defense followed by nancy pelosi. >> today, here the latest release of president johnson's 1968 telephone conversations from the lyndon b. johnson library. in this installment, he talks about the war in vietnam, and problems getting judicial appointments. here's conversations with india's prime minister. during the program, a historian provides context and background. at the lbj tapes today at 3:30 p.m. eastern on c-span radio, xm 132, and cspanradio.org. . .
-- for "q & a." >> lieutenant general ray odierno said the military is on pace to withdraw all combat troops by september of next year. he testified before the house armed services committee. this is two hours, 20 minutes. cabescabes cabescabes [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] low intensity. we welcome you gentlemen in
general odierno is the first time i believe that you have appeared before this committee as such. >> that is correct. >> it is the chairman. >> we certainly welcome you. on december 27, 2009 president obama fled their path to bring up to the closed america's long war that began with the invasion in march 20, 2003. to help build a new iraq and over 4,300 americans who have died in that cause. we owe them our deep, deep gratitude for the right now the united states has about 120 to 130,000 combat forces in iraq and under the current plan we will end this year for at 11 combat brigades in iraq toddling around 100,000 personnel. we will maintain their level through the iraq elections in for a period after the elections
the termination information of the new government. in august 2010 hour combat mission in iraq will end and our force presence will consist of six advise-and-assist brigades with about 50,000 u.s. military personnel. these brigades and personnel will be slowly withdrawn until december 31, 2011 and is required by the u.s. iraq status of forces agreement, no u.s. personnel will remain in iraq. this will not be an easy one for us. simply moving so many trips and so much equipment out of the country will be a significant logistical challenge. we will not conduct such a large movement or such a distance since vietnam and we all know that did not go well.
usmc are other u.s. agencies and i hope our witnesses can address how the planning for this transition is going. for their part the iraqis will have to assume full responsibility for internal security and their questions as they leave that area by the time we leave. the department of defense has requested the authority to transfer some current u.s. military equipment to the iraqis security forces and i hope our witnesses will address that. i hope they will take a minute to discuss potential future requests for assisting the iraqis. the iraqis will also have to come to an agreement on the future of the country. in elections in january may be crucial in helping them to find that. they have not determined how elections will be carried out in the remains to be seen yet the reed-- elections will create a truly national government. all of us who watched in horror the ethnic violence in 2006 and
2007 dearly hope for the latter. finally the u.s. and iraq will have to determine its future relationship for committee in january as the dates when our relations will trend instantly to a normal bilateral relationship. in some ways, that will likely be true but in other ways it just may not. iraq will be incapable of providing folly force external defense. iraq may well continue to need help developing some aspects of its security forces and will continue to have interest in ensuring a stable iraq that doesn't threaten its neighbors or undermine other regional goals. i don't expect their witnesses to have all the answers to the questions. the war in iraq is coming to a close. mises business these transitions will take years to work through. this is the first time this general has appeared before the house armed services committee and my guess is general that you
will be with us many more times in the days ahead. i turned to my good friend, the gentleman from california, the ranking member, senator mchugh in. >> thank you mr. chair and welcome to our witnesses. it is great to have the here general odierno. we appreciate you taking the time to be here today. please pass on to all of the men and women in your command how much we are proud of their achievements and how much we appreciate their service. this is a timely hearing. while the focus in washington has shifted to afghanistan we can't lose sight of the enormous challenges before us in iraq. we made remarkable progress in iraq. violence continues to stay at a level comparable to 2003. the provincial elections earlier in the year were a success and the soap the agreement has held together. most recently in june the iraqis
security forces assumed primary security responsibility within the iraqis cities and the u.s. combat forces departed the last remaining cities. the issue therefore is not whether we won the war but whether we will win the peace in iraq. we-- with national election set for january and the sofa on the horizon as well as significant unresolved political hurdles like the status of kirkuk, there are many unknowns that will determine the prospect of the enduring domestic peace in iraq. in parallel with iraq's demanding political calendar, the president's february 2009 plan calls for a dramatic reduction to the u.s. footprint in iraq by august 2010. by next summer the present plans to decrease our troops strength by 60% in addition to closing bases and moving material out of the theater. this leads to some basic questions. first, is it still safe to assume the brecki security
forces will be able to assume security responsibility in that electoral politics will not trigger sectarian violence. these are the assumptions underpinning the president's plan. this plan arguably made sense in february. does it still makes sense today? many of this year have consistently held the position that scheduling troop withdrawals in iraq should be based on the conditions on the ground. general we would like to hear from you on this subject. do we have contingency plans in the bin the security situation demands revisiting the august 2010 timeline? i am concerned we may be biting off more than be can shoot and iraq. as we begin executing the president's redeployment plan need to keep an eye on the future. what do we want the u.s. the iraqi bilateral relationship to look like? this leads me to concerns about the normalization of our relations with iraq. after all we have invested in
iraq we should be taking steps to ensure we pursue a robust security relationship with baghdad. a our increase in combat forces would not the only reason the surge was successful. rather ambassador crocker and general petraeus knew how to leverage our presence to ensure the iraqi leadership made the right choices. i am concerned we may be retreating from this posture to quickly in an effort to normalize our relationship with iraq. we must remember this is an embryonic democracy. as much as the situation in iraq has improved they think it's fair to say the situation is far from normal. so long as we have the force presence in i becker leadership should continue to improve itself in iraq and involve itself in the iraqi political affairs to ensure the right decisions are made. robust engagement seems to be the key to a redeployment plan.
beyond the strategic and political military concerns, there are a host of issues ranging from operational implementation of the advisory and assist brigade to the enormous logistical challenges of moving all their equipment out of iraq. accomplishing this all in such a narrow window of time is a herculean task even if we do not face what you rightly called drivers of instability. i hope we can discuss these issues over the course of the hearing. i look forward to a candid discussion on these important issues and again thank you general for being here this morning. i yield back. >> thank you. i seek unanimous consent that representative kilpatrick be allowed to participate in our committee this morning in the gentlelady just returned from the middle east and we welcome her without objection. as i understand it secretary
vickers says not submitted written testimony and will not be making an opening statement. is that correct? >> that is correct, sir. >> thank you. general odierno the floor is yours and we welcome you and congratulate you for the excellent work you are doing. >> chairman skelton, congressman mckeon and distinguished members of the committee thank you for providing me the opportunity today to appear before you to provide my assessment of the current situation, the challenges and i reckon our strategy is adapting in order to achieve the president's vision. first i just want to tell you what a great honor it is to command multinational force iraq. have fennell spent a significant amount of time in the rack the remaining cards by the delivery process that has been made particularly over the past two and a half years. operational iraqi freedom as you well know is now in its sixth consecutive year and it has been
a complex and challenging mission that continuous involves the environment but the one thing that remains constant is the demonstrated courage, compassion and commitment of our soldiers, sailors, airmen marines, coast guardsmen and civilians to continue to selflessly sir. i am humbled by the opportunity to serve with them privilege to leave these great americans and i also want to recognize the families of our service members who have sacrificed so much yet continue to give the unwavering support in order to allow our service men and women the ability to focus on the mission at hand. all the challenges remain in iraq with the continued support of congress and the american people i believe we are now in reach of our goals. as we all know iraqis strategically located in the middle east in remains vital to stability in this region.
it is all it plays a significant role in regional security dynamics but too often in the past the rakis been a source of instability rather than civility. today with their help iraq has slowly reestablished diplomatic, economic and security relationships with all its neighbors. as a developing democracy in the heart of the middle east, iraq has formalized its relationship with the united states. this past january our country has implemented to historic bilateral agreements establishing the foundation for a long term comprehensive strategic partnership. together these security agreement in the strategic framework agreement to demonstrate america's continued commitment to iraq, its people instability in the region. they also reflect the maturing relationship and enhanced cooperation between our two nations.
the strategic framework agreement establishes the foundation and mechanisms for an enduring relationship between iraq and the united states for long-term cooperation in a variety of areas including security, technological, educational and cultural exchanges just to name a few. the security agreement focuses on our current military relationship within the context of iraqi sovereignty. by regulating the temporary presence and activiti%s@@@@@@@@r -- operating within the iraqi rule of law. i'm extremely proud of how our leaders and service members ought all levels adapted quickly and quickly adjusted our mindset and operation in order to maintain operation momentum
within the frame work of the security agreement. in line with this security agreement, on june 30, 2009, the iraqi security forces assumed prime responsibility within the city, and u.n. forces departed the last remaining cities. june 30 was a major milestone for the government of iraq, its security forces, and the iraqi people, and a first step in the iraqi security forces assuming full control of security in iraq. the positive psychological impact has been profound. the iraqis wanted to be in charge, they wanted the responsibility, and they have demonstrated they are capable. found. the iraqis wanted to be in charge, they wanted the responsibility and they have demonstrated that they are capable. after some initial coordination issues immediately following 32 in the partnerships we have developed over the last several years in particular have grown even stronger.
today nine months after we have been implementing the security agreement in three months after u.s. combat forces departed the cities we continue to make consistent, delivered progress in improving the security environment in iraq. the combined sustained efforts of u.s. and iraqi security forces coupled with the efforts of our civilian partners every to security incidents and attacks of all types to levels on par with the summer of 2003. was statistic do not think the whole picture, they help provide some context in understanding the progress made to date. in the charts before you, we use six month increments to specifically how light the trends in both the finton casualties over time. the security incidents chart displayed here clearly shows that improving trend across all types of attacks.
overall attacks have decreased 85% over the past two years. from 4,064 in august of 2007 to 594 in august of 2009. with 565 328 september. in that same time period u.s. military doesn't decrease by 93%. iraqis security force doesn't decrease by 79% and ethnosectarian death have decreased 88%. in fact there is another noticeable decrease in ethnosectarian incidents. specifically during ramadan which has always reflected a sharp increase in extremist activity. this year there are only 19 ethnosectarian incidents compared to 978 in 2006. additionally improvised explosive device explosions have decreased 74%. but ied's remained a weapon of
choice of the insurgents and terrorists inside of iraq. the second chart shows high-profile explosions that are specifically intended to have a large impact. you can see the steady decrease even after the iraqis assumed responsibility in the cities. but these high-profile attacks remain a concern especially following the two bombings in baghdad on 19 august which targeted the ministries of finance and foreign affairs. these were horrific cleaning perpetrated by al qaeda in iraq endgame specifically gives the government of iraq's institutions in order to undermine the public faith and confidence in the government of iraq. there was a clear security lapse on 19 august in baghdad but i do not believe that is the result of any systematic problems and i remain confident the iraqi security forces continue to learn, improved and it just.
after the 19 august attacks the government of iraq responded effectively. the reassessed security measures made adjustments in increased operations aggressively enhancing security in the cities all enabled by u.s. forces and they continue to reassess their security posture. leaders reinforce national unity and the people responded. to date the extremist efforts to destabilize iraq has failed. the overwhelming majority of the iraqi people reject extremism. we have seen no indications of return to the sectarian violence that plagued the iraq in 2006 and 2007. let me now take a little bit of time to discuss the iraqi security forces. overall the professionalism and operational effectiveness of they approximately 663,000 strong i-- security forces including two and 45,000
soldiers and four and 7,000 police continued to improve. thus, the bolstering public confidence and trust in the iraqi security forces. supported by u.s. forces, the iraqi security forces recently provided safe and secure environment for two pilgrimages in july and august in which millions of pilgrims participated in transit did throughout iraq. we continue to see signs of normalcy returning to iraq. recently the first international soccer match was held in baghdad with over 50,000 people in attendance. just last week i witnessed thousands of iraqis in the parks and streets across baghdad celebrating an eating which is another indicator of the growing confidence in the iraqi security forces. especially following the baghdad bombing is one month prior. you can honestly feel a difference amongst the people in baghdad and run the large majority of iraq.
the iraqi army and federal police continue to improve counterinsurgency implementation planning and execution and in some cases-- but this is still a work in progress. the native training mission iraq continues to focus on institutional training for the iraqi security forces enhancing the long term professionalism. although small improvements-- although small calm improvements continues in logistics and the sharing and integration of intelligence and operations for the regional operational centers and provincial joint coordination centers continue to improve. the iraqi security forces now in the lead across the entire country with u.s. forces advising and enabling the operations in the cities and providing full spectrum partnership outside of the cities. the iraqi security forces conducting more and more precision intelligence driven operation was a which are
unilateral. usna bull operations relying on u.s. intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance communications and some aviation and logistical support. we are seeing improved integration of human intelligence and u.s. technical intelligence. outside the city's the iraqi security forces continue a combination of independent usna bobin u.s. prepared full spectrum operations. in addition we continue to see strides in government of iraq counter-terrorism operations. in may we began national operations with iraqi special operations forces facilitated by an iraqi operations coordination group, a standard-- interagency organization collocated with u.s. counter-terrorism forces. every day we conduct jointly planned and executed counter-terrorism operations with increasing optimal results.
i believe by 2011 the government of iraq will have counter-terrorism force capable of dealing with the extremist threats. just in the last week we have gently arrested 90 deluge individuals including 52 of qaeda in iraq, 23 shia extremists and 15 sidney insurgence annex baathists. since 2006 we have systematically decrease the number of foreign fighters entering iraq and signet the newly reduced al qaeda in iraq to a small ideological court that recruits disenfranchised iraqis and criminals. in the north aqi in remnants of the insurgent groups continue in their attempt to reestablish a foothold with the objective of expanding back into anbar and baghdad. we are working with the iraqi security forces to establish a
defense across iraq with forces in the cities and u.s. forces conducting partner or full spectrum operations in the surrounding belts and along the borders to deny extremists safe havens and reduced the flow of foreign fighters. we believe the iraqi security forces will develop the capacity to conduct internal and basic external defense over the next two and half years as we continue to draw down our forces. as most of you are aware the sons of iraq program succeeded in drawing many of the insurgency giving them the opportunity to serve in their communities and earn salaries to support their families. in april the government of iraq assumed full responsibility for the sons of iraq program. over 23,000 former sons of iraq have transitioned to the security forces and other non-security employment since 2008 including over 5,500 baghdad over the last two months
ago in october of five dozen more will transition them baghdad. despite budget cuts across the government of iraq the geowhy has maintained funding for the program understanding its importance not only to security but to building greater trust between the cindy community and the government. the sons of iraq are complete and september pays on going by the government of iraq. the government of iraq. >> host: liz to integrate all of the sons of iraq into the ministries by the end of this year. i do not believe they will meet this timeline but i do believe they will continue to execute the program in 2010 until it is complete. we will continue to monitor the progress of this program very closely. in january that iraq electoral commission orchestrated successful provincial elections in which all the iraqi sects and ethnicities participated and voted out all so many incumbents.
since they failed to deliver tangible results and rejected those who overtly supported-- the united nations assist and observers deem these elections credible and legitimate and the seating of the provisional governments have been peaceful. in july iraqis experience another milestone with the kurdistan regional government elections with over 70% voter turnout of approximately 2.5 million eligible voters in the kurdistan region. they voted in their open election for the krg president. president barzani wisdom electiveness 7% of the boats. voters the signal the desire for change with the success of the change list which won 21% of the krg parliament a moderate loss to the kurdistan alliance. on 20 august 2009 the krg parliament and president were peacefully seated.
on the security is improving it is not yet enduring. beat still remain underlying unresolved sources of potential conflict. i call these drivers of instability. from the beginning security in iraq has been a complex problem that is required nuanced involving approaches and our strategy has reflected this. in this environment we cannot focus on eight security threat alone especially as the united states continues to assist iraq in the building the foundations of their security civil, political and economic institutions. we continue to assist the government in addressing and finding ways to mitigate these root causes of instability. current drivers of instability include communal in factional struggles for power resources in sufficient capacity violent extremism groups then enter parents of externals data nonstate actors.
iraq is a nascent democracy emerging from 30 years of authoritarian rule based on ethnosectarian privilege. its future as a stable multiethnic representative state rests upon its ability to deal with the merida peace challenges and some of these issues will take time to resolve part of the national elections in january of 2010 are critical to determining the path iraq will take into the future. the rules of the game of being-- and the council of representatives today. having just returned yesterday from the holiday they have a condensed timeline to pass an election law and many issues to discuss including kirkuk, open versus closed lists and a single versus multiple district election. there is a potential to build the confidence representative of government but there's also the potential to exacerbate societal divisions by appointing people
based on their affiliations rather than their abilities. even as the iraqi political system continues to mature there is not yet consensus on the exact nature of iraq's ã@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ a iraqi government institutions continue to evolve and theirable to provide essential services is improving. yet, it will take time to develop the institutional proceses and bureaucrat expertise necessary to sustain programs over time. also decades of infrastructure ural neglect require substantial capital investment and the main stain of the iraqi economy has resulted in budget shortfalls
negatively impacting the government of iraq's ability to fund its requirements. well endemic corruption and mismanagement burris says the government of iraq continues to focus on anti-corruption efforts and there has been some progress in developing a culture of accountability for government officials. despite their increased capacity and progress in providing security the iraqi security force continues to face shortcomings and budget constraints. to impart to the declining oil revenues that affect the current and future operational capacity including logistical support across the ministries. we continue to assist and advise the ministries of defense of the interior as they prioritize the minimum capabilities for foundational defense capability land, sea and air. but for the withdrawal of u.s. forces in december of 2011.
critical gaps remain in controlling and protecting eric space and territorial waters. in iraq much of the struggles are about power plant in resources which is reflected in the arab kurd and government of iraq kurdistan tensions. the key issues include the pending hydrocarbon law, revenue sharing in the disputed internal boundaries including areas in ninevah province, diyala province in kirkuk province. we support the united states assistance process promoting political dialogue and resolution of these key issues. external groups and external influences take advantage supped as the are pretensions. al qaeda's endic send any shipbuilding cribs continue to pose threats to stability as they seek to exploit political
fissures destabilizing the government of iraq and undermine the progress made to date. interference from external actors continue to exacerbate the security situation with iraq three there tasa door direct support to extremists and proxy groups. both enhance security diplomatic measures are required to steer iraq's borders with iran and syria. as outlined by the president on one september 201011 munz from hour combat mission will end in their transition forces in iraq will focus on training in advising iraqis security forces, conducting targeted emissions by within to the iraqis protecting u.s. forces and others operating around the country while providing support to cybil capacity building missions with their partners as well as the united nations. we are reducing their footprint in iraq by about 60% to an initial strength of 50,000 boots on the ground by 31 august 2010.
are transition force will consist of three division headquarters and six advise-and-assist brigade which will specifically tailored to support the iraqi civil development. we have already begun to drawdown our forces without sacrificing security. from over 143,500 troops and 14 brigade combat teams on the ground in january we have approximately 124,000 groups and 11 combat teams operating in iraq today. by the end of october i believe we will be down to 120,000 troops in iraq. as we go forward we both then airlines across iraq in order to reduce the risk and sustains the ability to read liver transition of responsibilities to the iraqi security forces. we have already reduced their base footprint by over 200 basis so far and will continue to close bases systematically in
iraq. we have also reduced their contract of footprints from 149,000 in january to just over 115,000 contractors today saving over $441 million this year. on one january, 2010 we are combining six had quarter elements of multinational force iraq into a single headquarters called united states forces iraq. this will reduce our headquarters forestructure by 40% while maintaining the overall capacity to command-and-control the force as we transition more and more responsibility to the government of iraq to the end of the mission in 2011. over the course of this campaign non-lethal operations have been critical to our success as we change our mission in continue to drawdown they will become even more vital. i am referring to emergency response program in information
operations both of which have paid huge dividends so far. this past spring following the seating of the provincial governments multinational force iraq in concert with the state department let provincial reconstruction teams and the newly elected the iraqi provincial leaders focused monies on project designed to meet the central needs of the iraqi people for khuzestan security gains and support for provincial governments-- governance development. search remains a critical enabler that we are using judiciously. in jen we return 20070-- $247 million of sir money ended the ended the year we will return another $135 million of sir money. as we begin a responsible drawdown of forces in change of mission in mid to late fiscal year 2010 through fiscal year 2011 we expect tierney to reduce however serbs will remain a critical and abler for the
stabilization and their research expenditures in the future will remain within the approved categories that have already been discussed. information operations has also been a vital component of our overall operations in defeating violent extremist groups to themselves use emerging media conduits to recruit solicit funding insure their ideology. r.n. formation operations have complemented partly full operations to save lives contributed to host nation's stability promoted support for democratic processes and the rule of law. and reduce the level of violence. yet we are engaged with adversaries who continue to exploit the information space to try and reverse sardines. i cannot overstate the importance of information operations in achieving our national goals in iraq. over the years the environment and thread of change as we have
adapted their strategy from protecting the people in the counterinsurgency fight to concentrating in developing the iraqi capacity. given the hard fought security gains were transitioning to stability operations and we will continue to responsibly transfer responsibilities to the government of iraq, the iraqi security forces in the u.s. embassy in baghdad. through the focus of our forces in shifting from security to capacity building our strategic goal remains to foster a long-term partnership with a sovereign stables self-reliant iraq. we have a good plan that we are executing and i am confident in their way ahead. iraqis say state and society under construction, struggling to define its identity and its place in the world after decades of oppression and violence. the way in which we drawdown our
forces will impact of only the relationship between the u.s. and iraq into the future but also the nature of the new iraq. our presence there 2011 provide psychological and physical support to the iraqi people, the government of iraq in the iraqi security forces. it provides the opportunity for different groups to build up their constituencies, to participate in politics, to form alliances and reach consensus. the level and nature of u.s. slinkys met with the iraqis will continue to change as the u.s. military draws down. iraq is making steady progress but as ale lung way to go. we must have strategic patients. through the framework agreement united states has a mechanism for supporting iraq to develop its institutionalist human capacity. success will be defined by our ability to support iraq developing capacity from
governance to economics that will sustain the iraq's long-term stability. the iraqi security forces have made steady progress and our efforts over the next two and a half years will help solidify the foundation of a professional and competent iraqis security force. we must leave iraq with security forces capable of defending the mbeki people in protecting their institutions. i close as i begin by recognizing soldiers' sailors airmen marines coast guard mendon civilians currently serving in iraq. these great patriots and their families have made tremendous sacrifices on behalf of our nation. they have made a positive difference in the lives of millions of americans and-- excuse me, they have made positive differences in the lives of millions and all-american should take pride in their accomplishments. not long ago iraq was a society burdened by seamlessly endless cycles of violence and
destruction. today it is buoyed by a tremendous sense of hope for a bright and prosperous future as the iraqi's prepare for their national elections. elections that will determine the future direction of iraq. having demonstrated tremendous resiliency i believe the iraq people are determined to make iraq something very different from what it once was. we have invested an awful lot in iraq. both from the monetary standpoint and from our personal investment of the many lives of those who have been killed and injured in iraq and i think we have a true opportunity to have success so it is important i think that we continue along the line we are so thank you so much for the support that you have given us in the past and the support i expect he will continue to give us as we move forward. thank you very much mr. chairman. >> general, thank you for your
very thorough and positive report to us and we welcome your presence here today and thank you for your great contribution. general, in your opinion how fast can we responsibly redeploy our troops from that country and gaziano our military has been greatly stressed over the past several years. and, we potentially face increase demand for troops in afghanistan, so what are the risks in speeding up the redeployment of troops from iraq? >> again, as we continue to look at the competing demands, first my responsibility as you have stated mr. chairman is to present to my chain of command with the risks are inside of iraq as we drawdown our forces and as i stated the important part is that we do not want to
lose the security progress that has been made. the physical and psychological presence of u.s. forces helps significantly as iraq continues to move forward so what we don't want to do is we don't want to see what i mentioned as the drivers of instability caused by the reduction in the confidence of the iraqi people and moving forward with developing through nascent democracy. we have to ensure that we don't take enough risk were ethnosectarian violence is able to continue for example lobert erred kurd tensions or that we don't allow al qaeda and some of the outside external influences by iran and others to cause violence inside of iraq that will cause the iraqi political system to fall, so those are the risks. the plan we have i believe allows us to withdraw deliberately and maintain what i believe is appropriate level of security that the iraqi security
forces ultimately can sustain and continue to improve. that said, we worked very carefully, i work carefully with general petraeus in order to identify any capabilities that we have in no longer need that could be used in afghanistan we will not require -- within our plan i have flexibility to speed up if i think the situation on the ground allows it or to slow down. and we will continue -- i will continue to make those judgments as we move forward. as i announced, we'll probably be down about 120,000 strength by the end of october. that's a bit faster than we originally planned. that's based on the improvement that we've seen out in unbar province where we have replaced not just one brigade but two brigades. we continue to see progress on the ground and we will continue
to do that. i have to delicately do this without losing the gains we've made while understanding that i cannot have forces there that are not being used efficiently. >> general, the country of iran has been in the news a great deal lately. what influence does that country have on your efforts in iraq? >> well, obviously, as a neighbor, iran, all neighboring country's have influence inside iraq. what we want overall is an iran that wants positive influence inside of iraq. unfortunately we still see some malign intent with iran as we continue to see training conducted in iran of iranian surrogates that now can come back into iraq. we still continue to uncover large cashes of rockets and some
explosive form projectiles made in iran. we continue to see potential teerns in the political process inside of iraq -- interference in the political process inside of iraq. so those are concerns. es f iraq so those obviously our concerns. the good part about this is that the iraqis security forces are uncovering many of these elements in southern iraq. they have continued to go after these caches and individuals who let been trained in side of iran so that is a positive aspect but it is still very much a concern that they continue to fund and conduct operations of surrogate elements inside of iraq. >> it appears that the future polls for success in iraq is the upcoming elections.
from your vantage point today, do you see that in a positive light? >> i think these elections are extremely important for the government of iraq and i do believe they will occur in a safe manner as they look at it today. the important part about these elections is that this is the first election that will be conducted fully by the iraqis. they will be conducted by the hi electoral commission and this election will be conducted and secured by the iraqis with just training and advice and assistance. we will see i believe a turnout among all iraqis elements, all religious groups, people from all areas of iraq so i think it will be critical to the future of iraq but we are seeing many coalitions formed. the last count there were almost 300 political parties that had registered for these elections. i think that is important to
show how much these elections mean to the iraqi people in the interest that has been shown, so i believe that these elections will occur. they will occur on time and hopefully the iraqis will pass an election law here in the next several days ago we know they are working very hard to do that but these elections are important. those who are elected will set the stage for iraq over the next several years whether they continue to move towards democratic process and an open economy or not because of these will be very important elections for iraq in the future of iraq. >> mr. mckeon. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you again general for your statement and you know as well as anyone the sacrifice our country is made in bringing stability to iraq. ..
explain why it is necessary to keep a residual force in iraq until the end of 2011 and even beyond. >> thank you, congressman mckeon. i would just say, as you look at the geographic location of iraq, you notice the strategic importance of it. it is strategically placed within the middle east. it is placed between iran and the persian shia -- or iran and the suni arab west and southern partners, and iraq has always been a country that represents all of the middle east with its
population. iraq is moving toward a nation's democracy. it wants to move toward an open economy. and the ability that it would have to potentially have to contribute to stability in the middle east in the long term, in my mind, is strategically important to us. and we can't lose site of that. we have an opportunity here to have a long-term strategic partner. to the iraqis the strategic framework agreement which i discussed in my opening statement is important to them because that will help to develop a long-term relationship with the united states. an economic relationship, a security relationship, an educational relationship, technological exchanges. that's important to them as they want to move forward as a country that is respected as a democracy and can continue to develop its own economy with the vast resources that it has available to it. ct a democracy and can continue to develop its
own economy with vast resources it has available. but it is yet been able to take advantage. and so i think for those factors its important for us to stay engaged. we have spent else i said earlier a lot of money. we have spent a lot of personal sacrifice inside of iraq and security is headed in the right direction. we want to give them the time and space. some leading combat forces by september 1st, 2010 allows them to go through the elections, allows them to seek their new government and then allowing forces to stay there through 2011 allows them to continue to build symbol capacity so we can take advantage of the opportunities that we think iraq brings to stability. >> thank you, general. every four years we hold an election to determine our
president. we do that in november, and we understand that the president is sworn in in january and it seems to be a very, for a couple of hundred years we have done that very well. maybe you could explain the timeline of how the election of works. they have a different system of government and the election will be held in january but it will take a while to establish a government. perhaps you could explain that. >> i will walk through the general terms. first, again by the constitution the election is supposed to occur no later than the 31st of january. right now is scheduled for the 16th of january pending the passing of bill law. once it is completed 45 days to
certify and so what happens is we will have hundreds of international observers, maybe thousands, this could be quite a few international observers as well as the iraqi electoral commission will certify, take all complaints and then they will deem the elections to be credible legitimate or not. that takes 45 days. once that happens you have 30 days to begin the formation of ceding the council of representatives. you then have another 30 days to select the leadership presidency and another time period to select the prime minister and speaker so within that time period we expect it will take from january until june or so, maybe july to seek the new government. a and 2005 following the elections, the elections are in december in of the government will see to it in may of 2005. this is the parliamentary system of government and it just takes
time for them to do this. so is -- there are time lines on it. they will follow the time lines strictly but it will take time to seat the government. >> based on the timeline you are comfortable with keeping combat troops in the country until august and that will be sufficient in your -- your comfortable being able to pull them out securely at that time? >> i do. i look at the first 60 days or so following the election as the most critical time if we think there might be some violence as the results are certified. experiences in the past have been if within the 60 days that is when you would see some level of violence so that allows us to make sure we believe this will be a peaceful transition of power which we expect but that will allow us to ensure this peaceful transition of power and their allowance to draw down as
they see the government down to a level of 50,000 by the end of august. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. ortiz. >> thank you, mr. chairman, general, mr. secretary, we appreciate your service. the gao suggested there is a breakdown between the army's central command and on the movement of iraq. for its simple but gao stated that equipment has not been completed nor have any communicated with each other how they are going to accelerate the movement of troops out of iraq. in your opinion are you concerned this would increase the time required for all deployment of forces and ultimately impact unit readiness and durham forces in kuwait have
the resources available to support our troops out of iraq and what role, if any, would turkey play and the redeployment of forces? leedy you can give a little -- >> thank you, congressman. i can answer some of those questions and i will. first of all, if we have been planning for the redeployment of forces and equipment for some time now. in iraq i have a cell that has been established about six months that has representatives from centcom, from the army, navy, air force, marines that we have coordinated the movement of all equipment and personnel out of the theater. we have done a complete inventory of all the equipment that is an iraq and we
understand why we have in iraq and that immediately within the cell gets transmitted to the services and to centcom in order for them to decide how this equipment will be distributed whether it comes back to the united states or goes somewhere else so i feel confident we have a good handle on this. we've already started moving equipment out that we believe is no longer needed based on the withdrawal of some of the forces already in all the change in the mission we have and we have already sent out over 150,000 pieces of equipment from iraq so we continue to do this on a regular basis. we plan on in some ways using -- we are taking a look at equipment going through turkey as well as jordan now as well as kuwait and we are now actually sending some equipment through jordan as well as through
kuwait. we toward it carefully with army central command who is responsible for the logistics support inside of kuwait. they are also represented in the cell we have established and we know what the capacity is. we have planned this in such a way a word we deployment fits within the capacity that is established for both people and equipment. >> and i know that for some time years back you were utilizing a lot of the national guard equipment because of the damage to some of the regular army equipment. are you still -- do you still have a lot of equipment that belongs to the national guard? >> congressman i can't tell how much we have been over the years we have deployed and redeployed units out of iraq we continue to rotate equipment through iraq depending on that the usage as you pointed out is why don't know the exact figure but i am
certain there is national guard equipment inside of iraq so what will happen is again we have identified all of this equipment transmitted back to the surface and most of it is army equipment so most of it back to the army materiel command and they then will provide distribution instructions and actually we will ship the equipment to kuwait or jordan then they will ship it back to the units of its origin or some other destination if they decide there is!(her. if they decide there is!(her. the decision will be in the pentagon between the joint staff, secretary defense and services on where exactly the equipment those. mr. sherman. >> let me point out in front of each member is the timeline for
each questioner which is a new experience mr. wilson? i appreciate your leadership. i've two sons serving in iraq. the reason i felt so comfortable about their services person's iq, capable american military leadership. it is reassuring. i'm so grateful for our troops serving currently. they're making a difference defeating terrorists overseas. my question, and it is similar to my good friend's, solomon, it is relative to equipment. as you execute redeployment personnel and equipment from iraq, to what point is it reasonable to move that equipment to afghanistan? are we fully capitalizing on that opportunity?
>> we are. let me give you an example what happened recently. we had nine sets of ground clearance equipment that we no longer needed, and we expedited the movement of that equipment to afghanistan. ed that we no longer needed and we expedited the movement of that equipment to afghanistan. so we identified key pieces that are no longer needed in iraq that are needed in afghanistan and they move quickly. that is completely coordinated through central command with general petraeus and his team as we move back and forth. so absolutely we identified the critical pieces of equipment that are needed. we have moved some engineer and aviation and equipment out well from iraq to afghanistan as the need for it has reduced.
and we will continue to do this as we move forward. >> i am particularly interested in uav and i hope each one that could be moved will be moved. it gives such protection to our troops and allies. general, i understand the relationship between the iraqi security forces is more positive than the media portrays in fact on our tour we went where my son served for a year and visited with your personnel and iraqi security personnel in the same room working together it was just startling to me. then we had the opportunity to see the new iraqi special forces and they have the latest most modern equipment. i also notice the have m to 49 weapons made by f m n my constituents. they are proud to make and iraqi allies. what is your assessment of the relationship and what measures
can be taken to further improve communication and cooperation? >> first, you know, i will say over the last three years specifically following the surge of forces the partnerships that have been developed and relationships developed have been extremely strong with iraqi security forces from private up to the minister of defense minister of interior. in every operational command and every provincial joint award nations, the ones that collect all the information we have, joint commands operating in every one of those. there are always some anecdotal stories we will tell you that maybe there's not good relationships but i will tell you the strength of the relationships between our leaders and their leaders continue today as we continue to support them as they move forward and the large majority of iraqi leaders are appreciative of the support that we continue to give the house we
move forward here and as they take more and more responsibility for security. >> it is extraordinary as we were their congressman patrick murphy was on the kodel and had served in iraq and looked like he couldn't wait to join the iraqi special forces. mr. secretary, as military forces to all down in number and the transition to iraq, what support do you expect from the state department in your opinion are the department of defense and state department role clearly defined? >> the national security council is a process under way to manage the transition of certain responsibilities from the department of defense to the department state and one of these will be assistance to iraqi police force is over time and i believe that process is well under way. >> and finally on a story with congressman henry one time seeing the training of the iraqi police he was in the middle and
i thought it was dangerous. they were all practicing english. it is just a great experience. thank you. i appreciate your testimony. >> if i could add to the last comment. we are in the process of free developing between the u.s. embassy and multinational force focused entirely on transitioning responsibilities to the embassy as well as government of iraq as we withdraw forces in 2010 and 2011 and we plan on publishing this sometime around the first of the year that will identify the deliverable and specifically what we transition to the u.s. embassy, who has responsibility and what transitions to the government of iraq because this is important for the continued success post. >> i thank the gentleman. the gentleman is sanchez. -- before gentleman once again,
secretary, general, for being before us and for the work you do for the country. you are right the troops are doing a great job. i get a lot of e-mails and information and calls about what is going on on the ground and i know general you and i usually have disagreement what is happening out there and iraq and i keep usually i am closer to what is the way they and you, let me put for the record i do believe we are getting out. we are getting out of dodge and we are going to get it done sooner rather than and that means we really are looking at our state department and other departments to get the other worked on as we withdraw our troops. general and mr. secretary, i would like both of you to answer this question. general, at the end of july, you and secretary gates visited with kurdish leaders and you were widely quoted as saying that the arab curtis pensions over disputed internal boundaries and national petroleum policy were
the biggest problem facing iraq, in fact you said arab, kurd tensions are the number one driver of insecurity. it this morning when you began and talked about the drivers you didn't mention this. so my questions are to reduce still believe that the number one driver is in security or do you still think it's up there and what measures have been taken to manage and reduce the tensions going on, and of course article 140 of the constitution of iraq provides a process of normalization, census and referendum to determine the final boundaries of the kurdish region within a space process. but some have said to me that they think the u.s. has to be more active in getting this one for the article issue down, this process donner. in fact when i asked secretary gates in front of this committee, he said the u.s.
supports article 140 so my question is how involved are we in that? what are we doing to push the slides to get to a resolution under the constitution and if in fact we are going to have a response will withdraw, don't you think that getting the article 140 process don is almost a precondition to be able to move troops and make sure these ethnic issues are taken care of? and why is 140 stalled and what are we doing to move in the right direction? >> thank you, congresswoman. i still believe arab per detention as the number one stability in iraq. i might not have mentioned it was number one. and this is long standing
problems over land and resources and the distribution of those in these key areas that have been going on for hundreds of years between the kurds and arab populations. the article 140 process back in december of 07 actually didn't get finished by december of 07 bridges to date in the constitution supposed to be finished and what happened is we formed a human, the u.n. took over trying to renegotiate and get the sides together so we have a u.n. commission now that is working very hard between the government of iraq and kurdistan of regional government to try to come to some agreement with these difficult issues regarding disputed areas in terms of boundaries as well as sharing of hydrocarbon and resources. so what we are doing is we are fully in support of that effort. we support the u.n. and engage
with the government of iraq and krg on these issues to make sure they continue to participate in this process and this process ultimately will hopefully follow and cause the implementation of the 140, article 140 and resolution of these issues. in addition we are attempting to work with the government of iraqi kurdistan government to release tension in the area. over the last year or so on several cases it is the u.s. forces who have helped reduce tensions between the groups. we now have been in discussion and they are trying to come up with anwe architecture, securiy architecture that will reduce tension between the arabs and kurds so we will be at such a level everybody understands that they will solve this problem through the political process these of the u.n.. this is something iraq talks to solve. this is a problem the iraqi scud assault. we have to be engaged at all levels and will continue to be.
>> i thank the gentlelady. mr. franks? >> thank you, mr. chairman and general odierno thank you. mr. secretary, you know, general, i remember not so long ago fleeing across iraq and pitch darkness in a black hawk helicopter about 150 feet off the ground and my memory is clear i was much more disconcerted about that than you were and i just appreciate soldier of freedom you are. i am convinced when the day comes and we get out of college the streets will be safer because you passed that way and no one knows the future. no one knows what will happen in iraq. i suppose there are two people that predict the future, those who don't know and those who don't know they don't know. that said i think that you have given iraq a chance to live in freedom and may have bought a
beach head of the freedom to the middle east that could help all of humanity turn in a better direction and what ever happens beyond doubt i certainly salute you for your noble service. i suppose my first question is to some degree of long chairman skelton's question, but it has to do with power vacuums. i know it's been said u.s. presence, if it disappears, that there will be powered wrecking that could occur. mahmoud ahmadinejad has been quoted as saying, quote, the political power of the occupiers as collapsing rapidly. soon we will see a power vacuum in the region. of course we are prepared to fill the gap with help of our neighbors and regional since like saudi arabia and with the help of the iraqi nation, and of quote. i know that iran has been implicated very clearly making the explosive formed penetrator is one of the great dangers to
the troops, and i guess taking into account the potential regional influence that iran may have, how close relationship do you envision iraq and iran have been and what great concern should that be when we are discussing the type of u.s. forces that should remain in iraq for on going stability? >> first i think we must realize iran and iraq are neighbors and are going to have a relationship. the one thing over time i have learned is iraqis are nationalists. they don't want anyone interfering in their politics and they want iraq to be for iraq, and i think it is important to remember that as we move forward. again, i think the important part is about the term the president used in his strategy responsible drawdown and that is why it is important to do it slowly, deliberately so we are
able to drill down such a way iraqi security forces continue to grow all the other civil capacity builders continue to grow and that allows iraq to stand up as a country who can resist some of these outside forces who might have attempted to have on do influence. that is also why it is important to have a long-term relationship with iraq so those are the keys as we move forward. >> i suppose it is the obvious follow up. you said closing in your testimony we must leave iraq with security force capable of defending the iraqi people and protecting the government of iraqi institutions. obviously that is long-term goal we all want a i think of jerry congress on your back this whole time, so i want to make sure that you listen. >> it is about strategic
patients. even after relieved in 2011, we cannot say, "ok, iraq is finished and." we need support to build capacity. we also need to continue to support them in some way beyond 2011, not by having troops, but by helping them continue to develop their institutions. we can have an influence on that. so we need to make sure we allow about to do that. ultimately, that will contribute to our own security and instability -- stability in the region. >> thank you. i think it's for your commitment to american freedom. my babies will have a better life because of people like you. i appreciate it. >> thank you for being here and
for your outstanding work in helping turn the situation around. we appreciate that. tion around and we appreciate that. i want to ask about "the wall street journal" report yesterday that the iraqi is are having difficulty with their budget crunch and oil prices decreasing and purchasing equipment they had already requested from the u.s. government, and there are a number of issues combined with that. how difficult and how high of a priority is it for us to get this straight, and are their policies in fact we should be looking at right now that would allow them to purchase more of those in advance? >> i think it's very important we have been working this for quite some time. first the iraqi budget because the price of oil the budget has decreased quite significantly.
their combined budget is about $10 billion a year about 85% of that is fixed, nondiscretionary and has to do with salaries and other things so that leaves a very small piece left to invest in modernization. they've already purchased several things such as petrol boats and many other army and air force equipment that they have to still pay so almost all of their even discretionary income is taking up. what i want to be able to do is assist them by using stay behind equipment a potentially leaving for them as well as improving their ability to not have to pay all costs up front for foreign military sales when they can spread it over a longer time period. >> as understand, they don't need a number of the criteria we have. >> that is exactly right. the imf bank house to certify them and of course they are
trying to get through the certification by having enough reserves so they get certified. it is a very complex problem and we have things competing against each other. so we are trying to come up with different ways to help them get the equipment we think is necessary for them to have a foundational capability by 2011. part of that might be as we have to what we believe is there is about and fiscal year 2010 and 20 less than we have about $3.5 billion we need to help them finish getting the foundational capacity that they need in order to be able to have security by 2011. then we have to continue some sort of f. emineth program through the state department after 2011 and if we are able to do that with that will allow them to build up and have the security and capability necessary to protect themselves. >> thank you. i appreciate that. one of the things that must be
frustrating is violence does continue to flare from time to time, and i notice one of the high ranking iraqi army generals was recently killed as well. it was reported yesterday. what effect does that have in terms of the government, the army -- or is that -- have we gotten so numb to the that it doesn't have impact? >> i think for the iraqis -- first of all, there was a brigade commander yesterday killed up in mosul. it does have an impact. the iraqi security forces, like our forces, understand what their duty at mission ase. and they are very dedicated to providing security to their people, and i have seen many acts of bravery by leaders,
iraqi leaders and soldiers and in a lot of ways they are no different from our soldiers when it comes to that city see that as their mission and are trying to root out these last remnants of al qaeda insurgents in these difficult areas. the last part, congresswoman, we continue to see these attacks against innocent civilians mean nothing to the outcome and all it does is kill innocent people and it is frustrating to us and frustrating to the iraqis and that is what we are trying to stop the inside of iraq now. these bombings that occur although much less frequently they still occur and kill many innocent people and those are the kind we are trying to stop. >> are civilians able to move freely, go and have a cup of tea and a beach in a formal fashion at this point? >> they can, but -- they can in order to meet with iraqi officials i would say you can
but it's still a little bit difficult because they are targets is part of the problem. >> the gentleman from texas, mr. conaway. >> general, thank you for being here this morning and secretary, thank you. general, the touchmarks on your right sleeve indicate deployment away from family and comfort of this country. i can't count them from here. but as a representative of the men and women sitting behind you earned those stripes and their families have in the word during those deployments. thank you very much. we appreciate your service to the country. please pass that on. following up on what susan asked the defense asked for $750 million of legislative authority to get equipment to the iraqi spirit much of that will be excess of equipment. this may be a better question
for the secretary. much of it will be more on excess equipment, equipment we might need and a judge we need in other places. how do we reimburse the services that give that equipment? how do they replace it? is it going to be supplemental? where we find the money to replace the equipment that would otherwise be needed for our armed forces? >> i will let the secretary answer. >> he has been very quiet -- >> we defined in several groups. there is excess equipment that is truly access to all requirements that's not required but there is some equipment that might not be accessed what we determined as it cost more money to send it back than what to leave it there so that is the decision process we go through on this equipment. in terms of the authority and reimbursing i will leave that to the secretary. >> our j4 logistics director is
leading the process right now looking at this issue with the service is about as general odierno said, what the amount of inventory is excess that we could leave in iraq, would cost too much to bring back, how we reimburse the services but also what we would shift elsewhere, for example of their needs, and that process is still underway -- >> i understand, but how do we get the services reimbursed for the equipment -- i have great confidence in your ability to decide which is which and figure out it cost more to ship it home, but how do you read pay -- would be supplemental, additional budget request? where did you guys come up with the money out of services? >> i think that is being worked into the budget process is my understanding, and it will be resolved before then. but i am sorry i don't have a better answer for you right now. >> if you wouldn't like getting back to us on the record. >> i will, sir. >> general, as you live in the agreement now for several months, are there anything about
those agreements that need to be adjusted or tweaked that you need help with a legislative standpoint? is there in terms of filling out the rest of these two or three years that would make it easier for better from your perspective? >> well, i think i will be honest with frankly it has turned out to the and i probably originally thought it would as we walked into this. and it is because again, i go back to the relationships. relationship we have built with government of iraq allowed us to execute this in a fair and appropriate manner. i think we have the authorities that we need inside of the security agreement to execute what we need -- important lipitor iraqis out front of a we are still conducting combat operations we do everything -- that is where we want to be today. because we want to slowly give them more and more responsibility so i feel comfortable so far with the agreement as it is written.
>> one last question as it relates to the risks in january other than them not putting in election laws what other risks do you see that those elections won't come off appropriately? >> as i looked today if we get the election past i believe unless there is some unforeseen event that would happen, and i have trouble getting my arms around with that might be i believe they will occur on time. unless there is something that causes a large amount of sectarian violence to break out between now and then. but i don't see it because the iraqi people don't want to go there. they are tired of that and want to move forward. >> again, thank you for your service and please, can say to the folks how much we appreciate but especially their families because i think a lot of times families do not get dragged on and off what they do to allow you and your team to do what it does. thank you.
i yield back. >> the gentleman from rhode island. >> thank you. general, will come and mr. secretary, welcome to you too. general, your great leadership in iraq i hope you also pass on deep appreciation for all of those you lead of how grateful we are for the sacrifice and service. it general, when you and i had the opportunity to meet when i was there to visit in iraq over the memorial day recess prior to the beginning of the drawdown of troops and in the particular area and you had concern about was an losel. the presence of al qaeda and iraq. can you talk about, giving an update on the current situation there and the strength of insurgent forces and what you have seen as we have started to
withdraw? and also on a broader sense, as we get closer to 2011 and once we have completed the withdrawal of all of our forces can you give assessment but the intelligence sources suggest your assessment conclude is the strength of the -- those that might be waiting for us to leave and their ability to carry out attacks to undo everything we have achieved at this point? >> thank you, congressman. first, with losel mosul. probably the most difficult area in the province because mosul is part of the province it is still the most difficult area however, we are making progress. what we have been able to do as with iraqi security forces is
bonds ability inside the cities that has allowed us to move out slide in the belts of around mosul and also move towards the border with syria which is made it more difficult for foreign fighters and other groups so i think because of that we are starting to see a reduction in the capacity of there. the current concern goes back to their attempt to exploit some of the political fissures where you have some groups such as al qaeda trying to at it might conflict and potentially some shia minority groups and kurdish minority groups. >> is al qaeda the main problem still? >> it is. it is -- again, it's capabilities or degraded but they are still resilient and able to conduct operations. we've been able to cut into
their finance network a bit. but they are like a mafia organization. the export money from small businesses in order to fund their operations. we realize that and we are going after that working with iraqi. we believe if we can go over the funding it will significantly limit what they are able to do. >> of the broad question of those waiting for us to leave and the assessment of their strength and ability. >> the important part is if we can get iraqi security forces as i stated earlier to a level -- they are on the right track. if we continue to progress the next two and a half years and found some of the things they need i believe they will be ready police primacy is probably the one area that would need to continue support zero in 2011.
i think we will have primacy in parts of iraq, but not all parts. >> can you give a little more clarity of the to the troop levels -- each of the troop levels? give us a briefing on that. and again, i understand the role of them will be to train, equip, and support the iraqi security forces. what can we accomplish that is not being done already today? >> what they do -- what it will be able to do that they did not be able to do before is we used to have advisory teams that were
independent. now we have imbedded the brigades. l of these in these brigades so a gives unity of command and effort. fees' brigades control of the training and assist and will be to develop all levels so it will be much more organized, controlled and i believe we will get better results. in addition they will continue to provide security were for the of provincial reconstruction teams and other ngos and you and individuals who want to still work building iraqi civil capacity. so that will be what they do and also always provide protection for the forces, but that will be what they do so we have done is organized them to do that mission. we do some of that today but we organize more combat operations and not training and assist so what we have done is we still have the ability to defend ourselves but they are better organized to do this type of
mission. >> thank you. >> mr. coffman for five minutes. >> general odierno, on a wallace and iraq in 2005, to fill some six with united states marine corps working with sunni arab and civil affairs capacity and one thing i notice from the population they repeatedly expressed concern to me that, the iraqi army at that time working in the area was predominately shia with very few sunnis and the iraqi army and they saw that as an occupation and not force of their own. is there a better integration and the military today? >> the army and police force itself is representative of the population. so, i believe there has been more done to integrate sunni and shia. you don't hear that much anymore. the sons of iraq and to treating
them and security forces out of anbar specifically which we did and early 2007 helped specifically out in anbar and other areas. but we have sunni leaders, shia leaders, kurdish leaders. so i think the army for the most part reflects a good cross section. i still think there's some iraqis will tell you they are concerned about that leaders have not yet been approved by the council of representatives and are selected by the press minister so we have to work our way through that. that is one issue that continues to raise its head as we move forward and continue to work that with them. it's about the representatives enforcing there will based on the constitution. >> thank you, general. another question, when we look at the insurgency today, again when i was there in 2005, 2006 before and fighters were a large part of the insurgency at that time and certainly were al qaeda
linked. how would you describe the insurgency inside iraq today? >> it is much different than it was. first of the numbers and size is significantly less than it was. foreign fighters are coming in at a rate of 90% less than it was back then. there are few that come across every month and once they get in the country have difficulty maneuvering but there are still some coming in. we are seeing a smaller and smaller groups and in some cases i would argue it is moving more toward criminality and insurgency but it is hard sometimes to determine the difference whether it is criminal activity or insurgent activity but some of those have combined because of the insurgency there reconciling coming back from iraq or overtime have been killed or captured. many criminals are now being used in order to attempt to try to conduct some of these
activities and so it is a different understanding of those elements. over all i would just continue to emphasize the security around most of the country is fairly normal. and only a few places to we have serious incidents and many places life has returned to normal inside iraq. >> how do you see the combat support elements of the iraqi and today? read a largely dependent on the united states were increasingly independent? >> they are better but they are still not where the need to be to be completely independent. they still need our support. part of the area that is hurting the iraqis if tech to become a security force is to put a freeze on hiring based on their budget constraints and and nine, ten, and 11 is when they were supposed to build the csis and if they continue to have the freeze the want of the individuals to fill the position
so that as part of the problem. we are working with them to ensure that happens but over all, we have seen improvement. but it's not get where we believe it can be completely independent of providing thus pss. >> , a description of factor today? obviously in 2005, 2006 it was a factor. how would you evaluate today? >> corruption is still problematic, still endemic inside iraq, iraqi society and however we are starting to see i know specifically the interior minister defense they are taking specific steps in order to counter corruption. we have seen the rest of two ministers involved in corruption. we've seen the firing of some generals involved in corruption so they are starting to understand the importance of government officials being
accountable for their actions and the fact that corruption will not be accepted. i still think we will have years for them to solve this problem but they are beginning to move on the right path. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman and general and secretary in july you had pretty much passed the 40 month mark at least when we were deciding you. when they were at the history books of this whole conflict. your service stands out and terms of your persistence and again the fact there are so many empty seats in this room is the ultimate statement how successful you have been. two years ago this topic you couldn't move and a committee hearing room and again i think that by itself says a lot. one of the other things to years ago when general petraeus testified he was joined by
ambassador crocker to sort of report in from iraq and obviously some things have changed. the green zone has now been disbursed in terms of the new u.s. embassy and you are in a different physical location, and as congressman sanchez indicated the political challenges facing iraq are still as much a part of the end game as it was two years ago. how is the relationship between your office or you interact, and what efforts are still being made by ast to keep moving forward on the political and? >> thank you so much for the question. we interact every single day. we probably meet personally three or four times a week. i have an office in the embassy. i also have about 300 people within mnfi that are in support of economic police, training,
other agencies, planning that are there every single day working with the embassies we are completely integrated at every level and continue to be completely integrated. we are updating the campaign plan which is a joint plan between ambassador hill and myself. we are working very hard, very closely together. it's very important because it really is going to sit with the deliverable are as we transition to civilian capacity building once the military completes the capacity building. the way i put it to my people is in 2003 we had the chance to do this and we didn't do it quite right. we have a chance now and have to make sure we have the planning and the deliverable is necessary to make sure this works as we've reduced presence and we are hand in hand during a joint process with the embassy and i feel very comfortable with this. so i believe we have a good system in place.
every meeting i told we have a member of the embassy at the meeting. so i think our relationship is good. ambassador hill and i work closely together on a daily basis. as i tell him the only thing ambassador hill and i disagree with every day is if he is a red sox fan and i yankee fan and besides that we do pretty well. >> i decided at the state department -- to follow-up on senator conaway comment on so far there has been time spent to balance the jurisdiction issues in terms of if there was dispute and how to resolve disputes and i think again, you were talking in july when we were over there about the fact it was still kind of new to people and we were trying to get it on up the street level and rather have it go above. i was wondering -- do you find to have to kind of referee or at least the system requires a referee? >> we are honest brokers is how i would put it in some of these
issues is that sometimes we become the honest broker and the and we will work with both sides to come up with the right solution. those times are becoming less and less but we still have many issues, the honest broker so what we try to do is play a role that allows iraqi to solve it with us facilitating the process for them to solve each problem, and that is a change in mind said we have to have. it's not that we have less leverage, it's that it is different today than what it was and it needs to be different because the security agreement because we recognize their sovereignty and want to build the capacity to solve the problems themselves so it is our responsibility to help insure they solve them in any way we can. >> you mentioned that the money was a substantial sum of money returned. why is it happening? the need isn't there? >> a couple of things. first, some of the money was
originally used to pay the sons of iraq and that was the first to enter a 47 million. the iraqis took over the payment of the sons of iraq so that is why we needed this and turned it over. the other thing is we also had 270 million of iraqi money they gave so we used their money before using our money. so, both of those combinations allow us to turn back some and the other thing is obviously now we are very careful we will not do projects we know we cannot track and make sure they are successfully completed and so sometimes we don't have the capacity to ensure these projects are done properly and finished properly. so i think that all of those contributed to us turning the money back and i want to emphasize it is still a very important program. we still need some money the next few years to do this but it will be a request obviously less than it has been in the past. >> mr. schuster for five minutes.
>> thank you, mr. chairman and general ramallah thanks for serving. my colleague from connecticut said when they read the story about iraq your name will be prominent in that story because in my several trips over i can't remember a time i have not met with you in iraq. this is the first time i think i have seen you out of iraq the last several years again appreciate the service and secretary vickers, we know you are an old hand at afghanistan's a thank you for being here. general, you said in the last trick in june that november, december from january and february will be the key months to months before the election, two months after as to whether we will be able to continue the draw down and i think you mentioned here today that you don't foresee that happening but violence will be one of those things we look at. is that the only thing that would possibly spike violence that would cause you to say to the president lets some slowdown or stop the drawdown? >> i think unless we had some
sort of, you know not only violence but salles may be a collapse of some reason and the government itself which i do not foresee, but it is what we look at as one of those potential points of instability that could cause us to have concern about the seating of the government and successful seeding of this government and will they be able to continue peacefully as we move forward. >> the last election as i recall it took months before they could form a coalition. if they haven't formed a government in february -- >> i think we would have to decide is if we think it will not happen peacefully, and i think i will know that the first 60 days following the elections, if they have trouble forming coalitions doing it peacefully i think we can do it. >> how reverse is the iraqi economy -- how diversified is
the iraqi economy? >> it is not. 97% of revenue comes out of the oil industry right now. in october, there will be an investment conference held here, the 20 its to the 21st, where we have a lot of representatives coming to meet with businessmen. these are the kind of things we have to do to diversify the economy. we still have to work on investment laws that they have to pass. i am hopeful that may be before the october meeting they will pass one of these laws. there is some indication they may be able to do that, but we will have to wait and see. it is important that they develop an atmosphere where businesses have lots of opportunity for investments. - in iraq for investment but it is about does
it have the environment for the investors and we have to continue to help them focus on that. i also believe getting a new government will help. we will see the iraqi government continues to mature. i think the next government will be more mature than the last but they will understand the process more and their role and that will help also work some of these key issues that have to be worked in order to diversify the economy. >> and when you are in the economy diversifying education has to play a key role as well as building representative democracy. what's been happening as far as education? >> first, we just zero weeks ago they reported 6.6 million children would go to school in iraq. the school year just started, end of september, beginning of october and that is the highest number they've had -- to be the highest number of record. i think it is actually the highest number even before 2003
so that is a positive sign the of 6.6 million children in school. the universities are now developing relationships with u.s. universities. we know that some of the grant universities around the u.s. have visited and are conducting regular engagements. the approved $4.5 million in grants for iraqi students to a fulbright scholarship for iraqi students to study around the world mostly in the united states and at western europe so these are all positive steps the starting to be taken that will allow them to continue to educate their population. the iraqi have always been a fairly educated population but there have been some problem based on what's happened here in the aftermath of 2003. but we see that starting to regenerate itself and we are encouraged but there is still quite a bit of work to do. the strategic framework
agreement, this is one of the strong parts of this agreement is the education peace. thank you very much. >> i thank the gentleman. mr. sestak? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, general. two questions, one is a tactical issue. you mentioned we have withdrawn 150,000 pieces of equipment already from iraq. gm says it is 31 million pieces of equipment in iraq. do you really believe we can be totally out of there by the end of 2011 in view of that number attended to that? and do you plan per the army requirements to close up the bases even with environmental requirements? atiyeh no ann curry yet they've been closing them up and put a stop to them because they haven't followed the correct procedures or have we funded for
them are you planning to help expedite this to turn more of those pieces of equipment because it is a large difference , 150,000 to 130 million. .. that we will follow what we agree to in the spirit of the government of iraq on how we turned up with these bases. in some cases, it takes nine to 10 months to do this. the important part is being able to identify this ahead of time in order to have the time.
in addition, many of them will be turned over or closed. >> and you do these in a non- permissive environment? >> we're closed so far at two bases. to we have done that in some cases. >> iran consistently comes to this committee in almost security briefing for southwest asia or the middle east. he spoke a lot of iran. several comments have been made. years i was struck by several comments that have been made. one was by the intelligence agency who said if wire not there bleeding, iran will work for stability in iraq.
the second one was made by general eikenberry as he departed afghanistan as a general. and when asked if iran works towards our same objective, he replayed, yes, they do they want stability there and they don't like al-qaeda because they're sunni. the intelligence committee testified that with regard to foreign policy and security decisions, iran takes a cost-benefit approach rather than a head-long rush to a decision irregardless of cost of benefits to it diplomatic, political and other goals. you have worked -- and you can't miss it in this job and you brought up iran.
what perspective can you provide us? iran will continue to be brought up in almost any security briefing, and you can provide us, rather than, they cause mischief. what can you take away to give us on how to deal with this nation? view of those three statements that say, you know, maybe this nation overall, much like other nations we have had to deal with, has similar goals but comes about it from a different way. >> i would just say first, if we went there to bleed, that they wouldn't conduct attacks, it's hard to say. what i tell you is, i know right now, on a daily basis they conduct attacks on iraqi security forces with no u.s. forces around. so i'm not sure that tracks with that statement. what i would say is, again, i think iraq needs to have a relation -- iran needs to have a
relationship with iraq, but it has to be the right kind of relationship. i think free trade and a relationship that helps with religious activities, et cetera. but again, i think that they have objectives that aren't clear to us. iraq is important to them because of the potential sunni-shi'a issues in the middle east, and iraq falls in the middle of that. so i think there's other ropes -- reasons why they want to be in iraq. >> mr. hunter. >> if the secretary could just answer -- >> just win community on afghanistan. they're -- meddling there is less than iraq but they support sunni groups. >> i didn't catch this. thank you very much. mr. hunter, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first, mr. vickers, i know you
through reputation. thanks for your work on the doctrine that is been invented for afghanistan. and thanks for letting us walk up to the men and women who have served in iraq and say, thanks for winning this. those important. the first question is, if you could both put your heads together and say, i think we have been through two and a half, maybe three generals, in afghanistan, from the time you have been in charge of iraq. what lessons learned would you like to see brought over to afghanistan from iraq you haven't seen? >> i would just say, i have spent large majority of the last several years in iraq, so i don't pretend to understand the environment in afghanistan. in order to understand what could be aapplicable in
afghanistan versus iraq, and you have to understand the environment and the social, economic, political, military issues that underpin the reason why violence is occurring. so, the one thing -- and from what i have seen, general mcchrystal is doing exactly that, outlying the underlying factors causing the instability inside of afghanistan. you have to take a whole government approach to solve those problems. i can tell you that from everything i have read, he understands that completely and understands the fact it's a complete approach that has to be taken to solve the problem there, just like we needed to do that in order to solve the problem in iraq, and will continue to need to do that until we leave in the end of 2011. >> let me ask a quick followup. do you think you would have seen success in iraq you have seen
now if you did not have the surge? >> well, again, i would say obviously the surge of forces in iraq helped us to create the security environment we have now, along with many other things. the one thing i tell everyone with the surge in iraq, it was not just about the surge of forces. it was about the change in our tactics and procedures. it was about a surge of the state department people as well in order to create provincial -- impredded provincial reconstruction teams. it was about an outreach program though sunni insurgents and forming the sons of iraq. it was about understanding what was causing the underlying impacts and that we tried to go after these using a combination of military capacity and others. so that's what i learned in
terms of surge. >> a lot of things happened, but you wouldn't have been able to do it without the increased security to allow those things to take place. >> the surge of forces clearly had the impact on the ability to improve the security inside of iraq. >> mr. vickers, the first question, lessons learned, without being critical. i know ttps are different in iraq and afghanistan, different people, different violence, different area, actual terrain. so if you can take something from iraq and put it in afghanistan, maybe systems of lessons learned, ways that we did things there that we are not doing in afghanistan, what would it be? >> first, the difference, the insurgence is more rural based, it's a pashtun based insurgency in the south and east. and the critical importance of the sanctuary that afghan insurgents enjoy in pakistan. they also receive more funding
from external sources than iraqi insurgents did more internally. that said, there are common principles in counterinsurgency that can be transported, and i think general mcchrystal is doing that now. the focus on protecting the population is a core mission for forces, and the integration of all elements of power, the whole government approach as general odierno talked beside. and counterterrorism and counternarcotics, has done very well in iraq. as you know, we have a major review going on right now at the white house over the afghanistan strategy and that's as much as i would like to say now. >> thank you both for your service, and thanks for winning, once again, general. >> gentlemen, we have mr. taylor
and dr. snyder. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, gentlemen, for being here. i was unable to be here earlier, general odierno, but in your written statement, on page seven, you talk about nonlee that operation and force multiplier, and you talk about the information operation. there's very little mention of the provincial reconstruction teams. do you not consider them in that category? 00 -- a reason why you didn't discuss them? >> they're absolutely critical to what we do. the provincial reconstruction teams were a key piece in the surge, allowing to us get out and reach and build civil capacity, and it continues to be very important. >> how is that working as you have transitioned? you mentioned the number of bases that
be >> the plan that we have, we have 27 locations, some are satellite locations. we provide security in all of those areas. when we plan our drawdown, one consideration in place is a breach of provincial reconstruction teams. we have court made it hard to do this so they will maintain a significant number. we will be able to continue one of the main missions of the advisory system, to provide security for the reconstruction teams to make sure they have the access. >> you do not perceive that of some point it will have iraqi troops for security? >> we will turn that over to them, so post-2011, they will be able to do that. that will be part of the process. >> you mentioned economic
investment from abroad. what is the current status in terms of the diaspora -- are iraqis returning, not returning? >> they are returning, but in very small numbers. . but in small numbers. >> do the ones outside the borders participate in the elections? >> in 2005 they participated in the election. they will develop what countries they will provide the opportunity for those not in iraq to vote. that will be part of the election laws. >> we focus a lot here in the -- and the american people do, too on troop strength, i think probably sometimes to our detriment and we should focus on the afghanistan and a whole lot of other things. but i wanted to ask, there are any limits or considerations
with regard to u.s. government civilian numbers? i assume those numbers are relatively small. you mentioned civilian contractors have come down substantially. a whole lot smaller number of u.s. civilian numbers there. is that a number you're following? and which way is that going. >> the ambassador tracks the civilians working on the state department side. as part of our contracts we have some american citizens who work and i do track that in terms of the state department side, they -- we do watch that. they are -- what they're trying to determine as part of the joint campaign, they're determining the number need as we transition. and i think that number will not go down. i think it will stay what it is now. and in fact some cases have to come up. if they take over the police
training, they will need more civilians. >> are you satisfied with the level of morale of our troops? >> as i go around i'm very satisfied. i talk to them all the time. re-enliftments are over 100 mtv -- mtv -- >> s a you have closed bases, are you satisfied with the ability to rapidly do medical evacuations of wounded troops? >> about once every two weeks i get an update on our ability to conduct medical evacuation. i am absolutely confident that we can provide medical evacuation for all of our soldiers, sailors and marines.
>> does iraq have any helicopter and helicopter pilots that do evacuation? >> they have the ability but it's small. >> thank you, general. >> mr. taylor. >> general, like everyone else in this room, on behalf of the people of mississippi, we're very grateful for what you have done and continue to do over in, and the many years of your life you devoted to this effort in iraq. i have always been impressed by the brilliance of whoever discovered the sensible act policy, and literally found out that for a fairly small amount of money we can take people who were shooting at to us become our defenders. since that has been such a successful program, you covered that in your testimony -- what steps are being taken to see to it that those people who are now on our side remain on the side
of the government of iraq? do they recognize the significance out what has happened? what steps have they taken to keep them on the payroll or fine some other job in the iraqi government for them? >> thank you, congressman. the government of iraq does understand the importance. they have a plan in place to -- a list of all the names of sons of iraq, and they showed us the list that some will goes to this ministry, some will go to the local government, and laid it all out. so we're going to begin to execute that. and what's interesting is after the bottommings in august in baghdad, the commander said, i want to slow down the movement of the sons of iraq. i want to keep them on longer
because of what they do for us in order to help us with the security. so they made the decision to keep them on longer. i think that shows first the recognition of the senior commanders how the important the sons of iraq are to security, and secondly, i believe they will transition them and take care of them. in 2009, when they head the budget cuts, the only line that was not cut was the sons of iraq. so those are all positive signs. what i have to make sure happens is they will not get them all transitioned by the end of 2001, we -- 2009, we have to make sure it's done by 2010. >> i didn't see in your prepared remarks, but obviously one sign of things getting back to normal would be electricity to the average iraqi. and i know -- have we gotten to
the point where they have reached pre-war levels levels of electricity to the average citizen? >> actually, they're above pre-war levels. they're approving 155,000 mega watts. that's a 20-% increase from last year, and they have less units going offline. so they're able to maintain a more stable grid. that said, although they're producing more electricity, they still have problems with distribution. and so they have some problems in some areas of distributing electricity to all the people. so my guess is you will run into some iraquis who have yet to see an increase. the other problem is demand has increased five-fold since 2003, which is a sign of freedom and puts more pressure on the government of iraq to provide more and more electricity. >> i guess lastly, i'm going to ask you to look out in the
future. it is my impression from several thousand miles away that we have replaced a strong, brutal thug with more of a distribution of the powers amongst the shaikhs, and if you had to say it would look more like the magna carta than the declaration of independence or the united states constitution. i was curious in your opinion, do you think it remains for the foreseeable future to have a power-sharing agreement amongst the shaikhs? how do you see their political system going forward? >> i think it's style be determined. but what i would say is, what we are seeing is following the provincial elections this year, where people want to see more of a nationalistic government. i think as we see the new
alliances form, they're reaching out. just not a shi'a alliance, it will be shi'a plus sunnies and and maliki will be an alliance with many different groups. so i think that's extremely positive they have recognized the fact, to be successful you have to have more than one representative of one area of the people inside of iraq. >> thank you again for your service. >> ms. giffords. >> thank you for your time to come here and for your service to our nation. unfortunately i wasn't here for most of the hearing, but i had a chance to read your testimony. and you talk about military families and their unwavering service and their sacrifice amp lot of strategic questions have been asked, but i would like to talk about families. as a military spouse myself, i
had a chance to meet with military families and learn about the unspoken heroes, the real stories of hardship that happens behind the scenes. i remember when i met you in iraq and you talked about your wife and how if you lose the families, you lose the soldiers, the sailors, airmen and marines. so could you talk about what -- our efforts to draw down, the changing stresses on the service members and their families? >> i think what we're trying to do, obviously, is reduce the time between deployment -- i mean increase the time between deployments, and because we all know -- all of us, and all the people sitting behind me, they have all been on several deployment is, and although we tend to play off what that really means, we know there's an impact on every single person
who deploys, and you need a time to recover from that deployment. if you're not given enough time, it can impact the soldier the -- soldier and the family. so we have to increase the time between deployment. build the relationships and allow time for them to recoup and recover with their families. we also have to realize the impact these deployments have on a single parent because you become a single parent for a long time and that's the part we miss. we think about the soldiers. we forget about the impact of the wives and husbands who become single parents for very long periods of time. you sometimes during very difficult times for the children. so i still think there's some work we have to do along those lines. i know the army and the marine corps constantly look at it.
but the strength of our families, you rely on that so much without giving them asi -- assistance, and it's something we have to keep our eye on. >> general, obviously we look forward to your suggestions. we were able to implement through the wounded warriors assistant act help for soldiers that were getting out of the military. i think when i last saw you, there was a -- i wouldn't say epidemic but a strong spike in the number of suicide, particularly in the army. i know you talked about implement something programs there in iraq, but can you talk about whether or not those were successful? >> we haven't had a suicide in # 0 days. -- 60 days but i think we might
have had one last night. but i think we have started to see some of these programs take hold. the fact we have more counselors, the fact we have more awareness. it's about lead evership awareness and learning to recognize when an individual is having problems. i'm seeing progress in iraq itself. i can't speak for the army as a whole but i can speak about iraq. but we still have too many. what's disappointing to me, it's not because people don't care. when you break down a suicide, you always find there's three or four place if somebody intervened we could have stopped the act from happening. so we have to understand where those intervention points are and then do it so we save a life, and that's what we have to work on. >> mr. chairman, there's incredibly strong bipartisan support for the service members and the families, but we look to
you, those commanding officers in the field to let us know what is working and not working. so having feedback is important. in closing, i have to thank you for your willingness to reach out to the colbert show. this is a population that wouldn't be paying attention to day-to-day operations in iraq but putting a real face on how hard it is, and what the service members go through, and of course it was a comedy >> thank you. and i think he's due for another haircut, i'm not sure. >> i think so too. >> we'll make judicial notice of the fact. i have mr. coffman who wants a second round. >> thank you. >> as a former military spouse i'd like to associate myself with the remarks of congressman gifford and thank you for the time you're giving to these military men and women who have carried the burden so long for
the rest of us, so, thank you. i wanted to talk to you about a conversation that i had with general petraeus this year when i was talking about the electrocution deaths some of of our soldiers. i believe that the investigation was supposed to end right about now, but, again, comes horrible news about a former military man who came as a contact to mr. iraq, mr. hermanson and he was recently electrocuted and so i have a couple questions for you, general. first, of all, was his facility inspected or were you only inspecting the facilities that the soldiers occupied? >> it was not inspected. what happens is that as a contractor it's the responsibility of the contractor to ensure they have adequate facilities, so we were not inspecting those facilities, however, since that incident we have sent task force safe over to first outline to all the
contractors what's expected of them in terms of proper safety requirements and we've also offered them any assistance that they might need with task force safe to go look at all of their facilities to ensure they're in line with what we believe to be safe structures and look at all their facilities so make sure they're in line with safe structures. >> since we we knew we were havg trouble with contractors, why was the decision made to not inspect. >> i don't think we made conscious decision not to inspect. what we focused on was the department of defense personnel and i think as we continue to expand this, we will look, but there are some contractual issues so we have to look at this to see what we can do. so we are working through this
now. this obviously highlightes a problem we all didn't understand at the time, and so we continue to work it. we are working the problem now but we have to go through legal reviews. we have offered some initial assistance so we don't have repeat events. but many contractors have facilities that sometimes aren't even under the department of defense. i think this one was under the department of state contract as well. so that throws in a whole nuther issue. we want to get rid of the bureaucracy and save the lives of the people that are working. >> these men and women serve this country as well. know many of them had access to the medical care that the military was providing, and so clearly there was some crossing over there. if they felt comfortable and not even reimbursing, as you recall,
i'm sure. i just can't understand what happened there any other services provided for the people in those building? >> i have to get back with you. >> i would appreciate that. one last question. can you comment on how the department of defense has declined to investigate the apparent electrocution of the department of defense contractor? >> again, i have to go ahead and take a look at that and see exactly what happened. okay? i will get you an answer back on that. >> i would appreciate that. file very certain when that family sent their loved one over to serve this country, they expected we would do what we could do protect all of them, whether they're in uniform or serving at civilians. thank you, and i yield back. >> thank the gentle lady. mr. kaufman, second round. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general and mr. secretary, cue discuss the kurdish aspirations
in i think there's concern they're engaging in their own negotiations in terms of oil exploration and development, given the fact that the central government relies on the oil revenues. what are kurdish as speier aspi? >> they're getting the revenue from the oil fields. >> but there have been reports that some new -- novelty the existing oil fields but there are some new exploration that -- >> the issue has to do, congressman, with -- there's some new exploration that has been done since teach those are pumping oil. those are going to the central government. there might be some additional exploration, and that's the issue.
who pays for the exploration? does the krg have the authority? that's is left to be resolved, and has to be resolved through the hydrocarbon legislation. >> the dee baathication went too far. it led to a lot of resentment among the sunni arabs. >> they have the accountability and justice law, which has had significant problems with implementation. so what it's going to require, i believe, is for them to go back and pass some more legislation that will adequately address this issue. and that's something that i think they have to do internally. the law has been very difficult to implement because in some
cases had not appeared to make sense based upon some of the individuals we have known to be working with and serving horribly within the system. so the -- honorably within the system. but it's a problem that has to be addressed. >> the problem's -- problems with the shi'a militias, to what extent are they aligned with iran? >> the number of shi'a militias has declined significantly since the march-april '08 operation done by the government of iraq in both al basra and iraq. i think there are -- what you don't see anymore is large movement of shi'a militias. what you have now is militant groups that don't control areas but conduct attacks for self
different reasons, and i think we have seen the militia empty -- militia units to move, and they do conduct attacks against both u.s. forces and iraqi security force and others, but their influence has been significantly reduced to what it was in 2007 and the beginning of 2008. >> to what extent is iran -- i think you mentioned briefly iran providing them training. so what extend -- i think you also mentioned iran providing weapons. what is the trend line on that now? >> i think it's less. what they have done, they appear to have targeted smaller organizations that continue to train inside of iraq, and train inside of iran, and come across with increased capabilities to conduct operations and attacks inside of iraq, and they're
still provided munitions suchs a rockets. >> many of the sunnies would say, are they arabs first or shi'as first and and they would speak of this in reference to the influence of iran over a shi'a-dominated iraqi government. how do you see that at this time? >> the people i deal with -- i don't -- what i would say is this. the people i deal with i believe are iraqis first. i put it that way. and i think iraq is first and foremost in their mind. i think iran is trying continue nuisance -- influence them. i think there's others, syria as well. that's what makes iraq so important in the long run. >> i certainly thank the
gentleman. general odierno, we thank you for your testimony and the service you're rendering. you're making history, and your leadership in iraq for our country, and we thank you for that. i also mentioned that all of us on this committee feel that the young men and women in your command are making history as well, and when the final chapter of iraq is written and our efforts are, i know full well that your name will be very, very prominent, as well as all those young men and women who have worked so hard and so professionally. we can't thank them enough. so, general, thank you very much. mr. vickers, thank you very being with us. this hearing is adjourned.
>> tomorrow on "washington journal" a look at the latest developments in iran and afghanistan with abderrahim foukara and alex spillius. and more with robert dallek, and also a former weapons inspector. "washington journal" live here on c-span at 7:00 a.m. eastern. this week on c-span's "newsmaker," barbara boxer and co-author of new energy legislation. she talks about the role of the e.p.a. and congress in deals with climate change. >> i expect people to go and try to repeal the clean air act and i expect them to repeal the endangered species act and they have never liked them and this is just an excuse for them to
come in. now, i think the e.p.a. is doing what they have to do under the law, you know, there's a danger to global warming, guess who said that? the bush administration. we have their word. and all the scientists and the american academy of sciences. so either we step up to the plate and resolve it now, we can resolve it in two ways, one, is to let the. p.ae.p.a. do their work but it's foolish to not do it our way which gives much more flexibility, the ability to buy offsets and to create jobs and to do the kinds of things that we want to do. >> see the full interview with senator barbara boxer this sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> justice o'connor insisted we have lunch every day when we
were sitting. now clarence, you should come to lunch. and she was really sweet but very persistent. and i came to lunch is one of the best things i did. it is hard to be angry or bitter at someone and break bread and look them in the eye. it is a fun lunch, very little work is done there, and it's just nine people, eight people, whoever shows up, having a wonderful lunch together. it is wonderful. >> hear from all the supreme court justices about the history and tradition of the court. see inside this historic and beautiful building to place it s only available to the justices and their staff. watch c-span's documentary "the supreme court: inside the home of america's highest court," sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern and for a preview of our conversations with the justices, join us at 8:00 p.m. eastern
for" q. and a. ". anders fogh ras musen talks about the need to train afghan forces so they can take the lead in providing security. this is his first speech since taking office last summer. it's 1 hour and 15 minutes. >> well, the first message about tonight's event is that we have to get a larger room. this is standing room only, mr. secretary general, i think that this is a testament to how interested people are in hearing what you have to say, what you have to say this evening. good evening and welcome, i'm fred cam, the c.e.o. of the thrantic council and -- atlantic council and it's great to see so many of you with us tonight and i'm particularly happy to see so many european ambassadors. four former u.s. ambassadors to nato and board members of the
atlantic council. it's a privilege to welcome you all to the second of two major speeches today on the future of nato at the atlantic council as part of our nato forum. i recognize a number of faces in the crowd who also were able to join us earlier today to hear senator richard lugar deliver a speech on the future of the alliance and provide a congressional perspective on the debate concerning nato's new strategic concept. for any of you that weren't here we'll have that transcript on the web and it was also taped by c-span which is here with us again tonight i also want to have a special thanks to our board member lucy fitch,