I’m advised that Senator Levin will soon be
with us, so we’ll start this very important hearing.
Every one of us who have been privileged—and I underline the
word ‘‘privileged’’—to wear marine green are very pleased to have
before us today the President’s nominee to be Commandant of the
United States Marine Corps, succeeding General Hagee, who’s had
a very distinguished career. Having gotten to know you quite well
through the years, I am confident that you will find your place in
the history of commandants and stand as tall as any of them, in
terms of your accomplishments and leadership for the wonderful
men and women of the United States Marine Corps.
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I will forego the balance of my statement for a moment, and invite
our distinguished colleague from Missouri, the chairman of the
Seapower Subcommittee, landlocked State though it may be——
You handle your responsibilities very well.
We’re hopeful someday getting the Navy to
steam up the Mississippi, Mr. Chairman, maybe turn St. Louis into
a blue-water port. [Laughter.]
Didn’t Grant do that at one time? [Laughter.]
I think he maybe steamed down and up at the
same time. [Laughter.]
Yes, that’s my recollection. [Laughter.]
Mr. Chairman, it’s with great pleasure that I
introduce a fellow Missourian to the committee. He certainly needs
no introduction to this committee, but I reintroduce him, might be
the better way of putting it. I also want to welcome him and his
wife, Annette, and their son, Scott, and his wife, Tara, to the committee
Lieutenant General Conway grew up in St. Louis, Mr. Chairman.
He played football, baseball, and basketball at Roosevelt High
School. As the General and I were discussing yesterday, if you’re
from St. Louis, where you went to high school is a big deal, so, you
have to mention that in any introduction. However, he went on to
graduate from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape
Girardeau, a great institution, where he met his wife, Annette.
The General comes from a tradition of service, and he is now the
leader of a true Marine Corps family. His father was a World War
II veteran who was wounded three times. His sons, Brandon and
Scott, are Marine Corps officers, and his daughter is married to a
The General served two combat tours in Iraq as the 1st Marine
Expeditionary Force (MEF) commander. He led his marines to
Baghdad, and he returned a little over a year later to support the
new democracy there.
He brings, Mr. Chairman, a wealth of knowledge and experience
to this new post which he has gleaned from his 36-plus years in
the Marine Corps. His service includes a 13-month deployment off
the coast of Beirut in the early 1980s, an 8-month deployment as
a battalion commander in Operation Desert Storm, command of the
Marine Corps Officers Training in Quantico, President of the Marine
Corps University, and all the way up through his current job
as Director of Operations, or J–3, on the Joint Staff.
He has a lot of challenges in front him, Mr. Chairman. We all
are familiar with those. I have a great deal of confidence in him.
I’m very hopeful that the committee will quickly vote to confirm
him, and the Senate will do, as well, so he can get to this new post.
It’s certainly a pleasure for me to welcome General Conway, a
great Missourian who’s going to go on and do even greater things
for his country.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, Senator. Again, I commend you
for your work on this committee, and particularly the Seapower
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Subcommittee, of which the United States Marine Corps is a part
of our Marine Corps team.
Mr. Chairman, we share a special interest in
the Navy, don’t we? Yours, a little bit longer-standing than mine.
I was going to put into the record—I think
it’s important for me to establish that my serial number is
—date of rank, June 1949. That’s before most
of the people in this room were born. But, anyway, I’m proud to
still be here, and I tell you, I’ve said it before, I would not be in
the United States Senate today had it not been for what the men
and women of the Armed Forces did for me, not what I did, maybe,
for them, in training me in both the Navy and the Marine Corps,
and I’m everlastingly grateful. Together with my good friend Senator
Levin and colleagues on this committee, we try to do our very
best for the current generation of men and women in the United
States Services. That is our duty and our responsibility. We owe
them no less.
This morning, Senator Levin and I had breakfast with the Secretary
of Defense, and we started that breakfast by saying that we
all recognize in the executive branch and the legislative branch,
that never before in the history of this country have we ever had
a finer group of men and women in uniform than America has
today in its Armed Forces. The Marine Corps is an integral part
of that structure. I am confident that you will be confirmed, and
that you will—I believe it’s in November—take over the leadership
of that Corps.
We welcome everybody. I wanted to talk a little bit about another
facet of your distinguished career, and that relates to your
wonderful family, and most particularly your wife. We did a careful
bit of research, because the military today is very much a familyoriented
organization. All branches of the Services, and the families
play such a pivotal and important role. But a word or two about
Annette Conway, what she has done for the men and women of the
Armed Forces: she has been a volunteer for the United Service Organization
(USO) and the Armed Services Young Men’s Christian
Association; presently serves on the board of directors of the Injured
Marine Semper Fi Fund, which was founded on May 18,
2004, by a small group of concerned Marine Corps spouses to provide
financial grants and other assistance to marines, to sailors,
and to families of those injured serving our Nation. The Injured
Marine Semper Fi Fund has assisted in over 1,400 cases, and given
more than $2.7 million in grants to our wounded heroes and their
families. How fortunate you are, General, to have had this extraordinary
individual as your partner for life.
A word to your sons. I’ve always been very proud of my father,
who was a medical doctor and served in the trenches in World War
I as a young Army captain caring for the wounded. He, indeed, was
an inspiration to me throughout my life. I’ll never forget one time.
We were in here confirming a chief of staff of the United States Air
Force, and I recollected to him that when I was Secretary of the
Navy, his father was chief of staff of the United States Air Force,
and I asked him, ‘‘As a First Lieutenant, how did you manage that
relationship?’’ He unhesitatingly responded to the committee. He
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said, ‘‘Every morning I got up, I tried to determine where the old
man was, and then tried to position myself on the other side of the
So, good luck to the two sons and the sonin-
General Conway was commissioned in 1970 as an infantry officer,
and has had an extraordinary career commanding marines in
recruiting, training, and educational capacities and in operational
assignments at the company, battalion, division, and expeditionary
force levels. You’ve served through all the branches from the bottom
to the very top, served as an operation officer for the 31st Marine
Amphibious Unit, which served off the coast of Lebanon just
prior to the suicide attacks on the marine barracks of October 23,
1983. You and I, in our discussion this week, paused a moment to
think about that incident. John Tower was chairman of the Committee
of the Armed Services then, and I remember he corralled
me, and we saddled up and arrived just over 48 hours after that
tragedy. I can still see those barracks, a heap of rubble, smoke still
coming up, and operations going on to make sure there was no one
still alive. We’ll not witness that chapter again, but we’ll not forget
General Conway commanded the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines in
1990 in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, assumed command
of the 1st Marine Division in 2000, and of the 1st Marine Expeditionary
Force in November 2002, commanded the 1st MEF during
two combat tours in Iraq, and currently serves as the Director
of Operations, J–3, of the Joint Staff.
General, you have been recognized for your leadership from the
time that you were a company officer all the way through these
distinguished assignments. You will assume this office, if confirmed,
as an individual who has had the experience needed to
meet this complex world which we face today.
If I could just make one other observation, and that is, I do have
recollections of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and today, and I
have never seen, in the history of the United States, a more complex,
a more challenging set of problems than faces the Commander
in Chief, our President, and his team of leaders in uniform
and out of uniform. We’re fortunate that you and your family are
willing to step up and take on another 4 years of service as a part
of that team.
STATEMENT OF SENATOR CARL LEVIN
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Let me add my thanks to General Conway and to his family.
Your comments about his family are right on target, Mr. Chairman.
They are shared by every member of this committee. We understand
the role of the families in making it possible for people
like General Conway to serve our country. We are as grateful to
them as we are to you, and that is mighty grateful.
I want to say, up front, that I believe that General Conway is
an excellent choice to lead the U.S. Marine Corps. I am impressed
by his military record, but I’m even more impressed by his ability
to think critically and with great insight about the challenges fac-
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ing the Marine Corps and this Nation. I particularly appreciate his
candor and willingness to tell it like it is. I believe that trait has
served him, the Marine Corps, and this Nation well in the past,
and will be even more important in the future.
General Conway is one of our most experienced combat commanders.
He commanded the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force during
the major combat operations in Iraq, and then subsequently returned
with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Unit to begin to deal
with the burgeoning insurgency. He understands the tactics required
to conduct full-spectrum warfare. He understands how those
tactics need to be adjusted to deal with the complexities of a
counterinsurgency campaign. His advice and counsel in that regard
have been, and will continue to be, invaluable. I, for one, expect to
tap into that advice and counsel frequently.
Our marines have served magnificently in Iraq, Afghanistan, and
other trouble spots around the globe. They have never failed us,
and I know that they never will.
However, the Marine Corps is under increasing stress maintaining
a significant portion of its force structure in Iraq over the last
3 years. There is stress on the marines, themselves, who have
served multiple combat tours, and there is stress on equipment,
which has been used extensively in very harsh conditions.
The marines went to war with units that were not optimallyequipped
or organized for a long counterinsurgency effort. Unit
equipment lists had to be adjusted to add more radios, machine
guns, night-vision devices, and armored trucks, including up-armored
Humvees, to lightly equip marine units to allow them to operate
over extended distances for a long ground campaign. To do
so, pre-positioned stocks were stripped, and marine units outside of
Iraq were raided for equipment to supply units in theater.
While the Marine Corps is taking steps to fix those problems,
unit readiness rates have fallen, particularly for those units which
have rotated out of Iraq, but which don’t have enough equipment
on which to train for their next rotation.
I am very concerned about the consequences, should those units
be required for contingencies outside of Iraq. The Marine Corps has
been requesting supplemental funding to meet its requirements for
reset and the costs of war, but I believe there is quite justifiable
angst in the Marine Corps that the supplemental funding will not
keep pace with its needs, especially as the war drags on and equipment
is used up.
I share those concerns. I look forward to General Conway’s testimony
on the extent of the readiness challenges facing the Marine
Corps, his assessment of the level of readiness and the risk incurred
because of that level of readiness, and what must be done
to raise Marine Corps readiness to acceptable levels.
The President has said that as Iraqi security forces stand up, we
will stand down. The training and equipping of those Iraqi security
forces is nearly complete. General Dempsey, who is responsible for
that training and equipping, has said that the Iraqi army should
be fully-manned and trained by the end of this year. General
Casey, commander of our forces in Iraq, has said, on more than one
occasion, that he believes that there will be fairly substantial U.S.
troop reductions in Iraq this year. Given his experience in Iraq, I
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am very interested in hearing General Conway’s perspective on the
general situation in Iraq, on the strategy and tactics of the U.S.
forces, and what he foresees for the future.
Again, Mr. Chairman, I very warmly welcome General Conway
and his family. He is a highly-experienced and dedicated officer,
and he will make a magnificent commandant.
Senator Levin, we thank you. That is a very
fine statement that you’ve delivered on behalf of this distinguished
nominee. I personally appreciate it.
I don’t have any statement, Mr. Chairman, except
to say that obviously this is a highly qualified and outstanding
member of the United States Marine Corps, and I’m pleased to
have him continue to serve. I, like Senator Levin, have some questions,
and will seize this opportunity to ask some questions about
his view of the situation in Iraq. I’m sure he will respond with his
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, Senator McCain.
Therefore, I’ll proceed with the matters of routine for all nominees,
and then, Senator McCain, I’ll yield to you first for questions,
because I’m going to stay throughout the whole hearing.
We’ve asked the General, as we ask all of our nominees, a series
of advance policy questions. You’ve responded to those questions.
Without objection, I’ll make the questions and responses a part of
May I thank Charlie Abell, Rick DeBobes, and other staff who,
when I returned from the Pentagon the other day and decided we’d
go forward, it’s through their very able work that we are going forward
I also have certain standard questions we ask of every nominee
who appears before the committee. So, General, if you’d please respond
to each of these questions:
Have you adhered to applicable laws and regulations governing
conflict of interest?
Yes, sir, I have.
Have you assumed any duties or undertaken
any actions which would appear to presume the outcome of the confirmation
No, sir, I have not.
Will you ensure that your staff complies with
deadlines established for requested communications, including
questions for the record, in the hearings before the Congress of the
Yes, sir, I will.
Will you cooperate in providing witnesses
and briefers in response to congressional requests?
Yes, sir, I will.
Will those witnesses be protected from any
possible reprisal for their testimony or briefings?
Yes, sir, they will.
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Do you agree, if confirmed, to appear and
testify, upon request, before this committee?
Yes, sir, I do.
Do you agree to give your personal views—
I repeat, your personal, professional views when asked before this
committee to do so, even if those views differ from those of your
superiors in the administration?
Yes, sir, I do.
Do you agree to provide documents, including
copies of electronic forms of communication, in a timely manner
when requested by a duly constituted committee of Congress or to
consult with the committee regarding the basis for any good-faith
delay or denial in providing such documents?
Yes, sir, I will.
General, the floor is yours for such statement
as you may wish to make.
Thank you, sir.
STATEMENT OF LT. GEN. JAMES T. CONWAY, USMC, NOMINEE
FOR APPOINTMENT TO THE GRADE OF GENERAL AND TO BE
COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS
Thank you for your gracious comments, both
Mr. Chairman and Senator Levin, regarding my family.
Senator Warner, Senator Levin, Senator McCain, thank you. I
am humbled and honored to be nominated to serve as the 34th
Commandant of the Marine Corps. I fully appreciate the enormity
of the challenges that lie before our Nation and the Marine Corps’
critical role in helping to meet those challenges.
My duties as the J–3, as well as leading your marines in combat,
have offered a unique opportunity to view the remarkable flexibility
and responsiveness that forward-deployed marines bring both to
warfighting and to crisis response. Even while having so many marines
deployed in harm’s way in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Marine
Corps has still answered every call—humanitarian assistance in
Indonesia, in the Philippines; peacekeeping operations in Haiti;
hurricane relief at home, on the Gulf Coast; and the ongoing noncombatant
evacuation operations in Lebanon, to mention just a
If confirmed, I will strive to ensure our Nation continues to have
a Marine Corps that is capable and ready, both to win this generation’s
war on terrorism and to settle the inevitable crisis for which
the Nation calls upon her Corps of Marines. America deserves
I will remain committed to one of our preeminent legislatively
mandated missions to be most ready when the Nation is least
ready. Your Marine Corps remains steadfast, but, to continue to do
so, we will need your assistance. The immediate task before us demands
a stubborn commitment to the reconstitution of our current
force, and modernization to keep it strong.
Clearly, the individual marine is the centerpiece for our future.
In my 36 years of service, I have never failed to be inspired by the
selfless sacrifice of our young men and women. I have seen some
of our Nation’s finest perform so very unselfishly in ways that I
would not have thought possible. They remain committed to the
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best ideals our country stands for, while asking almost nothing in
return. To these stalwart marines we owe everything, the best in
training, the best in leadership, and the best equipment. I want to
express my thanks to each of you for your continued support for
these valiant young men and women.
Finally, if confirmed, I look forward to working with you to meet
the challenges ahead. While your role is constitutional oversight,
my role, when I come before you, will be to always tell the truth,
only the truth. I pledge that you will always have my honest assessment
of what is required to maintain the health of our Marine
Corps and the security of our great Nation.
Mr. Chairman, Senator Levin, Senator McCain, thank you,
again, for the opportunity to come before this committee, and I look
forward to your questions.
Thank you, General.
Thank you, General. Thank you for, again,
your outstanding service.
For the record, describe your duties in the Iraq war.
Sir, I was the 1st MEF commander. That’s the
Marine Expeditionary Force, constituted of about 60,000 marines
and about 25,000 British forces, before we crossed the line of departure.
We were part of the 3rd Army. 5th Corps was our Army
counterpart, and the main attack during the movement to Baghdad.
Following securing Baghdad, and ultimately Tikrit, sir, we
were then directed to move to the southern provinces, where we
had moved through originally, to assume reconstruction responsibilities
for a period of about 51⁄2 or 6 months before we redeployed.
The second time was about 5 months later. We came home
in November. I redeployed in February, again as the MEF commander,
this time in command of about 25,000 marines in the al
Anbar province out west. For that period of time, about 7 months
before I was relieved by Lieutenant General Sattler, we went about
trying to secure that area and assist the people in recovering their
Was that during the battle of Fallujah?
Sir, we had what we term now the first battle
of Fallujah while I was in command, the second time in the al
Anbar province. The larger battle of Fallujah actually occurred in
November, and, again, I had the change of command in Fallujah,
on 13 September of that same year.
I know a lot of books have been written already,
General Conway, like Cobra II, Assassin’s Gate, and others,
that are sort of a depiction of the conduct of the war. I know that
many of these issues are important to you, given the people under
you who have sacrificed. Do you agree with the general assessment
that we didn’t have enough troops to secure Iraq after our initial
Sir, we had sufficient troops to conduct the
movement and win the Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) aspect of it
quickly. Our intent, at that point, was to capitalize on the Iraqi
army. It was, we felt, the most respected institution in the country,
and my personal view at the time was that, as we would be able
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to stand up these Iraqi army units, we wanted to put them in the
lead as rapidly as we could. So, I felt, initially, that there were
enough U.S. forces committed to be able to accomplish that.
When the Iraqi army was not returned to duty, there was a requirement
on the part of my ground command element commander,
Major General Mattis, at that point, to move units about to be able
to amass this combat power to accomplish certain things. In that
regard, we did not have enough troops to fully cover the areas for
which we were responsible.
At one point, a decision was made, you may not
have been there at the time—basically to deBaathification. No one
who had been a member of the Baathist party would be allowed to
serve in the military. Do you recall that decision?
Yes, sir. I recall it.
I think it was made by Ambassador Bremer.
It’s unfair for me to ask you whether you think that was the right
decision or not. I’m trying not to cause you difficulty, because I
know you wear the uniform, and I know you carry out orders.
Maybe you would tell me, in a positive fashion, if it’s possible—
what could we have done better? I think we accept the situation
is very difficult right now, as we speak, great problems within
Baghdad. Apparently, we’re going to have to move troops, probably
marines, from the al Anbar province into Baghdad, even when we
know that Fallujah and Ramadi, particularly, are still not under
control. What could we have done better, in your view, General
Conway? Maybe put a positive spin on it so that I don’t cause you
Sir, I can only give you my personal impression
and the discussions I had with my commanders. We felt that
there were people who were Baathists, who were compelled to be
Baathists because of Saddam’s reign of terror. Nevertheless, those
people occupied key positions in the government and in the infrastructure
that ran the country. When we weren’t able to maximize
on the capacities of those people, I think we probably suffered
some, and we had to try to conduct makeshift mitigations, those
manner of things.
We felt that if there were Baathists with blood on their hands
in any form or fashion, that those people needed to be rooted out
and held accountable to the Iraqi people, and that we perhaps
could have been more discerning as to ‘‘who was who.’’
In terms of the army, once again, a similar scenario. There were
army units, which, I think, were very brutal with their own people.
Where an army commander had been judged to do those types of
things, he should not be brought back to any position of responsibility,
but we felt that had the army been brought back, we would
have been able to capitalize on that immensely and take advantage,
again, of this inherent respect that the Iraqis still maintained
for their army over the decades.
The initial training of the Iraqi army was not
So, we had to go back and start a more intensive
and more thorough type of training operation. We lost a lot of
time during that period. Would you agree that the situation now,
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to a significant degree, given the political environment here in the
United States, is, to some degree, up to the Iraqi Government and
military as to whether they can function or not?
Sir, I think that’s exactly right. Since June
2004, Iraq has been a sovereign nation, and every effort on the part
of those forces assigned to Iraq has been to postulate that with the
Iraqis and cause them to resume normal functioning and control of
their country as soon as that could possibly be made to happen.
Let me just ask one more question, Mr. Chairman.
I’m concerned that we may be making the mistake
that we made during the Vietnam conflict, and that is lowering
recruiting standards. I think all of us agree, in retrospect, in
viewing the Vietnam war, that we took people into the Marine
Corps and the Army that we should not have. They didn’t meet certain
minimum standards, and we waived certain standards. That’s
just a matter of record. Are we doing that again, General?
Sir, I can only speak for the United States Marine
Corps, and I can give you a categoric response that we are not.
My eldest son, who is a Marine major and is not here this morning,
is the commanding officer of a Marine Corps Recruiting Station in
Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I have a direct source of information,
of course, through him.
Even without that, I can tell you that our recruiting goals are
being met, our retention goals are being met, and in no way are
we reducing the standards that we have always held for marines
coming on Active service.
We don’t have waivers that would lower standards?
Sir, there are X number of waivers each year
that are given to what we would call CAT IV marines, those that
can’t necessarily pass a given test. But those waivers have not been
increased, let’s say, since this global war on terrorism has begun.
There’s always been X number for young, motivated men and
women who, obviously, we think will make good marines, but have
not, at that point, completed all of the standards.
[Additional, clarifying information provided for the record follows:]
I would like to clarify my statement that ‘‘there are X number of waivers.’’ Our
CAT IV waivers are, by Marine Corps policy, less than 1 percent of our total accessions.
This standard was established in 1999 and reiterated in our Marine Corps
Accession Strategy in 2005 and we have not deviated from that policy.
I would also like to take this opportunity to put waivers in context. A more telling
indicator of our long-term commitment to sustaining quality accessions is that our
first-term expiration of active service (EAS) attrition—that is, marines who leave
the Marine Corps prior to the expiration of their contracted enlistment—has decreased
by 17 percent in the past 4 years. That means the individuals we are recruiting
and training are proving that our faith in their capability is not misplaced;
they have proven to be the quality marines that our commanders in the field need.
I strongly believe that the individual marine is the centerpiece for our future and
I will continue to monitor this issue to ensure we do not lower our standards in
order to ‘‘get the numbers.’’ Recruiting and retaining the right people in the Marine
Corps is one of my highest priorities. I pledge to keep you informed if ever my review
of this matter indicates that the quality of our recruits are not providing us
with the Corps America needs to ensure her security. But as I said, I think our rate
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of first-term non-EAS attrition is telling me that we are making marines that America
Are you concerned about retention in the Marine
Sir, we have to be concerned about all of it. We
have to keep our eyes on it and watch the trends.
Are the numbers indicating that there’s reason
Sir, at this point, we’re keeping our numbers
up. Our retention is still good, but as this global war continues and
we do rely upon the Reserves, we’ll have to watch to make sure
that their needs are met.
Do you see signs of problems?
Not at this point, sir.
I thank you, and thank you for your service.
Congratulations to your family.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, Senator McCain.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
On the point that Senator McCain began with, there were many
of us that were concerned about the total disbanding of the Iraqi
army. The ones, as you point out, that had blood on their hands
should not have been returned, but the bulk of the army did not
have blood on their hands. Do you know whether or not our uniformed
military leaders were consulted on that decision, or was
that basically a decision made by civilian leaders?
I’m sorry, Senator Levin, I do not know. I’m
afraid my site picture was pretty narrow at that point in Iraq.
But it is your judgment that if the Iraqi army
could have been reconstituted, that that would have been a major
plus, in terms of security, and that we had, in fact, to some extent,
in the planning, counted on that.
Yes, sir, that was the original plan, as we understood
it, as we discussed phase 4 while still in Kuwait, at Camp
Doha. Again, it was our expectation and anticipation that that was
intended to be the case.
To answer the second part of your question, I do think it was
possible. When we were given a policy to pay former members of
the Iraqi army, we had to go through some very sophisticated planning,
in terms of how we were going to manage the numbers in
various locations. So, they did appear from all over the country,
really, for those opportunities.
The President assured the American people and
the Iraqis that as Iraqi security forces stand up, our forces would
stand down. Give us your judgment as to whether or not that policy
should be effectuated and as to whether or not, for that and
perhaps other reasons, we should follow through with what General
Casey has said he expected would happen, which would be
troop reductions beginning by the end of this year.
Sir, I think it’s a sound policy. If you look at
General Casey’s lines of operation, security is paramount among
them. When security is achieved, we think that the other lines of
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operation will be much more plausible and be able to take shape.
The growth of the Iraqi army, in particular—to some lesser degree,
the Iraqi police—is constant. The equipment is trailing the training
a little bit and putting those folks in the field, but I still think that,
under Iraqi security forces, we will be able to eventually effect a
downsizing of our forces.
I personally believe that you have Iraqis who have started to
look at us as occupiers and are resisting us, in some instances;
whereas, they would not resist an Iraqi force doing precisely the
same thing. I also think that General Casey believes that, as he’s
discussed the opportunity to draw down. So, I think that the strategy
is sound, sir, and will be effected in time.
In terms of the message to Iraqis—as to the importance
of their taking over responsibility, is it important that
they understand that our presence is not open-ended and unlimited,
and that they have the responsibility, as they get trained, to
take over the major bulk of the responsibility?
Sir, I think it’s absolutely critical that they understand
that. There is a strategic communications effort afoot on
the part of the insurgents that would tell the people of Iraq that
we are truly occupiers. We’re there to steal their wealth and consume
their oil. In that regard, I think we have to counter that message
with an eventual reduction of forces, in proof of the fact that
we’re only going to stay there until such time as the Iraqi Government
can self-govern and secure their own country.
General Casey has stated, on a number of occasions,
that he expects that there will be a reduction of U.S. forces
in Iraq in 2006, and he said that recently at a Pentagon press conference.
Do you believe that will happen?
Sir, I do believe it will happen. Right now,
we’re experiencing sectarian violence, on a level since the bombing
of the Samarra Mosque, that we have not seen in the country.
Baghdad, in particular, seems to be a center of activity. I think he
has to solve that problem first. That’s a new and different problem
from what we have seen in months before, but I think he will need
to address that. The new prime minister, Maliki, has a number of
programs that I think he is trying to put into place to strengthen
his government and quell the insurgency, in large measure. I think
a number of those efforts, in tandem, will have some results by the
end of the year.
Is it important, in terms of persuading and pressuring
the Iraqis to reach political compromises, that they accept
the idea that our commitment is not open-ended?
Yes, sir. I think if you study insurgencies,
you’ll see that it’s been that type of effort over time. The negotiation,
if you will, the ability for people to come together—that has
been more effective, really, than the kinetic activities of trying to
put those insurgencies down.
What do you mean by ‘‘kinetic activities’’?
Well, sir, armed force.
On readiness issues, can you give us your assessment
of the ability of the Marine Corps to keep their units ready,
given the tremendous effort and stress that has been placed on the
Corps? What’s the state of readiness in the Marine Corps?
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Senator Levin, the state of readiness of the
forces in Iraq are topnotch, what we would call C1. They’re fully
ready for the missions that they’re assigned. That does come at
some cost, however. We have opted to leave the equipment for
those units in Iraq, and maintain the maintenance on all of that
gear through means of forward-deployed depots, keeping the mechanics
and the spare parts flowing so that the vehicles are quickly
repaired. The impact that has on the rest of the Marine Corps is
what has us concerned, at this point. The readiness of the remainder
of the equipment, ground, and particularly aviation, is suffering,
and, as a result, our readiness ratings for the remainder of the
force are not what we would ordinarily show.
What needs to be done, in your opinion?
I think General Hagee has commented that we
need to be able to recapitalize that equipment, to ‘‘reset,’’ I think
is the term that’s being used. Principally, at this point, it’s being
conducted through supplemental funding. There is an annual cost
of war that is required, certainly, but there is an additional cost
of maintaining this equipment—in some cases, replacing that
equipment—that is significant. I know that General Hagee submitted
a request for $11.7 billion, initially. He received along the lines
of about $5.1 billion against that. The leftover, plus another $5-billion-
plus, puts the Marine Corps’ bill, at this point, in excess,
again, of $11 billion, just to be able to recap this equipment and
give us all the Marine Corps that we think we need to have.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you very much, Senator Levin.
General, this committee will eventually examine in detail the allegations
and the findings with respect to several incidents in Iraq
involving marines. I don’t wish to discuss what you may know
about the specifics of the report, but in the hopes that I can take
your nomination before the Senate, I’d like to be able to say that
you have represented to the committee, to the extent you have
knowledge of those reports, you, personally and professionally, are
in no way involved. Would that be correct?
Yes, sir, that is correct.
Thank you very much.
On the question of Iraq, you draw on a great deal of experience
from your two successive tours of duty, and now in your current
position following the daily operations there. I think every hearing
of this committee, we pause for a moment, to reflect on the enormity
of the sacrifice of over 2,500 who have lost their lives, the tens
of thousands, 22-some-odd-thousand, wounded, and the sacrifices of
As you pointed out, Prime Minister Maliki
and his new government are striving to establish sovereignty, control,
and accept the full responsibility of sovereignty of the Nation
of Iraq so that this country can have its own self-sustaining democracy
and take its place in the world.
Things have not gone as well as we’d hoped there in the last 30
or 40 days. In my understanding, the incidents, as you record
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those, have gone up appreciably in the last 30 days, am I not correct
Can I ask what you mean by ‘‘incidents,’’ precisely,
I mean conflicts, sectarian violence, insurgency.
Unfortunately, a great deal of criminality
that’s taking place. The Iraqis are suffering a loss of roughly on the
average of 100 citizens a day, is that correct?
That is correct.
There has been an appreciable increase in
the last 30 or so days. You are nodding in assent that it has.
To the extent you can share with the committee here in open session.
Yes, sir. If you chart the attacks, they are on
an increasing scale.
This brings me to the responsibilities of our
Nation, as a strong supporter of Israel and hopefully, in the capacity
of our traditional role of the United States of an honest broker,
to work on that situation—and I’m not about to discuss the various
options before us. I think the Secretary of State has handled herself
very well. The President has spoken very clearly. Yesterday I
was privileged, on three occasions, to be in the presence of Prime
As a matter of fact, I want the record to reflect that I was extremely
impressed in the manner in which he spoke at Fort
Belvoir, in a very informal way, to a gathering of about 300 uniformed
personnel—Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines—and he spoke
from the heart about his gratefulness to the people of this Nation;
in particular, as he said, the brothers and sisters of our military
who have lost their lives, and the families who have paid the price,
and those who are continuing to support the Iraqi security forces
in their effort to achieve a secure situation in that country. He did
so in a very heartfelt way, with the President, who likewise spoke
and expressed the gratitude of our Nation to the men and women
in uniform. It was a very moving experience. Then, I might add,
just for those who are interested, there were 25 tables of soldiers,
sailors, airmen, and marines, and the President and the Prime
Minister stopped at every table, took pictures, and spoke to the individuals.
It wasn’t one of these hurry-up photo-ops. It was a very
sincere appreciation by the people of Iraq, through their prime
minister, for the contributions of this country.
But, back to the conflict between Israel and Lebanon, and, to an
extent, the Palestinian situation, the heat, the bitterness, the acrimony
that is flowing out of that. My concern is that, in the Muslim
world, it could be transmitted up to the Iraq area of responsibility
(AOR) and, indeed, possibly put our uniformed people at greater
risk. All I have said, and I repeat saying this, that it’s a responsibility
of our Nation as we fulfill our mission trying to help bring
about a sustainable cease-fire of that conflict. We take those steps,
being mindful of the investment of over 3 years that we’ve had in
Iraq, the progress that we’re slowly making, in my judgment, but
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also the extremely delicate situation that exists today and tomorrow
and in the foreseeable future. Do you share those views?
Sir, I do. I can only say, I think, in open session,
that we are seeing reports, comments made in Iraq that reflect
the opinion of what’s—in effect—an Arab opinion on what’s
taking place in Israel and south Lebanon, and they’re not encouraging.
These people feel an alliance with the Hezbollah, and it’s
disconcerting. We have not yet seen indication of additional action
in the wake of those comments, but certainly there is great knowledge
of what’s taking place there, and great sympathy for both the
Lebanese people and the Hezbollah.
Yes. I thank you for that recognition. As you
continue as the chief watch officer for the military, let us make
sure that those who are trying to work out solutions in the Israel/
Lebanon area of operations are not unmindful of the consequences
that can flow to our forces in that AOR, because they’re all linked
They are, sir.
I’m not here to try and sort out exactly what
the government, or the individuals in the Government of Iraq, have
said on this matter, but I’m more concerned with the people in the
streets and the press and a lot of other things that are bringing
influence on those individuals who could do harm to our brave soldiers,
sailors, airmen, and marines that are in that battle, and, indeed,
their coalition partners.
Improvised explosive devices (IED)—you experienced the serious
situation with regard to those weapons. I think the President and
the Secretary of Defense are taking measures with the creation of
General Meigs’ outfit that succeeds another, I thought, rather effective
outfit, but it was just enlarged and brought up to a higher
level, through rank, of attention in the Department, and those are
positive steps. For the members of this committee, General Meigs
will soon be briefing this committee, as he does regularly. As I
watched the evolution of the various organizations tasked with the
responsibility for IEDs in the Department, I hope that I carefully
left a message that the Marine Corps was doing a very important
segment of that work on IEDs, somewhat independent, as it should
be, from the Department of Defense, but, at the same time, contributing
all of their findings, results, and recommendations to the Department.
I would hope that you could assure the committee, as
Commandant, that you will put a watchful eye on that, and that
that contribution by the Marine Corps, particularly down in
Quantico, can continue.
Absolutely, sir. If you calculate the percentage
of casualties that occur day-in and day-out in Iraq, easily 70 percent
of them are still attributable to IEDs. We have a very adaptive
enemy. So, it is absolutely our first priority.
Where appropriate, and in that the United States Army, United
States Marine Corps, are in the same location, essentially, with the
same mission, facing the same threat, we do ally our efforts with
them immensely, but, at the same time, I don’t think you can have
too many people looking at this problem from too many perspectives.
We do differ sometimes in our approach to testing, and the
people that we talk to who may have new concepts or new ideas.
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I think, in answer, you’re exactly right, that is helpful, and certainly
we share everything that we find, as the Army is doing, to
try to overcome the problem.
Will you assure the committee that you will
continue to allocate such resources as is needed by the Marine component
of the work going on, on IEDs?
Absolutely, Mr. Chairman.
Good. I’ll resume my questions, but I’ll now
turn to our colleague, Senator Thune.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, General, for your extraordinary service to our country.
Please extend our appreciation to the troops who serve under
you. I congratulate you on this nomination. Your combat credentials
and your overall career biography are more than enough information
to give me a comfort level with the nomination, and hopefully
a speedy confirmation. What I also would like to note for the
record that stands out is the people who have served under you,
in their descriptions of you as an enlisted marine’s general. I think
that’s a great compliment and, I think, a great tribute to the qualities
of character that you bring to the job, and the fact that you
always put the best interests of the troops first, and, obviously, the
mission first. Those are great statements about your character, and
those are echoed by a lot of people who have served with you, and
under you. So, when it comes to your command philosophy and the
way you go about conducting your job and the leadership that you
provide for our country and for our troops, it’s very commendable.
I just want to acknowledge that, as well.
I have a statement, Mr. Chairman, I’d like to have included in
[The prepared statement of Senator Thune follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT BY SENATOR JOHN THUNE
General Conway, your combat credentials and overall impressive career biography
gives me more than enough information to allow me the opportunity to make a comprehensive
decision regarding your confirmation. However, what I find most extraordinary
about your service to this great Nation is the leadership style in which you
have commanded the marines under your care. I’ve found numerous accounts of marines
describing you as an ‘‘enlisted marine’s general’’ in your dedication to the keystones
of successful leadership including your objectiveness in decisionmaking, communicating
with your marines, humility, and leading from the front in both training
and in war, to name just a few. An incident that stands out to me was your candor
regarding the decision to have your 1st Marine Expeditionary Force invade the city
of Fallujah in early April 2004 as a response to the brutal killings of four U.S. civilian
contractors, and then subsequently be ordered to halt attacks just days later.
While you were following orders from your superiors, you were documented as voicing
concerns over what you perceived as first a very hasty decision and then later
extracting prematurely before achieving victory. In the aftermath unfortunately it
is not irrational to say your assessments were valid ones. However it shows that
your concerns for the overall success of the mission and the protection of our young
men and women who are willing to give up their lives to defend our freedom remains
paramount in your command philosophy. That mentality, I believe, is what
will serve you best should you be confirmed to this position.
As we undertake what are a lot of challenges
around the planet right now, and many of which have been touched
on already this morning, I want to discuss a couple of things. I was
over there on my most recent trip to Iraq, probably about 4 months
ago, with Senator McCain and some other Members of Congress
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and Governors, and we talked about the progress that is being
made. Obviously it has been three steps forward, two steps back,
but one of the things that we felt good about, and I think is important,
in terms of the criteria for our ability to succeed there, as well
as our ability to begin bringing some of our troops home, is getting
the Iraqi security forces up and trained and prepared to take on
more responsibilities there. At that time, when we were there,
about 75 percent of the battlespace, about 75 percent of the missions,
were being performed either independently with Iraqis or
with them in the lead and our troops supporting them. I’m wondering
if that’s still a fairly accurate characterization. Is that improving?
What is it and where are we, relative to that benchmark, that
was shared with us last time we were there?
Sure, I think that is about right, without having
benefit of a map to show you. I don’t recall any battlespace
being turned over to Iraqi main-force units in the last 30 days or
so, so I think your information is still current.
Good. Do you still feel, overall, that there is
progress being made, that we continue to see them being more and
more up to the task?
Yes, sir, I do. I’ve not met the man, but I’m
encouraged by what is reported to be the strength of character of
the new prime minister. He is facing, of course, a difficult startup
period, but he does not seem especially deterred by the difficulty.
He wants to ram through his programs, and he’s demanding results
from his ministers, who have, likewise, been elected to their
position—selected, in some cases; but, in others, elected to the positions.
So, there is an air of confidence for the long-term. We’re certainly
in a tough fight right now. This sectarian violence thing has
to be stopped.
But I am confident, in the long-term.
It seems to me, at least, that the sectarian violence
part of this goes back to the bombing of the Samarra shrine.
That whole component of this fight had really heated up at that
time, and it continues, to this day. I was very impressed, as was
the chairman, with the statements that were made by the new
prime minister, and the very forceful, strong, decisive way, I think,
of the approach that he’s taking to getting the government up and
running and making it successful. That, of course, is the other criteria
by which, I think, we can measure our success there, and that
is, one, the capability of security forces, and, two, the stability and
longevity of the government, and its ability to bring some sort of
national unity, so that you don’t have all this sectarianism going
on. The message that we tried to deliver when we were over there
last time, is that it’s really important that they focus on that and
that they get the various factions pulling in the same direction. I
hope we can make progress on that. His comments were certainly
I want to come back to one other point that the chairman mentioned
earlier; I have been up to Walter Reed several times, as
have most of my colleagues, I think. You talked about the casualties,
and we talked about the injuries that our troops are sustaining
there, most of which are attributable to IEDs. I know that this
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is a public session, and you’re probably limited to what you can
say, but I’m always interested in hearing what steps we are taking
to address that situation. As you noted, we have a very adaptive
enemy. It seems as soon as we figure out how they’re detonating
these things and develop countermeasures, they then come up with
a new way of doing it. That has to be just the top priority in terms
of our focus right now, one of the most critical things that we can
look at and figure out solutions to. I know you probably can’t get
into the weeds here in great detail, but I would be interested in
your additional comments?
General observations about steps that we are
taking to address what is the most lethal weapon, I think, that our
enemy has at their disposal.
Senator, may I ask your indulgence for a moment?
I have to appear, momentarily, before the Commerce Committee,
right down the hall. Would you continue to chair this hearing?
If there comes a point in time when you’ve completed your
work, would you put the hearing in recess, and then I’ll be right
back to resume additional matters that I wish to cover.
Mr. Chairman, so I should not adjourn, but recess?
All right. Very well.
Sir, I think your analysis is spot-on. We do
have a very adaptive enemy. I think it is safe to say, in open session,
that he evolves his tactics as we present our defensive measures.
In some cases, it’s cyclical. What we see right now is a threat
that is pretty much pressure-plate initiated. He’s attacking the
undersides of our vehicles, because he gets more value from the explosive
that is applied.
We are attacking that capability, from a number of different approaches.
Even when I was there—and this was in more of its rudimentary
stages—we tried to look at, ‘‘What is the weak link?
Where is it that we can attack to be most successful?’’ The British
would tell us that you look for the bombmakers, for the people with
the technical expertise, and go after them. We have done that. Unfortunately,
Iraq still remains, in great part, an arsenal, or an armory,
with regard to ordnance that is available. So, we don’t think
that supply—or that link is necessarily one that we can be as successful
Our training efforts are immense, in terms of the time spent just
recognizing IEDs, looking for the indicators, looking for the patterns
of life, if you will, that might indicate that there’s an explosive
device in the area. Our success with jammers has been intermittent,
but we continue to work that, as an inherent capability,
to, if not destroy the device, certainly render it ineffective as our
vehicles pass. Again, they’re not effective against every device, but,
given the right frequency and the right overrides, they can be quite
So, we’re approaching the problem through a number of means.
We don’t expect, necessarily, that we are going to find a silver bullet.
We don’t think that somewhere in a garage there’s a guy with
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pens in his pocket and fuzzy hair and thick glasses who’s going to
come and render us a solution. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t
keep trying, and we never should stop trying, until we have found
a way to completely defeat these things.
I appreciate your commitment to that end. I just
can’t think of anything, in terms of protecting our troops, more important,
and I know that they are constantly evolving, in terms of
their technologies and the things that our enemies are doing. I just
think we have to focus like a laser on how we protect people in the
field. If it’s a resource issue, I hope you will make clear to us, as
a committee, and to Congress, what your needs are so that we can
take the appropriate steps to help you best combat what, again, is
a very serious and lethal capability the enemy has, and one that
I know it is not easy to be able to solve. In any case, it’s a question
I try and pose as folks come in front of this committee, just to get
some insights about how we can do a better job, and how we can
better serve you, in terms of resources.
Sir, I would take the opportunity to say that,
from our perspective inside the Department of Defense, we appreciate
your recognition of this being the significant problem that it
is. It appears to us that you have very well resourced those people
that are attempting to overcome it.
I appreciate your answers. Again, thank you. I
just can’t tell you how much we appreciate what you’re doing for
the country and your service. So, thank you for that.
I think the Senator from Michigan is back. The chairman is gone,
Senator, so if you had another round of questions, feel free.
I just have a few. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General, on the question of Marine Corps end strength, the
Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) proposed to stabilize the Marine
Corps’ end strength at 175,000 Active and 39,000 Reserve component
personnel by fiscal year 2011. General Hagee, however, has
stated he is not sure the Active-Duty Marine Corps end strength
should be reduced below 180,000 marines, and he said that he
planned to conduct a capabilities assessment to re-examine the
Has that assessment been completed, do you know? Or do you
know what the status of it is?
Yes, Senator Levin, it has been completed.
There was a group of about probably 40 officers who convened
down at Quantico for a period of about 3 months, who gave a series
of reports back to General Hagee and his three-star generals in the
area. I think that what the assessment group has essentially validated
for the Commandant is what he now says, that he believes
that we need a Marine Corps of about 180,000 in order to be able
to continue to engage in this long war on terrorism.
Do you know if it will be presented within the
next month or so, to Congress or to the Secretary?
Sir, I’m sorry, I do not know the answer to
that. I have not had that specific conversation with General Hagee.
All right. In terms of approximately 180,000
being the correct end strength, in the best judgment of that study,
should that end strength be built into the permanent budget, or
should it be left, in part, up to a supplemental budget?
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Sir, we think it needs to be in the Marine
Corps budget, as such. Personnel are expensive. Once we bring
those people on, we bring them on for 4 years. The Marine Corps
would not be able, with its budget such as it is, to absorb those
costs for personnel, were the supplementals not there. So, for purposes
of planning, for purposes of long-range understanding of
what our capabilities are going to be, I think we would much prefer
to see it in the top line, as opposed to presented in a supplemental.
Gotcha. On a question of relocation of some of our
marines to Guam from Japan, there has been a recent agreement
with the Government of Japan to relocate 8,000 marines from Okinawa
to Guam. I’m wondering what your reaction is to that and
whether or not that will have a negative impact on the ability of
the marines to support Pacific Command’s requirements for providing
presence and security cooperation in Asia.
Sir, the most important part first. We think
that it will not impact on our ability to provide to the combatant
commander what he has to have for marine forces in the Pacific.
This same capabilities assessment group was asked by the Commandant
to examine how best to deploy those forces once we commence
moves off of both Okinawa and portions of mainland Japan.
What we would like to see, as a Marine Corps, is a determination
as to the ultimate disposition of these forces, more along the lines
of the operational requirements, the administrative and logistics
sets, that may have initially driven the discussion. That’s where we
are. It’s still fairly early in the negotiation process, both with our
Government and the Japanese Government, but we hope to effect
that with that proposition.
Thank you. I think it was the chairman who, as
I had to leave, was asking a question relative to the Haditha investigations,
and you may have already answered this. Do we have
any idea when those investigations will be completed? If you’ve already
answered it, I can——
I have not answered it, sir, and I will give you
the information to the best of my knowledge. There were two investigations,
of course, I think you’re aware. The 15–6, the Army version
of the preliminary investigation that was ordered by General
Chiarelli, has been completed. General Chiarelli has a copy. He’s
passed his recommendations on to General Casey, and, at this
point, General Casey and General Abizaid are reviewing the investigation.
Similarly, the ultimate convening authority, if you will,
will be the Marine component commander, Lieutenant General
Sattler, 1MEF commander at Camp Pendleton right now. He also
has a copy, and is reviewing it, at present.
The other investigation, the NCIS investigation, has not been
completed, but I am told it is nearing completion.
That is as much as I can give you, sir, towards an answer to your
question as to when you’ll see both those things.
Thank you, General.
I was just going to ask Senator Warner’s staff whether he was
on his way back. I have completed my questions, and I was just
going to thank the General, but now you can thank him.
Thank you very much. I appreciate
the opportunity to resume presiding again. I thank you and
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I thought Senator Thune’s questions, together with
yours, have been very much on point.
General, one of the most remarkable chapters of our military history—
if I may say, as a person who’s been privileged to watch a
half a century of our military history—occurred in this conflict in
Iraq, the successive conflicts, and that’s the role of the National
Guard and the Reserve component of all of our Services. Those individuals
willingly responded to orders to leave their jobs, their
homes, their families, and take their places alongside the Regular
Forces and quickly get up to speed professionally. There have been
a remarkable number of incidents of their personal bravery and
professional achievements at all levels in this conflict, not only on
the battlefield, but in the aviation components and all types of
things, and aboard ships. I don’t like to talk about my inconsequential
career, but I served in the Reserves in the Marine Corps, and
volunteered to come up to duty in the Korean War, and served in
Korea. When that was concluded, I had no obligation to stay in the
Reserves, but I did it, and many of my colleagues who served with
me in Korea, when we returned home, they, likewise, stayed in the
Reserves, because we felt that we—although my tour was fairly
limited—had a valuable contribution to make to our Reserve components.
I stayed in some 10 or 12 years.
Tell us about the Reserves in the Marine Corps and what you
plan to do. I just hope that you share my tremendous respect for
what they have done through the years, and that the Corps, under
your leadership, will continue what it’s doing today, and perhaps
enhance and, if necessary, if you so desire, enlarge the Reserve
component of the Marine Corps.
Sir, first of all, I completely agree with your
salute to the Reserves and the Guard. I would add, before I address
the Marine Corps aspect of it, that in some regards it’s absolutely
amazing that the Army can go about a transformation of sorts, a
modularization, if you will, of its brigades at a time when there’s
a serious war taking place. In the place of the Active Force units,
the Army has gone to Reserve and the National Guard Forces, and
they’ve just done marvelous work, as you say. So, hats off to those
folks, and they really have stepped up when their country needed
Sir, without being parochial with regard to the Marine Reserves,
I do think that ours is truly a model system. We call it the Total
Force, and we mean that in every sense of the word, with regard
to equipment, with regard to the expectations that they will be
there when we need them most. They have just never let us down.
Now, there’s an investment that goes with that. We have Active-
Duty people, some of our best lieutenant colonels, command
screened, who are out there as the inspector/instructor. He’s in
charge of a number of young company-grade officers. Some of our
best company commanders go out and work with the Reserves on
a routine basis to make sure that they’re able to maintain and
apply those standards, should the country need.
We’re extremely proud of who they are and what they do. It
comes at a cost, but we are more than willing, I think, because of
the capability that’s added, to accept those costs and continue to
make them a real combat addition.
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Do you think that you need some expansion
of the size of the Corps’ component?
Sir, I’ll be honest, I have not sat down to look
at that in close quarters.
You have 39,600, currently, men and women
in the Marine Corps Reserve. As you sit down to look at it, hopefully
you will have the benefit of the Commission on the National
Guard and Reserves, headed by a fellow marine, General Arnold
Punaro, who will be working on recommendations. So, I hope that
you take to heart what recommendations they come up with, and
would have no reluctance to come before this committee if you need
such authority to make modifications.
Absolutely, sir. I would make two comments,
sir. One is that I think we have a smaller percentage of Reserves,
if you compare the ratio Marine to Army.
Yes, I am aware.
So, that should compel us to ask if that percentage
The second part, though, I think would have to look at the determination
as to whether or not, for the long war, we would see reaccessing
the Reserves in order to apply their capabilities once
again. That would help us to determine whether or not we want
to expand the size of the Reserve Force.
All right. Let’s turn our attention to those
who have survived the wounding in these current combat operations
and who are now trying, together with the love and affection,
hopefully, of their families, to rehabilitate themselves. I think
it was 2 or 3 years ago, I put in an initiative to encourage the Department
of Defense to make possible every one of those individuals
could stay in, assuming he or she so desired, and that the
wounds that they sustained would not severely limit their ability
to perform valued services. I hope that you will continue to foster
Absolutely, sir. That has been the Commandant’s
directive, and it’s a wonderful program. I intend to continue
it, certainly, if confirmed.
The committee has been concerned that the
other programs and coordinated efforts of the Services, including
the ‘‘Marine For Life’’ Program, anticipate problems and seek out
the severely wounded soldiers, sailors, and airmen that need assistance,
the funding levels and so forth. Will you examine that to
make sure that that is adequate?
Yes, sir. We have, at present, grant blocks of
money available to those who have been wounded, based upon the
nature of their wounds. We have some tremendous private organizations
who work hard—not least, the Semper Fi Fund—to be a
help to the families. But there also, I think, is a national responsibility
to continue to ensure that our wounded are provided for.
Mrs. Conway, will you commit to the committee
that if he doesn’t measure up, you will step forward, is that
I absolutely will, sir.
Thank you very much. Let the record reflect
that clear and concise response. [Laughter.]
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She means that.
On the QDR, according to the QDR 2006, the
Department is focusing on bringing the needed capabilities to the
Joint Force more rapidly by fashioning a more effective acquisition
system and associated set of processes. One of the QDR recommendations
is to integrate the combatant commanders more
fully into the acquisition process. Now, that acquisition, at the moment,
is shared by the military departments, and the Department
of Defense, and we’re looking at how the combatant commanders
can have a stronger voice. Do you have any views on that?
Sir, we have recently had a senior executive
conference within the Department, that the Secretary chaired, to
talk somewhat about that issue as it relates to the requirements
of the combatant commanders on the global war on terrorism. We
are looking at adjustments to our contemporary programs as to
how their requirements can be better understood and met by the
title 10 responsibilities of the military departments. So, I would say
yes, sir, I think that is ongoing. Of course, the Service Secretaries
and Service Chiefs still bear the responsibility for the ‘‘organize,
train, and equip’’ functioning as directed by title 10, but those that
we provide forces for, we have to understand clearly what their
needs are and be able to provide.
The Riverine Force. I happen to have very
high regard for those capabilities. When I was Secretary of the
Navy, I visited Vietnam on occasion, and went down and saw those
operations. I commended the Department of the Navy for bringing
back the concept, and recently working it into their force structure.
The 2005 QDR included the Navy’s decision to field new capability
in support of Riverine operations, and, in January 2006, the Naval
Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) was established to stand
up this capability.
What is the impact of this new Navy capability and organization
on the Corps’ operations and requirements?
Sir, we think it’s going to be extremely helpful.
I salute Admiral Mullen and all that he’s done with the NECC. He
has set aside 40,000 or 50,000 of his Navy personnel to assist in
this global war on terrorism, and they’re taking on a number of additional
roles that, in some cases in the past, soldiers and marines
have had to accomplish, that now frees them to go do something
else. An important part of that is the Riverine capability. If you listen
to the intelligence analysts and hear what they have to say, in
terms of where the trouble spots in the globe will continue to be,
there are a lot of rivers, a lot of deltas. We think that Riverine
Forces, properly manned and equipped, can, and will, be very effective
I point out—and I regret I don’t have that
statistic at my fingertips—the population of the world that live
within 200 miles of either a major waterway or an ocean. Isn’t that
correct? It’s a very high percentage.
Yes, sir, it’s huge.
Can you represent to this committee that, if
confirmed as Commandant, if there are any issues of roles and missions
of the Corps and the Navy on this—the new Riverine Force,
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that is—that you’ll come before the committee, and hopefully we
can work out the problem?
I’d much prefer to do it that way, rather
than let it fester down in the sinews of the organization.
I understand, sir.
Could you describe the command structure
that you would envision for integrating overlapping areas of responsibility
between the Navy and the Marine Corps in the execution
of a Riverine operation?
Sir, it would vary, of course, with each situation
on the ground. If I were told that I had a Navy Riverine Force
coming to join me for operations, if they had a parent command in
the area, then I would see if the relationship needed to be tactical
command of those that were assigned to me, with operational command
remaining with that parent headquarters, so they could provide
them with the sustenance and the things that they would need
that are organic to the Force. We have had that relationship work
superbly in many other areas where you have this crossover or
overlap. It is now analogous to what we call ‘‘supporting/supported.’’
I would be the supported commander, and the supporting
commander—i.e., the Riverine Force commander, would be providing
assets to me to accomplish the mission.
All right. In your answers to the advance
questions, you state your interest in the long-term health effects of
combat operations and tempo, and in the sufficiency of medical care
provided. Operational stress has intensified in the war on terror,
and is manifest in mental health problems among military members
and their families. While resilience continues to be the hallmark
of our military members—in other words, they bring themselves
back to reality, and salute again and march off—some may
need help, and more help than we envision at this time. What is
your assessment of the adequacy of mental health screening and
assistance programs for our marines today?
Mr. Chairman, it’s a disturbing trend to see
the number of folks who are increasingly either discharged or
treated for mental issues. Trend lines, again, are slightly up, compared
to what they have been in previous years. I think it’s an area
that we have to be prepared to take a look at. I think that diagnosis
is key. We are sustaining both what’s traditionally called Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in people who have seen a great
deal at a very young age. We also are sustaining, actually, physical
brain injuries through a lot of the concussions and the effects of the
IEDs. We’re just now learning what the relationship to those two
types of injuries are. We need to pay close attention to it. We need,
I think, to push the medical field to become more expert at the
treatment and the resolution of those problems that our young people
I really think that it’s important, at the command level and at
every subordinate level, that people understand that we will treat
the mind just as certainly as we treat a body wound to get our marines
and sailors back into shape. It is no embarrassment. There
should be no stigma associated with the fact that you’re having
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problems from something you have done or experienced or seen in
a combat zone.
That’s very encouraging, General, because
it’s a part of our medical science that has somehow not received,
in years past, the needed support. I find within our military today,
a recognition that this is just as serious as that open wound that
someone, fortunately, can survive from with modern medical technology.
So, that is encouraging.
The Corps is moving to a new operational concept called ‘‘distributed
operations.’’ The concept involves changing the way infantry
battalions operate, providing specialized training for many of the
marines in those battalions, and increased amounts of equipment.
How will this new concept affect the Marine Corps warfighting capability?
How will the support requirements for new equipment affect
the Marine Corps budget? The other question I would have is
that, as the Army goes to a changed configuration away from the
division and the regiment concept of years past, and when the
Corps, as we are doing today, is interoperable with Army units,
how will the modifications in the Army affect your ability, with today’s
Corps, to work?
I understand, sir. A number of questions there,
sir. Let me see if I can take them on.
First of all, we see distributed operations as a logical extension
of maneuver warfare. What we saw in Operation Iraqi Freedom is
that the accuracy of our fire support systems is such that there’s
tremendous combat power held in the hands of a very few people.
That was the case both in Iraq, as well as in Afghanistan. It is our
thinking that we can certainly cover a huge amount of terrain,
with conditions and the situation on the ground permitting, with
smaller units, in distributed fashion, having access to this kind of
firepower. So, it is a tool in the kitbag of the commander. There
will be times, I suspect, where the situation won’t suit that, but,
nevertheless, a battalion, or any size Marine unit really, that has
more equipment, better communications, or more capability vested
in the training of our smaller units, means a better Marine Corps.
Will it be expensive? Yes, sir. There was a price tag associated
with that, but we think, in the end, again, the value of what it provides
to us, potentially with deploying even a smaller force to accomplish
the same objectives, makes it appealing.
In terms of how we would conduct that function with the Army,
I don’t see a conflict. We see that the Army is moving more to brigade-
size formations, as opposed to, say, the 3rd Infantry Division
(ID) that we fought alongside of in Operation Iraqi Freedom. We
think that’s not problematic. If anything, these individual brigades
have as much, or more, combat power than what we saw in the brigades
of the old 3rd ID.
That our units would be able to operate alongside them, or even
integrated with them, in terms of bringing aboard that additional
firepower, meshing the communications, those are things now that
we have taken note of since OIF. Our communications capability
needs to be much better netted than it was as late as 2003. Those
problems are being addressed actively by Joint Forces Command,
by the Joint Staff, and we think that, when that’s all settled, that
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we will still be able to mesh very nicely with Army brigades and
Marine battalions operating in a distributed manner.
Compare the MEF, which has been a concept
of the Marines now for well over a decade or more—I can’t recall
the origin of that—with the Army brigade today, from the standpoint
of the components, the structure, and the command-and-control.
Sir, it’s probably more appropriate to compare
the MEF—and its origins were the Marine Amphibious Force
(MAF), going all the way back to Vietnam days—with an Army
corps. Probably the biggest difference rests in two or three areas.
First of all, we bring our own logistics with us. A MEF has 60 days
of inherent or organic sustainability that it can employ before we
ever have to tie into theater-level resources. So, it is truly an expeditionary
capability, a package, if you will, that can go virtually
anywhere and immediately get into action. The Army buildup and
the logistics and all that type of thing are operated quite differently
at the corps level. That, I think, is one distinction.
But a corps is several divisions linked together.
In terms of total numbers, that would be much larger, I
presume, than a MEF.
Sir, an Army division is about 20,000. A corps
is somewhere between two and, let’s say, five divisions.
I think it has the command-and-control capacity
to command that large a force. We had 90,000 in our MEF
when we crossed the line of departure.
Did you really?
We have the command-and-control to manage
it, as well.
Although the structures are different, we can
operate together in the same battlespaces and make it work.
Yes, sir, we did.
Two other things I would highlight, sir, to maybe finish the answer
to your question. One, the organic air that the MEF commander
owns is absolutely amazing. It is such a capability, especially
given the open desert terrain, where we fought Operation
Iraqi Freedom, but I would say virtually in any campaign where
you intend to use air. On any given day, I had accessible to me 300
sorties of fixed-wing and Cobra air that I could put against any target.
That is an amazing capability when you’re fighting the deep
fight, trying to soften things up for your division.
The other difference I think that is compelling in this global-war
concept on terrorism is the number of infantry that is brought
about by a Marine division versus what exists now in an Army division.
We have almost as many boots on the ground, if you will,
in a Marine regiment as you find in an Army division. I’m not making
a negative comparison here. I’m just saying, where you have to
be able to dismount troops and go accomplish something in a village
or even in an entire province, what the Marine Corps can
bring to bear with regard to those individual troops going about
their business is, I think, significant and, in some ways, remarkable.
Senator Levin, you had a question.
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Just one additional question. There has been a
recent series of articles criticizing strategy and tactics of our forces
in Iraq as sometimes being too heavy-handed and alienating the civilian
population, and perhaps fueling the insurgency, as a result.
You had some real experience. I know you have done a lot of thinking
about that subject, and I wonder whether you would share both
Sir, I think you have to be extremely aware of
a culture when you are going to operate in any foreign country, and
whether it’s phase 0 all the way through phase 3 combat operations.
The thing that I think that we need to be extremely conscious
of is an individuals’ pride. If you look at an Iraqi, let’s say,
a farmer who lives in a mud hut, and he has six children and a
wife, he may look as though he is as poor as any man on the face
of the Earth, but I’ll guarantee you, that man has a source of pride
in his country, in what Iraq has meant to world history, and we
need to be very understanding of that, and we need to avoid stepping
on it. Even though the early security forces may have been
very low quality by our standards, we can’t appear to, in any way,
be talking down to them if we expect them to step up and do the
I think we have to be very careful with regard to unintended consequences
when we have the accidents that we had, where large
numbers of Iraqis were killed in and around Fallujah, and families
approaching entry control point checkpoints, those types of things.
Any population would have a long memory for those kinds of
things, and, although it may have been done by a previous unit,
you’re going to bear the effects of it. So, I just think that we have
to very much train our troops and understand the culture we’re
about to deal with, speak the language as much as we possibly can
so we can gather the subtleties, and then not trample on their
pride, or their sense of civic awareness, as we engage.
Thank you, General.
Thank you, Senator Levin.
The Detainee Treatment Act of 2006 was a product of the work
of this committee—most notably, Senator McCain, Senator Levin,
and the Senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, and myself.
I think the four of us were very active in this. That established
the Army Field Manual 34–52, as the standard for interrogation
techniques, and also prohibits cruel and inhuman, degrading
treatment of prisoners. It’s a landmark piece of legislation. We’re
still awaiting—and that’s not the question to you—the promulgation
of the most recent Army Field Manual. I think it’s somewhat
perplexing that it’s taken so long, but, anyway, that’s not the question
I put to you, because that’s not in your lane. But how do you,
as Commandant, intend to implement and ensure compliance with
the provisions of the law and the new Army Field Manual once it’s
Sir, we have, in our experiences in Iraq, been
very conscious of how we treat detainees. It gets back to Senator
Levin’s question, in terms of how you deal with the population. If
you are going to have detainees—and I suppose that is a consequence
of attempting to root out an insurgency—I think that you
have to go right by the numbers in terms of how you deal with
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these people, because what you don’t want to create is an insurgent
who didn’t have those intentions before.
Marines have routinely attempted to put our proper people, corrections
people, mature staff noncommissioned officers (NCOs) and
officers, in charge of those facilities. We conduct frequent inspections.
We invite any number of people that want to come and take
a look to make sure that we are meeting standards in those manner
of things. There’s an internal issue there, where you want to
make sure that interrogators and the detainee handlers are doing
their jobs simultaneously so that there’s a two-man rule there, and
that there are no excessive treatments in either category. Just
transparency, sir, with regard to families coming in. Any visitors
that want to come tend to help those things police themselves. We
need to continue to do that.
Will you commit to the committee here that
as you assume your role, if confirmed, that you put in place some
control measures? In other words, no matter how much training,
somebody has to watch to make sure it’s being implemented. Also,
do not hesitate to come back to the committee if you feel that certain
aspects of this are inhibiting the ability of your units to perform
their missions in combat to obtain that very valuable realtime
intelligence which is needed to perform our operations, and perform
it with minimal harm to our own warfighters. I think this is an ongoing
problem, and we don’t intend to assign a lawyer to every platoon
to follow through what they’re doing and read the Miranda
rights to the enemy and all of those sort of things on the battlefield.
This is a new chapter, but a necessary chapter—I don’t mean
to, in any way, belittle it—a new chapter in military life, in military
responsibility and operations. It’s certainly far different than
anything that I ever witnessed in my somewhat modest and limited
observation of those engaged in combat operations, but that’s going
to be your task.
That’s what this country stands for. The
image of the country in the eyes of the world is something that
every marine wants to take pride in, because he and his forebears
have contributed to credibility and the effectiveness of this Nation
as a leader in the world in so many ways.
So, we have your assurance on that.
Mr. Chairman, you do. You are correct in your
earlier statement that as J–3 operations, detainee resolution has
not been one of my responsibilities, but it certainly, if confirmed,
will become that. I certainly will need to examine it more closely
and determine if it’s something that we can live with. If not, I
would be more than willing—in fact, I would see it necessary to
come back before this committee.
Always remember Harry Truman, that little
sign on this desk, ‘‘The buck stops here.’’
You ought to get one of those and put it on
your desk. He was a great soldier and, I think, a great President.
I agree, sir.
You are a Joint Speciality Officer (JSO). You
exemplify that. DOD and the Joint Staff have developed the Strate-
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gic Plan for Joint Officer Management and brought forward legislative
changes to the current system by which an officer qualifies to
become a JSO. This legislation would bring more flexibility to the
process of awarding credit for joint tours of duty of varying lengths
and giving greater discretion to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
to identify, fully, joint-qualified officers. What is the assessment
that you have of the need for change in this area? Do you think
that individual officers who have served well in joint capacities are
getting the credit and recognition under the present system that
they should receive?
Sir, once again, I will be very honest and say
I have not looked at this in detail. I can give you my impressions,
having been in joint billets now a number of times, and currently
in a joint billet, and even having heard the chairman and his immediate
staff talk about it. I do think that it would be helpful were
we to have some greater level of flexibility offered to the Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs to award, if you will, recognition for joint service.
There are some billets for which that just seem to make sense,
and we scratch our heads as to why that person, with his day-today
contact, would not be awarded a joint job.
I do think that it’s a marvelous concept to try to enforce the fact
that jointness occur. Jointness, sir, is a way of doing business
today. There are still some mechanics that have to be solved, but
every officer that’s been around the other Services knows that
there’s synergy in that. That’s the way that we have to be able to
fight and work on a daily basis.
I do think that there’s legislation in place to ensure that the importance
of joint duty is recognized. Every time I see a promotion
list, it has associated with it the numbers of joint officers and their
selection rate, in comparison to the service headquarters selection
rate. What I have seen over time now, and I experienced this as
a colonel’s monitor years ago, is that you send your best and
brightest to joint duty to make sure that you don’t get your knuckles
rapped if your percentages should come back less than expected.
That’s a very good response, and if I may
say, with a degree of immodesty, I think we’ve had a very good
hearing. I hope you share that, my distinguished colleague.
I do, indeed.
We have explored, indepth, a wide range of
issues, and I compliment you on your responses. As Senator Levin
said, we’ll get the facts, and nothing but the facts, and the truthful
facts. That, you have provided, and given us also your views and
So, we wish you and your family well.
This record will remain open until close of business today, should
other members, who, for various reasons, are unable to attend the
hearing wish to put questions to you.
As soon as our two chiefs of staff indicate
that the record has been completed, Senator Levin and I hopefully
will bring this nomination to the full committee for a vote early
next week, and then, subsequently, to the floor for what I believe
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will be a well-recognized and well-earned confirmation by the
United States Senate.
Anything that you have to close on now?
Thank you. Thank you, General and family.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Senator
Levin, for the opportunity.
Thank you to all in attendance. This hearing
[Whereupon, at 11:41 a.m., the committee adjourned.]
[Prepared questions submitted to Lt. Gen. James T. Conway,
USMC, by Chairman Warner prior to the hearing with answers
QUESTIONS AND RESPONSES
Question. The Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of
1986 and the Special Operations reforms have strengthened the warfighting readiness
of our Armed Forces. They have enhanced civilian control and the chain of
command by clearly delineating the combatant commanders’ responsibilities and authorities
and the role of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. These reforms
have also vastly improved cooperation between the Services and the combatant commanders,
among other things, in joint training and education and in the execution
of military operations.
Do you see the need for modifications of any Goldwater-Nichols Act provisions?
Answer. Not as the act specifically applies to the Military Departments; however,
in the broader interagency context there are changes that could improve U.S. response
to world events.
Question. If so, what areas do you believe might be appropriate to address in
Answer. The complexities of the global war on terror have demonstrated the need
for broader participation and closer coordination by other Federal departments in
order to effectively harness all elements of national power. Specifically, we need to
continue to make progress in achieving greater efficiencies and effectiveness
through the streamlining of interagency coordination, reducing duplication of effort
across the Departments and accelerating the decisionmaking cycle.
Question. What is your understanding of the duties and functions of the Commandant
of the Marine Corps?
Answer. The duties of the Commandant of the Marine Corps are primarily spelled
out in title 10, section 5043, which I won’t repeat. Fundamentally, the duties and
responsibilities are to prepare the Marine Corps to fight and win the Nation’s wars.
Also, they are to advise the President, the National Security Council, the Secretary
of Defense, and Secretary of the Navy on military matters. The Commandant executes
these responsibilities as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
One of the most important institutional responsibilities borne by the Commandant
is the responsibility to lead our marines. Leadership in this context means continuously
adapting the doctrine by which the Marine Corps will fight, and ensuring that
this doctrine is converted into the training, tactics, and equipment to be used in executing
our missions across the full spectrum of conflict and in support of humanitarian
and other missions, as the President directs. The job of the Commandant is
to ensure that the marines are ready. My unwritten responsibility, if confirmed, is
to keep Congress, in its constitutional oversight role, informed of the truth.
Question. What background and experience, including joint duty assignments, do
you possess that you believe qualifies you to perform these duties?
Answer. I have had the good fortune to serve in key service billets and joint assignments
within the Department of Defense. I have commanded marines at virtually
every level from platoon to Marine Expeditionary Force and in educating and
training marines at every level. As a general officer, I have served as both the Deputy
Director of Operations J–3 for Combating Terrorism and in my current billet
as the Director for Operations, J–3. Both of these billets along with my recent responsibilities
as a Division and MEF commander in combat have given me great insight
into what combatant commands (COCOMs) require from the Marine Corps.
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My current responsibilities have provided me a unique opportunity to understand
the challenges facing all the Service Chiefs today as they strive to meet their title
10 responsibilities in support of the combatant commanders.
Question. Do you believe that there are any steps that you need to take to enhance
your ability to perform the duties of the Commandant of the Marine Corps?
Answer. No, I believe that with your continued assistance, the advice of my fellow
Joint Chiefs, the continued exceptional performance of our marines and the strong
support of my family, I have the abilities to perform the duties that will be expected
of me, if confirmed.
MAJOR CHALLENGES AND PRIORITIES
Question. In your view, what are the major challenges that will confront the next
Commandant of the Marine Corps?
Answer. The major challenges confronting the next Commandant of the Marine
Corps center on organizing, training, equipping, and manning units deploying in
support of combatant commanders in the long war and transforming the force for
the future. I believe the following specific issues will be important for the next Commandant
We are a Nation at war and our highest priority will remain our focus on the long
war. At the same time we will seek to balance these priorities with our efforts to
reset the force so that your marines remain most ready when the Nation is least
As a former MEF Commander and Director for Operations during Operation Iraqi
Freedom (OIF), I am cognizant of the wear and tear we have put on our gear. We
need to be honest with ourselves and the taxpayer on what it will take to properly
reestablish our readiness. We must ensure that our material requirements are validated
and resourced in order to ‘‘reset’’ the force for both near- and long-term readiness.
This will require rigorous reexamination of basic unit requirements in view
of OIF, and disciplined assessments of material degradation from several years of
employment under arduous climatic conditions and high-usage rates. I intend to be
a very prudent steward of the resources entrusted to me, as marines have always
been, and intend to manage these resources so that we maximize the capabilities
that we make available to the combatant commanders.
I will be working with my naval partner, the Chief of Naval Operations, to design
and build tomorrow’s fleet. My expectation is that the next 2 decades will place a
premium on flexible and mobile sea-based maneuver. In a world of uncertainty, we
should exploit the global commons and maneuver at sea for advantage ashore.
As we go forward it is critical to continue our improvements to our training and
education in the Marine Corps. We have made changes to our Professional Military
Education that have improved the educational experience for our finest asset, the
individual marine. The challenge for the way ahead is to adapt and stay ahead of
our adversaries through continual assessment and implementation of our lessons
learned from our current engagements. If confirmed, I will sustain the numerous
initiatives in place to advance the training and education so that our marines are
tactically cunning, culturally savvy, disciplined warriors who are led by mentally
You have a fantastic Marine Corps and you are rightfully proud of them. The
challenge will be continuing to attract, recruit, sustain, and retain quality marines.
I am especially interested in the long-term effects of our combat Deployment Tempo
(DEPTEMPO) and in the sufficiency of medical care provided to our marines, particularly
those recovering from injuries received in Operation Enduring Freedom
(OEF) and OIF. While our attention is naturally drawn to preparing for operations
far away, we must ensure we provide for the families of our marines while they are
away and upon their return.
Question. Assuming you are confirmed, what plans do you have for addressing
Answer. I have only just begun to look at these issues in preparation for the confirmation
hearing. While I am most concerned with readiness, I will continue to
seek counsel from Congress, visit my general officers, the combatant commanders,
and work with my sergeant’s major to develop plans to address these issues. If confirmed,
I will set my agenda and disseminate my vision during the initial days of
assuming duties as the Commandant of the Marine Corps.
Question. If confirmed, what broad priorities would you establish in terms of
issues that must be addressed by the Commandant of the Marine Corps?
Answer. If confirmed as Commandant of the Marine Corps, my first priorities will
be to make sure marines are well-trained, well-equipped, and well-led. The underlying
foundation is our marines and their families—to them we owe the best in train-
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ing, leadership, and equipment. We will continue to train and educate to sustain
a lean and agile Service ready to fight the global war on terrorism and ready to
adapt to change in future environments. The lynchpin to this continued readiness
for our Nation is a commitment to reconstitution of our force and an acceptable pace
ROLE OF THE MARINE CORPS IN THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM
Question. The main focus of the United States military has been on the war in
Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Marine Corps has had a major role in OIF and OEF.
What do you see as the Marine Corps’ role in the continuing global war on terrorism?
Answer. We will continue to be engaged in Iraq so long as it is a counterinsurgency.
The Marine Corps remains committed to balancing an increase in irregular
warfare capabilities with maintaining essential conventional warfighting capabilities.
We believe this is necessary to identify the right mix of capabilities that
support the global war on terror while maintaining our ability to respond to any
contingency. We have established and are fielding the Marine Special Operations
Command as an integral component of USSOCOM. Additionally, the Marine Corps
is reprioritizing and improving our irregular warfare capabilities to better support
SOCOM and other COCOM plans for the global war on terror. By accepting and
managing risk in traditional capabilities, we will increase our SOF-like and irregular
capabilities and capacities while still maintaining our ability to respond to major
Additionally, our forward-deployed posture represents a unique capability to respond
to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, assist other countries, and
thwart terrorism through non-kinetic measures. It also supports theater security cooperation
enabling us to build partner capacity to fight terrorism.
Question. What role do you envision for the Marine Corps in homeland security
and homeland defense?
Answer. It is important to emphasize that defense of the homeland begins not on
our shores, but on far shores as part of a collaborative interagency defense-in-depth.
As a Total Force in readiness, this is and will continue to be the Marine Corps’ primary
contribution to homeland defense.
When and if directed by the President or Secretary of Defense, the Marine Corps
uses its Active-Duty and Reserve Forces to rapidly respond to a threat in the homeland,
whether the threat is from nature, such as a hurricane, or from terrorists. Marine
Forces North is our lead component dealing with homeland defense and as such
regularly participates in homeland defense exercises across the country. These marines
bring the same esprit, hard work, and dedication to mission accomplishment
and that our forward deployed forces bring to the fight overseas.
Question. If confirmed, do you plan any major changes to Marine Corps
Answer. Major changes—no, I do not. There will likely be evolutionary changes
associated with lessons learned in the global war on terror. Our warfighting doctrine
is well-crafted and timely. New realities in the post-September 11 world have given
cause to examine this doctrine and supporting documentation.
MARINE FORCES SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND
Question. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command (MARSOC), is a
new subordinate command to the USSOCOM that was established earlier this year.
What is your assessment of the progress made in establishing MARSOC, and
what do you consider to be the principal issues that must be addressed to make it
Answer. The Goldwater-Nichols Act for jointness and Department of Defense efforts
at transformation have resulted in a Marine component of MARSOC. As noted,
MARSOC was created earlier this year and will achieve full operational capability
in fiscal year 2008. There are several issues we need to work through such as deployment
and employment relationships, the impact of a tour in MARSOC on a marine’s
career pattern, and how the Corps is best able to use their operational experience
when they return from MARSOC to conventional Marine Corps Forces.
EFFECTS OF DEPLOYMENTS ON READINESS
Question. What is your assessment of the current state of readiness of the Marine
Answer. We have ensured that all deployed forces are at the highest readiness
levels. All units are trained, manned, and equipped to accomplish their assigned
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missions. Our marines in harm’s way have the equipment and resources they need
to fight and win.
Over 2,100 Marine leaders are filling transition teams, manning joint headquarters,
and providing critical capabilities to forward deployed units. Despite this,
our manpower readiness remains high and morale remains strong. Overall, the current
operations tempo (OPTEMPO) has not been detrimental to readiness at this
point, however this is something that we will need to continue to examine in order
to determine its impact over the course of the long war.
Training levels are also high, particularly for units deploying to OIF. One of the
great strengths of the Marine Corps has been the ability to rapidly garner lessons
learned overseas and insert changes into our training plans and exercises. This
flexibility has allowed us to stay at a high level of readiness for training. One area
that does bear a close watch is the lack of training opportunities for our non-deploying
units due to shortages in manpower and equipment. Overall, our current equipment
readiness is good among the units deployed to Iraq; a testament to the young
men and women who are taking care of their gear in severe conditions. However,
I am concerned about long-term readiness. The long war’s harsh environmental conditions,
higher than normal utilization rates, increased wear, and attrition will require
the accelerated repair and replacement of ground and aviation equipment. In
addition, depot maintenance repair requirements for our equipment will continue
past the end of hostilities.
For our non-deployed forces, replacing combat losses, fielding transition team requirements,
and lower supply/maintenance priorities degrade their readiness.
If confirmed, my priorities will be to reset the force and to support modernization.
Question. In your judgment, are combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan adversely
affecting the readiness or retention of marines on Active-Duty and in the
Answer. In terms of retention, absolutely not. As evidenced with our most recent
statistics on recruiting and retention, this country’s young people continue to demonstrate
a willingness to join the Marine Corps and serve in the Nation’s defense.
During past fiscal years, the Marine Corps has attained its accession goals and anticipates
continuing this achievement for the foreseeable future. That said, if the
current DEPTEMPO remains high, we could see long-term consequences. If confirmed,
I will examine the long-term effect that combat DEPTEMPO has on a career.
Question. If confirmed, what will be your priorities for maintaining readiness in
the near-term, while modernizing the Corps to ensure readiness in the out-years?
Answer. Current readiness, particularly for our deployed forces has, by law, always
been the focus of the Marine Corps. Our long-term readiness however is dependent
upon resetting and modernizing the force; I will seek additional funding to
defray the cost of the war expenses that threaten to eat away at Marine Corps readiness
and modernization planning for the future.
RECRUITING AND RETENTION
Question. What do you consider to be the key to the Marine Corps’ success in recruiting
the highest caliber American youth for service and retaining the best personnel
for leadership responsibilities?
Answer. There will always be great American youth who want to accept the challenge
to be a United States marine. In order to operate and succeed in potentially
volatile times, marines must be physically fit, morally strong, intelligent, and comfortable
with high technology. Recruiting quality youth ultimately translates into
high performance, reduced attrition, increased retention, and improved readiness for
the operating forces.
Recruiting is the lifeblood of our Corps, and it is the foundation for the Marine
Corps to ‘‘Make Marines, Win Battles, and Create Quality Citizens.’’ As such, the
Corps recognizes the importance of assigning the best marines to fulfill this vital
role in maintaining its operating forces. Therefore, the Marine Corps sends Headquarters
Recruiter Screening Teams throughout the force to ensure the most qualified
marines are selected for recruiting duty. The Marine Corps conducts an annual
selection board to select Majors to command Recruiting Stations to ensure our best
officers are assigned to recruiting duty.
The Marine Corps Recruiting Command (MCRC) serves as the conduit that provides
the Corps with a steady flow of quality enlisted and officer accessions. During
fiscal year 2005, the MCRC succeeded in achieving its accession mission, ensuring
the Marine Corps met its appropriate end strength. Unique in this process is the
command relationship between the recruitment and initial training of these young
men and women. The commanding general of each recruiting region is also respon-
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sible for the initial recruit training or ‘‘boot camp.’’ Therefore, each commanding
general is responsible for the recruitment and initial training has direct influence
on the quality of young men and women arriving at boot camp. Additionally, each
recruiter is evaluated on his applicant’s success at boot camp. Quality of individuals
is stressed at all levels throughout the process of transforming marines. This results
in young marines who are committed to fulfilling a promise to their Nation—that
they be ready to fight and win when she calls.
Question. What steps do you feel should be taken to ensure that current operational
requirements and tempo do not adversely impact the overall readiness, recruiting
and retention, and morale of the Marine Corps?
Answer. As stated earlier, I am also concerned with the possibility of long-term
effects of combat DEPTEMPO on career progression. Optimally, we would like to
achieve a sustainable deployment ratio, employ our Reserves as envisioned, and better
manage the personnel tempo of those marines in high demand-low density
MOSs. General Hagee has stated the USMC will require about 180,000 marines. If
confirmed, I will address this challenge. To ensure the Nation retains a viable, capable
Marine Corps and avoid hollowing our force, endstrength changes require a considerable,
concomitant investment—in manpower accounts, for infrastructure, and
equipping the force.
QUALITY OF LIFE
Question. What do you consider to be the most essential elements supporting the
quality of military life for marines and their families, and if confirmed, what would
be your goals in this regard?
Answer. Quality of life means ensuring marines are well-trained, well-equipped,
and well-led, so when we ask them to fight, they can win—and return home to their
families. If I am confirmed, this will be my number one priority.
Individually, marines define quality of life as sufficient financial compensation, a
reasonable OPTEMPO, health care, housing, infrastructure/installation management,
and community services. This means that while our marines are deployed, we
will take care of their families as if they are our own. When our marines return
to their home stations, we will do our best to ensure that their needs are met, and
the wide range of community services that we provide are well-tailored to support
the requirements of the marines and their families.
Question. Have you recently visited the regimental level enclaves at Camp Pendleton?
Answer. Not since I was the commanding general of 1st Marine Division in 2002.
Question. Does the single unaccompanied Marine Corps housing there meet your
standards for an appropriate quality of life?
Answer. Absolutely not. Our marines expect better; they deserve better. Historically,
in providing for our marine families, we were forced into a situation that we
could not concurrently provide for our single marines. As division commander, I visited
all of those regimental camps and I found that single, unaccompanied Marine
Corps housing at Camp Pendleton did not meet my standards for an appropriate
quality of life. The Marine Corps is currently committed to resolve all remaining
bachelor housing deficiencies by fiscal year 2012, under a program initiated by the
Commandant. If confirmed, I intend to carry out General Hagee’s commitment.
Question. The Marine Corps intends to concurrently recapitalize several of its
front line systems. The MV–22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, the Expeditionary Fighting
Vehicle, and the Joint Strike Fighter are all scheduled to be in production at the
Do you believe that these production plans are realistic in light of the demands
on resources imposed by maintaining current readiness?
Answer. We have no other choice. The dual requirements of modernizing the force
for the long war while sustaining combat operations in support of the global war
on terror does strain the limited resources available to the Marine Corps. We could
not accomplish both these tasks without the responsive effort of Congress. The
Corps has been very careful to ensure that we have clearly identified our requirements
and that we field only those capabilities necessary for our Nation’s defense.
Through the efforts of marines, industry, and Congress, we have an achievable longterm
plan to provide better trained and equipped marines for the long war.
ARMY AND MARINE CORPS CAPABILITIES
Question. What are your views regarding the joint development and acquisition
of Army and Marine Corps equipment?
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Answer. I fully support the joint development and acquisition of Army and Marine
Corps equipment. Our two Services share a great deal in common with regard to
tactics, and the operational environment. Further, insofar as the global war on terrorism
is concerned, we fight the same enemy side-by-side, on the same ground. We
often find that we share common requirements. When that occurs, joint development
and acquisition are clearly warranted; it reduces costs and ensures compatibility. I
would add a cautionary note, however: under some circumstances there are differences
in roles and missions that drive differences in requirements. These provide
the Nation with the broad spectrum of capabilities it requires.
Question. Do you believe the Joint Staff should have a role in synchronizing Army
and Marine Corps requirements and service programs?
Answer. Both Joint Forces Command and the Joint Staff are in a position to assist
the Army and Marine Corps in identifying opportunities to exploit commonality
in our requirements, and to facilitate cooperative development of systems. Joint
Staff oversight of requirements definition maximizes the interoperability that is critical
to battlefield success, and ensures requirements for those Service unique capabilities
Question. What programs would you consider to be candidates for joint program
development for the Army and Marine Corps?
Answer. Where the Army and Marine Corps find commonality in missions, tactics,
and operational environments, there will be opportunities for joint program development.
The global war on terrorism provides many examples. Army and Marine
Corps forces in Iraq and Afghanistan face the same threat, under the same conditions,
and are accomplishing the same mission. Accordingly, the two Services require
similar mobility capabilities. As we seek a replacement for the aging fleet of
High Mobility, Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicles, the Army and Marine Corps should
pursue a common replacement, such as the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. Similarly,
because the Army and Marine Corps have the same requirements in force protection,
comprehensive vehicle survivability measures are sound candidates for joint
development. Other areas include command and control systems, some infantry
weapons, and artillery systems. Our goal is to continue to achieve the same resounding
success the Army and Marine Corps realized with the joint development
of the 155mm howitzer.
Question. The Sea Base has long been envisioned as an element of the Department
of the Navy’s Sea Power 21 concept and has emerged in this future years defense
program as one of the centerpieces of the future force.
If confirmed, how will you ensure that the Sea Base concept of operations is fully
integrated with the Marine Corps operational requirements?
Answer. The Marine Corps uses a concept based requirements system, in which
our baseline requirements are derived from a family of warfighting concepts. We
have adopted the Joint Seabasing Concept as one of our own, and it appears within
our most recently published volume of Service concepts. At our Marine Corps Combat
Development Command, we have established a Seabasing Integration Division
that is organized and manned specifically for the purpose of ensuring that the actions
we take to implement the tenets of the Joint Seabasing Concept are fully integrated
with our other requirements. We vet each requirement for its applicability
to seabasing to ensure that our equipment and our organizational structure are designed
to facilitate seabased operations.
Question. What are the Marine Corps’ greatest challenges in projecting power
from the Sea Base in support of operations ashore?
Answer. Our single greatest challenge is the availability of sufficient amphibious
and maritime prepositioning ships to enable the strategic deployment and operational
employment of a credible and sustainable seabased force. We work closely
with our Navy counterparts to address the design and resourcing of these ships,
which provide our Nation with proven capabilities in forward presence and forcible
JOINT FORCES COMMAND
Question. In your view, what is the appropriate role for the U.S. Joint Forces
Command (USJFCOM) with respect to Marine Corps experimentation, acquisition,
and exercise planning and execution?
Answer. The greatest impact that the USJFCOM can have is through its influence
on joint standards and harmonization. With respect to acquisition programs, while
we do not want to sacrifice what are truly unique contributions to national security
in the name of jointness, it is important that we rigorously consider alternatives.
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USJFCOM can serve as a catalyst for this consideration through its experimentation
efforts. It is appropriate for USJFCOM to work in partnership with the regional
combatant commanders to coordinate and synchronize of worldwide joint exercises,
provide joint training models and scenarios, and establish joint training
tasks, conditions, and standards.
NAVAL SURFACE FIRE SUPPORT
Question. The DD(X) program was initiated to fill the capability gap for naval surface
fire support. The original requirement for 24 to 32 DD(X) ships, each with two
155mm Advanced Gun Systems, was reduced to 12 ships, and then to 10 ships in
prior years and has been further reduced to 7 ships in the proposed fiscal year 2007
In your view, does this significant reduction in the number of DD(X) destroyers
meet the Marine Corps’ requirement for Naval Surface Fire Support?
Answer. Our operational lessons learned from Iraq and Afghanistan emphasizes
the value of volume and precision fires. We have 230 years of naval interest in this
area and know that the transformational technology the Navy is developing will
make NSFS relevant and vital to our concepts for conducting Expeditionary Maneuver
Warfare in the future.
Given the current fiscal environment, there is additional risk due to the reduction
in planned DD(X)s procurement; this results in some unaddressed targets and increased
time to accomplish the mission during a forcible entry scenario.
JOINT ACQUISITION PROGRAMS
Question. What are your views regarding joint acquisition programs, such as the
Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) and the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)?
Answer. The Marine Corps fully supports more joint development where common
capability gaps exist. The end result of a joint program office is to achieve commonality
and affordability. Services participating in joint programs leverage off each
others strengths to ensure that the program delivers an affordable solution to a joint
The JSF program is an excellent example of a joint program fulfilling the joint
common solution. With the USAF and the USN, the JSF program is based on delivering
three variants of aircraft that will still allow each Service to fill its particular
mission set, but strives to maintain affordability of the program with commonality.
The JSF Program Office maintains personnel from all Services and also includes an
additional eight countries who are interested in procuring the JSF, allowing each
Service to work on common solutions yet still meet their specific mission requirements
for the aircraft.
Another example of a successful joint program office is the V–22. Additionally, the
Marine Corps is partnering with the Air Force on the C–130J.
JTRS may be a classic example of a single program that is challenged by both
technology and the attempt to provide all of the capabilities desired by all Services.
In this case, both requirements and technology need to be properly synchronized.
Question. Do you see utility in encouraging the Services to conduct more joint development,
especially in the area of helicopters and unmanned systems?
Answer. Yes, there is utility and cost savings inherent in the joint development.
In the area of unmanned aircraft system development opportunity exists to jointly
develop common capability sets. Service specific requirements most often require
unique attributes of the air vehicle: speed, range, stealth characteristics, payload capacity,
launch and recovery method, etc. but command and control methods and
payload capabilities are often ‘‘commodity capabilities’’ that lend to joint development.
For helicopters, there is utility in collaboration on aircraft subsystems, aircrew
safety/survivability, aircraft safety/survivability, avionics for situational awareness
and communication devices. We must continue this process for the long-term and
explore a joint follow-on aircraft development. However, the unique nature of shipboard
operations is a prevailing characteristic that marines must address and
operationalize in our procurement processes.
Question. If so, what enforcement mechanisms would you recommend to implement
more joint program acquisition?
Answer. I have not had an opportunity to study the specifics of joint program acquisition
in enough detail to provide an acceptable answer to the committee.
SERVICE IN IRAQ
Question. During your prior combat tours of duty in Iraq, were there any incidents
within your command of detainee abuse or allegations of abuse of civilians like those
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at Haditha and Hamandiya? If so, please explain the circumstances and the describe
the actions that you took in response to these incidents?
Answer. My prior tours in Iraq presented, in some ways, a uniquely different set
of circumstances. OIF Part I was the more traditional combat mission. So the interface
and interaction with the civilians was fundamentally different than that found
in Iraq today. However, there was the expectation then, as there is today, that marines
will comply with our core values and that we protect those on the battlefield
that we should protect and that we will not harm those that come under our control.
We did have some substantiated cases of detainee abuse, but there were very few
of those. There were cases that included actions such as assault (the assault in one
case was severe enough that the detainee subsequently died), destruction of property,
and mistreatment of detainees. The marines involved were held accountable
at a variety of different disciplinary forums—some were court-martialed and others
received non-judicial punishment. In sum, if a marine went beyond the bounds of
acceptable behavior they were held accountable.
Question. In order to exercise its legislative and oversight responsibilities, it is important
that this committee and other appropriate committees of Congress are able
to receive testimony, briefings, and other communications of information.
Do you agree, if confirmed for this high position, to appear before this committee
and other appropriate committees of Congress?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. Do you agree, when asked, to give your personal views, even if those
views differ from the administration in power?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. Do you agree, if confirmed, to appear before this committee, or designated
members of this committee, and provide information, subject to appropriate
and necessary security protection, with respect to your responsibilities as Commandant
of the Marine Corps?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. Do you agree to ensure that testimony, briefings, and other communications
of information are provided to this committee and its staff and other appropriate
Answer. Yes, sir.
[Question for the record with answer supplied follows:]
QUESTION SUBMITTED BY SENATOR JOHN THUNE
CHANGES TO THE MARINE CORPS
1. Senator THUNE. General Conway, as Commandant of the Marine Corps, you
would obviously have enormous responsibility in attending to the organization and
readiness of the Marine Corps and for advising the President. Given your reputation
as an officer who is consistently objective, honest, and dedicated to the success of
the mission, in conjunction with your extensive combat experience, what are some
changes, if any, that you would propose the Marine Corps make?
There are many issues that I am studying as I prepare to assume
the duties and responsibilities of Commandant of the Marine Corps. My goal
will be to provide our Nation that which she has come to expect for the past 230
years: marines, trained, educated, equipped; ready and determined to prevail over
whatever challenges lay ahead all the while being prudent stewards of the country’s
Any changes will be designed to hone the unique air-ground-logistics capabilities
inherent in all Marine air-ground task forces (MAGTFs). The ability of your marines
to operate and win in complex environments depends on their ability to expertly
coalesce all the combat power of an air-ground logistics force. The unique ability of
marines to operate as a MAGTF provides our Nation with capabilities much greater
than the sum of its parts—true in all sizes of the MAGTF from Marine Expeditionary
Unit to Marine Expeditionary Force and equally true throughout the spectrum
of warfare from humanitarian assistance to major combat operations. This unique
ability will continue to be forged through intense training throughout our Marines’
military service, from boot camp to battlefield, and at every level, from squad-level
drills to MATGF staff planning.
Furthermore, with the additive advantages of the right technologies and equipment,
our core competencies of warfighting excellence will continue to provide cer-
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tainty in execution whenever our country calls. Of course, continued improvement
in training, equipping, and organization would be negligible if the force we have
today is not properly and rapidly reconstituted and reset. Providing America a credible
force—fully manned and equipped—is imperative. My plans will focus on ensuring
that our Nation will continue to have a Corps of Marines, trained, manned, and
equipped-ready to answer her call.
I look forward to discussing these issues and solutions to these challenges with
you in the future. I am confident that with your support, our Marine Corps will remain
our Nation’s force in readiness.
[The nomination reference of Lt. Gen. James T. Conway, USMC,
NOMINATION REFERENCE AND REPORT
AS IN EXECUTIVE SESSION,
SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
June 14, 2006.
Ordered, That the following nomination be referred to the Committee on Armed
The following named officer for appointment as Commandant of the Marine
Corps, and appointment to the grade indicated while assigned to a position of importance
and responsibility under title 10, United States Code, sections 5043 and 601:
To be General
Lt. Gen. James T. Conway, USMC, 2270.
[The biographical sketch of Lt. Gen. James T. Conway, USMC,
which was transmitted to the committee at the time the nomination
was referred, follows:]
RE ´ SUME´ OF SERVICE CAREER OF LT. GEN. JAMES T. CONWAY, USMC
Date of Rank: 2 Dec. 2002.
Date of Birth: 26 Dec. 1947.
Date Commissioned: 1 Nov. 1970.
MRD: 1 Jul. 2009.
Southeast Missouri State University, BS, 1969.
The Basic School, 1971.
Marine Corps Command and Staff College, 1983.
Air War College, 1989.
Joint Flag Officer Warfighting Course, 1998.
Joint Specialty Officer.
Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force (Lieutenant General: Nov.
Deputy Commander, U.S Marine Forces Central Command (Major General: Aug.
Commanding General, 1st Marine Division (Major General: Aug. 2000–July 2002).
President, Marine Corps University (Brigadier General: Oct. 1998–July 2000).
Commanding Officer, The Basic School (Colonel: Apr. 1993–June 1996).
Commanding Officer, 3d Battalion, 2d Marines, 2d Marine Division (Lieutenant
Colonel: Jan. 1990–July 1991).
Deputy Director, J–3 (NMCC–3; J–34), Joint Staff (Brigadier General: June 1996–
Senior Aide to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Lieutenant Colonel: Sept.
Service Staff Assignments:
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Head, Promotions Branch; Head, Officer Assignments Branch (Lieutenant Colonel/
Colonel: July 1991–Apr. 1993).
Operations Officer, G–3, 2d Marine Division (Lieutenant Colonel: May 1989–Jan.
Head, Current Operations Branch, Plans, PP&O Department (Lieutenant Colonel:
Oct. 1987–June 1988).
Significant Combat Experience:
Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force (Operation Iraqi Freedom I).
Commanding Officer, 3d Battalion, 2d Marines (Operations Desert Shield/Storm).
Operations Officer, 31st Marine Amphibious Unit (Beirut).
[The Committee on Armed Services requires certain senior military
officers nominated by the President to positions requiring the
advice and consent of the Senate to complete a form that details
the biographical, financial, and other information of the nominee.
The form executed by Lt. Gen. James T. Conway, USMC, in connection
with his nomination follows:]
UNITED STATES SENATE
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Washington, DC 20510–6050
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES FORM
BIOGRAPHICAL AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION REQUESTED OF
INSTRUCTIONS TO THE NOMINEE: Complete all requested information. If more
space is needed use an additional sheet and cite the part of the form and the question
number (i.e. A–9, B–4) to which the continuation of your answer applies.
PART A—BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
INSTRUCTIONS TO THE NOMINEE: Biographical information furnished in this part
of the form will be made available in committee offices for public inspection prior
to the hearings and will also be published in any hearing record as well as made
available to the public.
1. Name: (Include any former names used.)
James T. Conway.
2. Position to which nominated:
Commandant of the Marine Corps.
3. Date of nomination:
June 9, 2006.
4. Address: (List current place of residence and office addresses.)
[Nominee responded and the information is contained in the committee’s executive
5. Date and place of birth:
December 26, 1947; Walnut Ridge, Arkansas.
6. Marital Status: (Include maiden name of wife or husband’s name.)
Married to Annette Louise Drury Conway.
7. Names and ages of children:
Brandon, age 34; Scott, age 32; and Samantha, age 28.
8. Government experience: List any advisory, consultative, honorary, or other
part-time service or positions with Federal, State, or local governments, other than
those listed in the service record extract provided to the committee by the executive
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9. Business relationships: List all positions currently held as an officer, director,
trustee, partner, proprietor, agent, representative, or consultant of any corporation,
firm, partnership, or other business enterprise, educational, or other institution.
10. Memberships: List all memberships and offices currently held in professional,
fraternal, scholarly, civic, business, charitable, and other organizations.
Sigma Phi Epsilon SE Missouri State University; President.
Inter Fraternity Council SE Missouri State University; President.
11. Honors and Awards: List all scholarships, fellowships, honorary society
memberships, and any other special recognitions for outstanding service or achievements
other than those listed on the service record extract provided to the committee
by the executive branch.
Scholarship; Southeast Missouri State University.
Seminar XXI, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Harvard Executive Leadership Series, 1999.
Southeast Missouri State University Alumni of the Year, 2004.
12. Commitment to testify before Senate committees: Do you agree, if confirmed,
to appear and testify upon request before any duly constituted committee
of the Senate?
13. Personal views: Do you agree, when asked before any duly constituted committee
of Congress, to give your personal views, even if those views differ from the
administration in power?
[The nominee responded to the questions in Parts B–E of the
committee questionnaire. The text of the questionnaire is set forth
in the Appendix to this volume. The nominee’s answers to Parts B–
E are contained in the committee’s executive files.]
SIGNATURE AND DATE
I hereby state that I have read and signed the foregoing Statement on Biographical
and Financial Information and that the information provided therein is, to the
best of my knowledge, current, accurate, and complete.
LT. GEN. JAMES T. CONWAY, USMC.
This 6th day of June, 2006.
[The nomination of Lt. Gen. James T. Conway, USMC, was reported
to the Senate by Chairman Warner on August 1, 2006, with
the recommendation that the nomination be confirmed. The nomination
was confirmed by the Senate on August 2, 2006.]
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NOMINATIONS OF GEN BANTZ J. CRADDOCK,
USA, FOR REAPPOINTMENT TO BE GENERAL
AND TO BE COMMANDER, U.S. EUROPEAN
COMMAND; VADM JAMES G.
STAVRIDIS, USN, FOR APPOINTMENT TO BE
ADMIRAL AND TO BE COMMANDER, U.S.
SOUTHERN COMMAND; NELSON M. FORD TO
BE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY
FOR FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT AND COMPTROLLER;
AND RONALD J. JAMES TO BE
ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY FOR
MANPOWER AND RESERVE AFFAIRS
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2006
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES,
The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:36 a.m. in room SH–
216, Hart Senate Office Building, Senator John Warner (chairman)
Committee members present: Senators Warner, McCain, Inhofe,
Talent, Cornyn, Levin, and Reed.
Committee staff members present: Charles S. Abell, staff director;
and Leah C. Brewer, nominations and hearings clerk.
Majority staff members present: William M. Caniano, professional
staff member; Regina A. Dubey, professional staff member;
Gregory T. Kiley, professional staff member; Sandra E. Luff, professional
staff member; Derek J. Maurer, professional staff member;
Elaine A. McCusker, professional staff member; David M.
Morriss, counsel; Lynn F. Rusten, professional staff member; Sean
G. Stackley, professional staff member; Scott W. Stucky, general
counsel; Kristine L. Svinicki, professional staff member; Diana G.
Tabler, professional staff member; and Richard F. Walsh, counsel.
Minority staff members present: Richard D. DeBobes, Democratic
staff director; Evelyn N. Farkas, professional staff member; Michael
J. Kuiken, professional staff member; Gerald J. Leeling, minority
counsel; Peter K. Levine, minority counsel; and Michael J.
McCord, professional staff member.
Staff assistants present: David G. Collins and Jessica L. Kingston.
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Committee members’ assistants present: Russell J. Thomasson,
assistant to Senator Cornyn; Bob Taylor and Stuart C. Mallory, assistants
to Senator Thune; Mieke Y. Eoyang, assistant to Senator
Kennedy; Frederick M. Downey, assistant to Senator Lieberman;
Elizabeth King, assistant to Senator Reed; and William K. Sutey,
assistant to Senator Bill Nelson.
OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR JOHN WARNER,
Good morning, everyone.
We’re pleased that we have four distinguished nominees before
the committee this morning.
On our first panel, we have General John Craddock, United
States Army, who has been nominated to be Commander, United
States European Command (EUCOM), and Vice Admiral James
Stavridis, U.S. Navy, who has been nominated to be Commander,
United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM).
On our second panel, we’ll consider two civilian nominations:
Nelson Ford, who has been nominated to be Assistant Secretary of
the Army for Financial Management and Comptroller, and Ronald
James, who has been nominated to be the Assistant Secretary of
the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.
We welcome our nominees, and we welcome their families.
I now ask General Craddock and Admiral Stavridis to introduce
their guests. But, first, Senator Levin, do you have comments before
STATEMENT OF SENATOR CARL LEVIN
Let me ask that my full statement be inserted
into the record and I will simply join you in welcoming our four
well-qualified nominees. We welcome their families. I join you in
saying, as we always do, how indebted we are to the families of our
nominees, because they, indeed, sacrifice a great deal to make it
possible for the nominees to perform their duties. We appreciate
their willingness, as well as our nominees’ willingness, to continue
in public service and to support that service.
I very much associate myself with that. I
usually wait until after they’re introduced, and then I’m able to
speak to them, but we’ll go right ahead.
General, won’t you introduce your family?
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would first like
to introduce my wife, Linda, who is the best soldier in the
Craddock family, by far. She and I have soldiered on several great
adventures over the last 35 years in support of the Army and in
support of our Nation’s Armed Forces. She takes care of soldiers
and families, and now, in the joint world, our servicemembers and
their families, and does it magnificently. So, I’m glad she’s here
with us today.
Also, I’d like to introduce a dear friend and neighbor from Coral
Gables, Ana Navarro. We have established a wonderful friendship
since my assignment down to U.S. SOUTHCOM in the Miami area,
and I’m certainly glad—and Linda’s glad—that she’s here with us
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I have two members, here on the front row, from the
SOUTHCOM legislative affairs staff that probably are no stranger
to most folks here, Kim Lowry and Paula Penson. I think they have
done a magnificent job preparing us for today’s event.
So, I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you very much.
Thank you very much, Senator Warner.
I have my own small delegation here today. Senior member, my
mom, Shirley Stavridis. She was the wife of my dad, a retired Marine
colonel, who’s passed away, but I hope is with us in spirit
today. Also, my wife, Laura, who’s been with me throughout my entire
Navy career, and been the keeper of the home fires on the 12
operational deployments I’ve made in 30 years in the Navy. I’m
very proud of her, and I’m proud she could be here with us today.
Also, my two daughters, Christina, who’s a senior at the University
of Virginia, where they call them ‘‘fourth-years.’’ She’s going to
graduate, and hopes to come up and work here in Washington
somewhere when she finishes in school. So, we’re all trying to talk
her out of that, but she’ll probably end up coming anyway. My
other daughter, Julia, who’s 15, and she’s a sophomore at Bishop
O’Connell High School, in Arlington, Virginia. We have two good
friends here, Greg and Diane Lengyel. Greg’s an Air Force colonel
and is doing a fellowship over at Brookings, and thought he might
come over here and see what a Senate hearing looks like. Lastly,
Lieutenant Colonel Skip Sherrell, from the Joint Staff, who has
been very helpful this week in enabling me to come and pay some
calls on all the distinguished Senators.
Thank you very much, sir.
Thank you, Admiral.
I welcome all the families. As my colleague Senator Levin said,
we recognize that we don’t get to these seats, with these ranks, unless
there’s been a strong and full partnership with the family
members throughout those long careers. Both of these gentlemen
have been recognized by the President of the United States for
their extraordinary professional capabilities. In these two men,
subject to the confirmation by the Senate, the President and the
Nation reposes a very heavy responsibility, not only as it relates
to the men and women in uniform under their command, and the
many civilians that are also associated, but entrusted them to keep
the freedom that we enjoy here at home, and the credibility of the
United States in the eyes of the world beyond our shores.
I particularly enjoyed visiting with your mother. I reminisced
about how cold it was in Korea, and she corroborated. Your father,
her husband, had the same problem I had when we got back home.
Thank you for that. That’s very reassuring.
General Craddock, you currently serve as Commander of the U.S.
SOUTHCOM, a position you have held since November 2004. You
are an armor officer, by specialty; quite the distinguished career,
with various operational assignments and units in the 3rd Armored
Division, the 24th Infantry Division, was battalion commander during
Operation Desert Storm, awarded the Silver Star, and the ‘‘Big
Red One,’’ the 1st Infantry Division, which you commanded from
2000 to 2002. You served previously on the Joint Staff as the As-
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sistant Deputy Director of Strategy and Policy and as Senior Military
Assistant to the Secretary of Defense. That’s a very distinguished
Admiral, you currently serve as the Senior Military Assistant to
the Secretary of Defense.
You, too, have had an exceptional and
distinguished military career: commanding officer of the U.S.S.
Barry, the second in that class of ships, the DDG–52s, from 1993
to 1995; subsequently commanded Destroyer Squadron 21, and on
it goes with a number of ships. But we also talked a great deal
about mutual friends that you have in the Navy, and particularly
Admiral Mack, who is Superintendent of the Naval Academy, and
what a profound influence he had on you.
The committee has asked our nominees to
answer a series of advanced policy questions. They’ve responded to
those questions. Without objection, I will make the questions a part
of the record.
I also have certain standard questions we ask of each nominee
who appears before the committee, and I’ll now propound those
questions and ask if you will respond accordingly.
Have you adhered to applicable laws and regulations governing
conflicts of interest?
Have you assumed any duties or undertaken
any actions which would appear to presume the outcome of the confirmation
Will you ensure your staff complies with
deadlines established for requested communications, including
questions for the record in hearings?
Will you cooperate in providing witnesses
and briefers in response to congressional requests?
Will those witnesses be protected from any
reprisal for their testimony in the briefings?
Do you agree, if confirmed, to appear and
testify, upon request, before this committee?
Do you agree to give your personal views, if
asked by this committee to do so, even if those views differ or are
inconsistent with the administration then in office?
Do you agree to provide documents, including
copies of electronic forms of communications, in a timely manner,
when requested by a duly constituted committee of Congress,
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or to consult with the committee regarding the basis for any goodfaith
delay or denial in providing such documents?
I’d like now to ask if either of the nominees
has a statement.
STATEMENT OF GEN BANTZ J. CRADDOCK, USA, NOMINEE FOR
REAPPOINTMENT TO BE GENERAL AND TO BE COMMANDER,
U.S. EUROPEAN COMMAND
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just have a
short opening statement, if I may.
First of all, Mr. Chairman, Senator Levin, and distinguished
members of the committee, it is, indeed, a privilege to appear here
before you today as the nominee for the positions of command of
the United States European Command and as the Supreme Allied
I am, indeed, honored and humbled by the nomination from the
Secretary of Defense and from the President, to take command of
these historic and, I believe, relevant and important commands.
I’d like to note that I began my military career in Europe, arriving,
my first assignment to Germany, in 1972. Since that time,
Linda and I have spent some 14 years in Germany over five different
tours, where we have seen, upclose and personal, the transformation
of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from
a focus on collective defense to one of collective security. We’ve experienced
the dramatic drawdown of the United States forces in
the EUCOM, a transformation, I believe, essential to fit the conditions
of the changed security environment today.
I believe the challenges are many, and I believe the opportunities
are great. I must say, I am, indeed, fortunate to be sitting here
today with a good friend, my partner. We shared a cubicle in the
Pentagon in the J–5 office in 1996. We worked together there as
action officers, and we have stayed friends since. He is a superb
naval officer, and I know he will serve with distinction.
Thank you for the opportunity to be here today, Senator.
Thank you. I think that’s a nice personal
STATEMENT OF VADM JAMES G. STAVRIDIS, USN, NOMINEE
FOR APPOINTMENT TO BE ADMIRAL AND TO BE COMMANDER,
U.S. SOUTHERN COMMAND
Senator Warner, Senator Levin, and distinguished
members of the committee, let me echo John Craddock’s
words and simply say it’s an honor and it’s a privilege to be asked
to appear here today and to be considered for a position at U.S.
I do want to thank the committee for taking the time to do this
hearing. I know you have immense pressing responsibilities at this
particular time, and I appreciate that very much.
If confirmed, I just, as an overview, want to assure you that this
job will receive my full energy and attention every moment that I
bring to work.
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I’d like to also say thank you to John Craddock for those nice
words. It’s been a long hike. If you had told the two of us, in 1995,
back in the Pentagon, that we’d be appearing here, I think we both
would have laughed uproariously, and headed out for a beer somewhere.
John, it’s good to be here with you today.
Thank you very much. Thanks, Jim.
I’d like to invite my colleagues—Senator
McCain, do you have a word or two?
No, sir. I appreciate the very outstanding service
that both of these fine officers have performed in behalf of our
Nation. I do note that both of them have served as the Senior Military
Assistant to the Secretary of Defense. I wonder if that’s the
pathway to success these days in Washington.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you very much.
I have no statements, Mr. Chairman, other than
I’m looking forward to getting these two fine gentlemen confirmed.
Thank you very much.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity.
I’ll defer until it comes time to ask a few questions.
But thank you both for being here. Congratulations to you and
Thank you very much.
General Craddock, I’d like to start with Afghanistan, your perspectives.
Preceding you in this office was General Jones, who is
well known to this committee, who has a level of respect that—
among all members, on both sides of the aisle—has done a remarkable
job in his capacity. I recall, in my visits, and I’m sure colleagues
had similar visits, because whenever, as a rule, Members
of the Senate, I know—perhaps the House, also—who were traveling
in Europe, he’d often make himself available, travel sometimes
considerable distance to visit with the congressional delegations
and to give his perspective on the whole area of responsibility
(AOR) in which he served. I recall his early thoughts about getting
NATO involved in Afghanistan after the U.S. had done the initial
basic operations over there, with the assistance of some others.
Now, that situation has not gone as the world had expected—most
particularly, this country and those allies who have been with us.
But NATO has stepped in with a measure of courage, putting to
the side, in many instances, the national caveats that are of great
concern to NATO commanders. I think, again, General Jones did
a great deal to lessen the national caveat problem. Those troops are
performing bravely and courageously, and have experienced considerable
loss of life and limb. Let’s have your perspective on what
you would hope to do, building, I hope, on General Jones’s work,
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I just would like to, first, echo and amplify with you also, the
great respect and admiration that I have for General Jim Jones. I
know that is shared across the Armed Forces. He has done a remarkable
job. There has been a reawakening of NATO in many different
perspectives—and, I think, in Afghanistan.
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I have talked a bit with General Jones about Afghanistan, obviously
have seen some reports and read of what’s happening. I think
that, as General Jones had characterized it, the assumption of the
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in the
north and spreading to the west, proceeded about on plan. Upon
assumption of that mission in the southern part of the country, I
think that there was probably an underestimation of the insurgent
forces there. That is a known area for the large cultivation of the
poppies. The opium comes out of there—the trafficking, if you will.
I think that the movement of NATO forces have encroached into
areas that had been, for a long time, safe havens or operating areas
for these forces, these forces of instability and insecurity. Now they
are being challenged, and that’s led to the conflict that we’ve seen
In watching this and having been there a few times, I agree with
General Jones’ assessment.
This is not a military problem. It is, to
the extent the military will have to set the conditions for development,
for the reconstruction. That it is essential to, one, offer alternatives
to the farmers who grow the poppies, that are into the heroin
trafficking, and also, then, to provide services, infrastructure,
job opportunities to the people of Afghanistan, beyond the cities. It
has to happen and occur in an organized, structured manner out
in the countryside. The people have to believe, at the end of the
day, that governance is a good thing, and that their government is
making their lives better today, and will continue to do so tomorrow.
So, I think that that is a good program. I think that General
Jones is leading that.
I think that in the future there will have to be much work done
with the NATO members who are contributing to the ISAF to ensure
that they remain steadfast in their commitment, that they understand
that there will be challenges to the security and the stability.
But the fact is that that is the first priority mission for
NATO today. I think it will continue to be. It is very important
that we support that, to the extent that we can, and we keep the
countries together in a strong alliance.
The question of whether or not additional
forces are needed—there’s been some requests from the field commanders—
I hope that you will give due attention to those requests
and as soon as you’ve had a chance, subject to confirmation, to, as
they say in the military, snap in. I hope that you address that
problem early on.
Absolutely, Mr. Chairman. Indeed, there is
a force capability requirement, and that is the level to which the
force needs to be resourced. Again, presuming confirmation, I
would look at that, posthaste.
On the subject of Iran—you have followed that, I’m certain—we
awakened this morning with the activities at the United Nations,
and—I won’t go into the details because all of us know what the
situation is. France has, as of this morning, made an unusual
move, which I think is somewhat different than what the initial
thoughts were as to how we were going to deal with this problem
of Iran’s apparent desire to go forward with programs which could
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enable them to someday build, construct, and perhaps even have
a delivery system for fissionable nuclear weapons.
I just would like, generally, to bring to your attention the history
of the Cold War, which I’m sure you’ve studied, which this committee—
as a member now for 28 years, we went through that, and
how the containment and the deterrence between NATO and the
Soviet Union worked. It could well be that if diplomacy fails, that
NATO could once again begin to perform a role of deterrence, because
Iran is a threat to the whole world, and particularly Europe
and the Middle East. Just tuck that away in your memory bank,
because that worked, and it worked successfully, the deterrents for
the Soviet Union, and we may have to formulate how NATO—because
I think, should we have any military involvement—and I’m
not suggesting in any way that, at this time, it will be done, but
it should be multinational, and a framework of NATO, it seems to
me would be a good place to start.
Thank you for that, Mr. Chairman.
Admiral, we discussed, in my office yesterday,
a matter that’s always been of great interest to me, and that’s
the Panama Canal. Apparently, at this point in time, Panama, understandably—
a sovereign nation, looking at a series of very significant
upgrades to that canal, and it’s going to cost several billion
dollars. Where will they go for the funding? What nations will come
in? That all points to perhaps bringing in the influence of other nations
in that key region of the world, and that lifeline which is so
important, not only to economic trade, but to the transfer of military
vessels, notably our vessels. Would you give us a comment or
two of your views on that?
Yes, sir. Certainly, the canal is a vital resource
for the United States. Sixty-five percent of the vessels that
pass through it are bound for U.S. ports. It’s our means to swing
ships between the Atlantic and Pacific fleets. It’s of immense importance
to this country.
The Panamanians are seeking, as I understand it, sir, to recapitalize
a project, $3 to $4 billion. President Torrijos is going to the
Panamanian public in a referendum to seek approval for this process.
It is unclear, at this time, exactly where the funding would
come from. Probably, part of it would be from internal taxed resources
within the Republic of Panama. Part of it would be from
That’s what concerns me, who those investors
Particularly the extent to which China might
see this as an opportunity to begin to have greater influence in this
I think it’s an issue that we should continue
to follow, as we are following, in general, Chinese economic and
military-to-military contacts throughout the region. Senator, if I’m
confirmed, I’ll continue to look very hard at that.
I hope this country might think of being a
partner—an active partner—to help—respecting the sovereignty of
that country, but, at the same time, recognizing the key strategic
importance of that canal to our operations.
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Finally, Venezuela—again, the current leader of that country is
trying to utilize his influence not only throughout littoral nations
that provide for Central America, but, indeed, throughout the
world. Much of his rhetoric and actions is antithetical to the interests
of our Nation, and just basic principles of freedom and fundamental
democracy. What do you hope to achieve there?
Senator, I agree. I would start by simply saying
that historically, as a country, the United States has enjoyed
very good relations with Venezuela. Unfortunately, the current government
has taken many anti-U.S. positions in various international
fora. There is very harsh rhetoric from the leader of the
current Venezuelan Government, and ties to countries like Cuba,
Syria, Iran, and Belarus, that are disturbing. It seems as though
the current Venezuelan leadership is attempting to create a kind
of a block of countries in Latin America which could then be influenced
to take anti-U.S. positions.
The Venezuelans are also in the midst of large arms increases.
They’ve just purchased 100,000 AK–103 rifles from the——
I think the total bill was several billion dollars
worth of acquisition.
Yes, sir. It’s been, again, disturbing. It’s not
just rifles, it’s jet aircraft and helicopters, big programs. They have
a lot of oil money. It’s a concern in the region, and we need to
Those military sales are being acquired primarily
That’s correct, sir. I would conclude by saying
we still have some military-to-military contact with the Venezuelans.
To the degree we can influence them to move in a positive
direction, we should do that. But, at the moment, Venezuela’s
actions, as articulated by their government, have to be of concern
in the region. If confirmed, it would be an area I would focus on,
Thank you very much.
General, in your written answers to pre-hearing questions relative
to Afghanistan, you said that, ‘‘If NATO’s political or military
will is lost in the Afghanistan ISAF mission, the future of NATO
out-of-area operations, and, thus, the NATO response-force concept,
will be severely jeopardized.’’ You discussed with the chairman the
call of General Jones for an additional 2,000 to 2,500 troops and
transport helicopters to bolster the NATO effort in southern Afghanistan,
but, so far, the only substantial troop offer has come
Do you believe, from what you know, that other NATO members
are going to provide the additional troops that General Jones has
Senator, in discussions yesterday, in talking
with General Jones, there are indications, now, other nations will
be stepping forward.
I hope so. Do you believe that other changes are
going to be needed to support the NATO mission in Afghanistan?
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For example, would you advocate transferring responsibility for operations
and intelligence relative to Afghanistan to the European
Command from the Central Command (CENTCOM)?
I don’t, at this time, have the finite level of
detail to be able to determine, right now, whether or not, upon the
assumption of stage 4 transfer of authority to NATO for the entire
country ISAF operation, exactly how much or what kind of intelligence
transfers are needed. I believe that in the future there will
be a definite need for increased communications and intelligence
and information transfers between U.S. forces in Afghanistan and
NATO. The extent of that and how the modalities of that will come
together, I don’t know at this time.
Our staff heard from U.S. military and civilian
officials in Afghanistan last month that there are insufficient funds
for the quick-turnaround, small-scale projects that are critical to
recruiting the population away from the Taliban. There are also reports
that the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International
Development requested about $600 million in fiscal year
2006 supplemental for Afghanistan, but that the White House approved
only $43 million. It’s hard to tell how much of the Commanders’
Emergency Response Program (CERP) funds are being
used by the commander in Afghanistan for the Provincial Reconstruction
Teams (PRTs), but, by all accounts, in Afghanistan, the
need outstrips the funds that are available. Will you report back
to the committee on what amount of CENTCOM’s CERP funds are
being spent on small reconstruction and development projects, such
as the ones being funded by the PRTs? Will you report back to us
your own professional opinion, as we would expect you to do on all
matters, as to what the needs are in that area?
Yes, Senator, I will.
Admiral, in June 2006, President Bush declared
that he would ‘‘like to close Guantanamo.’’ Under what circumstances,
if any, would you recommend that the facilities at
Guantanamo be closed?
Senator, I would start by saying that today
I see a need for Guantanamo. We have a brutal enemy who seeks
to do us harm, and it seems to me we need a place to legally, transparently
incarcerate individuals—detain them, I should say. We
have had as many as 770 or so in Guantanamo. We’ve been gradually
reducing that number down to about 450. I think it would be
a very good thing if we continued to reduce the number of people
there. As the numbers go down, if we continue to get the other
countries to take their own nationals back, one could see, eventually,
an instance in which we would no longer have a need for
Guantanamo. I think that’s the genesis of the President’s remarks.
So, it’s really a matter of winning in this war on terror, and also
convincing our allies and partners to take back the people who are
there. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that that’s going to happen in
the immediate future, but it would certainly be everybody’s hope—
my own included, if I were confirmed as Commander,
Admiral, did you review the recently-released revised
Field Manual on Interrogations?
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Yes, sir, I have reviewed it. It’s a very detailed
document. I have not read every line of it. I’m in the process
of doing that. If confirmed, before taking command I will have read
every line in the Army Field Manual. I think it’s a good document
and an improvement, and it’s a clear document.
What is your assessment as to how it’s being received
by military and civilian personnel?
Sir, my assessment, talking not as the
SOUTHCOM commander, but talking to my friends who are involved
in this, including, for example, Admiral Harry Harris, who’s
the current commander at Guantanamo—I believe that the document
is well received because it’s written in a way that the soldiers,
sailors, airmen, and marines who are involved in interrogations
can understand it. I can understand it when I read it, and
that’s a strong improvement. Also, it has no classified annex. It’s
open and it’s transparent.
Do you believe that interrogators at Guantanamo
can carry out their mission within the standards that are set forth
in that field manual?
Senator, I’m not an expert in interrogations,
but my personal belief is that they can.
My time is up. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you very much.
General Craddock, opium cultivation has
reached record levels in Afghanistan. Should the United States
military be actively engaged in poppy eradication? Or ISAF military?
Thank you, Senator. Tough question. In the
original agreements, the Brits were to focus their efforts on the
eradication of the poppy fields. That has not happened. Actually,
as you said, their production is up. I think that there has to be a
concerted effort to eradicate those fields. As a part of the attraction
to the lawless element, to the traffickers, to the terrorists who use
the proceeds, the revenues generated by that trade, it may well be
ISAF is going to have to, as they move to provide security and stability,
take on the eradication of those fields. I don’t know that, but
I know it has to be done. As stage 4 occurs and more U.S. forces
come under the NATO control, it may well be, U.S. forces will be
involved in that too. That is the genesis of the funding for the radicals
and extremist insurgents there.
A vicious circle.
There have been media reports concerning
some kind of a truce or treaty being concluded between the Pakistani
Government, President Musharraf, and the Taliban, in the
areas along the Afghan/Pakistan border. What do you think of
that? Is it true? What kind of a problem does that create if there
is some kind of sanctuary along the Pakistan/Afghan border?
I am aware of an agreement. I do not know
the details, other than what I have read here recently. I think that
the key here is in assessing it through implementation. We need
to keep watch. On the surface, it may be an agreement that will
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work to control the border. In application, everyday execution, it
may not work. So, I think we have to be watching closely. We have
to see this movement back and forth across these borders. If a safe
haven is created, it will cause enormous problems for NATO and
for U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
Again, I have no detailed information, but it is
very disturbing, if some kind of sanctuary is provided for the
Taliban by the Pakistani Government. We continue to be concerned
about bad relations between the two countries already. But General
Jones has recommended that NATO send additional forces into
Afghanistan. We all know our forces are there, but we’re also pretty
well stretched. Are you disappointed, so far, in the reaction of
the NATO allies to this request for additional troops?
Senator, I am. I am not surprised, given my
experience in Europe and having served in a NATO command in
the Balkans. There was a statement of requirements that the plan
lays out, ‘‘Here are the troops we need.’’ It appears that it was
sourced to about 85 percent of the capability required. A decision
was made then to accept that risk and to go ahead and assume the
The key here now is to continue to work with the nations to
source the remaining capabilities required. I think there’s some airlift
and some attack helicopters and a few other—a strategic response
force, a battalion strategic force available. That’s what has
to continue to be worked with the nations, because it’s a plan that
was agreed to, now it’s a matter of owning up to the commitment.
I think the facts on the ground indicate in Afghanistan
that there has been a resurgence of Taliban influence
and activities, to the point where we now have, some cases, hundreds
of Taliban engaged in combat. That’s very concerning. I wonder
what may have gone wrong over the last 4 years that has allowed
An additional follow-up question. I notice, for example, I think
four Canadian troops were killed yesterday. Sometimes our allies
get a little shaky when their personnel, obviously, are in harm’s
way, and killed or injured. Maybe you could give me an idea of
what went wrong and what needs to be done differently if we’re
going to reverse this trend.
In talking a bit with those who work this
every day, to include General Jones, the belief is that these Taliban
forces, insurgents, had located in that area as a safe haven, away
from urban areas, out in to the countryside. Second, those are large
cultivation fields for the poppies. So, that was a natural attraction—
provides, if you will, the sanctuary. I think the movement in
of about 8,000 NATO forces pushed out into the countryside and
confronted these safe havens, these sanctuaries, and that caused
the contact that maybe had not been done previously to the extent
that allowed it. I think, again, that the forces are adequate. It’s a
matter of, as you said, resolve. There will be casualties taken. The
assumption of stage 4, it may well be that NATO ISAF finds that
there’ll be tougher fights in the future over in the east. But I think
that the fact that now they are being engaged in larger numbers
would indicate that it may be they were there for a while, and
there were never forces out there engaging them where they were
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living, operating, and training, which has occurred. But we must
stay the course here, we must continue to have the resolve, work
with the nations, and do this in a smart, meaningful way to set the
conditions, then, because if the development doesn’t come in after
the security is established in those regions, the people will not believe
in the government, and the Taliban will be back.
Of course, that’s based on the ability of the government
to control the areas.
I thank you.
I congratulate both of our witnesses. We look forward to having
you in place as soon as possible, General.
Thank you, Senator.
Thank you, Senator McCain.
I would simply add, the seriousness of this question that both of
us addressed, and that is the question of force levels. We have
watched that debate here in Iraq. It continues. You now will be the
point person, you will be that field commander that has to make
the recommendations, make them in accordance with your professional
judgment, make it strong, make it so it’s not any equivocation.
Because, I have to tell you, NATO did very well in the Balkans,
was very successful, but the credibility of NATO for the future
is on the line right now in this operation.
Mr. Chairman, I wholeheartedly agree and
I will promise you I will do that as soon as possible, once confirmed.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
General Craddock, you have served in many critical positions,
with great expertise and fidelity, but I must confess I’m a bit troubled
about this nomination. Last July, you were here before the
committee trying to explain why you would not support the recommendation
of Lieutenant General Schmidt with respect to an adverse
action against General Miller for his activities in Guantanamo.
I said, at that point, and that time, it was a moment to draw
the line for accountability, not just at sergeants and majors, but
You didn’t draw that line. You said, ‘‘imprecise
guidance policy,’’ you couldn’t hold them accountable, but you chose
to disregard, I think, what was a very considered and thoughtful
report by the Special Inspector General, in favor of avoiding accountability.
Today, accountability still, I think, has been evaded.
I just am troubled. I think that is the critical issue of whether or
not an individual at your level will make tough decisions, regardless
of the consequences to his fellow officers and regardless of consequences
to his superiors. It should not go without comment that
General Miller was intimately involved with civilians and the Secretary
of Defense in this particular issue and that by exonerating
him, I think, at least you gave some comfort to the Secretary of Defense
and to others. I don’t know if that’s been reciprocated.
But I must say that based upon your career, which is one of fidelity
to the uniform, I was disappointed then, and I still remain
disappointed. I said it then publicly, and I say it again now.
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I am just dismayed about the failure of senior-level civilians and
senior military officers to be fully held accountable for palpable
mistakes that have been made, even when recommended by another
officer like General Schmidt. So, I want that comment to be
in the record.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Craddock may wish to respond.
Yes, I know he does.
Senator, I understand your comments. I’m
not going to review my rationale today. I’ve done that many times,
and twice, I believe, before this committee. I will stand on the
record of what I have said.
I will tell you though that as a professional officer over many
years, these decisions are always difficult. I have to act on the facts
as they are given to me. I have to weigh all of the issues at hand.
There’s obviously deep consideration given.
I will tell you that it’s my personal belief that I will always take
the hard right as opposed to the easy wrong. There will be those
who differ with my judgment and the rationale, but the fact is the
report given to me, the facts presented to me, led me to that decision.
I then, as I am bound to do, referred that to the Army Inspector
General who conducted an investigation.
The results of that
turned out to be the same as my result and my finding. So, that’s
all I can say to that, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Reed, do you have anything further?
I have no questions, Mr. Chairman. I just think
that this represents another example of a lack of accountability and
being rewarded for being compliant and not accountable.
As the committee well knows, we have pending
before us a hearing, at which time it’s anticipated General Miller
will once again appear before this committee to re-examine this
issue. As soon as you can advise me, Senator Levin, on the matters
that you raise in connection with preparing for that hearing, we’ll
Let me just check with staff.
I think, Mr. Chairman, the issue is, I’m trying to gather what
the question is, apparently there’s some preliminary questions that
need to be asked by staff in preparation for such a hearing. But,
as far as I’m concerned, the quicker we get to the bottom of that
issue, the happier I’m going to be.
I agree with that. It seems to me, given the
short period within this Congress is still in business, we have to
Yes. I will, again, check into the status of that
If you would advise me, I’d appreciate it very
But I do think Senator Reed has raised a question
about accountability at higher levels that has just not been answered
satisfactorily. I hope that our hearing with General Miller
can shed at least some light on that failure of accountability at
higher levels. We will look into the status of our pre-hearing ques-
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tions and make sure that they’re promptly done, if they’re not already
I’d simply add that it’s anticipated that Colonel
Pappas also would be included as a part of that hearing series.
He’ll appear before the committee.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
As I’ve talked to you before, General Craddock, I’ve been disturbed
for a long time about the way the continent of Africa is divided
up. I think it’s confusing. It’s difficult to do things, such as,
right now, when we’re looking at the African brigades. I’ve been
very active in this area. It’s my understanding now, although I’ve
not seen anything specific on it, that there’s going to be an African
command. Now, I’d like to ask you what that structure would be.
How does that relate to CENTCOM and to EUCOM as far as your
understanding is concerned?
Thank you, Senator.
Indeed, I understand there are ongoing discussions and deliberations.
I believe EUCOM has been tasked by the Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs and the Secretary to provide a proposal. I am a proponent
of a dedicated command for Africa.
Now, that would be an additional command, I
That would be an additional combatant command.
Now, the question becomes—and that is
what the work in progress is—how is it done? What is the shape,
substance? As you’ve said, right now Africa is shared by three combatant
commands. So, how would the arrangement, the geography,
change, in terms of the Horn of Africa, which is now CENTCOM,
East African islands, PACOM, and then the rest, EUCOM? I think
that we have to wait—and I believe it’s due here the next few
weeks—for the first proposal. I think it’s on the fast track, that we
all recognize that our critical national interests in Africa are, indeed,
very important, both from the counterterrorism perspective,
the secure and stable environment, to the humanitarian perspective,
with HIV/AIDS, endemic disease; and then, obviously, the energy
issues are also quite relevant.
So, we know there’s work in progress. It’s being pushed to a fast
track, and I’ll be very interested to watch how this develops, because
it will, indeed, be a key aspect of EUCOM in the future.
I’d like to have this committee get involved in
that because I have some ideas. I know that General Abizaid has
been concerned. How can you break off the Horn of Africa, for example,
where you have Djibouti and you have a lot of the terrorist
activities that’s moving in there as a result of the squeeze in the
Middle East? So, it’s a difficult thing to deal with.
Also, I personally like the idea of a complete command just dedicated
to the continent of Africa, because it’s become so incredibly
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As I’ve gone around and talked to—in the different
areas of the proposed sites for the five African brigades, I
just think—I just can’t imagine that that is going to work very well
if it’s divided into two or three different commands. So, we’ll be
watching that real closely.
It’s already been mentioned, Admiral—
—Stavridis—oh, yes; well, I’ve said it twice now;
that’ll be the last time—of the concern that is there in that command
in the SOUTHCOM with Chavez, with the changes in Castro—
well, let’s start with Castro. Right now, we don’t know for sure
what’s going to happen to him. We know a little bit about his
brother, about as much as you need to know. What is your feeling,
anything you’d like to say in an open hearing, as to how you see
Cuba, in the event of Castro’s stepping aside?
Thank you, Senator.
Certainly, Cuba is front and center on the windshield for any
commander at U.S. SOUTHCOM. If confirmed, it’ll be at the center
of my site picture. I think, like all of us, I’m very hopeful of a
peaceful transition to a democratic regime in Cuba. I have to say,
I’m not optimistic of that happening in the immediate future. The
basic signals we seem to get from Cuba today are that if Fidel Castro
were to step aside or pass on, his brother, Raoul, would probably
take the reins of power there. I think, in the end, very little
would change under that scenario. The Cuban economy is extremely
rocky at this moment. It’s propped up, in large measure,
by oil subsidies from Venezuela. As a result of all those factors, we
experience about 8,000 migrants a year coming here to our shores
from Cuba. I think as well, Cuba is, according to the State Department,
a state sponsor of terrorism.
So there is a basket of problems there. I don’t think there’s a
hopeful outlook in the immediate future. What the United States
can do is continue to be supportive of the Cuban people and to hope
for them, and to assure them that in the event of a transition to
a democratic regime, we would be there for them.
Some of us have been around long enough that
we can remember the instability in that whole area down there,
back during the Reagan years, and the changes that took place,
very positive changes.
But with the contras and the Sandinistas and
Daniel Ortega—and now he’s running again. The information I
have, he’s leading. Their election is in, what, November, I believe?
What do you see happening in terms of Nicaragua,
if Ortega were to win that thing?
Senator, I’m not an expert at all on Nicaraguan
politics, which are complicated, but common sense would
tell me, looking back, as I think you do, from the nature of your
question, that Daniel Ortega was an opponent of the United States,
an anti-American force in that country. Certainly, the election is a
free and democratic one. Nicaragua is a sovereign country, and
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they should pick their own leaders. They will. But I think we would
be concerned about linkages between Nicaragua, Venezuela, and
other countries in the region which would continue to move toward
this idea of a block of nations that we spoke about earlier that
could take anti-American positions. So, that would be of concern.
If confirmed, it would be something I would follow closely, Senator.
Good. There’s not a lot of time left, but there
is one other subject that I feel very strongly about and that is the
International Military Education and Training (IMET) program. In
the National Defense Authorization Bill that we hope that we’ll be
able to pass here shortly, we have some provisions that give easier
access to that program. There was a time, when it first began, that
we thought we were doing other countries a favor by allowing them
to come here and get training. That’s totally changed, in my thinking,
anyway. I think that we’re the beneficiaries of this program.
I’d like to know—because it’ll affect all countries—
we found out, readily, that if we have any restrictions on our
ability to bring in people to train, the Chinese and others are always
there, ready to do it.
Mr. Chairman, I can’t think of any single thing that we can do
that gives us a greater inside track with these countries than to
be able to get the training over here.
So, I’d like to ask each one of you to comment as to your feeling
about the program and where you see it going.
Thank you, Senator.
I would say, first, we support the American Servicemembers’ Protection
Act (ASPA). Unquestionably, we want our servicemembers
protected around the world. Unfortunately, the unintended consequence
of that is this IMET problem. We are losing, every day,
engagement opportunities with many nations around the world.
Over the years, as you said, this has benefited them. But to bring
them to our schools, our institutions, they have the opportunity to
live in our culture, see strong democratic institutions, and civilian
leadership of the military as a powerful thing. We gain from the
engagement, the contact. We understand them better. When we’re
there, we’re more appreciative and knowledgeable of their culture.
We’re losing that in very critical countries.
I have been a strong advocate to de-link the IMET program from
the ASPA sanction in order that we can engage and not lose contact
with a generation or two or three of officers and noncommissioned
officers, in countries that are important to us, and it’s important
to them to be linked with us. So, I certainly support and
endorse any way possible that we can get this program back on
Yes, it was unintended consequences, and it’s a
program that I really feel strongly about. Do you agree, pretty
Yes, sir. I think the expression up here is, I’d
like to associate myself with the remarks of General Craddock.
That’s the expression.
I do so, completely. I’ll just point out that
within the SOUTHCOM area of responsibility, 32 countries, 11 of
them are affected by this. So, it’s extremely significant in
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SOUTHCOM, I completely agree with General Craddock’s assessment
and would hope that we can continue the program.
Mr. Chairman, that’s another reason we need to really get that
thing moved along, because this bill will offer new opportunities for
your guys to take advantage of IMET.
That would be great.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator, I’ve always been a strong proponent,
as you have, of the IMET, and it’s interesting, the chapter—
for those following this hearing, that might not know the specifics—
it’s young officers of the foreign nations who are brought
here and then given an opportunity, usually of up to a year or so,
to study in our various military colleges and institutions. As you
well know, Senator, so often those officers who are, let’s just say,
young captains or majors go back home, and they rise through the
ranks and usually become the senior military officers in their respective
nations. That bond is of great value in times of stress,
should it occur, because they often turn to their counterparts here,
in American uniforms, having served with them, to seek advice and
So, you’re right on target.
I would go one step further and say not just the
educational institutions, but much like Fort Sill and the artillery
training in some of our military installations. It’s very significant.
Yes, sir. Agree.
No question about it. Also, Senator, we want
to recognize that on this committee I know of no member who has
given more time to study Africa than you have. Indeed, how many
times have you been, say, just in the last 2 years or so?
I’d say about eight times, I think.
About eight times—and several of those, into
the Darfur region. You’re to be commended for finding the opportunity
to study that, and you are an expert on it.
Mr. Chairman, a lot of people talk about the
Darfur problems, but if you get into northern Uganda and the
Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) problems up there, they’re every bit
as bad, but they don’t get the attention.
Thank you very much for your comments.
Thank you very much, Senator Inhofe.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Gentlemen, in the global war on terror we have come to, I think,
a greater understanding of the enemy that we confront, and it is
a form of extremism and radicalism that has hijacked one of the
world’s great religions. Whether you call the enemy Islamic extremists,
Islamic radicals—others have used other terminology—while
there may be some fault lines between Islamic extremists in different
parts of the world, it is, I believe, part of the same enemy,
which in the words of General John Abizaid, celebrates the murder
of innocent civilians in pursuit of its goals. Recently the people of
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America, and the world, were reminded of one of those groups,
Hezbollah, who rained down Katyusha rockets supplied by Iran
through Syria on civilian populations in northern Israel. I don’t
know many people who have doubt that if they had been able to
supply more lethal weapons—I don’t know many people who doubt
that Hezbollah would have refused to use them, causing more
death, more injury to innocent civilians.
One of the other things that the American people have been reminded
of is that Hezbollah has killed more Americans than any
other terrorist organization in the world, except al Qaeda, dating
back to 1983 in Beirut when 241 marines were killed. So, I want
to ask you a little bit about—and I’ve had some of these conversations
with General Craddock; he knows where I’m heading, but Admiral,
I want to bring this to your attention to our backyard—and
that is, South America, where Hezbollah has a foothold, particularly
in the triborder region, where we know, as a matter of fact,
they supply money to radical causes, to the Hezbollah headquarters,
so to speak, in the Middle East. We also, I think, can all
acknowledge the ease with which terrorist financing can transition
into operations if, in fact, some operators were dropped in, or if not
homegrown in our backyard in South America. So, I would like to
get, Admiral, from you, please, what you believe that we ought to
be doing, if confirmed, as part of the SOUTHCOM to deal with this
potential threat in our backyard.
Senator, thank you for the question.
I’ve had a chance to read a variety of intelligence reports, some
of which are classified and we can’t go into here. But, at the unclassified
level, I’ve looked at a Congressional Research Service
study and a State Department study recently, looked at materials
provided from U.S. SOUTHCOM. It appears certainly true that
Hezbollah has a foothold, is a good way to put it, in the
SOUTHCOM area of responsibility. The triborder area of Bolivia,
Paraguay, and Brazil—has probably the largest population that
we’re aware of right now. But there are outposts throughout the region.
At this point, the best I can tell, it appears to be largely financing,
as you alluded to, but it can segue very easily into human trafficking,
the ability to move special-interest aliens into our country
through human smuggling routes, surveillance—we have indications
of the surveillance of the Panama Canal, for example. So,
within the region, it’s of real concern.
What can we do about it? I think our role at SOUTHCOM, at
this point, is to be very plugged into all the intelligence, to work
very closely with all of our partners in the region. I mean, this is
one that obviously we can’t go down and solve by ourselves. We
have to work one-on-one with our partners, and also try and create
a regional hemispheric, if you will, sense of cooperation in this
topic. So, I would say building partnership capacity with our partners,
working with them closely, using intelligence aggressively,
and being very aware of the problem, and highlighting it in all of
our military-to-military activities, sir.
General Craddock was talking to, I think, Senator
McCain and other members of the committee about the connection
between narcotrafficking and terrorist financing. In Af-
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ghanistan, we continue to see that connection in South America
and other parts of the world. But, in particular, I’d like to get your
thoughts, Admiral, about Colombia, but primarily about what is
happening now in Venezuela, where Revolutionary Armed Forces of
Colombia (FARC) are getting safe haven, where perhaps there’s
greater participation in illegal drug trafficking in Venezuela to help
fund FARC’s anti-government activities. I am one who believes that
the work that we’ve been able to do to support the Colombians in
that country, with coca eradication and to enable them, through
military training and otherwise, to fight and defeat the revolutionary
forces there, FARC and others, has been a very positive development.
But if, in fact, that illegal drug trafficking merely moves
east in a country that if it doesn’t welcome them, at least tolerates
it, what does that tell you about what we need to do with regard
to the attention we pay to Venezuela, which is an avowedly anti-
American government, one that is associating with the greatest
threats to the United States, in Tehran, and welcoming armament
factories from Russia and the like? How would you describe what
our role should be with regard to the developing activity in Venezuela?
Thank you, Senator.
I would start by saying—and I think you alluded to it—that Colombia
has made tremendous progress over the last 4 or 5 years.
They’re militarily very successful against the FARC. One of the
other major groups there, the United Self-Defense Forces of Columbia,
is demobilizing. The economy is doing fairly well. I think one
significant part of helping in that region, in that border area, is
continued support to Colombia so that their economy continues to
improve, so that we operate with them in a military-to-military
fashion, so that we continue to give them the benefit of all that we
can as they fight this complex battle against narcotics and
On the question of FARC operating in that border region with
Venezuela, I have seen intelligence that indicates that is true.
Again, I would not want to, in an open hearing, go much further
than that. I’d like to come back to you on the record with an answer
more specific to that particular question. It is of concern.
[The information referred to follows:]
Thank you. General Craddock, I didn’t mean to
leave you out, but since you’re moving over to EUCOM, I thought
I would focus my attention on the Admiral and get his views. I
know both of you realize that even though Northern Command is
responsible for the homeland defense function for the continental
United States, that we can’t ignore what is happening right out our
back door right across the border.
I agree completely.
Because of what you’ve just described, Admiral,
and what General Craddock and I have talked about previously,
and that is, when you have international criminal organizations,
they’re more than happy to finance their operations using any
available commodity, whether it’s people, drugs, guns, WMD, or the
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I believe it’s absolutely imperative that the Department
of Defense continue to focus greater attention on our
international borders, and to help the Department of Homeland Security,
which has the primary responsibility to control our international
borders, through the use of technology, which the United
States military has right now, and which could, I believe, be deployed
with great beneficial effect, and in so doing, enhance our national
security, because our backyard is important for all the reasons
Mr. Chairman, thank you very much.
Thank you very much, Senator Cornyn.
We may, gentlemen, have several questions for the record. We’ll
ask that you respond. The record will remain open until the recess
of the Senate tonight.
I do want to return to one line of discussion we’ve had today, and
that is drug trafficking in Afghanistan, General Craddock, and
your responses about how you felt there are certain responsibilities
that NATO must face up to in that area. I think parallel and equal
emphasis should be given to the role to be played by the Afghan
military, perhaps, to some extent, the police forces, in which the
United States put a very significant investment. There always will
be certain instability in a government when it stands up. President
Karzai has shown tremendous courage. In a recent visit that I had
with him in Afghanistan a short time ago with several of our colleagues
here, we talked about this situation. He seemed to be dedicated.
But there are certain political realities that he’s faced with.
This is a subject that has to be dealt with in such a way that it
doesn’t cause an increase in the instability of his government, because
that government simply has to succeed. It’s a freely elected
government, so, while I’m hopeful that Karzai will remain in office,
let’s hope it remains a freely elected government. Also, we had the
privilege on this visit to meet for the first time with the parliamentarians,
a very interesting group, rather a feisty, outspoken group
of parliamentarians, and in our dialogue with them and it was
hard to break off, they were so anxious to meet with, should we
say, their counterparts from the United States, the parliamentarians
and we legislators.
So, I think that you have to work hand-in-hand with NATO and
the Karzai government as we, hopefully, do a joint effort to begin
to take down this ever-growing problem of the narcotics being
raised there and the money that comes, as a consequence of that
crop, into the sinews of that country in many ways. I just hope
that, in that course of action that you will direct, together with the
government, that the Afghan forces will have a very active, if not
a greater role than, indeed, the NATO forces in resolving that problem.
If you’d like to make a comment or two on that.
Yes, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I totally agree with your statements. The Afghan national army
has made great progress. We’re still training, still building that
army, and it will, as it continues to grow and gain competence and
professionalism and capability, be able to assume more and more
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of that security burden. I think that they will be instrumental in
maintaining the control, along with its nascent police force that
also must be built, and it must gain the confidence of the people,
out and about in the countryside so that these development programs
Now, the real power of those PRTs is that they are generally customized
to each region. They work with the local elders and government
officials. They bring in the national government, if you
will, out of Kabul—to the extent where the people understand that
there is a benefit to a new clinic, a school, a road, something we
take for granted that is not there, infrastructure, a job opportunity—
that government is a positive force in their life. The key is
that the parliamentarians, the cabinet members, and President
Karzai participate in that, they support that, and, at the end of the
day, it’s an Afghan face; that in the meantime NATO will be providing
some security and stability, but what we would want to do
is work ourselves out of a job.
I certainly understand that. But it’s a formidable
job and it’s growing in terms of its challenge. But we must
I feel strongly that since we’ve invested so
much in building up their military forces, that their military forces
should take the lead in this eradication process. Now, you stop to
think a moment—and you have, and those of us who have been
over there and studied the problem—the amount of the dollars
going to the farmers is minuscule. It seems to me some program
could be devised, for a very modest sum of money, just to persuade
them to sit back in their arm chairs, if necessary, maybe grow a
little cabbage and broccoli, or whatever they want to do, but get
them out of the poppy business. Because the big money in this is
after it leaves the poppy field and these old and venerable farmers,
you see them—they actually have to massage almost every poppy
head to extract all the product and so forth as they go along. That’s
not where the money is. The money is where it leaves that field,
and then it goes on up through the many hands that deal with it.
That’s where the big dollars are. It seems to me we can just persuade
the farmers somehow to not grow it. It’s a sensitive situation,
but it’s one that has to be dealt with. I think the Gross National
Product (GNP). I’ve seen figures as high as three-quarters of
the GNP of Afghanistan is monies coming from the poppy fields
and the narcotics.
That money, as it leaves the farmer, he gets
a pittance, but as it moves up, certain monies flow back into the
sinews of Afghanistan in various ways, and it’s a big challenge.
General, the buck stops on your desk now.
I understand, Mr. Chairman. It is an enormous
challenge. Recently some Colombians have met with Afghans
to talk about their fight over the years. The Colombians have had
some success with alternative development to the farmers to convince
them that they’ll make as much money off of a licit crop as
an illicit crop. It is successful in parts of that country. Those are
the types of programs that, for a very low cost, can be very impor-
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tant and beneficial. So, it’s a multifaceted approach. It’s not just security,
but it’s offering alternative developments and opportunities.
All right. I thank you both very much. I
think we’ve had an excellent hearing. I commend you on your direct
responses to the questions.
We’ll take about a 2-minute recess as the next panel comes up.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
[Recess at 10:52 a.m., reconvening at 10:59 a.m.]
The committee will resume.
Now I ask our two nominees, Mr. Ford and Mr. James, to introduce
those persons who have accompanied you.
I’m accompanied today by my wife, Cecilia. She is a
retired government attorney, 34 years with the Department of
Health and Human Services, most recently as the chair of the Departmental
Appeals Board. Our children are not able to be with us
today. We have two on active duty, one in the Air Force in San Antonio,
and our second son is in the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg.
I know you’re proud of them.
We are, thank you.
Very proud of them.
We have a daughter who’s a junior at the University
I have some familiarity with that institution.
So does my wife. She’s a graduate of the law school.
My law school class was originally 1953, but
I went off to the Korean War for a period of time, and came back
and finished with the class of 1954. You weren’t on planet Earth
then, were you?
He was, actually. [Laughter.]
She’s class of 1972, I think.
Well, it’s a grand institution.
It is a wonderful school.
I was privileged to go back and give the
graduation speech at the University of Virginia 50 years from the
year I graduated from the law school. I hope that you’ll have that
same opportunity someday.
Anyone else that you might have brought?
The folks from the Army legislative liaison team, Bernie
Ingold and Mark Rivest.
Mr. James, I know you have some of your friends here.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Yes, I’m very pleased to introduce Ms. Joyce Blackwell, who is
my executive assistant, who is a very integral part of my team.
Please come up here. He needs all the support
he can get.
I agree with that, Mr. Chairman, I need all the support
I can get. I’m very pleased to introduce a long-time friend who
is a surprise visitor here today, Betty Murphy.
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Won’t she come up and join us here?
I would hope that she would.
Front row, please?
Thank you very much.
Ms. Murphy and I have known each other for a number
of years. We both graduated from the same law school.
Please. Thank you.
She is, in fact, primarily responsible for my first tour
of duty as a presidential appointee in Washington in 1975, when
she recommended to Secretary Dunlop that I be her successor as
the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division.
Isn’t that interesting.
So she’s been one of the tailwinds in my life.
That’s very important, giving you that support.
Likewise, she touched on my early career. So, we’re glad to
see you here.
All right. We welcome all of you. I wanted to make sure that we
acknowledged the families and friends who support our nominees.
Now, Mr. Ford, you currently serve as the Principal Deputy Assistant
Secretary of the Army for Financial Management and
Comptroller. From 2001 to 2004, you served as the Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Health, Budgets, and Financial Policy.
You have held senior management positions in various academic
and medical disciplines, including as Chief Operating Officer of
Georgetown University Medical Center. That was a challenge,
It was, sir. It was. Academic medicine and the Army
have many things in common, and not least of which is understanding
all the jargon.
I recently had just some routine matters to
attend to, and I selected the Georgetown University Medical Center.
I must say, it’s in good hands today.
I believe it is, sir.
Further, as Executive Secretary of the
Healthcare Financing Administration. You have a very impressive
background in these fields and are eminently qualified.
Thank you very much.
Likewise, Mr. James, you are an eminently
qualified individual nominated to be the Assistant Secretary of the
Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. In 2003, you were appointed
as the first Chief Human Capital Officer of the Department
of Homeland Security, where you served through 2005, and are
presently serving as an acting capacity.
Mr. James previously has served as the Administrator of the
Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor, where you
managed the enforcement activities, procedures, and standards of
300 offices nationwide; served on active duty in the Army from
1961 to 1963, and as a member of the 101st Airborne Division Artillery,
and thereafter for several years in the Army Reserve.
That’ll stand you well in this present position, because there is
no substitute, really, for having had the privilege of wearing the
uniform in our country and feeling as a part of the great team of
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the men and women of the Armed Forces, irrespective of which uniform
you wear. So, I congratulate you for that service.
I understand you’ve also given up a very fine position to take
this one on, at the request of the President and, I believe, the Deputy
Secretary of Defense.
Am I correct on that?
Yes, Mr. Chairman, that is correct.
Whereas, he went out and found you, so to
speak. Would that be correct?
That is correct, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Levin, I believe, may be able to return
here shortly, but in the meantime, you had both responded to
a series of advance policy questions. Without objection, I’ll make
those part of the record.
Now I’ll ask you the same standard questions we ask of all nominees.
Have you adhered to applicable laws and regulations governing
conflicts of interest?
Have you assumed any duties or undertaken
any actions which would appear to presume the outcome of the confirmation
Will you ensure your staff complies with
deadlines established for requested communications, including
questions for the record in hearings?
Will you cooperate in providing witnesses
and briefers in response to congressional requests?
Will those witnesses be protected from any
reprisal for their testimony or briefings?
Do you agree, if confirmed, to appear and
testify upon request before this committee or any other committee
Do you agree to provide documents, including
copies of electronic forms of communication, in a timely manner
when requested by a duly-constituted committee of Congress, or to
consult with the committee regarding the basis for any good-faith
delay or denial in providing such documents?
Now, I’m going to ask, Mr. Ford, would you
like to make some opening comments?
I would, sir. With your permission, I’d like to make
some brief remarks.
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STATEMENT OF NELSON M. FORD, TO BE ASSISTANT SECRETARY
OF THE ARMY FOR FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT AND
It is an honor to appear before you this morning as
the President’s nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial
Management and Comptroller. I would like to thank the
President for nominating me for this position, and Secretaries Harvey
and Rumsfeld for their guidance, confidence, and support. I
would also like to thank this committee for all it’s done over the
years for the men and women of the Army.
If I am confirmed, I look forward to working with the committee
to address the many challenges facing the Army. Perhaps the
greatest of these challenges is paying for the global war on terrorism
while transforming the Army into the more effective formations
needed for the 21st century security environment.
We have to make sure that our soldiers are deployed with the
best equipment and training, while developing the doctrine, tools,
and facilities that will attract future generations of young men and
women to Army careers. As the father of a soldier who spent a year
in Afghanistan and whose unit is now preparing to return to the
fight, I understand these challenges personally.
The Army’s financial management must be based on sound stewardship
and good business practices while enhancing our capabilities
wherever we are called to serve.
Finally, I’d like to thank my family for their support as I continue
to serve the American people in this important time. I am
grateful to them for their love and patience.
Thank you, sir.
Very thoughtful of you to say that, because,
as I said in an earlier moment in this hearing today, the support
of the families is essential for, certainly, not only the men and
women in uniform, but for those in the civilian capacity. I had the
privilege of serving in that building for over 5 years during the
Vietnam War, and I know the stress that it placed upon my family
and my children. We accept it.
Thank you. Thank you, sir.
You’ll never regret, of course, that service,
both of you, in connection with the Defense Department and so
forth, but it’s an important chapter of your life, and I hope you look
back on it with a sense of satisfaction.
Mr. Chairman, with your permission, I have some
brief opening remarks.
STATEMENT OF RONALD J. JAMES, TO BE ASSISTANT SECRETARY
OF THE ARMY FOR MANPOWER AND RESERVE AFFAIRS
Mr. Chairman, I’m deeply honored and privileged to
appear before this committee as the President’s nominee for Assistant
Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.
I’d like to echo my colleague’s—Mr. Ford’s, thanks to the President,
the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of the Army for
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the confidence and trust they’ve shown in me by nominating me to
serve as the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank this committee
for all the work it’s done over the years for the men and women
of our Armed Forces. If I am confirmed, I look forward to the opportunity
to serve my country again at a time when our national
security environment is markedly different and perhaps more complex
than it has been at any other time in our Nation’s history. If
confirmed, I look forward to working with Congress, the Defense
Department, and the Department of the Army to address the force
and personnel challenges such as recruiting and retaining an All-
Volunteer Force, building force capabilities, and advocating for Reserve
I’d like to thank my family, and especially my wife, Pat, of 36
years, who could not be here today, for their support as I continue
to pursue opportunities to serve our country. I am very grateful to
them for their continued understanding and affection.
Mr. Chairman, I look forward to any questions you and the committee
may have of me concerning this nomination. Thank you very
much, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you both. Those were very fine opening
First, Mr. Ford, last year’s National Defense Authorization Act
required certification that military-to-civilian conversions not erode
the quality or increase the cost of military health care services.
Secretary Harvey, on June 19, 2006, provided that certification, indicating
that he relied solely on the advice of the Surgeon General.
If you are confirmed, what role would you play in future decisionmaking
regarding the conversion of military billets to civilian positions,
and, in particular, in determining the cost-effectiveness of
such conversions? What is your overall assessment of the impact of
military-to-civilian conversions on Army efficiency and readiness?
Thank you very much for that question, Mr. Chairman.
That question, I think, goes back to some of my responsibilities
that I had when I was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
for Health Budgets. Most of the health spending in the Department
of Defense runs through the TRICARE program, the Defense
health program. The spending for military personnel is about the
only spending that actually runs through the departmental budgets.
Our experience at the time was that the conversions of military
billets to civilian billets didn’t have a negative impact; in fact, it
had a positive impact. It freed up military personnel for deployment
purposes. We will continue to monitor that as we go forward.
All right. I think we’ll want to have you,
from time to time, consult with our staff to clarify any problems
that may arise.
I’d be happy to do that, sir.
This question goes to both of our nominees.
The Army has established a Wounded Warrior Program designed
to meet the special needs of the most severely wounded soldiers.
Sailors, airmen, and marines, of course, are affected in some other
ways by this same program. Each of the Services have some com-
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parable form of this. Additionally, the Army has conducted several
comprehensive studies of the mental health conditions of acting Reserve
component soldiers following deployment to the theater of operations.
Have you formed any opinions about the adequacy of the
resources being devoted to the needs of wounded soldiers and those
who are in need of counseling and mental health services? The
families of these individuals are also very much a part of this
whole equation. What role will you play, if confirmed, in ensuring
that these programs are adequately resourced and are proactively
working to serve the needs of the soldiers and the families?
Mr. Chairman, if I am confirmed, I can assure you
that this will be one of my highest priorities. We ask men and
women to serve our country. We have an obligation to them to assure
that they, in fact, have health care. I mean health care not
just in the traditional sense, because often the effects from wartime
are more mental than they are physical. If I am confirmed, I promise
you that I will clearly turn my attention to this, because I view
it as a sacred obligation, as a sacred payback to those who serve
I appreciate that. I’ve seen tremendous advancements
in what modern science and the medical profession, in
particular, can do for mental health. It’s come a long way. We must
provide, for these brave individuals and their families, every bit of
help we can, because this has been a very stressful military operation,
really unlike any that this country has ever been engaged
in—it’s a war on terror, not State-sponsored, no uniforms, by and
large, worn by the adversaries. The adversaries are manifold,
whether or not it’s sectarian strife, common hoodlums, insurgents
from other nations, individuals whose minds are really so distorted
with erroneous, I think, concepts of religion that they’d give their
lives in suicidal attacks. We’re asking a lot of the young men and
women in the Armed Forces today. Consequently, we, here at
home, must give them every conceivable benefit we can to help
them readjust themselves and once again take up, if they choose
to leave the military Service, gainful and productive roles in the civilian
Mr. Ford, to financial management modernization, this committee
has long been concerned about the pace of modernization of Department
of Defense financial management systems. What progress
have you observed in the Army’s modernization of its financial
management systems and achievement of the goal of having fully
auditable financial statements?
Thank you for that question. I’ve been working for the
Army for about the last 15 months, and I think in that 15-month
period we’ve made some substantial progress. Perhaps not as much
as we would like to have made, but the trajectory is good. During
the last 15 months, we’ve started the implementation of our new
general fund accounting—enterprise-wide accounting—system, we
have reinvigorated the development of the Defense Integrated
Manpower System, which had been moribund. I think that’s back
on track with a very aggressive implementation schedule. We’ve
worked on new ways to improve our logistics management. All of
these are designed to work together so that we can get to the point
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where we are as careful and thoughtful about our assets and liabilities
as we are about our income and our expenses.
We’re pretty good at knowing what we get money for and how
we spend it. We’re less able to really understand what our equipment
is, what our facilities are, and when they need to be refreshed.
Our new accounting systems will provide us the information
we need to do that.
It will take some time before audited financial statements are
available, just because of the complexity of putting these new systems
together. But every year, we produce a financial report, and
that financial report is judged to be a good, thoughtful, clear explication
of how the Army is using its resources.
So, I think we’re well on the way, and we have much to do, but
good progress is being made.
Thank you very much. I think it’s important
that you follow through that and strengthen it in every way you
Mr. James, recruiting of the highest caliber young men and
women for the All-Volunteer Army, Army Reserve, and the Army
National Guard presents a challenge. All through history there
have been ups and downs in this, but it is a challenge now, although
I was pleased to see, I think, most of the goals have been
met for fiscal year 2006. Indeed, in order to make recruiting goals,
age limits for enlistments have been extended to age 42. That’s interesting.
I find that very interesting, but there are a lot of fully
able-bodied individuals at that age. I remember in World War II,
the cutoff was 38 years, because I came in, in the last year of the
war, and I remember our boot-camp class with 17-year-olds, as I
was, and some 18s, and then some 36, 37, 38-year-old folks, and
they had a bit of a struggle keeping up with the younger ones, but
I hope this works out, at age 42. Aptitude standards have been
modified to allow a greater number of recruits with lower scores to
enlist in the Army. What role do you expect to play, if confirmed,
in ensuring that the standards for recruiting in the Active and Reserve
components remain high? Are there additional recruiting incentives
that would be helpful, in your view, in assisting Army recruiters
in making their recruiting goals?
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I believe we have the finest Army in the world. I’m very proud
to join that Army. I do not want my legacy to be that I let the
standards slip. Having been involved in the private sector and with
clients, the building of an excellent workforce, the critical factor of
that is the recruiting and retaining of the best and the brightest,
and providing the kind of work environment and the kind of incentives
that, in fact, help you to do that. That has been my practice
in the past. That’s been the counsel I give to clients. I would expect
to continue that now. I would expect to be very aggressive about
it, because without recruiting the best and the brightest and keeping
the standards high, I would not want to come before this committee
years from now and say that on my watch I let the best
Army in the world slide or slip.
Thank you very much. I’ll turn to Senator
Levin momentarily here.
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The management of the Army Senior Executive System (SES),
Mr. James, in March 2006, Secretary Harvey announced implementation
of significant changes in the manner in which senior civilian
executives in the Army would be managed, including requiring civilian
leaders to move into positions where they are most needed.
You’ve indicated in your advance questions, however, that you do
not anticipate having any role in the management of the Army’s
senior executives, other than those assigned to your office. Based
on your experience at the Department of Homeland Security, would
it not be desirable that you and your office have a role in the implementation
of the organizational change? In my own experience
in the Pentagon, I relied so heavily on the senior civilian executives,
as I did the military, of course, but we had a team in those
days. We hardly noticed any different treatment. We were all part
of the team. I hope that the senior civilians under your jurisdiction
in the Army are treated with the same respect that we did many
years ago when I was there.
Mr. Chairman, I’ll go back and read my statement,
and, if I misspoke in that, I will correct it.
I don’t think you misspoke. I wasn’t suggesting
I will correct it.
You mean in your written statement?
My written statement, yes, sir.
But let me respond to your concerns. It’s my understanding
that the primary responsibility for the allocation and the
assignment of SESs has been moved up to the Office of the Secretary.
I would still anticipate, given my experience and background,
that Secretary Harvey would, in fact, rely on me for advice
and counsel. I do know that during the course of some discussions
we have had, I’ve talked to him about my strong feeling about the
need to model the Goldwater-Nichols legislation on the civilian
side, that if, in fact—and this is the same thing I practiced and did
and encouraged at Department of Homeland Security—that is, you
need to have executives who, in fact, understand security and who
understand moving of containers. The only way you get that done
is that you, in fact, have a rotational program. You have a program
that’s very much like what Goldwater-Nichols envisioned, that you
have jointness. Only then do you really have solid executives.
It’s often people like me who get the spotlight, but the fact is
that if we really care about government, our most valuable resource
for sustaining excellence in government is the senior leadership
core, and I will, to the extent I am asked—and sometimes
even when I’m not asked—raise issues and concerns about supporting
Thank you very much.
Senator Levin, please proceed.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
First, Mr. Ford, let me ask you a couple of questions about the
Army budget process. The budget of the Army has appeared to be
about one step above complete chaos in recent months and years.
We have seen a number of reprogrammings being sent to Congress
to borrow from account B to fill a hole in account A, followed short-
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ly by a second request to borrow from account C to repay account
B, and so forth. We have had reprogrammings of this nature pending
before us that would simultaneously move large amounts of
money into and out of your operation and maintenance account at
the same time. We have seen the Army initiate a modularity program
before the Army had any plan to pay for it. Has the Army’s
budgeting process been acceptable, in your view? What do you plan
to do to improve it?
Thank you very much, Senator Levin.
I have not had a great deal to do with the Army budgeting process
for last 15 months. Most of my efforts have been in internal
controls and in cost management. I think that it’s never good to
have a budget process which is in chaos. I think, from the perspective
of the Army, the current situation we’re in is not ideal. We are
preparing, each year, a budget, at least two supplementals, and responding
to numerous requests from the combatant commanders
for operational needs that they identify. So, it’s been a difficult
My own view is that we need to put as much of the activity of
the Army as we can in the base budget to make sure that the base
budgets are available to the Army on a timely basis and to have
as little of the activity as possible in supplementals, and that’s
what I would work to do, if I’m confirmed to this position.
I understand that the Army has broken with
longstanding internal DOD procedures and refused to submit a program
objective memorandum (POM) for the fiscal year 2008 budget
request to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). Do you
know if that’s correct?
Sir, we have not submitted our POM to the OSD.
Is that not a break with a longstanding tradition?
It is a break, as I understand it, with a longstanding
tradition. Let me explain, if I could, what’s happened.
As we began the preparation of the POM this year, we identified
a mismatch between the current fiscal guidance and the Army’s
missions, as laid forth in the Quadrennial Defense Review. When
we noticed this mismatch, we informed the OSD. We are, at this
time, in constant conversation with OSD and with the Office of
Management and Budget to understand what the scope of those
differences are, and to look for solutions for those differences. As
soon as we come to an agreement on that, we will prepare and submit
Okay, thank you.
Mr. James, a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report
noted a significant increase in recruiter misconduct between
fiscal years 2004 and 2005. The economy, ongoing hostilities in
Iraq, and pressures to meet recruiting goals have reportedly caused
some recruiters to resort to overly aggressive tactics, which can adversely
affect the Army’s ability to recruit and erode public confidence
in the recruiting process. Other recruiters have been accused
of various criminal offenses.
The GAO found that the Services, including the Army, do not
track all allegations of recruiter wrongdoing and likely underestimate
the true number of recruiting irregularities.
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If confirmed, will you act to ensure that the Army is aware of
the full scope of alleged recruiter misconduct?
Senator Levin, the answer is yes. I have a history of
teaching and lecturing in the area of sexual harassment. I have
written extensively on the issue. It is cancerous to an organization
to have allegations of any kind of harassment. It is unacceptable
to have misconduct or misrepresentations. That will be a very high
priority, if not the top priority. It will clearly be a very high priority.
If the Army is to maintain excellence, if the Army is to maintain
credibility, we simply can’t have that. I will not abide by that on
my watch, if I am confirmed.
You will keep track of those allegations in a form
that you can report to the committee?
Yes, sir, because I have a history of experience in understanding
that sexual harassment and allegations of this kind
are always underreported, that normally if you go into a company
and you get two or three harassments, that is more than likely the
tip of the iceberg because there is a tendency by individuals, especially
women, the data showed, not to report, or to ignore. So, I
comment this with the understanding that I not only need to look
at the hard numbers, I need to understand the reality of what may
Mr. James, just one last question. This relates to the use of contract
recruiters. There is a pilot program which allows the Army
to use contract recruiters. We have just received a report, the first
one, on the effectiveness and efficiency of this pilot project. For 3
years of recruiting, from 2003 through 2005, the report concluded
that while contract recruiters were statistically less productive
than traditional recruiters, that the contract recruiter performance
improved during the first 2 years in the most critical areas, and it
was determined to be a viable recruiting option. The report recommended
continuing contract recruiting in some form after the
end of the pilot test on September 30, 2007.
I have a number of concerns about this program, about contractor
recruiters. For example whether or not they are subjected to
greater pressures than military recruiters to achieve or exceed recruiting
goals because their compensation will be affected by the
number of individuals that they are able to recruit.
Can you give us, very briefly, your views on contracting out military
recruiting? Second, do you know if recruiters are given a
bonus for each person they recruit? If so, what is that bonus, and
is that bonus a significant part of their pay?
Senator Levin, I regret that I simply don’t have the
information to respond to that question. I don’t have the data that
you do. I would, respectfully, suggest that the questions that you
raise are excellent questions that need to be asked, regardless of
whether recruiters are civilians or military. The question of, ‘‘are
they more effective?’’ is obviously something that would need to be
If confirmed, will you provide to this committee
your assessment of this program? Also, would you give us details
on how these contractors are paid? Because if there is a financial
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incentive to sign up people who otherwise should not be signed up,
or to engage in pressure tactics which are unacceptable for recruiting,
we should know that, and it ought to be part of our consideration
and deliberation as to whether to extend this program. But
if you could look into this program, see how it’s operating, see how
it works, and report to this committee, I’d appreciate it.
[The information referred to follows:]
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Thank you, Senator. If I am confirmed, I understand
my obligation is to apprise this committee about the burning issue
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of recruiting and if we are being effective and if we are doing it
in the right ways.
Yes, sir, I understand there’s a myriad of questions.
Senator Levin, those are important questions,
and I would suggest that the nominee provide something for
the record on that particular question as promptly as possible. My
counselor back here has some knowledge on that program, and he’d
be happy to tell you some of the source material that we are looking
at on this important issue. I thank you, Senator, for bringing
We will keep the record open for Senators,
through close of business of the Senate today, to put their questions
into the record.
I thank the nominees, their families, and those who have joined
us for this very important hearing.
The committee stands in adjournment.