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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Post-War Planning, February 11, 2003

Post-War Planning, February 11, 2003: "Post-War Planning
Statement by Douglas J. Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, February 11, 2003


Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:

I am pleased to have this opportunity to talk with you today about efforts underway in the Defense Department and the U.S. Government to plan for Iraq in the post-conflict period, should war become necessary.

If U.S. and other coalition forces take military action in Iraq, they will, after victory, have contributions to make to the country’s temporary administration and the welfare of the Iraqi people. It will be necessary to provide humanitarian relief, organize basic services and work to establish security for the liberated Iraqis.

Our work will aim to achieve the objectives outlined by my colleague, Under Secretary of State Grossman:

First, demonstrate to the Iraqi people and the world that the United States aspires to liberate, not occupy or control them or their economic resources.

Second, eliminate Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons, its nuclear program, the related delivery systems, and the related research and production facilities. This will be a complex, dangerous and expensive task.

Third, eliminate likewise Iraq’s terrorist infrastructure. A key element of U.S. strategy in the global war on terrorism is exploiting the information about terrorist networks that the coalition acquires through our military and law enforcement actions.

Fourth, safeguard the territorial unity of Iraq. The United States does not support Iraq’s disintegration or dismemberment.

Fifth, begin the process of economic and political reconstruction, working to put Iraq on a path to become a prosperous and free country. The U.S. government shares with many Iraqis the hope that their country will enjoy the rule of law and other institutions of democracy under a broad-based government that represents the various parts of Iraqi society.
If there is a war, the United States would approach its post-war work with a two-part resolve: a commitment to stay and a commitment to leave.

That is, a commitment to stay as long as required to achieve the objectives I have just listed. The coalition cannot take military action in Iraq – to eliminate weapons of mass destruction and the Iraqi tyranny’s threats to the world as an aggressor and supporter of terrorism – and then leave a mess behind for the Iraqi people to clean up without a helping hand. That would ill serve the Iraqis, ourselves and the world.

But it is important to stress also that the United States would have a commitment to leave as soon as possible, for Iraq belongs to the Iraqi people. Iraq does not and will not belong to the United States, the coalition or to anyone else.
As Iraqi officials are able to shoulder their country’s responsibilities, and they have in place the necessary political and other structures to provide food, security and the other necessities, the United States and its coalition partners will want them to run their own affairs. We all have an interest in hastening the day when Iraq can become a proud, independent and respected member of the community of the world’s free countries.

U.S. post-war responsibilities will not be easy to fulfill and the United States by no means wishes to tackle them alone. We shall encourage contributions and participation from coalition partners, non-governmental organizations, the UN and other international organizations and others. And our goal is to transfer as much authority as possible, as soon as possible, to the Iraqis themselves. But the United States will not try to foist burdens onto those who are not in a position to carry them.

Security and Reconstruction

Administration officials are thinking through the lessons of Afghanistan and other recent history. We have learned that post-conflict reconstruction requires a balance of efforts in the military sphere and the civil sphere. Security is promoted by progress toward economic reconstruction. But economic reconstruction is hardly possible if local business people, foreign investors and international aid workers do not feel secure in their persons and property.

To encourage the coordinated, balanced progress of economic and security reconstruction in a post-conflict Iraq, President Bush has directed his administration to begin planning now.

The faster the necessary reconstruction tasks are accomplished, the sooner the coalition will be able to withdraw its forces from Iraq, and the sooner the Iraqis will assume complete control of their country. Accordingly, the coalition officials responsible for post-conflict administration of Iraq – whether military or civilian, from the various agencies of the governments – will report to the President through General Tom Franks, the Commander of the U.S. Central Command, and the Secretary of Defense.

The Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance

To prepare for all this, the President directed on January 20 the creation of a post-war planning office. Although located within the Policy organization in the Department of Defense, this office is staffed by officials detailed from departments and agencies throughout the government. Its job is detailed planning and implementation. The intention is not to theorize but to do practical work – to prepare for action on the ground, if and when the time comes for such work. In the event of war, most of the people in the office will deploy to Iraq. We have named it the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance and we describe it as an “expeditionary” office.

The Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance is charged with establishing links with the United Nations specialized agencies and with non-governmental organizations that will play a role in post-war Iraq. It will reach out also to the counterpart offices in the governments of coalition countries, and, in coordination with the President’s Special Envoy to the Free Iraqis, to the various Free Iraqi groups.

The immediate responsibility for administering post-war Iraq will fall upon the Commander of the U.S. Central Command, as the commander of the U.S. and coalition forces in the field. The purpose of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance is to develop the detailed plans that he and his subordinates will draw on in meeting these responsibilities.

Various parts of the government have done a great deal of work on aspects of post-war planning for months now. Several planning efforts are underway.

An interagency working group led by the NSC staff and the Office of Management and Budget has undertaken detailed contingency planning for humanitarian relief in case of conflict with Iraq. The group also includes members from the State Department, USAID, the Office of the Vice-President, Treasury, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, and the CIA. The group is linked to US Central Command. It has also established links with the UN specialized agencies and NGOs involved in humanitarian relief efforts.

This group has developed a concept of operations that would:

facilitate UN/NGO provision of aid,

establish Civil-Military Operations Centers by means of which US forces would coordinate provision of relief and

restart the UN ration distribution system using U.S. supplies until UN/NGOs arrive.
Other interagency groups are planning for:

the reconstruction of post-Saddam Iraq,

vetting current Iraqi officials to determine with whom we should work, and

post-war elimination of Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction.
The new planning office’s function is to integrate all these efforts and make them operational. It is building on the work done, not reinventing it.

Elimination of Weapons of Mass Destruction

Detailed planning is underway for the task of securing, assessing and dismantling Iraqi WMD capabilities, facilities and stockpiles. This will be a huge undertaking. The Defense Department is building the necessary capabilities.

This will be a new mission for the Department and for our nation. It is complex and will take place as part of military operations, continuing into the post-conflict period.

We must first locate Iraq’s widespread WMD sites. We must then be prepared to secure the relevant weapons or facilities, or rapidly and safely disable them, so they are no longer a threat to coalition forces. This will have to be done in many places and as quickly as possible.

But the mission does not end there. After hostilities, we will have to dismantle, destroy or dispose of nuclear, chemical, biological and missile capabilities and infrastructure.

Equally important will be plans to re-direct some of Iraq’s dual-use capability and its scientific and managerial talent to legitimate, civilian activities in a new Iraq.

Clearly, this will not be a mission that falls entirely to the U.S. military forces. Other U.S. government personnel, including those within the DoD, the Department of Energy’s laboratory system, and in other government agencies can contribute.

Coalition partners, including many NATO Allies, have nuclear, chemical and biological defense-related capabilities and expertise that can play an important role. The UN, IAEA and other international organizations should be in a position to contribute valuably to the elimination effort and perhaps to ongoing monitoring afterward.

The task of eliminating all nuclear, chemical and biological stockpiles, facilities and infrastructure will take time. We cannot now even venture a sensible guess as to the amount. The new Iraqi government will also have an important role to play.

Oil Infrastructure

The U.S. and its coalition allies may face the necessity of repairing Iraq’s oil infrastructure, if Saddam Hussein decides to damage it, as he put the torch to Kuwait’s oil fields in 1991. Indeed, we have reason to believe that Saddam’s regime is planning to sabotage Iraq’s oil fields. But even if there is no sabotage and there is no injury from combat operations, some repair work will likely be necessary to allow the safe resumption of operations at oil facilities after any war-related stoppage.

Detailed planning is underway for resumption of oil production as quickly as possible to help meet the Iraqi people’s basic needs. The oil sector is Iraq’s primary source of funding. As noted, the United States is committed to preserving Iraq’s territorial integrity. So we are intent on ensuring that Iraq’s oil resources remain under national Iraqi control, with the proceeds made available to support Iraqis in all parts of the country. No one ethnic or religious group would be allowed to claim exclusive rights to any part of the oil resources or infrastructure. In other words, all of Iraq’s oil belongs to all the people of Iraq.

The Administration has decided that, in the event of war, the U.S.-led coalition would:

protect Iraq’s oil fields from acts of sabotage and preserve them as a national asset of the Iraqi people, and

rapidly start reconstruction and operation of the sector, so that its proceeds, together with humanitarian aid from the United States and other countries, can help support the Iraqi people’s needs.
The Administration has not yet decided on the organizational mechanisms by which this sector should be operated. We shall be consulting on this important matter with many parties in various countries, including Iraqi experts and groups.

“No War for Oil”

This is a good point at which to address head-on the accusation that, in this confrontation with the Iraqi regime, the Administration’s motive is to steal or control Iraq’s oil. The accusation is common, reflected in the slogan “No War for Oil.” But it is false and malign.

If there is a war, the world will see that the United States will fulfill its administrative responsibilities, including regarding oil, transparently and honestly, respecting the property and other rights of the Iraqi state and people. The record of the United States in military conflicts is open to the world and well known.

The United States became a major world power in World War II. In that war and since, the United States has demonstrated repeatedly and consistently that we covet no other country’s property. The United States does not steal from other nations. We did not pillage Germany or Japan; on the contrary, we helped rebuild them after World War II. After Desert Storm, we did not use our military power to take or establish control over the oil resources of Iraq or any other country in the Gulf region. The United States pays for whatever we want to import. Rather than exploit its power to beggar its neighbors, the United States has been a source of large amounts of financial aid and other types of assistance for many countries for decades.

If U.S. motives were in essence financial or commercial, we would not be confronting Saddam Hussein over his weapons of mass destruction. If our motive were cold cash, we would instead downplay the Iraqi regime’s weapons of mass destruction and pander to Saddam in hopes of winning contracts for U.S. companies.

The major costs of any confrontation with the Iraqi regime would of course be the human ones. But the financial costs would not be small, either. This confrontation is not, and cannot possibly be, a money-maker for the United States. Only someone ignorant of the easy-to-ascertain realities could think that the United States could profit from such a war, even if we were willing to steal Iraq’s oil, which we emphatically are not going to do.

The Structure and Funding of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance

Returning now to the new Pentagon Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance: There are three substantive operations within the Office, each under a civilian coordinator: Humanitarian Relief, Reconstruction, and Civil Administration. A fourth coordinator is responsible for communications, logistics and budgetary support. These operations are under the overall leadership of Jay Garner, a retired Lieutenant General who held a senior military position in the 1991 humanitarian relief operation in northern Iraq. He is responsible for organizing and integrating the work of the three substantive operations and ensuring that the office can travel to the region when necessary and plug in smoothly to CENTCOM’s operations. His staff consists of representatives from the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, Treasury, Energy, and Agriculture, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Office of Management and Budget.

The Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance has only just begun the task of estimating the cost of post-war humanitarian assistance. In addition, it is working to identify the projected post-conflict costs of dealing with the Iraqi armed forces, including the costs of disarming, demobilizing and reintegrating Iraqi troops into civilian society.

Except for the Defense Department, the USG is currently operating under a FY 2003 continuing resolution. This has affected the level of funding that can be made available now, as agencies have access only to limited amounts of money.

In any case, the overall Iraq reconstruction and relief budget would require a FY 2003 supplemental appropriation. Timing of a FY 2003 supplemental is important. Delays would hinder relief and reconstruction programs.

As part of our post-war planning, CENTCOM has also established a Combined Joint Task Force that will be responsible for U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq in the immediate aftermath of a conflict. The task force will work closely with the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance to facilitate relief and reconstruction activities.

The Responsibilities of Free Iraqis

Because the Commander of the U.S. Central Command will have a key role in administration in Iraq, many have thought that our plans for Iraq are based on what the Allies did in Germany after World War II. But that is not the case. Our intention, in case of war, would be to liberate Iraq, not to occupy it.

Our administration would involve Iraqis as soon as possible, and we would transfer responsibility to Iraqi entities as soon as possible. Following the initial period of U.S./coalition military government, we envisage a transitional phase in which responsibility is gradually transferred to Iraqi institutions, leading to the eventual establishment of a new Iraqi government in accordance with a new constitution.

The following are examples of the ways in which Iraqis might play a progressively greater role in administering the country. While final decisions have not been made, and, in the nature of the case, cannot be made until the actual circumstances are known, these examples illustrate various mechanisms under consideration:


An Iraqi consultative council could be formed to advise the U.S./coalition authorities.

A judicial council could undertake to advise the authorities on the necessary revisions to Iraq’s legal structure and statutes to institute the rule of law and to protect individual rights.

A constitutional commission could be created to draft a new constitution and submit it to the Iraqi people for ratification.

Major Iraqi governmental institutions – such as the central government ministries – could remain in place and perform the key functions of government after the vetting of the top personnel to remove any who might be tainted with the crimes and excesses of the current regime.

Town and district elections could be held soon after liberation to involve Iraqis in governing at the local level.
Regarding post-war planning, much preparatory work has been done, but much more remains. The Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance will serve as the US Government's nerve center for this effort.

We look forward to consulting with this Committee and with the Congress generally as we develop our ideas and plans for post-conflict Iraqi reconstruction. War is not inevitable, but failing to make contingency plans for its aftermath would be inexcusable."

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