Dual Loyalties

My opinion on the people who shape our world

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

The War on Terrorism -- America's War and Israel's War, April 21, 2002

The War on Terrorism -- America's War and Israel's War, April 21, 2002: "The War on Terrorism -- America's War and Israel's War
Speech By Douglas J. Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, To American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, April 21, 2002



It's good to have the opportunity once again to address an AIPAC annual conference.

I'd like to talk with you about the war on terrorism -- America's war and Israel's war. I'll take my lead from the current headlines and start with the Middle East.

Day after day, we read of attacks targeted at Israeli civilians.

The suicide bombers -- or, homicide bombers, as President Bush calls them -- have a political cause. But the systematic killing of ordinary people going about their lives with their children in shopping malls, on buses, at restaurants -- is not politics. It's not even war. It's deranged ideology in action. At stake is not just the fate of a particular country, but the fate of all open societies.

The intentional mass murder of civilians, including children, forces us to speak in moral terms about basic ideas -- about good and evil.

President Bush states the case starkly: Terrorism is evil.

The suicide bombers who kill Israelis, like those who attacked the World Trade Center and Pentagon last September 11th, are enemies of the idea of humanity. They may claim to represent a good people or a worthy cause, but they taint the political platforms they embrace. It's immoral to seek excuses for terrorism and harmful to reward it. So the message of responsible governments should be unwavering: terrorists do not advance their causes; rather, they lose ground.

The Palestinian people are long suffering. They have profound grievances against many who have done them harm and served them ill throughout the Middle East, and not just in Israel.

The Palestinians have been damaged severely for a century or so by leaders who have time and again made disastrous strategic choices -- from siding with the Nazis in World War II to siding with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, to siding with Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War. The question now is: What side are they on in the current global war against terrorism? People always pay a price when their leaders fail them. The Palestinian people have paid, and continue to pay, such a price. It is a tragedy.

Referring to Yasir Arafat, President Bush has said, "He's missed his opportunities, and thereby betrayed the hopes of the people he's supposed to lead. Given his failure, the Israeli government feels it must strike at terrorist networks that are killing its citizens".

President Bush then added, "Yet, Israel must understand that its response to these recent attacks is only a temporary measure. All parties have their own responsibilities. And all parties owe it to their own people to act".

Despite the current fighting, the President still envisions Israel and the Palestinians achieving a peace by mutual consent. He stresses that this will require compromises and "hard choices" regarding territorial and other claims and desires of Israelis and Palestinians. The achievement of a negotiated peace settlement would bring an end to the issues of legitimacy, borders, settlements and occupation.

The President has declared, "We have no illusions about the difficulty of the issues that lie ahead. Yet, our nation's resolve is strong. America is committed to ending this conflict and beginning an era of peace".

Many Palestinians say that their aim is to live dignified lives, in freedom, in peace and prosperity in their own state. That goal could be achieved. The U.S. government supports it. Israeli leaders have for years acknowledged that a Palestinian state will be the ultimate outcome of any negotiated peace. As President Bush noted on April 4th, "Israel has recognized the goal of a Palestinian state. The outlines of a just settlement are clear: two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side, in peace and security".

But that goal grows increasingly remote as terrorism belies and precludes diplomacy -- and darkens the Palestinian people's future.

President Bush has called on Israelis to show"a respect for and concern about the dignity of the Palestinian people who are and will be their neighbors. It is crucial [the President noted] to distinguish between the terrorists and ordinary Palestinians seeking to provide for their own families".

The Palestinians could help themselves by acknowledging that their worst enemies are those who inspire, finance, equip, excuse and otherwise encourage children to commit homicide bombings.

The major state supporters of terrorism -- Iraq, Syria and Iran -- offer incentives to encourage such bombings, host terrorist headquarters and supply the arms and explosives. Clerics, who should be faithful trustees of God's word, violate their trust by legitimating suicide and calling murderers "martyrs."

The cult of suicide and murder is sustained through the education of children to hate and to aspire to become suicide bombers. That cult is fostered by those who praise terrorists as "heroes" and those who rationalize terrorism as the understandable act of the politically frustrated. This includes prominent statesmen from many countries who should know better.

The sad reality is that there are politically frustrated people throughout the Middle East and the broader world. Political, religious and other leaders who craft excuses for terrorism are sowing the wind. It is deadly recklessness.

The United States is fighting terrorism, using the full range of tools at our disposal, military and non-military. We'll continue to confront terrorism on the military battlefield, but equally importantly on the battlefield of ideas.

Winning the war requires us to help change the way people think. This can be done. Worldwide moral battles can be fought and won. For example, no decent person any more -- no one who hopes to be recognized as respectable in the wider world -- supports or excuses slave trading, piracy or genocide. No decent person should support or excuse terrorism either.

Our initial victory in Afghanistan deprived al Qaeda of its safe haven and infrastructure there. We daily learn more about that infrastructure -- its administrative apparatus, training facilities and laboratories in which al Qaeda worked to develop biological and other weapons of mass destruction.

For now, at least, the al Qaeda leadership is on the defensive -- some are in captivity; the rest are on the run.

With a few exceptions, such as Iraq, most countries now wish -- at least they now profess to wish -- to be associated with our global war against terrorism. But at the same time, we see this upsurge in terrorism directed against Israel and brazen public support for anti-Israel terrorism, especially suicide bombings, even from seasoned, sophisticated officials.

Which brings us to the dangers of intellectual as well as military passivity in the face of terrorism.

For three decades or so, the world grew tolerant of terrorism. Many belittled the problem: Recall the famous phrase that commonly passed for sophisticated discourse: "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." Some countries supported terrorism -- perhaps not openly, but often without even bothering to cover their tracks. As terrorists racked up a large civilian death toll in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, they and their causes often flourished diplomatically and politically.

The forces of civilized humanity did not take the offensive against terrorism; rarely went after terrorist groups root and branch; failed to coerce the state sponsors of terrorism to stop; never overthrew a regime because it supported terrorism.

But September 11th was a turning point. That attack made it clear that the United States and other open societies required a new approach: We recognized that our countries are too big, too open, too full of high-value targets for us to defend them against terrorists. We had to take the offensive.

The action of US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan has already altered the intellectual atmosphere favorably. Some states that had winked at or even supported terrorism are modifying their policies. In some countries, the policy changes don't necessarily reflect a change of heart. But in others, such as Pakistan, the changes have been dramatic and appear to signify a true strategic redirection.

The United States will stay on the offensive against terrorism -- targeting the terrorists themselves and, where necessary, coercing the states that support or tolerate them. Much of our work in this war is less dramatic than the liberation of Afghanistan. While other actions may once again involve larger-scale US military operations, our current work around the world, including in the Middle East, involves foreign military anti-terrorism training and international law enforcement, the freezing of bank accounts, intelligence and diplomatic activity and so forth.

Our ultimate goal is to change the international environment regarding terrorism-- instead of tolerance, an international norm of renunciation and repudiation of terrorism. As I said, we want the world to view terrorism as it views piracy, slave trading or genocide -- activities universally repudiated by respectable people. This is not an abstract, philosophical, academic point, but a strategic purpose of great practical significance.

As we continue the US offensive against terrorism, we have in mind not only the more familiar kinds of terrorism.

As horrifying as September 11th was, the anthrax attacks that occurred later --though small in scale -- warned us that terrorists using weapons of mass destruction -- biological agents, or chemical, nuclear or radiological weapons -- are an even greater threat.

When he spoke of state supporters of terrorism that are developing weapons of mass destruction, President Bush said in his State of the Union message that, "they could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic".

Our goal therefore must be, as the President stated, "to prevent regimes that sponsor terrorism from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction".

Also in that speech, President Bush declared, "The United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons".

So far, I've focused on terrorism as a political tool and the danger that terrorists could acquire weapons of mass destruction.

I'd like to conclude with some thoughts about the sources of terrorism.

It's often argued that the phenomenon of suicide bombers -- terrorists who perform attacks that they know they cannot survive -- demonstrates that we aren't dealing with people who calculate the benefits and costs of their actions.

In this vein, we frequently hear that suicide bombing is the product of the combination of poverty and hopelessness.

Westerners -- we whom Usama bin Laden has sneeringly referred to as "lovers of life" -- cannot easily understand how a young man (or woman) straps on several pounds of high explosive and then blows himself up in a crowd of civilians. We assume that only a person ensnared in deep despair could do such a thing.

This diagnosis implies its own solution -- that the world should address what is called the "root causes of terrorism," the poverty and political hopelessness that many people imagine are the traits and motives of the suicide bombers. This diagnosis, however, doesn't jibe with actual experience. And it blinds us to opportunities we have to confront terrorism strategically.

When we look at the records of the suicide bombers, we see that many aren't drawn from the poor. Mohammed Atta, for instance -- a key figure in executing the September 11 attack -- was a middle-class Egyptian whose parents were able to send him to study abroad. And his education meant that he could look forward to a relatively privileged life in Egypt -- hardly grounds for extreme despair.

Indeed, as we learn from a recent New York Times interview with Hamas leaders in Gaza, what characterizes the suicide bombers -- and especially the old men who send them off on their missions -- is rather hope than despair:

First of all, the bombers cherish a perverse form of religious hope. The promise of eternity in paradise is a tenet of many faiths, a noble incentive and consolation to millions of people. It's as cynical as it is sinister that leaders of al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas and other groups convince young people that eternity in paradise is available as a reward for the murder of innocents.

Second, there is the bomber's hope of earthly glory and reward -- praise as a hero from political leaders and honor for one's parents and a $25,000 check to the bomber's family from Saddam Hussein. President Bush has condemned, "[t]hose governments, like Iraq, that reward parents for the sacrifice of their children "....

Those who encourage homicide bombing, as the President said, "are guilty of soliciting murder of the worst kind".

Third, there is the homicide bomber's political hope. As that New York Times interview makes clear, Palestinian extremists think they have finally discovered a winning strategy.

The recent outpouring of open support in the Arab world for homicide bombers -- from Mrs. Arafat, from a senior Arab diplomat, from clerics associated with prestigious universities -- reflects excitement at the thought that bombings are producing success. It is the kind of triumphalism characteristic of a mentality that believes in "the worse the better."

This suggests a strategic course for us: attack the sources of these malignant hopes.

Regarding the religious hope: Many Islamic religious leaders seem uncomfortable with suicide bombing -- but many of them have been silenced or intimidated to voice support for the terrorists. The civilized world should exert itself to support moderate clerics, defend them and provide them with platforms to protect their religion from extremists who want to distort and hijack it.

The civilized world should also deal with political leaders who heap honor (and money) on the suicide bombers and their families. President Bush, speaking of suicide bombers, said: "They are not martyrs. They are murderers." Other world leaders have the responsibility to reinforce this message.

Finally, as to the suicide bombers' political hopes, we must ensure that terrorism is not seen as a winning strategy. This is today's immediate challenge: For example, we have to make it understood that the Palestinian homicide bombers are harming, not helping, their political cause.

Peace can be achieved when the conditions are right: and the most important condition is the state of peoples' minds. Thus, we must take seriously the incitement to hatred that creates the intellectual atmosphere in which terrorism can flourish. If we seek the "root cause" of terrorism, this is where we'll find it.

Peace diplomacy in the Middle East has been an intense activity for decades. It's now clear that we have not focused enough attention on the relationship between peace and education. We spend a great deal of attention on what diplomats say to each other. We need to pay closer attention to what teachers instill in their students. Therein lies the key to peace.

Changing the intellectual fashions in the world regarding terrorism -- and ultimately de-legitimating it altogether, without regard to the various causes espoused by the terrorists -- won't be easy. But its importance as a strategic requirement is right up there with the destruction and disruption of terrorist operational infrastructure.

The Bush administration appreciates the complexity of its tasks -- in the war on terrorism and in Middle East diplomacy. The President approaches these tasks with the steadiness and energy appropriate to the magnitude of the stakes.

We have our nation and its liberties to protect, our friends to assist, and our adversaries to deter and defeat. This is a rare period of flux in world affairs. We have opportunities to do good for ourselves and for others -- in the Middle East and other regions of the world -- by enhancing security, suppressing terrorism, eliminating weapons of mass destruction, promoting freedom and prosperity and opening paths to peace. The American people expect this administration to rise to the occasion. We shall do our best.

Thank you."

Fighting Terrorism, May 8, 2002

Fighting Terrorism, May 8, 2002: "Fighting Terrorism
Douglas J. Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, To the American Jewish Committee Washington, D.C., May 8, 2002.

Fighting Terrorism
Good morning. Nice to be here. I have a number of friends in this American Jewish Committee audience.

I’d like to talk with you about the war on terrorism – to discuss the progress of the war and share some thoughts about its nature, our objectives and our strategy.

Our enemy in the war on terrorism is not a state or a group of states. Our enemy is not organized as a conventional military force. We cannot define victory as the conquering and subduing of a particular piece of territory or a people. We cannot expect that our own territory will be spared major damage so long as our armed forces remain undefeated. This is indeed a most unusual war – different from any that we fought in the past.

We’re fighting not a nation but a terrorist network – one might even say a network of networks, an amorphous structure present in many countries, including those of our allies, and in the United States itself.

So it’s a complicated struggle on multiple fronts. And we can’t rely on conventional armed power to the extent we relied on such means in past wars. That’s why administration officials so often stress that we must bring to bear the full range of instruments of US national power, including intelligence, financial, diplomatic and, not least, moral, as well as military tools.

Fundamental to our strategy is the recognition that we can't just defend ourselves at our own borders. We have no choice but to take the offensive.

Our country is too big, too vulnerable too full of tall building for us to do otherwise.

We’re vulnerable because of the kind of country we are:

We’re open to the world for commerce, travel and communications.
We welcome people from all over and let them live their lives as they wish, building their own institutions, practicing their own religion, living according to their own lights.
We respect people as individuals and afford them a large degree of privacy.
Accordingly, we have constraints against the surveillance of domestic groups.
That is the kind of country we are and that is the kind of country we want to be. If we’re to preserve our freedom and our way of life, we must play offense, not defense against terrorism. We must destroy terrorism at its sources:

First of all, we have to deny terrorists a secure base of operations – a safe haven where they can recruit and train more terrorists, plan operations, acquire equipment and supplies, where they can rest and regroup after terrorist attacks.

In some cases, this means the United States will cooperate with friendly governments, helping them make their authority effective over their entire territory. Examples are the Philippines, Yemen and Georgia.

In other cases, it means forcing regimes to stop supporting terrorists or providing safe haven to them.

We demanded that the Taliban stop supporting the al Qaida terrorist organization.
When they refused, we took decisive action to rid Afghanistan of the terrorists and those who supported them.
Our action in Afghanistan has already constructively perturbed the atmosphere of toleration of terrorism.

Many states that had been tolerant of terrorism, or not at all active in fighting it, have changed their policy.

In some cases, the change in behavior does not bespeak a change of heart. Some regimes may simply fear that they could become the next Taliban – they may believe that, for now at least, it’s prudent at least to appear to be cooperating in the war on terrorism.

But in other countries, such as Pakistan, the change has been dramatic and, we think, reflects a genuine desire to take a new and better path.
But, as I said, we’re fighting a widespread network – one present even in countries where the governments oppose terrorism.

Pressing our offensive, therefore, now involves many actions that are less dramatic than the war in Afghanistan has been:

For example, law enforcement activities, the freezing of bank accounts, interception of the movement of terrorists from one country to another or the interception of shipments of weapons or money.
But we don’t rule out additional military actions, directed against unrelenting state sponsors of terrorism.

As President Bush said in his State of the Union speech, we must pay particular attention to states that have supported terrorism and are developing weapons of mass destruction.

These states, the President said,
could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic…

So, as the President stated:

The United States of America will not permit the world’s most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world’s most destructive weapons.

Ultimately, our goal is to change the international environment concerning terrorism.

We should confront an unpleasant fact: During the past three decades or so, there developed in the world an atmosphere of tolerance for terrorism.

Many excused it: in one famous phrase that often passed for sophisticated discourse: "one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter"
Some countries supported it – perhaps not openly, but often without even bothering to cover their tracks.
There were important failings in this regard all around the world, including in the United States.
In place of this atmosphere of tolerance, the United States aims now to establish an international norm of intolerance of terrorism.

In short, we want the international community to view terrorism as it now views piracy, slave-trading or genocide – activities that no-one who aspires to respectability can tolerate, let alone support.

This takes us into the realm of ideas.

It’s important that we state our case clearly, even bluntly.

As President Bush has declared: "Terrorism is evil."
However much the language of morality elicits sniffs from some of our sophisticated critics abroad and at home, we don’t flinch from using it. Moral clarity is a strategic asset.
It’ll take time to reverse the pernicious effects of the last several decades – but we’ll be steadfast in making our case.

It bears noting that military victory – while not exactly a logical argument – does have its uses in the battle of ideas.
After all, in the 1930s, fascism, despite (perhaps because of) its inhumanity, had a strong intellectual following. It was in vogue and its influence spread throughout Europe years before Nazi military conquests began. It wasn’t defeated solely – or even primarily – by arguments, but by Allied tanks and bombers. Nothing fails like failure. Ideas associated with catastrophe for their adherents tend eventually, if not suddenly, to lose influence.
But there’s a second aspect of the war of ideas that I want to address – and I think it’s more significant:

An important ideological source of global terrorism is an extremist interpretation of Islam that emphasizes intolerance and brutality in religious matters and hatred of the West in political matters.
This extremist school perverts the humane ideals of Islam.

But unfortunately, it has much resonance in the Islamic world.
There’s a struggle going on within Islam. Non-Moslems are not parties as such in this struggle. But the whole civilized world has an interest in helping those in the Moslem world who reject extremism and espouse the more moderate, tolerant, peaceful kind of Islam.

The moderate kind of Islam flourishes in many Islamic countries.
Two especially significant examples are Turkey, which stands out as a predominantly Moslem country that has a democratic form of government and is a longstanding and valuable ally of the United States,
And Indonesia, the country whose Muslim majority is the largest in the world.
The Western world has a large stake in the prosperity and stability and overall success of such countries.

Unfortunately, extremist Islam has been making inroads around the world lately. It has large financial resources, which its adherents use

to finance, and hence control, Islamic institutions, especially schools, throughout the world
to propagate hatred of the West and the notion of inevitable warfare between Islam and the West, and
to support terrorism – that is, to legitimate violence against innocent people.
The Western world has an interest in helping the moderate voices of Islam to be heard, and to protect them against retaliation.

I would like to close with a few words concerning the campaign of suicide bombing which has been waged against Israel in recent weeks – the most salient problem on the anti-terrorism agenda at present.

It's often argued that the phenomenon of suicide bombers -- terrorists who perform attacks that they know they cannot survive -- demonstrates that we aren't dealing with people who calculate the benefits and costs of their actions.

In this vein, we frequently hear that suicide bombing is the product of the combination of poverty and hopelessness.

Westerners -- we whom Usama bin Laden has sneeringly referred to as "lovers of life" -- cannot easily understand how a young man (or woman) straps on several pounds of high explosive and then blows himself up in a crowd of civilians. We assume that only a person ensnared by deep despair could do such a thing.

This diagnosis implies its own solution -- that the world should address what is called the "root causes of terrorism," the poverty and political hopelessness that many people imagine are the traits and motives of the suicide bombers.
This diagnosis, however, doesn't jibe with actual experience. And it misleads us about the wisest strategy.
When we look at the records of the suicide bombers, we see that many aren't drawn from the poor.

Mohammed Atta, for instance -- a key figure in executing the September 11 attack -- was a middle-class Egyptian whose parents were able to send him to study abroad. And his education meant that he could look forward to a relatively privileged life in Egypt -- hardly grounds for extreme despair.
Indeed, as we learn from a recent New York Times interview with Hamas leaders in Gaza, what characterizes the suicide bombers -- and especially the old men who send them off on their missions -- is rather hope than despair:

First of all, the bombers cherish a perverse form of religious hope. The promise of eternity in paradise is a tenet of many faiths, a noble incentive and consolation to millions of people. It's as cynical as it is sinister that leaders of al Qaida, Hezbollah, Hamas and other groups convince young people that eternity in paradise is available as a reward for the murder of innocents.

Second, there is the bomber's hope of earthly glory and reward -- praise as a hero from political leaders and honor for one's parents and a $25,000 check to the bomber's family from Saddam Hussein. President Bush has condemned

[t]hose governments, like Iraq, that reward parents for the sacrifice of their children ....

Those who encourage homicide bombing, as the President said,

are guilty of soliciting murder of the worst kind.

Third, there is the homicide bomber's political hope. As that New York Times interview makes clear, Palestinian extremists think they have finally discovered a winning strategy.

The recent outpouring of open support in the Arab world for homicide bombers -- from Mrs. Arafat, from a senior Arab diplomat, from clerics associated with prestigious universities -- reflects excitement at the thought that bombings are producing success. It is the kind of triumphalism characteristic of a mentality that believes in "the worse the better."

This suggests a strategic course for us: attack the sources of these malignant hopes.

Regarding the religious hope: Many Islamic religious leaders seem uncomfortable with suicide bombing -- but many of them have been silenced or intimidated to voice support for the terrorists. As I have mentioned, the civilized world should exert itself to support moderate clerics, defend them and provide them with platforms to protect their religion from extremists who want to distort and hijack it.

The civilized world should also deal with political leaders who heap honor (and money) on the suicide bombers and their families. President Bush, speaking of suicide bombers, said: "They are not martyrs. They are murderers." Other world leaders have the responsibility to reinforce this message.

Finally, as to the suicide bombers' political hopes, we must ensure that terrorism is not seen as a winning strategy. This is today's immediate challenge: For example, we have to make it understood that the Palestinian homicide bombers are harming, not helping, their political cause.

Arab-Israeli peace is a goal craved by all decent people. The Bush administration is engaged in the pursuit of this goal.

We recognize that peace can be achieved only when the conditions are right: and the most important condition is the state of peoples' minds. Thus, we must take seriously the incitement to hatred that creates the intellectual atmosphere in which terrorism can flourish. If we seek the "root cause" of terrorism, this is where we'll find it.

Peace diplomacy in the Middle East has been an intense activity for decades. It's now clear that we have not focused enough attention on the relationship between peace and education. We spend a great deal of attention on what diplomats say to each other. We need to pay closer attention to what teachers instill in their students. Therein lies the key to peace.

Changing the intellectual fashions in the world regarding terrorism -- and ultimately de-legitimating it altogether, without regard to the various causes espoused by the terrorists -- won't be easy. But its importance as a strategic requirement is right up there with the destruction and disruption of terrorist operational infrastructure.

The Bush administration appreciates the complexity of its tasks -- in the war on terrorism and in Middle East diplomacy. The President approaches these tasks with the steadiness and energy appropriate to the magnitude of the stakes.

We have our nation and its liberties to protect, our friends to assist, and our adversaries to deter and defeat. This is a rare period of flux in world affairs. We have opportunities to do good for ourselves and for others -- in the Middle East and other regions of the world -- by enhancing security, suppressing terrorism, eliminating weapons of mass destruction, promoting freedom and prosperity and opening paths to peace. The American people expect this administration to rise to the occasion. We shall do our best.

Thank you"

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."

Post-War Reconstruction, May 15, 2003

Post-War Reconstruction, May 15, 2003: "Post-War Reconstruction
Testimony on Post-War Iraq by Douglas J. Feith, Under Secretary of Defense For Policy,
Before the Committee on International Relations U.S. House of Representatives 15 May 2003

Post-War Reconstruction

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:

I am pleased to have this opportunity to talk with you about the work of the Defense Department and the U.S. Government to put a free Iraq on its feet and headed toward stable, democratic government.

Combat operations to liberate Iraq moved speedily. From their start to the fall of Baghdad was a period of three weeks. Less than five weeks have elapsed since Baghdad fell. Stability operations are underway throughout Iraq. Much work remains to be done before the coalition’s military victory can be confirmed as a strategic victory.

As President Bush has announced, major combat operations in Iraq have ended. The Coalition continues to encounter attacks from scattered, small elements that remain loyal to the former regime. Coalition forces are proceeding with so-called Sensitive Site Exploitation, working their way down a list of hundreds of locations that may contain materiel or information relating to chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. Our forces are rounding up, more or less daily, regime leadership figures on our most-wanted list and are collecting information on the Saddam Hussein regime's ties to terrorist activity.

Meanwhile, the Coalition has the responsibility for the time being to administer Iraq for the benefit of the Iraqi people. The Coalition is providing humanitarian relief, organizing basic services, working to establish security and creating the conditions for the liberated Iraqis to organize a new government for themselves.

Some Reflections on the War

Before entering more deeply into the post-war issues, I’d like to spend a moment on the war itself. As Secretary Rumsfeld has said, military commanders and historians will study this war with care for many years. I think they will find much in the planning and execution that was innovative, courageous and successful.

Some noteworthy points:

Coalition forces began the ground war before the major air campaign. This gave us a degree of tactical surprise under circumstances in which strategic surprise was clearly impossible.
Our forces demonstrated flexibility. They were able to adjust to bad news – for example, General Franks re-routed the Fourth Infantry Division after the Turkish Parliament refused to allow it to stage from Turkey.
We used special operations forces to forestall particularly worrisome Iraqi options, such as missile attacks on Israel and sabotage of the southern oil fields and oil terminals.
Our forces advanced rapidly into Baghdad to take advantage of – indeed to accelerate – the quick-paced collapse of Saddam’s regime.
And we used time-sensitive intelligence to attack high-value targets virtually instantly.
All in all, General Franks and his team developed a plan that was careful and detailed with scope for daring, adjustment and improvisation. It was a plan that reflected the essence of our new defense strategy, the acknowledgement that our intelligence is always and inevitably imperfect, that the future is uncertain and that we must plan to be surprised. General Franks’ plan allowed coalition forces to exploit opportunities rapidly, as they presented themselves.

I expect that historians will long debate the extent to which the plan helped us avoid many of the "horribles" that we foresaw with concern (for example, large-scale refugee flows across Iraq’s borders and Iraqi use of chemical or biological weapons). Whatever the historians’ conclusions on these difficult questions of cause and effect, however, we can be confident that they will judge the thought and action of General Franks and of the Central Command as a favorable reflection on the brains, skill and character of the U.S. armed forces.

Post-war Objectives in Iraq

Now that major combat operations in Iraq are over, our policy goals remain:

First, continue to demonstrate to the Iraqi people and the world that the United States and its coalition partners aspire to liberate the Iraqis and not to 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.
Third, eliminate 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 Iraq’s territorial unity.
Fifth, reconstruct the economic and political systems, putting Iraq on a path to become a prosperous and free country. The U.S. and its coalition partners share 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.
We are pursuing these goals with a two-part determination: a commitment to stay and a commitment to leave.

That is, a commitment to stay as long as required to achieve these objectives. We did not take military action in Iraq just to leave a mess behind for the Iraqi people to clean up without our lending a helping hand. That would ill serve the Iraqis, the world and ourselves.
But the United States and our coalition partners have a commitment to leave as soon as possible, for Iraq belongs to the Iraqi people.
When Iraqi officials are in a position to shoulder their country’s responsibilities, when they have in place the necessary political and other structures to provide food, security and the other necessities, the coalition will have a strong interest in seeing them run their own affairs. It is our interest to hasten the day when Iraq can become a proud, independent and respected member of the community of the world’s free countries.

We are encouraging contributions and participation from around the world – from coalition partners, non-governmental organizations, the UN and other international organizations and others. We aim 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.

The Coalition Provisional Authority

When he declared Iraq’s liberation, General Franks, as Commander of the Coalition Forces, announced the creation of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). The CPA serves, in effect, as a government pending the Iraqi people’s creation of a new government. General Franks was initially the head of the CPA.

Last week, the President named Ambassador L. Paul Bremer to be his Envoy to Iraq and put him in charge of all civilian U.S. personnel in Iraq, including the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Affairs (ORHA). On Tuesday, May 13th, Secretary Rumsfeld appointed Mr. Bremer as the head of the CPA, with the title of Administrator.

It is distressing to see news reports to the effect that Mr. Bremer’s appointment reflects dissatisfaction with the work of Jay Garner, the director of ORHA. These reports are false. Starting in late January, Jay Garner created ORHA from scratch, staffed it from a dozen or so offices of the US Government, from our coalition partners and from the private sector and got it deployed first to Kuwait and then, within weeks, to Baghdad, had ORHA manage the distribution of humanitarian assistance and began the process of building the new Iraq both physically and politically. The job was immense, the conditions difficult in the extreme, the time short and the achievements, as I shall discuss in some detail, have been substantial. Jay Garner has done superb work and deserves admiration and gratitude.

I would like to help set the record straight here: Secretary Rumsfeld decided in January to ask Jay Garner to organize the post-war planning office in the Pentagon. I made the first call to Jay to ask if he would undertake the assignment. In that call, I explained that the director of that office would build on the various post-war planning efforts that had been underway for months throughout the U.S. government. We conceived of the office as "expeditionary" in nature – the idea was that it would comprise the people who would, in the event of war, deploy to Iraq as soon as possible to form the nucleus of the staff of the coalition’s post-conflict administration.

In that first call, I explained to Jay Garner that the director of the post-war planning office might or might not deploy to Iraq and, in any case, the intention was that a senior civilian administrator would be appointed in Iraq after the major combat phase and that the post-war planning office (which became known as ORHA) would report to that administrator. Mr. Bremer’s appointment fulfilled that original intention. People unfamiliar with this background have unfortunately misinterpreted events in a way that is unjust to a fine man.

The Challenges Facing the Coalition Provisional Authority: Humanitarian Assistance and Reconstruction

Now I would like to turn to the work the Coalition Provisional Authority has just begun, as Iraq emerges from its long period of tyranny.

Humanitarian problems exist, primarily in the areas of electricity and water supply, but the overall situation is not desperate. The war caused much less damage than many expected – the major problems derive from the sad state of the pre-war infrastructure, and from post-war violence by Baathists and ordinary criminals. The Coalition has managed to avert the humanitarian crisis through a combination of unprecedented interagency planning and preparation and the skill of our combat forces. In recent press remarks, ICRC President Kellenberger, just back from Iraq, confirmed that there is not now a humanitarian crisis in Iraq.

It is useful to put our recovery efforts in Iraq in perspective. Iraq is a country that had been run into the ground by decades of systematic oppression and misrule. Even before the war:

Only 60% of Iraqis had reliable access to safe drinking water
10 of Al Basrah’s 21 potable water treatment facilities were not functional.
70% of sewage treatment plants were in urgent need of repair and 500,000 metric tons of raw or partially treated sewage was discharged into the Tigris and Euphrates rivers – Iraq’s water supply.
23% of children under 5 suffered from malnutrition.
Iraq’s electrical power system (critical to its water system) was operating at half of its capacity.
80% of 25,000 schools were in poor condition – with an average of one book per six students.
60% of the population is wholly dependent on the UN oil-for-food program for subsistence.
The Coalition and the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance are working to return all sectors of Iraqi life to the pre-war baseline, and then to put Iraq on a trajectory toward sustained improvement.

Security is the sine qua non for relief and recovery efforts. It is the Coalition’s highest priority. There has already been progress. Over half of Iraq’s provinces, including Baghdad, have been declared "permissive." Throughout Iraq, the Coalition is screening and paying local police officers and often participating in joint patrols to address security concerns. We are bringing in international police advisors to do retraining and are reopening courts. We are also working with the Iraqi governmental ministries and local leadership to reestablish a degree of Iraqi oversight and supervision of security.

There is no food crisis in Iraq. This happy fact is to the credit of the US Government, Coalition and international donations and the resumption of the oil-for-food distribution system. The Coalition and ORHA are working with the UN World Food Program to reestablish nationwide food basket distributions. Over one million MT of food is enroute to Iraq and is to arrive in the next month.

The water system in Baghdad is operating at 60% of pre-war levels and efforts continue to improve on this. Much of the rest of Iraq is at or near pre-war conditions. Increasing attention is being paid to sanitation issues in order to prevent disease outbreaks. Serious illness (even cholera) was common before this war.

The electrical power system throughout Iraq was dilapidated and unreliable before the war. Coalition experts have done heroic work getting the system back on line. The North and South have more reliable electric service than before the war; and in Baghdad progress is being made every day. In Baghdad we reached 50% electricity coverage on 24 April and are closing in on repair of the 400KV ring around Baghdad, expected to be complete by 15 May.

There is no health crisis in Iraq. The concern is security of hospital facilities and reestablishment of the Ministry of Health and civil administration. Coalition partners initially provided support through field hospitals; we are now moving toward an ‘adopt-a-hospital’ approach. ORHA is working to reestablish the Ministry of Health and there is active trilateral cooperation on health issues among ORHA, the World Health Organization and the reemerging Iraqi Ministry of Health.

The Coalition and ORHA are working to identify appropriate persons to reestablish key ministries and providing ministry advisors and logistical support. Over 550,000 civil servants have received emergency payments, this should double by next week. ORHA is researching appropriate salary payments, which will follow in due course.

There have been no widespread human rights abuses since the war. There have been some property disputes and forced evictions in the North. The Coalition and ORHA are addressing this issue with Kurdish leadership, local leadership, and through reverse evictions where appropriate. There is an international fact-finding team in the region to investigate this issue and to develop a process for property dispute resolution. The Coalition and ORHA are also working out policies and procedures regarding mass graves.

In summary, we have averted a humanitarian crisis in Iraq and are now working to improve Iraqi life in all sectors. ORHA has grown into an interagency coalition team. It has accomplished much good, transforming itself, in the midst of a war, from a bright idea into an organization of hundreds of people doing practical work throughout Iraq, with impressive professionalism. Much however, remains to be done.

The Iraqi Political Situation

Ultimately, strategic success in Iraq requires that we lay the political groundwork for a free and representative government that will establish the rule of law and respect the rights of the members of all of Iraq’s ethnic and religious groups. Given Iraq’s long history of tyranny, one must expect that the political situation will remain volatile for some time and that the first steps toward representative government will be unsteady. But there are grounds for hope.

Although many feared that, without a strongman, Iraq would tend to disintegrate, we have not seen any such tendency. Among all Iraqis – Kurds and Arabs, Sunni and Shi’a, as well as the members of the smaller minorities – there has been an acceptance of the idea of a unified Iraq. To head off ethnic conflict in areas where the Saddam Hussein regime had imposed a forced "Arabization," we are preparing to adjudicate property claims in an orderly manner.

Some Iranian-influenced groups have called for a theocracy on the Teheran model. But it appears that popular support for clerical rule is narrow, even among the Shi’a population. The Shi’a tradition does not favor clerical rule – the Khomeini’ites in Iran were innovators in this regard. And their experiment has not produced widespread prosperity, freedom or happiness in Iran. The Iranian model’s appeal in Iraq is further reduced by the cultural divide between Persians and Arabs.

In restarting Iraqi government operations, we have faced the question of the extent to which we should keep in power former officials who know how to run the administrative machinery. Some have suggested that we must be willing to deal with the former Baathist power structure to obtain the technical competence needed to keep the wheels of government turning.

We have rejected such advice. Our policy is "De-Baathification" – that is, the disestablishment of the Baath party, the elimination of its structures, and the removal of its high-ranking members from positions of authority in Iraq. This process is now underway, and, as it proceeds, the people of Iraq will be assured that their way forward will not be blocked by the remnants of the Baathist apparatus that tyrannized them for decades.

Iraqi Interim Authority

We are working towards the establishment of an Iraqi Interim Authority, which will assume increasingly great responsibility for the administration of the country. This Interim Authority will draw from all of Iraq’s religious and ethnic groups and will provide a way for Iraqis to begin immediately to participate in their country’s economic and political reconstruction. We expect the Authority will include not only the members of the Free Iraqi groups that have fought Saddam’s rule and the independents among the expatriate community, but will also draw from local leaders who have been working on the creation of a new, free Iraq. As more Iraqis feel free to express their views, more will emerge who can be a part of this leadership.

Over time, the Interim Authority is to take control of an increasing number of administrative functions. But it’s most important responsibility will be to design the process for creating a new Iraqi government, for example, by setting up local elections and drafting a new constitution and new laws. This is a process that foreigners cannot direct; it must be a process "owned" by Iraqis. Our task is to create the conditions, including the security conditions, in which they can formulate a process and then pick their leaders freely. An Interim Authority will be a bridge from the initial administration of basic services to an eventual government that represents the Iraqi people.

Elimination of Weapons of Mass Destruction

As noted, coalition forces have operations underway to identify, secure, exploit and dismantle Iraqi WMD capabilities, facilities and stockpiles. This is a huge undertaking and we are in the early stages of this effort.

We have found evidence of the WMD programs, but we have a long way to go before we can gain a complete understanding of them. As we noted in connection with the UN inspection process, there is no way that we can find WMD materials that have been hidden unless those involved in the program tell us where to look.

We have detained many major figures involved in the WMD programs, including Mrs. Ammash (Mrs. Anthrax) from the biological warfare program and Dr. Taha (Dr. Germ) from the chemical warfare program. We are beginning to question them. Daily we round up more individuals who held high positions in Saddam’s regime, and we are confident we will find many other key scientists and technical personnel.

Of the roughly 600 WMD sites we currently know about, we have only searched about 20%. And we are learning about new sites every day.

I am confident that we will eventually be able to piece together a fairly complete account of Iraq’s WMD programs – but the process will take months and perhaps years.

It is important that we succeed in re-directing 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 are playing a role. So too will the new Iraqi government. It bears stressing: The task of accounting for and eliminating all nuclear, chemical and biological stockpiles, facilities and infrastructure will take time.

Oil Infrastructure

The United States and its coalition partners face the necessity of repairing Iraq’s oil infrastructure. Saddam Hussein’s regime allowed the oil infrastructure to decay while building lavish palaces with Iraq’s revenue. A great deal of repair work is underway to ensure the safe resumption of operations at oil facilities after war-related stoppage.

The oil sector is Iraq’s primary source of funding. The United States is committed to ensuring that Iraq’s oil resources remain under national control, with the proceeds made available to support Iraqis in all parts of the country. No one ethnic or religious group will 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.

Iraqi oil operations are being run by an Interim Management Team headed by Thamir Ghadban, who was a senior Oil Ministry official under the former regime. Other Iraqis are assisting Ghadban. And Ghadban is being advised in his efforts by Phillip Carroll, a former American oil executive, and Fadhil Othman, the former head of Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO), the chairman and vice chairman of an advisory team that will be filled out soon with other Iraqi and non-Iraqi experts. We are helping as we can, but the Iraqis have in the past demonstrated skill in operating their energy infrastructure in the face of adversity, and that record continues up to today.

In fact, the main oil problem we are facing now is different from what we feared before the war. Then, we anticipated destruction of Iraqi’s energy facilities and a long-time loss of Iraq’s oil production. But coalition force seized key Iraq’s petroleum and gas facilities in the south at the war’s outset and prevented Saddam’s regime from destroying them. Some oil wells were set on fire, and we found substantial explosives in the southern oil facilities that Saddam’s forces did not manage to use. We also captured the oil fields in the north largely in tact.

We now face the challenges of success. With oil production at only 125,000 barrels/day, out of a prewar production of 2.5 million barrels/day, there already is a dearth of spare capacity to store crude oil and fuel oil (a byproduct of the refining process). With the current ‘constipation’ of the system, as it is, Iraq cannot produce much more oil or refine much more gasoline without approaching its maximum limit of storage. This has led to shortages of both gasoline and propane, and we have been forced to import both products into a country that, as you know, is rich in natural gas and petroleum.

The resolution that Britain, Spain and the U.S. have introduced in the UN Security Council would relieve this problem. It envisions the resumption of oil exports, and provides that the revenues be deposited in a new fund in the Iraqi Central Bank, with transparency provided to the world by independent auditors and international advisory board. The revenues could then be used for the benefit of the Iraqi people at the direction of the Coalition Provisional Authority.

Funding of the Reconstruction

The ultimate costs of reconstruction in Iraq are difficult to estimate. As I have said, many of the problems that we face there are the result of 30 years of tyranny, corruption and mismanagement. War damage was relatively small-scale.

There are a number of funding sources to help Iraq. There is $1.7 billion in formerly frozen Iraqi government assets in the US that the U.S Government vested by Presidential order. In addition, about $700 million in state or regime owned cash has so far been seized and brought under U.S. control in accordance with the laws of war. This money is also available to be used for the benefit of the Iraqi people.

Once Iraqi oil exports resume, the proceeds will be available.

Under the terms of the UN Security Council resolution proposed by the U.S., the UK and Spain, assets from two additional sources would be placed in the Iraqi Assistance Fund:

-- The proposed resolution calls on other countries to place in the Fund any Iraqi government assets, or assets that have been removed from Iraq by Saddam Hussein or other senior officials of the former regime, held in their countries.

-- The proposed resolution also provides that the uncommitted balance in the UN’s "Oil For Food" escrow account (amounting to approximately $3 billion) be turned over to the Fund.

There have been public pledges from the international community of over $1.2 billion. The donations are for the food, health, agriculture, and security sectors. We anticipate additional contributions as well.

Finally, Congress has also appropriated approximately $2.5 billion for reconstruction efforts. There are also additional authorities that we can draw from if needed, such as the Natural Resources Risk Remediation Fund, which can be used for repairing damage to the oil facilities in Iraq.

The Coalition to Win the Peace

We have won the war in Iraq. We are committed to winning the peace.

The United States is not acting alone. We have worked with a coalition in prosecuting the war and we have a broad coalition that is contributing to stability operations and reconstruction. We are working also with the United Nations and various non-governmental organizations. And, of paramount importance, we are working with Iraqis who are eager to create for themselves a government that will secure their freedom, build democratic institutions and threaten neither the Iraqi people, their neighbors or others with tyranny, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction or aggression."

On the Global War on Terrorism, November 13, 2003

On the Global War on Terrorism, November 13, 2003: "On the Global War on Terrorism
Douglas J. Feith, Under Secretary of Defense For Policy
Speech to Council of Foreign Relations
Thursday, November 13, 2003

Speaker: Douglas Feith

Moderator: Robert Gallucci

Feith: Good Evening. Thank you, Bob, I appreciate the introduction and I'm very pleased to have the opportunity to address the council.

My talk is on the global war on terrorism and I'd like to start with a personal story. On September 11, 2001, I was in Moscow with my colleague J.D. Crouch, discussing the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, an ancient text. As we were leaving the defense ministry in the late afternoon, the world entered a new era, for that was when the first plane hit the World Trade Center.

We asked the U.S.-European command for the means to get back to Washington despite the general shutdown of U.S. air traffic, and EUCOM provided us a with a KC-135 tanker, which met us in Germany. And we collected there a handful of stray Defense Department officials who were also stranded by the suspension of the commercial air traffic and these included Under Secretary Dov Zakheim, Assistant Secretary Peter Rodman and his deputy Bill Luti and General John Abizaid, then on the joint staff, and now as you know Tommy Frank's successor as the commander of the Central Command. All of us were frustrated to be away at such a moment and grateful to be getting back to the Pentagon fast, which was of course still smoldering.

In the KC-135, we conferred and wrote papers about how to comprehend the September 11th attack as a matter of national security policy. President Bush's statements even then showed that he thought of the attack, in essence, as an act of war rather than a law enforcement matter.

Now, this point may seem unremarkable, but think back to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and to the attacks on Khobar Towers in 1996, on the U.S. East African embassies in '98, on the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen in 2000. When such attacks occurred over the last decades, U.S. officials avoided the term "war." The primary response was to dispatch the FBI to identify individuals for prosecution. Recognizing the September 11th attack as war was a departure from the established practice. It was President Bush's seminal insight the wisdom of which I would say is attested by the fact that it looks so obvious in retrospect.

We in the KC-135 chewed over such questions as what it means to be at war not with a conventional enemy, but with a network of terrorist organizations and their state sponsors. We talked about how to formulate our war aims, how to define victory, what should be our strategy.

And as we were mulling all of this, the airplane's crew invited us to the cockpit to look down on the southern tip of Manhattan, and we saw smoke rising from the ruins of the twin towers. Aside from sadness and anger, the smoke engendered an enduring sense of duty to prevent the next big attack.

When we landed in Washington on September 12th, we were primed to join the work the President had already gotten underway to develop a strategy for the war.

That work has held up well since September 2001.

The President and his advisors considered the nature of the threat. If terrorists exploited the open nature of our society to attack us repeatedly, the American people might feel compelled to change that nature, to close it, to defend ourselves. Many defensive measures come at a high price. That is, interference with our freedom of movement, intrusions on our privacy, inspections, and an undesirable, however necessary, rebalancing of civil liberties against the interests of public safety. In other words, at stake in the war in terrorism are not just the lives and limbs of potential victims, but our country's freedom.

It isn't possible to prevent all terrorist attacks. There are simply too many targets in the United States - too many tall buildings. It's possible, however, to fight terrorism in a way that preserves our freedom and culture. So the conclusion was that our war aim should be to eliminate terrorism as a threat to our way of life as a free and open society.

Because the United States can't count on preserving our way of life by means of a defensive strategy, there was and is no practical alternative to a strategy of offense. We have to reach out and hit the terrorists where they reside, plan and train, and not wait to try to defeat their plans while they are executing them on U.S. soil. To deal with the threat from the terrorists we have to change the way we live or change the way they live.

Accordingly, the President's strategy in the war on terrorism has three parts. One is disrupting and destroying terrorists and their infrastructure. This involves direct military action, but also intelligence, law enforcement and financial regulatory activity. The list of senior members of al-Qaida and affiliated groups who’ve been killed or captured since 9-11 is impressive, and includes such figures as Khalid Shaykh Mohammad, Abu Zubaydah, Hambali, Mohammad Atef.

These and other successes against the terrorists demonstrate that international cooperation is alive, well and effective. We've worked jointly with the Philippines, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Spain, France, Jordan, Morocco and Egypt among others. From our interrogations of detainees, we know that the absence of large-scale attacks on the United States since 9-11 has not been for want of bad intentions and efforts on the terrorists' part. We have been disrupting their plans and operations. Our strategy of offense, which is to say forcing the terrorists to play defense, is sound.

The second part of our strategy targets the recruitment and indoctrination of terrorists. The objective is to create a global intelligence and moral environment hostile to terrorism. We refer to this part as “the battle of ideas.” As the President's national strategy for combating terrorism puts it, “We want terrorism viewed in the same light as slavery, piracy or genocide - behavior that no respectable government can condone or support, and all must oppose.”

This requires a sustained effort to de-legitimate terrorism and to promote the success of those forces, especially within the Muslim world, that are working to build and preserve modern, moderate and democratic political and educational institutions.

And the third part of the strategy of course is securing the homeland. The Bush Administration has created the Department of Homeland Security, while the Defense Department has organized a new Northern Command in which for the first time a combatant commander has the entire continental United States within his area of responsibility. By the way, it's a matter of some pride that the U.S. Northern Command managed to achieve full operational capability - quite appropriately on September 11th, 2003 - in less than a year. And we are in the process also for the first time of fielding defenses against ballistic missiles of all ranges. Our strategy envisions international cooperation. The war is global. We have forged formidable, adaptable partnerships - a rolling set, because some coalition partners are comfortable helping in some areas but not in others.

After 9-11, nearly 100 nations joined us in one or more aspects of the war on terrorism, in military operations against al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan, in maritime interdiction operations, in financial crackdowns against terrorist funding, and in law enforcement actions, as well as intelligence sharing and diplomatic efforts. In Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan, there are 71 members of the coalition, including contributors to the International Security Assistance Force; 37 have contributed military assets. In Iraq, 32 countries are now contributing forces.

As President Bush noted early on, the war's greatest strategic danger remains the possibility that terrorists will obtain chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. The list of states that sponsor terrorism correlates obviously and ominously with the list of those that have programs to produce such weapons of mass destruction.

The nexus of terrorist groups, state sponsors of terrorism and WMD is the security nightmare of the 21st century. It remains our focus. We are treating this threat as a compelling danger in the near term. We are not waiting for it to become imminent, for we cannot expect to receive unambiguous warning of, for example, a terrorist group's acquisition of biological weapons agents. We know the list of terrorist-sponsoring states with WMD programs - Iran, Syria, Libya and North Korea. Iraq used to be in that category but no longer is.

Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, was a sadistic tyranny that developed and used weapons of mass destruction, launched aggressive attacks and wars against Iran, Kuwait, Israel and Saudi Arabia, and supported terrorists by providing them with safe harbor, funds, training and other help. It had defied a long list of legally binding U.N. Security Council resolutions. It undid the U.N. inspection regime of the 1990s. It eviscerated the economic sanctions regime and it shot virtually daily at the U.S. and British aircraft patrolling Iraq's northern and southern no-fly zones. In sum, containment of Saddam Hussein's Iraq was a hollow hope. The best information available from intelligence sources said that, one, Saddam Hussein had chemical and biological weapons and was pursuing nuclear weapons; and, two, if Saddam Hussein obtained fissile material from outside Iraq as opposed to producing it indigenously, he could have had a nuclear weapons within a year.

Those assessments, and most of the underlying information, were not recent products of the intelligence community. They were consistent with the intelligence that predated the administration of George W. Bush, and they were consistent with the intelligence from cooperative foreign services and with the United Nations' estimates of weapons unaccounted for.

It was reasonable - indeed necessary - for the U.S. government to rely on the best information it had available. And while we haven't yet found, and may not find, stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons in Iraq, David Kay reports that the Iraq survey group has obtained corroborative evidence of Saddam's nuclear, chemical and biological programs, covert laboratories, advanced missile programs, and Iraq's program active right up to the start of the war to conceal WMD-related developments from the U.N. inspectors.

The Iraqi dictator posed a serious threat. Given the nature of that threat, seen in light of our experience with the 9-11 surprise attack, and the crumbling one after another of the pillars of containment, it would have been risky in the extreme to have allowed him to remain in power for the indefinite future. Intelligence is never perfect, but that's not grounds for inaction in the face of the kind of information the President had about Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

Saddam's demise has freed Iraqis of a tyrant, deprived terrorists of a financier and supporter, eliminated a threat to regional stability, taken Iraq off the list of rogue states with WMD programs, and created a new opportunity for free political institutions to arise in the Arab world. All of this serves our cause in the global war on terrorism.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, democratization has begun. Success will strengthen the forces of moderation in the Muslim world. It could create a new era in the Middle East. Already since Iraq's liberation talk of reform and democracy is more common and more intense in the Arab world. It would be desirable if the Middle East reached a political turning point similar to the points in history when Asian democracy and Latin American democracy blossomed and spread rapidly.

As the President said last week at the National Endowment for Democracy, “It should be clear to all that Islam, the faith of one fifth of humanity, is consistent with democratic rule. Democratic progress is found in many predominantly Muslim countries. More than half of all Muslims in the world live in freedom under democratically-constituted governments.”

Opposition to democratic rule motivates extremists in both Afghanistan and Iraq to try to tear down the newly formed institutions. They see the potential for modernization, democratization, and liberalization of the economy, and they oppose and fear what they see.

Extremism of the type that fuels terrorism is a political phenomenon. It's driven by ideology, and ideologies we know can be defeated. Like Soviet communism and Nazism, radical Islamism can be discredited by failure. When the Soviet system collapsed it helped demonstrate that our nation's positive message - individual liberty, the rule of law, tolerance and peace - has global appeal. Soviet communism was discredited, practically and morally, by its ultimately undeniable failures to deliver goodness or happiness. Radical Islamism, an ideological stew of historical resentments, political hatreds, religious intolerance and violence, can be expected to have a similar end. Like communism, it promises a Utopia that it can't deliver.

As the President noted, “Many Middle Eastern governments now understand that military dictatorships and theocratic rule are a straight, smooth highway to nowhere. The good and capable people of the Middle East all deserve responsible leadership. For too long many people in that region have been victims and subjects. They deserve to be active citizens.”

In Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as elsewhere in the region, this process has begun. Afghanistan has a way to go before it achieves a stable, permanent government. Taliban forces are working to regroup and attack, often from bases in the rough terrain of the tribal areas just across the Pakistan border. Afghanistan's central government needs more skilled administrators. It needs better control over the country's customs revenues. And important open question remain as to the right relationship between the central government and the local governors and military commanders.

But Afghanistan has come far since its liberation from the Taliban only two years ago. President Karzai is increasingly extending the government's authority across the country. He has replaced about one third of the provincial governors. Reform of the Defense Ministry is underway and producing greater ethnic balance. The government and the constitutional commission have just produced a draft constitution that the Loya Jirga may approve next month. National elections in Afghanistan are scheduled for next year. International assistance to the country is increasing. A modern ring road, a boon to commerce, security and national unity, is being built around the country. The Kabul-to-Kandahar portion is to be usable by December of this year, and NATO has taken over the U.N.- mandated International Security Assistance Force in Kabul, and is expanding its peacekeeping role outside the capital.

Afghanistan's courage and unity will continue to be tested, but it appears that Afghanistan is passing these tests. It's a country on the rise, and it's a country that is no longer affording terrorists the quiet enjoyment of bases of operation.

Iraq too is a story of difficulties, but also progress and promise. Iraqis, like Afghans, know that they have been liberated from tyranny. They recognize their stake in the coalition's success, even though a thick residue of fear inhibits many from contributing to that success.

Our strategic goal in Iraq is to give Iraq back to the Iraqi people well launched, on the road to freedom, security and prosperity. We can't build the new Iraq for them, but we can make sure that when we leave they are in a position to build it themselves. Our foremost objective now is to improve the security situation to make political and economic development possible. We recognize that security, freedom and prosperity are tightly interrelated. There's no solution to the security problem without progress on the economic and political fronts.

The enemies of our strategic goal are: One, former regime loyalists, Saddam's dead-enders; two, foreign fighters - jihadists; three, terrorist groups – al-Qaida and its allies; and, four, the scores of thousands of criminals that Saddam released from his prisons in the months before the war.

We don't underestimate the task we face. We recognize the enemy has a number of strengths. For example, the country is awash in munitions. Our enemies have access to a lot of money and Saddam remains at large. It doesn't take an enormous effort to attack small numbers of soldiers every week, and the international jihad network has opted to support the fight against the coalition in Iraq, making Iraq the central battlefield now in the global war on terrorism.

But we also know that our enemies have vulnerabilities. For example, the former regime is not popular in the country, and it had and has a very narrow base of public support. Moreover, Iraqis resent the presence of foreign jihadists who have chosen Iraq as the battlefield on which to confront the U.S. Few Iraqis support the jihadists' ideology.

Another enemy of vulnerability is its relatively small geographic base. The vast majority of the attacks against coalition forces in recent months have occurred in Baghdad and in Saddam's former stronghold north and west of the capital. In large parts of the country, in the north and south, the population is well disposed to the coalition, and those areas are relatively free of such attacks, though there have been horrific bombings in Mosul, Najaf and yesterday in Nasariyah. And I'd like to just take the occasion to express condolences to the Italians who lost 18 of their Carabineri in the attack on Nasariyah yesterday. Our sympathies go to Italy and to the families of those who lost their lives in that attack.

We believe the enemy strategy is to: One, break the coalition's will through daily attacks on coalition forces; two, target embodiments of success through attacks on infrastructure and police, for example; three, divide and intimidate Iraqis through assassinations of civilians, including attacks on the Governing Council; four, portray the coalition, and especially the United States, as imperialist and exploitative; five, drive out international organizations and non-governmental organizations; and, six, slow down progress toward self-rule in the hope that the coalition will run out of patience and leave.

Coalition forces are taking the initiative to search out the enemy, defeat his efforts, and cut of his bases of support. We are doing this through direct action based on specific intelligence, such as the raid conducted against Uday and Qusay, and the recent raid by the 82nd Airborne, which netted two former Iraqi generals in Fallujah, who are suspected as being key financiers and organizers of anti- coalition activities in the city.

Our forces are innovating at the tactical level. They're using battlefield surveillance radars to locate mortar positions. They are developing and deploying technical means to deal with roadside bombs. And they are continually developing special convoy security measures. Coalition forces have stepped up efforts to guard the borders, to prevent the infiltration of foreign fighters and terrorists.

Although the coalition is doing a lot, the strategic solution to the security problem in Iraq is to enable Iraqis to provide for their own security. And so the coalition is organizing and equipping Iraqis and putting them in positions of responsibility for their own security. Having more Iraqis active in their security forces will yield several benefits in helping to reach our strategic objectives: Iraqis have more familiarity with the people and terrain; Iraqis can provide better intelligence on the location of terrorists; a leading role for Iraqi security forces will also show that Iraq is on a rapid course to self-rule, and reduce friction between the coalition troops and the population.

More than 100,000 Iraqis are already active in the five security forces - the Police, Border Police, Site Protection Service, Civil Defense Corps of the new Iraqi Army. This number has been growing rapidly. In early September it stood at 62,000. The Iraqi security forces have proven effective in a number of actions. They are taking on an increasing share of the security burden and are suffering casualties.

As I've said, we understand how tightly interrelated the governance, economic and security problems are. Therefore, a key element of our security strategy is improving the lives of the Iraqi people and building Iraqi political institutions. Regarding essential services, oil production now exceeds two million barrels a day, and provides revenues for Iraqi salaries and other governmental expenses. Electricity production has attained prewar levels. Iraq's educational system has been reestablished. There are record 97,000 university- level school applications. Levels of health care comparable to the prewar level have been achieved. As you know, the Congress has recently appropriated a large sum of money, approximately $20 billion, for Iraqi reconstruction, including the building up of the security forces. But the U.S. isn't bearing the whole burden. At the recent donor's conference in Madrid, other countries and international institutions pledged about $13 billion. The major donor countries, aside from the United States, were Japan, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Kuwait, Spain, Italy, Canada, the UAE and South Korea.

As for the building of Iraqi political institutions, the Governing Council has been operating since July, and has appointed interim ministers to run the Iraqi ministries. The Governing Council has won international recognition in U.N. Security Council Resolution 1511, from the General Assembly and the Arab League. In addition to the national level Governing Council, there are more than 250 governing councils at the provincial and municipal levels. These represent important steps toward Iraqi self-rule. An Iraqi runs the central bank and an Iraqi council of judges has been established to supervise the prosecutorial and judicial systems.

As you are aware from recent press reports, we are continuing our efforts to build up the Iraqis' capability to run their own affairs, and we are working with the Governing Council to help them develop a timeline for drafting a new constitution and holding elections under it, as called for under Resolution 1511. Our guiding principle is that as much authority as possible should be transferred to the Iraqi institutions as soon as possible.

We understand how important it is to communicate effectively with the Iraqi people. Our basic message is two-fold. First, we intend to stay the course, to fulfill our responsibilities and ensure that Iraq is well launched on the path to freedom, security and prosperity. Second, we don't want to rule Iraq. Nor will we stay any longer than is necessary.

Now, we understand that there is some tension between these two messages, but we are conveying both of them, and neither is subordinated to the other. Although the major combat operations that toppled the Saddam regime were over by May 1, the war to determine the future of Iraq continues. The stakes are large. If Iraq can be launched on the path toward freedom, stability and prosperity, the terrorists will have suffered a major defeat and the people of the Middle East will have an alternative model to follow. Our enemies understand this, and we must expect them to throw all their resources into the fight. This struggle will take time - time to root out enemy fighters and supporters within Iraq, time to gain control of the borders, and most of all time to help the Iraqis rebuild their political and security institutions to the point that they'll be able to take over the main burden of the fight.

Visitors returning from Iraq commonly comment that what they saw there jibed not at all with the picture of the country that outsiders get from television and newspapers. This is hardly surprising. If all one knew about life in the United States was what one saw on local TV news broadcasts, one would imagine that life in America is nothing but murders, power outages, fires and the like. Because we live here we know that a lot else is going on - business and industrial work, cultural and educational life, politics, government, social activities. There's a lot going on in Iraq too that doesn't make the evening news.

From its inception in the days following 9-11, the President and his team have implemented their strategy for the war on terrorism with steadiness, prudence and good results. The plans for our combat and post-combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq get challenged from time to time, as is inevitable and good in a democracy. Though these plans have by and large worked well, we review and revise them continually, as Jerry Bremer's recent visit to Washington highlights. Those plans were and are the product of much cooperation across the U.S. government and with key allies. They helped us avert many ills. For example, Iraq has not found itself with masses of internally displaced persons and international refugees, starvation, a collapse of the currency, destruction of the oil fields, the firing of Scud missiles against Israel or Saudi Arabia, or widespread inter-communal violence. There's value in pausing and reflecting on the anticipated catastrophes that we were spared through a combination of foresight, military skill, and the kind of luck that tends to favor forces that plan and work hard and wisely.

The United States and its coalition partners are on sound courses in Afghanistan and Iraq, though much remains to be done in both places. As long as we are making progress in rebuilding the infrastructure, in allowing normal life to return, and most important in helping the Afghans and Iraqis develop political institutions for the future, we are on the path to success, despite the attacks of the terrorists and former regime supporters.

Staying the course won't be easy or cheap. We’re reminded of this every time we hear of another attack on U.S. or coalition forces. The President asked Congress to make available the necessary resources, and Congress has done so. To crown our military victories with strategic victories, we will have to succeed in both the civil and the military aspects of our efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In the global war on terrorism we're succeeding in our goal. We are defeating terrorism as a threat to our way of life. Our coalitions are on the offensive. The terrorists are on the run. And the United States has preserved our freedom. The world is safer and better for what we have accomplished. Americans have much to be proud of. Thank you. {Applause).

Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, we have some time for questions. I am asked to encourage you when you do ask a question to please stand, state your name and your affiliation, and wait for a microphone.

I'm also encouraged to say that you should please keep your questions concise so that many people can ask a question. And it would be nice of course if you did indeed ask a question.

I am going to take a prerogative that I am allowed to ask Doug the first question, and this is sort of a do as a I say, not as I do, because I'm allowed to ask two questions, but will ask only one, and it may be slightly longer than it would be ideal.

But as I listened, Doug, to the presentation, I don't think at least I have any difficulty with the diagnosis of the problem that threat facing us is international terrorism. What I have a problem with is the prescription and your linkage of international terror to the war in Iraq. I was trying to think of a metaphor, and I was thinking of a correct diagnosis of the patient has cancer, life- threatening cancer, and you as a doctor find a broken bone, clearly a broken bone, and decide to focus on the bone. Nobody is going to argue here that - I don't think - that Iraq was broken. There's a serious problem - horrendous human rights problem, ignoring the United Nations - all the points you made.

But I think the key for a lot of us is do we feel as though your shot selection was good? Do we feel as though we are safer from international terrorism by devoting all these resources to Iraq, by not only devoting these resources but alienating other governments, even friendly governments, in the course of doing this that we clearly need against a systemic problem like Iraq? And then if you look at the case as you made it for weapons of mass destruction, it's there but it's strained. It's okay for chemical weapons it's okay for biological weapon at the toxin and bacteriological, but not the viral. And the nuclear issue I think is highly strained. There is no connection, I think as has been admitted, to 9/11, itself and the connection you made even now to terrorism could be said of any number of countries. So a question which I am now getting to – {Laughter} is: Can you say more about why, if you have gotten the diagnosis correct, why the application of resources, so massive and so massive yet to come, is to this problem rather than to a more frontal attack on international terrorism?

Feith: As I at least touched on in the remarks, when we looked at the 9/11 attack, and we saw that the terrorists were able to kill 3,000 people, one of the first thoughts that struck us was these are people who are willing, the terrorists, to kill as many people as they possibly can. And if they had access to biological weapons or nuclear weapons they would have been happy to kill 10 times, 100 times, 1,000 times the number of people that they killed in New York and Washington and Pennsylvania on September 11th. And so we were focused, as I said on this connection among the terrorist groups, their state sponsors and weapons of mass destruction. And that is I think a proper strategic focus in the global war on terrorism. It is the principal and the largest danger that we face.

And in fighting terrorist organizations one of the most effective approaches is denying them bases of operation and denying them their state support. And we did that in Afghanistan, and we did that with one of the regimes in the world that was a prominent supporter of terrorist organizations and aspired to chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. And there is no question they had those programs. The debate right now is over did they actually have stockpiles as opposed to programs for chemical and biological weapons?

When it comes to chemical and biological weapons, if you have the program you have the knowledge, you have the production capability. One can produce militarily significant quantities in very short order. Furthermore, the Saddam Hussein regime had actually used chemical weapons. And so the danger that this regime, which advocated terrorism, supported it, rewarded it, had links with terrorist organizations and had these capabilities, that this regime might, if left alone, get to the point where it would be providing weapons of mass destruction to terrorist organization was a serious risk and went to what I said was the strategic heart of the problem. And so I think it was - that was the reason that it fitted in, that was I think the motive for taking this action and I think that it was justified. Now, it happens to be, as I explained in my remarks, there are a number of other aspects to the problem, including the fact that the Saddam Hussein regime was one of the worst scofflaw regimes in violating U.N. Security Council resolutions, and a tyranny and a threat to its neighbors, and all those other points I made, which are important. But specifically with regard to your question, I don't think there is any question that if one had one's eye on the ball the key strategic issue in the global war on terrorism, this connection that I discussed, that Iraq lived right at that connection.

Moderator: Thank you, Doug. The floor is open. First hand, right there. Please wait for the mike.

Q: Sherman Katz, CSIS (Center for Strategic & International Studies): Regarding the stand-down of the Iraqi Army, I wondered if you would be kind enough to share with us what your thinking was about how that ought to be managed before the fact, and if indeed there are any distinctions what you are thinking is now about how it might have better been handled, if there is any distinction?

Feith: Before the war there was an idea, which Jay Garner talked about in press briefings that he did here in Washington. There was an idea that we could use the Iraqi Army for reconstruction. And the thought was that the Army had organized units, it had people who had various skills it had its own assets for mobility. I mean, there were a lot of reasons why one looking toward reconstruction would say we could make good use of the Army.

What we found however in the war was that the Army in effect disbanded itself and by the time Jerry Bremer was heading off to assume the leadership of the Coalition Provisional Authority, there was no Army left as an organization. The people had dispersed the barracks had been destroyed and stripped of everything in them, the tile taken off the walls. The mobility assets were all gone. The Army was gone. It had, as I said, it had dissolved itself and the decision was made in essence to simply confirm the dissolution of the Army as part of the overall effort of de-Ba’athification, which Ambassador Bremer made as his theme when he arrived in Baghdad. And there are some drawbacks and there were some advantages in that situation. The drawback obviously was that the asset that we thought might be available for reconstruction didn't exist, so we didn't have it. The advantage though is that we now have the opportunity to create an Army that is not tainted by the various aspects of rottenness that characterized the old Iraqi Army under Saddam Hussein - the corruption, the cruelty, the abuse by the senior officers of the junior people, the lack of professionalism, the politicization. I mean there were major cultural problems and other types of problems in the Iraqi Army. This is not to say that everybody in the Army as an individual was tainted and people in the Army are welcomed to come back and join - and have come back to join various other security forces once they are vetted and it's determined that they are not part of the previous regime's crimes. But I think that is the difference that accounts for why we had a certain thought before the war and why we proceeded differently since.

Moderator: Ann?

Q: Thank you. I'm Ann Kahn from American University. If the prewar intelligence on Iraq was so uniform and so consistent in its findings as you’ve stated in your prepared remarks, why was it necessary to set up a special office of strategic planning within the Defense Department, and does that office still exist? And if not, why not?

Feith: I'm delighted that you asked that question.

Moderator: I almost believe that. {Laughter}.

Feith: No, I am, because this is a subject of such thoroughgoing misinformation that it's nice to have a chance to say something true about it.

First of all, the Office of Special Plans that you referred to has nothing really whatsoever to do with intelligence it is one of the regional offices in the policy organization. We have regional offices for Latin America and Africa and Asia. We had - it is the Office of Northern Gulf Affairs. It was created in the fall of 2002 when we had to beef up our staff to handle all of the extra Iraq related work. We needed to increase it by something like 18 people. So we created a new office, and since there was an enormous amount of attention on the Pentagon, on what we were doing and are we planning for war and the creation of a new office that would have been called the Iraq office would have probably in and of itself created headlines. We chose the kind of name that the government gives to offices throughout the government that’s kind of nondescript - you know, "special plans," long-range plans" - that kind of thing and it's been grist for the conspiracy mongers ever since. But you referred to some intelligence unit, as many press reports did, confuse it with the special plans office. The so-called intelligence unit that was much discussed - it was two people, it was two people who did a project for about - it as not a unit, it was not an office. It was two people. And they did a project for about three months, and then another two people did a follow-on project for about 6 or 7 months.

It's rather amazing that there have been numerous stories that said this was the Pentagon's effort to replace the CIA and I can assure you that we do not hold the CIA in such low regard that we think we could replace them with two people. And in fact we think we - what those people did in that so-called intelligence unit that has been written about, was simply help me read and absorb the intelligence produced by the intelligence community, the CIA and other members of the intelligence community. So all I can say is there is, as I said, so much misinformation on this subject that I would urge everybody to treat with great skepticism what you read on that subject.

Moderator: Bob?

Q: Robert Gard. You mentioned in passing missile defense $9.1 billion in the '04 budget, over $60 billion over the next 7 years. We can detect missile launches with deployed technology. It would appear to me that deterrence ought to work pretty well in this regard.

I was pleased to see you agreed with the President the greatest threat is the possibility of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists. Wouldn't it make sense to divert some of that missile defense money - as large as it is, to doing something about securing the nuclear weapons and materials in the Soviet Union, which could become a Home Depot for terrorists, and beefing up home security to try to prevent the terrorists from being able to smuggle in a weapon of mass destruction?

Feith: You have identified a number of threats. We need to be responsible; we need to address the range of threats that face our country. We don't have the luxury of simply picking one or two that happen to interest us and investing only in those. There is a problem of, as its called, loose nukes in the former Soviet empire. There is a problem of vulnerability to ballistic missiles there is a problem of terrorist access to chemical, biological, nuclear weapons, all of those things are problems and threats and they all have to be addressed.

Q: Barbara Slavin of USA Today. Yeah. My question is about the current political arrangements in Iraq. Are we willing to contemplate expanding the Governing Council, changing its nature, before a constitution is written? Is this what I've been given to understand? And why would any of these changes make any difference to Iraqis? Why would they regard an expanded council as more legitimate while we have tens of thousands of American soldiers there? Thank you.

Feith: This is a subject that is being discussed right now by Ambassador Bremer with the Iraqis. He was here in town the beginning of this week and brought a number of ideas that he had been discussing with the Governing Council and other Iraqis, and those ideas were kicked around over two days in sessions with the President and the National Security Council and Ambassador Bremer is now - I think he already may be back in Iraq or he is on his way - and he is going to be reviewing them with the Iraqis.

The goal of the political work that's being done in Iraq is creating political institutions that can assume real responsibility, growing responsibility. The Governing Council has accomplished certain things, it needs to accomplish a lot more, and it needs to be doing executive functions, it needs to be organizing the constitutional progress, it needs to be organizing the electoral process. And there are various ideas about how to do that and how to move that forward.

Now your question is to why should that matter for Iraqis? I think the answer is that it does matter for Iraqis. The Iraqis want to run their own country, and we want them to run it, and we want them to run it as soon as possible. Now we are not going to just drop our responsibilities and walk away and just leave a mess. On the other hand, we want to make it clear that we are not looking to stay there any longer than we need to. And our enemies in Iraq use as one of their information operations themes against the coalition the argument that we intend to stay, intend to colonize, intend to run Iraq. It's not true - and if we can have clear steps toward Iraqi self-rule in the near term, we are helping to negate, to contradict, that line of argument that is an asset for the terrorists and the former regime loyalists in their fight against us in the country. So it has important political and security implications.

Q: I want to follow-up on –

Moderator: - your name please?

Q: Walter Pincus. I'm at the Washington Post.

Moderator: Thank you.

Q: I want to follow up on Bob's original question about why Iraq? Because if you take all your definitions, and particularly your nexus there are two issues, I agree. One is there is no hint although he had plenty of time that he ever did contemplate giving weapons of mass destruction to terrorists. But the second part is you have North Korea and you have Iran and particularly Iran, which is openly supporting terrorists. I just imagine your nexus is there and why did you choose diplomacy with those two countries, when you had as you said a kind of containment which wasn't perfect, but it appeared to be working because he wasn't doing the thing you feared the most and because your own intelligence said he wouldn't do it unless he was attacked and his back was to the wall?

Feith: First of all, on the issues of Saddam's intentions. We knew that he had these programs - these weapons of mass destruction, we knew that he had used it. We knew that he had relationships with various terrorist organizations and supported them in various ways, including by the way, in some cases in connection with training and exercising regarding chemical weapons, we had information about that in exchanges between the Saddam Hussein regime and terrorist organizations in that area.

But our information is, as everybody knows, never complete about a subject like that - never perfect, and the idea that we didn't have, you know specific proof that he was planning to give a biological agent to a terrorist group doesn't really lead you to anything because you wouldn't expect to have that information even if it were true. I mean our intelligence is just not – it’s just not at the point where if Saddam had that intention that we would necessarily know it. What we knew were the things I said from which one could infer he had these connections, he supported the terrorist groups, the danger was there. So I think it was, as I said, reasonable to take that threat seriously.

Q: (Inaudible).

Feith: Well, there are other problems in the world. Each problem has its own unique circumstances. I mean, the argument that there are other problems in the world and that becomes an argument for not addressing a particular problem, I don't quite understand that logic.

Moderator: That's good. We don't want to discourage you from diplomacy in the other cases. {Laughter}. Right here.

Q: Katie Jennings, Council on Foreign Relations. Very quickly, I don't want to be flippant, but we've done Afghanistan, we've done Iraq, so what's the next stop on the war on terror and if you have any ideas how were going to pay for it, that would be good too?

Feith: The next steps in the war on terror are going to be continuations of steps that we've been taking.

Q: Stop.

Feith: Excuse me?

Q: The next stop, not step.

Feith: The next stop?

Moderator: You mean the next place we go? The stop as in the series of places you go. What's your next endeavor? {Laughter}.

Feith: You seriously expect an answer to that question? {Laughter}.

Moderator: I do.

Feith: The fact is we are operating in the war on terrorism in numerous countries right now, and we're going to continue to do so and the operations are in some cases military, in some cases intelligence, and some cases law enforcement. There's a lot going on in the war on terrorism and its in many countries around the world.

Moderator: The last question will be right there.

Q: Hi, Ira Stoll, from the New York Sun. Do you buy the argument that one of the reasons that the terrorist and people who aren't terrorists hate America is because of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and that America is allied with Israel in that conflict? And how great a part of the hatred of America do you think that accounts for, if any?

Feith: Don't know how to measure it, but it's clearly an element. There are a lot of people who are focused on that conflict and don't like our policy. But I think that the terrorist phenomenon is considerably bigger and more complex than just the Arab/Israeli conflict. And I think that a large part of what is going on in the world that underlies, that motivates; terrorism is really a clash within the world of Islam between people of a particularly extremist view and school and the people who oppose them. And al-Qaida's main enemy for years, as one gathered from their public pronouncements, was not Israel or even the United States, but Saudi Arabia and the government of Saudi Arabia.

There is a large fight going on within the world of Islam, and the war on terrorism should not be seen, as I believe, as a war between the United States and Islam. It is largely a war going on within Islam where the United States is allied with the opponents of this extremist view of Islam.

Moderator: Doug, I want to thank you on the behalf of the council and everyone here for not only a very intelligent presentation, solid one, but for being very frank and open in your comments and answers to questions. Thank you very much. {Applause}.

Feith: Thank you.

{Applause}.

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