[Senate Hearing 110-153]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]

                                                        S. Hrg. 110-153




                               BEFORE THE

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                       ONE HUNDRED TENTH CONGRESS

                             FIRST SESSION


      JANUARY 10, 11, 17, 18, 23, 25, 30, 31, AND FEBRUARY 1, 2007


       Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations

  Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/congress/

                                                        S. Hrg. 110-153



                               BEFORE THE

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                       ONE HUNDRED TENTH CONGRESS

                             FIRST SESSION


      JANUARY 10, 11, 17, 18, 23, 25, 30, 31, AND FEBRUARY 1, 2007


       Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations

  Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/congress/

38-033                      WASHINGTON : 2007
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                JOSEPH R. BIDEN, Jr., Delaware, Chairman
CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut     RICHARD G. LUGAR, Indiana
JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts         CHUCK HAGEL, Nebraska
RUSSELL D. FEINGOLD, Wisconsin       NORM COLEMAN, Minnesota
BARBARA BOXER, California            BOB CORKER, Tennessee
BILL NELSON, Florida                 JOHN E. SUNUNU, New Hampshire
BARACK OBAMA, Illinois               GEORGE V. VOINOVICH, Ohio
BENJAMIN L. CARDIN, Maryland         JIM DeMINT, South Carolina
ROBERT P. CASEY, Jr., Pennsylvania   JOHNNY ISAKSON, Georgia
JIM WEBB, Virginia                   DAVID VITTER, Louisiana
                   Antony J. Blinken, Staff Director
            Kenneth A. Myers, Jr., Republican Staff Director


                            C O N T E N T S


                      Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Biden, Hon. Joseph R., Jr., U.S. Senator from Delaware, opening 
  statement......................................................     2
Lugar, Hon. Richard G., U.S. Senator from Indiana, opening 
  statement......................................................     1
Marr, Dr. Phebe, historian, author of ``The Modern History of 
  Iraq,'' Washington, DC.........................................     6
    Prepared statement...........................................    10
O'Hanlon, Dr. Michael, senior fellow and Sydney Stein, Jr., 
  chair, the Brookings Institution, Washington, DC...............    17
    Prepared statement...........................................    21
Pillar, Dr. Paul, visiting professor, Security Studies Program, 
  Georgetown University, Washington, DC..........................    31
    Prepared statement...........................................    34
Said, Yahia, director, Iraq Revenue Watch, London School of 
  Economics, London, England.....................................    23
    Prepared statement...........................................    28

             Additional Statements Submitted for the Record

Cardin, Hon. Benjamin L., U.S. Senator from Maryland, prepared 
  statement......................................................    92
Webb, Hon. Jim, U.S. Senator from Virginia, prepared statement...    91

                   Thursday, January 11, 2007 (a.m.)

Biden, Hon. Joseph R., Jr., U.S. Senator from Delaware, opening 
  statement......................................................    95
Boxer, Hon. Barbara, U.S. Senator from California, statement.....   128
    Poll published in the Military Times.........................   159
    Article from the Daily Telegraph.............................   160
Cardin, Hon. Benjamin L., U.S. Senator from Maryland, statement..   147
Casey, Hon. Robert P., Jr., U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, 
  statement......................................................   150
Coleman, Hon. Norm, U.S. Senator from Minnesota, statement.......   121
Corker, Hon. Bob, U.S. Senator from Tennessee, statement.........   126
Dodd, Hon. Christopher J., U.S. Senator from Connecticut, 
  statement......................................................   110
Feingold, Hon. Russell D., U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, statement   123
Hagel, Hon. Chuck, U.S. Senator from Nebraska, statement.........   114
Isakson, Hon. Johnny, U.S. Senator from Georgia, statement.......   146
Kerry, Hon. John F., U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, statement..   118
Lugar, Hon. Richard G., U.S. Senator from Indiana, opening 
  statement......................................................    97
Menendez, Hon. Robert, U.S. Senator from New Jersey, statement...   143
Murkowski, Hon. Lisa, U.S. Senator from Alaska, statement........   141
Nelson, Hon. Bill, U.S. Senator from Florida, statement..........   135
Obama, Hon. Barack, U.S. Senator from Illinois, statement........   139
Rice, Hon. Condoleezza, Secretary of State, Department of State, 
  Washington, DC.................................................    99
    Prepared statement...........................................   102
    Responses to questions submitted by Senator Biden............   161
    Responses to questions submitted by Senator Lugar............   170
Sununu, Hon. John E., U.S. Senator from New Hampshire, statement.   131
Vitter, Hon. David, U.S. Senator from Louisiana, statement.......   148
Voinovich, Hon. George V., U.S. Senator from Ohio, statement.....   136
Webb, Hon. Jim, U.S. Senator from Virginia, statement............   153

                   Thursday, January 11, 2007 (p.m.)
                               THE CENTER

Biden, Hon. Joseph R., Jr., U.S. Senator from Delaware, opening 
  statement......................................................   175
Carpenter, Dr. Ted Galen, vice president of Defense and Foreign 
  Policy Studies, Cato Institute, Washington, DC.................   218
    Prepared statement...........................................   221
Galbraith, Hon. Peter W., senior diplomatic fellow, Center for 
  Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, Washington, DC.............   177
    Prepared statement...........................................   180
Kagan, Dr. Frederick W., resident scholar, American Enterprise 
  Institute, Washington, DC......................................   184
    Prepared statement...........................................   187
Lugar, Hon. Richard G., U.S. Senator from Indiana, opening 
  statement......................................................   176

             Additional Statement Submitted for the Record

Serwer, Daniel, vice president, Peace and Stability Operations, 
  U.S. Institute of Peace, Washington, DC........................   252

                      Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Biden, Hon. Joseph R., Jr., U.S. Senator from Delaware, opening 
  statement......................................................   255
Haass, Hon. Richard, president, Council on Foreign Relations, New 
  York, NY.......................................................   264
    Prepared statement...........................................   268
Lugar, Hon. Richard G., U.S. Senator from Indiana, opening 
  statement......................................................   256
Nasr, Dr. Vali R., professor of National Security Affairs, Naval 
  Postgraduate School, Monterey, Ca..............................   272
    Prepared statement...........................................   276
Ross, Hon. Dennis, counselor and Ziegler distinguished fellow, 
  the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Washington, DC..   258
    Prepared statement...........................................   261

                       Thursday, January 18, 2007

Biden, Hon. Joseph R., Jr., U.S. Senator from Delaware, opening 
  statement......................................................   327
Hoar, GEN Joseph P., USMC (Ret.), former commander in chief, U.S. 
  Central Command, Del Mar, CA...................................   342
    Prepared statement...........................................   343
Keane, GEN Jack, USA (Ret.), former Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. 
  Army, Washington, DC...........................................   336
Lugar, Hon. Richard G., U.S. Senator from Indiana, opening 
  statement......................................................   328
McCaffrey, GEN Barry, USA (Ret.), president, BR McCaffrey 
  Associates LLC and adjunct professor of International Affairs, 
  U.S. Military Academy, Arlington, VA...........................   331
    Prepared statement...........................................   334
Odom, LTG William E., USA (Ret.), senior fellow, Hudson 
  Institute; former Director of the National Security Agency, 
  Washington, DC.................................................   344
    Prepared statement...........................................   348

                    Tuesday, January 23, 2007 (a.m.)

Biden, Hon. Joseph R., Jr., U.S. Senator from Delaware, opening 
  statement......................................................   401
Gelb, Hon. Leslie H., president emeritus and board senior fellow, 
  Council on Foreign Relations, New York, NY.....................   404
    Prepared statement...........................................   406
Korb, Hon. Lawrence J., senior fellow, Center for American 
  Progress, Washington, DC.......................................   418
    Prepared statement...........................................   421
Lugar, Hon. Richard G., U.S. Senator from Indiana, opening 
  statement......................................................   402
Luttwak, Dr. Edward N., senior fellow, Center for Strategic and 
  International Studies, Washington, DC..........................   410
    Prepared statement...........................................   413
Malley, Robert, director, Middle East and North Africa Program, 
  International Crisis Group, Washington, DC.....................   427
    Prepared statement...........................................   431

                    Tuesday, January 23, 2007 (p.m.)
                     ALTERNATIVE PLANS (CONTINUED)

Biden, Hon. Joseph R., Jr., U.S. Senator from Delaware, opening 
  statement......................................................   475
Gingrich, Hon. Newt, former Speaker of the U.S. House of 
  Representatives; senior fellow, American Enterprise Institute, 
  Washington, DC.................................................   483
    Prepared statement...........................................   487
Murtha, Hon. John P., U.S. Congressman from Pennsylvania, 
  chairman, Subcommittee on Defense, Committee on Appropriations, 
  U.S. House of Representatives..................................   476
    Prepared statement...........................................   480

                   Thursday, January 25, 2007 (a.m.)
                        RECONSTRUCTION STRATEGY

Biden, Hon. Joseph R., Jr., U.S. Senator from Delaware, opening 
  statement......................................................   525
Jones, BG Michael D., USA, J-5 Deputy Director for Political-
  Military Affairs--Middle East, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 
  Washington, DC.................................................   537
Lugar, Hon. Richard G., U.S. Senator from Indiana, opening 
  statement......................................................   528
Satterfield, Hon. David, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State 
  and Coordinator for Iraq, Department of State, Washington, DC..   530
    Prepared statement...........................................   534

              Additional Material Submitted for the Record

``Families of the Fallen for Change'' letter submitted by Senator 
  Biden..........................................................   574
Responses of Ambassador Satterfield to Questions submitted by 
  Senator Webb...................................................   576
``Contributions From Other Donors'' submitted by the State 
  Department.....................................................   579

                   Thursday, January 25, 2007 (p.m.)
                           POLITICAL STRATEGY

al-Rahim, Rend, executive director, the Iraq Foundation, 
  Washington, DC.................................................   589
    Prepared statement...........................................   594
Biden, Hon. Joseph R., Jr., U.S. Senator from Delaware, opening 
  statement......................................................   587
Dodge, Dr. Toby, consulting senior fellow for the Middle East, 
  International Institute for Strategic Studies, London, United 
  Kingdom........................................................   612
    Prepared statement...........................................   615
Kubba, Dr. Laith, senior director for the Middle East and North 
  Africa, National Endowment for Democracy, Washington, DC.......   606
    Prepared statement...........................................   609
Lugar, Hon. Richard G., U.S. Senator from Indiana, opening 
  statement......................................................   588
Talabani, Qubad, Representative of the United States, Kurdistan 
  Regional Government, Washington, DC............................   597
    Prepared statement...........................................   602

                       Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Baker, Hon. James A., III, cochair, Iraq Study Group; partner, 
  Baker-Botts LLP, Houston, TX...................................   647
    Prepared joint statement of James Baker and Lee Hamilton.....   652
Biden, Hon. Joseph R., Jr., U.S. Senator from Delaware, opening 
  statement......................................................   645
Hamilton, Hon. Lee H., cochair, Iraq Study Group; director, 
  Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, 
  DC.............................................................   650

             Additional Statement Submitted for the Record

Lugar, Hon. Richard G., U.S. Senator from Indiana, prepared 
  statement......................................................   695

                      Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Albright, Hon. Madeleine K., former Secretary of State; 
  principal, The Albright Group LLC, Washington, DC..............   730
    Prepared statement...........................................   733
Biden, Hon. Joseph R., Jr., U.S. Senator from Delaware, opening 
  statement......................................................   697
Kissinger, Hon. Henry A., former Secretary of State; chairman, 
  Kissinger McLarty Associates, New York, NY.....................   701
    Prepared statement...........................................   704
Lugar, Hon. Richard G., U.S. Senator from Indiana, opening 
  statement......................................................   699

                       Thursday, February 1, 2007

Biden, Hon. Joseph R., Jr., U.S. Senator from Delaware, opening 
  statement......................................................   755
    Prepared statement...........................................   756
Brzezinski, Dr. Zbigniew, former National Security Advisor; 
  counselor and trustee, Center for Strategic and International 
  Studies, Washington, DC........................................   777
    Prepared statement...........................................   780
Lugar, Hon. Richard G., U.S. Senator from Indiana, opening 
  statement......................................................   757
Scowcroft, LTG Brent, USAF (Ret.), former National Security 
  Advisor; president, The Scowcroft Group, Washington, DC........   759
    Prepared statement...........................................   761

              Additional Material Submitted for the Record

Barzani, Nechirvan, Prime Minister, Kurdistan Regional Government 
  of Iraq, Erbil, Kurdistan-Iraq, letter from....................   797
Morrow, Dr. Jonathan, senior legal adviser to the Ministry of 
  Natural Resources, Kurdistan Regional Government; former senior 
  adviser to the U.S. Institute of Peace, prepared statement.....   798
Shafiq, Tariq, director, Petrolog & Associates, London, UK; 
  chair, Fertile Crescent Oil Company, Baghdad, Iraq, 
  ``Perspective of Iraq Draft Petroleum Law''....................   802



                      WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2007

                                       U.S. Senate,
                            Committee on Foreign Relations,
                                                    Washington, DC.
    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:30 a.m., in 
room SH-216, Hart Senate Office Building, Hon. Richard G. 
Lugar, presiding.
    Present: Senators Lugar, Biden, Dodd, Kerry, Feingold, 
Boxer, Bill Nelson, Obama, Menendez, Cardin, Casey, Webb, 
Hagel, Coleman, Corker, Sununu, Voinovich, Murkowski, Isakson, 
and Vitter.

                   U.S. SENATOR FROM INDIANA

    Chairman Lugar. Let me call the hearing to order. If we may 
have order in the committee room.
    To the committee and to all who are assembled, let me 
indicate that technically the Senate has not yet acted upon the 
new chairmanships, ranking members, and membership of 
committees. The Senate will do so fairly promptly this week, 
but our business goes on in the committee. And it's my 
privilege today, as the outgoing chairman of the committee, to 
introduce my friend and great Senator, Joe Biden, who will be 
our chairman and will preside over today's hearing. We will 
assume he is chairman, and he will act as chairman today and 
tomorrow and--through a very vigorous series of hearings on 
Iraq and the Middle East that we have planned.
    Let me just say that one of the strengths of our committee 
has been the commitment of Senator Biden and Democratic and 
Republican committee members to bipartisanship, but likewise to 
very, very substantial questioning of American foreign policy, 
regardless of which party--which President we have served 
under. I'm certain that that will continue. It's an important 
aspect that the face of America be as united as possible, and 
we have attempted to further that idea, I think, with some 
degree of success. For example, the India Nuclear Agreement 
that was just concluded celebrated a significant strategic 
development for our country with an overwhelming vote in this 
committee and support of Members of the House of 
Representatives who shared this bipartisan ethic.
    So, with that introduction, let me just indicate I'm 
delighted to welcome our new members to the committee. I'm 
certain the chairman will want to do that, too. But it's 
especially good to welcome him to the chairmanship, and I turn 
over the gavel, which I do not see at the present, Mr. 
Chairman. [Laughter.]
    But, nevertheless, in due course that will be forthcoming, 
too. [Laughter.]
    Chairman Biden. Well, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

                   U.S. SENATOR FROM DELAWARE

    Chairman Biden. Folks, let me echo the comments made by the 
Senator. Technically, we vote in the U.S. Congress on the 
organization. I am insisting on an open vote, not a secret 
ballot, if you get the meaning of that. There may very well be 
a secret ballot. We may keep him as chairman. I may vote for 
him. [Laughter.]
    One of the things that Senator Lugar emphasized is that all 
of us on this committee, under his leadership and the brief 
stint before that under mine and now again under mine, is that 
we understand that no foreign policy in America can be 
sustained without the informed consent of the American people. 
And one of the overwhelming responsibilities of this committee, 
which has legislative responsibility, but quite frankly, its 
role, historically, has been more in playing the role of 
providing a platform upon which to inform the American people 
of the options--many times, difficult options--that must be 
chosen by a President of the United States in order to conduct 
the foreign policy of this country.
    And this morning we begin the work of the new Congress with 
many new Members, including many new members on this committee. 
We welcome, today, new members--Senator Cardin, Senator Casey, 
Senator Corker, and Senator Webb, and we're delighted they have 
joined the committee. We also welcome veteran members of the 
U.S. Senate who are new to the Foreign Relations Committee--
Senator DeMint, Senator Johnny Isakson from Georgia, Senator 
Bob Menendez from New Jersey, and Senator Vitter, who I don't 
see here yet, but I'm sure will be coming.
    You join a committee that's tried to remain a place for 
sanity and civility in what has been a very partisan and 
sometimes polarized Senate over the last decade. We've not 
always succeeded, but, quite frankly, when we have, it's 
largely been due to the efforts of Chairman Lugar. I don't want 
to make this sound like a mutual admiration society, but, to 
state the fact, there is no one--no one in the U.S. Senate who 
knows more about foreign policy, and no one who has contributed 
more to American security than Chairman Lugar.
    Today, we're brought together by a question that dominates 
our national debate, and it really boils down to a simple 
proposition. What options remain to meet our twin goals of 
bringing American forces home and leaving behind a stable Iraq? 
Over the next 4 weeks, this committee will seek answers to that 
question. First, we will hear from the Bush administration, 
then we'll hear from experts--left, right, and center--in our 
government and out of government, from across the United States 
and beyond our borders. Then we'll hear from men and women with 
very different ideas, but who are united in their devotion to 
this country and their desire to see us through this very 
difficult time.
    The Bush administration, as well as important private 
groups and experts, have developed varying plans on how to 
proceed in Iraq. Tonight, I will sit, as will all of you, and 
listen to our President, and he will have my prayers and hopes 
that his plan will be one that will ease our burden and not 
deepen it. But it's a unique responsibility of the U.S. 
Congress, and especially and historically the Foreign Relations 
Committee in the U.S. Senate, to evaluate these plans, in 
public, to help our citizens understand the very difficult 
choices this country faces.
    That's the best way to secure, in my view, as I said 
earlier, the informed consent of the American people. For 
without their informed consent, whatever policy we arrive at 
cannot long be sustained.
    I have my own strongly held views, as the witnesses know 
and my colleagues know, about what to do and how we should 
proceed in Iraq. There will be plenty of time for me to talk 
about them in the days ahead. But, for now, I want to set out 
what Senator Lugar and I jointly hope to accomplish as we put 
together this agenda for the next several weeks, and how we 
hope to accomplish it.
    First, let me make it clear what these hearings are not 
intended to be about. They are not about an effort to revisit 
the past, point fingers, or place blame on how we got to where 
we are. The American people spoke very loudly this past 
November. They know that we're in a significant mess in Iraq. 
But instead of arguing how we got into that mess, they want us 
to be proactive and be part of the solution. They expect us to 
help America get out of the mess we're in, not talk about how 
we got there.
    We will start by receiving the most up-to-date unvarnished 
analysis of the situation and trends in Iraq and in the region. 
As a matter of fact, we began that inquiry yesterday. As all my 
colleagues know, and many people in the audience know, we have 
a ``Secret Room'' in the Senate. It's called ``S-407,'' where 
we're able to have unvarnished discussions with the most 
sensitive information, requiring the highest clearance. And 
yesterday, all of my colleagues and I sat there for a 
considerable amount of time receiving a classified briefing 
from all the major intelligence agencies of the U.S. 
    We continue that inquiry, the inquiry of determining what 
the facts are on the ground today, with the experts who will 
assist us in assessing the political, security, economic, and 
diplomatic realities that are on the ground today in Iraq and 
in the region.
    We'll begin with Dr. Phebe Marr, who has given us her 
valuable time and scholarship and insight for many years in 
this committee and is one of the most welcome witnesses that we 
have had in both administrations, all administrations. She is a 
preeminent historian of Iraq, and she will provide a historical 
overview. It is our view that by illuminating the past, we're 
going to be better able to understand the present, and 
hopefully better prepared to deal with the present situation.
    Michael O'Hanlon, of the Brookings Institution, has also 
graced us with his presence in the past, and he will focus on--
I'd put it this way--focus on the numbers. How do we measure 
the current situation in Iraq? The trends, in terms of 
security, the economy, and public opinion.
    And Mr. Said, the director of the Iraq Revenue Watch, will 
speak to us on the political dynamics inside Iraq. Who are the 
main players? What are their interests? And what possible 
scenarios could bring them together?
    And then Paul Pillar, the former national intelligence 
officer for Near East and South Asia, will address the dynamics 
in the region. He has, again, graced us with his presence in 
the past, and has been very valuable. The issue that we will 
ask him to discuss is: What do Iraq's neighbors want? And how 
can they affect the outcome on the ground in Iraq, if they can 
affect the outcome?
    The goal today, as it was yesterday, is not to discuss 
policy options, although there are no limits on what any of the 
witnesses can discuss, but it's to get at the facts, as best we 
know them. We want this committee and the public to have a 
strong foundation upon which to evaluate the principal policy 
options that are being discussed in this country today. 
Starting tomorrow and over the following 3 weeks, we will turn 
to those options and ask: Where do we go from here? Secretary 
of State Rice has graciously indicated she is not only ready, 
but anxious, to appear before our committee, which she will do 
tomorrow, after President Bush announces the administration's 
plans, tonight.
    The authors of every other major plan for Iraq will present 
their recommendations, including those who advocate escalation, 
those who advocate withdrawal, partition, federalization, 
siding with one side or the other, strengthening the center, 
and so on. The major authors of the plans--the authors of those 
major plans will come and testify over the next 3 weeks.
    As we hear from them, we'll also hear from leading 
military, diplomatic, economic, and political experts, and we 
will ask this country's senior statesmen and stateswomen, 
former National Security Advisors, former Secretaries of State, 
to help us put everything we've heard in context as we conclude 
what will probably be the first round of hearings on Iraq.
    The ultimate question for this committee is the question 
that'll be on the minds of every American as we listen to the 
President of the United States tonight. Will your plan, Mr. 
President, or other plans, put us on a better path in Iraq, or 
will it dig us into a deeper hole with more pain, and not much 
to show for it? We pray it will be the former. But together we 
have a responsibility and, I believe, an opportunity to help 
put this country on a better path.
    So, let's begin. Let me turn this over now to Senator Lugar 
for any comments that he wishes to make.
    Senator Lugar. Well, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I 
thank you for holding this important hearing and for assembling 
such an excellent panel.
    I would offer a special greeting, as you have, to Dr. Phebe 
Marr, who has been a tremendous resource for the committee, and 
for me personally. She testified at four different Iraq 
hearings during my recent chairmanship, and also appeared at a 
hearing held under Senator Biden in August 2002. Dr. Marr's 
calm and authoritative analysis on Iraq is grounded in a 
prodigious understanding of that country and a nonpartisan 
outlook that is badly needed in this debate.
    Dr. Michael O'Hanlon has also provided excellent testimony 
before our committee in recent years. In 2005 and 2006, I wrote 
a series of 15 ``Dear Colleague'' letters to--on Iraq to all 
Senators. These letters introduced reports and documents that I 
found to be particularly illuminating. The Brookings 
Institution Iraq Index, a report overseen by Dr. O'Hanlon, 
accompanied the first letter that I sent, and it provides a 
remarkably detailed view of the economic and security situation 
in Iraq. The Iraq Index is updated regularly, and I continue to 
recommend it to any Member of Congress or citizen who wants a 
thoughtful grounding in the facts.
    I also welcome Mr. Said and Dr. Pillar, who are testifying 
before this committee for the first time. We are grateful to 
have them as a new resource at this critical moment.
    Tonight, President Bush will give a speech outlining his 
intended course in Iraq. In recent days, I have had 
opportunities to talk to the President about Iraq. Among other 
points, I underscored the need for a thorough effort to involve 
Congress in the decisionmaking process.
    United States policy in Iraq would benefit greatly from 
meaningful executive branch consultations with legislators, and 
from careful study by Members of Congress, that's directed at 
dispassionately evaluating the President's plan and other 
options. Members of this committee and the entire Congress must 
be prepared to make reasoned judgments about what the President 
is proposing.
    Initially, the President and his team need to explain what 
objectives we are trying to achieve: If forces are expanded, 
where and how they will be used; why such a strategy will 
succeed; and how Iraqi forces will be involved; how long 
additional troops may be needed; what contingencies are in 
place if the situation does not improve; and how this strategy 
fits into our discussion throughout the region.
    The American media is understandably focused on the 
possibility of a troop surge in Iraq. But whatever may be the 
final conclusion on this point, relative success or failure is 
likely to hinge on many other factors and decisions. The 
complexity of the Iraq situation demands more of us than 
partisan sound bites or preconceived judgments.
    With this in mind, this hearing, setting the terms of 
reference for what is happening in Iraq, is especially timely. 
I look forward to the insights of our distinguished panel and 
to working with Chairman Biden and all members of this 
committee as we continue our inquiry in the coming weeks.
    I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Biden. Thank you, Senator.
    Let me explain to the new Members of the Senate that the 
way we proceed will be to hear from all the witnesses--and I'll 
announce that order in a moment--and then open it to questions, 
based on our seniority here.
    This is a very important topic, to say the least. And we 
could probably, with some useful benefit to informing 
ourselves, spend 2 days with this panel alone. But my staff 
tells me, in consultation with the Republican staff, that, as a 
practical matter, we're going to limit each of us, including 
myself, to 8-minute rounds of questions. I realize that is, in 
some sense, is not sufficient to really explore in the kind of 
depth you may want to. My experience is, the witnesses are 
available to you, personally, after the hearing, and on the 
telephone and in their offices, and occasionally, if you ask 
them, they will make themselves available in your offices if it 
works with their schedule.
    So, I apologize in advance that there's not going to be the 
kind of exposition that--if we were doing this as a seminar at 
a university, we'd be able to spend a whole lot more time. But 
the dictates of time make it difficult. So, we're going to 
limit it to 8-minute rounds, if I may.
    But, first, let me begin. And the order in which I will ask 
the witnesses to deliver their statements will be Dr. Marr, Mr. 
O'Hanlon, Mr. Said, and Dr. Pillar.
    Welcome, again, Phebe, and we're delighted to have you 
here. Thank you.


    Dr. Marr. Senator Biden, Senator Lugar, I want to say how 
delighted I am to be back again. And I can't commend you and 
the committee enough for what I think has been a remarkable job 
in the continuing debate on Iraq and in informing the American 
public on it. It has seemed to me to be quite a wonderful 
effort, I hope will continue with good effect.
    I have been asked to address the historical context of this 
issue. And let me say that 2007 marks the 50th year that I've 
been involved in Iraq. I've done other things besides Iraq, but 
it was 1957 when I first went to Iraq. And so, I have the 
benefit of some historical hindsight in having actually been on 
the ground through all of the regimes, including the monarchy.
    Iraq has had a very rich and varied history, but one of the 
things that has struck me as I have followed it as a scholar 
and personally is the discontinuity of Iraqi history. And, 
indeed, we're in the middle of another such period.
    Actually, I'd like to address three questions this morning. 
The first is: Where is Iraq today? What are the chief political 
and social elements we face in Iraq? Second: How can we account 
for this situation? To what extent is it historical? And, last: 
Is this current situation likely to be lasting? Is it 
transient? Is it remediable?
    Iraq, since 2003, has undergone not one, but several, 
revolutionary and radical changes of a proportion not seen 
since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the formation of 
the state in the 1920s. And I think the degree and nature of 
these changes need to be recognized.
    First has been a radical change in leadership. It's not 
simply that Iraqi leadership and its dictatorship have been 
decapitated, now physically, as well as literally, but that an 
entirely new leadership group has come to power. The ethnic and 
sectarian composition of that leadership has changed. Shia and 
Kurds have replaced Arab Sunnis as the dominant group. And its 
ideological orientation has also changed, from one that was 
secular, nationalist, and devoted to a unitary Iraqi State to 
one with differing visions of where Iraq should go. Overall the 
leadership has a view that is far more dominated by religion 
than it has been at any time in Iraq's history.
    Since the nature and character of this leadership is 
critical to our endeavor, I'd like to just take a few minutes 
to indicate a few characteristics of these leaders worth 
noting. They result from a study that I've been engaged in at 
the United States Institute of Peace for the last couple of 
years. I've attached a couple of charts to my written 
testimony, and I think there's a special report coming out on 
the Internet very shortly. But there are three characteristics 
I'd like to call to your attention. One is inexperience and 
discontinuity in leadership over the past 4 years. Some 75 
percent of the current leaders hold national positions for the 
first time. This makes for a very steep learning curve in 
governance. Second is the divide between the leaders with roots 
in the exile community, together with Kurds who have been 
living in the north, separate from the rest of Iraq, and those 
leaders who remained living inside Iraq under Saddam's rule. 
These groups have different narratives of the past and visions 
for the future. And third, and most important, the key leaders 
today have been shaped by decades of opposition to the former 
regime. Many spent years in underground movements or imprisoned 
by Saddam, and lost family members to the Baath. Few insiders, 
including professionals who simply worked under the Baath 
regime, have made it into the leadership. The suspicion, 
distrust, and hostility between these two groups is the core 
dynamic driving much of the politics in Iraq today, making 
reconciliation difficult.
    A second fundamental change has been the destruction of 
governmental institutions, the bureaucracy and the army, about 
which much has been said. The institutions underpinned not just 
the Baath regime, but Iraq's Government since its founding in 
the 1920s. Both of these institutions were established under 
the British, under the mandate, but had their origins in the 
Ottoman period. Despite ups and downs and periods of 
instability in modern Iraq, these two institutions remained the 
backbone of the state until 2003. The collapse of much of 
Iraq's bureaucratic and military structure have left a void 
that, in my view, will take years, if not decades, to fill and 
has left an enormous political, social, and institutional 
vacuum. This vacuum is now filled, in part, by militias and a 
new mix of parties and factions.
    A third radical change is underway as a result of these 
events: The collapse of the state as the Iraqis have known it 
since its creation under international mandate in 1920. Iraq is 
now a failing, if not yet a failed state, with a new central 
government that has difficulty cohering and whose reach does 
not extend much beyond the perimeters of the Green Zone. The 
establishment of a government that delivers services to the 
population--chief among them, security--is recognized as the 
chief task before Iraqis and its foreign supporters. However 
this issue of governance is resolved, the form of the Iraqi 
State is likely to change fundamentally. How governance will be 
reconstituted, power distributed in the future, is a big 
question. But Iraq is not likely to be a unified state 
dominated by a strong central government in Baghdad, at least 
for some time.
    A fourth revolutionary change has been the seemingly 
radical shift in identity on the part of the population, which, 
in extreme form, has led to this vicious sectarian war in 
Baghdad and its environs, and to serious demographic shifts, 
and an effort, not yet successful, to make this communal 
identity territorial.
    Many have seen these identities--Kurdish, Shia, Sunni, 
Turkmen, et cetera--as longstanding, even primordial, a bedrock 
of Iraqi society. But I think this is a misreading of Iraq's 
much more complex and interesting history. The intensity of 
these sectarian and ethnic divisions are more the result of a 
collapsing order, a vicious incitement of civil war by al-
Qaeda, and political manipulation by politicians desirous of 
getting power. They were also exacerbated by an overweening 
central government and increasing persecution of the opposition 
by Saddam's dictatorship. However, the events of the past year 
have solidified emerging communal identities to an extent not 
known before in Iraq. And only time will tell whether they can 
be mitigated. This is likely to take enormous effort by Iraqis 
and by us.
    And, last, another profound change is becoming apparent: 
The collapse of one of the Arab world's major cities--Baghdad. 
Baghdad has played a major role in Iraqi history, not just 
since the 1920s, but since its founding in the eighth century. 
Iraq, with its two rivers and complex irrigation system, as 
well as geographic openness to invasion from foreign territory, 
has seldom flourished unless it has had a relatively strong 
central government to harness its water resources and protect 
its population.
    When Baghdad has declined or been destroyed, as it twice 
was by the Mongols, Iraq has fallen into long periods of decay. 
But one must remember that, ultimately, that city and 
Mesopotamia, now Iraq, have always revived.
    Greater Baghdad now contains a quarter to a third of Iraq's 
population and its highest concentration of skills and 
infrastructure. Baghdad, as a city, is not lost, but its 
revival and the return of its middle class are essential to 
overcoming ethnic and sectarian divisions and the restoration 
of a functioning government.
    One last thought on the current situation, and this may 
overlap a little with my colleague. Major ethnic and sectarian 
blocs are already fragmenting into smaller units based on 
personal interests, desire for power, differing visions and 
constituencies. It's these smaller units, and the leadership of 
the larger, better organized and financed parties, also 
intermixed with militias, that will be making the decisions on 
Iraq's direction. It seems to me that one way out of the 
conundrum of communal-identity politics is to encourage 
political alliances between these various groups on issues and 
interests, such as oil legislation, commercial legislation, 
regulation of water resources, economic development, and other 
issues. This is a slow, laborious process, but it's probably 
the only way in which some of the distrust and hostility 
between the leaders and groups can be broken down and a new 
political dynamic shaped.
    Let me finish up by asking: Given this situation, what 
prognosis may be made? I feel Iraq faces three potential 
futures in the near and midterm, and it's still too early to 
tell which will dominate. Given the grievous mistakes made on 
all sides, this process is going to be very costly and time 
consuming, and no one should expect a clear outcome in the next 
2 years, probably even in the next decade. But helping to shape 
the long-term future of Iraq in one direction or the other will 
have a profound effect on the region and, I believe, on our own 
    The first outcome is that Iraq will break up, as I'm 
calling it, into its three main ethnic and sectarian 
components--Kurdish, Arab Sunni, and Arab Shia--hastened by 
ethnic and sectarian conflicts spiraling out of control. Unless 
this division is shepherded and fostered by outside forces, 
however, I think this outcome is unlikely, on its own. This 
division is not historical, but has come to the fore in a 
moment of history characterized by political vacuum and chaos, 
as I've indicated. Such a division will pose real difficulties 
in Iraq and is radical in its implications for a region in 
which peace depends on tolerance and coexistence, not just 
within Islam, but among ethnic and national groups. While this 
breakup may happen, in my view it should not be encouraged or 
brokered by the United States, especially if we want to 
disengage our forces from the country. It will create more, not 
less, instability in the future.
    The second outcome is that Iraq may break down, a process 
that is well underway. Rather than cohesive ethnic and 
sectarian entities, the Iraqi polity will disintegrate into 
smaller units. These will comprise political parties and 
movements, militias, local tribal leaders, already mentioned. 
In reality, this is the Iraq that is emerging, with different 
local forces competing in an effort to establish control in 
various areas of the country. This scenario, a full-blown 
failed state, would cause serious problems for the region and 
the United States. Indeed, I feel that the failed-state 
syndrome may be spreading throughout the region, as events in 
Lebanon and Palestine indicate. We may be seeing the breakdown 
of the state system established in the region by the British 
and French after World War I.
    A third outcome would be to slow and gradually arrest the 
decline, and for Iraq to gradually reconstitute a government 
that recognizes the new identities that have emerged, but 
learns to accommodate them in some new framework that allows 
for economic and social development. It'll be easy to rebuild 
this framework, I believe, if Iraqis do not divide 
indefatigably on ethnic and sectarian lines, but, rather, work 
within various groups and parties that are gradually 
participating in the political system to achieve mutual 
interest. Even if such a government does not control much 
territory out of Baghdad or the Green Zone, it's better to keep 
it intact as a symbol and a framework, toward which future 
generations can work, than to destroy it and try once again to 
establish another new and entirely radical framework.
    Iraq is very far from achieving a new government that 
works, and the collapse we are witnessing is likely to get 
worse before it gets better. Only when the participants in Iraq 
recognize, in this struggle for power, that they are losing 
more than they can gain by continuing it, will it come to an 
end. That may be a long time.
    In the meantime, the best we can probably do is to help 
staunch the violence, contain the struggle within Iraq's 
borders, and keep alive the possibility that after extremism 
has run its course, the potential for a different Iraq is still 
    Others in the region should be encouraged to do the same, a 
task which should be built on the fact that no state in the 
region, or its leadership, wants to see the collapse of the 
current state system, no matter how much in need of reform 
their domestic governments may be.
    Thank you for your time.
    [The prepared statement of Dr. Marr follows:]

Prepared Statement of Dr. Phebe Marr, Historian, Author of ``The Modern 
                   History of Iraq,'' Washington, DC

    I will be focusing almost entirely on Iraq's domestic politics, my 
area of expertise, and hopefully bringing a little historical 
perspective to bear, since I have been working on Iraq for some 50 
years now. I would like to address three questions today. First, where 
is Iraq today? What are the chief political and social characteristics 
we face? Second, how can we account for this situation? And lastly, is 
the current situation likely to be lasting? Or is it transient? Is it 
    First, what can be said about the situation in Iraq today? Iraq 
since 2003 has undergone not one but several revolutionary changes, of 
a proportion not seen since the collapse of Ottoman Empire and the 
formation of the new Iraqi state in the 1920s. The first has been a 
revolutionary change in leadership. It is not simply that a regime and 
its dictatorial head have been--not only figuratively but now 
literally--decapitated, but an entirely new leadership group has come 
to power. This leadership, brought to power essentially by elections in 
2005, has now entirely reversed several of the characteristics of the 
old Baath regime, and even the transitional regimes that replaced it in 
2003 and 2004. It has changed the ethnic and sectarian composition of 
the leadership. (It is now dominated by Shia and Kurds rather than Arab 
Sunnis.) It has changed the ideological orientation from one which was 
secular and nationalist, devoted to a unitary Iraqi state, to one with 
different visions but far more dominated by religion. At the same time, 
it has brought more women into power and in general is better educated. 
The new leaders come, more often, from urban origin, whereas Saddam's 
clique were more rural and small town born. But the change has also now 
brought new men and women into power. They have three distinct 
characteristics worth noting.
    First is their inexperience and the discontinuity in their 
leadership. Some 76 percent in this Cabinet and Presidency hold such 
jobs for the first time. This has meant a lack of experience, a steep 
learning curve, and an inability to establish links with one another 
and with constituencies. Most have had little chance to gain experience 
because of the continual change of Cabinets.
    Second, the change has also brought a divide between a group of 
leaders with roots in exile who have lived outside of Iraq and Kurds 
who have been living in the north separate from the rest of Iraq on the 
one hand, and those who remained inside living under Saddam on the 
other. The latter include key elements now in opposition, such as the 
Baath, as well as the younger generation and the dispossessed who 
follow Muqtada al-Sadr. Some 28 percent are outsiders, now mainly from 
Middle Eastern rather than Western countries; some 15 percent are 
Kurds; only 26 percent are insiders.
    Third, and most important, is the fact that the key leaders in 
power today have all been shaped by years, even decades, of opposition 
to the former regime. The heads of the Kurdish parties and the Shia 
religio-political parties, such as SCIRI and Dawa, spent years in 
underground movements; were imprisoned by Saddam; lost family members 
to the Baath; and even fought the long Iran-Iraq war against the regime 
from the Iranian side. Some 43 percent of the current leaders were 
active in opposition politics. Since 2003, few ``insiders''--especially 
those in any way affiliated with the Baath regime, such as 
professionals who worked in education or health, Sunni or Shia--have 
made it into the leadership. While many of this group are encompassed 
by the insurgency, or support it passively, others in this group would 
like to join the political process but are excluded. The suspicion, 
distrust, and hostility between these two groups is the core dynamic 
driving much of the politics in Iraq today, which makes a 
reconciliation process so difficult to achieve.
    In conjunction with this leadership change has gone another 
fundamental upheaval: The erosion and destruction of the governmental 
institutions--the bureaucracy and the army--which underpinned not just 
the Baath regime but Iraq's Government since its founding in the 1920s. 
Both of these institutions were established by the British under the 
mandate, although both had their origins in the Ottoman period. Despite 
ups and downs and periods of instability, these two institutions 
remained the backbone of the state until 2003. Much has been made of 
the destruction (or collapse) of these institutions elsewhere, and I 
will not dwell on it here, but the profound impact this has had on the 
current situation in Iraq must be appreciated. The disbanding of all of 
Iraq's military and security forces, the removal of the Baath Party 
apparatus that ran the bureaucracy and the education establishment (de-
Baathification), and, as a result, the collapse of much of Iraq's 
bureaucratic structure, have left a void that will takes years--if not 
decades to fill. While much of this structure--especially at the top--
needed to be removed, and a good bit of the rest had been hollowed out 
and corrupted under Saddam's rule, the sudden and precipitous collapse 
of this governmental underpinning and the removal of much of the 
educated class that ran it have created an enormous political, social, 
and institutional vacuum. This vacuum is now filled in part by militias 
and a mix of new and often inexperienced political parties and 
    As result of these events, a second radical change is underway in 
Iraq: The collapse of the state as Iraqis have known it since its 
formal creation under international mandate in 1920. Iraq is now a 
failing--if not yet a failed--state with a new central government that 
has difficulty cohering and whose reach does not extend much beyond the 
perimeters of the Green Zone in Baghdad and which does not, clearly, 
command a monopoly over the official use of force. Indeed, outside of 
the three Kurdish-run provinces, there is little provincial or local 
government yet either. The establishment of government that delivers 
services to the population, chief among them security, is now 
recognized as the chief task before Iraqis and its foreign supporters.
    However, before that is accomplished, the form of the Iraqi state 
is likely to change fundamentally. For 35 years under the Baath, Iraq 
was a unitary state which was part of the Arab world. Now it is one in 
which ethnic and sectarian identities predominate and new and different 
subnational groups, including militias, are emerging. The constitution, 
drafted and passed in a referendum last year, provides for a radical 
devolution of authority to federal regions, an issue on which many 
Iraqis are divided and which may or may not come to complete fruition. 
How governance will be reconstituted and power distributed in the new 
entity that emerges from the current confusion is a large question, but 
Iraq is not likely to be a unified state dominated by a strong central 
government in Baghdad, at least for some time. In fact, a high degree 
of decentralization--or even an absence of formal government in many 
areas--may characterize Iraq for some time. The increasing fractures in 
the body politic have, of course, raised the question of whether the 
Iraqi state can--or even should--continue to exist, or whether it will 
be divided into ethnic and sectarian or perhaps subnational components. 
Should that happen, the results would be revolutionary indeed, not only 
for Iraq but for the entire surrounding region, with implications 
likely to reverberate for decades.
    There have been other changes in Iraq that are almost as 
revolutionary as these changes in leadership and the transformation of 
the state. One has been the seeming change in identity on the part of 
the population, which, in its recent extreme form has led to a vicious 
sectarian war in Baghdad and its environs. This changing identity has 
now led to more serious demographic shifts and an effort--not yet 
successful--to make this communal identity ``territorial'' by carving 
out more purely ethnic or sectarian areas. While the development of a 
semi-independent Kurdish entity in the north has been taking shape for 
over a decade under the aegis of the Kurdish nationalist parties, 
carving out distinct Shia and Sunni areas--even emphasizing Shia and 
Sunni identity as the fundamental basis of political loyalty--is new.
    Many have seen these identities (Kurdish, Shia, Sunni, Turkman, 
Christian, etc.) as longstanding, even primordial, a bedrock of Iraqi 
society that has long been submerged, manipulated, or repressed by 
foreign (British) or dictatorial (the Baath and Saddam Hussein) rule, 
and have now come to the fore as a natural expression by the population 
of their political aspirations. I recognize how compelling and 
attractive that view is for people looking for an understandable 
explanation of what is happening today, but I personally think it is a 
misreading of Iraq's much more complex and interesting history. One 
should be wary of reading back into the past what is happening today 
and of assuming it is the necessary foundation of the future. These 
intense sectarian divisions in Baghdad, where mixed marriages were 
common, is new and is partly the result of collapsing order, a vicious 
incitement of civil war by al-Qaeda, political manipulation by 
politicians desirous of getting a Shia majority, and is now driven by 
just plain fear and intimidation.
    This is not to say that these ethnic and sectarian differences and 
identities are themselves new; they go back centuries, but their 
strength and their exclusivity have varied greatly over time. Ethnic 
and sectarian identity in Iraq has always had to compete with far 
stronger tribal, clan, and family ties. As Iraq modernized and joined 
the international community in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, a middle 
class espoused political ideologies imported from outside 
(Nationalism--Iraqi, Arab and Kurdish--as well as Socialism and 
Communism) and for years--right through the 1970s when Saddam stamped 
them out they were the chief motivating factors of the emerging middle 
class. In recent decades, Islamic visions competed with them, often 
cutting across ethnic and sectarian lines.
    An overweening central government and increasing persecution of the 
opposition and repression by Saddam's growing dictatorship in Baghdad 
are better explanations for these emerging identities. If Iraq and the 
Baghdad government had been more attractive, open, and promising, it is 
questionable whether these more exclusive and separatist identities 
would have taken root. Kurdish nationalism has always been espoused by 
the two Kurdish parties and their leaders (the KDP and the PUK), but 
they did not dominate the north--tribal leaders on the payroll of 
Saddam's government did--until Saddam's war with Iran and his 
subsequent attack on Kuwait so weakened his government that he could no 
longer control the north. Much the same could be said for the Shia-
Sunni divide, which he clearly exacerbated by relying on his tribal 
Sunni relatives from Tikrit and then killing and repressing Shia when 
they rose up in 1991.
    Even so, these sectarian identities have never been exclusive nor, 
until recently, expressed territorially. It was the power vacuum, and 
the innovation of elections on a body politic still unaccustomed to a 
peaceful competition for power, that provided the opportunity for 
leaders to mobilize a constituency along these lines. Despite this, the 
Shia bloc is politically divided. Sunnis, who have identified more with 
the state they have dominated in the past, are only now coming to grips 
with the idea of a ``Sunni'' rather than an Iraqi or Arab identity, 
largely out of fear they will be marginalized or exterminated. The 
events of the last year have solidified emerging communal identities to 
an extent not known before in Iraq; only time will tell whether they 
can be mitigated and overcome in the future. And this is likely to take 
enormous effort by Iraqis as well as by us.
    Last, a fourth profound change is becoming apparent: The collapse 
of one of the Arab world's major cities, Baghdad. Baghdad has played a 
major role in Iraqi and Islamic history not just since 1920s, but since 
its founding in 762. It can be said that Iraq, with its two rivers and 
its complex irrigation system, as well as its geographic openness to 
invasion from foreign territory, has never flourished unless it had a 
relatively strong central government to harness its water resources and 
protect its population. Baghdad is the city that has provided that 
function. Its high point came in the 10th century when it was a center 
of learning and trade and integrated population and ideas from all over 
the known world. When Baghdad has declined or been destroyed (as it 
was, twice, by the Mongols in 1258 and 1402), Iraqi cohesion has ceased 
to exist and it has fallen into long periods of decay. But one must 
remember that, ultimately, the city--and Mesopotamia--always revived.
    Today, the capital is in a serious state of erosion--from 
insurgency, sectarian warfare, and population displacement and 
emigration. Indeed, much of this decline predates our invasion. Since 
floods were controlled in the mid-1950s, Baghdad has been inundated 
with migrants from rural areas in the north and south, who created 
satellite cities--urban villages--which changed the ethnic composition 
of the city and diluted its urban core. The growth of Baghdad, 
especially in the 1970s and 1980s, drained other areas of population. 
Greater Baghdad contains between a quarter and a third of Iraq's 
population and its highest concentration of skills and infrastructure. 
However, even under Saddam, Baghdad began to lose its skilled middle 
class, which is now beginning to hemorrhage.
    This strand of Iraq's population, its educated middle class, must 
be revived if the country is to get back on its feet. It is this class 
which has, for the most part, submerged its ethnic, sectarian, and 
tribal identity in broader visions and aspirations--political, social, 
and cultural--and has greater contact with and affinity for the outside 
world. Intermarriage among sects and even ethnic groups was 
increasingly common in this middle class, which staffed the 
bureaucracy, the educational establishments, and the top echelons of 
the military. Unfortunately, under the long decades of Baath rule, this 
class was ``Baathized'' to a degree, in order to survive, and has now 
found itself disadvantaged, and under current sectarian warfare, 
persecuted. And it is this class in Baghdad that is now fleeing in 
droves, not just for other places in Iraq, but outside to Jordan, 
Syria, the gulf, and Europe. While educated middle classes exist in 
other Iraqi cities--Mosul, Basra, Kirkuk, Irbil--they are much smaller, 
less cosmopolitan, and, now, far less mixed. They will not be able to 
function as the kind of mixing bowl necessary to create interactions 
between and among different groups, so essential in the modern world.
    Baghdad as a city is by no means lost, but its revival (in more 
modest dimensions) and the return of its ``mixed'' middle class are 
essential to overcoming ethnic and sectarian divisions and to the 
revival of a functioning, nonsectarian government, all of which is 
critical to any decent future outcome in Iraq. However decentralized 
Iraq may become in its future iteration, none of its parts will be able 
to achieve their aspirations without Baghdad. And the weaker the 
central government is, the weaker the economic and social revival will 
    One last thought on the current situation. Before we give up and 
hasten to assume that ethnic and sectarian identity will be the basis 
of new state arrangements (either inside a weak Iraqi state or in 
independent entities), there is one other political dynamic emerging 
that bears notice. The major ethnic and sectarian blocs (the Kurds, the 
Sunnis, and the Shia) are already fragmenting into smaller units based 
on personal interests, a desire for power, and differing visions and 
constituencies. None of the larger ethnic and sectarian units on which 
a new regionalized state is proposed are homogeneous. These smaller 
units have been galvanized by the three elections of 2005, and have 
formed political parties and blocs. These blocs are themselves composed 
of smaller parties and groups often now supported by militias. While 
the militias have gotten most of the attention, the parties have not. 
It is the leadership of the larger, better organized and financed 
parties that now control the situation in Baghdad. More attention needs 
to be paid to them and to their leadership, since they will be making 
the decisions on Iraq's direction.
    The most important of these parties are clear. In the north, the 
Kurds are divided between two principal political parties: The KDP and 
the PUK. Both parties are of longstanding, each with its own separate 
military forces and political party hierarchies. Both are led by men 
with monumental ambitions and egos. These leaders and parties, now 
cooperating in a common constitutional venture, the Kurdish Regional 
Government (KRG), have fought for decades in the past and are still not 
wholly integrated into a Kurdish government. They could split in the 
future. Kurdish society also has an emerging Islamic movement (the 
Kurdish Islamic Union is a good example); separate tribal groups with 
some stature; and ethnic and sectarian minorities (Turkmen, Christians) 
with distinct identities and outside supporters.
    In the face of a disintegrating Iraqi state and the chaos and 
danger in Iraq, the Kurds have pulled together since 2003 in 
confronting the Arab part of Iraq and are increasingly separating 
themselves from Baghdad. However, the KRG in the north is not self-
sustaining economically, politically, or militarily, nor can it be for 
many decades, and even as it moves in that direction, it faces the 
long-term affliction of isolation, provincialism, and hostility from 
its neighbors that could thwart its domestic development. Failure in 
this experiment or a complete collapse of Baghdad could again fracture 
the north and give rise to warlordism and tribal politics, as it did in 
the mid-1990s. Kurds need to be given encouragement not only to nurture 
their successful experiment in the north, but also to spread it to the 
south and to cooperate in reviving Iraq rather than moving in a 
direction of separatism.
    In the Shia bloc, the UIA, there is even less unanimity. Several 
political parties or movements dominate this sector and only pull 
together under the increasingly weaker leadership of Aytollah Sistani, 
who wants to keep a ``Shia majority'' in Iraq. Whether he can continue 
to do so under the pressure of events is a large question. The major 
Shia parties are clearly SCIRI, under the cleric and politician Abdual 
Aziz al-Hakim, and the Sadrist movement under Muqtada al-Sadr, also a 
minor cleric. The Dawa Party of Prime Minister Maliki is a weak third.
    SCIRI, formed in 1982 in Iran from Iraqis exiled there, was 
originally an umbrella group but has now become a party devoted to 
Hakim and the furtherance of Shia interests. It has been heavily 
financed and organized by Iran, and its militia, originally the Badr 
Brigade (now the Badr organization), was originally trained and 
officered by Iran. It has allegedly disarmed. It attracts educated 
middle-class Shia, who probably see it as the best avenue to power in a 
new Shia-dominated Iraq, but its leadership is distinctly clerical and 
has ties to Iran. SCIRI's leanings toward clerical rule are drawbacks 
in Iraq, especially for Arab Sunnis and Kurds.
    Dawa has legitimacy as the founder of the Shia Islamic movement in 
Iraq in the late 1950s, but it was virtually emasculated by Saddam in 
the late 1970s and 1980s. Most of its leaders fled to Iran, Syria, 
Lebanon, and Europe where they remained in exile for decades. Their 
organization is weak and they have no militia to speak of.
    The Sadrist movement is not an organized party. Its closest model 
would be Hezbollah in Lebanon, and its leader, Muqtada, is erratic, 
militant, and sometimes dangerous. He has few religious or educational 
credentials, but he draws on his father's name and legacy. (His father, 
the chief Ayatollah in Iraq, was killed by Saddam in 1999). More 
important, he has attracted a wide following among poor, the 
downtrodden and youth, who have not benefited from the changes in 2003. 
He has emphasized opposition to the occupation, Iraqi unity, and the 
fact that he and his followers are ``insiders,'' not exiles. His 
militia, now seen by many in the United States as a major threat to the 
new government, is fractured and localized, often under the command of 
street toughs, and it is not clear the extent to which he can himself 
command all of them. A smaller Shia group, al-Fadhila, also an offshoot 
of the conservative Shia movement founded by Muqtada's father, 
Ayatollah Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, bears watching; it has influence in 
    These various Shia groups and their leaders are in competition for 
power and have been for decades (especially the Sadrists and Hakims), 
and it is not clear that unity can be kept between them. They also draw 
on different constituencies and have somewhat different visions for the 
future of Iraq. SCIRI, for example, espouses a Shia region in the 
south; Sadr is more in favor of a unified Iraq. Dawa sits somewhere in 
the middle.
    The Sunni component of the spectrum is the most fragmented. The 
Sunni contingent which has been taken into the Cabinet and controls 16 
percent of seats in Parliament (Iraqi Accordance Front or Tawafuq) is 
itself composed of several parties without much cohesion. Most 
important is the Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP), a party going back to the 
1960s and roughly modeled after the Muslim Brotherhood. While it 
represents Sunnis, it is more nationalist than Sunni, and does have a 
history and some organization. The second component, known as Ahl al-
Iraq (People of Iraq), is a mixture of secularists, tribal, and 
religious dignitaries, such as Adnan Dulaimi. As its name suggests, it 
has a nationalist focus. The third component, the National Dialogue 
Council, is relatively insignificant. Even if these groups come hand 
together on issues, it is not clear how much of the Sunni constituency 
they represent. The Iraqi Dialogue Front, under Salah Mutlaq, a former 
Baathist, who probably represents some of the ex-Baath constituency, 
got 4 percent of the votes and sits in Parliament but not the Cabinet. 
Whether these two groups can be said to represent ``Sunnis''--and how 
many--is at issue, since much of the Sunni insurgency is still out of 
power and presumed to consist in large part of former Baathists, 
religious jihadis, and now indigenous Iraqi al-Qaeda elements. Bringing 
some of these non-Qaida elements into the process is essential, but 
expecting the Sunni community to stick together as Sunnis or to think 
and feel as Sunnis is premature. Many Sunnis, long associated with the 
state and its formation, think along nationalist lines, and have 
ambitions beyond a mere Sunni region.
    And one should not forget, entirely, the remnants of the main 
secular bloc to run in the December 2005 election: The Iraqiya list, 
headed by Ayyad Allawi. This group constitutes the bulk of the educated 
Iraqis who think in national, rather than communal or ethnic terms. 
Although they only got 9 percent of the vote and have little chance of 
forming a government, they have positions in the Cabinet and could help 
in contributing to a more balanced, nonsectarian government in the 
    One way out of the conundrum of communal identity politics is to 
encourage new political alliances between individuals and groups on 
issues and interests, rather than alliances based on identity. This 
will be very difficult, especially for the Shia, who see their identity 
as a ticket to majority rule, but it can be done, and, to a certain 
extent, already is being done. On issues such as oil legislation, 
regulation of water resources, economic development, and some other 
issues--even that of federalism and keeping Iraq together--voting blocs 
can be created across ethnic and sectarian lines, in ways that benefit 
all communities. This is a slow, laborious process, but it is probably 
the only way in which some of the distrust and hostility between these 
leaders can be broken down and new political dynamics shaped.
    To the extent that educated professionals can be brought into 
government to help shape these deals and bridge the gap, that will 
help. Ultimately, state organizations and institutions can be rebuilt 
under new management. While no new grand vision is likely to emerge any 
time soon from this process, pragmatism may take root, and with it the 
bones of a government which delivers services. If this happens, larger 
groups of Iraqis will give their new government some loyalty. It is the 
state--and effective governance--which needs, gradually, to be put back 
into the equation, to enable ethnic and sectarian loyalties to be 
damped down and to curb the insurgency. In this process, no two factors 
are more important than reviving economic development (not just oil 
revenues) and bringing back an educated middle class which has some 
degree of contact with and understanding of the outside world beyond 
the exclusive domain of tribe, family, sect and ethnic group.
    Given this situation, what prognosis may be made? Is the current 
situation likely to last? Or is it a transient stage? What is a likely 
long-term outcome and what would be ``best'' for Iraqis, the region, 
and the United States?
    Iraq faces three potential futures in the near and midterm, and it 
is still too early to tell which will dominate. All that one can say, 
thanks to grievous mistakes made on all sides, is that the process is 
going to be very costly and time-consuming; no one should expect any 
clear outcome in the next 2 years and probably not even in the next 
decade. But helping to shape that long-term future in one direction or 
the other will have a profound effect on the region and, I believe, our 
own security.
    The first outcome is that Iraq will ``break up'' into three main 
ethnic and sectarian components--Kurdish, Arab Sunni, and Arab Shia--
hastened by the ethnic and sectarian conflicts spiraling out of 
control, and already indicated in the constitution. Many see this as 
inevitable and (in the West) as a possible way to ``fix'' the Iraqi 
situation and hence to reduce our deep military involvement. Iraq may 
end up with such a division, but, unless it is shepherded and fostered 
by outside forces, it is unlikely, for several reasons. This division 
is not historical, but has come to the fore in a moment of history 
characterized by a political vacuum, chaos, and shrewd political 
leaders who have mobilized constituents on this basis--especially the 
two Kurdish parties and SCIRI. But such a clear-cut division has real 
difficulties in Iraq. One is that it does not correspond to reality. 
Even in the Kurdish area--where there is more substance to the claim, 
this identity is fostered by two leaders and two parties who have near 
total control over their opponents and region. But these parties have 
no clear borders recognized by neighbors, or by Arabs to the south, and 
they will be challenged by all. And they do not have the economic 
wherewithal for maintenance of a sustainable state, either in terms of 
economic investment (some 70 percent of their income still comes from 
the central government in Baghdad), ability to defend their borders, or 
recognition. Independence, as many of their leaders recognize, may come 
with a big economic price tag that their constituents may not 
ultimately be willing to pay.
    Elsewhere in Iraq, there is insufficient sectarian homogeneity to 
form the basis of a state or even a region. Shia parties themselves 
disagree profoundly on whether a federal state in the south--under Shia 
religious control--should be established. SCIRI is forwarding this 
project because it wants to control this territory, eclipse Sadrists, 
and impose its vision on the Shia population. It is opposed by Sadrists 
and other more secular Shia, and they will contest the issue, if not in 
Parliament, on the street. Creation of such a Shia entity will pose 
questions of its boundaries--and we already see sectarian strife in 
Baghdad as a component of the struggle over who will control portions 
of the city. This is also a new political principle and dynamic likely 
to spread to neighboring states like Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, which 
have a mix of Shia and Sunni populations, with immensely destabilizing 
prospects. And it is an exclusivist principle. What kind of state will 
it be? The leadership of SCIRI, with its strong clerical leadership, 
its earlier reliance on its own militia, and its emphasis on a ``Shia'' 
majority, does not give confidence that it will be any more democratic 
than its parent model in Iran. Moreover, getting a stable, recognized, 
``Shia'' government in this region will be a long and contentious 
proposition providing little stability in the south. If the Kurds are 
unable to defend their borders themselves, how will the Shia be able to 
do so?
    But it is in Arab Sunni areas--with Anbar at its heart--that this 
project fails abysmally. First, Arab Sunni Iraqis, whether the more 
rural variety inhabiting towns and cities along the Euphrates and 
Tigris, or their more sophisticated cousins--urban cousins--in Baghdad 
and Mosul, have been nurtured for decades on Arabism and on loyalty to 
an Iraqi state, which they helped create since 1920. True, some are 
more religiously oriented than secular, but this does not detract from 
their sense of nationalism. Getting Iraqi Sunnis to identify as Sunnis 
is going to be a long and very difficult task, let alone getting them 
to concentrate on governing a truncated ``Sunni'' federal area. And 
they are surrounded by neighboring Arab countries with leaders and 
populations who agree with them. And, as in the case with the Shia, 
where will the borders of this entity be? How much of Baghdad will it 
include? Will it divide the city of Mosul with Kurds along the Tigris 
River? And what about Diyala province with its Sunni, Shia, and Kurdish 
and Turkman populations? How is that to be divided up? While sectarian 
cleansing in these areas is underway to an alarming degree, it is by no 
means complete and in no way desirable. The results are not going to be 
a homogenous Sunni area but a patchwork quilt. Moreover, unless the 
sting of the Sunni insurgency is drawn, any map of Iraq shows that the 
Arab Sunnis population control strategic portions of Iraqi territory--
which they can use, as they have been doing--to prevent both Kurdish 
and Shia progress. Included in this territory are water resources--both 
the Tigris and Euprhates; access to neighboring Arab countries, and 
communications right across the center of the country, as well as 
Iraq's ability to export oil through pipelines.
    In the end, the creation of new entities--even regions--based on 
Shia and Sunni identity is radical in its implications for a region in 
which peace depends on tolerance and coexistence between Islam's two 
major sects. I will not mention here the obvious implications for the 
geostrategic position of Iran and its role in the region or the equally 
obvious reactions from other Sunni-dominated states. While this breakup 
may happen, it should not be encouraged or brokered by the United 
States, especially if we want, ultimately, to disengage our forces from 
the country. I believe it will create more, not less, instability in 
the future.
    A second outcome is that Iraq may ``break down,'' a process that is 
also well underway. Rather than cohesive ethnic and sectarian entities, 
Iraqi society will disintegrate into smaller units. These will comprise 
the political parties and movements we already see, with their various 
leaders and organizations; different militias; local tribal leaders and 
warlords, criminal organizations that can control access to resources; 
and, in urban areas, a combination of local groups and educated leaders 
who command the necessary skills to run things. Some of these groups 
and organizations may overlap--especially parties and their militias--
and they will function through some fig leaf of government. But the 
territory over which they rule will vary and possibly shift as will 
their command over Iraq's resources. This breakdown is almost wholly a 
function of a collapse of the central government in Baghdad. The 
process of building an alternative regional government in the wake of 
this collapse is furthest advanced in the three Kurdish provinces in 
the north, but it is not complete there by any means.
    In reality, this is the Iraq that is emerging, with differing local 
forces competing and engaging with one another in an effort to 
reestablish control and primacy in various areas of the country. In 
some cases these struggles are violent. But none of these local 
warlords, militias, parties, or provincial governments--even if they 
can keep a modicum of order in their territory--can achieve the kind of 
economic development, security, contacts with the outside world, and 
promise of a modern life and a future to which most Iraqis aspire. In 
the meantime, organized criminal elements--and a myriad of 
freebooters--are increasingly stealing Iraq's patrimony, while its oil 
wells and other resources go further into decline. And in some areas, 
such as Baghdad, the absence of government has led to a Hobbesian 
nightmare of insecurity, violence, and the most vicious personal 
attacks on human beings seen anywhere in the modern world. Iraq could 
descend further into breakdown, as local warlords, militias, criminal 
elements, and others assert control. This scenario--a full blown 
``failed state''--is already causing problems for the region and for 
the United States. Indeed, the failed state syndrome may be spreading, 
as events in Lebanon this summer and now in Palestine indicate. 
Needless to say, it is precisely the failed state syndrome that 
produces the best opportunity for al-Qaeda and other jihadists opposed 
to United States and Western interests to nest in the region.
    A third outcome is to slow and gradually arrest the decline, and 
for Iraq to gradually reconstitute an Iraqi Government that recognizes 
the new divisions which have emerged, but learns to accommodate them 
and overcome them in some new framework that allows for economic and 
social development. No society can exist without governance, and that 
is the root of Iraq's problems today. It will be easier to rebuild this 
framework, I believe, if Iraqis do not divide, indefatigably, on ethnic 
and sectarian lines, but rather work with the various groups and 
parties that are gradually participating in the new political system to 
achieve mutual interests. This does not preclude the emergence of new 
parties, but none are on the horizon now. Such accommodations will 
exclude extremes, such as al-Qaeda, and possibly some--though not all--
Sadrist elements, and it must include many of the Sunnis--ex-Baathists 
and others--who are not yet in the government. This aim can be advanced 
by pushing leaders in Baghdad to cut deals and make agreements on 
issues on which they have mutual interests--across the ethnic and 
sectarian divide. It is also essential to expand areas of economic 
development; government services (especially security) and to bring 
back the middle class and put them in positions of administrative and 
military authority. Regardless of who is running politics, an infusion 
of educated, experienced technocrats will help moderate the process and 
push it toward the middle. Over time, new links and understandings may 
become institutionalized and a government in Baghdad gradually take 
shape. Even if this government does not control much territory outside 
of Baghdad or the Green Zone, it is better to keep it intact as a 
symbol and a framework toward which a future generation can work, than 
to destroy it and try, once again, to establish a new and entirely 
radical framework.
    Iraq is very far from achieving a new government that works, and 
the collapse we are witnessing is more likely to get worse before it 
gets better. Only when the participants in this struggle for power 
recognize that they are losing more than they can gain by continuing, 
will it come to an end. That may be a very long time. In the meantime, 
the best we can probably do is to staunch the violence; contain the 
struggle; and keep alive the possibility that after extremism has run 
its course, the potential for a different Iraq is still there. Others 
in the region should be encouraged to do the same, a task which should 
be made easier by the fact that no state in the region--or its 
leadership--wants to see the collapse of the current state system, no 
matter how much in need of reform is its domestic government may be.

                     Party                      Total seats   Percentage
Shia Parties:
    United Iraqi Alliance.....................          128        46.55
    Progressives..............................            2         0.73
      Total...................................          130        47.27
Sunni Parties:
    Accord Front..............................           44        16.00
    Iraqi Dialogue Front......................           11         4.00
    Liberation and Reconciliation Bloc........            3         1.09
      Total...................................           58        21.09
Kurdish Parties:
    Kurdistan Alliance........................           53        19.27
    Islamic Union of Kurdistan................            5         1.82
      Total...................................           58        21.09
Secular Nationalist Parties:
    National Iraqi List.......................           25         9.09
    Iraqi Nation List (Mithal al-Alusi).......            1         0.36
      Total...................................           26         9.45
Minority Parties:
    The Two Rivers List (Assyrian)............            1         0.36
    The Yazidi Movement.......................            1         0.36
    Iraqi Turkman Front.......................            1         0.36
      Total...................................            3         1.09

                                                   No. of
                     Party                      +leadership   Percentage
UIA...........................................           21        45.65
    SCIRI.....................................            5        10.87
    Dawa......................................            1         2.17
    Dawa Tandhim..............................            3         6.52
    Sadrists..................................            4         8.70
    Islamic Action............................            1         2.17
    Hezbollah.................................            1         2.17
    Independent...............................            6        13.04
Kurdistan Alliance............................            8        17.39
    PUK.......................................            4         8.70
    KDP.......................................            4         8.70
Tawafuq.......................................            9        19.57
Iraqiya.......................................            6        13.04
Independent...................................            2         4.35

[Editor's note.--The charts presented by Dr. Marr were not 
reproducible. They will be maintained for viewing in the committee's 
premanent record.]

    Chairman Biden. Doctor, thank you. Thank you very much.


    Dr. O'Hanlon. Thank you, Senator. It's a great honor to 
appear before this committee today.
    Chairman Biden. By the way--excuse me for interrupting--I 
note that, in the interest of time, you've been unable to go 
through the entire statements each of you had----
    Dr. Marr. Oh, yes.
    Chairman Biden [continuing]. Your entire statements will be 
placed in the record for everyone to have available.
    Dr. O'Hanlon. Thank you for the honor to testify today.
    I think the numbers in Iraq essentially add up to what we 
all, I think, are realizing in our gut more and more, which is, 
the state of Iraq today is poor. As a person trying to maintain 
an objective database on this for 3\1/2\ years now, I tried 
hard not to use that kind of a sweeping conclusion for the 
first couple of years. There was always reason to think that 
the glass might be half full, or at least the data themselves 
might suggest that you could find information that would allow 
you to reach that conclusion. And we thought, as providing a 
database, it was important for us not to prejudge where things 
were headed. But I think it's increasingly clear that in Iraq 
the situation is poor, that we are losing. One can debate 
whether we've lost. I would agree with Secretary Powell's 
characterization, that we are losing, but there is still hope 
for salvaging something. And the degree of setback or degree of 
an unfortunate outcome matters a great deal, even if we are not 
going to wind up where we hope to be, on the scale that we had 
hoped. But the data, I think, are very clear, and let me go 
through just a couple of points to try to summarize why I say 
    On the testimony I've prepared today, we have 18 security 
indicators, 6 economic indicators, and another half dozen or so 
political and public opinion indicators. The latter category 
has some hope, has some positive element, but the first two are 
almost uniformly bad. Of the 18 security indicators that we're 
presenting for you today, 17 of them are either bad or, at 
best, stagnant, in terms of the trend lines. Only one can be 
said to be positive, and that's the one that I think, 
unfortunately, is less important and less--itself, less 
promising than we once hoped--which is the progress in training 
Iraqi security forces, because even though we are making 
technical progress, getting them equipment, getting them 
training. We all know that their sectarian trends and 
tendencies are growing, and one can't even speak, necessarily, 
of a clearly improving Iraqi security force, at this time. 
We've tried to guestimate about how many of the Iraqi security 
forces may be not only technically proficient, but politically 
dependable in some way. Very hard to come up with that kind of 
a number. I've talked to people in the military and the 
administration on this. I know you all have, too. But I think 
that, at best, there are several thousand Iraqi forces that can 
be reliably said to be politically dependable, even if there 
may be 100,000 or more that pass at least a modest standard of 
technical capability. So, the security environment is quite 
    On the economic front, of the six categories that we 
summarize in our testimony today, only one of them shows any 
real positive motion, and that's the GDP. But that, of course, 
is essentially a top-down effect from high oil prices and from 
foreign aid, and it doesn't necessarily reach all the middle-
class Iraqis that we need to reach.
    So, this is why I conclude that things aren't good, and, in 
fact, are quite poor, on balance.
    Let me identify, very quickly, six categories, and give you 
just a little bit of information on each of the six, and try to 
do so quickly, because I realize it's easy to swamp people with 
data. And, by the way, I should say, by way of background, not 
all this data is of equally good quality. Again, those of you--
and most of you who have been to Iraq know how hard it is to 
get information from the ground, and we also know that the 
numbers--you know, the benchmarks may be off, and the trends 
may be somewhat off. But I still think the overall gist of this 
is pretty clear.
    I should also say, our information is largely U.S. 
Government information, but we also try to depend a great deal 
on journalists working in the field, on nongovernmental 
organizations in the field, and, to some extent, our own 
research. But we are not in Iraq, with a lot of interns, 
gathering data; we are primarily trying to compile and assess 
    First point of the six categories--and this is obvious, but 
I'd better make it clear and get it on the table anyway--the 
violence levels in Iraq have been escalating dramatically. 
We've seen this again in the recent data. There is considerable 
disagreement about how many people in Iraq are dying per month, 
but it's probably in the range of 4-5,000 civilians a month, 
which is at least double what it was just a couple of years 
ago. And, frankly, in this broad semantic debate about whether 
Iraq is in civil war or not, by that standard Iraq is very, 
very clearly in civil war. The sheer level of violence makes 
this one of the two or three most violent places in earth. And, 
frankly, we're getting to the point where it even begins to 
rival some of the more violent periods during Saddam's rule, 
which is a terrible thing to have to say. It's not as bad, of 
course, as the worst period of the Iran-Iraq war or of Saddam's 
genocides against his own people, but it is essentially 
rivaling--essentially--what I might say is the average level of 
Saddam's level of violence over his 25 years in power, about 4-
5,000 civilians being killed per month.
    One backup piece of information on this, or corroborating 
statistic, the number of attacks per day that we're seeing from 
militias or sectarian groups or insurgents is now almost 200, 
which is an escalation of at least a factor of five from a 
couple of years ago. So, the first point, again, is fairly 
obvious, but, I think, worth emphasizing.
    Second point--and Dr. Marr made this point, and we all are 
aware of it--is the growing sectarian nature of the violence. 
And here, I'm just going to highlight one or two statistics, 
which come largely from Pentagon data bases. In the early 2 
years of Iraq's war--or of our experience in Iraq since 2003--
there were very few sectarian attacks, maybe zero or one per 
day, according to the Pentagon's best effort to tabulate. More 
of the attacks were a Sunni-based insurgency against anyone 
associated with the government, whether it was our forces, 
Iraqi Shia, Iraqi Sunni, Iraq Kurd. The violence was very much 
of an insurgent and terrorist nature. And zero or one attacks 
per day were assessed as sectarian. Now it's 30 sectarian 
attacks a day. Three zero. So, this is a dramatic escalation in 
the amount of sectarian violence.
    We have a terrorist threat, an insurgency threat, and a 
civil war from sectarian violence, all at the same time. And I 
don't want to make too much of the semantic issue here. If you 
want to call it ``sectarian strife'' or ``large-scale sectarian 
strife'' rather than ``civil war,'' I suppose we can still have 
that debate, but the sheer amount of violence and the growing 
political impetus to the violence from the different sectarian 
leaders makes Iraq unambiguously qualified, in my mind, as a 
place where we have a civil war today. So, I wanted to 
underscore the sectarian nature of the violence.
    Third point, related to the first two, is that, if you want 
to put it in a nutshell, Iraq is becoming Bosnia. Ethnic 
cleansing and displacement are becoming paramount. And here, I 
think the statistics have been underappreciated in much of the 
public debate, so far. So, let me try to be very clear on one 
big, important data point; 100,000 Iraqis per month are being 
driven from their homes right now. Roughly half are winding up 
abroad, roughly half are moving to different parts of Iraq. 
This is Bosnia-scale ethnic cleansing. I agree with Dr. Marr 
that it would be preferable--and Iraqis certainly would 
prefer--to retain some level of multiethnic society, and that 
separation of the country into autonomous zones raises a lot of 
tough questions. However, let's be clear about what the data 
show. It's happening already. And right now, it's the militias 
and the death squads that are driving the ethnic cleansing, and 
the movement toward a breakup of Iraq. And the question, pretty 
soon, is going to be whether we try to manage that process or 
let the militias alone drive it, because it's happening; 
100,000 people a month are being driven from their homes. Iraq 
looks like Bosnia, more and more. That's my third point.
    Fourth point, disturbing--again, not surprising, but 
disturbing--middle- and upperclass flight. We have huge 
problems of Iraqi professional classes, the people we need to 
get involved in rebuilding this country, no longer able to do 
so. To some extent, it's a legacy of the issue about de-
Baathification and the degree to which Ambassador Bremer 
expanded the de-Baathification approach beyond what was 
initially planned, but also, now, Iraqis are being driven from 
their homes because of the amount of kidnaping of upperclass 
individuals, much of it financially driven. And just one very 
disturbing statistic: Physicians in Iraq. We now estimate that 
a third of them have left the country or have been killed or 
kidnaped in the time since liberation of Iraq from Saddam, 4 
years ago. So, one-third of all physicians are out of Iraq and 
no longer practicing. And that's probably, if anything, an 
underestimate. So, middle-class and upperclass flight, or the 
death of many middle-class and upperclass individuals, has 
become a real challenge for putting this country back together 
in any meaningful way.
    Fifth point. And this makes me, I should admit in advance, 
sympathetic to President Bush's planned--from what I 
understand--planned focus on job creation in his speech 
tonight. I think it's overdue. But unemployment is a big 
problem in Iraq. And I think the Commander Emergency Response 
Program, which we used, on a pilot scale, on a smaller scale, 
in the early years, was a very good idea. If you want to call 
it ``make work,'' that's fine. If you want to call it ``FDR-
style job creation,'' that's fine. I think that's what Iraq 
needs today, because the unemployment rate is stubbornly high. 
And even if job creation is not, per se, a good economic 
development strategy, it may be a good security strategy, 
because it takes angry young men off the streets. So, the 
unemployment rate, as best we can tell, is still stuck in the 
30-plus-percent range. Now, by developing-country standards, 
that's not necessarily without precedent, but in Iraq it fuels 
the civil war and the sectarian strife and the insurgency, and 
that's the reason why it's of great concern, in addition to the 
obvious reasons.
    Last point, I'll finish on Iraqi pessimism. For the first 2 
years of this effort, Iraqi optimism was one of the few things 
we could really latch onto and say that the political process 
plus the gratitude of the Iraqis that Saddam was gone--maybe 
not gratitude toward us, per se, because they quickly became 
angry with us, but gratitude in a broader sense--plus their 
hope about the future, provided a real sense that this country 
could come together, because the optimism rates about the 
country's prognosis, among Iraqis themselves, were in the 70-
percent range for the first couple of years. Those numbers have 
plummeted. They're still higher than I would have predicted, to 
be honest with you. They still look like they are 40-45 percent 
optimism, but they are way, way down from what they used to be. 
And if you look at a couple of other indicators of Iraqi public 
opinion, especially from a June 2006 poll done by our 
International Republican Institute, only 25--excuse me, I'll 
put it another way--75 percent of all Iraqis consider the 
security environment to be poor--75 percent; and 60 percent 
consider the economic environment to be poor. So----
    Chairman Biden. Can I ask a point of clarification?
    Dr. O'Hanlon. Yes; please.
    Chairman Biden. Is that polling data, or that data about 
pessimism, does that include the roughly 1 million people who 
have been displaced or are out of country, or does it include--
    Dr. O'Hanlon. It's a very good point, Senator. It does not, 
as far as I understand. And, therefore, if you did address 
these individuals who have suffered most directly, the numbers 
might well be lower. But, in any event, I think the overall 
gist, the trendlines, are bad. And when you ask Iraqis about 
the security environment or the economic environment, they're 
even more pessimistic than they are in general terms.
    That's my overall message, and I look forward to the 
conversation later.
    Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Dr. O'Hanlon follows:]

Prepared Statement of Michael O'Hanlon, Senior Fellow and Sydney Stein, 
           Jr., Chair, Brookings Institution, Washington, DC

    The year 2006 was, tragically and inescapably, a bad one in Iraq. 
Our ongoing work at Brookings makes this conclusion abundantly clear in 
quantitative terms. Violence got worse for Iraqi civilians and barely 
declined at all for American and Iraqi troops. And the economy was 
fairly stagnant as well.
    Despite the drama of Saddam's execution in the year's final days, 
2006 will probably be remembered most for two developments inside Iraq. 
The first is the failure of the 2005 election process to produce any 
sense of progress. In fact, 2006 was the year that politicians in Iraq 
did much more to advance the interests of their own sects and religions 
than to build a new cohesive country. (In a September poll, Prime 
Minister al-Maliki was viewed unfavorably by 85 percent of all Sunni 
Arabs, for example.) The second is the related commencement of Iraq's 
civil war dating back to the February 22 bombing of the hallowed Shia 
mosque in Samarra. While some still question whether Iraq is in civil 
war, there is no longer much serious debate about the situation. The 
sheer level of violence, and the increasing politicization of the 
violence to include many more Shia attacks on Sunnis as well as the 
reverse, qualify the mayhem in Iraq as civil war by most definitions of 
the term. And the country has become one of the three or four most 
violent places on Earth.
    It is still possible to find signs of hope in our Brookings 
statistics on Iraq: The numbers of Iraqi security forces who are 
trained and technically proficient, the gradually improving GDP, recent 
reductions in Iraqi state subsidies for consumer goods (which distort 
the economy and divert government resources), the number of children 
being immunized. But those same children cannot feel safe en route to 
school in much of today's Iraq; that GDP growth is a top-down 
phenomenon having little if any discernible effect on the unemployment 
rate or well-being of Iraqis in places such as Al Anbar province and 
Sadr City, Baghdad; reductions in subsidies are not enough to spur much 
private sector investment in such a violent country; and those 
increasingly proficient security forces remain politically unreliable 
in most cases, just as inclined to stoke sectarian strife as to contain 
    The performance of Iraq's utilities remains stagnant--not bad by 
the standards of developing countries, but hardly better than under 
Saddam. Oil production and electricity availability remain generally 
flat nationwide. Fuels for household cooking and heating and 
transportation fall even further short of estimated need than they did 
a year or two ago, as does electricity production in Baghdad.
    Despite some unconvincing rhetoric from President Bush in the 
prelude to the November elections that ``absolutely, we're winning,'' 
most Americans now agree on the diagnosis of the situation in Iraq. 
Former Secretary Baker and former Congressman Hamilton recently warned 
of a ``further slide toward chaos.'' Secretary of Defense, Robert 
Gates, stated in his confirmation hearings that we aren't winning, even 
if he declined to go as far as Colin Powell and assert that we are 
actually losing. Former Secretary Rumsfeld himself, in his leaked 
November memo, recognized that Iraq was going badly and put out a 
laundry list of potential options in Iraq that we may have to consider 
to salvage the situation, including a Dayton-like process modeled on 
Bosnia's experience to negotiate an end to the civil war.
    Iraqis tend to share a similar diagnosis. According to a June 2006 
poll, 59 percent call the economy poor and 75 percent describe the 
security environment as poor. The security situation in particular has 
only deteriorated since then.
    Against this backdrop, dramatic measures are clearly needed. At a 
minimum, we will likely require some combination of the options now 
being proposed by the Iraq Study Group, the Pentagon, and others. 
President Bush is likely to recommend several of these in his eagerly 
awaited January speech--a massive program to create jobs, a surge of 
25,000 more American troops to Iraq to try to improve security in 
Baghdad, an ultimatum to Iraqi political leaders that if they fail to 
achieve consensus on key issues like sharing oil, American support for 
the operation could very soon decline.
    Our Brookings data suggest rationales for each of these possible 
policy steps, even if there are also counterarguments. Coalition forces 
have never reached the numbers needed to provide security for the 
population in Iraq, and indigenous forces remain suspect--in their 
technical proficiency, and even more so in their political 
dependability. These two realities make at least a tactical case for a 
surge, if it is really feasible on the part of our already overworked 
soldiers and marines. Despite the success of military commanders in 
putting Iraqis to work with their commander emergency response program 
funds, the administration never chose to emphasize job creation in its 
economic reconstruction plans meaning that the unemployment rate has 
remained stubbornly high. And for all our happiness about Iraq's 
democracy, it is clear that extremely few Iraqi leaders enjoy any real 
support outside of their own sectarian group. Trying to force them to 
work across sectarian lines must be a focus of our policy efforts, if 
there is to be any hope of ultimate stability in Iraq.
    Social scientists and military experts do not know how to assess, 
rigorously, the probabilities that such steps will succeed at this late 
hour in Iraq. Overall, however, it seems fair to say that most have 
become quite pessimistic. If the above types of ideas fail, therefore, 
``Plan B'' options may well be needed within a year, ranging from a 
federalism plan for Iraq that Rumsfeld and Senator Biden have been 
discussing to plans that would go even further and help Iraqis relocate 
to parts of their country where they could feel safer (as Bosnia 
expert, Edward Joseph, and I have recently advocated in The American 
Interest). Such an idea is widely unpopular--with Iraqis themselves, 
with President Bush, with most Americans who value the notion of 
interethnic tolerance. But with 100,000 Iraqis per month being 
displaced from their homes, making for a total of some 2 million since 
Saddam was overthrown, ethnic cleansing is already happening. Unless 
current trends are reversed, the question may soon become not whether 
we can stop this Bosnia-like violence--but whether we try to manage it 
or let the death squads continue to dictate its scale and its 
    Although it has been said before about previous new years, it seems 
very likely that 2007 will be make or break time in Iraq.

                         Category                             11/03        11/04        11/05          11/06
U.S./other foreign troops in Iraq (thousands)............       123/24       138/24       160/23          140/17
U.S. troops killed.......................................           82          137           96              68
Percent killed by IEDs...................................           24           13           48              54
U.S. troops wounded......................................          337        1,397          466             508
Iraqi Army/police fatalities.............................           50          160          176             123
Iraqi civilian fatalities................................        1,250        2,900        1,800           4,000
Multiple fatality bombings (for month in question).......            6           11           41              65
Estimated strength of insurgency.........................        5,000       20,000       20,000          25,000
Estimated strength of Shia militias......................        5,000       10,000       20,000          50,000
Daily average of interethnic attacks.....................            0            1            1              30
Estimated number of foreign fighters.....................          250          750        1,250           1,350
Number of daily attacks by insurgents/militias...........           32           77           90             185
Attacks on oil/gas assets................................            9           30            0              11
Iraqis internally displaced 100,000 since 04/03 (total)..      100,000      175,000      200,000         650,000
Iraqi refugees since 04/03 (total).......................      100,000      350,000      900,000       1,500,000
Iraqi physicians murdered or kidnapped/fled Iraq.........    100/1,000    250/2,000  1,000/5,000    2,250/12,000
Iraqi Security Forces technically proficient.............            0       10,000       35,000         115,000
Iraqi Security Forces politically dependable.............            0            0        5,000          10,000
Oil production (millions of barrels/day; prewar: 2.5)....          2.1          2.0          2.0             2.1
Percent of household fuel needs available................           76           77           88              54
Electricity production (in megawatts, prewar: 4,000).....        3,600        3,200        3,700           3,700
Ave. hours/day of power, Baghdad (prewar: 20)............           12           12            9               7
Unemployment rate (percent)..............................           50           35           33              33
Per capita GDP (real dollars; prewar: $900)..............          550        1,000        1,100           1,150
                                    Politics, Public Opinion, Democracy, Law
No. of Trained Judges....................................            0          250          350             750
Telephone subscribers (prewar: 800,000)..................      600,000    2,135,000    5,500,000       8,100,000
Independent media companies (prewar: 0)..................          100          150          225             400
Iraqi optimism (percent who think things going in right             65           54           49              45

    Chairman Biden. Thank you.
    Mr. Said.


    Mr. Said. Mr. Chairman, Senators, I'm honored to be here, 
and I'm pleased by your interest in the situation in Iraq, and 
efforts to find a solution that will be helpful to the Iraqi 
and American people.
    Chairman Biden. As Strom Thurmond used to say, ``Will you 
pull the machine closer so everyone can hear you?'' Thank you 
very much.
    Mr. Said. Some of the statements I'm going to make are 
going to echo what was said before, and, in a way, will 
confirm, through anecdotal evidence, what has been suggested 
through the numbers and statistics.
    The conflict in Iraq is not only pervasive, as the numbers 
suggest, but it's very complex. And it's very important not to 
try to simplify it. The situation in Iraq has suffered, and 
policymaking in Iraq has suffered, because the conflict was 
reduced to some of its elements rather than looked at in its 
complexity. This is not only a conflict between democracy and 
its enemies, it's not only a conflict between insurgency and 
counterinsurgency, it's not only a conflict between Sunni and 
Shia. This is a multifaceted, overlapping series of conflicts 
which is a function of the various groups and interests and 
agendas. And what I will try to do in my statement is try to 
address some of the elements of the conflict, to just 
illustrate the complexity of it, and hopefully that will help 
inform policymaking. I will also try to address the question: 
Why are these conflicts taking such a violent form? And 
finally, I will try to address issues of national dialog and 
efforts at finding a peaceful resolution to these conflicts.
    As the numbers suggested by Mr. O'Hanlon, the insurgency 
continues--and by ``insurgency'' I mean attacks against 
coalition forces--continues to be a significant part of the 
conflict. The majority of attacks continue to target coalition 
forces and coalition personnel, and the high numbers of 
casualties are evidence to that. But the insurgency is also a 
domestic political game. Many groups from the various 
communities, from various political directions, engage in the 
insurgency to acquire political legitimacy and to acquire, 
through that, a right to govern. Indeed, when the Iraqi 
Government proposed or suggested the option of an amnesty 
lately, insurgents bristled and said, ``They shouldn't be 
pardoned for fighting the occupation, they should be rewarded 
by being given positions in power.'' The insurgency is also 
about many other factors, including money. And it's becoming 
harder and harder to distinguish whether a commercial interest 
is a goal in itself or is a means to a goal.
    The sectarian violence, as, again, the numbers have 
suggested, is on the rise, and is tearing at the fabric of 
society, but it's not producing the kind of consolidation, the 
kind of alignment along sectarian and ethnic lines that some of 
the architects of the violence have hoped for. Indeed, as Ms. 
Marr has suggested, there is fragmentation. There is 
fragmentation within communities, there is fragmentation within 
political blocs and individual political parties. There is also 
increasing and growing specter of warlordism as rogue military 
commanders take control of fragments of militias and even state 
security structures. And the evidence for the fragmentation is 
everywhere. On my recent trip to Baghdad, a driver from a Sunni 
neighborhood complained to me that the Sunni insurgents, the 
Sunni fighters, kill more of their own kin than they do of Shia 
militias. The fighting between the Sadrists and militias 
affiliated with the Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution in 
Iraq, the SCIRI, and security forces controlled by them, have 
swept throughout the south of the country, and, over the last 
year, the Sadrists have gained control, at least temporarily, 
of various cities in the south. Even in Kurdistan the tensions 
are not far below the surface.
    One of the largest movements--the largest political 
movement in Iraq today are the Sadrists, and I think it's 
worthwhile to focus a little bit on that component of the 
situation in Iraq, because it's also illustrative of the 
dynamics. While other political parties control state and 
security structures, particularly the SCIRI, the Sadrists 
control the streets. But this is a very controversial and 
contradictory movement. The Sadrists nurture a nationalist 
image. They don't engage in sectarian rhetoric. They have 
clashed frequently with coalition forces. At the same time, 
they have participated in the political process, they have 30 
MPs, 6 ministers currently in boycott.
    Many ex-Baathists--Shia ex-Baathists--joined the Sadrist 
movement, yet the Sadrist movement has been the most vocal in 
calling for revenge and for punishing regime officials. The 
Sadrists style themselves after Hezbollah in Lebanon, and seek 
to protect their communities and constituents and provide 
services. At the same time, their militias are undisciplined 
and engage in criminal violence and looting, themselves, and, 
of course, man some of the feared death squads.
    This is a movement of the poor. This is an 
antiestablishment movement. Their grassroots support comes from 
the very poor Arab Shia in the countryside and the slums of 
Baghdad. And, as such, their natural enemies are not 
necessarily the Sunnis, but are the establishment, regardless 
of their sectarian or ethnic affiliation. As--and we see that 
through their clashes with the Shia establishment, with the 
merchant and religious Shia establishment represented by SCIRI.
    So, you have one movement that is fighting three conflicts. 
It's fighting an insurgency, it's fighting an antiestablishment 
revolt, and it's fighting a sectarian civil war.
    So, why does the conflict in Iraq take such violent forms? 
It does, because there is a political vacuum, as Ms. Marr--
Professor Marr--has suggested. And this political vacuum is 
signaling to the various groups and communities the necessity 
to protect their interests and achieve their goals through 
violent means, because there is no framework for a peaceful 
resolution of conflicts, for a peaceful reconciliation of the 
diverging interests.
    This violence, of course, is also feeding into the collapse 
of the state, and you have a vicious circle of political 
vacuum, violence, and state collapse.
    Now, the political process that took place over the last 3 
years was supposed to address that. It was supposed to create 
that vehicle for a peaceful resolution of conflict, for ways 
for Iraqis to come together and reconcile their differences. 
But, unfortunately, and despite a tremendous effort by Iraqis, 
Americans, and others, this has not been the case. Indeed, the 
political process is defunct, and, as Ms. Marr suggested, the 
state also has not emerged. We don't have, in Iraq, a 
legitimate public authority that could protect people and 
provide them with services.
    Why did this process fail? And this is not about pointing 
fingers at the past, but it's very important to understand some 
of the reasons for the failings. It's tempting to point the 
finger at external factors. Indeed, the Iraqis love to point 
the finger at external factors. And if you ask them, ``It's the 
Americans' fault, it's the Israelis, it's the Iranians, it's 
Saddam,'' and everybody possible. But there are, of course, 
internal reasons. And one of them is the fact that many Iraqis, 
a majority of Iraqis, are sitting on the fence, or, as my 
colleague has just suggested, are pessimistic. Iraqis have 
little faith in the process--in the political process and its 
results, and in the elites that emerge from it. They don't have 
confidence in this regime--in the current regime and its 
    What you have is a pervasive atmosphere--it's two 
sentiments that--dominating the situation in Iraq--which is 
fear and apathy. And you see that everywhere. And it's these 
sentiments that provide the perfect cover for corruption, for 
terrorism, for violence, and for sectarian hate. Even 
government officials are inflicted by this sentiment, and this 
explains how they use their positions to undermine, to 
dismantle the machinery of government that has been entrusted 
to them. And, indeed, you can hear echoes of that pessimism or 
apathy in the Prime Minister's recent interview with the Wall 
Street Journal.
    Within this atmosphere, we're seeing, now, a hardening of 
positions on all sides. There is this mood, if you like, of 
going for a last push. And it's not only evident through the 
terrorist and the sectarian violence, but also in the 
government's own position. Clearly, the model of a full-
spectrum national unity government, which we still have in Iraq 
now, has not worked. It has even furthered the dismantling of 
the machinery of the state, because it was reduced to farming 
out ministries to individual parties and groups. Now the 
strongest parties in the government, particularly the SCIRI and 
the Kurds, are trying to build a narrower government, and hope 
that it would be more efficient and work more as a team. But 
there are risks to this approach. These parties don't have 
strong grassroots support, and will rely more both on coercion, 
but also on continued U.S. support and bolstering. The 
execution of Saddam Hussein, and the manner in which it was 
carried out, and the rhetoric and the timing and everything, is 
indication of this hardening. That event was clearly designed 
to intimidate political opponents of the government, and 
particularly the Sunni community.
    The new security plan and the push for an all-out assault, 
in combination with the surge option, is also an indication of 
that. There is very little evidence to show, today, that the 
Iraqi Government will be able to mobilize the resources 
necessary to make this security plan more successful than those 
who preceded it. And a temporary surge will also probably not 
lead to sustainable outcomes. At the same time, if the plan--if 
the security plan is carried out in a one-sided way, and the 
Prime Minister has indicated that he views Sunni violence, 
terrorist violence, as the primary problem, and that the Shia 
militias are a secondary reaction to that--so, if this plan is 
carried out in a one-sided way with disregard to human rights, 
it can exacerbate the situation and make finding a political 
peaceful solution even harder. And, at the end of the day, the 
only solution to the situation in Iraq has to come through 
dialog, has to come through engagement and ownership of a broad 
cross-section of Iraqis, to overcome that feeling of apathy and 
disconnection. The dialog has to be genuine--as in, the parties 
have to produce real concessions--all the parties. It has to be 
broad. It has to involve not only the sectarian protagonists, 
but also those who still believe in the viability of the Iraqi 
states and in the necessity, as Professor Marr has indicated, 
of having a central state in that particular region.
    Unfortunately, the government's action, the hardening of 
the government's position over the last 6 months--the Iraqi 
Government has closed down to opposition newspapers, TV 
stations, has issued arrest warrants for leading opposition 
figures--do not create a conducive environment for an open and 
genuine dialog. So, there is need for international 
intervention on that front, and I'll address that later.
    Dialog, of course, doesn't mean that one needs to throw out 
the results of the political process of the last 3 years. I 
think the Constitution--the Iraqi Constitution, with all its 
shortcomings, serves as a good starting point for dialog, but 
the Constitution needs to be transformed, through genuine 
dialog, from a dysfunctional to a rational federal structure.
    Oil, and--negotiations on an oil deal, which have 
apparently concluded recently, also provide a model for the--
for that rational federalism. The main principles that the 
negotiators have agreed on is to maximize the benefit of Iraq's 
oil wealth to all Iraqis, to use oil as a way to unite the 
nation, and to build a framework based on transparency, which 
is very important in a situation of lack--of poor trust, and on 
efficiency and equity.
    Major issues have been resolved, like having a central 
account to accumulate all oil revenues, and manage the oil 
revenues on--at the federal level. Apparently, even the issue--
the current issue of contracting, and who has the right to 
contract, has been resolved, as well as the structure for a 
national oil company.
    But there remains issues open, and it's very important not 
to let the details derail the negotiations. And it's also very 
important to have a professional and open dialog on those 
issues, as in involving the proper professionals in the 
negotiations, and not reduce them to a political kitchen 
cabinet. One needs financial people, one needs economists and 
petroleum experts, involved in the debate.
    And one of the critical issues is how the revenue-sharing 
framework is going to work. Will it be through the writing of 
checks, which is unsustainable in the long term? There is no 
reason for Basrah to transfer money to the central government 
so that it can write checks to the other regions. Unless the 
revenue-sharing is carried out through the budget, through an 
integral budgetary process, the arrangement will be 
unsustainable. So, it's very important to make sure that the 
integrity of budgetary process is preserved.
    In conclusion, I think policies for Iraq should be informed 
by the complexity of the conflict. A surge, or the security 
plan envisioned now for Iraq, reduces the conflict to one 
between a democracy and its enemies; between democracy and 
terror. But if it is carried out with disregard to human 
rights, if it is carried out with disregard to the rule of law 
and in a one-sided way, it may exacerbate the situation and may 
also increase sectarian tensions and undermine the very 
democracy it purports to defend.
    The withdrawal of U.S. forces also reduces the conflict to 
an issue of a fight between an occupying army and a nationalist 
resistance. But, at the same time, a withdrawal may spell the 
end to the Green-Zone-based Iraqi State, and that could unleash 
further spirals of violence.
    Segregation, or the various proposals on the table that are 
aimed at addressing Iraq through an ethnic prism, reduces the 
conflict to one between Sunnis and Shia. But, in that 
atmosphere of fragmentations, as Professor Marr has suggested, 
that means that we will just replace one civil war with three 
civil wars, one failed state with three failed states. And, as 
I hope the next speaker will address Iraqi partition or 
segregation will lead to unimaginable consequences at the 
regional level.
    So, the only solution for Iraq will have to be long term 
and comprehensive, as Professor Marr has suggested, and will 
have to be based on an open and inclusive dialog, but it's 
something the Iraqis, on their own, cannot do, and they will 
need an international intervention to identify the 
protagonists, to bring them to the negotiations table, and to 
help prod them to reach compromise. What Iraq needs today is an 
internationally sponsored and mediated peace process.
    And I will finish at that. Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Said follows:]

   Prepared Statement of Yahia Khairi Said, Director, Revenue Watch 
         Institute, London School of Economics, London, England

    The conflict in Iraq today is as complex as it is pervasive. This 
is a reflection of the various groups and interests at play as well as 
the legacies of the past. The conflict can not be reduced to simple 
dichotomies of democracy against its enemies, resistance against the 
occupation or Shia vs. Sunni. Likewise there is no single universal 
solution to the conflict. Neither the current proposal for a ``surge'' 
nor the proposal to withdraw coalition forces are likely to bring 
peace. What is needed is a comprehensive and long-term approach based 
on an open and inclusive dialog at national and international levels, 
in which the fair distribution of Iraqi oil revenues is used as an 
incentive for uniting Iraqis.

                       THE NATURE OF THE CONFLICT

    The Insurgency: The targeting of Multinational Forces continues to 
account for a significant portion of the violence as evidenced by the 
consistently high numbers of coalition casualties. The insurgency is 
also an arena of domestic political conflict. Groups from different 
ethnic and political backgrounds use the ``resistance'' to legitimate 
their claim to power. Sunni insurgents bristled at the government's 
offer of an amnesty last year, insisting that they should be rewarded, 
not pardoned for fighting the occupation. Al-Qaeda uses videos of 
attacks on U.S. troops to recruit and fundraise for its own global war. 
Some insurgent attacks are simply a cover for economic crimes. As with 
many such conflicts, it is often hard to discern whether the violence 
is purely a means to commercial gain or an end in itself.
    Spiralling sectarian violence is polarising communities and tearing 
society apart. However, it is not producing the consolidation and 
political mobilization along ethnic and sectarian lines as intended by 
its architects. Quite the opposite, the pervasive violence and 
uncertainty is leading to fragmentation within communities, political 
blocks, and individual parties. Warlordism is emerging as rogue 
commanders assume control of fragments of militias and individual units 
of the state security forces.
    A resident of a Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad recently complained 
to me that Sunni fighters kill more of their own kin than they do Shia 
militias. Tribal rivalries broke into open conflict in the Anbar 
province this summer pitching Sunni tribes against each other and 
against the foreign al-Qaeda fighters. The head of the prominent Tamim 
tribe recently expressed a widely held sentiment among fellow Sunnis 
when he lambasted the ``Iraqi un-Islamic Party'' which purports to 
represent them in government. Likewise among the Shiites, there are 
frequent and violent confrontations between the SCIRI-controlled 
militias and police forces on one side, and militias associated with 
the Sadrist movement, on the other. These confrontations allowed the 
Sadrists at various times to briefly seize control of most major cities 
in central and southern Iraq. The competition to control Basra's oil 
smuggling business among various militias and political parties often 
takes the form of street warfare. Less overtly, tensions bubble just 
under the surface between the two main Kurdish parties and between them 
on one side and Kurdish Islamists on the other. Outburst of separatism 
by Kurdish leaders--like the recent spat over the national flag--should 
be viewed in the context of competition for power in Kurdistan itself.
    The Sadrist Movement is emblematic of the complexities and 
contradictions of Iraq's political and security landscape. While SCIRI 
and other political groups control government positions and resources, 
the Sadrists control the street. They nurture a nationalist image 
clashing occasionally with Multinational Forces and deriding the new 
elite who came with the invasion. This did not stop them from actively 
participating in the political process. The Sadrists have 30 members of 
Parliament and 6 ministers. Many Shia ex-Baathists joined the Sadrists 
after the collapse of the regime yet the movement is most vocal in 
seeking revenge against regime officials. Among Shia groups the 
Sadrists are the least likely to employ sectarian rhetoric yet their 
warlords are implicated in the worst instances of sectarian violence. 
The Sadrists try to emulate Hezbollah in Lebanon by seeking to protect 
and provide social services to their constituents and by meting out 
vigilante justice against criminals and those engaged in what they deem 
to be ``un-Islamic'' conduct. But its militias are undisciplined and 
often engage in looting and criminal activities themselves. The Sadr 
leadership freely admits to having only indirect control over their 
fighters. The Sadrists style themselves as the representatives of the 
poor and downtrodden. Indeed their main strength is the support of 
millions of poor Arab Shia in the rural south and the slums of Baghdad 
who are in a rebellious mood aimed at the establishment regardless of 
its sectarian color. As such SCIRI and other Shia groups representing 
the merchant and religious elite with strong ties to Iran are the 
Sadrists' natural enemy. In short, the Sadrists are simultaneously 
fighting a nationalist insurgency, a revolt against the establishment 
and a sectarian conflict.


    The pervasiveness of the violence in Iraq today, the persistent 
power vacuum and progressive hollowing out of the state are components 
of a vicious circle. State weakness sends signals to the various groups 
that they can, and, in fact, need to defend their interests and achieve 
their goals through violent means. The political process over the past 
3 years was supposed to fill the vacuum by establishing a framework 
where Iraqis can reconcile competing interests through peaceful means. 
The goal was to establish a legitimate public authority which would 
protect Iraqis and provide them with essential services. Despite 
enormous efforts, expenditures and sacrifice by Iraqis, Americans, and 
others, this goal has yet to be achieved.
    It is tempting under such circumstances to blame everything on 
enemies and external influences such as al-Qaeda and Iraq's neighbors. 
Iraqis habitually blame their woes on the Americans, Iran, Arab States, 
Israel, Saddam, and so on. There is no question that external factors, 
sometimes by intent and sometimes by mistake, have played a role in 
shaping the current predicament. But the roots for such consistent 
failure need to be explored and addressed inside society itself.
    Despite overcoming great risks to vote in two elections and a 
referendum, Iraqis have little faith in the political process and the 
leadership it has produced. Indeed political participation for most 
Iraqis has been limited to these three votes. There are few in Iraq 
today who believe in the viability and sustainability of the new 
regime. A substantial majority sits on the proverbial fence. This is 
not only a result of the authoritarian legacy or the fact that change 
came from the outside. It is also the result of disappointed hopes and 
broken promises over the past 4 years.
    Fear and apathy are the most pervasive sentiments in Iraq today. 
They provide the perfect cover for corruption, crime, and terror and 
sap the energy from the enormous task of reconstruction. These 
sentiments extend to many officials and politicians who do not shy from 
dismantling the machinery of government and the state they have been 
entrusted with in pursuit of short-term narrow gains. One could even 
hear echoes of this apathy in the recent interview by Prime Minister 
Maliki with the Wall Street Journal.
    Faced with this predicament, there is a hardening of positions on 
all sides and a determination to go for ``one last push.'' This is not 
only expressed through the debilitating terrorist and militia violence 
but also in the posture of the Iraqi Government.
    The model of a full spectrum ``National Unity'' government is 
clearly not working and has indeed exacerbated the decline of the 
state. The farming out of ministries to individual parties and groups 
produced a weak and divided government unable to function as a team.
    The strongest parties in government, particularly the SCIRI and the 
Kurds, seem resolved to build a narrower coalition government which may 
exclude the Sadrists and some Sunni parties. This has already taken 
place on the ground with Sunni parties only nominally participating in 
government and the Sadrists boycotting it.
    Without the Sadrists, however, this coalition has little grassroots 
support. It will have to rely more on cordon and will be more 
susceptible to external influences. It will be even more dependent on 
continuous U.S. support.
    The handling of the Saddam execution is illustrative of the 
hardening of the government's stance. The rush to execute the former 
dictator, the rhetoric preceding it and the manner in which it was 
carried out were clearly designed to intimidate the Sunnis.
    The government has also hardened its rhetoric and actions against 
political opponents, closing down two opposition TV stations and 
issuing an arrest warrant for the most prominent opposition figure--the 
head of the Association of Muslim Scholars.

                             SECURITY PLANS

    The security plan announced a couple of days ago is the culmination 
of this approach. While officially targeted at all militias and armed 
groups, the Prime Minister has clearly indicated that he views Sunni 
violence as the main source of tensions and Shia militias as a reaction 
to Sunni violence.
    It is not clear yet whether the government will limit the targets 
of the security plan to Sunni groups or whether it will also take on 
the Sadrists. Either way it is unlikely that it will be able to muster 
the resources necessary to achieve better results than previous 
efforts, including the two recent Baghdad security plans. Even a 
temporary U.S. surge in support of the plan is no guarantee for 
achieving sustainable outcomes. A military offensive--especially if it 
fails to protect civilians on all sides--is liable to inflame the 
sectarian conflict and make a peaceful settlement even less likely. The 
U.S. forces can find themselves embroiled, as a party, in the sectarian 
    There is no doubt that there is an urgent need to confront the 
terrorists, criminals, and those spreading sectarian hatred and to 
protect civilians from them. This can only be achieved on the basis of 
legitimacy and respect for human rights and the rule of law. It is, 
therefore, particularly disconcerting when the Iraqi Government insists 
on taking over control of the security portfolio in order to fight the 
enemies ``our way,'' dispensing with what they view as exaggerated and 
misplaced U.S. concern for human rights.
    The new security plan and the associated surge option emphasises 
the aspect of struggle between a nascent democracy and its opponents. 
Yet if it is carried out without regard to human rights and in a way 
that exacerbates sectarian tensions, it is only likely to make matters 
worse and destroy the very democracy it seeks to protect.
    If the conflict in Iraq was primarily about occupation and 
resistance then a speedy withdrawal of coalition forces would offer the 
best solution. In today's context a withdrawal will cause a spike in 
other forms of violence and precipitate the collapse of the last 
remnants of the Iraqi state unleashing an open-ended conflict with 
unpredictable consequences.
    A solution based on ethnic segregation emphasises another aspect of 
the conflict. But in the context of fragmentation and warlordism, it is 
unlikely to bring any relief. On the contrary it will exacerbate ethnic 
cleansing and undermine regional stability.

                            NATIONAL DIALOG

    Ultimately the violence in Iraq can only end through a political 
process which unites Iraqis rather than dividing them. For this to 
happen it is necessary to engage all constituencies in the shaping of 
the new Iraq and provide them with a sense of ownership in the outcome. 
This requires open and inclusive dialog and readiness for compromise on 
all sides. It will require broadening the political process to include 
those Iraqis who still believe in nation-building and coexistence 
rather than limiting it to the combatants and extremists on all sides. 
Current national dialog and reconciliation efforts have fallen short of 
these ideals.
    Dialog will clearly require regional and international mediation. 
International assistance is needed to help identify the protagonists, 
bring them to the negotiations, and encourage them to compromise. In 
short Iraq is in need of an internationally mediated peace process.
    The International Compact with Iraq offers a platform for such 
dialog as well as a framework for mobilizing international assistance 
once a settlement is reached. Other initiatives by the United Nations 
and the League of Arab States are essential for success in this 
    The final settlement can not dispense with the achievements of the 
last 3 years. Those, including the constitution, will have to serve as 
the starting point of any discussion over Iraq's future. The 
constitution will need to be reviewed and implemented in a way that 
provides a basis for rational federalism. The winners of the political 
process will have to be prepared to make real concessions and genuinely 
share power and resources if compromise is to be achieved.
    Over the past months, Iraqi officials have been negotiating a 
framework for the management and sharing of Iraq's oil wealth which can 
provide a model for the shape of federalism in the new Iraq. 
Negotiators were in agreement that such framework should maximise the 
benefit from the wealth to all Iraqis and promote national cohesion. It 
should be based on the principles of efficiency, transparency, and 
equity. Transparency is particularly important as it helps build trust 
among the various parties and prevent abuse.
    The negotiators succeeded in overcoming a number of obstacles 
agreeing in particular on the federal management and sharing of all oil 
revenues, a structure for a National Oil Company and a framework for 
coordinating negotiations and contracting with International Operating 
Companies. Some details will still need to be worked out, chief among 
them is the exact mechanism for revenue-sharing. If the new framework 
is to contribute to national cohesion, transparency and accountability 
the budgetary process must be the main vehicle for revenue-sharing.
    A draft framework along these lines has been developed over the 
past months and will shortly be presented to Parliament. It is critical 
for the success of this effort that deliberations on the subject are 
carried out in an open, inclusive, and professional manner.

    Chairman Biden. Thank you very much.


    Dr. Pillar. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, 
thank you very much for the privilege of participating in this 
most important set of hearings. And I commend the committee, as 
Phebe Marr did in her opening comment, for its approach to 
educating the American public on this topic.
    You've asked me to address the relationship between the 
conflict in Iraq and other trends and developments in the 
Middle East. And, in that connection, I would focus on five 
major dimensions on which the war has had impact elsewhere in 
the region or on the perceptions and concerns of other Middle 
Eastern actors. Those five are: Sectarian divisions, extremism 
and terrorism, political change and democratization, ethnic 
separatism, and the alignments and the relative influence of 
other states in the region.
    With the violence in Iraq having increasingly assumed the 
character of a civil war between Sunnis and Shiites, as 
described by my fellow panelist, it has intensified sectarian 
sentiment, suspicions, and resentments all along the Sunni-Shia 
divide, only a portion of which runs through Iraq. Just as 
important, this divide coincides with longstanding and deeply 
resented patterns of economic privilege and political power.
    The evident conviction of many Iraqi Shiites, who, as we 
know, constitute a majority in their country, that their time 
for political dominance has come, cannot help but put 
revisionist thoughts in the minds of their coreligionists 
elsewhere in the region. The conflict in Iraq has made this 
sectarian divide more salient, not only for ordinary Shia and 
Sunni populations, but also for regimes. It's a concern for 
Saudi leaders, for example, because of Saudi sympathy for their 
Sunni brethren in Iraq, and because of any possibility of 
restiveness among the Saudi Shia minority. Looking out from 
Riyadh, Saudis today see themselves as encircled by a Shia arc 
that now includes control of both of the other major Persian 
Gulf countries--Iran and Iraq. King Abdullah of Jordan has 
spoken in similar terms about such a Shia arc.
    For the United States, one consequence--not the only one--
but one consequence of this regionwide intensification of 
sectarian sentiment is that it is difficult for the United 
States to do just about anything in Iraq without it being 
perceived, fairly or unfairly, as favoring one community over 
the other and thereby antagonizing either Sunnis or Shiites, or 
perhaps both, elsewhere in the region.
    A second dimension on which the war in Iraq is having 
repercussions throughout the Middle East, and, in this case, 
even beyond, concerns extremist sentiment and the threat of 
jihadist terrorism. Iraq is now the biggest and most prominent 
jihad, and may ultimately have effects at least as significant 
as those of earlier ones, partly because it is seen as a 
struggle against the United States, in the eyes of the 
jihadists, the sole remaining superpower and the leader of the 
West. I concur, and I think just about any other serious 
student of international terrorism would concur, in the 
judgments recently declassified from the national intelligence 
estimate on terrorism which stated that--in the words of the 
estimators--that, ``The war in Iraq has become a cause celebre 
for jihadists. It is shaping a new generation of terrorist 
leaders and operatives. It is one of the major factors fueling 
the spread of the global jihadist movement, and is being 
exploited by al-Qaeda to attract new recruits and donors.''
    Some of the possible effects within the surrounding region 
may already be seen in, for example, the suicide bombings in 
Amman, in November 2005, which were carried out by Iraqis from 
the al-Qaeda-in-Iraq group.
    A third important regional dimension is the possibility of 
favorable political change, especially democratization, within 
Middle Eastern countries. One hopeful development in the Middle 
East over the last few years has been an increase in open 
discussion of such political change. And I believe the current 
administration, with its rhetorical emphasis on 
democratization, deserves at least a share of the credit for 
    In looking not just for talk, but for meaningful reform, 
however, it is harder to be encouraged. What passes for 
political reform in the Middle East has generally been, in 
countries such as Egypt, slow, fragmentary, very cautious, 
subject to backsliding, and more a matter of form than of 
    It is difficult to point convincingly to effects, one way 
or the other, that the war in Iraq has had on political reform 
in other Middle Eastern states, but, in my judgment, the all-
too-glaring troubles in Iraq have tended, on balance, to 
discourage political reform in other Middle Eastern countries, 
for two reasons. First, the demonstration of what can go 
terribly wrong in a violent and destructive way has been a 
disincentive to experiment with political change. Middle 
Eastern leaders, like political leaders anywhere, tend to stick 
with what has worked with them so far when confronted with such 
frightening and uncertain consequences of change. And, second, 
the identification of the United States with both the cause of 
democratization and the war in Iraq has, unfortunately, led the 
former subject to be tarnished with some of the ill will and 
controversy associated with the latter, however illogical that 
connection may be.
    The fourth major issue, and an important one for three of 
the states that border Iraq, is ethic separatism. And here, of 
course, we're talking about the status of the Kurds, the 
prototypical stateless ethnic group. Kurdish separatism is a 
concern for both Syria and Iran, for example, which have 
significant Kurdish minorities. The strongest worries, however, 
are in Turkey, where Kurds constitute about 20 percent of the 
population and where the organization that has usually been 
known as the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, waged an 
insurgent and terrorist campaign that left an estimated 35,000 
people dead. Ankara has been very sensitive about any 
suggestion of independence for Iraqi Kurdistan because of 
worries about rekindling separatist sentiment among Turkish 
Kurds. Turkey also is unhappy about what it regards as 
insufficient action by Iraq or the United States against PKK 
fighters who have taken refuge in northern Iraq.
    The final set of issues I would highlight concerns effects 
on the geopolitics of the Middle East; that is, on the relative 
power and the foreign policies of neighboring states. Among the 
neighbors the largest winner has been Iran. The war has 
crippled what had been the largest regional counterweight to 
Iranian influence, not to mention doing away with a dictator 
who started a war in the 1980s that resulted in the deaths of 
hundreds of thousands of Iranians. Iranians today view the war 
in Iraq with mixed motives. The current leadership in Tehran 
probably is pleased to see the United States continue to be 
bogged down and bleeding in Iraq for the time being, but it 
also has no reason to want escalating and unending disorder on 
its western border. Tehran has been reaching out and providing 
assistance to a wide variety of Iraqi groups. Although some of 
this assistance may help to make trouble for United States 
forces, it is best understood as an effort by Tehran to cast 
out as many lines of influence as it possibly can do, that 
whenever the dust in Iraq finally settles, it will have a good 
chance of having the friendship of, or at least access to, 
whoever is in power in Iraq.
    Syria is another neighbor that faces a significantly 
changed geopolitical environment as a result of events in Iraq. 
The bitter and longstanding rivalry between the Syrian and 
Iraqi wings of the Baathist movement had been a major 
determinant of Syrian foreign policy for many years. It was the 
principal factor that led Damascus to break ranks with its Arab 
brethren and ally with Iran during the Iran-Iraq war. The 
demise of the Iraqi Baathist regime has changed all this, as 
punctuated by the restoration of diplomatic relations just 2 
months ago, in November, between Syria and Iraq. Sectarian 
considerations also must enter into thinking in Damascus, where 
the regime is dominated by the minority Alawite sect, but rules 
a Sunni majority. Meanwhile, Syria's main foreign-policy aim 
continues to be return of the Golan Heights, which Syrian 
leaders realize could come about only through cooperation with 
the United States.
    I've highlighted what I regard as the main issues that 
involve the regional impact of this war. They are not the only 
issues, of course. A major concern of Jordan, for example, is 
the influx onto its territory of an estimated 700,000 Iraq 
refugees. Syria also faces a major Iraqi refugee problem, as do 
Lebanon and Egypt, and, to lesser degrees, other neighboring 
    Oil is another interest for several Middle Eastern states, 
given the obvious effects that different possible levels of 
Iraqi production and export could have on the oil market, and, 
thus, on the finances of these countries.
    A concluding point, Mr. Chairman, concerns the United 
States directly. Given how much the war in Iraq has become a 
preoccupation for the United States, it necessarily colors 
virtually all of our other dealings with countries in the 
region. It has been one of the chief reasons for the decline in 
the standing of the United States among publics in the region, 
as recorded by opinion polls by such organizations as the Pew 
group taken over the last several years. It has been a reason 
for concern and doubt among Middle Eastern governments 
regarding the attention and commitment that Washington can give 
to other endeavors. And Middle Eastern governments know that it 
has, in effect, relegated to a lower priority almost every 
other U.S. interest in the Middle East.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I look forward to your questions.
    [The prepared statement of Dr. Pillar follows:]

  Prepared Statement of Dr. Paul Pillar, Visiting Professor, Security 
         Studies Program, Georgetown University, Washington, DC

    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for the 
privilege of participating in this very important series of hearings 
related to the conflict in Iraq. I have been asked to address the 
relationship between that conflict and other trends and developments in 
the Middle East.
    Events in other countries in the region will depend primarily on 
issues and conditions in those countries; in my judgment, the hoped-for 
beneficial demonstration effects that success in Iraq would have had on 
the politics of the broader Middle East have always been overly 
optimistic. Nonetheless, the development of a multifaceted and 
worsening armed conflict in Iraq does have significant implications for 
the rest of the region and by implication for U.S. interests in the 
region. Unfortunately, conflict and instability tend to have greater 
repercussions in a neighborhood than do success and stability.
    In the case of Iraq and the Middle East, regional consequences 
involve concerns by neighbors about what may yet lie ahead as well as 
adjustments that regional actors already have made. The consequences 
involve regimes in the region as well as nonstate actors such as 
terrorist groups. And they involve direct consequences of the violence 
in Iraq as well as more indirect reverberations from the conflict 
    I want to emphasize how much uncertainty is involved in trying to 
analyze the regional impact of the current war in Iraq, much less of 
various future scenarios or policy options. It is simply impossible to 
predict the full range of important regional effects, partly because of 
the uncertainty that clouds Iraq's own future but also because of the 
complexity of factors affecting events elsewhere in the Middle East. 
Any prognostications that speak with certainty about particular future 
effects ought to be met with skepticism.
    With that understanding, I would identify five major dimensions on 
which--although specific future consequences may be uncertain--the war 
in Iraq already has had discernible impact elsewhere in the Middle East 
and is likely to have more, and which, therefore, are worthy of 
attention as debates over policy proceed. Those five are: Sectarian 
divisions, extremism and terrorism, political change and 
democratization, ethnic separatism, and the alignments and relative 
influence of states in the region.

                           SECTARIAN CONFLICT

    Sectarian divides within the Muslim world deserve to be discussed 
first, because the violence in Iraq has increasingly assumed the 
character of a civil war between Sunni and Shia. As such, it has 
intensified sectarian sentiment, suspicions, and resentments all along 
the Sunni-Shia faultline, only a portion of which runs through Iraq. It 
would be almost impossible to overstate how strongly this divide, which 
the Iraq war has made more salient, stokes feelings and fears among 
many people of the Middle East. Rooted in centuries-old disputes over 
succession to the Prophet, the conflict manifests itself today in, for 
example, the perspective of some Sunnis (particularly the more 
doctrinaire Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia) that Shia are not even true 
Muslims. Just as important, the sectarian divide coincides with 
resented patterns of economic privilege and political power.
    The special significance of Iraq is that, although Shiites are a 
minority of Muslims worldwide, they are a majority in Iraq (as well as, 
of course, next door in Iran). The evident conviction of many Iraqi 
Shiites that their time for political dominance has come cannot help 
but put revisionist thoughts in the minds of their coreligionists 
elsewhere in the region. These include the Shia minority in Saudi 
Arabia, who are concentrated in the oil-rich eastern province and see 
themselves treated as second-class citizens. They include the Shiites 
who constitute a majority in Bahrain but are still under the rule of a 
Sunni government. And they include Shiites in Lebanon, who probably are 
the fastest-growing community in that religiously divided country and 
who believe that current power-sharing arrangements give them an 
unfairly small portion of power--a sentiment exploited by Lebanese 
    The conflict in Iraq has made this sectarian divide more salient 
not only for Shia populations but also for regimes. The sectarian 
coloration of that conflict is an acute concern for Saudi leaders, for 
example, because of their own sympathy for Sunni Arabs in Iraq, the 
emotions of other Saudis over the plight of their Sunni brethren in 
Iraq, and any possibility of restiveness among Saudi Shiites. Looking 
out from Riyadh, Saudis now see themselves as encircled by a Shia arc 
that includes control of both of the other large Persian Gulf States--
Iran and Iraq--Shia activism in Lebanon, and significant Shia 
populations in the Arab Gulf States as well as to their south in Yemen. 
King Abdullah of Jordan also has spoken publicly about such a Shia arc.
    For the United States, this intensification of sectarian conflict 
carries several hazards, only one of which is the specter of direct 
intervention by other regional actors in the Iraqi civil war. There 
also are issues of stability in the other countries that must manage 
their own part of the Sunni-Shia divide. And not least, there is the 
difficulty of the United States doing almost anything in Iraq without 
it being perceived, fairly or unfairly, as favoring one community over 
the other and thereby antagonizing either Sunnis or Shiites, or perhaps 
both, elsewhere in the region.

                        EXTREMISM AND TERRORISM

    A second dimension on which the war in Iraq is having repercussions 
throughout the Middle East--and in this case even beyond--concerns 
extremist sentiment and the threat of international terrorism, 
particularly from Islamist terrorists often styled as ``jihadists.'' 
Other wars in other Muslim lands have served as jihads in recent years, 
including in Bosnia, Chechnya, Kosovo, and especially Afghanistan. The 
Afghan jihad against the Soviets served as an inspiration to radical 
Islamists, a training ground for terrorists, and a networking 
opportunity for jihadists of diverse nationalities. We have seen the 
effects in much of the international terrorism of the past decade and a 
half. Iraq is now the biggest and most prominent jihad. It may 
ultimately have effects at least as significant as those of earlier 
jihads, because it is taking place in a large and important country 
that is part of the core of the Arab and Muslim worlds, and because it 
is partly a struggle against the United States, the sole remaining 
superpower and the leader of the West.
    The effects of the war in Iraq on international terrorism were 
aptly summarized in the National Intelligence Estimate on international 
terrorism that was partially declassified last fall. In the words of 
the estimators, the war in Iraq has become a ``cause celebre'' for 
jihadists, is ``shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and 
operatives,'' is one of the major factors fueling the spread of the 
global jihadist movement, and is being exploited by al-Qaeda ``to 
attract new recruits and donors.'' I concur with those judgments, as I 
believe would almost any other serious student of international 
    The full effects on terrorism of the war in Iraq, as of the earlier 
anti-Soviet campaign in Afghanistan, will not be seen and felt for a 
good number of years. But some of the possible effects within the 
surrounding region may already be seen in, for example, the suicide 
bombings in Amman, Jordan, in November 2005, which were perpetrated by 
Iraqis who belonged to the ``al-Qaeda in Iraq'' organization. Another 
possible effect is the recent use in Afghanistan of suicide bombings, a 
tactic not previously part of the repertoire of insurgents there but 
perhaps partly exported from, or inspired by, Iraq where the tactic has 
been used extensively.
    I believe that the most important variable in Iraq in the months or 
years ahead as far as the effects on international terrorism are 
concerned is the sheer continuation of the war, as well as the 
continued U.S. participation in it. ``Jihad'' means, literally, 
``struggle.'' What is important to the jihadist, more so than any 
particular outcome, is participation in a struggle. As long as the 
jihadists' struggle in Iraq is not completely extinguished, it will 
continue to inspire the Islamist rank-and-file and to be exploited by 
the likes of al-Qaeda.


    A third important regional dimension is the possibility of 
political change within Middle Eastern countries, especially change in 
the favorable direction of more democracy and more civil and political 
liberties in what is still, by most measures, the most undemocratic and 
illiberal region of the world. One hopeful development in the Middle 
East over the last few years has been an increase in open discussion of 
issues of political change. There has been, at least, more talk about 
the subject; it has been more of a live topic in more Middle Eastern 
countries than a few years earlier. I believe the current U.S. 
administration, with its rhetorical emphasis on democratization, 
deserves a share of the credit for this.
    In looking not just for talk but for meaningful action, however, it 
is harder to be encouraged. What passes for political reform in the 
Middle East has generally been slow, fragmentary, very cautious, 
subject to backsliding, and more a matter of form than of substance.
    It is difficult to point convincingly to effects, in one direction 
or another, that the war in Iraq has had on political reform in other 
Middle Eastern states. Inspired statesmanship should have good reason 
to move ahead with reform regardless of what is happening in Iraq. But 
most Middle Eastern statesmanship is not inspired. And in my judgment, 
the all-too-glaring troubles in Iraq have tended, on balance, to 
discourage political reform in other Middle Eastern countries, for two 
    First, the demonstration of what can go wrong--in a very violent 
and destructive way--has been a disincentive to experiment with 
political change. Middle Eastern leaders, like leaders anywhere, tend 
to stick with what they've got and with what has worked for them so 
far, when confronted with such frightening and uncertain consequences 
of political change. If today's Iraq is the face of a new Middle East, 
then most Middle Eastern leaders, not to mention most publics, do not 
want to be part of it.
    Second, the identification of the United States with both the cause 
of democratization and the war in Iraq has led the former to be 
tarnished with some of the ill will and controversy associated with the 
latter. This connection is, of course, illogical. But it should not be 
surprising, given that some in the Middle East had already tended to 
view liberal democracy with suspicion as an alien import from the West.
    The issue of political change and democratization is important for 
many Middle Eastern countries, but I would mention two as being of 
particular significance. One is Egypt, the most populous Arab country 
and a keystone of U.S. policy in the region. The Mubarak government has 
evidently seen the need at least to appear to be open to reform, as 
manifested in the holding in 2005 of an ostensibly competitive 
Presidential election, in place of the prior procedure of a one-
candidate referendum. But such procedural change has not reflected any 
significant loosening of Mubarak's hold on power. A continuing 
emergency law helps to maintain that hold, opposition Presidential 
candidates have not been treated fairly, and the most popular and 
effective opposition party remains outlawed.
    The other key country is Saudi Arabia, in which neither the form 
nor the reality is remotely democratic, and in which power is still in 
the hands of a privileged royal family in alliance with a religious 
establishment. King Abdullah appears to recognize the need for reform 
if Saudi Arabia is not to fall victim to more sudden and destructive 
kinds of change. He faces stubborn opposition, however, not least from 
within the royal family. Anything in the regional environment that 
makes political reform appear riskier will make his task harder.

                           ETHNIC SEPARATISM

    The fourth major issue, and an important one for three of the 
states that border Iraq, is ethnic separatism. This really means the 
issue of the Kurds, who ever since the peace of Versailles have been 
the prototypical stateless ethnic group. Kurdish separatism is a 
concern for Syria, in which Kurds, who are concentrated in the 
northeast part of the country, constitute a bit less than 10 percent of 
the Syrian population. It also is a concern in multiethnic Iran, where 
Kurds in the northwest represent about 7 percent of Iran's population. 
Kurdish dissatisfaction led to deadly riots in Syria in 2004 and in 
Iran in 2005. The strongest worries, however, are in Turkey, where 
Kurds constitute about 20 percent of the population and where the 
organization usually known as the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, 
waged an insurgent and terrorist campaign that has left an estimated 
35,000 people dead. Ankara has been very sensitive about any suggestion 
of independence for Iraqi Kurdistan, because of worries about 
rekindling separatist sentiment among the Kurds of southeastern Turkey. 
The Government of Turkey also has a strong interest in the status of 
PKK fighters who have taken refuge in northern Iraq, and it has been 
unhappy about what it considers to be insufficient U.S. or Iraqi 
efforts against those fighters.
    The views of regional governments toward the Kurds, as events in 
Iraq play out over the coming months, will depend at least as much on 
the legal and political forms applied to Iraqi Kurdistan as on the 
practical facts on the ground. After all, since 1991 the Iraqi Kurds 
have enjoyed--and neighboring governments have lived with--what has 
largely been de facto independence, despite Kurdish participation in 
politics in Baghdad. The situation may be similar to that of Taiwan in 
the Far East, in which de facto independence is tolerated but any move 
to make it de jure would be destabilizing.


    The final set of issues I would highlight concerns the effects the 
situation in Iraq is having on the geopolitics of the Middle East--that 
is, the effects on the relative power, and the foreign policies, of 
neighboring states. The geopolitical impact stems from at least three 
aspects of that situation: The change in the ideological map of the 
region resulting from removal of the Iraqi Baathist regime; the 
competition of neighboring states for influence within Iraq; and the 
debilitating effects of the war itself, which has greatly weakened what 
had been one of the stronger states in the area.
    Among the neighbors, the largest winner has been Iran. The war has 
not only toppled the dictator who initiated an earlier war that killed 
hundreds of thousands of Iranians; it also has crippled what had been 
the largest regional counterweight to Iranian influence. Meanwhile, the 
all-consuming preoccupation that the Iraq war has become for the United 
States, along with the growing unpopularity of the war among Americans, 
probably has made Iranian leaders less fearful than they otherwise 
might have been about forceful U.S. action, including military action, 
against Iran. This confidence is tempered, however, by the fact that 
the occupation of Iraq has completed a U.S. military encirclement of 
Iran, a posture that nonetheless suits the internal political purposes 
of Iranian hard-liners as they play off an image of confrontation with 
    Iranians today view the war in Iraq with a mixture of motives. The 
current leadership in Tehran probably is pleased to see the United 
States continue to be bogged down and bleeding in Iraq for the time 
being. But it also has no reason to want escalating and unending 
disorder on its western border. Tehran seems determined to exercise as 
much influence as it can inside Iraq as whatever process of political 
reconstruction there unfolds. It has been reaching out, and providing 
assistance to, a wide variety of Iraqi groups, not just its traditional 
allies such as the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. 
Although some of this assistance may help to make trouble for U.S. 
forces, it is best understood as an effort by Tehran to throw out as 
many lines of influence as it can so that whenever the dust in Iraq 
finally settles, it will have a good chance of having the friendship 
of, or at least access to, whoever is in power. Iranian leaders 
probably realize that creation in Iraq of a duplicate of their own 
system of clerical rule is not feasible, but they at least want to 
avoid a regime in Baghdad that is hostile to Iran.
    Iranian leaders almost certainly hoped, prior to March 2003, that 
they would be able--as was the case in Afghanistan--to work 
cooperatively with the United States on the political reconstruction of 
Iraq. That, of course, did not happen. But the shared U.S. and Iranian 
interest in avoiding escalating and unending disorder in Iraq probably 
would make Tehran, despite all the ill will that has transpired over 
other issues, receptive to engagement with Washington. The Iranians 
would want such engagement, however, not to be limited to any one 
issue--be it Iraq, or the nuclear program, or anything else--but 
instead to address all matters in dispute.
    Syria is another neighbor that faces a significantly changed 
geopolitical environment as a result of events in Iraq. The bitter and 
longstanding rivalry between the Syrian and Iraqi wings of the Baathist 
movement had been a major determinant of Syrian foreign policy. It was 
the principal factor that led Damascus to break ranks with its Arab 
brethren and to ally with Iran, and later to participate in Operation 
Desert Storm, which reversed Saddam Hussein's aggression in Kuwait. 
With the demise of the Iraqi Baathist regime, the foreign policy 
equation for Syria has changed. Syria restored relations with Iraq in 
November 2006. Although the economic ties between Syria and Iran are 
substantial, Syria's main reason for its otherwise counterintuitive 
alliance with Tehran is over. The sectarian dimension also must 
influence thinking in Damascus, because the regime is dominated by the 
minority Alawite sect but rules a Sunni majority. The implication of 
all these factors is that there is significant potential for coaxing 
Syria away from the alignment with Iran and its client Hezbollah, and 
toward more cooperation with the United States, with the hope for Syria 
of realizing what is still its main foreign policy goal: The return of 
the Golan Heights.
    Other regional states, including the gulf Arabs, are conscious of 
the strength that Iraq once had and that, if it were again to become 
stable and united, could be the basis for Iraq once again throwing its 
weight around. They also are conscious of the fact that the issues 
involved in previous conflicts involving Iraq were not all the creation 
of Saddam Hussein. The longstanding enmity between Persian and Arab 
that underlay the Iran-Iraq war certainly was not. And Kuwaitis viewing 
the turmoil to their north know that the notion of Kuwait as rightfully 
the 19th province of Iraq also predated Saddam, and has been part of 
the undercurrent of relations with Iraq ever since Kuwait became 
    I have highlighted several of the main issues that involve the 
regional impact of the Iraq war. They are not the only issues. A major 
concern, for example, of another of Iraq's immediate neighbors--
Jordan--is the influx of approximately 700,000 Iraqi refugees. Syria 
and other neighbors also are facing a significant Iraqi refugee 
problem. Oil is another issue of high interest to several Middle 
Eastern states, given the effects that different levels of Iraqi 
production and export could have on oil prices and consequently on the 
finances and economies of those states.
    A concluding point concerns the United States directly. Given how 
much the war in Iraq has become a preoccupation for the United States, 
it necessarily colors virtually all of our other dealings with the 
Middle East and with countries in the region. It has been one of the 
chief reasons for the slide in the standing of the United States among 
publics in the region, as recorded by opinion polls taken over the last 
several years. It has been a reason for concern and doubt among 
governments regarding the attention and commitment that Washington can 
give to other endeavors. And Middle Eastern governments know that it 
has, in effect, relegated to a lower priority almost every other U.S. 
interest in the region.

    Chairman Biden. Thank you very much. Your collective 
testimony has generated a number of questions, and let me 
    Dr. Marr and Mr. Said, I've actually--as many have--read 
the Iraqi Constitution, and I have it in front of me, and it is 
a--if I were to make a comparison, I'd compare it to our 
Articles of Confederation rather than the American 
Constitution. And it lays out in detail how regions can become 
regions; and, if they become regions, what authority they have, 
the 18 governates can. Tell me, if you will, Dr. Marr, in light 
of your point, on page two or three, in which you say, ``Iraq 
is not likely to be a unified state dominated by a strong 
central government in Baghdad for at least some time'' and 
``the high degree of decentralization called for in the 
Constitution.'' How do we square that?
    Dr. Marr. I've read the Constitution, too, but, I must say, 
not in the last month, so you may have to spark----
    Chairman Biden. Well, then----
    Dr. Marr. No; I know the whole issue of regionalism--the 
question of whether Iraq, or rather federalism, is going to be 
defined by large regions is a very controversial one. Now, we 
have a clearly formulated region in the KRG, the Kurdish 
Regional Government, which, as you know, would like, in my 
view, to expand and take in other Kurdish-majority areas, 
including Kirkuk, which I don't believe will be done entirely 
tranquilly. I think that's a flashpoint that could cause a lot 
of difficulty. And I also believe that, within that region, 
while the Kurds are cooperating--and I give them high marks on 
a lot of things--looking beneath the surface, some of these 
differences, some of this fragmentation exists there, as well. 
However, the Kurds have a solid region. Now, what is at stake 
here is whether there's enough homogeneity among these two 
other sectarian groups--``The Shia'' and ``The Sunnis''--to 
form a region similar to that in Kurdistan. And one particular 
party, SCIRI, Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in 
Iraq--I won't say that again--would like to form a nine-
province Shia region in the south, which, of course, they 
expect to control.
    If we look at that map up there, it looks as though there's 
a Shia majority down there, but, in fact, there's much more 
fragmentation. I don't believe that that could be accomplished 
without quite a bit of controversy with others, for example, 
the Sadrists, just to mention one. And, indeed, that piece of 
legislation, as you know, the legislation to enable the 
Parliament to form that region, was postponed for 18 months, 
precisely because people see it as controversial.
    When we come to the so-called Sunni region, that's even 
more difficult, because the Sunnis, in my view--you can't speak 
of them as ``The Sunnis'' because they're very diverse. As a 
whole, Sunnis have played the major role in the formation of 
the state, and have dominated the state--not exclusively, but 
it's been something they feel they've done. Getting Sunnis to 
identify as Sunnis rather than Iraqis, nationalists, or even 
Arab nationalists, is extremely difficult.
    Last, but not least, there are large mixed areas, which are 
undergoing a lot of sectarian differentiation. They are a 
patchwork quilt. If we look at greater Baghdad, if we had a map 
here of where these areas are, Kirkuk, many other areas such as 
Diala, they are a nightmare. They include Kurds, Turkmen, Shia, 
Sunnis--actually creating borders, dividing them up, would be 
very difficult. And, in the end, I think we would have a 
system, if we follow through with this, which is, in some ways, 
repugnant to many people, that the dominant identity has to be 
what you were born with, in----
    Chairman Biden. If I can----
    Dr. Marr [continuing]. One way or another.
    Chairman Biden [continuing]. Interrupt. The dominant 
identity, as I read the Constitution, doesn't require it to be 
based upon a region, based upon ethnicity. In my seven visits 
to Iraq, I meet with people, and they say they want to have 
their local policeman running their local areas. They've gotten 
along very well. And they don't want a national police force 
dominated by a bunch of thugs patrolling their streets.
    Question. Do any of you picture, in your lifetime, the 
likelihood that a national police force will be patrolling the 
streets of Fallujah? It's a serious question. Does anybody see 
that in their lifetime?
    [No response.]
    Chairman Biden. I don't think so. I don't see it, either. 
So, it's about time, I think, we, maybe, stop pushing a rope 
    One of the questions I have, as well, is: What is the role 
of Sistani? What influence does he possess now? Anyone. Yes.
    Mr. Said. Well, I'll address the issue of Sistani, but I 
also would like to come back on the issue of the Constitution.
    Sistani has great moral authority in Iraq, and it extends 
beyond the Shia community. However, that authority has been 
eroding over the past 3 years.
    Chairman Biden. Why?
    Mr. Said. In part, because Sistani himself has been 
manipulated, if you like, by some of the Shia political 
    Senator Boxer. I'm sorry, say that louder.
    Mr. Said. He has been--the image--the institution of Mr. 
Sistani has been manipulated by some of--by the--some of the 
Shia parties who have been trying to glean legitimacy from him. 
The institution of the Shia Marjiya has been used for political 
means to advance narrow party political objectives. And this 
has reflected negatively on--has tarnished, has limited--has 
reduced the omnipotence of Sistani. At the end of the day, it's 
very important to remember that Sistani is an apolitical--is a 
nonpolitical religious leader who does not like to meddle in 
politics. And he has largely withdrawn from interference since 
the last elections.
    Chairman Biden. Let me follow up with a question, since my 
time is up.
    Mr. O'Hanlon, you indicated that--which comports what we've 
been told--that there are roughly about 5,000 politically 
reliable, as well as well-trained, Iraqi forces. I listened 
this morning to Mr. Bartlett, speaking for the President--and 
I'm assuming he's going to say what Mr. Bartlett said today--
that, in a surge that will be in conjunction with Iraqi forces, 
who will be moved into neighborhoods, who will be the ones, 
``going door to door,'' do you believe there are a sufficient 
number of reliable Iraqi forces to work with whatever surge 
plan the President moves forward, if the President's plan 
envisions a significant Iraqi military initiative along with 
this surge?
    Dr. O'Hanlon. Right now, Senator, I'd say no. I think the 
only hope for changing that is if there can be some kind of a 
broad political dynamic that's created in the next couple of 
months, that's been different from what we've seen in the 
past--some resolution on sharing oil, on rehabilitating former 
Baathists who don't have blood on their hands, letting them 
regain their jobs, all the things that probably should have 
been done 2 or 3 years ago. There's some hope of creating--and 
it's, of course, a political question. It's less about training 
and less about the mathematics of the schedule, and more about 
this national need for consensus.
    Chairman Biden. Do you all agree that oil has the potential 
to be the glue that holds the country together, rather than 
splits it apart?
    Mr. Said. Definitely. And as the resolution on the oil 
negotiation shows, one could come up with solutions that go 
beyond the Constitution----
    Chairman Biden. Well----
    Mr. Said [continuing]. Beyond the----
    Chairman Biden [continuing]. There's been no resolution on 
the distribution of the revenue. There has been a resolution--
tentative, as I understand it--on who has authority to 
determine whether or not investments will be made, in what 
wells and where. But if you're sitting out there in the Sunni 
province, where you've got a lot of nice sand and shale, and 
not much else, you're going to want to know, ``How much is 
coming my way?'' in terms of revenue-sharing, and, ``What 
guarantees are there to be?'' In my understanding, that's the 
point that has not been resolved. Is that correct?
    Dr. Marr. I'm not entirely sure of that. But I think 
negotiations are going on now, and, to my surprise, I've been 
impressed by the fact that there have been some compromises on 
this--by the Kurds, for example, who are the most eager to get 
going on this. Maybe not enough compromises yet, but there have 
actually been some. So, I think it could move ahead in that 
direction, but it could also be a point of contention, 
depending on how it's done.
    Chairman Biden. That's encouraging. My time is up. I thank 
    Senator Lugar.
    Senator Lugar. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    I appreciate the four statements. And I suspect that--I 
appreciate them even more having read, in the Wall Street 
Journal yesterday, a story called ``Nightmare Scenario,'' which 
relates to the U.S. withdrawal from the region. Now, although a 
lot of our debate, politically, has been over whether troops 
should come in or whether they should come out, and the 
timeframe for the coming out, and so forth, the Wall Street 
Journal had this paragraph that said, ``The United States is 
pushing a wide-ranging strategy to persuade Sunni allies that 
are serious about countering the rise of Iran in exchange for 
Arab help in Iraq and Palestinian territories. Key to the 
effort is to continue to promise to keep United States forces 
in Iraq for as long as necessary. But the United States is also 
beefing up the U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf, plans to deepen 
security cooperation with the gulf allies. The Pentagon has 
proposed sending a second carrier battle group to the gulf 
region. There are also advanced plans in the way to knit 
together the air defense systems of the six smaller states, 
including Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates, and to 
build a United States-administered missile defense system. 
Similarly, the Air Force is laying plans to lay up exercises 
with Arab allies in the region. One proposal calls for the 
United States to hold combined air exercise with Oman and the 
    Now, that's a very sizable agenda going on, quite apart 
from the debate that we're having as to whether as many as 
20,000 troops, in some form or other, get to Baghdad. I want to 
raise a question of the panel, of any of you. You've 
illustrated the interests of each of the regional governments, 
and discussed in your testimony, how critical U.S. presence is 
for them. Absent that, they have testified, either publicly or 
covertly, that they will take action--the Jordanians, even--to 
carve out, maybe, a space to take care of these 700,000 
refugees that you have mentioned; or the Saudis, quite overtly, 
that they may come to the assistance of Sunnis in Iraq under 
certain conditions. Likewise, the Syrians, conflicted, in a 
way, because of the nature of their government, but their Sunni 
majority has a deep interest in Iraq outcomes. Furthermore, the 
Turks, as you have mentioned, quite apart from Iran--
characterized as the big winner--each with important interests 
in Iraq.
    What if Secretary Rice, as she heads out to the area Friday 
to begin a very important and timely tour, were to suggest all 
of us need to come together--by ``all of us,'' I mean the 
United States and Iraq, the Turks, the Iranians and the Syrians 
and the Jordanians, and even the Egyptians and the Saudis--
around the same table to meet rather continuously? This is not 
the old debate, ``Should we have negotiations with Syria? 
Should we ever talk to Iran?'' Rather, the subject of 
conversation question is, each of these countries has an 
interest in Iraq, presently, and an interest in us--that is, 
the United States presence in the region. What about this 
carrier group? What about the six countries with conducting air 
exercises over here? What do they think about the United States 
having more troops in the general area? Where? What should they 
be doing? Now, we may not want to share all of our plans, 
although this is pretty explicit in the Wall Street Journal, in 
terms of a permanent presence. But absence means chaos for a 
good number of people. And you have to consider those who will 
take advantage of the situation in ways that, strategically, 
may be injurious to the United States and certainly a good 
number of other people, including the specter raised in the 
article of all-out warfare, which would likely constrict the 
supply of oil to everybody in the world, the price goes sky 
high, recessions occur--the subject, really not discussed 
today, but an implication of this predicament.
    Now, is it practical, if the Secretary were to say, ``I'd 
like to have a meeting. We can have it wherever you want to 
have it, but we'd like to see everybody around the table''--
what would be the response, at this point, of the neighbors? 
Would they come together? Would they want to see each other? 
Would they want to participate with us? Do you have any feel 
about some type of strategy, of grand diplomacy in which we, 
sort of, lay all the cards on the table and try to think 
through what is happening in this troubled period, which you 
all have said is going to take time to evolve--not 6 months or 
a year or so forth, but an evolutionary struggle for a state to 
evolve in Iraq, in which that kind of time can only be 
guaranteed if all the rest of the players are not restive and 
aggressive? Anyone have thoughts about this idea? Yes.
    Mr. Said. I think you raise a very important point. And 
there's a situation of putting the cart before the horse in the 
debate about Iraq--surge, withdrawal, troop movement. I think 
the decision on troops should come on the back of such 
settlement that you have outlined--a comprehensive regional 
agreement. Iraq's neighbors will have various attitudes toward 
that, because some of them, as has been suggested, are 
flourishing--and generally like the current state of affairs, 
although they fear deterioration. Others have been crying for 
attention. Saudi Arabia, in particular, had been demanding 
attention to the situation of Iraq, from the United States, as 
well as Turkey. So, there will be various responses.
    One problem with having a comprehensive regional conference 
to address all the issues in the region, that this is a--quite 
a big load for one conference, but there is no doubt that, as 
suggested, also, by the Baker-Hamilton Report, that there is 
need for a regional approach. Iraq cannot be solved on its own, 
Palestine cannot be solved on its own. But the decision on 
troops and troop movements should come on the back of such--the 
blueprint of such agreement, rather than come ahead of it.
    Senator Lugar. Yes.
    Dr. O'Hanlon. Senator, I'd like to add one word on this, 
and it's sort of a hawkish case for regional engagement, if you 
will, which is that, I--Paul Pillar mentioned, earlier, that 
Iran's interest here may be trying to maximize its influence. I 
think there's also a chance that Iran is trying to deal the 
United States a major strategic defeat and try to drive us, not 
only out of Iraq, but out of the region, and that Iraq--that 
Iran has gotten more ambitious as this war has gone worse.
    I would see one purpose of a regional conference as 
disabusing Iran of the notion that it can drive us out of the 
region, and sitting down and making it clear to Iran that they 
should have an interest in some level of stability in Iraq, 
because, even if Iraq totally fails, which it might, we are 
going to stay committed, to the extent our regional partners 
wish, to the Persian Gulf, and that Iran has no chance of 
driving us out of the region. I think that message is worth 
sending. I'd be very curious--I know people in this room have 
been articulate about the need for different options in Iraq, 
but I haven't heard anybody say we should get out of the 
Persian Gulf. And I think Iran needs to be disabused of the 
notion that they could drive us out.
    Senator Lugar. And particularly because we have 
negotiations with Iran about nuclear weapons. That goes on 
somewhere very close to this. And perhaps a feeling, by Iran, 
that, in fact, if we are in a withdrawal status would have, I 
think, a deep effect upon that set of negotiations.
    Dr. Pillar. Senator Lugar, if I could just add to what Mike 
said. If you look at the perspectives of, say, the Saudis--and 
the issue has been raised about Saudi concern, about the ties 
with the United States, and so on--it really isn't American 
troops fighting in Iraq that are most important to the Saudis, 
as far as their own security is concerned; it has to do with 
those other aspects of the U.S. presence, the overall U.S. 
security guarantee, and so on.
    And my other final comment would be, how the regional 
actors would respond to that kind of initiative depends on 
other things, as well, such as what the United States is doing 
vis-a-vis the Arab-Israeli conflict. And that's the reason the 
Iraq Study Group highlighted that issue, as well.
    Senator Lugar. Thank you.
    Chairman Biden. Thank you.
    Senator Kerry.
    Senator Kerry. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    There's so much to try to tackle, and it's hard to do, 
obviously, in a short period of time. We appreciate your 
testimony this morning.
    Let me try to cut to the, sort of--there's a short-term and 
a long-term set of interests here. The long-term interests are 
enormous. And you've just touched on them. I mean, obviously, 
none of us on either side of the aisle--I don't think anybody 
in Congress--wants to give short shrift to the large strategic 
interests we have in the region. And anybody who's been 
talking, like myself, about the need to push the process--and I 
recommended an international peace conference in--3 years ago. 
Nothing's happened. We've been sitting around not engaging in 
this kind of political resolution, while we've continued down 
the military side. But none of us have suggested that there 
isn't a huge interest in the stability of the region, in the--
in our neighbors, in a whole set of strategic issues. But when 
you measure those interests against what Iraq is doing to our 
interests, you come out on a real low side of that ledger. Iran 
is more powerful. Hezbollah is more powerful. Hamas is more 
powerful. ``The Shia Revival,'' as Vali Nasr refers to it, is 
more real. I mean, things that weren't staring us in the face 
are now staring us in every quarter. We're worse off.
    So, our current policy is, in fact, not protecting our 
interests, not doing for the forces that we want to support in 
those countries, what's in their interest. And, in the end, 
we're setting ourselves backward.
    Against that, you have to, sort of, ask yourself, OK, so 
where do you go here, to put those interests back on the table 
and resolve this? No. 1 issue in front of us is this question 
of more troops. Now, that speaks, I think, to both short and 
long term. Let me just come to it very quickly.
    General Abizaid said--and now he's leaving, we understand 
there's a transition, but I don't think you could quickly 
dismiss his experience, his being in the field, General Casey 
being in the field, and what they've observed and learned in 
that period of time--and he said, point blank on November 15 of 
last year, ``I've met with every divisional commander, General 
Casey, the corps commander, General Dempsey. We all talked 
together. And I said, `In your professional opinion, if we were 
to bring in more American troops now, does it add considerably 
to our ability to achieve success in Iraq?' And they all said 
    Now, Mr. Said, you just said, yourself, that adding more 
troops may, in fact, make it more difficult to get a 
resolution. So, my question to each of you, in sum, is: If 
there isn't sufficient evidence of this kind of summitry and 
diplomacy, if there isn't a sufficient political process in 
place--and I want your judgment as to whether or not there is--
will more troops have any chance of, in fact, getting what we 
want, or is it going to make matters worse? And, if it does, 
where are we, after putting them in, in 6 months, if it hasn't 
    Mr. O'Hanlon.
    Dr. O'Hanlon. Senator Kerry, very tough question. I like 
your idea of a ledger. On the positive side of the troop-surge 
proposal, I would say, we all know, tactically, there have 
never been enough troops in Iraq to clear and hold. So, that's 
the tactical argument for this case. It would have been a much 
more compelling argument 3 and 4 years ago than it is today, 
but I think it remains, at some level, in the plus column. On 
the negative column, of course, we know that there is no 
political resolution of these very sectarian divides----
    Senator Kerry. Well, hold on a minute. I mean, 30,000 
troops or 20,000 troops, is there anybody who imagines, 
measured against the task, that that's enough to do the job?
    Dr. O'Hanlon. You have to hope that you can get momentum in 
Baghdad, or in parts of Baghdad, and then that will begin to 
have a spillover effect. So, narrowly speaking, I would say no; 
there's no hope you can do it nationwide with 20,000 troops.
    Senator Kerry. Go ahead and finish up.
    Dr. O'Hanlon. Well, I think--I think, you know, that's the 
main tactical argument in favor. Most of the other arguments 
say, either there's a danger to this, to our Army and Marines, 
to the Iraqi sense of dependency on us, or it's not going to be 
    Getting to Senator Biden's question earlier, ``Are there 
enough Iraqi security forces to team with us to be 
dependable?'' Absolutely not, unless there's a much stronger 
political consensus in Iraq.
    So, I would not oppose the surge, but I would only support 
it if it's in the context of a much broader----
    Senator Kerry. Political settlement. And you don't see the 
political settlement effort or capacity there now.
    Dr. O'Hanlon. Not now.
    Dr. Marr. I would ask----
    Senator Kerry. Dr. Marr.
    Dr. Marr [continuing]. Very carefully, what these troops 
are going to do. I have some questions as they get involved in 
this complex sectarian situation and other issues. Are they 
going to attack simply Muqtada, or are they also going to 
attack insurgents? What are the Iraqis going to do? What are 
others going to do? What are these troops going to do, and what 
is the strategy that is going to be employed?
    One other issue, about sending them or not sending them in, 
is the question of how we get Iraqis--I don't want to say to 
just step up to the plate; that's a very simplistic idea--but, 
indeed, Iraqis themselves are the only ones who can ultimately 
sort out and move ahead on this sectarian strife issue. And 
whether sending the troops in and doing the job for them is 
going to provide an atmosphere which enables them to do it, or 
whether it's going to delay the hard choice they face. This is 
another issue----
    Senator Kerry. Do you see the political process in place to 
resolve the fundamental differences between an Abdul Aziz al-
Hakim and a Muqtada al-Sadr, between the very--the interests of 
the militias, the warlordism that Mr. Said just referred to, 
the Sunni reluctance to participate, the Sunni desire to 
reemerge as the people who run the country, the interests of 
certain individuals with respect to Iran, the Persian-Arab 
divide? I mean, all of these things are, it seems to me, so 
huge, so historically and culturally deep in this issue, that, 
as it further disintegrates into this morass of individual 
interests, you can't--our troops can't pull that back together, 
can they, Mr. Said?
    Mr. Said. No. Troops, alone, can never resolve this. I 
mean--well, there's one caveat to that, of course. If you send 
500,000 troops to Iraq, you may be able to steamroll the 
situation without there being a political consensus, but there 
is no--neither the resources nor the will to do that. So, given 
the lack of the possibility to mobilize the necessary troops, 
the troops need to come on the back of political consensus, on 
the back of a political settlement that is internationally 
mediated, that is supported by Iraq's neighbors, as well as the 
various communities in Iraq.
    Senator Kerry. I mean, I want to get your answer, too, Mr. 
Pillar, but, as you do, because time runs so fast, could you 
just touch on the question of to what degree the presence of 
the American troops delays the willingness of people to resolve 
those issues, and acts as a cover for people's other interests 
to be able to play out to see who's on top and who's on the 
    Dr. Pillar. I think there's a strong sense, both among 
Iraqis and with the regional players, the subject of Senator 
Lugar's question, that, as long as the United States is doing 
the heavy lifting, however much of an interest they have in 
eventually resolving the situation, they are not the ones in 
the front having to do it. There is an issue of having to 
concentrate the minds.
    Senator Kerry. Do you want to comment, Mr. Pillar? You said 
something about the Green Zone state that struck me. The Green 
Zone state might fall. Isn't the fact that it is only a Green 
Zone state, kind of fundamental to this question of legitimacy 
and of resolving these larger political differences?
    Dr. Pillar. I think some--I think that was your----
    Senator Kerry. And would you, as you touch on that, tell 
me: If the troops start going after the militia--and I'm 
reading that they're talking about an evenhandedness in the 
application of this--what is the Muqtada al-Sadr response to 
that? And where do the Badr Brigade and the Jaish al-Mahdi come 
out in that conflict?
    Mr. Said. It's speculative, at this point, to judge what 
the troops are going to do. The Iraqi Government security plan, 
although, declares that all the militias will be attacked, but 
also, in the same breath, states that they view Sunni violence 
as the primary objective. So, on the back of this security 
plan, the surge of U.S. troops can be seen as taking sides in 
the ongoing sectarian conflict. The United States may declare 
that it will go differently, but, at this point, the agreement, 
since the meeting in Amman between the Prime Minister and the 
President, seems to have been to go for one last push in 
support of the elites that have emerged out of the current 
political process and against their enemies. And this could 
contribute--if mishandled, and especially if no protection is 
offered to all communities, to all Iraqi communities, this 
could embroil the United States in a new role in Iraq, as being 
a party in the conflict.
    Senator Kerry. My time is up, but----
    Mr. Said. Thank you.
    Senator Kerry [continuing]. But none of you answered the 
question--maybe you will as you go along here--of: What happens 
if this fails?
    Mr. Said. It will make--it will make the negotiations even 
harder. I mean, we have a window of opportunity today, and 
maybe passing, for a negotiated settlement, including the 
region. Further blood, more blood--and, if it's seen as one-
sided--will make negotiations even harder, down the road.
    Chairman Biden. Thank you very much, Senator.
    Senator Hagel.
    Senator Hagel. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Thank you each for your presentations and your continued 
efforts to educate and inform not just the Congress, but the 
American people. And that, as we all appreciate, is of great 
essence, on probably the most significant issue this Nation has 
faced since Vietnam. Not just as you all have said, and each in 
your own way, noted, that it is not just an Iraqi issue, it is 
far broader, and the consequences are far more significant. 
It's a regional issue, and some of us have been saying that for 
some time.
    As I have listened to your presentations and my colleagues' 
questions, no matter the question, no matter the answer, no 
matter the issue, the dynamic, it all comes back to one 
fundamental thing, and that's the absolute requirement for 
political settlement, not just in Iraq, but in the Middle East. 
And each of you has been very articulate in framing those 
issues in some specificity.
    I noted, Mr. Said, in your testimony and comments, if I can 
quote--I think you said something to the effect that no 
framework for a peaceful resolution exists now in Iraq. You 
then further, toward the end of your statement, said, ``What 
Iraq needs now is an international sponsored peace process, a 
framework.'' You engaged Senator Lugar on this issue, to some 
extent. With that in mind, and each of you have noted Professor 
Marr's point about: Only the Iraqis, essentially, can settle 
their differences. Dr. Brookings--I mean, Dr. O'Hanlon----
    Chairman Biden. You don't mind Dr. Brookings, do you?
    Dr. O'Hanlon. Thank you. [Laughter.]
    Senator Hagel. I think your mother was from that side of 
the family. [Laughter.]
    Dr. O'Hanlon noted that this was going to require a broad 
political dynamic. So, if I have listened as attentively as I 
think I have to each of you, you all come to the same 
conclusion. So, here's the question. We will, tonight, learn, 
from the President of the United States, what he is going to 
propose to the Congress and the American people, and to our 
allies--most specifically, to the Iraqi Government--on where we 
go from here. I think it's pretty clear what that proposal is 
going to consist of. And you mentioned Baker-Hamilton. I don't 
think that there is any great--I'll listen to the President 
tonight, carefully, obviously, to find out, but I don't think 
there is any great attention in what the President is going to 
say tonight that comes from, or a result of, the 79 
recommendations that came out of the Baker-Hamilton 
Commission--one, specifically, which has been noted here, 
engagement with Iran and Syria, and the wider diplomatic 
regional focus.
    If you all had the opportunity--and I know you all talk to 
the White House and decisionmakers--but to focus on two or 
three most specific issues, in the President's presentation 
tonight, as to what he will be proposing, what would you say 
are the most important two or three? Or what would you like to 
see are the most important two or three? Or, if you were the 
President, what do you think is the essence of where we go from 
here, and why? And I know we are limited in our time, but I 
have 4 minutes; that gives each of you 1 minute. And we would 
start with Dr. Marr.
    Thank you.
    Chairman Biden. You can go over, on your answers.
    Dr. Marr. I would focus on regional cooperation. That is to 
say, getting the regional community in, either by a big 
conference, which I tend to think isn't going to work very 
well, or by a contact group, something that allows us to deal 
with them individually--would be very important, and getting 
them on board on stablizing Iraq. And, second, on the kinds of 
pressures, incentives, other things we're going to have to 
undertake, as the group that's providing most of the force in 
Iraq, to nudge Iraqis--that means the political parties in 
power now--to cooperate, to get on with reconciliation, to deal 
with the de-Baathification issue, and other things. Ultimately 
that's going to determine what kind of response we get in Iraq.
    Senator Hagel. Mr. O'Hanlon.
    Dr. O'Hanlon. Senator, I would focus, as Phebe has just 
said, on the need for political reconciliation. I think it's 
the overwhelming prerequisite to any kind of success, or even 
averting complete failure in Iraq, at this point. It's hard for 
the President to really create the right mentality in Iraqi 
minds, because, of course, he is so committed to this 
operation. But it strikes me that the Iraqis need to feel like 
2007 is a make-or-break year. Hopefully, they can read our 
politics well enough to know that this country may support the 
President tonight if he asks for more effort in various ways, 
but I think it's probably his last chance to really get that 
kind of support from the country, and he may not even get it 
this time. And so, I hope that there's a sense of acute focus 
among Iraqis on the need to resolve issues like sharing oil 
equally, reining in militias, rehabilitating former Baathists 
who don't have blood on their hands directly, and dealing with 
issues like Kirkuk. If that doesn't work, the President can't 
talk about it very easily tonight, but I think the backup plan 
is to think about this more like Bosnia and move toward a 
facilitated resolution of the civil war, where we move toward 
autonomous regions and help people relocate so they're in 
neighborhoods where they feel safer. I think that's the obvious 
backup plan, and pretty much the only choice we're going to 
have within 9 to 12 months, unless things turn around quickly.
    Senator Hagel. Thank you.
    Mr. Said.
    Mr. Said. For a political settlement in Iraq, Iraqis need 
to come together to decide on the shape of the state they want 
to live in. That's the essence of a political process that is--
that doesn't exist now. We have the formal mechanisms--we have 
elections, we have a constitution, we have a government--but 
they are not working. And the evidence to that is the violence 
and the apathy that I have spoken about. So, there needs to be 
an external intervention, because Iraqi forces, Iraqi political 
entities and groups, are clearly unable to reach that consensus 
on their own. There is a need for international intervention in 
that regard. And it's better that it's multilateral rather than 
the United States doing it alone, as it has been trying over 
the last 3 years. There is a need to bring in more players, who 
can cajole the various actors, who can bring them to the table, 
and who can provide the essential support needed to implement 
whatever the Iraqis agree on--needed to support whatever the 
Iraqis can agree on.
    And only on the back of that, one can then decide which 
forces stay, which forces leave. Maybe other actors will be 
able to bring their own forces to the table after having been 
engaged properly.
    Senator Hagel. Thank you.
    Dr. Pillar. It is unfortunate that--but true, as you said, 
Senator--that what we hear tonight probably is not going to be 
drawn much from the Baker-Hamilton Report, so I would just use 
the last few seconds to say I endorse strongly both the 
approach in the report that the regional engagement, including 
engagement with the likes of Syria and Iran, has to be part of 
a package, and, second, to support the whole concept of an 
approach toward the troop presence in Iraq that let's Iraqis, 
as well as the American people, look forward to a future in 
which, as the report put it, by the first quarter of 2008, 
essentially the combat role by United States troops will be 
    Senator Hagel. Thank you, to each of you. Mr. Chairman, 
thank you.
    Chairman Biden. Thank you very much. We usually move--at 
least I have been moving based on seniority, but Senator--my 
good friend, Senator Dodd, is here, but he suggested that I 
move to Senator Feingold.
    Senator Dodd. Before you jump too quickly at that, Mr. 
Chairman, as a strong supporter of the seniority system--I've, 
over the years, acquired the ability to appreciate it--let me 
briefly, briefly say--let me congratulate you, Mr. Chairman, on 
taking the gavel here--to thank Dick Lugar for tremendous 
leadership on this committee. And it's a continuation--a 
continuum here. I'm not surprised at all that Joe Biden is 
convening a hearing like this, with a distinguished group of 
panelists, to talk about the critical foreign policy issue of 
the day. It's exactly what Dick Lugar has been doing before. 
It's great to see this kind of leadership move back and forth 
here, with people who are highly competent, know what they're 
talking about, and providing great leadership in the country on 
this issue. So, I thank you, Mr. Chairman, very, very much.
    Chairman Biden. Thank you.
    Senator Feingold.
    Senator Feingold. Well, as an increasingly strong supporter 
of the seniority system----
    Senator Feingold [continuing]. Let me thank Senator Dodd 
for his tremendous courtesy in this regard.
    Senator Kerry. Ask Senator Webb how he feels about this. 
    Senator Feingold. Thank you all for coming to testify in 
front of this committee. And thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, 
for arranging this and the rest of the hearings we'll be having 
over the next few weeks. I know you and your staff have worked 
hard to lay out a range of good hearings and witnesses so this 
committee can grapple with one of the most significant 
challenges, really, in our Nation's history.
    Unfortunately, these hearings are taking place in the 
context of increasing violence in Iraq, a lack of political 
agreement among Iraqi political factions, an overstrained 
United States military, and an overwhelming and accurate sense 
among the American people that the President's policies in Iraq 
are wrong. This really is, of course, a tragic situation. And I 
appreciate your candor and insights today on what I hope will 
be the first of many open, honest, and candid hearings we'll 
    My colleagues have already addressed a number of important 
issues. I don't want to take a lot of time here today, but I do 
want to talk about a critical aspect of the administration's 
Iraq policy: What the role of the United States military in 
Iraq is, given what you've been talking about, political 
deadlock and increasing sectarian violence; what impact the 
current United States military presence in Iraq is having on 
the political, economic, and security conditions in Iraq; and, 
most importantly, what impact our continuing presence in Iraq 
is having on our efforts to defeat terrorist networks not just 
in Iraq, not just in the region, but around the world. I think 
sometimes we forget this isn't a regional issue, it is an 
international issue. And I think one of the greatest failings 
of our view of this is that we look at this either in--through 
the prism of Iraq or even through the prism of the Middle East. 
That is insufficient, in light of what happened to us on 9/11, 
in light of the challenges to the security of the American 
    So, let me start with Dr. Pillar. Let me focus on a 
statement you made in your testimony. To paraphrase, you said 
you concurred with the statements in the declassified national 
intelligence estimate published by DNI on September 26, 2006, 
that suggested that Iraq could become a ``cause celebre'' for 
jihadists, and that it is ``shaping a new generation of 
terrorist leaders and operatives,'' and is being exploited by 
al-Qaeda to ``attract new recruits and donors.''
    First, in speaking generally about your analysis, would the 
withdrawal of American troops from Iraq at some point help 
counter the ability of al-Qaeda and other jihadists around the 
world to recruit new members?
    Dr. Pillar. Yes, sir; I believe it would, which is not to 
say that it would undo much of the damage that's already been 
done. What's taking place in Iraq right now is that the current 
prominent jihad mirrors what took place in Afghanistan in the 
earlier jihad against the Soviets in the 1980s, where a number 
of effects occurred. One, it became a huge inspiration and 
propaganda point, a kind of rallying point. Two, it was a 
training ground, in a very specific way. Lots of people learned 
how to handle firearms and explosives to put to other use. And 
third, it was the ultimate extremist networking opportunity, in 
which you had people of different nationalities--Pakistanis, 
Arabs, what have you--who came together. And we're still seeing 
the effects of that today. I think most of the long-term 
effects of the jihad in Iraq paralleling that most of those we 
have yet to see. What's already occurred cannot be undone. But 
the short answer to your question is yes; we can avoid 
compounding the damage by reducing, or bringing to a close, our 
presence there.
    Senator Feingold. Thank you for that direct answer. So, 
more specifically, then, is it safe to say that al-Qaeda will 
continue to exploit the presence of a significant level of 
United States military personnel in Iraq?
    Dr. Pillar. There's no question in my mind that it will. 
It's been one of the biggest propaganda points that al-Qaeda 
has been offered.
    Senator Feingold. In your prepared statement, you said 
that, ``The most important variable in Iraq in the months or 
years ahead is the sheer continuation of the war, as well as 
the continued United States participation in it.'' So, for 
example, if the United States began redeploying from Iraq, what 
would be the long-term impact on al-Qaeda, globally, in your 
    Dr. Pillar. Senator Feingold, I think you have to bear in 
mind that ``jihad'' means, literally, ``struggle.'' What's most 
important for the people we're talking about is not a 
particular outcome, or what we, back in this country, might 
consider, in our lexicon, victory or defeat and what have you. 
It's participation in a struggle, and especially participation 
in a struggle against a superpower. And with the Soviets no 
longer around, that's us. So, just about any outcome that is 
within the realm of imagination of anyone in this room, which 
would involve at least some violence still in Iraq, is going to 
serve that purpose of a struggle. So, that's the most important 
thing, not a particular outcome or this side winning or that 
side losing.
    Senator Feingold. Thank you, Doctor.
    Dr. O'Hanlon, thanks for your testimony. First, let me 
applaud the work that you and your colleagues at Brookings are 
doing on Iraq. Your data and analysis are helpful and 
insightful. Let me ask you some questions about some of the--
what lies beneath the data.
    Your data obviously highlights troubling trends. It shows 
that, regardless of the size of United States troop presence in 
Iraq--and your data shows that it has gone from 123,000 in 2003 
to 140,000 in 2006--Iraqi civilian fatalities, estimated 
strength of the insurgency, strength of the Shia militias, and 
daily average interethnic attacks and the estimated number of 
foreign fighters have all risen over the past 3 years, without 
fail. Given that we can't, from this data, draw a connection 
between U.S. troop levels and the improvement of any of these 
important indicators, can we draw a conclusion with your data 
that sending in more U.S. troops will actually have an impact 
on any of these key indicators?
    Dr. O'Hanlon. No; not from the data, Senator. I think 
there's a possibility of constructing a theory that the added 
troops could help, especially in the context of a broader 
political and economic initiative. But there's no data that 
would prove that it would work. And, in fact, I think that, to 
the contrary, I would be, while not against the surge proposal, 
if done in a broader context, I'd be skeptical, at this point, 
that it can make a big difference.
    Senator Feingold. As you mentioned, the other big troubling 
statistic is shown in the number of Iraqis who are displaced. 
This is turning into an incredible humanitarian tragedy. 
According to your data, in your view: Would an increase in 
United States military personnel in Iraq address any of the 
driving factors of their displacement--presumably things like 
bombings, growing militias, interethnic attacks? As we 
discussed, it appears as if the numbers don't support the 
hypothesis that more troops will help settle things down.
    Dr. O'Hanlon. Well, again, you can tell a story, you can 
construct a theory of how more neighborhood-by-neighborhood 
security might help reduce the ethnic displacement. But, again, 
we have no evidence from the information, that we've 
accumulated over 4 years' time, to prove that. Even in an 
earlier period, when there was less violence and less for the 
United States and its partners to deal with day to day in Iraq, 
we were not able to get things on a positive trajectory. So, I 
think, if anything, the data would make one skeptical. Can't 
prove it, one way or another, but should make one skeptical 
about the prospects.
    Senator Feingold. Well, studying your data, what dynamics 
or variables, in your view, have had the most significant 
impact on reducing violence in Iraq? The top-line numbers 
you've given us show, again, pretty consistent increase in the 
violence across the board, but do you see any connections or 
positive stories in that data that should contribute to 
formulating policy proposals?
    Dr. O'Hanlon. I see virtually no positive news on the hard 
numbers of security or economics. The only good news really is 
in the politics and the public opinion, although there's less 
than there used to be. Two or three years ago, it was possible 
to tell a better story, because 2 or 3 years ago, the Shia 
really seemed to believe in the future of Iraq, and that's when 
you had the Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani more vocal, trying to 
rein in some of the militias. The overall Shia response to the 
insurgency seemed to be one of patience, of believing time was 
on their side anyway. They stayed optimistic in the polls. They 
still seemed to believe in the idea of an integrated Iraq. The 
Sunni Arabs were very skeptical all along, and very quickly 
soured on our presence, as you know, but the Shia stayed 
positive for a long time. Unfortunately, that's gone, to a 
large extent, and I don't know how to recreate it.
    So, I'm certainly much more pessimistic about the idea of 
building an integrated Iraq, at this point, than I have been in 
the previous 4 years.
    Senator Feingold. Well, thanks, all of you.
    And, again, thank you very much, Senator Dodd.
    Chairman Biden. Thank you, Senator.
    I would note the presence of Chairman Lantos's wife, 
Annette Lantos, in the audience. Welcome. I'm glad you've come 
over to the other side. Thank you.
    Senator Coleman is next, but he is absent.
    So, Senator Corker.
    Senator Corker. Mr. Chairman, it's an honor to be on this 
    Chairman Biden. We welcome you. We're delighted to have you 
with us.
    Senator Corker. Thank you. And I'm glad to see that, after 
Ranking Member Lugar had 35 hearings, you're doing the same. 
This is a tremendous service to us in the Senate, to our 
country, and I appreciate what you're doing very much, and echo 
what Senator Dodd said, a minute ago.
    I'm a new member. I'll ask one question and then move on to 
other members. But I know that we all want to see a stable 
Iraq, and we all want to see our men and women in uniform home 
as soon as possible. And I keep hearing that possibly the 
addition of troops would be better served after political 
settlements could occur. And I guess the question is: Is there 
any real thought that political settlements can occur with so 
much chaos, with so much lack of security for citizens there in 
Iraq today?
    Dr. Marr. I'll start by taking a crack at that. I'm not 
optimistic either, but I'm a realist. And so, my expectations, 
from the start, were perhaps not of the highest.
    I think the idea that we're operating in a timeframe where, 
in the next year or two, according to our exigencies here, the 
situation is going to play out in Iraq is wrong. Their 
timeframe--as you can see if you talk to any of these leaders 
coming over here--is a much longer one. And I, frankly, think 
this chaos, perhaps not with the same level of killing--but 
this kind of instability is going to go on for a very long 
time, until the population and the political leadership that 
either benefits or loses from it comes to the conclusion that 
they're losing more than they're gaining. And the settlement is 
not going to result from some grand conference, some grand 
reconciliation. I'd like to suggest, again, it's going to be 
much more mundane and prosaic. And we see it going on at a 
local level. It will come from different groups making 
different deals with different people across these divides 
until something more cohesive emerges. That's going to take 
quite some time. And whether our patience with this process is 
going to last or not is an open question.
    Dr. O'Hanlon. A somewhat different take, Senator, although 
I greatly respect Dr. Marr's point and I think there's a lot to 
it. I would also say, when 100,000 people a month are being 
driven from their homes, the idea that the conflict can stay at 
this level indefinitely, and essentially retain a character 
like we're seeing today, is not what I would agree with or 
prognosticate. I would say that we have a couple of years to 
save anything like a multiethnic integrated Iraq. Frankly, I 
don't think it's that important to save it. I think stability 
is much more important than salvaging the kind of Iraq that's 
been there in the past, from America's strategic-interest 
perspective. And I think we're going to have to see progress on 
that in the course of 2007, in part because of American 
politics, but in part because another year's worth of this 
level of ethnic cleansing and Iraq starts to look more and more 
like three separated regions, where you essentially had a civil 
war divide the country. I see Dr. Marr is disagreeing with me, 
but that's what the numbers say to me.
    And so, I think that we are going to have to view 2007 as 
our last best chance to have anything like current strategy 
succeed, and, if it doesn't, with or without a surge, I think 
within a year we're going to have to start having a 
conversation about whether Iraq has to be divided up into a--
what you could call a federal structure or a soft partition--
you know, different phrases can be used--but basically where 
oil revenue is shared, but, otherwise, most of the governance, 
most of the security is done in three separate provinces, there 
is some kind of a loose federal structure, a small federal 
army. And, otherwise, you help people relocate, if they need 
to, to places where they will feel safer, and help them with 
relocation assistance, in terms of housing and jobs.
    Dr. Pillar. Well, it is valid to say that--to point out 
that the security affects the politics, just as the politics 
affects the security. I strongly agree with Phebe Marr's 
observations about the timeframe involved and about how Iraqis 
are going to keep doing what they're doing until they believe 
they don't have a chance to get the upper hand. If you're 
looking for an analogy in the Middle East, that I think is 
frightening in a way, but perhaps most apt, it was the Lebanese 
civil war, which raged on for something like 14 years, from the 
mid-1970s to the late 1980s, until all the Lebanese parties--
and that, too, was one characterized by a very complex 
sectarian mosaic--until they basically exhausted themselves, 
literally and figuratively, and finally, with the help of the 
Saudis and the Syrians, reached a peace agreement, even though 
that left a number of people dissatisfied. We're seeing the 
effects of it today. But that's the kind of timeframe I think 
we're dealing with, with regard to resolving, if it's ever 
going to be even halfway resolved, the political conflict in 
    Senator Corker. Well, are you recommending, then, that 
things stay as is until they get so bad that people start 
making those kinds of deals? Is that what you're recommending?
    Dr. Pillar. It wasn't a recommendation, Senator Corker, it 
was an analytic observation about the situation we face.
    Chairman Biden. Thank you.
    I would note that we did not have 135,000 forces in Lebanon 
during that period. And I know you're making an accurate--I 
think, accurate observation, but--at any rate.
    Senator Boxer.
    Senator Boxer. I want to thank Senator Dodd for 
understanding my conflict here with the Environment Committee. 
I really do appreciate it. And I want to thank----
    Chairman Biden. You're a chairwoman of that committee----
    Senator Boxer. Yes.
    Chairman Biden [continuing]. And he has interests before 
that committee, and, don't worry, he's not going to fool around 
with you. [Laughter.]
    Senator Boxer. I shall never forget the problems of 
Connecticut. [Laughter.]
    Acid rain and everything else.
    Senators Biden and Lugar, thank you for continuing to work 
so closely together. And this panel, I think, has been 
fascinating. And I find that, you know, as I've listened, a 
couple of things are leaping out at me that I think make sense 
in a very difficult chaotic situation. And the things I think 
make sense happen to be the things that my chairman has been 
talking about, and I'm going to pursue what Mr. O'Hanlon has 
talked about--which is to try and wake up, smell the roses, and 
figure out what is actually happening on the ground. People are 
moving toward their ethnic identities. That's not America. This 
is what we don't want to see happen. But either we're going to 
accept that or our kids are getting killed--and more and more 
and more. And if you listen to Dr. Marr--and she's so learned--
she says, ``Only when the participants in the struggle for 
power recognize they're losing more than they can gain will 
this violence come to an end. This may be a very long time. 
And, in the meantime, the best we can do is staunch the 
violence, contain the struggle.'' Listen. How many more dead 
will that be? And I'm not asking you that, because you're not a 
military expert. But I will ask the Secretary of State that.
    And I have to say, Dr. Marr, with all due respect, when you 
talk about--you see, kind of, an ending, and you say--and you 
could be right--``This will end when''--and I'm quoting you--
``different people make different deals across a period of 
time.'' How is that better than the idea of accepting the fact 
that that dealmaking ought to happen from all the parties 
accepting the reality of this, and then doing what Mr. Said 
says, which is come to a political agreement, and then figure 
out how to enforce that agreement with international forces, 
not just on the backs of the American people. I just--and I say 
``the American people,'' because their kids are bearing the 
brunt of this.
    I think it's very interesting--I read, Mr. Said, your 
amazing article, December 9, 2002. Is it--am I right that your 
family fled Iraq because of Saddam Hussein? OK. And this is 
what you wrote in 2002, ``There are many reasons why Iraqis who 
have long sought to topple Saddam Hussein are opposed to the 
impending war.'' This is before the war started. ``This, after 
all, is not the first time the United States has pursued regime 
change in Iraq. All previous attempts ended with disastrous 
consequences for the Iraqi people.''
    But I would add a sentence: And this time, although it 
isn't ended, a lot of families here are coping with disastrous 
consequences, not only the dead, but the wounded and the post-
traumatic stress and the brain injuries and so on.
    Now, Mr. Said, every poll shows us that 60 percent of the 
Iraqis today think it's OK to shoot an American. Could you 
explain to us why that is the case? Could you--why do you think 
that's so?
    Mr. Said. I mean, it's understandable. The effect of United 
States troops in Iraq today--not the whole consequences of the 
invasion, which obviously are--have been catastrophic for 
thousands of Iraqis and Americans--is ambiguous, it's a mixed 
bag. On one hand, the foreign troops are an irritant, they are 
creating a reaction in the form of an insurgency, which 
continues to be the bulk of the violence taking place in Iraq 
today. And the number--60 percent--confirms that, that for most 
Iraqis they view the American presence as an occupation, and 
they continue to consider fighting the occupation a legitimate 
    Senator Boxer. OK. Well, let me----
    Mr. Said. However, if I may----
    Senator Boxer. Yes. Go ahead.
    Mr. Said [continuing]. The presence of United States troops 
today is critical for the survival of the Iraqi State and 
actually for the physical survival of many Iraqis. The United 
States troops in Iraq today have a humanitarian mission, as 
well as a----
    Senator Boxer. I get it. Why do 70 percent of the Iraqi 
people say we should get out, 60 percent say it's OK to shoot? 
So, this may be the case, but clearly that message hasn't 
gotten through.
    Now, Dr. Marr, have you ever read the book, ``The 
Reckoning,'' by Sandra Mackey?
    Dr. Marr. Yes. I know her. Yes.
    Senator Boxer. Both of you make me very proud, by the way, 
just as an aside. But I read that book before I voted on 
whether or not I wanted to give this President authority to go 
to war. She predicted everything that has happened. And one of 
the things she said--and I want--and you may not agree with 
her--is that after World War I, Iraq was put together, was it 
not, as a country?
    Dr. Marr. No; I think there were some elements of being 
together before that. There was Mesopotamia----
    Senator Boxer. I understand.
    Dr. Marr. You know, there's a sense of living within that 
territory that is more than just throwing a country----
    Senator Boxer. But is it not----
    Dr. Marr [continuing]. Together.
    Senator Boxer [continuing]. So that there was no ``Iraq,'' 
per se, until after World War I?
    Dr. Marr. Yes. That's----
    Senator Boxer. And is it not true----
    Dr. Marr [continuing]. True of many countries----
    Senator Boxer. Well, I'm----
    Dr. Marr [continuing]. In the area.
    Senator Boxer [continuing]. I'm not talking about other 
    Dr. Marr. Yes.
    Senator Boxer. I'm talking about Iraq. And isn't it true--
isn't it true that when the British drew these lines, they put 
many different ethnic groups inside Iraq who they knew had many 
years, perhaps thousands of years, of enmity?
    Dr. Marr. I don't even know what you're talking about. They 
    Senator Boxer. I'm talking about----
    Dr. Marr [continuing]. Ethnic groups inside of----
    Senator Boxer. I'm saying----
    Dr. Marr [continuing]. Iraq?
    Senator Boxer. I'm saying: When they drew the lines, 
according to Sandra Mackey, they were very clear that they drew 
them knowing that it would be a contentious country because of 
all the ethnic rivalries. Would you agree with her on that 
    Dr. Marr. No.
    Senator Boxer. You don't agree----
    Dr. Marr. It's a----
    Senator Boxer [continuing]. With her.
    Dr. Marr. It's a long issue. I don't deny ethnic and 
sectarian rivalries, but I do want to succinctly address your 
issue. There are many other ties--tribal, family--which 
frequently override ethnic and sectarian identity, and a 
nonsectarian educated middle class, which was very strong in 
periods in Iraq--forties, fifties, sixties, seventies. 
Education doesn't obliterate, sectarianism, but really reduces 
it. It's much more complex. And I didn't want to leave the 
impression that I feel that United States troops have to stick 
around for years and years while Iraqis solve their problem. I 
would favor, if the Iraqis can't get their act together in a 
reasonable time, a policy of containment, that is containing 
the problems from spilling across the borders of Iraq.
    So, don't, please, identify my position with one of 
sticking around there----
    Senator Boxer. Good, I'm glad you----
    Dr. Marr [continuing]. Forever----
    Senator Boxer [continuing]. Clarified. I'm really glad.
    Dr. Marr [continuing]. While that happens.
    But I want to come back to one point. I don't agree with 
the reality--I don't think Sandra goes as far as this--that 
Iraq is inevitably based on ethnic identity and sectarian 
identity which has come to the fore very virulently only 
recently. You may think you're going to get stability by 
recognizing these divisions, and drawing lines, but who is 
going to protect the seams?
    Senator Boxer. Well, let me----
    Dr. Marr. Which forces----
    Senator Boxer [continuing]. Let me--let me address----
    Dr. Marr [continuing]. You know----
    Senator Boxer [continuing]. That----
    Dr. Marr. So----
    Senator Boxer [continuing]. Because I think my chairman has 
spelled that out beautifully, because we're talking about still 
one Iraq with semiautonomous regions, where you can bring in, 
you know, the world community to help enforce a political 
settlement. But that's OK. I don't need to--you know we 
disagree on the point.
    And I'll close, because I know my time is up. But it seems 
to me that Sandra Mackey was right on every single point that 
she made, that what would happen when a war came is that these 
ethnic differences would come to the surface, where they were 
tampened down before.
    Because I think we're missing the point. We haven't really 
laid out how we're going to get keeping this country as a whole 
and not going with the idea expressed by Dr. O'Hanlon. We 
haven't really resolved that question. If you think they're 
going to go in and go after al-Sadr, al-Maliki's government 
will fall, because he's dependent on Sadr. So then, is it all 
going to be against the Sunnis? And then, as Mr. Hakim says, 
``Are we in the middle, taking sides in a civil war?'' It's 
    I thank you all for your time. And I thank you----
    Chairman Biden. Well, I thank you, Senator. I'm sure the 
panel would be prepared to answer some questions. We will not 
take up the rest of their academic and----
    Senator Boxer. No, no, that's not what I meant.
    Chairman Biden. But I'm--no, but, I mean, I hope the panel 
would consider--and if you could submit through the chair any 
additional questions you have. But I'd try to narrow them, 
rather than have each of us committing 10 or 12 questions to 
them. I know we could do that.
    Senator Boxer. That's my only one. Thank you.
    Chairman Biden. Yes. No; I would--the panel has no problem 
responding to that, I'm sure.
    Senator Coleman.
    Senator Coleman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I was in Iraq about a month ago. And just a quick 
observation. OK? Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    To me, it seemed like there are two battles going on in 
Iraq. One is a war in the Anbar province that our Marines are 
fighting, and they know who the enemy is. The enemy is the 
foreign fighters and the al-Qaeda insurgents. And the Marines 
are doing their job, and they're making progress every day, in 
the sense of eliminating terrorists. You can measure this 
progress. The other battle is in Baghdad, and consists of 
sectarian violence. I see our troops caught in the crosshairs 
of this sectarian violence in Baghdad. If you see it, it's 
almost unbelievable, the extent of it, the depravity of it. And 
it seems to me that as our Marines make progress in clearing 
areas of terrorists, they need Sunnis to participate in the 
police departments in Anbar to hold the territory they've 
cleared. The local Sunnis know who the foreign fighters are. 
And Sunnis are needed in the army. So it seems to me that the 
Iraqis have got to achieve reconciliation in order to end the 
violence in the long term. We can't resolve anything in Iraq in 
the long term, militarily, without reconciliation among Iraqi 
factions. And during my trip to Iraq it didn't appear to me 
that the Iraqi leadership were doing all they could to achieve 
real reconciliation. I met with Dr. Rubaie, the National 
Security Advisor for the Prime Minister, and said that he 
didn't think that sectarian violence was a major issue in Iraq. 
I was incredulous when I heard that. Yet we continue to face 
the problem with Sunnis and the insurgency and I think we saw 
some of that in the paper today. When I was in Iraq I didn't 
get a sense that Iraqis are done killing each other through 
sectarian violence.
    And so, my first question is: Does anybody here have a 
sense of whether reconciliation can occur in Iraq today? And, 
if not, is there a timeline for reconciliation?
    Mr. Said. Mr. Coleman, I tried, in my testimony, to 
illustrate a complex conflict--and you alluded to that--that 
there is an insurgency, for example, taking place in Anbar, and 
the sort of the civil strife taking place in Baghdad. Of 
course, it's less neat than that, actually. There are 
insurgencies and civil wars happening throughout Iraq. There 
are only a few pockets of stability in Iraq, including 
Kurdistan. But, almost in every province there is a conflict, 
whether it's a criminal--criminal gangs or whether it's a sort 
of a social revolt against the establishment or whether it's 
civil war. In Anbar this summer, there were clashes between 
Sunni tribes. Ostensibly, in the media, it was about Sunni 
tribes fighting al-Qaeda, but, in reality, these were old 
tribal rivalries spilling into open conflict and being dressed 
as Anbar tribes fighting al-Qaeda. Inside the Sunni political 
representations, there are deep fissures between the Islamists, 
on one side, and the Baathists--and unreformed Baathists, on 
the other. So, there are no neat groups that one can resort to 
or revert to in a partition formula whereby one can say: What 
do the Sunnis say? There is a vast difference between the 
positions of various Sunni groups. And the differences between 
the Shia groups are expressed in real fighting and dead bodies 
in the south, throughout Basrah. Every city in the south has 
fallen out of government control at one point or the other over 
the last 6 months.
    So, the Iraqis are not done killing each other, but on the 
various bases, under various motivations--there is--we don't 
have the luxury to wait out for compromises to emerge from this 
chaos. The situation--the pervasive fear and violence is 
creating a humanitarian disaster in Iraq, as Mr. O'Hanlon has 
described, that needs to be addressed. So, there is an urgency 
for a political process, if you like, regardless of the 
willingness of the parties to engage. The problem is, the 
parties need to be brought to the table. And what needs to be--
to happen is, one needs to bring more parties that are willing 
to engage. If the combatants, if the radicals or the extremists 
are not willing to talk, then the table needs to be widened, 
because there are many Iraqis, as well, who want to see peace 
in their country, and want to rebuild their nation. And this is 
a role for the international community. There is a need for an 
international-sponsored peace process that will bring Iraqis to 
the table, including those who are willing to find compromises 
and willing to stay together.
    Senator Coleman. But, Dr. Marr, I mean, if I could turn to 
you on this, if the parties aren't at that point where they 
have that fundamental commitment to say, ``We recognize what 
the problem is, and we are committed to do those things to 
resolve it''--that's my concern as--and I'll listen to the 
President, but I'm not--I didn't see, in my time there, in my 
conversations, that you've got a commitment on the part of the 
Iraqis to do what has to be done that would then justify a 
greater commitment of American lives and resources. That's my 
problem. If----
    Dr. Marr. I agree that that is a problem. And it's not 
perhaps either/or. I'm just expressing what I think is a 
realistic analysis of what's likely to happen. That doesn't 
mean that I like it or there aren't some other things we can 
    The key issue is: How do you get Iraqis, particularly those 
that are going to be in the political process, to reconcile? 
And you have pointed out a very good way to do that. You've got 
to put pressure, you have to have incentives, you certainly 
have to widen the political spectrum. Because one of the things 
that's operative here is that political parties and groups who 
have power now want to keep it, and their power is fragile. And 
widening the spectrum and including others may not be exactly 
what they want. We don't want to get caught in that. We, alone, 
are not the only ones who need to do this. The regional 
neighbors have their own clients, and they need to be able to 
exercise pressure but there are numerous ways in which we could 
push, nudge, and otherwise try to get this reconciliation.
    Now, whether that's going to be successful is a big issue. 
And certainly whether we keep troops there and keep on with 
this effort, if Iraqis don't rise to the occasion, I have to 
say, it is, in fact, one of your jobs----
    Senator Coleman. And----
    Dr. Marr [continuing]. To decide that.
    Senator Coleman. But you have also highlighted the 
consequences if we do that, that there are devastating 
consequences, in terms of ethnic cleansing, in terms of--Dr. 
Pillar, in terms of what's going to happen in the rest of the 
    And I'm not sure what my time is, Mr. Chairman. If I can 
    Chairman Biden. No; you have another little bit.
    Senator Coleman. Dr. Pillar, the--we're not in this alone. 
I mean, Iran has--Iran is pressuring us in--with Hezbollah in 
Lebanon; they're pressuring us with Hamas in Gaza; they're 
pressuring us with supporting al-Sadr in Iraq. Is there any 
appetite on the part of folks in the region to play a 
constructive role in trying to resolve this situation?
    Dr. Pillar. Yes, Senator; I think there is. And you can 
look at past experience. In the case of the Syrians, for 
example, just to mention them in passing, they were part of 
Operation Desert Storm, back in 1991. In the wake of 9/11 I 
believe administration officials would tell you that Syrian 
counterterrorist cooperation against the jihadists, about whom 
they share with us a concern, has taken place. The State 
Department has spoken about that publicly. And in the case of 
Iran, we had the experience of very profitable cooperation in 
Afghanistan in the wake of Operation Enduring Freedom. And 
people like Ambassador Khalilzad and Ambassador Dobbins could 
talk to you about that.
    There's little doubt in my mind that, in Tehran, there was 
at least a hope, if not an expectation, that something similar 
would happen with the political reconstruction of Iraq. 
Obviously, it did not work out that way. But the short answer 
to your question is yes; as demonstrated in the past, even the 
likes of the Iranians and the Syrians have shown their 
willingness to cooperate.
    Senator Coleman. Does any other--is that a unanimous 
    Mr. Said. I think there is opening for engagement, almost 
with all parties, without exception. And the question is: 
What's the framework? It has to be a multilateral framework. It 
has to be seen as a fair framework that will offer everyone 
something. Everyone needs something out of the process. It 
cannot be just at the expense--you know, it cannot happen at 
the expense of some parties and to the benefit of others.
    Dr. Pillar. And it has to be, as Senator Lugar put it 
earlier in the proceedings, all the cards on the table. You 
know, from the Iranians' point of view, they wouldn't want a 
negotiation just about Iraq, just as they're not comfortable 
with a negotiation just about the nuclear issue. They want to 
talk about all issues in dispute with the United States.
    Senator Coleman. But you do recognize that they are 
fueling--they are fueling the instability, they're doing those 
things that are worsening the problem rather than doing 
anything to----
    Dr. Pillar. As I suggest in my testimony, they are dealing 
with a wide variety of groups in Iraq. It may be hard--and 
you'd have to rely on your classified intelligence for the 
latest story on this--to connect this bit of Iranian assistance 
with that attack. Nonetheless, some of that assistance, no 
doubt, has facilitated attacks against coalition forces. But, 
as I suggested before, the main way to look at that is as a 
full-court press by Iran to get as much influence in Iraq as 
they possibly can, with all parties.
    Senator Coleman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Biden. Thank you.
    Did you want to say something, Mike?
    Dr. O'Hanlon. I just wanted to make one other point. And I 
hesitate to add a nuance to anything Paul Pillar has said on 
this region; he knows it so well. But I am getting worried, 
from what we can see from the available evidence, that Iran has 
one other aim, which is to deal the United States a major 
strategic defeat in the region, which it now thinks is 
attainable in a way it did not 3 and 4 years ago, which may 
somewhat change the calculus. And it doesn't make me oppose the 
idea of negotiation, but it makes me very wary of expecting any 
progress or even assuming that Iran wants a stable Iraq as an 
outcome in this.
    Senator Coleman. And I share those concerns, Dr. O'Hanlon.
    Mr. Said. If I may just add, Iran is not a coherent actor, 
by the way. Iran--there are various influences and interests in 
Iran, and that also gives an opening for dialog.
    Dr. Pillar. Yes; we have to see beyond the outrageous 
rhetoric of Ahmadinejad. I agree completely.
    Chairman Biden. Let me--by the way, the chairman and I have 
discussed holding, hopefully, some thoughtful hearings on Iran 
and actually what the state of play in Iran is, unrelated to 
us, just what's going on in Iran at the moment.
    But let me, before I yield to my friend from Connecticut, 
indicate that there is going to be--you've been sitting a long 
time, and there is going to be a vote at noon, in which time we 
will break. Assuming the vote goes off at noon--after Senator 
Dodd, we will break for that vote, which will be 15 minutes, 
give you a little breather. And then I will confer with the 
Senator, and I'll ask the staff to confer with you. My 
intention was to continue to go through, to finish, but it's a 
much bigger committee. We have a total of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 
8, 9, 10, 11--almost 12 more members to go. I'd like you all to 
consider, based on your schedules, whether or not you would 
want to break briefly for a lunch break from 12 noon to 1 
o'clock, to give you an opportunity to have some lunch.
    Senator Sununu. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Biden. Yes.
    Senator Sununu. If we break when the vote occurs, it does 
appear we might have time for one more round on each side. 
Being the next in line, I have a particular interest in that 
type of arrangement----
    Senator Sununu [continuing]. If it were possible.
    Chairman Biden. Well, based on your comments yesterday, I'm 
not going to let that happen. [Laughter.]
    Chairman Biden. That's a joke. That's a joke. We will 
accommodate you, Senator, notwithstanding your comments. 
    Senator Dodd.
    Senator Dodd. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    And I'm going to ask one question, and then I see 
colleagues here, and try and provide some time for others 
before we break for the vote. Let me also join the chairman in 
welcoming our new members to the committee.
    Jim, I've sat in that chair you're in, a long time ago, but 
it does move, and then it stalls, it seems, for a while. 
    But I was looking at Barack Obama and remembering last year 
when he was sitting--and wondering if we'd even notice him at 
the end of the table, and moving up very quickly. So, welcome, 
all of you, to a very exciting committee with some tremendous 
leadership we've had, as I mentioned, with Dick Lugar and with 
Joe Biden now, and others. So, it's a good committee to be on, 
and your participation is really welcome.
    I'd like to just pick up on--picking up off Senator 
Coleman's question. We're going to have the Secretary of State 
here tomorrow, as you know, coming before us. And I have been 
impressed with your comments and your ideas in this thing, and 
particularly, Dr. Marr, this issue of reconciliation, how it's 
going to come about. I suspect you're probably more--far more 
right about that. Despite our desires for something else to 
happen in a sort of a conversion on the road to Damascus here 
to occur with major political leaders.
    But two points here; I'd like you to just quickly comment, 
if you can. One is: What can we be doing to help facilitate 
this? A question we get all the time, that if you're--if you 
believe this is a surge, it's not the right idea, that 
increasing military forces doesn't make a lot of sense, that 
clearly political resolution here is what everyone seems to 
suggest is ultimately going to produce the kind of results we'd 
like to see, the question then follows on: What should we be 
doing? What should the United States, our allies, moderate Arab 
leaders in the region, be doing, specifically?
    I just came back from 6 days in the region, as well. I was 
there with my colleague from Massachusetts. We were in Lebanon 
and spent about 3\1/2\ hours with President Assad in Damascus, 
which I've shared, with the Secretary and others, the 
conversations and what was offered there. One of the things 
that I share with you here is, when I asked, specifically, 
``What sort--what do you want to see, in Iraq, occur?''--the 
answer, I don't mind sharing with you here in this room, was, 
``I'd like to see a pluralistic, stable Arab government. I'm 
not interested in seeing a fundamentalist Shia-Iranian state on 
my border.'' Now, he said that in English in a private meeting. 
It wasn't announced in--in Arabic in a public document. So, I'm 
conscious of the fact that these are statements being made, as 
Tom Friedman likes to point out, in private, where you may get 
less than what the actual policies are. But, nonetheless, I 
found it interesting that he pursued, or at least willing to 
say those things.
    What should we be doing? How should the United States--how 
should the Secretary of State be conducting our foreign policy 
in the region? And what, specifically, do you think we ought to 
be doing to encourage this kind of political resolution that 
we're all talking about?
    Dr. Marr. That is absolutely critical and difficult, and I 
have only a few thoughts; I hope my colleagues have some 
    First of all, the absence of security and the dreadful 
humanitarian situation that Mike O'Hanlon is talking about 
needs to be addressed. Insecure people are not willing to make 
compromises. But with the political parties, you've got to have 
a collection of incentives and disincentives to get them to 
come to some terms on these very issues we've identified. 
There's a considerable amount of agreement on this.
    You've got to say no to some people who may not like it, 
and you've got to have a little, perhaps, stick there, in terms 
of how long and how much support and troops the United States 
is going to be willing to provide.
    And, second of all, I like the idea that I just heard--and 
I agree with it--of widening the pool. I'm not so sure some of 
the parties who now have power, and who feel very fragile, who 
feel worried that the Baath might come back or Sunnis might 
come back or whatever, are going to be willing to make the 
compromises. There used to be a large middle class with a lot 
of technocrats. There are not a lot now. Many of them have 
fled. They need to come back.
    Two things, I think, are very important. One is to get this 
Cabinet to act as a Cabinet, not just a collection of fiefdoms 
of individual people, and getting the educated middle-class 
professionals back who have some of the spirit of, you know, 
nonsectarian identity.
    So, widening the political pool, getting other people in, 
would be helpful. But I think, of course, the neighbors need to 
be brought in. We've talked about that. There's no easy answer. 
That's the only thing I want to say here. This is going to be 
long, laborious, the kind of thing diplomats, politicians do 
all the time. But I think our expectation, that somehow this is 
going to happen rapidly, needs to be a little more realistic.
    Senator Dodd. Anyone else want to comment?
    Dr. Pillar. If I understand your very broad question, 
Senator Dodd, about approaching the region, I would just 
incorporate, by reference, the recommendations of the Iraq 
Study Group, and two themes, in particular. One is what we were 
discussing a moment ago, which is to talk with everyone. And 
that doesn't necessarily mean one big multilateral conference. 
I think Phebe made the very appropriate point earlier that 
other kinds of engagement are called for. And, No. 2, be 
prepared to talk about everything that is on the agenda of the 
regional governments, and not just ours. And, again, the Arab-
Israeli conflict comes right to the fore.
    Dr. O'Hanlon. Senator, I wanted to make a plug for what I 
know many of you do, especially in the bipartisan coalitions or 
groups that go to Iraq and talk to Iraqis, because I think 
Iraqis need to know American political support is very fragile, 
and it's not going to last much longer.
    Senator Dodd. We've made that point.
    Dr. O'Hanlon. And I'm sure you continue to, but I think 
they need to keep hearing it, because I think it's very hard 
for President Bush to send that message in a convincing way, 
given how much his Presidency depends on this. From what I 
understand of the way he's going to talk--tonight, from what 
little I've heard from people in the administration, he is, of 
course, not going to be able to create this sense. He's going 
to try to put pressure on the Iraqis, but he's not going to be 
able to say, and not going to want to say, that if they don't 
get their act together, we're leaving. You know, that's just 
not something that he is in a position to want to say.
    But I think you all, collectively, and we, in the think-
tank world, to a lesser degree--we're less visible and less 
important in their eyes--we have to send that message, that, 
you know, for the reasons across the spectrum, from military 
capability of our Army and Marine Corps, to the patience of our 
people, to the upcoming Presidential race, and everything else, 
our patience for sticking with anything like this strategy is 
very limited, and it's probably measured in terms of 9 to 18 
months, not years.
    Mr. Said. I just wanted to second what Professor Marr has 
said, in terms of broadening the political process--if you 
like, facilitating national dialog, internationalizing the 
Iraq--the Iraq issue, and bringing in more actors to the table.
    About the broadening of the political process, this is not 
about reversing the outcomes of the political process----
    Senator Dodd. Yes.
    Mr. Said [continuing]. Of the last 3 years, it's about 
enhancing it. It's a process that has some elements that are 
good, but it's clearly not working, and it needs to be 
enhanced. There needs to be concessions. The winners of the 
political process need to make concessions and bring in more 
people to the table. And I'm not talking, here, about more 
combatants and more extremists, but about bringing people with 
a vested interest in a democratic Iraq.
    There are also things that the United States will need to 
do on the humanitarian level. There is a humanitarian situation 
evolving in Iraq today, and the United States needs to keep 
engaging on that issue, and maybe also bring in more 
international support.
    And, finally, again, it's--again, efforts that are already 
underway in Iraq, on state-building, on maintaining the 
machinery of government, that will be necessary, no matter what 
the outcome of the current violence is.
    Senator Dodd. Thanks. Thanks, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Biden. I thank you very much.
    Let me suggest that it's possible that maybe all the 
Senators who were here will not be coming back, so it may be 
more in your interest for us to keep going. But I will do--you 
need a break. We'll go to Senator Sununu, and, after his 
questioning, I'd ask permission, since Senator Webb has to 
preside at 1 o'clock, if the vote hasn't been called by then, 
whether or not my friend from Pennsylvania would be willing to 
let Senator Webb go next. And then we can make a--then we'll 
give you a break, regardless, and then decide whether to come 
back in 5 minutes or give everybody a chance to eat lunch. My 
guess is, we'll continue to go through, in light of the 
rollcall I just got from the committee staff as to who is 
likely to come back. So, it may be easier to do it that way.
    Senator Dodd. Mr. Chairman, I presume, by the way, opening 
statements are going to--you've made an accommodation for that 
to be included.
    Chairman Biden. Yes; anyone who has an opening statement, 
it will be placed in the record.
    Senator Dodd. Thank you.
    Chairman Biden. Senator Sununu.
    Senator Sununu. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    We often say how much we appreciate your time and 
testimony, to all of our witnesses, but I think it's fair to 
say, today in particular, this has been a great panel. They're 
very constructive, very specific, very direct, and I think 
that's extremely helpful to us, given the importance of these 
    There does seem to be a lot of consensus about the 
importance of the climate: Economic issues, political issues, 
social issues that need to be dealt with in order for 
stability--long-term stability to be realized. There's been 
specific discussion, as there was in the Iraq Study Group 
report, of things like the oil law, provincial elections, the 
training process, and the broader reconciliation process. Those 
were all recommendations here. But I think, Mr. O'Hanlon, you, 
in particular, emphasize that those would need to be addressed, 
or at least referenced, with regard to any change in the 
military footprint, military operations, and military 
objectives. And I think this, as well, is something that was 
contemplated in the Study Group Report, specifically with 
regard to an increase in troops. On page 73, it says, ``We 
could support a short-term redeployment or surge of American 
combat forces to stabilize Baghdad or speed up the training-
and-equipping mission if the United States commander in Iraq 
determines that such steps would be effective. We reject the 
immediate withdrawal of troops because we believe so much is at 
stake.'' So, clearly, this is something that's contemplated by 
Baker-Hamilton, but in the context of achieving some of these 
other specific objectives.
    So, I'd like all the panelists to comment, but we'll begin 
with Mr. O'Hanlon, whether or not you feel that some increase 
in forces, if used to--hypothetically, for example, stabilize 
Baghdad--would make, or could make, a difference in improving 
the window for training forces or for the formal reconciliation 
process, which began in December, but seems to have slowed a 
little bit. I mean, we can talk about those two specific 
examples or any others you want to discuss.
    Dr. O'Hanlon. I'll give you a somewhat tortured answer, 
Senator. I would support a surge, in the context of a much 
broader approach, but I'm not sure I could be very confident 
it's going to work. So, since I have the opportunity--and 
you've given it to me--to speak today, I think that we all have 
to be thinking about backup plans very hard, because, with or 
without a surge, I think we're likely to see something like the 
current strategy not succeed. But I would still think our 
chances would improve in the short term, at the tactical level, 
at least, with a surge. So, it's a tough situation.
    Senator Sununu. If those troops are given a specific 
objective, or an objective to support one of these other 
political or economic issues, which would it be? Which do you 
think their temporary role or security role could be most 
effective in enhancing?
    Dr. O'Hanlon. I think that they have to create some level 
of stability in Iraq, in the neighborhoods, reduce the 
violence. If you don't do that, nothing else can work.
    Senator Sununu. But, in terms of reconciliation, training, 
oil law, provincial elections, we--for example, in the 
electoral process, last time a surge was implemented, or two of 
the three times that we saw a surge in troops, it was focused 
on the elections, with relative success, and most people agree 
that those were relatively peaceful.
    Dr. O'Hanlon. I think a limited focused approach like that 
probably won't work. We're going to--we sort of need a miracle, 
politically. We need for Prime Minister al-Maliki, who now has 
an 85-percent unfavorability rating among Sunni Arabs, to be 
seen as a different kind of leader than he's been seen as so 
far. Or maybe we need a new Iraqi Prime Minister, like Allawi, 
who at least had a little stronger--you know, linkages across 
other ethnic groups. But I think we are beyond the point where 
you could say one specific political improvement will be 
enough. I think we're going to have to see a whole new ball 
game in very short order.
    Dr. Marr. Well, it seems to me that if there's any mission 
for this additional surge, it's going to be to stop the ethnic 
cleansing, sectarian cleansing, or whatever we want to call it, 
in Baghdad. It certainly can't address all the problems of the 
country. But it's the demographic shift, that Michael has 
mentioned, that is so devastating and we want to stop and slow 
this. That's what we mean when we say ``providing some security 
in Baghdad.'' But I think we've all pointed out how that's 
fraught with dangers, because it's so inextricably mixed with 
different ethnic and sectarian groups and political parties and 
others. I agree, here, that perhaps it's worth giving it a 
shot, but our chances of actually turning the whole situation 
around on the ground is very slim. We might be able, with our 
forces, to hold some neighborhoods or do something militarily, 
but, as everybody has pointed out here, the real issue is: What 
are you going to do with the time you buy and the increase in 
tranquility, presumably, that you get? How are you going to get 
Iraqis to begin to address their political problems? That's the 
real issue.
    Senator Sununu. And that's the point I make. And where I'd 
like a little bit of additional comment is: If that time is 
created, where might it be best used? And do you even think it 
might be used effectively?
    Mr. Said.
    Mr. Said. I think this is an issue of putting the horse 
before the cart. I think the troops are a tool to achieving a 
certain objective. We need to agree on the objectives before we 
can discuss the tools. And the discussion seems to be having--
that there is this option of a surge on the table, and let's 
find a role for it. And I think that's the wrong way of asking 
the question, or for putting the question, I think.
    Senator Sununu. Well, I--although it would--I think I've 
actually asked the question in just the way you want. The 
objectives are a reconciliation process--equity in distribution 
of oil revenues, so that the Sunnis feel enfranchised 
economically, provincial elections, so that the feel 
enfranchised politically, so that they have some better voice 
in governance. Those are the objectives that will lead to long-
term success. And my question is: Do you see an opportunity for 
additional military troops to help achieve a window where those 
objectives might be accomplished?
    Mr. Said. I think if there is agreement--if there is a 
political process that leads to agreement on these issues, if 
we--if we have a blueprint for addressing these issues, on the 
back of that they may be needed--more troops may be needed or 
less troops may be needed. It all depends on the shape of the 
agreement. That agreement may bring other troops from other 
countries to help with the situation, and it doesn't have to 
become a burden of the United States alone. So, there are all 
kinds of outcomes from the political process that could lead to 
increased or reduced troops.
    There's one issue that the others suggested, and I have 
emphasized, as well, which is the humanitarian role. There is 
one role that the United States can play today, which is 
protecting civilians. But that's--this has to be done in an 
evenhanded way that is not seen as participating in the 
conflict on one side or the other. But protecting civilians is 
definitely an important role.
    Senator Sununu. Thank you.
    Mr. Pillar.
    Dr. Pillar. It presumably is the capability of troops, 
whether it's part of the surge or any others, to provide 
security, not to run elections, not to pump oil, not to do 
those other things. But I think the answer to your question, 
Senator, if I understand it, is that you cannot focus on any 
one thing. You noted the elections before. Well, we've been 
through this multistage political reconstruction process in 
which there was always something else to look forward to. You 
know, the constituent assembly elections or the transfer of 
sovereignty or the election of the regular legislature. We're 
through all that. And so, there isn't any one thing. It is the 
oil. It is the political reconciliation. It's the neighborhood-
by-neighborhood security. It's everything. So, I'm afraid I 
would resist giving you a specific answer, because the valid 
answer is: All of the above.
    Senator Sununu. Thank you very much.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Biden. Thank you.
    Folks, what we're going to do is give you a little bit of a 
break here. I instructed--I suggested that my colleagues go and 
vote. We'll adjourn. If Senator Lugar makes it back before I 
do, he will reconvene the committee for Senator Webb to be able 
to ask his questions. This is an opportunity to get up and 
stretch your legs. And I think what we'll try to do is go 
straight through rather than have you have to come back this 
    So, we'll adjourn until the vote is over.
    Thank you.
    Recess, I should say.
    Chairman Biden. The hearing will come to order, please.
    There's an awful lot of things that are going on today, 
including a meeting with Mr. Hadley. I see that in order, next, 
ordinarily, what would be the case--and I'd just raise this as 
a question--my friend from Florida would be next, but Senator 
Casey, a new member, is to be down at the White House at a 
quarter of 12. I wonder whether or not the Senator would yield 
to Senator Casey?
    Senator Bill Nelson. Of course I do.
    Chairman Biden. And then go back to--I believe the Senator 
from Alaska, who's next on this side, but I'm not sure.
    Senator Casey, why don't you proceed?
    Senator Casey. Thank you, Mr. Chairman--and I appreciate 
your indulgence--Senator Lugar. And thank you, Senator Nelson, 
for this opportunity to jump the line a little bit. I will try 
not to get used to it.
    I have two questions, one that pertains to our troops, and 
the other with regard to diplomacy.
    I come from Pennsylvania, where Senator Specter and I 
represent a State that has lost, right now, the third-highest 
amount of troops--just last week went above 140. I'm thinking 
of those troops today, and their families, as all of us are, 
who gave, as Abraham Lincoln told us a long time ago, the last 
full measure of devotion to their country.
    One of the questions I have for Dr. O'Hanlon and others--
when it comes to data points with regard to where we are in 
Iraq, one that I'm not sure you've been able to track, or 
whether you or the other panelists have information about, is 
the condition of our troops, in terms of the things we used to 
read a lot more about than we do now--body armor, the 
protective gear, weapons, all of the indicators that we can 
point to that tell us whether or not we're doing everything we 
can to support the troops who are in battle right now. Do you 
have any information about that or any kind of status? Because, 
as you know better than I, many months ago we read about all 
the horrors, where families were buying equipment and body 
armor and things like that. So, that's the first question I 
had, with regard to that data point, so to speak.
    Dr. O'Hanlon. Senator Casey, my impression is that most of 
these numbers are much better now, but I'm going to focus on 
one thing, which I wonder if we should have had a broader 
national debate about, which is the type of vehicle we put our 
troops in. As you know, there are some vehicles that are built 
around the world that are designed to withstand the blast of 
mines, or, as we call them in Iraq, improvised explosive 
devices, which are now responsible for about half of all of our 
fatalities, as our data show. And, of course, other types of 
threats exist, and snipers are a worse concern than before in 
Iraq, but it's really the IED problem that's No. 1. And I, 
frankly, am wondering--it's getting pretty late in the game to 
have this conversation, but I am wondering if we should have 
had, and maybe still should have, a big debate about whether to 
refit a lot of our vehicles with things that look more like 
some of the specialized mine-clearance vehicles, that are more 
expensive, have--often have V-shaped hulls, different kinds of 
suspension, are higher up off the ground. Now, a bigger IED can 
always penetrate that, so there's always a countermeasure the 
enemy can envision.
    But, frankly, that's the one thing I'm still wondering, if, 
in broad terms, we really never focused on enough in this 
country. It would be very hard to build 10,000 of them fast, 
but if you took a World War II-type approach, and you said, 
``This is a national emergency, we're going to have to ask 
every car manufacturer in the United States to do this for 6 
months,'' you could do it. And we simply haven't considered 
that. I'm not sure history will judge us very well. And I say 
this as being critical of myself, too. I'm a defense specialist 
at Brookings, and I wonder if I shouldn't have been thinking 
about this more 3 and 4 years ago. It may be kind of late in 
the game now, but I--maybe not.
    Senator Casey. But, in particular, you're talking about up-
armoring vehicles, or retrofitting or redesigning?
    Dr. O'Hanlon. New vehicles. Vehicles that are designed to 
have V-shaped hulls, higher suspensions to be able to operate 
more effectively on three wheels, even if one's blown out. 
Basically, building much of our patrolling fleet around the 
same vehicle concept that some specialized mine-clearance 
vehicles currently employ in the U.S. military, but that most 
of our fleet of Hummers and Bradleys and so forth does not.
    Senator Casey. And in the interest of time--and I know 
Senator Webb has presiding duties, and I want to be cognizant 
of that--the last question is very broad, and it's been asked, 
probably, in different ways throughout the morning, but it's 
one that I think a lot of Americans are wondering about. We 
hear a lot of things that talk about a political solution and 
steps to get us in that direction, apart from the military 
strategy and tactics on the ground, much of which we'll be 
talking about tonight when the President presents his plan. But 
just in terms of diplomacy, if you could focus on that with 
your collective experience, I think it's good to work with 
lists, if we can, if that's at all possible. I know it's very 
difficult in this context. But if you had the opportunity to 
construct a diplomatic strategy for the next 6 months, say, 
what would be the three or four or five things you would do, in 
terms of very specific steps that this Government should take 
diplomatically--within the region especially, or beyond the 
region? Any one of you can weigh in on that, in terms of a 
specific list of steps.
    Mr. Said. Well, I think there is a need to engage with 
Iraq's neighbors, but also with the broader international 
community, the permanent five from the Security Council. 
Professor Marr suggested a contact group concept. That may be a 
good first step. I still believe that we need to work toward a 
process--a peace process that will involve some form of a 
conference. But, preparations for that, engaging with each of 
Iraq's neighbors, trying to address their concerns and their 
interests in Iraq, and trying to see how they can contribute to 
influencing the situation inside Iraq by working with their 
constituencies in Iraq, by working with the groups, by 
providing assurances for certain groups in Iraq about their 
interests, and encouraging them to achieve compromises.
    So, there is scope for active diplomacy in Iraq. And some 
of that has taken place in the international compact with Iraq, 
which the administration and the United Nations have been 
engaged in over the last 6 months. And I had an opportunity to 
work on that. That involved intensive diplomacy with the Gulf 
States and with the international community, 22 countries or 
more, to bring them in Iraq. And there is great interest to get 
engaged. There is great interest in the international community 
to get engaged in Iraq in a meaningful way so that there is no 
hierarchy at levels and sort of a--category A countries and 
category B. But really get engaged--China, Russia, the gulf. 
And there--and this should be pursued.
    Dr. Marr. I had a couple of thoughts at a practical level, 
on our Embassy. We need skillful, behind-the-scenes, but 
muscular, diplomacy. I like much of what Ambassador Khalilzad 
did. And we're getting another very good Ambassador. But two 
things are needed for our Embassy there: More Arabic speakers, 
of every kind--it's difficult enough, in the security 
situation, to get out, but the more we can interact with Iraqis 
at every level, the better off we'll be; and more sustained 
deployments, not of troops, but of AID people, whoever. The 
turnover in personnel, because it's a hardship post, is 
abysmal, in terms of intelligence, building linkages, networks, 
and so on. That's what everyone complains about. You just get 
into the job, you learn who's who, you establish the contacts, 
and you're out, and somebody else comes in. So, those are two 
practical things that I think would help our Embassy in 
    Chairman Biden. Thank you very much, Senator.
    Senator Casey. I'm out of time.
    Chairman Biden. Senator Murkowski.
    Senator Murkowski. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    We hear a lot about suggestions that we, here in the United 
States, might do or propose, and the President is going to 
present his new proposal this evening. We'll listen very 
attentively to that. But I think we all recognize that we can 
only do so much from the outside, from the United States 
perspective, or even from the international-community 
perspective. And I appreciate the focus that you all have made 
in saying we need to broaden the dialog, bring in more. But we 
recognize that the Iraqis have to step up and do their part. 
They've got to be the participant.
    And, Mr. O'Hanlon, I listened very attentively this morning 
as you kind of went down through your various measures, and I 
have to admit that they were really very discouraging as you 
listen to some of the terminology that you used, and that 
others of you used, as well. You know, you used the term 
``pessimism'' over and over. We heard of the ``hardening of the 
people,'' the word ``fear'' and the ``apathy,'' just the 
general environment being ``poor,'' all very negative and 
really very discouraging words. We all know that you can't 
really engage, you can't get your--the men behind you to engage 
in the fight that you must take on if you don't believe. And 
the question that I would pose to you, Mr. O'Hanlon, and to any 
of the others is: Is there any good-news indicators that we're 
seeing from the Iraqis that give us hope to believe that if we 
should move forward with, as the President may propose, this 
surge, that the Iraqi people feel a degree of optimism, at this 
point, that they can be that full participant that we need and 
expect them to be? Are there any good signs that you can 
    Dr. O'Hanlon. Senator, I think you could find some, and we 
used to try very hard to try to give them equal billing, 
because I used to think that, whether they were 50 percent of 
the reality of Iraq or not, they needed to be highlighted. But 
they seem to be dwindling in number. But I can still tick off a 
few for you.
    Some of them are on our last category, of politics and 
public opinion. Certainly, Iraqis have a lot more in the way of 
communications, whether it's newspapers, TV, telephones, 
Internet access. And they use these things, and they relish 
them. There's also, from what I understand--I haven't spent as 
much time in Iraq as some people on this committee, but there 
is more bustle in some of the streets, or at least there has 
been. And we can read about a traffic jam, and that's the 
negative way to look at it; the upside is that a lot of people 
have cars, and there is a sense of people still wanting to be 
out and about, despite the risks. So, there is a certain energy 
in Iraq that I think may be dwindling, but it's still there.
    There are some indicators about public utility performance. 
It's confusing to try to track GAO and USAID and figure out 
exactly where Iraqi utilities stand today. Electricity is not 
very good. Oil production is not very good. Water and sewage 
performance, hard to read. I can't quite get confidence in the 
data I'm seeing. Things are probably about at Saddam Hussein 
levels, though. In other words, we've basically treaded water 
for 4 years on that front. But there are some new facilities 
coming online. Child vaccinations seem to be up, from what I 
can tell. The number of trained judges in the Iraqi political 
system, of course, much higher than it used to be.
    So, yes, if you want to find things, you can find a number 
of indicators that----
    Senator Murkowski. We can find----
    Dr. O'Hanlon [continuing]. Are possible.
    Senator Murkowski [continuing]. Those, but do the Iraqi 
people believe that more good is being delivered?
    Dr. O'Hanlon. Not now.
    Senator Murkowski. Now, Mr. Said, you're kind of shaking 
your head no. Can you comment on that?
    Mr. Said. Unfortunately, in terms of life of Iraqis on the 
street, it's getting progressively worse. And even if you can 
find numbers--for example, the numbers on the electricity don't 
look so bad, but the reality of it is worse than the numbers. 
Water--the Ministry of Water Resources have done a wonderful 
job. It's one of the most efficient ministries in Iraq. But, 
without electricity, you can't deliver water. So, even where 
things are getting better, the overall situation is making it 
    However, if you are looking for a silver lining in the 
situation, one of the elements is the recent agreement on an 
oil management framework. Because that agreement shows that 
there has been movement since the time when the Iraqis 
negotiated a constitution as a zero-sum game, whereby weakening 
the federal government--the strength of the region is only 
achieved through weakening the central government. I think the 
deal on oil shows that the Iraqis have moved on, have realized, 
if you like, that, actually, it doesn't have to be a zero-sum 
game, that strong federalism is based on a strong center and 
strong regions.
    So, there are elements of awakening, if you like, at least 
among some Iraqi--Iraq's leaders and politicians, but, in terms 
of reality on the ground, it's devastating.
    Senator Murkowski. On the oil issue, have you looked at the 
Alaska Permanent Fund model as a model to be utilized there, 
where you would have a sharing of the revenues among the 
people? And, in your opinion, do you think that that would help 
with some of the sectarian strife that we're facing now?
    Mr. Said. I think there have been proposals for a direct 
distribution of oil revenues to the Iraqi citizens. Some people 
in the Iraqi Government strongly support that. However, there 
has been great opposition to it from the international 
financial institutions.
    Senator Murkowski. Great opposition, you say?
    Mr. Said. Opposition to the direct distribution of 
revenues. They fear that it may be inefficient use of 
resources, that Iraq needs to invest all its oil revenues, and 
so on. I, personally, disagree with that. I think direct 
distribution is a good tool to unify Iraqis. I think there is a 
lot speaking in favor of direct distribution of revenues to the 
citizens, at least a portion--a small portion. Unfortunately, 
it is now--it's not happening, simply because of strong 
opposition by the IMF, in particular.
    Senator Murkowski. Mr. O'Hanlon.
    Dr. O'Hanlon. Senator, I think it's a good idea, also. And 
I would envision, potentially, divvying up Iraq's oil into 
three or four buckets, one of which would be the Alaska model, 
direct distribution, one of which would be direct payments to 
the provinces, based on population, a third bucket would be for 
federal projects or for national-level institutions. But I 
think, in responding to the international financial 
institutions, the natural thing to do is to keep reducing Iraqi 
subsidies, which we all know are still too high. The Bush 
administration has had some success in convincing them to 
reduce those for various consumer goods. Try to keep reducing 
those, and then use the Alaska model, direct distribution 
system, as compensation. So, that's a way to avoid, you know, 
siphoning off money from investment, and I think it would also 
improve the consumer market for many of these goods, which is 
being distorted by subsidies right now.
    Senator Murkowski. Thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Biden. Thank you very much.
    At the risk of generating a revolt here, the most junior 
member of the committee is to preside at 1 o'clock. I'll leave 
it up to his more senior colleagues to wonder whether you let 
him go for 8 minutes, which means it's going to put you all 
behind. I will have pushed you back a good 20 minutes.
    Senator Bill Nelson. Well, I don't mind. Be happy to defer. 
At 1 o'clock, I turn into a pumpkin, as well, in handling a 
meeting. So, if we can go--let the Senator from Virginia go 
ahead, and just let me get in a couple of questions before 1 
    Chairman Biden. We will try to do that. We've got 15 
minutes. If you do less than 8, you'll make more friends, Jim. 
    Senator Webb. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I realize 
that I've now incurred a sequence of obligations all the way 
down this bench here. And the unfortunate part of that is, as 
the junior member, there's not many ways I can repay that----
    Senator Webb [continuing]. Other than agreeing to preside 
on the Senate floor for some of these people, which I won't do. 
    Senator Webb. But I want to thank the witnesses for their 
testimony. I thought there were some really fascinating 
information for me to be able to put into the thought process 
here. I think, as most of you know, I was an early-warning 
voice against going into Iraq in this way. I thought that 
strategically it was going to harm the country. And I was very 
interested to see that there seems to be pretty strong 
agreement here that the--for the long-term benefit of Iraq and 
the region, the solution here really should be moving from the 
outside in, rather than from the inside out. And what I mean by 
that is, we do need a regional diplomatic umbrella before we 
can, in my view, guarantee the long-term security and stability 
of Iraq.
    And I know that, Dr. Marr, in your testimony, you mentioned 
the notion that there's going to be a high degree of 
decentralization for quite a period of time. And Dr. Pillar 
mentioned, several places, the specter of direct intervention. 
And, you know, Dr. Said, you mentioned the Lebanon model, 
which--I was a journalist in Lebanon in 1983, when the Marines 
were there. You--there were a number of parallels, other than 
simply the idea that people are going to fight it out over a 
period of years. Just the notion they had a very weak central 
government that was unable to get on its feet. You had all 
these different militia elements in constant turmoil. There was 
a great deal of middle-class flight, and, you know, people with 
high degrees of skills leaving the country. And we're seeing, 
in many ways, some of those parallels.
    And it occurs to me that, with respect to the players in 
this region, that it would be much better to have a United 
States-led sponsorship, in a way, that would bring these 
players to the table in a constructive way, rather than having 
them come in more as a consequence of disarray as things move 
forward. I would like your thoughts on that.
    Dr. Marr. Let me just say that among people I talk to that 
know the region, this opinion is almost unanimous--there is 
widespread believe that we need to engage the neighbors, and, 
to an extent, the international community, in a variety of 
ways. And I would just like to go back to the Iraq Study Group, 
because it was interesting that we had a very wide variety of 
opinions--on the right, left, middle--and there really was very 
widespread agreement that this must be a component, 
particularly if Iraq is not going to be successfully stabilized 
soon. I keep coming back to at least minimizing the damage to 
the neighbors and getting the neighbors to help to put either 
pressure or provide incentives to their clients inside. We need 
to do that.
    Dr. O'Hanlon. Senator, I think it's probably a good idea, 
although I'm skeptical of Iran's willingness to participate in 
a constructive way. But I think, even under those 
circumstances, it's still worth doing. As I've tried to argue, 
it's because, in part, you can tell the Iranians, ``Listen, 
there's not going to be any great outcome for you here, in 
terms of driving us out of the region.'' If you're in a 
conference where Saudis and Turks are sitting down with the 
United States, we'll have our allies there, too, and it'll be 
easier, I think, to convince the Iranians, something which they 
need to recognize, which I'm not sure they have, so far, 
which--they cannot drive us out of the region the way Britain 
left in the early 1970s, for example. Regardless of the 
outcome, and regardless of who's elected President in the 
United States in 2 years, we are almost certainly going to stay 
committed to our traditional allies. And I hope that awareness 
could sober Iran a bit about what it's trying to do inside 
Iraq. So, even if you take a very, sort of, dire interpretation 
of Iran's motives, I think it's still worth talking.
    Dr. Pillar. Senator, I agree with your observation 
entirely. And just to comment on Mike's comment, Iran's motives 
are shaped, in large part, by the United States posture toward 
Iran. And insofar as regime change is the main element of--or 
is perceived to be the main element of--that posture then the 
other side doesn't have much incentive to cooperate. So, that's 
a set of incentives that is very much in our power to 
    Mr. Said. I think, without taking the Lebanon analogy too 
far, because, of course, there are also differences there, I 
think what is also instructive from Lebanon is the Taif 
accords, the peace deal that brought peace to Lebanon. It was 
sponsored by Saudi Arabia, and it involved an element of 
implementation by Saudi Arabia, as well. And I think there 
are--there are instructive elements there that could be 
extended to Iraq, whereby a regional process where----
    Senator Webb. Yes.
    Mr. Said [continuing]. Can not only bring the solution and 
the settlement, but also the resources to implement it.
    Senator Webb. I have 2\1/2\ minutes left. I have one other 
question, and it--it's, sort of, inspired by the chairman's 
question earlier about: Do you ever--do you think you would 
ever see national police operating on the streets of Fallujah? 
Do any of you believe there will ever be true stability in Iraq 
if there are American combat troops on the streets of Iraq's 
cities? Or while there are?
    Mr. Said. No.
    Senator Webb. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Biden. Thank you.
    Senator Isakson.
    Senator Isakson. In deference to my--the Senator from 
Florida who has to leave at 1 o'clock also, I'm certainly 
willing to let him ask a couple of questions before 1 o'clock.
    Chairman Biden. I told you this is the most collegial 
committee in the Senate here. Thank you very much. It's kind of 
    Senator Nelson.
    Senator Bill Nelson. Thank you.
    Senator Isakson. As long as he doesn't run over. 
    Senator Bill Nelson. Well, rather than make a speech, I'm 
just going to ask questions. How's that?
    Senator Isakson. Good.
    Senator Bill Nelson. When does the pain of sectarian strife 
become sufficient that it finally causes the Sunnis and the 
Shiites to start getting serious about reconciliation?
    Mr. Said. The pain is already quite serious. The question 
is--and if it was just Sunnis and Shiites fighting, there may--
we may have reached that threshold. But what's happening in 
Iraq, as has been suggested by others as well, is 
fragmentation. This is becoming, gradually, a war of everyone 
against everyone. There are criminals on the streets. There are 
myriad Shia militias fighting among each other as much as they 
are fighting against the Sunnis. There are death squads of 
undescribable origin and of undescribable violence. This has 
become such a pervasive exercise in violence that there is no 
pain threshold that can stop it. This--there are no coherent 
sides directing the violence anymore. They are fragmented. 
There are warlords acting at the behest of the highest bidders. 
There are commercial interests and foreign interventions. Iraq 
has passed the point, if you like, where it can pull itself by 
its bootstraps. There is a need for an external intervention to 
bring peace to Iraq.
    Senator Bill Nelson. All right, now, that answer is 
particularly appropriate to Baghdad, would you not say? Let's 
go outside, to the west of Baghdad, to Al Anbar. I thought that 
the Marine commanders made a compelling case to me there, that 
additional troops would help them, as they are beginning to get 
the Sunni leaders to help them with al-Qaeda, which is the 
problem in western Iraq, in Al Anbar. Give me--differentiate 
between Al Anbar and Baghdad.
    Mr. Said. There are clearly differences, but they could go, 
also, the other way around. One of the major sources of the--
the major source of violence in Anbar is the fight between the 
Iraqis and Americans. So----
    Senator Bill Nelson. Pull that mike----
    Mr. Said [continuing]. One can easily----
    Senator Bill Nelson [continuing]. To you closer.
    Mr. Said. Huh?
    Senator Bill Nelson. Pull the mike closer.
    Mr. Said. I'm sorry. I'm saying, the main component of 
violence in Anbar is the fight--is the violence between the 
Iraqis and Americans. So, one can just as well say that a 
solution in Anbar can come through withdrawing U.S. forces 
rather than increasing them. But, regardless of that, even in 
Anbar there is intra-Iraqi violence. It's not Shia versus 
Sunni, it's Sunni versus Sunni. And, indeed, the tribal feuds 
in Anbar province--old tribal feuds on--over commercial 
interests and smuggling routes, have spilled out into this new 
coalition of Anbar tribes purporting to fight al-Qaeda. In 
reality, there is an--inside that determination, there are old 
tribal rivalries that are being used. And, in a way, the United 
States is being used by one tribe to bolster its bid against 
the other. So, it's never a simple--a black-and-white 
situation. But----
    Senator Bill Nelson. Right. All right, you----
    Mr. Said [continuing]. You are right that, in mixed areas, 
that's--the situation is different.
    Senator Bill Nelson. With the example you just gave in Al 
Anbar, could the Saudis, with their tribal influence, help in 
settling down the tribal strife, and, therefore, help with the 
stabilization of that western part of Iraq?
    Mr. Said. Tremendously. I think the one party if--everyone 
speaks about bringing Iran to the table, and Syria--I think one 
party that could contribute a lot more significantly than those 
two to a political settlement in Iraq is Saudi Arabia. And it's 
not being engaged properly.
    Senator Bill Nelson. All right. Let's----
    Dr. Marr. If I could----
    Senator Bill Nelson. Yes, Dr. Marr.
    Dr. Marr [continuing]. Just remind people how complex it 
is, there are tribes and tribes. And I've talked to people in 
Saudi Arabia who don't have any love for the Dulaymis, who are 
in Anbar. But I do agree the Saudis have a very vested interest 
in the stability of the Sunni region, so that this instability 
doesn't spill across the border. And something beside building 
a fence should be done.
    Senator Bill Nelson. Well, Mr. Chairman, I haven't given 
you my report, but that's one of the reasons I went and spent 
12 days in the region. And I spoke, specifically at the request 
of General Hayden, to the Saudis--the King, all of the security 
apparatus in Saudi Arabia, and so forth. So, I would ask: How 
do you encourage Saudi Arabia properly to get involved?
    Mr. Said. I'm sorry. One reason why the Saudis are not 
being engaged sufficiently in Iraq is that--is the resistance 
on behalf of Iraqi--some of the Iraqi leaders, winners of the 
political process, to engage them. Because clearly a Saudi 
engagement will bolster the position of some of the opposition 
groups, vis-a-vis some of those who are in power; and, 
therefore, Saudi engagements needs to be a part of a regional 
approach, and it needs to be part of an internationally 
mediated settlement for Iraq that goes beyond, if you like, the 
pain threshold of the Iraqi Government. I mean, we cannot--this 
will not happen if everything happens exactly as to the wishes 
of the Iraqi Government. The Iraqi Government needs to be 
pressured into accepting Saudi engagement, as well as some of 
the other groups need to be pressured into accepting Iranian 
    Senator Bill Nelson. All right. Final question, Senator 
Isakson. As I said, I'm not making a speech, I'm asking 
    A final question. Bashar Assad says that he has an alliance 
with Iran, vis-a-vis Iraq. You all have already testified on 
his reasons not to do that. How do we--how do we crack that 
door? How do we start to bring him to us instead of to Iran?
    Dr. Pillar. I think two main things. One, bear in mind that 
his principal objective is still to get what his father 
couldn't get, which was return of the Golan, as, obviously, 
part of a larger peace process with Israel. And the last time 
the Syrian track was active, they came this close to an 
agreement. And the second thing is, there are economic ties 
that have developed over the years between Iran and Syria, and 
there's going to have to be some kind of consideration for how 
economic ties with the United States could take part of the 
place of that, if they lost any of it.
    So, economic issues and Arab-Israeli peace-process issues.
    Mr. Said. If I might add, again, I mean, the--there has 
been a very strong and constructive, in the region, Syrian-
Saudi alliance that has broken down over the last 10 years. And 
that's something that could also be--especially in terms of 
economic aid--if Saudi Arabia could replace Syria's dependence 
on Iran, one could see a different behavior.
    Senator Bill Nelson. Thank you.
    Senator Menendez. Mr. Chairman, a procedural question, if I 
    Chairman Biden. Sure.
    Senator Menendez. I won't be, unfortunately, able to stay 
after Senator Isakson. I have an interview I've got to do. What 
is the procedure here on questions for the committee?
    Chairman Biden. Yes; we'll submit----
    Senator Menendez [continuing]. Some course of events----
    Chairman Biden [continuing]. Them through the Chair to the 
    And I apologize to my colleague from New Jersey for the way 
this has been disjointed a bit here.
    Senator Isakson.
    Senator Isakson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    All of you have said, in one way or another, that 
reconciliation is absolutely essential to long-range stability 
of Iraq. I have read that part of the administration's case may 
be--for a surge of troops in Baghdad--may be that you can't 
have reconciliation until you first have stability within 
Baghdad, relative peace. The question is: If the multifaceted 
violence--more than just the sectarian violence, but what you, 
Mr. Said, have referred to--if, in fact, a surge does produce a 
more peaceful Iraq, without having played a favorite within the 
many facets, and was evenhandedly done, can that contribute to 
bringing about the reconciliation we're talking about? Or is 
the fact that we're going to have soldiers there, present--as 
the answer to Mr. Webb's question--make it impossible?
    Mr. Said. I think any additional U.S. soldier brings with 
him the--or with her--the complexity of the issue. Again, it's 
one more occupation soldier, in the eyes of many Iraqis, as 
well as a protector for some communities, in the case of the 
sectarian violence. So, the--you're asking if the presence of 
the troops will produce stability, and I think what we've heard 
from me and from the others is that there is skepticism that 
the proposed surge will produce the stability and the 
protection that the people will get. But to answer your 
question directly, yes; if they succeed, if the additional 
troops do succeed in protecting more Iraqis and reducing the 
threshold of fear, the level of fear that they experience 
today, then, of course, that will be--that will contribute to 
political settlement.
    Dr. Marr. I would just----
    Senator Isakson. Yes.
    Dr. Marr. I would just like to add, here, that I see the 
situation in the Iraqi Government, within the Green Zone, as 
one centered on political parties and factions and groups, with 
their militias, particularly an alliance between the two 
Kurdish parties and SCIRI. Of course, Muqtada al-Sadr is 
playing a role. These are political parties with leaders who 
have been shaped by certain perceptions. They're new, they're 
not entirely stable. And this is the dynamic you have to look 
at. They're being asked to make compromises with ex-Baathists, 
people--insurgents and people who have perhaps wreaked a great 
deal of terror in Baghdad, and who have a history of wanting to 
get back in. So, I--put it in a political context here, 
because, in fact, it's not just a question of stabilizing 
Baghdad. They might use us for that purpose, because, indeed, 
that's what they'd like. Better we do it than that they do it. 
Even if we stabilize Baghdad, if that should occur, we're going 
to have to find ways to get these particular parties, groups, 
leaders, operating within this dynamic, to make the compromises 
necessary, and to expand the political group. That's the task 
that's at hand, and we can think of a variety of ways in which 
you can do that. Hopefully, it will work, but it really 
requires a strategy, nudging, and instruments, positive and 
negative, to get that to occur.
    Senator Isakson. Thank you, Dr. Marr.
    Dr. O'Hanlon, I want to ask you a question, and you can add 
on what you were going to say. Sixteen years ago, my son wrote 
a master's graduate thesis at the University of Georgia--which 
as a father I read--which just occurred to me in your 
testimony, it was about the effects of the Dutch disease on the 
Middle East. And the Dutch disease, as I remember it from that 
master's thesis, is when you have a nation with a singular 
source of wealth, which is a raw material--in this case, oil--
that never develops its infrastructure or its economy or its 
people, then it--they are rife for problems. Then it went into 
investigating each one of these.
    The President's recommendation, we are told, is going to 
have a $1 billion economic--for lack of a better word, a WPA 
program for, I presume, mostly in Baghdad. Does that help, 
given this Dutch disease, which Iraq obviously suffers from--
does that--assuming, again, the stability, which is step one--
does that help to bring--to contribute to reconciliation, if, 
in fact, they begin being employed in the--there begins some 
semblance of a diversified economy?
    Dr. O'Hanlon. Senator, I'm a supporter of a job-creation 
program, not necessarily because I expect it to contribute to a 
stronger Iraqi economy, in the long term, but because I think 
it's a good security strategy, in the short to middle term--
takes some of the unemployed angry young men off the street, or 
at least gives us some hope that some fraction of them will be 
less likely to oppose what we're doing and oppose the Iraqi 
Government. So, on those more specific security grounds, I 
would support it.
    On your earlier question, if I might add on----
    Senator Isakson. Please.
    Dr. O'Hanlon [continuing]. I think it's fine to imagine, 
you know, a surge beginning before a reconciliation, as long as 
there's a sense of urgency about the latter. Because I think--
my own sense, this is just guesstimating, of course--but the 
best you could hope for out of a surge is to get violence back 
to where it was, maybe, in 2004, or, if you're really lucky, 
the more difficult parts of 2003. A surge is not going to end 
Iraq's problems, it's not going to stabilize Baghdad. That 
would be too ambitious of a goal, and it's just not realistic. 
So, the most we can hope is that it arrests the deterioration, 
maybe stops some of the worst ethnic cleansing, and gets things 
back to where they were a couple of years ago. That's obviously 
not good enough. That's not a stable endpoint. So, the only way 
that could be useful is if there very quickly follows on--
hopefully at the same time, but certainly very quickly 
thereafter--a broader political and economic strategy, as well.
    Senator Isakson. Yes.
    Mr. Said. I think it's a very important question you raise 
about Dutch disease. And, indeed, none of the economic policies 
promoted by the United States in Iraq under the direct 
administration, nor now under the Iraqi Government, are mindful 
of that. Indeed, Iraq's dependence, singular dependence, on oil 
has increased over the past 4 years. Last year's budget, 94 
percent of government revenues came from oil. That's 
unprecedented. There is no country in the world that has such 
degree of dependence on oil. But, unfortunately, at this point, 
it seems that Dutch disease--worrying about Dutch disease is a 
luxury that the Iraqi Government cannot afford. And, as Mr. 
O'Hanlon suggested, an immediate job-creation program, although 
it is clear that it will not offer any long-term economic 
benefits, will at least reduce the violence, which is the main 
    Senator Isakson. Dr. Pillar, I--first of all, thank you for 
your service to the country. You're a retired veteran, served 
in Vietnam--I was reading your resume--and, I think, wrote a 
book that's title was, in part, ``Negotiating Peace and 
Terrorism in U.S. Foreign Policy.'' And when you made your 
statement, it was enlightening to me, when you said--talked 
about ``jihad depended on struggle,'' and talked about ``the 
terrorist networking, given the struggle in Iraq,'' assuming, 
for a second--knowing what happened on 9/11, and knowing what 
al-Qaeda's stated purposes are, and assuming stability came to 
Iraq and we were gone, what would al-Qaeda do to--would it 
create more struggles to keep feeding itself?
    Dr. Pillar. It would create more struggles. It would lose a 
big propaganda point and recruitment tool and networking 
opportunity and training ground, which, again, are the things 
that parallel what we saw in Afghanistan. It would not be 
critical, one way or another, in the survival of al-Qaeda. And 
most of what al-Qaeda will continue to try to do would not 
depend even on a safe haven, as was once the case in 
Afghanistan. One can talk about Iraq, but more important will 
be things terrorists do in places like Hamburg and Kuala Lumpur 
and flight-training schools in the United States, which is one 
of the lessons of 9/11: You don't need a territory. They can do 
their dirty business other ways.
    Senator Isakson. And I guess my answer to that would be, 
they thrive off the continued conflict in Iraq, they have no 
interest in reconciliation, or peace, for that matter.
    Dr. Pillar. Absolutely. They thrive off of continued 
conflict in Iraq, yes.
    Senator Isakson. Thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Said. If I may add, here, also, al-Qaeda is not 
necessarily interested in gaining power in Iraq.
    Senator Isakson. I know.
    Mr. Said. Al-Qaeda is more interested in keeping it as it 
is, and keeping the United States in Iraq, where there could be 
major confrontation.
    Dr. Pillar. Exactly. I agree, completely.
    Senator Isakson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Biden. Senator Cardin, you take what time you 
need. [Laughter.]
    Senator Cardin. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate it 
very much. And I can't tell you how much--how important I think 
these hearings are, and the witnesses that we have here, 
building upon the opinion that the United States needs to lead 
with diplomacy and bringing in the international community if 
we're going to be able to complete a mission in our interest in 
    I want to follow up specifically on one part that is likely 
to be in the President's policy, and that is the public works 
initiative, significant United States-initiated economic-
development public works in Iraq. And I want to know what your 
views are as to the capacity of Iraq to be able to deal with 
that type of initiative. All of you are saying that the United 
States is viewed as an occupation force, the President's 
message tonight is certainly going to get mixed reviews among 
the parties in Iraq. It's--it makes more visible, United States 
presence in Iraq. There are concerns about security issues 
among any public works projects. And I just would like to 
know--we've had problems in Congress making sure the money is 
used appropriately that we appropriate. And we know that it has 
not been the case. So, I guess I have a concern that, yes, we 
want to be responsible in building Iraq, the economics and 
providing opportunity for the people of Iraq, but--well, what 
are your views as to how well that will be used in Iraq, or 
what suggestions you might have as to what we should be doing 
to make sure that money is properly used in Iraq, understanding 
that the package that the President's likely to be submitting 
to us is coupled with an escalation of United States presence 
in Iraq that certainly will cause some additional problems for 
us in that region?
    Dr. O'Hanlon. Senator, that's a great question. I certainly 
think you're right to raise all these concerns, but I still 
strongly support the job-creation program, because, again, 
unemployment has been such a nagging issue in Iraq, and it 
creates more angry unemployed young men who join the Mahdi 
Militia, for example, or who join the Sunni-based insurgency. 
So, I think it makes sense. But to focus in on one of your 
operational questions: How do we provide oversight? What are 
the most important things for us to watch? In the spirit of 
what I was saying before, and that my colleague, Mr. Said, was 
saying also, I think it's, in a way, almost less important what 
the Iraqis do on their jobs, and more important that we make 
sure the right people get the money. In other words, you don't 
want to have this become a slush fund that some jihadist gets 
in charge of or some militia member gets in charge of, and then 
turns it into a patronage system to reward militia members. You 
have to make sure that you are being very careful about the 
disbursement of the funds. I don't, frankly, care if they 
whitewash the same fence 10 times in a row, as long as it's 10 
people who are relatively good-natured and well-intentioned and 
are not using that money to funnel to a lot of al-Qaeda or 
insurgent or militia operatives.
    So, figuring out the mechanism to pay people, I think, is 
the single most important thing, and my guess is the right 
answer is to build on the military commander's emergency 
response program, because our troops in the field are the ones 
who are out there in the large numbers who are going to have 
the ability to do more vetting and more careful distribution. 
They have to be involved, at some level. You can't just rely on 
these Provincial Support Teams, Provincial Reconstruction 
Teams, that have a couple of dozen people in each province, 
because they're going to have to give the money in bucketloads 
to Iraqis who, in some cases, may or may not be fully 
dependable. That would be my only advice.
    Dr. Marr. I'd just like to make three points on this. I 
would hope that this money is going to be rapidly funneled to 
Iraqis. The whole idea that Americans are going to be there 
doing the public works is just, it seems to me, a nonstarter.
    Iraqis traditionally are schizophrenic on foreign powers 
and occupation, and we perhaps put a tad too much concern on 
antiforeign, antioccupation sentiment. Of course that's going 
to be there, but Iraqis do need the outside help. And yet, even 
when they get it, they're going to rebel against it.
    I think there is an issue here, not so much on the public 
works and the emergency funds, because the money needs to be 
spread for employment, I agree. But in terms of really 
developing the economy, getting the electricity going, and so 
forth, Iraq used to have a very good technocratic class, 
engineers and others, but, as everybody has pointed out, 
they're really losing it, not just at the top level, the 
engineer, but the technocrats who actually do the work. I 
recall a conversation in Basrah, last time I was there, about 
some technician who was dealing with something as simple as 
filters of some kind on oil installations; and just getting 
people to understand that they had to change that filter--it 
had to be absolutely clean every day--he said, was very really 
a problem. So, this is something we do need to be concerned 
about, whether the money is going to be used properly.
    And we haven't talked too much about it, but corruption is 
a huge problem. Mike probably knows the figures on how much of 
the Iraqi oil revenue, the economy, and so on, is siphoned off 
to individuals, and doesn't feed into the formal economy or the 
government. So, some kind of balance has to be found, in terms 
of oversight of the funds, that they're going not just to 
insurgents, that goes without saying, but corrupt politicians 
and others--there will always be a certain amount of 
corruption--versus getting that money and the jobs into the 
bloodstream. I think there's always a balance to be achieved 
here. But that corruption issue is a real problem.
    Senator Cardin. I agree with you. And there's certainly a 
desire to get Iraqis employed. And I can appreciate your 
pointing that out. But I think, at the end of the day, we want 
the water supply to be available to the Iraqis. We wanted this 
to be constructive and helping the economy of the country to 
lead toward stability of the country. And without the experts 
that they need, because they have left, without having the 
trained workforce, there's going to be a lot of foreign 
interest in helping in Iraq, and, unfortunately, some of that's 
not going to be well received, it seems to me.
    Mr. Said. I think there are two problems with the job-
creation program that is being proposed. First of all, the 
Iraqi Government, last year--this past year--have failed to 
spend a lot of the money that it has allocated through the 
budget for investment. There is a serious shortage of capacity 
to spend, in the Iraqi Government, to--especially for 
investment projects. So, to add additional resources, if the 
Iraqi Government hasn't been able to spend, is a bit 
    So far, such initiatives have been guided by short-term 
interests, particularly addressing the security situation, and 
has not fed into a long-term or medium-term strategy. Now, 
there is--the Iraqi Government has developed several 
strategies--a national development strategy on, currently, the 
compact--but there has been--there seems to be continued--
continuing disconnect between the interventions, the aid money 
that is being given, and the Iraqi medium-term strategy. So, 
it's very important for this particular package to flow through 
an Iraqi-owned and -designed planning strategy that looks in 
the--to the medium term and is not ad hoc and short term.
    Senator Cardin. Well, let me thank, again, the witnesses, 
and thank your patience, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Biden. Well, thank you for your patience.
    Senator Lugar, do you have anything you want to----
    Senator Lugar. Just one followup on Senator Cardin's 
question. We've been discussing--and he illuminated this, as 
you have--that it would be desirable for this to flow through 
somebody in Iraq. But you've all testified the bureaucracy is 
decimated, the professionals that were left have gone 
somewhere, and there is a protection problem even for those 
Iraqis who might be doing these works, quite apart from 
Americans or somebody. Physically, how can the billion dollars 
be spent? You've said that the Iraqis couldn't allocate maybe a 
quarter of their own budget this year, quite apart from $1 
billion that comes in from us. I'm just trying to trace, 
physically, what happens, in terms of expectations and results.
    Mr. Said. This is quite a challenge. I mean, you are 
pointing out a serious challenge that the administration will 
face in spending these resources. I think the trick is--here is 
to help spend at least some of these resources to build Iraqi 
capacity to spend, Iraqi capacity to manage and execute 
projects, which has been decimated over the last 3 or 4 years.
    Senator Lugar. Build the capacity to get those resources to 
    Mr. Said. Another element of it is to use the emergency 
response fund framework that the commanders use, the military 
commanders on the ground, with small sums of money, to produce 
the kind of relief. But this is not a framework within which 
you spend billions of dollars; these are much more small-
scale--however, quite effective in generating short-term 
    Dr. Marr. Just one point. I'd like to bring up my favorite 
subject, and that's exchanges--education, students, training 
people, getting Iraqis out; it doesn't even have to be to the 
United States--and working on the visa problem here, to get 
them in. I'm hearing all kinds of complaints, still, about 
Iraqis not being able to come over, study, and so on. But one 
way to help build the capacity is to get Iraqis out, get them 
in training, and that helps some of the security problems, as 
    Senator Lugar. You mean develop a major scholarship program 
for 10,000 Iraqis, something of this sort, with a significant 
public-relations aspect, and maybe some leadership.
    Dr. Marr. Not enough is being--not enough is being done 
there, I think.
    Chairman Biden. Senator Menendez----
    Senator Menendez. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Biden [continuing]. Welcome back.
    Senator Menendez. I'm glad to have been recognized. I 
didn't think it was going to be that short, but I appreciate 
it. And I appreciate the panelists for their testimony and 
their staying power for all this time. And I wanted to get 
back, and having sat here all morning I hope that the questions 
that I want to pose to you are not repetitive. I stayed here 
through the morning, so, maybe on some of the questions and 
answers, you may have answered some of this. So, I hope it's 
not repetitive, in case I didn't catch it.
    As I both read your testimonies and listened to your 
testimony here today, and your answers to questions I have a 
real concern. I didn't vote for the war in the first place, so 
I come from a certain point of view. But, of course, I want us 
to succeed. And it seems to me that everything I heard you 
collectively say is that this is about, at the end of the day, 
a political solution, and that we cannot necessarily accomplish 
a military solution.
    I hear and read, for example, Dr. Marr, in your testimony, 
toward the end, you say, ``Only when the participants in the 
struggle for power recognize that they are losing more than 
they can gain by continuing will it come to an end. And that 
may be''--your sentence goes on, ``that may be a very long 
time.'' When I listen to Mr. Said say that, in fact, ``a good 
part of the violence is one about power and money'' and when I 
hear Dr. Pillar say, which I agree with totally, that ``Iran is 
the big winner, at the end of the day''--all of those comments, 
and others, in my mind, speak volumes as to why an escalation 
is not the solution to our problem. As a matter of fact, from 
what I've seen of those who are military experts, including 
several of our generals, say is that to have a real ability to 
have some military effort--as I think Mr. Said mentioned--is 
about half a million troops, over three times the number of 
troops that exist in the United States now. And there is no 
way, both military, I think, from the U.S. perspective, in 
terms of the ability to do that, as well as the support, for 
that possibly to happen.
    So, having said all of that, the question is: How is it--
and you've all talked, at different points, about the political 
process, the regional players but what would you be saying 
tomorrow if the Secretary of State comes before the committee? 
What would you be saying to her if you were advising her, and 
to the President, about what the steps are that we need to take 
to get that political process, both internally by Iraqis and as 
General Pace said, ``to love their children more than they hate 
their neighbors''? That can't be accomplished through military 
might, to love their children more than they hate their 
neighbors. The question is: How do we have a surge, an 
escalation, in a political process that gives us the ultimate 
success that we want? What would be the steps that you would be 
suggesting in order to accomplish that?
    Dr. Marr. Well, I'd kind of like to go back to the Iraq 
Study report again, because I think they really did address 
this, aside from the surge. And, incidently, I'm not so 
pessimistic that I think there are going to be no agreements 
between Iraqis for a very long time. We've pointed out to one 
area where this long process seems to be beginning, and that's 
the oil legislation. There have been some compromises, mainly 
from the Kurds, who recognize that they want to get on with 
this. I think you have to take a strong stand behind the scenes 
and indicate that there's both a carrot and a stick, as the 
Iraqi Study Group report said. We're willing to continue aid 
and help--not necessarily money, but training, assistance, 
support, and so on--if certain milestone steps are taken--
something on the de-Baathification, compromise on the oil law, 
    Senator Menendez. But this is now--you're saying the United 
States saying to----
    Dr. Marr. United States talking turkey----
    Senator Menendez [continuing]. Proactively.
    Dr. Marr. Yes; to these----
    Senator Menendez. And as part of that----
    Dr. Marr. But also negative. If----
    Senator Menendez. Uh-huh.
    Dr. Marr [continuing]. These things are----
    Senator Menendez. That's what I want to----
    Dr. Marr [continuing]. Not accomplished--and our patience 
isn't exhaustive, as Michael has said--then we're going to 
withdraw this support, including military support.
    Senator Menendez. Well, I'm glad you said that, because my 
followup to the question, and I'd like to hear from others, is: 
Isn't it true that benchmarks without timetables or at least 
consequences, are only aspirations, as part of that process? 
What would your suggestions be?
    Mr. Said. I think benchmarks are useful, even without 
consequences, because they set goals, they set parameters 
    Senator Menendez. But we've had those benchmarks, and many 
of them have not been met, and----
    Mr. Said. Definitely.
    Senator Menendez [continuing]. And now we have them as 
another excuse for an escalation of troops.
    Mr. Said. Definitely. I mean, there is definitely a need 
to--for the U.S. Government to take a more assertive role, vis-
a-vis its own allies in Iraq. There is a need to take a more 
serious look at----
    Senator Menendez. How do we get other regional players to 
be involved in a proactive way?
    Mr. Said. Beyond that, I thought--I think it's very 
important to say that this is not something the United States 
alone can make. I think internationalizing Iraq is a very 
critical element. To give you just one example, the League of 
Arab States and the United Nations have been trying, over the 
last 3 years, to build, if you like, the Iraqi delegation to a 
peace conference, trying to canvas Iraqi political class and 
political elites to identify people who could sit together and 
negotiate a peace settlement. This is a role that the United 
States cannot play. This is a role that could--that only 
trusted international multilateral actors can do. And I think 
the United States should encourage such efforts, be it through 
the United Nations, through the international compact, or 
through the Arab League, to broaden the negotiating table and 
bring additional Iraqis to the table, and regional players, to 
start working on a settlement and on a political framework.
    Senator Menendez. Dr. Pillar, you may have responded to 
this previously, but in the twin exercise that the Iranians and 
the Syrians have right now, where, in one part they are 
enjoying us being bogged down, shedding our blood and national 
treasure, and on the other part, they have an interest in the 
stability of Iraq, where is the tipping point? Where do we get 
them to move in the direction that is more positive than the 
negativity they are playing right now?
    Dr. Pillar. Well, Senator, we did address, somewhat earlier 
in the proceedings, some of the ways of manipulating the 
incentives. On the Syrian side, it has to do with their 
objectives regarding the peace process, getting the Golan back. 
With regard to the Iranian side, Tehran is interested in a 
whole host of things--not just the nuclear issue that gets all 
the attention, but a whole host of things that involve the 
United States, having to do with everything from frozen assets 
to developing a normal relationship, and a vague thing that the 
Iranians would refer to as ``respect,'' which is kind of hard 
to operationalize, but it is important to them.
    I think Phebe, I'd go back to the Iraq Study Group as a 
reference point to this, because I think their treatment of the 
external dimension is excellent. And I would summarize our 
earlier discussions in this room and what the ISG says by 
saying the diplomatic approach needs to be inclusive with 
regard to with whom we are speaking, it needs to be flexible 
with regard to the forums and formats--it's not just one big 
conference, it's bilateral contacts, it's track-two-type stuff, 
it's the indirect incentives that could affect the thinking in 
places like Tehran, and it has to be sensitive to what's on the 
agenda of those countries. I just mentioned some things of 
interest to Iran, for example. We can't just limit it to, ``We 
want to talk about stopping your troublemaking in Iraq.'' You 
know, if that's our agenda, it's going to go nowhere. It has to 
be broader.
    Mr. Said. If I may add another element here, which is 
violence inside Iran and Syria, Iraq has been--there has been 
an element of contagion taking place through Iraq, and there 
has been a spike in sectarian violence and ethnic violence in 
Iran, both with the Arab minority and the Kurdish minority. And 
there have been issues with the Kurdish minority in Syria. And 
this could become more serious as Iraq implodes. So, there is a 
threshold of pain, if you like, there, as well, that will 
encourage them to engage more.
    Dr. Pillar. With the Kurds, there were fatal riots in 
Syria, I believe in 2004, and similar ones in Iran in 2005, so 
they've actually had bloodshed inside their territories over 
these issues.
    Senator Menendez. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Biden. Folks, the end is in sight. You've been a 
wonderful panel.
    Let me address, from a slightly different perspective, 
several points you've raised.
    I believe--it doesn't make me correct, it just made me a 
pariah for a while--I believe I was the first one to suggest, 
in an op-ed piece over a year ago--that there be an 
international conference, and a contact group to follow up on 
that conference. It was pointed out, as one of the criticisms, 
which is legitimate, in one sense, that if you expand the 
participation, not only externally, but internally, within 
Iraq, which you're suggesting, you are, by definition, 
undercutting the government. There is a ``freely elected 
government in Iraq.'' There is a Constitution that the Iraqi 
people have overwhelming voted for. ``I was there when the vote 
took place,'' the argument goes. Therefore, for the United 
States to do anything that goes beyond the governmental 
entities that exist now within Iraq, and to do anything without 
their permission relative to external forces, is to, in effect, 
negate the commitment we made to their Constitution and to the 
unity government. How do you respond to that?
    Dr. Pillar.
    Dr. Pillar. Well, I guess it all has to be portrayed as 
help. And when you talk about the regional actors--for example, 
Mr. Said made the point about the Arab League's efforts to try 
to help the Iraqis do all the functions that a sovereign state 
would do--and so, if help can be phrased in those terms, it 
doesn't necessarily have to be represented as inconsistent with 
Iraqi sovereignty.
    Chairman Biden. But if, in fact, the existing Maliki 
government says, ``We don't want X, Y, or Z participating in 
this conference, internally--they are not elected, they're not 
part of the government, they do not hold a ministry,'' et 
cetera--then what do we say?
    Mr. Said. I mean, a peace process--I'm sorry, a peace 
process, by definition, detracts from sovereignty. There is----
    Chairman Biden. Detracts from sovereignty?
    Mr. Said. Detracts from sovereignty. There is no peace 
process anywhere in the world that recognizes 100 percent of 
the sovereignty of one of the parties involved. If there is a 
need for a peace process, this means there is a problem; and, 
therefore, we have to--it's a last--it's a last--it's a last 
    Governance, sovereignty, the right, is not a carte blanche, 
it's not an open check. If the government is not delivering, in 
terms of providing for peace, in terms of providing a peaceful 
conflict resolution mechanism, then it loses the right to some 
of its sovereignty.
    Chairman Biden. Well, that is a new international concept. 
I happen to agree with it, but that is a new concept, in terms 
of what we'd constitute as the sacredness of sovereignty. I 
happen to agree with you, but I just want to make sure we 
understand. We mix terms a lot. We--not you--we interchange 
terms a great deal. As you all pointed out, it's very complex 
in Iraq. There's an insurgency and there's sectarian violence 
and there's insurgency and violence within the insurgency and 
so on. I would describe the situation in Iraq as almost a 
disintegration rather than a civil war, quite frankly.
    But, having said that, I think, in order to help us in this 
process, think through this process--and one of the things the 
chairman and I have, I think, been pretty much in lockstep on 
is trying to figure out these practical big-ticket items.
    For example, employment. I have made many trips to Iraq, in 
relative terms. Two trips ago, I met with General Chiarelli, 
the No. 2 guy, who is now leaving.
    He said, ``Senator, if I--you ever hear me criticize the--
raise the word `bureaucrat' again, smack me.'' He said, ``There 
is no bureaucracy to deal with here in Iraq. We desperately 
need one.''
    And he gave me the following example. He said, ``You know, 
the date palm, the national fruit, national tree, it's a symbol 
of Iraq''--he went back through the history of it.
    He said--and I'm embarrassed that I don't remember the 
varmint that can decimate it, but it's something the equivalent 
of the boll weevil to cotton--``you have to spray these every 5 
    And, he said, ``If you don't, within that timeframe, you 
run the risk of this disease consuming this national treasure, 
and also a previous source of income.''
    And he said, ``So, I went to the Embassy and said, `You 
ought to get them--we ought to spray these things.' ''
    And he said--and I'm paraphrasing--he said, ``They said, 
`No, that's up to the Iraqis.' '' And he said, ``But I told 
them there's no Department of Agriculture that works.''
    And he said, ``Well, they said, `It's got to be them.' '' 
And he said, ``So, I did what Saddam did. I used my helicopters 
and went and sprayed them.''
    Which leads me to the second point he raised to me. He 
said, ``You know, we have what I call the most expensive water 
fountain in all the Middle East, that we built in Baghdad.'' He 
said, ``It's great to put some high water--potable water to 
everybody in Baghdad.'' He said, ``We built it,'' except we 
didn't run the pipes from ``the fountain'' to the homes. That 
was up to the Iraqis. Yet there was no mechanism by which the 
Iraqis knew how to, or were able to, organize, at least at that 
point, actually putting the PVC pipe in the ground from his 
term of art, his facetious term, ``the water fountain'' to the 
    So, I guess what I'm getting at is this. And this is a 
question to you, Dr. Marr. From a historical perspective, how 
big a contributor to the economy of Iraq was agriculture in the 
1950s, let's say, or the 1940s or the 1960s? I mean, was it a 
major component? You hear the phrase ``Iraq used to be the 
breadbasket of the Middle East.'' Can you tell me, from a 
historical perspective what--
whether or not Iraq was a major exporter of agricultural 
products in the past?
    Dr. Marr. I have covered that in my previous book, and 
there's a very interesting history on that. And let me just 
recoup it.
    When the British were there, under the mandate, up until 
the 1950s, they put a lot of emphasis on agriculture. But you 
have to remember, as you know, there are two kinds. There's 
irrigation system in the south, which is hugely expensive. You 
have to desalinate, you have to put a lot of effort, on dams 
and so forth, and you have to have a population that likes 
agriculture and wants to work in it. And, in fact, that has 
gradually fallen into decay. Growing grains, rice, and other 
things grown in the south, Iraqis were able to feed themselves, 
were even able to do some exporting, into the 1950s. The rain-
fed agriculture in the north is much easier. The Kurdish area 
and some of the areas around Mosul, you don't need that 
irrigation. But, frankly, because of political mismanagement 
and all sorts of other things, agriculture has fallen into 
incredible disarray in Iraq. This migration of the population 
from the south to Baghdad and so on has depopulated the area, 
and it really has fallen into decline. And not only does Iraq 
not export, not just under our occupation or even under Saddam, 
but everything went into industry, and you can just chart the 
figures where oil and urban service industries, working for the 
government, for education, took over and left agriculture 
    One word of caution. I'm not sure Iraq can be a 
breadbasket. I think there's been too much emphasis on how much 
agriculture could do. It could certainly be revived. It would 
help to feed the population. But modern agriculture is not 
grains and so on; it's vegetables and other things you grow for 
commercial agriculture. They could do a great deal more with 
that. But a breadbasket for the Middle East, I think, is too 
    But agriculture, as a percentage of population employed or 
any other figure, has declined radically.
    Chairman Biden. Well, one of the reasons I raised the 
question is, my last trip, over the Fourth of July, it was 
suggested to me there was a direct correlation--and, Michael--
or Dr. O'Hanlon, maybe you could speak to this--there was a 
direct correlation between the formation of the unity 
government and the exponential rise in those participating in 
militias, the exact opposite that was predicted. What was 
predicted was, there would be a unity government; what that 
would do is focus on a unified Iraq; they would have a united 
Iraqi Army that was multiethnic; that the police force would be 
able to begin to be purged of the death squads and so on. And 
the irony was, at least in just pure data, that the number of 
people being prepared to get a paycheck and get a weapon to 
``fight with a militia'' went up almost exponentially. And so, 
two of the generals with whom I sat said, ``You want me to deal 
with the militia. Don't give me jurisdiction to disarm them. 
Get the Department of Agriculture working, and give them 
employment. You want me to deal with reduction of the militia. 
Give me the opportunity to provide for employment.'' Because 
these are people between the ages of 18 and 30, they've got 
nothing to do. The unemployment rates you gave us were very 
high. Are they correct? Is there a correlation--are people 
joining the militias, in part, because there's nothing else to 
do, a la riots in the 1960s in the United States of America, in 
center cities where large numbers of teams sat on corners and 
had nothing to do, and, therefore, engaged? You were mayor of 
Indianapolis, going through that very difficult period of time. 
Talk to me about that a minute. I mean, what's the correlation 
between the intensity of support for being part of a militia 
and the sectarian violence and being unemployed?
    Dr. O'Hanlon. I don't think I can create a direct link that 
I can prove with the data. But I can agree with your point, in 
a broader sense. But it's impression. And the impression is 
that when you give a country lack of hope for multiple years--
you know, you have angry young men joining the working-age 
population, with nothing else to do--we just have to ask: 
What's going to be their psychology? So, it's the 
commonsensical answer you gave that I would fall back on, 
myself. I can't prove it from the data. And in the small 
samples that we have of pilot projects being attempted, I don't 
think we have a way to prove that job-creation programs reduce 
the support for the insurgency or the militias. But, as you 
say, Senator, it's the combination of high unemployment, the 
experiment in democracy not really producing reconciliation, 3 
years of accumulated violence. All this has added up to a 
climate of hopelessness, and we have to attack it in multiple 
ways, even if we're not sure of what's going to work.
    Chairman Biden. OK. Last point I'll make, and then--unless 
the chairman has additional questions, close this out.
    I was impressed with, not the dissimilarity, but the 
similarity of your testimony today on a number of very 
important points. One is that there's no straight line here to 
look at, in terms of the disintegration of the situation in 
Iraq. It's not totally a consequence, or even primarily a 
consequence, of religion, although religion is playing a larger 
role. There's an interlocking and complicated connection 
between tribal loyalties, religious loyalties, political 
parties, the disintegration of the middle class, or at least 
the exodus. One thing that I don't want to misrepresent, so I'm 
going to ask you specifically--my impression is that there was 
total agreement on the need for a political settlement being 
the ultimate criteria for stability in Iraq. The real question 
that's evolved is one that we've been discussing for a while, 
and the Baker Commission discussed, and I have discussed in the 
proposal I've made, and others--I'm not unique in this regard--
and that is whether continuing and/or increasing our presence 
physically with military in Iraq promotes movement toward 
reconciliation, whatever ``reconciliation'' means, or the 
looming middle term--not threat, but reality that, over the 
next 12 to 18 months, if there's not a correlation between 
political reconciliation--if that does not occur, you will see 
a correlation with the reduction of American forces, to the 
point that we essentially have removed all our combat forces 
from that country. And that seems to be the tension. I may not 
be explaining this succinctly. But, given the broad choice that 
it seems to me the President of the United States has--and it's 
a pretty basic choice, it seems to me--does he increase, surge, 
escalate, or even just maintain without any threat, if you 
will, of significant reduction within a particular timeframe? 
Is that more likely to get action along the lines we need it, 
which is reconciliation of some sort? Or is it better as the 
Baker Commission suggested, by implication anyway, to tell the 
Maliki government, and others now, ``Hey, Jack, it's not gonna 
last very much longer''?
    I was asked, when the President made his secret trip to 
Iraq--I was on one of those programs, and they showed a picture 
of the President whispering in Maliki's ear. And they said, 
``What do you think of that?'' I said, ``It depends on what 
he's whispering.'' I wasn't being facetious. If he's 
whispering, ``I'm with you to the end, don't worry, we're 
staying,'' then we're in real trouble, was my response. If he's 
whispering, ``Hey, Jack, listen up here. You've got a limited 
amount of time. You've got to make some courageous and 
difficult choices. You've got to put yourself on the line. If 
you do, we'll help. If you don't, you can't count on it.'' In 
very colloquial terms, that's about what the choices are, in 
terms of our policy. You can demur, you cannot answer, but if 
you're willing, which side of that ledger do you--are more 
inclined to come down on? I know nothing is straight-line here, 
nothing is black and white. What should be the thrust of our 
policy over the next year as it relates to the issue of 
encouraging consensus, or a move toward consensus or 
reconciliation? By suggesting we're going to be leaving or by 
suggesting that we're going to provide the physical stability, 
the security, first, before we ask you to make these very 
difficult decisions?
    Dr. O'Hanlon. Senator, it's a great way of framing the 
dilemma. I think the way I would put it is, I would not be 
comfortable with President Bush being the only person speaking 
for the United States on this issue, because we know anything 
he says is going to be interpreted not as a surge, but as a new 
level of effort. His whole legacy is linked, as we all know, to 
Iraq coming out at least OK. So, I personally, not just 
become--not just because I'm a Democrat--I'm happy to see the 
Congress in Democratic hands--and, even where Republicans are 
having the opportunity, they are asking tough questions and 
sending the message--the current policy is not going to be 
sustainable. It's not sustainable militarily. The Army and 
Marine Corps are already doing too much, even at 140,000. To go 
to 160 is really going to something that has to be viewed as a 
temporary measure, even if President Bush asked for 50,000 more 
troops in the budget this year.
    In terms of our politics, we all know, a number of you 
running for President, and just running for campaigns in 2008, 
are sending a message, ``This can't continue.'' And the Iraqis 
have to know that, with 100,000 people being displaced from 
their homes every month, it can't continue in their country 
    So, only if both messages are sent simultaneously can it 
work. A surge, by itself, with the implication that it could 
continue indefinitely, I think, would be a terrible message to 
send. But if it's juxtaposed with this sense of urgency, and 
``2007 is the last real chance,'' then I think there may be a 
case for it.
    Dr. Marr. That is a wonderful question, and I think it is 
the nub of the matter. I've asked myself the same thing, 
thinking of it from the Iraqi side, What motivates----
    Chairman Biden. Right.
    Dr. Marr [continuing]. Iraqis? And I wish I had a really 
definitive opinion on it, but I think I lean somewhat more to 
the Iraq Study Group sense of it, although I'm not hard over.
    A couple of points. I think threat is necessary, but not 
sufficient, to get the Iraqis to move. And I think we have to 
ask ourselves, also, what motivates people. It's not only 
threat. If you're always threatening, without some incentive, 
you're not going to get anywhere. But there is a sense of not 
only so much hopelessness, but passivity, or, ``What can we do 
about it?'' in the Iraqi tradition that I'm not sure, even if 
we used a threat, it's going to be successful.
    Chairman Biden. Yes.
    Mr. Said. I think that a threat to withdraw will have two 
impacts of opposite direction. On one hand, it may incentivize 
people to talk and to seek a settlement. On the other hand, it 
may emphasize--encourage them to go for a last push. Indeed, 
what seems to be the dynamic, so far, has been that the threat 
and the--because people in Iraq realize that the Americans are 
not staying--has been to go for a last push.
    Likewise, the surge option, particularly if taken out of 
context, out of political context, is more likely to produce 
negative results than positive.
    A third--and it's just a general comment--I don't think 
there is an option of a gradual U.S. withdrawal. I think what 
you will realize--and this has happened on--in regional bases, 
in provincial bases--that attempts to withdraw, especially 
British attempts to withdraw, gradually have not materialized. 
And, indeed, once you start to withdraw, you'll have to be 
ready to withdraw almost immediately. And so, that is also 
important to keep in mind.
    Dr. Pillar. I will not demur at all in answering your very 
clear question, Senator. I would definitely lean in the 
direction of letting the Iraqis know we're not going to be 
there forever, consistent with the Iraq Study Group report.
    I disagree a little bit with the comment Mr. Said just 
made. You know, people talk about an immediate withdrawal 
versus gradual. I think, just as a matter of military logistics 
and force protection and all that, even if you wanted to get 
out fast, fast could translate into a matter of months and 
wouldn't really be that much different from the timeframe that 
the ISG was talking about.
    But my basis for answering you that way is, basically, we 
have tried other things, even ones that look like surges in the 
Baghdad area. They haven't worked. This other thing might not 
work, either, but at least it hasn't been tried. And it's also 
the option that we know will reduce U.S. costs and casualties.
    Chairman Biden. Well, I appreciate it very much. We're 
going to hear from the Secretary tomorrow. She's graciously 
agreed to be here. And I hope, when she does, we will have 
explained that in a sense, ``surge'' is a bit of a misnomer. 
Most Americans, I think, when you talk about a ``surge,'' are 
thinking of 20 or 25 or 30 or 15,000 folks getting on a boat, 
being shipped to the gulf, coming up through Basrah, and 
occupying Baghdad. The truth of the matter is, this is going to 
be a process, if it occurs. And we're talking about telling the 
Marines they've got to go from 6 months to a year in place. 
We're going to tell the Army guys and women there, they're 
going to go from 12 months to 14 months, we're going to take a 
brigade out of Kuwait or out of Qatar and move them in, and so 
on. So, this is a process--which I think complicates the matter 
even more, in a sense. But that's for another day.
    So, I--again, the purpose of this is to educate us--and 
you've helped do that today. And hopefully, the American people 
and the press have gained as much from listening to all of you 
as we have. I truly appreciate your patience. You've been 
sitting here since 9:30. It's now a quarter of 2. It's the 
drawback from expanding the committee to 21 people. I guess 
that's the number we have. But there are so many people in the 
Senate so critically interested in this that I overcame my 
instinct of making it smaller. I was chairman or ranking member 
of Judiciary for 17 years, and my entire effort was to reduce 
the size of the committee to make it more manageable. But I'm 
delighted with the new members. You can tell the degree of the 
concern and participation. And I think you've all noted--you've 
testified before--I doubt whether you've ever testified before 
where you were any more convinced that as many people were 
listening to everything word you had to say. And so, I hope 
that's some psychic remuneration for you, for all the work 
you've done on our behalf. We promise we'll try to cut the 
questions down. We'll kind of see if we have multiple 
questions. I don't want you in a position where you're spending 
the next whatever having to answer the written questions.
    Again, the chairman and I both thank you for your 
tremendous input here and your patience.
    And the committee is adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 1:52 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.]

             Additional Statements Submitted for the Record

    Prepared Statement of Hon. Jim Webb, U.S. Senator From Virginia

    The series of hearings that we begin today provide a critical 
opportunity to forge a new strategic direction for Iraq and the entire 
region--one that is long overdue and one I hope all Americans will 
eventually be able to rally behind. I would like to express my 
appreciation to our panel's witnesses for their appearance today. I 
look forward to hearing their assessments, especially as they relate to 
the regional implications of the situation in Iraq today.
    We went to war in Iraq recklessly; we must move forward 
responsibly. The war's costs to our Nation have been staggering. These 
costs encompass what we hold to be most precious--the blood of our 
citizens. They also extend to the many thousands more Iraqi people 
killed and wounded as their country slides into the chaos of sectarian 
violence and civil war. We have incurred extraordinary financial 
costs--expenses totaling more than $380 billion and now estimated at $8 
billion a month.
    The war also has diverted our Nation's focus fighting international 
terrorism and deflected our attention to the many additional threats to 
our national security abroad and national greatness at home--costs 
difficult to measure, perhaps, but very real all the same.
    The Iraqi Government and the Iraqi people must understand that the 
United States does not intend to maintain its current presence in their 
country for the long term. They must make the difficult but essential 
decisions to end today's sectarian violence and to provide for their 
own security. The American people are not alone in seeking that day; 
indeed, the overwhelming majority of Iraqi citizens also does not want 
our forces present in their country for any longer than is absolutely 
    The key question of the moment is how long the United States should 
be expected to keep our forces in Iraq as its government seeks to 
assume these burdens? How and when do we begin to drawdown our combat 
presence and conclude our mission in a way that does not leave even 
greater chaos behind? What is the administration's strategic vision 
and, as it relates to our presence in Iraq, its eventual end point?
    The answers to these questions are not to be found in Iraq alone. 
Achieving our goals in this war requires a coherent strategy 
encompassing the entire region. The National Strategy for Victory in 
Iraq, published by the National Security Council in November 2005, 
principally emphasized how the United States would help the Iraqi 
people defeat terrorists and build an inclusive democratic state. This 
strategy identified an initiative to increase international support for 
Iraq. It did not, however, affirm the need for an overarching 
diplomatic solution that is now, more than ever, an imperative if we 
are to end the war.
    I have said for many months that the United States does not require 
a military solution to end the war in Iraq. We must seek a diplomatic 
solution immediately--one that engages all nations in the region with 
historic and cultural ties to Iraq. Because they are part of today's 
problem, Syria and Iran also must be party to tomorrow's solution. This 
overarching diplomatic solution, one supportive of a coherent strategy, 
will lead to four outcomes. First, it will enable us to withdraw our 
combat troops from Iraq over time. Second, it will lead to 
progressively greater regional stability. Third, it will allow us to 
fight international terrorism more effectively. Lastly, it will enable 
us to address our broad strategic interests around the world with 
renewed vigor.
    During an earlier era in our Nation's history, we were faced with 
an unpopular war that had gone on too long. The then-recently retired 
General Dwight David Eisenhower spoke out against the conduct of the 
Korean war in the summer of 1952. ``Where do we go from here,'' he 
asked; ``when comes the end?''
    Today, the members of this committee--indeed all Americans--await 
answers to these same questions: Where do we go from here? When comes 
the end?

      Prepared Statement of Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, U.S. Senator
                             From Maryland

    As a new member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I wish 
to thank Chairman Biden and Ranking Member Senator Lugar for taking the 
initiative to hold today's hearing regarding the war in Iraq. This 
hearing is timely and responds to the interest of the public to learn 
more up-to-date information about the President's plans and options.
    I know the citizens of Maryland are very keen to understand where 
we are in Iraq and the implications for our sons and daughters fighting 
in Baghdad and other parts of that country. Maryland is home to the 
U.S. Naval Academy and other key military installations. For many 
reasons, the Iraq war and the return of our troops are of critical 
concern to the citizens of my State. Sixty-two Marylanders have lost 
their lives in Iraq and many more have suffered life-changing injuries.
    In fact, this is one of the reasons I sought a seat on the Foreign 
Relations Committee. Marylanders want to be informed about what is 
happening in Iraq and other U.S. engagements around the world and I 
wanted to be in a position to respond to this interest. To be sure, the 
Iraq Study Group Report was an excellent means to begin this process. 
The findings and recommendations from the report constitute the most 
in-depth study to date of the management of the Iraq war. Specifically, 
I agree with the report's recommendation to begin a phased troop 
withdrawal of combat brigades.
    Today we begin a series of hearings on Iraq designed to give 
Members of Congress and the American public a situational overview of 
the war and viable options to change our current course to promote 
greater security and to bring our military forces home. At the outset, 
I am very concerned about media reports regarding the Bush 
administration's intent to increase the number of U.S. troops.
    In 2002, as a Member of the House of Representatives, I voted 
against the war in Iraq and have been critical of the President's 
conduct of the war and reconstruction efforts. I have encouraged the 
President to change course in Iraq and begin a phased troop withdrawal. 
Now, every indication suggests the President plans to do the opposite 
and increase American forces.
    The escalation in combat forces causes me great concern for several 
reasons. First, it is unclear whether we can count on the Iraqi 
military/security forces to contribute and participate in the new 
security arrangement at a level that will allow U.S. forces to pull 
back from Baghdad and to begin troop withdrawal. This was the major 
problem in 2006 with ``Operation Together Forward'' Iraq failed to 
provide the agreed-upon troop numbers.
    Second, there is strong opinion that the increase in U.S. forces by 
itself will do little to quelling the violence in Iraq and protect its 
civilians. The Iraqis should not be allowed to hide behind robust 
American troop levels. Rather, the Iraqis should assume responsibility 
to hold areas with American tactical, logistical, and technical 
support. It is imperative now for the Iraqi Government to assert 
control over its armed forces and security apparatus and finally 
institute appropriate command and control structures to credibly fix 
many of their identified shortcomings.
    Third, with increased security must come greater protection for 
civilians and enhanced economic/infrastructure reconstruction efforts. 
While I recognize reconstruction is a long-term process, the quicker 
the United States and our coalition partners begin this effort, the 
sooner we can stifle the insurgents' ability to recruit more Iraqi 
citizens into the deadly cycle of violence. Security and reconstruction 
go hand in hand and we owe it to the people of Iraq and our troops to 
implement a multifaceted approach to rebuild Iraq.
    Fourth, it appears the President's new Iraq plan may well raise as 
many problems as it attempts to resolve. Troop escalation is a risky 
gambit that could increase sectarian violence and contribute further to 
Iraq's slide to a larger civil war. I hope this is not the case and I 
encourage the President to work with this Congress to create a lasting 
solution to the situation in Iraq.
    Finally, in that regard, it is critical that an aggressive 
initiative be undertaken on the political and diplomatic front among 
the countries in the region. The goal of such an initiative must be to 
bring about a cease-fire in the civil war and an Iraqi Government that 
has the support of all the ethnic communities in Iraq. Military efforts 
alone cannot bring peace and stability to Iraq. The United States must 
undertake a broader international effort for a political solution to 
the civil war in Iraq.
    During the coming weeks, the role of the Senate Foreign Relations 
Committee to inform will be just as important as the role of the 
committee itself. This committee must exercise the appropriate 
oversight and investigation that the American people are demanding, and 
that our troops deserve.



                   THURSDAY, JANUARY 11, 2007 [A.M.]

                                       U.S. Senate,
                            Committee on Foreign Relations,
                                                    Washington, DC.
    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:02 a.m., in 
room SD-106, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Joseph R. 
Biden, Jr. (chairman of the committee) presiding.
    Present: Senators Biden, Dodd, Kerry, Feingold, Boxer, Bill 
Nelson, Obama, Menendez, Cardin, Casey, Webb, Lugar, Hagel, 
Coleman, Corker, Sununu, Voinovich, Murkowski, DeMint, Isakson, 
and Vitter.

                   U.S. SENATOR FROM DELAWARE

    Senator Biden. The hearing will come to order.
    Welcome to the Foreign Relations Committee, Madam 
Secretary. It's an honor to have you here.
    Nearly 4 years ago, Congress and the American people gave 
the President of the United States the authority to destroy 
Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, and, if necessary, to 
depose a dictator. We know now that the weapons of mass 
destruction were not there, and that the dictator is no longer 
there, as well. The Iraqis have held elections, and they've 
formed a government. But the country and our troops, in my 
view, are now embroiled in the midst of a vicious civil war.
    As of last night, according to the Pentagon, 3,009 
Americans have lost their lives, over 22,000 have been wounded, 
and we have spent and committed hundreds of billions of 
dollars. And there seems to be no end in sight.
    For many months now, the American people have understood 
that our present policy is a failure, and they wanted to know, 
and continue to want to know, where we go from here.
    Last night, like millions of my fellow Americans, I 
listened intently to the President of the United States lay out 
his new strategy for Iraq. We all hoped and prayed the 
President would present us with a plan that would make things 
better. Instead, I fear that what the President has proposed is 
more likely to make things worse.
    We hoped and prayed we would hear of a plan that would have 
two features: Begin to bring American forces home and a 
reasonable prospect of leaving behind a stable Iraq. Instead, 
we heard a plan to escalate the war, not only in Iraq, but 
possibly into Iran and Syria, as well. I believe the 
President's strategy is not a solution, Secretary Rice. I 
believe it's a tragic mistake.
    In Iraq, the core of the President's plan is to send 
another 20,000 Americans to Baghdad, a city of more than 6 
million people, where they will go, with their fellow Iraqi 
soldiers, door to door in the middle of a civil war.
    If memory serves me, we've tried that kind of escalation 
twice before in Baghdad. And it's failed twice in Baghdad. And 
I fear it will fail a third time. And the result will be the 
loss of more American lives and our military stretched to the 
breaking point, with little prospect of success, and a further 
loss of influence in the region.
    Secretary Rice, this November the American people voted for 
a dramatic change in Iraq. The President said, forthrightly, he 
heard them. But it seems clear to me from listening to him last 
night, he did not listen. And, for the life of me, I don't 
understand how he could reject the overwhelming opposition to 
his plan from a broad bipartisan cross-section of the country's 
leaders--military, civilian, and civic. As I understand it, the 
Joint Chiefs of Staff opposed this plan. Our commander in the 
region, General Abizaid, opposed the plan. Our commanders in 
Iraq, starting with General Casey, opposed this plan. The 
Baker-Hamilton Commission opposed this plan. And so did our 
greatest soldier statesman, Colin Powell.
    They all gave advice to the President that could be boiled 
down to two things. First, our military cannot stop the Shia, 
the Kurds, and the Sunnis from killing each other. The Iraqi 
people have to make very, very, very difficult political 
compromises in order for the killing to stop. And all of the 
people who gave advice to the President that I've mentioned 
suggested that the best way to force the leaders and the people 
to make these hard compromises was to start, this year, to 
drawdown our forces, not escalate them. The second consensus 
point from the advice the President got was that the way to 
secure this political solution to secure Iraq--was to secure 
support for whatever political solution the Iraqis arrived at 
from Turkey, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and all the neighbors. 
And there's a second reason for seeking that kind of support 
and consultation. It was that, if, in fact, the civil war 
cannot be stopped, at least with a regional consensus, the hope 
would be, it would be contained within Iraq.
    So, Secretary Rice, to be very blunt, I can't, in good 
conscience, support the President's approach. But because 
there's so much at stake, I'm also not prepared to give up on 
finding a bipartisan way forward that meets the twin goals most 
Americans share and, I believe--I don't speak for anyone in 
this committee, but I believe most of my colleagues in the 
Senate share, and that is: How do we bring American forces home 
in an orderly way over the next year and leave behind a stable 
Iraq? In all my years in the Senate, Secretary Rice, I don't 
think we've faced a more pivotal moment than the one we face 
today. Failure in Iraq will not be confined to Iraq. It will do 
terrible damage to our ability to protect our interests all 
over the world, and, I fear, for a long time to come. That's 
why we have to work together for a solution.
    I'm aware that the surge is not 22,000 people--or 20,000 
people getting into the boat, landing at one moment. The reason 
why I think there's still time for us to work out a bipartisan 
solution is that this is a process. We need a solution that 
will gain the support of our fellow citizens.
    I say to my colleagues, maybe because I got here in the 
midst of the Vietnam war, toward the end, I think we all 
learned a lesson, whether we went or didn't go, whether we were 
for it or against it, is no foreign policy can be sustained in 
this country without the informed consent of the American 
people. They've got to sign on. They've got to sign on. I just 
hope it's not too late.
    Mr. Chairman.

                   U.S. SENATOR FROM INDIANA

    Senator Lugar. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. I join you in 
welcoming Secretary Rice to the Foreign Relations Committee 
once again. I appreciate her willingness to discuss policy on 
Iraq with the committee in advance of a very important trip to 
the Middle East which I understand commences tomorrow. All of 
us listened intently to President Bush's speech last night. 
Yesterday I said that, initially, the President and his team 
should explain what objectives we're trying to achieve if 
forces are expanded, where and how will they be used, why is it 
the strategy will succeed, how Iraqi forces will be involved, 
how long additional troops may be needed, what contingencies 
are in place if the situation does not improve, and how this 
strategy fits into our discussion throughout the region. The 
President made an important start on this process with his 
speech. The elements of his plan require careful study by 
Members of Congress. I appreciate the efforts the President has 
made, thus far, to reach out to Congress and to the American 
    I was encouraged by the President's emphasis on a regional 
element in his Iraq strategy. Whenever we begin to see Iraq as 
a set piece--an isolated problem that can be solved outside the 
context of our broader interests--we should reexamine our frame 
of reference. Our efforts to stabilize Iraq and sustain a 
pluralist government there have an important humanitarian 
purpose. But remaking Iraq, in and of itself, does not 
constitute a strategic objective. Stability in Iraq is 
important because it has a direct bearing on vital U.S. 
strategic objectives. To determine our future course in Iraq, 
we must be very clear about what those objectives are. In my 
judgment there are four primary ones.
    First, we have an interest in preventing Iraq, or any piece 
of its territory, from being used as a safe haven or training 
ground for terrorists. As part of this, we have an interest in 
preventing any potential terrorist in Iraq from acquiring 
weapons of mass destruction.
    Second, we have an interest in preventing a civil war or 
conditions of permanent disorder in Iraq that upset wider 
regional stability. The consequences of turmoil that draws in 
outside powers or spills over into neighboring states could be 
grave. Such turmoil could generate a regional war, topple 
friendly governments, expand destabilizing refugee flows, close 
the Persian Gulf to shipping traffic, or destroy key oil 
production and transportation facilities. Any of these outcomes 
could restrict or diminish the flow of oil from the region, 
with disastrous results for the world economy.
    Third, we have an interest in preventing the loss of U.S. 
credibility and standing in the region and throughout the 
world. Some loss of confidence in the United States has already 
occurred, but our subsequent actions in Iraq may determine how 
we are viewed for generations.
    Fourth, we have an interest in preventing Iranian 
domination of the region. The fall of Saddam Hussein's Sunni 
government opened up opportunities for Iran to seek much more 
influence in Iraq. An Iran that is bolstered by an alliance 
with a Shiite government in Iraq or a separate Shiite state in 
southern Iraq would pose serious challenges for Saudi Arabia, 
Jordan, Egypt, and other Arab governments. Iran is pressing a 
broad agenda in the Middle East with uncertain consequences for 
weapons proliferation, terrorism, the security of Israel, and 
other U.S. interests. Any course we adopt in Iraq would 
consider how it would impact the regional influence of Iran.
    Now, these are not our only interests in Iraq, but they're 
fundamental reasons for our military presence during the last 
several years.
    I would observe that all four of these objectives are 
deeply affected not just by whether the insurgency and 
sectarian violence can be abated in Iraq cities and 
neighborhoods, but by the action of Iraq's neighbors.
    For this reason, I have advocated broader diplomacy in the 
region that is directed at both improving stability in Iraq and 
expanding our options in the region. Inevitably, when one 
suggests such a diplomatic course, this is interpreted as 
advocating negotiations with Syria and Iran--nations that have 
overtly and covertly worked against our interests and violated 
international norms. But the purpose of the talks is not to 
change our posture toward these countries. A necessary regional 
dialog should not be sacrificed because of fear of what might 
happen if we include unfriendly regimes. Moreover, we already 
have numerous contacts with the Iranians and Syrians through 
intermediaries and other means. The regional dialog I am 
suggesting does not have to occur in a formal conference 
setting, but it needs to occur, and it needs to be sustained.
    Both our friends and our enemies in the region must know 
that we will defend out interests and our allies. They must 
know that we are willing to exercise the substantial leverage 
we possess in the region in the form of military presence, 
financial assistance, diplomatic context, and other resources. 
Although it is unlikely that a political settlement in Iraq can 
be imposed from the outside, it is equally unlikely that one 
will succeed in the absence of external pressures and 
incentives. We should be active in bringing those forces to 
bear on Iraqi factions. We should work to prevent 
miscalculations related to the turmoil in Iraq.
    Now, finally, much attention has been focused on the 
President's call for increasing troop levels in Iraq. This is 
an important consideration, but it is not the only element of 
his plan that requires examination. The larger issue is how we 
will manage our strategic interests in the Middle East, in 
light of our situation in Iraq. Can we use the stability that 
we offer the region, and our role as a counterweight to Iran, 
to gain more help in Iraq and in the region?
    I look forward to continuing our examination of Iraq in the 
committee's hearings, and especially your testimony this 
    Thank you.
    Senator Biden. Thank you.
    Madam Secretary, the floor is yours.


    Secretary Rice. Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. 
Chairman. Thank you, Senator Lugar. Thank you, members of the 
    I look forward to our discussion. And in order to 
facilitate that, Mr. Chairman, I have a longer statement that I 
would like to have entered into the record, and I will----
    Senator Biden. Without objection, your entire statement 
will be placed in the record.
    Secretary Rice. Thank you.
    As I come before you today, America is facing a crucial 
moment--indeed, as the chairman has put it, a pivotal moment--
concerning our policies in Iraq and concerning our broader 
policies in the Middle East. I think that we all know that the 
stakes in Iraq are enormous and that the consequences of 
failure would also be enormous, not just for America and for 
Iraq, but for the entire region of the Middle East, and, 
indeed, for the world. And so, we agree that the stakes in Iraq 
are enormous. And as the President said last night, Americans 
broadly agree, and we in the administration count ourselves 
among them, that the situation in Iraq is unacceptable. On 
these two points, we are unified: The enormousness of the 
stakes, and the unacceptability of the current situation.
    The President has, therefore, forged a new strategy that 
speaks both to our stakes in Iraq and the need to change the 
way that we are doing things. The Iraqis have devised a 
strategy that they believe will work for their most urgent 
problem; that is, to return security to Baghdad. We are going 
to support that strategy through the augmentation of American 
military forces. I think Secretary Gates will say more about 
that in his committee. But I want also to emphasize that we see 
this not just as a military effort, but also as one that must 
have very strong political and economic elements.
    In order to better deliver on the governance and economic 
side, the United States is further decentralizing and 
diversifying our civilian presence. And I will talk a little 
bit more about that, and in greater detail. We are further 
integrating our civil and military operations. And, as Senator 
Lugar has noted, it's extremely important to see Iraq in a 
regional context, and I would like to talk a little bit about 
the regional strategy that we want to pursue that supports 
reformers and responsible leaders in Iraq and across the 
broader Middle East.
    Let me be very clear. We all understand that the 
responsibility for what kind of Iraq this will be rests with 
the Iraqis. They are the only ones who can decide whether or 
not Iraq is, in fact, going to be an Iraq for all Iraqis, one 
that is unified, or whether they are going to allow sectarian 
passions to unravel that chance for a unified Iraq. We know, 
historically, that Iraq rests on the region's religious and 
ethnic fault lines. And, in many ways, due to events in Baghdad 
over the last year, Baghdad has become the center of that 
    The Samarra mosque bombing provoked sectarianism, and it 
set it aflame at a pace that threatens to overwhelm the fragile 
and yet promising process of reconciliation, a process that has 
produced successful elections and a new constitution, and 
substantial agreement, as we sit here today, on a law to share 
Iraq's oil wealth fairly, as well as a commitment to a more 
reasonable approach to de-Baathification and to hold provincial 
elections. Iraqis must take on the essential challenge, 
therefore, that threatens this process of national 
reconciliation, and that is the protection of their population 
from criminals and violent extremists who kill in the name of 
sectarian grievance.
    The President, last night, made clear that the augmentation 
of our forces is to support the Iraqis in that goal of 
returning control and civility to their capital. He also noted 
that there are also very important strategic, economic, and 
political elements that must be followed up if ``clear, hold, 
and build'' is to actually work this way. And so, I want to 
assure you that we, in the State Department, recognize the 
importance of surging our civilian elements and our civilian 
efforts, as well as the surge that would be there on the 
military side. This is a comprehensive policy.
    Iraq has a federal government. We need to get our civilian 
employees out of our Embassy, out of the Green Zone, into the 
field, across Iraq. We have had, over the last year and a half, 
the establishment of Provincial Reconstruction Teams that are 
operating outside of Baghdad. The importance of those teams 
should be understood in the following way: It is extremely 
important to have an effective and functioning government in 
Baghdad, and we have worked with them on ministries, on budget 
processes, on the technical assistance that they need, to have 
a functioning government. But it is equally important to have 
local and provincial governments that can deliver for their 
people. And, indeed, this gives us multiple points for success, 
not just the Government in Baghdad, but the people with whom we 
are working in the provinces.
    I might just note that we believe that this is having an 
effect in places like Mosul and Tal Afar, but it's also having 
a very good effect even in some of the most difficult places. 
And one of the other elements of the President's policy last 
night was to announce that 4,000 American forces would be 
augmented in Anbar, the epicenter of al-Qaeda activity. That 
is, in part, because we believe that the efforts that we've 
been making with local leaders, particularly the sheikhs in 
Anbar, are beginning to pay fruit. For instance, they have 
recruited, from their own ranks, 1,100 young men to send to 
Jordan for training, and these ``Sons of Anbar,'' as they call 
them, will come back to enter the fight against al-Qaeda.
    And so, I want to emphasize, we're focused on the need to 
return control to Baghdad, but we're also very focused on the 
need to build capacity in the local and provincial governments, 
and to be able to deliver economic and reconstruction 
assistance there.
    Finally, let me just say one word about our regional 
diplomatic strategy. Obviously, Iraq is central now to 
America's role in the Middle East--central to our credibility, 
central to the prospects for stability, and central to the role 
that our allies and friends and Iraq's neighbors will play in 
the Middle East. But we have to base our regional strategy on 
the substantially changed realities of the Middle East.
    This is a different Middle East. This Middle East is a 
Middle East in which there really is a new alignment of forces. 
On one side are reformers and responsible leaders who seek to 
advance their interests peacefully, politically, and 
diplomatically. On the other side are extremists, of every sect 
and ethnicity, who use violence to spread chaos, to undermine 
democratic governments, and to impose agendas of hatred and 
intolerance. On one side of that divide, the gulf countries, 
including Saudi Arabia and the other countries of the gulf--
Egypt, Jordan, the young democracies of Lebanon, of the 
Palestinian territory, led by Mahmoud Abbas, and in Iraq. But 
on the other side of that divide are Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, 
and Hamas. And I think we have to understand that that is a 
fundamental divide. Iran and Syria have made their choice, and 
their choice is to destabilize, not to stabilize.
    And so, with all respect to those who talk about engagement 
with Syria and Iran, I think we need to recognize that if Iran 
and Syria wish to play a stabilizing role for their own 
interests, then they will do so. If, on the other hand, they 
intend to offer a stabilizing role because they believe that, 
in our current situation in Iraq, we are willing to pay a 
price, that's not diplomacy, that's extortion. And I would just 
ask you what that price might be.
    I have a hard time believing that Iran will, on one side, 
talk to us about stabilizing Iraq and say, ``Oh, by the way, we 
won't talk about what you're doing in the Security Council to 
stop our nuclear program.'' That's not part of the price. Or 
that Syria will talk about stabilizing Iraq while they continue 
to destabilize it, and say, ``Oh, we aren't actually interested 
in talking about the fact that we have not reconciled to the 
loss of our position in Lebanon or to the existence of a 
tribunal to try those who are responsible for the assassination 
of Rafik Hariri.'' These two will most certainly come into 
contact with each other, the destabilizing activities in Iraq 
and the desires of these states to have us pay a price that we 
cannot pay.
    We do have a regional approach. It is to work with those 
governments that share our view of where the Middle East should 
be going. It is also to work with those governments in a way 
that can bring support to the new Iraqi democracy. It is to 
support the very normal democracy that Iraq itself may engage 
in with all of its neighbors. And it is to have an 
international compact, which is a bargain between the 
international community and Iraq, for support in response to 
Iraqi reforms, economic and, indeed, some that are political. 
In that Iraqi compact, both Syria and Iran have been present, 
and will continue to be.
    Let me just conclude by saying that we all understand, in 
the administration, that there are no magic formulas for Iraq, 
as the Baker-Hamilton Commission said. And I'd like you to 
understand that we really did consider the options before us. 
The President called on advisors from outside. He called on the 
advice of the Baker-Hamilton Study Group. And, of course, he 
discussed the policies with his advisors, like me, who have 
been there from the beginning, and, therefore, bear 
responsibility for both the successes and failures of this 
policy; and new advisors, like Secretary of Defense Gates, who 
came with a fresh eye. After all of that, he came to the 
conclusion--and I fully agree--that the most urgent task before 
us now is to help the Iraqi Government. And I want to emphasize 
``help'' the Iraqi Government--to establish confidence among 
the Iraqi population that it will, and can, protect all of its 
citizens, whether they are Sunni, Shia, Kurds, or others, and 
that they will, in an evenhanded fashion, punish those violent 
people who are killing innocent Iraqis, whatever their sect, 
ethnicity, or political affiliation.
    We believe that the Iraqi Government, which has not always 
performed, has every reason to understand the consequences, 
now, of nonperformance. They, after all, came to us and said 
that this problem had to be solved. They came to us and said 
that, yes, they would make the necessary decisions to prevent 
political interference in the military operations that need to 
be taken to deal with the Baghdad problem. They came to us and 
said that, ``This government will not be able to survive if it 
cannot reestablish civil order.'' And they gave to the 
President, and not just Prime Minister Maliki, but many 
leaders, an assurance that this time they're going to make the 
difficult choices in order to get it done.
    The situation in Iraq is unacceptable, but Iraq is also, at 
this point in time, of very high stakes to this Nation. This is 
a time for a national desire and a national imperative not to 
fail in Iraq. We've faced crucible tests as a country before, 
and we've come through them when we have come through them 
together. I want to pledge to you, as the President last--did 
last night, that we want to work with all Americans, here, 
particularly, in the Congress, the representatives of the 
American people, as we move forward on a strategy that will 
allow us to succeed in Iraq. This is the strategy that the 
President believes is the best strategy that we can pursue. And 
I ask your careful consideration of it, your ideas for how to 
improve it. And, of course, understanding that not everyone 
will agree, I do believe that we're united in our desire to see 
America succeed.
    Thank you very much.
    [The prepared statement of Secretary Rice follows:]

Prepared Statement of Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State, Department 
                        of State, Washington, DC

    Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, as I come before you today, 
America faces a crucial moment. We all know that the stakes in Iraq are 
enormous. And we all share the belief that the situation in Iraq is 
unacceptable. On this we are united.
    The new way forward that President Bush outlined last night 
requires us to do things differently. Most importantly, the Iraqis have 
devised their own strategy, and our efforts will support theirs. To do 
so, we will further decentralize and diversify our civilian presence in 
Iraq to better assist the Iraqi people. We will further integrate our 
civilian and military operations. And we will fashion a regional 
strategy that supports reformers and responsible leaders in Iraq and 
across the Broader Middle East.
    Among Americans and Iraqis, there is no confusion over one basic 
fact: It is Iraqis who are responsible for what kind of country Iraq 
will be. It is they who must decide whether Iraq will be characterized 
by national unity or sectarian conflict. The President has conveyed to 
the Iraqi leadership that we will support their good decisions, but 
that America's patience is limited.
    Iraqis are now engaged in a task without precedent in their 
history. Iraq rests on the main religious and ethnic faultlines in the 
Middle East, and for centuries, Iraqis have settled their differences 
through oppression and violence. Now they are attempting to do so 
peacefully and politically. This is not easy, and as one could expect, 
many Iraqis have deep grievances, which some violent men interpret as a 
license to kill innocent people.
    Baghdad has become the center of this conflict. We know that al-
Qaeda deliberately sought to provoke sectarian violence in Iraq by 
targeting Shia civilians. With last February's bombing of the Golden 
Mosque in Samarra, the success of their plan accelerated. Sectarian 
passions, incited to violence, now threaten to overwhelm Iraq's 
fragile, yet promising, process of reconciliation--a process that has 
produced successful elections and a new constitution, substantial 
agreement on a law to share Iraq's oil fairly, and commitment to a more 
reasonable approach to ``de-baathification.''
    To succeed with national reconciliation, the Iraqi Government must 
improve security for its people, particularly in Baghdad. Iraqis 
themselves must take up this essential challenge. They must protect 
their population from criminals and violent extremists who kill 
innocent Iraqis in the name of sectarian grievance. The Iraqi 
Government must reestablish civil order in Baghdad to regain the trust 
of its people and control of its capital. President Bush has decided to 
augment our forces to help the Iraqis achieve this mission. Secretary 
Gates will have more to say on this.
    Success in Iraq, however, relies on more than military efforts 
alone; it also requires robust political and economic progress. Our 
military operations must be fully integrated with our civilian and 
diplomatic efforts, across the entire U.S. Government, to advance the 
strategy that I laid out before you last year: ``Clear, hold, and 
build.'' All of us in the State Department fully understand our role in 
this mission, and we are prepared to play it. We are ready to 
strengthen, indeed to ``surge,'' our civilian efforts.
    Our political and economic strategy mirrors our military plan: 
Iraqis are in the lead; we are supporting them. Improvement in the 
security situation, especially in Baghdad, will open a window of 
opportunity for the Iraqi Government to accelerate the process of 
national reconciliation. We can and will measure whether this work is 
being done. We recognize that the trend of political progress in Iraq 
is just as important as the end result. On the hydrocarbon law, for 
example, Iraqis are transcending sectarian differences and achieving a 
national purpose. This is a positive trend, and the process is moving 
in the right direction.
    Iraqis must also take steps that accelerate economic development 
and growth. The Government of Iraq has taken many important steps 
already on key economic issues, including policies to open Iraq's 
economy more fully and responsibly to foreign investment. The Iraqi 
Government must now move urgently, especially in the most troubled 
areas, to deliver essential services to its people--programs that 
improve lives in meaningful ways, that restore confidence in national 
and local governance, and provide a stake in the country's future for 
all Iraqis who wish to see an expansion of hope rather than a 
continuation of violence. The Iraqi Government is committing $10 
billion of its own resources to help create jobs, to break the logjams 
to growth in their economy, and to further national reconciliation.
    To better disperse these new resources throughout the country, 
Iraqis are building new governmental structures. One innovation they 
have proposed is the creation of a new National Reconstruction 
Development Council, which would enable the Prime Minister to deliver 
resources faster and more effectively for major infrastructure 
projects. This Council will also help take the place of our own Relief 
and Reconstruction Fund. Another Iraqi innovation is the development of 
Project Management Units, to help Iraqis use their own resources more 
effectively to implement programs.
    For these efforts to succeed, our support will be crucial. Since 
2004, we have used money from the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund 
and other programs to build infrastructure and help the central 
government move toward self-reliance. As we enter 2007, despite many 
problems, we have substantially and successfully completed this phase. 
As Iraqis take charge, we will narrow our focus in how we help their 
central government. Using FY 2006 Supplemental funding, we have worked 
with the Iraqis to improve their capacity to govern. Now, our advisory 
efforts will concentrate on the most vital ministries. We will advise 
and invest our resources where we judge that our efforts will be most 
    To oversee our economic support for the Iraqi people, and to ensure 
that it is closely integrated with our security strategy, I have 
appointed Tim Carney to the new position of coordinator for Iraq 
Transitional Assistance. He will be based in Baghdad and will work with 
Iraqi counterparts to facilitate a maximum degree of coordination in 
our economic and development efforts.
    As Iraqis intensify efforts to improve lives, the main focus of our 
support will continue to shift toward helping the Iraqi Government 
expand its reach, its relevance, and its resources beyond the Green 
Zone. We will help local leaders improve their capacity to govern and 
deliver public services. Our economic efforts will be more targeted on 
specific local needs with proven records of success, like microcredit 
programs. And we will engage with leading private sector enterprises 
and other local businesses, including the more promising state-owned 
firms, to break the obstacles to growth.
    Our decentralization of effort in Iraq will require a more 
decentralized presence. We must continue to get civilians and diplomats 
out of our Embassy, out of the capital and into the field, all across 
the country. The mechanism to do this is the Provincial Reconstruction 
Team, or PRT. We currently have 10 PRTs deployed across Iraq: 7 
American and 3 coalition. Building on this existing presence, we plan 
to expand from 10 to at least 18 teams. For example, we will have six 
PRTs in Baghdad, not just one. We will go from one team in Anbar 
province to three--in Fallujah, Ramadi, and Al Qaim. These PRTs will 
closely share responsibilities and reflect an unprecedented unity of 
civilian and military effort.
    Expanding our PRT presence will also enable us to diversify our 
assistance across all of Iraq. Iraq has a federal government. Much of 
the street-level authority, and much of the opportunity for positive 
change in Iraq, lies outside the Green Zone--in local and provincial 
governments with party leaders and tribal chiefs. By actively 
supporting these provincial groups and structures, we diversify our 
chances of success in Iraq. Our PRTs have had success working at the 
local level in towns like Mosul, Tikrit, and Tal Afar. Now we will 
invest in other parts of Iraq, like Anbar province, where local leaders 
are showing their desire and building their capacity to confront 
violent extremists and build new sources of hope for their people.
    All total, we seek to deploy hundreds of additional civilians 
across Iraq to help Iraqis build their nation. And we will ask Congress 
to provide funding to support and secure our expanded civilian 
presence. We want to give our civilians, deployed in PRTs, the 
flexibility to devote extra resources where they can do the most good 
at the local level. Our expanded PRT presence will be a powerful tool 
to empower Iraq's reformers and responsible leaders in their struggle 
against violent extremism. We, therefore, plan to request, as part of 
our FY 2007 Supplemental, significant new operating funds for our PRTs 
as well as hundreds of million of dollars to fund their programs. When 
we add in relevant USAID projects, we hope to approximately double our 
resource commitment to help local Iraqi communities through PRTs.
    These commitments will not be indefinite. As I said earlier, one of 
our main objectives in this phase is to help the Iraqis use their own 
money to rebuild their country. The Iraqis have budgeted billions of 
dollars for this mission in 2007, and as their efforts become more 
effective, we have kept our FY 2008 requests limited. We want Iraqis to 
rely more and more on their own resources, their own people, and their 
own efforts. Therefore, by 2008 and 2009, the burden of local 
assistance should be assumed more effectively by the Iraqi Government. 
In the meantime, though, our efforts will be vital.
    The final piece of our effort is the development of a regional 
diplomatic strategy, which was a key recommendation of the Iraq Study 
Group. Iraq is central to the future of the Middle East. The security 
of this region is an enduring vital interest for the United States. 
America's presence in this part of the world contributes significantly 
to its stability and success. So, as we recommit ourselves in Iraq, we 
are also enhancing our efforts to support reformers and responsible 
leaders in the region--and to deter and counter aggression to our 
friends and allies.
    Our regional diplomacy is based on the substantially changed 
realities of the Middle East. Historic change is now unfolding in the 
region, and it is unleashing a great deal of tension, anxiety, and 
violence. But it is also revealing a new strategic alignment in the 
Middle East. This is the same alignment we see in Iraq. On one side are 
the many reformers and responsible leaders, who seek to advance their 
interests peacefully, politically, and diplomatically. On the other 
side are extremists, of every sect and ethnicity, who use violence to 
spread chaos, to undermine democratic governments, and to impose 
agendas of hate and intolerance.
    This is why the proper partners in our regional diplomacy are those 
who share our goals. In this group, I would count, of course, our 
democratic allies: Turkey and Israel. I would also count the 
governments of the Gulf States plus Egypt and Jordan, or the ``GCC+2.'' 
We have established unprecedented consultation with this group of 
countries. In fact, I will be returning to the region, and to this 
process, later this week. I would also count among our key partners the 
democratic reformers and leaders in places like Lebanon, the 
Palestinian territories, and, of course, Iraq. Our most important goal 
now is to use our diplomacy to empower democratic and other responsible 
leaders across the region. We must help them show their fellow citizens 
that it is they, not violent extremists, who can best protect their 
lives, promote their interests, and advance a future of hope.
    On Iraq, in particular, our regional diplomacy has several 
components. One concerns Iraq's neighbor to the north: Turkey. 
President Bush and I have engaged retired GEN Joe Ralston to work with 
Iraq and Turkey on concerns about terrorism from the Kurdish Worker's 
Party. Those efforts have helped to ease tensions, but we will do more 
to protect our ally, Turkey, from terrorist attacks.
    Over the last 6 months, we have also supported significant progress 
in crafting an international compact between the Iraqi Government and 
the international community. Working with more than 40 countries, Iraq 
has developed a set of written commitments to action on political, 
security, and economic targets. The creation of the compact has been 
guided by a diplomatic process that has already met at the level of 
Foreign Ministers. This group involves all of Iraq's neighbors--
including Iran--and other states that have invested significantly in 
Iraq's future. Iraq has led the compact process. The United Nations has 
served as cochair. And the World Bank has assisted. This diplomatic 
process also provides a structure that can easily accommodate flexible, 
informal meetings of smaller groups of countries about other topics of 
common concern.
    While many of us are working to strengthen peace in the region, two 
governments have unfortunately chosen to align themselves with the 
forces of violent extremism--both in Iraq and across the Middle East. 
One is Syria. Despite many appeals, including from Syria's fellow Arab 
States, the leaders in Damascus continue to destabilize Iraq and their 
neighbors and support terrorism. The problem here is not a lack of talk 
with Syria but a lack of action by Syria.
    Iran is the other. If the government in Tehran wants to help 
stabilize the region, as it now claims, it should end its support for 
violent extremists who destroy the aspirations of innocent Lebanese, 
Palestinians, and Iraqis. And it should end its pursuit of a nuclear 
weapons capability. I repeat my offer today: If Iran suspends its 
enrichment of uranium--which is, after all, an international demand, 
not just an American one--then the United States is prepared to reverse 
27 years of policy, and I will meet with my Iranian counterpart--
anytime, anywhere--to discuss every facet of our countries' 
relationship. Until then, we will continue to work with the Iraqis and 
use all of our power to limit and counter the activities of Iranian 
agents who are attacking our people and innocent civilians in Iraq.
    Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I know there are no 
guarantees or magic formulas on the question of Iraq. I know that most 
Americans are skeptical and concerned about the prospects of success. I 
know and share the concern for those who remain in harm's way that all 
Americans feel, as well as the heartbreak they feel for the families 
who have lost loved ones.
    I also know that, over the past several weeks, President Bush and 
our entire national security team have carefully considered a full 
range of new ideas. The President has heard from those of his advisors, 
like me, who have been around from the very beginning, and who bear 
responsibility for our policy thus far--its successes and its setbacks. 
He has also heard from new advisors who bring a fresh perspective. In 
addition, the President has weighed the thoughtful advice given to him 
by Members of Congress, by our friends and allies abroad, and by 
outside experts like the gracious public servants who made up the Iraq 
Study Group.
    The conclusion the President reached, with which I fully agree, is 
that the most urgent task now is to help the Iraqi Government establish 
confidence that it can, and will, protect all of its citizens, 
regardless of their sectarian identity, from violent extremists who 
threaten Iraq's young democracy--and that it will reinforce security 
with political reconciliation and economic support. Implementing this 
strategy will take time to succeed, and I fully expect that mistakes 
will be made along the way. I also know that violent extremists will 
retain their capacity and their appetite to murder innocent people. But 
reestablishing civil order--the willingness and the capacity of the 
Iraqi Government to meet its responsibilities to its people--is 
    The situation in Iraq is unacceptable, and the stakes are 
extraordinary--for the United States, for the region, and for the 
entire international community. It was, after all, the trouble and 
turmoil of the Middle East that produced the violent extremist ideology 
of al-Qaeda, which led 19 young men to crash airplanes into our cities 
5 years ago on September 11. It is clear that, now and for many years 
to come, the crucible of the Middle East will remain the center of 
gravity for American and international interests.
    There have been other critical times for America, when we have 
united as one nation to meet great challenges. Now must be such a time, 
for it is a national desire and a national imperative not to fail in 
Iraq. This, we believe, is the best strategy to ensure success. And I 
ask that you give it a chance to work.

    Senator Biden. Madam Secretary, thank you very much. And I 
assure you, no one on this committee has any doubt about your 
intense concern and the intensity with which you have 
deliberated on this and your frank acknowledgment of the 
mistakes that have been made. And I don't have any doubt about 
us wondering whether or not you care a great deal about this.
    I have been told by the staff that the Secretary--she has a 
big day today. She has to be here, as well as in the House, and 
she understandably will have to leave here by 1 o'clock, at the 
latest. According to the staff calculation--and I'm going to 
hold everybody to this, including myself--that if we give 
everyone 7 minutes, everyone will have an opportunity to ask 
her, not all the questions you have, but the most important 
questions you think need be asked. We will be holding these 
hearings for another 2\1/2\ weeks. There'll be plenty of 
opportunities. And, again, the Secretary will be back over the 
ensuing months. And so, I hope that that meets with everyone's 
approval. Matter of fact, seven may be stretching it, but 
that's where we're going to start, if we can.
    Let me begin, Secretary Rice. Last night, the President 
said, and I quote, ``Succeeding in Iraq requires defending its 
territorial integrity and stabilizing the region in the face of 
extremists' challenges, and that begins with addressing Iran 
and Syria.'' He went on to say, ``We will interrupt the flow of 
support for Iran and Syria, and we will seek out and destroy 
networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our 
enemies in Iraq.'' Does that mean the President has plans to 
cross the Syrian and/or Iranian borders to pursue those persons 
or individuals or governments providing that help?
    Secretary Rice. Mr. Chairman, the Chairman of the Joint 
Chiefs was just asked this question, and I think he perhaps 
said it best. He talked about what we're really trying to do 
here, which is to protect our forces, and that we are doing 
that by seeking out these networks that we know are operating 
in Iraq. We are doing it through intelligence. We are then 
able, as we did on the 21st of December, to go after these 
groups, where we find them. In that case, we then ask the Iraqi 
Government to declare them persona non grata and expel them 
from the country, because they were holding diplomatic 
passports. But what is really being contemplated here, in terms 
of these networks, is that we believe we can do what we need to 
do inside Iraq. Obviously, the President isn't going to rule 
anything out to protect our troops, but the plan is to take 
down these networks in Iraq.
    The broader point is that we do have, and we have always 
had, as a country, very strong interests and allies in the gulf 
region, and we do need to work with our allies to make certain 
that they have the defense capacity that they need against 
growing Iranian military buildup, that they feel that we are 
going to be a presence in the Persian Gulf region, as we have 
been, and that we establish confidence with the states with 
which we have long alliances, that we will help to defend their 
interests. And that's what the President had in mind.
    Senator Biden. Secretary Rice, do you believe the President 
has the constitutional authority to pursue, across the border 
into Iraq or Syria, the networks in those countries?
    Secretary Rice. Well, Mr. Chairman, I think I would not 
like to speculate on the President's constitutional authority 
or to say anything that certainly would abridge his 
constitutional authority, which is broad, as Commander in 
Chief. I do think that everyone will understand that the 
American people and, I assume, the Congress, expects the 
President to do what is necessary to protect our forces.
    Senator Biden. Madam Secretary, I just want to make it 
clear, speaking for myself, that if the President concluded he 
had to invade Iran or Syria in pursuit of these networks, I 
believe the present authorization--which granted the President 
the right to use force in Iraq--does not cover that, and he 
does need congressional authority to do that. I just want to 
set that marker.
    Let me move on. How long do you estimate American forces 
will be going door to door with their Iraqi counterparts in 
Baghdad before they can--I believe the phrase is ``secure''--or 
``clear, hold, and build''? What is the estimate of how long 
will it take to clear? And how long are we prepared to hold 
with American forces in Baghdad that are being surged?
    Secretary Rice. Well, I can't give you an exact timetable 
on how long operations might take. Let me just note that the 
Iraqis are in the lead on these Baghdad operations. And I think 
that one reason that it's extremely important that they are 
bringing some of their best forces from around Iraq to 
participate in this--or to lead this effort is that a good deal 
of the establishing of confidence in these neighborhoods has to 
be done by Iraqis. We will be in support of them, but I think 
that it's extremely important to have an image in mind that it 
is Iraqis who are expected to take census. After all, they're 
the ones with the linguistics skills to do so. It is Iraqis 
that are expected to be in these neighborhoods. The problem 
with previous Baghdad security plans is that there weren't 
enough forces to hold. I think that it is important that it 
will be a combination of Iraqi forces: Army and police--
national police and local police. But we want to be certain, 
this time, that the holding phase lasts long enough for the 
Iraqis to be able to deal with the perpetrators of the 
violence. And so, I don't want to try to put a timeframe on it, 
but Secretary Gates said, earlier today, that he expects this 
to, of course, be a temporary measure while Iraqi forces are 
brought up to----
    Senator Biden. Well, Secretary Rice, I think you're right. 
It's important to have a visual image of what this means: 6.2 
million people, a civil war or a sectarian war taking place. 
And here's what the President said last night, referring to our 
surge troops, ``The vast majority of them, five brigades, will 
be deployed to Baghdad. These troops will work alongside Iraqi 
units, and will be embedded in their formations.'' No American 
should misunderstand what that means. It means young marines 
are going to be standing next to an Iraqi soldier as they break 
down a door. So, I'd want to know and you've answered it--my 
question related to how long we think these marines and these 
five brigades are going to be kicking in doors, standing on 
street corners, patrolling neighborhoods, going to second-story 
walkups, et cetera. And that was the reason for my question. 
But, you're right, it's important we have the correct image of 
what this is. And that's what it is.
    Secretary Rice. It is important that we have the correct 
image that Iraqis want to have this be their responsibility.
    Senator Biden. Are you confident--you, personally, Madam 
Secretary--this will be my concluding comment--question--are 
you confident that Maliki has the capacity to send you a 
sufficient number of troops that will stay in the lead, that 
will allow American Marines to feel that their physical 
security is not being jeopardized merely by being ``with this 
brigade of Iraqis''? Are you confident they will send a 
sufficient number, and their best?
    Secretary Rice. Most importantly, General Casey and our 
Ambassador believe strongly that the Maliki government intends 
to live up to its obligations.
    Senator Biden. But I'm asking you, Secretary Rice.
    Secretary Rice. I have met Prime Minister Maliki. I was 
with him in Amman. I saw his resolve. I think he knows that his 
government is, in a sense, on borrowed time, not just in terms 
of the American people, but in terms of the Iraqi people.
    Senator Biden. Are you confident?
    Secretary Rice. I'm confident.
    Senator Biden. Thank you very much, Secretary--or, excuse 
me--Major Secretary----
    Senator Biden. Senator Lugar--Chairman Lugar.
    Senator Lugar. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Secretary Rice, in the New York Times today, columnist 
David Brooks wrote a column called ``The Fog Over Iraq.'' I 
simply wanted your comment, because you have indicated you have 
visited with Prime Minister Maliki. David Brooks references the 
meeting of our President with Prime Minister Maliki on November 
30 in which, reportedly, Maliki presented a plan in which our 
troops, the American troops, would go to the periphery of 
Baghdad, and would fight off insurgents, Sunni insurgents or 
whoever, trying to penetrate Baghdad. Meanwhile, the Iraqi Army 
and police, including Shiites and Kurds, principally, would 
take over the responsibility of attempting to clear the city.
    Essentially, Brooks says President Bush rejected that plan, 
or our Government did, and the President has decided that we 
would do the opposite. American troops would be embedded in the 
nine police districts in Baghdad, and would, in fact, be more 
heavily involved, with a new mandate to secure those areas, 
whether door to door or in some other fashion. One thought is, 
no, not door to door, that the Shiites go door to door, and 
that we are back in the background, advising and supporting, 
and so forth. But the article goes on to give the impression 
that Maliki and the Kurds and the Shiites had at least an idea 
of creating their own kind of stability.
    Now, from our standpoint, we may have decided that such a 
move rejected the Sunnis as a partner in the process; and, 
thus, led to greater destabilization of the country as a whole 
on--but let me just ask for your comment as to whether this is 
a sequence of events that transpired into the plan that the 
President gave last night. And what are the strengths and 
dangers of that?
    Secretary Rice. Yes, Senator Lugar, the core of the Maliki 
plan has really been preserved here. This really is based on 
his plan. It is absolutely the case that the Iraqis have wanted 
to have responsibility for their own problem, to have their 
troops under their command, and to move out. When Prime 
Minister Maliki presented the plan, he wanted our people to 
look at it with his military people to see how quickly this 
could be accelerated so that he could go and take care of the 
sectarian problem in Baghdad.
    The fact is that it could not be accelerated quickly enough 
with only Iraqi forces in order to meet the timeline that he 
really felt he had, in terms of dealing with the Baghdad 
problem. And so, out of this planning process came, from our 
generals, the view that we needed to augment their forces, as 
embeds, as, by the way, the Baker-Hamilton Commission 
recommends, as people who can help them with, in a sense, on-
the-job training, who can help them to, kind of, solidify their 
ability to go after this. But the Iraqis continue to press that 
they really need to be the ones interfacing with their 
population in a major way, they need to be the ones to deliver 
the stability that is needed.
    I think you will see that in a relatively brief period of 
time as their forces develop, they will take on more and more. 
And as the President said last night, the thought is, they 
would have all of their forces by November. But there was a gap 
in time between the time that they need to get Baghdad under 
control and having the capability to do it, even bringing, as 
they are, their best and most reliable army forces from around 
the country.
    So, that's the difference. But I don't believe it was ever 
really the Prime Minister's intention that it would be Shia and 
Kurds only. I think he understands that one of the problems 
that they have is that the Sunni population feels that the 
Iraqi Government is not evenhanded in dealing with death 
    Senator Lugar. What can you tell us about favorable 
reception of some of the sheikhs in Anbar province of our new 
policies? Would you describe that situation?
    Secretary Rice. Yes. Well, the last time that there was a 
kind of formal report about Anbar, I remember some of the 
reporting as being the tremendous difficulties in Anbar. And it 
is a difficult place, because it is the epicenter of al-Qaeda. 
Now what you will hear from our commanders in the area--and 
also I have heard directly from my Provincial Reconstruction 
Team leader, a very seasoned diplomat--is that the sheikhs have 
essentially gotten tired of al-Qaeda, and want them out. They 
do not believe that we can do that alone. They have begun to 
recruit their own young men to be trained to be a force against 
the foreign invaders. They have, for instance, sent 1,100 young 
men to Jordan to train for something that they call the ``Sons 
of Anbar'' to come back. They will recruit more and send them. 
This is also a part of a success, we believe, of a policy with 
regional neighbors who have been involved in the Sunni outreach 
piece. It is into that--Anbar--that we believe it's important 
to surge both civilian and military assets. And so, when the 
President talks about 4,000 additional forces sent to Anbar, 
this is not because of a sectarian problem, this is because we 
think we may be able to support this local effort against al-
Qaeda, and, second, to surge resources into Anbar.
    To be very frank, the chairman asked me if I was confident 
about the Iraqi Government. I'm confident that they want to do 
this. I'm also one who knows that there have been times when 
they haven't performed, in the past. And one of the things that 
they've got to perform better on is getting economic resources 
into some of the Sunni areas, particularly into Anbar. And so, 
we are also going to increase the number of Provincial 
Reconstruction Teams in Anbar to help with that process.
    Senator Lugar. Thank you.
    Senator Biden. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Dodd.


    Senator Dodd. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    And thank you, Madam Secretary. And let me thank you, as 
well. We've had some conversations over the last couple of 
weeks, prior to the trip Senator Kerry and I took to the 
region, and then on the return, as well, and I thank you for 
that. And I thank you for being here this morning.
    And again, I thank the chairman for holding these set--
these series of hearings that we're going to have on the 
subject matter. They'd offer, I hope, an opportunity for us not 
only to listen to you, as we did the President last evening, 
but also an opportunity for you to hear from us, as well. I 
think it's important that there be a conversation here as we 
try to sort out this policy and begin to make sense of it. It's 
not about Democrats and Republicans, it's about getting this 
right. And I couldn't agree more with Senator Biden, I don't 
know of another foreign policy crisis that's been as compelling 
as this one. Over the past 32 years, as a Member of the House 
and as a Member of this body and a member of this committee for 
a quarter of a century, I've never been to the region where 
I've felt it was more in crisis than it is today, and at 
greater risk.
    So, I'd like to share just some opening thoughts and 
comments, if I can with you, and then--and get to a quick 
    On the eve of the Second World War, the 20th century's most 
daunting and difficult struggle, Winston Churchill explained, 
in the following words, a compelling thought, I think. He said, 
``There's no worse mistake in public leadership than to hold 
out false hopes to be swept away. People face peril or 
misfortune with fortitude and buoyancy, but they bitterly 
resent being deceived or finding that those responsible for 
their affairs are, themselves, dwelling in a fool's paradise.''
    Madam Secretary, I'm sorry to say, today--and I think many 
hold this view--that a fool's paradise describes nothing as 
aptly as our Iraq policy today. I think most Americans know it, 
painfully. The Iraqi people, of course, know this, in 
compelling numbers.
    If the President did grasp, I think, the sad extent of that 
failure, I sincerely doubt he would have ordered yet more 
troops into Iraq. The President's plan simply strikes me as a 
continuation of Operation Together Forward, which has been 
described already, which--far from improving Iraq's security 
climate, produced the unintended consequences of heightened 
sectarian violence.
    I fail to see--and I think many others share this view--how 
the outcome will be different this time. And that is a true 
disservice, I think, to the American troops, who have shown 
nothing but professionalism and courage and should not be asked 
to risk their lives for an unsound strategy and an unsound and 
an unsure purpose.
    The Baker-Hamilton Report should have disabused us, in my 
view, of the notion that, caught in the midst of sectarian, 
ethnic, and religious political hatreds, we can simply bludgeon 
our way to victory. As many of us have been saying for some 
time now, only political and diplomatic possibilities hold out 
any real hope of reversing the spiral into chaos.
    The time for blunt force, I think, is long past, and many 
hold that view. Instead, we ought to withdraw, I think, our 
combat troops from these large urban areas of sectarian 
conflict, where they simply are cannon fodder. There are 23 
militias operating in Baghdad, alone. It's hard to identify 
exactly who is the enemy here. We have Shias and Sunnis, you 
have Baathists, you have insurgents, some al-Qaeda elements 
here. Asking our military people to sort out who the enemy is 
in all of this is extremely difficult, to put it mildly. 
Instead, we ought to be focusing our attention on training 
reliable Iraqi security forces, providing some security in the 
border areas. And, as several of our junior officers that I 
talked with in Baghdad suggested, providing the kind of 
security around some of these critical infrastructure areas, 
and provide the kind of water, sewage, and electrical grids 
that are so critical to people having some sense of opportunity 
or hope for the future.
    If the only solution in Iraq is a political one, then 
diplomacy happens to be the weapon that we have left, and must 
use. The President's solution to--for all of this--or to all 
was, of course, to ignore the most important recommendations 
the Iraq Study Group--namely, robust diplomacy--and, instead, 
settle on an escalation of our current combat strategy. This is 
a tactic in search of a strategy, in my view, and will not 
bring us a more stable Iraq.
    The American people have spent $14 billion training and 
equipping 300,000 Iraqi police and security forces. Yet, as I 
said a moment ago, 23 separate sectarian militias operate with 
impunity throughout Baghdad, alone. Sectarian killings continue 
largely unabated, averaging scores of deaths every day, and 
thousands a month. This is not random violence, it is a 
targeted civil war complete with ethnic cleansing. Those of us 
who have been to Iraq recently have seen it with our own eyes, 
heard it with our own ears. Beyond that, the President's own 
intelligence experts have told us that the Islamic world is 
growing more radical and that the terrorist threat is greater 
today than it was on 9/11, not despite, but because of, the 
continuing war in Iraq. They conclude it's become both a 
physical and ideological training ground for the next 
generation of extremists. The wider region has been further 
plunged into violence, as we know. Hezbollah has crippled the 
Lebanese Government; civil war in the Palestinian territories 
now seems more likely than ever; Syria and Iran are more 
powerful and emboldened than they have been in recent memory; 
we're further away from stabilizing Afghanistan as drug-
traffickers and tribal warfare now threaten to destroy its 
nascent democracy, and the Taliban is growing stronger by the 
    And perhaps most troubling of all is our standing in the 
world. According to the Pew Center for Global Opinion, most 
people in Great Britain, France, Spain, Russia, Indonesia, 
Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan, Nigeria, India, and China 
think that the war in Iraq is a greater danger to world peace 
than either Iran or North Korea, stunning as those numbers are. 
The President says that we're in a war of ideas. But how can we 
possibly win that kind of a war between democracy and extremism 
when so much of the world considers us to be the threat? It's 
deeply troubling to me, as I hope it is to you, as well. How 
weakened is our standing in the world and our support from 
foreign peoples? How many tools have we thrown away? And how 
safe are we now?
    Senator Lugar raised an important question in his opening 
comments that I'd like you to address, if you can, and that 
is--none of us are suggesting, at this table, that we engage 
Iran or Syria as if they were an ally or a friend or talking 
about conferences where we give them a status they don't 
deserve. But it's awfully difficult to understand, Madam 
Secretary, why we would not try to engage very directly with 
people who can play a critical role in providing some 
stability. We heard, in Syria, the President say that he's 
interested in a secular Arab State operating on his border, 
does not want a Shia-dominated fundamentalist state on his 
border. That was just a comment to us in the room with Embassy 
personnel present. It seems to me it's worthy of examining and 
exploring those areas where we can have a common ground here, 
rather than just neglecting or ignoring that kind of an offer, 
if we're going to bring stability to the region.
    I wish you would, once again, address the issue raised by 
Senator Lugar in the context in which he raised it, not 
diplomacy as a favor or a gift or some acknowledgment that we 
agree with these people, but, rather, the necessity for the 
United States to lead in a region where we have not been able 
to do so.
    Secretary Rice. Thank you, Senator.
    Let me address the question, first, of Iran and Syria. And 
they are different. And I think we need to separate the two.
    First of all, on Syria, we did engage, for quite a long 
time. Colin Powell engaged. Rich Armitage engaged. Bill Burns 
engaged. And, in fact, we got nowhere. And, indeed, I would 
argue that the situation, from our point of view, is worse 
today, in terms of the terms on which we would be engaging, 
than it was at that time.
    The terms on which we would be engaging now, and on which 
we're being asked to engage, is that we go to the Syrians and 
we say, ``Help us to stabilize Iraq,'' or, ``Let's join in our 
common interest to stabilize Iraq.'' That's what we would say 
to them. The problem, of course, is that if they have an 
interest in stabilizing Iraq, I assume that they will do it on 
the basis of their national interest, and that they will do it 
because it is in their national interest. To do anything more 
with them is to suggest that there's a tradeoff that's 
possible, ``You help us stabilize in Iraq, and perhaps we will 
overlook some of your activities in Lebanon. You help us 
stabilize in Iraq, perhaps we can do something to shave some of 
the teeth from the tribunal.''
    I think it's extremely important to note that we have 
talked to the Syrians. We've generally gotten nowhere. And now 
we would be going in a way that I fear looks like a supplicant.
    Senator Dodd. Could I just ask you, Madam Secretary----
    Secretary Rice. Yes.
    Senator Dodd [continuing]. Is that speculation on your 
part, or has----
    Secretary Rice. No.
    Senator Dodd [continuing]. That been the reaction you've 
heard? It seems to me----
    Secretary Rice. I would also just note that an awful lot of 
people have engaged the Syrians recently, to no good effect. 
The Italians, the Germans, the British all engaged them to no 
good effect.
    Senator Dodd. Well, but----
    Secretary Rice. Senator Dodd, if I really thought that the 
Syrians didn't know how to help stabilize Iraq, and we needed 
to tell them, then perhaps that would be worth doing. They know 
how to stabilize Iraq. They just need to stop allowing 
terrorists to cross their borders.
    Senator Dodd. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Secretary Rice. Shall I go to Iran? Because I do think 
they're different.
    Senator Biden. Yes.
    Secretary Rice. When it comes to Iran, first of all, 
there's a 27-year history of not engaging Iran, so this would 
be a major shift in policy. Of course, we did talk to them 
about Afghanistan, when that made sense. But what we're looking 
at, again, is an Iran that is engaging activities to try to 
kill our troops. They know how to stop that. They know how to 
stop it tomorrow. They know how to stop destabilizing the young 
Iranian--Iraqi Government. And I assume that if they believe 
it's in their interest, they would do so.
    But I just don't believe, for a moment, that the 
conversation with the Iranians is going to go in the following 
way, ``Help us stabilize Iraq,'' and they don't want to talk 
about a price on their nuclear program.
    We are, I think, dealing with Iran in the proper fashion, 
which is to insist, with the rest of the international 
community, that any negotiations with Iran are going to be on 
the basis of suspension of their nuclear program. We are 
reaching out to the Iranian people. We just had a group of 
Iranian medical doctors here, in an exchange. We will have some 
American sports teams go there. There are banks. We are making 
it difficult for Iran to continue its policies of terrorism and 
WMD pursuit, because we are sanctioning and designating their 
banks that are engaged in those activities, and it is having an 
effect on whether people are willing to invest in Iran, whether 
they are willing to take the reputational risk of handling 
Iranian assets. That's why banks are leaving Iran. That's why 
they're having trouble finding a way to support their 
investment in their oil and gas industry.
    We do have a pretty comprehensive way of dealing with Iran. 
I have made the offer. If they are prepared to suspend their 
enrichment capability, I'm there with their people at any time 
that they'd like and any place that they'd like. But I think 
that's the proper context.
    And, finally, we do have the opportunity, within the 
international compact, to have Iran and Syria play a positive 
role in Iraq, if they wish to do it. They are--they've been at 
those meetings of the international compact, and they should 
play a positive role. And so, I don't think there's an absence 
of diplomacy, an absence of a policy toward Iran and Syria; 
it's just that direct negotiations on this matter put us in the 
role of supplicant, and I think that's a problem.
    Senator Dodd. Thank you, Madam Secretary.
    Senator Biden. Thank you.
    Senator Dodd. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Biden. Senator Hagel.

                         FROM NEBRASKA

    Senator Hagel. Mr. Chairman, thank you. Welcome, Dr. Rice. 
We always appreciate you coming before this committee. And 
before I get to my questions, I want to----
    Senator Hagel. I was concerned. I--that doesn't count on my 
time. He's not from Nebraska, Mr. Chairman. I----
    Senator Biden. Would you reset--would you reset the clock?
    Senator Hagel. He took the train over from Delaware, that 
fellow did. [Laughter.]
    Like I was saying, Dr. Rice--it was a little heavy, anyway; 
we needed a break----
    Senator Hagel. We are very appreciative of your trip to the 
Middle East tomorrow, because not only does it fit into what we 
are discussing today--and I have believed for some time that it 
is the centerpiece of the difficulties in the Middle East, as 
was noted here by our cochairman--this issue is going to be 
with us for some time, as it has been. And you have noted that. 
The President has noted that. I would hope that--and I have 
reviewed your travel schedule--that we will find, as a result 
of those meetings, that we will have locked in place some very 
significant followup. And I have been one, as you know--and 
I've discussed this with you--that I think the President and 
you should think very seriously about some kind of a day-to-day 
high-level envoy. You do not have the time and the energy and 
the resources and the manpower--I don't need to tell you--to 
continue to work this, nor does the President. But if, in fact, 
we're going to make progress and move this to some higher 
plane, where we are developing some confidence and trust that 
we have lost, in my opinion--and I think others share that, 
especially recent conversations and poll numbers--this issue 
must be addressed, and that means followup. So, thank you for 
your leadership.
    I want to comment briefly on the President's speech last 
night, as he presented to America and the world his new 
strategy for Iraq, and then I want to ask you a couple of 
    I'm going to note one of the points that the President made 
last night at the conclusion of his speech, when he said, ``We 
mourn the loss of every fallen American, and we owe it to them 
to build a future worthy of their sacrifice.'' And I don't 
think there is a question that we all in this country agree 
with that. But I would even begin with this evaluation, that we 
owe the military and their families a policy--a policy worthy 
of their sacrifices. And I don't believe, Dr. Rice, we have 
that policy today. I think what the President said last night--
and I listened carefully, and read through it again this 
morning--is all about a broadened American involvement--
escalation--in Iraq and the Middle East. I do not agree with 
that escalation. And I would further note, that when you say, 
as you have here this morning, that we need to address and help 
the Iraqis, and pay attention to the fact that Iraqis are being 
killed. Madam Secretary, Iraqis are killing Iraqis. We are in a 
civil war. This is sectarian violence out of control, Iraqi on 
Iraqi. Worse, it is intersectarian violence, Shia killing Shia. 
To ask our young men and women to sacrifice their lives to be 
put in the middle of a civil war is wrong. It's, first of all, 
in my opinion, morally wrong; it's tactically, strategically, 
militarily wrong.
    We will not win a war of attrition in the Middle East. And 
I further note that you talk about skepticism and pessimism of 
the American people, and some in Congress. That is not some 
kind of a subjective analysis, that is because, Madam 
Secretary, we've been there almost 4 years. And there's a 
reason for that skepticism and pessimism. And that is based on 
the facts on the ground, the reality of the dynamics.
    And so, I have been one, as you know, who believed that the 
appropriate focus is not to escalate, but to try to find a 
broader incorporation of a framework. And it will have to be 
certainly regional, as many of us have been saying for a long 
time. That should not be new to anyone. But it has to be more 
than regional, it is going to have to be internationally 
sponsored. And that's going to include Iran and Syria.
    When you were engaging Chairman Biden on this issue, on the 
specific question, ``Will our troops go into Iran or Syria in 
pursuit, based on what the President said last night?'' you 
cannot sit here today--not because you're dishonest or you 
don't understand--but no one in our Government can sit here 
today and tell Americans that we won't engage the Iranians and 
the Syrians across the border. Some of us remember 1970, Madam 
Secretary, and that was Cambodia. And when our Government lied 
to the American people and said, ``We didn't cross the border 
going into Cambodia''--in fact, we did. I happen to know 
something about that, as do some on this committee.
    So, Madam Secretary, when you set in motion the kind of 
policy that the President is talking about here, it's very, 
very dangerous. Matter of fact, I have to say, Madam Secretary, 
that I think this speech, given last night by this President, 
represents the most dangerous foreign-policy blunder in this 
country since Vietnam, if it's carried out. I will resist it.
    Now, let me ask a question about the Maliki government. Is 
all of the Maliki government in support of America's 
significant escalation of troops and all the other things the 
President talked about? And where are our allies? Are they 
escalating, as well? It's my understanding that most of our 
allies have been withdrawing their troops. My understanding is 
that Great Britain intends to have most of their troops, if not 
all, out by the end of this year. Are the British escalating 
their troops? Are the Poles, the Italians, the South Koreans, 
the Australians? Are we finding ourselves isolated--going to 
find ourselves isolated? If you would answer those two 
questions, thank you.
    Secretary Rice. Yes; certainly, Senator.
    The first thing, I don't think we anticipate an 
augmentation of other coalition forces. But the number of Iraqi 
forces that should be growing over the next several months, so 
that, in fact, by November, these are the places that Iraq 
itself can take care of--we do expect Iraqi forces to fill the 
    Now, second, let me just go to the question of escalation.
    Senator Hagel. Let me ask you to----
    Secretary Rice. Yes.
    Senator Hagel [continuing]. Answer the second question--
actually, my first question----
    Secretary Rice. Yes.
    Senator Hagel [continuing]. A little more specifically. The 
coalition government of Prime Minister Maliki----
    Secretary Rice. Yes.
    Senator Hagel [continuing]. The Sunnis----
    Secretary Rice. Right.
    Senator Hagel [continuing]. Sadr----
    Secretary Rice. Yes.
    Senator Hagel [continuing]. His 30 members, which leads us 
right into, as we put our Marines and Army in Baghdad, another 
22,000, or whether that's going to be 15,000, we're going to 
then put them in a position to be killing, I assume, militia--
because the militia's the problem there. And, so, that's the 
position we're going to put our troops in, and they'll be 
killing our troops. Now, are the Sunni-Shia coalition members, 
and the Kurds, of Maliki's government, are they all supporting 
our new position?
    Secretary Rice. Of course Muqtada al-Sadr does not support 
coalition forces at all.
    Senator Hagel. He has 30 representatives on that----
    Secretary Rice. Yes.
    Senator Hagel [continuing]. Government. So my--again, is 
this a--is this a unified support of--go ahead.
    Secretary Rice. Sorry. His 30 people are not even enough. 
If you count the two Kurdish parties, the IIP and the other 
Shia parties, they are, in fact, a majority. And, indeed, the 
President has talked to the leaders of those blocs, prior to 
this, to say that they need to support Prime Minister Maliki's 
plan. And the augmentation of our forces, of course, is in 
support of that plan.
    So, I think you will find support among the people who are 
supporting Prime Minister Maliki in his desire to end the 
sectarian violence, and that is more than Prime Minister Maliki 
    Senator Hagel. Well, that's not my question.
    Secretary Rice. Well, you asked me to also----
    Senator Hagel. My question was the escalation of American 
troops in Iraq.
    Secretary Rice. But I think you asked who was supporting 
it, and I said the Kurdish parties, Prime Minister Maliki and 
his Shia allies, and the IIP support a plan to do this, and 
they know that the augmentation of American forces is part of 
that plan.
    Now, as to the question of escalation, I don't see it, and 
the President doesn't see it, as an escalation.
    Senator Hagel. Putting 22,000 new troops--more troops in is 
not an escalation?
    Secretary Rice. Well, I think, Senator, escalation is not 
just a matter of how many numbers you put in. Escalation is 
also a question of, ``Are you changing the strategic goal of 
what you're trying to do?''
    Senator Hagel. Would you call it a decrease and billions 
    Secretary Rice. I would----
    Senator Hagel [continuing]. Dollars more than you----
    Secretary Rice. I would----
    Senator Hagel [continuing]. Need for it?
    Secretary Rice. I would call it, Senator, an augmentation 
that allows the Iraqis to deal with this very serious problem 
that they have in Baghdad. This is not a change in what we are 
trying to achieve. The Iraqi Government needs to establish 
population security. What this augmentation does is to help 
them carry out their plan to get population security.
    I just want to note, though, of course, that many of the 
American casualties actually are taken in places like Anbar, 
they're also taken, really, because convoys are moving back and 
forth in the city. They are deliberately done by people who are 
trying to get us out of the country. They're not because we are 
caught in the middle of crossfire between Sunnis and Shia. I 
think it is important, again, to use the chairman's word, to 
have an image of what's really going on in Baghdad. It is 
absolutely the case that Iraqi----
    Senator Hagel. Madam Secretary, your intelligence and mine 
is a lot different. And I know my time is up here. But to sit 
there and say that, Madam Secretary; that's just not true.
    Secretary Rice. Well, Senator, if you will----
    Senator Hagel. That is not true.
    Secretary Rice. Senator, if you'll allow me to finish, 
there is a point I'd like to make about the Iraqis killing 
Iraqis and what that really is.
    Senator Hagel. Well, what that really is, it's pretty 
obvious what it really is.
    Secretary Rice. There are death squads, Senator, that are 
going into neighborhoods, and they are killing Iraqis. And, 
indeed, the death squads are Iraqis. So, in that sense, it's 
Iraqis killing Iraqis.
    Senator Hagel. Thank you.
    Secretary Rice. But I think it is wrong to give an image 
that somehow all Sunnis and Shia have broken into violence 
against one another. What the Maliki government is trying to do 
is to reestablish civil order so that the violent groups, 
including militias, including death squads, are dealt with by 
Iraqi forces, with the aid of American forces. That's different 
than saying that all of Iraq has fallen into civil war. And I 
just think it's the wrong image. Not all of Baghdad has fallen 
into civil war. There are deliberate efforts by organized 
groups to go after Sunnis, if they are Shia, and Shia, if they 
are Sunnis. What the President said to Prime Minister Maliki 
is, ``You have got to be evenhanded in how you go after these 
killers, whether they are Sunni or whether they are Shia.'' And 
that is the obligation that he undertook, and it is the 
assurance that he gave.
    Senator Hagel. Thank you.
    Mr. Chairman, thank you.
    Senator Biden. Gentlemen, these are really important 
exchanges, but if we're going to get to the junior members 
being able to ask their questions, I'm going to have to start 
to cut them off. And I'm reluctant to do it, because this is 
something the American people should hear and understand. And 
so, I'm sorry, but I'm going to try to--try to get us back into 
the--into this 7 minutes. OK?
    Senator Kerry.


    Senator Kerry. You had to put the hammer down now, huh? 
    Senator Biden. Yes; I'm going to put the hammer down now. 
Yes; right.
    Senator Kerry. Madam Secretary, welcome. And we appreciate 
your being here. I'm going to try and summarize a couple of 
comments--of thoughts, quickly, and then, obviously, try to get 
some questions. The time is so tight.
    With all due respect, I think you were splitting hairs a 
little bit in your answer to Senator Hagel. It is true that 
Iraq, as a whole, is not engaged in--broadly, as you're saying, 
but the trendline is increasingly moving in that direction. And 
in places like Basrah, the British are struggling. There's 
increasing violence in communities where there wasn't. And the 
level of violence, according to most people's standards, the 
testimony we had yesterday in this committee, is larger than 
classified civil wars in many other places, historically. And 
the violence of Sunni on Shia is clearly sectarian, and it is 
civil war between them. Low grade, still; but, nevertheless, 
civil war.
    The Middle East that Senator Dodd and I saw when we were 
there a few weeks ago, certainly the Middle East I saw, is very 
different from the one that I think you've described here 
today. Last night's speech by the President was very important. 
It was important for what it said and set out as a policy, but 
it was also important, I think, for what it didn't say and 
didn't do.
    Many of us--as you know, in our own personal conversation, 
we've been looking for a bipartisan way to approach this. I 
think the President lost an enormous opportunity last night for 
that bipartisanship. None of us want failure. There is a road 
to success, in the judgment of some people, conceivably. Much 
more out of reach than it ever was at any point in time, 
because of the failure to make the right choices and to find 
that consensus to date.
    But last night the President chose, fundamentally, to 
ignore the foundation built by the Iraq Study Group, the 
foundation built, bipartisan basis here, and knowingly and 
willfully has divided the country yet again, and the Congress, 
over this issue. We didn't find that bipartisanship. And what 
was particularly lacking, in my judgment--and I don't 
understand it--was the political-diplomatic approach and 
solution here. Every general, you yourself, the President, has 
said, there's no military solution. But last night the 
President didn't offer the diplomatic and political solution. 
And why there isn't a resolution on the oil revenue, why there 
isn't a resolution on the federalism, why there isn't a path to 
that through the summitry and the diplomacy necessary, is 
really beyond a lot of people's understanding, at this point.
    The Middle East that we saw is a Middle East--and if you 
measure a policy by what it's accomplishing--I mean, I hate to 
say it, but this policy is unbelievably off the mark. A 
failure. Hamas is stronger than at any time previously. 
Hezbollah is stronger than at any time previously. Iran is 
stronger than at any time previously. Iraq is more of a mess 
than at any time previously. That is the measure of a failure.
    And so, the question is--and here, we have, in the New York 
Times today, a story, saying that--promising troops where they 
aren't really needed, a story about how the government itself 
is saying, ``We don't want them,'' and how they would like to 
run the war the way they want to, which I thought was the 
purpose of this exercise, but we're not going to let them.
    Now, I want to get to some questions, and it's hard to do 
it in this timeframe. But the President said, last night, that 
America's commitment is not open-ended, and, if they don't 
follow through, they will lose the support of the American 
people and the Iraqi people. I don't want to debate with you 
whether or not you--they've already lost the support of the 
American people. I think it's pretty evident to most people 
that that's where we are. But what does it mean to say it's not 
open-ended? What is the accountability measure here? Are you 
saying, if it's not open-ended, that you're prepared to 
terminate it? Do you agree that it's not open-ended, first of 
    Secretary Rice. Of course it is not open-ended.
    Senator Kerry. All right. If it's not open-ended, does that 
mean you're prepared, if they fail, to pull out, to terminate? 
What is the--what is the accountability mechanism?
    Secretary Rice. Senator, I think it's best to leave the 
President's words as the President's words.
    I do think that the accountability rests in two places. 
First of all, I think the Iraqis now know that if they don't 
succeed in returning security to their population, then their 
population is not going to support them.
    Senator Kerry. And what are we going to do? That's the big 
issue to the United States Congress.
    Secretary Rice. It's a democratic process. And, second, we 
will have an opportunity, as this policy unfolds--it's not 
going to happen overnight, to see whether or not, in fact, the 
Iraqis are living up to the assurances that they gave us.
    Senator Kerry. And what if they don't?
    Secretary Rice. Senator, I don't think you go to plan B. 
You work with plan A.
    Senator Kerry. But that's not a plan B. That's a very 
critical issue here.
    Secretary Rice. You work with plan A, and you give it the 
possibility of success, the best possibility of success. And I 
want to emphasize, it's not just about Baghdad. There are other 
elements to this policy. And I really think it's important not 
to underestimate the importance of relying, of course, on the 
Maliki government, in terms of Baghdad, but also relying on the 
local councils and the local leaders of Baghdad, through the 
expansion of PRTs there, relying on the local leaders in places 
like Anbar to do the kinds of things that they've started to 
    Senator Kerry. But, Madam Secretary, with all due respect--
I mean, all of that is good. I think those PRT teams are 
terrific, and I think the effort of those folks out there is 
courageous, unbelievable. But they can't do this if Abdul Aziz 
al-Hakim and SCIRI have a grand design for a nine-province 
state that is Shia in the south, to the exclusion of adequate 
support to the Sunni in Baghdad and a central government. You 
know that. They can't do it if Muqtada al-Sadr has ambitions 
with respect to the country, and the Sunni aren't brought to 
the table with a sufficient stake that they feel they're 
sharing. That's the fundamental struggle here.
    Secretary Rice. I agree, Senator.
    Senator Kerry. The President didn't address it.
    Secretary Rice. No; the President did address it. He talked 
about the need for the national oil law.
    Senator Kerry. The need for it, but not how it's going to 
happen and why do we have to wait 3 years to have that?
    Secretary Rice. It's actually a very difficult thing, 
Senator, in a place where they've never solved their problems 
by politics, to ask them to take one of the most fundamental 
issues facing the country, which is, how are they going to 
divide the one strong resource they have--which is oil--and 
what's remarkable is that the oil law that they are now close 
to finalizing is not a sectarian oil law. In fact, even though 
the Kurds might have been expected as some have said they 
would--to insist that they will simply control all the 
resources themselves, that's not what the oil law does.
    Senator Kerry. I understand what the framework for it is. 
But the question is: Why is there not the political resolution 
on the table that assures Americans that the fundamental 
struggle between Sunni and Shia--and the struggle within Shia--
I mean, the President talked last night about this war as if 
it's sort of a single war--the Green Zone government struggling 
for democracy versus everybody else. Really, there are four or 
five--there are several wars.
    Senator Biden. Senator, your----
    Senator Kerry. There's a war of----
    Senator Biden [continuing]. Time is----
    Senator Kerry [continuing]. Sunni on Shia. There's a war of 
Sunni and Shia on American occupiers. There's a war of Syria, 
Iran, engaging with----
    Secretary Rice. Senator, I think everybody understands 
that, but you asked me about the political reconciliation.
    Senator Kerry. Well----
    Senator Biden. Senator, I'm sorry, your time is up. We're 
just not going to be able----
    Secretary Rice. All right.
    Senator Biden. If----
    Senator Kerry. Well, could you just speak to the----
    Secretary Rice. Shall I answer?
    Senator Kerry [continuing]. Political piece, please?
    Secretary Rice. Yes. The political piece, it is composed of 
the following elements: The national oil law, which is a 
remarkable law, in that it does not take a sectarian cast; a 
new de-Baathification policy, which already has allowed a 
number of officers to return to the armed forces, and pensions 
to be paid, and there will be further effort on that; a 
commitment to provincial elections, which the Sunnis feel will 
be important for righting the disproportionally low share of 
their representation in provincial councils, because they 
boycotted the elections, early on. These are the elements of a 
national reconciliation plan. And I don't think, Senator, it 
can be imposed from the outside. I do think the Iraqis 
themselves, with our help and with the help of others--and, by 
the way, with an international compact, where the international 
community has, indeed, said, ``Those are the obligations that 
you must undertake for support''--that that is how they will 
get to that national reconciliation plan. But they're not going 
to get there if they're unable to provide population security 
in Baghdad, because that is stoking the atmosphere of 
    Senator Biden. I realize that generates a lot of questions, 
but I'm going to yield now to Senator Coleman.


    Senator Coleman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Secretary Rice, first I would say that I do appreciate the 
President's candor last night in admitting mistakes. I think it 
was important. I share his perspective on the two fronts we 
face in Iraq. We're fighting a war against al-Qaeda and foreign 
fighters in Al Anbar province. We're winning that war. I was 
there just 3 weeks ago. But the problem is that we can't be 
successful there in the long term, unless we have Sunnis in the 
police force and Sunnis in the army. And that gets back to the 
sectarian violence that we're seeing in Baghdad.
    The chairman asked the question about capacity. To me, the 
issue is not the capacity of the Iraqis to do what has to be 
done to deal with this sectarian violence, but their resolve. I 
met with Dr. Rubaie, who is the Prime Minister's national 
security advisor, and I can tell you, 3 weeks ago he didn't 
think the answer to the violence in Baghdad was more American 
troops there. The sense I got from Dr. Rubaie was, ``We 
[Iraqis] can take care of this--it is our problem.'' You've 
indicated that, ``This time, they're going to make the 
difficult choices.'' And I'm not seeing that type of resolve in 
the Iraqis. It is difficult to ask them to enact an oil law. 
It's a lot more difficult to ask our sons and daughters and 
fathers and brothers and sisters to be on the front line in 
Baghdad, in the crosshairs of sectarian violence when we have 
this question about the resolve of the Iraqis to do what they 
need to do to end sectarian hatred.
    And so, my question to you is: Wouldn't it be wiser to hold 
the Iraqis to certain benchmarks, to tell them, ``You have X 
number of months to pass an oil law that distributes oil 
throughout the region, to put money into places like Anbar 
province, that are Sunni-dominated and have been cut off in the 
past, and to show a real commitment to a reconciliation''? I 
just don't know if the Iraqis are done killing each other. I 
don't know if the bloodletting is past the mark where all the 
groups are tired of it and willing to pursue reconciliation. 
Why wouldn't it be wiser for us today, ``We'll give you 6 
months to do this, and if you achieve it, there are a range of 
things that the U.S. can do in response''? Why put more 
American lives on the line now, in the hope that this time the 
Iraqis will make the difficult choices?
    Secretary Rice. Senator, you've come to the real crux of 
the matter. Is it a matter of capacity or is it a matter of 
resolve? If you think it's just a matter of resolve, then I 
think that's precisely the strategy that you would pursue. You 
would say to them, ``Show us, first, that you're resolved, and 
then we'll help you.'' But if you think it's both a matter of 
resolve and capability, which our people do, despite the 
somewhat bravado of Mr. Rubaie and some others--I think the 
Iraqi Defense Minister didn't think that he has the forces to 
do what he needs to do. And so, if you think it's a matter of 
both resolve and capability, then you want to provide the 
capability up front so they don't fail. And that's really what 
the President is saying. Then you have to have the resolve. I 
am absolutely of the mind, and absolutely committed, that they 
have to have the resolve. And, frankly, they haven't always 
shown it. But they are moving on a number of fronts that show 
that resolve--the oil law, some of the moves on de-
    But I think, again, it's important to have a view of what 
Baghdad really looks like. First of all, they are going to be 
on the front lines, because they understand that sectarian 
violence has to be ended by them, not by us. We can support 
them; we can't take it on. But all of us remember times in our 
history when it was not good to be in a neighborhood when the 
police came in. I came from a part of our country where that 
was the case. Seeing the police come into Birmingham, AL, when 
I was a kid, was not a comforting sight. That's essentially the 
case in some of the neighborhoods of Baghdad. And so, what that 
government has to do is to reestablish in that population the 
confidence that they are going to establish civil order, that 
they're not going to let death squads take out neighborhoods, 
kill the men, send the women into exile. That's what we're 
trying to help them to do. But they've got to be on the front 
lines of this, because ultimately only they can solve the 
sectarian problem.
    Senator Coleman. I think we agree on the outcome. We agree 
on what the Iraqi Government has to do. We face the saying, 
``Fooled once, shame on you; fooled twice, shame on me.'' What 
I have yet to see--even as recently as 3 weeks ago--is that 
level of commitment and resolve, so that the Shias are willing 
to say, ``We're going to take care of the Muqtada al-Sadrs. 
We're going to do those things that have to be done to quell 
the sectarian violence.'' And to put the lives of more 
Americans in the center of that sectarian violence in Baghdad, 
without first having the Iraqis deliver on substantial 
benchmarks on reconciliation, something we can point to, other 
than just trusting--I'm not prepared, at this time, to support 
that. The cost is too great. But it would appear to me that if 
we could get some measure of assurance that the commitment is 
there on the part of the Iraqis to deliver, that would be 
acceptable. What we have now from the Iraqis are promises that 
they have failed to fulfill previously, and I think the cost is 
too high to make further troop commitments based on the 
calculation we are faced with.
    Secretary Rice. Thank you.
    Senator, may I just say, I understand. We're clear-eyed, 
too, about the fact that the Iraqi Government has to perform, 
and we're clear-eyed about the fact that they've not, in the 
past. But I think it's awfully important to recognize that the 
violence--the sectarian violence, which was really accelerated 
by Samarra--is threatening to outrun their chance to do exactly 
the things that you want them to do, because the atmosphere of 
sectarianism is breaking down the very fabric of a society 
that, frankly, has a lot of ties between their peoples. Their 
tribes are mixed Sunni and Shia. There are intermarried Sunni 
and Shia. There are a lot of fibers of the society that are 
actually not sectarian. But if what is going on in Baghdad 
continues apace, without the government capable of getting 
control of it and reestablishing civil order, then you are 
going to have the kind of breakdown in the fabric of society to 
support the very processes of national reconciliation that 
you're talking about. That's why this is urgent, and that's why 
we don't have time to sequence it, to let them prove themselves 
first and then we will add forces to help them do what they 
need to do. As I said, if it's a matter of just resolve, then 
the sequencing works. But it's also capability. And that's the 
assessment of our military people and of our political people.
    We have the ability, of course, to see how they're doing, 
in terms of living up to their obligations, because not all 
American forces are going to go in up front. Not all will be 
ready to go in on day one. And you can be sure that we're going 
to be watching very carefully, and we're going to be pressing 
them very hard, that their obligations are obligations that, if 
they don't meet, this plan cannot succeed. We're also going to 
be diversifying our efforts, making sure that we're not just 
dependent on the Maliki government for some successes in the 
country, but rather on local leaders, of the kind that we're 
working with in Anbar. But I just think it's extremely 
important to recognize that the threat right now is that that 
fabric of a society that is nonsectarian is being stretched to 
the limit by what's going on in Baghdad. And they don't have a 
lot of time to get on top of it, and we don't have time to 
sequence our help to help them get on top of it.
    Senator Coleman. Thank you, Madam Secretary.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Biden. Thank you very much.
    Senator Feingold.


    Senator Feingold. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Thank you, Madam Secretary, for appearing before the 
committee today. Unfortunately, Madam Secretary, this hearing 
is taking place in the context of what has become a true 
nightmare for the United States, and quite possibly the 
greatest foreign policy mistake in the history of our Nation. 
We just heard Senator Hagel, I think, use similar language, and 
I thank him sincerely for his candor before this committee.
    We currently have 140,000 of our bravest men and women in 
uniform in Iraq, stuck in what has become a civil war. Over 
3,000 Americans have died. And yet, we continue to see 
increases in interethnic attacks and bombings, in the strength 
of Shia militias and the strength of the insurgency and 
displaced persons and so on. Almost 4 years after this war 
began, Iraqis are no closer to a political agreement or to 
resolving the underlying political, ethnic, religious, and 
economic problems that are ripping the country apart. But the 
President wants to send more United States troops to Iraq. His 
strategy runs counter to the needs of our strained military, 
counter to the testimony of our military's most senior 
officers, counter to the need to address the troubling 
developments in places like Afghanistan and Somalia, and 
counter to the fact that, after 4 years of failed strategies 
for victory, the American people have sent a resounding 
message, and that message is, it is time to redeploy our brave 
troops out of Iraq now.
    The American people soundly rejected the President's Iraq 
policy in November. They sent a clear message that maintaining 
our troops in Iraq is not in the interest of our national 
security. They understand that our Iraq-centric policies are 
hurting our ability to defeat the enemy that attacked us on 9/
    We can't afford to continue this course. I have 
consistently called for the redeployment of our military from 
Iraq. I was the first Senator, in August 2005, to call for a 
timetable to withdraw the troops over a period of time of 15 
months, at that time. But that advice has not been heeded. And 
now Congress must use its main power, the power of the purse, 
to put an end to our involvement in this disastrous war. And 
I'm not talking here only about the surge or escalation. It is 
time to use the power of the purse to bring our troops out of 
Iraq. Over the next several weeks, I--and I hope, many of my 
colleagues--will work together to take a hard look at exactly 
how we should do that. But it is time to use that power.
    Our troops in Iraq have performed heroically, but we cannot 
continue to send our Nation's best into a war that was 
started--and is still maintained--on false pretenses. An 
indefinite presence of United States military personnel in Iraq 
will not fix that country's political problems. And sending 
more troops to Iraq will not provide the stability that can 
only come from a political agreement.
    From the beginning, this war has been a mistake, and the 
policies that have carried it out have been a failure. We need 
a new national security strategy that starts with a 
redeployment from Iraq so we can repair and strengthen our 
military and focus on the global threats to our national 
    With that, Madam Secretary, my first question is this. Is 
the United States more secure now as a result of our military 
incursion into Iraq than we were before we entered Iraq?
    Secretary Rice. Senator, I think that we are more secure. 
We are more secure, but we're not secure.
    Senator Feingold. Are we more secure, vis-a-vis al-Qaeda?
    Secretary Rice. We have done a lot to break up al-Qaeda, 
the forces that came against us on September 11.
    Senator Feingold. But are we more secure, vis-a-vis al-
Qaeda, than we were before we went into Iraq?
    Secretary Rice. Senator, I do think that we are more 
secure, vis-a-vis al-Qaeda, for a lot of reasons, not just our 
policies in the Middle East; the policies we've undertaken 
through homeland security improvements.
    Senator Feingold. I asked you whether, as a result of our 
Iraqi intervention, are we more secure, vis-a-vis al-Qaeda?
    Secretary Rice. Senator, the notion about Iraq has always 
been that to deal with the short-term problem of al-Qaeda, as 
it exists now, is not going to create long-term security. You 
can only do that by changing the nature of the Middle East that 
produced al-Qaeda. I don't want us to confuse what we are doing 
in Iraq with the short-term problem.
    Senator Feingold. All right. Well, let me ask about----
    Secretary Rice. The longer term security.
    Senator Feingold [continuing]. Other things.
    Secretary Rice. The longer term issue is how the Middle 
East itself evolves.
    Senator Feingold. Right.
    Secretary Rice. And that's why Iraq is so important, and 
that's why it's important that we succeed in Iraq.
    Senator Feingold. I understand the argument. I completely 
reject it, but I understand it.
    What about Afghanistan? Are we better off in Afghanistan 
than we were before the invasion of Iraq?
    Secretary Rice. I think there's no doubt that we are better 
off in Afghanistan. Afghanistan has made a lot of progress 
since 2001--when we invaded.
    Senator Feingold. That's not what I asked. I asked if we're 
better off since the intervention in Iraq.
    Secretary Rice. Senator, not everything is related to what 
we have done in Iraq.
    Senator Feingold. It's a simple----
    Secretary Rice [continuing]. We've done----
    Senator Feingold [continuing]. Question. Did it----
    Secretary Rice. What we've done----
    Senator Feingold [continuing]. Help or did it hurt our 
situation in Afghanistan?
    Secretary Rice. I think that we have been managing what is 
going on in Afghanistan as we've been managing what's been 
going on in Iraq. I don't actually see the connection that you 
are trying to draw.
    Senator Feingold. They're not----
    Secretary Rice. I don't understand.
    Senator Feingold. Well, are we better off, vis-a-vis Iran 
and North Korea, than we were prior to the intervention in 
Iraq? Is our security situation, vis-a-vis Iran and North 
Korea, better than it was before the intervention in Iraq?
    Secretary Rice. Well, I don't really think, Senator, that 
the North Korean nuclear test has anything to do with Iraq.
    Senator Feingold. Well, I think the diversion of attention 
from the most important problems in the world has everything to 
do with this terrible mistake.
    What--let's try something that I think is more direct--what 
about our military, the strain on our military? Is our military 
better off than it was before Iraq intervention?
    Secretary Rice. Senator, we're at war. And when we're at 
war, there's going to be strain on the military. I think that's 
what General Pace would tell you. But, again, I just can't 
agree with you that there's been a diversion of our attention 
from all other policy problems. If you look at the progress 
that we've actually made on North Korea, with North Korea under 
a chapter 7 resolution and with six-party talks about to begin 
again, if you look at the progress that we're making on 
stopping an Iranian nuclear weapon, that, by the way, has been 
entrain for quite some time, if you look at the progress that 
we've made--and I have to say, you know, this Middle East that 
somehow was so stable before we invaded Iraq is a Middle East 
that I didn't recognize in 2000 or 2001 either. That was a 
Middle East where Saddam Hussein was still in power, still with 
the potential to invade his neighbors, as he had done before, 
where Syria was deep into Lebanon, where the Palestinian 
territories were governed by a man who was stealing the 
Palestinians blind, but couldn't take a peace deal--I don't 
    Senator Feingold. My time----
    Secretary Rice [continuing]. That Middle East as having 
    Senator Feingold [continuing]. My----
    Secretary Rice [continuing]. Very stable. So----
    Senator Feingold. My time is up, but I see this problem of 
our security as an international problem. And I believe the 
diversion of attention in Iraq has been absolutely catastrophic 
with regard to our national security.
    Secretary Rice. Well, Senator, I appreciate your views on 
that, but I'm the one who, every day, goes to the office and 
works not just on Iraq, but on North Korea, on Iran, on the 
problems in Somalia, in Sudan. And I think if you look around, 
you'll see that the United States has a very active policy 
everywhere in the world.
    Senator Feingold. Thank you, Madam Secretary.
    Senator Biden. Thank you very much.
    Senator Corker. And, again, welcome to the committee.


    Senator Corker. Mr. Chairman, thank you. I appreciate the 
tremendous testimony that you've allowed us to have over the 
last 3 days.
    And, Madam Secretary, thank you for being here.
    I've heard a lot--it seems that people agree--that in Iraq 
we need a political solution, that that is what needs to occur. 
And it seems to me that what the administration has tried to 
put forth is a way for a political process to occur and a 
political solution to happen, and that is by causing Iraqis to 
actually feel secure, to feel like they can, in fact, go about 
a political process in a way that allows people to debate and 
come to a solution.
    One of the things I've realized with the testimony over the 
last 3 days is, there is another school of thought, and that 
is, that by some--and I don't mean by anybody on this panel, 
specifically--but that, by some who wish to withdraw, they 
believe that the only way there's going to be a political 
process, a healthy political process, is for there to be an 
all-out civil war first, that what we've had is a measured 
civil war, and that, by withdrawing, there actually would be an 
all-out civil war, and that things have got to get much worse 
before they get any better.
    I'd like for you to address those two schools of thought, 
if you would.
    Secretary Rice. Well, thank you, Senator.
    First of all, I think you've put it very well, because the 
risk of American withdrawal, or, as it's sometimes called, 
redeployment--and I think we have to recognize, redeployment's 
really withdrawal--then we are dealing with a circumstance in 
which the Iraqis are so-called ``left to their own devices'' to 
deal with a problem that threatens to overwhelm their political 
process. And that is the sectarian violence in Baghdad.
    Again, as I was saying to Senator Coleman, it really does 
depend on whether you think this is a matter of Iraqi resolve 
or a matter of capability, or a matter of both. And the 
President and his team thinks it's a matter of both. And so, no 
amount of resolve, if they don't have the capability, is going 
to help them to deal with the sectarian violence in Baghdad. 
That's why we want to augment their capability, so that they 
can show that resolve.
    When analysts look at what you would be talking about if 
you just said to them, ``All right, you just go at one another, 
and we'll go to the borders and defend the borders, and we'll 
fight al-Qaeda, and we'll do a few other things, but it's 
really up to you to resolve this,'' I think it has the wrong 
idea of what's really going on in Baghdad. It's not as if, 
street-to-street, every Sunni and every Shia is determined to 
kill each other. That's really not the case. You do have, 
stoked by al-Qaeda, after the Samarra bombing, people--
extremist Sunni and Shia death squads, Sunni and Shia--who are, 
in the name of sectarianism, going in to neighborhoods, killing 
the men--that's where those bodies are coming from--expelling 
the women--that's why there are internally displaced people--
but it is an organized effort to perpetrate violence by Shia 
death squads and Sunni death squads. That means that if the 
Iraqi Government is actually able to deal with the organized 
effort, then they will be able to stem the tide of sectarian 
violence. But if they're not able to do that, and to 
reestablish civil order, then the fabric of the society, which 
has not always been just sectarian--there is a lot of 
intermarriage, a lot of--a lot of community between the 
groups--that fabric's going to break apart.
    And so, that's why the President has outlined what he has. 
He did look, Senator, at other options. He did look at the 
question of whether or not the Iraqis could be told, ``Go do 
this on your own.'' And the assessment of the people on the 
ground, both our political people and our military people, is 
that they didn't yet have the forces to do it. I think General 
Casey said, at one point, it would be the summer before they 
were really able to take control of operations in Iraq. Well, 
by the summer, if something hasn't improved in Baghdad, then 
they're going to be in very difficult straits.
    So, as you think about this policy, and whether you decide 
to accept it or reject it, I think you have to think about the 
consequences of not going down this route. And the consequences 
of that is that you leave the Iraqi Government without the 
capability to deal with their sectarian problem.
    Senator Corker. Mr. Chairman, out of respect for my more 
senior junior members on this committee, I'm going to pass 
    Senator Biden. I'm sure it's appreciated. Thank you very 
much, Senator.
    Chairman Boxer.


    Senator Boxer. Thank you.
    Mr. Chairman, for me today marks the bipartisan end of a 
rubberstamp Senate, and I am proud to be here in behalf of the 
people of California.
    Madam Secretary, on November 7, the American people voted 
for a change in Congress, citing Iraq as the No. 1 issue 
affecting their vote. And a week later, General Abizaid told 
the Senate Armed Services Committee that he checked with every 
single divisional commander on the ground in Iraq, and, to a 
person, no one believed that more American troops would improve 
the situation, because the Iraqis already rely on us too much. 
And then, on December 7, the Iraq Study Group, noting that 61 
percent of the Iraqis, who you say support us so much, approve 
of attacks on United States troops--they approve of shooting 
and killing United States troops--the Iraqi Study Group, in 
light of that, recommended that United States combat troops 
should be redeployed out of Iraq by early 2008. They also 
called for an immediate meeting--international meeting in the 
region to find a political solution to Iraq. And one line that 
stands out in that Iraq Study Report is, ``Absent a political 
solution, all the troops in the world will not provide 
    And on January 8, the Military Times--and I'd ask unanimous 
consent to place this into the record, Mr. Chairman. Mr. 
Chairman, may I place this in the record? The Military Times?
    Senator Biden. Without objection, it'll be placed in the 
    Senator Boxer. The Military Times published a poll, which 
found that only 35 percent of military members approved of the 
way President Bush is handling this war, and only 38 percent 
thought there should be more troops.
    So, from where I sit, Madam Secretary, you are not 
listening to the American people, you are not listening to the 
military, you are not listening to the bipartisan voices from 
the Senate, you are not listening to the Iraq Study Group. Only 
you know who you are listening to. And you wonder why there is 
a dark cloud of skepticism and pessimism over this Nation.
    I think people are right to be skeptical, after listening 
to some of the things that have been said by your 
administration. For example, October 19, 2005, you came before 
this committee to discuss, in your words, ``how we assure 
victory in Iraq.'' And you said the following in answer to 
Senator Feingold, ``I have no doubt that, as the Iraqi security 
forces get better--and they are getting better and are holding 
territory, and they are doing the things with minimal help--we 
are going to be able to bring down the level of our forces. I 
have no doubt''--I want to reiterate--``I have no doubt that 
that's going to happen in a reasonable timeframe.'' You had no 
doubt. Not a doubt. And last night the President's announcement 
of an escalation is a total rebuke of your confident 
    Now, the issue is: Who pays the price? Who pays the price? 
I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old, and 
my grandchild is too young. You're not going to pay a 
particular price, as I understand it, with immediate family. 
So, who pays the price? The American military and their 
families. And I just want to bring us back to that fact.
    NPR has done a series of interviews with families who have 
lost kids. And the announcer said to one family in the Midwest, 
``What's changed in your lives since your son's death?'' The 
answer comes back, ``Everything. You can't begin to imagine how 
even the little things change--how you go through the day, how 
you celebrate Christmas''--Mr. Chairman, could I please--``You 
can't begin to imagine how you celebrate any holiday or 
birthday. There's an absence. It's not like the person has 
never been there. They've--always were there, and now they're 
not, and you're looking at an empty hole. He has a purple 
heart. The flag that was on his coffin. And one of the two urns 
that we got back--he came back in three parts, two urns and one 
coffin. He's buried in three places, if you count our house. 
He's buried in New Jersey. He's buried in Cleveland.'' That's 
who's going to pay the price.
    And then you have the most moving thing I've ever heard on 
a radio station, which is a visit to a burn unit and a talk 
with the nurse. Devon suffered burns over 93 percent of his 
body, three amputations--both legs, one arm--his back was 
broken, internal organs exposed. As the hospital staff entered 
the room, they would see photographs on the wall, pictures of a 
healthy private standing proud in his dark green Army dress 
uniform. ``It's very important,'' says the major, ``that nurses 
see the patient as a person, because the majority of our 
patients have facial burns and they're unrecognizable, and 
they're extremely disfigured.''
    So, who pays the price? Not me. Not you. These are the 
people who pay the price.
    So, I want to ask you, since this administration has been 
so clear about how this has been a coalition, and a coalition--
you've already said that we don't have anybody else escalating 
their presence at this time. Is that correct?
    Secretary Rice. That is correct.
    Senator Boxer. That is correct. Have you seen the recent 
news that the British are going to be bringing home thousands 
of troops in the near future?
    Secretary Rice. I have seen the stories about what the 
British are going to do. I'll wait for a confirmation from the 
British Government about what they're going to do.
    Senator Boxer. OK. I would ask unanimous consent to place 
into the record the article from today that announces that 
that's what they're going to do, is bring home thousands of 
    And I want to point out to the American people, we are all 
alone. We are all alone. There's no other country standing with 
us in this escalation. And if you look at this coalition, the 
closest to us--we've got about 130-140,000 troops. I don't know 
the exact number. The Brits had 7,200. They're going to be 
announcing they're bringing home, as I understand it, more than 
3,000 of those. The next-biggest coalition member is South 
Korea with 2,300; Poland, with 900; and, after that, Australia, 
with 800. No one is joining us in this surge.
    Do you have an estimate of the number of casualties we 
expect from this surge?
    Secretary Rice. No, Senator. I don't think there's any way 
to give you such an estimate.
    Senator Boxer. Has the President--because he said, ``expect 
more sacrifice''--he must know.
    Secretary Rice. Senator, I don't think that any of us have 
a number that--of expected casualties. I think that people 
understand that there is going to be violence for some time in 
Iraq, and that there will be more casualties.
    And let me just say, you know, I fully understand the 
sacrifice that the American people are making, and especially 
the sacrifice that our soldiers are making, men and women in 
uniform. I visit them. I know what they're going through. I 
talk to their families. I see it.
    I could never--and I can never--do anything to replace any 
of those lost men and women in uniform, or the diplomats, some 
of whom have been lost----
    Senator Boxer. Madam Secretary, please, I know you feel 
terrible about it. That's not the point. I was making the case 
as to who pays the price for your decisions. And the fact that 
this administration would move forward with this escalation 
with no clue as to the further price that we're going to pay 
militarily--we certainly know the numbers, billions of dollars, 
that we can't spend here in this country--I find really 
appalling that there's not even enough time taken to figure out 
what the casualties would be.
    Secretary Rice. Well, Senator----
    Senator Boxer. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Secretary Rice. Senator, I think it would be highly 
unlikely for the military to tell the President, ``We expect X 
number of casualties because of this augmentation of the 
forces.'' And, again, let me just say, the President sees this 
as an effort to help the Iraqis with an urgent task so that the 
sectarian violence in Baghdad does not outrun the political 
process and make it impossible to have the kind of national 
reconciliation that we all want to see there.
    But I just want to say one thing, Senator, about the 
placard that you held up. I have to admit, my eyesight's not 
what it used to be, so I couldn't actually see the date 
underneath, but I think it may have been 2005.
    Senator Boxer. October--it was the end of 2005, October--
    Secretary Rice. I think----
    Senator Boxer [continuing]. 2005. And you had----
    Secretary Rice [continuing]. The President----
    Senator Boxer [continuing]. Absolutely no doubt----
    Secretary Rice. Yes. And I think the President spoke----
    Senator Boxer [continuing]. About how great it was going.
    Secretary Rice. I don't think I ever said it was going 
great, Senator.
    Senator Boxer. You thought that our troops would be coming 
    Secretary Rice. Senator, let's not overstate the case.
    Senator Boxer. Well, let's just put----
    Secretary Rice. I don't think I said it was going great.
    Senator Boxer [continuing]. Let's just put it up again.
    Secretary Rice. The point that I wanted to make, Senator, 
is that that is October 2005. The President has talked 
repeatedly now about the changed circumstances that we faced 
after the Samarra bombing of February 2006, because that 
bombing did, in fact, change the character of the conflict in 
Iraq. Before that, we were fighting al-Qaeda. Before that, we 
were fighting some insurgents, some Saddamists. But it was the 
purpose of Zarqawi to try and stoke sectarian violence. He 
wrote this letter to Zawahiri, told him he was going to do 
that. Zawahiri himself was even concerned that this might be a 
bad policy. But it turns out to have been a very smart one, 
because, in fact, through the bombing of the Golden Mosque, he 
accelerated this sectarian violence to the point that it now 
has presented us with a new set of circumstances.
    Senator Biden. Senator Sununu.


    Senator Sununu. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Madam Secretary, in the President's remarks last night, 
there were some things that I was pleased to hear, such as his 
emphasis that the burden has shifted now to the Iraqi 
Government, both for these political issues that we've heard 
talked about today, but also for security, even setting a 
timetable for Iraqis taking full responsibility for security in 
the outlying provinces by November. There were some areas where 
I have a little bit more concern, such as whether or not the 
use of the troops he discussed will really be appropriate in 
dealing with sectarian violence in Baghdad, and some areas 
where I was a little bit more disappointed, such as the failure 
to talk about or establish a more formal process for engaging 
all of Iraq's neighbors, including those that are already very 
supportive and have been helpful, such as Turkey or Saudi 
Arabia or Jordan, in a more formal process to provide whatever 
support is necessary for Iraq.
    But I want to begin with the area of political reform and 
change for the Iraqi Government, because--even here, I think 
you've sensed a level of frustration, because, while we 
understand that a change in the oil law, local elections, a 
reconciliation process, are essential to long-term success, and 
no matter how we succeed militarily, those gains won't be 
sustained unless these political reforms are undertaken, we 
still haven't been provided with a lot of clarity there, and 
timeframe. And while I think an arbitrary date for removing all 
troops from Iraq doesn't make sense militarily or 
diplomatically, setting a very clear timetable for these 
reforms does make some sense, because it sends the right 
message to everyone involved.
    And I would further suggest, to you and the entire 
administration, if we don't see more specifics, and even, where 
appropriate, a timeframe that's established in concert with the 
Iraqi Government, then Congress is probably going to step into 
the void and start setting a timeframe for the Iraqi 
commitments that have been made. I certainly wouldn't prefer 
that. I would prefer the former to the latter.
    So, I offer that as a very strong suggestion, that we work 
to provide much more clarity and specifics, in terms of timing. 
And I have two questions about those issues.
    First, a very specific question with regard to the oil law. 
You referred to the oil law as a ``remarkable law.'' Well, it's 
the most remarkable law that no one has ever really seen. Over 
the last week, I've had conversations with White House--senior 
White House staff about this issue. We had a top-secret 
briefing where this was raised in a very specific way. We heard 
from scholars yesterday. And what we can gain is that there has 
been some agreement on investment issues, and even ownership, 
but not on distribution. And, from where I sit, it's 
distribution that really matters. Money is power. Money is 
power in Washington. Money is power anywhere around the world. 
And unless we have a methodology for distribution, we're not 
going to be successful.
    So, can you give more specifics about these different 
government objectives, not just oil law, political elections, 
reconciliation process, de-Baathification law? And what about 
the oil law, specifically? When are we going to see the area of 
distribution resolved?
    Secretary Rice. Well, on the first, Senator, I take your 
point about needing to understand the timeframe in which the 
Iraqis are trying to do the benchmarks that are put before you. 
It's a political process for them, just like we have political 
processes in the United States. And I think there have been 
times when we've missed deadlines on trying to get this 
legislative piece done or that legislative piece done. But they 
do have a timeframe for moving things forward into their 
Parliament and getting the laws passed and so forth. They've 
tried to make sure that the laws that they're putting forward 
have enough political support so they don't have a problem in 
the Parliament. So, they're going about it, I think, in the 
right way. But certainly I think we can be more explicit about 
how they see the timeframes ahead, and in the days to come, 
I'll try to do that.
    As to the oil law, actually the sticking point has been 
less about distribution. They understand that there needs to be 
some distribution on the basis of a formula that has to do with 
where the resource came from, the need to distribute it in a 
way that is equitable, and, indeed, to deal with the fact that 
some parts of the country are particularly underdeveloped. And 
so, distribution has actually been less of a problem than the 
question of who gets to sign contracts. That's, frankly, been 
the one that they've been hung up on.
    And so, I think you'll find that it's a law that, in terms 
of distribution, in terms of some basic notion of a trust for 
the Iraqi people, is actually quite forward-leaning.
    Senator Sununu. Well, I understand the point you make, that 
investment may have been the sticking point, but I think it's 
also important that we fully recognize that, while that may 
have been the sticking point in negotiation, that is not the 
issue that has the potential to fuel the sectarian violence. 
And it's when the Sunnis do not feel that there's an equitable 
distribution scheme, when they're not enfranchised 
economically, that they're more likely to turn to sectarian 
organizations or sectarian groups, because they think that 
violence is the only way to ensure that kind of resolution.
    So, I understand investment may have been the negotiating 
sticking point, but I think equitable distribution is more 
important to long-term enfranchisement economically, and, 
therefore, to dealing with some of the sectarian problems.
    The second question I want to ask is about the PRTs. There 
were some comments made, very positive, about the work of PRTs, 
or their reconstruction teams, or their potential. But it's my 
understanding that many of them are confined to relatively 
small compounds, that there are security issues. So, two 
issues. One, where will the funding and support come from? Two, 
how are we going to address the security issues that confine 
them, when we're deploying troops elsewhere? And, third, what 
about recruitment? It is my understanding that recruitment has 
been a problem, that Baker-Hamilton Commission outlined, 
unfortunately, the tragic fact that we have so few Arab 
speakers in our--both our State and intelligence personnel in 
Iraq. How are we going to address these two issues? Better 
recruitment, Arab speakers and security on the reconstruction 
    Secretary Rice. Yes. Senator, just so I'm not misunderstood 
on the oil law, it does address the question of distribution. 
And I think it addresses it in a way that we find hopeful.
    Senator Sununu. We had senior intelligence officials, 1 day 
ago--2 days ago--that were able to tell us nothing about the 
proposed distribution methodology. On Friday Senior National 
Security Council staff was able to tell me and others in the 
room nothing about distribution methodology.
    Secretary Rice. Senator----
    Senator Sununu. So, either the right information isn't 
being put into the hands of the President's National Security 
Advisor and his senior intelligence official for the Middle 
East or there's a refusal to share information.
    Secretary Rice. Well, Senator, let me just say that I will 
tell you what we know of the draft law. I will send you a note 
about that.
    [The information submitted by the State Department 

                            The Secretary of State,
                                       Department of State,
                                 Washington, DC, February 14, 2007.
Hon. John E. Sununu,
U.S. Senate,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Senator Sununu: I am writing to follow up on the question you 
raised during my testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations 
Committee on January 11 regarding the need for Iraq to establish a 
mechanism to share its oil wealth among all its provinces.
    l agree with you on the importance of this issue. We have clearly 
communicated to the Iraqi government our view that it is critical for 
Iraq to pass a hydrocarbon law that reinforces national institutions 
and creates a fair and transparent mechanism to distribute revenues 
between the central government and the provinces in a way that is 
broadly acceptable to all Iraqis.
    In August 2006, discussions between the central government and the 
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) began. Despite marked differences 
of approach in the beginning of this process, the parties have made 
significant progress and have agreed that Iraq will draft a hydrocarbon 
law that sets out the guiding principles and framework for the oil and 
gas sector.
    In the course of their discussions, the KRG and the central 
government have also agreed that the central government should collect 
and distribute revenue to the provinces according to each province's 
population once a census is completed. The Iraqis have now started 
drafting a specific revenue sharing law that will more specifically 
codify the collection methods and distribution levels.
    We will continue to keep your staff updated as the Iraqis finalize 
these important pieces of legislation. Please do not hesitate to 
contact me if you have further questions.
                                                  Condoleezza Rice.

    Secretary Rice. In terms of the PRTs, now, 98 percent of 
our positions are filled. And, as a matter of fact, we've 
already filled 68 percent of the positions that would come into 
rotation in the summer of 2007. There was a time when we had 
some difficulty in recruiting. We had to make some changes in 
the way we recruited. I wanted to be sure that we had senior 
people leading these PRT teams, not people who were too junior. 
And, in fact, I think you will find that we are doing very 
well, in terms of getting the right people to the PRTs. And so, 
it was--there was a time. We changed some of the incentives. We 
changed the way we recruit for them. And we're doing very well 
in filling the PRTs.
    The absence of Arabic speakers, I'm afraid, is the result 
of the national underinvestment in Arabic language skills over 
a very long period of time, and we're doing what we can to 
improve that. You know, at one time--I think we didn't have 
problems, frankly, finding Russian speakers, because the United 
States invested in people like me to teach them Russian. We 
really haven't done that, as a nation, which is why we have a 
critical-languages initiative, which is why we're recruiting 
people with mid-level experience who might have those language 
skills. And we're going to have to do better at getting Arabic 
speakers not just into the PRTs and into Baghdad, but into the 
rest of the Middle East, as well.
    Finally, one of the things that we're doing is, we're 
increasing the training of the people who go into Arabic, so 
that they have longer in the training, so that they are more 
capable in the language before they go out. So, we're trying to 
address that problem.
    Finally, as to security for the PRTs, yes, security is 
something that I'm very concerned about and take very 
seriously. We are now being provided security through the 
brigade teams with which we are, in effect, embedded, and we 
think that works best. Our people do move around. We just 
recently had, for the President, a briefing by four of our PRT 
teams. And, yes, they have, sometimes, some difficulty. But 
they get out, and they go meet local leaders. One was telling 
me--I'll not name the province, for security reasons--but that 
he's out at least three, four times a week with the local 
leaders. And so, people are getting out. They are experiencing 
some of the same dangers that affect our military forces, and I 
think it's important to recognize that our civilians are on the 
front lines, too. But since we went to this structure of the 
PRTs, they are getting out.
    Senator Biden. Madam Secretary, let me suggest that--we 
want to get you out by 1 o'clock, so--I appreciate your 
exposition, but, to the extent that we all can't be shorter, 
we're going to be trespassing on your time.
    Senator from Florida.


    Senator Bill Nelson. Madam Secretary, I have supported you 
and the administration on the war, but I cannot continue to 
support the administration's position. I have not been told the 
truth. I have not been told the truth, over and over again, by 
administration witnesses. And the American people have not been 
told the truth. And I don't come to this conclusion very 
    Does General Abizaid support an increase in troops?
    Secretary Rice. He does.
    Senator Bill Nelson. Well, that's at variance, of course, 
as you've heard.
    Secretary Rice. I think, Senator, first of all, if you look 
at his testimony, and you look at the next lines in his 
testimony, he talks about the conditions under which troops 
might be useful. And, in fact, everybody had hoped that this 
would be done with Iraqi forces. It wasn't that we didn't need 
more forces; it was hoped that we would do it with Iraqi 
forces. And what the Baghdad security plan of the summer showed 
was that that wasn't possible.
    Senator Bill Nelson. Well----
    Secretary Rice. General Abizaid and General Casey have been 
involved in the development of this plan. And it--in fact, 
General Casey presented this option to the President.
    Senator Bill Nelson. Well, I'm looking forward to talking 
to General Abizaid. He is one of the few that have come before 
a number of the committees, that I have the privilege of 
sitting on, who I feel like has been a straight-shooter. And 
it's my hope that Chairman Carl Levin will call him here, and I 
will ask him directly. But, of course, I was one of the ones 
that asked him that question, very specifically, when he was 
last here in front of the Congress, and he is someone that I 
think has credibility. But, sad to say, he's one of the few who 
I've felt like that I was getting a straight story from.
    Let me pick up on something Mr. Coleman said. Three weeks 
ago, we were in Iraq and our mouths about dropped open when the 
National Security Advisory, Dr. Rubaie, said--and I think this 
is almost his direct quote--``This is not a sectarian war.'' 
And he went on to talk about how the conflict is extremist al-
Qaeda and how the Baathists who want to come back into power. 
And, of course, that's part of the situation. But the two of 
us, certainly this Senator, got the impression that they are 
not coming to grips with what they must face. And that is that 
you've got Sunnis on Shiites, and Shiites on Shiites, and 
Sunnis on Sunnis. And until you get that problem being solved, 
our efforts are just simply not going to work.
    Now, I'll tell you one place where I agree with the 
President, when he said last night that he was going to send 
additional troops into Anbar province. I was convinced by the 
Marine commanders there, as I think Mr. Coleman was, as well, 
that there, where you have just a Sunni population and that the 
enemy is al-Qaeda, that working with those Sunni tribal leaders 
with additional American troops could bring some progress. But 
that is not so, in Baghdad. And I'm sad that we've come to this 
    Let me just conclude by asking you something I would like 
for you to amplify upon, although I think it's been said by a 
number of people here. Obviously we need an intense diplomatic 
effort in the region. One of the points of my trip was, at the 
request of General Hayden, to go and talk with the Saudi king, 
urging the Saudis to use their tribal contacts in Iraq to try 
to get people to come together. Could you outline for the 
committee what intense diplomatic effort will be taken, and 
will it be taken simultaneously with the President's plan for 
additional troops?
    Secretary Rice. Senator, it is being taken. I will go out, 
tomorrow night. The group that we are engaging, in addition to 
all the many bilateral engagements that we have with the 
Saudis, with the Kuwaitis, with others who can help, the 
Jordanians, who can help, is through a group called the ``GCC-
plus-two.'' That is really the appropriate group. We work also 
with Turkey very closely on Iraq. We have a problem on the 
northern border with the PKK that General Ralston is trying to 
resolve. But I think you would find that, first of all, there 
already has been diplomatic effort. We will, of course, try to 
intensify that effort to support what the Maliki government is 
now trying to do to get its sectarian problem under control.
    Frankly, the countries of the region are also watching to 
see whether this will be an evenhanded government in dealing 
with both Sunnis and Shia. And so, the Maliki government faces, 
I think, some skepticism, not just from Americans and from 
Iraqis, but also from the region. And we've made that point to 
them, that they really must deal with the sectarian problem in 
an evenhanded fashion, or they're not going to get support from 
the region.
    That said, to the degree that we hear from the Saudis and 
others that their biggest strategic concern is Iran, then they 
have a very strong incentive to help stabilize Iraq, so that 
Iraq is, indeed, a barrier to Iranian influence in the region, 
not a bridge.
    Senator Bill Nelson. What do you----
    Senator Biden. I hate to do this, but if the next question 
is going to result in a long answer, we're--you're going to be 
running out of time, Senator. So----
    Secretary Rice. Thirty seconds.
    Senator Biden [continuing]. If you want----
    Senator Bill Nelson. Well----
    Senator Biden. If it's a quick question, please----
    Senator Bill Nelson. It's very quick.
    We need more than engagement. We need to get these 
countries to act. So, how do you get them to act?
    Secretary Rice. There's an international compact that 
they've all negotiated. We need to finalize it.
    Senator Biden. Thank you very much.
    Senator Voinovich.


    Senator Voinovich. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Madam Secretary, I'm sorry that I wasn't here for your 
testimony or for the other questions that have been asked of 
you, so please forgive me if I am redundant. But I met this 
morning with representatives from 10 nations who are concerned 
about our Visa Waiver Program. I believe that the current 
program--and I'm glad the President understands this--needs to 
be changed, because these nations whose representatives I met 
with are our allies and helping us in Afghanistan and in Iraq. 
I think you know that the most important weapon, in terms of 
winning the war on terror, is our public diplomacy, which needs 
to be improved substantially.
    I hope, Mr. Chairman, that we can proceed with the Visa 
Waiver legislation early in this session of Congress, so we can 
help some of our allies, who are really upset with us that 
their citizens cannot enter into the United States because of 
this unrealistic and restrictive program we currently have.
    You should know that I am skeptical that a surge of troops 
will bring an end to the escalation of violence and the 
insurgency in Iraq. Many of the generals that have served there 
have said they do not believe additional troops will be 
helpful--in Baghdad, particularly. And, Madam Secretary, my 
faith in Prime Minister Maliki's ability to make the hard 
choices necessary to bring about political solutions has to be 
restored. There needs to be a political solution between the 
Sunnis and the Shiites. I have asked this question now for 2 
years: How can there be a unity government--one that is not 
dominated by the Shiites that will ultimately get rid of the 
Sunnis that are in Iraq--when Muqtada al-Sadr is there? From 
everything I understand, he very well tells Prime Minister 
Maliki what to do. We have seen evidence that Sadr simply makes 
a telephone call and Maliki pulls the plug on whatever he was 
previously doing in order to meet Sadr's wishes.
    I think that we underestimate the hatred between Sunnis and 
Shiites. We're saying that somehow they are all going to get 
together and everything is going to be happy. The Sunnis and 
the Baathists oppressed the Shiites for many, many years. Now 
the Shiites are in the majority. Is there going to be a unity 
government, or another theocracy, like there is in Iran? I 
think that is what Sadr wants.
    So, how can you explain to us that the political divisions 
in Iraq are going to be resolved? Probably this article was 
discussed already this morning, ``The Fog'' by David Brooks in 
the New York Times. Brooks says that the plan we are proposing 
does not reflect what Maliki says he wants done. But I would 
insist that Maliki stand up and make it clear to the whole 
world that he does want this done, that he supports the plan, 
and that the United States is not superimposing its wishes onto 
him. If he does not make that clear, then everyone is going to 
think, ``Here we go again, the United States is in there on its 
    Another important question that has been raised here is: 
How much help are we getting from our Sunni friends in the 
Middle East? What have they done to help us? In addition, 
countries that had been our friends are withdrawing support. 
Why are our friends leaving? Have they lost confidence that 
this dream we had of a democracy in Iraq, which many of us 
bought into, will no longer happen, and that Iraq is going to 
break down into a civil war? Another major concern I believe we 
all have is that we don't want any more of our young men and 
women killed in a civil war between two groups that ultimately 
are never going to come together.
    I send letters out to the families of soldiers, and I tell 
them how brave their sons were, and that the work that they are 
doing there in Iraq and the casualties we have sustained are as 
important as that of the Second World War. But I have to 
rewrite the letter today. We're talking now about stability as 
our goal. And we're talking about young men and women's lives 
at risk for that. This is a very, very important decision, and 
I think you are going to have to do a much better job, and so 
is the President, explaining this to us. You have seen the 
testimony here among my colleagues. I would like to add that I 
have supported the President's effort in Iraq, and I bought 
into the dream of democracy taking root there, and now I don't 
think it is going to happen.
    Secretary Rice. Well, thank you, Senator.
    I think that we don't have an option to fail in Iraq. 
Consequences are too great. And I do think that it is not--I 
just don't think that it is true that Iraqi Sunnis and Shia 
hate each other to the point that they can't live together. I 
don't believe that. I do think that there are long pent-up 
tensions and emotions and grievances in that society that come 
from years of tyranny, and that it's going to take some time 
for them to get over it. And I do think they've had a very bad 
set of circumstances by----
    Senator Voinovich. Yes, but, Madam Secretary, what 
evidentiary fact do we have that Maliki is going to make the 
tough political decisions that he has to make, and lose his 
support from Sadr and the others?
    Secretary Rice. Senator, we have from him these assurances. 
He's going to have to act on them. We're going to know very 
soon whether or not there's political interference when his 
forces--and they're his forces--want to go into a neighborhood. 
We're going to know very soon whether or not he is carrying 
through with his view--with what he told us, which is that, 
``If you are Sunni or Shia, and you're outside the law, and 
you're killing innocent Iraqis, then you have to pay a price 
for that. You have to be punished.'' We're going to know. And 
American forces, as they flow in over time, will only go to 
support a policy in which Iraqis are carrying out those 
    But I just want to emphasize again--I've heard everybody 
say, ``We cannot fail. We cannot fail. We cannot fail.'' If 
they are unable to get a hold of the sectarian violence, to 
show that they can control Baghdad, to establish confidence 
that they're going to be evenhanded, then it's going to be very 
difficult for them to----
    Senator Voinovich. How can it happen with Sadr?
    Secretary Rice. The Iraqis are going to have to deal with 
Sadr. And, to the degree that Sadr is outside of the political 
process and his death squads are engaged in violence, then 
they're going to have to deal with those death squads. And the 
Prime Minister has said, ``Nobody and nothing is off limits.'' 
We will know, Senator, whether or not they're following 
through. But we'd really better give them a chance to get a 
hold of this sectarian violence in their capital, where it's 
not Iraqis running down the streets killing other Iraqis, Sunni 
and Shia; it is organized death squads going into neighborhoods 
and killing Sunnis and Shia. That is what is going on there, 
and they need to reestablish civil order, and we need to be 
able to help them do that. That's the purpose of the 
augmentation of our forces.
    Senator Biden. Madam Secretary, I'm sure you understand--
you've been around--how profound this--these inquiries are.
    Secretary Rice. Yes.
    Senator Biden. Senator Obama.


    Senator Obama. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Madam Secretary, I'll pursue a line of questioning that we 
talked about yesterday in a one-on-one meeting. I expressed 
these same views to the President. You know, I think when you 
hear the voices of Senator Hagel, Senator Voinovich, others on 
this panel, I think you get a sense of how weighty and painful 
this process has become.
    This administration took a gamble. It staked American 
prestige and our national security on the premise that it could 
go in, overthrow Saddam Hussein, and rebuild a functioning 
democracy. And, so far, each time that we've made an assessment 
of how that gamble has paid off, it appears that it has failed. 
And, essentially, the administration repeatedly has said, 
``We're doubling down. We're going to keep on going. You know, 
maybe we lost that bet, but we're going to put a little more 
money in, and--because now we've got a lot in the pot, and we 
can't afford to lose what we've put in the pot.'' And the 
fundamental question that the American people and, I think, 
every Senator on this panel, Republican and Democrat, are 
having to face now is: At what point do we say, ``Enough''? And 
so, this, then, raises the line of questioning that I presented 
to you yesterday.
    It seems as if a solution to the problem is always 6 months 
away. I'll give you an example. Ambassador Khalilzad. He was up 
here before this committee in July of last year. He said, ``I 
believe, Senator, that this government has about 6 months or so 
to bring this sectarian violence under control. And, if it 
doesn't, then I think we would have a serious situation.'' I 
pressed him on the issue. I said, ``If this government has not 
significantly reduced sectarian violence in about 6 months, 
then we've got real problems. I mean, if I'm hearing this 
correctly, the Iraqi people--at that point, the confidence in 
the central government will have eroded to the point where it's 
not clear what we do. And I guess the question becomes: What do 
we do then? Because you may be back here in 6 months, and I'm 
going to feel bad when I read back this transcript and say, 
``Six months is up, and the sectarian violence continues.'' He 
said, ``Well, what I'd like to say, Senator, is that we have to 
work with the Iraqi Government in the course of the next 6 
months to bring the sectarian violence under control.'' So on, 
so forth.
    Six months have passed. The sectarian violence has 
worsened. It is now the President's position and the 
administration position that, despite these failures, we now 
have to put more young American troops at risk.
    And so, I--to me, this is the key question. You continually 
say that we've got assurances from the Maliki government that 
it is going to be different this time. What I want to know is: 
No. 1, what are the specific benchmarks and assurances have 
been received? Where are these written? How can we examine 
them? No. 2, why would we not want to explicitly condition, in 
whatever supplemental appropriations legislation that these 
benchmarks be met, so that the American people and legislators 
who are voting on them have some understanding of what it is 
that we expect and it's not a backroom, secret conversation 
between the President and Maliki? No. 3, what are the 
consequences if these benchmarks are not met? What leverage do 
we have that would provide us some assurance that 6 months from 
now you will not be sitting before us again, saying, ``Well, it 
didn't work. Sadr's militia has not been disarmed. We have not 
seen sufficient cooperation with respect to distribution of oil 
resources. We are still seeing political interference. We have 
lost an additional 100 or 200 or 300 or 400 American lives. We 
have spent an additional $100 billion. But we still can't 
afford to lose; and so, we're going to have to proceed in the 
same fashion, and maybe we'll have to send more troops in.'' 
What leverage do we have 6 months from now?
    Secretary Rice. Well, Senator, the leverage is that we're 
not going to stay married to a plan that's not working in 
Baghdad if the Iraqis are not living up to their part of the 
obligation, because it won't work. Unless they're prepared to 
make the tough political decisions--and, frankly, we know why 
the sectarian violence didn't come down that all had hoped 
would. It didn't come down, because there weren't enough 
forces, when these areas were cleared, to actually hold them, 
because there were not enough reliable Iraqi forces. And we 
know that there was too much political interference in what was 
going on. That's been changed in this plan, both by the 
augmentation of the forces with our own forces and by bringing 
forces in from other parts of Iraq. So, we're not going to stay 
married to a plan that isn't working because the Iraqis aren't 
living up to their end of the bargain.
    Senator Obama. Madam Secretary, because I think the 
chairman, appropriately, is trying to keep our time restricted, 
I want to just follow up on this and be very clear. Are you 
telling me that if, in 6 months or whatever timeframe you are 
suggesting, the Maliki government has not met these 
benchmarks--which, by the way, are not sufficiently explicit to 
the public and Members of Congress, for a lot of us to make 
decisions, but let's assume that these benchmarks are clarified 
over the next several weeks as this is being debated--that, at 
that point, you are going to suggest to the Maliki government 
that we are going to start phasing down our troop levels in 
    Secretary Rice. Senator, I want to be not explicit about 
what we might do, because I don't want to speculate. But I will 
tell you this. The benchmark that I'm looking at--the oil law 
is important, the political process is extraordinarily 
important, but the most important thing that the Iraqi 
Government has to do right now is to reestablish the confidence 
of its population that it's going to be evenhanded in defending 
it. That's what we need to see over the next 2 or 3 months. And 
I think that over the next several months, they're going to 
have to show that----
    Senator Obama. Or else what?
    Secretary Rice [continuing]. Or this plan----
    Senator Obama. Mr. Chairman.
    Secretary Rice [continuing]. Or this plan is not----
    Senator Obama. Mr. Chairman.
    Secretary Rice [continuing]. Or this plan is not going to 
    Senator Obama. The question is not whether the plan is 
going to work or not. The question is: What are the 
consequences to the Iraqi Government? Are there any 
circumstances, that the President or you are willing to share 
with the public and/or the Congress, in which we would say to 
the Iraqis, ``We are no longer maintaining combat troops--
American combat troops in Iraq''? Are there any circumstances 
that you can articulate in which we would say to the Maliki 
government that, ``Enough is enough, and we are no longer 
committing our troops''?
    Secretary Rice. I'm not going to speculate, but I do tell 
you that the President made very clear that of course there are 
circumstances. That's what it means when he says, ``Our 
patience is not limited.''
    Senator Biden. Thank you very much----
    Secretary Rice. But I do think we need to recognize that 
the consequences for the Iraqis are also quite dire, and they 
are in a process in which their people are going to hold them 
accountable, as well.
    Senator Biden. Thank you very much, Madam Secretary. The 
Maliki government will probably be gone by then, but--Senator 


    Senator Murkowski. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    And thank you, Secretary Rice, for your time this morning 
and for all that you do. I wish you well in your trip, at the 
end of this week.
    You've clearly heard the skepticism that has been expressed 
this morning, from so many of my colleagues, and for good 
reason. Skepticism about a lot of things. The assurances that 
we may or may not get from Mr. Maliki, an individual that we 
all concede has not been able to deliver, or to follow through 
with assurances that have been given in the past. There's a 
great leap of faith that I think is being made here that he is 
going to be able to do that which he promises, in terms of 
delivering the number of Iraqi troops, mobilizing, and really 
taking on those issues that, to this point in time, he has been 
hesitant to do so. Skepticism with the fact that we are going 
in alone.
    And I will echo the concerns that Senator Boxer raised. On 
the broadcast that I was watching last night of the President, 
there was a little ticker underneath him as he spoke. And one 
of those tickers was the announcement that Britain was 
withdrawing 3,000 of their troops from Iraq. And it was--the 
visual on that was pretty compelling, because it took me back 
to last year, the year before, the year before that, when we 
were sitting in this Foreign Relations room asking what the 
number of coalition forces were, where they were coming from, 
and the administration was citing, and proudly so, to the 
number of countries that were engaged with us on this. But your 
comment to us this morning is that you don't anticipate an 
augmentation of the coalition forces.
    You also said--and I think this is where--one area of the 
frustration of the American people, that Iraq came to us with 
this plan. Maliki came to us, to the United States, with this 
plan. And I think there are many in this country who are 
saying, ``Well, why did they just come to us? Why is it just 
the United States that is shouldering this? Why is Great 
Britain pulling back? Why are we the only ones that are moving 
forward with this new plan?''
    So, I have great concern as to where we are now, in terms 
of the world scene, and the fact that it really is the United 
States in the Iraq situation, very much alone, a situation that 
I had hoped we would not be in.
    I want to focus my question this morning on the mission 
itself. When the idea of a surge in forces was first presented, 
I was one of those that said, ``I have skepticism about it, but 
if there is a clear definition for the mission, I think it's 
something that we should look at, look at very carefully.'' I 
would agree with Senator Hagel that, given the American lives 
that have been lost in Iraq, we want to make sure that we have 
a policy that is worthy of their sacrifices. And those are his 
words, and I think they're very well spoken. But I'm not 
convinced, as I look to the plan that the President presented 
yesterday, that what we are seeing is that much different than 
what we have been doing in the past. You look to the Victory in 
Iraq plan that came out in November 2005, and I flipped through 
that to compare that with the highlights of the Iraq Strategy 
Review from January 2007. And basically, the components that 
we're talking about for the security perspective remain the 
same: To clear, to hold, and to build. And we, in Alaska, have 
paid very close attention to what happens when we try to 
increase our forces in Baghdad. We saw that with the extension 
of the 172d Stryker Brigade in August for an additional 4 
months. The strategy at that point in time was to plus-up the 
forces in Baghdad so that we could deal with the security 
issue. What we saw then didn't give me much assurance that 
plussing-up, or a temporary surge, is going to deliver us 
anything more than we have now.
    So, my question to you, Madam Secretary, is: How is it any 
different if we recognize that part of the problem, as the 
President has described, was the restrictions that we had in 
place before? Is this ramping up of this 17,500 in Baghdad--
what assurances can you give us that this is going to yield us 
a better result, a different result than what we have seen in 
the past?
    Secretary Rice. Well, of course, Senator, there aren't any 
guarantees, but I can tell you why the President, his advisors, 
his military advisors, believe that this is going to work. The 
plan requires a very different structure for Baghdad, a 
military commander for Baghdad, an Iraqi military commander for 
Baghdad, two deputy commanders for Baghdad, the division of the 
city into nine military governances that have forces deployed 
to those sections, Iraqi Army, Iraqi national police, Iraqi 
local police, and an American battalion to help them. And so, 
the structure is completely different.
    But I wouldn't just run over the point that you made. The 
rules of engagement really were the problem. Inadequate force 
and rules of engagement were the problem. Those have been fixed 
in this new plan.
    Now, the Maliki government--I understand the skepticism 
that people have that they will follow through. But, you know, 
they are only 9 months in office. That's not really very long. 
And they are dealing with an extremely difficult set of 
circumstances in which sectarianism broke out in February 2006 
in a very big way, and it's threatening to overrun the process 
that they're engaged in. And so, I think the fact that they 
didn't act properly in the past does not mean that they won't 
act properly in the future. And I think it is something that we 
have to give them a chance to do.
    Senator Murkowski. And I think the concern that you've 
heard today is: How long do we give them that chance? And those 
benchmarks are extremely important.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Biden. Thank you very much.
    Secretary Rice. We're going to know very early, Senator, 
because they have to act very quickly. Their forces will start 
to come in February 1.
    Senator Murkowski. Thank you.
    Senator Biden. Senator Menendez.


    Senator Menendez. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Madam Secretary, thank you for your service to the country.
    I didn't vote for the war in Iraq, in the first place. I 
believe it is one of the best decisions I ever made. And I 
simply don't believe that the President's escalation of the war 
will work. It seems to me that it's time for a political surge, 
not a military escalation. And I also believe it's long past 
time that we transition both our efforts in Iraq and our 
mission in Iraq, particularly with our troops, and then 
ultimately the transition of our troops out of Iraq in order to 
have the Iraqis to understand what you've talked about here. 
But they haven't given us any benchmarks that one can measure 
by. We have to have them understand that they have to make the 
hard choices, compromises, negotiations necessary for a 
government of national unity.
    When I heard General Pace, last year, say to us that, ``We 
have to get the Iraqis to love their children more than they 
hate their neighbors,'' that's a powerful truism. But that does 
not get achieved by military might.
    And so, it seems to me, to paraphrase Shakespeare, an 
escalation by any other name is an escalation. I know out of 
the White House, it came as ``surge,'' but ``surge'' would mean 
temporary, and that's clearly not the case here. And a failed 
strategy, however repackaged, is still a failed strategy. We 
tried this plan before, and it didn't work, when we sent 12,000 
troops to Baghdad last summer.
    And we heard a panel of witnesses yesterday, and there have 
been other military experts, who have said that, at this point, 
reliable Iraqi troops aren't there simply to show up. So, you 
suggested the President has listened to a wide range of 
people--the Iraqi Study Group, the Members of Congress, 
different military options, the American people--but if he 
listened, I don't think he's heard. I don't think he's heard 
that wide range of views.
    So, I want to ask you, though, even in the midst of my own 
views, trying to understand what is really new about this 
effort: Did the President obtain a commitment from Prime 
Minister Maliki specifically to use Iraqi troops against 
Muqtada al-Sadr's troops?
    Secretary Rice. He obtained an assurance from Prime Minster 
Maliki that he will go after whoever is killing innocent 
Iraqis. And I think they fully understand that the Jaish al-
Mahdi are part of the problem.
    Senator Menendez. Did he speak specifically about--and 
obtain specific commitments about--going against al-Sadr?
    Secretary Rice. He said that whoever they have to go after, 
and the military thinks they have to go after, they'll go after 
    Senator Menendez. The reason I asked this specific 
question, is because it's al-Sadr who's keeping his government 
afloat right now.
    Secretary Rice. Well, actually, al-Sadr and his people 
pulled out of the government, and the government hasn't 
collapsed. They pulled out, as you remember, because of the 
Amman meeting with President Bush. And I think that 
demonstrates that, in fact, they can continue to function even 
if the Sadr forces are not a part of the government.
    Senator Menendez. When the President spoke to these other 
different groups--there's a broad misgiving among Shiite 
leaders in the government about the Shiites having a deep-
seated fear that the power they want to have at the polls is 
going to be whittled away by Americans in pursuit of Sunnis--
did he get their commitment to support Prime Minister Maliki?
    Secretary Rice. I'm sorry. ``Their,'' being the other Shia?
    Senator Menendez. The other Shia leaders, the other party 
    Secretary Rice. Yes. For instance, the SCIRI supports Prime 
Minister Maliki in this effort.
    Senator Menendez. In the effort to support him in his 
position as Prime Minister?
    Secretary Rice. They support him as Prime Minister. They 
brought him into power.
    Senator Menendez. Well, I find it really hard--unless we 
have a specific--I know the general view, that, ``We will go 
against anyone,'' but is not, in fact, part of the negotiations 
that the President had with Prime Minister Maliki to give him 
more operational control? And, in that operational control, 
couldn't he circumvent going against al-Sadr?
    Secretary Rice. If he circumvents going against the people 
who are doing the killing, then he's going to fail, and this 
plan is going to fail. And he understands that.
    Senator Menendez. And let's talk about that, then. Let's 
assume that, for argument's sake--let's not think about the 
best; the best would be great--let's assume he fails. One of 
the problems is these benchmarks without timelines or 
consequences. Even the Iraq Study Group said that, as part of 
their recommendation--they specifically said, ``If the Iraqi 
Government does not make substantial progress toward the 
achievement of milestones on national reconciliation, security, 
and governance, the United States should reduce its political, 
military, economic support for the Iraqi Government.'' But when 
I heard your response to Senator Coleman, you said the Iraqis 
didn't have--you said--you go with plan A, and if plan A 
doesn't work, then you deal with it subsequently. I think 
that's been part of our problem here. We have a plan, but even 
plan A does not have contingencies. It doesn't have benchmarks. 
How can you ask the American people, and the Members of 
Congress who represent the American people, to continue to give 
you a blank check without benchmarks that are definable, 
without benchmarks that have timelines of some consequence, 
without consequences to the failure to meet those deadlines? 
Because we've seen these benchmarks be repackaged from the 
past. They were benchmarks before. They were not met. There are 
no consequences. And we continue to create a dependency--by the 
Iraqis on our forces.
    Secretary Rice. But, Senator, first of all, I think you do 
one strategy at a time. But you can tell--and you can adjust a 
strategy as you go along. This is not going to unfold all at 
once. We're going to know whether or not, in fact, the Iraqis 
are living up to their obligations. And we're going to know, 
early on. And there are opportunities for adjustment then.
    The benchmarks are actually very clear, and the Iraqis 
themselves have set forward some timetables for those 
benchmarks, because they've got to get legislation through. 
They have an international compact that they're trying to 
respond to.
    But I just want to speak to the word--to the point of 
consequences. There are consequences, in that they will lose 
the support of the American people, and they'll lose the 
support of the Iraqi people.
    Senator Menendez. But they're there already, Madam 
Secretary, in terms of the support of the American people. The 
question is: What will our Government do, specifically, if 
benchmarks are not met? What will we do? And that's where there 
is no answer. And, therefore, very difficult to be supportive 
of any such----
    Secretary Rice. Senator----
    Senator Menendez [continuing]. Policy.
    Secretary Rice. I just think that it's bad policy, frankly, 
to speculate on what you'll do if a plan fails that you're 
trying to make work.
    Senator Menendez. Well, you----
    Secretary Rice. I just don't think it's the way to go about 
    Senator Menendez. The President did it in Leave No Child 
    Secretary Rice. But----
    Senator Menendez. There are real consequences if you, in 
fact, don't meet certain standards. You lose a lot of money. 
You get----
    Secretary Rice. Yes.
    Senator Menendez [continuing]. Categorized as a failed 
school district. It seems to be a standard that can work here 
domestically. We're unwilling to give the government--standards 
that ultimately they would have to meet in order for us to be 
able to achieve success or, therefore, determine what are the 
consequences to failure.
    Secretary Rice. Senator, as complicated as education policy 
is, I think Iraq--the circumstances of the Iraqis are very 
complicated. We're not giving--first of all, we don't expect 
that anyone here is giving us a blank check. I understand the 
skepticism. And I know that if this doesn't show some success, 
there isn't going to be support for this policy. I understand 
    Senator Biden. Thank you----
    Secretary Rice. And we said this to the Iraqis, in no 
uncertain terms. They have to start to deliver. They have to 
start to deliver now. And if they don't, then I think they know 
that we're not going to be able to continue to support them at 
the levels that we do.
    Senator Biden. Thank you very much.
    Senator Isakson.


    Senator Isakson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    In respect for Senators Cardin and Casey, Webb and Vitter, 
I'll be very quick.
    In reference to the previous exchange, I would simply say 
this. It's been my observation in war and in diplomacy, there 
are times you can answer questions and times you can't. I have 
great respect for that, and I understand the answers the 
Secretary has given, and I respect her being here today.
    With regard to that, I hope this hearing is the most 
watched television event in downtown Baghdad right now, which 
I'm sure it is. And if it is, and Maliki is watching 
television, I think he realizes that this--in Kenny Rogers old 
song, ``You've gotta know when to hold 'em and know when to 
fold 'em,'' it's time for them to deliver on the hand that 
they've dealt, and there's no folding that will take place. You 
can't go on, ad infinitum.
    And I would say, in response to the exchange--I heard, from 
the President last night, in the right words, ``This one is for 
all the marbles,'' vis-a-vis the Iraqi commitment, and it being 
totally across the board, and there be no cover for Muqtada al-
Sadr any more than a Sunni or anybody else that might be 
around. That's just a--you don't have to answer that. That's 
just my observation.
    My second thing, to live up to my promise to my colleagues, 
is to say this. Ranking Member Lugar made a very insightful 
statement with regard to diplomacy. I--it has not gone 
unnoticed to me that John Negroponte has joined your staff as 
the No. 2 person, I believe, at State. It also has not gone 
unnoticed that, when you answered the questions regarding Syria 
and regarding Iran, they were definitive into what you 
expected, they were not prospective in what might happen. And I 
think there's a burden on Iran and Syria to show that there are 
reasons to come to the table that are in the best interest of 
the region. The United States is not a nonnegotiable nation. We 
may, as history has proven, been the best negotiating nation 
that there ever was, but there's a time to negotiate, and it's 
after you know what the cards of the other side are going to 
be, or at least the first card. And I think, the way you stated 
it was appropriate. And I encourage us to pursue negotiations, 
but not by giving away, at the outset, what we may have to have 
in the end.
    Senator Biden. Thank you very much, Senator. Your 
generosity is much appreciated.
    Senator Cardin.


    Senator Cardin. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And, Madam 
Secretary, thank you.
    I certainly want our foreign policy to succeed, including 
in Iraq. Several weeks ago, when the President said that he 
would reevaluate our programs in Iraq and come out with a new 
policy at the beginning of the year, I was encouraged by that, 
because I thought: At last, Congress and the President and the 
American people would be together on a policy in Iraq. I must 
tell you, I'm extremely disappointed. The Iraq Study Group, the 
military experts, have all said that it's time to start drawing 
down our troops. And yet, the plan will increase the number of 
troops. I don't understand that.
    They talk about engaging the international community. And 
I've listened to your testimony, and I've listened to the 
President last night, and it seems like we are making a limited 
effort, not an all-out effort, and we certainly are not holding 
the Iraqis accountable to stand up to defend their own country.
    So, I have one question I want to ask about the troop 
numbers; how the 20,000-plus troops numbers were determined. I 
must tell you that if we were looking at how many troops are 
necessary to quell a civil war that is occurring in Iraq, I 
think one would pick a much larger number. If we're looking at 
carrying out our current mission, military experts believe that 
we should be drawing down, so that we at least give the Iraqis 
a message that they have to take care of their own country, and 
we start making it clear this not a United States occupation.
    So, I am somewhat suspect that this number was determined, 
because it's what you have available, that it's not--you don't 
have many more that you could bring in at this time without 
creating a significant problem to our military. So, please tell 
me how this particular number was arrived at.
    Secretary Rice. Senator, Chairman Pace answered this 
question, earlier today, and the requirement was established in 
the field when the mission was established. And the mission 
was, first of all, to support the successes that are beginning 
to emerge in Anbar--that's where the 4,000 came from; and, 
second, to provide assistance to the Iraqis as they bring in 
their best forces to be able to deal with the death squads and 
the organized violence that is going on against Iraqi 
    Yes; if you were trying to quell a civil war, you would 
need much larger forces. But if what you're trying to do is to 
provide population security in relatively defined areas by 
augmenting Iraqi forces, then that's a much smaller number. And 
the Joint Chiefs of Staff then resource the plan that is given 
to them by the military. That's how the number was determined.
    Senator Cardin. All I can tell you is that the information 
that we've received from people that have been in command 
indicate that they're--that's--it doesn't add up that way.
    But, I tell you, I think it's going to be very transparent 
to the international community that these numbers are more 
symbolic, as far as the numbers of it--it's not symbolic to 
those who are going over, not symbolic to those who are putting 
their lives on the line--but it won't make a significant 
difference as far as the amount of violence in the country 
itself, but will be very much an indication that the United 
States is increasing its commitment in Iraq.
    One more question, very quickly. The President talked last 
night about talking to our allies around the world. Can you 
just list countries that are in support of what we're doing and 
whether any countries are going to come to our help, as far as 
providing additional military personnel in Iraq?
    Secretary Rice. I think that we don't expect additional 
military personnel. In fact, our surge of personnel is to 
support the Iraqis in this very specific mission and to leave 
behind an Iraqi force that can do this on its own. And so, in 
fact, I think it's a temporary matter from our point of view, 
to bridge for the absence of Iraqi forces that are capable of 
doing this.
    We do have allies on the ground with us. We're not alone, 
Senator Cardin. We do have, still, Australian forces there, 
Japanese forces, Korean forces, lots of forces from----
    Senator Cardin. And they all concur with this new plan? I 
    Secretary Rice. We have had--Prime Minister Howard was out 
this morning saying that this is the right thing to do. We know 
that Prime Minister Blair agrees. I talked yesterday with 
leaders--with Foreign Ministers from the region. They 
understand the need to deal with this.
    Senator Cardin. We all understand the need to deal with it, 
    Secretary Rice. No; they understand what it is we're doing. 
Their concern is the concern that I'm hearing here: Will the 
Maliki government do this in an evenhanded fashion that goes 
both after Shia and Sunni death squads? And that is their 
concern, not the number of American forces that may be needed.
    Senator Cardin. I'm glad to see this committee is not 
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'll yield back.
    Senator Biden. Thank you very much.
    Senator Vitter.


    Senator Vitter. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Madam 
Secretary. Good luck on your upcoming trip.
    My main reaction to this initiative and the President's 
speech is really to think of a number of significant questions, 
so I want to just go directly to those.
    I have not heard General Pace's testimony, so forgive me. I 
think the President precisely, last night, said ``over 20,000 
troops.'' What is that exact number, or what is the upper limit 
on that?
    Secretary Rice. I think it's around 21,500, at most. But 
I'd like General Pace to speak to that, because they have a way 
that they intend to flow the troops in that probably affects 
that number.
    Senator Vitter. OK. I know they have a very specific plan 
for those troops, but, broadbrush and to a layman, that is--
what?--roughly 15 percent of what we have there now. So, it is 
a marginal increase, as compared to a 50-percent increase. And 
so, that does lead to a concern of mine that we may commit the 
same mistake I think we clearly have in the past, which is too 
little, maybe too late. In light of the past, why shouldn't we 
take that number and say we're going to increase it 50 percent, 
we're going to increase it 100 percent?
    Secretary Rice. I think if that had been the assessment of 
the commanders as to what needed to be done, that would have 
been the recommendation. But this is a very specific purpose. 
Let's leave aside Anbar, which is really to deal with the 
positive developments there, in terms of what the sheikhs are 
doing. But in Baghdad, it is not to make Americans the center 
of police security or of providing population security for 
Iraqis in Baghdad, it is to augment Iraqi forces in the lead in 
doing that, because we recognize that sending Americans in to 
separate people and neighborhoods, or to go door to door and 
try to do a census, makes no sense. And so, while there were 
obviously very detailed calculations done on what that needed 
to be in the nine districts that are being developed, a 
battalion per district, and how then to embed people with the 
Iraqi forces so that they are trained up quickly.
    Senator Vitter. Well, I'm----
    Secretary Rice. I think that's where the number comes from.
    Senator Vitter. I certainly understand all of that. But my 
point about past history is, I assume it was the commanders' 
recommendation about numbers in the past that seemed to be--in 
many cases, have been too low. So: Does the number take account 
of any drawdown of British or other troops?
    Secretary Rice. Because it is a very specific mission in 
Baghdad to support the Iraqis at this time, it's unaffected by 
any drawdown that might take place--for instance, in the south 
of the country.
    Senator Vitter. But surely, while the British mission in 
the south of the country is not what we're talking about, 
particularly in Baghdad, I assume we consider it significant, 
so that just forgetting about it has some loss or impact.
    Secretary Rice. Well, first of all, the British will 
continue to be there for some time. But Basrah is being turned 
over to Iraqi control. And that, by the way, is happening 
throughout the country--the continuing problems are Anbar, 
Diala, and Baghdad. In most of the country, responsibility is 
being turned over to Iraqis; and, as that happens, then people 
can withdraw their forces.
    Senator Vitter. OK. And a final question about troops. As I 
heard the President, he talked about mostly Baghdad, also some 
in Anbar, no increased deployment having to do with the 
borders. And it seems to me, personnel and material coming over 
the borders is maybe not the dominant problem, but a real 
problem. And is part of the new plan going to address that in 
any significant way?
    Secretary Rice. Well, what the President has done, on 
recommendation of his commanders, is to increase our naval and 
air presence through the carrier presence, and also to give an 
expanded mission, in terms of breaking up these networks. But 
we think it's principally an intelligence function, Senator. 
Those borders are so long and so porous that I don't think you 
want to try to depend on boots on the ground to actually deal 
with the borders.
    Senator Vitter. OK. I want to turn to Sadr--obviously a big 
topic of discussion, for obvious reasons. As I understand the 
status of the government, he hasn't quite completely left the 
government. They're boycotting it. It's something in between; 
    Secretary Rice. Well, he pulled his people out of the 
government, but they've never really said they wanted to leave 
the government. The fact of the matter is, the government is 
functioning without them.
    Senator Vitter. But no one different has, for instance, 
assumed leadership of those ministries, correct?
    Secretary Rice. In fact, there are temporary ministers in a 
couple of those ministries.
    Senator Vitter. OK. What different scenarios do you see 
playing out if, in fact, Prime Minister Maliki is serious and 
acts on his commitment? Sadr isn't going to like that, clearly 
doesn't agree, is going to react somehow. So, how would you 
game out or play out that situation? Because I assume we have 
to be prepared for that.
    Secretary Rice. Well, the first thing is that these death 
squads, wherever they're coming from--and some of them are 
being driven by Jaish al Mahdi--have to be dealt with. And Sadr 
apparently has said that if his people are doing this killing, 
then they ought to be dealt with. We will see whether he holds 
to that commitment.
    But, ultimately yes, he has, I suppose, the power to 
threaten the government. But the government can't be 
intimidated by that. And with enough forces that are reliable 
and capable, I think they believe they can meet any 
    But, again, it goes back to the question of whether or not 
you believe that this is just a problem of will, or is it a 
problem of both will and capability? The President, on 
reflection on his commanders' recommendation, believes that 
it's both will and capability, will and capability to be able 
to deal with whatever contingency they face, including 
contingencies they may face in Sadr City or from the Sadr 
    Senator Vitter. So, in terms of that playing out, I assume 
you're fairly confident that the government can continue to 
survive without him and with an even more complete and full 
opposition by his forces than exist now.
    Secretary Rice. Well, there's also the possibility that he 
will decide that he wants to continue to be a part of the 
political process.
    Senator Vitter. Right.
    Secretary Rice. That's a possibility.
    Senator Vitter. Right. I'm not discarding that. I'm just 
asking your analysis of the other possibility.
    Secretary Rice. Well, I think it's become such a critical 
situation for them that they recognize they've got to take on 
anybody who stands in their way of bringing population 
    Senator Biden. Thank you very much, Senator.
    Senator Casey.


    Senator Casey. Mr. Chairman, thank you. And thank you for 
convening this very important hearing.
    Madam Secretary, we appreciate your presence here and your 
testimony and your public service.
    I represent the State of Pennsylvania, along with Senator 
Specter. We've now lost, as of last week, more than 140 in 
Iraq. And in a State like ours, apart from the deaths in big 
cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, most of the deaths, 
most of the loss of life, are soldiers and marines from very 
small towns. And, as you can imagine--and I know you appreciate 
this--when there is a death like that in a small town, it is 
like an earthquake, it's cataclysmic to the community and 
obviously to the family. And I think that one of my basic 
obligations as a U.S. Senator, when it comes to Iraq, one of 
the obligations I have, when it comes to the question of what 
we're going to do, going forward in Iraq, is to support 
policies that, in fact, will be cognizant of those numbers, the 
loss of life, and to do everything I can to make sure that we 
reduce, as much as we can, as humanly possible, the likelihood 
that another one of our sons or daughters are sacrificed for a 
policy that is flawed.
    Based upon your testimony today and based upon what I heard 
the President say, National Security Advisor--all of the public 
record that Americans have been reviewing the last couple of 
days, I have to say I'm not convinced that the escalation of 
troops that the President formally announced last night has 
support in a strategy that will work. And I don't think I can 
meet my obligation and support that kind of an increase in 
troop levels.
    But, I have to say, despite what I might think, I think 
it's very important--and some of this will be redundant, I 
realize, but I think it's very important that you tell us, once 
again, in your own words, but also on behalf of the President 
and the administration, What is the nexus--and I have not heard 
this articulated well, so far--what is the nexus between the 
good news that the Iraqi have developed this plan themselves, 
that has its genesis or origin in their work and their 
leadership--but what's the nexus between that Iraqi strategy 
and the need for approximately 20,000 new troops?
    Secretary Rice. Yes. When the Iraqis came to Jordan and 
they said they really have to get a hold of this Baghdad 
problem, and recognizing that the Baghdad security plan that 
had been carried out in the summer did not succeed, they wanted 
to do it themselves. To be very frank, they wanted to do it 
themselves. They believe that sectarian violence is their 
problem, not ours. And I applaud that. I think that's the right 
    It is true that people like Rubaie, who sometimes are very 
enthusiastic, say, ``We can do this on our own.'' But, in fact, 
when the experts, including their own defense people, looked at 
the capabilities that they had and when those capabilities 
would actually mature, which would be in the summer sometime, 
there is a gap between the capabilities that will mature by the 
summer, when we begin to really transfer operational control to 
them over most of their forces, and what needs to be done in 
Baghdad now. And so, the President asked his commanders to work 
with the Iraqis to see what it would take to be able to 
undertake a population protection--get-control-of-the-capital 
plan now rather than waiting until the summer, when the Iraqis 
could do that themselves. And the plan that came back was for 
an augmentation of American forces so that a battalion could be 
with each of these nine Iraqi groups that are going to be in 
each of these nine military districts. That's where it came 
    And so, the link, Senator, is--again, if you believe--and I 
understand that people don't believe that the Iraqis have the 
will, that there's great skepticism as to whether they have the 
will--if you believe that it's a matter of will, then we should 
do exactly what people are saying, we should draw back and say, 
``Go at it. Go at it, and you'd better succeed in getting rid 
of this sectarian violence, or you're not going to be able to 
continue to govern.'' But you believe that it's both will and 
capability, then telling them to do something that you don't 
think they're capable of doing is not good policy. And so, the 
President's policy is premised on the urgency of getting 
Baghdad under control and what Iraqi capabilities there are and 
what augmentation we need to do. So, that's how you would think 
about the relationship between the two.
    Senator Casey. Well, I appreciate your answer, but I do 
hope that you and other members of the administration 
continually, in the next couple of days especially, make the 
case very specifically why you and the President and others 
think this is necessary, because I don't think the American 
people are hearing that. They're hearing a lot of the same 
rhetoric we've heard for a lot of years, in my judgment. The 
best efforts to make sure that every sound bite is phrased in a 
way that sounds like, ``If we don't do this, it's going to 
adversely impact the war on terror,'' which I think the case 
hasn't been made, with regard to this particular policy.
    So, I'll move on. One more question. With regard to 
diplomacy, we hear it all the time--and this is your business--
we hear it all the time. We hear about the necessity of a 
political strategy and a diplomatic strategy. Can you very 
quickly--and I'd ask you to submit--amplify this for the record 
for this hearing, if you could provide that. But, just very 
quickly, can you summarize for us specific steps you have 
taken, personally, as Secretary of State, when it comes to 
dealing with the real crisis that we now have in Iraq, at least 
in the last 2 years, just a list, if you can.
    Secretary Rice. On the diplomatic front?
    Senator Casey. Absolutely.
    Secretary Rice. Yes. Well, I have been constantly--whether 
it's through bilateral discussions or in the multilateral form 
that we've created, the GCC-plus-two--pressing these states to 
help the Iraqis send missions to Iraq. And we've succeeded in 
getting some of them there; getting the Arab League to go there 
in support because one of the problems is, they see, ``Well, 
perhaps Iran is too influential, but these Iraqis, the Shia 
there are Arabs.'' So bringing them into the Arab fold is 
extremely important.
    I have worked very hard to get European Union to go in, in 
a major way. And, in fact, their commissioner, Benita Ferrero-
Waldner, has gone several times, at our urging. But the most 
important thing that we've done is, we've negotiated, over the 
last year, almost year now, an international compact for Iraq 
which has very specific things that the Iraqis are to do, 
including things like an oil law, anticorruption measures, and 
so forth, and a series of steps that the international 
community would take in response. This is something that we 
used very effectively with Afghanistan, and we think we can use 
it effectively with Iraq, as well. The debt relief. We've 
negotiated, for the Iraqis, 80 percent debt relief from most of 
the Paris Club debtors, and 100 percent from ourselves and 
several others. We're trying to get the Gulf States to do the 
same. So, it's been a very active agenda.
    I do think that they've been much more active with Iraq in 
the last 6 or 7 months, really engaging--really, the last 
year--really engaging and trying to get Sunnis involved in the 
process. I suspect that some of the Sunni states have been 
supportive of what is going on in Anbar, and have had a role in 
helping that come about.
    So, that's how we see the diplomacy. And it's not a 
question of whether--to my mind, who you talk to; it's a 
question of what they're prepared to do. And the states that 
have the same vision of the Middle East, and want an Iraq that 
is unified, stable, without undue Iranian influence, which is 
one of the uniting factors for all of these states, I think, is 
the place to be.
    Senator Biden. Thank you very much, Senator.
    Senator Webb, your patience is commendable, and your 
experience is extensive.


    Senator Webb. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I also realize I am 
the last obstacle between you and lunch, and----
    Senator Biden. No, no, no, no.
    Senator Webb [continuing]. Secretary Rice and the door. 
    So, I'll be as brief as I can.
    Secretary Rice, I want to thank you for being here. And I 
want you to know my door is always open if you ever want to 
come by and discuss any issue or call me or whatever. I'm 
looking forward very much to working with you.
    I'd like to associate myself with many of the views here, 
that you've heard, about what I believe is a necessity for us 
to widen the diplomatic approach, in terms of reaching a 
solution. I want to make a--just a quick comment that won't 
require an answer from you, and then I do have a question about 
something that concerns me a great deal.
    With respect to the situation in Iran, and with Iran and 
the region, there are many, including myself, who warned that 
invading and occupying Iraq would, in fact, empower Iran. And 
that has become a reality. We also--there was a great deal of 
notice and comment recently about the fact that Iran has more 
power in Iraq than it has had in a very long--perhaps going 
back a couple of hundred years, and that is a reality. And our 
options are in--to ignore, to do things informally, as you've 
been discussing, or to more actively engage.
    And when I'm looking at this, one of the things that sticks 
in my mind is a situation that we had with China in 1971. This 
was a rogue nation. It had nuclear weapons. It had an American 
war on its border. The parallels are not exact, but we went 
forward, without giving up any of our own ideals or our 
national objectives, and we did a very aggressive engagement 
process that, over a period of time, has arguably brought China 
into the international community.
    And I just hope you will pass on to their President, (a) my 
best regards, and (b) that if he were to move in that 
direction, he certainly would have the strong support of me, 
and perhaps other people.
    The question that I have for you goes back to the 
Presidential finding on the resolution that authorized force in 
2002. And there is a sentence in here which basically says 
that, ``This resolution does not constitute any change in the 
position of the executive branch with regard to its authority 
to use force to deter, prevent, or respond to aggression or 
other threats to United States interests outside of Iraq.'' 
This phrase went to situations outside of Iraq. And this is a 
question that can be answered either, you know, very briefly or 
through written testimony, but my question is: Is this the--is 
it the position of this administration that it possesses the 
authority to take unilateral action against Iran, in the 
absence of a direct threat, without congressional approval?
    Secretary Rice. Senator, I'm really loathe to get into 
questions of the President's authorities without a rather more 
clear understanding of what we are actually talking about. So, 
let me answer you, in fact, in writing. I think that would be 
the best thing to do.
    Senator Webb. I would appreciate that.
    Secretary Rice. But let me just say how we view the 
situation currently. We continue to believe that our struggle 
with Iran is a long one. It's a strategic one. It has elements 
of the fight in the war on terror. It has elements of trying to 
stabilize a Middle East in which Iran is a tremendously 
destabilizing force. It has, of course, an Iraq dimension. And 
it also has an important nuclear dimension. And I think we 
believe we have the right policy for dealing with those 
matters, through diplomacy.
    Now, what the President was very much referring to is, of 
course, every American President--and that goes back a very, 
very long way--has made very clear that we will defend our 
interests and those of our allies in the Persian Gulf region. 
And so, there is nothing new in that statement that the 
President has made.
    The one important new fact here is that, for force-
protection purposes, we have to worry about what Iran is doing. 
We all know their activities for these enhanced IEDs and so 
forth. And we are going to go after the networks that do that.
    I believe that--when you talk to the military advisors, 
they believe that is something that can be done in Iraq, that 
it is something that is done by good intelligence and by 
quickness of action. And, in fact, we've had a couple of those 
occasions recently, where we've gone after these networks.
    Senator Webb. Right. Well, I think that--I think we both 
probably know what the elephant in the bedroom is here. And 
I've got a long history of experience in dealing with defense 
issues. And there is one pretty profound change since I was in 
the Pentagon, in the Reagan administration, and that is the 
notion that the executive branch has the power to conduct a 
preemptive war, as opposed to a preemptive attack. And the 
situations that you're talking about really go to a preemptive 
attack against a specific threat, where people on the other 
side are being threatened. And the concern that I and a number 
of people have is that this would be interpreted as something 
broader. So, I'd appreciate it if you could give us something 
in writing on that.
    Secretary Rice. I will, certainly.
    [The information submitted by the State Department 

                                  U.S. Department of State,
                                  Washington, DC, January 31, 2007.
Hon. Jim Webb,
U.S. Senate,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Senator Webb: In the President's January 10 speech to the 
American people on the Administration's New Way Forward in Iraq, he 
made clear that Iran was providing material support for attacks on 
American forces. He emphasized the importance of disrupting these 
attacks and interrupting the flow of support from Iran and Syria. The 
President also noted our intention to seek out and destroy the networks 
that are providing the advanced weaponry and training that threaten our 
forces in Iraq. During the January 11 Senate Foreign Relations 
Committee hearing on Iraq, you and Senator Biden asked a number of 
questions concerning the scope of the President's authority to carry 
out these critical missions.
    The Administration believes that there is clear authority for U.S. 
operations within the territory of Iraq to prevent further Iranian- or 
Syrian-supported attacks against U.S. forces operating as part of the 
Multinational Force-Iraq (MNF-I) or against civilian targets. Such 
attacks directly threaten both the security and stability of Iraq and 
the safety of our personnel; they also continue to threaten the 
region's security and stability. U.S. military operations in Iraq are 
conducted under the President's constitutional authority and the 
Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 
(P.L. 107-243), which authorized the use of armed force to defend the 
national security of the United States against the continuing threat 
posed by Iraq and to enforce all relevant United Nations Security 
Council resolutions regarding Iraq. The United Nations Security Council 
has authorized all necessary measures to contribute to the maintenance 
of Iraq's security and stability, which encompasses MNF-I conducting 
military operations against any forces that carry out attacks against 
MNF-I or Iraqi civilian and military targets.
    You also ask what authority might be relevant in connection with a 
hypothetical military operation in Iran. As this Administration has 
said, we are not planning to invade Iran. For over two years, we have 
actively pursued a diplomatic strategy to address Iran's nuclear 
program, and we remain committed to resolving our concerns with Iran 
diplomatically. Of course, the Constitution charges the President to 
protect the United States and the American people. As Commander in 
Chief, he must be able to defend the United States, for example, if 
U.S. forces come under attack. Whether and how to do so in any specific 
situation would depend on the facts and circumstances at that time. 
Administration officials communicate regularly with the leadership and 
other Members of Congress with regard to the deployment of U.S. forces 
and the measures that may be necessary to protect the security 
interests of the United States and will continue to do so.
    We hope this information will be helpful to you and thank you for 
your interest in this important issue.
                                Jeffrey T. Bergner,
                                       Assistant Secretary,
                                               Legislative Affairs.

    Senator Webb. Thank you very much.
    Secretary Rice. If I may, just one other point on Senator 
Webb's earlier point. Senator, we've gone a long way, actually, 
to offer the opportunity for the Iranians to talk to us. We did 
it in the context of the nuclear program, because we believe 
that's a real near-term threat and if we don't get a handle on 
the nuclear program, we've got a real problem. I want to repeat 
again--now, if they will stop enriching so that they're not 
improving their nuclear capability while they're talking, 
they'll find somebody who's willing to talk to them under any 
circumstances. But I think short of that, we send a wrong 
message about our resolve. And, frankly, it has a cost with 
nations in the region that are looking very closely at how we 
are conducting ourselves, vis-a-vis the Iranians.
    Senator Webb. Right. Well, I think that it's important, as 
the Baker Commission was saying, and a lot of people have been 
saying, and I've been saying, that when you have a situation 
with a nation that constitutes this kind of threat, it's very 
important to confront, as well as to engage. And I personally 
think it would be a bold act for George W. Bush to get on an 
airplane and go to Tehran in the same manner that President 
Nixon did, take a gamble and not give up one thing that we 
believe in in terms of its moving toward weapons of mass 
destruction, our belief that Israel needs to be recognized and 
its interests need to be protected, but to maybe start changing 
the formula here.
    Thank you.
    Secretary Rice. Thank you.
    Senator Biden. Thank you very much.
    Senator Webb. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Biden. I thank my colleagues for their patience; 
and, particularly, I thank the Secretary of State.
    Madam Secretary, I'd conclude by just making a few very 
brief comments.
    One is, one of the things that you've learned here today 
from hearing our colleagues is that there is an overwhelming 
concern that the reason why we insisted that we not accept the 
Maliki plan, as he laid it out, is that what he would do is go 
in and take out the Sunnis and we'd exacerbate the civil war. 
That may or may not be true, but that's been one of the 
potential explanations as to why we insisted we go into Baghdad 
when he said they don't need us in Baghdad. I'm not saying 
that's right or wrong. Just be aware that that's something 
that's going to have to be dealt with, in terms of, I suspect, 
people's judgments about how they feel about the 
administration's position.
    Second, I also want to make it clear, as chairman of the 
committee, that I feel very strongly that the authorization of 
the use of force, and the provision that the Senator read from 
it, explicitly denies you the authority to go into Iran. Let me 
say that again. Explicitly denies you the authority to go into 
Iran. We will fight that out if the President moves, but I just 
want the record to show--and I would like to have a legal 
response from the State Department, if they think they have 
authority to pursue networks or anything else across the border 
into Iran and Iraq. That will generate a constitutional 
confrontation here in the Senate, I predict to you. At least I 
will attempt to make it a confrontation.
    Third point I would make, Madam Secretary, is that I've sat 
through a lot of hearings, and you have, too, and, God love 
you, you've had to do it in a very different position than I 
have, and I commend you for your patience, but I want to say, 
again--and I hope you'll convey it to the President, because 
I'm sure he has not had time to watch our hearing--I think what 
occurred here today was fairly profound, in the sense that you 
heard 21 members, with one or two notable exceptions, 
expressing outright hostility, disagreement, and/or 
overwhelming concern with the President's proposal. And I think 
that he will proceed at significant political risk if there is 
not a much more intensive and detailed attempt to bring the 
U.S. Senate and the Congress into his proposals.
    As you point out, this surge is a process. This is not 
going to happen in a day or a week or a month. And we will have 
time and opportunity to revisit this next month, and in the 
next 2 months. Because the President is going to, as I 
understand it, Madam Secretary--and my colleague from Virginia 
knows more about this than any of us on the committee, having 
served in the Pentagon--as I understand it, the decision will 
come across the desk of the President of the United States, or 
at least through the Secretary of Defense, next week, in 3 
weeks or 5 weeks, as to whether he extends 1,500, 2,000, 900, 
600, 1,400 marines, sailors, and soldiers. And so, this is a 
decision that will necessarily have to be revisited privately 
by the President once a week, once a month, from this point on.
    And I see my----
    Senator Webb. Mr. Chairman, if I may, we saw a notice from 
the Marine Corps this morning about a number of units already 
having been extended.
    Senator Biden. Right. But my point is, a month from now, in 
order to keep the troop level up to accommodating this 21,500 
additional forces, that decision will have to be made again.
    Senator Webb. Right. Yes, sir. This was a part of that----
    Senator Biden. Extending. So----
    Senator Webb [continuing]. His proposal--or the policy that 
he mentioned last night.
    Senator Biden. So, the point I'm making is that I don't 
want anybody to think--and I hope the administration does not 
think--that the President's made a decision, we're going to go 
forward with 21,500 people, it's a done deal, that it is 
finished. He will have an opportunity to revisit it. We will 
revisit it. And you heard from my colleagues, they are, I don't 
think it's unfair to say, ranging from skepticism to intense 
skepticism to outright opposition to the President's proposal.
    And I'll end where I began, Madam Secretary. And I realize 
this is not all on your plate. If we can't figure out how to 
bring along the American people on this deal, we are--we are in 
real trouble. We would be making a tragic mistake that I think 
will mortgage the ability of this President and that of the 
next President to do what they are going to have to do. And 
that is, there will be a requirement to deploy force to other 
parts of the world. We will undermine that in a way that I 
think will be incredibly damaging to our national interest. So, 
that's just one man's opinion.
    I appreciate, Madam Secretary, your perseverance, your 
willingness to be here, and the fact that we have cut your 
lunch hour by 20 minutes. And that's not a minor point. You're 
going to have to go and sit down in front of the House, as 
well. But I thank you for your courtesy.
    Senator Voinovich. Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Biden. Yes.
    Senator Voinovich. I hope that we make it clear to the men 
and women that are serving our country today in Iraq that this 
difference of opinion in regard to the President's sending in 
more troops----
    Senator Biden. It has nothing to do with them.
    Senator Voinovich [continuing]. Is that we're supportive of 
what they're doing, and we're going to provide them the 
resources so they can do their job, and are protected, to the 
very best of our ability. Because I wouldn't want anything said 
in here today to interpret that we're just----
    Senator Biden. I think that's a valid point to raise again, 
and we should raise it again and again. In my seven trips to 
Iraq--and collectively on this committee there's probably been 
50 trips to Iraq--I don't know a single person, having voted 
for or voted against the deployment, having agreed or disagreed 
with the President, who hasn't been absolutely amazed by the 
dedication, the service, and the overwhelming commitment of 
those forces on the ground. And if you want to see how that 
works, travel to Iraq with a guy that is a noncommissioned 
officer, and watch how he relates with these folks on the 
streets of Baghdad and Fallujah and Basrah. It is real. They 
have our overwhelming support. They have our admiration. And it 
should not be read that our disagreement, to the extent we 
disagree with the President, is any reflection on their 
    I would close by saying that I also want to thank the 
Capitol Police for having done, very skillfully and without 
much fanfare, a very good job in keeping order here today. I 
want to acknowledge that and thank them.
    I want to thank all of you who came to listen, for the 
orderly way in which you did. I know there are incredibly 
strong feelings about this issue, and as American citizens, 
you've conducted yourself in a way that I think makes our 
democracy one that's the envy of the world.
    Again, I thank you, Madam Secretary.
    The committee is--oh, I'm supposed to--also, we're supposed 
to begin this afternoon's hearing at 2 o'clock, but I've been 
informed by the U.S. Senate that we are going to have two votes 
at 2 o'clock, that they are--to use Senate jargon, they've been 
agreed to by unanimous consent, which means they will take 
place. So, rather than convene at 2 o'clock, we will convene at 
2:30. And the list of witnesses we have today are very 
prominent people who have different views on--and specific 
plans on--how to proceed in Iraq. They include the Honorable 
Peter Galbraith, Dr. Frederick Kagan of the American Enterprise 
Institute, and Dr. Ted Galen Carpenter of the CATO Institute.
    So, I thank you, Madam Secretary.
    We stand adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 1:23 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.]

 Additional Material and Questions and Answers Submitted for the Record

    Poll Published in the Military Times Submitted by Senator Boxer

(1) Are you on active duty?


        (Note: Only active-duty responses were counted in remaining 

(2) Service Branch?

        Air Force--23%
        Marine Corps--9%
        Coast Guard--1%
        No response--0%

(3) How many times have you deployed to Iraq?

        Three times--3%
        More than three times--3%
        Never/no response--50%

(4) How many times have you deployed to Afghanistan?

        Three times--0%
        More than three times--0%
        Never/no response--85%

(5) In total, I have deployed in support of the war in Afghanistan and/
or Iraq for:

        Less than 2 months--3%
        3-6 months--17%
        7-12 months--25%
        13-18 months--11%
        19 or more months--9%
        Haven't deployed/no response--34%

(6) Should the U.S. have gone to war in Iraq?

        No opinion/no answer--9%
        Decline to answer/no answer--11%

(7) Regardless of whether you think the U.S. should have gone to war, 
how likely is the U.S. to succeed?

        Very likely to succeed--13%
        Somewhat likely to succeed--37%
        Not very likely to succeed--31%
        Not at all likely to succeed--10%
        No opinion/no answer--8%

(8) How soon do you think the Iraqi military will be ready to replace 
large numbers of American troops?

        Less than a year--2%
        1-2 years--20%
        3-5 years--36%
        5-10 years--22%
        More than 10 years--12%
        No opinion/no answer--7%

(9) How long do you think the U.S. will need to stay in Iraq to reach 
its goals?

        Less than a year--2%
        1-2 years--8%
        3-5 years--26%
        5-10 years--31%
        More than years--23%
        No opinion/no answer--8%

(10) Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling 
the situation with Iraq?

        No opinion--10%
        Decline to answer--12%

(11) Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling 
his job as president?

        No opinion--6%
        Decline to answer--10%

(12) Do you consider the war in Iraq to be part of the war on terrorism 
that began Sept. 11, 2001, or do you consider it to be an entirely 
separate military action?

        Part of the war on terrorism--47%
        Separate military action--47%
        No opinion--5%

(13) We currently have 145,000 troops in Iraq and Kuwait. How many 
troops do you think we should have there?

        200,000+ --16%
        No opinion/Don't know--23%

(14) We currently have 18,000 troops in Afghanistan. How many troops do 
you think we should have there?

        50,000+ --12%
        No opinion/Don't know--26%

      Article From the Daily Telegraph Submitted by Senator Boxer

               [From The Daily Telegraph, Jan. 11, 2007]

          3,000 British Troops To Be Pulled Out of Iraq by May

      (By Thomas Harding in Basra and Toby Harnden in Washington]

    Thousands of British troops will return home from Iraq by the end 
of May, The Daily Telegraph can reveal today.
    Tony Blair will announce within the next fortnight that almost 
3,000 troops are to be cut from the current total of 7,200, allowing 
the military to recover from 4 years of battle that have left it 
severely overstretched.
    In what will be the first substantial cut of British troops serving 
in southern Iraq, their number will drop to 4,500 on May 31. The 
announcement will be made by the Prime Minister before he steps down 
from office as an intended signal of the achievements the British have 
made in Iraq--albeit at the cost of 128 dead.
    The plans for the British withdrawal were revealed as President 
George W. Bush announced that he was sending an additional 21,500 
troops into Iraq.
    The primary objective of the five brigades and two U.S. Marine 
battalions is to curtail sectarian violence in Baghdad and target Sunni 
insurgent strongholds in western Anbar province.
    His high-stakes, prime-time television address to Americans last 
night signalled a stark divergence of policy on Iraq with that of his 
British allies.
    In an uncharacteristic admission of errors, Mr. Bush made 
acknowledged ``mistakes'' in previous ``failed'' plans to pacify 
    The troop ``surge''--bitterly opposed by Democrats and many 
Republicans--would bring forward the end of the war, he said. ``If we 
increase our support at this crucial moment, and help the Iraqis break 
the cycle of violence, we can hasten the day our troops begin coming 
    He gave warning to Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi Premier, that 
America's patience was running out: ``If the Iraqi Government does not 
follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the 
American people and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people.''
    Mr. Bush's strategy was to be accompanied by a massive influx of 
American cash for reconstruction and a commitment from the Iraq 
Government to send three brigades into Baghdad.
    A senior British officer serving in Iraq said yesterday: ``The U.S. 
situation appears to be getting worse because they are sending more 
troops while the British are getting out of Basra. But the situation is 
different, with the Americans facing a gargantuan problem of sectarian 
    The precise timetable for the U.K. withdrawal has been disclosed to 
The Daily Telegraph. Unless there are ``major hiccups'' in the next few 
months, 1 Mechanised Brigade will enter Iraq with a much reduced force 
when it replaces 19 Light Brigade in June for its 6-month tour.
    Military planners are drawing up force levels for when Basra comes 
under ``provincial Iraqi control'' at the end of spring, when all 
security will be handed over to the Iraqi police and army.
    The British Army will then position its troops at a major base that 
is being expanded at Basra Air Station, 5 miles west of the city, where 
they will be on standby. A small force of 200 men will be left in 
central Basra.
    By the end of February the volatile Maysan province, patrolled by 
the 600-strong battle group of the Queen's Royal Lancers, will be 
handed over to the local authorities.

Responses of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Questions Submitted 
                       by Senator Joseph R. Biden

    Question. Does the executive branch believe the objectives set 
forth in section 3(a) of Pubic Law 107-243 have been achieved and why?

   If the answer to this question is yes, please elaborate on 
        the authority under U.S. law for the continued use of force by 
        U.S. forces in Iraq.
   If the answer to this question is no--

     What is the ``continuing threat posed by Iraq''?
     Which United Nations Security Council resolutions 
            regarding Iraq are United States Armed Forces enforcing?

    Answer. Section 3(a) of the Authorization for Use of Military Force 
Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (P.L. 107-243) authorizes the use of 
armed force to defend the national security of the United States 
against the continuing threat posed by Iraq and to enforce all relevant 
United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.
    To date, the United States, working closely with its coalition 
partners, has achieved certain successes in working toward the 
objectives in section 3(a) of the AUMF. For example, coalition military 
operations resulted in the fall of the former Iraqi regime under Saddam 
Hussein. In addition, coalition military operations allowed weapons 
inspections that had been blocked for years by the Iraqi Government to 
take place. The military has been critical in contributing to the 
ongoing democratic transformation of Iraq, including by supporting two 
national elections and a referendum that approved Iraq's new 
constitution and furthering the development of Iraq's new security 
forces. The use of military force also has disrupted the activities of 
terrorists plotting acts of violence against Iraqi, American, and other 
    While certain progress has been made, U.S. military operations 
continue to be necessary and appropriate to defend the national 
security of the United States and to eliminate the continuing threat 
presented by the current circumstances in Iraq. In his January 10 
speech on the administration's New Way Forward in Iraq, the President 
underscored that, for the safety of the American people, the United 
States must succeed in Iraq. He made it clear that failure in Iraq 
would lead to radical Islamic extremists growing in strength and 
resolve and gaining recruits. He noted that, as a result, they would be 
in a better position to topple moderate governments, create chaos in 
the region, and use oil revenues to fund their ambitions. He also noted 
that failure would provide our enemies a safe haven from which to plan 
and launch attacks on the American people.
    As we have consistently made clear in the administration's regular 
report to the Congress consistent with the War Powers Resolution, the 
United States also continues to use military force to enforce relevant 
United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq. As the AUMF 
recognizes, the President clearly indicated prior to taking military 
action that the United States was committed to work with the United 
Nations Security Council to meet the common challenge posed by Iraq. 
This commitment has not wavered, and the United States continues to 
play a leading role in Multinational Force in Iraq, which the Security 
Council authorized in Resolution 1546, inter alia, to take all 
necessary measures to contribute to the maintenance of Iraq's security 
and stability. Moreover, the Security Council has twice unanimously 
extended this authorization for the Multinational Force, most recently 
in Resolution 1723. This authorization encompasses MNF-I conducting 
military operations against any forces that carry out attacks against 
MNF-I or Iraqi civilian and military targets. As the Department has 
noted in previous reports to Congress, these contributions in 
implementation of the Security Council resolutions also assist the 
Iraqi people in the development of their political and security 
institutions in accordance with the transitional frameworks established 
in a series of Security Council resolutions, both of which are critical 
to the longer term security of the Iraqis.
    In light of the foregoing, the administration believes that there 
continues to be clear authority for U.S. military operations within the 
territory of Iraq based upon the Authorization for Use of Military 
Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 and the President's 
constitutional authority.

    Question. In his January 10 speech, President Bush said, 
``Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity 
and stabilizing the region in the face of extremist challenges. This 
begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing 
terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of 
Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American 
troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We'll interrupt the 
flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy 
the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in 

   Does the administration have plans to cross the Syrian and/
        or Iranian border to pursue those persons or individuals or 
        governments providing that help?
   In your opinion, does the administration have the 
        constitutional authority to pursue networks across Iraq's 
        borders into Iran or Syria?

    Answer. In the President's January 10 speech to the American people 
on the administration's New Way Forward in Iraq, he made clear that 
Iran was providing material support for attacks on American forces. He 
emphasized the importance of disrupting these attacks and interrupting 
the flow of support from Iran and Syria. The President also noted our 
intention to seek out and destroy the networks that are providing the 
advanced weaponry and training that threaten our forces in Iraq.
    The administration believes that there is clear authority for U.S. 
operations within the tenitory of Iraq to prevent Syrian- or further 
Iranian-supported attacks against U.S. forces operating as part of the 
Multinational Force-Iraq (MNF-I) or against civilian targets. Such 
attacks directly threaten both the security and stability of Iraq and 
the safety of our personnel; they also continue to threaten the 
region's security and stability. U.S. military operations in Iraq are 
conducted under the President's constitutional authority and the 
Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 
(P.L. 107-243), which authorized the use of armed force to defend the 
national security of the United States against the continuing threat 
posed by Iraq and to enforce all relevant United Nations Security 
Council resolutions regarding Iraq. The United Nations Security Council 
has authorized all necessary measures to contribute to the maintenance 
of Iraq's security and stability, which encompasses MNF-I conducting 
military operations against any forces that carry out attacks against 
MNF-I or Iraqi civilian and military targets.
    This question also asks what authority might be relevant in 
connection with a hypothetical military operation into Iran or Syria. 
We are not planning to invade Iran or Syria. As this administration has 
said, we have actively pursued a diplomatic strategy to address Iran's 
nuclear program, and we remain committed to resolving our concerns with 
Iran diplomatically. We are also committed to using diplomacy to 
address Syria's facilitation of foreign fighters into Iraq, its 
harboring of former Iraqi regime elements; and its interference in 
Lebanon. Of course, the Constitution charges the President to protect 
the United States and the American people. As Commander in Chief, he 
must be able to defend the United States if the U.S. forces come under 
attack. Whether and how to do so in any specific situation would depend 
on the facts and circumstances at that time. Administration officials 
communicate regularly with the leadership and other Members of Congress 
with regard to the deployment of U.S. forces and the measures that may 
be necessary to protect the security interests of the United States and 
will continue to do so.

    Question. In March 2006, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad announced that 
he had been authorized to hold face-to-face talks with the Iranians in 
Baghdad. More recently the Bush administration has said that it will 
engage with Iran only if it suspends its uranium enrichment.

   Does the March 2006 offer still stand? If not, when was it 
        rescinded and under what circumstances? What led to the change 
        in the March 2006 policy?
   How would you characterize Iran's and Syria's involvement in 
        the U.N.-sponsored ``international compact''?
   Given the administration's stance on engagement with Iran 
        and Syria, is it supportive of Iran's and Syria's continuing 
        involvement with the ``international compact''?

    Answer. Secretary Rice previously authorized Ambassador Zalmay 
Khalilzad to speak directly to the Iranians in an ``ambassador-to-
ambassador'' channel on issues relating specifically to Iraq. For 
various operational reasons at the time, we have not used this channel. 
Our current offer on the table with the Iranians as announced by 
Secretary Rice last May is to review with Iran in the Five-Plus-One 
context the whole range of bilateral and multilateral issues, with the 
only condition being Iran to suspend its nuclear enrichment efforts 
just condemned by the U.N. Security Council. On occasion we also use 
our Swiss channel to communicate specific, topical information to the 
Iranian Government.
    As members of the United Nations, Iran and Syria have both been 
briefed on the International Compact with Iraq during a meeting at the 
United Nations in September 2006, and we would expect that the United 
Nations would invite them to attend future meetings. Neither Iran nor 
Syria has participated in any Preparatory Group meetings.
    We encourage all of Iraq's neighbors to be responsible stakeholders 
in supporting and assisting the Iraqi Government. To that end, we 
continue to pressure Iran and Syria to suspend their destabilizing 
activities. Like Iraq's other neighbors, Iran and Syria must respect 
the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq and act in a manner 
that supports a stable and democratic future for the Iraqi people.
    Launching the International Compact with Iraq has been a joint 
undertaking of the Government of Iraq and the United Nations. The 
United Nations has hosted two events in New York to engage the 
international community with the compact; one on September 18, 2006, 
and the other on November 13, 2006. The United Nations invited all U.N. 
member countries and the international organizations and financial 
institutions that are concerned about Iraq and the compact to these 
events. Thirty-eight countries and organizations attended the first 
event, and 78 attended the second. Iran and Syria were represented at 
both events.
    Beyond attending these two events, neither Iran nor Syria has 
played an active role in developing the compact.

    Question. Do Iran and Syria assess it in their long-term interest 
for there to be continuing instability and violence in Iraq?

    Answer. Clearly, it should be in the long-term interest of Iran and 
Syria--and of the rest of the international community--to have an Iraq 
that can govern itself, defend itself, and sustain itself. We can only 
infer what Iran and Syria assess is their long-term interest in Iraq by 
their behavior to date, which has not been constructive. Iran has 
demonstrated by its support for violence and militias that it does not 
support a free and democratic Iraq. Iran's continued support for 
networks that are using explosive devices to attack coalition and Iraqi 
personnel is a demonstration that they must regard instability and 
violence as in Iran's interest.
    Syria, on the one hand, has a record of supporting Sunni insurgents 
and has made insufficient progress in clamping down on foreign 
jihadists crossing its borders into Iraq--a major source of continuing 
violence and instability. On the other hand, the Syrians have recently 
signed a memorandum of understanding with the Iraqis to deal with 
terrorism, border, and security problems. Syria must make good on its 
commitments to Iraq. We hope that both Iran and Syria will end their 
destabilizing behavior and become a positive influence on Iraq.

    Question. How would Iran and Syria react to the credible threat of 
a United States redeployment from Iraq? Would this prompt them to 
further destabilize Iraq? Would this pressure them to seek means to 
stabilize the situation for fear of a spillover of violence?

    Answer. In the absence of United States and coalition forces in 
Iraq, we have no reason to believe that Iran or Syria would suspend 
their destabilizing actions. Quite to the contrary, it appears likely 
that Iran and Syria would fill the vacuum left by a U.S. withdrawal 
from Iraq and increase their unhelpful, destabilizing interference in 
Iraq's internal affairs.
    Senior Iranian and Syrian Government officials have made clear in 
recent statements that they actively seek U.S. withdrawal from not only 
Iraq, but also the entire region. We believe that redeploying forces 
from Iraq prematurely would thus send the wrong message not only to 
Tehran, but also to key gulf allies who feel increasingly concerned by 
the Iranian regime's aggressive regional policy.

    Question. What steps is the United States Government making to 
weaken the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq? What is the 
likelihood of a Turkish military intervention against the PKK in 
northern Iraq?

    Answer. The PKK is a Foreign Terrorist Organization as defined by 
U.S. law. We have worked closely with our allies to convince them to 
take a tough stance against the organization and dry up its sources of 
    To intensify our work with both the Turkish and Iraqi Governments, 
on August 28 the Secretary appointed a Special Envoy for Countering the 
PKK, (Ret.) GEN Joseph Ralston, to focus on this problem. General 
Ralston is working closely with his Turkish counterpart, General Baser, 
and Iraqi interlocutor, Minister al-Waeli. Since his appointment as 
Envoy, General Ralston has traveled repeatedly to the region and 
attempted to engage productively with both the Turks and the Iraqis.
    General Ralston has engaged the Turkish and Iraqi Governments as 
well as officials of the Kurdistan Regional Government. His 
conversations have focused on building confidence between Turkey and 
Iraq and obtaining cooperation to fight against the terrorist Kurdistan 
Workers Party, which is using northern Iraq as a base of support for 
attacks against Turkey. Since General Ralston launched his efforts, our 
Embassy in Baghdad has worked closely with the Iraqis and Turks. As a 
result of these efforts, the Government of Iraq has shut down several 
PKK front offices in Iraq and begun closing down Makhmour refugee camp. 
We also continue to work with our European allies to curb terrorist 
financing of PKK activities.
    Turkey remains a close ally of the United States and works with us 
on many issues. Turkey is supportive of the President's goal of a 
united, stable, and prosperous Iraq. We do not expect Turkey to take 
any action that would undermine this goal. In fact, Turkey is working 
with us and the Government of Iraq, permiting the transit of military 
sustainment cargo, promote trade, and encouraging national 

    Question. Three estimates have been produced on the number of Iraqi 
civilians killed in violence in 2006. The United Nations Assistance 
Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) estimated 34,452; a compilation of data from 
Iraqi Health, Interior, and Defense Ministries puts the number at 
12,357; another estimate by the Iraqi Health Ministry put the number at 

   Which of these is the most accurate figure in your 
        estimation and why?
   What is the State Department's estimate for the number of 
        Iraqi civilians killed in 2006?
   Does the administration have a quantitative definition for 
        what would constitute a civil war in Iraq?
   Does the administration consider Iraq to be in the state of 
        civil war?
   How many Iraqis have been displaced from their homes since 
        the February 2006 bombing at the al-Askariya Mosque in Samarra?
   How many have been displaced in Baghdad?

    Answer. While we are aware of the different estimates of several 
organizations and are quite mindful that thousands have died needlessly 
at the hands of extremists, the United States maintains no 
independently developed assessment of Iraqi fatalities.
    The current sectarian violence in Iraq is now the main threat to a 
stable, peaceful future. There are several varying academic definitions 
for what constitutes a civil war. However, such definitions and labels 
are not nearly as important as what we and the Iraqis are doing 
together to stop the violence. As President Bush and Prime Minister 
Maliki have agreed in their strategy, Iraqi and American forces will 
pursue all those perpetrating violence in Iraq, regardless of sect or 
party affiliation.
    Following the February 2006 Samarra bombings, estimates of new 
internally displaced Iraqis range from 360,000 (International 
Organization for Migration-IOM) to 500,000 (United Nations High 
Commissioner for Refugees-UNHCR). This adds to a long-term caseload of 
internally displaced persons that both UNHCR and IOM estimate at 1.2 
million. In Baghdad alone, IOM has estimated nearly 20,000 Iraqis are 

    Question. In your testimony, you said that Iraq's security 
capabilities will mature during the summer of 2007. How do you define 
mature? What do you expect the capacity of the Iraqi security forces 
will be by the summer of 2007 in terms of their ability to take over 
security responsibility from coalition forces?

    Answer. The President noted in his January 10 address to the Nation 
that the Iraqi Government plans to take responsibility for security in 
all of Iraq's provinces by November of this year.
    As to timing, a Joint MNF-I and Iraqi committee every month 
assesses which provinces and cities are eligible for this transition of 
security responsibility to Provincial Iraqi Control (PIC). To date, 
three provinces have transitioned to PIC: Muthanna in July, Dhi Qar in 
September, and Najaf in December.
    Capabilities of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) are one of four 
factors considered, and there is not one-to-one correspondence between 
ISF capability and GOI assumption of security. The other three factors 
are a threat assessment, the capability of Iraqi governance (especially 
at the provincial level), and the ability of MNF-I forces to support.
    With regard to control of Iraq's military, currently 5 of 10 Iraq 
divisions are now under the operational control of Iraqi Ground Forces 
Command, and more divisions are expected to transition to Iraqi command 
as forces develop. We expect all 10 Iraqi Army divisions to be under 
the control of the Iraqi Ground Forces Command by May 2007.
    Transfer to PIC and transfer of army divisional command to Iraq 
does not happen unless Iraqi forces and command relationships have 
matured sufficiently to be in a leading--as opposed to a supporting--

    Question. According to the Government Accountability Office, the 
number of violent attacks per month in Iraq has increased from a few 
hundred in May 2003 to almost 6,000 in October 2003 [sic]. During this 
same period the number of trained Iraqi Security Forces has steadily 
increased to 323,000, according the State Department's reporting.

   Given the sharp increase in the reported capacity of the 
        Iraqi Security Forces, how do you explain the continued 
        deterioration in the security conditions in Iraq?

    Answer. The deterioration in the security conditions in Iraq are 
the direct result of the acceleration of sectarian violence, especially 
in Baghdad. Provoking sectarian violence has been a long-held goal of 
al-Qaeda in Iraq. With last February's bombing of the Golden Mosque in 
Samarra, the success of their plan accelerated. Sectarian passions, 
incited to violence, now threaten to overwhelm Iraq's fragile, yet 
promising, process of reconciliation; a process that has produced 
successful elections and a new constitution, substantial agreement on a 
law to share Iraq's oil fairly, and commitment to an approach to ``de-
Baathification'' that supports broad national reconciliation goals.
    For specific information about the capacity of the Iraqi Security 
Forces, I would refer you to the Department of Defense.

    Question. In your testimony you stated that the administration is 
``further integrating [its] civil and military operations.'' Could you 
explain what this means?

    Answer. There must be the fullest possible civilian-military unity 
of effort if we are to succeed in Iraq. Reconstruction and economic 
development cannot occur in the absence of security. Once security is 
achieved, there must be an immediate, targeted civilian effort to 
capitalize on that gain to benefit the Iraqi people.
    To that end, we will immediately begin deploying greater civilian 
resources alongside our military in Baghdad and Anbar province. The 
centerpiece of this effort will be the expansion of our Provincial 
Reconstruction Teams. We will double the number of PRTs from 10 to 20, 
through a three-phase rollout program, but the extent of our deployment 
of civilian resources will depend on FY07 budget supplemental funding. 
We plan to collocate nine new PRTs with Brigade Combat Teams in Baghdad 
and Anbar. We also plan to add a new PRT in North Babil and augment 
existing PRTs with specialized civilian technical personnel, based on 
local needs. PRTs will leverage both civilian and military resources 
against a common strategic plan to sustain stability, promote economic 
growth, support Iraqi leaders who reject violence and foster Iraqi 

    Question. You testified, ``Out of this planning process came, from 
our generals, the view that we needed to augment [the Iraqi] forces, as 
embeds, as, by the way, the Baker-Hamilton Commission recommends, as 
people who can help them with, in a sense, on-the-job training, who can 
help them to, kind of, solidify their ability to go after this.''

   Will United States forces be under Iraqi command or 
        operational control?
   How will the command arrangements work for embedded American 

    Answer. All coalition forces and embedded transition teams with 
Iraqi Security Forces remain under the operational command and control 
of Multi-National Forces-Iraq (MNF-I) commanders. For further details 
regarding the military command and control structure, the State 
Department defers to the Department of Defense.

    Question. You said in your testimony that ``the rules of engagement 
really were the problem'' in Operation Together Forward during the 
summer and fall of 2006. Could you elaborate? What were the problems 
with the previous rules of engagement and how have they been corrected?

    Answer. In 2006, the Iraqi Government placed political limitations 
on coalition and Iraqi security operations that undermined the 
evenhanded pursuit of those engaged in violence. Some, but not all 
extremists, were approved as acceptable targets of security operations. 
The President's ``New Way Forward'' is a joint United States-Iraq 
strategy for bringing stability to Iraq, with a particular focus on 
Baghdad and Anbar province. Prime Minister Maliki has now pledged that 
no neighborhood will be beyond the reach of the Iraqi state, that the 
central government will pursue all perpetrators of violence regardless 
of sect or party, and that there will not be political interference in 
security decisions. President Bush and Secretary Rice have both made 
very clear that the Iraqi Government must fulfill this pledge for the 
``New Way Forward'' to be successful.

    Question. In increasing the number of forces in Baghdad, how will 
the administration ensure perceptions of evenhandedness in cracking 
down on Sunni insurgent and terrorist groups and Shiite militias? How 
will American forces avoid becoming embroiled in Baghdad's sectarian 

    Answer. It is critically important that Iraqis and Iraq's neighbors 
perceive that both Iraqi and American security forces are acting in an 
evenhanded manner against all those who perpetrate violence regardless 
of sect or party affiliation. Both President Bush and Prime Minister 
Maliki are committed to pursuing ``The New Way Forward'' in such an 
even-handed manner. Prime Minister Maliki has made it clear, publicly, 
to the Iraqi people that security operations in Baghdad will make no 
distinction between Shia, Sunni, or other types of illegal militia or 
illegal activity. He further stated that the Baghdad security plan will 
not permit a safe haven for any outlaws regardless of their sectarian 
or political affiliation, nor will there be political influence in 
security decisions. President Bush has made similar commitments to the 
American people.
    American and Iraqi security forces will operate jointly to ensure 
that they are pursuing a unified, evenhanded approach to securing 
neighborhoods and targeting those engaged in violence. At the highest 
levels, American and Iraqi commanders will work together to plan 
operations. On the ground, there will be American advisors embedded in 
all Iraqi units. The establishment of joint security stations in each 
of the nine Baghdad districts to be manned with Iraqi police, Iraqi 
Army, and coalition forces should also minimize the likelihood any unit 
will act in a sectarian manner.

    Question. You testified that during Operations Together Forward I 
and II ``there were not enough reliable Iraqi forces.''

   How has this problem been remedied?
   How many politically reliable Iraqi Army and police do you 
        assess there to be?
   How many Iraqi security forces do you expect will be in 
        Baghdad as part of the new plan? Which units will participate? 
        What is the readiness levels and sectarian composition of the 

    Answer. The President laid out a revised military approach when he 
addressed the Nation on January 10 and announced a new strategy, ``The 
New Way Forward,'' in Iraq. As part of this joint United States-Iraqi 
plan, Prime Minister Maliki has committed to deploy three additional 
Iraqi Army Brigades to Baghdad. The Prime Minister has restructured the 
command arrangements in Baghdad, with one overall military commander, 
two subordinates, and an Iraqi Army Brigade assigned to each of the 
nine districts in the city. Joint security stations manned with Iraqi 
police, Iraqi Army, and coalition forces should minimize the likelihood 
any unit will act in a sectarian manner.
    Details of Iraqi unit participation, sectarian composition, and 
overall planned force strength in Baghdad have not been released by the 
Government of Iraq. I would refer you to the Department of Defense for 
readiness levels of Iraqi units, which are assessed by Multi-National 
Forces-Iraq (MNF-I).

    Question. In June, Prime Minister Maliki offered a 24-point 
National Reconciliation Program.

   To date, how successful has this program been?
   What have been the areas of notable progress and what are 
        the continuing challenges?
   In the light of Prime Minister Maliki's new strategy, does 
        this 24-point remain operative?

    Answer. Since PM Maliki launched his National Reconciliation plan 
on June 25, the Iraqi Government, through the Ministry of National 
Reconciliation, sponsored three out of four in a series of 
reconciliation conferences across Iraq--for tribal leaders, civil 
society organizations, and political parties. The fourth conference for 
religious leaders is tentatively scheduled for this month. In addition, 
the Prime Minister has participated in a conference hosted by the 
Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) held in Mecca, in which 
religious leaders--both Sunni and Shia--have condemned sectarian 
violence in Iraq and called for an end to bloodshed.
    The conferences have helped to encourage progress on some of the 
toughest, unresolved political issues. For example, at the political 
parties' conference in December, PM Maliki helped to further de-
Baathifciation reform by reaching out to former Baathists and inviting 
them to rejoin the military.
    The Government of Iraq is currently drafting a law to submit to the 
Council of Representatives that would reform the de-Baathificiation 
process by giving thousands of former Baathists the option of returning 
to their former government jobs or drawing a pension for their past 
government employment. The Constitutional Review Committee, which met 
for the first time on November 15, is considering amendments to the 
constitution, a process critical to keeping Iraq's Sunni Arabs engaged 
in the reconciliation process. The Iraqis are also close to completing 
a National Hydrocarbon Law, which we expect they will submit to the 
Council of Ministers shortly. A fair and equitable Hydrocarbon Law that 
gives all Iraqis a share of their country's abundant wealth will help 
support national reconciliation.
    In his new security plan, the Prime Minister stated publicly that 
he will pursue all those engaged in violence, regardless of their sect 
or party affiliation. This evenhanded approach to combating violence is 
consistent with the Prime Minister's stated national reconciliation 
goals. If the Iraqi Government successfully fulfills its pledge to 
pursue all those who perpetrate violence, it will create the conditions 
necessary to make additional political progress on critical 
reconciliation issues. It will also improve the Iraqi Government's 
credibility among its neighbors in the gulf whose support it will need 
to create a stable, prosperous future.

    Question. In your [Secretary Rice's] testimony you said that ``the 
core of the Maliki plan has really been preserved'' in the plan of the 
administration. What are the differences in the two plans? What changes 
were made to the Maliki plan? What specific commitments has Prime 
Minister Maliki made to assure the success of the new Baghdad Security 
Plan? What specific commitments has he given to you [S], President 
Bush, or other senior members of the administration that he will crack 
down on the Jaysh al-Mandi? What public statements has he made 
indicating his willingness to crack down on the Jaysh al-Mandi by name?

    Answer. The current Baghdad Security Plan is the result of a 
collaborative effort. In reviewing PM Maliki's plan, MNF-I assessed 
that the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) were not yet capable of doing all 
the tasks, and as a result the current plan has a larger supporting 
role for MNF-I than first envisioned.
    The Prime Minister assured President Bush that there would be even-
handedness in pursuing all involved in violence. Maliki has said that 
his government will make no exception for any group or individual 
regardless of sect or party affiliation. We expect him to apply this 
principle universally, including to the Jaysh al-Mandi (JAM).
    The Prime Minister assured the President that there would be no 
political interference with military command decisions.
    He also pledged to provide three additional brigades to implement 
the new Baghdad Security Plan.
    Prime Minister Maliki stated publicly on January 26 that: ``The 
Baghdad security plan is now ready, and we will depend on our armed 
forces to implement it with multinational forces behind them . . . ISF 
will carry out the plan to restore security for Baghdad, will punish 
outlaws or those who work according to political or sectarian bias . . 
. The ISF will be above politics. Political parties and political 
organizations are barred from political activities among the armed 
forces . . . Iraq will not allow militias, regardless of sect, to 
replace the function of the state or interfere with security.''

    Question. In your testimony you spoke of ``surging'' the civilian 
efforts of the Department of State. How many American diplomats does 
the State Department have in Iraq? By what amount will these numbers 
increase? Where will they serve? How many will be placed in Provincial 
Reconstruction Teams? How much experience does the average PRT team 
leader have?

    Answer. Based on the latest staffing figures, there are 334 State 
Department employees on the ground at Embassy Baghdad, and an 
additional 46 State Department employees in Regional Embassy Offices 
and Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs). Other federal agencies, 
such as DOD and the Department of Justice also have employees working 
at the Embassy and other sites, who serve under Chief of Mission 
    We do not anticipate any major staff increases in Embassy Baghdad 
at this time, but we are establishing new PRTs in Anbar, Baghdad, and 
North Babil. We also plan to augment several existing PRTs in Anbar, 
Baghdad, Diyala, Salah ad-Din, Ninawa, Kirkuk, Babil, Dhi Qar, and 
    We are currently reviewing the requirements, both here in 
Washington and with Embassy Baghdad. In total, we expect to add more 
than 300 civilian employees in these PRT locations. Some will be State 
Department Employees, including 10 Senior Foreign Service Officers and 
specialized direct hires, who will establish the new Provincial 
Reconstruction Teams. Other team members will come from USAID, DOD, 
Federal Agencies, and contractors.
    PRT leaders are highly competent Senior Foreign Service Officers 
with extensive overseas experience and proven records of leadership. 
They can call on the special expertise of their team members, who 
include experienced city managers, engineers, and others.

    Question. In his January 10 speech, President Bush stated his 
intention to seek $1.2 billion in additional economic and 
reconstruction funds. According to a January 2007 Government 
Accountability Office report, ``as of August 2006, the government of 
Iraq had spent . . . 8 percent of its annual capital goods budget and 
14 percent of its annual capital projects budget. Iraq's fiscal year 
begins on January 1 of each year.'' The report found that in the 
Ministry of Oil of a $3.533 billion capital budget only $4 million had 
been expended. Given these funding shortfalls on the Iraqi side, what 
is the rationale for additional United States reconstruction assistance 
for Iraq?

    Answer. In his January 10 speech, the President stressed the 
importance of our improving the ability of the Iraqi Government to meet 
the basic needs of its people, although he did not mention a specific 
assistance figure for any future budget requests.
    The Iraqi Government must do its part to invest in its own economic 
development and to follow through on our joint strategy. The Government 
of Iraq is committed to spending $10 billion this year to help create 
jobs and further national reconciliation. However, Iraq faces major 
challenges in designing and executing its capital budget. Simply put, 
Iraq has available assets, the product of last year's underspent budget 
and profits from higher than anticipated oil prices, but they do not 
have the mechanisms to spend them--especially with the speed necessary 
for post-kinetic stabilization in Baghdad and Anbar. Iraq must develop 
the means to put its money to use, both for short-term ``build'' 
efforts and longer term capital investment.
    There are several obstacles to better budget execution, including 
technical problems, such as the lack of the ability to obligate money 
for multiyear projects, and a lack of training and equipment to process 
the transactions. The Iraqis are taking steps to address this problem, 
such as draft 2007 budget provisions that permit the Ministry of 
Finance to reallocate funding from any ministry that is unable to spend 
it promptly. If the USG does not continue to provide assistance to the 
Iraqi Government, the Iraqis will not be able to develop the mechanisms 
they need to spend effectively their own budget. While we cannot spend 
their money for them, we must help them get on the path to self-
    To help the Iraqi Government improve budget execution and take on 
more responsibility for Iraq's own economic future, Secretary Rice has 
appointed Ambassador Tim Carney as her new Coordinator for Economic 
Transition. Ambassador Carney is now in Baghdad helping the Government 
of Iraq meet its financial responsibilities, specifically on budget 
execution, job creation, and capital investment projects.
    Continued United States assistance is vital to help Iraq address 
these problems and allow it to meet the myriad needs of its people. 
Beginning in FY 2006, we have shifted the emphasis of our assistance 
away from large reconstruction projects toward programs designed to 
increase Iraqi capacity to govern at the national and local level. 
Continued U.S. assistance is vital to establish firmly the roots of 
democratic and representative governance, to support moderate political 
forces, to continue economic reforms, and to establish competent and 
representative government. It is a critical component of the 
President's ``New Way Forward'' strategy to bring stability to Baghdad 
and the rest of Iraq.

    Question. How deep is the Iraqi support for both the 
administration's new plan and Prime Minister Maliki's security plan?

   Which factions have been publicly supportive and which have 
   How much support do the plans enjoy beyond the office of the 
        Prime Minister?
   How much support is there for the plans from the GCC+2?

    Answer. PM Maliki, in his role as Iraq's commander in chief, agreed 
to the troop increase as part of the Iraqi security plan and on the 
basis of advice from his military and defense advisors, including 
Minister of Defense Abd al-Qadir al-Mufraji. Other members of the Iraqi 
body politic were consulted about the decision, and some leaders, such 
as Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, supported the plan, while others 
were more cautious.
    The Prime Minister presented the new Iraqi security plan to the 
Iraqi Council of Representatives (CoR), which approved it on January 26 
following a vigorous debate. The plan's strongest support came from 
Shia and Kurdish blocs. Some Sunnis in the CoR criticized the plan's 
details, claiming it specifically targets Sunnis and Sunni 
neighborhoods. Prime Minister Maliki, who attended the CoR session to 
present his argument for the plan, responded to such criticisms by 
explaining that the new security plan targets ``all who stand in the 
way of the law,'' despite sect, religion, or nationality. The plan's 
ultimate passage, though, demonstrates support within the Iraqi 
Government and the Council of Representatives.
    During their last meeting, the GCC+2 participants agreed that it 
was in the interest of all countries for there to be a stable, 
prosperous, and unified Iraq, based on respect for Iraq's territorial 
integrity, unity, and sovereignty. They expressed their readiness to 
support Iraq's efforts in this regard. While supportive of the security 
plan laid out by President Bush on January 10, the GCC+2 have expressed 
skepticism about the intentions of the Iraqi Government, and want the 
Iraqi Government to demonstrate through its actions on the ground that 
it is a truly national, rather than a sectarian, government.

    Question. You testified that there is a ``new alignment'' of forces 
in the Middle East pitting ``reformers and responsible leaders'' 
against extremists, of every sect and ethnicity, who use violence to 
spread chaos, to undermine democratic governments, and to impose 
agendas of hatred and intolerance.

   On which side of the divide to place Muqtada al-Sadr? Jaysh 
        al-Mandi? The Badr Organization?
   How would you characterize Prime Minister Maliki's 
        relationship with Muqtada al-Sadr?
   What is the relationship between the Iraqi Ministry of 
        Interior and the Badr Organization and the Jaysh al-Mandi?

    Answer. Any individuals or groups regardless of party or sectarian 
affiliation, who reject violence and pursue their agendas through 
peaceful democratic means can be part of the new alignment. Supporters 
of Muqtada al-Sadr have joined the political process and are part of 
United Iraqi Coalition (UIC) of which the Prime Minister and his party, 
Dawa Islamiya, are also a part. The Sadrists have about 30 seats in the 
Iraqi Parliament and have 6 ministers as part of the Iraqi Government. 
Muqtada al-Sadr's supporters have chosen to be part of the political 
process and it is up to him to remain a part of the political process. 
Sadr appeared to reaffirm his commitment to the political process when 
he ordered his members of the Council of Representatives (CoR) to 
return after boycotting the sessions in late November.
    We assess that Prime Minister Maliki and Muqtada al-Sadr have good 
relations. PM Maliki believes the right course is to engage Sadr 
politically and to try to engage him constructively in the political 
process and to dissuade him from supporting violence. PM Maliki 
believes he needs the support of a unified UIC in the Council of 
Representatives (CoR), and works closely with all the major factions in 
the UIC, including the Sadrists, in order to keep their support. Sadr 
himself has not aspired to political office. Instead, he has asked his 
followers to support other leaders for office, such as PM Maliki.
    The Iraqi Government needs to have a monopoly on the legal use of 
armed force. This means that the Jaysh al-Mandi or any militia cannot 
continue to take orders from anyone other than the Iraqi Government. 
Rogue elements must be reined in. This needs to be done by the Iraqis, 
and quickly.
    In 2003, the Badr Organization announced it had officially 
disbanded its militias. However, reports suggest that elements within 
the Badr Organization are still active, and we have raised our concerns 
with the senior leaders of the Organization and with SCIRI.
    The Iraqi Ministry of Interior has hired former members of the Badr 
Organization and members or former members of JAM as part of the police 
force. Some elements from both Badr and JAM have infiltrated the 
security ministries, in particular the Ministry of Interior. We are 
working closely with the Iraqi Government, particularly the Minister of 
Interior, to reform the Ministry of Interior and police, and to find 
ways to improve the screening process of those who seek to join the 
police and security forces in Iraq.

Responses by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Questions Submitted 
                        by Senator Richard Lugar

    Question. With only the kind of recruiting effort that comes from 
phone calls from you, yourself, has State been able to meet its 
staffing goals in Iraq.
    Other agencies have also had significant challenges in meeting 
staffing targets--both budgetary (no international emergency line items 
in their budgets) as well as legal (the President cannot order 
civilians to war, they must volunteer, adding to the time it takes to 
    Is the President seeking changes to these authorities? What is your 
vision for fulfilling the civilian mandate?
    Will you or other Cabinet Secretaries begin directed assignments?

    Answer. Fully staffing our most critical posts, including Baghdad 
and the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Iraq, is one of our 
highest priorities. We have made changes to our Foreign Service bidding 
and assignments process and offered a generous incentive package to 
encourage bidders to volunteer for service in Iraq. Even without 
personal phone calls, State Department employees have willingly 
responded to the call for service and have volunteered to serve at even 
the most difficult and dangerous posts abroad.
    In the current assignments cycle, we have already filled 89 percent 
(156 positions out of 176) of Foreign Service positions in Iraq for 
summer 2007. For Embassy Baghdad, we have committed candidates for 117 
out of 128 jobs. For the Iraq PRTs, we have 39 committed candidates for 
48 jobs. Personnel in Baghdad are also being provided the opportunity 
to serve at PRTs and will be able to extend their assignments if they 
wish to do so. The Bureau of Human Resources, the Bureau of Near 
Eastern Affairs, and senior leaders in the Department are reaching out 
to potential candidates to fill the remaining positions. We are also 
looking at qualified Civil Service employees or Eligible Family Members 
to fill some positions in Iraq on limited noncareer appointments. I am 
confident that these positions will be filled.
    At this time, the Department is not seeking any additional 
authorities related to assignments. The administration has sought 
various legislative changes to improve the incentives for overseas 
service. A number of these incentives were included in the FY 2006 
Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act (P.L. 109-234). During this 
Congress, the Department will continue to pursue Foreign Service 
Modernization to make services abroad more attractive and to reduce the 
18.6-percent pay gap for overseas service. Other proposals may also be 
forthcoming, as we reevaluate the existing incentives for hardship 
service and determine if other legislative changes are needed to 
support and compensate our employees who serve in the most difficult 
posts overseas.
    The Department's FY 2007 supplemental request for operations 
includes funds to enable State to reimburse other civilian agencies for 
personnel they make available for service in Iraq. We believe that this 
will overcome a significant obstacle to recruiting qualified personnel 
from other agencies.
    To date, we have not had to utilize directed assignments to meet 
our staffing needs in Iraq. We are prepared to direct the assignment of 
Foreign Service members should that become necessary. Our goal, 
however, is continuing to fill the positions in Iraq and in all of our 
missions around the world with qualified, willing employees who can 
carry out our crucial U.S. foreign policy objectives overseas. 
Questions about other Cabinet Secretaries' decisions to direct 
assignments of their employees may be best addressed by those agencies 

    Question. What are the political trends outside Baghdad? Have the 
PRTs been effective in empowering moderate parties? Is that a part of 
the mandate?

    Answer. Political trends outside of Baghdad vary from province to 
province. Parts of Iraq, such as the Kurdistan region, are enjoying 
relative security and prosperity. Ninawa, Tamim (Kirkuk), and Salah al-
Din have occasional acts of terrorism, but political life continues 
despite this. In Anbar and Diyala, acts of violence are disrupting 
political life. In south-central Iraq, sectarian violence is 
negligible, but there have been sporadic episodes of Shia-on-Shia 
violence between Badr Organization and Jaysh al-Mandi elements, or 
involving fringe groups, such as the Soldiers of Heaven just outside of 
Najaf. In Basrah, militias and political disputes play a negative role 
on the political development of that province.
    The President has decided to expand the size and reach of the PRTs 
due to their success in building Iraqi capacity and self-sufficiency to 
date. Since 2005, PRTs have invested effectively in moderate Iraqi 
leaders on the local level by:

   Reaching out to local and provincial leaders (including 
        grassroots groups) who want to make a difference in making 
        Iraq's democracy work;
   Conducting extensive training in governance and municipal 
        planning for provincial, district, and subdistrict offices;
   Working with Provincial Reconstruction Development 
        Committees to improve the provincial governments' ability to 
        identify and prioritize systematically the reconstruction and 
        development needs of their provinces and to improve the 
        delivery of essential services;
   Facilitating better working relationships between provincial 
        leaders and their counterparts in the central government, 
        improving their ability to secure funds from the centre to pay 
        for provincial projects.

    A core objective of the President's new strategy is to empower 
moderates--those Iraqis who renounce violence and pursue their 
interests peacefully, politically, and under the rule of law. The 
expanded PRT program will be central to that effort. PRTs will support 
local, moderate Iraqi leaders through targeted assistance, such as 
microloans and grants to foster new businesses, create jobs, and 
develop provincial capacity to govern in an effective, sustainable 
manner. The expanded PRT program will be central to that effort. PRTs 
will support local, moderate Iraqi leaders through targeted assistance, 
such as microloans and grants to foster new businesses, create jobs, 
and develop provincial capacity to govern in an effective, sustainable 

    Question. Can you describe recent efforts we have heard about in Al 
Anbar province to reach out to disenfranchised Sunni Shaikhs? Are these 
having any measurable effects politically or against al-Qaeda--Iraq? 
How can we keep from being used as one of our witnesses yesterday 
suggested may be happening?

    Answer. In early 2006, several tribes, including those who have 
links to insurgent groups, began efforts to root out foreign militants 
in their region. Some of these tribal leaders have met with Prime 
Minister Nuri al-Maliki in a show of support for his government and in 
an effort to become involved in the political process. Many of these 
tribal shaikhs have concluded that they can no longer watch the 
destruction of their areas. They see no positive future with al-Qaeda.
    Although parts of Anbar remain dangerous, in particular in the 
areas immediately surrounding Ramadi, we have started to notice some 
improvement, such as additional shops opening and an increase in the 
number of the police force in Anbar province in general. USG-sponsored 
reconstruction programs have already begun in parts of Anbar. Anbar 
province enjoys perhaps the highest level of electricity anywhere in 
Iraq. We hope that more tribal leaders will be motivated to join the 
process after witnessing the tangible improvements brought about by 
reconstruction programs.

    Question. In your strategic review, has anyone modeled the negative 
economic impacts a precipitous withdrawal and collapsed state would 
mean to the region and the world?

    Answer. We are unaware of any formal models, econometric or other, 
of the negative economic impacts that a precipitous U.S./coalition 
withdrawal from Iraq and the (probable) ensuing collapse of the Iraqi 
state would mean to the region and the world. The impacts modeled would 
depend on the model's assumptions. However, if a U.S./coalition 
withdrawal was followed by the collapse of the Iraqi state, then that 
would almost certainly cause a serious decline in Iraqi oil output for 
some period of time.
    International oil markets would be most affected by a collapse 
scenario. The loss of Iraq's oil from world markets could have a 
serious impact on the world oil market, both from the immediate 
shortage and from the higher ``risk premium'' that the market would 
demand. However, this could be mitigated by the current excess capacity 
in world oil production (e.g., Saudi Arabia's excess production 
capacity of about 2 million barrels per day is greater than Iraq's 
production for world markets of 1.5 million barrels per day). In 
addition, in any serious disruption of oil supplies, one option is that 
the members of the International Energy Agency could consider a 
drawdown of oil stocks.
    Collapse of the Iraqi Government would also almost certainly result 
in a major outflow of refugees. The economic consequences for 
neighboring countries (Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and 
Turkey) would be severe, as they struggled to provide food, shelter, 
and security. In addition, Iraq's neighbors export and transship 
significant amounts of goods of all types to Iraq and would be affected 
by an Iraqi collapse.

    Question. One of our witnesses yesterday brought up the Iraq 
compact. Can you share specifics on that with us for the record?

    Answer. The International Compact with Iraq (ICI) is a framework 
for the international community to support the Government of Iraq in 
exchange for Iraq making a series of commitments to essential economic 
initiatives and reforms--including and extending beyond Iraq's 
commitments under its IMF Stand-By Arrangements (SBA). The ICI also 
defines the political and security context required for the economic 
reforms to succeed. Iraq developed the ICI with the support of the 
United Nations, World Bank, IMF, and its major international donor 
partners. International contributions for the ICI will come in a 
variety of forms, including technical support, debt forgiveness, loans, 
private investment, and grants. The ultimate goal of the ICI is to set 
Iraq on a path to financial and economic self-sufficiency.
    The ICI demonstrates the increasing capabilities and determination 
of the Iraqi Government to determine its future. The goals, 
commitments, and benchmarks in the ICI were primarily developed by the 
Iraqis themselves, and the ICI document has been approved by Iraq's 
Council of Ministers. Iraq is already moving forward to implement 
aspects of the ICI, for example, its progress to develop a new 
hydrocarbons law.
    The next step is for Iraq and the United Nations to convene a 
meeting to close the text of the ICI documents. At that time, the ICI 
document and annexes will be publicly released in final form for review 
by the international community in anticipation of a high-level 
international conference for formal adoption of the ICI in the near 
    More information about the work to develop the ICI can be found at 
www.IraqCompact.org (a Web site maintained by the United Nations).

    Question. Please provide for the committee the latest draft of the 
hydrocarbons law and relevant details of negotiations.

    Answer. The Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional 
Government have made significant progress in narrowing their 
disagreements. We expect them to submit a completed draft law to the 
Council of Ministers (their Cabinet) shortly and to the Council of 
Representatives (their Parliament) sometime in March. However, 
differences remain over where to draw the lines of authority for 
approving exploration and production contracts. The Iraqi negotiators 
are hard at work resolving these differences.
    Due to the ongoing nature of the negotiations, the U.S. Government 
does not have an up-to-date draft of the law. Based on our 
conversations with Iraqi officials, we understand the current version 
contains the following elements:
          (1) A framework for developing Iraq's oil and gas sector, 
        based upon free market principles and encouragement of private 
        sector investment;
          (2) A set of governing principles and broad organization of 
        the sector;
          (3) Key principles for revenue sharing, including, that after 
        funding of its national responsibilities, the central 
        government will collect and distribute revenue to local 
        authorities according to a formula that will include population 
        as a basis.

    The law also stipulates that separate, complementary laws will 
follow the main hydrocarbon law and will contain the following 
          (1) Specific implementation details on revenue sharing;
          (2) Definition of the roles of the Iraqi National Oil Company 
        and the Ministry of Oil;
          (3) There could also be subsequent legislation on petroleum 

    Question. Each nation in the region has its own interests in mind 
when it comes to a particular outcome in Iraq. Other than Iran and 
Syria, what indications do we have from regional leaders that they are 
willing to put Iraq's interests first? Are they taking any constructive 
steps worth mentioning?

    Answer. Iraq does not exist in isolation from the region. 
Overcoming governance and security challenges will require the help and 
support of its neighbors. On governance issues, the international 
community can have a large impact through its participation in the 
International Compact with Iraq (ICI). Under the ICI, Iraq has 
committed to a series of primarily economic reforms that will allow it 
to become self-sufficient over the next 5 years. In exchange, its 
international partners will support Iraq through new assistance to 
Iraq, debt forgiveness, and investments. The compact provides a 
framework for Iraq's economic transformation and integration into the 
regional and global economy. We expect the compact to be completed and 
signed in the coming months.
    On security, Iraq's neighbors can be helpful by supporting the 
Iraqi Government and stopping the flow of terrorists elements across 
their borders. While we are working with our partners in the region to 
strengthen peace, two governments--Syria and Iran--have chosen to align 
themselves with the forces of violent extremism in Iraq and elsewhere. 
The problem is not a lack of dialog, but a lack of positive action by 
those states.
    As you know, I recently returned from travel to Egypt, Saudi 
Arabia, and Kuwait to urge support for the Government of Iraq and the 
new strategy. My interlocutors expressed their strong concern over the 
growth of negative Iranian involvement in Iraq and al-Qaeda terror. At 
the same time, they made clear their concern that the current Iraqi 
Government was acting in a manner that reflected a sectarian rather 
than national agenda.
    We understand these concerns and we believe the Iraqi Government 
understands them as well. Prime Minister Maliki and his government have 
pledged not to tolerate any act of violence from any community or 
group. That means that all those engaged in killing and intimidation, 
whether Shia or Sunni, need to be confronted.
    Only through new facts on the ground--tangible evidence of action 
against all those who pursue violence can the Government of Iraq 
establish the credibility at home and abroad that it needs to chart a 
successful future.

    Question. An important element in planning successfully is 
sequencing. Can we bring the proper resources to focus at the right 
time? Can the Iraqis and we maintain the ``hold'' long enough to build? 
What should that building entail? As you understand it, would this be 
done by uniformed forces, civilians, or Iraqis?

    Answer. As you know, the President has decided to augment our own 
troop levels in Baghdad and Anbar by 21,500. The mission of this 
enhanced force is to support Iraqi troops and commanders, who are now 
in the lead, to help clear and secure neighborhoods, protect the local 
population, provide essential services, and create conditions necessary 
to spur local economic development.
    The Department of State is contributing robustly to this effort by 
expanding our present close coordination with our military counterparts 
in and outside of Baghdad, and with the Iraqi Government to capitalize 
on security improvements by creating jobs and promoting economic 
revitalization. There must be the fullest possible civilian-military 
unity of effort if we are to be successful.
    To that end, we will immediately deploy greater resources alongside 
our military in Baghdad and Anbar. The centerpiece of this effort will 
be our expansion of our Provincial Reconstruction Teams. We will double 
our PRTs from 10 to 20, adding more than 300 new personnel. We will 
expand our PRTs in three phases with the first phase occurring over the 
next 3 months to complement our enhanced military efforts. In that 
time, we plan to colocate nine new PRTs--six in Baghdad and three in 
Anbar--with Brigade Combat Teams engaged in security operations.
    The Department will recruit and deploy senior-level Team Leaders 
for these nine new PRTs who will work jointly with brigade commanders 
to develop plans for the ``build'' phase of clear, hold, and build. 
Well-qualified officers have already stepped forward for these 
    PRTs will target both civilian and military resources, including 
foreign assistance and the Commanders' Emergency Response Program, as 
part of a strategic plan to sustain stability, promote economic growth, 
and foster Iraqi self-sufficiency where we have made security gains.
    In the next two phases of our PRT expansion, we will add a new PRT 
in North Babil and augment our existing PRTs with specialized technical 
personnel, such as irrigation specialists, veterinarians, and 
agribusiness development experts, based on local provincial needs.
    PRTs will support local moderate Iraqi leaders through targeted 
assistance, such as microloans and grants to foster new businesses, 
create jobs, and develop provincial capacity to govern in an effective 
and sustainable way. We intend to complete all three phases of our PRT 
expansion by the end of the calendar year. Completion, however, will be 
dependent both on funding levels and circumstances on the ground.

                               THE CENTER


                   THURSDAY, JANUARY 11, 2007 [P.M.]

                                       U.S. Senate,
                            Committee on Foreign Relations,
                                                    Washington, DC.
    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:50 p.m., in 
room SD-106, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Joseph R. 
Biden, Jr. (chairman of the committee) presiding.
    Present: Senators Biden, Menendez, Bill Nelson, Casey, 
Webb, Lugar, Corker, and Isakson.

                   U.S. SENATOR FROM DELAWARE

    The Chairman. The committee will come to order. I apologize 
to our distinguished witnesses. As they know, the hearing was 
supposed to start at 2 o'clock. They--please sit, gentlemen--
they adjusted their schedules to accommodate us, and, 
unfortunately, neither Senator Lugar nor I have control over 
the Senate floor. Nor do I want it. But I truly appreciate 
their indulgence.
    This afternoon, we begin our examination of the various 
plans for securing our interests in Iraq. We obviously heard 
from ``the plan'' this morning, the plan put forward by the 
President of the United States. And I appreciate the Secretary 
coming to attempt to make a case for that plan. But, as I said 
at the outset of these hearings, in announcing these hearings, 
the process here was to get a lay of the land, to get a 
historical perspective, an intelligence perspective, which we 
did, the previous 2 days. And then we began, with the 
Secretary, to hear the credible alternatives that have been 
offered--left, right, and center--Republican, Democrat, 
Independent, think tank, and individual Members of the 
Congress--for example, Jack Murtha, at some point, will come 
and testify, and as will, I suspect, former Speaker Gingrich. 
So, the whole idea here is for the public to understand what 
the various alternatives offered by serious people are, that 
are out there, so they understand there is not only a single 
alternative--``Either you do this, or we,'' quote, ``leave,'' 
although that may be a plan, as well.
    So, today we'll hear three starkly different, but well-
informed, proposals from thoughtful and very articulate 
witnesses. While each of them has very different ideas on how 
to proceed from this point out, they're united in their 
devotion to this country and their desire to see us through 
this difficult time.
    We're going to begin today with Ambassador Peter Galbraith, 
senior diplomatic fellow with the Center for Arms Control and 
Non-Proliferation. He's also, from our perspective and the 
perspectives of the people sitting behind me--his greatest 
credential is, he was a staff member on this committee in 
decades gone by, and we're delighted to have him back. 
Ambassador Galbraith argues that we should accept a partition 
of Iraq--that has already taken place, withdraw from Arab Iraq, 
and redeploy a small force in Kurdistan that can strike at al-
Qaeda if necessary.
    Next, we will hear from Dr. Frederick Kagan, resident 
scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Dr. Kagan has 
authored a recent study that, ``calls for a sustained surge of 
American combat forces into Iraq in order to restore and 
maintain stability and security in Baghdad, reduce sectarian 
violence, protect the Iraqi population, and help establish a 
normal life for the Iraqi people.'' I found it very 
interesting. I read your entire report, and I'm anxious to hear 
you expound on it.
    We'll then hear from Dr. Ted Galen Carpenter, the vice 
president of defense and foreign policy studies at the CATO 
Institute. Dr. Carpenter argues, and I quote, ``The President 
should begin the process of removing American troops 
immediately, and that process needs to be completed in no less 
than 6 months.''
    To state again for the record what is obvious: These are 
all very well-informed, very bright, and very patriotic 
Americans with three, essentially, totally different views as 
to how to proceed from this point. And I am confident that 
their testimony will help enlighten and inform the committee.
    I would now yield to my colleague, Chairman Lugar, if he 
wishes to make any opening statement.

                   U.S. SENATOR FROM INDIANA

    Senator Lugar. Well, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    The President has offered a plan that he believes will 
advance United States interests in Iraq and the Middle East. In 
recent conversations with the President, I have tried to 
underscore the need for a thorough effort to involve Congress 
in the decisionmaking process. As we conduct dialog with the 
executive branch, Members of Congress have a responsibility to 
make informed and reasoned judgments about what the President 
is proposing. Congress must carefully study how the President's 
plan will affect the welfare of American service men and women, 
the prospects for success in Iraq, and the future of our 
broader strategic interests.
    This morning, our committee had an opportunity to engage 
Secretary Rice in a frank discussion about the President's plan 
and the situation in Iraq. This afternoon, we will continue our 
inquiry, with the help of an impressive panel of witnesses, who 
represent competing points of view.
    In my comments at the hearing this morning, I outlined what 
I believe are United States primary strategic objectives in 
Iraq, and they are: Preventing the use of Iraq as a safe haven 
or training ground for terrorism; preventing civil war and 
upheaval in Iraq from creating instability that leads to 
regional war, the overthrow of friendly governments, the 
destruction of oil facilities or other calamities; and 
preventing a loss of U.S. credibility in the region and the 
world; and preventing Iran, finally, from dominating the 
    I suggest that, given these objectives, the outcome in Iraq 
is intimately connected with what happens beyond Iraq's 
borders. On this basis, I believe that any plan for Iraq must 
include a vigorous and creative regional diplomatic component 
that makes use of our strengths, including our stabilizing 
military presence in the region.
    The options that will be presented by our witnesses center 
on fundamental questions of whether the United States should 
continue its military presence in Iraq. As you make your 
arguments, I'll be interested in how you prescribe the broader 
strategic context of the Middle East that is vital national 
security. My own view is that we must have a military presence 
in Iraq indefinitely and that we ought to inform all the border 
countries of that proposition, in addition to Iraqis. The 
positioning of those forces is at issue, and hopefully you will 
have some comments about that.
    I'll look forward to your insights and our experts as they 
come along the trail throughout the hearings that Senator Biden 
has planned.
    And I thank the chairman, again, for holding this hearing 
this afternoon.
    Thank you.
    The Chairman. Thank you very much.
    Ambassador Galbraith.


    Ambassador Galbraith. Mr. Chairman, Senator Lugar, members 
of the Committee on Foreign Relations, thank you for the 
invitation to testify before this committee on alternative 
strategies toward Iraq. It's a special privilege for me to be 
here, since the committee was my professional home for 14 
years, and it is here where I had a great deal of my education 
on Iraq, as some of the more senior members of the committee 
may recall.
    I have submitted a detailed statement, together with a one-
page summary of my plan, and I hope that they will be included 
in the record of these hearings.
    The Chairman. Without objection, they will be.
    Ambassador Galbraith. And before I begin, I was asked by 
the committee staff to clarify my relationship with the 
Kurdistan Regional Government. I've sent an e-mail explaining 
this. As described in my book, I've been friends with the 
Kurdish leaders, and, for that matter, many other Iraqi 
leaders, for a very long period of time, but I do not have a 
paid relationship with the Kurdistan Regional Government.
    Iraq has broken up, and it is in the midst of a civil war. 
Reality, and not wishes, must dictate our strategy. President 
Bush's new strategy relies on two elements that simply do not 
exist: First, an inclusive national unity government in Iraq; 
and, second, Iraqi security services--that is, the army and the 
police--that are loyal to Iraq and not to their sect or ethnic 
group. The Maliki government is a sectarian Shiite government 
that is regarded as alien, and indeed even non-Iraqi, by the 
Sunni Arabs, and as irrelevant by the Kurds. The government's 
conduct--the protection of Shiite militias, its selective 
provision of government services, the manner in which it 
carried out Saddam's execution--provides no evidence that it 
can transform itself into something different from what it is.
    But even if Iraq had a genuine government of national 
unity, it would be largely irrelevant. There is no part of the 
country where the government actually exercises significant 
    In the southern half of Iraq and eastern Baghdad, Shiite 
religious parties have created local theocracies that use 
militias to enforce a version of Islamic law modeled on Iran, 
but far stricter. The much-vaunted human rights provisions of 
the Iraqi Constitution do not apply.
    Kurdistan, in the north, is a de facto independent state 
with its own army and its own flag. The Iraqi Army is barred 
from the region. Flying the Iraqi flag is prohibited, and 
central-government ministries are not present. Further, the 
Kurdish people voted, 98.5 percent for independence, in a 
nonbinding referendum held in January 2005.
    The Sunni center is a battleground between insurgents that 
command widespread local support and U.S. forces. And Baghdad 
is the front line of the Sunni-Shiite civil war. The Mahdi 
Army, the radical Shiite militia, controls the capital's Shiite 
neighbors in the east, while al-Qaeda, its offshoots, and 
Baathists control Sunni districts in the west. In Baghdad and 
in other formerly mixed areas, extremists are engaging in 
brutal sectarian cleansing, with a death toll that may well be 
in excess of 200 a day.
    Iraq's army and police reflect Iraq's divisions. They are 
either Sunni or Shiite. The Shiite police include the death 
squads that target Sunnis. In Sunni areas, the police are 
either insurgent sympathizers or insurgents. Iraq's Army, while 
somewhat better, is divided into Shiite, Sunni, and Kurdish 
battalions. They are ultimately loyal not to the nominal chain 
of command, but to their political party leaders or, in the 
case of the Kurds, to the Kurdistan Regional Government. Iraq's 
security forces are not neutral guarantors of public security, 
but combatants in a civil war. United States training has not, 
and will not, make these forces into Iraqis; it will only 
create more lethal combatants in a civil war.
    The goal of a self-sustaining, unified, and democratic Iraq 
would require a vast expansion of the United States military 
mission in Iraq, to include disarming Shiite militias, 
dismantling the theocracies, and policing Iraq's mixed areas in 
order to end the civil war. The Iraqi Government has no 
intention of taking on the Shiite militias, and Iraq's security 
forces cannot police Iraq's mixed areas, since there are no 
such forces that are trusted by both Sunnis and Shiites.
    The President's plan, in short, does nothing to stop Iraq's 
civil war or to build a unified Iraq. The alternative is to 
accept the reality that Iraq has broken up, and to work with 
its components. We should get out of the business of nation-
building in Iraq and respect the democratic decision of the 
Iraqis to have a country of very strong regions and a powerless 
center. Iraq's Constitution, adopted by 80 percent of Iraq's 
people, is a roadmap to partition. It recognizes Kurdistan as a 
self-governing region and permits other parts of the country to 
form regions. Iraq's Council of Representatives has already 
passed a law paving the way to the formation of a Shiite super-
region in the south in the next 15 months.
    Under Iraq's Constitution, regions can have their own 
armies, called regional guards, and exercise substantial 
control over their natural resources, including oil. Except for 
the short list of exclusive federal powers listed in article 
110 of the Iraqi Constitution, regional law is superior to 
federal law in Iraq. By design, Iraq's Constitution makes it 
difficult for the central government to function, and its few 
powers do not even include taxation.
    The regionalization of Iraq is a fact. It also provides the 
best hope for security, and, therefore, opens the way to a 
United States withdrawal. Without any significant coalition 
presence, Kurdistan has already made itself into the one secure 
and reasonably democratic part of Iraq. The south is also 
reasonably secure, and will become more so as it forms its 
regional institutions. No purpose is served by a coalition 
presence in the south, and it should be withdrawn immediately.
    Regionalization makes for a more effective strategy in 
combating the Sunni insurgency. Right now, U.S. forces battle 
Sunni insurgents on behalf of a Shiite-led government and a 
Shiite-dominated military. Sunnis see these forces as alien and 
dangerous. Too many Sunnis see the choice today as one between 
their own extremists and a pro-Iranian Shiite government that 
sponsors anti-Sunni death squads. The Sunni extremists are not 
trying to kill you, whereas the other guys are. By forming 
their own region, Sunni Arabs can provide for their own 
security, and there could be economic and other incentives to 
combat extremists. In my view, the United States should state 
that it will withdraw from the Sunni Arab region when a Sunni 
regional guard is established.
    So far, the Sunni Arabs have been the strongest opponents 
of federalism in Iraq. But with Kurdistan already in existence 
and a Shiite region likely on its way, the Sunnis are faced 
with a choice between governing themselves or being governed by 
a Shiite-dominated central government in Baghdad.
    The United States has one achievable overriding interest in 
Iraq today, which is to keep al-Qaeda and its ilk from having a 
base from which they can attack the United States. If Sunni 
Arabs cannot provide for their own security, then the United 
States must be prepared to reengage in the Sunni areas. This is 
best accomplished by placing a small over-the-horizon force in 
Kurdistan. Kurdistan has the Western-oriented aspiring 
democracy that the United States once hoped for all of Iraq, 
and the Kurds are among the most pro-American people in the 
world. They would welcome a United States base, not least 
because it would provide them a measure of security against 
Arab Iraqis, who may seek revenge against the Kurds for having 
collaborated with the United States in Iraq. From Kurdistan, 
the United States military could readily move back into any 
Sunni Arab area where al-Qaeda or its allies established a 
base. The Kurdistan peshmerga would willingly assist their 
American allies with intelligence and other support.
    By deploying to what is still, nominally, Iraqi territory, 
the United States would avoid the political complications in 
the United States and in Iraq involved in reentering Iraq 
following a total withdrawal. Partition, as noted by the Baker-
Hamilton Commission and by many experts, is not an easy 
solution, but many of the worst consequences of partition, 
including sectarian killing and an Iranian-dominated Shiite 
south, have already happened. And the United States has no plan 
to reverse any of this.
    Mr. Chairman, I'm often asked: What is the difference 
between the plan that you and Les Gelb have put forward and the 
plan that I have outlined? We agree that the future of Iraq is 
up to the Iraqis. You and Les Gelb are more optimistic that 
Iraq may hold together and, if you're right, I think that would 
be terrific. I'm pessimistic that the country can hold together 
over the long term. But, nonetheless, the fundamental premise 
of both plans is that the United States should not be engaged 
in nation-building in Iraq; this should be left to the Iraqis.
    Partition is an Iraqi solution. It does not require the 
United States to do anything, although we can, and should, take 
steps, diplomatically and through our financial assistance, 
that can smooth the process, and also to try to deal with the 
regional consequences.
    The alternative to partition is a continued U.S.-led effort 
at nation-building that has not worked for the last 4 years, 
and, in my view, has no prospect for success. That, Mr. 
Chairman, is a formula for war without an end.
    [The prepared statement of Ambassador Galbraith follows:]

Prepared Statement of Ambassador Peter W. Galbraith, Senior Diplomatic 
 Fellow, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, Washington, DC

    Chairman Biden, Senator Lugar, members of the Committee on Foreign 
Relations, thank you for the invitation to testify before this 
committee on alternative strategies toward Iraq. It is a special 
privilege to be here since the committee staff was my professional home 
for 14 years and it is here where I began my education on Iraq.


    It is clear that our present strategy for Iraq has failed miserably 
both in concept and execution. Any new strategy should, I believe, be 
based on the following premises:
    First, the United States needs to extricate itself from Iraq as 
soon as feasible so that we can address other more urgent threats to 
our national security, including from nuclear North Korea and nuclear 
ambitious Iran.
    Second, any new strategy should focus on the objectives that are 
achievable in Iraq consistent with the military and other resources we 
are prepared to commit.
    Third, the starting point for any new strategy for Iraq should be 
the country as it is, not as we wish it were.


    The reality of Iraq is stark. The country has broken up and is in 
the midst of a civil war.
    In the southern half of Iraq, Shiite religious parties and clerics 
have created theocracies policed by militias that number well over 
100,000. In Basra, three religious parties control--and sometimes fight 
over--the 100,000 barrels of oil diverted each day from legal exports 
into smuggling. To the extent that the central government has authority 
in the south, it is because the same Shiite parties that dominate the 
center also control the south.
    Kurdistan in the north is de facto an independent state with its 
own army and its own flag. The Iraqi Army is barred from the region, 
flying the Iraqi flag prohibited, and central government ministries are 
not present. The Kurdish people voted 98.5 percent for independence in 
an informal referendum in January 2005.
    The Sunni center is a battleground between insurgents that command 
widespread local support and U.S. forces. The Iraqi Army, which we 
proclaim to be a national institution, is seen by the Sunni Arabs as a 
largely Shiite force loyal to a Shiite-led government that they see as 
an ally of national enemy, Iran.
    Baghdad is the front line of Iraq's Sunni-Shiite civil war. The 
Mahdi army, the radical Shiite militia, controls the capital's Shiite 
neighborhoods in the east while al-Qaeda offshoots and Baathists 
control the Sunni districts in the west. In Baghdad, and in other 
formerly mixed areas, extremists are engaging in brutal sectarian 
cleansing with a death toll probably in excess of 200 a day.


    The Bush administration's strategy for Iraq rests on two pillars: 
First, an inclusive and effective national unity government that 
represents Iraq's Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds; and, second, the 
development of effective Iraqi Army and police that can take over 
security responsibilities from U.S. forces.
    Iraq does not have a government of national unity. Prime Minister 
Nouri al-Maliki pursues a sectarian Shiite agenda, as seen most 
dramatically in the manner in which he carried out Saddam Hussein's 
execution. The Maliki government is keen to fight the Sunni 
insurgents--or to be more precise, to have the U.S. military fight 
Sunni insurgents--but has resisted all steps to disband Shiite 
militias. But, even if Iraq had a genuine national unity government, it 
would be largely irrelevant. There is no part of the country where the 
government actually exercises significant authority.
    Iraq's Army and police are either Shiite or Sunni. In Baghdad, the 
Shiite death squads that target Sunnis are the police. In Sunni areas, 
the police are often insurgent sympathizers or insurgents. Iraq's Army, 
while somewhat better, is divided into Shiite, Sunni, and Kurdish 
battalions. These are ultimately loyal not to the nominal chain of 
command, but to their sects, or, in the case of the Kurds, to the 
Kurdistan Regional Government. In a country in the midst of a civil 
war, it is unrealistic to believe that Iraq's security forces can 
somehow be different from the country itself.
    Iraq's security forces are not neutral guarantors of public 
security but combatants in a civil war. U.S. training has not made, and 
will not make, these forces into Iraqis. It will only create more 
lethal combatants in a civil war.
    what would be required to achieve a democratic and unified iraq
    To achieve the Bush administration's stated goal of a self-
sustaining unified and democratic Iraq, the United States would have to 
undertake two major military missions that it is not now undertaking.
    First, it would have to disarm, forcefully, Iraq's Shiite militias 
and dismantle the Shiite theocracies that these militias keep in power. 
This would bring the United States into direct conflict with Iraq's 
Shiite power structure. The Shiites are three times as numerous as the 
Sunni Arabs, possess more powerful armed forces, and have in 
neighboring Iran a powerful ally.
    Second, the United States would have to end Iraq's civil war. This 
means deploying U.S. troops to serve as the police in Baghdad and other 
mixed areas for an indefinite period of time. These are not tasks that 
can be handled by Iraqi security forces since there are no such forces 
that are trusted by both Sunnis and Shiites.
    The Bush administration has no intention of undertaking either of 
these missions which would require many more troops, mean significantly 
greater casualties (especially if we tried to use our troops as 
police), and probably not succeed.


    The alternative is to accept the reality--an Iraq that has broken 
up--and work with its components. We should get out of the business of 
nation-building in Iraq and respect the democratic decision of the 
Iraqis to have a country of strong regions and a powerless center.
    Iraq's Constitution, adopted by 80 percent of Iraq's people, is a 
roadmap to partition. It recognizes Kurdistan as a self-governing 
region and permits other parts of the country to form regions. Iraq's 
Council of Representatives has already passed a law paving the way to 
the formation of a Shiite ``super region'' in 15 months.
    Under the constitution, Iraq's regions can have their own armies 
(called Regional Guards) and exercise substantial control over their 
natural resources including oil. Except for the short list of exclusive 
federal powers listed in article 110 of the Iraqi Constitution, 
regional law is superior to federal law. By design, Iraq's Constitution 
makes it difficult for the central government to function and its few 
powers do not even include taxation.


    By accepting the reality of Iraq, we can see a path to withdrawal. 
The Shiite south is stable, albeit theocratic and pro-Iranian. If we 
are not going to disband the militias and local theocracies--which we 
allowed to become established during the CPA's formal occupation of 
Iraq--there is no purpose served by a continued coalition presence in 
the Shiite southern half of Iraq. We should withdraw immediately.
    In the Sunni center, our current strategy involves handing off 
combat duties to the Iraqi Army. Mostly, it is Shiite battalions that 
fight in the Sunni Arab areas, as the Sunni units are not reliable. 
What the Bush administration portrays as Iraqi, the local population 
sees as a hostile force loyal to a Shiite-dominated government in 
Baghdad installed by the Americans invader and closely aligned with the 
traditional enemy, Iran. The more we ``Iraqize'' the fight in the Sunni 
heartland, the more we strengthen the insurgency.
    If the Sunni Arabs were to form their own region, they could take 
control of their own security. Right now, the choice for ordinary 
Sunnis is between what they see as a radical Shiite government that 
sponsors anti-Sunni death squads and their own extremists. Within the 
establishment of a Sunni region, the choice becomes one between 
nationalist and traditional leadership on the one hand and the Islamic 
extremists on the other. Outsiders can influence this choice by 
providing economic incentives for a more moderate Sunni Arab 
government. The United States should state that it will withdraw from 
the Sunni Arab region when its Regional Guard is established.
    So far, the Sunni Arabs have been the strongest opponents of 
federalism in Iraq. But, with Kurdistan already in existence and a 
Shiite region likely on its way, the Sunnis are faced with a choice 
between governing themselves or being governed by a Shiite-dominated 
central government in Baghdad.


    Because it is Iraq's most mixed city, Baghdad is the front line of 
Iraq's Sunni-Shiite civil war. It is tragedy for its people--most of 
whom do not share the sectarian hatred that is fueling a killing spree 
that is taking several thousand lives a month. Iraqi forces cannot end 
the civil war because many of them are partisans of one side, and the 
proposed surge of U.S. troops will not end it. There is no good 
solution to Baghdad. Ideally, the United States could help broker a 
political deal for power-sharing among Sunnis and Shiites (with space 
for the much smaller Christian, Mandean/Sabean, Turkmen, and Kurdish 
communities). But, the reality is that Baghdad is already divided. A 
formal division into Shiite and Sunni sectors may be the only way to 
halt the effort by Shiite militias to enlarge the Shiite parts of the 
    Unless the United States is prepared to assume long-term police 
duties in Baghdad, we should withdraw our troops from the city. If we 
withdraw, there will be sectarian cleansing of mixed neighborhoods and 
sectarian killing. And, this will be the case if we stay with our 
current forces or even after the modest surge now being discussed.


    Kurdistan is Iraq's most stable region. It is the one part of the 
country that is the pro-Western, secular, and aspiring democracy that 
the Bush administration had hoped for all of Iraq. The United States 
should work to strengthen democratic institutions in Kurdistan as well 
as the military capabilities of the Kurdistan military (the peshmerga) 
which is Iraq's only reliable indigenous military force.
    Iraq's Constitution provides for a referendum to be held by the end 
of this year to determine the status of Kirkuk and other areas disputed 
between Kurds and Arabs. Holding this referendum has the potential to 
increase, significantly, violence in areas that are ethnically mixed. 
On the other hand, Kirkuk has been a source of conflict in Iraq for 
seven decades. Failing to resolve the matter at a time when there is a 
constitutionally agreed process to do so is also likely to produce 
conflict and is destabilizing over the long term.
    Because of our special relationship with the Kurds, the United 
States has clout that it does not enjoy elsewhere in the country. The 
United States should engage in a major diplomatic effort to resolve the 
boundaries of Kurdistan through negotiation wherever possible. The 
Kurds, who hold the upper hand in much of this disputed territory, 
should be cautioned about the dangers of overreaching. With regard to 
Kirkuk, the U.S. diplomacy should focus on entrenching power-sharing 
among the governorate's four communities--Kurds, Turkmen, Arabs, and 
Chaldean/Assyrians--so that all have a stake in Kirkuk regardless of 
the outcome of the referendum.


    The United States has one overriding interest in Iraq today--to 
keep al-Qaeda and like-minded Salafi terrorist groups from having a 
base from which they can plot attacks on the United States. If Sunni 
Arabs cannot provide for their own security, the United States must be 
prepared to reengage.
    This is best accomplished by placing a small over-the-horizon force 
in Kurdistan. The Kurds are among the most pro-American people in the 
world and would welcome a U.S. military presence, not the least because 
it would help protect them from Arab Iraqis who resent their close 
cooperation with the United States during the 2003 war and thereafter. 
From Kurdistan, the U.S. military could readily move back into any 
Sunni Arab area where al-Qaeda or its allies established a base. The 
Kurdish peshmerga would willingly assist their American allies with 
intelligence and operationally. By deploying to what is still nominally 
Iraqi territory, the United States would avoid the political 
complications--in the United States and in Iraq--involved in reentering 
Iraq following a total withdrawal.

                        WILL IRAQ STAY TOGETHER?

    Can Iraq survive as a loose federation? Over the short term, Iraq's 
Kurdish and Shiite leaders are committed to the constitutional 
arrangements while the Sunni Arabs say that they want a more 
centralized state. Both Sunni Arabs and Shiites identify as Iraqis, 
although they have radically different visions as to what Iraq should 
be. The creation of Sunni and Shiite federal units, therefore, is not 
likely to lead to a full separation. Rather, by giving each community 
their own entity, federalism can help avoid the alternative where 
Sunnis and Shiites fight a prolonged civil war for control of all Arab 
    The Kurds do not identify as Iraqis. They associate Iraq with 
decades of repression and with Saddam Hussein's genocide. Almost 
unanimously, Iraqi Kurds want their own independent state. Keeping 
people in a state they hate is a formula for never ending conflict of 
the sort that has characterized the entire history of modern Iraq. The 
United States may--and for the time being probably should--delay 
Kurdistan's full independence, but we cannot prevent it. Our real 
interest is in preventing the violent break up of Iraq, and not in 
holding together a country that brought nonstop misery to the majority 
of its people for its entire history.

     Partition and Withdraw: A Strategy to Get the U.S. Out of Iraq

    Summary: Accept the partition of Iraq that has already taken place, 
withdraw from Arab Iraq, and redeploy a small force to Kurdistan that 
can strike at al-Qaeda if necessary.
    Key Facts: Iraq has broken up and is in the midst of a civil war. 
Kurdistan in the north is a de facto independent state with its own 
army. The Shiite south is governed separately from Baghdad. The Iraqi 
Parliament has approved a law paving the way for the formation of a 
Shiite ``super region'' in 15 months. The Sunni center is a 
battleground and Baghdad is the front line of the Sunni-Shiite civil 
    Iraq's Constitution ratifies the country's partition, recognizing 
Kurdistan as a self-governing region and permitting other parts of the 
country to form regions. Under the Constitution, Iraq's regions can 
have their own armies (called Regional Guards) and exercise substantial 
control over their natural resources including oil. Except for the 
short list of exclusive federal powers listed in Article 110 of the 
Iraqi Constitution, regional law is superior to federal law. By design, 
Iraq's Constitution makes it difficult for the central government to 
function and its few powers do not even include taxation. To achieve a 
unified and democratic Iraq, the United States would have to use its 
military to end the civil war, build a strong central government over 
the objections of the Kurds and many Shiites, and be prepared to remain 
in Iraq indefinitely. Even so, the prospects for success would be 
    Policy Recommendations:
    1. Accept the reality of partition and work with the regions that 
emerge to develop stable regional governments with competent security 
    2. Use deplomacy to smooth the path to partition by helping resolve 
territorial disputes between regions, and notably between Kurdistan and 
Arab Iraq over Kirkuk.
    3. Facilitate a solution to Baghdad either by devising a plan for 
power sharing between Sunnis and Shiites in the city or by dividing it 
along current sectarian boundaries.
    4. Mitigate the humanitarian consequences of Iraq's civil war with 
assistance to displaced populations.
    5. Withdraw coalition forces immediately from Iraq's Shiite south 
where they are not needed for stability.
    6. Withdraw rapidly from most of Baghdad recognizing that the U.S. 
military is not prepared to become the police of the city.
    7. State that the U.S. will withdraw from the Iraq's Sunni areas at 
such time as the Sunnis are prepared to assume security for their own 
    8. Retain an ``over-the-horizon'' U.S. military force in pro-
American Kurdistan that could intervene against al-Qaeda and other 
global terrorist organizations if necessary.
    9. Delay Iraq's formal breakup as long as possible while preparing 
neighbors to accept peacefully the new reality.

    The Chairman. Thank you very much.
    Dr. Kagan.


    Dr. Kagan. Mr. Chairman, honorable members of this----
    The Chairman. Again, welcome.
    Dr. Kagan [continuing]. Committee, I'm very grateful for 
the opportunity to speak before you today on this issue that is 
of such great importance to our Nation.
    Iraq is clearly in a very dire situation right now, and no 
objective observer could deny that. And we face, at this 
moment, I believe, a series of very difficult choices among 
options, none of which are pleasant, none of which can promise 
success, all of which carry increased risk, of one form or 
    I'd like to stress that I do believe that there is an 
option that can succeed in at least offering us a chance to 
move forward toward a road that would actually be acceptable to 
us over the long term. And I do believe that that option is 
embodied in the plan that I have presented at AEI, some time 
ago, in the report called ``Choosing Victory.''
    But I'd like, first, to highlight the fact that I believe 
that we have come to a point of bifurcation in the history of 
the world. And I don't think that's too strong a statement. I 
think that it is impossible to overstate how much rides on the 
outcome of the war in Iraq today.
    A number of experts from various parties and persuasions 
have looked at the possibility and likelihood of containing a 
civil war in Iraq that is now underway, and preventing it from 
spreading throughout the region, without actually tamping it 
down and bringing it under control in Iraq. And the conclusions 
are very, very poor; very, very pessimistic.
    Judging from past civil wars, ethnosectarian conflicts 
around the world, it is very clear that a civil war, allowed to 
proceed unchecked in Iraq as the result of a precipitate 
American withdrawal, is highly likely to spread violence 
throughout the entire region, destabilize Iraq's neighbors, and 
may quite possibly lead to regional conflict. This is not 
something that the United States could view with any degree of 
equanimity. This is not Southeast Asia, this is not a part of 
the world that we can walk away from, this is a region that 
will always be at the center of America's vital interests in 
the world, and not an area where we can simply watch idly as 
conflict expands and brings in ever more warriors.
    Unfortunately, I think this nightmare scenario is not 
improbable if we do not bring the violence in Iraq under 
control and work hard to reestablish an Iraqi State that can 
govern its territory and maintain its own security and defend 
itself against foes, internal and external. And I do believe 
that it is possible to do that.
    We have not succeeded in Iraq, so far, because we have not 
applied sound strategy to this conflict. I think that's very 
clear. I've been making that case consistently, honestly, even 
since before the war began. Sound strategy requires--sound 
strategy in counterinsurgency requires, first and foremost, 
providing security to the population. When people have to wake 
up in the morning and wonder and worry if they and their 
families will live to see the evening, they will not 
participate in the political process in a normal way, they will 
not participate in economic processes in a normal way, they 
will not interact with one another, even with family and 
friends and neighbors, in a normal way. That is a fact of human 
nature, and it has been seen in many, many conflicts.
    It is no surprise to me, therefore, that the Iraqis, thus 
far, have not been behaving in the manner that we would like 
them to behave in. That is to say, a manner that is 
characterized by compromise and civility and inclusiveness. 
When the violence has reached the point that we have allowed it 
to reach through not working hard enough to bring it under 
control, it is natural for Iraqi sects and groups to turn to 
them--to turn to their own powers and their own capabilities to 
defend each other, and it is, unfortunately, also natural for 
them to begin to attack each other.
    Iraq does not, in fact, have a long history of vast 
sectarian conflict ripping it apart from age to age. The level 
of violence that we're seeing now is unusual in Iraqi history, 
as it is unusual in the history of most states. I do believe 
that we can work to bring it under control, and I do believe 
that bringing security to the Iraqi people, in the first 
instance, will enable them to begin to make the difficult 
choices and compromises that will be so essential to allow them 
to move forward to create the sort of stable state that we 
desire, and that they desire.
    I do not believe that solutions such as partition will be 
effective or will be, rather, tolerable. Unfortunately, it is 
not the case that Iraq is now divided neatly into three zones 
which can simply each be given its own government. Although 
there has been sectarian cleansing going on in Baghdad and in 
other cities in Iraq, Baghdad remains a mixed city. Many of its 
neighborhoods remain mixed between sects. And actually dividing 
the country into three zones will require, de facto, an 
enormous amount more sectarian cleansing. Another word for this 
process, I believe, will be ``genocide,'' as I believe that the 
increasing escalation of violence that is the normal part of 
any widespread sectarian cleansing generally leads to such 
    I do not believe that the United States can stand by, 
purely from an ethical perspective, and watch that occur. And I 
would remind the committee that it was the position of 
especially the Democratic Party and the Clinton administration 
in the 1990s that it was intolerable for the United States to 
stand idly by and watch as ethnic cleansing and genocide went 
on in the Balkans. I really can't imagine how we could believe 
that it could be tolerable now to permit, and, indeed, even 
encourage, that to occur, when we are so clearly partially 
responsible for the circumstances in which this violence has 
    But I want to emphasize, we are not in Iraq, in my view, 
for the benefit of the Iraqis; we are in Iraq, in my view, in 
pursuit of American national interests. And the national 
interest, at this point, is the prevention of the development 
of regional civil war and regional violence on a scale that 
would be intolerable to us. And I believe that, purely in the 
service of our own interests, if nothing else, it is vital that 
we work to bring the violence under control.
    Now, we have put forward a plan, which we have presented in 
great detail, called ``Choosing Victory,'' in which we 
recommend the introduction of additional U.S. forces into 
Baghdad and into Al Anbar province. We believe that this plan 
is workable. We brought together a group of military planners 
with significant experience--recent experience--in Iraq. We 
were advised, by General Jack Keane, the former Chief--Vice 
Chief of Staff of the Army, and lieutenant general, retired, 
David Barno, and a number of other officers who gave us their 
wisdom. And we looked very carefully at what we believed the 
military requirements would be of bringing security to the 
vital Sunni and mixed Sunni-Shia neighborhoods in Baghdad as 
the beginning of an operation to pacify the entire city, which 
would then enable us to move beyond Baghdad into troubled areas 
in Diyala, Salah ad-Din, and elsewhere. We also believe that it 
was necessary to increase our forces in Al Anbar province, 
which is another base of the Sunni insurgency, in order to 
prevent insurgents from moving easily back and forth between 
that province and Baghdad.
    We emphasize that we do not believe that this security 
operation, by itself, will lead to success in Iraq. It is, 
rather, the essential precondition for moving forward with the 
host of reconciliation initiatives, political developments, and 
economic development that will be vital, in the end, to 
resolving this conflict.
    There has been much complaint about the fact that the Iraqi 
Armed Forces are not ethnically mixed, not sectarianly mixed. 
Of course they're not. You do not--you cannot recruit Sunni 
Arabs into a force when the insurgents are terrorizing their 
families and killing their family members when they join the 
army. As we have seen in Tal Afar and Ramadi and in other 
places, when you can bring security to an area, you can then 
begin to recruit Sunni Arabs and other ethnicities and sects 
into the armed forces and produce a more balanced force. 
Security is the precondition.
    I will freely say, because I have said it consistently all 
along, that the Bush administration has made an error in not 
prioritizing the establishment of security in Iraq. I do not 
believe--and it was our considered opinion when we studied this 
problem very carefully--we do not believe that the situation is 
so far gone that no solution is feasible.
    People have challenged the numbers of troops that would be 
required to do this. I would say they should explain--the 
burden is on them to explain what forces they think would be 
necessary, and on what basis they make the calculation. We have 
been completely open and transparent on the basis for our force 
calculations, which are in line with traditional 
counterinsurgency practice and also with the experience of 
operations in Iraq previously. We believe that these forces 
will be adequate to provide security in the areas of Baghdad 
that we think is most important.
    We recommended a significant reconstruction effort to 
accompany this program. We are going to be continuing, in 
subsequent phases of this project, to examine changes that we 
think need to be made in the training of the Iraqi Army, the 
training of the Iraqi police, reconstruction efforts, and the 
development of Iraqi governmental structures, and so forth. We 
clearly do believe our study is something that will take some 
time, and the reconstruction of Iraq is something that will 
take some time, but we are absolutely convinced that simply 
allowing Iraq to collapse now by withdrawing our forces, or by 
trying to carve off some piece of Iraq and protect only that, 
is not in the interest of the United States of America and 
will, in fact, put us in tremendous jeopardy over the long run, 
and possibly even in the short run. And we, therefore, believe 
that it is vital and urgent that we work now to bring the 
situation under control.
    I thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Dr. Kagan follows:]

    Prepared Statement of Dr. Frederick W. Kagan, Resident Scholar, 
             American Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC

      Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq--Phase I Report

    (A Report of the Iraq Planning Group at the American Enterprise 

                           EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    Victory is still an option in Iraq. America, a country of 300 
million people with a GDP of $12 trillion and more than 1 million 
soldiers and marines, has the resources to stabilize Iraq, a state the 
size of California with a population of 25 million and a GDP under $100 
billion. America must use its resources skillfully and decisively to 
help build a successful democratically elected, sovereign government in 
    Victory in Iraq is vital to America's security. Defeat will likely 
lead to regional conflict, humanitarian catastrophe, and increased 
global terrorism.
    Iraq has reached a critical point. The strategy of relying on a 
political process to eliminate the insurgency has failed. Rising 
sectarian violence threatens to break America's will to fight. This 
violence will destroy the Iraqi Government, armed forces, and people if 
it is not rapidly controlled.
    Victory in Iraq is still possible at an acceptable level of effort. 
We must adopt a new approach to the war and implement it quickly and 
    We must act now to restore security and stability to Baghdad. We 
and the enemy have identified it as the decisive point.
    There is a way to do this.

   We must balance our focus on training Iraqi soldiers with a 
        determined effort to secure the Iraqi population and contain 
        the rising violence. Securing the population has never been the 
        primary mission of the U.S. military effort in Iraq, and now it 
        must become the first priority.
   We must send more American combat forces into Iraq and 
        especially into Baghdad to support this operation. A surge of 
        seven Army brigades and Marine regiments to support clear-and-
        hold operations that begin in the spring of 2007 is necessary, 
        possible, and will be sufficient to improve security and set 
        conditions for economic development, political development, 
        reconciliation, and the development of Iraqi Security Forces 
        (ISF) to provide permanent security.
   American forces, partnered with Iraqi units, will clear 
        high-violence Sunni and mixed Sunni-Shia neighborhoods, 
        primarily on the west side of the city.
   After those neighborhoods are cleared, U.S. soldiers and 
        marines, again partnered with Iraqis, will remain behind to 
        maintain security, reconstitute police forces, and integrate 
        police and Iraqi Army efforts to maintain the population's 
   As security is established, reconstruction aid will help to 
        reestablish normal life, bolster employment, and, working 
        through Iraqi officials, strengthen Iraqi local government.
   Securing the population strengthens the ability of Iraq's 
        central government to exercise its sovereign powers.

    This approach requires a national commitment to victory in Iraq:

   The ground forces must accept longer tours for several 
        years. National Guard units will have to accept increased 
        deployments during this period.
   Equipment shortages must be overcome by transferring 
        equipment from nondeploying Active Duty, National Guard, and 
        Reserve units to those about to deploy. Military industry must 
        be mobilized to provide replacement equipment sets urgently.
   The President must request a dramatic increase in 
        reconstruction aid for Iraq. Responsibility and accountability 
        for reconstruction must be assigned to established agencies. 
        The President must insist upon the completion of reconstruction 
        projects. The President should also request a dramatic increase 
        in Commander's Emergency Response Program (CERP) funds.
   The President must request a substantial increase in ground 
        forces end-strength. This increase is vital to sustaining the 
        morale of the combat forces by ensuring that relief is on the 
        way. The President must issue a personal call for young 
        Americans to volunteer to fight in the decisive conflict of 
        this generation.
   The President and his representatives in Iraq must forge 
        unity of effort with the Iraqi Government.

    Other courses of action have been proposed. All will fail.

   Withdraw immediately. This approach will lead to immediate 
        defeat. The Iraqi Security Forces are entirely dependent upon 
        American support to survive and function. If U.S. forces 
        withdraw now, the Iraqi forces will collapse. Iraq will descend 
        into total civil war that will rapidly spread throughout the 
        Middle East.
   Engage Iraq's neighbors. This approach will fail. The basic 
        causes of violence and sources of manpower and resources for 
        the warring sides come from within Iraq. Iraq's neighbors are 
        encouraging the violence, but they cannot stop it.
   Increase embedded trainers dramatically. This approach 
        cannot succeed rapidly enough to prevent defeat. Removing U.S. 
        forces from patrolling neighborhoods to embed them as trainers 
        will lead to an immediate rise in violence. This rise in 
        violence will destroy America's remaining will to fight and 
        escalate the cycle of sectarian violence in Iraq beyond 
        anything an Iraqi Army could bring under control.

    Failure in Iraq today will require far greater sacrifices tomorrow 
in far more desperate circumstances.
    Committing to victory now will demonstrate America's strength to 
our friends and enemies around the world.


    American forces in Iraq today are engaged in the pivotal struggle 
of our age. If the United States allows Iraq to slide into full-scale 
civil war, characterized by the collapse of the central government and 
the widespread mobilization of the population in internal conflict, the 
consequences will be epochal. Internal strife in Iraq has already 
generated a large displaced population within the country and 
significant refugee flows into neighboring lands. Those neighbors, both 
Sunni and Shia, have already made clear their determination to enter 
Iraq and its struggles if America withdraws and the conflict escalates 
into greater sectarian violence or civil war. Iraq's diverse neighbors, 
however, have opposing interests in how the conflict is settled. 
Consequently, failure in Iraq now will likely lead to regional war, 
destabilizing important states in the Middle East and creating a 
fertile ground for terrorism.
    Success in Iraq, on the other hand, would transform the 
international situation. Success will give the United States critical 
leverage against Iran, which is now positioning itself to become the 
regional hegemon after our anticipated defeat. It will strengthen 
America's position around the world, where our inability to contain 
conflict in Iraq is badly tarnishing our stature. And success will 
convert a violent, chaotic region in the heart of the Middle East and 
on the front line of the Sunni-Shiite divide into a secure state able 
to support peace within its borders and throughout the region. There 
can be no question that victory in Iraq is worth considerable American 
effort or that defeat would be catastrophic.
    Some now argue that victory is beyond our grasp. America cannot (or 
should not) involve itself in civil, sectarian conflicts, they say, and 
the troops required to control such conflicts are larger than the U.S. 
military could possibly deploy. Neither of these arguments is valid. 
The United States has faced ethnosectarian conflict on at least five 
occasions in the past 15 years. In Somalia, Afghanistan, and Rwanda, 
successive American administrations allowed the conflicts to continue 
without making any serious attempts to control or contain them. The 
results have been disastrous. Inaction in Afghanistan in the 1990s led 
to the rise of the Taliban and its support for Osama bin Laden and al-
Qaeda--and therefore indirectly to the 9/11 attacks. Inaction, indeed 
humiliation, in Somalia led to a larger civil war in which radical 
Islamists took control of most of the country by the end of 2006. In 
late December, the conflict took a new turn as Ethiopian troops invaded 
Somalia in support of the internationally recognized transitional 
government. A civil war has become a regional war, as civil wars often 
do. In Rwanda, civil war and genocide also spread, involving Congo and, 
indeed, much of sub-Saharan Africa in widespread conflict and death. 
One clear lesson of post-cold-war conflicts is that ignoring civil wars 
is dangerous and can generate grave, unintended consequences for 
America's future security.
    The United States has recently intervened, along with its allies, 
to control ethnically and religiously motivated civil wars on two 
occasions, however, in 1995 in Bosnia and in 1999 in Kosovo. Both 
efforts were successful in ending the violence and creating the 
preconditions for peace and political and economic development. The 
parallels are, of course, imperfect; much of the ethnic cleansing had 
already been accomplished in both areas before the United States 
intervened with armed force. In the Balkans, however, the levels of 
violence and death as a proportion of the population were much higher 
than they have been in Iraq. Additionally, the armed forces of the 
states neighboring Bosnia and Kosovo were much more directly involved 
in the struggle than those of Iraq's neighbors. Above all, the 
introduction of U.S. and European forces in strength in Bosnia and 
Kosovo has ended the killing and prevented that conflict from spreading 
throughout the region, as it threatened to do in the 1990s. It is 
possible to contain ethnosectarian civil wars, but only by ending them.
    The United States has the military power necessary to control the 
violence in Iraq. The main purpose of the report that follows is to 
consider in detail what amount of armed force would be needed to bring 
the sectarian violence in Baghdad down to levels that would permit 
economic and political development and real national reconciliation. 
Before turning to that consideration, however, we should reflect on the 
fact that the United States between 2001 and 2006 has committed only a 
small proportion of its total national strength to this struggle. There 
are more than 1 million soldiers in the Active and Reserve ground 
forces, and only 140,000 of them are in Iraq at the moment. Many others 
are engaged in vital tasks in the United States and elsewhere from 
which they could not easily be moved, and soldiers and marines are not 
interchangeable beans. If this war were the vital national priority 
that it should be, however, the United States could commit many more 
soldiers to the fight. This report will address in greater detail some 
of the ways of making more forces available for this struggle.
    The United States could also devote a significantly higher 
proportion of its national wealth to this problem in two ways. First, 
the President has finally called for a significant increase in the size 
of the ground forces--the warriors who are actually shouldering much of 
the burden in this conflict. The United States can and should sustain 
larger ground forces than it now has, both to support operations in 
Iraq and to be prepared for likely contingencies elsewhere. Five years 
into the global war on terror, the Bush administration has recognized 
this urgent need and begun to address it.
    Second, the United States can and must devote significantly more 
resources to helping reconstruction and economic development in Iraq. 
The American GDP is over $13 trillion; Iraq's is about $100 billion. 
America's ability to improve the daily lives of Iraqis is very great, 
even at levels of expenditure that would barely affect the U.S. 
economy. Effective reconstruction and economic development are 
essential components of any counterinsurgency campaign and are urgently 
needed in Iraq. This report will consider how to improve some aspects 
of these necessary programs, which will be considered in more detail in 
subsequent phases of this project.
    But reconstruction, economic development, national reconciliation, 
political development, and many other essential elements of the 
solution to Iraq's problems are all unattainable in the current 
security environment. Violence in Iraq has risen every year since 2003. 
Last year was the bloodiest on record, despite significant military 
operations aimed at reducing the violence in Baghdad. The bombing of 
the Golden Mosque of Samarra in February 2006 accelerated the sectarian 
conflict dramatically, and the fighting has moved beyond insurgents and 
organized militias to neighborhood watch groups engaging in their own 
local violence. This development is ominous because it signals that 
significant portions of the Iraqi population have begun to mobilize for 
full-scale civil war. In this violent context, when so many Iraqi 
individuals and families must worry about their physical survival on a 
daily basis, American proposals that rely on diplomatic, political, and 
economic efforts to resolve the crisis are doomed to failure. Such 
efforts will not succeed until Iraq's population is secure from rampant 
violence. Establishing security in Baghdad, and then in the violent 
regions that surround it, must become the top priority of the American 
military presence in Iraq today. Securing Baghdad to bring the violence 
in Iraq's capital under control must be the centerpiece of a military 
operation that should be launched as rapidly as possible. Effective 
reconstruction and the building of Iraqi governing institutions will 
accompany and follow this military operation. Without such an 
operation, America's defeat in Iraq appears imminent, regardless of any 
other efforts the United States might undertake. The remainder of this 
report will consider the shape and requirements of such an operation, 
the likely enemy responses, and the ways of overcoming them.

                        SECURING THE POPULATION

    The recently released military doctrinal manual on 
counterinsurgency operations declares, ``The cornerstone of any 
[counterinsurgency] effort is establishing security for the civilian 
populace. Without a secure environment, no permanent reforms can be 
implemented and disorder spreads.'' This statement encapsulates the 
wisdom of generations of counterinsurgent theorists and practitioners. 
The importance of establishing security is manifold. First, people who 
are constantly in fear for their lives and for their loved ones do not 
participate in political, economic, or social processes in a normal 
way. The fear of violence and death distorts everything they do, think, 
and feel, and it often changes how they interact even with neighbors 
and friends. When violence reaches a level at which most people feel 
themselves to be in danger, as it has in many areas of Baghdad and 
Anbar, then political processes largely cease to function.
    It is not usually possible to use those collapsing processes to 
redress or control the violence, moreover. In Iraq, as in many other 
insurgencies, rebel groups take up arms in part to gain leverage that 
the political process would not otherwise give them. The Sunni Arab 
rejectionists in Iraq have preferred violence to democracy from the 
outset because they know that they will not control a truly democratic 
Iraq. They have, therefore, hoped to use violence and its threat to 
force the Shiite majority to give them a much greater say in governing 
Iraq than their proportion in the population would attain. As long as 
they believe that violence is providing them with political leverage, 
they will continue to prefer violence to dialogue. Encouraging the 
Shiite government to negotiate with them without first containing the 
violence only reinforces the Sunni Arab rejectionists' belief in the 
efficacy of violence to advance their cause.
    Ongoing violence within a state, finally saps the legitimacy of 
that state's government in the eyes of its citizens. As the U.S. 
military's counterinsurgency manual explains, the first indicator of a 
government's legitimacy is ``the ability to provide security for the 
population (including protection from internal and external threats).'' 
Providing security for its people is the core mission of any state. 
Continual violence and death eliminate the people's support for the 
government, leading to an increase in violence as individuals and 
groups undertake to protect and avenge themselves independently of 
state structures, legal institutions, or government sanction. Allowing 
disorder to persist over the long term is extremely hazardous to the 
health of any government. And America's objective in Iraq is creating a 
secure and sovereign national government elected by the Iraqi people.
    The U.S. Government has not given priority to providing security to 
the Iraqi population from the outset of the war, however. The 
inadequacy of coalition forces at the end of major combat operations to 
maintain order is well-known and well-documented now. It is less well-
known that American forces continued to underemphasize the importance 
of establishing and maintaining security even after the military 
command and the administration recognized that insurgency and low-grade 
civil war were erupting in Iraq. America's commanders in Iraq, notably 
Generals John Abizaid, commander of U.S. Central Command since mid-
2003, and George Casey, commander of Multi-National Forces-Iraq (MNF-I) 
since mid-2004, have instead emphasized the need for Iraqis to solve 
their own security problems. The leading U.S. commanders have, 
therefore, prioritized using U.S. troops to establish and train Iraqi 
Security Forces. Indeed, American military commanders have never 
pursued the defeat of the enemy even after it became obvious that Iraqi 
forces lacked the ability to do so. As a result, the United States has 
ceded the initiative to the enemies of the United States and the Iraqi 
Government and permitted the steady deterioration of the security 
    The basis of the Abizaid-Casey strategy is twofold: American forces 
in Iraq are an irritant and generate insurgents who want to drive us 
out of their country, and the Iraqis must be able to create and 
maintain their own stability lest they become permanently dependent on 
our military presence. Both of these arguments contain elements of 
truth, but realities in Iraq are much more complex.
    The coalition presence in Iraq is an irritant in many areas, and it 
has generated a number of insurgents particularly among former 
Baathists, al-Qaeda and its affiliates, and Sunni Arab rejectionists. 
But this argument is less helpful in evaluating courses of action than 
is commonly supposed. U.S. forces in Iraq currently maintain a very 
light footprint--140,000 troops in a country of 25 million people. Most 
Iraqis surveyed report that they rarely if ever see American forces. 
There is no reason to imagine, moreover, that it matters to the 
insurgency whether there are 100,000, 140,000, or 200,000 Americans in 
    Insurgent rhetoric does not count our soldiers; rather, it 
denounces the presence of any American troops on Iraqi soil. Osama bin 
Laden launched the 9/11 attacks in part because of a far lighter 
American presence in Saudi Arabia--a presence similar to what almost 
every plan for withdrawal from Iraq proposes to maintain in the country 
or the region for years to come. Increases on the scale proposed in 
this report are extraordinarily unlikely to lead to any significant 
increase in the ``irritation'' caused by our presence, particularly in 
the most vivid manifestation of that ``irritation,'' which is the 
propaganda of our enemies. We should remember that our enemies in Iraq 
try to shift blame for their own mass murder attacks against innocent 
civilians to the coalition forces that are assisting the Iraqi 
Government. The problem in Iraq is not so much that coalition forces 
are perceived as occupiers, but rather that coalition forces are 
occupiers who have not made good on their primary responsibility--
securing the population.
    The argument that Iraqis must be able to maintain their own 
security is also valid but incomplete. American forces can clearly 
leave Iraq, successfully, only when there is an Iraqi Government in 
place that controls its own forces and maintains the safety of its 
people. Training Iraqi Security Forces, both the Iraqi Army and police 
forces of various types, is clearly an essential precondition for the 
ultimate withdrawal of U.S. troops. It is not true, however, that the 
United States should allow the violence in Iraq to continue until the 
Iraqi Security Forces can bring it under control on their own or even 
with our support.
    In the first place, there is a world of difference between training 
security forces that can maintain a peace that has already been 
established and training those capable of conducting the complex and 
large-scale counterinsurgency operations that the situation now 
demands. The coalition and the Iraqi Government have been placing 
nascent Iraqi units and their soldiers in extremely difficult and 
dangerous situations that require sophisticated command structures, 
excellent equipment, organization, superior leadership, and exceptional 
individual discipline. By focusing on preparing the Iraqis to do 
everything, the U.S. military command has set the bar too high. There 
are tasks in Iraq, such as clearing enemies out of high-violence 
neighborhoods and securing their populations, that only American forces 
will be able to do for some time. These tasks will not have to be 
repeated if they are done properly the first time. As new, properly 
trained Iraqi units become available, they will be more capable of 
holding areas that have already been cleared and secured than of 
clearing and securing those areas themselves.
    In the second place, the emphasis on training Iraqi forces to 
establish security, themselves, ignores the transition from insurgency 
to nascent civil war now going on in Iraq. Preparing a largely Shiite 
Iraqi Army to suppress a Sunni Arab insurgency always posed a number of 
daunting challenges--many Shia do not want to march into Sunni lands to 
fight; the presence of Shia military units inflames Sunni Arab 
sentiment as much or more than the presence of American forces; and 
Shia military units are much more open both to corruption and to 
committing atrocities that stoke the insurgency than are coalition 
    But the United States cannot rely on a primarily Shiite army to 
bring order to a land torn by sectarian strife because that policy is 
unlikely to end violence in a way that permits national reconciliation. 
Shiite military units cannot be seen as honest brokers in mixed Sunni-
Shia neighborhoods. As the violence continues to rise, moreover, the 
members of the army--all of whom belong to one sect or another--come 
under increasing pressure to desert, commit atrocities, or otherwise 
undermine efforts at national reconciliation. Something similar 
happened to the large and professional Yugoslav Army in the early 
1990s. Rather than keeping the fragmenting state together, the army 
itself fragmented, sending weapons and experienced soldiers to the 
various warring sides and fueling the civil war. If no external force 
works to reduce the violence while the Iraqi Army is training, it is 
virtually certain that the army will sooner or later break under the 
sectarian strain--and with it will go Iraq's only hope for peace in 
this generation.
    Indeed, improved security is a precondition for rebalancing the 
demographic composition of security forces, which is, in turn, a 
prerequisite for preventing their involvement in sectarian or civil war 
and establishing their legitimacy with the Iraqi population. The lack 
of Sunni representation in security forces stems mainly from the 
enemy's ability to hold hostage the families of potential recruits. 
Recent efforts to reconstitute the police and recruit soldiers in 
predominantly Sunni areas such as Tall Afar and Ramadi demonstrate that 
improved security leads to more representative and legitimate security 
    The right strategy is to strike a balance among three concerns 
rather than between two: The United States should be sensitive to the 
danger of flooding Iraq with too many coalition soldiers and of making 
the Iraqis too dependent on the coalition to do everything, but America 
must balance those fears against the imminent danger of allowing the 
security situation to collapse completely.
    The strategy proposed in this plan attempts to redress the 
imbalance in the United States approach so far. This plan proposes a 
moderate increase in American troop levels, but one far below anything 
likely to provoke a massive reaction by the Iraqi people. The plan 
proposes to continue training Iraqi troops, placing them either in the 
lead or in partnership with American units wherever possible. The plan 
encourages such partnership efforts as a path to transferring control 
of Iraq's security to well-prepared Iraqi forces directed by its 
autonomous government, albeit on a more realistic timeline than the 
ones currently under discussion. Above all, the plan proposes to 
redress MNF-I's continual failure to prioritize securing the Iraqi 
    MNF-I's strategy so far has focused on increasing Iraqi 
capabilities, but the violence continues to rise faster than those 
capabilities. Nascent Iraqi forces are not prepared to operate 
effectively in areas where the enemy has succeeded in intimidating and 
coercing the population or has established a strong defensive 
capability. Coalition forces are needed to set conditions for the 
development of ISF as well as the introduction of ISF into contentious 
areas. The correct approach, embodied in the plan proposed below, works 
both to increase Iraqi capabilities and to decrease the violence to a 
level the Iraqis themselves can control. This strategy is the only one 
that can succeed in creating a secure, autonomous, and democratic Iraq 
free of sectarian violence, insurgency, and civil war.

                             THE CHALLENGE

    The challenge facing the United States in Iraq comes primarily from 
a series of enemies who are actively trying to stoke violence and 
create chaos to destroy the current political and social order. Some 
people examining Iraq have become so frustrated and confused by the 
complexity of this challenge that they prefer to throw up their hands 
rather than attempt to cope with it. The challenge is, nevertheless, 
comprehensible. To understand it, one must first consider the geography 
and demography of the capital region and then describe the enemy in 
some detail.
Geography and Demography
    Baghdad is the center of gravity of the conflict in Iraq at this 
moment. Insurgents on all sides have declared that they intend to win 
or die there. It is the capital and center of Iraqi Government. It is 
the base of American power and influence in the country. It is the 
largest and most populous city in Iraq. It is home to one of Iraq's 
largest Shiite communities, but also to many mixed Sunni and Shiite 
communities. Widely publicized American efforts to gain control of the 
violence in Baghdad in Operation Together Forward (conducted in two 
phases in 2006) connected American success in Iraq overall to success 
in Baghdad. For good or ill, the pivotal struggle for Iraq is occurring 
in its capital.
    Baghdad is a city of some 6 million people that straddles the 
Tigris River. Northeast of the Army Canal that divides the eastern side 
of the city lies Sadr City, a Shiite slum of more than 2 million 
people. Ministries and government buildings line the Tigris on either 
side. On the western bank lies the Green Zone, an area secured by 
American military forces that houses U.S. military and political 
headquarters, critical Iraqi governmental institutions, and bases for 
some American soldiers. On the western edge of the city is Baghdad 
International Airport (BIAP), home of Camp Victory, one of the largest 
U.S. bases in the country. The road from BIAP to the Green Zone is 
known as ``Route Irish,'' which has gained notoriety for being one of 
the most dangerous stretches of road in Iraq.
    Baghdad is a mixed city on many levels. Most of Baghdad's Shiite 
population live in and around Sadr City and its two satellite 
neighborhoods of Shaab and Ur; many of the Sunnis live on the western 
side of the city. But many neighborhoods and districts are themselves 
mixed, especially those between BIAP and the Green Zone and immediately 
around the Green Zone on both sides of the river. Rising sectarian 
violence is changing this demographic pattern, however, and the mixed 
neighborhoods are increasingly being ``cleansed'' and becoming more 
    Neither the challenges in Iraq nor the solutions even to Baghdad's 
problems are contained entirely in Baghdad, however. Anbar province, 
the large, mostly desert area to the west of Baghdad, contains the core 
of the Sunni Arab rejectionist insurgency. U.S. and Iraqi forces fight 
insurgents for control of Anbar's largest cities, Ramadi and Fallujah, 
while Marines work to root out al-Qaeda and other insurgent and 
terrorist groups throughout the vast province. Insurgents move from 
Anbar into Baghdad and back again, linking these two problematic areas 
inextricably. Even the insurgents who regularly operate in Baghdad have 
bases outside of the city, especially in the villages near Taji to the 
north and Iskandariyah to the south. These two settlement belts provide 
a great deal of support to the enemy operating in the capital. Diyala 
province, which lies to the north and east of Baghdad, is another 
important insurgent base. The Diyala River flows through its province's 
capital city of Baquba and, finally, into the Tigris River just south 
of Baghdad. Sunni rejectionists and al-Qaeda operatives follow the 
Diyala River toward Baghdad and then, leaving its course, launch 
strikes into the heart of Sadr City. Baghdad is, therefore, a nexus of 
violence drawn from a number of regions outside the city. Baghdad also 
contains its own internal violent dynamic into which these outside 
forces flow.
The Enemy
    There is violence in Iraq today because it suits certain groups and 
individuals to disrupt the development of normal political and economic 
life in that country through intimidation, terrorism, and killing. 
Violence on this scale is not historically normal to Iraq (or virtually 
any other country, for that matter), and it is not a force of nature. 
Too often violent events in Iraq are reported in the passive voice, as 
though no agent in particular caused them. This sense of directionless, 
almost purposeless violence is one of the major factors hindering the 
intelligent consideration of America's options in this conflict. Before 
entering into the consideration of one such option, therefore, we must 
first consider the enemies of peace and order in Iraq. These can be 
broken into six main groups: Three Sunni Arab and three Shiite.
    Sunni Arab Insurgent Groups. Sunni Arab violence in Iraq has gone 
through three main phases. Even before coalition forces invaded in 
March 2003, Saddam Hussein had prepared to sustain a guerrilla war if 
he was attacked. He formed the Fedayeen Saddam, fighters trained and 
motivated to conduct irregular warfare, and sprinkled them throughout 
Iraq (most likely to suppress the Shiite insurgency he expected to 
follow an American withdrawal, as had happened after the 1991 
invasion). When major combat operations ended without securing much of 
the country, these fighters joined thousands of soldiers and officers 
of the defeated conventional army in an inchoate resistance. This 
resistance was networked but not centrally directed, although Saddam 
and his sons, Uday and Qusay, tried to organize it when they were in 
hiding. When coalition forces killed Uday and Qusay in Mosul in July 
2003 and captured Saddam in December 2003 near Tikrit, the Baathist 
resistance was weakened but not destroyed. It continues to play an 
important part in generating anticoalition violence, especially in 
Anbar and Baghdad.
    At the turn of 2004, however, a new force was emerging within the 
Sunni Arab resistance--terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda in Iraq 
(run by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi until his death in June 2006 and now by 
Abu Ayyub al-Masri, also known as Abu Hamza al-Muhajer) and Ansar al-
Sunna. Al-Qaeda in Iraq focused its efforts on more spectacularly 
violent and symbolic attacks, rather than conducting the smaller 
attacks upon coalition troops using the improvised explosive devices 
(IEDs) favored by the Baathists. Al-Qaeda in Iraq also favored 
attacking Iraqi civilians and government leaders. Zarqawi struck Iraqis 
who were cooperating with the government, but also attacked the Shiite 
community aggressively with the avowed aim of provoking a Sunni-Shia 
civil war. His efforts culminated with the destruction of the Golden 
Mosque of Samarra in February 2006, which incited a dramatic increase 
in the level of Sunni-Shia violence in Iraq, an increase that has 
continued even after his death.
    The increase in sectarian violence has spawned yet another type of 
Sunni Arab group--vigilantes who organize as neighborhood defense 
militias in Baghdad ostensibly to protect their areas from Shiite 
attacks. These groups have formed primarily because American forces 
have chosen not to provide security to the population and Iraqis have 
been unable to do so; while Shiite militias (which this report will 
consider presently) have ruthlessly targeted Sunni Arab civilians. 
These groups tend to be self-organizing and to have more limited goals, 
although some become tied to al-Qaeda in Iraq, Ansar al-Sunna, 
Baathists, or other larger organizations. The rise of these vigilante 
groups is in some respects the most disturbing phenomenon in Iraq. It 
indicates a dramatic increase in popular participation in the struggle 
and is a step on the road to the mobilization of the Iraqi population 
for full-scale civil war. This vigilante violence is also more inchoate 
and less subject to either negotiation or political control. It is an 
extremely dangerous development that must be checked as rapidly as 
    The goals of these various groups are divergent but in some 
respects complementary. The Baathists initially sought the restoration 
of Saddam Hussein or one of their leaders to power. The trial and 
execution of Saddam have largely eliminated that goal, but the Baathist 
movement has resurrected itself as an Iraqi nationalist front aimed at 
ridding Iraq of foreign ``occupying'' forces and restoring the rule of 
the Sunni Arabs in some form. Baathists are also posing as defenders of 
local populations against Shiite depredations. The absence of security 
in Sunni neighborhoods makes this enemy's claim credible to local 
populations and enables Baathists to recruit more insurgents to their 
    The ideology of al-Qaeda in Iraq and affiliated groups complements 
that of the Baathists in some respects, but not in others. These 
various groups agree that they want coalition forces out of Iraq and 
the Sunni Arabs in control of the country. But whereas the Baathists 
pursue a more secularist and nationalist agenda, the aim of al-Qaeda in 
Iraq is to establish Taliban-style sharia government in Iraq. They hope 
then to use Iraq as a base from which to expand their theocracy to 
other Muslim states. Al-Qaeda in Iraq has been working tirelessly since 
early 2004 to incite sectarian violence in the belief that it would 
energize the Sunni community in Iraq and provide the terrorists with 
the recruits they need to triumph there and elsewhere in the Muslim 
world. To this end, they have focused on mass attacks against civilians 
and major landmarks such as the Golden Mosque, while the Baathists have 
focused much more heavily on coalition and Iraqi military targets. The 
lines between these two groups are blurring, however, as the first 
generation of fighters is being killed off and replaced by Sunni 
nationalists with stronger Islamist leanings. It is becoming in some 
ways more difficult rather than less to contemplate splitting these two 
groups apart.
    The aims of Sunni vigilante groups are more disparate and less 
clear. Most were formed to protect local Sunni populations from Shiite 
attacks, and that security function remains the core of their identity. 
Some have taken advantage of opportunities to drive Shiites out of 
their neighborhoods or nearby areas, contributing to the sectarian 
cleansing in Baghdad. Some are drawn to the Baathist or terrorist 
ideologies. These groups conduct small-scale attacks and are not 
centralized or highly coordinated.
    The Sunni Arab insurgent groups cooperate relatively well despite 
disagreements about their ultimate aims. This cooperation results 
mainly from their shared sense that the Sunni community is under attack 
and fighting for its survival. The secular Baathists, Islamist 
terrorists, and vigilante groups could not form a coherent political 
program and would not try to do so. Baathists and Islamists cooperate 
in attacking coalition targets, but even within the Islamist community 
there is growing disagreement about the desirability or morality of 
attacking Iraqi civilians--al-Qaeda in Iraq continues to pursue this 
approach, but Ansar al-Sunna rejects it. Vigilante groups attack Shiite 
civilians in the name of self-defense because of the lack of security 
in and around their communities. As long as the Sunni Arabs feel 
besieged and beleaguered, attempts to splinter these groups politically 
are unlikely to be successful despite the differences in their aims and 
targeting preferences. All of them draw great strength and their main 
recruiting tools from the violence in Iraq and the growing sectarian 
struggle. They are not likely to abandon their own use of force as long 
as that violence remains at a high enough level to justify their 
actions as attempts to defend the Sunni Arab community from attack 
while they further their own ideological objectives.
    Shiite Insurgent Groups. The Shiite political community in Iraq is 
broken into a number of significant groups and parties, but Shiite 
insurgents generally fall into one of three groups. The Jaysh al-Mahdi 
(Mahdi Army) is nominally under the control of renegade cleric Moqtada 
al-Sadr. This group took to the streets in large numbers in 2004, 
especially in its strongholds of Najaf and Karbala, from which it was 
cleared by a large scale yet careful coalition military operation. The 
Badr Corps is the military arm of the Supreme Council for Islamic 
Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), of which Abdul Aziz al-Hakim is the leader. 
This group was formed and supported by Iran in the 1980s and continues 
to maintain close ties to Tehran, although the degree of Iran's control 
of SCIRI and the Badr Corps is unclear. The third group of Shiite 
fighters is the vigilantes who have sprung up in Sadr City and Shiite 
and mixed neighborhoods in Baghdad, much as the Sunni vigilante groups 
have grown in this period of chaos.
    The Badr Corps and the Jaysh al-Mahdi share some goals and 
concerns, but not others. They both seek to establish Shiite sharia law 
in Iraq and to ensure Shiite domination of the country. They are both 
concerned about Sunni rejectionism and the Sunni insurgency, which has 
provided the principal justification for their efforts to recruit and 
maintain their militias. Al-Qaeda in Iraq's relentless attacks on 
Shiite civilians have powerfully supported their justification and 
aided their recruiting.
    Hakim and Sadr also agree in principle that the coalition forces 
should withdraw rapidly, but they do not agree on the importance of 
this objective or the need to take action to secure it. Sadr has long 
identified the U.S. presence as an intolerable violation of Iraq's 
sovereignty, and his forces have often attacked coalition forces in an 
effort to force them to withdraw. Hakim and SCIRI have taken a much 
more moderate approach. They understand that the aims of coalition 
policy in Iraq would leave the Shiites in control of the country, and 
they are more tolerant of the presence of coalition forces that keep 
the Sunni insurgency under control. They have been far less aggressive 
about attacking coalition forces. Both groups have, however, 
consistently supported the killing and torture of Sunni Arabs to 
cleanse areas and neighborhoods and create solid blocks of Shiite 
    The Jaysh al-Mahdi and the Badr Corps will be the main military 
rivals for power in a post-U.S. Iraq. Both observed the destruction of 
Sadr's militia in 2004 and are reluctant to repeat that experience 
because of the need to maintain their military force for use against 
one another in the expected battle for dominance after the United 
States leaves. This rivalry, which is manifested on the political as 
well as the military plane, hinders the cooperation of these two 
groups, which are also increasingly separate geographically: The Jaysh 
al-Mahdi is based in Sadr City, whereas the main strength of the Badr 
Corps is in the southern part of Iraq.
    The political aims, rivalries, and maneuverings of the Jaysh al-
Mahdi and the Badr Corps are far removed from the aims of most of the 
Shiite vigilante groups operating in Baghdad. Like their Sunni 
counterparts, these groups are mainly concerned with defending their 
neighborhoods against Sunni (especially al-Qaeda in Iraq) attacks. They 
also opportunistically engage in sectarian cleansing and ``reprisal'' 
attacks (often the same thing). The strength and organization of the 
Jaysh al-Mahdi and the Badr Corps makes it easier for Shiite vigilante 
groups to cohere. Yet, as with all vigilante groups, negotiation and 
political accommodation with local fighters is unlikely to be 
productive by itself because they are responding to localized violence.
    Crime. It is important to understand that a significant part of the 
violence in Iraq is not orchestrated by any political group at all, but 
is simply the crime and gang violence that flourishes in the absence of 
order and government control. This problem is not restricted to Baghdad 
or Anbar, moreover. The British raid against the aptly named ``serious 
crimes unit'' in Basra in December 2006 underlines the breadth of the 
difficulty. Many individuals and groups throughout Iraq have taken 
advantage of the government's weakness to organize kidnapping rings, 
smuggling rings, and other criminal enterprises. With much of the Iraqi 
police force either engaged in sectarian violence or criminality, or 
else devoted to the counterinsurgency effort, rule of law in Iraq is 
extremely weak. Both insurgents and criminals have deeply infiltrated 
the police and partially infiltrated the army, underscoring in a 
different way the impossibility of handing responsibility for security 
and maintaining the rule of law to either organization very rapidly.
    Criminal activity is not merely a problem for civil society in 
Iraq, however. It also supports the insurgency. A significant portion 
of the insurgency's financial resources comes from criminal activities 
of one sort or another--including a variety of scams that divert 
revenue from the oil industry into insurgent coffers. Insurgents and 
criminals can also hide behind one another, confusing efforts to 
identify the agent behind particular murders and other sorts of 
attacks. Criminality is an important issue for coalition forces in Iraq 
that must be addressed in order to improve the overall security and 
political situations.

                                THE PLAN

    No military operation by itself can resolve Iraq's problems. 
Success in Iraq can only emerge when political, economic, diplomatic, 
and reconciliation initiatives resolve underlying tensions and 
grievances and give the Iraqi people reason to accept the legitimacy of 
their government. The security situation in Iraq and particularly 
Baghdad is so grave, however, that political, economic, diplomatic, and 
reconciliation initiatives will fail unless a well-conceived and 
properly supported military operation secures the population first and 
quickly. The purpose of this operation is to reduce sectarian violence 
to levels low enough to permit political and economic development, 
reconciliation, and the recruitment and training of an Iraqi Army and 
police force with an appropriate regional and sectarian balance. This 
report focuses on military operations in and around Baghdad because the 
security situation there is deteriorating quickly and requires the 
urgent attention of the United States Armed Forces. Subsequent working 
groups and reports will consider initiatives vital to allowing the 
Iraqis to take control of their country, armed forces, and security; 
political developments; and regional issues. The emphasis on military 
operations in this first phase of this project does not indicate any 
denigration of the importance of the nonmilitary elements of a solution 
to the crisis in Iraq.
Why Baghdad?
    From the standpoint of security and violence, Iraq consists of 
three zones. The Kurdish provinces to the north are extremely secure--
violence is rare and economic development (fueled by the period of de 
facto autonomy in the 1990s) is well underway. Most of the Shiite 
provinces to the south of Baghdad are very secure, although Basra still 
faces a worrisome amount of violence and criminality. The vast majority 
of attacks occur in the four provinces of Anbar, Baghdad, Salaheddin, 
and Diyala, with Ninawa a more distant fifth. Polling data partially 
reflect this distribution of attacks: Iraqis in the Shiite south and 
Kurdish north overwhelmingly feel safe in their neighborhoods, while 
those in the five violent provinces feel extremely unsafe.

    Of these provinces, Anbar, Baghdad, and Diyala are currently of 
greatest concern. Salaheddin, which contains Saddam Hussein's hometown 
near Tikrit as well as Samarra, has been the scene of a large number of 
attacks, but it contains relatively few large concentrated settlements 
and is relatively farther from Baghdad. Ninawa is worrisome because it 
contains Mosul, one of Iraq's largest mixed cities, but the clear-and-
hold operation that began in Tall Afar in September 2005 has reduced 
the violence in this province greatly. Anbar has been a hotbed of the 
insurgency almost from its outset, and two of its major cities, 
Fallujah and Ramadi, have been centers of the fight against Sunni Arab 
rejectionists since early 2004. Anbar serves as a base of Sunni 
fighters who move into and attack targets in Baghdad. Diyala has also 
become a critical battleground, especially the city of Baquba, where 
Zarqawi was found and killed in June 2006. It is a mixed province in 
which considerable sectarian cleansing and displacement have occurred; 
and it is close enough to Baghdad that fighters on both sides commute 
between the two cities. Diyala province is also becoming a significant 
al-Qaeda base from which the enemy launches attacks against Shiites in 
Sadr City, Baghdad.
    Before the effects of the Samarra mosque bombing had become clear, 
it might have been reasonable to consider operations along the 
Euphrates, Tigris, and Diyala River valleys (that is, in Anbar, Ninawa, 
Salaheddin, and Diyala provinces), postponing the more difficult task 
of clearing and holding Baghdad. The rise of sectarian violence within 
the capital and the repeated declarations of all sides that Baghdad is 
the key to victory or defeat have removed this alternative option. The 
violence in the central areas of Iraq is now so high that few reporters 
venture far from the Green Zone. Consequently, events within a 
relatively small area of the capital now disproportionately shape the 
world's perceptions of the situation in the country. It is necessary to 
focus on securing these areas in order to retain the American people's 
support for the war and increase international support. More 
importantly, it is necessary to prevent the sectarian cleansing in the 
heart of Baghdad from spreading further through the rest of Iraq. The 
populations of other mixed cities, such as Mosul, Kirkuk, and Tall 
Afar, are watching how the coalition forces and Iraqi Government 
respond to sectarian violence in Baghdad. If Baghdad is truly cleansed 
and divided, then similar sectarian violence will follow in these other 
mixed cities. The result will be a bloody civil war that permanently 
destroys any concept of Iraq as a mixed state. For good or for ill, the 
decisive struggle in this war will be played out in Iraq's capital.
    Any plan for bringing security to Iraq must therefore address 
Baghdad first of all, but it cannot entirely neglect Anbar and Diyala 
provinces, which are tied so tightly to the challenges of Baghdad. This 
report, therefore, identifies Baghdad as the main effort to which all 
necessary resources should be devoted, and it identifies operations in 
Anbar and possibly Diyala as supporting efforts--secondary operations 
that help to accomplish the main effort but receive just enough force 
to succeed without compromising the main effort.
Forces Required
    Having identified Baghdad as the main effort, we can then consider 
the problem of securing that city in more detail. There is considerable 
theory and historical evidence about the numbers of troops required to 
provide security to a given population in a counterinsurgency. The 
military's counterinsurgency manual concludes that a ratio of one 
soldier for every 40 or 50 inhabitants provides a good rule of thumb 
for such calculations. COL H.R. McMaster and the 3rd Armored Cavalry 
Regiment used a ratio of about 1 soldier per every 40 inhabitants to 
secure Tall Afar in 2005. American soldiers and marines in Ramadi have 
made considerable progress in securing that city, although much lower 
force ratios have slowed and limited that progress. MG Peter Chiarelli 
put down the Sadrist uprising in Sadr City in mid-2004, on the other 
hand, with one division (under 20,000 soldiers) in a population of over 
2 million.
    The population of Baghdad is around 6 million, which would require, 
in theory, around 150,000 counterinsurgents to maintain security. It is 
neither necessary nor wise to try to clear and hold the entire city all 
at once, however. The Jaysh al-Mahdi based in Sadr City has 
demonstrated its reluctance to engage in a full-scale conflict with 
American forces, ever since coalition forces defeated Moqtada al-Sadr 
and his army in Najaf in the summer of 2004. Rather, the Jaysh al-Mahdi 
now needs to preserve its fighters in order to maintain its strength 
against the Badr Corps in the struggle for control of post-coalition 
Iraq. Attempting to clear Sadr City at this moment would almost 
certainly force the Jaysh al-Mahdi, into precisely such a confrontation 
with American troops, however. It would also do enormous damage to 
Prime Minister Nouri Kamel al-Maliki's political base and would 
probably lead to the collapse of the Iraqi Government. Clearing Sadr 
City is both unwise and unnecessary at this time.
    Many attacks against Sunni neighborhoods in Baghdad emanate from 
Sadr City. There are two ways to resolve that problem. The first is to 
attack Sadr City by targeting known militia bases and concentrations 
with discrete strikes. This option initially requires the fewest number 
of forces. But such operations would almost certainly provoke a massive 
political and military conflagration. They ultimately will demand high 
force concentrations and generate instability in the current Iraqi 
Government, as described above. This option is, therefore, extremely 
risky. It would be better, instead, to secure the Sunni and mixed 
Sunni-Shia neighborhoods by deploying American and Iraqi forces into 
them and protecting their inhabitants from all violent attacks coming 
from any area. This second approach also accords with sound 
counterinsurgency practice, which favors defensive strategies aimed at 
protecting the population over offensive strategies aimed at killing 
    The first phase of this plan, therefore, excludes military 
operations within Sadr City and focuses on securing the Sunni and mixed 
Sunni-Shia neighborhoods around the Green Zone and between that area 
and Baghdad International Airport/Camp Victory. This approach 
establishes security among a population of perhaps 2 million people, 
which would require, according to historical norms, between 40,000 and 
50,000 counterinsurgent troops. Generating proper force ratios to 
secure the population in these neighborhoods is much more feasible than 
generating the force ratios to confront the Jaysh al-Mahdi in Sadr City 
or to secure the entire population of Baghdad at once. Yet securing the 
population in these neighborhoods is likely to reduce levels of 
violence elsewhere in Baghdad.
    The working group also calculated the forces required for this 
operation in another way. The area we have identified as being the 
``critical terrain'' in Baghdad (because of its mixed ethnicity and its 
geographic centrality) consists of about 23 districts. Clearing and 
holding a city district in Baghdad requires an American force of about 
one battalion (approximately 600 soldiers organized into four companies 
of about 150 soldiers each). We have considerable evidence about what 
force levels are necessary for such operations because of recent and 
current operations in Baghdad. There is now about one battalion 
deployed in the district of Dora (the area south of the Karadah 
Peninsula just south of the Green Zone). Dora is a very dangerous 
neighborhood that is difficult to control, and the troops there are 
barely managing. Dora would benefit from reinforcements or from having 
the adjoining areas brought more securely under control. Many other 
neighborhoods that would be cleared under this proposal would require 
fewer troops because they are less violent and large; some might 
require more. On balance, current operations suggest that one battalion 
per district would provide a sufficient overall force level to bring 
the violence in these 23 districts under control.
    There are three battalions in an Army Brigade Combat Team or BCT, 
which, together with all of its supportinng elements, numbers around 
5,000 soldiers. Twenty-three districts would require eight BCTs (which 
would leave one battalion to spare as a Reserve), or around 40,000 
soldiers. Since operations would be going on around the Green Zone and 
Camp Victory, it would be necessary to maintain additional forces to 
guard and garrison those areas, amounting to perhaps another BCT, for a 
total of nine (around 45,000 troops total).
    Whether we calculate the forces necessary based on historical 
ratios or on units engaged in current operations, the results are very 
similar: We can reasonably expect that between 40,000 and 50,000 
soldiers could establish and maintain security in the 23 critical Sunni 
and mixed districts in the center of Baghdad in the first phase of an 
operation aimed at ending violence in the city, securing its 
population, and securing Iraq.
Current and Proposed Deployments
    The United States currently has approximately 140,000 troops in 
Iraq, including about 70,000 in 13 Army Brigade Combat Teams and two 
Marine Regimental Combat Teams (RCTs--the Marines slightly smaller 
equivalent of brigades). Of the remaining 70,000 soldiers, many are 
engaged in the enormous task of providing supplies to coalition 
soldiers and to the 134,000 soldiers in the Iraqi Army, who are almost 
entirely dependent on American logistics to survive and operate. A 
large number of American troops are engaged in securing the long lines 
of communication from Kuwait to Baghdad (600 miles) and from there to 
U.S. forward operating bases (FOBs) around the country. Around 6,000 
soldiers are now involved in training Iraqi Army and police units as 
well. The BCTs and RCTs are the forces that would be used in clearing 
and holding Baghdad, so the rest of this report will focus on them, 
recognizing that the number of these units significantly 
underrepresents the total size of the American combat presence in Iraq.
    Seven BCTs, the largest concentration of the BCTs and RCTs now in 
Iraq, operate in and around Baghdad. Five BCTs operate within the city 
itself (although they mostly live on FOBs in the city's suburbs and 
drive to their areas of operations to conduct patrols). One BCT 
operates in the insurgent belts to the north around Taji and the 
remaining BCT operates in the belts to the south around Iskandariyah 
(the so-called Triangle of Death). Two Marine RCTs and one Army BCT 
operate in Anbar. Their bases are located in Ramadi, Fallujah, and Al 
Asad. The remaining five Army BCTs operate mostly to the north of 
Baghdad in Ninawa, Salaheddin, and Diyala provinces in cities like 
Mosul, Tikrit, Samarra, and Baquba.
    An Army National Guard Brigade is stationed in a static defensive 
position in Kuwait guarding the enormous supply and training areas 
there. Recent news reports suggest that a brigade of the 82nd Airborne 
Division has been ordered to Kuwait as well, although the purpose of 
that deployment is not clear at the time that this report is being 
written. The BCT of the 82nd Airborne Division might be deployed to 
Iraq to engage in combat missions there in the near future; the 
National Guard brigade could not leave Kuwait without endangering the 
security of U.S. supply lines and bases.
    The current deployment of U.S. forces in and around Baghdad, 
therefore, provides approximately four BCTs (12 battalions or about 
20,000 troops in all) for conducting combat operations in the city. The 
equivalent of one BCT is required for base security. Such a force level 
is evidently inadequate for clearing and holding any sizable portion of 
Baghdad. The Army and Marine presence in Anbar is inadequate to 
maintain even the most basic security in that province. The situation 
in Diyala is almost as dire. Pulling troops from either province to 
reinforce operations in Baghdad would almost surely lead to the further 
collapse of those regions. Salaheddin is similarly problematic, while 
security in Ninawa is extremely precarious. Any attempt to concentrate 
forces in Baghdad by moving them from elsewhere in Iraq would 
precipitate greater violence in the outlying areas. Such violence would 
eventually move down the river valleys to Baghdad and undermine 
attempts to succeed in the capital, as occurred in 2004. This plan 
will, therefore, require a deployment of at least four Army Brigade 
Combat Teams (approximately 20,000 soldiers) into Baghdad from outside 
    Because of the close relationship between the insurgency in Anbar 
and the violence in Baghdad, it would be desirable to address both 
areas at once. In reality, the United States simply cannot make 
available enough forces to bring Anbar under control at the same time 
as it tries to secure the critical neighborhoods of Baghdad. A 
deployment of additional troops into Baghdad will, nevertheless, both 
generate and suffer from spillover effects in Anbar. This very real 
risk calls for a preplanned response. This report, therefore, proposes 
to add two additional Marine RCTs to the two RCTs and one Army BCT that 
are already in Anbar. This force (five brigade-equivalents, or about 
18,000 soldiers and marines) is too small to secure the major cities in 
Anbar, let alone the entire province. Five brigade-equivalents would, 
however, suffice to cover the roads from Anbar to Baghdad, intercept 
insurgents, and prevent the establishment of new rebel strongholds in 
the province. Such operations would properly support the main effort in 
Baghdad by controlling spillover effects.
    The commander on the ground in Iraq could use the two additional 
RCTs designated for Anbar elsewhere, of course. It might prove more 
important to interdict movement between Diyala and Baghdad than to 
reinforce American troops now in Anbar. In the worst case, the 
commander could move these regiments into the capital if unexpectedly 
high violence erupted in Baghdad itself during the clear-and-hold 
operation there. By deploying these two additional RCTs into Iraq, the 
commander on the ground will gain the flexibility to respond to 
unforeseen difficulties or opportunities in and around Baghdad without 
having to accept any additional risk in outlying areas.
    The Army Brigade in Anbar, finally, was initially deployed to Iraq 
in January 2006. By the time the recommended operations would begin, it 
will have been in Iraq for nearly 15 months. This plan, therefore, 
proposes to send a fresh Army BCT into Anbar to replace that unit, 
which has already had its tour extended. It would require a total 
deployment of five Army BCTs and two Marine RCTs in addition to the 
forces already in Iraq. In an emergency, of course, the commander in 
Iraq could keep the existing brigade in Anbar and use the brigade 
designated to replace it as a further Reserve for deployment in Baghdad 
or elsewhere. The plan, therefore, commits four additional BCTs into 
Baghdad, designates two RCTs for Anbar but makes them available 
elsewhere if necessary, and designates one BCT that could be used as a 
Reserve in an emergency.
Clearing and Holding
    What actually happens on the ground determines whether this or any 
plan succeeds or fails. American forces have gained considerable 
expertise in clearing and holding operations in Iraq from their 
failures, such as the first Battle of Fallujah in April 2004, and from 
their successes, such as operations in Tall Afar in September 2005. 
(The report discusses the general character and specific phases of 
clear-and-hold operations in several sections below.) Recent operations 
in Baghdad emphasize the skill with which U.S. troops can clear enemies 
from urban areas. In 2006, American forces in Baghdad conducted 
Operation Together Forward (OTF) in two phases: The first from June 14 
to July 24, 2006; the second from August 1 through October 24, 2006. In 
both operations, the clear phase went well. Violence dropped in cleared 
neighborhoods and some economic activity resumed.
    But the U.S. command committed inadequate combat power to hold 
operations, relying instead on Iraqi police and soldiers to maintain 
the security that joint U.S. and Iraqi patrols had established. The 
United States added two brigades (fewer than 10,000 troops) to support 
the first phase of OTF and one brigade (plus additional detachments 
coming to around 7,000 soldiers) to support the second. Because there 
were too few American troops, and because American commanders wished to 
rely heavily on Iraqi forces, U.S. troops did not remain in cleared 
neighborhoods either to defend them or to support and improve the Iraqi 
forces trying to maintain order there. The different Sunni and Shiite 
enemy groups made a point of surging into the cleared but undefended 
neighborhoods to demonstrate the futility of the operations, and they 
also attacked neighborhoods that were not being cleared by American and 
Iraqi troops. Violence overall in Baghdad soared.
    The plan proposed in this report would use established practices 
for clearing neighborhoods, but would provide adequate American forces 
to hold them, in partnership with Iraqi forces. American units remain 
in neighborhoods to secure the population and to support and strengthen 
Iraqi forces until they are able to hold the area without coalition 
support. These undertakings are firmly in accord with recommended 
counterinsurgency doctrine.
    Clearing operations generally proceed as follows. American troops 
partner with Iraqi troops before the operation. They plan the operation 
and train for it together. Since American and Iraqi units are already 
operating throughout Baghdad's neighborhoods, they gather intelligence 
in the targeted area prior to the operation. They determine the enemy's 
strength and disposition, how the enemy is organized and conducts 
operations, and so on. When the operation begins, joint U.S.-Iraqi 
teams isolate the district through checkpoints and other outposts, 
patrols, surveillance, and obstacles. American and Iraqi infantry then 
sweep through the district. They cordon off each house or apartment 
block and then knock on the door, asking to examine the inside. If they 
are granted permission, they enter politely and then examine every part 
of the structure for weapons caches and evidence of enemy activity. The 
Iraqi forces with them provide a vital cultural interface with the 
inhabitants both by communicating with them and by sensing 
irregularities. On the rare occasions when the occupants attempt to 
refuse permission to examine the house, Iraqi and U.S. soldiers enter 
by force and continue their search.
    When every structure in the district (including every mosque) has 
been searched and all weapons caches and suspicious individuals have 
been removed, neither the American nor the Iraqi soldiers leave the 
neighborhood. Instead, they establish permanent positions in disused 
factories, houses, apartments, government buildings, and, if necessary, 
schools (although coalition forces prefer to avoid occupying schools 
because it sends a bad signal to the neighborhood). American and Iraqi 
teams man each position jointly. They allow traffic into the 
neighborhood to resume, although they continue to man joint outposts at 
critical intersections. They conduct regular joint foot and vehicle 
patrols throughout the neighborhood, maintaining contact with the local 
population and establishing trust. Over time, U.S. forces will assist 
Iraqis in developing comprehensive, sustainable human intelligence 
networks in the area.
    The tactics described above are illustrative, not prescriptive. 
They are based on practices that American units have used in Iraq in 
the past. Commanders will apply techniques appropriate to the areas in 
which they are operating. Every such combined operation requires that 
American forces, Iraqi Army units, and Iraqi police formations all work 
toward a common goal and within a single command structure. Unity of 
effort is essential for success in this kind of endeavor.
    According to military officers who have experience with clearing 
operations in Iraq, after 2 weeks of improved security and continued 
force presence, the local people typically begin providing the 
coalition forces in their neighborhoods with valuable tactical 
intelligence. As the enemy attempts to reinfiltrate the neighborhood, 
locals report some of them. Savvy Iraqi or even American soldiers note 
new faces and begin to ask questions. When bombs or IEDs go off, locals 
reveal the perpetrators. Before long, they begin to warn coalition 
troops when LEDs have been placed. At that point, violence begins to 
drop significantly and economic and political progress can begin.
    There is nothing novel about this approach to counterinsurgency. It 
has been practiced in some form in almost every successful 
counterinsurgent operation. It was successful on a local level in 
Vietnam in the form of the Combined Action Platoon (CAP) program, which 
many observers felt should have been extended to more of that country. 
It has worked in Tall Afar and, insofar as it was applied, even in 
Baghdad. It is working now in Ramadi and in south Baghdad. If properly 
resourced, it can bring large sections of the capital under control.
    Curiously, though proven effective, this approach runs counter to 
the current MNF-I concept of disengaging from populated areas and 
rapidly handing over security responsibility to Iraqi forces of dubious 
    It is vital to sustain the hold part of the operation for months 
after the initial clearing operation. Previous failed clear-and-hold 
operations in Iraq suggest that the enemy can reinfiltrate a cleared 
area in about 90 days. Within 6 months, the enemy can be operating 
openly once more. In a dense urban environment like Baghdad, the enemy 
can reconstitute even faster. In addition, the enemy in Iraq has 
historically pursued a pattern of going to ground when coalition forces 
are present and waiting for them to leave. By withdrawing American 
troops from the hold phase of an operation too quickly, the United 
States plays into this enemy strategy. Any sound clear-and-hold 
approach, therefore, will require the presence of significant American 
forces in neighborhoods, supporting and strengthening Iraqi troops and 
police, for at least 9-12 months after the start of operations.
    This long-hold period allows time for Iraqi troops and police to 
gain the capability and confidence they need reliably to assume 
responsibility for maintaining secured areas. Phase II of this project 
will address the challenges of training Iraqi military and police 
forces in greater detail, but some observations are appropriate here.
    Discussions of military policy in Iraq frequently present efforts 
to train Iraqi forces as antithetical to efforts to use American forces 
to help bring security to the Iraqi people. The Iraq Study Group report 
and several other proposals emphasizing training Iraqis have suggested 
increasing the number of U.S. soldiers embedded within Iraqi units and 
decreasing the number of Americans actually conducting operations. 
These proposals claim that increasing the number of embedded trainers 
will accelerate the training of Iraqi units. Such ideas ignore a 
critical fact joint, sustained clear-and-hold operations that involve 
both Americans and Iraqis working in partnership are one of the most 
effective ways to train Iraqi units rapidly and to a high standard.
    To begin with, the United States has a small pool of soldiers whose 
job is to train indigenous troops--the Special Forces (which was 
created in the 1960s to perform this mission). Those soldiers spend 
their careers learning how to train others, and they are superb at it. 
In the past year, however, Special Forces have come to concentrate more 
heavily on what is called ``direct action''--tracking terrorists, 
kicking in doors, and seizing enemies. The large size of the Iraqi 
Army, furthermore, requires more trainers than the Special Forces can 
provide. For both reasons, the training mission in Iraq has been given 
to soldiers drawn from the conventional forces, both Active Duty and 
National Guard. These soldiers receive some training in how to train 
Iraqis and then embed with Iraqi units to accomplish their task. 
America's flexible and creative soldiers respond well to this 
challenge, but the skills of the conventional forces soldiers detailed 
to this task are generally lower than those of the Special Forces 
troops specifically trained for it. Although the U.S. Army is now 
training more conventional soldiers for these responsibilities, it 
cannot do so fast enough to embed enough trained, conventional soldiers 
with Iraqi units rapidly. The more the United States tries to 
accelerate training Iraqi units by embedding soldiers, the lower the 
average quality of that training will be.
    This kind of training also takes a much larger toll on the American 
ground forces than most people imagine. The number of embedded trainers 
is small compared to the total number of U.S. forces in Iraq, but the 
effect on the Army is disproportionately high. Training teams have a 
high proportion of officers and noncommissioned officers and a 
relatively small complement of enlisted soldiers. Each training team, 
therefore, effectively removes the leadership cadre of an American 
battalion. The enlisted personnel of the battalion will often have 
remained behind, and so the battalion is not counted as being 
``deployed,'' but neither can it be used for combat without the 
replacement of its leadership team. This process is having an important 
negative effect on the deployability of units in the Army that would 
appear on paper to be usable.
    Iraqi units operating together with American units learn a great 
deal very quickly. They interact with U.S. command teams as they plan 
operations, and then they execute those operations alongside the best 
and most professional soldiers in the world. There is no substitute for 
this kind of training. It is one thing for an advisor to describe what 
to do; it is another to watch a superb soldier and unit do it expertly. 
If the only training of Iraqi troops is being conducted by embedded 
American trainers, Iraqis will never see what excellence looks like. 
When they fight alongside excellent soldiers, they see it vividly and 
understand better what to aim for. Combined clear-and-hold operations 
are an essential means for bringing the Iraqi Army up to the necessary 
levels of capability as quickly as possible.

                         THE ENEMY'S RESPONSES

    The enemy will respond to American and Iraqi efforts to establish 
security in Baghdad. No one can predict their response with certainty, 
but after nearly 4 years in this struggle planners can observe the 
patterns in their behavior that suggest their likely reactions. 
Different groups will, of course, respond differently to ongoing 
operations. Above all, the action of clearing and holding a large part 
of central Baghdad will change the relationship between groups and even 
the political dynamics within Iraq. This report will not consider these 
second-order effects in detail, but subsequent phases of the project 
will do so. For now this report remains focused on the most essential 
task facing the U.S. and Iraqi governments today: Defeating enemy 
attempts to disrupt our efforts to establish security.
General Enemy Responses
    The clear-and-hold operation occurs in four main phases: (1) The 
deployment of U.S. and Iraqi forces to their designated areas, (2) the 
establishment of those forces in their areas and efforts to acquire 
necessary intelligence and physical bases from which to conduct 
operations, (3) the clearing of the neighborhoods, and (4) holding 
cleared areas. This report first considers the possible reactions of 
all enemy groups taken together in each phase and then the possible 
reactions of each individual group separately. The report will consider 
what each enemy is most likely to do, and what actions each enemy could 
undertake that would most endanger the mission and American interests.
    Phase I: Deployment and Marshalling of Resources. This phase 
extends from the announcement of the President's intention to conduct 
clear-and-hold operations until all units involved in that operation 
are physically on the ground in and around Baghdad and Anbar. In 
general terms, this is a dangerous time. The President will have 
announced his intentions, but American reinforcements will not yet have 
arrived in theater. Enemy groups might take advantage of this interval 
to increase sectarian cleansing and to establish themselves in strong 
positions in targeted neighborhoods in the hopes of making the clearing 
operations too painful for U.S. forces to conduct. This is the most 
dangerous course of action they could take, but it is not the most 
likely if the President acts quickly and decisively and forces arrive 
in theater before spring. Many enemies in Iraq are fair-weather foes: 
Violence generally drops after Ramadan and remains relatively lower 
through the winter. It is most likely that the enemy will conduct an 
expanded propaganda campaign aimed at intimidating civilians and 
raising enemy morale during the first phase of American operations.
    The best coalition responses include developing an effective and 
clear information campaign that underlines the scale, duration, and 
determination of the coming effort; stepping up the ``presence 
patrols'' of units already in Baghdad; emphasizing that the aim of 
coming operations is to protect civilians of all sects and ethnicities; 
and countering enemy disinformation. To prevent sabotage in future 
phases, coalition forces must secure the resources needed for 
reconstruction and reconstitution of police in the targeted areas.
    Phase II: Preparation. In this phase, coalition units begin to 
arrive in their designated areas. They start developing intelligence, 
establishing relationships with the population and ISF, and assessing 
the overall situation. Extremists are likely to respond by increasing 
the number of suicide bombings and targeted murders of civilians. Local 
vigilante groups are more likely to go to ground and avoid direct 
confrontations with coalition forces. Rather, these groups will rely on 
indirect attacks on coalition forces, including IEDs and mortar fire. 
They may also attack civilians. Some enemy groups may attempt to move 
from threatened districts to areas they perceive as safer and wait out 
the operation. U.S. forces must anticipate such movements, and units 
must be prepared to conduct raids and other short operations to deny 
the enemy safe haven in other areas. Most enemies will continue their 
efforts to infiltrate the Iraqi Army and police units in their areas.
    During this phase, the most damaging actions the enemy could take 
would be to surge the level of their violence dramatically in an effort 
to discredit the security effort and the Iraqi Government, to complete 
sectarian cleansing campaigns, and to intimidate the population. This 
course of action is less likely because most insurgent groups have only 
a limited capability to surge on short notice, because most will avoid 
using up all available fighters and suicide bombers at the outset of a 
campaign, and because U.S. and Iraqi forces are already present and 
patrolling in Baghdad. The appropriate coalition response is again to 
increase presence and patrols throughout the capital, especially in the 
areas beyond those designated for clearing operations, in order to deny 
the enemy safe havens. The coalition will also have to conduct an 
intelligent information campaign that makes clear that the violence is 
the result of an increase in insurgent attacks aimed at harming the 
Iraqi people, but that future operations will end the violence 
permanently. The coalition must also be prepared for humanitarian 
efforts to handle increased refugee flows within Baghdad and beyond.
    Phase III: Clearing. The insurgents in Iraq have fallen into a 
pattern in response to clear-and-hold operations. At the beginning of 
such operations, they normally surge their attacks and target both 
coalition forces and Iraqi civilians. They bring in specialized 
capabilities, such as snipers and IED cells, to inflict casualties on 
American and Iraqi forces in order to test their resolve. When it 
becomes clear that the coalition intends to pursue the operation, most 
enemy groups then go to ground. They use contacts in the Iraqi 
Government to attempt to discredit the operation, constrain it, or 
cancel it altogether. They expect that any clearing operation will be 
short-lived, and that U.S. forces will leave vulnerable Iraqi Army and 
police forces unsupported when the operations end. They, therefore, 
conserve their fighters and weapons while the Americans are present. 
They anticipate unleashing them on the civilian population if political 
efforts to forestall the operation fail or Iraqi forces and Americans 
leave. This surge--go to ground--surge pattern is the likeliest enemy 
response to the clearing operations proposed in this report.
    It requires careful consideration and response. First and foremost, 
the American Government and the American people, as well as the Iraqi 
Government and the Iraqi people, must understand the importance of 
seeing the clear-and-hold operation through to its conclusion. If the 
operation begins in March and violence begins to wane in May, the 
governments and publics cannot, thereby, conclude that the operation 
has succeeded beyond expectations and start to wind down. The United 
States must continue to maintain its forces to support Iraqi troops in 
their hold operations for months after violence in cleared 
neighborhoods has begun to fall, because the odds are that the enemy is 
trying to husband its resources for a future attack when U.S. forces 
    In addition, the American and Iraqi Governments and people must 
recognize that a surge in enemy violence later in 2007 is very likely 
even if this operation is successful. The insurgents regularly increase 
the level of their violence in Ramadan each year. If this operation 
begins in March and violence wanes through the summer, it is very 
likely that the violence will escalate again in the fall. This pattern 
is normal and to be expected. To the extent that a reduction in 
violence is the measure of success of this operation, we must be 
prepared to compare Ramadan 2007 with Ramadan 2006 rather than with 
June or July 2007.
    It should be possible, moreover, to mitigate the magnitude of the 
late-2007 enemy surge. American forces working with Iraqis in permanent 
positions in cleared neighborhoods will acquire a great deal of 
intelligence about the enemy. They will be able to identify and stop 
many attempts to infiltrate cleared neighborhoods again. As they gain 
the trust of the population, they will receive more information about 
enemies who escaped when the area was cleared. They will locate more 
weapons caches and limit the flow of new weapons into the neighborhood. 
Long-term presence will help reduce the enemy's ability to launch new 
attacks later in the year.
    During the third phase, the most dangerous course of action the 
enemy might take is an Iraqi equivalent of the Tet offensive, in which 
all or most enemy groups converge on coalition forces in large-scale 
and spectacular attacks. Enemy groups conduct mass-casualty attacks on 
mixed neighborhoods that coalition forces are attempting to clear, 
suborn Iraqi security forces, and launch high-profile attacks in other 
Iraqi cities. Some enemy groups might assassinate prominent civil or 
religious leaders or destroy important religious landmarks.
    This course of action is less likely because it requires the 
insurgents to expend most of their fighters and weapons rapidly at the 
beginning of the operation, something they have generally avoided in 
the past. It can be countered by ensuring that clearing operations 
proceed rapidly and simultaneously in multiple neighborhoods. The 
coalition must also devote particular attention to protecting likely 
high-profile targets in Baghdad and around the country. The United 
States must maintain a sizable Reserve to offset the danger that the 
enemy might attempt to generate high levels of violence in 
neighborhoods or cities that are not being cleared. American commanders 
must have uncommitted troops that can be sent to troubled areas rapidly 
and on short notice without detracting from the main effort to clear 
the designated communities. If U.S. commanders attempt to conduct this 
operation with precisely the number of soldiers they think they might 
need to clear neighborhoods, but do not retain a substantial Reserve, 
they entice the enemy to choose this most dangerous option and severely 
constrain their own ability to respond to this contingency. A 
significant Reserve (at least one brigade combat team) is an essential 
component of this or any sound plan.
    Phase IV: Hold and Build. By this phase of the operation, U.S. and 
Iraqi forces will have examined every structure in a neighborhood, 
removed all weapons caches that they have identified, and detained many 
suspicious individuals, some of whom will turn out to be members of 
enemy groups. The hold-and-build phase of this operation is one of the 
most dangerous for the population of the cleared neighborhood. The 
detainment of suspicious individuals involves removing many of the 
young, tough, armed men who were defending the neighborhood from 
outside attack (whatever violence of their own they might have been 
committing). Unless the coalition maintains a robust armed presence in 
the cleared area, the remaining inhabitants--disproportionately 
including the elderly, women, and children--will be highly vulnerable 
to enemy strikes.
    Past clearing operations followed by premature American withdrawals 
have conditioned enemies to wait for this phase to strike. 
Consequently, this plan argues that enemy groups are likely to revert 
to their past pattern of surging violently, going to ground, and 
subsequently surging very violently. Once the insurgents find that 
American forces are remaining in force in cleared neighborhoods, they 
will probably adopt a different approach. Surging fighters and weapons 
into protected neighborhoods exposes the insurgents to losses without 
giving them any benefits. They are more likely, therefore, to increase 
the number of high casualty attacks, especially vehicle-borne IEDs 
(VBIEDs or car bombs) and suicide bombers. It is extremely difficult to 
stop all such attacks, and some will inevitably reach their targets. If 
they are relatively low in number and isolated rather than massed, then 
they will not likely be sufficient to derail reconstruction and 
political development. Active patrolling, intelligence-gathering, and 
control of critical access points can help reduce the number and 
effectiveness of such attacks.
    The enemy is likely, then, to attempt to move into uncleared 
neighborhoods and destabilize them by striking less-well-defended 
targets. The enemy may also attempt to increase the level of violence 
in cities beyond Baghdad, attempt to conduct high-profile 
assassinations, or try to destroy prominent religious landmarks. In the 
worst case, they may try to surge back into cleared neighborhoods to 
demonstrate the futility of the clearing effort.
    The most effective responses to such insurgent efforts, once again, 
rely on having a readily available Reserve Force. Reserves must be able 
to reinforce cleared neighborhoods threatened by large surges of 
violence, to control increasing violence in uncleared neighborhoods, 
and to address attacks in cities outside of Baghdad. The plan in this 
proposal designates one BCT as a Reserve for Baghdad and two RCTs in 
Iraq as potential Reserves in case of emergency. The plan calls for 
deploying those RCTs into Anbar province in the expectation that 
threatened Sunni insurgents will return to their base. It might prove 
necessary, however, to deploy one or both of those RCTs into Diyala, 
another al-Qaeda base that emerges, or even into Baghdad or its nearer 
    These decisions can only be made by the commander on the ground in 
light of changing circumstances, but his Reserve Forces can only 
achieve the effects he desires if they are already near Baghdad. Kuwait 
is 600 miles from the Iraqi capital--Reserve Forces held there might 
take too long to arrive in response to a crisis. Forces stationed in 
the United States, even if alerted for possible deployment, would 
almost certainly take too long to respond. Reacting effectively to 
likely enemy challenges requires positioning significant Reserve Forces 
already near the scene of the fighting.
Specific Enemy Responses
    Although the discussion above captures the likely aggregate of 
enemy responses, it is important to consider how each individual enemy 
group is likely to respond as well, since the particularities of those 
responses can have a profound impact on the developing political 
situation in Iraq. The major insurgent groupings are the Jaysh al-
Mahdi, the Badr Corps, al-Qaeda in Iraq and associated Islamist groups, 
the Baathists and military nationalists, and vigilante groups on both 
sides. As we have seen, the Shiite militias share many common aims but 
are also rivals for power. They may cooperate in some scenarios, but 
there is reason to believe that they can be kept apart in others. The 
Sunni groups have cooperated more closely because of their sense of 
being beleaguered, but their divergent aims and methods will likely 
lead to different responses to the proposed clearing and holding 
operations. Despite the conflicting sectarian makeup and aims of the 
vigilante groups, on the other hand, their motivations and methods make 
it likely that their responses to clear-and-hold operations will be 
similar to one another.
    Jaysh al-Mahdi. Moqtada al-Sadr's militia, the Jaysh al-Mahdi, 
presents one of the greatest dangers to this operation. It is based in 
Sadr City, which it largely controls through a Hezbollah model of 
providing services, including security, that the local government is 
unable to offer. It is impossible to estimate with accuracy how many 
fighters the Jaysh al-Mahdi could muster in total, let alone how many 
are still under Sadr's control. There are certainly thousands of armed 
militiamen, however--more than enough to force a bloody showdown with 
coalition forces if provoked or driven to full-scale conflict.
    Moqtada al-Sadr himself has also become a force in the political 
process, moreover. His 30-seat bloc of parliamentarians is an important 
element of Maliki's government (although his recent ``walkout'' from 
Parliament underlined the feasibility of forming a coalition government 
without him if necessary--which was one of the reasons why his 
followers returned to their seats relatively quickly). A full-scale 
confrontation with the Jaysh al-Mahdi would not only be bloody, but it 
would also be a political crisis of the first order in Iraq. It is thus 
highly desirable to avoid such a confrontation if it is at all 
    The Jaysh al-Mahdi has been conducting numerous murderous raids 
from Sadr City into Sunni and mixed neighborhoods and has caused many 
of the American casualties in Baghdad. Clearing operations in Sunni and 
mixed districts will lead to conflict with isolated groups of Jaysh al-
Mahdi fighters. Efforts to contain the flow of such fighters from Sadr 
City into Baghdad will require coalition forces to patrol the borders 
of Sadr City (which they are already doing) and possibly to restrict 
access to Sadr City periodically. These actions will place coalition 
forces in close proximity to the heart of the Jaysh al-Mahdi's power. 
The desire to appear evenhanded by attacking Shiite militias even as 
operations bring Sunni-sponsored violence under control also creates 
pressure to launch isolated raids into Sadr City itself.
    If coalition operations are skillfully conceived and executed, they 
will not provoke a full-scale confrontation with Sadr and the Jaysh al-
Mahdi. It is not in Sadr's interest to engage in a full-scale 
confrontadon. His experiences in 2004 in Najaf and Karbala made clear 
that whatever political damage he might be able to cause through such 
violence, American forces will decimate his fighters. He cannot afford 
to lose his warriors. He is not popular within the Iraqi political 
system and draws much of his political strength from his militia. He 
also requires a strong military arm to confront the Badr Corps and 
SCIRI in the fight for control of a post-coalition Iraq. Whatever harm 
Sadrists might do to coalition hopes for success in Iraq by confronting 
coalition forces directly, this path would almost certainly be 
political suicide for Sadr. He is unlikely to choose direct 
confrontation with the coalition unless it is forced upon him.
    Invading or sealing off Sadr City would force Sadr to resist 
coalition forces vigorously, regardless of the cost. Even launching 
isolated raids in and around Sadr City is dangerous. Such raids might 
lead to escalation on both sides and an unintended, major confrontation 
that both sides wish to avoid. For that reason, this plan focuses on 
responding to Jaysh al-Mahdi attacks by protecting the neighborhoods 
they are targeting, rather than by striking at the sources of their 
    Such defensive operations will, nevertheless, lead to the killing 
and capturing of Jaysh al-Mahdi fighters, but they are not likely to 
provoke Sadr or his unruly lieutenants into full-scale conflict. For 
months, coalition forces have been engaged with Jaysh al-Mahdi fighters 
in discrete operations. On each occasion when coalition forces have 
captured or killed members of death squads, Sadr and the Jaysh al-Mahdi 
leadership have abandoned their compromised militiamen, declaring them 
``rogue elements'' or criminals masquerading as warriors. This past 
restraint on their part is evidence of their desire to avoid a full-
fledged conflict. As long as coalition forces demonstrate similar 
restraint with regard to Sadr City, it is likely that the Jaysh al-
Mahdi will remain relatively quiescent.
    If large-scale conflict with the Jaysh al-Mahdi nevertheless 
erupts, the plan proposed in this report would require substantial 
modification. It would be necessary to abandon much of the effort to 
clear and hold Sunni and mixed neighborhoods in central Baghdad in 
order to focus instead on clearing Sadr City. Clearing operations in 
Sadr City would be bloody--the Jaysh al-Mahdi has had a long time to 
fortify the area--but the result is not in doubt. Coalition forces 
would destroy the Jaysh al-Mahdi and clear the Shiite neighborhoods. 
Depending on the political and security situation, it would then be 
necessary to turn back to the problem of suppressing the Sunni Arab 
insurgency and securing the neighborhoods in the center of Baghdad.
    Large-scale conflict with the Jaysh al-Mahdi would probably lead to 
the withdrawal of Sadr from the political process and might lead to the 
fall of the Maliki government. Such an occurrence would be unfortunate 
but not necessarily devastating. Even if the Maliki government fell, 
executive power would remain in the Iraqi Presidential Council, which 
could form an emergency government. Iraq would remain a sovereign 
state. Conflict with the Jaysh al-Mahdi is clearly undesirable and 
dangerous, and every effort should be made to avoid it. It would not, 
however, necessarily lead to immediate coalition defeat.
    The Badr Corps. Abdul Aziz al-Hakim's Badr Corps is an important 
player in Iraqi politics, but it has relatively little presence in 
Baghdad, where Sadr and the Jaysh al-Mahdi are the dominant militia 
group. Hakim has already manifested his concern that Sadr is gaining 
the upper hand in the Shiite community, particularly in central Iraq. 
He could do little to influence the fighting in Baghdad directly except 
by increasing the flow of Shiite fighters from the south into the 
    If coalition operations are clearly aimed at establishing security 
in central Baghdad and not attacking the Shiite communities in and 
around Sadr City, it is unlikely that the Badr Corps will play a very 
large role. If the United States attacked Sadr City, however, Hakim 
might make common cause with Sadr and attempt to inflame the south and 
all of Shiite Iraq against the coalition. In this worst case, coalition 
defeat is very likely--the Iraqi Government could not survive such a 
challenge, and coalition forces could not likely handle the military 
threat throughout Iraq. This is yet another reason to avoid any direct 
attack on Sadr City or actions that are likely to lead to a full-scale 
confrontation with Sadr.
    It is even less in Hakim's interest to provoke a full-scale 
confrontation with the coalition than it is in Sadr's. Sadr has gained 
political influence by taking a strong anti-American position. Hakim 
has been much more moderate, apparently concentrating on the likelihood 
that the U.S. presence will lead in the end to a Shiite state that he 
hopes to rule. No part of the plan proposed in this report directly 
threatens the outcome he desires. On the contrary, clearing and holding 
the Sunni and mixed neighborhoods in Baghdad and suppressing the Sunni 
Arab insurgency in Anbar forwards Hakim's goals. It is very likely that 
Hakim will publicly protest against Shiite casualties and denounce the 
operation, but it is extremely unlikely that he will support Sadr or 
throw large numbers of his own fighters into the fray--as long as the 
core of the Shiite community is not threatened.
    Iran. It is more difficult to estimate likely Iranian actions to 
the various possibilities outlined above, but the range of Tehran's 
possible responses is rather narrowly constrained. Iran is certainly 
unlikely to watch the destruction of the Badr Corps or even the Jaysh 
al-Mahdi with equanimity, and would probably increase dramatically the 
level of its support for those groups, even including direct support 
through Iranian advisors. This is yet another reason why courting a 
full-scale confrontation with the Shiite militias in the first stage of 
the operation would be unwise. Iran is likely to increase its support 
of the militias and other fighting groups in Iraq in response to any 
American operation. The impact of such an increase will be muted as 
long as the United States sends and maintains an adequate troop 
presence to secure and hold designated neighborhoods. Iran is highly 
unlikely to court a direct military confrontation with the United 
States during such an operation--by sending disguised fighters against 
our supply lines in the south, for instance, or taking any other 
military action that could be traced directly back to Tehran.
    Al-Qaeda in Iraq and Other Islamist Groups. Al-Qaeda in Iraq is one 
of the most dangerous enemies facing coalition forces, not because of 
its power but because of its goals. Unique among the major insurgent 
groups, al-Qaeda in Iraq aims directly at regional objectives and sees 
operations in Iraq as merely a steppingstone to achieving larger goals. 
This group is also motivated by an apocalyptic vision of the grand 
struggle between righteous Islam and ``heresy'' within the Muslim 
community (including Shiism), and between Islam and the infidel West. 
Zarqawi, the group's leader until his death in June 2006, adopted a 
Leninist strategy, according to which ``the worse it is, the better it 
is'' for the insurgent groups. Zarqawi used a series of spectacular 
attacks on Shiite (and even Sunni) civilians deliberately to ignite 
sectarian conflict. This approach drew criticism even from other parts 
of the global al-Qaeda movement--Aymara al-Zawahiri, the group's 
ideological leader, criticized Zarqawi for his attacks on Shiites. 
Other Islamist groups in Iraq, including Ansar al-Sunna, also question 
the religious justification for attacking fellow Muslims in such an 
instrumental way.
    But Zargawi's strategy was effective. The Shiite community in Iraq 
endured nearly 2 years of attacks without responding on a large scale, 
but the bombing of the Golden Mosque in February 2006 proved too much 
for that community to withstand. The cycling sectarian violence in Iraq 
owes a great deal to Zargawi's determined efforts to provoke full-scale 
civil war and chaotic violence, from which he thought his group would 
    Al-Qaeda in Iraq can be expected to continue to pursue this 
approach during the proposed clear-and-hold operation. In general 
terms, the group will probably continue to target Shiite civilians, 
both ordinary people and key figures in the government and within the 
Shiite religious community. It is likely to work to generate more 
spectacular attacks like the Golden Mosque bombing or mass-casualty 
attacks in Shiite communities. If such attacks succeed in significant 
numbers, they will undermine confidence in the clearing operation, spur 
the Shiite militias to even greater sectarian violence, and may 
ultimately break the Iraqi Government.
    It is not clear how, specifically, al-Qaeda in Iraq and associated 
groups will respond to the proposed clearing operation. Faced with a 
substantial attempt to end the violence in Baghdad, they might embrace 
an apocalyptic fight with coalition forces in the heart of the capital, 
surging all of their resources against coalition and especially Iraqi 
civilian targets. This approach would generate a lot of violence in the 
initial phase of the clearing operation, but would not necessarily be 
the most dangerous response they might make. By striking the coalition 
when coalition forces were most prepared, the Islamists will lose many 
fighters and use up their limited supply of suicide bombers and car 
bombs. If the U.S. and Iraqi forces pursue the operation to its 
conclusion, they will significantly reduce this particular enemy's 
ability to undertake subsequent surges of violence, and the prospects 
for the success of the operation will increase.
    It is more likely that al-Qaeda in Iraq and other Islamist groups 
will act as they have in the past: They will increase violence at the 
start of the operation and then go to ground either in Baghdad 
neighborhoods not designated for clearing or in the surrounding cities 
and towns. There, they will hope to reconstitute and prepare for a 
major surge of violence after the clearing operations have ended. They 
will also prepare spectacular mass-casualty attacks against targets in 
Baghdad and elsewhere.
    The coalition must maintain great pressure on the Islamists in 
Baghdad and beyond. Clearing and holding neighborhoods over the long 
term will help mitigate the risks of attacks in those neighborhoods, 
but the presence of large Reserves is once again essential to 
preventing the Islamists from establishing safe bases elsewhere from 
which to prepare devastating attacks. The regions around Taji, to the 
north of Baghdad, and Iskandariyah, to the south, merit particular 
attention. There are already two American BCTs operating there, one in 
each region, and they should not be moved. They may need to be 
reinforced. Additionally, because al-Qaeda has bases in Diyala 
province, coalition forces may have to seal off the roads from Diyala 
into Baghdad or to divert Reserves into Diyala itself. The main al-
Qaeda bases, of course, are in Anbar, which is why the proposed plan 
devotes two additional RCTs to that province.
    Baathists and Military Nationalists. These groups have sustained a 
de facto working alliance with the Islamists because of the perceived 
danger to the Sunni Arab community in Iraq, but they disagree both on 
objectives and on methods (although the turnover in leadership is 
leading to greater convergence, as noted above). The Baathists and 
military nationalists include the most experienced insurgent fighters, 
many drawn from the ranks of Saddam's army. They have focused their 
attacks heavily on coalition forces, including Iraqi Security Forces, 
which they regard as legitimate targets, but have eschewed attacks on 
Iraqi civilians. They are not in favor of accelerating the civil war 
simply for the purpose of generating chaos from which they hope to 
benefit--on the contrary, they aim to bring the civil war under control 
after they win the struggle, as they expect to do.
    The aims of these groups are also confined more narrowly to Iraq. 
They are unlikely to be as willing as the Islamists to condemn Iraq to 
an annihilating sectarian conflict in the hopes of achieving some 
greater regional benefit. They are much more likely, therefore, to 
become open to negotiation and political persuasion if they come to 
believe that their military struggle is hopeless.
    The Baathists pose a significant danger in the first three phases 
of the proposed operation. They are likely to launch a significant 
propaganda effort during the deployment of coalition forces. They will 
attempt to portray the planned operation as an assault on the Sunni 
community. They may seek, thereby, to bring regional and international 
pressure to bear on the United States to abandon the plan entirely. As 
the operation begins, the Baathists are likely to launch increased 
attacks against coalition forces. Because the Baathists are the most 
militarily skilled among enemy groups, they may pose the most serious 
challenge to forces clearing those neighborhoods where they have been 
able to establish strongpoints and defensive positions. The worst case 
scenarios involve increased cooperation between the Baathists and the 
Islamists, including Baathist support for mass-casualty or spectacular 
attacks on Shiite targets.
    The coalition must counter Baathist propaganda efforts with 
skillful information operations that emphasize that the coalition's 
goal is to protect the population, both Sunni and Shia, from criminals 
and terrorists. Initiating reconstruction activities in the immediate 
wake of the clearing operation (a policy considered in more detail 
below) will also help offset the impression that this mission is aimed 
at harming the Sunnis. Most of Iraq's Sunni neighbors, and many Sunni 
states beyond Iraq's borders, have become extremely concerned about the 
danger of a spreading civil war. Many are quietly suggesting that an 
American withdrawal would be disastrous and are advocating for a surge 
aimed at bringing the violence under control. They might posture in 
various ways publicly, but they are extremely unlikely to bring any 
effective pressure to bear to stop an operation that suits their 
interests, regardless of Baathist propaganda.
    Greater Baathist cooperation with the Islamists cannot be 
discounted, but it is not yet certain. The continual al-Qaeda in Iraq 
attacks against Shiite civilians have alienated many insurgents on both 
sides, and this trend is likely to continue. The Baathist desire to 
rule a unified Iraq clashes with the Islamist willingness to destroy 
Iraq in the name of larger regional gains, a fact that will make 
increased cooperation between the groups difficult. But as time 
elapses, and a younger generation of Iraqi nationalists takes 
leadership positions in what was originally the Baathist resistance 
movement, they may work more closely than their predecessors with the 
    Perhaps the most dangerous option the Baathists could choose would 
be to try to force Sunni politicians to leave the government, possibly 
by moving their base of operations out of Baghdad and into Anbar and 
Diyala. The coalition must work to foreclose this option by retaining 
control in Anbar and by maintaining a sufficient Reserve to respond to 
shifts in Baathist attack patterns and movements.
    Vigilante Groups, Sunni and Shia. The main justification for 
vigilante groups on both sides is the need to protect their 
neighborhoods from sectarian attacks. Many of these groups are also 
involved in criminal activity, and some are taking advantage of the 
situation to engage in sectarian cleansing of their own. It is highly 
unlikely, nevertheless, that members of these groups would actively 
resist a large-scale clearing operation. The most radical might join 
hardcore insurgent groups. Some might attempt to accelerate sectarian 
cleansing before coalition forces arrived in force. Most, however, are 
likely to blend back into the population during the clearing operation 
and wait to see what happens.
    As long as peace is maintained in the cleared neighborhoods during 
the hold phase, the members of these vigilante groups are unlikely to 
cause much trouble. They retain a latent potential for violence if the 
coalition allows a security vacuum to develop. Some of them will be 
dissatisfied by the transition from being the big men around town, 
protecting their people, to being unemployed youths. Employment 
programs and other reconstruction efforts may help, but the coalition 
and the Iraqis must also consider ways of addressing individuals' and 
groups' loss of honor and prestige during this transition. 
Reintegrating members of the vigilante groups into their neighborhoods 
is not a simple process. Rather, it requires careful thought, 
appropriate planning, and adequate preparation.
    The operations proposed in this plan would take most of 2007 to 
complete. As we shall see, most of the necessary reinforcements would 
not arrive in their designated areas until March; active clearing 
operations would probably not begin until early April. Past examples 
suggest that preparation and clearing operations will take about 90 
days, and so should be completed by midsummer. It will then be 
necessary to support Iraqi forces in hold-and-build operations through 
the end of 2007 in order to continue to degrade insurgent networks, 
prevent infiltration of cleared areas again, and mitigate likely enemy 
efforts to launch an autumn surge against coalition, civilian, 
symbolic, and high-profile targets. By early 2008, it should become 
possible to begin moving some American forces out of the cleared areas 
of Baghdad, although it is unlikely that large numbers of U.S. troops 
could begin to return home until much later in 2008, for reasons 
described below.
    2007 will be a violent year in Iraq. If this proposal is not 
adopted, then insurgent and sectarian violence will continue to 
increase unabated, as it has every year since the invasion. If this 
plan is adopted, then the pattern of the violence will probably change. 
There will be a significant increase in violence as clearing operations 
commence, probably followed by a reduction in violence in the summer, 
followed by a substantial surge of violence in the fall. If the United 
States continues on its present course, American and Iraqi casualties 
will be spread more evenly over the year, but all will be wasted 
because success is extraordinarily unlikely. If this plan is adopted, 
there will probably be higher casualties in the spring and fall, but 
far fewer by the end of the year. The coalition, moreover, will have 
made significant progress toward establishing security in Iraq's 
capital and paving the way for a sustainable transition to Iraqi 
control and responsibility.

                          WHAT IF? WHAT NEXT?

    Sound military planning requires considering ``branches and 
sequels'': How to handle contingencies that are likely to arise during 
the course of operations, and how to prepare for subsequent operations 
when the current one has been completed. The consideration of enemy 
courses of action above included a number of likely branches to handle 
possible contingencies. The most probable branches include:
          1. Deploying Reserve Forces into neighborhoods not being 
        cleared as enemy groups attempt to attack more vulnerable 
          2. Restricting movement between Baghdad and either Anbar or 
        Diyala or both, in order to prevent insurgents from shifting 
        their bases;
          3. Deploying Reserves in areas of Baghdad being cleared to 
        overcome unexpected resistance;
          4. Deploying significant Reserve Forces either to Anbar, 
        Diyala, or elsewhere in response to enemy efforts to launch 
        attacks outside of the capital;
          5. Reinforcing security for high-profile targets (both people 
        and structures) in Baghdad, the north, and the Shia areas to 
        the south.
    Less probable branches include:
          1. Sealing Sadr City off either from the rest of Baghdad or 
        from Diyala;
          2. Attacking into Sadr City in the event of an unplanned 
        major confrontation with Shiite militias (although this plan 
        stresses the desirability of avoiding such a confrontation as 
        much as possible);
          3. Conducting operations against the Badr Corps in southern 
        Iraq in the event of a major confrontation with SCIRI. (Again, 
        this can result only from great misfortune or ineptitude on the 
        part of the coalition, since its aim should be to avoid such a 
    Executing the more probable branches requires having a significant 
Reserve ready and stationed within Iraq. Forces in Kuwait, let alone 
the United States, are too far away to respond rapidly to most of the 
likely contingencies. If commanders deploy only the force necessary to 
conduct the clearing operation, optimistically assuming that the enemy 
will not react or adapt to the clear-and-hold operation, they would be 
pursuing an irresponsible and dangerous policy.
    The operation to clear and hold the center of Baghdad is only the 
beginning of a larger effort to pacify Iraq. It is difficult to predict 
with any precision what operations would be necessary upon the 
conclusion of this one, particularly since clearing and holding the 
center of Baghdad would transform not only the security but also the 
political situation in the country. Some sequels are very likely to be 
necessary, however:
          1. Bringing Sadr City under control (see below);
          2. Redeploying forces from Baghdad to clear and hold Anbar, 
        beginning with Ramadi and Fallujah and then expanding up the 
        Euphrates and out to the Syrian border;
          3. Moving forces from Baghdad up the Diyala to Baquba and 
        clearing that area;
          4. Reinforcing security in the north, particularly in Ninawa, 
        including Mosul.
    It is possible that the successful clearing of central Baghdad will 
leave Moqtada al-Sadr and the Jaysh al-Mahdi still defiantly in control 
of Sadr City. If that is the case, then U.S. and Iraqi forces will have 
to clear that Shiite stronghold by force and disarm the militia. It is 
also possible, however, that the clear-and-hold operation in central 
Baghdad will weaken Sadr's power base in Sadr City and support a 
predominantly political solution to that problem. The sectarian 
violence now raging in Baghdad is one of the most powerful recruiting 
tools for the Jaysh al-Mahdi, and one of its most potent overt 
justifications. If that violence is dramatically reduced, it is likely 
that some Jaysh al-Mahdi fighters will begin to fall away from the 
group, reducing Sadr's leverage within the Shiite community and within 
Iraq as a whole. Such a weakening might well induce him and many of his 
followers to enter the political fold wholeheartedly rather than 
halfheartedly, as they have so far done. The United States must be 
clear, though, that the elimination of the Jaysh al-Mahdi as an 
effective fighting force in Baghdad, either through negotiation or by 
force, is the essential next step after the clearing of the central 
areas of the city.
    The sequence of these operations matters a great deal. The 
persistence of the Sunni insurgency justifies the strength of the 
Shiite militias and continues Maliki's dependence upon them. If the 
United States insists on attacking Sadr and his supporters first, 
Maliki and the Iraqi Government will have no leverage with him or 
justification for permitting that attack, which will look like American 
support to the Sunni insurgency. If, instead, the coalition begins by 
clearing and holding Sunni and mixed Sunni-Shiite neighborhoods in 
Baghdad, as well as conducting more aggressive operations in Anbar, the 
United States and the Iraqi Government will show that they are 
determined to suppress the Sunni insurgency and to protect both Sunnis 
and Shiites. That demonstration will make subsequent operations against 
Shiite militias much more politically palatable in Iraq. Eliminating 
the raging Sunni insurgency will also eliminate the ostensible 
justification for those militias, liberating Maliki to support their 
disarmament. The challenges in Iraq are complex, but not an insoluble 
puzzle if they are approached in the right order.


    Military operations alone cannot solve Iraq's problems. Any 
complete solution must address a host of political, economic, 
diplomatic, and social challenges as well as the security situation. 
This proposal emphasizes the military portion of the solution because 
it is urgent to bring the violence under control before it tears Iraq 
apart completely. Subsequent phases and working groups will examine the 
other aspects of the problem in much greater detail. Reconstruction 
deserves consideration even at this early phase, even though it will be 
addressed again in more detail.
    Soldiers, whether American or Iraqi, moving through a neighborhood 
to clear it inevitably do damage. Violence flares up, and innocent 
people are invariably killed. Past experience shows that many 
neighborhoods are willing to accept this price in the hope of having 
security and peace thereafter, but it is important to provide them with 
a more immediate and tangible compensation for the violence as well. In 
addition, it is clear that high levels of unemployment in Iraq create a 
pool of potential recruits for militias and violent organizations. The 
lack of essential services in many neighborhoods also provides an 
opportunity for more organized enemy groups such as militias to usurp 
the government's traditional roles (the Hezbollah model).
    For all of these reasons, therefore, every clear-and-hold operation 
must be accompanied by an immediate reconstruction program. As military 
commanders move into neighborhoods to establish security, they should 
also reach out to local leaders to find out what essential services 
must be restored quickly to permit a basic level of normal life to 
resume. The military now encapsulates the most common list of essential 
services in the abbreviation SWET: Sewage, water, electricity, and 
trash removal. Most neighborhoods will require SWET packages to begin 
operating, ideally within hours of the end of combat operations.
    Managing this reconstruction effort is an enormous challenge, and 
this phase of the report can only suggest some of the complexities 
without offering detailed solutions. It is vital that the Iraqi people 
associate the Iraqi Government with the reconstruction effort as much 
as possible. Defeating the enemy's Hezbollah model requires getting 
Iraqis accustomed to looking to their local and central government to 
provide essential services. Even when the money and capability to 
provide those services are coming from the coalition, therefore, it is 
vital that the local inhabitants attribute the provision of the 
services themselves to legitimate local leaders.
    It is not possible, however, to conduct such efforts through the 
Iraqi central government. The responsible ministries are often highly 
corrupt and unable to perform their basic functions properly. Some of 
the most important ``service'' ministries are controlled by Sadr and 
his lieutenants--political figures whom the coalition emphatically does 
not wish to legitimate or support. Few ministries actually have 
connections to local government, moreover. Providing the ministries 
with funds to conduct local reconstruction will most likely result in 
strengthening the insurgency.
    The American Government is not well organized to oversee extensive 
reconstruction projects on a local level, however. Reconstruction 
efforts to date have been disorganized. They have generated enormous 
friction between responsible agencies, and they have had inadequate 
results for the Iraqi people. Resolving these difficulties will require 
a significant effort to reorganize the way the American Government does 
business in such conflicts (an effort that we must undertake urgently, 
since Iraq is not the first and will not be the last place the United 
States will have to engage in reconstruction of one sort or another). 
In the short term, however, the only organization capable of planning 
and executing reconstruction projects in combat zones is the U.S. 
military. The essential SWET programs, therefore, must be the 
responsibility of local commanders. Those commanders will need 
representatives from USAID, the State Department, the Department of 
Agriculture, and other government agencies to advise them about 
developing and executing their programs, but the responsibility and the 
authority to dispense the necessary funds must lie with the commanders.
    The absence of security has hampered reconstruction projects 
throughout Iraq so far. Reports indicate that as much as 30 percent of 
the resources designated for reconstruction projects has been diverted 
to providing security for those projects. Insecurity raises the cost in 
other ways as well, since local and international contractors and 
employees demand higher wages and prices for operating in dangerous 
areas. Establishing real security in central Baghdad and then 
maintaining it with a large American troop presence will greatly 
mitigate these problems, allowing a much higher proportion of 
reconstruction funds to go to actually improving the lives of Iraqis 
and encouraging them to reject violence.
    It is not enough simply to restore essential services in cleared 
neighborhoods, however. The American relationship with Iraq has been 
deteriorating steadily over the past several months as U.S. leaders 
have begun to chastise Maliki and other Iraqis for failing to contain 
the violence and the militias on their own. The hectoring and insulting 
tone that has entered this discourse is manifested in the notion of 
``incentivizing'' the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own 
security. Upon examination, however, it becomes clear that all the 
incentives commonly suggested are negative: If the Iraqis do not disarm 
the militias, then the United States will leave and abandon them to 
genocide and civil war. This is not the way to encourage a desired 
behavior or to maintain good relations with an ally.
    The United States must develop a set of positive incentives to 
encourage and reward Iraqis at all levels for taking the desired steps 
toward pacifying their country. One such way would be to create a 
second tier of reconstruction projects beyond SWET packages. As 
commanders discuss with local leaders what essential services to 
restore at the end of combat operations, they should also discuss what 
reconstruction projects could dramatically increase quality of life in 
the neighborhood thereafter. They should indicate that funds for those 
projects will be released when the neighborhood fully complies with a 
set of requirements to support coalition efforts to maintain peace: 
Disarming remaining militias, turning over criminals, reporting 
insurgent efforts to infiltrate the neighborhood again, warning 
coalition forces about IEDs and imminent attacks, and so on. Any 
neighborhood meeting these requirements would receive the Tier II 
reconstruction package.
    This approach would redress another problem with a reconstruction 
program aimed only at restoring services in cleared areas: It allows 
reconstruction to proceed in neighborhoods that were stable to begin 
with. Giving SWET packages exclusively to cleared areas, in effect, 
rewards bad neighborhoods and punishes good ones. A Tier II package 
could go to any neighborhood in which basic security prevails and the 
inhabitants of which comply with the requirements of the program. Since 
the initial focus of operations in Baghdad would be on Sunni and mixed 
neighborhoods, a Tier II program would also help to ensure that 
Baghdad's Shiites received tangible benefits from the operation as 
    In addition to these programmed reconstruction activities, Congress 
should also fund the Commander's Emergency Response Program at a high 
level. This program has proven invaluable since the start of the 
insurgency because it allows local commanders to allocate resources on 
the spot to critical reconstruction efforts as the need for them 
arises. It gives commanders necessary flexibility and allows them to 
target funds to projects that directly support ongoing operations or 
forestall impending crises.

                      MAKING THE FORCES AVAILABLE

    This plan requires the deployment to Iraq of an additional five 
Army BCTs and two Marine RCTs. Any lesser force will entail a much 
greater risk of failure. The strain on the Army and Marines of 
maintaining even the current level of forces in Iraq is well-known, and 
this proposal does not underestimate the challenge of generating 
additional forces for the 18-24 months required by this plan. It is, 
however, possible to do so within the constraints of the All-Volunteer 
    There are currently 13 Army BCTs and 2 Marine RCTs in Iraq. The 
Army and Marines have already developed their plans for rotating fresh 
units into the country over the course of 2007, and they are as 

   One BCT and two RCTs are scheduled to deploy to Iraq in the 
        first quarter.
   Four BCTs will deploy in the second quarter.
   Six BCTs will deploy in the third quarter.
   One BCT and two RCTs will deploy in the fourth quarter.

    Since the aim of this force generation model has been to maintain a 
steady state of 15 brigades and regiments in Iraq, the Pentagon has 
planned to remove the same number of units from Iraq as are sent in. In 
place of this approach, this plan proposes to extend the tours of most 
Army BCTs now in Iraq from 12 months to 15 months, and of the Marine 
RCTs from 7 months to 12 months. This plan also proposes to accelerate 
the deployment of the four BCTs scheduled to enter Iraq in the second 
quarter so that they arrive instead in March. These changes in the 
deployment schedule would produce a surge of two Marine RCTs and five 
Army BCTs in the first quarter and sustain it throughout 2007, using 
only Active-Duty Forces already scheduled to deploy to Iraq in that 
    Sustaining such a large presence through 2008, which is probably 
necessary, requires mobilizing about six National Guard brigades that 
are not currently scheduled to deploy. The President has the legal 
authority to make such a callup, but Pentagon policy has, hitherto, 
been to avoid using so many National Guard brigades in Iraq in 2008. 
The proposed deployment plan would require a change in Pentagon policy, 
but not additional congressional authorization. Even though these 
brigades would not deploy until well into 2008 (and into a much more 
benign security environment than the active units now in Iraq face), 
the military must begin to alert and prepare them right now. Adopting 
the plan proposed in this report requires changing Pentagon policy 
immediately to grant the chief of staff of the Army full access to the 
National Guard and Reserve.
    Extending the tours of units and mobilizing the National Guard and 
Reserve will place a greater strain on soldiers and their families. If 
there were any option that did not threaten to place an unbearable 
burden on the military, other than the defeat of the United States, 
this plan would propose it. Maintaining anything like the current 
course will continue to strain the military badly and will also lead to 
failure. Withdrawing forces now will accelerate defeat, violence, and 
failure. It is worth considering in some detail what that failure would 
look like.
    It is possible to surmise what will occur in Iraq when the U.S. 
Armed Forces withdraw in the current environment on the basis of what 
has happened in the past when U.S. forces have withdrawn prematurely 
from areas in Iraq. Enemy groups round up Iraqis who collaborate with 
Americans and their own government, then publicly torture and kill 
these people, often along with their entire families. Death squads 
commit horrific atrocities against one another but most often against 
innocent civilians, leaving their mangled corpses on streets and in 
yards. To many Americans watching from afar, these are just dead bodies 
and evidence of failure. But to the soldiers preparing to withdraw, 
they are people the United States has betrayed and abandoned to 
horrible deaths.
    As soldiers establish themselves in neighborhoods, they work hard 
to gain the trust of the locals. That trust is essential in persuading 
local leaders and citizens to provide critical information soldiers 
need to identify and capture enemies, avoid ambushes and IEDs, and 
perform almost any military mission. American soldiers and marines are 
well aware of the reciprocal obligation they undertake to protect those 
Iraqis who trust them enough to provide intelligence. One of the 
greatest frustrations American soldiers are experiencing today is the 
inability to fulfill that implicit promise.
    American withdrawal from Iraq will be a searing and scarring 
experience. U.S. soldiers will be forced to confront the results of 
America's defeat on the most personal level. Terrorists will videotape 
death squads operating with American troops stacking arms in the 
background. Al Jazeera and other Muslim media outlets will play the 
tapes endlessly, accompanied by claims that the Americans were 
committing or abetting the atrocities. The process of such a defeat 
will demoralize the Army and Marines far more dramatically and 
permanently than asking brigades to serve a few additional months in 
the course of a successful operation that brings the United States 
closer to victory. The strain on the Army and Marines is very real and 
a serious concern, but it is not correctable with any simple solution--
not even immediate withdrawal.
    The President has already embraced an essential element of the 
longer term solution for the strain, however: Increasing the end-
strength of the ground forces. It has been clear for some time that the 
Active-Duty Army and Marines were too small for the challenges they 
face in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world. The President's call 
for enlarging them comes not a moment too soon.
    For some time now, skeptics of such enlargement have argued that it 
would not be possible to recruit more soldiers in time of war into the 
volunteer force, but recruiting does not appear to be the factor 
limiting the expansion of the ground forces. Instead, the ability of 
the training base to accept new recruits and give them basic soldier 
skills before sending them to their units regulates the pace of 
expanding the Army and the Marines. Part of the problem is that the 
training base is not expansible and has not been prepared for a serious 
effort to build the sort of ground forces the nation needs in this time 
of crisis. That inadequacy must also change. In addition to making a 
national call for young people to serve in the military, the President 
must also make a priority of expanding the ground forces training base 
as quickly as possible to permit a more rapid expansion of the Army and 
Marines. Current estimates suggest that the Army could grow by only 
about 7,000 soldiers per year for the next few years. That figure is 
wholly inadequate. Many estimates of the appropriate size of the active 
Army suggest that the United States needs at least 50,000 more 
soldiers--or even more. The United States cannot wait 5 years to 
achieve this necessary increase in end-strength. The Secretary of 
Defense must make it a priority to create the capability to expand the 
Army much more rapidly, and the United States should maintain that 
capability indefinitely to avoid finding the country again unable to 
add forces rapidly in wartime in the future.
    The most serious challenge in accelerating the deployment of 
brigades scheduled to enter Iraq this year, however, has nothing to do 
with the number of people in the Armed Forces. The Army and Marines 
have worn out their equipment. Tanks, Bradleys, and Humvees are not 
designed to drive thousands of miles a year, but they have been doing 
so for years in extremely harsh conditions. News reports indicate that 
many units in the Army are at low levels of readiness because they do 
not have enough functioning equipment to take to the field. Units 
regularly swap equipment with one another as they prepare to deploy. 
Sometimes soldiers getting ready to move to Iraq do not receive the 
equipment they need until a few weeks before they start their 
    Congress has recognized this problem and has appropriated funds to 
``reset'' the Army and Marines--primarily by buying or repairing the 
necessary equipment. But even recent increases in these appropriations 
have not brought America's military industry to anything like full 
mobilization. Army depots are operating far below their maximum 
capability despite this equipment crisis. This situation is 
unacceptable. The Department of Defense must request and Congress 
should authorize an additional significant increase in funds for 
reequipping the military, and all available military industrial 
resources should be brought to bear on this challenge as rapidly as 
    Many of the proposals in this section can be summed up briefly: The 
Nation must be put on a war footing. That does not mean a return to the 
draft. It is possible and necessary to maintain a volunteer military 
while fighting this war and beyond. It does, however, mean abandoning 
peacetime bureaucratic routines within the Pentagon and throughout the 
defense establishment. It means that the President must issue a call to 
arms. It means that Congress must provide the necessary financial 
support. It means that everyone involved in the defense of the Nation 
must make supporting the troops fighting this war the number one 
priority. It is disgraceful that the Nation has not been placed on a 
war footing even this far into such an important conflict, but it is 
essential to transform this state of affairs if the United States is to 
conduct the operations necessary to avoid imminent defeat and pursue 


    There are a number of other proposals for resolving the crisis in 
Iraq, most of which fall into one or more of the following categories:

   Train Iraqi forces and transition more rapidly to full Iraqi 
        control (the current U.S. military strategy).
   Increase the training of Iraqi forces and engage Iraq's 
        neighbors to reduce the violence (the core of the Iraq Study 
        Group report).
   Partition Iraq (Senator Joseph Biden's [D-Del.] proposal).
   Withdraw U.S. forces immediately (House Speaker Nancy Pelosi 
        (D-Calif.] and Senator Carl Levin's [D-Mich.] suggestion).

    None of these proposals offers any prospect for success in Iraq; 
all, in fact, make defeat and regional war far more likely.
Train and Transition
    This is the current U.S. military strategy as outlined repeatedly 
by MNF-I commander, GEN George Casey. This approach is at odds with the 
``clear-hold-build'' strategy outlined by Secretary of State 
Condoleezza Rice and President George W. Bush more than a year ago. The 
American Military command has never tried to implement clear-hold-build 
because it has never given U.S. forces in Iraq the mission of providing 
security to the Iraqi people. MNF-I has instead focused on training 
Iraqi forces and has used its mobile units reactively to regain control 
of insurgent strongholds. The exceptions to this principle proved the 
rule: Operations Together Forward I and II used American forces to 
clear neighborhoods, but sought to rely exclusively on Iraqis to hold 
them afterward--the main reason for the failure of those operations.
    The creation of a trained Iraqi Army of more than 130,000 soldiers 
in just a few years starting from scratch has been an amazing 
accomplishment. The determination of Iraqi soldiers, who put their 
lives on the line just to enlist in an environment in which terrorists 
regularly target recruiting stations, is astonishing. But as the 
capabilities of the Iraqi Army have steadily increased, the sectarian 
violence has increased even faster. Unless the United States takes 
action to bring the violence down to a level at which the growing Iraqi 
Security Forces can control it, then the violence will ultimately 
destroy those security forces as well. Although MNF-I has repeatedly 
published maps of Iraq with expanding areas of green, denoting regions 
that have been ``transitioned'' to Iraqi control, these graphics and 
metrics do not correctly indicate whether the United States is 
succeeding or failing in Iraq. Despite these transitions, the United 
States is on a glide-path to defeat and not victory. The current 
strategy has clearly failed and must be replaced quickly.
Train and Negotiate
    The Iraq Study Group (ISG) proposed to increase the number of 
embedded trainers, eliminate almost all other U.S. combat forces in 
Iraq, and negotiate with Iran and Syria to control the violence. This 
report has already considered why simply embedding more soldiers with 
Iraqi units is not likely to increase the capability of the Iraqi Army 
rapidly and may even slow down its improvement by removing 
opportunities for the Iraqis to conduct operations together with 
America's outstanding soldiers and marines. The ISG report also ignores 
the significant delay before new Iraqi forces can take the field, even 
with accelerated training. What will happen to the insurgency and 
violence in that time? Clearly it will continue to grow. Very likely it 
will rapidly grow beyond the point at which any plausible increase in 
Iraqi forces' capabilities could control it.
    The ISG counters by proposing that the United States and the Iraqi 
Government open negotiations with Iran and Syria in an effort to 
persuade them to contain the growing sectarian violence. It is beyond 
the scope of this report to consider whether the Iranians or Syrians 
are likely to be helpful in such negotiations, but there is no reason 
to imagine that they could control the violence in Iraq even if they 
wished to.
    Iran provides Shiite groups of all varieties with weapons, 
expertise, advice, and money. Syria tacitly permits the movement of 
insurgents across its borders. This assistance to the rebels increases 
the overall level of violence in Iraq, as well as the lethality of 
certain insurgent attacks. But could the Iranians and the Syrians turn 
the violence off?
    To begin with, there is ample evidence that the various 
insurgencies in Iraq have developed their own multifarious sources of 
funding, mostly resulting from criminal activities and corruption that 
they siphon off for their own purposes. They also have an ample stock 
of high explosives: Saddam Hussein packed his country with ammunition 
warehouses for more than a decade. As one observer put it: ``There's 
enough high explosives in Iraq now to maintain the current level of 
violence for a thousand years.'' If the Iranians cut off their 
supplies, the insurgents would still be able to fund their enterprises. 
They would still have the wherewithal to make IEDs and car bombs, and 
they would still recruit suicide bombers. Outside sources of assistance 
help them, but the withdrawal of those resources would not stop them.
    Could the Iranians order SCIRI or the Jaysh al-Mahdi to stop their 
attacks? It is extremely unlikely. To begin with, although SCIRI and 
Jaysh al-Mahdi are Shiites, they are Arabs, not Persians. It will 
always be difficult for Iraqi Shiites to obey explicit instructions 
from Iranians for cultural reasons. But, above all, the escalating 
violence in Iraq results less from Iranian encouragement than from the 
internal dynamics of Iraq itself.
    The Shiite community in Iraq remained remarkably quiescent under 
increasing Sunni attacks through 2004 and 2005, despite rapidly growing 
tensions between Iran and the United States. The explosion in sectarian 
violence followed the bombing of the Samarra mosque. The recruiting and 
propaganda of Shiite groups relies heavily on portraying them as 
defenders of the Shiite people against Sunni assaults. It is difficult 
to imagine how they would explain abandoning their fight in the face of 
continuing Sunni attacks simply because the Iranians tell them to do 
so. The vigilante groups that are in some respects the most worrisome 
manifestation of the nascent civil war will not listen to the Iranians 
at all. These are mostly local, self-organized groups aimed at 
preventing and avenging attacks on their communities. The only way to 
bring such groups under control is to establish security, thereby 
removing their only real reason for being.
    And who could bring the Sunni Arab insurgents under control? Syria, 
still less Iran, does not control al-Qaeda in Iraq or Ansar al-Sunna. 
Such groups take orders from no state and cannot be made to stop their 
activities by a diktat from Damascus or Tehran. The Baathists are no 
more likely to stop their fighting simply because the Syrians intervene 
with them. To begin with, the Baathists are Iraqi nationalists, 
unlikely to take orders from foreign regimes. Neither are they 
organized into a neat hierarchical system that would facilitate Syrian 
discussions with them. When the United States destroyed the Iraqi 
Baathist state in 2003, it also destroyed the political and some of the 
social hierarchy in the Sunni Arab community. The lack of a clear 
hierarchy that controls its followers has severely hindered the U.S. 
ability to negotiate with the insurgents during its attempts to do so 
and will limit the Syrians no less.
    The problem with relying on Iraq's neighbors to control the 
violence is less that they will not do so than that they cannot. This 
approach is a blind alley that will lead nowhere because it 
misrepresents the fundamental nature of the problem in Iraq.
Partition Iraq
    This approach takes as its basis the assumption that Iraq naturally 
falls into three parts. Supporters of it usually point to one of two 
mutually contradictory facts: Iraq has three main social groups (Sunni 
Arabs, Shiites, and Kurds), and the Iraqi state was formed in 1921 from 
three Ottoman vilayets or administrative districts. Iraq, advocates of 
this view say, is an artificial creation that would be more stable if 
we allowed it to fall back into its natural, trinary form.
    To begin with, the fact that the Ottoman Empire chose to rule what 
is now Iraq via three administrative districts does not make the 
present Iraqi state an artificial creation. On the contrary, from 
prehistoric times the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and the land between 
them have formed a single community, often composed of multiple 
ethnicities and religions but functioning as an economic and often 
political unit.
    Ottoman administrative practice should not convince modern 
observers that Iraq is by nature a tripartite state. The Ottomans did 
not align territory according to modern concepts of national self-
determination. They divided and conquered, as did most other empires. 
The notion of some preindependence Iraqi system in which each social 
group controlled its own area in peace is a myth. Any such tripartite 
structure would itself be an artificial innovation with no historical 
    The Ottoman vilayets (of Mosul, Baghdad, and Basra) were not 
themselves homogeneous ethnic or sectarian groupings. Mosul, Baghdad, 
Baquba, and Kirkuk, four of Iraq's principal cities, have long been 
mixed at both the metropolitan and the neighborhood level.
    Even now, a high proportion of Iraqis live in mixed communities. 
Partitioning the country could only result from the migration of 
millions of people. Many would resist. Bloodbaths would ensue. When 
this process occurred in the Balkans in the 1990s the international 
community called it ``ethnic cleansing'' and ``genocide.'' It is 
difficult to imagine how the United States and the international 
community could now accept and even propose a solution that they 
rightly condemned not a decade ago.
    These principled considerations parallel practical concerns. Who 
would get Baghdad? The capital is now mixed between Sunni and Shia. 
Depriving one group of that city and giving it to another would create 
an obvious sense of victory and defeat between the groups--not 
something that bodes well for subsequent stability. If the 
international community sought to divide Baghdad, where would it draw 
the line? The Tigris seems an obvious choice, but it has already become 
impossible. There are many Sunnis living east of the river and many 
Shiites living to the west. Jaysh al-Mahdi fighters are working hard to 
seize more territory on the West Bank and drive the Sunnis farther out. 
If the United States allows this process to continue, as advocates of 
partition suggest, America will de facto be giving Baghdad to the 
Shiites at the cost of the dislocation of 2 or 3 million Sunnis. Again, 
this is a process that can only come at the price of hideous suffering 
and death. Last, there is the problem of oil. The Kurds have oil 
fields. The Shiites have oil fields. The Sunni Arabs do not. Fear of 
the loss of oil revenue is one factor driving the Sunni insurgency now. 
Partitioning Iraq would make that fear a permanent reality. Why would 
the Sunnis stop fighting? They would not. Partition is not only a 
historical abomination and an invitation for sectarian cleansing and 
genocide on a vast scale--it is also a recipe for perpetual conflict in 
    Iraq does not break down cleanly into Kurdish, Shia, or Sunni Arab 
areas either demographically or historically. Rather, within these 
broad categories there are serious fissures and rivalries which have 
been exploited by overlords (Ottoman, British, and Iraqi) to maintain 
central control. These rivalries will not disappear by a simple ethnic 
or sectarian realignment or oil-sharing scheme. Shia factions will war 
with each other, and Shia violence could spill into other Arab Shia 
tribes in the region. Sunni tribal forces, urban Baathists, Islamic 
radicals, and other interested states will not allow a peaceful Sunni 
heartland to be established, even if they could somehow be reconciled 
to a strip of the upper Euphrates and the Anbar desert. The integration 
of Kurds into this realignment, and the minority populations that live 
in Kurdish areas, is far more complicated than most observers 
recognize, starting with the fact that there are two rival Kurdish 
parties now, reflecting important linguistic and tribal distinctions. 
Considering the presence of large numbers of Turkmen, Yazidi, and other 
minority groups in the lands that a partition would give to Kurdistan 
presents another set of problems that partitioning will only 
    Advocates of immediate withdrawal fall into a number of camps. Some 
propose pulling American forces out of Iraq because they opposed the 
war to begin with. Others argue that we have already lost and that 
further efforts to turn the tide are useless. Still others claim that 
American interests would be better served by withdrawing to other parts 
of region--or withdrawing from the region altogether. Slightly more 
sophisticated advocates of this plan argue that the American presence 
in Iraq is an irritant and permits a sort of laziness on the part of 
the Iraqi Government. Consequently, they say, a U.S. withdrawal would 
both reduce the violence and force the Iraqis to contribute more 
effectively. Many of these arguments are irrelevant or invalid. All 
face a challenge that advocates have an obligation to answer: What will 
happen in Iraq and in the region following a withdrawal of U.S. forces, 
and why will that be better for America than attempting to win?
    The War Was Wrong From the Beginning. This argument for withdrawal 
is without any logical foundation. Whatever the wisdom or folly of the 
initial decision to invade Iraq in 2003, the problems the United States 
faces there now are real and imminent. The lives of millions of people 
literally hang in the balance in a country poised on the brink of full-
scale civil war. The issues at stake are far too important to allow 
resentment at an earlier decision to prevent a rational assessment of 
the best course of action today. America has a responsibility to pursue 
its own interests in Iraq, and those interests require establishing 
security and a legitimate government. And America has an obligation to 
the Iraqi people that it would be immoral and reprehensible to ignore.
    The War Is Already Lost. The war is not lost. The legitimate, 
elected Iraqi Government remains stable and commands the support of the 
majority of the Iraqi people. The Armed Forces of Iraq are at their 
posts, training and fighting every day. The levels of violence in Iraq 
per capita are far lower than those of Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s, 
and the United States was able to contain those conflicts. By any 
measure, victory in Iraq is still possible if the United States has the 
will and the skill to seek it.
    Those who disagree with this assessment still have an obligation, 
moreover, to propose a positive strategy for moving forward. Accepting 
defeat might solve an immediate problem, but international politics 
will not stop when we have done so. What will happen in Iraq? What will 
happen in the region? What will the United States have to do? Will that 
situation actually be better or worse than attempting to fight through 
a difficult time now? Advocating immediate withdrawal without answering 
these questions persuasively and in detail is irresponsible.
    Many who prefer immediate withdrawal implicitly or explicitly 
believe that the United States can find a ``soft landing'' that will 
contain the violence and prevent it from spreading throughout the 
region. After all, no sensible and responsible person could advocate an 
approach that would ignite the entire Middle East in full-scale 
sectarian war. A forthcoming study from the Saban Center for Middle 
East Policy at the Brookings Institute, whose interim findings have 
been publicly presented, casts serious doubt on the likelihood of any 
``soft landing,'' however. The study's codirector, Kenneth Pollack, 
argues that the history of civil wars strongly suggests that the Iraq 
conflict will spill over onto Iraq's neighbors on a large scale. It is 
highly likely not only to involve them in Iraq's struggles, but to 
ignite secondary civil wars within those states that may spread even 
further. He argues that there is no natural checking mechanism that 
would build up any sort of resistance to this conflict spreading. On 
the contrary, refugee flows from Iraq are already changing the 
demographics of the region and will continue to do so. Refugees will 
appeal to similar ethnic and sectarian groups in their new host 
countries to involve themselves in the larger struggle. War will 
spread, involving American interests and allies. It is nearly certain 
that the United States will find itself reengaging in the Middle East 
on far worse terms than it now faces. Withdrawal promises at best a 
partial relief from the immediate pain at the expense of far worse 
suffering for years to come.
    The United States Could Accomplish Its Regional Goals Better by 
Leaving. Various attempts at sophisticated argumentation claim that 
America could best regain its lost leverage in the Middle East by 
pulling back from Iraq and focusing on other issues. Again, advocates 
of this approach rarely consider the likely consequences of withdrawal 
and how the prospects of regional war will probably destroy any 
leverage the United States might hypothetically gain. They ignore 
completely, moreover, the fact that America's defeat in Iraq will 
destroy its credibility in the region and around the world for years to 
    When the United States first invaded Iraq in 2003, the Iranian 
regime was clearly frightened. It responded to that fear by lying low 
and reducing the level of tension with the West. By mid-2004, Tehran 
had decided that the United States was bogged down in a war it was 
losing. The Iranians seized that opportunity to move forward 
aggressively with their nuclear program despite international 
opposition, to court conflict with the United States, and to increase 
support for Shiite militias in Iraq. What will happen if the United 
States withdraws from Iraq and abandons that country to chaos? The 
likeliest outcome is that Iran will seek and possibly achieve hegemony 
in the region. Iran is by far the largest and strongest state in the 
Middle East, even without nuclear weapons. The creation of a power 
vacuum on its western frontier would make it stronger still. With 
neither a strong Iraqi nor an American presence, Tehran's writ would 
run throughout the gulf region virtually unopposed. It is very 
difficult to see how such an outcome restores any degree of leverage in 
the Middle East to a defeated United States.
    The American Presence in Iraq Is the Problem. This argument is 
simply untrue. There are two simple tests to apply: How has the pattern 
of violence in Iraq correlated with the size of American forces, and 
whom are the insurgents attacking? If the irritating presence of 
American soldiers were the primary cause of violence in Iraq, then more 
American troops should lead to more violence and fewer troops would 
produce less violence. In fact, the opposite has been the case. When 
the United States has increased force levels in Iraq in the past in 
order to provide security for elections and the constitutional 
referendum, violence dropped significantly. When U.S. forces cleared 
Tall Afar, Mosul, and Sadr City in 2004, violence dropped. As MNF-I has 
attempted to reduce the American presence in Iraq prematurely, violence 
has increased. Correlating American presence with violence does not 
suggest that American forces are the problem, but rather that they are 
part of the solution.
    The idea that American troops are the irritant in Iraq does not 
explain the fact that attacks by Iraqis on other Iraqis are steadily 
increasing. If the American troop presence is causing the bloodshed, 
why are Iraqis killing each other, rather than coalition forces, in 
growing numbers? This explanation also suffers from the fact that 
repeated anecdotes reveal that many Iraqis prefer to see American 
troops rather than Iraqi police. Sunnis in Baghdad warn each other that 
they should trust Iraqi Government forces only when they are 
accompanied by American soldiers. It is difficult to see in such 
examples proof of the theorem that the U.S. presence is the source of 
the problem, still less that removing U.S. forces would lead to peace.


    America faces a serious challenge in Iraq today, and there are no 
simple or easy solutions. The proposal described in this report is only 
the essential first step on a long road. Successful counterinsurgency 
strategy requires a skillful blend of military, political, economic, 
diplomatic, and social initiatives. Although attempts to suppress 
rebellions through brute force have succeeded in the past on occasion, 
the methods required to implement them are repugnant to Americans and 
have rightly been rejected. The emphasis on military power in this 
proposal does not come from any belief that such power can bring 
success on its own. On the contrary, the successive phases of this 
project will examine various aspects of training the Iraqi Security 
Forces, transitioning to Iraqi governmental control, and other 
political, economic, and diplomatic developments that are essential 
components of any successful strategy.
    But there is no prospect for any positive developments in Iraq 
today until the security situation is brought under control. Political 
processes cannot resolve, absorb, or control communal and terrorist 
violence at the current levels. Economic development cannot even begin 
in earnest amidst such bloodshed. Diplomatic approaches cannot resolve 
a conflict that is driven by internal factors. The top priority of 
American strategy in Iraq today must be to secure the population and 
bring the violence under control. Making political progress of any sort 
a precondition for the start of such an operation will virtually ensure 
failure and defeat.
    There is risk in any military operation, and America and the Iraqi 
Government and people face a number of clever and determined enemies. 
The United States has consistently underestimated the skill and 
capability of these enemies and relied on overly optimistic assumptions 
about what would happen in Iraq. It is time to accept reality. The 
fight in Iraq is difficult. The enemy will work hard to defeat the 
coalition and the Iraqi Government. Things will not go according to 
plan. The coalition and the Iraqi Government may fail. But failure is 
neither inevitable nor tolerable, and so the United States must 
redouble its efforts to succeed. America must adopt a new strategy 
based more firmly on successful counterinsurgency practices, and the 
Nation must provide its commanders with the troops they need to execute 
that strategy in the face of a thinking enemy. The enemy has been at 
war with us for nearly 4 years. The United States has emphasized 
restraint and caution. It is time for America to go to war and win. And 
America can.

    The Chairman. Thank you very much, Dr. Kagan.
    Dr. Carpenter.


    Dr. Carpenter. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I want to thank 
the committee for the invitation to offer my views this 
    I have provided a longer written statement, and I would 
request that that be included in the record.
    The Chairman. In the case of all of you, if you have a 
written statement that exceeded or was different than what your 
verbal testimony is, that'll be included in the record.
    Dr. Carpenter. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Optimism about the United States mission in Iraq has faded 
dramatically in the past few months. The bipartisan Iraq Study 
Group accurately concluded that the situation was, ``grave and 
deteriorating.'' The Pentagon's report to Congress in November 
2006 paints a similarly dismal picture, with attacks on United 
States troops, Iraqi security forces, and Iraqi civilians all 
at record levels. Yet, proponents of the war refuse to admit 
what is increasingly obvious: That Washington's Iraq occupation 
and democratization mission is failing and there is little 
realistic prospect that its fortunes will improve. Something 
much more dramatic than a modest course correction is needed.
    It is essential to ask the administration and its 
supporters at what point they will admit that the costs of this 
venture have become unbearable. How much longer are they 
willing to have our troops stay in Iraq? Two years? Five years? 
Ten years? How many more tax dollars are they willing to pour 
into Iraq? Another $300 billion? $600 billion? One trillion? 
And, most crucial of all, how many more American lives are they 
willing to sacrifice? Two thousand? Five thousand? Ten 
thousand? It is time for the supporters of the war to be 
    Proponents of the mission avoid addressing such unpleasant 
questions. Instead, they act as though victory in Iraq can be 
achieved merely through the exercise of willpower, that we can 
simply choose victory.
    Whether or not one describes it as a civil war, the 
security situation in Iraq is extraordinarily violent and 
chaotic. Moreover, the nature of the violence has shifted, with 
the principal component now sectarian strife between Sunnis and 
Shiites. The Iraq Study Group noted that 4 of Iraq's 18 
provinces are, ``highly insecure.'' And those provinces account 
for 40 percent of the country's population.
    A November 2006 U.N. report highlights the extent of the 
growing bloodshed. The carnage is now running at at least 120 
victims each day. We must remember, this is occurring in a 
country of barely 26 million people. A comparable pace in the 
United States would be a horrifying 1,400 deaths per day, or 
nearly 500,000 a year. If political violence were consuming 
that many American lives, there would be little debate about 
whether the United States was in a civil war.
    In addition to the growing violence, there is mounting 
evidence that the majority of Iraqis no longer want United 
States troops in their country. The bottom line is that the 
United States is mired in a country that is already in the 
early stages of an exceedingly complex multisided civil war, 
and this is not just a war between Sunnis and Shia, this is a 
war with multiple factions, including internal conflicts among 
the various sects. It is also a situation where all significant 
factions, save one--the Kurds--want American troops to leave. 
That is an untenable situation.
    Increasing the number of United States troops in Iraq by 
21,000 or so is a futile attempt to salvage a mission that has 
gone terribly wrong. It would merely increase the number of 
casualties, both American and Iraqi, over the short term, while 
having little long-term impact on the security environment. 
Moreover, the magnitude of the proposed buildup falls far short 
of the numbers needed to give the occupation forces a realistic 
prospect of suppressing the violence. Experts on 
counterinsurgency, for many, many years, have consistently 
concluded that at least 10 soldiers per 1,000 population are 
required to have a sufficient impact. And, indeed, many experts 
have argued that, in cases where armed resistance is intense 
and pervasive, which certainly seems to apply to Iraq, 
deployments of 20 soldiers per 1,000 may be needed. Given 
Iraq's population of 26 million, such a mission would require 
the deployment of at least 260,000 ground forces, and probably 
as many as 520,000. We simply don't have the troops for that 
kind of mission.
    A limited surge of additional troops is the latest illusory 
panacea offered by the people who brought us the Iraq quagmire 
in the first place. It is an idea that should be rejected, and, 
instead, the United States needs to withdraw from Iraq.
    Proponents of staying in Iraq offer several reasons why a 
prompt withdrawal would be bad for the United States. They 
argue that al-Qaeda's 1,300 fighters will somehow take over 
Iraq, that a United States withdrawal will embolden Islamic 
radicals worldwide, that a withdrawal will lead to a regional 
Sunni-Shiite proxy war, and that leaving Iraq without achieving 
our goals would betray a moral obligation to the Iraqi people. 
I deal with all of those allegations, at some length, in my 
written statement. Suffice it to say here that those arguments 
vary in terms of plausibility. Some, especially the notion that 
al-Qaeda will be able to take over Iraq, are farfetched; 
others, especially the concern about a regional proxy war, have 
some validity. All of them, though, are ultimately deficient as 
a reason for keeping United States troops in Iraq.
    A decision to withdraw and leave Iraq to its own fate is 
certainly not without adverse consequences. America's terrorist 
adversaries will portray the pullout as a defeat for U.S. 
policy. But staying on indefinitely in a dire and deteriorating 
security environment is even worse for our country.
    The costs, both tangible and intangible, of a prompt exit 
must be measured against the costs of staying in Iraq. 
Moreover, even if the United States absorbs the costs of a 
prolonged mission, there is no realistic prospect that anything 
resembling victory resides at the end of that effort. Indeed, 
most of the indicators suggest that we would be merely delaying 
the inevitable.
    The intangible costs are already considerable. America's 
reputation in the Muslim world is at its lowest level in 
history, largely because of the Iraq mission. America's 
reputation elsewhere in the world, including among longstanding 
allies and friends, has, likewise, taken a major hit. The All-
Volunteer Force has been strained to the breaking point, and 
the social wounds that the Vietnam war inflicted on our 
society, which took so long to heal, have been ripped open. Our 
country is, once again, bitterly divided over a murky war. The 
longer we stay in Iraq, the worse all of those problems will 
    The tangible costs are even more depressing. The financial 
tab for the Iraq mission is already some $350 billion, and the 
meter is running at approximately $8 billion a month, and that 
is before the President's new escalation. Furthermore, even 
those appalling figures do not take into account substantial 
indirect costs, such as the expense of long-term care for 
wounded Iraq war veterans.
    The United States needs to adopt a decisive withdrawal 
strategy, measured in months, not years. A longer schedule 
would simply prolong the agony. Emotionally, deciding to leave 
under current conditions will not be easy, for it requires an 
implicit admission that Washington has failed in its ambitious 
goal to create a stable, united, democratic secular Iraq that 
would be a model for peace throughout the Middle East. But that 
goal was unrealistic, from the outset. It is difficult for any 
nation, and especially the American superpower, to admit 
failure. However, it is better to admit failure while the 
adverse consequences are manageable. Failure in Iraq would be a 
setback for the United States, particularly in terms of global 
clout and credibility, but one of the advantages to being a 
superpower is that the country can absorb a setback without 
experiencing catastrophic damages to its core interests or 
capabilities. Failure in Iraq does not even come close to 
threatening those core interests and capabilities. Most 
important, a withdrawal now will be less painful than 
withdrawing years from now, when the cost in blood, treasure, 
and credibility will be even greater.
    The withdrawal needs to be comprehensive, not partial. The 
only troops remaining in Iraq should be a modest number of 
special forces personnel who would work with political factions 
to eradicate the al-Qaeda interlopers in their country. It must 
be clear to Iraqis and to populations throughout the Muslim 
world that Washington has no intention of trying to maintain a 
military presence in Iraq. That has already become a lightning 
rod for the Muslim world. Above all, United States policymakers 
need to absorb the larger lesson of the Iraq debacle. Launching 
an elective war in pursuit of a nation-building fantasy was an 
act of folly. It is a folly that policymakers should vow never 
to repeat.
    Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Dr. Carpenter follows:]

   Prepared Statement of Dr. Ted Galen Carpenter, Vice President of 
   Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute, Washington, DC

    Optimism about the U.S. mission in Iraq has faded dramatically in 
the past few months. The bipartisan Iraq Study Group conceded that the 
situation in Iraq was ``grave and deteriorating.'' The Pentagon's 
report to Congress in November 2006 paints a similarly dismal picture, 
with attacks on U.S. troops, Iraqi security forces, and Iraqi civilians 
at record levels.
    Yet proponents of the war refuse to admit what is becoming 
increasingly obvious: Washington's Iraq occupation and democratization 
mission is failing, and there is little realistic prospect that its 
fortunes will improve. Something much more dramatic than a modest 
course correction is needed.
    It is essential to ask the administration and its hawkish backers 
at what point they will admit that the costs of this venture have 
become unbearable. How much longer are they willing to have our troops 
stay in Iraq? Five years? Ten years? Twenty years? How many more tax 
dollars are they willing to pour into Iraq? Another $300 billion? $600 
billion? $1 trillion? And most crucial of all, how many more American 
lives are they willing to sacrifice? Two thousand? Five thousand? Ten 
    Proponents of the mission avoid addressing such unpleasant 
questions. Instead, they act as though victory in Iraq can be achieved 
merely through the exercise of will power.


    Whether or not one describes it as a civil war, the security 
situation in Iraq is extraordinarily violent and chaotic. Moreover, the 
nature of the violence in that country has shifted since the February 
2006 bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra, one of Shia Islam's 
holiest sites. The Sunni-led insurgency against United States and 
British occupation forces and the security forces of the U.S.-sponsored 
Iraqi Government is still a significant factor, but it is no longer the 
dominant one. The turmoil now centers around sectarian violence between 
Sunnis and Shiites. Baghdad is the epicenter of that strife, but it has 
erupted in other parts of the country as well. The Iraq Study Group 
noted that four of Iraq's 18 provinces are ``highly insecure.'' Those 
provinces account for about 40 percent of the country's population.
    A November 2006 U.N. report highlights the extent of the growing 
bloodshed. The carnage is now running at approximately 120 victims each 
day. This is occurring in a country of barely 26 million people. A 
comparable pace in the United States would be a horrifying 1,400 deaths 
per day--or nearly 500,000 per year. If violence between feuding 
political or ethno-religious factions was consuming that many American 
lives, there would be little debate about whether the United States was 
experiencing a civil war.
    In addition to the casualties in Iraq, there are other human costs. 
The United Nations estimates that some 1.6 million people have been 
displaced inside Iraq (i.e., they are ``internal refugees'') as a 
result of the fighting. Another 1.8 million have fled the country 
entirely, mostly to Jordan and Syria. Moreover, the pace of the exodus 
is accelerating. Refugees are now leaving Iraq at the rate of nearly 
3,000 a day. The bulk of those refugees are middle and upper class 
families. Indeed, there are affluent neighborhoods in Baghdad and other 
cities that now resemble ghost towns.


    The mounting chaos in Iraq is not simply a case of Sunni-Shiite 
sectarian violence, although that is the dominant theme. The Iraq Study 
Group notes the complexity of Iraq's security turmoil. ``In Kirkuk, the 
struggle is between Kurds, Arabs, and Turkmen. In Basra and the south, 
the violence is largely an intra-Shia struggle.'' Implicitly rejecting 
the arguments of those who contend that the violence is primarily a 
Sunni-Shia conflict confined to Baghdad, the members of the commission 
point out that ``most of Iraq's cities have a sectarian mix and are 
plagued by persistent violence. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki warns 
that conflicts in the various regions could be ``Shiite versus Shiite 
and Sunni versus Sunni.''
    There is also mounting evidence that the majority of Iraqis no 
longer want U.S. troops in their country. The bottom line is that the 
United States is mired in a country that is already in the early stages 
of an exceedingly complex, multisided civil war, and where all 
significant factions save one (the Kurds) want American troops to 
leave. That is an untenable situation.


    Increasing the number of U.S. troops in Iraq by 20,000 or so is a 
futile attempt to salvage a mission that has gone terribly wrong. In 
all likelihood, it would merely increase the number of casualties--both 
American and Iraqi--over the short term while having little long-term 
impact on the security environment. Moreover, the magnitude of the 
proposed buildup falls far short of the numbers needed to give the 
occupation forces a realistic prospect of suppressing the violence. 
Experts on counterinsurgency strategies have consistently concluded 
that at least 10 soldiers per 1,000 population are required to have a 
sufficient impact. Indeed, some experts have argued that in cases where 
armed resistance is intense and pervasive (which certainly seems to 
apply to Iraq), deployments of 20 soldiers per thousand may be needed.
    Given Iraq's population (26 million) such a mission would require 
the deployment of at least 260,000 ground forces (an increase of 
115,000 from current levels) and probably as many as 520,000. Even the 
lower requirement will strain the U.S. Army and Marine Corps to the 
breaking point. Yet a lesser deployment would have no realistic chance 
to get the job done. A limited ``surge'' of additional troops is the 
latest illusory panacea offered by the people who brought us the Iraq 
quagmire in the first place. It is an idea that should be rejected.

                        CONSEQUENCES OF LEAVING

    Proponents of staying in Iraq offer several reasons why a prompt 
withdrawal would be bad for the United States. Those arguments vary in 
terms of plausibility. All of them, though, are ultimately deficient as 
a reason for keeping U.S. troops in Iraq.
Allegation: Al-Qaeda would take over Iraq
    Administration officials and other supporters of the war have 
warned repeatedly that a ``premature'' withdrawal of U.S. forces would 
enable al-Qaeda to turn Iraq into a sanctuary to plot and launch 
attacks against the United States and other Western countries. But al-
Qaeda taking over Iraq is an extremely improbable scenario. The Iraq 
Study Group put the figure of foreign fighters at only 1,300; a 
relatively small component of the Sunni insurgency against U.S. forces. 
It strains credulity to imagine 1,300 fighters (and foreigners at that) 
taking over and controlling a country of 26 million people.
    The challenge for al-Qaeda would be even more daunting than those 
raw numbers suggest. The organization does have some support among the 
Sunni Arabs in Iraq, but opinion even among that segment of the 
population is divided. A September 2006 poll conducted by the Program 
on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland found 
that 94 percent of Sunnis had a somewhat, or highly, unfavorable 
attitude toward al-Qaeda. As the violence of al-Qaeda attacks has 
mounted, and the victims are increasingly Iraqis--not Americans--many 
Sunnis have turned against the terrorists. There have even been a 
growing number of reports during the past year of armed conflicts 
between Iraqi Sunnis and foreign fighters.
    The PIPA poll also showed that 98 percent of Shiite respondents and 
100 percent of Kurdish respondents had somewhat, or very, unfavorable 
views of al-Qaeda. The notion that a Shiite-Kurdish-dominated 
government would tolerate Iraq becoming a safe haven for al-Qaeda is 
improbable on its face. And even if U.S. troops left Iraq, the 
successor government would continue to be dominated by the Kurds and 
Shiites, since they make up more than 80 percent of Iraq's population 
and, in marked contrast to the situation under Saddam Hussein, they now 
control the military and police. That doesn't suggest a reliable safe 
haven for al-Qaeda.
Allegation: The terrorists would be emboldened worldwide
    In urging the United States to persevere in Iraq, President Bush 
has warned that an early military withdrawal would encourage al-Qaeda 
and other terrorist organizations. Weak U.S. responses to challenges 
over the previous quarter century, especially in Lebanon and Somalia, 
had emboldened such people, Bush argues. Hawkish pundits have made 
similar allegations.
    It is a curious line of argument with ominous implications, for it 
assumes that the United States should have stayed in both countries, 
despite the military debacles there. The mistake, according to that 
logic, was not the original decision to intervene but the decision to 
limit American losses and terminate the missions. That is a classic 
case of learning the wrong lessons from history.
    Yes, al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups apparently concluded that 
the Lebanon and Somalia episodes showed that U.S. leaders and the 
American people have no stomach for enduring murky missions that entail 
significant casualties. They are likely to draw a similar lesson if the 
United States withdraws from Iraq without an irrefutable triumph. That 
is why it is so imperative to be cautious about a decision to intervene 
in the first place. Military missions should not be undertaken unless 
there are indisputably vital American security interests at stake.
    A decision to withdraw and leave Iraq to its own fate is not 
without adverse consequences. America's terrorist adversaries will 
portray a pullout as a defeat for U.S. policy. But the cost of staying 
on indefinitely in a dire security environment is even worse for our 
country. President Bush and his advisors need to consider the 
possibility that the United States might stay in Iraq for many years to 
come and still not achieve its policy goals. And the costs, both in 
blood and treasure, continue to mount.
Allegation: The conflict will spill over Iraq's borders and create 
        regional chaos
    That concern does have some validity. The ingredients are in place 
for a regional Sunni-Shia ``proxy war.'' Predominantly Shiite Iran has 
already taken a great interest in political and military developments 
in its western neighbor. Indeed, Washington has repeatedly accused 
Tehran of interfering in Iraq. There is little doubt that Iran wants to 
see a Shiite-controlled government in Baghdad and would react badly if 
it appeared that Iraq's Sunni minority might be poised to regain power 
and once again subjugate the Shiite majority. The current Iraqi 
Government is quite friendly to Iran, and Tehran can be expected to 
take steps to protect the new-found influence it enjoys in Baghdad.
    But Iraq's other neighbors are apprehensive about the specter of a 
Shiite-controlled Iraq. Saudi Arabia, in particular, regards the 
prospect of such a state on its northern border as anathema, worrying 
about the impact on its own Shia minority--which is concentrated in the 
principal oil-producing region. There are indications that wealthy 
Saudis are already providing funds to Sunni forces in Iraq.
    A regional Sunni-Shiite proxy war in Iraq would turn the Bush 
administration's policy there into even more of a debacle than it has 
already become. Even worse, Iraq's neighbors could be drawn in as 
direct participants in the fighting. Washington should take steps to 
head off those dangers.
    Probably the best approach would be for the United States to 
convene a regional conference that included (at a minimum) Iran, Saudi 
Arabia, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. The purpose of such a conference 
should be to make all parties confront the danger of the Iraqi turmoil 
mushrooming into a regional armed struggle that ultimately would not be 
in the best interests of any country involved. Ideally, that 
realization might lead to a commitment by the neighboring states to 
refrain from--or at least bound the extent of--meddling in the 
escalating violence in Iraq
    Ultimately, though, maintaining a U.S. military occupation of Iraq 
to forestall a possible regional proxy war is simply too high a price 
to pay, both in money spent and American lives sacrificed.
Allegation: Leaving Iraq would betray a moral obligation to the Iraqi 
    In addition to their other objections, opponents of withdrawal 
protest that we will leave Iraq in chaos, and that would be an immoral 
action on the part of the United States. Even some critics of the war 
have been susceptible to that argument, invoking the so-called Pottery 
Barn principle: ``You broke it, you bought it.''
    There are two major problems with that argument. First, unless some 
restrictions are put in place, the obligation is seemingly open-ended. 
There is little question that chaos might increase in Iraq after U.S. 
forces leave, but advocates of staying the course do not explain how 
the United States can prevent the contending factions in Iraq from 
fighting the civil war they already seem to have started. At least, no 
one has explained how the United States can restore the peace there at 
anything resembling a reasonable cost in American blood and treasure.
    Leaving aside the very real possibility that the job of building a 
stable democracy might never be done, the moral obligation thesis begs 
a fundamental question: What about the moral obligation of the U.S. 
Government to its own soldiers and to the American people? There is 
clearly an obligation not to waste either American lives or American 
tax dollars. We are doing both in Iraq. Staying the course is not a 
moral strategy; it is the epitome of an immoral one.


    Leaving Iraq is clearly not cost-free, but the costs (both tangible 
and intangible) of a prompt exit must be measured against the costs of 
staying the course. Moreover, even if the United States absorbs the 
costs of a prolonged mission, there is no certainty that anything 
resembling victory resides at the end of that effort. Indeed, most of 
the indicators suggest that we would be merely delaying defeat.
Damage to America's standing in the world
    Even the September 2006 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq 
conceded that the U.S. occupation of Iraq had served as a focal point 
and inspiration for Muslim extremists. Equally worrisome, it had also 
served as a training arena for such militants to hone their military 
and terrorist skills. An al-Qaeda letter intercepted by the U.S. 
military indicates that the organization itself regards a continued 
U.S. military presence and, consequently, a long war in Iraq as a boon 
to its cause.
    A December 2006 Zogby poll of populations in five Arab nations 
reveals just how much anti-U.S. sentiment has increased throughout that 
region. Opinions of the United States, which were already rather 
negative, have grown significantly worse in the past year.
    Outside the Arab world, there also has been a hardening of 
attitudes toward the United States. Even among longstanding friends and 
allies (in such places as Europe and East Asia), the United States is 
viewed in a significantly more negative light. The longer we stay in 
Iraq, the worse those problems will become.
Straining the All-Volunteer military
    Even some hawks are concerned about the negative impact of the Iraq 
mission on the All-Volunteer Force (AVF). They should be concerned. In 
December 2006, GEN Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army's Chief of Staff, 
bluntly told a House committee that the Active-Duty Army ``will break'' 
unless there was a permanent increase in force structure. And that is 
before any contemplated additional deployments to Iraq.
    The military leaders are not exaggerating. Already the Army has 
struggled to meet its recruiting goals, even though it has diluted the 
standards for new recruits, including by issuing waivers in cases where 
there is evidence of criminal behavior or mental illness. Indeed, the 
Iraq occupation has been sustained to this point only through 
extraordinary exertions, including an unprecedented number of ``stop 
loss'' orders, preventing military personnel from returning to civilian 
life when their terms of enlistment are up, and recalling members of 
the Reserves--including some people in their forties and fifties. The 
AVF is straining to the breaking point already, and the longer we stay 
in Iraq, the worse those strains will become.
Costs in blood and treasure
    The tab for the Iraq mission is already more than $350 billion, and 
the meter is now running at approximately $8 billion a month. 
Furthermore, even those appalling figures do not take into account 
indirect costs, such as long-term care for wounded Iraq war veterans.
    Except when the survival of the Nation is at stake, all military 
missions must be judged according to a cost-benefit calculation. Iraq 
has never come close to being a war for America's survival. Even the 
connection of the Iraq mission to the larger war against radical 
Islamic terrorism was always tenuous, at best. For all of his odious 
qualities, Saddam Hussein was a secular tyrant, not an Islamic radical. 
Indeed, the radical Islamists expressed nearly as much hatred for 
Saddam as they did for the United States. Iraq was an elective war--a 
war of choice, and a bad choice at that.

                           DECIDING TO LEAVE

    The United States needs to adopt a withdrawal strategy measured in 
months, not years. Indeed, the President should begin the process of 
removing American troops immediately, and that process needs to be 
complete in no more than 6 months. A longer schedule would simply 
prolong the agony. It would also afford various Iraq factions 
(especially the Kurds and some of the Shia political players) the 
opportunity to try to entice or manipulate the United States into 
delaying the withdrawal of its forces still further.
    Emotionally, deciding to leave under current conditions will not be 
easy, for it requires an implicit admission that Washington has failed 
in its ambitious goal to create a stable, united, democratic, secular 
Iraq that would be a model for peace throughout the Middle East. But 
that goal was unrealistic from the outset. It is difficult for any 
nation, and especially the American superpower, to admit failure. 
However, it is better to admit failure when the adverse consequences 
are relatively modest. A defeat in Iraq would assuredly be a setback 
for the United States, particularly in terms of global clout and 
credibility. But one of the advantages to being a superpower is that 
the country can absorb a setback without experiencing catastrophic 
damage to its core interests or capabilities. Defeat in Iraq does not 
even come close to threatening those interests or capabilities. Most 
important, a withdrawal now will be less painful than withdrawing years 
from now when the cost in blood, treasure, and credibility will prove 
far greater.
    The withdrawal needs to be comprehensive, not partial. The only 
troops remaining in Iraq should be a modest number of Special Forces 
personnel who would work with political factions in Iraq inclined to 
eradicate the al-Qaeda interlopers in their country. It must be clear 
to Iraqis and populations throughout the Muslim world that Washington 
has no intention of trying to maintain a military presence in Iraq.
    Above all, U.S. policymakers need to absorb the larger lesson of 
the Iraq debacle. Launching an elective war in pursuit of a nation-
building chimera was an act of folly. It is a folly they should vow 
never to repeat in any other country.

    The Chairman. Thank you very much, Dr. Carpenter.
    I'd like to--because my colleagues have been so patient 
today, why don't I yield my time and I'll ask questions last on 
our side. And I'll yield first to Senator Menendez.
    Senator Menendez. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. I 
appreciate the courtesy.
    I want to thank all of the panelists for their testimony.
    I'd like to start with you, Dr. Kagan. Did you have an 
opportunity to advise the White House about your plan?
    Dr. Kagan. Senator, I have not spoken with the President, 
but I have spoken with individuals in the White House.
    Senator Menendez. Are they senior officials of the White 
    Dr. Kagan. Yes, Senator.
    Senator Menendez. Is the plan that you heard the President 
describe last night, would you say it is largely your plan?
    Dr. Kagan. Senator, it's very difficult for me to tell. The 
President gave a very general speech--the elements of the plan 
relating to the change of mission, the new strategy to try to 
secure Iraq, the commitment of five additional combat brigades 
to Baghdad, certainly those are things that we recommended. I 
have not yet seen, in any detail, the actual military proposal 
that the President intends to pursue, and so, I can't really 
say to what extent this is my plan.
    Senator Menendez. Do you agree with the essence of his plan 
last night?
    Dr. Kagan. Well, I certainly believe that the change in 
strategy is essential, that the--we must commit to trying to 
establish security in Baghdad first. And I do believe that we 
need additional forces in order to do that.
    Senator Menendez. So, what is the timeframe for that? How 
long do we stay there, under--even under your plan--let's 
assume, for argument sakes, this is your plan--how long do we 
    Dr. Kagan. Our estimates were that we would be able to 
establish security in Baghdad, at least in the neighborhoods 
that we were proposing to operate in, by the end of 2007. We 
believe that we would need to sustain this higher force level 
into 2008 in order to support operations in Al Anbar, Diyala, 
and elsewhere. And we believe that somewhere in the 18- to 24-
month period, we would be able to begin turning over 
responsibilities to Iraqi forces and withdrawing.
    Senator Menendez. OK. Now, we lead--under your plan, we 
lead this fight, do we not?
    Dr. Kagan. Under my plan, we would be working together with 
the Iraqis to clear and hold neighborhoods.
    Senator Menendez. But we've heard a lot of testimony, 
including before this committee the other day--yesterday I 
think--and we've heard from others, that the Iraqis don't have, 
at this point, the ability to show up for the purposes that 
have been outlined in the securing of Baghdad. Isn't that true? 
Isn't that pretty much recognized?
    Dr. Kagan. Senator, when we developed our plan, we took 
into account the possibility that the Iraqis would not come in 
the numbers that might be desirable. And so, we attempted to 
define a force level for American troops that would be 
adequate, even if the Iraqis disappointed us.
    Senator Menendez. You know, it just seems to me that we 
need to be honest with the American people in this plan. This 
plan, as I see it, including that which is described by the 
President, wants to be sugarcoated under the guise that Iraqis 
are going to lead, and we are somehow going to follow and give 
them assistance. And I clearly have the picture that these 
American troops who will lead, will be at the forefront, will 
be the targets, and we will have some Iraqis assisting along 
the way. And that is a fundamentally different mission than 
both the President tried to suggest and I heard Secretary Rice 
try to suggest, this morning, in her opening statement. And I 
think it's not quite--well, it's not quite honest about what is 
taking place.
    Now, before I came to this afternoon's hearing, I got a 
notice that the New Jersey National Guard troops currently 
stationed in Iraq are going to have their tours extended by 120 
days as a result of the President's policy to add to the war 
effort. And I think there is some release out saying that 
extension of troop tours by both the Guard and Reserve is now 
going to be part of the policy of the United States for up to 
an additional year. Isn't that going to have real consequences 
on a military that is already far stretched and cannot meet 
these challenges--on morale, on performance in the field, and 
ultimately on the very recruitment that we need to build up the 
Armed Forces strength of the United States?
    Dr. Kagan. Senator, I and the Active Duty and retired 
officers who developed this plan are all very concerned about 
the strains on the Army and the Marine Corps and the National 
Guard and Reserves, but we think that, set against that, we 
must also be extremely concerned about the prospect that the 
damage that'll be done to the volunteer force by defeat in 
Iraq, which we believe will be drawn out, at painful and 
extremely emotionally searing event, and we think that it will 
actually do much greater damage to the force than the 
relatively short----
    Senator Menendez. Is there an answer to how many lives and 
how much money?
    Dr. Kagan. Senator, it was not----
    Senator Menendez. Where is it that you define, Dr. Kagan, 
and those who advocate along your lines--where is it that you 
define that if you do not have success, as you have pointed out 
a way that you believe we can achieve success, where is the 
tipping point? Because to listen to those advocates who say 
that we cannot fail in Iraq and believe that failure, in terms 
of the military options, is the driving force in--i.e., to 
create security--we have had escalations and they have not 
succeeded. Because, in my mind, we haven't had the political 
surge to do it. Now, you reject that.
    The point being, at what point, when you do not succeed 
again, if you do not succeed again--at what point will you come 
and tell us, ``Well, if we had another 20, 30, 40,000 troops, 
we could ultimately succeed here''? It just seems to me that 
we've been through this in our history before. Where is the 
tipping point in which you are willing to admit that a 
different course, than even the one you suggest, is 
    Dr. Kagan. Senator, I have high confidence that the plan 
that we proposed will bring down the level of violence in 
Baghdad, and I believe that that will be a positive good, even 
if we ultimately have to withdraw from the country because of 
other unfortunate developments in the political realm. I 
believe that we need to take this opportunity to try to restore 
order and try to get ourselves on a track that will avoid some 
of the terrible consequences of defeat. If that doesn't work, 
then obviously we will have to reconsider.
    Senator Menendez. Thank you.
    Dr. Carpenter, very quickly--I have about a minute left--in 
your testimony--in your written testimony, you talk about 
bringing others in a regional conference, including Iran, Saudi 
Arabia, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. You heard that maybe--I 
don't know if you heard--the Secretary of State's answers to 
two of those partners along the way of not having them engage. 
Could you give your own reflections on that, and how does 
bringing Saudi Arabia and Turkey to the table at the same time, 
in a regional context, gives us an opportunity to offset some 
of her concerns, and--how do you view that?
    Dr. Carpenter. Senator, I think it is absolutely essential 
to involve all of Iraq's neighbors in an attempt to try to at 
least quarantine the violence in that country and prevent it 
from becoming a regional proxy war, or, even worse, a regional 
war. That simply cannot be accomplished without involving Iran 
and Syria. As distasteful as we rightfully regard those 
governments, they are important actors in the region. And one 
of the basic lessons I think we need to learn for American 
foreign policy generally is that it is not very effective to 
refuse to talk to one's adversaries, that the most difficult 
task of diplomacy is getting results from regimes that you, 
quite frankly, wish didn't exist. It's easy to talk to one's 
friends; it is very, very difficult, but ever so necessary, to 
talk to one's adversaries. And we are not going to get any kind 
of solution, even the limited solution of quarantining the 
violence in Iraq, unless we draw in Iran and Syria, as well as 
Iraq's other neighbors, into this process.
    Senator Menendez. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    The Chairman. Thank you, Senator.
    Senator Lugar.
    Senator Lugar. Well, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I'm 
going to follow your good example and yield to Senator Corker.
    The Chairman. If I can interrupt for just one moment, I 
would say to my colleagues, if, in fact, you have additional 
questions, in light of the relatively small number here, my 
intention would be to allow you to go back for a second round, 
if the panel would be willing to stick around.
    Thank you.
    Senator Corker. Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate it.
    I enjoyed your remarks. And, again, I want to thank our 
chairman for the distinguished panelists that we continue to 
have in these meetings.
    I think that we talk a great deal about ending the war in 
Iraq and withdrawing our troops, but I think we all know that 
the war in Iraq is going to continue for years, in one way or 
another, if we leave. And so, I'd like for each of you to 
respond, if you will, to us, if we, in fact, do withdraw, if, 
in fact, President Bush's plan is not followed--I'd like for 
you all to paint the picture--I know there's going to be 
tremendous civil strife, tens and thousands of lives will be 
lost in the following period--describe to us, if you will, if 
withdrawal does occur in a timely fashion--6 months, 9 months--
how you view Iraq to be when that occurs.
    Ambassador Galbraith. Let me take a crack at that, Senator.
    Certainly, if we withdraw, there is going to be continued 
sectarian killing between Sunnis and Shiites. Iran will 
exercise enormous influence in Iraq. For decades Iran sponsored 
the Shiite religious parties that, as a result of the U.S. 
invasion, now control Iraq's government. The central government 
will not exercise any more authority than it does now, which is 
to say it will have basically no authority. Kurdistan will 
continue to be, de facto, independent.
    And if we stay in Iraq, all of this will also be the case. 
There is a civil war in Iraq which we are not containing that 
civil war. There is terrible sectarian killing, and we're not 
able to stop it. An increase in the number of troops is not 
going to help control the killing. Our troops are not trained 
to be police. They don't speak the language. They don't have 
the local knowledge. And if they are relying on so-called Iraqi 
troops, you have to ask the question: Who are those Iraqi 
troops? They are going to be either Sunni or Shiite or Kurdish 
peshmerga. If a Sunni or Shiite stops at a roadblock manned by 
troops or police of the opposite sect, his life is in danger. 
Unless a Baghdad resident knows the local troops or police are 
from his own sect, he's not going to feel safe.
    So, the short answer is that Iraq after withdrawal and Iraq 
today are not going to look very much different. There is just 
the one achievable goal, which is one that Senator Lugar 
mentioned. We can, I think, disrupt al-Qaeda.
    Dr. Kagan. Senator, if I may, I must respectfully disagree. 
Iraq, after withdrawal, will look very different. It is not the 
case that we are doing nothing at all to contain the civil war, 
and we should not delude ourselves into imagining that if we 
left, it would simply continue in this similar fashion.
    It is certainly true that when Iraqis come to Iraqi 
checkpoints manned only by Iraqis, at this point, they're 
frequently nervous if those Iraqis are from another sect, 
unless there are American soldiers present with them. And right 
now, we have been very effective in a number of places in 
maintaining order, keeping a lid on things, working together 
with Iraqi troops that are there; who do perform infinitely 
better when we are there and are much more restrained in their 
behavior and much more tolerated and trusted by the Iraqi 
population. And you can even see this on Sunni blogs in Iraq, 
where Sunnis warn each other, ``If the Iraqi police come by 
themselves, we should be very worried about that. If they come 
with American troops, it's OK.'' Now, that's obviously not a 
good sign for being able to do any sort of rapid transition to 
the Iraqi police, but that's hardly news. It does mean, first 
of all, that the Iraqis are less hostile to our presence than 
many people make out, and it also means that we are playing an 
important role.
    If we were to withdraw precipitantly, the violence would 
increase dramatically--I think, by orders of magnitude. I think 
you would end up seeing millions of people displaced. We're 
already seeing this process underway, and it's extremely 
unfortunate. I believe that Iraq's neighbors would begin to get 
involved. They would have to, in terms of self-defense. There 
are already 900,000 Iraqi refugees in Jordan, for instance. I 
believe that they would attempt to resolve this problem by 
moving their own forces forward into Iraq in order to stem the 
refugee tides and contain the violence before it reaches their 
borders. I think they would be drawn rapidly into the conflict. 
I think some of them would seek to be drawn into the conflict 
by supporting one side or the other. I think, before very long, 
you would find that the regional--that Iraq's neighbors would 
see themselves as stakeholders in various parts of the outcome 
of this conflict, and would begin mobilizing increased degrees 
of military power to back their stakes.
    In short, I believe it's very likely that we would find 
ourselves in the midst of a regional conflict in a region from 
which we cannot leave, in an area which we simply cannot 
abandon, and with the stakes much higher, and the conditions 
for us much worse, even apart from the humanitarian catastrophe 
that would be involved.
    Senator Corker. And that sounds a lot like escalation to 
me, but--go ahead.
    Dr. Carpenter. Senator, first of all, I would agree with 
almost everything that Ambassador Galbraith said. I think it's 
important to emphasize that the civil war is already underway 
in Iraq. We have a situation--I've already cited the number of 
people dying on a daily basis: 1.6 million people have been 
displaced internally, largely moving from areas where they are 
an ethnic minority to one where they are in the majority, so 
ethnic cleansing and the sectarian divide is growing almost by 
the day; 1.8 million people have already left the country 
entirely, and those are primarily the middle-class Iraqis, the 
very people that we want as the building blocks for a strong 
civil society--they're leaving. This is with the American troop 
presence there.
    We face the prospect now of trying to play referee in an 
ongoing multisided civil war. I can't think of anything that 
would be a more futile and frustrating task than trying to play 
that role.
    And, for Dr. Kagan, I think it's important to stress that 
this kind of commitment would be open-ended. We would be 
refereeing this conflict, year after year after year. There 
would be no discernible end in sight.
    As Ambassador Galbraith has already delineated, Iraq has 
already fragmented. We're seeing this process proceed. But it 
is very, very unlikely that it's going to be reversed.
    Senator Corker. Well, thank you for your comments. And I 
really do ask these questions without bias. And I know my time 
is up, but let me--so, what you're saying is, you would sense 
no intensified killing, no escalation whatsoever, whether we 
are there or not there. You think it will remain exactly as is 
today. That's what Dr. Galbraith said.
    Dr. Carpenter. I think we're going to see an 
intensification where--whenever we leave, whether that is 6 
months from now or 6 years from now. What we need to focus on--
and I agree with him fully--is making sure that al-Qaeda cannot 
use any portion of Iraq for a safe haven. I think that danger 
is exaggerated, but it's not insignificant. We do have to deal 
with that problem. And we need to focus on a limited attainable 
objective--namely, quarantining that violence in Iraq so that 
it does not become a regional war. And I believe there is a 
reasonable prospect of convincing even Iran and Syria that a 
proxy war can easily spiral out of control and it would not be 
in their best interest to tolerate that kind of development, 
that it is better to quarantine this conflict and allow the 
dynamics in Iraq to play themselves out. Perhaps, at some 
point, the various factions in Iraq will agree on compromise, 
either a reasonably peaceful formal partition or a very loose 
federation with adequate political compromise, but they have to 
determine that. We cannot determine that outcome for them.
    The Chairman. Thank you very much.
    I say to my friend from Florida, I have taken his advice 
and--if it's all right with him, right?
    Senator Casey.
    Senator Casey. I was fully prepared to give back the favor 
that Senator Nelson gave me yesterday, but--thank you.
    Mr. Chairman, thank you. And I appreciate this opportunity. 
Not that I don't want to see my colleagues, but this is a nice 
way to do a hearing. [Laughter.]
    You get to this end quicker this way. No; I'm grateful for 
this opportunity, and I'm grateful for the three of you 
spending the time and providing the scholarship that you 
provide for this important discussion today.
    My friends in the media should cover this, as they did this 
morning's hearing, but that's not the way things are done here.
    But let me get right to a couple of basic questions. And I 
think I'll direct some of these at each member of the panel, 
but, in particular, I guess, the first one, I'd direct in--with 
specificity, to Dr. Galbraith--Ambassador Galbraith.
    You mentioned the presence of, and the activity of, what 
you called ``local theocracies.'' That's the first time I had 
heard that kind of pinpoint analysis of what's happening, 
really, in neighborhoods, so to speak, on that. You talked 
about local theocracies operating, and action taking place at 
the local level, which is in contravention of, or in conflict 
with, the Constitution. Could you amplify that?
    Ambassador Galbraith. Senator, we talk about Iraq as if 
there were a functioning Iraqi Government, and that the 
violence is somehow directed against that government. But the 
reality is very different. Various Shiite political parties 
control different parts of the south. In Baghdad, the Mahdi 
Army controls the Shiite neighborhoods. These political parties 
and militias enforce their own law. If you're accused of a 
crime or some offense against the religious law, you don't 
necessarily go to the state-run courts but, quite often, end up 
before an ad hoc court that will hand out a summary punishment. 
Although the sale of alcohol, for example, is not illegal in 
Iraq, Christians who sell alcohol have been summarily executed 
based upon unofficial religious law.
    Nonetheless, the Shiite south is relatively a stable 
situation. To get rid of religious party rule would entail a 
major military operation involving several hundred thousand 
    The one place in the south that is not stable is Basrah 
where three different Shiite parties are vying for the control 
of the city, and, more importantly, are vying for the control 
of the smuggling of oil. I have been told by Iraq's Oil 
Ministry that 100,000 barrels less a day enters the pipeline 
near Basrah than actually gets on the ships in the Persian 
Gulf. And this oil is funding these three parties and their 
    Senator Casey. And the next question I have pertains just 
to diplomacy, generally. I'll direct it to the Ambassador, but 
certainly, Dr. Carpenter, Dr. Kagan, can also weigh in on this, 
and you should, if--I think we've got enough time. The question 
of diplomacy. Ambassador, if you had a--I want to say ``if you 
had a magic wand''--but if you had the opportunity to construct 
a diplomatic strategy, starting today and going forward, forget 
about the past--there's a lot we could talk about, what I would 
judge failures, but let's just start from today, going 
forward--what's the best strategy, in your mind, in terms of 
dealing with the cards we've been dealt, in terms of an overall 
fully engaged diplomatic strategy?
    Ambassador Galbraith. Well, first, I think we need to be 
clear about our objectives. And even if we wished Iraq were to 
hold together, we need to be realistic about what is 
achievable. I believe our top priority should be to avoid--or 
minimize--the violence that accompanies Iraq's breakup. This 
violence could escalate sharply if the regional states were to 
intervene. There is a danger Turkey might intervene in Kirkuk, 
where a referendum is supposed to be held at the end of this 
year. Iran might increase its already large role in Iraq. The 
Saudis have threatened to intervene on behalf of the Sunnis, 
although I think that's largely an empty threat. Our diplomacy 
should be aimed at helping Iraq's neighbors face up to the new 
realities in Iraq, try to make whatever is going to develop as 
palatable to them as possible.
    I don't subscribe to the notion, in the Baker-Hamilton 
Report, that talking to Iran or Syria would improve the 
situation in Iraq, because Iran, in fact, supports the same 
Shiite-led government that we do. The people in power in Iraq 
are Iran's best friends. Iran has no desire to undermine the 
Iraqi Government, even if it opposes our presence. And Syria is 
not a large player; and so, there isn't much to be accomplished 
    I do believe, however, that we should talk to Iran and 
Syria on other issues. As President Kennedy said in his 
inaugural address, ``we should never negotiate out of fear, but 
we should never fear to negotiate.'' I think this advice is 
highly relevant to Iran and Syria. I might add that I also like 
this line because it was my father who wrote it for President 
    The Chairman. I should be attributing that to your father, 
then, rather than President Kennedy. That's a great line, and 
it's a good point.
    Senator Casey. I wanted to ask one more question, but, Dr. 
Carpenter, Dr. Kagan, if you wanted to weigh in?
    Dr. Kagan. Sure. I think we have to be realistic about what 
diplomacy can achieve and what diplomacy cannot achieve. I'm 
not going to say, a priori, that we should or should not 
negotiate with any state in the region. What I am going to say 
is that the problems in Iraq that we're facing right now are 
internal Iraqi problems, primarily. The money for the 
insurgency is coming primarily from corruption and crime and 
other things that are internal to Iraq. There are weapons that 
are coming into Iraq, but, as a friend of mine in the United 
States military said once, there's enough high explosive in 
Iraq to keep this conflict going at this level for 1,000 years. 
There is no real prospect for cutting off supply to this 
insurgency or to this violence, and thereby turning it off. And 
therefore, with all of the goodwill in the world, I do not 
believe that the Iranians or the Syrians are capable of helping 
us materially in Iraq, even were we to talk to them.
    Neither do I believe that it would be effective to try to 
negotiate with the states or the region in order to get them to 
hold the ring while their coreligionists slug it out in a 
vicious sectarian genocidal civil war. I think, you know, it is 
very odd to me that people are ready to say that the Iraqis are 
irrational and will not act in their own interests, and that 
they're simply hopeless, and yet say that, nevertheless, the 
Iranians will be perfectly rational, despite evidence to the 
contrary, and other states in the region will behave with 
perfect rationality, even as the stakes go up and the 
atrocities mount. I find that, frankly, unlikely.
    Senator Casey. I know we're out of time. Thank you.
    The Chairman. You had one other question?
    Senator Casey. One quick one. I don't know if it's a yes or 
no. But in terms of the mechanics of constructing a diplomatic 
strategy, going forward, what does that mean, specifically, in 
any of your opinions? Does it mean Secretary Rice, who's 
leaving, I guess, tomorrow, and will be there for an extended 
period of time--does that mean she's--in your judgment, stays? 
Does it mean an envoy? What does it mean? Does it mean the 
President has to have more personal involvement? What are the 
building blocks of that kind of a--we can all talk about 
diplomacy, but what does that mean, practically, in terms of 
time and personnel and attention, if you get my drift?
    Dr. Carpenter. There are a number of possible options. I 
would suggest putting a special envoy in charge. I think that's 
probably the more direct approach. We also have to be 
realistic. As much as it might be constructive over the long 
term to engage with Iran and other countries on a variety of 
issues, the more issues we add to the agenda, the greater the 
likelihood of a breakdown. And I speak, specifically, if we 
start bringing in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute into the mix. 
That almost guarantees failure. I would have a very narrow, 
very focused agenda, and that is, let's prevent the tragedy in 
Iraq--and it certainly is that--from becoming a full-blown 
regional tragedy. That goal, I believe, is attainable. There's 
no guarantee that we're going to succeed, but we ought to make 
the effort, and I think there is at least a reasonable prospect 
we can succeed with that narrow, but extremely important, goal.
    Senator Casey. Thank you.
    The Chairman. Senator Lugar.
    Senator Lugar. Mr. Chairman, I'd like to ask, of the panel, 
reaction to these observations. It would appear that--this may 
be over generalized, so correct me if I'm wrong--but prior to 
now our United States forces were, if not on the periphery of 
Baghdad, were clearly not embedded, as the term is now being 
used, in the nine police districts of Baghdad. So, if our 
forces acted within the city, they were on patrol or had been 
called upon, coming in from the outside, took action, perhaps 
alongside the police or the army, and withdrew again to the 
outskirts of the city. And this, at least, is the mode of 
operations that is being pointed out as permitting a great deal 
more Iraqi casualties, irrespective of whether those killings 
are civil war or sectarian violence. But the killings escalated 
because of certain events. So, it would appear that the plan 
now being presented by the President is to have Americans 
embedded; although it is yet been revealed, specifically, what 
the role of the Americans will be. Some have said, no, it will 
not be a door-to-door visit alongside an Iraqi police officer; 
rather, we'll be back at the headquarters, we'll be monitoring 
the conduct of the Iraqis to make sure that it is neutral with 
regard to whomever they might encounter on patrol. And, in this 
way, essentially, there'll be, potentially, better goodwill 
built among the populace so that the government may have some 
chance of operating and coming to decisions.
    Now, I would suggest that this may be the most important 
goal. But, on the other hand, weigh this against the fact that 
some who are arguing this already in the Senate or Congress or 
the public would say, ``This is the last chance, this is an 
opportunity to stop the unacceptable violence in the Baghdad 
area. If it doesn't work, we're out of there.'' And they mean 
out of Iraq, not out of Baghdad. Now, this concerns me a great 
deal, because I see that domestic political dynamics might very 
well lead that way. The President asked for support of his 
policy, and should it--for some reason, not work very soon, or 
maybe not work very well at all, and people say, ``That's 
    Now, leaving aside the strategies you all have presented 
today, in which perhaps you, Dr. Carpenter, have come closest 
to advocating a total withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. 
Although I suspect you would have disagreement, as to what 
American forces do. Some of us have argued that the important 
objective, really, is to have Americans in Iraq somewhere, and 
for quite a while, largely to reduce the potential for 
sectarian violence across the region, and, likewise, to prevent 
a series of tragedies that could result. It is also important 
for Secretary Rice on her tour now, or subsequent ones, to 
convey explicitly that we are going to be there; and, 
therefore, they can count on that. It's not a negotiation, but 
it's information. Likewise, maybe if she is successful, she 
gets a roundtable of all the groups that are involved, the 
nations, so they all inform each other of what their intent may 
be. Everybody, sort of, hears it, so that the chances for some 
regional stability are enhanced in that process.
    Now, Ambassador Galbraith has suggested that Americans 
might, in fact, reside in Kurdistan as--or the Kurd part of the 
country, as at least one place that they are welcomed and 
relatively safe as may be in the area, but this could be any 
number of places, and I don't want to game that out.
    I'm just asking, I suppose, for some advice as to whether, 
in this current political situation, not only in Iraq, but in 
the Middle East and here, is it not a more prudent step to 
think in terms of how we maintain a presence, and that we argue 
about that, as opposed to numbers, surges, precisely what the 
Americans will do, door to door or in the headquarters?
    Does anyone have a general comment on this?
    Ambassador Galbraith. Senator Lugar, the point you make is 
very similar to the one that I've made in my testimony. That 
is, the United States does have some remaining achievable 
objectives. The most important is one that you mentioned: 
Namely, disrupting al-Qaeda. That is one reason not to withdraw 
completely. There is some advantage to having United States 
forces in Iraq as a deterrent. Being in Kurdistan would help 
stabilize the situation as between Kurdistan and Turkey. I 
think the independence of Kurdistan is inevitable. It may not 
be desirable, but it is inevitable. But it's not immediate. 
And, in that sense, a United States presence can help bring 
stability to that region, and provide reassurance to Turkey, as 
well as deter any kind of action that might be taken by the 
surrounding states.
    The reason I argue for a United States military presence in 
Kurdistan is that that's where our forces would be welcome. If 
they are anyplace else in the country, they will have to devote 
large resources to force protection.
    I want to come back to a fundamental problem, which I think 
everybody who has a plan for Iraq must address--what happens 
after you've done all these things, be it the President's plan 
or my proposal for a redeployment to Kurdistan? The situation 
in Iraq is not going to change in any fundamental way. The 
government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki reflects the will 
of the 60 percent of the Iraqi population--the Shiites--who 
voted for it. The Shiite electorate wishes to define Iraq as a 
Shiite state. And even Sunnis who despised Saddam Hussein are 
not going to accept that definition of the state. On the other 
hand, the Shiites are not going to give up on it. So, you are 
never going to get to an inclusive state. I don't discuss the 
Kurds, because, for all practical purposes, they're out of Iraq 
    Dr. Kagan. Senator, if I could respond, as well. I--first 
of all, Ambassador Galbraith has made this point repeatedly, 
but I do find it a little bit odd--I understand the Kurdish 
perspective, but I find it a little bit odd to say that the 
Kurds are out of there already, when the President of Iraq is a 
Kurd, and when there is a substantial bloc of Kurdish 
representatives in Parliament--in the Iraqi Parliament who have 
been extremely active. The Kurds may think that they're out, in 
some respects, but they're clearly continuing to play. And I 
think the reason for that is that they understand that, at the 
end of the day, it is not in the interests of Kurdistan for 
Kurdistan to break off from Iraq and have vast sectarian civil 
war going on immediately to their south, which will inevitably 
push refugees in their direction and involve them in violence 
along their borders. That's not in their interest. And I credit 
the Kurds with more self-interest--more understanding of their 
self-interest than that, than to think that they imagine that 
that's going to be a happy scenario for them.
    I'm very concerned about the practicalities--the military 
practicalities, of a plan for maintaining United States forces 
in Kurdistan, with the expectation that they will be doing 
things in Iraq. Where will they draw their supplies from? They 
certainly can't maintain a supply line the length of Iraq into 
Kurdistan without having a very substantial presence that would 
run against the concept. They will have to draw their supplies 
from Turkey. Well, the Turks might well allow that to happen, 
for a variety of reasons, but I'm curious about what demands 
the Turks would end up making on the Kurds in return for 
support of our presence there. After all, the people who most 
adamantly oppose the idea of an independent Kurdistan are the 
Turks. And the problems of the PKK and the fear of terrorism 
based in Kurdistan, I fear, could lead to a very, very nasty 
situation very rapidly.
    In addition to that, Kurdistan is far away from any of the 
regions where we would have to be most concerned about al-Qaeda 
infiltration. And I think we have to ask ourselves: What do we 
think the military operations look like? Are we going to fly 
our soldiers in helicopters across uncontrolled hostile terrain 
spotted with surface-to-air missiles and a variety of other 
dangers, to land in unknown places, conduct operations and 
leave? Those are very daunting military operations. It's much 
harder--if your concern is dealing with al-Qaeda, it's much 
harder and more dangerous to our soldiers to undertake those 
kinds of operations than it is to attempt to bring the security 
situation under control more generally and have a firm base in 
Iraq from which you can deal with these things on a local 
    I'm also very concerned about the prospect of having 
American soldiers flown in, on call, from local Iraqis to deal 
with what problems that they report. We've seen that, all too 
often, when our soldiers are flying in from afar, coming in 
from afar, and do not know the local situation, they can easily 
be drawn into actions that are counterproductive. When they're 
present, and when they can understand the neighborhood--and to 
talk about local knowledge at this point and say that our 
soldiers don't have it, when many of them are going back on 
their third tours into Iraq, I must say, I think we have a 
pretty fair amount of understanding of Iraq in the army, at 
this point--our soldiers on the ground are able to recognize 
situations that they should not involve themselves in, but only 
if they're there.
    Dr. Carpenter. Mr. Chairman, if I could respond briefly. In 
one sense, the President's new proposal is regressive, in that 
it further Americanizes the war, which I think is exactly the 
opposite direction that we ought to be going.
    There is also an inherent contradiction in his speech last 
night. On the one hand, he contends that it would be absolutely 
disastrous for the United States to leave Iraq with something 
less than a victory; on the other hand, he sets up these 
milestones for the Iraqi Government with, certainly, the 
implied threat that if the Iraqi Government does not meet those 
milestones, our commitment is not unlimited and it's not open-
ended, that we might then withdraw, presumably with something 
less than a victory. I would maintain he can't have it both 
ways. If it is true that any withdrawal from Iraq with less 
than a victory would truly be disastrous for the United States, 
then we are stuck in Iraq indefinitely; we have to stay there 
even if the Iraqi Government were the biggest collection of 
villains or buffoons on the planet, because our own vital 
interests would dictate that we stay.
    I would argue that, in fact, it would be far less than a 
disaster for the United States to leave Iraq, and that, 
ultimately, we have a choice of leaving now, having spent $350 
billion and 3,000 American lives, or the committee can have a 
similar hearing 2 years from now, when the costs may very well 
be $600 billion and 5,500 or 6,000 American lives. That's the 
choice we really face.
    Senator Lugar. Thank you.
    The Chairman. I'd say to my colleagues, I've just been 
informed there is a--is it a vote or a live quorum? There's a 
live quorum that just began. I would suggest--it's up to the 
Senator from Florida--he can begin his questions, if he'd like 
to do that, or we can recess and go, and then I'll ask my 
questions last. Are you ready to go?
    Well, what I'm going to do is turn the gavel over to the 
Senator from Florida, and we'll go vote, and hopefully by the 
time he finishes his questions, if we're not back, if you could 
recess for 3 or 4 minutes, and we'll take the intervening time, 
because I have some questions, and anyone else who has any more 
can come back. But I'd like to spend 10 minutes with you. So--
if I may.
    So, I--I'm going to go vote. I guess others are, as well. 
But the chair is yours, sir. And we'll be back shortly.
    Senator Bill Nelson. So, I get to completely run the----
    The Chairman. You get to completely run the committee. You 
can get unanimous consent for anything you want if you're the 
only one here. [Laughter.]
    And so--I've always enjoyed it when I was in that position.
    Senator Bill Nelson. Can I----
    The Chairman. As a matter of fact, you have a lot more 
power than any chairman has.
    Senator Bill Nelson. You mean I can get unanimous consent 
on changing the rules about seniority? [Laughter.]
    The Chairman. Yeah, you could probably do that, until I 
come back and seek a vote on it. [Laughter.]
    But--no, but it's all yours, sir.
    Senator Bill Nelson [presiding]. Well, what do you all 
think the President meant when he said America's commitment is 
not open-ended?
    Dr. Carpenter. I have to admit I'm a bit cynical about it. 
I think it is an empty threat, it is a bluff, it is an attempt 
to get the Maliki government to do what Ambassador Galbraith 
has demonstrated pretty clearly it is not either willing or 
capable of doing. And this threat is not going to be taken 
seriously by the Maliki government. They feel that we are in 
Iraq for the long term and that they will not respond to this 
setting of milestones without penalties. And, frankly, if you 
don't have very specific penalties, milestones become largely 
    Ambassador Galbraith. We're not far from the day when the 
Maliki government might be just as happy to see us go. The 
civil war can end either in power-sharing--regionalization is a 
type of power-sharing--or it can end in victory for one side. 
Scholars who have look at civil wars fought since World War II 
note that, maybe, 15 percent have ended with power-sharing 
while the other 85 percent have ended with one side winning. 
And who's going to win the civil war in Iraq? The Shiites are 
three times as numerous, and they have, in neighboring Iran, a 
very powerful ally. The Shiites have much larger armed forces 
than the Sunni Arabs, and they control the mechanisms of the 
state. The Sunni Arab countries that might ally with the Iraqi 
Sunnis are relatively weak states. The Saudis have money, but 
limited ability to project power. Jordan is far from the 
populated parts of Iraq. The Syrian position is ambivalent. 
Syria is an ally of Iran, and it's ruled by the Alawites, who 
are a Shiite sect, even though Syria is a Sunni majority state. 
So, the alternative to power-sharing and regionalization is a 
Shiite victory in the civil war which, in turn, might well lead 
to the genocide that Dr. Kagan has warned about. But, from the 
point of view of the Maliki government, a U.S. withdrawal may 
not be the end of the world.
    Dr. Kagan. Senator, I think that--I disagree with the 
notion that the Iraqis think that we're staying there forever. 
I think, on the contrary, that the Iraqi Shia, for the most 
part, decided some time ago that we were going to be out 
quickly. And I believe that the Iraqi Sunni Arabs have also 
decided that we are on the way out. And I believe that the 
various intelligence estimates that we heard at the end of last 
year suggest that a number of these groups are already ready to 
do their victory dances, because they think that they have 
defeated us and that we will be, shortly, leaving. And I think 
that we have seen the beginning of a dominance dance in Iraq 
already, as rival Shia groups begin to position themselves for 
a contest that they expect to occur within their own community 
over which Shia group will run a Shia-dominated Iraq.
    I don't think that the problem is convincing the Iraqis 
that we are going to leave at some point. I think that the 
Iraqis expect us to leave shortly. And I don't think that the 
Maliki government has been failing to do what it is that we 
want them to do because they think that we're going to be there 
forever and that that's a good thing. I think that they have 
not been doing what we wanted them to do, in the first 
instance, in many cases, because they were incapable of it, 
because we were expecting of them things that were 
unreasonable, and the standards that we have set for what we 
want the Iraqi security forces to be able to do by themselves, 
I've thought, have been unreasonable for a long time, which is 
why I think that it's very important that the President come 
forward with a plan that recognizes the limitations of those 
forces and the importance of having American forces in the 
lead. I recognize that's not what he said, but that is what we 
recommended, and I believe that that would be the appropriate 
way to approach this problem.
    There's been a lot of talk about incentivizing the Iraqi 
Government. And I have to confess that I have a problem with a 
lot of that conversation, because what we're really proposing 
to incentivize them with is the threat of unleashing complete 
genocide on the Iraqi people by pulling out and allowing the 
civil war to escalate unchecked and making no effort to 
restrain it. I find that to be a somewhat ambivalent ethical 
position to take, to say that, ``If you don't do what we say, 
we're going to allow you to plunge into this horrible abyss.'' 
It also is a strange position to take toward a government that 
we wish to regard as an allied government, that our notion of 
incentivizing them is hurling repeated threats of such 
catastrophe at them.
    I think it's worth discussing what we could do to incentive 
the Maliki government, either positively or negatively, but I 
don't think that it's appropriate for us to throw threats at 
them that we will simply withdraw, in spite of our concern for 
them, in spite of our ethical position, and in spite of our own 
interests, simply as a way of attempting to compel them to do 
the things that we think they need to do.
    Senator Bill Nelson. What are your expectations of the 
Maliki government? And when?
    Dr. Kagan. I expect that the Maliki government will, in the 
first instance, tolerate the operation that we are proposing, 
and they have already shown that they will tolerate it. I 
expect them to send Iraqi forces to assist in it, and they have 
already begun to do that, as General Pace testified, earlier in 
the day. I expect that to continue, although I, frankly, expect 
to be disappointed by the number of troops that actually show 
up, as we regularly have been. But I expect them to show up in 
greater numbers than they have before. I expect them to 
cooperate with us actively as we work to establish security for 
their people in the capital. And I expect, as that security 
proceeds, that they will begin to make important strides in the 
direction of the reconciliation initiatives that are going to 
be so important to the long-term settlement of this conflict.
    I do expect them to undertake those things. I expect that 
the process will be arduous, there will be setbacks, and there 
will be disappointments.
    Senator Bill Nelson. So, you think it will meet the 
President's test.
    Dr. Kagan. I believe that we will be able to attain a 
stable and secure state in Iraq.
    Senator Bill Nelson. Well, I hope you're right, but I don't 
believe it. And that's my impression.
    Ambassador Galbraith. Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Bill Nelson. And my impression is that increased 
troops in Anbar province will help, but not in Baghdad.
    Mr. Galbraith.
    Ambassador Galbraith. Here's what I expect from the Maliki 
government. I expect it to say what it wants us to hear, and I 
don't expect it to do very many of those things at all. Perhaps 
the best example of this is the Prime Minister's repeated 
statements that militias are incompatible with the functioning 
of a democratic Iraq, and then he does precisely nothing about 
the militias. And that is not because he's weak, that's not 
because he's dependent on the Sadrists for support, but it is 
because he is part of the system of sectarian Shiite rule that 
includes the Shiite militias.
    The character of the Maliki government was perhaps best 
demonstrated by the manner in which it executed Saddam Hussein. 
In his rush to execute Saddam for a 1982 crime against 
supporters of his Dawa Party, Maliki cut short Saddam's ongoing 
trial for the Kurdish genocide, a case that involved a thousand 
times as many dead as did the Dujail case. He acted over the 
protests of the Kurds and, in the rush to execution, did not 
follow Iraq's constitutional procedures that require all three 
Presidents to ratify a death sentence. He allowed the Mahdi 
Army militiamen to participate in the execution. That wasn't 
incompetence, that was the way his government is.
    Senator Bill Nelson. Mr. Carpenter. Just a minute, and then 
I'm going to have to run to make this vote.
    Dr. Carpenter. I would take a position roughly midpoint 
between what Ambassador Galbraith has said and what Dr. Kagan 
has said. I think the Maliki government will participate, with 
some vigor, in operations to crack down on the Sunni insurgents 
and Sunni neighborhoods in Baghdad, and it will do little or 
nothing when it comes to operations to crack down on the Shiite 
militias. This is a sectarian government, as much as the Bush 
administration really doesn't want to admit that reality, and 
it is a participant in the ongoing civil war. It is not a 
neutral arbiter. We have to understand that point.
    What I worry about is the American troops increasingly 
being embedded with Iraqi security forces. I think that was one 
of the worst proposals of the Iraq Study Group; and, 
unfortunately, it's one of the main things the Bush 
administration has adopted. One of the reasons we have been 
able to keep----
    Senator Bill Nelson. Why? Why, on the embedding?
    Dr. Carpenter. Why they adopted it? Or why is it----
    Senator Bill Nelson. Why do you disagree with the 
    Dr. Carpenter I think one of the reasons that we've been 
able to keep casuality rates relatively low is the American----
    Senator Bill Nelson. OK. So, you think it would increase 
American casualties.
    Dr. Carpenter. It makes them more and more vulnerable. 
They're going to be dependent on their security on their Iraqi 
    Senator Bill Nelson. OK.
    The committee will stand in recess, subject to the call of 
the Chair. Thank you all very much.
    The Chairman [presiding]. We'll come back to order.
    I thank you for your patience. I know the Ambassador, after 
14 years up here, knows what it's like here. The reason why 
Senator Lugar and I hung around over there, we were told there 
was going to be an immediate vote, and they're still--it 
probably won't occur til tomorrow morning. But, I apologize.
    Gentlemen, I--the reason I asked you to stay is, I've been 
impressed with what you've written in the past and how cogent 
your arguments are for your various positions. And, as I said 
earlier, my intention, along with Chairman Lugar, is to try to, 
as thoroughly and as clearly as possible, lay out for our 
colleagues what options people--bright people think exist out 
there, because I don't think any one of us would suggest 
there's any, ``good answer'' left. I know what each of you are 
proposing is not what you would do if you could wave a wand and 
come to a--what you would think would be the best outcome for 
Iraq and for the United States.
    But let me start off with a broad question and ask each of 
you to respond--in any order. And that is--tell me, if you 
will--and this may be a way to meet my objective of trying to 
focus, for my colleagues and for me, the alternatives--how does 
what you are proposing differ--and why--from what the President 
has proposed? In other words, maybe starting with you, Dr. 
Kagan, I read your report, ``Choosing Victory: A Plan for 
Success in Iraq.'' I may be mistaken, but it seems as though 
what the President proposed has the elements of what you have 
proposed, but not, if I may, the weight of how you proposed it. 
And you very clearly lay out that the first stage in the 
process is the Sunni neighborhoods, if I'm not mistaken--is it 
19 or--you list a specific number.
    Dr. Kagan. Twenty-three, Mr. Chairman.
    The Chairman. Twenty-three. Then Sadr City, then Anbar 
province--which makes sense to me. I mean, if you're going to 
adopt the proposal, or if you think the best outcome, and the 
way to achieve it, is to surge force, you have been, in my 
view, the most thoroughly honest, in the sense of laying out, 
from beginning to end, what you think has to happen for there 
to be success.
    And so, why don't we start--as succinctly as you can, but 
take what time you need. Tell me how--and I'm not looking for 
you to criticize the President. I'm just--I'm just trying to 
have everybody understand where the gaps are, so that when they 
take a look, they know what they're talking about, what's being 
said. Tell me how what you have proposed, in broad strokes or 
as specific as you can get, is different than--not just what we 
heard last night, but the actual plan, which obviously the 
President didn't have a chance to go into every jot and tittle 
of his plan--how it differs, as best you know it.
    Dr. Kagan. Mr. Chairman, I thank you very much for your 
kind remarks about our report and also for the opportunity to 
speak with you about this.
    I will answer your question directly, but I would like to 
offer a couple of caveats. First of all, I don't feel like I 
know what the President's plan is, in any great detail. We can 
look at some----
    The Chairman. Fair enough.
    Dr. Kagan [continuing]. Of the things that he said.
    The Chairman. I'm not sure, either.
    Dr. Kagan. And I'd also like to make the point that we are 
going to have, apparently, a change of command in Iraq shortly, 
from General Casey to General Petraeus, I hope--a man for whom 
I have a tremendous amount of respect.
    The Chairman. I share your view about Petraeus.
    Dr. Kagan. And when General Petraeus takes command, he will 
have to look at the situation afresh and develop a plan that 
he's going to be comfortable executing. He's certainly not 
simply going to take the plan that has been developed, you 
know, before he got there, and execute it. So, I would expect 
to see some changes, even in the plan that has been outlined so 
far, when the actual commander gets there. That would be 
    Having said that, I think that the plan that the President 
outlined, insofar as he did, is similar to ours in its large 
aspects, apparently differs from ours in some more tactical 
details, which I think are extremely important.
    He did say that he would change the strategy and that he 
would change the mission of United States forces in Iraq from 
having the primary goal of training and transitioning to having 
the primary goal of establishing security. And I think that's a 
terrifically important change in strategy. It is the one that 
we recommended.
    And I'd like to make a point that people are focusing on 
the number of additional troops that will be sent in as being 
the delta between what we've been doing and what we will be 
doing. And that's actually not right. We have, already, 
something like 20 or 25,000 American soldiers in and around 
Baghdad. They have not had it as their primary mission to 
establish and maintain security in Baghdad for most of the 
time. That will now become their mission. So, we're actually 
talking about an increase of, you know, more like 40 or 50,000 
American soldiers dedicated to this mission over what we've had 
previously. And so, the change is actually rather more 
significant than people have been focusing on. And that is in 
accord with what we recommended.
    He did say that he would send five additional combat 
brigades to Baghdad as rapidly as they can get there. And that 
is also what we recommended. And that is the size of the force 
that we recommended.
    There's been some confusion because of the way the 
administration has presented numbers to match the brigades, and 
I believe that that has to do with--there are different ways of 
counting how many troops there are in a brigade. So, we gave a 
total force increment for Iraq of 35,000. The President is 
talking about 20-some thousand. I think that's a difference in 
counting, more than anything else, because we recommended five 
additional Army brigades and two additional Marine regimental 
combat teams. The President said that it would be five American 
brigades and one regimental combat team. So, the forces that 
he's proposing are very parallel in size to the forces that we 
proposed. And we think it's very important to have all of those 
forces. And, if it were me, I would continue to fight for the 
additional regimental combat team, as well, because I think 
it's important to have reserves available for this operation.
    Now, the President did say that the Iraqis would be in the 
lead. He did talk about our forces supporting them. And he did 
talk about increasing the number of our forces embedded in 
Iraqi units conducting these operations. Those statements are 
not in accord with what we had recommended. We believe that, in 
the first instance, this has to be an American-led operation, 
simply because there are not enough Iraqi forces, and they are 
not trained adequately to be in the lead. And so, that is an 
area of divergence.
    The Chairman. If I could interrupt for a moment, we heard 
testimony yesterday from a counterpart of yours, different 
organization, but--Mr. O'Hanlon, and asked him how many, 
``politically reliable,'' not just trained, but politically 
reliable combat forces he thought were available from the Iraqi 
side right now, and he gave a number of 5,000. What is your 
sense of the number of available trained Iraqi forces that 
could be, ``counted upon'' to fill the mission you have 
envisioned for them?
    Dr. Kagan. I'm sorry to say that it's not really possible 
to answer that question with any degree of precision, because 
I'm not sure that that knowledge actually exists.
    The Chairman. Well, quite frankly, I would have been 
disappointed if you had--had you given me a number, because I 
share your view. I don't know----
    Dr. Kagan. Right.
    The Chairman [continuing]. How anybody knows that number.
    Dr. Kagan. And that's why we--that's why we--when we sat 
down to look at this operation, we attempted to design an 
operation that could succeed even with a very low level of 
Iraqi participation.
    The Chairman. Gotcha.
    Dr. Kagan. We think that the Iraqi participation is 
important, not so much because it will provide bodies, but 
because we need the--we need to have an Iraqi face on the 
operation, as much as possible, and the Iraqis to interact with 
their own populations, as much as possible, with our forces 
present. But we are not relying on large numbers of Iraqi 
forces coming, and we certainly do not want them to be 
operating on their own----
    The Chairman. Quite frankly, that was my reading of your 
report. The second thing is--it leads me to this point, I hope 
I don't come across as being cynical here, but I believe the 
reason why the President and his team rejected Maliki's plan, 
which was, ``You Americans stay outside the city, we'll go in, 
you essentially reinforce us''--is that they feared one of two 
things, probably both: That they would not be competent to do 
the job, and they would essentially be Shia--I don't want to be 
too--Shia forces cleansing Sunni areas, and that what we would 
be doing is indirectly giving a green light to what would be 
further sectarian violence rather than limiting or eliminating 
sectarian violence.
    Dr. Kagan. Mr. Chairman, of course, I don't know--I don't 
know the details of the plan that Maliki presented or why the 
    The Chairman. All I know is----
    Dr. Kagan [continuing]. Reacted as it did.
    The Chairman [continuing]. What was characterized by----
    Dr. Kagan. I understand.
    If I had been presented with such a plan by the government, 
I would have opposed it, on more or less precisely those 
    The Chairman. Yeah. OK.
    And you mentioned Tal Afar as an example in your report, 
and I think you did in your statement. And in 2005, we had 
roughly 5,000 American forces, with some Iraqi forces--but 
5,000 American forces, if memory serves me--in a city, in a 
population of about 200,000. We're talking about--and I 
understand your point, I think it's a fair point--there are 
roughly 25,000 American forces in and around Baghdad with a 
mission other than the one that's now being assigned them. So, 
it's arguably--it's intellectually credible to say that, since 
the mission is being changed, the multiplier effect here is--
add those 25,000, that have been there, to the 15 or 16 or 17, 
whatever the number comes to--to President's total of 21,500, 
and--at least that's what the Secretary said today, four going 
to Anbar. So, let's say you're adding, on top of that--you're 
talking roughly--you could argue, 40,000 folks with a new 
mission. Because I was wondering how you get to the 
counterinsurgency ratio that most of the military people with 
whom I have spoken, as far back as 3 years ago with General 
Donovan, who was very frustrated that he wasn't getting the 
support--the number of troops he needed, and his talking about 
Anbar province--I remember him saying--and I'm paraphrasing--
that every officer learns in war college that the ratio needs 
to be, and then he named it and said--not 100 to 1, not 150 to 
1, and so on.
    So, if you were to use your numbers in the multiplier, my 
word--since it's a different mission, arguing you actually have 
more people moving here is in the 25,000 range already, then I 
assume that's how you make your argument that the 
counterinsurgency ratio required is closer to what is taught at 
the academies and the war college and--than it otherwise would 
be. Is that----
    Dr. Kagan. Yes, Mr. Chairman. I think if you look at the 
population of the area that we were proposing to clear and 
hold, in the first instance, it's something under 2 million----
    The Chairman. Right.
    Dr. Kagan [continuing]. Which would call for a force ratio 
of between 40 or 50,000 in----
    The Chairman. Right.
    Dr. Kagan [continuing]. Order to meet that. And that is the 
force ratio that we--that our plan would bring into that area, 
because we would make full use of the forces that are already 
    The Chairman. Gotcha.
    Dr. Kagan [continuing]. And this increment.
    The Chairman. I will not belabor this, but this is helpful 
to me--one further apparent difference is--the President said, 
last night, and I asked the Secretary today, and others did, as 
well, that they are not limiting this effort to the 23 
neighborhoods. Now, I don't know whether they answered the 
question for political reasons or if substantively it's 
correct. I'm not sure which. When it was asked, ``Do they have 
the green light to go into Sadr City? Do they have the green 
light to deal with the militia?''--the answer was, ``Yes; that 
would be the case.'' But is your understanding that the first 
phase, or the phase the President is talking about, or Petraeus 
may be talking about, is more in line with your plan--to only 
focus on the 23 neighborhoods, 2 million people, as opposed to 
the totality of Baghdad and 6-plus-million people?
    Dr. Kagan. Mr. Chairman, we've been explicit, on a number 
of occasions, that our plan does see, in the initial phase, 
focusing on the 23 Sunni and mixed Sunni-Shia neighborhoods and 
not going into Sadr City, in the first instance. Now, that was 
predicated on a number of assumptions about the difficulty that 
would be entailed in going into Sadr City--in part, assuming 
that the Maliki government would not be forthcoming with 
support for doing that. If, in fact, the Maliki government is 
going to be forthcoming with that support, then that would 
change the equation, but we have not had the opportunity to go 
back and reevaluate, you know, what our force ratio assumptions 
would be in that circumstance.
    The Chairman. Well, I'd respectfully suggest, if that is 
the case, the force ratios are a little out of whack, and 
you're going to be dealing with the different situation.
    The last question on this point, and again, I have so many 
questions. My temptation would be to keep you here all night, 
all of you. Where Petraeus has been successful--and he has 
been--in the past, north of Baghdad, in dealing with an 
insurgency, it's been an insurgency, as opposed to sectarian 
strife and a civil war. Say it another way. A mixed 
neighborhood in Baghdad is different than going into Tal Afar, 
where the insurgents are the former Baathists, Saddamists, et 
cetera, and/or al-Qaeda, and their target being us and/or 
government troops. When you go into a neighborhood--and I want 
the public to understand we're not talking about a neighborhood 
of 500 people, we're talking about neighborhoods that are tens 
of thousands of people--when you go in a neighborhood where the 
problem is within the neighborhood, if it's a mixed 
neighborhood, people are, figuratively speaking, crossing the 
street, killing each other, and/or if it's not an integrated 
neighborhood, primarily a Shia neighborhood, you have death 
squads wearing uniforms and/or the Mahdi Militia coming in and 
taking them out. That's a little different circumstance than 
dealing with an insurgency, isn't it?
    Dr. Kagan. Mr. Chairman, I have to, respectfully, disagree 
with your premise. Tal Afar actually is a mixed city. It is 
mixed Sunni/Shia. It's also mixed between Arab and Turkoman and 
Kurd. And all of those factions were, in fact, shooting at one 
another, and H.R. McMaster, the commander of the unit that 
cleared Tal Afar in 2005, has described, in great detail, there 
would be circumstances where Sunni snipers would climb turrets, 
fire into Shia neighborhoods to commit casualties, and then 
those same Sunni snipers would actually climb down, cross over 
into the Shia neighborhoods and fire back into the Sunni 
neighborhoods to commit atrocities in precisely the same sort 
of effort, to incite sectarian civil war within Tal Afar. And 
so, it actually was very similar to what's going on in Baghdad, 
and, in many respects----
    The Chairman. Had the mosque--had the Samarra mosque been 
taken out, at that point?
    Dr. Kagan. No, Mr. Chairman; it hadn't. And, even so, there 
was this very high level of intersectarian violence. And, in 
addition to that, the Sunni insurgents had established real 
strongholds in Tal Afar. They had video booths where they would 
tape their messages and beheadings. I mean, they had a real 
professional apparatus, and were ready to receive us.
    The Chairman. Gotcha.
    Dr. Kagan. Because we've been operating continually in a 
lot of the Baghdad neighborhoods that we're talking about going 
into, in most of those areas they don't have anything like the 
same degree of preparation. But, no; I think we actually 
already have seen success in dealing with this sort of 
sectarian conflict.
    The Chairman. OK. Last question for you, if I may. We 
heard, this morning, about the successes that are taking place 
in Anbar province, according to the Secretary. And she cited 
that certain of the tribal chiefs, very upset with the al-
Qaeda, have sent their sons to Jordan to be trained to come 
back, ostensibly, and be a resistance to al-Qaeda intervention, 
and, I suspect, to not be as cooperative with the insurgency, 
the former Saddamists and Baathists. Can you tell me if you 
know anything about that?
    Dr. Kagan. Mr. Chairman, only what I've seen in newspapers 
and what I've heard about. I mean, it does appear that some of 
the sheikhs in Anbar have become frustrated with the ongoing 
civil war. And I think it's very important to understand that 
the Sunni Arab insurgency is not monolithic, either.
    The Chairman. No.
    Dr. Kagan. And there is divergence of views even within the 
Islamist wing. Al-Qaeda in Iraq says that it's OK to kill Iraqi 
civilians. Ansar al-Sunna has taken the position, often, that 
it isn't. There are disputes among these groups about tactics, 
techniques, goals, and so forth. And I think what we're seeing 
in Anbar province is the beginning of a splintering of this 
movement. Now, I think if we continue the process of 
establishing security to make it possible for these guys to 
participate more directly, and if the Maliki government will 
reach out in a situation of improving security, to offer the 
necessary reconciliation to bring them into the fold, I think 
it's possible that we can see significant political progress.
    The Chairman. Question for the three of you. And you need 
not answer it, if you choose not to. If you had to take a bet, 
how many of you would bet that Maliki is the Prime Minister in 
November of this year?
    Dr. Carpenter. The answer to that question, Mr. Chairman, 
depends very much on whether we are serious about pressing the 
Maliki government to take on the Shiite militias and to 
neutralize Muqtada Sadr. If we are serious about that, I think 
that places Maliki in an almost impossible position and that 
that will severely undercut his political base. It would make 
it very likely that he would not be Prime Minister by November. 
If this is merely a rhetorical flourish on the part of the Bush 
administration, and this is substantively an effort to go after 
the Sunni neighborhoods in Baghdad, and to suppress the Sunni 
insurgency, and the talk of going after the Shia militia is 
just political cover, then I think Maliki may be a skillful 
enough politician to survive and be Prime Minister at the end 
of the year.
    The Chairman. Ambassador.
    Ambassador Galbraith. I think Dr. Carpenter's analysis is 
as good as any. The problem is that the Maliki government rests 
on a narrow margin within the I'tilaf, within the Shiite 
Alliance. In the electoral battle between Abel Abdul Mahdi and 
Jaafari, Jaafari prevailed by one vote. And other elements, 
notably the Kurds, but perhaps some of the Sunnis, might well 
prefer Mahdi to Maliki. Indeed, the Bush administration may 
tire of Maliki, because he's not much more effective than 
Jaafari. Although he doesn't have some of Jaafari's annoying 
personal traits, he hasn't been much more effective as a 
    No matter who is the Government of Iraq we're going to get 
tired of them, because they're not going to be effective, 
because they don't have the agenda that we want them to have, 
and they don't exercise the power that we wish they would.
    The Chairman. Mr. Ambassador, let's just ask: In your 
partition scenario, what happens to Iraqis' oil wealth?
    Ambassador Galbraith. The Iraqis are on the verge of 
concluding a deal that will, at least for some period of time, 
share the oil revenues on the basis of population. The 
distribution of oil revenues has never been a central issue. 
The central issue has been who controls the oilfields. And that 
has been central for the Kurds, and some of the Shiites, 
because they do not want to go back to the situation where 
Baghdad cuts the check and Baghdad has all the power.
    The Chairman. Right.
    Ambassador Galbraith. Like any federal system, frankly, 
they understand that it works only when there are local sources 
of revenue. But, in terms of how that revenue is distributed, 
there is a broad consensus to share it. Now, if Iraq does not 
hold together as a state, then you----
    The Chairman. Well, under your scenario, it's not a state, 
    Ambassador Galbraith. Well, it--my view is that, over the 
long term, it will not survive as a single state.
    The Chairman. Right.
    Ambassador Galbraith. Which, incidently, doesn't mean that 
I think it's going to split into three states. If you asked 
them, both Sunnis and Shiites would say, ``Yes; we're Iraqis.'' 
The trouble is, they have such radically vision of what that 
means that I believe it is better to do what the Shiites want 
to do and what the Sunnis still resist, which is to have their 
own regions. But that's really a decision for the Sunnis to 
make. The Kurds, it's entirely different. They----
    The Chairman. No, I----
    Ambassador Galbraith [continuing]. They don't want to be 
part of Iraq.
    The Chairman. No; I got that, about the Kurds. My concern 
is that I don't see, absent essentially letting a civil war 
rage from Anbar province down through Basrah, and let the 
outcome dictate who runs the show in those two areas--short of 
that, I don't know what's left for the Sunnis. I mean, if they 
end up with three different states, in effect, the inclination 
to share oil ain't gonna be around, and there's nothing there, 
there in Anbar province.
    Ambassador Galbraith. First, if the Kurds actually leave, 
they will take with them a percentage of Iraq's oil reserves 
that is approximately the same as their share of Iraq's 
population. So, that's----
    The Chairman. Right.
    Ambassador Galbraith [continuing]. That's not a big issue. 
So, the issue is in Arab Iraq.
    The Chairman. Right.
    Ambassador Galbraith. Will the Shiites be prepared to give 
to the Sunni region a percentage that is equal to the Sunni 
percentage of the population? I don't know the answer to that. 
Right now, the Shiites have agreed to such a formula. That 
they'll continue to be generous toward the Sunnis in conditions 
of an ongong civil war, or if the civil war intensifies, is not 
likely. And, in fact, it----
    The Chairman. Right.
    Ambassador Galbraith [continuing]. Could have a very bad 
ending. And that is why, with regard to Arab Iraq, I believe 
that the plan that I've put forward and that you have put 
forward is the only way to go. It is a plan that protects the 
Sunnis by allowing them to have their own region, to provide 
for their own security, and, if it's implemented soon, would 
come at time when there is still enough political will there to 
guarantee them a share of revenue. This revenue-sharing should 
be done through legislation--as has already been agreed--and 
not by trying to change the Iraqi Constitution, which is as 
difficult to change as our own. But if the Sunnis don't move to 
establish their own region, if the civil war spins on for 
another year or two, I think it's unlikely----
    The Chairman. Just--let me just--one of things I want to 
get straight here, make sure I understand it. The legislation 
that's already agreed to is agreed to, in principle, by a 
committee, a group of people meeting. There has not been any 
legislation introduced, there has not been any legislation 
passed, am I correct in that? The Iraqi Parliament has not 
passed any legislation saying that--I remember, I was in--over 
the Fourth of July, I met with Mr. Maliki in his office, and I 
asked him about two issues. One was federation or regionalism, 
as their Constitution calls for, and the second was about 
allocation of oil revenues. He said, ``Aw, the Constitution has 
already taken care of that.'' And I said, ``Well, with all due 
respect, Mr. Prime Minister, you and I may be the only two who 
have read the Constitution. It doesn't say that. It says 
`equitable share,' or some such language, but there's no 
guarantee what that means.'' Said, ``There's no need for 
    So, I just want to be clear that whether or not there is--
if you know if there is, or is about to be introduced--
legislation that the tribal chiefs in--the tribal leaders in 
Anbar province can say, ``I know I'm now going to get''----
    Ambassador Galbraith. Well, the----
    The Chairman [continuing]. ``20 percent of the revenue, or 
    Ambassador Galbraith [continuing]. The legislation that is 
pending is an oil law, and it's a very complicated law that 
entails many compromises. It's one thing to say, as does the 
Constitution, that the regions have control over new oil, but 
to implement that, in terms of----
    The Chairman. It's very hard.
    Ambassador Galbraith [continuing]. Pipelines and everything 
else is difficult. But the oil law will do this and it is 
mostly agreed. Some issues remain between Kurdistan and Arab 
Iraq, but there's a good chance that they'll be resolved.
    The Chairman. Well----
    Ambassador Galbraith. It also includes the provisions for 
revenue-sharing, which, however, will be done in a separate 
law. The problem is this. The Sunnis do not consider 20 percent 
to be their share of the population, and they don't consider 
it, therefore, to be their fair share of the oil wealth. And, 
furthermore, until 2003, they got 70 to 80 percent of the oil 
    The Chairman. Oh, I know that. That was----
    Ambassador Galbraith. So, 20 percent is--even if we think 
it's fair, they don't think it's fair.
    The Chairman. Well, you know, it's amazing how people's 
attitudes change when faced with the realistic alternatives 
they may face. In my meeting with major oil executives--not 
just American-based companies, but foreign companies--I don't 
understand why, 3 years ago, the President didn't bring some of 
these guys in, and bring in the major informed elements of the 
three communities, and say, ``Look, you know, you're not--
listen to these guys, they're not going to invest the $40 
billion you need to develop your fields unless you have a 
national oil policy, unless you have some reason to make them 
believe you're going to be able to do this without any real 
prospect of them being blown up.'' But that goes another way.
    Let me ask another question, and I won't keep you much 
longer. Up until recently--and I'm not sure what I think right 
now, but up until recently, I have come away from my visits to 
Iraq with the following sense of things: That, from 2004--
really, early 2005, up until mid-2006, the Kurds, although 
overwhelmingly wanting independence, reached the tentative 
conclusion that--if they seek independence, or if the nation 
falls apart, and they are able to declare themselves 
independent because there is an all-out civil war--that they 
are not about to give up on Kirkuk, and the Turks aren't about 
to let them have their way in Kirkuk; and that, although, on 
the one hand, they would look like they're in pretty good 
shape, they would be inviting both the Iranians and the Turks 
to come after them. And so, it's better for them to be in a 
position where this gets played out over a longer haul, as long 
as they're able to maintain the autonomy they now have; and 
that the Sunnis, at least the tribal leadership, has reached 
the conclusion they're not going to be in control like they 
were--I mean, 70 percent of the oil, 90 percent of the power, 
et cetera--in their lifetimes, and it's better to work out some 
accommodation where at least they're secure, as long as they 
actually have a source of revenue. And the Shia, although they 
now have met their expectation and desire to be the dominant 
political force, absent some kind of ultimate arrangement, they 
are not going to be in a position to be able to pr