lead meetings and kept phenomenal
hours. i'm not sure when he slept. you can see in the tapes he had long-winded debates with his staff, and had a low opinion of his intelligence's ability to do analysis. if you think about the regime, that's a particular problem. i want to read you a quote, and this is him reflecting about his senior staff after having another intelligence brief he didn't think much had. east referring to the iran-iraq war and the united states in the 1991 war. america is a complicated country. you have to understand with a politician. actually, i forbade the intelligence outfit from talking about america. i told them this is not their specialty because these organizations start producing from newspapers which is what i already know. i said i don't want either intelligence organization, the
civilian and military intelligences, to give me analysis. that is my specialty. we agreed to continue on that basis had which is what i used on the iranians. that's a translation issue about having hard evidence. he admits, you know, his work with the iranians that he counted as brilliant after 1998 and he gave himself that credit, he used that as the basis of how the intelligence organizations were to present him information. again, that might work if you are worried about the context of decrete or the contrast the baghdad getting power, but it starts to fall apart when you get outside that. another issue that fell into saddam's misplaced confidence with allies is his ability to analyze sources of material. there's a real particular problem in iraq, and that it is
technology country, strongly educated country, a lot of contacts widely, but within the intelligence services, that's not representative of that environment. it's a much narrower group. they had a tendency to fall in love with rumors and theories. pokemon was a jewish plot against our children, and another wonderful thing is saddam really talked about that and was ennamerred with that tract. it was stunning how much time he spent discussing that document with his staff. saddam suffered from the inability to distinguish from sources. when thinking bout the united states, things he read were from organizations, and that put off
discussing the success of the u.s. congressional elections. hi ability to -- his ability was lacking to judge sources. i find this interesting is the media in the west. it's a cautionary tale and somewhat confounding. during -- immediately after 1991 war, the gmid, the military intelligent staff did a study, i don't know who commissioned the study, and we haven't found a copy of the study, but they did a study to look at the large popular newspaper based in this city and asked the question how often did that paper talk about military events before the fact? did those events in fact come true as the large local newspaper said? they went through the study and said it's a good track record. in fact, it's better than the track record our own agents provide. that was a big lesson for them
to think about the freely available intelligence as it were from open society, but that leads to a problem. if you had this world and judging all things yourself and you're the analyst and decision maker, go to 2003 and try to judge what's going on around them, and a lot of people around the world didn't know what was going on. it was not clear what was going on, but they were drawing on hundreds of open sources now, and with no ability to judge one's better value than the other, they all sound pretty good. it's a vapor lock problem. no, they're going to x or y or a, or b, the senior leadership is pounded with these rich detailed assessments of military operations that have not happened yet, but are on the way that locked up the regime to a point they could not react even when they started to see real evidence of events and movements
they could direct themselves and get contact on. that's a result of the nature of the regime and the particular security system to keep them alive. what does it do to senior officers? both the documents and in the interviews you see this. they didn't talk to each other. now, that, you know, those with a u.s. military history, we have a communication problem, and that's pretty much a myth now. that's pretty much gone, although during budget time it could be alive and well. [laughter] there's an issue of officers talking to each other. i have a unit to my flank and need to coordinate with that unit. that didn't happen in iraq unless they were specifically ordered to do so. that was a matter of regime control. the first republican guard is north of baghdad and in front of them is a 5th regular army core facing turkey in the 2002, early
2003. when you talk about the first commander, i thought we would get a great story of two cores, you know sharing a common line on a battle field. it wasn't part of the order or plan, but sending their own units to see what was the rear end of the unit ahead of them was. it was a strange environment. the second corp. manager talked about spies he was not to know about it. there were official spies that were representative of the corp. staff. you had a meeting and the division commanders and staff officers k and then you had the representative from the gmid and special security office and the like. there were other offices he had to get an excuse to get in the room. the officer, for instance, qusay
-- excuse me, i'm the only one in the room who didn't turn their phone off. there's a meeting here and you're not in the room, and i don't know what they are saying. it wasn't like somebody was going to come and hang him on the site, but he would spend two days on the phone talking with the senior leadership about how this was a normal meeting for next year's budget. there was a sense they couldn't be seen together and couldn't talk to each other. that extended into private time. it led to strange things. for example, in the republican guard security office, one in five republican guard officers was expected to be on salary reporting on his peers. every 5th officer had to have a monthly report about his peers. saddam gave away cars to those -- he loved to buy cars and the dealership had to love him.
there was a joke among republican guard officers that they had the best maintained carrings in iraq. they knew that because the cars had to go to the garage for may want nans. they didn't find a way to connect the batteries up, and finally to the point because i'm running long already. saddam managed his regime as a top-down system, not unexpected. post 1991, loss of control in the south. saddam started recreating his security system as a bottom-up system. he thought about 94, chartered in 1995, and essentially it was the tripe of saddam -- tribe of saddam, a bottom-up system, he was empowering tribes and train trying to change the system of control. he needed his own organization to do this. he created the world's largest street game, a criminal
enterprise getting out of control. by 1998, it's really out of control and have a criminal problem. they created an organization whose charter said they are to protect iraq from enemies inside or out and they threat nl economy environment, spy on iraq or corrupted soldiers or security personnel, or those who spread negative rue moris. they could do anything they wanted. they could sell weapons to unnamed individuals on the iraqi board and prostitution and the like. the ability to control the state was falling apart in the 1990s, and we know that, but that was a result of the long-standing regime trying to maintain a
top-down system, and that forced him to come up with a bottom-up system to connect to the society that saddam could never control or could ever control because it's the black and gray economy. he explicitly turned his system over to that organization in some ways. now, it was showing in iraq, and it really didn't show itself until the fall of the rei gem. i think what happened in the fall of 2003 can be explained by the security services and what had been created in that way. so, i think i'll save my comments for questions and answers. a dictatorship is a dynamic process and maintaining it is a hyper dynamic process. his attempt to switch from top down to bottom upset the tone for on the ground after 2003 on
a tactical level. [applause] thank you. >> it's a pleasure and an honor to be here again. i'm becoming a little bit no stall jibing. thank you for coming, and thank you for excellent presentations. i learned a lot from both of you now. i'm looking forward to cooperating with you because it seems like things are becoming available now, and documents which i never saw, and in fact, that's very promising. the more released to the public the better speaking as an academic of course. i'd like to first mention that two of my colleagues is relevant
to this meeting. one of them is currently -- he just published a book that's 600 pages in hebrew that just came out about the iraqi armed forces from 1973 including the october war all the way to 2003 to the destruction of the iraqi armed forces, and this book is based on thousands of iraqi daily newspapers, all of it open sources, and the books in arabic that came out of the country and so on and crosses information that he's been working on for 25 years. the result is absolutely stunning. i was a little helper, but really it's his book, and it's a wonderful book. i am looking forward to being able to publish it, my center
would like to publish it in english when we get the money, $5 # dollars. [laughter] just $5 million, but anyway, that's the idea and maybe we can cooperate and issue something together on that. my other colleague whom i'd like to mention here is one of a leading psychiatrist. in 1989, barely a year after the end of the iraqi-iron -- iraq-iran war, we decided to where about the war, and we did, and we just ate, drank, slept, and qawrled. [laughter] after about ten days, we came up
with a 15-page, that's all, just a 15-page article which what i'm reading today, i said it, but i cannot believe it, i provided the data. he provided the psychological analysis because i am no shrink, and the conclusion was and i'm reminding you of the summer of 1989, and he came to the conclusion which i approved, but basically he came up with it that saddam is going to ode -- another war, and i said, well, it made a lot of sense from what we saw here, but it makes no strategic sense whatsoever, cannot. saddam is learning very specific lessons through his life.
one lesson we realize is you do not attack iran. [laughter] after eight years of excruciating war, he reasoned it's not a good idea to attack iraq. by the way, he declared victory after six days. he planned a six day war in 1980 in september, and it didn't work out. point is, we both agreed he could not attack iraq. jordan is his buddy, no way. turkey, you don't want to mess with the turks. so then only kuwait is left. they said, kuwait makes sense because he would not be allowed to keep it. i'm going to publish it. i said, you can't publish it.
i said publish it in your own name, don't mention me. [laughter] when i heard about the press and so on there's already four republican guard divisions on the kuwaity border in the first of august, i think in 1990, i didn't make the connection. oh, he's just trying to scare them. he said it on tv. the guy is not crazy. well, maybe he is, but he's not stupid. i don't know how to define it, but i was shocked. that's exactly what you said and what you implied in a different way. the guy knew iraq inside out and could control anybody he wanted. he did control for a very long time, and in fact, under, i agree, under very strenuous
situations, but he didn't understand the world outside of iraq. he just didn't. he was a village boy. the most important -- by the way, i did predict the attack on iran in 1980, and i predicted it because saddam hussein told us. [laughter] he talked about arab war against persia. and it was clear he was doing it because of the open sources. before he attacked z i get telephone calls from a friend of mine who decided to go to the prime minister. why? because i see about 11 out of the 12 divisions the iraqis have including two armies, i see them on the iranian border.
i said, how do you see that? well, from the sports sections of the daily newspapers. he collected sports sections, and you realize that all of the sudden the 10th and 6th divisions, both excellent divisions, are playing football on the border with some kind of a little match with the locals. what are they doing there? he got it before we got anything, as far as i know, from the newspapers. again, saddam did not realize that he was attacking iran. you don't do it and go home. this is a long term business. i could see that because of the open sources that told me that. i couldn't see that in kuwait because there was nothing in the public press and public domain, nothing about the attack of kuwait.
furthermore, and as far as we know to date, i'm aching to know that, but from what we heard from the open sources, the whole thing, the whole leadership, were told about it four hours before the invasion of kuwait, four hours. then, of course, the leadership style sometimes he is concise and he wants to hear you and makes it clear he wants to know what you think. he needs input. sometimes he made up his mind. god knows how from kind of a define inspiration, and he's coming to the leadership and telling them we are invading kuwait. anybody want to say something?
[laughter] like that, and they are telling the wonderful thing that there is a kind of a pink-looking -- pink -- pink -- no, rose colored glasses. thank you, judy. when you know you can't say, sir, i think it's a stupid idea and you cannot, you have to say, sir, and that's what they said all of them. this is a wonderful idea. surprising we didn't think of it before. [laughter] the result is that he is -- there is no discussion in such cases, and that was a kuwait case, so between this kind of rose-colored glasses, and the inclination not to spite him because, you know, you mentioned it, is the bearer of bad news.
it's a bad idea to give him bad news, and so, he was lied to and lied to and lied to and lied to all the time. between his own supernatural view of the iraqi military and whatever we can do, and the real lies, the true lies he was getting from his subordinates, this guy was never completely in touch with reality. for example, there was this case of getting ready to the war against you guys in 2003, i'll even go to 1991, he was absolutely certain -- sorry, 50% is all the interviews
he gave, and i believe that's how he thought. he was 50% certain that the americans in 1991 will simply not attack. why? because they'll take casualties, yes, as mentioned here before, and it's a bluff. the whole thing is a bluff. 50% maybe yes, but if they do, if they do, my forces can stop them in their tracks. maybe somewhere in the middle of kuwait. then they'll grind to a halt, and then we should start negotiations, and eventually i'll have half the kuwait or be regarded as the winning side because it's the one arab country gets the united states of america, and some 30 other states as well. he was absolutely certain of that. how did he get this -- how did he reach this conclusion? his officers had to lie to him,
and they did lie to him. same as what happened in 2003 and in 2006. the book is a marvelous book. the guy simply was leaving, as you said, i never heard this definition of stalin, but saddam is the same. he lived between reality, real reality, and imagination, dream worlds. again, i didn't know how deep it went, but we knew about his dreams because he told us about it and his people. i had a dream of about this, and it told me this. unite know until i read your works that, david, that he also acted very much upon these dreams. that i couldn't tell because he acted, but we never know what the reason. saddam is part of his division
making process was superstitious. he was superstitious from childhood because he grew up with a mother, and once he was two years old, and then she was a good mother. i will say that. she was a good woman, and she was arafa, and she would tell people their fortunes, and saddam absorbed it with his mother and she didn't -- anyway, the point is that he really was superstitious, and i have a few cases when i see when he was trying to adjust reality to his mother's predictions. truly mind boggling.
decision making by a man of that kind, especially when he's being lied to all the time about the relative power balance between us and say america or iran. this is a very problematic issue. i won't go into the details, but i'll just relate to you and david's suggestion that he was not stable. i accept that, but i think for somewhat different reasons to what david is mentioning, and he did mention it, but i won't go into it. first of all, when you have a regime or the strong men and authorizization given to this
kind of gray zone between reality and imagination and reality and myth and mythology, it's very difficult to tell in the case of saddam i would say. i would not expand it to anybody else. if you have anybody in mind, it's your own responsibility, but if you believe in something which is supernatural and you sort of have that, at a certain point you can cannot be sure what the decision will be, and your only hope is, and that actually is my hope that you remember that he gave these prelim -- no, these -- early notifications, how do you say? >> premonition? >> no, not premonition, to his
missile commanders. thank you. he gave them prelitigation command that he if loses touch or connection with the supreme commanding in baghdad, he should automatically launch a missile to israel. they were a obvious target. my hope still is actually had they been out of touch with baghdad they conclude that saddam is no longer relevant, and they would not push the buttons because they are maybe people who are out too much, and they appoint good officers and say this is madness because in that country the deterrence all the reasons, i accept your view, the reason it was really crucial and stable or not, but that was a reason that the u.s. and the
israel, but he didn't try israel, he just sent a conventional missiles there, that the u.s. would use nukes in the case he's using wmd, mainly gas and bilogical weapons. i absolutely believe also from what you write, but i believed it before, that he knew that this is a threshold. now, if america would or would not have done it is another question. no other reason, no other reason could stop him from launching nonconventional weapons, exep for this particular -- except for this particular one. thank you. by the way, i doubt the fact that he really all the way through his intellectual world believes that america is out to
get him. i'm talking 20, 10, a year before the 1991 war, and it's only a matter of ability why they haven't yet done so. i say that because i see things he said about america which are not so bad. we know about the billion dollars. we know also about the fact you sent one senior american officer to baghdad for about eight or nine months to help iraq in its war against iran, and he was there and helped them a great deal and became very freppedly with them. you had that too, and to my mind was never right. it was obvious, so, and -- a few others, your intelligence, your satellite images, so in
fact, he was confused. i think the right thing to say about america is he was absolutely confused. he didn't know what americans really wanted to do or where they were. he was hovering all the time between american wants me out of power, which i think he really believed or half believed all the time, and actually, america is helping me and trying to, well, show me up and so on. it's very good for him to come and tell somebody like especially american senators or whatever who go to see him in april of 1994. actually, i think you would like to kick me out of power because it shows i am, you know, i am so misrabble, you have pity on me and tell the president that i ought to behave. it's okay, but did you really think so? 50%. 50% not at all, so any threat of that, oh, i don't know, but about american nuclear reaction, yes.
why i believe that, i'm just throwing ideas or building a proper lecture because i'm just reacting. why i believe that this was not very stable, this deterrence because first of all a man like that, you are not sure where you are. b, i can see simple technology breach. once he became in power, a technological glitch, and then you have a disaster. in his case, a glitch was very likely. because -- i finished. thank you everybody. [laughter] i see another possibility. he said to attack israel. i believed him, not immediately, but eventually at a good ripe age, he would try to attack israel because that would be to
utilize their ability and go nuclear and then he believed he could finish israel off. that would have made him of the modern age. that was important, not hating israel so much. it's being important. he's threatening israel, it happened, by the way, on april 2, 1990. i won't go into it, but it was very serious. the prime minister was very, very deeply worried in 1990, shamir, but if you start this kind of ease -- esklating threats, and it goes up between two nuclear powers in my mind, and this is a major problem. his pros teg was important to
him. i saw this -- had he become a nuclear power, i think then as now, as a major threat not because he'd like to attack israel, but because of the -- thank you. [laughter] because of the escalating threats, thank you. [applause] >>ed good thing about the conflict records research center is there's enough documents to provide a lifetime of these events, and i hope you do more of these in the future. to kick off the discussion, i would like to just ask all three of you and answer just very quickly. is there anything we have found in the documents or the audio recording that dramatically changes our understanding of modern-iraqi history. if you could just come to the podium and briefly if there is
an answer to that. >> you've asked, you know, the what's the meaning of life question and take 30 seconds to answer it. [laughter] certainly as an outsider when you look at a regime in the way this was structured and run over history, they had access not just to the documents, but documents by themselves don't tell you everything, but the combination of documents and taped conversations to provide some essentially realtime context whether they're, you know, are correct in the assessments don't matter, but that's what they believed at the time. i think it has the potential to change a lot about what people understood about iraq if it's only in smaller debates of theory or larger issues, i'll leave it to other scholars to dig into that. there's a lot of potential here, but i wouldn't draw anything specifically out of my work to
date. >> i think one thing that's taken me a little bit by surprise is how much what you see in the private discourse and private records is out there in the public sphere. that's a very generic statement, but as i said, people who do this carefully, i think do a remarkably good job, and people who just dabble in it make a lot of mistakes. it takes a very careful look, so, in terms of a big picture thing, i'd say that, you know, there's -- saddam meant what he said in public. he wrote his own speeches, and you're foolish to correct his speeches and give advice on what to say. it happened occasionally, but not a lot. in terms of the big take away point, that's my point to take the public rhetoric seriously. i hate saying that because that could encourage you to come to our center, and of course, you
see a lot of new insights at the center as well and the iraqi press and transcripts of meetings and 95% of what was said, things were exercised routinely. i wouldn't take the public discourse 100% as complete truth, but generally speaks, you get a sense of saddam from a careful look over time of his public rhetoric. >> well, i learned a number of things, but two important things are immediate i don't -- if you have to think about excellence but there's a slightest doubt in terms of loyalty, then excellence is
out. only when he was in danger, did he allow excellence, but then he got rid of it immediately. it wasn't so clear to me, also what you told us today a cooperation between units. how difficult it was because of security, but that seems to be new and interesting, and important too for performance. the second thing is we concluded in 1989 that the man is moving in circles, in circles, war, preparations, war preparations, war reparations, and moving in is circles and goes to another war as i said before. nothing came out of it, but that's what we felt, absolutely. i had another -- i saw a document, which by the way, was taken off the internet
to my great chuggerring. probably his last order to his troops, his last order to his troops in 2003, you're already north of baath i suppose and initiating in his own handwriting a document that tells people you have to prepare ambushes to the american column, and here is how you do it. i don't know if you can see, but you must do it when the road is sort of wide and drive more slowly, and this is how you arrange the forces, right? you're a marine officer; right? so, you see how to prepare an ambush. [laughter] >> that's not how i would do it. [laughter]
>> i never had any doubt about that, by the way. [laughter] >> no the funny thing is this is exactly the way he prepared the ambush against general carson in 1969 in october when on both sides of the road there were two units shooting at the general's jeep, so, yes, a few bullets hit the jeep -- [laughter] but most bullets hit each other. you go back to 1959, 2003, same thing. the guy is moving in circles, and that's another aspect of his personality. >> if you want to ask a question, please signal, even though we have a long listment what we are going to do is time is limited. i'll ask everybody, we'll take two questions at a time, piggy-back the questions, one question per person, be short and to the point. the first two i have a patrick
clawson and michael gordon. please identify yourself. >> patrick clawson, the deputy director here. you explained that documents often lie. what about the transcripts? to what extent was he telling the truth or misleading people or have other meetings he didn't record or gave people different viewpoints? >> i'm michael gordon -- >> have him answer that first. [inaudible] >> lbl, i'm michael gordon of the "new york times". i covered this war, but i spent a lot of aspects of this. i have thee -- three things i want to address. we know the fear of nuclear weapons detoured saddam. i think there are four things that are a serious theory.
one, is my recollection is baker gave a deliberately vague threat saying iraq would have to pay a special price if they did three things, wmd, terrorism, and destroy the oil fields. they did one of those things, so where were they detoured in one case? >> he did two. >> two, he tried terrorism. [inaudible] >> that's what i'm saying, he destroyed the oil fields, so assuming he was detoured, why was he 234 one case -- in one case and not in others if he was so concerned about this threat? a second question is since we now know he was during that period he was closer to a nuclear weapons capability at that time, if he was so concerned about a nuclear weapons response why didn't he wait a few years and develop his own nuclear capability and then proceed if that was foremost in
his mind. i guess then, lastly, i do recall in the western press conference at the time which i was a part, no crew dense was given to the threat. i remember talking with officials at the time, and what do you mean they're going to pay a special price? obviously nuclear weapons were not only table, we were not deploying chemical weapons. i guess saddam might not have guided his policy and viewed it through his own prism and wmd was important to him and assumed it was important to us, but i think the message the americans conveyed the war was conducted within certain boundaries, and that if he violated across our red lines, these bounds, why is it one thing or the other? the americans were conveying it could be nukes or regimes. it's going to be really bad.
maybe it wasn't one thing on their mind. >> i'll take on the issue of the tapes because you're right. documents you don't know -- you don't know the context under which was written or who read it, although the iraqis are detailed in their recordkeeping. on the tapes, there's a mixed bag. you never know what was or what was not recorded. all you know was what was brought into the united states. what percent of the total are in the u.s. hands is unknowable. on the question of whether or not saddam was honest in the meetings. i guess the definitions of honest is different here. these meetings run in formal settings with more junior bureaucrats coming in to senior private meetings with the old boys that have been with him
since the 70s. there was frangs -- frank conversations. i'll leave it to others to bound that question with all possible sources, but from the context of the conversations which is how we looked at this, it was truthful within saddam's context. in other words, he was telling his emotions, what he thought, whether it was to manipulate them or distract them, again, that's what scholars look at in the political conversations, that's part of the issue. another thing it's interesting in the tapes, some are tape and transcripts of the tapes. there was ongoing lessons learned historical program. after 1990, they went back to the tapes in the 1980s, back to the transcripts and had a committee, and the committee went through the transcripts and excise all references to special weapons. that's bad. there's a possibility that some of the transcripts aren't the
full conversation. the good news is we captured dozens of his in process edits. almost in all cases it referred to special weapons planning and capabilities. they were, in fact, cleaning up the records that were going to be inspected in the 1990s. it was a major program on their part. there is a manipulation of the record that everybody deals with. you just have to kind of put these things in context. >> i'll try to address these three questions. in terms of the first one the press didn't generally treat these threats as credible and u.s. firls, you know, in large part it isn't if the claim is credible, but rather there was a long standing view that u.s. use was not unthinkable.
i developed this more than in my presentation. my take from the war is that saddam had learned that facing an adversary with three times his population that chemical weapons were a useful nuetrallizer from a superior adversary. the u.s., during this time, the criticism was muted. it was not as loud as it could have been, which i think saddam could have taken from that that we saw why he did it and approved. it was a long standing u.s. policy in europe to face knew mareically nuclear forces, soviet forces with nuclear weapons and it was a u.s. policy for decades in europe and applied to the gulf after the soviet invasion of afghanistan. various senior officials implying through the press telling the soviets if they thought of invading iran, that nuclear weapons was a real use.
i think from saddam's perspective, why did he think we might use nukes? i think it's a big picture and a big question. with the press reports, too, it's very unclear to me what he believed and didn't believe from the western press. he spoke about deceitful western reports about the meeting between baker and things like that, and the papers are mired on what he was told and what he believed. there's a lot of detail in that. i don't think it's an easy question to answer. to answer why he didn't invade kuwait, i think that's a real puzzle. i think he thought for internal reasons the invasion had to come sooner rather than later, and after the war one of the lessons they took from the 91 gulf war is maybe they should have waited and had they waited things would have been very different. you can see that in the report
some of that analysis. i'll also add he saw the wmd that he did have as being sufficient to detour u.s. nuclear use or a possibility. this came out in the press on occasions own whether he legitimately believed the claim is unclear to me. the final point you raised about multiple explanations about nonuse, that's probably true. i'm very spectacle of the regime change because looking at the records, i think he did very consistently think we wanted to replace his regime. for instance, in -- right after the war ended there's a great recording from just a couple weeks later where he has a meeting and a bomb struck a house he had been in recently. i forget if it was the car or the house, i think it was the house and he says it was clearly
the americans. you know, when u.s. policy was to engage the iraqi regime it's clear from the interim documents that he didn't see it that way as all. he was mistrustful. the iran affair gunned minded his -- underminded his trust in the u.s.. a former colleague at duke has a paper coming out on this on the effects of the iran contra affairn't world view -- of the world view. saddam just saw essentially us screwing him behind his back and that's where it began and ended and since then he was mistrustful of the u.s. and suspicious and continually thinking we were trying to replace his regime.
>> i would say about patrick's question each meetings that i know, and you know more than i know, but i'll say what i know of was sometimes more true, more true facts and thinking. it's independent. an example which i learned from david's article is that just in this last meeting before the invasion of the kuwait, he's telling the leadership that you have to know, you agreed, right to invade? what a wonderful idea, why didn't we think of that before? he said, wait a minute, i want you to know that america may react with a nuclear weapon for the invasion of kuwait. these guys are already trapped
because they agreed already to the wonderful idea. [laughter] he's manipulating them. now, does he believe america will use nuclear weapons in order to run him out of kuwait like that? half yes, half no. it's again a twilight zone. his brain is a twilight zone most of the time except when he decide to kill somebody, and then later he's sorry about it and happened with his minister in 1982 when he ordered him to be shot and he was shot on the spot and he tries to resuscitate him. [laughter] it's amazing. you move half there and there. half yes. he wanted to be sure first off that if america does attack us with nuclear weapons, people, i told you and you said it's okay. we still should go on with it; right? you can want say saddam was crazy. it's collective responsibilities.
the question why didn't, white did he invade kuwait too early? yes you are right, and maybe we shouldn't have and so on but the reason why he invaded kuwait prematurely is kuwait made him very angry. >> i'm going to have to apologize. we have a thing time for just two more questions. i have a lot more people on the list in my apologies to you and perhaps he could come up after the event to ask the panelists, but we have david palkki and michael kraft. pleas to the point and if you could quickly respond and again for those again who i was not able to get to my heartfelt apologies. please come up afterwards and you can ask your question. thank you. >> my question is, thank you first of all for the interesting presentation. what, from all of this if anything, is applicable to iraq today?
saddam and his regime are gone but of course all these documents and all this history tells us something not just about the regime but about iraq and iraqis. and can you draw out of something that might still be relevant or is this all really a matter of very very interesting history, but not relevant to today's iraq? >> michael kraft. >> yeah, thank you. mike grass from the treasurer office and former consultant. questions on iraq nuclear. is there a dairy publicly espoused described as a non-american former consultant in the state department who said that he thought one recent intelligence communities of the west were inclined to think iraq had nuclear weapons was because they are intercepting iraqi internal communications between the various officials, suggesting that they were either leaving saddam hussein on to think the nuclear program was
further advanced or there was something cooking. and it was basically a façade. >> on the question of what is it mean for iraq today, i will throw my red flag. i know what my limitations are. this is a military history study that i performed on this and i believe it to others to try to extrapolate-- extrapolate where that goes leading forward. it is a part of history and as many of me -- my told me looking at the pass. so it is very much a part of what is going to happen in iraq in the future. it has a role but i'm not going to offer what that is. on the wmd question, it is complicated. is one of the ones i hope to see a lot more scholarship on in the near-term. obviously saddam had an ambiguous relationship of the questions at the end of the '90s leading up to it and it was a purposeful ambiguity for regional purposes. i will leave with quick story
and it will be the last thing i do since this is the last question. one of the questions put to the final head of the military industrial commission, and there are weapons development programs chief, the last one had the job in the past and the like. the question was, is it will there be wmd in iraq and he not know about it? if you think of the things going on in 2003 to find the answer to the big question that the study into the publishing, that is slightly off angle way of asking the question but it is an important way to think about the mindset of what was going on. his answer was yes. so they had the mix there was possible there be a program-- then he gave three specific reasons. the first reason was departmental station. we have already talked about it and you have all read studies. it is possible there are programs out there because the regime was kerpen--
compartmentalizing and senior leaders have been buffaloed for so long we learn not to ask. they knew not to ask and it was a high risk game to be play. the second reason was the condition of iraq's bureaucracy after 1991. it was a disaster. they have had been at war for years. they took tremendous pounding and their official buildings and facilities from airpower immediately inspection starts at an active program of hiding and disassembling in moving things around for the first three or four years of inspection programs, and they did that in the compartmentalized way in the compartmentalized state so what was already a chaotic bureaucratic documentation of a complicated program just got infinitely worse to the point where they didn't know. clearly they don't know all the answers to the questions that are being asked to provide answers to buy the mid-1990s. and finally in the third one is kind of this, but tragically ironic responses that he said yes it is possible because it didn't make any sense for the u.s. president to tell the world that was there if he wasn't
sure. and, and that is not to be flippant. what are you going to say one of those over? when innovation is over and you don't have what you confidently say is here? it just didn't make sense to him. so it was his giving credit to our intelligence service to say yes this is the story and this is what it is but logic we as a senior individual he just couldn't imagine what the excuse would be after a successful invasion ended not either, so he said it must. that coming from a very senior official i thought it was rather telling. >> we have less than a minute. either of you want to--. >> what is applicable to today maybe when it comes to iraqi society. first of all we have now leadership of the military. control over the military. thisthis is exactly saddam husss situation. most of his party were luminaries most of all. and they controlled the army.
we have this inbuilt tension between any army and any civilian ship shipment i would say that this is a point to look at, because i believe it is one of the most important reasons why saddam gave wmd and nuclear weapon, is to show the military officers i am the boss. i have the big switch. you have a small switch. i have the big switch in this we don't know, but we need to look at it. ideological commitment. allawi is actually focused with israel like the arab league under the same conditions. i don't see a problem there but i see a problem with muqtada al-sadr who knows-- so muqtada al-sadr has a very ideological commitment to the destruction of israel. and a substantial hate for america.
so i believe he is genuine. i believe the guy so i would say we are still not out of the woods in terms of this ideological commitment which is a problem. and last but not least, the culture of lying, we don't know how it is still prevalent in iraqi society. official bureaucracy military and so on. the culture of official, official corruption. it seems still to be there to some extent at least. and these are things to look at and these are to my mind, something they inherited from the previous regime so i would say there are some points off the cuff to look at. >> well, today i hold the big switch and unfortunately i'm going to have to turn this event off. i just want to thank you all, kevin david and amatzia.
>> good morning, everybody. today the committee meets to consider the nomination of james amos to be the next commandant of the marine corps. he has a long history in military service and a distinguished history, and now you are being asked to add to that service. we're grateful for that and your willingness to do so. we welcome you and your family to today's hearing. senior military officials put in long hours every day, 24/7, and we appreciate this -- the
sacrifices that our nominees and their families are willing to make for their country. we know that their families make any sacrifices to support those efforts, so we think your family who are supporting you in your service. we also want you to extend our heartfelt thanks to the men and women of the marine corps who are serving so ably and so i get leak in harm's way around the world, in afghanistan and of course, but not just in afghanistan. if confirmed, general amos will assume leadership of the marine corps at a difficult time. foremost among concerns is that the marine corps has to strain mightily to support ongoing operations in afghanistan in support of our overall efforts there. and in other places around the world. the marine corps is facing the prospects of moving operations from okinawa to qualm -- guam to
support the government to government agreement with the japanese regarding the long-term presence of marine corps forces in the western pacific. even at this date, there are concerns about the implementation of this agreement, how much will cause, and the potential disruption to or -- to marine corps operating forces. in the spring of 2010, secretary gates made several public statements in which he appeared to question the need for and the size of the navy's and devious fleet in future defense plans and budgets. -- amphibious fleet in future defense and plan and budgets. since that time, he is also questioned the need for the expeditionary fighter vehicle in the face of anti-access strategies of potential adversaries. the current lift capability of the navy is for slightly more than 2 meb's, which contain
about 6 the scions. some argue that that is too small force to operate against a major adversary. they argue that this means that the nation is only really prepared the use the marine corps and amphibious shipping to conduct forcible entry operations against countries of lesser capability, and the extra ability of an efv to stand off farther from the beach is not needed. there is little room to breathe on the aviation front, either. they're well known concerns about overall naval aviation and potential sources of strike fighter aircraft, a problem that the marine share with the other services in the department of the navy. there are well-publicized problems in the joint strike fighter program, the jsf program, if which causes concerns about the marine corps's current plans to achieve an initial operational
capability for the jsf in calendar year 2012, while the other services have delayed their ioc's by a couple of years. we look forward to your testimony on these and other foreign issues. i now call on senator mccain for his statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and i join you in congratulating general amos on his nomination to be the 35 common data of the marine corps and in welcoming his family and friends. i thank him for his service in his willingness to be serving in this critical importance of leadership position. if confirmed, general amos will of thefirst commandant marine corps not from the infantry ranks. though every marine is a rifleman, his additional proficiency as a naval aviator can only be viewed positively, affording him an advantage. general amos is well qualified to succeed general conway as the
next, a dent -- commandant. the marine corps today faces many challenges, including providing marines deployed in combat in afghanistan with everything they need to fight and win, ensuring the well being of wounded warriors and marines and their families, and recapitalizing key weapon systems and preparing for future on natural critic national security demands in a constrained budgetary environment. you have been fully engaged as assistant commandants in addressing these challenges and we look for it your testimony about these issues. if you are confirmed, you will be responsible for ensuring the combat readiness of marines and marine corps units. a legendary wartime marine, general victor krulak once stated, being ready is not what matters. what matters is winning after you get there. your job will be to ensure that happens and no one in this room understands how to do that better than you do.
you also will be a member of the joint chiefs and a military adviser to the president, the national security council, and the secretary of defense. clearly these two hats the service chiefs wear are related, and their views and advice about issues that could affect the marine corps should be sought out and given great weight by national leaders. general, later today the senate will vote on whether the defense authorization act for fiscal year 2011 should be taken up for debate. despite unanimous recommendations of the four service chiefs, the legislation includes a provision that would repeal the so-called don't ask, don't tell law. i want to emphasize -- the service chiefs, and we will be talking about this on the floor, all of them said that they wanted to complete study about the effect on morale and battle readiness of their respective services before moving forward
with the implementation of repeal of don't ask, don't tell. the study that the defense department is conducting does not do that. the study assumes that repeal will take place. for all intents and purposes, there is no study has to the impact on battle effectiveness and morale of repeal this legislation. so i continue to urge my colleagues to reject this effort to short circuit the process endorsed by the depend -- the department of defense leaders, not by the service chiefs, a process that was supposed to inform us with one that merely ratifies a politically-driven decision. we all fall or to hearing your thoughts about whether the comprehensive review should be allowed to run its course in this fashion, and what you feel about the affected could have on the united states marine corps.
we also look forward to hearing your professional military advice about what policy is best for your branch of our armed services, the effectiveness and readiness of which you will be entrusted with maintaining at the highest levels if confirmed in this position. today our military continues to be engaged in combat operations, and career officers, in ceo's, and their families, are being asked to do so much. it would be a mistake to ignore the views of our troops and the military advice of the service chiefs, and for the senate to act prematurely to repeal the tariff don't ask, don't tell law for the sake of fulfilling a political promise. i look for to the testimony of general amos today, and i again thank him and his family for their service. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator mccain. all: senator hagen. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman.
ranking member mccain, members of the committee, it is with great honor and pleasure i intra kyushu and accomplished new general, and general john amos. at that daughter-in-law of all four major engine -- i introduce to you an accomplice in general, general james amos. born in the great state of idaho, he has great north carolina ties. between 2004 and 2006, he commanded the second marine expeditionary force, leading all marine ground aviation and logistical forces at two of our great bases in eastern north carolina. camp lucerne in jacksonville, and sherry. . locations that are home to a marine active duty, dependent
cover retiree, an employee population of over 200,000. also, rumor has it that this accomplished fighter pilot too much i should note is the first aviator nominated to be commandant of the marine corps in its rich history, maintains a residence in the western portion of the tar heel state, where he likes to stay where possible. it is there in north carolina where we alert him to resign after he retires. he is not alone in this journey. beside him for nearly a quarter decades as she is today has been his wife, bonnie. i happen to speak to bonnie is today and she shared with me that almost 40 years ago they met in september, engage in october, and were married in
december. i think we have two very smart people here. they met at the bank where she worked and as of lung -- young lieutenant, he was in flight school. they have been in 19 different locations. some better than others all have been filled with enough memory still laugh -- last three lifetimes. all been active in this -- while been active in volunteer organizations, bonnie has worked as a commercial real estate development companies for 22 years. throughout it all, their family has always been their number one priority. jim and connie amos have two children, ages 36 and 33, who were leading successful, professional lives despite having attended 25 different schools and 24 cumulative years of primary and secondary education. their daughter was born in
hawaii and now lives in charlotte, north carolina. with her husband and two of bonnie and james's four clinton's. his wife is here and they have their other two grandchildren and also the grandson, charlie, also with us today. they lived in west virginia. this military family loves the marine corps and counted a blessing to have live throughout the united states. as you know, general amos is held the title of assistant commandant for the marine corps for the past two years. today we consider his nomination to be commandant, to lead a force of 250,000 active duty and 39,000 reserve marines serving on the frontiers of freedom, fighting in afghanistan, providing humanitarian relief to flood-ravaged pakistan, and
practices -- rescuing vessels from pirates off the coast of somalia. join in 19 -- one in a 1946, his father received his wings flying seaplanes. eupepsia most distinguished officer before you here today. i will have you noted growing up with a father who was a navy pilot saw general amos living in memory -- many warm localities, california, florida, and the british west indies. his guidance counselor once wrote his parents that he feared that the general was "destined for a light as a beach bum if he did not turn things around." obviously he did turn things around. he graduated in high school in
1964 and headed to kodiak, alaska to work and halibut processing factory, the better taking a job as a laborer in a construction camp. after 15 months of that, he went back to the midwest, attended the university of idaho, and injured during navy rotc program. he graduated in 1970 with a degree in finance and embarked on a military career with aspirations to be a pilot. he was designated a naval aviator and learn to find the phantom to before the transition to the hornet. the rest, as they say, is history. over the course of his 38-year career, he is commanded marine aviation units from the squadron to win level. he commanded all marine aviation in iraq as the commanding general of the aircraft wing during operation iraqi freedom
one and two. he is served as nato's deputy commander of the navy striking forces in italy and as the chief of staff of u.s. joint task force during the 1999 air campaign over yugoslavia. his in the commanding general of the marine corps combat development command and as a deputy commandants for combat integration. he has also been the assistant deputy commandant for plans, policies, and operations, and the assistant deputy commandants for aviation. general amos fully in the stands that the price of the war is paid by the young men and women that make the ultimate sacrifice to our great nation. while serving as the third marine aircraft wing commander in iraq, he had the names of each of the marines and sailors whose lives we've lost posted along a wall of his combat operations center. and honoring the manner of
america's history, general amos ensures that their lives have not been lost in vain. the names of the fallen served as a daily reminder of what was at stake, and today they reinforce the general personal commitment to our force. as the assistant commandant of the marine corps, he has been at the forefront of ensuring that personal readiness for marines and their families, he has championed and tackled head on the critical readiness challenges facing our forces over the past nine years at work, and mr. chairman, the marine corps will face many challenges in the coming years, for most of which include supporting our marines in ongoing operations in afghanistan and elsewhere. these times will require the steady hand of the leader tested and proven in combat operations and an experienced manager with a clear vision for the future. you have such a general officer
before the committee today. it is a pleasure votes to welcome and introduce general jim amos. i hope that the full senate will move swiftly to confirm this important task of continuing to ensure -- will move swiftly to confirm him so that he can move forward to the important task of continuing to ensure our marine corps remains america's expeditionary force in readiness. thank you very much, mr. chairman. you think you so much for that wonderful introduction. a warm introduction. other powerful introduction as well. general amos, before we call on you for your opening statement, let me ask you a set a standard questions which we asked all our nominees.
had you adhered to applicable laws and regulations governing conflicts of interest? >> yes, sir, i do. >> do you agree when asked to give your personal views even if those views differ from the administration in power for margin yes, sir, i will. >> excuse me. usmc any duties or actions which would appear to resume the outcome of the confirmation process corps sergeant in no, i have not. >> would you ensure your staff complies with deadlines established for requested communications including question for the record in hearings? >> yes, sir. you and would you cooperate in providing witnesses in response to congressional request? >> yes, sir. >> will they be protected from reprisals from their testimony from greeting card >> yes, sir. >> de you agree to provide documents including copies of electronic forms of communication in a timely manner
when requested by a duly constituted committee or to consult with the committee regarding the basis for any delay or denial in providing such documents? >> yes, sir, i will. >> now we call on you for your opening statement. feel free to introduce members of your family who were with you and anyone else you might wish to introduce. >> bank you very much. chairman 11, ranking member mccain, distinguished members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you in support of my nomination to be the 35th commandants of the united states marine corps. senator hagen, thank you for introducing me and for your kind and generous words. you honored both me and my family and i look forward to the next opportunity for you to spend time in our law cabinet and western north carolina. we thank you for sharing a small part of the tar heel state with the famous family.
while senator hagen is introduce my friend and wife, bonnie, i want to recognize her selfless contributions to me personally and to the thousands of rain families whose lives she has touched. has acknowledged earlier during our 40 years of marriage to each other, she is raged and are killed -- raised our children in my absence. she has repaired our dishwashers, are washing machine, watched over homework for children. she is the epitome of the marines bows. she is the epitome of a mom, and sage role model. she is the rock of our family. also with me is our daughter jamie, and our daughter-in-law, mali, and our grandchildren. behind them or role of our high
school classmates >> am humbled to be honored. i am keenly aware of the challenges our nation faces today and in the future. i have been fortunate to serve as the assistant commandant for the past two years, a position that afforded me a broad view of the successive of your greens and every place. from evidence -- of your marines in every place. from afghanistan to the current flood release on going in pakistan, to the recapture of the pirated ship magellans start 12 days ago, and finally to the 5000 marines and seven amphibious ships and responded faithfully and with compassion
to the earthquake victims in haiti earlier this year. the courage, determination, and selfless was demonstrated by your marines has been remarkable. thanks to the generals leadership, our marines have never been better trained or better lead. today, your marine course focus is on winning the war in afghanistan. that will remain the principal focus unless directed otherwise. concurrent with those efforts, however, we will look to the future to determine what our corps needs to look like in uncertain times ahead. we will shape to be our nation's shock force, ready to respond to a looming crisis. while we cannot predict the future, we can prepare for it. if confirmed, i will do everything in my power to ensure that our nation continues to have a marine corps to answer the call -- always faithful, always ready.
thank you for the legendary support this committee has provided the marines over many decades. we exist today because of the will of congress and the american people. pledge tonenfirmed, i always have my honest assessment of what is required to maintain the health of your report and the security of our great nation. thank you for the opportunity to come before this committee and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much, general, and we will have a seven minute first round and perhaps a second round. general, two fundamental elements of the afghanistan strategy that the president announced in december, 2009, our first, a surge of 30,000 additional u.s. troops by the end of this summer to regain the initiative and secondly, the
setting of the july, 2011, date for the beginning of the reduction in our combat presence in afghanistan. with the pace of those reductions to be determined by the circumstances at that time. do you agree with the president's policy? >> mr. chairman, i absolutely agree that this needs to be a conditions based effort. everything i read since the president made his announcement at west point last fall indicates that a withdrawal will begin and does not stipulate specifically what that means in terms of force structure. everything i have read since then would indicate that the withdrawal will be conditions on-base. i have great confidence in the leadership on the ground, and general petraeus. they know how to fight a
counterinsurgency. and i have every belief that they will give the president and the secretary of defense the best military advice. >> general, do you agree that the setting of that date, july, 2011, is important for the success of our mission in afghanistan because it signals urgency to the afghan leaders, that they must more and more take responsibility for their countries security? >> mr. chairman, i do agree with that. i think it is helpful. i am pleased that it is also undergirding and backed up by the conditions on the ground. everybody understands that. so, yes, sir, i do agree with that. >> japan has recently reaffirmed support for an agreement that realigns u.s. forces on okinawa and moves 8000 marines and their dependents to guam.
the agreement obligates japan to build a replacement facility for the marines' air station and requires the detailed management of more than $10 billion worth of projects to complete construction of all operational requirements -- housing, training ranges, as well as the upgrade to the civilian infrastructure and utilities on guam. the agreement outlines which troops will move to guam, with the units being headquarters units. are, there are reports that the marine corps would prefer to change the force mix to include more operational troops and fewer headquarters units. is my understanding that the marines believe that their preferred force mix would be more efficient and more effective. now, are you satisfied with the
force mix of marines that are planned to be moved, and is there a mix that you believe would be preferable to the mix currently planned? >> mr. chairman, the recent agreement was made many, many years ago. i was not present when it was agreed to. but after we stopped at about two years ago, we did took a look at this. we determined and the marine corps that there probably was a better lay down. and what it did, in the effort to try to optimize the presence across the pacific, this laydown. a marine air ground task force at each one of the locations. so instead of having headquarters on guam, we looked at the opportunity to put a marine underground task force at one, and an open know, and one in hawaii. we have an adjustment to the
laid down and we are just -- we are working with the state department right now. >> there is also concern over the marines ability to adequately train once the move has been made. a parcel of land -- paygat. do you know the pronunciation? >> it is paygat. >> paygatt has cultural significance. this has raised opposition on guam to relocating or rains on the island. to you think there are other acceptable trading options if pagatt is not available. >> just a recent discussion on this, i know that is still in the negotiation phase. i do not think there has been any final decision with regards to pagatt.
the message the record of like to leave our brothers and sisters on bomb is set their moral history is important to us. -- on guam is that their moral history is important to us. we have every expectation that we are of able to fire are machine guns and heavy weapons out there, that it will be satisfactory in the end to our brothers and sisters on guam, and we will be good stewards of that. the issue is our presence in the pacific. the second is available training areas, as you talked about. the importance of the marine corps to be able to train. and finally, the quality of life for those 9000 marines and family members that will move eventually to guam. i think we can work around the pagatt issue. >> thank you.
relative to the don't ask don't tell issue, the department of defense, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff both support the repeal of don't ask don't tell. they also have undertaken a study relative to how to implement that change. and that study is underway. but the decision to make the change is one that they decided was the right decision before they undertook that steady. udy. it is how to implemented which is the subject of the study they had undertaken. the house and senate armed services committee have both passed a provision which would repeal don't ask don't tell if and only if the president and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and the secretary of defense certified to congress
that they have received and considered the report of the department of defense working group and only if they certify that the implementation of a repeal of the statute would be consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention. now, i understand that you have indicated that you have opposed the change in the policy. my question is this -- if at such a certification by civilian and military leadership were made following receipt of the report, could you have confirmed, implement a repeal of the don't ask don't tell policy in the marine corps? >> mr. chairman, the marine corps is probably one of the most faithful services you have in our country, and if the law
is changed by congress and signed by the president of the united states, the marine corps will get in step. >> thank you. senator mccain? >> thank you, mr. chairman pierre thank you, general, and this is very interesting time for you to be here on your confirmation hearing. i know some of these questions are very difficult for you. in your written statements, response to questions from the committee, i quote: my personal view of the assisted a policy have supported the unique requirements of the marine corps band of us, i do not recommend its repeal. the potential disruption, the condition that may be caused by a significant change during a period of significant combat operations. is that an accurate quote? >> yes, sir.
that sounds accurate. >> the interesting thing is that the study that is being conducted by the department of defense -- >> senator, i went through all 103 questions. >> this study does not assess the impact on morale and effectiveness of repeal of a law. and what it does is ask questions as to how the military would adjust to repeal of the law. so, therefore, we are now basing a decision that by the present -- facing a decision by the president of the united states, secretary of defense based on a study that does not get to the fundamental question, which is what is the effect of the repeal on moral and battle effectiveness? this study, this questionnaire assumes repeal of the law, an
incredible act of disingenuous behavior on their part. and the four service chiefs, you included and general conway, all request and state their positions unequivocally that a study should be conducted that would determine the effect of morrell and battle effectiveness on the men and women who are serving. and that is also the view of the senior enlisted personnel. so i guess my question is -- what the survey, would you be able to determine what the effect on morale and battle effectiveness would be, or would this survey bet -- tell you how best the repeal would be implemented? >> senator mccain, i have been a
big fan of the secretary of defense's effort to introduce the survey since its beginning. as i said earlier, i have gone through the entire survey, looked at every question, and i determined i would answer myself if i were taking it electronically, which i did not. there are two other parts in addition to the survey. and the survey is under way, by the way. it is out there among our family members right out. it has gone out to the active force and all the services and the reserve force. in the family members are in the process of responding to the survey. but there are two other aspects of that effort. the first one is kind of a tall many military installations around this country, led by senior leadership. asking questions, talking to them, getting input. the second part is an online survey were all service members
can respond. it is like a blog site. they get on and you can respond and that is not e anonymous. when all this information comes in december, will there be enough information to provide the chairmen and the secretary of defense best military advice? my sense of with the survey, having read it, was in addition to those other matters, sir, i believe it will. wherever the, and that -- whatever the commandant is will be able to give his best military advice of that. >> and the response both online and in the town hall meetings i have been told has been overwhelmingly negative. is that true? >> iowa occurred at the marine bases and the marine -- i have heard at the marine bases in marine and put it has been profoundly negative. but i do not know that for a fact. i have not seen that.
>> thank you. as you well know, later today, the senate will act without having -- knowing whether the survey is a valid or not, completed -- the service chiefs will not be required to sign off on any decision which is made. those that are given direct responsibility for the morrell ale and battle effectiveness of their respective services. unfortunately, this is all being done in light of the november 2 elections. i have never seen anything quite like it in my years that i have served here, because, obviously, there will be a different composition of this committee and the united states senate after november the second. i am a little concerned about the response to the chairman's
commentsdivided byquestions about afghanistan. i visited with my friend, senator lieberman, senator graham, many times afghanistan. i get the opposite impression from people ranging from a police chief outside kandahar to president karzai. all of whom say that the fact that we have set a date for withdrawal, that we will be withdrawing has cost zero ripple effect -- has caused a ripple effect that is damaging to our ability to succeed. does not give him a sense of urgency. what gives him is a sense of survival. and it does not give the taliban the sense they are about to be extended. it gives them the impression that all they have to do is hang on -- they are not about to be
exterminated. a high ranking taliban has said, you have the watches. we have the time. if it were condition based alone, there were be no one more supportive than this member. but condition based and saying that we would be withdrawn no matter what has sent a signal throughout the region from india to iran to pakistan to afghanistan, hang on, adjust to the new realities that the united states is leading. the president made the announcement -- the u.s. is leaving. the president made the announcement with no military recommendation to do so whatsoever. it is the president's authority to make that decision, or any decision along those lines, but to somehow believe that this is going to somehow hasten its success when that the fact is it
in hanses dramatically -- enhances dramatically the chances of failure. the present commandant said that provides theh drithdrawal enemy with sustenance. i wonder if you disagree with general conway's assessment. >> i read the entire press conference that jim conway had about 10 days ago from start to finish. i have worked with him for a long time. he certainly made that comment. but as you look -- if you look at the entirety of the press conference, shortly thereafter, he is making comments along the lines that if the taliban in helmand think of the marines will begin a withdrawal in december, to guzzle 11, and they walk out to do their business --
in december, 2011 -- taken in context of the entire article, i believe that is what general conway was talking about. in talking about the province, i would say there is great success going on there. i do not think there is an expectation that there will be all wholesale withdrawal of helmand next summer. >> the media reports that the progress in that province has not been as rapid as we expected, nor is it in mar jah. and we are going to have to plan for more difficult times ahead. casualties are up, so i obviously have different information than you do about the degree of success that we have achieved so far. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator
mccain. senator reed. >> thank you very much. thank you for your devoted service to the marine corps and to the nation. you have a challenging assignment, but we are all very confident you will perform at magnificent leap in that assignment. with respect to the don't ask don't tell issue, do you feel confident that you will be able to give your uninhibited advice to both secretary of defense and the president before they make any final decision going forward, if you are confirmed? >> senator, i absolutely do. we have to spend some time it taking a look at what those results look like and interpreting exactly what they mean, what is it telling the service chiefs. it will tell each something different, because i believe each service has its own culture. i am told that whoever is the commandant in december will receive that information specific to the united states or
in court and based on that information, and whoever -- i come with 40 years of experience -- whoever is in that job will be able to provide the secretary of defense, the chairman, the best military advice. >> do you feel that in this process you and your colleagues have been educated on the issue and on the potential impact both of the pluses and minuses? >> senator, i think there are parts of this that we have not pulled back debt. by that, i am talking some policy issues, some standards of conduct issues. the issue of unit cohesion. we are not quite sure what the impact will be on an all volunteer force, especially our young force like the marine corps, predominantly young. 60% are 21 years or younger. and so we are not quite sure what the impact will be.
so, that is the important part of the survey. it will inform us, give us a sense of that impact. but it is too soon to tell. >> now, in the process of, and i think you are right about informing yourselves, in turn, you will be in a position to inform the secretary of the defense and the white house about the perspective of the corps. i would assume that whatever decision is made, that would entail educating the marines, army, the department of defense about the new standards of conduct that might be imposed. i think that is obvious. >> senator, you are absolutely correct. the whole idea that at the beginning of the certification, we are able to come back to congress and to be able to say that we have thought through the policies. we thought through the legal ramifications. we thought through the monetary
ramifications, the impact on buildings, barracks, base housing. we thought through all of those things, and we understand what we would call all hold dot mill pf. the whole horizon of things that would be impacted. that would be required before certification. there is a lot of work to be done once the results come in to work through that before the certification can take place. and after that, there certainly will be. there will be training. there will be a host of different aspects that we have not even thought of yet that we will have to spend time with paired >> let me just switch gears quickly to afghanistan. my sense i had of your response is that you see the policy of the united states is to sustain a position long term, indefinite position in afghanistan, but the
size is the issue. the president clearly indicated next july that his intention is to begin to downsize forces there, but again, i do not want to put words in your mouth, but i do not hear you saying that maintaining a long-term military position in afghanistan requires having that size troop force of their indefinitely. is that an accurate deduction? >> senator, i honestly do not know -- we his starkly in combat, we typically guessed wrong. we do our best to be clairvoyant, but we typically are not completely accurate. that is the nature of warfare. in december in iraq, i do not think any of us believed we would be it in iraq as long as
we have. in fallujah, we thought it would be a year and we could come home. none of us knew. i am confident in the u.s. military force on the ground, both army, navy, air force and marine corps. i really am. i just spoke to the burning corps commander on the ground for 45 minutes. he is a personal friend. i deployed with him in combat and i trust his judgment. he is very encouraged by what he is seeing on the ground in afghanistan. in his part of afghanistan, in helmand. militarily, i have to believe that that is taking place throughout the other provinces, where other servers brothers and sisters are. so i am confident that we are headed in the right direction with this thing. i cannot tell you how long the
forces will be needed to be on the ground. i know there are pockets of the helmand province that are optimistic we improving every day. there is marked improvement in places like nawa, that just a year ago were absolutely taliban territory, and now the district governor is setting up schools and bazaars are open. i walked down those markets with out any helmet or flak jacket. i am optimistic about our military forces of all our services that they will be able to do their mission. i just cannot tell you how long we will need to be on the ground and what size force. >> a final topic. the traditional role of the marine corps is to conduct amphibious operations, to go across the beach into areas denied us. over the last 10 years now, the marine corps has been on the ground, not in the amphibious
operations but in traditional, land-based operations, ground operations. how much of your basic skill set has been diminished because of your focus on other tasks that ? >> senator reed, first of all, the skill sets for combat are still there. in fact, they are probably better honed it today than they have been in the last four years of our history. those young men and women, those young staff nco's are fearless. they know what they are doing and they are very effective. the combat effectiveness is there. we have today three marine expeditionary units which compiled, made up of nine amphibious ships at sea. two of them off the coast of
pakistan doing the relief operation and taking down the magellan star. the other one sailed 30 days early just to get over to help, another great effort by our nation to help with humanitarian assistance in pakistan. and we have a unit in the southern pacific doing operations there. so we have amphibious expertise in the marine corps. had we spend a lot of extra time doing it, other than what i just described? the answer is no. will we need to get there? yes, sir, we will. thanks to congress it isvinng growth, allowing us to actually do something. we can actually do the kind of
training you are talking about. >> thank you very much. >> senator sessions? >> thank you, general amos. thank you for your service and your family, for their service. i am so proud of the marines. i have had the opportunity, and senator mccain had to visit with marines in serious combat areas and seeing their performance, courage, and dedication. they are the kind of people we have got to support, a farmffir, and help and train in every way possible. i know that you believe that and i believe you have the opportunity to play a critical role in the continued development of the marine corps. one of the visits are remember to iraq was with senator levin, and we've got a terrible, i thought, very worrisome briefing
at one of the worst points in the iraq war. the marines gave us that briefing in anbar province. later, the situation turned, and as we were briefed on the second visit, the marines officers briefed us on how they bonded with the local leaders and supported them and they turned against al qaeda and ran them out in short order, supported by the united states military and particularly the marine corps. i know one war model is not precisely that of another one, but it seems to me that we do have to have a modest view of what we can accomplish in afghanistan. we need to understand that the
remote areas of afghanistan have never been directly ruled by kabul. and we are going to have to work with local leaders much and the way that occurred in al anbar. you understand that discussion. i am sure it has been going on with the marine corps. would you briefly give your comments about how you see the central government in afghanistan relating to distant provinces and how we can best bring safety and security to some of those of distant provinces? >> senator sessions, you are absolutely correct. when you look back on the history of iraq. when you look back, it was probably ramadi, one of the most dangerous places.
when those tribal sheikhs realize we were not the enemy, to their families by the hundreds and the awakening began. it is different than in iraq. they are not the tribal sheikhs we had in iraq. we do have tribal chiefs, but there is a hierarchy of leadership we are finding in afghanistan. it is a little more difficult to work with. we are working with it on the ground right now. probably 70%, maybe 75% of those great lessons learned, certainly the fundamental lessons on counterinsurgency applied in afghanistan the same way they applied in iraq. but the way we deal with the culture, the way we interact with the leadership of the tribes is a bit different. there are what we call district
governors on the ground in places like nawa, all these different names you read in the paper, there are district governors appointed by the central government. some are more affected than others. -- more effective than others. there was the expectation that if we came into town, where a year and ahlhalf ago, the taliban came in five years ago and ran the villagers off. the marines were there. i spent christmas there. there is a good example of the central government providing a strong district governor. he cleaned the place up and rebuild the marketplace and the
school. so each one of these little districts, with their governors, some are more effective than others. i think the key is that we can provide the security, but the central government needs to ensure that the government's part of helping that country is in place. >> well, i appreciate that. on the extent to which you believe that the central government is able to impose its will and order in distant provinces as a realistic goal is something that i think we have to wrestle with. and we do not need to be too optimistic about that. we need to be willing to accept what happened in al anbar as those local leaders brought in their children, their families and they took it over with out too much direction from baghdad. let me ask this, with regard
to senator mccain's questions on don't ask don't tell, i would like to say i share his views in general there and was disturbed to read it recently in the the washington times that an army deputy chief in charge of personnel, spoke before several hundred troops in the european headquarters in germany and said "unfortunately, we have a minority of service members who are racist and bigoted and you will never be able to get rid of them." he said, "but these people opposing this new policy will need to get with the program, and if they cannot, they need to get out." no matter how much training and education of those in opposition, you always have those that oppose this on moral and religious grounds just like
you have racists today. general amos, you will be setting the policy for the marine corps, and do you think that -- how do you feel about what appeared to be a message that if you have traditional values, that you do not have a place in the military? and if the policy changes, all should comply with it, do you believe that any marine or any marine officer is not able the n to express a personal opposition to that policy without being attacked? >> i will note that apparently
the general said those words were taken out of context and not totally accurate, but it raises the question that is an important question. >> senator sessions, i cannot comment on that. i knew that general from dealings, but i cannot comment because i was not there. >> i want to know if you think it is appropriate leadership, a position of the military if this policy is adopted, to not allow people to have different views and for them to get out of the military. >> senator, if we step away from the don't ask don't tell, there are lots of things that go on it today in the american military that the average marine out there might not agree with. but the one thing we have and the marine corps is a discipline and leadership. those are the two things that i think will carry the day for as should the look at changed. but there has never been a gag order.
and i do not anticipate one being put on marines. i would probably say that one of the rites of passage for being a young enlisted marine is to be able to grouse. and we do that, and they do that, and i did it as a lieutenant. i do not see that that would be an issue. >> do you condone that kind of comment, if it was an accurate quote? >> i'm sorry, senator? >> do you condone that kind of leadership from this attended general? >> sir, again, i am going to try to shy away from him and his comments. from my perspective, it is fundamental leadership and discipline. i do not see this as a racist issue. i do not see these as an issue -- it is not anxious issue for the marine corps because we do not have the answers yet, and we will get those.
but i do not see those in the same light as it was reported. >> well, i think good people can disagree on this, and i think the military can survive and change as they have changed before. as the executive director for the center of military preparedness said, there will be no toleration of the sand if for whatever reason you disagree, whether it is religious conviction, your career will in essence be over. that would not be the policy, of you you would support, would it? when you take action to protect someone who generally disagrees with the change but is willing to live and work in the military in accordance with that change? >> we will. there is no question about it. we are the most disciplined service of all the ones you have. we follow orders. so the answer is, absolutely,
yes we will. the less than we want to do -- if this policy is changed, the last thing you will see a marine corps do is try to step in and push it aside. that will simply not be the case. there will be issues. we will work through them. >> i am not saying put it aside. i am saying respect somebody in the marine corps who did not approve of the change, has a genuine moral or principled opposition to the change. is that career going to be over? >> that career -- and less there is something that happens i am unaware of, that career will not be over. we have plenty of issues where marine to disagree vocally, and you read about in our publication. >> thank you. i was troubled by this comment by a top ranking army officer. thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> senator webb? >> first, a minor correction for the record, if i may, when
senator mccain mentioned that general amos would be the first commandant not from the infantry ranks, and he and i discussed, general chapman was an artillery officer and was a great, and up. certainly, will be the first marine aviator to hold commandant rank. out of my respect for general chapman, who was my comment and. general, i would like to thank you for the precise way you have addressed this issue on don't ask don't tell, practically with respect to this survey that was mandated after the hearings in february, when
secretary gates and admiral mullen began this process. i had an exchange with them at the time, where it was my understanding, and i said it to them after their opening testimony, that the survey was vitally important. to make sure that those who are serving were a part of this process, not the political process, but that their input was of vital in terms of moving forward. and the second is, as you mentioned, was that this type of a survey would enable the military leaders to provide their best advice. and i think you have made that point clearly today. it is the reason i have had hesitations about moving forward at this time. and i just wanted to thank you for the precision with which you have answered these questions. we are going to have the opportunity, obviously, in
future to discuss the major policy concerns, some of which you have been asked about today -- the nature of the war against international terrorism, how we are deploying our forces operationally in places like afghanistan, the drain on our people operationally with this type of structure. secondly, the very key issue coming up now about the roles and missions of the marine corps, as i think most marines fully understand -- marines do amphibious operations well. they have historically, but the amphibious role for the marine corps came out of the fact they have always been on the cutting edge of tactical change. they developed the amphibious doctrine in the 1930's after looking at what happened in world war rahman one in became the predominant innovators -- in world war i. you can look at preaching to the choir here, but i think our colleagues need to understand
the if you look at the casualties, these words very-- very few had to do with amphibious warfare. we are going to have to address seriously the reconfiguration of the marine corps forces in asia. as you know, i spent some time as a military planner in guam in the 1970 togetherng facilities analysis out there then. i was encouraged to hear your comment about moving more operationally into the thguam area. i think we need to look more at tiniam, particularly for firing ranges and small maneuver areas out there. i was out there this past february looking at the training in okinawa.
but today, what i would like to get your thoughts on is something more provincial, but it is disturbing to me. into that is this legislative initiative that is moving forward to change the name of the department of the navy to the department of the navy and marine corps. when you talk about troops are grousing and having a beer, this is something that came up over my many years of association with the marine corps. in my view, there is some demagoguery going on over here on this issue. i am not really sure what utility, changing his name would bring about, just to be frank here. it never bothered to me when i went to the naval academy that i did not go to the marine corps academy. it did not bother me when i was awarded the navy cross and it wasn't a marine corps cross. it did not bother me when i was
secretary of the navy with responsibility for the navy and marine corps that i did not have that title. i think that 235 years of excellence answers the question. i am trying to figure out, on the one hand, what is the upside of doing this and what is the impact in terms of 235 years of . . have elected to stay out of this, and they have elected to make comments such that this is a political effort and that is not a disparaging political effort. this is a political effort and it is probably not appropriate for the commandant of the marine corps to weigh in on. and that is the current position of general conway.
and, sir, i would like to maintain that position. i am not sure i will be allowed to today, but i would like to be able to maintain that. and i am comfortable with that. i thought to this a lot. you and i discussed it last week in the office. at this point, i would like to keep it that way. now, is that going to be satisfactory, or do i need to dig into this a little bit more here and reveal myself? >> well, i think, let me just as k people in the marine corps to be careful about this. there is an old saying it takes 200 years to develop a tradition and two days to destroy one. if there is a series of side that you do not want to discuss right now, i am happy to listen to it. but i think we ought to examine the impact this would have beyond what people are thinking about in terms of may be getting more equal place at a budget
process. >> sir, and we talked but to the other day, a little bit the process. just as the commandant of the marine corps was not a member of the joint chiefs of staff in the middle part of the last century, and that evolves. he was not invited to the key west meetings when they were established. it clearly had a significant contribution in the pacific. how did that happen? it was in the early 1950's, the commandant of the marine corps was made a member of the joint chiefs of staff. this whole process has been evolutionary since the beginning of the department of the navy. i think if you talk to the marines out there -- no, i cannot -- i have not gone out for a survey, but my instincts
and talking to marines are that where we are in 2010, today, because of where we have evolved, we are a pretty formidable force for our nation. and i think of this early, and this is objectively. this is a not the park that has analysis behind it. subjectively, the average fleet marine would look at the secretary and say, yes, i would like to be called the secretary of the navy and the secretary of the marine corps. is that worth breaking news years of traditions'? i am not sure is. but that is not really the basis behind it. we paid a pretty healthy price. and we feel pretty irrelevant right now. that is a heartfelt answer. >> the marine corps has always paid a heavy price in every war from world war i, particularly
forward. 103,000 were killed or wounded in vietnam. at the same time, if i had set down over a beer in 1969, people would say, yes, why can't we be the secretary of the navy and marine corps? but just think about the other implications here. and i would say, i am not sure people have really studied the other areas that this might affect. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator webb. senator brown. >> i am honored to meet you. i have seen you on tv as well. i have seen you on television and the newspapers.
thank you for in your service and for the sacrifice your family has made to support your career. i was wondering if you could help define what you feel the marine corps's mission post iraq and post afghanistan will be? the u.s. in general thoughts on that? >> senator brown, thank you for the opportunity to take the committee to a little glimpse of what we in the marine corps see in the future of the marine corps. the title of america's expeditionary force and readiness catches up. it needs a little bit of explanation, but that is the overarching sense of what we need to provide our nation. the nation pays a price in readiness for its green corn. in other words, to have a force that is ready -- the nation pays a price in readiness for its marine corps. when the president says, sending a force. we have a crisis that is brewing
that we want to circumvent, that we want to terminate, we want to intervene on early on. that requires a force that is ready. so the marine corps needs to be that force already. as we come out of afghanistan, what i pledge this committee, if i become the 35th commandant, is we will maintain that force of readiness. i think our nation expected. and that is why the model of sending the marines resonance so well across this country. that is the first cases, the writing is. the second piece is i think we need to be forward deployed -- that is the first case, the readiness. the second piece is i think we need to be forward deployed. engagement with the nations and more prevention activities. the ability to train armies. the ability to be present and help nations train their forces. i think that is of vital role of the marine corps. i think we need to be the nation's crisis response force.
not everybody can be bet. we need to be light enough to get their rapidly. and heavy enough to carry the day for whatever the crisis is. and it is our intention to refocus ourselves back on that ability to be our nation's crisis response force. so when the president says, sent in the marines. we are theeither there or we can get there rapidly. that will be our focus in the next two decades after we come out of afghanistan. >> company you feel you have the tools and resources you will need, especially based upon some of the cuts being proposed? will you have those tools and resources to do the job and to keep your men and women save? >> senator, we have what we call a force structure review group going on right now. that means we have an effort by some of our best minds in the marine corps to determine what the shape of the marine corps
will look like pose afghanistan. what should it be? how many size units? what should be the composition of those units? based on the results of that, which we should see in the early part of january, that will help us determine do we have the asset? we may have the organic assets right now. i do know the equipment we have in afghanistan is going to have to be what we call reset. it is. have to go into the deeper level minutes and get refurbished or we will have to replace it. so there is the reset bill out there to kind of help the marine corps get well post afghanistan. so is it too soon for me to tell do we have the resources right now. i know that we will be reshuffling the deck. i know what ever the force structure -- whenever that force structure review groups comes out, then we will begin at to reorganize the marine corps and that will determine then what those resurfaced -- those
assets, what will be required to help reorganize the marine corps. it is too soon to tell right now. >> and how is the truth or all with all of the deployment and the family morale -- the troop morale, with all the deployments, and the family are morale? >> first, troop morale. while these are some of the toughest times, these are also the best times. the morale among marines is sky high. when you visit them down in helmand province, they are living in tough conditions. some of them are living in what we call tin cans, the small trailers. but the bulk of those 20,000 marines are deployed in small villages, living in pop tents, have not had a bath and 30 days, eating mre's and living a hard
life, but they are a happy life. it is almost counterintuitive that you can take young men and women and put them in an environment like that or promised them in training that will go in an environment like that and they would be happy about it. so the morale among the marines is happy. our recruiting is up. in fact, if you signed up in september to the united states marine, an infantryman, you could not go to paris island or san diego and a probably around february or march. we are backed up with the number of applicants. so that part is exceptional. my sense is that marines are getting to do what they signed up to do. we promised -- you come in, it will be tough, you will join us. we are not the least bit interested in joining you. you join this elite organization, this war fighting organization and we will probably put you into harm's way. my sense is we are fulfilling our part of the promise, and i think young men and women are
attracted to this. the second part is the morale of the families. that is the part i worry the most about, because it is tough. it was exciting for the first couple of years. for our families, we have some of the best programs in the entire military. but my sense right now is our families are getting tired. we have families that are on their fifth and sixth deployment. so when you start talking families, even though we are caring for them well and reaching out to them and doing everything in our power to put our arms around them, our families are getting tired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, sir. good luck. >> senator, thank you. the defense authorization bill will hopefully be coming to the floor at 11:00 heard it will be a cloture vote on that bill at 2:15. i must go to the floor and senator good when has kindly offered to take the gavel. we appreciate that. hassenator goodwin
kindly offered to take the gavel. i want to pay special thanks to your grandson at charlie. yes sat there all morning looking interesting in what grandfather had to say. i have five kids and i know what the task is to hear your grandpa and answer some technical questions. but he deserves some kind of a medal for his wonderful behavior here today. but thank you for your passion for the marines. it comes through loud and clear this morning and it is a very inspirational to them and to us. senator goodwin, i turn the gavel over to you.
>> senator hagen. >> i am thrilled that you had been nominated. i cannot think of anyone more qualified than you. i wanted to say thanks again to your wife, bonnie, up 40 years, and jamie and mali and charlie. healing your family have committed so much, and night -- you and your family have committed so much and i am proud of you. i am proud of our marines, especially their brilliant execution in iraq and afghanistan. north carolina as honor does the second marine expeditionary force and the special operations command. our marines have led the way in afghanistan. specifically the helmand and kandahar provinces.
i look forward to working with you one of water contamination issues, if an issue that i am committed to. they affect and the marines and our families need closure. what i'm going to ask you a first is the increase of demand for amphibious forces capable of conducting security cooperation, regional deterrence, and crisis response such as the july 2006 non-combat an evacuation operation in lebanon. this need for increased amphibious capability is emerging in the wake of geopolitical strategic uncertainties, if increase challenges to it assets. the requirement for amphibious ships agreed upon between the department of navy concerned eighth ships, but risk was accepted in reducing the fleet
to 33 ships. my understanding is that we're currently down that 31 amphibious ships, with that number possibly falling even lower. as commandant of the marine corps, are you concerned that further degrading amphibious capabilities may be imprudent, and what capabilities might be lost? >> thank you for the opportunity to talk about something that has been my life for the last quarter years. -- the last four years. the amphibious ship is in my estimation the most utilitarianism vessel that is offload in the united states navy. you can do combat all of that ship, you can do humanity and
in -- humanitarian assistance. when the terrible earthquake happen in haiti, 7 and navy ships went to the rescue. when the port was completely clock in the air field was a mess with airplanes and you could not get supplies in and out, those seven amphibious ships pulled off the coast, and out of them, both the helicopters and our seaborne craft, they came marines and sailors and engineers and equipment and water and medical supplies. they were there for over 45 days providing command and control, providing capabilities, bringing haitians out to our ships. there is a great example. what the people do not resist richard remember is when katrina hit.
-- what most people do not remember is when katrina head. we loaded equipment, we loaded bulldozers, front-end loaders, seven-ton trucks, water, food, communications equipment's. we just put marines on their ships along with sailors, and what's katrina pass through, one of those ships pulled into new orleans and provided the central command and control in the early stages of the aftermath of katrina. those amphibious ships pulled them off the coast of louisiana and mississippi and send out their marines with those tractors and vehicles and they came across the beaches that were otherwise on accessible. you know what is happening right now and pakistan with the three
amphibious ships there. not only flying at -- combat afghanistan, but also relief operations in northern pakistan all the way up. and then they take one of their ships to take down the magellan star. they rescued the crew from the somali pirates. we just want the 26 marine expeditionary unit, one of years from north carolina, they left a month early to say all and get off the coast to pakistan. they should be there by the end of this month. there's a further testimony to the fact that the utilitarian value of these ships. not only in these marine expeditionary unit are they the label, but they can pull off and operate all of africa with what we call the security and cooperation mission.
they can bring medical, it is a one-stop shopping operation. i think the value of the ship is absolutely paramount. the secretary of navy believes in them. you're absolutely correct. we have agreed to deep fiscal constraint of 33 ships. everything we do now is informed by the budget and and and you appreciate that. we're sitting at 31 ships. we're going to go down over the next couple of years. but as we look at the fiscal defense planning effort, by the end of that, by that time we hit 2016, which should be back at 33 ships. some will be brand spanking new. it is what we have agreed to over the next force structure review. >> i wanted to ask about at the
wounded warriors. one of my priorities is to ensure that wounded warrior programs across the services effectively assist our wounded warriors to reintegrate into their operational units, transition to another military occupational specialty, or transition to our productive civilian life. i know that the marine corps is wounded warriors programs have played a vital role. what your thoughts on the long- term needs and requirements for the wounded warrior regimen? >> my personal opinion on both wounded warrior regiment and the whole approach has been taking care of our wounded and ill and injured, we put our arms around all of them. i think it's become legendary. i think it was prescient. it was something that came in
its time. i was speaking to groups on saturday night that the marine museum that had raised money to care for the families of our wounded warriors. and i like in the evolution of how we started this war in 2003 to where we are today as building an airplane while it is in flight. we were not sure what all the requirements work, but over time we have gotten to battalions. it is one of the greatest success stories coming out of this war. my sense is that it will be around for a long time. i'm having a hard time envisioning when we will not need this. i think the wounds of this war will be with us for a while, even if we stop and get all skill at of afghanistan. the wounds of this war will be there for a while. they will need to care.
we also have the typical things like cancer, accidents, tragedies that happened, and that is the ill and injured that find their way into the wounded were battalion in their care. the second reason is that the world that we live in is going to require marines to live and some of the most nasty places for the bidding of our nation. we will have wondered marines for the decades to come. they will need a place to go and refit and rearm. imagine that care for them. i just talked about that. i think is absolutely first rate. we have an effort underway to change -- help them re-enter grade in the marine corps, change their military occupational specialty, and most of the young men -- you have met them in the hospital, the very
first thing that they say is that they want to get back to their unit. that is the first order of business. during her recovery, the second pieces, now that it looks like i am a covered, i want to get back to being an infantryman. in some cases they may not be able to. in most cases, we were deliberately to try to help them move into other military occupation specialties. it takes a while for them to get to the point where they're willing to do that. and lastly, the matriculation back into civilian society. i know that you know this. we worked hard, we are plugged into industry, we're plug to into people that want to hire wounded warriors. i was sitting there on saturday night with a major defense industry corporation. a retired marine there was employed and they just hired 32 of our wounded marines.
that type of effort is going on across our country. that is great news. >> i want to thank you for your service. i looked bored your confirmation. >> senator chambliss. >> general amos, thanks to you and your family for your commitment to freedom and democracy. your nomination to be the next commandant speaks to that commitment as well as your leadership to our nation. we're very appreciative and i want to publicly thank the current common dog, general conway, who has been a great asset not to the marine corps only but to our nation. his 40 years of service, and that two of you, thanks for what you do every day. i intended to ask you about the resources, but as you know, we had -- we're very proud to have
the marine corps located in our state, and the facility. that relationship is unparalleled. i think you address that resources you. i am not one to get to that. i want to ask you about this deadline. i'm confused about your answer to that. i frankly think it is a huge mistake to have that deadline out there. just like senator mccain, i think it alerts our enemy that they can sit back and wait on us. i understand you are saying that just because you support the july 1 with drawl, that in august and september, it the bad guy raises as head of marine is going to be there to take off. but that is what confuses me. why do we want to tell them that we're going to even begin withdrawing in july, if in fact we're going to be there in august or september or even in
2012 it if need be? >> senator, i cannot speak for the president. he is my commander in chief and he has made the announcement in his three confirmed dead. my sense is that the leadership of the department of the defense, the leadership of our combat and command, the leadership on the ground in afghanistan has given me -- has confirmed to meet that they are confident that the right decision will be made. the top of warfighting decisions that commanders -- only commanders on the ground have access to the full situation. i am confident in the abilities of david petreaus and others. i believe in our secretary defense. i know he is our best interest at heart. nowhere have i seen a deadline
tacked on to the backside of the july 2011 announcement. no date that the last service man or woman will be out of afghanistan. i am led to believe and i will be encouraged that this is not a precipitous cliffs. july 2011 is not a cliff that we fall off of. it will be a type of gradual decline. i cannot speak to what that decline will look like or how rapid the decline will take place, i just go back to the fact that the commanders on the ground to know best are going to have a great amount of say about where our forces come out, at what rates, or were they need to be realigned. that is where i fall in on this. >> are you confident that beginning july 2000 first cut to douse a loving, that what role race will be dictated by conditions on the ground? >> i believe first of all the
president said a withdrawal will begin. when the president speaks, there will be a withdrawal that will take place. what that will look like, i do not know. but to enter your question specifically, i am confident that the leadership will make the best decisions. we paid a price for this. they're young men -- the lives of young men and women that we've lost in that country predicament is on the ground have knowledge of that and it will not what those lives go in vain. i am confident that the leadership will have a direct input on this, senator. >> switch gears for just a minute. your background is in aviation. how comfortable are you with the 2012 base for the f-35 be. what the possibilities that that
ioc date is not achieved? this program since its birth. i've been the deputy commandant of aviation as we made the decisions to buy the joint strike fighter, skip a generation of airplanes, and take a procurement holiday while we waited for the joint strike fighter. it is an exciting time for us. there are five record joint strike fighters in line over maryland right now going to test and evaluation. all the testing that has to take place for an airplane or a new weapon system, they are there now. indications they are behind on the test schedule, if not a lot, but the airplanes themselves are flying very well. our ioc in december 2012 will give us 10 airplanes, and will
give us the air crew that are combat ready and ready to deploy. when you think about what that would mean to our nation, to have this. first degeneration fighter attack airplanes in our inventory, ready to deploy, should something happen, it is pretty significant. the marine corps is holding firm on maintaining that 2012 december ioc. if the ioc slides to the right, then it will slide to the right and we will still have an ioc somewhere, not too many months after that, that we end up with a 10-plane squadron of his generation aircraft ready to deploy anywhere in the world. i think it is important to our international partners. we're partnered with italy and spain and great britain on the stovl variant which the marine
corps will be flying. our ioc gives them great -- it encourages them and shows them a record of progress. i think it is pretty important that we maintain that if at all possible. >> you aviators in the marine corps have been very patient. we have experienced as policy makers the same frustrations you have experienced with this program, but hopefully we are on track and we will see that 2012 i ok date a reality, because we know the value of this weapon system to your inventory and how much it will mean to you as we go down the road. thanks very much for your service and look board to your confirmation. >> thank you, senator. >> senator burris. >> congratulations to you, general amos. earliest this year during a trip to san diego, had the
opportunity to visit the marine corps station at miramar. i went to the recruit the above. that and forced my intense respect for the men and women who serve as marines. based upon the exceptional career, i am confident the president has made this right choice. how like to thank you personally for your continued service and dedication to our great nation. it is men like you that make this nation great. i am pleased to extend my appreciation to your wife and your family for what she does to support the marine spouses. mr. chairman, i have a couple of questions of want to submit for the record. i am very concerned on the
position on don't ask, don't tell. please let me understand that your position that you individually do not support the statute change, is that correct? >> senator barrettes, i do not because i will represent those young men and women to wear this uniform. i do not know it yet what the impact on unit cohesion will be. i do not know yet what the impact on recruiting and retention will be in our combat readiness. there is nothing more intimate in live and combat. i have a bunch of questions and that is why i said what i said. >> you are born in 1947? >> i was born in 1946. >> you are 1 years old when the president truman issued an
executive order integrating our armed services. at that time, we had segregated forces, regimented troops, and my knowledge of people who served in spite of racism, i remember my uncle's and my uncles-in-loss, going off to war in world war ii, and talking about their limited experience in racism that existed in the military. but they were willing to fight and die for this country. opposition to you is that there are individuals who happen to be of another cassation called gay or lesbian that are just as
dedicated to this country and conserve it valiantly and well we have thousands of them that continue to serve. because of my position on this issue, i have had people coming people come up to me and said they want to go into the military but it would be a hassle because of their sexual orientation. i know that you are inexperienced lawyer and a dedicated military man. i respect your views. -- you are an experienced warrior and a dedicated military man. but we must not limit the opportunity for a dedicated american, regardless of his or her sexual orientation, to serve
this country if they wanted. general, they make the marines better, which might be hard to do. what is your comment? >> sir, it had become the 35th commandant, i will have responsibility -- >> we're going to make you that commandant. >> i would be responsible for every small part of american society. people who want to be a marine, and second of all, those or physically and mentally qualified. >> there is no way in the world i could've gone to the strain that i saw those young kids did, they make them train even though they are tired, and the
trainer said, in combat you cannot get tired. you never know when that an ounce of energy will be needed to save yourself and your partners. i saw them crawl on the ground, role on the ground. i cannot do that when i was 2430. i was a bad little guy in my days and i could not handle it. >> those of those same wonderful men and women, the sons and daughters that the parents of our country belong to us -- loan to us. and we work hard to train them into the fearless young men and women that will give their lives for one another in a tough situation in a place like afghanistan. >> pulse of for one day and i made a mistake with the marine recruit. one gentleman was in civilian
clothes. i said, your and ex-marine? i made the biggest mistake of my life. you do not call marine and ex- marine. he said, once a marine, always a marine. >> sir, you're absolutely correct. you are always simmering. campaign to get that word out of the lexicon. you are marine forever. >> i heard general webb question you. i know you cannot comment on that, but given the fact that you are first in battle, that you're ready for the call as you stated, you are ready to go.
at the ines are th point that should be the department of the navy and marine. gentleman, keep in mind that we need to have the best in the broadest and opportunity always to serve not. i know that you will follow the policy in the law that this change. there is no question about that. maybe we will have a chance to talk about this privately. for a person who's understood what racism and sexism as an. i fought this in my state for those persons or different persuasions and sexual orientation. they need the same opportunities, the same commitment to serve as anyone else. >> sir, thank you for your high
regard for the marine corps. you have made my day. that will give me through the rest of the day. >> it brings tears to my eyes, because when you set that -- i was at certification -- ellis of walter reed, i said, you've been discharging what you wanted he said he wanted to go back into in his unit. i just cried like a baby. i cannot believe that that is the commitment the u.s. train those young men and women to have. god bless you and thank you for protecting us, general. >> thank you, senator. >> general, take you for being here. thank you t bonnie and your family for the sacrifices that they may. those who stand beside s often pay a heavier price than those to get the opportunities serve and we're grateful to your family and grateful to you for all of the years that you serve this country.
i want to pick up on the topic the macaulay's in georgia discussed with you, the f-35 in the delivery of it. we're proud to have the marines in florida, not as much of a presence in other states, but we do some of the refurbishing work figure referred to, and also coming to the f-35 and the training for one squadron of military aviators. i'm concerned about the f-35. we're happy to be doing the training in florida, but this program, this plane is taken on all along time to develop an it has been over budget and continues to be delayed. if we do not meet the delivery dates, what impact what that have on your community? will that put you in any type of strategic predicament if these plans do not come on time and do not come at a rate that you need to be able to use them?
>> faq for having a real sense for understanding what the issues are here. it's exciting and we're looking forward to delivering the first airplanes and down there. they're building a great team. if the ioc moves to the right, and if it does, i do not know that it will or not, their discussions going on right now. i am not privy to them but i have heard that. if it moves to the right, it will finally settle on sunday to the right of that, however many months, like the said earlier, not too many. but in the meantime, the marine corps set out just about 67 years ago to take a look at our strike fighter is that we currently have. how did we manage that? how did we manage a total flight hours on their airplanes to
sustain their service life? that is what we're talking about. if we have a slide to the right on the joint strike fighter, the western league do not have a slide to the right of our current requirements to reduce airplane squadrons, carriers, all that. but we did their -- several years ago is to mitigate this and to deal sustain this. we began to manage the service life of each one of our airplanes. we've done it with our f-18. we move airplanes around within squadrons based on the numbers of catapults, the number of traps that they have had, the number of landings a day of that on carriers. there is a limitation on that. the amount of g-forces pulled on there's airplanes is registered. those are in indication of service life of your plan as well. not to mention the total hours. will we have done is actually
move the deck chair, so to speak, on the ship to move look like our airplanes or load g- loaded airplanes to where they can pull more, look catapult and trapped air plans to air carrier squadrons. the short answer is that we can manage that and we're managing it right now. we stood down a couple of squadrons of f-18's not too long ago, and have taken their assets and spread them around to sustain ourselves. we can do this. this is doable. >> how long can you do in. >> sir, i will have to come back to you will but the precise as to. we know how long we can do it for. there are other mitigation efforts under way which examines how we can put money into our current fleet of f-18's and extend their life? that analysis is underway.
judy if you could supplement that for the record, i have a great concern about this project. we need to get the f-35 out since we have been working on this is 1935. we went to the moon faster than we've built this airplane. thank you for that and look forward to getting there from you. on one shift gears to afghanistan. i do not want to recall the ground that was talked about before. let me ask you some straightforward, simple question. do you think we're winning the war in afghanistan? >> senator, that is probably the question that is the hardest to ask. there is not a yes or no. i can i give you that. i can give you a glimpse into portions of what is happening in afghanistan, the marine corps down in regional command center southwest, and helmand province.
it sits right on the border, right next to kandahar, as you know. arguably one of the toughest areas of all of afghanistan in the marines are there. if what's the progress personally on my visits. having just talk to the commander on the ground, i could keep you indication after indication where things are actually moving well. let me give you a couple. i talked about the group liberated and now the town is rebuilt, the schools reopened, when the district governor walked me into the school house, in the four corners of the room, about one-tenth the size of this hearing room, or four large rugs. the students were in four groups. the proudest he was was when he took me over and put me in front of a bunch of little girls.
this district governor and the town which had been ruled and dominated by the taliban was the first female school class and all of helmand province. since then, they have opened up -- in the town of marja, the of opened up to schools to include girls right now. does to the indications that there is positive evidence. things are happening. when i talk to the commander, he said, several months ago when the taliban attack this, they attacked and groups of 15 to 20. they were pretty ferocious. we of worn them down now where they do what he calls shoot and scoot operation. freed by, they muscled their a cave -- they stick the muzzle on ak-47 around the building, fire,
and renault. there is no major sustained combat operation. the typical thing you see in these villages are the shoot and scoot. we will succeed militarily in the nation of afghanistan. >> is the july 11 -- the july 2011 withdrawal date we talked about, is it harming your mission or the market is in making your mission more difficult? >> i ask that question, and they do not even talk about it. there is no discussion in the helmand province about this ignatius -- as this and -- it as an issue. the leadership, the provincial governor of a helmand province, they are dedicated. there's not announce the flinching on this. >> alas question i have for you, and probably deserved a longer answer, but it occurs to
me that as an expeditionary force, the marine had been lied on their feet, in and out, try to be first in to secure the beachhead, when the battle, and then be able to move on to the next battle. that seems to be the intention with the counterinsurgency strategy that requires you to go in and work -- seems to be counter to the intention of a counterinsurgency strategy to go in and build local fighting forces. as the commandant, that is something you must think about, the tension between your traditional role in this new way of war fighting. i wonder how you will reconcile those competing demands? >> senator, i think the -- when we leave afghanistan, the last thing i would want to see the marine corps do is lose the skills says that we of learned over the last nine years. many of the skill sets, but
cultural sensitivity, the importance of language, the ability to work with other nations in some remote areas, they're all things that we'll learn, and we've relearn them. we have done them for over two or 35 years for our history. we are on the land right now. that has happened to us periodically throughout the marine corps. that happened was in korea, if it happened to us in vietnam, it happened to us and france. but we come out and become our nation's crisis response force that has the response capability the rest for too. -- that i referred to. i would want to maintain that because as we work with other nations and countries around the world, we're going to do our level best to begin to lighten the marine corps up, and we're going to do our level best to work with our navy brothers to
be those for deployed forces ready to do the nation's bidding at a moment's notice. i think we can take the best of what we have learned and hang onto that, and then we will get around to the rest of the business. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you, general, for being here today. allied to begin by reiterating my appreciation to the committee and chairman 11 to have an opportunity to serve the general may be where i was appointed to my position because of that death of senator byrd in virginia, regarded as a giant in american history. he served our government for nearly a quarter of its history. a daunting task, one that pales in comparison to the challenges
which you see. i'm pleased to have the opportunity to visit would briefly here today. it allows me -- back in july, when the announcement was made, amidst the dozens of calls of congratulations and well wishes, at the chance to have a conversation with a friend and former colleague by the name of robert ferguson, a marine currently serving as the cabinet secretary for the west virginia department of administration, a man who is extremely active in veterans' issues throughout the state of west virginia. during our brief conversation, he sent me a simple figured, 32. the marines they had died in that calendar year. it is more troubling given the high numbers of the best ever used.
talk to me about the men -- the mental and behavioral challenges facing the men and women in your command as they return from defending our country in places like iraq and afghanistan, and also the distress -- d-stress program. >> thank you for allowing me to address this. of all the things that i spend my time on in the last 25 months, the issue of suicides in our corps, the issue of psychological health, boats, probably occupied a clear majority of my time. it lost 32 marines as of this date.
that is 32 more marines than we should have lost. the loss 52 last year, a services -- suicides been counted on the calendar year. just looking at this trend going up, it is not a matter of waking up, we were doing things but we have to do them differently. we went to marine noncommissioned officers and said that we need their help. most suicides were young men aged 19-22, white, young enlisted, there were predominately the ones we were losing or e-4 and e-5. noncommissioned officers said, let us take this on. we had them help us build the most high impact and most relevant training program for noncommissioned officers on
suicide prevention than any in the service to date. i am proud to report you -- i am courage to report to you today that the number of suicides in this year, and noncommissioned officers has dropped -- have dropped markedly. this time last year, we at 37 suicides in the marine corps. we have 32 to date. where are we headed? it is important and we're not done. we have another effort on the way right now to take that same type of high-value or high impact training and put it down to our young e-12 e-3's. the same thing for a first lieutenant's unsettling tennis. we're. a bill a separate training program. that is the focus of suicide prevention. we're not done. we're not satisfied. 32 more than we want to have this year and we are determined to bring that number down. you want to make a difference.
the d-stress program came out of these noncommissioned officers. i said, it can you give me a suggestion on something that you think might help? looking at the suicides, a lot seemed to have a common denominator of a problem with their relationship with a young woman, could be a white, could be a girlfriend, could be a fiancee, they said, if you need to have relationship hot line. maybe it was, we will let it that and go, don't understand that. but we call it that for about six months. we came to the conclusion that what we needed was a hot line that would plug into middle health providers across this nation, that a family member, can a white, a husband, a marine, one of our corps manned
or dr. sailors could call, completely anonymously, and get assistance. the beta test is being done at camp pendleton, at miramar, and others. it is in cooperation with our health care provider out there. we have 24 hour hotlines, and we have advertised this now, in the early indications are that is getting traction. when i committed to this committee, i will be a would give you a full report. the whole idea is to provide another avenue to reduce this issue of stigma, where a man or woman can pick up the phone and call and talk to somebody, and then get referred to a mental health providers somewhere in the western part of the analysis. it is the referral and follow-up care which is critical imports. there are a host of things that we're doing and would be happy
to go with those things with you. >> i appreciate that and your answer. it has been honor for me to preside over your confirmation hearing today. chairman levin has indicated that the commitment on meet as soon as possible at the nomination. i want to wish you well and think you and your family for being here today, and they understand you brought some west virginians with you. they are well behaved. [laughter] the record will remain open for five days of senators wish to submit additional questions to you. this hearing is now adjourned. >> naked, sir. -- thank you, sir. [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
>> that's what we are talking about. that's what this fight you aren ganled in is all about. thank you everybody. god bless. let's get to work. >> are you worried that's gooding to spoil any feign? >> i'm tired of the back biting and knit picking within our own race. i don't think it will spoil you unless it eats up on you. we have nominees who are in very
competitive races who stand a very good chance of winning. i resfus to allow anyone or anything to get in the way. the goal is to win. whether it is congressional seat or senate seat, we are putting our best team out there we have come a long way. the people decide who wins. my view has been stop it, let's
voters because we spent the money 10 months ago. folks in washington want to a peas those who retract those things. i decided to do it a little differently. i decided to put my faith and trust in the leadership. the democrats are running around contacting 400,000 voters. really? call me when you get to a million because we are at 16 million. we will will have more than enough to carry us to november.
>> welcome to our little haven. it's great to have you on board. >> what is the idea behind the bus? >> it start issed from my conversations around the koirpt. i decided working with our team, we need to go back out and be a bold representation of the frustration of the american people. their desire to bring about their kind of change. a colleague of mine said we need to put you on a bus and send you
north first. the managers of the bus just started mapping it. we called up the state parties and said, the chairman is coming to your state at this time, what do you want them to do? >> we have computers and printers. we are wired. we are wireless. it's a great work space. we have a press shop. this is the media shop. this is sort of the grilling pad. when the staff acts up. our gifts that common and we have the captain chairs for the lieutenant govern who was in the chair earlier today. we got to chat a little bit.
and the response we are getting. we were at an event. when we came back out, this was on the bus. it was another alabama voter that wants to fire pelosi. >> are you sleeping on the bus? what's life on the road like? >> it is actually very monday ot nows. you are just driving. it's not like you have stops every 20 minutes or so. it's long stretches. that forces you to work. that's when we do a lot of emailing and phone calls. the business of the rnc is going on. just because i'm out here, i've got my files and stuff i need. i'm in constant communication
with the chairman around the country. everybody will nap, fall asleep, take a break. we've had several days where we have had six or seven events back to back. that can be a little draining, you kick back as you drive to the next city overnight. it's relaxing i must admit. it's a great space to work in. at the end of it, we'll be done and get off the bus and you hope we have accomplished the mission. >> with the pledge to america today is that something that is going to be a house poll ti?
leadership in the house of the senate, they can work in the house. getting the government regulations off the backs of the people and the like. flu >> c-span's local content vehicles are traveling the country as we look at some of the most closely contested races leading up to the elections. for more information, visit our website at c-span.org/lcv. >> next, "q&a" with
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