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Public Statements

Hearing of the House Armed Services Committee

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


HEADLINE: HEARING OF THE HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE

SUBJECT: OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM FORCE ROTATION PLAN

ACTING CHAIR: REPRESENTATIVE JIM SAXTON (R-NJ)

LOCATION: 2118 RAYBURN HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING, WASHINGTON, D.C.

WITNESSES: GENERAL PETER SCHOOMAKER, ARMY CHIEF OF STAFF; GENERAL MICHAEL HAGEE, MARINE CORPS COMMANDANT; LT. GENERAL NORTON SCHWARTZ, DIRECTOR FOR OPERATIONS, JOINT STAFF; LT. GENERAL JAMES CARTWRIGHT, DIRECTOR FOR FORCE STRUCTURE, RESOURCES AND ASSESSMENT, JOINT STAFF

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

REP. JIM COOPER (D-TN): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'm grateful for the service to the nation of each of the panelists. Three quick questions.

Number one, General Hagee, you were quoted by Richard Halloran, a former New York Times correspondent, as saying, quote, "Have we arrived at the point where we are going to have to have forces spread throughout the world-the Sinai, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan? If we are," you apparently concluded, "then I think the answer might be that we do in fact need an end strength increase." This was apparently in a December Washington conference. Is that an accurate quotation?

GEN. HAGEE: Partially. I think I've talked about whether we're at a spike or whether we're at a new plateau. And if we are in fact at a new plateau, then I think we need to look seriously at an end strength increase, because the time it takes to build these divisions three or four years from now we'll have those divisions ready to go. If in fact this is a spike, a year or so, then to go, to spend the money, to spend the resources to build those divisions that in four years in fact we are not going to need, because we're coming back down, I think is the wrong way.

REP. COOPER: The second question. General Schoomaker, apparently there will be an emergency order to increase end strength by some 30,000 troops. How will that be paid for?

GEN. SCHOOMAKER: We're not increasing the end strength. We're growing-using the emergency authorities and the current level of funding, to include the supplemental, to do that.

REP. COOPER: To include?

GEN. SCHOOMAKER: The supplemental funding that we have --

REP. COOPER: To include the supplemental-the supplemental we've already passed?

GEN. SCHOOMAKER: That's correct. And the fact is that, as I said, because of stop-loss, stop-move and things we've done to stabilize the forces, you know that's not blanket across the whole force, stop-loss, stop-move. But because what we stabilized is in the AOR right now, we've got that bubble. What we want to do is target that growth in a way that facilitates this transformation we're talking about. And of course the sooner we can bring that down, because we find these things to offset it below the line that will work.

But I agree, again, with what General Hagee just said. You know, if this is a new level of stress that's going to be forever or for the future for the long-term, then I think we have a different problem, and that's not what we see right now. But I will go back and say once again that before we grow that force, I want to make sure that it's got a solid foundation, and that we've got it set the way it should be for the future, and that's what we're doing this emergency authority work with.

REP. COOPER: Third question. In a leaked memo this fall, Secretary Rumsfeld said he did not have the proper metrics to determine whether we are winning or losing the war on terrorism. Do you gentlemen have any ideas on the proper metrics so that the secretary can have better measures for determining whether we are winning or losing this war?

GEN. HAGEE: I would suggest that there is no one metric, that there are a whole series of metrics. General Schoomaker has talked about helping the Iraqis stand up essentially a new society. So we are talking about economics-we're not only talking about security, but we're talking about economics, we're talking about schools opening, we're talking about producing electricity, we're talking about kerosene. So I think there's a whole range of metrics that we need to look at, and in fact we are looking at.

REP. COOPER: Those are not traditional military measures.

GEN. HAGEE: This is not only a military problem, sir. I think it goes across all elements of national power.

REP. COOPER: What are some more traditional military measures that we could be looking at, measures that are within your lane?

GEN. HAGEE: Yes, sir. Security obviously, the number of attacks on our forces, the number of IEDs-those are all metrics that we are in fact looking at and tracking.

REP. COOPER: But the secretary said were apparently insufficient, because he's had access to those for some time.

I see my time is waning, and out of respect to my other colleagues, I defer.

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